Archive for the ‘School Jam USA – Youth Gone Wild’ Category

Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce yourself or the band?

TUF: The Underlying Factor is a four piece band from Houston, TX, made up of vocalist Spencer Fort, guitarist Parker Sims, bassist Ben Pogue, and drummer Ryan Alder.

MW: Tell me about your band?

TUF: We’ve been told by many people that we are an “eclectic” band because for one, our music is drawn from many many different genres. Spencer, the singer, listens to a lot of different styles, from Mayday Parade and John Mayer to Of Mice & Men. Guitarist Parker Sims however mostly listens to heavy metal like Children of Bodom and All Shall Perish. Ben Pogue on the other hand is mostly influenced with his bass playing by bands like Switchfoot and Skillet, while our drummer, Ryan, has always listened to bands like Blink-182 and Underoath. The second reason we’re considered eclectic is because we appeal to a large audience, and so we get a lot of diverse audience members. We’ll see members wearing shirts from Asking Alexandria with tattoos and gauges standing right next to a kid in khaki shorts and a polo, and for us to see such an arrangement of audience members is really cool.

MW: How young is each member?

TUF: Spencer is 16 years old, but Ryan Parker and Ben are all 17 years old. We’re a fairly young group but many people mistake us for an older group when we perform, which is a good thing.

MW: How did you get started in music?

TUF: We’ve all been doing music since we were very little by ourselves, but none of us really thought to join a band until Ben and Spencer worked backstage at the Free Press Summerfest in Hosuton and decided to get a band together so they could play on festivals like that. Then Ben introduced Spencer to Ryan at a Family Force 5 concert, and Spencer remembered going to middle school with Parker, so for the most part, the band was just kind of randomly formed and most of it was inspired by live performances we’ve seen. From there, we met Spencer Hargis (an independent booking agent when we first met him who now is in charge of Total Booking Agency) by filling in an empty slot on one of his shows and he got us on most of our shows.

MW: How long has the band been together?

TUF: We have been a band for 3 months now, and we have worked nonstop during this time to improve and get as good as we can get.

MW: Have you recorded any original songs yet?

TUF: Our EP, A Paradox at its Finest, is finished now and we’re simply waiting to release it. It has 5 original tracks on it including our two most popular songs We’ll Call This Punk Rock, and Masquerade. We recorded it at GreatDepths Studios and are extremely excited to share it with everyone.

MW: Where can they be listened to?

TUF: We have released an acoustic version of We’ll Call This Punk Rock on YouTube, which you can hear at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLv96wtD-cE&feature=BFa&list=FLG39v1VXKT8m6pW9mDAOjvg also, if you subscribe to the channel, you’ll be the first to hear about any new upcoming albums, music, or shows.

MW: Where is the band from?

TUF: The Underlying Factor is from Houston, TX.

MW: Do you all get to play out much?

TUF: We were first booked for a show on September 15th at a venue called Mango’s, and since then we’ve always had an upcoming show. We’ve been very fortunate to play with bands like School Boy Humor, Consider Me Dead, Divisions, Boy Epic, Red Box Harbor, and A Candle Lit City. We’re also very excited for a show we have coming up on December 15th. We’ll be playing with a band we all like called Myka Relocate and we’re excited to play with such a big band. The shows have been great and we hope they continue to be great and to have such great audiences.

MW: How is the music scene where you live?

TUF: We are extremely happy to be in Houston. The music scene here is just so diverse and you can travel only 10 minutes to see a great show. Even people that aren’t in bands really appreciate the scene, and so for us to be in a band and get a lot of opportunities and connections purely because of the area is just a blessing to all of us and we’re so happy we’re here.

MW: Do you have merchandise for sale? Where can fans buy it?

TUF: We’re still working on getting merchandise. All of our budget went to making the new album so we have to wait until we make a bit of it back before we can release merchandise.

M: Tell me about School Jam?

TUF: School Jam is a competition for high school bands across the nation. It’s online and everyone competes for a $5000 grand prize and a trip to play in Germany. It’s a pretty cool competition and it gives all of the bands exposure, which is very good just in general, and on top of that it supports the arts side of high schools, which has recently taken a pretty big hit with budget cuts, so we’re really happy to be a part of it and to help out schools around the nation.

MW: What is the link for fans to vote for your band?

TUF: http://www.schooljamusa.com/bands/2012/the-underlying-factor

MW: What would you like to say in closing?

TUF: Thanks to everyone who helped out with everything. We’ve had so much help along the way from a lot of people and there’s too many to list here, but just thanks to everyone for everything. Even if you feel like what you did was small, every bit of it helped. You’re the best!

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MW: Please introduce yourself?

MC: I am Mike Cappelluti, the Keyboardist and Song Writer for the band Reality Check.

MW: Tell me about your band?

MC:  We’ve been together for about 11 months now… we all have different tastes in music, but we come together and use our different preferences to create one sound influenced by several different genres.

MW: How young is each member?

MC: I am 15, Jake (the guitarist) is 16, Billy (the drummer) is 15, Tom (the bassist) is 15, and Dana (singer) is 16. We are all sophomores except Dana (who is a junior).

MW: How did you get started in music?

MC: I began taking piano lessons in 2005 (so almost 8 years). I’ve picked up instruments like bass, guitar, and drums within the past 3 years, but focus prominently on the keyboard.

MW: How long has the band been together?

MC: 11 months.

MW: Have you recorded any original songs yet?

MC: We have 3 recorded, but we have broken down the arrangements and changed them drastically to the point where they are hard to recognize now (with their new style). The only song that has been recorded and left the same is “Changes”—a piano ballad of ours written by myself and Dana.

MW: Where can they be listened to?

MC: The recorded songs can be listened to on our Facebook band page or www.realitycheckband.com. The new arrangements of the songs, and other songs such as our newest—“shades of black” and “now its gone” can be heard at www.youtube.com/RealityCheckmusicNJ
We are expecting to have a four song EP completed by June of 2013.

MW: Where is the band from?

MC: The band is from all over New Jersey, but the majority of us are from the Freehold area.

MW: Do you all get to play out much?

MC: Yes, we take every opportunity we can get to put ourselves out there. It’s all about spreading our music to the fans, connecting our music with people is what it’s all about—that’s the fun of this experience.

MW: How is the music scene where you live?

MC: We’ve slowly built a name for ourselves over the past 11 months. We’ve made a lot of progress lately (especially with all the buzz after our performance at the Bamboozle festival). Our fan base keeps on growing and we love it, people are starting connect with our music as we are learning how to give our songs an appeal.

MW: Do you have merchandise for sale? Where can fans buy it?

MC: Oh yeah. Merchandise can be purchased by emailing us at RealitycheckmusicNJ@gmail.com or in person at one of our shows.

MW: Tell me about School Jam?

MC: School jam is really an amazing concept. It’s such an awesome opportunity for the bands to get their name out there and have a chance to go onto Anaheim. Getting to that point would be a dream come true, and reaching that top 8 would mean everything to us. I know it’s gonna be tough, for the recent impact of Hurricane Sandy and Winter Storm Athena has made it really tough for us to get votes. Some of our friends, family, and fans have really been divested by the storms, so we are trying to do everything we can to win this thing for them. We are grateful to be part of this contest and look forward to seeing who is gonna make the top 8. I’m glad to see so many young bands vying for the same goal, it’s gonna be a lot of fun.

MW: What is the link for fans to vote for your band?

MC:  http://www.schooljamusa.com/bands/2012/reality-check

MW: What would you like to say in closing?

MC: I’d like to say that picking us for the top 8 would not be a mistake. We’ve gained a lot of experience and have come together like family over the past 11 months. We’d love the opportunity to get our name out there and also try to lift the spirits of local communities that have been hurting due to the recent storms.

Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce yourself?
MA: I am Matthew Aubel, current lead trumpet and background shouter in the ska band The Anchormen

MW: Tell me about your band?
MA: We are just a group of kids from small town Pleasanton, CA who all really love music. We all wanted to make a band and we all loved ska. After coming together into the band you see now last year we have written several songs including Yellowfever, and #realtalk.
And from our description on School Jam:

“The Anchormen are a seven-piece ska/pop punk band, aged 15-17, from Pleasanton, CA. Having played their first show in their parent’s gutted garage. The Anchormen quickly became popular for their on-stage antics, catchy lyrics, and fast-paced horn licks scattered with loud shouts and “pick it ups”. Pleasanton is great, but is not exactly a flourishing mecca of music venues, so The Anchormen have created their own shows in garages, barns, libraries, and deserted baseball fields, ultimately nurturing a now large and vibrant live music community within the area. Having played gigs all around their town and the bay area, The Anchormen quickly became a favorite local band. ”

MW: How young is each member?
MA: Jalen is the youngest being 14, I am 15, Derek is 16, Eric Jack and Kennan are all 17.

MW: How did you get started in music?
MA: All of us but jack (the guitarist) are in our school band program at Amador valley high school.

MW: How long has the band been together?
MA: Since roughly February of 2012.
MW: Have you recorded any original songs yet?
MA: Yes we have a 5 song EP.
MW: Where can they be listened to?
MA: http://theanchorcave.bandcamp.com/album/yellow-fever-ep

MW: Where is the band from?
MA: Pleasanton, California.
MW: Do you all get to play out much?
MA: Pleasanton being the small quite town it is, Isn’t exactly abundant to venues. We play where ever we can. In parks, garages, barns, etc.

MW: How is the music scene where you live?
MA: Music is a big part of our community. We have thriving performing arts and music programs at both our town’s high schools and there are many other outside groups for music enthusiasts. Many teen bands come together at the annual teen jam fest at Wayside Park to show off their music!

MW: Do you have merchandise for sale? Where can fans buy it?
MA: Yes we do! We always make DIY t-shirts and sell them for 5 bucks at our live concerts. However if you prefer to buy online, you can buy the higher quality t-shirt, pins, and hats at: http://www.zazzle.com/theanchormenfanstore

MW: Tell me about School Jam
MA: Eric butler (our lead singer) showed me it and we entered the contest hoping for the best! I was so happy to hear we made the top 100! I see it as a great way to spread music and your bands love for the art! We also are doing the school Jam competition for the money so we can raise for our band program. Our music is a major part of our lives and School Jam is such a great opportunity for young bands to get known and spread their passion for music.

Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce the band?

JK: Hello, this is the tenor saxophone player, Jonathan Karsch and bassist/vocalist/producer Ted Plotkin of the Merry Brothers of Funk.

MW: Tell me about your band?

TP: We are trying to do something unique that isn’t being done much in the teenage music scene. We’re combining jam music with funk, old school hip hop, and jazz. We’re bringing together our musical interests to make something fresh and new. We like to entertain and engage our audiences. Ted is a real front-man performer and contributes great stage presence. We’ve been friends for a while and have played in other groups with each other, so we play really well together. Our influences range from The Meters to The Roots to Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.

MW: How young is each member?

JK: We’re all 17 and seniors in high school.

MW: How did you get started in music?

JK: The drummer, Ben DeUrso, our backup bassist Adam Howie (who actually began on the cello), and I, Jonathan, have been playing our instruments classically since fourth grade in our school. We’ve grown a lot since, and know a lot about the workings of our music. Ted is very much the opposite. He learned bass, guitar, drums, and keyboard on his own with help from a teacher. He may not be the most musically informed, but he has a strong sense of performance and style. Our guitarist Chris Olsen has been playing for a long time, mainly metal music, which has given him a great technical ability that has only augmented our band. Michael Polvere complements the band with his congas and percussion playing, having studied them for a few years now. Joe Coppola, although firstly a drummer since fourth grade, is our trombone player and backup front-man. Alex Weig is a new member of the group, and is a contributing vocalist.

MW: How long has the band been together?

TP: Around one year. We began as a jam vision of Ted, Ben, and Jonathan, and have since grown in membership, absorbing other musical styles and talents.

MW: Have you recorded any original songs yet?

JK: We have one song fully demoed, “Chromaticism of the Tralfamadorians”, that’s one of our first creations. It’s available on our SoundCloud for free download on http://soundcloud.com/merry-brothers-of-funk. We have a lot more songs coming that have more hip-hop influence that will also be available for free download at the same page, so be excited!

MW: Where is the band from?

TP: Westchester County, New York

MW: Do you all get to play out much?

TP: We play live a decent amount and are going to play even more in the coming months. We won our High School’s 2012 Rock Show with a cover of James Brown’s “Get Up Offa That Thing”, a big deal for us as a band. We’ve played in various musical venues like a local bar, an assortment of local bands at a clubhouse, and an outdoor festival in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

MW: How is the music scene where you live?

JK: There are a lot of musicians in our town that are all friends and love playing with each other. They span many styles, but lots focus on pop punk and metal. We’re the only group of our kind in the area.

MW: Do you have merchandise for sale? Where can fans buy it?

TP: We do not.

MW: Tell me about School Jam?

TP: Our drummer Ben found it and we signed up in the hopes of getting enough votes to go to the finals. If we do, we get to compete in California with seven other bands and will really get ourselves out there.

MW: What is the link for fans to vote for your band?

JK:  http://www.schooljamusa.com/bands/2012/the-merry-brothers-of-funk

MW: What would you like to say in closing?

TP: We are trying to do something new and we hope that more and more people can come to know about us and enjoy our music. We want to share something unique with the world and are very excited to be doing so. We want to keep funk and old school music alive and make it our goal to entertain our audiences to the greatest extent we possibly can.

 

Interview Done By Mike Wilkerson

MW: Please introduce yourself or the band?
Austin: Our band is ANAURAC; consisting of me, Austin Caruana, on lead vocals and guitar, Sean McKenzie on the bass, and Aaron Caruana on the drums.
MW: Tell me about your band?
Sean: We play fast to mid-tempo surf/garage rock or anything that sounds good to us.
MW: How young is each member?
Austin: Sean and I are both 18 while Aaron, my little brother, is 14.
MW: How did you get started in music?
Austin: Well Sean introduced me into bands like Green Day, My Chemical Romance, and Nirvana. Ever since then we’ve wanted to have a band together; since about 4th grade. We’ve had a couple different bands growing up, but once we threw Aaron on the drums we knew we found something strong. Aaron’s style and tastes basically mirrored my own.
MW: How long has the band been together?
Aaron: We’ve been a band now actually for one year this November.
MW: Have you recorded any original songs yet?
Aaron: We have a demo of our most dominant song, “Replica” on our Facebook page. We are currently in the pre-production stages of recording our 2 Part E.P. “Dumbstruck”. We hope to release it by mid-next year!
MW: Where can they be listened to?
Sean: You can find our music on our Facebook or Reverbnation pages.
MW: Where is the band from?
Austin: We are all born and raised in Mission Viejo, CA.
MW: Do you all get to play out much?
Austin: If I understand the question correctly, yes. We all have fair chances for solos, fills, riffs, etc…
MW: How is the music seen where you live?
Sean: Music in Orange County is typically Ska, Indie, Metal, or Folk. There aren’t many garage, punk, or rock bands around here.
MW: Do you have merchandise for sale? Where can fans buy it?
Austin: Yes we do. Fans can purchase any merchandise from our Reverbnation Store at: http://www.reverbnation.com/store/index/artist_2134589
MW: Tell me about School Jam?
Sean: School Jam is a competition for teen bands to have a chance to perform at the NAMM Convention in Anaheim. The top 8 bands voted get to perform on the NAMM stage and the best band wins a bunch of prizes.
MW: What is the link for fans to vote for your band?
Sean: http://www.schooljamusa.com/bands/2012/anaurac
MW: What would you like to say in closing?
Austin: Only that we are a serious band and we hope people out there can see what our initial intent is for making music and of course, thank you for having us!