Freekbass Says, "I Think of Myself as a Drummer Who Plays Notes"

Categories: Interview

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"I think of myself as a drummer who plays notes," the man known as Freekbass explained to New Times about his distinctive style of playing the bass. "I think of the beat first."

The Ohio native started out as a youngster playing drums. Then fate intervened. Oberlin College had a jazz band that toured around the region playing schools. A sixth-grade Freekbass attended a performance. "I was seated directly in front of the bass player, and watching him changed everything. All my friends were into Nirvana and Green Day, and I liked them too, but I was more into funk."

See also: Bootsy Collins at Soul Food Fest: Father of the Year Brings Daughter to First Concert

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Roadkill Ghost Choir Headlines PureHoney Magazine's Three Year Anniversary

Categories: Interview

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This weekend, our very own "fold-out party Bible," PureHoney magazine, celebrates its third year of existence. The noble endeavor of creating an indie print publication in this digital world is undertaken by Steve Rullman. Besides going strong, PureHoney is hosting a proper shindig at Respectable Street to celebrate its anniversary, featuring stellar local bands like Plastic Pink, Sweet Bronco, and Central Florida's indie folk troupe Roadkill Ghost Choir.

In the same alt vein as this local music guide, the organic Americana sound created by Roadkill Ghost Choir stands in stark contrast to the sleek, modern, Top 40 radio pop. Banjo-led songs with touches of folk, like the group's breakout track "Beggars' Guild," are as refreshing as taking a dip in Central Florida springs.


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Diane Ward on Surviving Breast Cancer and Beautiful Ways

Categories: Interview

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In 2011, Diane Ward was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time, the Hollywood-based singer/songwriter, four albums deep with decades of musical experience, had already begun production on her latest release, Beautiful Ways.

Both her parents are cancer survivors, so when she heard the news, she says that though it was intense, "It's always been in my mind. It's always been a part of my life."

Luckily, the album provided her with, well, a beautiful way to cope. "Everyone has a different process of how they go through it, what they do and how they are with it," she explains. "Mine was that I was able to dive into this music project with the support of my closest friends and my family. I used it as a vehicle to get through the treatment -- the chemo, the radiation."


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Agalloch's Aesop Dekker: "People Tend to Either Downplay or Overexaggerate the Role of the Drummer"

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Agalloch official Facebook page

Aesop Dekker currently drums for the incredible and long-running metal outfit Agalloch, as well as VHÖL and Worm Ouroboros. Whereas I would love to spend the next three sentences exhausting my word count hailing his skills and making crap statements like "powerhouse dynamo" and/or "a whirling dervish of the skins" -- I will abstain, because he's been very vocal in his dislike of the ephemera of such language concerning drummers.

South Florida might remember this current West Coaster as a drummer and co-conspirator of seminal Florida punk-rock band the Fuckboyz back in the late '80s/early '90s. As a music journalist, in the past, I have failed time and time again to sing the praises of this band. For that I am sorry. Its entire catalog is flawless.

Dekker may no longer embody the spirit and chutzpah of a young punk rocker; truth be told, we're not entirely sure "smiling" is something that occurs naturally to him, but this roguish, rough-around-the-edges, thoroughly tattooed musician is one of maybe five people in the universe whose knowledge, understanding, and just sheer erudition of music is one I respect and believe in blindly.


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The Lovers Key Unveils Vintage Sound with Here Today, Gone Tomorrow at Respectable Street

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"Wanted: a '60s-influenced singer looking to participate in a project with a sense of energy and soul," read a Craigslist ad posted by local musical whiz Christopher Moll two years ago.

Moll had gotten the itch to start crafting music again after stepping away from a bustling career with his orchestral, cinematic creation the Postmarks. He was the driving force behind this Burt Bacharach-idolizing trio based out of Pompano Beach. It churned out three records in three years (of which Moll served as the principal engineer, producer, and composer), and eventually, Moll got burned out. He decided to take a self-imposed break from the limelight.

But in that one year off, his former musical counterpart, Postmarks' singer Tim Yehezkely, came to the conclusion she'd rather be a pharmacist than a pop star. This left Moll without a vocal yin to his honeyed vintage pop yang.

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Ballyhoo!'s Howi Spangler Says, "We Just Get Out There and Crush It!"

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The all-knowing internet defines "ballyhoo" as "a buildup, hoopla, fanfare." And no title more aptly describes the musical output produced by the Aberdeen, Maryland, reggae/rock/punk fusion quartet known by that handle. Add an exclamation point to the end -- Ballyhoo! -- and one can already imagine the level of merriment set forth by this lively troupe before even pressing play.

The group has been on the grind since 1995 but only recently started making inroads in the music business. A successful jaunt across the country during the Vans Warped Tour in 2012 and an impressive showing on the Billboard charts for its self-released album, Pineapple Grenade, in 2013 helped them gain real traction.

It's been a long time coming for Ballyhoo!'s lead singer, Howi Spangler, who, as a Green Day- and Goldfinger-obsessed teenager, began writing his own pop-punk and ska creations. He hoped to separate himself from the hip-hop and mainstream rock environment that dominated his suburban Baltimore confines.

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Panic! At the Disco: "Be Prepared to Sweat"

Categories: Interview

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No matter how you try to fight it, your hometown -- with its particular quirks, humor, and lingo -- affects your evolution. The same is true for bands, and "Las Vegas" is written all over the collective face of the theatrical punks of Panic! At the Disco. Its dedication to showmanship is part of its signature style and remains a central element of the brand despite changes in style and lineup.

With its latest record, Panic! gives fans a new level of danceable energy, at times reminiscent of groups such as the Faint and inspired by the likes of Kraftwerk. After ten years in the business, singer Brendon Urie says he's coming out of his shell, but the old Vegas charm is still there.

Like the album title, Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die, which is a straight rip from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. We spoke to him about his inspirations, what keeps him grounded, and why fans should seriously hydrate before their show at Mizner Park Amphitheater.

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Linkin Park's Chester Bennington on New Album: "We Wanted to Make a Statement"

Photographer Brandon Cox

Linkin Park has been putting out rock-rap tunes for over a decade and recently returned with an album that promises a return to the heavier shit. The band is currently showcasing their new album The Hunting Party with 30 Seconds to Mars and openers AFI on the Carnivores tour. Before they hit West Palm Beach, we got the opportunity to jump on a group call with Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda.

On the afternoon of June 22, in Venutra, California, Linkin Park played a surprise set for an overwhelmingly large crowd at the twentieth anniversary Warped tour. Shinoda explained how the idea of playing this pop-up stage came about. A friend who works with people on Warped Tour did some introducing of bands, and the idea evolved from there.

See also: We Like Linkin Park, and We Will Not Apologize


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Candy Hearts Sounds "Like If Taylor Swift Was in the Lemonheads" Plus Green Day

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Mariel Loveland wants you to know she plays in a band. She doesn't date the band.

Loveland sings and plays guitar for the indie pop-punk group Candy Hearts. The band will be in South Florida this Thursday. And while the trio is here, you probably shouldn't ask if she's the merch girl or spooning her drummer, or she might just write about you.

Her essay for Vice, "How to Survive Being the Only Girl in a Band," tells, among other things, how to"squat and pee" or shower in a bathroom sink backstage.

She told New Times, just this summer on Warped Tour, "There was this band there who asked how I got this great gig being the merch girl, and if I was dating anyone in the band. That kind of stuff happens all the time."

See also: Candy Hearts' Mariel Loveland on Touring with New Found Glory, "It's a Dream Come True."

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The Baboons Showcases New Album at Hollywood ArtsPark

Categories: Interview

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Photographer Isaac Rodriguez

If you aren't familiar with the Baboons, one way to describe the Miami band's music is by saying they play a little bit of just about everything. The group enjoys experimenting with and exploring the sounds of a variety of local and international cultures. The Baboons recently even did a stint showcasing its worldly sounds as the house band on Fusion Live, the network's primetime program.

The group got its start in Fort Lauderdale at a spot called Squeeze where Mano Pila, percussionist and songwriter of the band, threw together some improvisational instrumentalists and combined music with poetry. That night was the first performance for the Baboons, a group of all guys, jamming out wildly like a bunch of well, baboons. When current lead singer and co-songwriter Majica was invited to come out to see the dudes perform, she quickly got involved. About 20 years later, Majica and Mano are married with two small children and still performing together. The two also host WDNA, 88.9 FM's Global Gumbo with Majica & Mano P.

After a very long hiatus from Broward, the band is returning for a very special show at Hollywood's ArtsPark where it'll be previewing its newest album in its entirety. And to think, the Baboons' first album, Evolution, won best album from New Times. Talk about endurance. Before this Saturday's show, we spoke with the musical duo about everything Baboons.

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