From The Horse’s Mouth: Derek Zanetti (The Homeless Gospel Choir) on I Used To Be So Young

The Homeless Gospel Choir

The Homeless Gospel Choir

Pittsburgh’s indie folk-punk act The Homeless Gospel Choir, a one man band consisting of outspoken singer-songwriter Derek Zanetti, has released its new album, I Used To Be So Young, via A-F Records. The Homeless Gospel Choir is the Woody Guthrie of the post-hope / pre-apocalypse world that we live in today. He’s personally charged to tear down greed, privilege, and complacency, and is armed with hard truths, humor, and a worldview that every human could benefit from listening to.

You Indie recently caught up with Zanetti to discuss the album. This is what he told us.

When did you begin writing the material for I Used to Be So Young?  

I am constantly writing new material all the time and trying out new things and ideas. I think the oldest song on this records was probably started somewhere like six years ago. Most of it was flushed out just weeks before we went to record.

What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing?  Why was it so troublesome?

“Capitalismo” for sure. I went into recording with a very basic idea about how I thought the song should go. After dissecting, we realized the song was nearly eight minutes long. We had to trim and cut and change things a bit to help it flow better. But with changing timing and what not it’s a much better song.

Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?

“Don’t forget” started out as just me on an old hickory stump at a lake house in New Hampshire, and turned onto a proper rock and roll tune. I’m very happy with how it turned out. I could have never done it without the amazing ear of Justin Francis and CHris #2.

Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?

I do. Matt Miller, Mike Miller, and Emmy Volcar of Endless Mike and The Beagle Club do a ton of the backing and harmonizing vocals. They are old friends who have a big place in my heart, I am truly proud to have them on this record. Tyler, Josh, and Stowe from White Wives all played a bunch of the instrumentation on the record. White Wives is such a special band to me. Not only do they write some of the most interesting and thought provoking lyrics of any modern band, they also played my wedding, which was ever so special to me.

Steve Larussa also played drums, Steve is an amazing drummer, dear friend, and a true bleeding heart punk rocker. It was a treat to have him be on the new record.

Last but not least Chris #2 of Anti-Flag was at the helm of recording and production. He was able to take my basic folky singin’ in a tin can songs and transform them into what they are now. He helped write guitar parts, and structure instrumentation, but still gave me 100 percent freedom to be creative and make this record my own. Justin Sane (Anti-Flag) and I also would jam and talk till late hours in the night which inspired a lot of the more angry punk parts of the record. It was like a dream come true to have something so special and personal come from the creativity of such wonderful friends.

Is there an overarching concept behind your new album that ties the record together?

The overarching idea for this record is how we have to begin to allow ourselves to walk our own paths in life. That there is in normal, not everyone can be expected to achieve the same things out of life and that’s ok. That this “American dream” has done a lot more harm than good, and if we can start to create our own American dreams we would be better off.

Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?

I’m out on a month long tour right now promoting this new record. It’s amazing the response I’ve been getting. I’m truly humbled by it all. I’m playing a different set every night. Still feeling out what works best. (Follow him at https://www.facebook.com/TheHomelessGospelChoir.)

Shred Then Shred: Justin Ward and Carson Mitchell (Dirty Lungs)

Dirty Lungs

Dirty Lungs

Over the past seven years, Dirty Lungs’ brand of lo-fi rock ‘n roll has become as intrinsic to the Birmingham, Alabama community.  Though the city’s musical landscape has changed dramatically Since Ra-Jaan Parmley and Carson Mitchell formed the band in 2006, Dirty Lungs are still standing–and they’re just as gritty and focused as ever.

Several tours and member changes have contributed to the constant evolution of their sound. Over the years, Dirty Lungs have shared the stage with bands such as British Sea Power, Jacuzzi Boys, The Clientele, Abby GoGo, New Madrid, Thee Oh Sees, Growlers, Natural Child, GULL, and many others. The Birmingham-staple garage-surf outfit has continuously reinvented itself and now moves forward as a four piece. Chris Scott and Justin Ward round out the lineup on Dirty Lungs’ latest, which dropped via Communicating Vessels in July.

You can almost hear the garage doors rattling as the Dirty Lungs tear into the first three chords of “I Suck in Bed,” the first track of their upcoming self-titled release.  Two blistering, reverb-soaked minutes later, the track dissolves into “All My Cats,” a remarkably catchy alt-country tune.  From there, Dirty Lungs continue their exploration of new sounds and voices.  The grainy, bass-heavy guitar tones of the band’s past releases are very much present throughout–as are Mitchell’s unique vocals.  However, the band refuses to rest upon its own laurels as it experiments with vocal harmony, guitar technique, and a new take on rock ‘n roll songwriting.  The record is not, by any means, the archetypical Nirvana-esque rehashing of an old Kinks record that seems to egress from every garage in America these days.  The influences beneath Dirty Lungs are indeed abounding, and Mitchell’s silky, warm vocals are the force that unites them all.

The band caught You Indie’s attention with an album cover that featured a photo of bassist Justin Ward skating. Naturally, we had to catch up with a couple of members of the band to discuss the sport. This is what they told us.

Do you play places on tour that also allow you to skate inside or outside?   What are the best places you’ve skated on tour?  

Justin Ward: Nowhere that we have played this past year has been skate friendly inside, but no one has complained about skating outside of their premises, yet. We are going to be touring up to Chicago at the end of next month and we are excited to see and/or find a lot of skate spots there and back.  Also, we might have time to hit up some more famous spots but any where we have been will usually have some kind of flat area, and that is all I care to have to get some good skating in.

Carson Mitchell: Yeah, what he said, hahaha.

What is the most difficult trick that you’ve landed?  How does the feeling of landing that compare to the feeling of conquering a difficult riff or part in your music? 

Carson: I’ll let Justin take this one, since he is by far the best skater in the group.

Justin: Speaking strictly flat ground, I would say a nollie big flip is the most difficult trick that I have landed. There is always a good sense of pride and accomplishment in creating songs and playing them for people or landing difficult tricks but most importantly I enjoy and have fun in both skateboarding and playing music.

What kind of deck, trucks, wheels, or other gear are you currently using?

Justin: A Faith deck from Faith Skate Supply in Birmingham, Alabama, is what I would usually use, as well as Independent trucks and Bone Swiss bearings, always!  I’ve used blank shop wheels since I can remember because, other than the size, I’ve never found much difference in wheels.

Carson: I usually stick to Enjoi products, always loved their stuff since I was a kid so it stuck. Same with Fender guitars/amps, haha!

What other bands who have members who skate have you toured with and skated with?  Were you impressed?

Carson: We’ve encountered a few groups who were down. Our friends in Vegan Coke out of Atlanta will always throw down with us, but in general, most bands are too worried about injuring themselves on the road to go too hard, I think.

Do you seek out skate shops on tour?  What are the best ones?

Carson: Usually on the road, we have such a tight schedule that stopping for food can be difficult, let alone searching out stores. Often times, record stores are our first priority, just because we like to see what the local scene is like in terms of albums they buy, etc. But I’m sure when we are in Chicago next month, we will have some time to look around since we are doing two days in the city.

What is the worst injury that you ever suffered skating and how did you recoup from that?

Justin: Mild sprains of the wrist and ankles are the most common injury I have.  I landed on my hip that had me walking funny for about a week recently but nothing too bad has ever been suffered by me due to skating. The hip injury didn’t make loading and unloading equipment — very fun.

Carson: About a year ago, I fell trying to go down a water runoff and hit my right wrist pretty bad. It hurts sometimes when the weather changes, or I am really getting down on the guitar for awhile, but overall it was worth it for the fun!

Which of your band’s songs are the best to skate to?

Justin: The entire album would be worth skating to but my personal choices would be “I Suck in Bed,” “Dead in a Graveyard” and “It’s All Melted”.

Carson: I’ll say, when we were still recording the album, there was a vocal session that I was alone with Michael Shackleford in the studio and we were working on “Untitled,” I found a great deal of enjoyment in skating around listening to the harmonies in the chorus, something about it just has a surf/skate sort of vibe where you can just zone out and ride. Those are my favorite kind of tracks to roll on.”

(Listen to Dirty Lungs here: http://thedirtylungs.bandcamp.com/.)

From The Horse’s Mouth: Travis Beck (The Foxery) on Unless

The Foxery

The Foxery

When asked to describe The Foxery, each band member contributed one word: Passionate. Intense. Cathartic. Heavy. Genuine. Fun. In a sense, there could be no better way to characterize both the music and the poetically thrashing spirit of the Louisville sextet.

Coming on the heels of several independent releases, incessant D.I.Y. touring, and months and months of persistent writing, The Foxery has found their home on Spartan Records with their debut full-length Unless, unquestionably their most prolific recording to date. Thematically, Unless tackles massive questions against the backdrop of a dark and wandering musical journey.

You Indie recently caught up with keyboardist/percussionist Travis Beck to discuss the record (which drops September 9). This is what he said.

When did you begin writing the material for Unless?  

Well, Calvin and Cadillac began writing a few songs on Unless in December of 2012. We continued writing for the next several months, and then had a lineup change adding Cam as our drummer, Kyle as our bassist, and Steve as third guitar. I also picked up playing a Rhodes piano in addition to auxillary percussion.

The record really took shape how it is now during the spring and summer of 2013. We then took the rest of that year and the beginning of this year really fleshing out the songs, re-working them and making sure they were as good as we were able to make them. So it’s been a long writing process, but one that we believe has really made for a strong record and one that we’re extremely proud of–and incredibly stoked to finally release to people!

What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing?  Why was it so troublesome?

That was definitely “The Filth ll.” There’s nothing overly complicated about the song, we just really struggled figuring out how to give the song the vibe and flow we wanted. It was tough because the song is kind of drony and builds on itself so we spent a ton of time figuring out what rhythms to use that complimented that feel, but that also kept the song interesting and moving towards an end. Ultimately, I think we achieved that really well, and this turned into one of my favorite songs!

Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?

I would say “The Gnashing.” The original concept of the song isn’t too far off what we ended with; however there was a big change that really turned the song into something different than I initially thought. We wrote “The Gnashing” and “The Gnashing ll” together right off the bat, and knew that we wanted them to connect in some way, but didn’t really know how. We got to a place we were happy about with “The Gnashing,” and were just jamming it one day, and ended up kind of just falling into this interlude-type part that falls into “The Gnashing ll.” It was such a cool moment to figure that part out and really gave the song a new feel for me. The transition from this song into “The Gnashing ll” was definitely one of the more anticipated parts for all of us when we were first listening to the finished record, and we’re all really happy with how it turned out.

Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?

We did! Our friend Angela Clark (soon to be Angela Berry, as she is about to get married!) sang on a bunch of the songs, providing some truly incredible harmonies. Her part on “Crawl” still gives me chills! And our best bud Jake Snider screamed on “The Gnashing ll.” I think his part is absolutely KILLER on this song. Jake previously played in a band called Mountain Asleep, who we all loved, so we were super happy to have him be a part of this record.

Who produced the record?  What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?

We produced Unless ourselves, so it was most definitely a collaborative effort from all of us. There were a lot of different ideas in writing and working through this record. We worked through all of them and ultimately melded together a ton of different ideas to arrive at a place better than any of us would be able to produce alone. At least that’s the way we saw it and went about it. It was most certainly never easy, but we think we all work really well together and grew a ton as a band during the process–both as musicians and as friends.

Is there an overarching concept behind your new album that ties the record together?

There are several overarching concepts that tie this record together, and we definitely set out to write a record with this quality. The concept this record deals with that has had a strong effect on me is the idea that in spite of all the tough parts of life, and the uncertainty and fear we may encounter, that we are still fully capable of pulling through these times and can even make use of them to create greater things. Most of the record is pretty dark, and deals with a lot of difficult questions and ideas, but in the end the message to me is that through this we can strive to make things better and become stronger. The last song on the record is a call to “make sounds”– no matter how bad stuff is, or how hard life may be, you can always control who you are and how you handle situations. So make all you can of the life and individuality you possess!

Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?

We have! “The Sorrow” has gotten a good reaction for its heaviness and dynamics. “The Gnashing” is always fun to play live for a lot of reasons, but it’s been funny to have people clap during the short pause in the middle of the song, only to have us start back up again and surprise everyone! Although we are really happy with the record, we definitely think you’ve missed a huge part of who this band is if you haven’t seen us live. Shows are what we truly love and are most passionate about, so please come join us at a show! There’s nothing we enjoy more than meeting anyone that loves music the way we do!

(Visit The Foxery here: https://www.facebook.com/thefoxeryband.)

Hooray For Earth share video for “Say Enough”

Hooray For Earth have revealed a video for their single “Say Enough.”  The video premiered on Stereogum, who said it, “tells the very human story of a newly broken-up couple, following computer-animated characters drinking, having sex, and sadly remembering. It’s one of the only times I’ve seen the occasionally grotesque uncanny-valley effect of computer models used to increase emotional impact.”  
 
 
The video was directed and animated by Johnny Woods with character design and modeling by Theresa Latzko. Hooray For Earth are currently on the road in support of their new album Racy (Dovecote).

Torche announce tour dates (2014)

Torche, the Florida-meets-Georgia heavy rock quartet have announced a short run of U.S. headlining dates this September / October.  The dates kick off September 18 in Miami, FL and run through October 1 in Orlando, FL. The band has also recently announced a headlining Australian tour in October. A complete listing of dates is available below.

Sep 18        Miami, FL             Churchill’s Pub
Sep 19        Jacksonville, FL        Burro Bar
Sep 20        Gainesville, FL        The Atlantic
Sep 21        Atlanta, GA            97 Estoria
Sep 22        Nashville, TN             The End
Sep 23        Columbus, OH        Ace of Cups
Sep 24        Akron, OH                   Musica
Sep 25        Chicago, IL              The Promontory
Sep 26        Pittsburgh, PA        The Smiling Moos
Sep 27        Brooklyn, NY           St. Vitus
Sep 29        Chapel Hill, NC         Cat’s Cradle Back Room
Sep 30        Tampa, FL             The Orpheum
Oct 01        Orlando, FL            Backbooth

Oct 16        Brisbane, AUS        Crowbar
Oct 17        North Perth, AUS    Rosemount Hotel
Oct 18        Richmond, AUS      The Corner Hotel
Oct 19        Sydney, AUS           Manning Bar

May 29-31    Bristol, UK             Temples Festival (2105)

Graveface Records launches vinyl Kickstarter

With the goal of resurrecting some of the best out of print releases from their recent and distant history, Graveface Records has launched a massive vinyl preorder via Kickstarter. This is not a fundraiser as much as a creative approach to record sales, giving buyers the opportunity to hand-pick their packages, which include not only the albums listed below, but also a smorgasbord of other Graveface goodies and three brand new 2014 releases.

Visit the Graveface Archival Series Kickstarter Page

The albums will be shipped out throughout the fall, with three records made available each month. Continue below the video for a complete release schedule.

Watch the Kickstarter video via YouTube

August Delivery:
Whirr – Distressor LP (white and grey color-in-color with electric blue and cyan blue splatter)
The Appleseed Cast – Two Conversations LP (electric blue vinyl with blood red splatter)
Haley Bonar – Golder LP (gold glitter with pink vinyl)

September Delivery:
Whirr – Pipe Dreams (Redux) LP
Black Moth Super Rainbow – Eating Us LP
Hospital Ships – Lonely Twin LP

October Delivery:
The Appleseed Cast – Peregrine 2XLP
Marshmallow Ghosts –  Marshmallow Ghost LP
Octopus Project / Black Moth Super Rainbow - House of Apples and Eyeballs LP

November Delivery:
Dreamend – So I Ate Myself, Bite by Bite, and the Tears Washed Me, Wave After Cowardly Wave 2XLP
Black Moth Super Rainbow - Dandelion Gum 2XLP
Lava Children - Lava Children LP

December Delivery:
Dreamend – As If By Ghosts… LP
Hospital Ships - Oh, Ramona LP
Monster Movie - Transistor LP

Fall Line Fest 2014 announces lineup (2014)

Richmond, Virginia’s Fall Line Fest has announced their final line-up and schedule for this year’s festival. Headlining acts include Real Estate,The Hold Steady, Death, Matthew E. White, Gent & Jawns, DJ Lonnie B Featuring Skillz and others (see below for full listing).

The second annual Fall Line Fest will take place this year on September 5-6 throughout the city of Richmond, Virginia.  The festival focuses on music, art and food, aiming to showcase what it is exactly that gives Richmond its own unique charm while balancing both nationally-known names and homegrown talent, all within a walkable area of the city’s downtown.

Weekend passes are now available for $30 here and day passes are available for $20 here. There will be no individual show tickets. A full schedule for the weekend can be seen at the Fall Line Fest website.

Fall Line Fest 2014 Announced Bands:
Real Estate
The Hold Steady
Death
Weedeater
Rapsody
Gent & Jawns
Matthew E. White
DJ Lonnie B featuring Skillz
Fairweather
The Mary Onettes
Cheick Hamala Diabate
Avers
Protomartyr
Tombs
Ki:Theory
Priests
Weeknight
J. Robbins
Potty Mouth
Landlady
Black Girls
Tiny Moving Parts
BAT
Kite Party
Feedel Band
Diamond Center
Lobo Marino
Audra The Rapper
Close Talker
Ryley Walker
Bastard Sapling
Comrades
Jonathan Vassar
Teen Death
Mighty Joshua
Chance Fischer
DJ Hoody Weather
Seamonster
The Milkstains
My Darling Fury
Fair
Herro Sugar
Bravo
Old Flings
Sleepwalkers
Just Plain Sounds
Sinister Haze
Lilac Daze
Black Liquid
Sports Bar
HaBitS
Colony
Woolens
Octavion Xcellence
Joey Gallo
Swerve 360

Elephant Stone share album, video, tour (2014)

Elephant Stone are sharing the entirety of their new album, Three Poisons along with a stunning live video of “Knock You From Yr Mountain”… both are in advance of Three Poisons coming out August 25 followed by their first run of U.S. dates starting September 9.

LISTEN/SHARE: Three Poisons via SoundCloud.

WATCH/SHARE: “Knock You From Yr Mountain” (Live ft. Malika Tirolien) via YouTube.

Three Poisons will be released on Monday, August 25 via Hidden Pony Records (Vinyl/CD/Digital) and Burger Records (Cassette). Pre-Order is still available at http://www.elephantstonemusic.com/.

09/08 Burlington VT – Monkey House (Tickets)

09/09 New York NY – Mercury Lounge (Tickets)

09/10 Washington DC – Black Cat (Tickets)

09/11 Brooklyn NY – Rock Shop (Tickets)

09/12 Philadelphia PA – Milk Boy (Tickets)

09/13 Asbury Park NJ – The Saint (Tickets)

Four Year Strong announces tour with Such Gold, Transit, Seaway (2014)

Melodic-hardcore band Four Year Strong has announced plans to hit the road this fall for “The Go Down In History Tour.” The band will be supported by Transit, Such Gold and Seaway and is touring in support of their new EP, Go Down In History, which is available now at iTunes and at http://fouryearstrong.merchnow.com/.

Nov 1 – Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge (w/Transit, Such Gold)

Nov 2 – Lawrence, KS – Granada Theatre (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)

Nov 3 – Denver, CO – Marquis Theater (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)

Nov 4 – Murray, UT – Murray Theater (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)

Nov 6 – San Francisco, CA – Slims (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)

Nov 7 – Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)

Nov 8 – Pomona, CA – Glass House (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)

Nov 9 – San Diego, CA – SOMA (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)

Nov 11 – Mesa, AZ – Nile Theater (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)

Nov 13 – Houston, TX – Walter’s Downtown (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)

Nov 14 – Dallas, TX – The Door (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)

Nov 15 – Austin, TX – Red 7 (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)

Nov 17 – St. Louis, MO – Ready Room (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)

Nov 18 – Columbus, OH – Skully’s (w/Transit, Such Gold)

Nov 19 – Pittsburgh, PA – Rex Theatre (w/Transit, Such Gold)

Nov 20 – Cleveland Heights, OH – Grog Shop (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)

Nov 21 – Buffalo, NY – Waiting Room (w/Transit, Such Gold, Seaway)

Attention Dayton: Motel Beds, Swim Diver, and more at Gilly’s

This Friday August 22 at Gilly’s is going to be a show for the books! Motel Beds, Manray, Speaking Suns, Swim Diver, Tim Pritchard & The Boxcar Suite, M. Ross Perkins featuring Buffalo Killers. Inspired by the 1960s soul revues (but with rock ‘n’ roll).  More deets are available here: https://www.facebook.com/events/248494042013329/