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Rock On The Rise

Rock On The Rise Interview: Rena Lovelis from Cherri Bomb

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They took the most prestigious European festivals by storm last summer. They opened an arena show for the Foo Fighters in Germany, played with Camp Freddy and Filter and toured with the Smashing Pumpkins before they even had a record deal. At Reading, Leeds, Rock En Seine, Oxegen, Highfields and Lowlands, and most recently at Australia’s Soundwave festival, the all-girl rock band from Los Angeles not only held their own, but they won new believers at every stop. Cherri Bomb accomplished this when the average age of the four girls was 14.

Managed by ex-Hole drummer Samantha Maloney, Cherri Bomb have won the hearts of rock enthusiasts of all ages. The girls will be hitting the road in support of the album, including a string of Warped Tour dates starting in Darien, NY on July 17th.

I had the opportunity to talk with Rena Lovelis, Cherri Bomb’s bassist. The youngest of the group, Rena turned 14 this past April. I’ve never interviewed anyone that young before and was curious how the conversation would go. Rena spoke with complete confidence, comfort and a true knowledge and passion for music. We spoke about her role in Cherri Bomb and the amazing experiences she’s been able to share with her fellow band mates on the road.

Let’s talk about how the band got together. At first you were kinda sitting in the background watching your sister put it together, right?

That’s right. Julia, the lead guitar player, had wanted to start an all girl band since she was about six years old. With the help of her dad she put up ads on Craiglist and flyers around LA hoping girls would reply. She eventually found Nia (drums) and they were a perfect fit. They played together really well. Then they found Miranda (guitar, keyboards). She was actually in Florida at the time visiting family but she sent in videos and they could tell she was going to be perfect. They still needed a bass player and at the time I was still playing guitar. They asked if I would be a temporary fix on bass until they found somebody and I said “Sure, why not?” I wasn’t in a band and I didn’t have any commitments to anybody. I picked up the bass and it was really big – I was used to the smaller guitars. It ended up working out. Nia and I are sisters and we got to practice together as a rhythm section. They said I was a perfect fit and that’s how I got to be a part of Cherri Bomb.

How long had you been playing guitar up to that point?

When I was about six years old I started taking drum lessons with Nia. That went on for about a year and then I figured drums really wasn’t my instrument. I moved on to guitar. A few of my friends were playing guitar and I could jam with them. I started taking guitar lessons and that went on for about a year. I really like playing guitar but I think bass is the true instrument for me.

It’s cool that you were encouraged so early to pick up instruments and appreciate music.

It’s kinda funny because my mom and dad didn’t want us to get in the music business. They said it was heartbreaking and really hard. We told them we really wanted to do this and they completely support us. They help us through whatever we’re going through or our problems. They’re really supportive of what we’re doing.

Who were some of the bands you remember listening to that made you realize you wanted to play music?

There were so many. A few I really remember are Marilyn Manson, Alanis Morissette, Nirvana, Genesis, Foo Fighters. The list just goes on and on.

You’ve got pretty cool parents! A lot of parents wouldn’t let their kids listen to Marilyn Manson at such a young age.

I know! My mom remembers us singing “The Dope Show” in the car and she’ll tell us now “You guys had no idea what you were doing back then but it was just so cute!” We laugh about it now.

Who are some people you see as influences on your bass playing?

We did an acoustic performance the other day and I actually got to use Flea’s bass. I love Flea and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He’s one of my influences. Nicole Fiorentino from Smashing Pumpkins and Veruca Salt. Tony Levin. Victor Wooten.

What was the practicing like before you did your first live show with Cherri Bomb?

Now we practice four, five, maybe six times a week. We used to only practice once or twice when we were younger. That was so much to us. We worked really hard – hours at a time – for our first show. My first show with them was on July 4 at Warner Park with about 40,000 people watching us! That was shocking!

You’ve played to several huge crowds before. What goes through your mind when you’re up on stage in front of thousands of people?

Our adrenaline is pumping and our excitement is over the top. We get really crazy and then go on stage and do our thing. We get off stage and THEN we’re like, “What the hell just happened?!?”

You’ve had the opportunity to open for some really cool bands. Who has been the coolest?

Actually, our first ever tour together was with Smashing Pumpkins. That was really cool. It was our first tour and we were in this little minivan. We ate Subway the entire time. When we’re on the road playing to our fans it honestly feels like home. We opened for Foo Fighters in Germany. That was amazing. We had dinner with them right before the show – the catering was amazing, by the way. They made us feel so special. It was like we’d known them for 20 years – even though we’re not even that old!

Has anyone from those bands told you any good advice that really stands out?

I asked Pat Smear how he found the energy to go out on stage every night and just give it all he had. He said sometimes you don’t. Maybe it shows up five songs in but it’s about giving your energy to the audience and making that show on stage.

Cherri Bomb’s debut album This Is The End Of Control is out now. What was your experience in the studio like?

It felt like one extremely long day. Everything was crammed together and it felt like a really long, crazy experience. There was music in every room. I actually came up with a song in the bathroom because there’s a piano in there! The whole experience was really great. There were ideas flowing constantly.

What does the name of the album mean?

I think it’s about the four of us in Cherri Bomb coming into our own and taking control of what we want to do, which is making music and inspiring other kids.

I guess the only battle you really have to face is being home schooled. Is it hard to be a rock star one minute and a student the next?

It’s really difficult. It gets difficult because there’s always the balancing of both of them. It gets hard to do school sometimes when you’re out on the road. We have our school on the internet so it’s better than going to a public school. It gets difficult but we’re still going to do it.

What is your vision for Cherri Bomb? Where do you see the band going?

I hope we’re around forever. We’re doing Warped Tour and that should be a really great experience. You get new experiences every time you go out so I hope we keep touring. I want to inspire millions of kids. It feels great that we can send our message out there and know that it gets to people.

Maybe you’ll inspire kids to pick up real instruments! It’s not always about Guitar Hero and how many buttons you can push.

That’s funny you said that. When Julia was putting up flyers and ads on Craigslist, people actually replied that they were really good on Guitar Hero if that’s what she was looking for! That was funny. She wanted real instruments, you know?

Rena, thanks for taking time out for this! What would you like to say to wrap things up?

Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do what you really want to do!

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Rock On The Rise

Rock On The Rise: Jocelyn And Chris Arndt

Powerful vocals and retro-rock guitar, siblings Jocelyn and Chris Arndt’s music is a modern throwback to authentic album-rock.

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Devastatingly powerful vocals and retro-rock guitar, with lyrics that run the gamut between vulnerable to all-out venomous, siblings Jocelyn and Chris Arndt’s music is a modern throwback to authentic album-rock.

On January 11th, 2017, the band released a brand new live album titled 30,000 Miles. The album features recordings from across the country, with performances from legendary venues and music festivals.

The duo is currently gearing up to release their next full-band rock effort, Go, due out in early April.

Rock Confidential caught up with Jocelyn to talk about her musical passions, working in a band with her brother and what inspires her as an artist.

Thank you for taking time out for this! How are things going?

Thank you for having us for a chat! Things are going great. Busy, but that’s just the way we like it.

Please tell me a little about the band and what being an artist means to you.

Sure! We’re Jocelyn and Chris Arndt, a couple of sibling blues-rockers from Upstate New York. We grew up playing and writing our own music together in our living room, and gradually that evolved into the on-the-go music career we’re working on right now. When we perform live, we do so with our producer and drummer David Bourgeois and our bassist Kate Sgroi. Sometimes we have an even bigger crew than that with us (like a Hammond organ player or a saxophonist or somebody like that), but for the most part we travel and play as a four-piece band. We perform the original blues-rock music that Chris and I write. What does it mean to us to be an artist? That’s a tough question. I think it means something a little bit different every day. For the most part, though, it means we get to travel the country, meet awesome people, and spend our lives sharing the music we pour our hearts and souls into. And if that sounds cheesy, it’s because it totally is. In a good way.

Who are your musical influences? Was there a particular artist that had more of an impact?

Chris and I each draw from a different pool of influences, which ends up being really cool when we write music. We’ve always got different kinds of ideas that end up building onto each other. He’s really into epic guitarists. Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Roger Waters, Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan – the greats. He studies them, tries to pick apart their styles and their personas. I do the same thing, but with huge voices. I’m drawn to those voices that are so distinctive that you can hear three seconds of them singing and know exactly who they are without seeing their face or hearing their name announced by the DJ. You know who I’m talking about: Adele, Aretha Franklin, Pat Benatar, Janis Joplin, Freddie Mercury, Grace Potter. Together, Chris and I draw from these different influences to create our own style. And we’re really open to anything. We’re constantly listening to new bands and looking for new inspiration.

What inspires you as an artist?

Oh man. Everything! The cool thing about songwriting as a team is that Chris and I can come to the table with different sources of inspiration and kind of pool them together, compound them into something entirely different than what either of us were thinking separately. I know a lot of songwriters who are very open about writing music based on the circumstances of their own life, and we try to do a little bit of that. But we also look to other places for inspiration. Like, literally anywhere. Movies, books, television shows, the people we pass walking down the street. Candy wrappers. Billboards. Places we visit. I think you can really write a song about anything… trust me. We’ve got a song called “Dry Cereal.”

Do you write music around lyrics, does the music inspire lyrics – or a little of both?

Definitely a little of both. Each song comes into existence its own way. Generally how it ends up breaking down is that I write the lyrics and melody, and Chris writes the chord progressions and instrumentation. Sometimes I’ll come up with a lyric I like, or a melody line that I think could turn into something cool. Sometimes Chris is messing around and figures out a really neat combination of chords, or he writes a really cool guitar riff. We take the individual pieces we come up with to each other, and from there, we rework them and keep adding to them until they become something that ends up being half-me, half-him.

What are your thoughts on how new music is promoted now?

The music world right now is going through a lot of changes. And of course, that definitely presents some challenges that maybe weren’t really in the picture a few decades ago. Things aren’t like they used to be; the chances of a giant record label solving all your problems are pretty slim these days. But the good news is, outside of the normal record-label model that used to be all the rage, there are a lot of independent artists like us carving out a place for themselves in the new music world. There are just so many more unique avenues for self-promotion now than there used to be. Social media, internet music sharing, independent press outlets… there’s a whole new frontier out there. Our manager David has said for a while now that there’s never been a better time in the music industry to effect the most self-driven success. All you’ve gotta do is put in the work and focus on making your music the best it can be.

Has it been easy to stay motivated as you’ve grown your music career?

Honestly, yeah. That’s not to say it hasn’t been difficult – building a music career is the hardest thing we’ve ever done. But it’s our dream. Why would we ever even think of giving up on that? Sure, chasing that dream is a ton of work, and I suppose there are other things we could be doing. But honestly, when we’re up on that stage under the lights, or writing new music, or recording in the studio, it’s difficult to imagine doing anything else. We just think about where we are, and we focus on where we want to be, and somehow that makes all the hard work seem a whole lot less daunting. We’re also very lucky to have an incredible group of people behind us every step of the way, and they’re all life-savers. We couldn’t do any of this without our band, our team, and our parents.

Does being related ever present any challenges or do you see it as an advantage?

I would say it’s definitely an advantage, and any challenges it might present are totally outweighed by how awesome it is to be living my music dream with my brother, fellow dreamer, and best friend. Sure, we get into the normal sibling arguments. That’s a given. We squabble. But it’s not a very frequent thing, and most of the time it’s about something stupid. And we never stay mad at each other for very long. There are too many songs to be written or shows to be played to waste time being angry. Plus, the fact that we grew up in the same house means that we each know the other better than anyone else. This comes in handy when we’re songwriting, because we’re never embarrassed to present ideas to each other. We’ve seen each other at our best and at our worst, and we’ve been in this together from the start.

Have you had the opportunity to share the stage with any bands you’ve found to be particularly cool?

Yes, a ton of them! Honestly, I think all the bands we play with are generally pretty cool. That’s one of the best parts about being a musician: you get to meet so many cool, creative people from all sorts of awesome places. If I had to pick some particularly cool bands that we’ve played with though, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the time we played Mountain Jam with Robert Plant and Grace Potter. We grew up listening to Led Zeppelin, so getting to meander our way around Robert Plant’s gear as his crew was setting up was a near-religious experience. And Grace Potter has been an idol of mine since middle school. We’ve also gotten to play with the Gin Blossoms, which have always been one of my favorite bands, so that was amazing. Oh, and Delta Rae! We played with them for a few shows last summer. If you haven’t seen them live, I highly recommend you get yourself a ticket at your earliest convenience. Their live show is so cool.

What has been the most exciting part about the band so far?

That’s so hard! I don’t think either of us could pick a “most exciting part” – it’s all exciting to us. But just so that you don’t think I’m avoiding the question, I’ll try to pick a few. One great aspect of the whole thing is getting to collaborate with some amazingly talented people. On Edges, our producer David managed to arrange for G Love to play his signature blues harmonica on one of our tracks, “Hot.” We also got Danny Louis from Gov’t Mule to come in and tear it up on the Hammond Organ for a good portion of the album. They’re both such awesome players, and they’re also really nice people to boot.

Another amazing part of this whole crazy music thing we do is having our music played on the radio. The freaking radio! I remember the first time Chris and I heard our tunes being played on the radio. We were in high school, sitting in my dad’s car before classes started for the day, huddled over the dials. And when our song came on, we freaked out. Now, we’re being played on over 200 stations across the US and Canada, and the reaction hasn’t really changed. Our first full-length album Edges managed to break both the FMQB AAA Top 200 Albums and Singles Charts, and it stayed on the Relix Jamband Top 30 for six months. And just last week, we found out that our live album, 30,000 Miles, debuted on that Relix Top 30 at #8. Freaking #8! In between Phish and The Rolling Stones! Is this real life?! But actually, though. Somehow this is real life, and we’re living it. Shoutout to all the radio peeps out there for giving our music a listen and a chance. We’re excited to see what you all think of this next album.

What do you hope people take away from your music?

Hmm… this might be a weird answer, but I hope they take away anything. Something. I hope people come away from one of our shows having felt something as a result of our music. I hope we’ve managed to translate some of the feeling and energy we put into our songs to them. That’s really all we want: to share our emotions with others through our music. We want people to feel stuff. Call us hippies, but that’s the goal. And I’d be happy if someone walks away with something, anything, because it means we gave them something.

What are you most proud of when it comes to the band?

I’m proud of every single thing we’ve ever done as a band. Everything. Every bar show we played as awkward high-schoolers, every road trip we’ve survived together, every recording we’ve released. It’s a crazy thing, looking back and seeing all we’ve accomplished in just the span of a few years. It wasn’t long ago when our goal was to be played once on the radio. Now we’ve got stations all over the place who know us, who we can call up and thank for spinning our tracks on the air. A little while ago, Chris and I were talking about how great it would be to record an album. Now, with the help of our amazing team, we’ve got an EP, our first full length Edges, a Christmas EP Still, and a live album 30,000 Miles. And we’re wrapping up a second full-length to be released in just a few weeks! So basically, if I had to sum it up into one word, I’d say “progress.” I’m proud of the progress we’ve made as a team, as a music family. We set goals, we reach them, and then we set new goals. We’re unstoppable. I’m proud that I can call this my job. And I’m excited for all the crazy things I know will happen this year.

What was the first album you bought with your own money growing up?

I love this question! I remember this very clearly. It was KT Tunstall’s Eye To The Telescope, and I bought it at our local Walmart. I had heard “Black Horse And A Cherry Tree” on the radio, and I was obsessed. It was something about her voice. I remember scouring the shelves and finding it and then holding onto it like a treasure to my chest for the remainder of our time in the store, until checkout. And then as soon as we got into the car, I popped it into the CD player. It’s a great album, and I still listen to it regularly. If you haven’t heard it from start to finish, you should think about giving it a listen. That album changed my life.

Who was your first concert?

I remember this one really clearly, too. It was Ingrid Michaelson. My whole family loves her music. My parents took me to that show. This was in middle school. I remember that I had a big field trip to New York City the next day, and I was exhausted for it because I’d been up until 4:00 AM for the concert. Totally worth it, though.

What do you enjoy the most about touring?

I love seeing new places. It’s exciting knowing that every day we’re going to wake up and drive somewhere new, that every night we’re going to be in a different place. It really makes you appreciate the general kindness of people. Everywhere we go, there’s always someone nice there.

What are you up to next?

We’ve got tons of stuff up our sleeve for the next few months. First off, we’re currently wrapping up a whole new album. It’s called Go, and it’s due for release in early April. I can’t wait for you guys to hear it! Chris and I are both really proud of the new songs we’ve written, and our whole team has been amazing. It’s a huge thing to pull off, making a whole album in just a few months, but we’re doing it! You can expect it to be full of awesome special guests, so there’s that to look forward to as well. And now that we’ve wrapped up recording Go, we’re gearing up to hit the road for most of the spring and summer, so you can expect us in a venue near you very soon! We’re constantly booking new shows and announcing them via our website, jocelynandchrismusic.com, and our social media channels. So stay tuned… we’d love to see you at a gig sometime! And we can’t wait to share this new music with you. I really can’t wait to hear what the world thinks of it.

Thank you again! What would you like to say to wrap up?

No problem! Thank you so much for having us. It means a ton to us that you’ve given us the opportunity to share a bit about ourselves with ya. If you’d like to get to know us even better and keep tabs on what we’re up to, including when our new album Go will be released and where we’re playing next, you can always check out our socials! We’re on Twitter @jocelynandchris , Instagram @jocelynandchrismusic , Snapchat @jocelynandchris , and Facebook at Jocelyn & Chris Arndt. Our official website is jocelynandchrismusic.com. And you can also follow us on Spotify to hear all the music we’ve ever released! Thanks, guys!

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Rock On The Rise

Rock On The Rise: Brandon Fields

Brandon Fields is a rock music singer/songwriter from Knoxville, TN who has released two musical projects, 2015’s “Tired Of Trying” EP and last year’s “L.A.’s Finest.”

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Thank you for taking time out for this! How are things going?
Things are going well. I just wrapped up about a two month run of shows that included two weeks off for a dislocated shoulder. It was good to get back on stage after having to cancel some shows due to my injury.

Please tell me a little about the band and what being a musician means to you.
Well I put my first EP Tired Of Trying out in November 2015 and spent the first half of 2016 doing an East Coast tour while balancing time in the studio for my full length album. L.A.’s Finest was mostly songs I wrote while being out on the road for Tired Of Trying. I think really being a musician nowadays with the way the whole industry has done a 180 is still being able to bring something fresh to the table. When so many people are doing what you do, you kind of have to keep everything from going stale.

Who are your musical influences? Was there a particular artist that had more of an impact?
I grew up on classic rock like Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin. You just can’t beat that 70’s hard rock to me. The first artist to ever really grab me into guitar playing was Guns N’ Roses. Hearing Appetite For Destruction for the first time was life changing for me.

What inspires you as an artist?
I think what inspires me most is when you get the acclaim for something you’ve done and seeing somebody genuinely enjoy what you’re doing as an artist. When I’m on the road, I’ll take a room with only 10 people in it who are intently paying attention to your music over a packed house full of people who almost never even know you’re on stage.

Do you write music around lyrics, does the music inspire lyrics – or a little of both?
I’m a guitar player first and singer second. So a lot of my songs start off with me just messing around with a riff on the guitar. For the majority, I’ll even finish writing the music for an entire song before I start writing lyrics.

What are your thoughts on how new music is promoted now?
It’s awful. You have so many things getting shoved in your face nowadays it kind of starts to water everything down. It’s caused people to have such a short attention span with things that you have to show them something they’re not gonna get somewhere else right off the bat. I feel like the internet has such great potential to help the music industry but at the same time it’s the biggest downfall. With youtube and everything now, a song is basically non existent if it doesn’t have a music video to accompany it.

Has it been easy to stay motivated as you’ve grown your music career?
For the most part yes. Every time somebody comes up to you after a show and says you did a great job and they enjoyed it, when the crowds singing along, or somebody is sharing your music, there’s not a better motivator. You’re gonna have your bad nights and your bad crowds, but one good appreciative fan can change your mood instantly. In such a mentally exhausting field you have to remember not to dwell on certain things. There’s always better opportunities waiting down the line.

Have you had the opportunity to share the stage with any bands you’ve found to be particularly cool?
I’ve got to meet some cool people for sure. I played a show with Joe Buck who was the bassist in Hank III’s band. My band was supposed to open for Alien Ant Farm at the Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles for their Anthology anniversary show but the whole tour got kind of thrown in the toilet right before we were supposed to leave Tennessee. One of the funniest things to happen to me was when I played at the BB King Blues Club in Nashville. Me and the drummer in my band, Tyler Thomas, were outside smoking before the show and I was a little intoxicated. I look up and Kerry King of Slayer is walking right by me and I kind of froze up and all I managed to get out was “Oh my god it’s Kerry King!” and he just kind of gives me this weird look and keeps walking. Definitely could’ve managed that situation better.

What has been the most exciting part about being a musician so far?
Just seeing myself grow as a musician every time i get on stage. You can’t beat doing something you love for a living. True happiness is being able to be proud of your work and what you do. All the cool experiences from traveling and all the people I meet have made every part about being a musician exciting.

What do you hope people take away from your music?
I would hope that they hear that it’s genuine. These songs are my life. When I get off stage I want people to think to themselves, “Wow, that guy just played his ass off the whole night.” I think people appreciate what you’re doing more when they see that you appreciate it yourself.

What are you most proud of when it comes to your music?
I’m most proud in my ability to not just be stuck to a specific sound or genre. My stuff ranges all over the place from soft stripped down songs like “Alone” to hard rock songs that punch you in the mouth like “Kick It” off of L.A.’s Finest.

What was the first album you bought with your own money growing up?
The first one I can remember walking into the music store and getting was AC/DC’s Live At Donnington album. I was about seven or eight and Angus’ playing just captivated me into the whole rock n’ roll experience. I think their the reason why I have such a love for just straight up hard rock. Getting to see them in Detroit in September with Axl Rose on vocals was definitely a big moment for me.

Who was your first concert?
My mom took me to see .38 Special open up for The Charlie Daniels Band in Pittsburgh in 2001. Charlie Daniels was actually the first artist i got really hardcore into, weirdly enough. When I was about five I had like four or five different cassettes of his and was constantly listening to “The Devil Went Down To Gerogia.”

What’s next for you?
I’m working on a lot of material right now. Kind of gearing up for the summer. I’d like to release some new music before the year is over but at the same time I’ve put out two albums in the past year and a half and I feel like they can achieve much more than they have so far. I’m constantly writing though and have enough material saved up for probably two or three albums.

Thank you again! What would you like to say to wrap things up?
I just want to say thank you to Rock Confidential for doing this interview and helping spread the Rock N’ Roll cheer!

Upcoming shows:
March 15 – Knoxville, TN – Brandon Fields, Chad Elliot, Zach Russell, and Travis Bigwood – Longbranch Saloon

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Rock On The Rise

Rock On The Rise: Hyperdose

Hyperdose is a rock band from Oklahoma City, OK. With the release of its debut EP “Impact,” the band is moving with lightning speed in the world of hard rock.

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Band Members: Ben Rivera, Blake Mattea, Justin Mattea, Clint Kirby

Website: www.hyperdosemusic.com

Facebook | Twitter | Spotify | Instagram

Thank you for taking time out for this, Blake! How are things going?
Things are going really well! We are always in the mood to rock ‘n roll!

Please tell me a little about the band and what being a member of Hyperdose means to you.
Hyperdose is an American active rock band formed in the spring of 2015 from Oklahoma City, OK. With the May 2016 release of the debut EP entitled Impact, Hyperdose is moving with lightning speed in the hard rock sector. Recorded at Crosstrax Studios in Memphis, TN with Grammy nominated producer Justin Rimer (12 Stones, Saving Abel, Full Devil Jacket), the new EP evocatively conveys the fight for peace amidst an inner life rich with conflict and turmoil. The massive anthem of “Throw It Down” takes you to a world of adrenaline and uncaged energy. Other songs such as “Coming For You” and “Impact” have strong, riotous vocal melodies, dynamic edge toppling guitar riffs and war-like backbone of percussion and bass guitar. The debut single entitled, “Take Control” was released April 2015 and features guest vocals from Gabe Aranda of the modern act Aranda.

To me, being a Hyperdose member is very fulfilling. The ability to create and speak through music the core struggles and triumphs of life is amazing.

Who are your musical influences? Was there a particular artist that had more of an impact?
Funny you say “Impact” lol. We have quite the range of influences heavy in the 2000 rock sound along with the new wave of programming and electronic world. Bands such as Breaking Benjamin, Theory Of A Deadman, Saliva, Starset, Red, Thousand Foot Krutch, Papa Roach, Korn, Shinedown, System Of A Down, Limp Bizkit, 30 Seconds To Mars, and many others.

What inspires you as an artist?
It is such an inspiring feeling to start from scratch and create music that speaks to fans in all parts of the country and world. We are the future of music and we take that very seriously. When we crank things up the emotion and excitement is just like nothing else.

Does the band write music around lyrics, does the music inspire lyrics – or a little of both?
Traditionally we have always composed music first with some sparks of lyrical meaning or direction and then finished up lyrics after melodies. We are always trying new approaches though, and I will see for this new EP we are writing a lot of lyrics have come through firsthand. We are excited to see the difference.

What are your thoughts on how new music is promoted now?
Everyone is really still trying to figure out the formula. It is absolutely great that you can have a listener from, say Egypt or the UK, and reach platforms never before as easily accessible. On the other hand, it takes patience and positioning to make the dream a reality.

Has it been easy to stay motivated as you’ve grown your music career?
Yes, we have constantly matured and never lost the drive to create new music. There are so many more challenges nowadays, but we are hyped up to battle.

Have you had the opportunity to share the stage with any bands you’ve found to be particularly cool?
Yes, each of us in our former bands have shared the stage with bands such as Skillet, Chevelle, Red, Nonpoint, Sick Puppies, We Are The Fallen, Drowning Pool, Korn, among many others.

What has been the most exciting part about being in Hyperdose so far?
We just mesh so well together and all have the same aspirations. We actually live a bit apart and have worked and written largely across the internet. This may seem frightening, but it has been a great experience. We are constantly growing and look forward to get on the live scene very shortly.

What do you hope people take away from your music?
As the name suggest, we want people to feel pure adrenaline through our music and use it to conquer troubling aspects of their lives. We love hearing the different perspectives.

What are you most proud of when it comes to Hyperdose?
Adapting to the change in music delivery and writing a lot via internet in such a short amount of time. We feel like we are onto something great and on a big path ahead.

What was the first album you bought with your own money growing up?
I believe it was DC Talk or it could have been Linkin Park’s album Hybrid Theory.

Who was your first concert?
My first concert was Switchfoot.

What’s next for Hyperdose?
We are in the process of writing and recording a new EP. Then we plan on hitting the live stage and continuing some licensing opportunities. From there we are just growing our fan base and seeing what interest we can bring our way.

Thank you again! What would you like to say to wrap things up?
Thank you! For those listeners out there, check us out and if you like what you hear buy some music! Also keep listening on Spotify. We really appreciate all the fans out there and just know we have your back when it comes to hard rock ‘n roll!

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Rock On The Rise

Rock On The Rise Interview: Rose Cora Perry & The Truth Untold

We spent a few minutes with Rose Cora Perry and drummer Tyler Randall to talk about her new album and their chemistry as performers.

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Rose Cora Perry and Tyler Randall - Photos by Mystery Man Photography

Rose Cora Perry and Tyler Randall – Photos by Mystery Man Photography

Performing since the age of four, Rose Cora Perry has done it all. From fronting the rock outfit Anti-Hero to expanding her catalog of original songs as a solo artist, Perry has performed to thousands of fans at numerous festivals and performances.

This fall, Rose Cory Perry & The Truth Untold will release her next project, Onto The Floor. We spent a few minutes with Perry and drummer Tyler Randall to talk about the new album and their chemistry as performers.

Thank you for taking time out for this! How are things going?

Rose: Busy, busy, busy! Between working full-time, coordinating shows for my pre-release tour, playing said shows and trying to get my ducks in a row for a fall video release, it’s been a crazy time. But I’m doing what I love and am thrilled to be sharing it with my bandmate Tyler. He’s been tremendously supportive as both a bandmate and a friend and I’m excited for what the future has in store.

Please tell me a little about yourself.

Rose: I am a Canadian singer/songwriter who is gearing up to release her sophomore solo album this fall. I’ve also dabbled in photography modeling and broadcast/print journalism. I’m a proud vegan, straightedge and DIY-er.

Tyler: I have been drumming for about 12 years or so. I also moonlight as a guitarist and bassist when the need presents itself. I have been in several bands over the years, either pounding the skins or slapping the bass. Like Rose, I too am vegan and straightedge.

How did the original idea for your solo album change over time?

Rose: Originally, I had intended for Onto The Floor to be an acoustic record similar in style to Off Of The Pages (my debut solo album); albeit with studio polish.

Because my producer and I took several years to complete the record – partly due to a personal injury which prevented me from playing guitar for some time, partly due to the daily grind, and partly due to extraneous factors outside of our control – the concept of the album changed dramatically. But I definitely feel it’s for the better. The music really had a chance to breathe and evolve and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

Just as I was finishing up the recording, my favorite band of all time – Veruca Salt – reunited and I had the chance to meet with them in person at a Toronto concert. This fated meeting reunited me with my love for distorted guitars and so while we had thought the album was complete, we gave it a further reworking to add a bit more rock to the mix.

I was very privileged to work with Ariel Kasler who co-arranged all of the piano parts with me. He’s tremendously talented and I love the sensibility and emotion he contributed to the album. Ariel also put me in touch with Ted Peacock who performed the drums for the record. Between myself, my producer Ryan McNevin, Ariel and Ted, we did everything. A small team for what became a rather epic project.

I’m really excited to release it this fall and hope that it resonates with people.

How did you and Tyler find each other?

Rose: After putting the final final touches on Onto The Floor, I was having a discussion with my mastering engineer, Roger Lian, about the complexities of the songs and how I could pull them off live. I contemplated performing to instrumental backing tracks but that’s not really seen in the rock world and neither him nor I were sure how that would go over.

Roger suggested I attempt to assemble a band. I was pretty opposed to the idea – not gonna lie – given the traumatic breakups of my past projects, but I knew Roger was right. I did need back up this time around.

Originally I had intended to tour with a three piece as I’ve always loved the punk rock aesthetic of trios, but as it turns out, Sticks (Tyler) and I seem to go over quite well as a duo and so decided to White Stripes-it, so to speak.

Tyler: Put more succinctly than Rose: I responded to a musician wanted ad posted by Rose on Facebook.

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What has it been like re-creating your catalog of songs into rock arrangements for playing live? Obviously you two work well together – did the musical connection happen quickly?

Rose: I definitely think the musical connection was pretty much a given from the first moment we played together. I remember after I auditioned Tyler thinking, “Damn I hope he likes me because he’s freaking amazing and totally gets my music.” We jammed through “For What It’s Worth” and “Don’t” together at our initial meeting and I loved his contributions and creativity. But he was super shy so I didn’t quite know what he was thinking. Following the audition, I may or may not have harassed him with a couple of messages, indicating I would be pretty stoked if he joined my project. Within a few days, he said he was in. The fact that we are both obsessed with Fresh – an amazing vegan restaurant in Toronto – helped with our “bonding” too.

Tyler: I would say the connection happened the first time we practiced, we kind of “get” each other. It’s scary yet liberating at times… kind of like puberty.

Who are your musical influences? Was there a particular artist that had more of an impact?

Rose: My favorite band of all time is Veruca Salt. Nina and Louise – now that’s a songwriting match made in heaven. I also adore Alanis, Chris Cornell and pretty much everything related to the 90s grunge era. You can also catch my stereo blaring classic rock greats like Aerosmith, Bon Jovi and AC/DC and – when the mood strikes – a little Norah Jones, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra.

From a business savvy stance, I think every female musician owes props to Madge. She is the undisputed Queen and she has paved the way for other self-made women. From a songwriting and rock vocal stance, Alanis Alanis Alanis. I love my fellow Canadian wildfire. Jagged Little Pill was pretty much my soundtrack for the greater part of my formative years.

Tyler: Weird as it sounds, my musical influences are mostly metal. Two particular artists that have had an impact on me are Jani Stefanovic and Ole Borud.

What inspires you as an artist?

Rose: Life. Love. Hate. The music of my fellow artists.

Tyler: Being in different moods or seeing/hearing awesome musicians/bands perform, nature and being outside.

Do you write music around lyrics, does the music inspire lyrics – or a little of both?

Rose: The tune usually comes into my head first – a simple melody for a chorus or a verse. Often times too, with the first little bit of melody I hear a couple of words that just work. I then sit down with my guitar and try and map out the song’s structure. I do it all in one go.

I definitely have to be in a certain state of mind to write though. I’ve never been one who can simply sit down and put pen to paper. It has to come to me through some sort of divine intervention. I have months of dry spells where I write nothing and then all of a sudden, I’m bursting with musicality.

Tyler: Although I didn’t take part in the writing process with Rose on the album, I typically write vocal melodies over music. I have yet to try my hand at writing lyrics at this point but we’ll see what the future brings.

Tyler, what part of working with Rose sealed the deal to join her band?

Tyler: I discovered she is a great person to work with and she is passionate about what she does just as I am.

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There are some heavy topics covered in your material, from bullying to overcoming depression and an eating disorder. Does your music also serve as a form of therapy, allowing you to be so personal?

Rose: It absolutely does and hopefully not just for me but also for my listeners. I think it goes without saying that songwriting serves as a personal form of catharsis for any artist but one also hopes that by sharing their story with others, it allows them to overcome similar difficulties through the power of connection and shared experience.

I’m definitely heavy-handed when it comes to my lyrics. That’s not to say that I don’t also have a couple of cheesy love songs on the new record too. I do. But I guess I’ve just found greater inspiration in taking something dark and turning it into something beautiful: showing hope can spring from devastation.

Is it a challenge to play and perform songs that are so personal – and Tyler, how important was it to know the story about each song when it came time to re-imagine them for a live setting?

Rose: It can be at times as I get pretty into the moment when I’m on stage – especially if the audience is reacting strongly. However – though a number of my songs sprung from darker emotions – I found resolve in writing them so performing them doesn’t quite take me back to that place.

In general, I’m a pretty self-disclosing person. Good or bad, I’m not ashamed or embarrassed of my personal journey. I share it – I share my songs – because I hope to help others by doing so.

Tyler: Honestly, I arranged the drum parts by feel and what sounded right. Rose had some input as well – she likes certain guitar parts to be enhanced by what’s going on rhythmically. There were really only a few times we disagreed on arrangements throughout the process. Like I said, we seem to “get” each other.

What are your thoughts on how new music is promoted now?

Rose: In a word, “ridiculous!” In no way does one’s social media following dictate a) their record sales or b) how many people they’re playing to on average and yet in order to get booked anywhere, you need to be “impressive” online.

I’m old school. For me, it’s about working hard and taking the grassroots approach. I’d much rather invest my energies into making genuine connections with people LIVE and practicing so that we put on solid performances.

It’s also insanely competitive now in a way it never has been before. Not only do we have technologies that can make up for any lack of musicality, but anyone can go on YouTube and irrespective of the quality of content become “famous”.

None of this is to say that I haven’t made some real connections online, but sadly I often times find that people are only superficially tuned in when they’re wired.

Tyler: I like it in some regards. It’s awesome that the internet makes things so easy to promote and discover music. It has the ability to open your music up to a whole new audience to which you probably would not have had a chance to connect with before. But as Rose mentioned, it’s also very competitive and easy to get buried in the mix.

Has it been easy to stay motivated as you’ve grown your music career?

Rose: NOOOOOOO!!! It’s been gut wrenching and heartbreaking at times. If I didn’t truly love music, I would’ve given up a long time ago.

You have to fight for everything. What makes it worthwhile are the moments on stage where you connect with people. That’s why you do it. That’s why we all do it.

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Tyler: Not that easy. Sometimes life gets in the way or you just lose that fire. But fortunately motivation does make an appearance once in a while – and at the moments that matter.

What has been the most exciting part about your career so far?

Rose: I hope the best is yet to come! I’m beyond grateful for the amazing opportunities I’ve had to play industry events like CMW, NXNE and Warped Tour.

Tyler: Playing shows with Rose and doing a small East Coast tour with another band last year.

What do you hope people take away from your music?

Rose: That there’s someone out there that “gets” them, that understands what they’ve gone through/what they’re going through and that is there to share the experience with them through the universal language of music.

Tyler: To be inspired, and just enjoy the experience.

What was the first album you bought with your own money growing up?

Rose: The Killjoys, Gimme Five

Tyler: I can’t actually remember, probably Weird Al Yankovic or something like Our Lady Peace.

Who was your first concert?

Rose: Stratford Ontario-based celtic harpist and singer Loreena McKennitt

Tyler: Weird Al Yankovic takes it again!

Thank you all again! What would you like to say to wrap things up?

Rose: Connect with us to stay up-to-date with tour dates and news about my upcoming release on Facebook and Twitter.

Tyler: I hope people can make it out to our shows as we try to put on a good spectacle. Plus the music is pretty rad as well! I hope to see you out there! Come say hi if you do!

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Rock On The Rise

Rock On The Rise Interview: Madame Mayhem

Madame Mayhem is certainly a commanding figure. Dig a bit deeper, and you will discover that some of rock and metal’s most respected names played a part in her full-length album, “Now You Know.” We caught up with Mayhem to talk about the new record and her budding career.

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madame-mayhem

Madame Mayhem is certainly a commanding and unforgettable figure – all you have to do for proof is check out the video for the song “Monster.” But dig a bit deeper, and you will discover that some of rock and metal’s most renowned and respected names played a part in her full-length album, Now You Know.

A powerhouse team of rock talent including Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, Winery Dogs) – who produced and played on the album – Ray Luzier (KoRn, KXM), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (formerly of Guns N’ Roses), Russ Parrish (“Satchel” from Steel Panther), and Corey Lowery (Saint Asonia, Stuck Mojo) all appear on the fourteen-track recording.

Sneaking in to her busy schedule, Rock Confidential caught up with Madame Mayhem to talk about the new record and her budding career.

Thanks for taking time out for this! How are things going?

Thanks for having me! Things are great! Love it when I am busy with all things “Mayhem.”

You’ve said before that you always knew you wanted to be a performer. A lot of people have that same dream but never see it realized. What did you do to make it happen?

Determination and training. I always knew I wanted to do this but I am also always willing to put the work in to get better, and I think that’s what helps. I also don’t like it when people say “No, it cant happen”. I take it as a challenge, and try to turn it into a “yes”.

Has it been easy to stay motivated as you’ve grown your music career? What inspires you as an artist?

This is what I have always wanted to do, my entire life, and it’s what I always will want to do, and what I will continue to do. So it’s easy to stay motivated and inspired. My drive to succeed and work in this industry is always intense.

You’ve been classically trained since you were very young. Does that influence how you write material as Madame Mayhem?

I think it helps. It brings an additional element and skill into the process.

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When you started writing material for Now You Know, did a certain song set the tone for the record?

It started with the songs, and then I noticed a tone and message was developing. Now You Know is sort of a reintroduction of who I am as an artist, musician, and writer.

Do you write music around lyrics, does the music inspire lyrics – or a little of both?

It depends on the song. It doesn’t happen the same way each time, which I think is one of the many factors that makes songwriting such a cool process.

Billy Sheehan and Corey Lowery helped co-write the record. How did they approach songwriting that might have been different to you?

They both allowed me to be comfortable enough to express myself creatively and helped me make the type of music I have always wanted to create. I have grown so much as a writer in music and lyrics, and hope to continue to do so, as well as continue to collaborate with both of them.

Billy Sheehan produced Now You Know. Besides his obvious talent and experience, what’s the coolest thing he brought to the table while working on your record?

It was so cool being able to write with him and create this entire project as a whole with him. He is a true living legend and an incredible talent, person and musician. Getting to witness that every day we worked on this record was pretty cool!

You have a wide range of influences. How long did it take to capture the sound you wanted for Madame Mayhem?

I am always trying to incorporate new influences as I grow, and will continue to do so throughout my career.

The videos for “Monster” and “Left For Dead” are perfect visual representations for Madame Mayhem. How involved were you in developing the storylines and details for each one?

Thanks! I hope everyone has fun watching them. I had so much fun making them. I was very involved. I spoke with the brothers of Industrialism films – who are awesome – sent them the music, lyrics, and explained what they were about, gave my concept ideas and collaborated from there. They were great in helping bring to life visually what was in my head for these music videos.

Reading your comments on Facebook I can tell you love being on the road. Who are some bands you’ve shared the stage with?

Yep, I LOVE it! Mushroomhead most recently, Doro, and Buchcherry, to name a few.

Do you have a favorite road story you’d like to share?

What happens on the road, stays on the road…for now!

What are your thoughts on how new music is promoted now?

Every day I learn new things about this ever-changing industry, including promotion.

What has been the most exciting part about your career so far?

Just being able to have a career in music is exciting. But no matter what, performing on stage makes every up or down, worth it and is probably the best, most exciting part.

What do you hope people take away from your music? As you’ve been on the road and promoting the record are you finding people have made connections to your music?

I’m really proud of this album. I spilled my guts out writing the music for this album and told true stories, and expressed real frustrations. I am sure I am not the only one who has gone through something, whatever it is. I hope people love the music and also can connect with it on some level as well. On the road I have been finding people who have made connections to my music, some for the first time that night, and when we talk about it it’s an instant bond, and I love that.

You have some cool musicians on Now You Know – Billy Sheehan, Ray Luzier, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, Russ Parrish, Corey Lowery. You’ve also collaborated with a lot of other artists through the years. Please tell us who all you’ve worked with and in what capacity.

It’s always a pleasure to collaborate on music! I have been fortunate enough to work with some really cool artists over the years, especially the guys on Now You Know. Billy Sheehan has been a mentor of mine for a while. I am so thrilled he believes in me and liked my voice enough to co-write almost all the songs on this record with me as well as produce it. Corey Lowery wrote three songs on this record with me, including the single “Monster.” And of course the additional special guest artists Ray Luzier playing such cool drums on this album, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal bringing in awesome solos and Russ Parrish nailing guitar parts. I am a true fan of all of them and am beyond thankful and happy they played on Now You Know.

What does your schedule look like this summer?

I love being busy, especially when it’s being busy playing shows every night! I will keep busy this summer for sure. Whether its performing, writing, or creating. Stay tuned for specifics on MadameMayhem.com and track me on Bandsintown.com.

Thanks again Mayhem! What would you like to say to wrap things up?

Thank YOU. If they don’t have it yet, people can grab the new album Now You Know on sites like Amazon, and iTunes. Be sure to keep up with the “Mayhem” by checking out MadameMayhem.com and on all the official Madame Mayhem social media accounts, which I do run. Let The Mayhem Continue…

Connect with Madame Mayhem:
www.Facebook.com/MadameMayhem
www.Twitter.com/MayhemOfficial
www.Youtube.com/MadameMayhemOfficial
www.instagram.com/MadameMayhem

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