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Premiere: Moonshine Bandits w/ Danny Boone ‘Feel No Pain’

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To say that Moonshine Bandits qualify as your average West Coast band would be nothing short of an understatement. Tex and Bird are having the time of their lives, making their music their way. Their unique sound, a blend of West Coast beat and country twang, is a strong representation of the California of which they grew up.

“We’re from Central California so it’s very blue collar and agriculturally oriented here in the Valley,” Tex says. “A lot of people have misconceptions about California being all Hollywood or the beach, but where we’re from the main industry is farming. There are a lot dairies, cotton fields, orchards and tomato processing plants.”

Moonshine Bandits’ sound is a hybrid of the music they listened growing up. “We grew up on West Coast hip-hop and West Coast rap, but we also got into country,” says Tex. “The first country song I heard was ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ by Johnny Cash. Now, we do a lot of things in our live show like our own version of Garth Brooks’ ‘Friends in Low Places’ with a hip-hop driven beat behind it. Our content has always been about where we’re from and what we do – outdoor parties and just a lot of good-time type music.”

Moonshine Bandits have delivered another round of “good-time music” on their latest offering, Calicountry, their debut disc on Average Joes Entertainment/Suburban Noize Records set for release February 4.

From the thumping first single “California Country,” and the party anthem “Throwdown,” featuring the Lacs, to the contagious “We All Country” featuring Colt Ford, Charlie Farley and American Idol finalist Sarah Ross, the new album is already turning heads all across the country. Country star Colt Ford and Average Joes’ CEO, Shannon Houchins, are executive producers on the album.

How do they describe their sound? “A lot of our music is hell-raising music,” Tex says. “Our guitars are very loud and our bass is pretty heavy. It’s very much in-your-face kind of music that you can party down to. We’ve got a few songs on there that are a little more personal and a little bit slower. But, for the most part it’s very aggressive.”

Tex says their music is tailor-made for the most important people in the world to them – their fans, referred to as “The Shiner Nation.” The band has over 15 million YouTube views, and has already had a #1 fan favorite video on CMT.com and a #2 video on CMT’s High Five countdown.

So, for Moonshine Bandits, the future is now. With a label behind them that knows how to market their music and get it to the fans, 2014 is looking very bright. “We’re very excited to be there,” Bird said of their affiliation with Average Joes. “They understand our music, as well as the marketing side of it, too, which is such a huge part of pushing the album. We’re just super excited for the world to understand where we’re coming from, having our own sound, and to bring that to Nashville…and on to the world!”

Exclusive Interview: Tex from Moonshine Bandits

Calicountry is the defining Moonshine Bandits record. It represents everything you guys are known for. Tell me about how much time you spent putting this record together, the guests involved and your expectations for Calicountry.

Yes, this is a big record for us in more ways then one. From a song writing and recording perspective, this album is basically all our past albums put together on steroids. We were able to use more resources on this album. Ty Weathers handles the bulk of our production and has helped with our signature Cali Country sound, and he has evolved as a producer just as much as we have evolved as song writers. Then you add the flavor of Nashville producers Phivestarr and the musicians they use, it makes this project undeniable. We flew out to record in Nashville at Phivestarr Studios and they were able to make us do things outside our comfort zone, but still keep our West Coast flare. We were also able to record out of a studio in Oakdale, CA with Jeremy Penick engineering, which gave us another solid element to our recording process. To top all that off, we got our buddies Colt Ford, The Lacs, Big B, Danny Boone, and new comers Sarah Ross and Charlie Farley all to contribute to make this our best album yet. We are very proud of this album and we expect our Shiner Nation Family to love it just as much as we do. We probably spent a total of four to six months recording. With this album, we really wanted to show the world our sound and where we are coming from.

When you first started working on Calicountry did you approach songwriting or planning out the tunes differently than previous records?

We did approach both the song writing and recording process on this album differently than previous records. We were able to actually sit in the studio with our producers to write and produce the songs as a collaborative team. In the past, we would do most of our stuff through the internet. On this album, there was a much better creative vibe being able to bring in guys like Mark Davis, Mike Hartnett and Hano to play guitar pieces with us all in the studio together. We could bounce ideas off each other and build the song from the ground up. We were able to come into the studio with a real rough concept and start building a song with just a simple acoustic guitar, then turning it into something completely different as it gets worked on over time. We definitely learned a lot on this record as well. We are always open to trying new things because there is no set way that songs have to be written.

Let’s talk about “Feel No Pain,” featuring Danny Boone from Rehab. How long have you known each other? Tell me about having him guest on “Feel No Pain.”

We love working with Danny on music. He is one of the most creative songwriters in the business. We’ve become great friends over the years through touring and collaborating on different songs. Every time we’re on the road together, there’s been a lot of late nights filled with thick smoke, dim lights, whiskey shots and loud music. “Feel No Pain” is a song for anyone that feels they got knocked down, but got right back up, and kept on pushing. It’s a song about not feeling any pain whether physical or mental. No matter how rough things might get, keep on kicking ass.

In a day and time where the rules change so much in the music business, Moonshine Bandits have managed to secure a loyal fan base. What part of the Shiner lifestyle do you think appeals to your fans the most?

We are real. Our music is real. We generally write about things we’ve experienced, people we’ve met on the road or stories we’ve heard. Shiners work their asses off to make ends meet so our goal is to give them a live show or an album that takes them away from their daily job, stress, or any drama that might be happening in their life. We pride ourselves in our live show that is more then just music, but more of an experience or a family reunion. Our Shiners are very loyal and we enjoy going out in the crowd to have a beer with them after a show and meet them. Of course there are times when we’ve done 20 shows straight and need to hit the bus for sleep, but for the most part we do like to meet folks and hear their stories.

You’ve always offered special bundle packages and merchandise with each release. What kind of packages are you offering for Calicountry?

We have a Shiner4Life package that gets you a Shiner camo shirt, autographed poster, our new Cali Country CD, a Shiner beer koozie, a Shiner bandana, and a bag of our Moonshine Bandits Whiskey River Beef Jerky. It’s a pretty kickass package and it’s cheap considering everything you get for it.

It’s refreshing to see a record label stand behind an artist and be so supportive. Tell me about the relationship with your label.

We are thankful to have two record labels pushing this CD. Both Average Joes and Suburban Noize Records have a similar background of building artists with a grass roots campaign. Both know how to market outside of radio and TV. Suburban Noize Records is a west coast powerhouse known for pushing edgy artists that are against the grain. Average Joes is a country-based label out of Nashville that knows how to market groups with a similar sound to us. Their track record with Colt and The Lacs proves that. We are thankful that they have the same vision as us. Before we even signed our deal with Average Joes, they had plane tickets emailed to us and studios and producers in Nashville set up to record us. This validated that they believed in us because they did that before our deal was even done.

With a market full of more artists than ever before, Moonshine Bandits have managed to create a sound all your own. I think music fans are more open to genre-bending artists now more than ever. In the beginning was blending hip-hop and country hard for some fans to swallow? How have you seen the reception to your music change over the years?

When we first started, we mailed demos to every record label and publication you can think of. This dates back to ’99 and everyone thought we were nuts. We never gave a shit about genres, we just made music that is natural to us. We were raised on West Coast hip-hop and listened to country as well. We related to the lyrics of country music. Fast forward to now, we had a #1 Music Video on CMT.com and #2 on CMT and we are on an indie label. Guys like Colt Ford and Bubba Sparxxx helped kick down doors for guys like us so it’s starting to be more accepting. Ten years from now, everyone will look back and say, damn those Bandits knew what the hell they were doing.

Tell me about your upcoming tour with The Lacs and what fans can expect from the Moonshine Bandits live.

Our booking agency Buddy Lee Nashville did a hell of a job putting this together. The name of the tour is “Country Gone Wild” and it fits the package perfectly. The Shiner Nation and Lacs loyal following fit together as one rowdy family that is gonna make every single show one big ass party. Fans can expect a party monster throwdown that contains a lot of cold beer drinkin’, whiskey sippin’, jager bombin’, fireball shootin’, jars of shine sippin’, American Flag waving, table top dancing, hot girls, and a few exposed body parts. If you ain’t looking to have a hell of a time, then don’t come. Get a DD.

Your videos capture the Shiner lifestyle – a bunch of friends hangin’ out, having a great time. To those “in the know” and all future Shiners, what do you hope people take away from your music and videos?

Life is too short. Don’t take yourself so seriously, have a good time, and don’t be afraid to be different.

You guys sent over a bag of your Whiskey River beef jerky and it’s honestly some of the best jerky I’ve ever had. You’re into lots of stuff besides making music. Are you as involved in the moonshine, jerky and other merch as you are the music? Any plans on expanding into other areas?

Yea, we are really proud of our products and offer a friendly taste test challenge to all comers in the jerky or moonshine department. Both our products are FDA Approved and if anyone wants to match our $1000 blindfold challenge, we are ready and willing to accept and put the results on YouTube! Next up, we are considering Bird’s BBQ Sauce, just looking into shelf life and other specs on it.

What would you like to say to the Rock Confidential readers, Shiners and fans to wrap things up?

Thank you Rock Confidential for giving us the interview and a platform to share our brand of music!

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Exclusive: Twang And Round Premiere ‘Dope Boy’ Video

This is more than just music. It’s a lifestyle for fans who love to have fun, share a couple drinks, and roll through the heartland with the windows rolled down.

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Kentucky based duo Twang And Round, comprised of Vernon Roach (a.k.a “Kuntry Twang”) and Brad Davis (a.k.a “Lil Round”), have successfully managed to meld together a musical hybrid of country, rap, and rock known as AmeriFlow.

Coloring outside the lines of any genre-specific formula, Twang And Round’s musical palette is much more refined than their rapping country brethren. The group can go from blasting the likes of Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Black Crowes, and Lynyrd Skynyrd one minute, to seamlessly mixing in UGK, OutKast, and Beastie Boys the next. All of these elements come together to give Twang And Round a unique signature sound.

This is more than just music. It’s a lifestyle for fans who love to have fun, share a couple drinks, and roll through the heartland with the windows rolled down. Intense rhymes, backwoods bravado, a little moonshine and American pride all come together in the melting pot that is AmeriFlow.

Today we are excited to premiere Twang And Round’s video for “Dope Boy.”

We spent a few minutes with Twang get more insight into their music and the Twang And Round lifestyle.

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

Everything is going great. We’re staying busy, working hard, and being blessed. We’re going into 2018 with a new album coming in the spring and new music videos being released monthly with our new partners Thirteen Skulls Entertainment.

Please tell us a little about Twang And Round.  How would you explain your music?
We get asked all the time and we simply reply AmeriFlow. That’s where we usually break it down. It’s really simple. If you’re inspired by the American culture, and you’re flowing musical content on any level or genre, then it’s AmeriFlow. We pride ourselves in being original artists, trendsetters, culture movers. We make music that bridges the gaps between lot of different genres. Being from Kentucky we have been inspired by our upbringings to develop blue collar, country, rock, hip hop, bluegrass, pop, blues, gospel, R&B mixed style music. It’s a jambalaya of hip-hop beats and rural real-to-life lyrical content. That’s Twang and Round’s AmeriFlow.

What’s a typical day in the studio like for you?  How do you guys write new material?

In the studio we chop it up every session according to the energy we feel. We might start a session from scratch by creating a beat together or writing lyrics to a beat already on deck. We feel there is no fixed way to create music. It’s in the now. It’s a brand new experience every time. While we are creating or performing we always feel like we are pulling from a cultural vortex that comes into being through our
gifts of music.

We’re premiering the video for “Dope Boy.” What can you tell us about that track?

The concept of the song was actually pulled from our upbringings from our branded family trees. Growing up in both of our communities in rural Kentucky, our family names had already been well known on both sides of the law. So, even at that level, we got our first glimpse of how society misconceives things no matter what the real-to-life story is. Hence, “Dope Boy” was born! We wrote and recorded the song at The Hideaway, our studio nestled in the hills of Riverside, Kentucky, with fellow musician Taylor Thompson aka Taylor James. 

What part of your lifestyle do you think appeals to your fans the most?

I’d say our sense of humor would be the most relateable part of our personalities, coupled with how authentic and real-to-life we really are. I know the fans feel what we
feel deep inside our souls when they take a ride with our music.
 
What inspires you as an artist?

Life experiences. On this journey, the world has its way of showing and teaching you things that gives you revelations that becomes the art you produce. That’s where originality and being authentic truly exists for us.
 
Who are some of your influences? Was there a particular artist that had more of an impact?

We always love this question when someone asks us what artists inspired us. Growing up in our households, our grandparents were listening to gospel and classic country music like Hank Williams Sr. Our parents were listening to southern rock, classic rock and outlaw country music like Hank Williams Jr. and Waylon Jennings. In our adolescence we were inspired by all those along with the emergence of rap and hip-hop. This is where we found our way to becoming AmeriFlow artists.

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

It’s changing rapidly on how people consume music now. The platforms are completely a new universe with social media, live streaming, and digital downloads. It’s like a buffet for the world. Music is easier to get now than it’s ever been in our lives. You can literally cut a Number One hit from your garage or bedroom! So make sure your pajamas are fresh!
  
What do you hope people take away from your music and videos? 

Inspiration to live life to the fullest every day, knowing that no matter what the world throws at you everything here is temporary. Make as many memories as possible because at the end of the day that’s what we all become.

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

Beastie Boys License To Ill for me and for Round it’s Dr Dre’s The Chronic.

Thank you again! What would you like to say to wrap up?
 
Thank y’all for rapping with us and giving us this platform to connect with the world. Every line in the water is a chance to reach that next goal. Take a man fishing and he eats that day, but teach a man how to fish and he can feed himself for a lifetime. God bless!

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Brandon Fields Experience Premieres New Song ‘Rescue Me’

Brandon Fields Experience will be releasing their new album ‘Out Of This World’ early next year.

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Brandon Fields Experience – the non-stop rock band made up of frontman Brandon Fields, bassist Dustin Witt and drummer Tyler Thomas – will be releasing their new album Out Of This World early next year.

Rock Confidential is proud to exclusively premiere the lead single from that album, “Rescue Me.”

We caught up with Fields to talk about the new tunes and what the band has in store for 2018.

Thanks for taking time out for this, man. How are things going?

Things are going pretty good right now. The band’s staying really busy. We’ve got a lot of exciting things in store for the new album. The next few months are going to be a lot of fun.

A lot of people have the dream to be a performer or be in a rock band, but never see it realized. What did you do differently to make it happen?

I think the biggest thing is how much effort you’re willing to put in to it. It’s such a self criticizing and second guessing field that you’ve got to remember to keep a solid head on your shoulders. It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re first trying to build a brand for yourself. Things aren’t going to be pretty at first but that’s rock n’ roll, man. I’m a firm believer for every missed opportunity there’s an even better one waiting down the line. You can’t dwell on certain things too much. As long as you’re willing to hammer things home you’re always going to see a positive outcome.

Are you in this for the long haul or are you doing it just for fun?

I am definitely in this for the long haul. I think being successful in life is based more off of being proud of what you do than how much money you’ve got in the bank. When I’m seventy years old I want to look back on my life’s work and be fulfilled and proud of everything I’ve done and I’m doing everything I can to make that a reality.

Tell me all about your new album that’s coming next year.

The album is going to come out March 1, 2018 and is titled Out Of This World. We recorded it up at Sneak Attack Recording Studio in Lexington, KY, with the very talented producer, Jason Groves. We’ve got eight songs we plan on putting on the album. This album was a very different process than my last two studio efforts. The way it had always been before is I would show up to the studio by myself and record all the vocals, guitars, and bass and have everything tracked for my drummer Tyler Thomas to just lay down at the end. We recorded this whole album live. Myself, our other guitarist/live bassist Dustin Witt, and Tyler were all in the same room recording all of our parts at the same time. Dustin and I were playing guitar at the same time with him doing all of the rhythm parts. I went back and laid down all the bass parts after we’d get the guitars and drums tracked. So it was definitely a new process having the whole band involved in the studio.

We’re premiering the new track “Rescue Me.” Tell me about that song and how it fit into the writing progression of the new album.

“Rescue Me” was actually the last song written for the album. I had all the songs done and ready to go into the studio and then one day just started messing around with that main chord and knew I had to get it on the album. It was really the same situation as my single “One In The Same” off of the last album where I had the whole album done and wrote the song in between recording sessions. Being in the studio really gets the creative juices flowing for me.

How long did it take to capture the sound you wanted while in the studio?

It was actually really quick, man. Jason Groves provided us with a great environment where we couldn’t have been more comfortable. The album is about seventy-five percent done right now and we have one session left that should be enough to complete it. The band really pulled it together quick when we showed up to the studio.

What inspired the new tracks on this record?

I do a lot of writing about all the different things I’m currently experiencing in life. However, two songs on the album were actually super old material I wanted to revisit. We actually re-worked my song “Alone” off of my 2015 acoustic EP Tired Of Trying into a full band straight up rock n’ roll tune. It’s crazy how songs you wrote almost five years ago when you go back and listen to can still be applied and relateable to what you’re currently experiencing.

What kind of guitars do you play? Tell me about your live setup.

I think I might have one of the most basic setups out there! I’m not about using a bunch of pedals and manipulating your sound because it takes away from your original tone. I recently switched from Line 6 to Orange Amps and couldn’t have made a wiser decision. I am totally not knocking Line 6, I had used them for the past 10 years, but these Orange Amps are incredible. I have a CR120 model that I use and absolutely love it. The only pedal I use is a Vox Wah. I mainly stick to my 2003 Fender Strat as my go-to guitar that was featured in the “One In the Same” video. It’s ironic because I’ve always been more of a Les Paul kind of guy.

You seem to be playing somewhere all the time. Tell me about your setlist and how it varies from show to show.

We’ve got about 100 different songs that we switch in and out of our setlists. Myself and Dustin actually switch out on guitar and bass regularly at every show to kind of keep the audience’s attention. Anytime you come watch the band play live you’re getting a different setlist every single time. Most of our shows we’re playing for over three hours so we have to keep it interesting.

What’s your immediate goal for the band? What about specific long-term goals?

My immediate goal is to put these final touches on the album and deliver the best product that I can. I’m already very satisfied with what we’ve got done so far and it has definitely been the easiest album I’ve ever recorded thanks to the guys in my band and our producer Jason. As far as long term goals, I just want to keep seeing everything grow. Just looking back over what I’ve accomplished since my first album two years ago, I’ve got some things to be very proud of.

Thanks again, man. What would you like to say to wrap things up?

Support your local bands! Everybody’s favorite band was a local band at some point! Thanks for having me, Jesse!

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The Babes Premiere New Video For ‘It Ain’t Easy’

After a successful string of sold-out shows, the band has released a video for the title track of their brand new EP.

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The Babes are a Rock ‘n’ Roll Gang who are breaking the chains and revolutionizing rock, making it sexy and gutsy. The Babes invented “Underdog Rock.”

They are rock’n’rollers with the tuffness of a biker gang, from Adelaide, Australia. Their gritty, loud, ragin’ music and intense stage show, forces crowds to pay attention.

The Babes were proudly selected as main support band for the Australian Tours of Ace Frehley (KISS), Sebastian Bach (Skid Row) twice, Cherie Currie (The Runaways), and Yngwie Malmsteem, making a name for themselves with successful sold out shows on these tours.

Drummer Moni Lashes set a new Official World Record in 2015, becoming the first human being to drum non-stop for 24 hours. It was a fundraiser for The Babes’ manager (her dad) for his medical treatment for Multiple Sclerosis.

Follow The Babes on Facebook and Twitter and don’t forget to check out their official website.

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Exclusive: Wicked Premiere New Video For ‘High Roller’

Rock Confidential is excited to premiere the new video from Wicked, “High Roller.”

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Rock Confidential is excited to premiere the new video from Wicked, “High Roller.”

The video for the band’s latest single was directed by famed independent director Anthony “AO” Owens.

The band comments, “In a day and age of great arena acts disappearing, Wicked is poised and ready to fill the glamorous heels of our influences and become the Rock N Roll Superheroes our world needs today.”

Wicked – the balance between extremes. Good and evil. Isn’t that just like life? New York street-wise, California dreaming of an escape. Built on hard work, the hard way. So we love to party it all away. Welcoming all, but born to stand as an island of difference. Brotherhood backed up and ground stood. Won’t follow. Soul of the seventies, born for glamour, creating something new. Twin guitars, riffs that hook. Characters unique: A Bleeding Heart, Warring Spade, Diamond In Rough and Joker Of Jest. A macho display of androgyny in while leather-clad punk culture. We just call it rock n’ roll. #wickedrocknroll

Follow Wicked on Facebook.

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Louder Still Premieres ‘Speed Machine’ Video

Louder Still unveil their debut single “Speed Machine,” written about a man’s love affair with his car and his passion for speed.

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Fast rising hard rockers Louder Still unveil the video for their debut single “Speed Machine,” set for release June 2 via up and coming label Rockbuster.

Bringing a new shine to 70s rock and early NWOBHM era, the Reading foursome swim against the tide of the current rock scene, creating a powerful combination of old and new. Wearing their heart on the sleeve and owing much to the great British rock giants as well as contemporary bands such as Airbourne and Inglorious, the band spent the past year honing their craft in the studio with Lower Than Atlantis and Alter Bridge engineer and producer John Mitchell, also responsible for Inglorious’ critically acclaimed debut album.

Written about a man’s love affair with his car and his passion for speed, the track – written as an homage to British sports cars – sees classically trained singer Tom Rampton’s searing vocals deliver the fast-paced lyrics as a direct and powerful melody; punctuated by George Twydell’s fierce guitar, Craig Carlaw’s smashing drums and George Ives’ pulsating bass.

Talking about the recording process John Mitchell says, “We used real 40-year-old vintage Marshall amps for both guitar and bass to create the unique rawness and groove captured in the song. The drums parts were written to be choppy and hard hitting to create intensity, with drums fills added, giving the sound the impression of an engine starting.”

The track is accompanied by the compelling visuals directed by photographer and filmmaker Jack Bridgland for WMA, responsible for the upcoming video of punk-rockers Counterfeit, and which work has been published on the likes of Highsnobiety, Notion and Wonderland. The cut features a drag race between a Jaguar XKR and a Vauxhall VXR8 on an old abandoned airfield; the same Jaguar and the last one to come off the car manufacturer production line in 2014, which also appears on the recording of the track and was recorded by the band at a rolling road.

Louder Still sounds and looks like the future of Great British rock, the four outstanding musicians all studied music at degree-level, and are now ready to prove rock music is truly alive with “Speed Machine,” a pure blast of hard rock energy, which musical references only serve to help the band bringing rock music back into the mainstream.

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