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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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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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Exclusive Video Premiere: Demun Jones – Bronco (feat. Jelly Roll)

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demun-bronco

Demun Jones has always had a way of keeping it real when it comes to the music he has written, recorded and performed throughout his career.

Demun’s new album, #Beast, is his way of keeping it real while simultaneously amping it up to the next level, giving his fans exactly what they crave.

Set for release Friday, May 13, #Beast is a collection of perfected tracks ripe for the picking and represents Demun’s personal and professional creative growth.

When it came time to start writing for the album, Demun said, “I knew I wanted to include the type of songs that my fans love so much. This album is for them.”

The lead single from the album is “Bronco.” Featuring artist and friend, Jelly Roll, “Bronco is a club worthy, fun song that will definitely get a crowd up and dancing,” states Demun.

Rock Confidential is excited to premiere the video for “Bronco” – full of beautiful girls in classic rock t-shirts and short shorts, booze, a mechanical bull and a full-fledged throw-down that only Demun can pull off.

Demun Album cover-1

Keep up with Demun Jones:
Website: http://demunjones.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/demunjones
Twitter: https://twitter.com/demunjones

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Video Premiere: Angels Cut – One More Day

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Catch Angels Cut on tour with the Moonshine Bandits and Pruno:
10/22 – Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection
10/23 – Traverse City, MI @ Ground Zero
10/24 – Flint, MI @ Machine Shop
10/27 – Kansas City, KS @ Red Eye Bar
10/28 – Kansas City, KS @ Red Eye Bar
10/29 – Springfield, IL @ Boondocks
10/30 – Indianapolis, IN @ 8 Seconds Saloon
10/31 – Fort Wayne, IN @ Piere’s Ent Center

Angels Cut on Facebook | Angels Cut Website

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Exclusive Song Premiere: Angels Cut – ‘Smile’

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Humboldt County’s hard-rocking female fronted rock outfit Angels Cut has just wrapped up recording a brand new EP, and now they’ve announced a month long cross-country tour with outlaw group the Moonshine Bandits with support from Pruno. The band’s new EP was recorded at VTOL Studios under the watchful eye of producer Rob Seifert Gage and the full-length is set for an early 2016 release date with the help of Ole Persson Entertainment Consulting & Sourcing.

Angels Cut attack the stage with an intensity that is unrivaled as they unleash thunderous guitar riffs, mixed with a rhythm section that can stop on a dime. Leading the charge is charismatic female frontwoman Stephanie Johnson who showcases her feminine strength and sex-appeal on the stage. Johnson is joined by guitarists Mike Molina and Utah Blue, bassist Aaron McLaughlin, and drummer Joe Barney.

Rock Confidential is excited to premiere a new song from Angels Cut, “Smile.”

We caught up with Angels Cut to find out more about the band, the Moonshine Bandits connection and what fans can expect from their live show.

Please tell me a little about the band and how you all got together.

Utah: I had a bunch of rock songs and was searching for a band to play them. I Met a couple guys and we did the typical thing playing bars and going through members. Aaron and Mike stuck. We wrote some more together and it was pretty fucking cool, but it took a monster step when Steph joined. Her songs, presence, ability. Oh hell yes.

Tell me about your relationship with the Moonshine Bandits.

Utah: We did a New Year’s Eve 2014 in Vegas with those guys like a month after Steph joined, and it was all time! Shiner Nation was in full effect and we were like, take us with you. They must have dug us because here we are charging the Midwest. We’re really looking forward to actually hanging with Dusty and Bird and the boys and sipping some of there branded goods.

Who are some of your musical influences?

Utah: We’re all over the map with that. Country, rock, punk, metal, blues. I hate to speak for the band, but I’m gonna. Mike Molina, our lead guitarist leans toward metal. I’m a classic rocker. AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Metallica. Steph goes old school Patsy Cline, Etta James up through Pat Benatar to Dropkick Murphys, Five Finger Death Punch, Foo Fighters and Volbeat. Drummer Joe can do it all so he kinda likes it all, and Aaron’s into punk.

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

Steph: It seems like it just starts with something exciting. Whether it’s a riff, a song title, a melody, or even like a line or joke someone says, and you just say, “Go with that!” Usually it’s a riff or a chorus melody and the lyrics are formed by that. Sometimes it’s listening to your voice memos from the night before with no recollection and go, “What’s that? Is that us? That’s cool..” Then put down some words.

What do you look to for lyrical inspiration?

Steph: The riff. The feel of the song. I just blast it in my car and start singing kind of nonsense. Random words. And usually, like a memory or an image, a feeling pops up and something comes of it. A theme of some kind. Then Utes and I play with it try to make it work!

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

Utah: The per diem.

Steph: Still the most exciting moments are on stage. I know that’s a cliche, but it’s so true. Those times when you’re lost in the song and going for it. And seeing someone in the crowd going for it with you. That’s the best. That’s the most exciting. The connection.

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

Utah: So we bomb over to Kentucky and start playing shows! I think the coolest thing is the Moonshine Bandits fans, the Shiners, they get after it and it’s a good time. Also the songs. Those guys’ songs are fucking great. As far as Angels Cut, the fans can expect a high energy, hard rocking good time. And they can definitely expect us to be right there with them enjoying the shiners when we’re done!

What do you hope people take away from your music?

Steph: A smile.

Utah: And a hangover

moonshine-bandits-tour

Catch Angels Cut on tour with the Moonshine Bandits and Pruno:
10/16 – Columbus, OH @ Alrosa Villa
10/17 – Fostoria, OH @ Cowboys & Angels
10/22 – Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection
10/23 – Traverse City, MI @ Ground Zero
10/24 – Flint, MI @ Machine Shop
10/27 – Kansas City, KS @ Red Eye Bar
10/28 – Kansas City, KS @ Red Eye Bar
10/29 – Springfield, IL @ Boondocks
10/30 – Indianapolis, IN @ 8 Seconds Saloon
10/31 – Fort Wayne, IN @ Piere’s Ent Center

Angels Cut on Facebook | Angels Cut Website

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Video Premiere: Pruno – ‘Shine On’

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Rock Confidential is proud to premiere the new video from Pruno, “Shine On.”

Soon to be sharing the stage with the Moonshine Bandits in cities across the country, it’s time for the world to hear the story of a wild journey that illustrates the life of Josh “Pruno” Gamble.

Raised by his grandparents in Los Banos, CA, Pruno found comfort in an otherwise hectic life by listening to music. His love for the art of rhyme helped him get through the tough years of adolescence but as he got older he turned to the streets where he was surrounded by crime, drug sales and addiction. Gamble later found himself trapped behind the walls of a state prison and had to learn things the hard way.

Having time to focus behind bars, Josh realized his true purpose in life was to focus on music. His pain would be translated through songwriting which gave him an outlet to express his feelings through music.

In anticipation of the video premiere for “Shine On,” we caught up with Pruno to hear more of his inspiring story and celebrate the positive direction of his life and career.

How did you hook up with the Moonshine Bandits and what is it about the Shiner Nation that’s so appealing?

Well, I’ve known the bandits for over a decade. We are all from a small town so you know who’s who and who’s doing what and we hooked up through mutual musicians and friends and eventually collaborated on a few records. We’ve been tight ever since! The Shiner Nation is just a great group of hard working, blue collar people. My kind of people. The love they have shown me is just amazing. We are all one big Shiner family and what appeals to me the most is their family loyalty!

Who are some of your musical influences?

I love classic rock, country and of course West Coast rap, also old school hip hop. A lot of my influences were from CCR, Eagles, Guns N Roses and Johnny Cash, all the way to Rehab with Danny Boone, Sublime, and a lot of Outkast and 2Pac. But it all started with my first Beastie Boys cassette tape, and at that point I knew rhyming would be my life.

Your music is about having a good time but you also encourage responsibility. Will you please share your story and why you decided it was time to make a change in how you were living your life?

I came from a broken home in a trailer park with a lot of drug addicts, bikers, and a few undesirable people on this planet. I was living a hard life and I’ve been on a long run being stuck in addiction, but I loved music and I know if I could find a way out to get back to the music I could change my life. I got out of prison, jumped immediately on a song with the Moonshine Bandits and back on stage. I decided I didn’t want to go back to that life ever again and from that day forward, music became my fuel to live life in a positive direction.

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

I love beats, I love bass, I love the old school 808 and 510 pounding hard. Once I hear that kick and that beat I start writing so I like to build my music from scratch from the beat up and let the lyrics float to the music.

What do you look to for lyrical inspiration?

Life inspires me. I have a family and a beautiful woman that fuels me to succeed. My life experiences and my drive to create a positive life for myself and family are an inspiration. My life behind the walls and the things I learned when I was locked up also inspire my lyrics. I want to be 100% real when I deliver my songs. I want people to see that the underdog can win. I’m living proof.

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

Being on tour with the Bandits visiting different locations and the beauties of different states all across America. I’ve got to see so much already, places like Sturgis and the history of Deadwood all the way back to the world famous and haunted museum club in Arizona. It’s awesome being on the road, and meet all these new fans and Shiners and family. It’s just been a great experience and words cannot express how it feels to get on and off that bus every day in a different time zone to rock another stage.

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

I’m so excited to come out on the road with these boys and I get to do a bigger set which allows me to share a little more music with a lot of my family and friends out there on the road. My trailer heads are pumped up, I’m pumped up to be out there, and I do plan on doing a few new songs from the new record that I’m working on. Fans can expect an explosive show and I will give them all I got and leave them wanting more! I love being on the road with the Moonshine Bandits and can’t wait to rock.

What do you hope people take away from your music?

What I’d really like people to take from my music is that we all have ups and downs all around life. Some of us have been in trouble with the law and some of us have just been in trouble. But the bottom line is we can all change, there’s a positive way of life, there’s a positive way of living and we can all make it happen. It just takes focus and a little effort and everyone can live a positive life.

Read more about the Moonshine Bandits tour and see all the dates here.

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