Tag Archives Music Interview

Cliché Sits Down With IVA to Discuss her Amazing Career

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A little about IVA: IVA is a Swedish-American crossover artist who has traveled the world, won numerous awards and has inspired countless aspiring artists through her vast experience and knowledge. Cliché caught up with IVA for a little Q&A we know you’ll love.

If you had to choose one, which title would best describe you?

A rare crossover artist, a songwriter, a bandleader, an art-song

interpreter, vocal teacher or an opera singer.

 

Good question – I think the most important role I have is as a rare crossover artist. I cross over from opera into popular music, I write my own songs and I mentor many students as well, crossing over from artist to teacher. 

 

You’ve had such a storied career so far. What is your most proud moment and why? 

 

My most proud moments have come through my teaching. I thought that some of the awards I have received or performances I’ve given were highlights until I began to see my students thrive and learned how letting them be seen was their true desire. That was also my desire, yet sometimes working as an artist has been quite lonely. I am surrounded by love now and my students and I have the joy of discovering music and their unique talents together. 

 

Tell us about your chance encounter with the casting director of Late Night with Conan O’Brien and what was it like to sing on the show.

 

At the time I was dating a man who was a big fan of Conan O’Brien and played with the idea of being a comedy writer. I was at the gym and there was a woman next to me in a Conan O’Brien jacket and sweats. I asked her where she’d bought them and she said she worked on the show. I asked her how someone got a job as a writer on the show, and she said one needed an agent but that she would be happy to arrange tickets for my boyfriend and I. I thought this would be my Christmas present to him. When I called her, she said they needed an opera singer to be part of their “staff talent show”. (Thank you, Cecelia!) That was incredible luck for me and I went in the next day to tape. We had a quick rehearsal and I made up a classical song that could go outside the range of human hearing. There was a dog in the audience cheering me on. I was worried it would be Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (“for me to poop on”) but it was a cute golden retriever in a top hat with opera glasses. I had a blast, and the casting director and I are still friends 🙂

 

What is your true passion in life and what are you currently doing to partake in your passion? 

 

My true passion in life … hmm … I think it’s to bring peace to people. I thought it was music, but it’s actually the peace that I find in music. I want to share that with the people I love, and really with as many people as I can. When I make music, I have a feeling of being whole and truly myself. I want to share that feeling with my friends, my family, my students and hopefully my listeners. This can be a tough world, and there is solace in knowing who you are — which is a feeling. May everyone know that feeling. 

 

What do you enjoy most and why? Writing songs, performing or composing concerts or something else? 

 

Concerts are my favorite. I get nervous and the rehearsing and preparing can be quite intense, but it is worth it to be able to share myself with many listeners. I have been told that I’m quite a deep thinker and willing to share my innermost thoughts, and being on stage singing my own songs seems to be the perfect way to share. 

 

Do you have plans for another album? 

 

Yes. I have recorded the first single and have many more new songs which I have been performing online during the pandemic as well as live now that we can play out. 

Is there an artist that you’d love to collaborate with?

 

I’m quite inspired by Florence and the Machine, as well as Maggie Rogers. I’d also love to sing with Josh Groban … I think our voices would complement each other. And my greatest wish is to write and sing with Paul McCartney. He is my musical spiritual father, and has been since I was five years old. I know I’m not alone in this, but a woman can dream, right? 

 

How has Covid-19 affected your life and career over the past year?

 

Phew … it’s been lonely as I live by myself. I’m an extrovert and I love to be with other people, so the pandemic made it really hard for me to feel the joy of laughing with another person. Thank God for the internet. I was able to make videos for “Adam and Iva” a comedy duo I have with my friend Adam Ollendorff, have online concerts and teach my students. I learned the guitar online as well with my teacher Geoff Bennington. And I was able to spend a lot of time with my father as my mother passed away right before the pandemic. Those were silver linings. I donated to Philabundance, a Philadelphia non-profit that provides food to the community. I was lucky to still be able to work, and I wanted to share that with people who couldn’t.

 

What is your favorite venue to perform at?

 

That is a tough one – I loved singing at the Royal Opera in Stockholm, and in the beautiful big park in the center of Stockholm called Kungstradgarden. I also loved performing on the Philadelphia Waterfront Stage and on the waterfront in Karlstad, Sweden for the Swedish American of the Year award events. I’d love to perform in Central and Prospect Parks in New York as well. And perhaps someday at the Philadelphia and Metropolitan Operas. I think my absolutely favorite place is the World Cafe Live. They’ve hosted me many times and I hope to return with my new music once the dust of Covid clears. 

 

How did you first get involved in music and the creative arts? Did you have someone that you looked up to growing up or someone who strongly influenced you? 

 

I grew up in a musical family. My grandparents played multiple instruments and sang, and my father had a huge record collection he played on Saturday mornings for us. Our across-the-street neighbors were classical music lovers and exposed me to a great deal of music as well. When I was nine, a woman named Evelyn Swenson, a friend of my grandparents, invited me to sing at Opera Delaware where she was conducting and composing children’s operas. She gave me my start on the stage, and I was hooked. 

 

Do you consider yourself an Opera singer or Pop singer and why?

 

I consider myself more of a pop singer. Currently I don’t sing in staged operas, and I love writing my own music. However, I’ve decided to tie these together as I am working on an opera called “Inside Out”. It’s about my experience as a victim of domestic abuse from an intimate partner. It was one of the most confusing and terrifying experiences I’ve ever been through and I was confounded by how it consumed me for many years. I finally left the relationship and have healed over many seasons to be able to write this opera. I feel stronger than ever, in fact. I know myself and what matters to me and I better understand the darkness in this world. That is part of why I’d like to bring peace and self-knowledge to others as I’ve experienced for myself. Both the victims and the abusers benefit from healing and self-awareness. Life can change – we can change. But we need to accept and understand where we’ve come from and what we’ve been through. I hope my opera can transform a difficult experience into an enlightening one and change the conversation about domestic abuse from being a cultural norm to being seen as the dangerous disease that it is, a disease for which we must, we will, find a cure. 

 

What can we expect from you in the near future? Are you working on any projects?

 

See above 🙂


How can fans best connect with you?

 

Connect with me on my website at www.ivavoice.com


Follow me on
Instagram, you’ll find many home and live performance videos there, and you can see my fur baby Moxie there. 

 

Facebook and YouTube are great places to connect with me as well. My music can be found on all major streaming platforms: Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon. 

Read more music interviews at ClichéMag.com
Image provided by Shervin Lainez

Lord F Releases New Single ‘Aqua’

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Electronic dance-pop artist Lord F is back with the release of his latest single, “Aqua,” out now! This is his second release off of his upcoming EP, set to drop in mid-April. “Aqua” follows his last single Perfect Imperfections” which dropped last month. 

The Brazilian born and LA-based artist first hit the scene in 2015 with his self-titled EP. His songs “Hey Hey Hey,” “Dance With You,” “Like a Glove,” and “Ainda é Pouco” reached the top charts on radio play over many stations in Brazil and are still growing on charts to this day. 

Along with his music career, Lord F established his name in television as a host for the music channel MIX TV, in Brazil. Being a reality television host allowed him to grow his following but never stopped him from pursuing his true passion of music. We caught up with Lord F to talk about “Aqua,” his career and his advocacy!

Can you tell us about your start, what got you into your music career?

“I always loved music with all my heart. It always had the power to transport me to other places and live through the music. I started taking vocal lessons, which led me to start performing when I was 7. Everything just continued from there.”

Tell us about your new single, “Aqua.”

“The idea for the song first came to me when flying back home from a ski trip with my family. I wanted to write lyrics that weren’t just love stories. That’s when it hit me – I have never heard an interesting song about the 4 elements of nature: Fire, Water, Earth, and Air. As I started reflecting on it, I realized that you need love just as much as you need water to survive. You can find love in different shapes, colors, nationalities, and elements, just as water comes in all these conditions. But the essence of water and love is the same. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from; we all need both just as much to survive.”

Listen to “Aqua” here!

You released a single last month called, “Perfect Imperfections.” It has such a beautiful message behind it. What motivated you to release that song?

“I was filming for my TV show and my producers, who were married, were disagreeing on something. I looked over, and one of them rolled her eyes at her partner and made a concession even though she disagreed with him. And then that’s when I had the insight – there’s no such thing as perfect love. A mature love is about making concessions, talking, crafting, and making it work every day.”

So the song is basically me saying, “I realize there’s no such thing as a perfect love, but I’m looking for that imperfection that will fit me perfectly.”  

Where do you draw inspiration from when creating music?

Everything around me. I change my perspective of the world and start paying attention to what the universe is telling me. I write down everything that could potentially be an idea for a song. And funny enough, many have sparked when I’m showering, haha!

You are a vocal advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. What do you hope LGBTQ+ youth take from your music and advocacy?

“To feel liberated. To tell the world their story and who they are. Not the other way around. Create your kingdom and be the Kings and Queens of your realm.”

Read more Music Interviews at ClichéMag.com
Images provided by Fabio

Young Artist Emily Vu Releases New Single “Weekend”

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Young artist Emily Vu releases new single “Weekend” while navigating the music industry. She braves the challenges of her career with her bubbly personality and catchy, hypnotic vocals. Her debut single, “What Happened, Happened”, reached over 1 million streams, demonstrating her innate talent. The artist pulls inspiration from her Southern California roots and dreams of working with Pharrell Williams. Get to know her as she celebrates her new music and just released music video.

Cliché Mag: What does your single ‘Weekend’ mean to you?

Emily Vu: My new single, “Weekend,” means everything to me. It’s the first song I’ve made where I felt like I’m coming into the genre I want to continue pursuing.

What has been like as a young woman in the music industry?

It’s pretty terrifying, if I’m being honest. Being so young and new in the music industry definitely makes it easier for me to stepped on and manipulated. I am lucky to have an amazing team that can help me through everything.

After the release of your debut singles, what are your goals for the future?

My goal for the future is to go on tour after I drop an EP. I’d love to start traveling and playing more live shows.

What are your favorite instruments to add onto a track?

You can never go wrong with a synth. Synths are my go-to sound.

Do you draw any musical inspiration from your hometown in Southern California? 

Yeah, I believe my music is inspired by Southern California and the music that is popular here.

What do you hope to share with your fans over the course of your career?

I hope to share everything about myself with them! I love being able to be myself with people and having them support what I do!

Talk about upcoming projects that you are most excited for?
I am super excited to release an EP in the future. I have no idea how soon it will be ready to be released, but it will be sometime soon! 

Follow Emily Vu
Instagram
Twitter
TikTok
Spotify
YouTube

Read more music interviews at ClicheMag.com

Images provided by Brendan Dillon

Beach Weather Chat New EP, ‘Chit Chat,’ and More

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Indie-pop group Beach Weather is a back with a new EP and an upcoming tour. The group found success with their first EP, What A Drag, which was released in 2015. Their upcoming EP, Chit Chat, is in a different style than the first and features six new songs. Here, we chat with Nick Santino, one of the three members of Beach Weather, about What A Drag, the band’s success, and touring.
Cliché: When did Beach Weather form and how did you all come together?
Nick Santino: I started Beach Weather in the spring of 2015 while I was still pursuing my solo project. I missed sharing the stage with bandmates and had the idea for the new project. I crossed paths with Austin and Reeve from playing music in the past and reached out to them about this new idea. We started touring late that same summer and here we are over a year later!
What would you say is the biggest influence to your music? Where do you find your inspiration?
We just like to create music, especially when it is new and refreshing. We don’t set out to sound like anyone else because that sound is already taken. Musically, we listen to a little bit of everything, really. I think our music specifically is influenced by all of that. We draw inspiration from everywhere.
Can you tell us about your new EP, Chit Chat? How is this EP different from your previous music?
Chit Chat came together a bit differently than the first one. We really sat down and jammed through these songs before recording them to ensure they are exactly how we want the songs to be played and to be heard.

We don’t set out to sound like anyone else because that sound is already taken.

You’re going to be touring soon. What do you enjoy most about touring?
We love playing for new crowds and meeting new people! This band is still a newer project so it’s always a thrill to see people getting into our music. We just got back from touring the UK and it was really special to see so many people in the crowds singing along.
Do you write your music together?
Yes, in several senses of the word. We write in numerous ways. Sometimes it is physically together in a room, and sometimes it is sending ideas via text message, vocal memos, or sharing lyric ideas. We live in different states, so we try to make that not affect our creative process in any way.
What has been the most exciting part of your success thus far?
It’s always exciting to release new music and see how people react to it. That never gets old. We can’t wait for everyone to hear this new EP!
If you could give one piece of advice to bands trying to make it in the industry, what would you say?
I’ve been doing this for almost 10 years and I can say from experience: if it’s something you love doing, then don’t give up on it. Take your time. Give it your all. Take breaks. Breathe. And keep moving forward. Don’t strive for success. Let it find you wherever you are.
Read more Music Interviews on ClicheMag.com
Beach Weather Chat New EP, ‘Chit Chat,’ and More: Photographed by Elliott Ingham

SEE Talks Her EP ‘Ties’ and Single ‘Potions’

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Breaking into the music scene, SEE is a multitalented up-and-coming singer/songwriter who just released her EP Ties. Here, we chat with her about her work, what inspires her, and the video for her song “Potions.”

Cliché: You just released your EP, Ties. Can you tell us a little bit about the EP and the process of making it?
SEE: The EP is a collection of songs that I’ve written about my experiences over the past few years. I would say the songs are a blend of alt-pop and rock. Some of them explore some louder electronic elements and others are more acoustic based. I worked on a few of the tracks first with Walt Dicristina, a producer out of New Jersey, and then went over to L.A. for a month and worked with Brad Wood (Smashing Pumpkins, Liz Phair, Pete Yorn). The process was incredible and I learned and grew so much from working with both of them.
What inspired you to be a musician and when did you know this is what you wanted to do with your life?
I was always interested in music from a young age, but I realized I wanted to do it professionally when I was around 15. At the time, my goal was to be the drummer in a successful band, so obviously that has changed a bit, but definitely for the better.
You’ve taught yourself how to play the drums, guitar, piano, and bass. Do you have a favorite instrument that you most enjoy playing?
It would either be the drums or the guitar; it really depends on my mood. Recently, I’ve been focusing on the guitar a lot more because that’s what I use during my live shows, but I would love to try to incorporate playing the drums into my live shows once I’ve had some success.
Who or what influences you most as an artist?
Everything that I write about is based on real feelings and emotions that I’ve had, so I think the most influential thing for me is just the people that I’m surrounded by and how I relate to them. I’ve had a ton of different musical influences growing up, from Radiohead to Katy Perry, so it’s all a big jumble. Hopefully it makes my music a bit different from what everyone else is doing!

The “Potions” music video is absolutely beautiful. Can you talk about the process of making that video?
Thank you! The director and I both wanted to make a piece that showed an honest experience between two girls without it being focused on some sort of secretive or forbidden relationship. I was lucky to have one of my good friends featured in the video and although the editing process took a while, I think we got the video to a really good place. We’ve been getting a ton of good feedback so I couldn’t be happier.
What has been the most difficult part of your music career so far?
The most difficult thing has been trying to translate everything in my head, whether it be music or visuals, to an actual “thing” that people can listen to or look at. I have a lot of concrete ideas about how I want things to look, sound, and be marketed, and with every experience I’m getting better at explaining to people what I want.
What are you most excited for in the future regarding your music?
I’m just excited to keep growing my fan base and to release art that people can connect to. We have some new music videos in the works and I can’t wait to work on those and be able to explore the visual side of my music. I’m also stoked to start touring and traveling and perfecting my live show.
Read more Music Interviews on ClicheMag.com
Photographed by Catie Laffoon

McKail Seely Talks Her EP, ‘Ride of Life’

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Singer/songwriter McKail Seely is bursting onto the music scene with her unique folk-rock vibe. Between her incredible voice and moving lyrics, she’s an artist to look out for. We got the chance to talk with her about her EP Ride of Life, as well as her journey into the music industry and what inspires her.

Cliché: When did you first know you wanted to be a singer/musician?
McKail Seely: While performing as a singer/dancer for a production team, a friend of mine would come to rehearsal with his guitar and sing songs that he wrote. That was what really inspired me to start up guitar lessons, and shortly after, I was writing my own material. I was about 13 years old at the time.
You have a very folk-rock vibe. Who or what inspired you to find your voice and identify with this style?
When I was starting out as a songwriter, I turned to Bob Dylan’s music to show me the ropes, but it wasn’t until I watched a documentary on Bob Dylan that I began to fall in love with folk. I admire the fact that it’s so simple, yet so impactful. Storytelling is such an important factor with folk music and I hope to continue that tradition. As for the rock aspect, I listened to bands such as DMB, Incubus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Counting Crows as a kid. I love the drive and grit that these bands brought out from time to time, especially within their vocals.
You moved from Salt Lake City to L.A. in 2012. What was the hardest part of leaving your hometown behind to begin this new journey?
That hardest part has definitely been living apart from my family. My family means the world to me and I’m not one for long phone conversations, so it can feel distant at times.

Be original, remember who you are, and remember why you aspired to be in the industry to begin with.

What’s the most exciting part of the success you’ve had so far?
The most exciting part has honestly been meeting incredible people within the industry and collaborating with some pretty cool cats. I was also able to open for the legendary Leon Russell and that indeed felt like a dream come true. Leon has worked with almost every legendary musician and isn’t too bad of one himself. [Winks]
What’s the most difficult part about trying to make it in the music industry?
The most difficult part would probably be gaining fans and, most importantly, keeping them. It seems to be more and more difficult these days to keep people’s attention, so therefore, artists have to work very hard on releasing content that keeps people entertained.
Do you have any projects you’re currently working on that you could tell us about?
In late 2015, I released a record called Ride of Life. I recorded four of the songs on the record with producer Zak Fox Jablow in Chicago. Most recently, I released a music video for the single “Last One” on YouTube.
What advice would you give to someone trying to make it in the music industry?
The one piece of advice I’d give is to be original, remember who you are, and remember why you aspired to be in the industry to begin with. It’s said many times before, but it’s important to stay true to yourself.
Read more Music Interviews on ClicheMag.com
Photographed by Ashley Maietta

Will Deely Interview

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Imagine it’s a cool midwest summer night and all your friends have gathered around a bonfire for some drinks and s’mores, and Will Deely is the guitarist in the corner playing heartfelt songs. I mean that in the kind of way that you remember those moments for the rest of your life. We’ve all been there. Deely is a soft-spoken artist out of Columbus, Ohio, who has toured and played with national artists such as City Lights, Spencer Sutherland, and Carter Winter. His influences include John Mayer and New Found Glory, which you can hear all over his music. On August 7, he released his first solo EP under Third String Records, and now, he is here to discuss the premiere of the music video for his newest single “Souvenir.”
Cliché: How did you get your start playing around your state?
Will Deely: I started playing in bands back when I was only 10 or 11 years old. I think my first show ever was playing my fifth grade talent show in front of my whole school. I thought it was awesome! In the years after that, I just wanted to play anywhere that would allow me to make noise with my guitar. Whether it was a basement, pizza shop, coffee shop, or restaurants, you name it, I played it. It wasn’t till high school that I started to make my way into the Columbus music scene, which ended up opening some doors for me.
The music video for “Souvenir” opens with some classic American imagery—a muscle car with an eight ball gear change, sunsets over the boardwalk, etc. The music, too, seems so relatable. Were you aiming to stylize the music video to be that way as well? Who did you work with to make your vision for this video come together?The video for “Souvenir” is something I’m still very excited about! I worked with Zach Frankart and his incredibly talented crew of filmmakers collectively known as Film Cartel LA and shot with them for two whole days out in Ventura, California. I felt that out of the five songs on my EP, “Souvenir” was the best song to have a video for since the lyrics vividly tell a story from start to finish. From there, it was just all Zach. A week after sending him the song, he sent my manager and I an email with his idea for the video and we fell in love instantly. From the locations he scouted to how he set up each shot, it just really worked with the song and brought it to life. He really hit it out of the park.
Who is the woman in the music video?
Her name is Mikaela. She’s a model from Ventura that someone in Zach’s crew thought would be a good fit for the video and they were definitely right. She killed it!
I heard you sat on this song for two years. What made this song so hard for you to put together and complete?
I just didn’t have the whole story yet. I wrote up to about the first chorus before running out of things to write about. I hit a dead end and it was the most frustrating thing because I loved what the song was up to that point.
I kept trying to force parts into it, but it sounded exactly like that—forced. Then two years went by and it’s the winter leading up to the time I booked in the studio to record my EP, and I’m fumbling around through some other half written songs, and I kinda stumbled back across that verse. Then it just instantly flowed. It just felt like I needed the rest of the story to actually happen before I could tell it.
The last verse suggests the woman in question is playing games with you, while you’re pretty dead set on her. Does this story have a happy ending?
The song is about when I first started talking to my current girlfriend, so I’d say the story ends the best way it could!
What’s the biggest thing you learned from touring with City Lights?
Playing in City Lights was such a great opportunity for me. It gave me my first opportunity to tour, which was something I had always wanted to do. The rest of the guys definitely taught me the ins and outs of living on the road in a van with five other guys. I learned quickly that there was so much more to it than just showing up and playing guitar. Touring in a van definitely isn’t the most glamorous thing, but I made so many great friends and had a blast doing so.
Do you have a tour in the works?
Nothing that I can speak on just yet, but I can assure you that will change soon!
Watch the video below.

Read more Music Interviews on ClicheMag.com
Will Deely Interview: Photographs courtesy of Mathew George

Savannah Outen Interview

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Savannah Outen, known for her excellent songwriting and YouTube presence, has just released her new single “Boys” through Nylon.com. Labeled by Billboard as a “summer-ready smash,” the track offers an earworm chorus, lovely vocal melodies, and a killer instrumental track. Outen opens up about everything from her new single to her musical vision. By Joshua Forrest
Photo by Lexie Alley at lexiealley,comCliché: First off, I loved “Boys”! It seemed like it had a lot of moving parts musically. Could you take us through the process of recording it?
Savannah Outen: So glad you loved it! Writing and recording “Boys” was such a fun journey. During the session, Jon Redwine started playing this drumline and I freaked out. The entire song was revolved around that. The recording of it was fun, too, and we actually did it on my birthday! This song is really special to me because I haven’t released original music in a while and now I know who I am as an artist and what direction I want my music to go.
What was it like working with a team of songwriters?
I love writing with people! It’s so much fun to have that energy in the room and feed ideas off of each other. I wrote this song with Chelsea Lena, who has now become one of my closest friends. I have never had such great writing chemistry with anyone before! We always have the best time. My producers Eman Kiriakou and Evan Bogart are also a joy to work with. I’ve learned SO much from them and now they are like family.
Who inspires you musically?
I am so inspired by Justin Timberlake and Celine Dion. The Weeknd, Sam Smith, and Adele are also major influences.
Do you enjoy shooting videos for your music?
I love music videos! I’ve been fortunate to shoot a few in the past. They are so much fun and it’s always an amazing thing to bring your song to life. With the “Boys” video, the director Sherif Higazy really brought my vision to reality! He was so great to work with.
Do you have any plans for an album or tour?
I’ve been writing for almost a year now for the album. “Boys” is actually one of the first songs we wrote for it. We’re going to release a few more singles before an album. I really hope touring is in the near future! That’s where my heart is. I love performing and meeting everyone that has supported me!
Looking forward, do you see this single having a big impact on your future songwriting?
I am so excited for the future! I feel like I’ve grown as a songwriter just by working with such amazing writers and producers. I learn a lot from every session I’m in. It’s such a fun process, and it’s just been a dream making this music.
Read more Music Interviews and Artists on the Rise on Clichemag.com
Savannah Outen Interview: Photo by Lexie Alley

Warped Tour: 5 Questions With Palisades

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If you don’t know who Palisades is, then you are missing out on a force that has been powering their way through the music industry since their 2012 EP, I’m Not Dying Today. Cliché received the opportunity to hang out with frontman Lou Miceli in Wantagh, NY to pick his mind on the release of Mind Games, and as well as Palisades sparking a revolution against gentrification in this “5 Questions With…” segment.
Cliché: How has Palisades brought the party to Warped Tour so far?
Lou Miceli: It has been pretty crazy being here. We party, but we aren’t usually the party band, but lately on our bus it has been busy. There is a shit ton of people coming and going from our bus! We are probably going to have to cut that down, because people who sleep in the bus probably want to, you know, sleep. Last night in Philly, it kicked my ass. We went down to South street and it totally kicked my ass with a hangover today. [laughs] It’s cool that we are known for that and people in different genres have been coming over and going, “Yo, I fucking love watching your set,” and it’s so awesome. The dudes from Knuckle Puck and Citizen told us that they love watching our sets and it is so cool, because I love pop punk. It’s really awesome to have a mutual respect for each other.
Looking around at this festival, there seems to be a trend in bands clamoring for a genre to define themselves. How do Palisades stand out against this gentrification?
We don’t have a genre. Genres fucking suck. Music is not about dividing people by what this is called or that is called. It is about bringing people together and when you put a band in a genre, you are just dividing people.  It is actually funny that you bring that up to me because I saw someone tweeted yesterday, “Come watch The Wonder Years!” and someone responded, “Fuck that band. That band sucks,” because that guy was only into hardcore music. It’s something I feel passionate about because we as a band don’t have a genre. Music is more than that and I want to read you my tweet back to that guy: “If you judge music based on bias genre opinions, you’re the most closed minded, fucking degenerate ever. Embrace music you fucking nerd.” It’s true though. I love country music, I love hip hop, and I love classical music. Anything that makes me feel good, then I love it, or even music that makes me feel sad. It’s all about feeling from the music.
DSC_9477You recently released your sophomore album, Mind Games, with the help of Erik Ron. How did Erik help you all take your frustration with the events that inspired the title/theme of Mind Games and pull it together as a whole?
Erik really brought a lot of me as a vocalist. He made me sit in a room with all of the lights off and a bunch of candles with very dim lighting. He would always stop me when I was singing something and be like, “No, dude. I didn’t feel anything from that at all,” or tell me, “This is LP 2 Lou, not LP 1 Lou. I want to feel it.”
I feel like with this album, you really feel the emotion that Erik was pulling out of me. Even on songs that are just fun songs, even with Brandon, too, you really feel it. He and I would sit together when we collaborated on the songs lyrically and some of the melodies and we would just bash out everything. We would just talk about stuff for a while and he would pick my mind on how I felt about things and we would go from there. It was really cool because I never had a producer do that with me before, you know, delve into my mind.
With Mind Games, there is a touch of the music scene that make up New York and New Jersey: rock, hip hop, rap, and the now popular EDM. What can you tell me about taking these elements and incorporating into the melting pot of sounds that is Mind Games?
We all grew up on different genres, especially from being within this area. I’m originally from New Jersey and I lived in Florida most of my life, but I am back in Jersey where the rest of the band is from. I love pop punk and punk rock music, and I always loved hip hop, hardcore — and some of the guys like metalcore. Brandon loves K Pop and J Pop music. Orlo loves Top 40 and EDM music and pop punk. We all just grew up listening to totally different music and that’s just the most unique thing about Palisades. When we write music, we are never like, “oh this needs to be heavier,” or “this needs to sound like this or that.”
In my opinion, and my band’s opinion – and we all have the same view on this – successful artists and successful musicians who have lasted never replicate. The only people who truly survive are the ones who are ready to go out there and to not be someone else. Think about it. All your favorite people in the world started genres because they decided to create something different. Replicating other musicians will only get you so far, but being truly original is when you will go far.  That is how we feel about our music, our clothing, and our brand.  I do all of the designs for Palisades, too. It’s crazy because you walk around Warped Tour and you will see a good amount of people wearing our shit. We take pride in that, too!
I’m glad you brought that up, because I wanted to talk to you about your designs. With the release of Mind Games, with not only the album art, but also with your merch designs, there is an enormous amount of Japanese influence. What inspired this theme, and what made it right for Palisades?
We are all inspired by fashion and most of us are HUGE anime nerds. If you look at Japanese, Korean, and Eastern Asian culture and fashion, they are light-years ahead of us and that is something that I’ve always been super into. Like now, I’m wearing the high socks with shorts. I think that we are one of the first bands, if not then of the few, who wore the long songs with shorts. In shorter terms: street wear. People were making fun of us and now EVERY motherfucker out here is wearing street wear in some shape or form. I really feel like kids recognize that we were the first – and I’m not talking shit here about any bands. Everyone can do what they want – but I’m happy people are acknowledging that we are the forefront and that we do it very well.
I eventually want to have my own clothing line. Right now, I am focused on making Palisades, not just as a band, but a brand. I don’t even think our stuff looks like band merch. How cool would it be if there was a Palisades pop up shop in New York, for like a day? I have a close friend in this group called Profound. They are in Urban Outfitters and Pac Sun, but how cool would it be, if he could help us get Palisades stuff in those outlets? It’s really about marketing yourself and that music will take you as far as you can, but it doesn’t hurt to have an image or a brand out there, because they go hand in hand with your music. Look at Kayne West! I mean you can hate on the man all you want, but the dude is a genius. He came with leather joggers before anyone did and they turned him down like a joke and now every motherfucker is wearing those things. Look at the Yeezys and look at his whole clothing line now.
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Warped Tour: 5 Questions With Palisades: Photos by Heather Glock

Warped Tour: 5 Questions With Emarosa

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Emarosa has been through hell and then some in the past few years. With the departure of former vocalist [and now frontman for Slaves] Jonny Craig, Emarosa took the time to plant their roots and blossom into their full potential as songwriters. With the help of now vocalist Bradley Walden, Emarosa has exploded back into the music scene with their vivid and impressionable album, Versus. We were able to catch the Bradley Walden, keyboardist Jordan Stewart, and bassist Will Sowers a few hours before their set in Wantagh, NY to discuss the trials and balances of making Versus in this segment of, “5 Questions With…”
Cliché: Bradley, when you came on board as the new vocalist for Emarosa, were you initially nervous about bridging the gap between old and new fans?
Bradley Walden:
Yes. It was a lot of stress and a lot of pressure. I think anyone coming in would have felt that. It took me a year to actually go through committing to doing this, so eventually I realized what I was exactly trying out for with the fan base and prior members. I have a good support system in this band and I walk through it now knowing that they chose me for a reason. I trust  myself of my abilities… but initially it was a nightmare! [laughs]

Was there any struggle in the beginning to make your vocal range/style flow against the instrumentals, or was there fluidity in this transition?
Bradley:
I don’t think there were any difficulties.  There is no Emarosa material that I can’t perform, aside from “This Is Your Way Out.” [laughs]
Jordan Stewart: But Chris would be willing to help you out.  We have a good working relationship with Chris.
Bradley: Yeah, I can’t touch any of that screaming stuff, but other than that, Pete and I will sit and maybe write something acoustic and now, it’s been almost two years, and people don’t realize that.  The record hasn’t even been out a year, but I’ve been in the band for like two years now.  And now there’s a different kind of relationship, especially musically, where we can just be like, “OK, write something. Let’s go.” It’s very fluid and very organic. 
DSC_9712-2Is there any of that anxiety now or do you all feel that it is time for vitriolic fans to accept not that this is ‘the new Emarosa’ but rather that this IS Emarosa?
Bradley:
Yeah, I don’t care anymore. [laughs]  This is the band that we want to be. Old fans, they can appreciate those records, because there’s still that music for them to listen to.  At the end of the day, this is what this band is.
Jordan: At the end of the day, we’re so happy with where this band is at right now that nothing else matters. We’re having the time of our lives. We play music every day, and that’s all that matters.
Will Sowers: Yeah, you know we’re responsible for the choices that we made that have put the band where it’s at, but we’re happy where we are, with Brad especially.
With the effort of commandeering Emarosa into its broader sound, can we expect less of the latter in due time?
Bradley:
We don’t know.  We’re not going to pigeonhole ourselves into a “now they’re going to be a mature rock band.” Maybe one day we’ll write a Michael Jackson song, and one day we’ll write a song that you think is Radiohead.  We’re a band.  There’s not one type of music that we have to play or have to write.
Jordan: We’re hoping to get some other tours and stuff in the future to be able to show the other side of Emarosa and show the dynamics within the band. I think that will also come in writing to, for people to see in the material that we’ll be able to put out going further.
Will: At the end of the day, no matter what is put out, you’ll still be able to know, “That is Emarosa.”
Jordan: It will be consistent. There will be a string under there.
There was a lot of pressure with the creation of Versus. Do you believe that with your works post-Versus will have more room to grow, now that Emarosa has flourished to its new potential?
Jordan: Yeah, I definitely think so. Versus wasn’t safe, by any means, but it was definitely the right record at the right time.  We got to show our legs on there. We definitely had a little fun, and definitely showed that we had been off doing some other things for a while and Bradley was able to put that all under one consistent sound and feel successfully.
Bradley: I don’t say this in a negative light, but I do think Versus is a stepping stone record for the band.  And when I say that, in the back of my head I think it makes it sound less than what it is, but it was just the right record to make for this band that that time.  It was a musical decision and an emotional decision for the band, and it had to go through that – we had to go through that process to get to where we are now.  And you can hear from the kids that come to this tour and everything that’s getting posted around that we’re in the place that we wanted to be from day one.  It just took a while.
Jordan: They’re singing back now – they’re singing Versus.
Bradley: Yeah, more kids are singing that more than any other songs.
Jordan: The other stuff feels out of context now. It feels slopped together compared to other songs.
We saw you perform with Chiodos  in April and there was no hint of nervousness when you guys took the stage. You guys just put it all out there.
Bradley:
That’s surprising. [laughs]
Jordan: We’ve come a lot further since then.
Bradley: I’m excited for you guys to see us, and to see the difference.
Jordan: We only get twenty minutes though, so we’re going to play all twenty.
Bradley: We’re going to destroy all twenty!

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Warped Tour: 5 Questions With Emarosa: Photos by Heather Glock

Warped Tour: 5 Questions With Silverstein

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On today’s 5 Questions With… segment, Shane Told and Josh Bradford of Silverstein sat down with Cliché Magazine to discuss Discovering the Waterfront anniversary as well as what changes the band have gone through since their start. Check out the interview and don’t forget to take a look at some of the photos of the band’s set in Hartford, CT below!
Cliché: As Veterans of Warped Tour, do you see any drastic changes over the years, or is the same summer camp every time?
Shane Told: The music has drastically changed. I would say everything else is almost eerily similar. I feel like I can wake up this morning and it would be, say, Kansas 2004, and I would be like, “Yup. Everything is pretty much the same!” [To Josh] Would you agree?
Josh Bradford: I would say so. I mean, there are elements where they are constant and then the smaller details in the music and the fashion are different.  I was even thinking last night: where are the skate ramps? I feel that has more of a place here than the YouTubers.
Shane: Woah. You’re being controversial at the moment!
Josh: [laughs]
With being around for substantial amount of time, do you struggle to keep up with the whole social media movement in the industry, or do you just take it one day at a time?
Shane: Not at all. I would say that we are on the cutting edge of that shit. Someone at one point referred to us as a Myspace band, which I thought was funny because we were a band before Myspace was even around! I guess that is an accurate statement in some ways, but Myspace has gone by the way side and became Nospace, but whatever. We’ve always embraced the new shit social media spits out. I think we even had an Ello account…
Josh: Oh my god, we did.
Shane: Which never panned out! We were one of the first bands on Vine and on Instagram. We are always on that stuff and I guess as you would say veterans or old guys, but we’ve always understood the importance of that stuff.
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With your 10 year anniversary tour, you brought along Beartooth, Hands Like Houses, and Major League, who are all pushing through the industry with new sounds. Were you looking to embrace your legacy with Discovering the Waterfront with the up and coming revolutionary music in the industry?
Shane: Yes. When you do a tour like that, an anniversary for an album that you wrote ten years ago, there is kind of two ways you can approach it. You can bring out older bands who were with you during that time frame, or you can do what we chose to do and take on the future and pushed ahead. Not only are the bands the next generation, but we have a hand in influencing those bands. The drummer from Beartooth was quoting our DVD from our first album and it is so cool to see that we have been influencing some of these bands that in ten years, they will be doing their own ten year anniversaries. It is a better approach from bringing out fellow bands from those years ago and to leave things in the past. We are a band pushing towards the future as well with our new album. We are promoting that album on the tour as well. That’s important to us; the future.
Looking back on Discovering The Waterfront, do you feel as though you’ve learned as how you have evolved as a person?
Josh: I found myself thinking that a little bit as we were playing those shows. It was always nice in the set when we came to playing tracks off of Discovering the Waterfront, because it was like, “these songs are not so difficult!” They tell of the time when we wrote them when we were a little bit less experienced. I think they are comfortable and solidified us in our place in the industry, but as Shane said, we are here to move forward now. It’s pretty nice!
Shane: One cool thing is when we started practicing and looking back, for me as the main lyricist, when I looked back on the words, I was able to put myself where I was 10 year ago writing these words and I remembered what I was thinking when I read the lyrics. It’s interesting, because when I look back on those words, I just think, “Man, you are such an idiot! Why did you ever think that way?” There are also moments, when I look at other songs and I go, “Oh yeah, I remember feeling that way.” Maybe reading it now helps my current self understand where I’ve been and helps me where I am at this moment. It was a bit refreshing in some ways and I would say a bit emotional some times in remembering some stuff that happened in the recording process and overall in the memory of it.
In regards to the new album, what made you want to compose a concept record that is geographical? Can this be taken to be an autobiography of the band’s experiences since you started?
Shane: Yes. It almost touches on what I was just saying before about doing the album shows and reflecting back, because when we were writing the new album when we were playing the Discovering the Waterfront shows, it had us thinking back to the last 15 years of us being a band. I think that is where the idea stemmed from; looking back. I wasn’t sure how autobiographical it was going to be, but when I sat down and started writing, that’s what came out from it. Geographically, it made sense because it was we have been doing the better part of our adult life. We’ve been touring and going to these different cities and having all these experiences, so for us it made sense to write about them.
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Warped Tour: 5 Questions With Silverstein: Photos by Heather Glock

Diamante Interview

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Diamante is an unprecedented force in the pool of rising artists; she brings a hard-hitting rock edge to the party-so-hard mentality permeating pop music today. Her new single “There’s a Party In My Pants (And You’re All Invited)” is the third single to be released off her new EP Dirty Blonde; her second single “Bite Your Kiss” hit #3 on Billboard’s Hot Singles chart and the music video has garnered nearly 300,000 views on YouTube. Below, we chat with this fiery young artist and get a glimpse of the inspiration behind the EP and her future plans. By Joshua Forrest
6Cliché: Who or what are your major musical influences?
Diamante: My biggest musical influences are female rock icons from the ‘80s, like Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, Stevie Nicks, Debbie Harry, etc.
You’re currently on tour with Flyleaf and other female artists as part of the Hottest Chicks of Hard Rock 2015. How does it feel to be working with all these talented women?
I was really nervous and excited at the same time because not only is it my first real tour, but the line-up is incredible! It’s been such great exposure and it’s definitely insane to me because I remember being only fifteen and listening to Flyleaf in my room all the time. It’s been a humbling experience, and I’ve learned so much from these women.
You’ve achieved a lot at the young age of 18! Where do you see yourself musically in the next few years?This last album is definitely more free-spirited and not very serious, but it’s so much fun to write and perform on stage. I’m in the point in my life where all I want to do is have a good time and be fearless, so the music I’m making reflects that. In the future, however, I can see myself writing more serious music. I am going to be heading back into the studio soon, and my vision for it is edgier and heavier. I really want to make authentic rock ‘n’ roll with an ‘80s feel.
What current artists do you enjoy listening to?
My musical taste is very broad because I appreciate all genres. I really enjoy listening to bands/artists like Paramore, Halestorm, Florence and the Machine, No Doubt, Dorothy, PVRIS, and In This Moment. I’m very drawn to music with grit.
We noticed that you’re very active on social media; do you think that’s important for artists?
Yes. In such an electronic age, I believe that social media is ESSENTIAL for artists. If I were not in the entertainment business, I wouldn’t even have it, but it’s crucial for being in contact with fans and for getting your name out there. On top of that, unfortunately, numbers mean everything.
When can we expect a full-length LP?
Very soon! When I’m not on the road touring, I will be spending countless hours in the studio working on new material. I’m very excited for what is coming next.
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Diamante Interview: Photos by Curtis Noble