Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

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Saturday, November 9, 2013

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Interview: Doe B

Interview: Doe B

Doe B's got some real power. You can hear it on "Let Me Find Out" and Baby Jesus [mixtape link]. He hits each verse with true grit reminiscent of Biggie and Tupac Shakur, but with a distinct energy that's all his own. Donning an eye patch and boasting a formidable presence, he's got the presence to take the game over. Doe B has arrived. Tell your favorite rapper to be afraid...

In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Doe B talks "Let Me Find Out", Baby Jesus, and so much more.

What ties Baby Jesus together for you?

It's really everything I was going through at that point in time. I really put a lot into the songs during that period. It all went into the Baby Jesus project.

Is it important for you to tell stories in your songs?

Most definitely! It's more about life experience. Everything I put into songs, I've either seen it or done it. I thought the name was funny. Ol' Dirty Bastard used to call himself "Baby Jesus". I used to think that was hilarious. I just went with it.

What's the story behind the last song on the mixtape "Smile"?

That's my favorite and a lot of people's favorite. It's about things I was going through at the time. You've got to smile no matter what. Everybody goes through things in their lives. You've got to smile. Somebody in my life was having a rough time. I wanted to get the message out there. Haters can say what they want to say. I'll still smile. It doesn't matter. If you're successful, sometimes people will dislike you for no reason. I'll smile no matter what.

What does "Let Me Find Out" mean to you?

I shot a video for it last year in August. Instantly, when I got the call to come to Interscope in New York, they said it sounded like something T.I. needed to be on. Four months ago, Juicy J did his verse. Then, T.I. was fitting to get on the record because we got him. He called me though, and he told me he wanted to meet me before got on the record. We went out to eat in Atlanta. He said, "I want to go further with the partnership than this one record". That opened the door. It's the song that sparked everything off for me. That'd be the most memorable song. I was always into Three 6 Mafia so it was dope having Juicy J on the track. T.I. is one of my favorites.

If you were to compare the mixtape to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?

I'd say Paid in Full. It's my favorite movie [Laughs]. It reminds me so much of my lifestyle. Anybody who knows Doe B knows I related to that movie.

What artists shaped you?

T.I. and The Hot Boys were huge for me. Then, I'd say Master P.

Where do you see yourself going on the full-length album?

I hope it goes platinum [Laughs].


Interview: Emily Kinney of "The Walking Dead"

"I've been writing little poems and stories for a really long time," says singer-songwriter and The Walking Dead (TV Series) star Emily Kinney. "I write about how I feel about things. It's my place to be really honest".

Not only is her new EP, Expired Love [iTunes link], heartfelt and honest, but it's also instantly irresistible. Kinney delivers these personal and poetic little tales with pure passion and a lithe levity. It makes for one of the most delightful albums you'll hear all year and the perfect introduction to the wonderful and whimsical musical world of Emily Kinney.

In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Emily Kinney talks Expired Love, artists that shaped her, the show, and so much more.

Is storytelling an important aspect of songwriting for you?

Yeah, I feel like it is. It's the place where I can be like, "No, actually I feel this way". In "Julie", I say, "I am better than that girl" [Laughs]. I feel like it's the place where I can make sense of things that have happened or take a feeling that's upsetting and put it into a song. In some ways, then it can feel lighter and happier. It makes more sense to me. I use songwriting as a way to definitely work through things for myself. It's so great to have people tweeting certain lines from the songs at me. They'll say, "That's exactly how I feel" or something. It's extremely satisfying to put some of my thought out there and have people tell me they love a line or they feel the same way. It's been really fun.

That comes across. You're being very open and honest, but the music is still catchy. It's the perfect balance.

I usually have a line, and it fits into some sort of melody. I'll keep saying the line over and over again, and it'll fit into this in a certain way. Then, it'll feel like the right way to sing it. For some reason, that tends to be a little more upbeat for me. Or, I'll play some chords on the guitar and see how they fit in. Conrad Korsch produced one of the tracks—"Masterpiece". Caleb Shreve, who has produced for a bunch of different people, produced the other ones. They both had listened to the songs and had their ideas too. They helped shape the songs for sure.

What ties Expired Love together for you? Is there a thread throughout all of them?

There is a thread for me because I can remember where I was when I thought of the idea or I remember what inspired the songs. When I decided to name it Expired Love, I thought of a few things. One of the main lines in "Masterpiece" is about "a masterpiece made in the rain meant to wash away". Sometimes, we do have these great relationships where you fall in love, but they're not going to be there forever. That's like most things in life. Expired Love is what happens when that's over? Where do you put that love? Does it just disappear? Do you have to work through it in some way? "Doctor" is a fun song like, "Oh, let me be your doctor". It's also saying, "You're heartbroken. I've been there too. How can we get through this? Let's have fun! Let's drink" [Laughs]. All of the songs deal with that a little bit. What happens after that?

What's the story behind "Masterpiece"?

I came up with the chorus first. I wrote almost the whole thing in a couple of hours. It had been a story building up. What inspired me was just that idea in Washington Square Park on a really sunny day someone will do these amazing chalk drawings. I remember walking past them and thinking about how the next day there might be a rain storm and the drawings will be completely gone or someone will come through and clean them all off. There are so many things like that in New York. You'll walk by a little band playing. You really have to enjoy the moment you're in. Sometimes, there are unique people you have this amazing connection, but they're not going to be in your life forever. That's what has inspired me. Sometimes, you have these beautiful days in New York, but they only last a day. Or, you'll have this amazing connection with someone you meet that you weren't expecting like on a plane or something like that. It's not something that will be in your life in a real permanent, solid way. It sticks with you. I guess writing the song was a way to try to make it stick with me.

It feels like you preserve a lot of moments throughout the EP especially on "Kids"?

I'm in my twenties, but I'm always cast to play a teenager or college age. That's where the inspiration for that came from. So many of my friends are the same way. I did this show called Spring Awakening, and so many of us were playing teenagers, but we were all around the same age. I end up becoming friends with and dating other people who are tapping into that part of their lives—even if they're a little bit ahead in real life. One of the stories I tell at shows is when I met my last boyfriend he said to me, "We have the same disease". He wasn't talking about something bad [Laughs]. However, we're both mistaken for kids a lot even when we're out with people. We'll hear, "How's high school?" That was one way we related to each other.

Do acting and music come from different places creatively for you? Or, do they entwine at all?

I think they do affect each other. Especially lately when I'm writing songs, I'll think, "Huh, why is that coming up for me so much?" Maybe it's something my character has been through. They both feed each other in a certain way. Performing live on stage is very helpful for theater. They do come from different places. With acting, a lot of times, you're hired by someone else to do the job. You fall in love with the script. I love taking on someone else's life, imagining what it's like to be them, and wondering what I would do in the same situation. I still bring a lot of myself, but it's still serving the writing and the character. In my own material, I'm the driver. I write it. I decide when the shows are going to be. I write the lyrics and the music. Lots of times, I use a lot of my life to inspire it or a friend's life. It's satisfying in that way. I think one reason I started writing a lot was you do have these moments in your acting career where you're not working. Between shows, especially before The Walking Dead, if I had a couple of months where I wasn't working on something or there were no auditions that week, I'm still a creative person. I wanted to be performing, and writing my own songs is a way to do that.

If you were to compare the Expired Love EP to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?

Oh wow…gosh, that's so hard. You know what movie comes to mind, and it's sort of random? Have you ever seen that movie P.S. I Love You? In that film, Hilary Swank is really dealing with a lot of grief. That movie is so sad. I remember watching it for the first time with my older sister. Maybe I'm just a crybaby, but I remember being really dramatic [Laughs]. Even though I had been out of a relationship for a while with this person but had been doing a lot of the back and forth, watching that movie was how I felt. It was like, "This is completely over". No, this person hasn't died like the guy in the movie [Laughs]. However, he was this really important person, and the relationship was so far gone and over to me. That movie deals with a lot of that too. She has all of these memories and doesn't know where to place them. Then, she tries to date someone else. That's the first thing that comes to mind for some reason. I haven't seen that movie for a while. Nellie McKay is in that movie. She's a great songwriter. I like her stuff too.

What artists shaped you?

When I was a kid, I was in Nebraska, and I listened to Casey Kasem's Top 40 so I loved Mariah Carey [Laughs]. I remember loving Aerosmith. I loved all female singers. I loved Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and TLC. Now, I listen to so much music. So much of what I'm listening to is influenced by the music scene in New York. Once I moved to New York City, I started going to Rockwood and Bar4. It's how I met my first friends, and that's the music I started listening to. Now, I listen to Bright Silence, Lowry, and Frightened Rabbit. Of course I love Regina Spektor and Ingrid Michaelson. It's a huge range of music. Of course, I love musical theater too. I feel like I'm influenced quite a bit by my friends who are musicians.

What's next for you?

Right now, I'm still working on The Walking Dead. We're not done with Season 4 until the last week of November. I do have a couple of gigs in Atlanta coming up. They have this convention called "Walker Stalker Con" in a few weekends. A bunch of people from the show is coming, but my band is also coming down from New York and we're going to play. I'm also playing other shows too. I already have ideas for recording again too [Laughs]. I want to try writing with more people. I'll be doing a lot more shows.


Joey Jordison Talks Scar The Martyr, New Slipknot, and Remixing Puscifer

The best way to get to know Joey Jordison is to listen to Scar The Martyr's self-titled debut.

It's the perfect representation of both his uncanny songwriting ability and his penchant for an expansive and entrancing soundscape. The Slipknot drummer's perception of a different kind of heavy becomes clear over the course of this personal, passionate, and powerful record. Sit back, close your eyes, and let Scar The Martyr take control.

In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Joey Jordison discusses Scar The Martyr in-depth, talks touring with Korn and Rob Zombie, and what to expect from Slipknot's full-length on the horizon.

Do you feel like the four bonus tracks—"Flatline & Fracture", "Digging For Truth", "Coat of Arms", and "Complications"—crystallize the entire vision of Scar the Martyr?

Yeah, it's strange. In this day and age when you're making an album, it's not like the old days where you'd put out a live record with thirty songs on it and people would actually sit and down and listen to all thirty songs. I would like to put all of the songs on the record, but it's weird the way you have to play the game with iTunes and things like that. There's that business thing. Without the four bonus songs, you definitely get a record. However, those other four kind of conclude it. You're right. 

Where do those four go for?

The thing that makes those songs so special, as a whole, is they kind of have a throwback feel to latter eighties thrash metal. Those songs didn't really fit in where the record was going overall. When I would throw them in, it would adjust the mood a little bit too much. When you put all of those songs together, it's almost like it becomes its own special EP or separate record, you know what I mean?

Absolutely, there's a thread from "Flatline & Fracture" to "Complications".

Yeah, it's cool. The way we recorded the "Complications" cover from Killing Joke was very tight, very thrash-y, and very upbeat. So, it still fits in with the feel of those previous songs. If we would've done it like the original, it would've been a lot looser and not as distorted. It wouldn't have been as tight. It would've been more new wave-sounding. We didn't want that. I like playing that song because it's eighth notes all the way through, but it's got a punk rock feeling. Here's another thing. Those songs are in the same key. They're in a thrashier key. They're up in C where a lot of the songs are down in lower keys on the album. That also brings a lot of energy up in those types of songs. That's why they sound great altogether. That was the initial plan to have those songs be their own thing.

Where did "Flatline & Fracture" come from?

It didn't really come from anywhere. I can't pinpoint the exact the time, but it was from one of the first demo sessions I did when I went in to demo things for this. Some of those songs were demoed at the same time. It was a separate session from the time I did the rest of the record in though. I was in a more upbeat, higher tuning, thrashier, and headbanging mode when I went in to do those. It just all came out at the same time. They were all written together. That's why they all fit. It's not like I just had this B-Side or that B-Side that you hear bands put out a lot of the time and each song sounds completely different. These four sound like they fit within the same type of ideal or feeling. That's why I specifically kept them together.

What's the story behind "White Nights in a Day Room"?

It's weird. Sometimes, the scariest track you don't know how people are going to react to will be a standout. However, you don't know if it's going to be a good thing or a bad thing. Usually, those are the songs that end up being the shining stars on the record when they have that initial feeling from the artist. You're like, "I don't know if anyone is going to like this because it's so different". What you don't know as an artist is you're actually putting out a part of your soul you haven't let anybody else hear yet. When you reveal it, people just freak out and they realize, "Man, this guy's got something else to say". That's where that song came from.

Do you feel like your showing different parts of your soul throughout the album? This is a Joey Jordison the world hasn't seen or heard before…

It is. That was the whole point. If I was going to do another record, I had to go into different realms and territories I hadn't experimented on before. There's no reason going in and just doing a black metal project, a death metal project, a straight post-punk project—or whatever you want to call any of the genres. I wanted to encompass so many different styles. If I was going to put out something else at this point in my career, it had to be something that was very unique and stood apart. Take or leave it, I had to be one-hundred percent happy with it, and I think the record turned out absolutely amazing.

What was the most rewarding aspect of this trip? There must've been some scary moments starting with a blank slate…

There was. That's part of the excitement of the journey though. When I first started the whole thing, I thought, "Man, is it really going to be worth it? Is it going to turn out the way I want it to? Are people going to understand my vision? Are any of the fans going to like it?" Then I realized, "I've got to throw all that shit out!" I just stopped worrying about anyone's opinions or what anybody thought. That really resulted in the sound of the record. I just sunk myself into the project. This music and me are all that matters right now. I'm not worried about any results or anything like that. Once I had that freedom within my soul to just say, "Fuck it", that's when the songs started to take shape. Once I'm loose with my writing, I'm not worried about it, and I'm not trying to impress anybody, that's when the song goes wham all the way forward! Once I'm not stifled by anybody and I'm not trying to fit anywhere or live up to anything, I wasn't doing anything that. I just had fun writing the record.

It feels liberated.

On the first listen, you sort of get it. You know you're either going to like it, or you're going to hate it. The thing is, even if you kind of like it, the more you listen to it, you'll realize. From a lot of my experiences and mine, I get more and more into it the more I listen to it. There's so much shit on that record musically and subliminally. There are so many paths and moods. It's not easily digestible on the first couple of listens. There's always something that pulls you back to listen again. That's when you start listening to other parts. My best example is this. One song will be your favorite one day. All of a sudden, another one will be your favorite. It's not like there are only three songs that stand out. You can tell when stuff is filler. That's what's really good about the record. There's so much in it to keep surprising you when you listen to it.

You're speaking through the music as much as Henry is through the lyrics.

Yeah, it's a definite marriage there. That also goes back to when I was auditioning singers to find the right guy. You can put heavy vocals on heavy guitar riffs. However, a lot of these riffs, as heavy as they might sound, they're almost poppy in a sense. There are massive hooks even with as heavy as they are. The vocals had to be something special to make the riffs shine out. It was difficult to find a singer who was matching what these songs called for. I tried a lot of vocalists and no one was working until I found Henry. He was the perfect vocalist for this band.

How did you come up with the visual presentation?

A lot of it had to do with me trying to figure out what I wanted to do visually with this band. Especially with the album cover and the images within it, I wanted to encapsulate the visuals I was seeing while listening to this. That's what I love about art and music together. When I listen to songs, I see a color. Some songs might make me think of the color red. Or some songs, I might think of the color purple. This song might make me feel gray or totally black. I see colors. That's the way I approach the art as well. Travis Smith, who did the art, totally got my vision and helped me bring it to life.

So, you see music in visual terms?

It's always in colors and visuals. That always helps me with the guitar riffs. It can go vice versa. It can be a visual or a feeling that inspires a guitar riff. Or, I might just have something I need to get out and that will make me something for the art later on.

What Scar the Martyr songs have benefited from the crowd reaction live?

It's different. One song that I knew was great, but I didn't know how it would translate live was "Cruel Ocean". Live, man, people sing along to it. It seems like one of the more bright points of the set whereas some songs are more charged. "Blood Host" or "Dark Ages" have more of a violent mood. Then, there are super syrup-y, dark, and low moments we have to end our show with after the aural attack like "Last Night on Earth". That's why we ended the record with that. It goes hand-in-hand with the record. When I was constructing everything with the record, it was almost like I was going through the moods I wanted to go through live.

Now, you're about to tour with two bands you've played drums for.

It's really ironic [Laughs]. Going on this tour, I've played for both bands, and now this band is opening. It's really weird how it all came together. I'm super psyched to be a part of it. It should be a great time.

Did you see the Rock is Dead tour when Korn and Rob Zombie first hit the road together?

I was actually working at the time and couldn't go!

They've also both influenced you.

They both have been an influence. I'm a fan of both bands. It's weird how things come full circle. With the success of Slipknot and us establishing ourselves as a force to be reckoned with and one of the main staples out in metal now, having these guys become my peers, they're bands I've listened to since before Slipknot even got big. Now, Scar the Marty gets to go out and open. It's cool how everything unfolds together. I just saw Jonathan Davis, and he loves the record. We're excited for the tour. It's going to be a homecoming. I'll probably spend a lot of time on Jonathan's bus. We're just really close. For me, it's coming home. It's going to be one of the most special tours I can ever remember doing.

Was working with Maynard James Keenan on the Puscifer remix you did a dream come true?

It was really weird when I got the call to do that remix. I had never met Maynard before or anything like that. My name came up. He was doing the remix record. I had done one for Marilyn Manson. It was "The Fight Song". Somehow, it came up again for me to do a remix. He sent me the material and was like, "Do whatever you want!" I was like, "Alright!" I went in, got a bunch of crazy samples, and re-did the drums. I put guitars over the thing and female vocals as well as auxiliary percussion. He let me go wild with it, and it came out awesome.

How do you feel going into the next Slipknot record?

It's going to be the transition I think it needs to be at this point in our lives. I think it's going to be easy going into the record. Everyone is in a good headspace. Like with every Slipknot record, every one of them is so different. With the excitement around making another Slipknot record alone, I know it's going to be amazing. That's with us just getting into the room seeing each other and knowing we're going to make a record. That vibe alone already sets up the record to be astounding. Once we're together and we know we're making a record, all bets are off. There are no limits. There's no specific type of formula we're trying to fit into. We're not worried about radio. This one will be the first since Paul Gray passed. It's going to be an amazing Slipknot album. I'm super excited for it. It's going to be well worth the wait.

Did you have fun playing with Unlocking The Truth?

Oh yeah! We met them all. We handpicked them to open up the Scar The Martyr show in New York. They were absolutely great. We hung out with them, and they were really cool! I remember being exactly like that. It puts a smile on my face [Laughs].