Viewing entries tagged
Aztec Sun

11/20/18 - All Music Episode

We have so many artists and songs we've been wanting to share that we took a week without a guest or news so we could concentrate on playing more music!

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  1. Red Line, by AZTEC SUN (Funk/Soul)

  2. Callout to the Nation, by M4TR (Rock/Hard Rock)

  3. State Radio, by Black Dog Prowl (Hard Rock/Grunge)

  4. Roman, by Better Homes (Hard Rock/Alternative Rock)

  5. Challenger Deep, by Sydney Franklin (R&B/Soul)

  6. Anymore, by Alex Vaughn (R&B)

  7. Gravelly Point, by Mackenzie Fisher (Indie/Singer-Songwriter)

  8. The Adventurer, by Jason Masi (Rock/Acoustic)

  9. Hold On, by Lori Williams (Jazz/Neo-Soul)

  10. Dark Days, by Color Palette (Pop/Electro)

  11. Be Better, by Nah. (Indie/Psychedelic Rock)

  12. The Weekend’s Coming, by Vegas With Randolph (Pop/Power Pop)

->’This Week’s Dose Of DC Music’ Spotify Playlist<-

->’DC Music Rocks Show’ MEGA Spotify Playlist<-

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For those who don't already conveniently get all this via email!


Do you like what we're doing?  Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
**Daniel Warren Hill**    **David Mohl**    **Eli Lev**
**Sarah Byrne**   ** M4TR (Music 4 The Revolution)**


We're looking for local businesses to sponsor us!  Know One?  Would you introduce us to them?

DC Music Rocks All Music Episode Nov 20 2018

3/6/18 - Some of Brian's All Time Favorite Jams - All Music Episode

We're on Spring Break here at DC Music Rocks.  Brian's put together an episode of some of his favorite tracks which he'll be jamming out to during this vacation, we wanted to share them with you too!  Turn it up for this one!  

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Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice




  1. Be Your Baby, by Katie Hargrove (Pop)

  2. WDYG (Where Did You Go), by All The Best Kids (Hip Hop/Pop)

  3. Vapor, by Black Dog Prowl (Hard Rock)

  4. The Remedy, by Dr. Badlove & The Remedies (Hip Hop)

  5. Simple Reunion, by The Jones (Hard Rock)

  6. Pa Ra Ra, by Aztec Sun (Funk)

  7. Send Me, by Stone Driver (Hard Rock)

  8. Mrs. Piano, by Kenny Sway (R&B)

  9. The West Texas Blues, by Fellowcraft (Rock)

  10. Gotta Have Your Love, by Area 301 (Hip Hop)

  11. Annabelle, by Carter Lou & The Project (Rock)

  12. Red Flag, by Cassie Urbany (Rock)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-



Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
**Daniel Warren Hill**    **David Mohl**    **Eli Lev**
**Sarah Byrne**   **Music 4 The Revolution (Abu Jibran)**

3-6-18 All Music Social B4.jpg

12/12/17 - Special Guest: Aaron Miller, of DC Sound Company 'Gold Pants Rentals'

Thanks to Aaron Miller, of Gold Pants Rentals & bassist for local cover band The Perfectionists, for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

^^Episode Audio/Post Is Live - Click Above (might need to buffer/load, refresh page if you have any issues)^^

Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice




  1. Chemical, by The CooLots (Rock, Soul)
  2. Confetti, by allthebestkids (Hip Hop, Alternative Hip Hop)
  3. Purple, by Black Dog Prowl (Hard Rock, Grunge)
  4. Magdela, by Prah Dukt (Hard Rock, Alternative)
  5. Revolution (The People Will Rise Again), by AZTEC SUN (Funk, Soul)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


We collaborated with the team over at Listen Local First and put together a holiday playlist of exclusively DC region artist’s holiday music.  It’s about 4 hours long!  Finally, a way to celebrate the holidays without those same old tired Holiday Tunes!  It will play at local businesses as well as events around town for the holidays.  We hope you’ll use it at your get togethers as well!

DC Music Rocks T-shirts and Long Sleeve Shirts are up on our website and available through Amazon, they make a great gift idea for your musician friends and family for the holidays!  Men’s, Women’s, and Youth sizes are even available in the T-shirts!

It’s a great opportunity for local businesses!  If you have ideas on who would make great sponsors, please do reach out to us!



Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


Dec 15 Fri
Soldiers of Suburbia & His Dream Of Lions @ Epicure Cafe in Fairfax, VA
“Cool Yule W/ Mark G Meadows” @ Kentland’s Mansion in Gaithersburg, MD
Throwing Plates @ Mason Inn just north of Georgetown in NW DC

Dec 16 Sat
Killer Deluxe @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA
Two Ton Twig & The VA Southpaws at Rock N Roll Hotel on H St in NE DC

Dec 20 Wed
French Admirals @ Slash Run in Petworth (in NW DC)

Dec 21 Thu
The 9 Holiday Holiday Extravaganza @ The Kenndy Center Millenium Stage by Foggy Bottom (in NW DC)


Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do more!  We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more!  We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward!

HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons! 
--Daniel Warren Hill  --David Mohl

Aaron Miller of Gold Pants Rentals



Aaron Miller.jpg

Without music, life would not be fair. Born in CT, grew up in NJ, live in DC. I started and run a PA rental and sound services business called GoldPants Rentals. I'm the bassist in local cover band The Perfectionists. I'm the operations manager for a full service storage company called MakeSpace Storage.

I'm a self-taught live sound engineer, and have taken some studio recording/mixing classes with local engineer Howard Rabach. I'm also self-taught on bass, guitar and ukulele...but classically trained on the piano. I have a melodica that’s a ton of fun to play. I recommend any keyboardist picking one up; it’s like $40 and a sure-fire way to annoy a significant other.

Gold Pants Rentals.jpg
The Perfectionists.jpg


Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. Aaron Miller started and runs a PA rental and sounds services business called Gold Pants Rentals. He was born in Connecticut, grew up in New Jersey and now is living in DC. Aaron's the bassist for the local cover band The Perfectionists, so he knows what it's like to be a performer and that live, that performance side of things. He's also a self-taught live sound engineer, and has taken some studio, recording and mixing classes with local engineer Howard [Rivuck 00:00:36]. Also he's self-taught on bass, guitar and ukulele, but he does have classical training in the piano. Holy smokes, Aaron. That's a lot of stuff, man. And I've worked with this guy. I've played shows with The Perfectionists, with his band, I've also worked with him as a sound guy, and he's just overall a freaking amazing guy. So thank you for being here with me today, man.

Aaron Miller:     Well gee thanks. Thanks for having me.

Brian:     Absolutely. Not so talk about, we brought up some things here, so what is it ... talk about Gold Pants Rentals and what makes it special.

Aaron Miller:     Yeah, so I started the company because well for a few reasons. One I had recently been laid off from my day job and I really wanted to build a business, and build another stream of income so I wouldn't be caught with my pants down, so to speak.

Brian:     Not with your gold pants down?

Aaron Miller:     My gold pants down, yeah. If you dig deep enough into my Facebook profile, you will find the picture to which my business name refers.

Brian:     Oh my God, don't tease me like that. Okay, got it.

Aaron Miller:     Yeah, you're going to have to do-

Brian:     So you're going to have to share that.

Aaron Miller:     ... some serious, serious Facebook stalking.

Brian:     Okay.

Aaron Miller:     I started the business, I was looking for a niche, and my band we, as a cover band, we play venues that typically don't have any sort of PA or sound engineer, or if they do it's very minimal. Usually half the channels are broken, like it's tough to put on a good show if you don't have the right gear, and I was chatting with Miles, because he owns-

Brian:     Seven Drum City.

Aaron Miller:     ... Seven Drum City, and he said, "Yeah, I get requests for a PA all the time and I just can't take it off my walls and rent it out, but I think that that would be something that people would be interested in." So I did some more research. I put together a basic rig, and just sort of hit go, and people for whatever reason keep hiring me, which is great.

Brian:     Yeah, and what is forever ... you said for whatever reason, what makes Gold Pants special? What is it even?

Aaron Miller:     Well I've researched my competition and I think we occupy this sort of niche between the really, really high-end pro shops that will drop a stage in the middle of a field and Paul McCartney can play there, and then guys who will just put up an ad on Craigslist and just keeping renewing it. Hey, you know rent my rig, come visit me and I'll set you up with gear. I wanted something with a professional feel but also more of a home-y type of touch. So you can go to my website, you can rent all my gear through my website.

Brian:     What is the website?

Aaron Miller:

Brian:     Got it, okay.

Aaron Miller:     I don't know why Gold Pants was taken, but otherwise ...

Brian:     And while you're at it, check out what is, but then go to goldpantsllc. Got it, okay.

Aaron Miller:     All my prices are upfront. Service fees and rental fees, and I just try to be really upfront and you know what you're getting. Once you know that, I deliver. I'm going to be there early, I'm going to have everything you need. If something does break, I'll have a replacement there. I'll take care of you, I'll make sure your show goes on.

Brian:     So it's like a full service thing but it's not at a huge incredible price. It's a good deal.

Aaron Miller:     I think it's a very good value for what we provide, yeah.

Brian:     That's amazing, man. Alright, and so now gold pants, tell the story. We don't have the picture, but tell the story. Were you wearing gold pants? Why is it called Gold Pants?

Aaron Miller:     Alright, so I don't drink a lot, which ends up making me a very lightweight when I do drink, and I don't know maybe 10 years ago, I went to a New Year's Eve party. The New Year's Eve party was 70's themed, and my girlfriend now wife, at the time she married me, whatever reason, she married me.

Brian:     Because you're an amazing dude, and she's an amazing woman. I love it.

Aaron Miller:     She was wearing a set of gold tights. She looked spectacular in them. I thought I would look even more spectacular in them-

Brian:     Oh please tell me you put them on.

Aaron Miller:     I surely did, and-

Brian:     Stop it.

Aaron Miller:     Yes.

Brian:     Oh, that's awesome. Okay.

Aaron Miller:     So when I did something so dumb as to start my own business, I thought I would name it after that dumb thing I did in my twenties.

Brian:     Oh my God, that's amazing.

Aaron Miller:     Yeah.

Brian:     And now it's turning out that both of those ended up being smart things that you did.

Aaron Miller:     Yeah, like-

Brian:     You started a business and you put on some gold pants and came up with a name for your business.

Aaron Miller:     Yeah, I think so.

Brian:     I love it. Oh my God, that's amazing. What's your DC region connection? You said you was some from New Jersey. When did you get here?

Aaron Miller:     Well I went to GW. New Jersey's greatest export is college students, because we all want to leave.

Brian:     Okay, got it.

Aaron Miller:     So I went to GW. I got a job at the now defunct DC Snacks. We were such a stoner company. We would deliver ice cream and cigarettes to you at 2 in the morning. From there I went to another DC institution, Georgetown Cupcake. I handled their local deliveries, and then I ran their national shipping business.

Brian:     Holy smokes.

Aaron Miller:     Then I started delivering flowers for a company called H Bloom, and from there, yeah-

Brian:     So basically you've been at all these different businesses, but how long ago did you get to DC?

Aaron Miller:     I guess-

Brian:     What year would have that been?

Aaron Miller:     ... in 2005, fall of 2005.

Brian:     2005.

Aaron Miller:     Yeah.

Brian:     Wow. Amazing time, and now look at you. You got this wife that looks great in gold pants apparently, and-

Aaron Miller:     Not as good as me.

Brian:     ... this cool business. Not as good as you, though.

Aaron Miller:     No.

Brian:     Yes, we did establish this. My God, if we ever do an event, you're going to have to wear the gold pants one time, just I don't know, for old times' sake. That's amazing. Alright, now talk about you on the personal side. What do you do as hobbies or outside of all this work that you do?

Aaron Miller:     Well, you know it's when I'm done for the weekend, I really like to unwind with my wife Caroline. We binge watch Netflix a lot. I mean I know-

Brian:     Excellent.

Aaron Miller:     ... that's pretty-

Brian:     What are you watching?

Aaron Miller:     ... standard. Right now we're watching Mindhunters which is-

Brian:     I've heard such good things.

Aaron Miller:     ... amazingly creepy. It'll give you bad dreams, so yeah-

Brian:     Oh man, alright. Got it. So Mindhunters for nightmares, got it. Okay.

Aaron Miller:     So then on a lighter side we're watching Maron, which is Marc Maron's, I guess it's sitcom, or his show about his, you know, sort of a great comedian, not a great guy really. Just you know show the-

Brian:     I got it, yeah. Oh man, amazing. So a little bit of Netflix. Any other stuff that you do to kind of wind down as you're ... is it just a lot of relaxing?

Aaron Miller:     A lot of relaxing. Can I mention that I do Crossfit now? I totally do Crossfit.

Brian:     You do Crossfit now? I love it.

Aaron Miller:     Yeah.

Brian:     Yeah, there's a lot of ... I feel like there's people that love Crossfit and hate Crossfit. Which one are you?

Aaron Miller:     Oh I hate it. It is the worst.

Brian:     But it's so good for you.

Aaron Miller:     I am so sore all the time. It just hurts.

Brian:     I love it. Well you're looking trim, dude. So I love that-

Aaron Miller:     Oh, well thanks.

Brian:     ... you're doing it, man. This is good stuff.

Aaron Miller:     But one of the rules is that I have to mention it in every conversation, so-

Brian:     Yes, one of the first rules of Crossfit is that you talk about Crossfit.

Aaron Miller:     Exactly.

Brian:     Yes. I love it. Alright, now if you could offer ... one of my favorite questions to ask. If you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Aaron Miller:     Just do it.

Brian:     Just do it.

Aaron Miller:     Just like Nike, you know, but actually just do it. I was always talking about starting a business. When I finally just pushed myself to spend some money and do it, it all tumbled forward.

Brian:     There it is. So just do it, and that's where Gold Pants came from. Has other things come from that too? Is that where The Perfectionists came from? You've been playing music too. Yeah, the music. You've been playing classically trained piano. Talk a little bit about the music.

Aaron Miller:     Sure. So I started playing piano when I was six, did the classical, all the scales and all that. You know, I can play For Elise with the best of them. I got bored with that. I started taking some jazz lessons. I don't know if you know this, but you can actually play piano in a marching band. I did that.

Brian:     How do you do that?

Aaron Miller:     Well they have a pit, so I'm not being dragged around.

Brian:     Oh okay. I was going to say-

Aaron Miller:     Yeah.

Brian:     ... the pit orchestra. Yes, I did know that.

Aaron Miller:     Yeah, so I was technically a part of the percussion section and that was in high school-

Brian:     Sure, excellent.

Aaron Miller:     ... so I got to wear a wonderful uniform.

Brian:     Oh man, but then you play bass now.

Aaron Miller:     I do.

Brian:     When did that happen?

Aaron Miller:     So I took ... GW has a music program, and you can take lessons for non-majors. So I wanted to take more piano lessons, and I guess I wasn't very good at it, because my teacher said, "Hey, one of my other students, he's starting a band. Why don't you play bass for him? You said you had a bass, right?"

Brian:     Wow, so you got kind of bumped into doing some bass.

Aaron Miller:     But I love the instrument. I started listening to Victor Wooten, and he's just incredible.

Brian:     Phenomenal bassist.

Aaron Miller:     And it's like, "Oh, the bass can do that." And then you start listening to bass lines in all the Beatles songs, and it just ... it's just a wonderful instrument. I love playing it.

Brian:     [inaudible 00:10:31] there's a lot of bass. I love that, man. Now last thing, folks if they want to find out more about the stuff that you're doing, we talked about Gold Pants, and where are the places they go online to find that stuff?

Aaron Miller:     Facebook. Yeah, all Facebook. I am on it way too much, so you should go there.

Brian:     Facebook. So it's ...

Aaron Miller:     Goldpantsrentals.

Brian:     Goldpantsrentals.

Aaron Miller:     Or perfectionistdc.

Brian:     Or perfectionistdc, that's the band.

Aaron Miller:     Yeah.

Brian:     Very cool, and Seven Drum City.

Aaron Miller:     Of course.

Brian:     And the other, the business partner there. Great, great things happening there.

8/15/17 - Special Guest: Aztec Sun, DC's 'Funk w/ Soul' Band

Thanks Stephane and Ray of Aztec Sun for coming by the studio this week!

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Podcast:  iTunesGoogle PlayStitcherPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice



  1. Wine Slow, by Da Flame (Reggae/Pop)
  2. Miami is Nice by The Electric Grandmother (Pop/Indie Pop)
  3. You Make Me Smile by AZTEC SUN (Funk/Soul)
  4. Surreal by Venn (Indie/Shoegaze)
  5. Don't Worry by Coot Wilson (Country/Americana)
  6. Rain by Color Palette (Pop/Electro)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


--We're celebrating passing 600 followers on Instagram and twitter!  Thank you so much for all your tags, likes and follows!  

--Thanks to DC's Office of Cable Television (OCTFME) for having Brian on as a guest to talk about DC Music Rocks in filming an episode of The 202 this past Friday!  Stay tuned, we'll be sure to share the episode once the link is up!


Roof Beams - Charon (11 song Album)

Soundproof Genie - Don’t Panic (It’s Just a Color)


There's so many!  Visit our Local Music Calendar to see the full list!  These are just the few we discussed on the show to get you started.

Fri Aug 18
Pebble To Pearl @ Capital Riverfront Concert Series at the Yards Park Boardwalk, SE DC
Aztec Sun @ Rock & Roll Hotel on H Street NE, DC

Sat Aug 19
Den-Mate @ DC9 on U Street, NW DC
Allthebestkids @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown, NW DC

Tue Aug 22
Annie Stokes @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown, NW DC

Wed Aug 23
Ras Slick @ The Hamilton in Metro Center, NW DC

Thu Aug 24
Black Dog Prowl @ Villain & Saint in Bethesda, MD

Aztec Sun



Since it’s inception in late 2012, Washington DC-based band AZTEC SUN has hypnotized the ears and feet of the District’s live music aficionados. No matter the scale of the venue, this ensemble maintains an upbeat and retro groove steeped in 70's Funk and Soul, Jazz, Afro-funk and Motown-era pop. Their infectious songwriting and energetic live performances have yielded rewards for the group - such as being named Best Local Original Band by the Washington City Paper and sharing the stage with international and national touring acts such as two-time Grammy Award winning keyboardist Shaun Martin (from Snarky Puppy), Burning Spear, The Suffers, Pimps of Joytime, Naughty Professor, Alanna Royale, and Major and the Monbacks.

AZTEC SUN marked the end of a fantastic 2016 year with the release of their debut studio EP, Set You Free. The self-produced and live-tracked project is both a preview of a full-length album planned for 2018 and an example of the band’s incessant desire to challenge its own rhythmic and melodic versatility. With an EP under their belt, an ever-growing fan base and a passion for spreading feel-good music, AZTEC SUN will seek new audiences to entertain and opportunities to push their brand of “Funk with Soul” in the new year.


Twitter & Instagram: @aztecsunband




Aztec Sun DC Music Rocks
Aztec Sun2 DC Music Rocks


Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the great songs and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. And since it's inception in late 2012, the Washington, D.C., based band, Aztec Sun has hypnotized the ears and feet of D.C.'s live music aficionados. So, no matter the scale of the venue, this ensemble maintains an upbeat and retro groove steeped in '70s funk, soul, jazz, Afro-funk, and Motown era pop. It's like all my favorites. Those are five of the favorites, it's so good. Their infectious song writing and energetic live performances have yielded rewards for the group such as being name "Best Local Original Band" by the Washington City paper. I've got the group, they're here with me now. They're on the show. And with an EP under their belt and an ever-growing fan base, and a passion for spreading feel-good music, Aztec Sun will seek new audiences to entertain and opportunities to push their brand of funk with soul.

     I first came across these guys because I caught them at the Halloween show at Black Cat was the first time I ever saw you guys live. And you did a Michael Jackson cover. I'm a huge fan of your original music and I was loving all of your original music. And then you played Michael Jackson and that's when you ended up in my heart, guys. Oh my god, because then it's Michael, and Motown era, and it's like all my favorite words in one. I've been such a fan. So guys, thank you so much for being here.

Steph:     Thank you for having us.

Ray:     Thanks for having us Brian, yeah.

Steph:     I've been a fan of the show.

Brian:     This is wonderful. Now, talk about how the band came together.

Steph:     So the band came together through Craig's List. It was-

Brian:     No way! Craig's List?

Steph:     Craig's List.

Brian:     Wow! Okay.

Steph:     Yeah, you can find a lot of stuff on Craig's List. The old lead guitarist, Galen, put out on a post on Craig's List and was looking for a drummer, bass player, and a funk singer. So, three other people showed up and we started jamming together at the old One World Studios. Decided that we wanted to become a band and then just starting getting opportunities to gig. I think our first gig was in our friend's apartment living room, or something. And from there, house parties. Then started pitching ourselves to small bars, and here we are.

Brian:     Wow. Where was the first bar you ever played? What was the first venue?

Steph:     I think we were opening for ... The Bend at Eastside Shuffle. We were opening for them at Acre 121.

Brian:     Wow!

Steph:     That was our opening.

Brian:     Yeah. Old school.

Steph:     Old school.

Brian:     Yeah, back in the day. I love it. Now, what about the name Aztec Sun. Where does that come from?

Steph:     The name Aztec Sun. A lot of our band is collaborative. Now we are eight people and so you just have to be collaborative, otherwise, the whole thing falls apart. And so we just wanted to find a name that represented sort of the sense of community that we felt, 'cause we're all sort of in some way foreign to D.C. but have made D.C. our home. We wanted something that invoked just string colors, just light, and different cultures and things like that. So we came up through kind of throwing different nouns at a wall and actually a Google spreadsheet-

Brian:     Ha ha-

Steph:     Seriously. Google, Craig's List, Internet. Yeah, just trying to see what stuck and we ended up with Aztec Sun and that kind of made the most sense to us and five years later here we are, still a band.

Brian:     So, when you say Aztec Sun, is there an image that comes to mind, or what do you see when you see Aztec Sun? You picked those words, what did it mean? Why those? Was it something special? What was it?

Ray:     To me it means, it represents a good time, a party. You know, people are coming to see us, they're probably gonna see all eight of us or nine of us are on stage laughing at each other, smiling, doing synchronized dance routines. But it's just pretty much like a party atmosphere. That's kind of what it reminds me of. And then kind of community, you know, we're friends with people who come see our shows, and we're all friends outside of the band. So, it's a fun community.

Brian:     Yeah, I gotcha. Now, what's your D.C. area connection? Where do you live? What's your connection to the city?

Ray:     I live in Bloomingdale.

Steph:     I live in Meridian Hill, [inaudible 00:04:19] Hill/Adams Morgan.

Brian:     And how long have you been in the city?

Steph:     I've been in the city now for five years this time around, and then before that in middle school and high school I was here for about 10 years.

Brian:     Got it.

Ray:     I've been in D.C. for about 10 years.

Brian:     Wow, a little while. And I just realized they're on the radio, so they can't see you. Tell them with your voices, your name and what you play in the band. We forgot to do that.

Steph:     I'm Steph. I'm the lead singer and the rhythm guitarist, and spiritual guru.

Brian:     We'll come back to spiritual guru. All right. Gotcha. And Ray.

Ray:     I'm Ray Lem. I play lead guitar and some rhythm guitar. And I am the band's resident comedian.

Steph:     Yeah. Accurate.

Brian:     Got it. Yeah, if you saw the picture for this episode, if you haven't seen it go look at the picture because it's a perfect shot of Ray with the evil little grin-

Steph:     He does that all the time. It's a problem.

Brian:     I want to call him, I feel like we need to get him a shirt that says Mr. Smiles. Because, he just, whenever I've seen you guys play he's always up there and he's grinning like a ... it's wonderful.

Steph:     He's always looking for the camera that's pointed at him. It's great.

Ray:     And make a funny face.

Brian:     And Steph, you said spiritual guru. What do you mean?

Steph:     Yeah. I think I have the immense pleasure and honor to be surrounded by a bunch of friends that like my crazy ideas and will listen to them and decide that they'll follow them. So, in some way I just become sort of like a spiritual guidance for us. But, yeah, that's me.

Brian:     I mean, your ideas have been great so far now. Talk about you guys outside of the music then. On the personal side, hobbies, what to you do aside from music?

Ray:     Me, I spend a lot of time with my girlfriend Amy. Hi if you're listening.

Steph:     Shout out to Amy.

Brian:     Amy, we appreciate you too.

Steph:     Absolutely.

Ray:     Other than that I practice a lot. But I like drinking beer. I like watching Game of Thrones. I love learning new dad jokes.

Brian:     Dad jokes?

Steph:     Oh yeah.

Brian:     All right. Steph's gonna talk and then I want you to share a dad joke?

Steph:     Do you want a dad joke now, it's probably worth it.

Brian:     You ready?

Ray:     Yeah. Sure.

Brian:     Tell me a dad joke.

Ray:     Did you hear about the hungry clock?

Brian:     No.

Ray:     No? It went back for seconds.

Brian:     So, that's not dad jokes, that's bad jokes.

Ray:     Ohhhh! You know what's so funny, everyone says that and I don't believe them.

Steph:     But we laugh all the time. You know, it's start-

Brian:     It's the accent. He's speaking with an accent. It's ze bad jokes, it's the dad jokes. Yeah, yeah.

Steph:     Oh man. He hits us with those all the time and it feels like, ahhh, but now we're always either waiting for them or doubled over in laughter.

Brian:     There's another, hold on. Steph, tell us about you outside and then we'll come back to the second.

Steph:     I work in HR outside, which I guess it makes it easier to corral people, we hope, knock on wood. Yeah, so I work in HR. I spend a lot of time with my girlfriend Rachel.

Ray:     Hi Rachel. Shout out to Rachel.

Steph:     And I play soccer. I actually injured myself on Sunday, pulled my hamstring, which is a recurring injury. I like making music. I also watch Game of Thrones. We're often sharing conspiracy theories about that.

Brian:     About Game of Thrones.

Steph:     And just chilling. A thing I used to do in my high school French is go somewhere and do nothing.

Brian:     What position do you play in soccer?

Steph:     I've played every position except keeper, but right now I'm playing striker.

Brian:     And striker, for those who don't follow soccer is up front.

Steph:     It's the forward, the one who tries to score the goals.

Brian:     Got it. The guy who tries to score. Story of your life?

Steph:     Ohhh!

Ray:     That was a bad joke.

Steph:     That was a mean joke.

Brian:     All right. And one more while we're on this. Ray, give us another one.

Ray:     How do you find Will Smith in a snowstorm?

Brian:     Okay.

Ray:     Look for fresh prints. You're laughing, it has to be funny.

Brian:     It is. I really enjoy it.

Ray:     Yes, it worked.

Brian:     I love it. So, now, what do you guys have in your music collection that might surprise us?

Steph:     You know, I'm a huge fan, so, my girlfriend and I like to take long road trips and when we do we listen to a lot of music, cause that's a huge thing share. And I'm a huge fan of '90s pop music, because for some reason there's a very thin line between '90s pop music and R&B. And so there are a lot of tonalities that I really enjoy. So probably you'd be surprised that my first two CDs were two copies of "Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears.

Brian:     Two copies? Two! Britney Spears. Will you cover. Will you ever do a cover Britney Spears.

Ray:     We have covered her.

Steph:     We covered [crosstalk 00:09:09]

Brian:     Have you? Oh my god.

Steph:     We made it kind of like old-timey soul kind of thing. Yeah.

Brian:     Ah, that's amazing. I love it. All right. Ray, what about you.

Ray:     People who know me would know this, but I really like bluegrass a lot! A lot of bluegrass. I like Del McCoury, Sam Bush, and a lot of new guys like GreenSky, MilkDrive. Who else have I been listening to? Yeah, there are some more.

Brian:     While I'm thinking about it, shout out to Two Ton Twig, the bluegrass band in D.C., if you haven't checked them out.

Ray:     Whoa, good stuff.

Brian:     They were at the 930 club this past weekend. Whoa, so good. Love Two Ton Twig. So now, one of my favorite questions to ask everybody when they come on the show is, if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Steph:     No context?

Brian:     No context.

Steph:     Do it.

Brian:     Say more. What does that mean?

Steph:     It's just, I'll put it in the context of this band. I think we have a great opportunity and we realize this every so often, or will remember every so often that we can have fun with it and when we do have fun with it, that's what translates to our playing and it translates to the people who come and see us. So I think just doing it, just getting out there and playing, and getting on Craig's List and meeting up with other musicians, and just go do it.

Brian:     Go do it. Don't talk about it, do it!

Steph:     Exactly.

Brian:     I like it. All right, Ray, what about you?

Ray:     Mine is follow your passion. You know, if you really enjoy doing something, push for that. If you want to try to make that what you do for a living, do it, or if it's a supplemental thing. But music for me, I had kind of gotten into the game a little bit late, andnever-

Brian:     What does that mean? Got in a little bit late?

Ray:     I started playing guitar when I was 22.

Brian:     Stop it! Really?

Ray:     Yeah.

Brian:     Whoa!

Ray:     Yeah, about my junior year of college. God, I wasn't in high school at the age of 22.

Brian:     More bad jokes. We got more bad jokes.

Ray:     And it was so much fun, I just practiced and practiced. And one day I was like, I want to be in a band and try to do this, you know. So, just follow your passion and keep going.

Brian:     There you go. And for you, I mean, playing lead guitar and you got some killer, you're shredding the guitar on some of these solos. Was it, did you take lessons?

Ray:     A lot of it is both. I've taken lessons from this great D.C. guitar player named Max Raven. I've also taken lessons from one of the jazz greats in D.C., Steve Herberman. But the one thing about it is you can take lessons, but a lot of it is just like, you know, you just gotta shed, you gotta sit down and practice, with any instrument.

Brian:     Absolutely. God, that's amazing. All right. And for those folks who want to find out more about Aztec Sun and follow what you guys are doing, where do they go?

Steph:, basically @aztecsunband on most platforms, and then

Brian:, got it. And do you have, is there one, sometimes people have a preference on one, they like one social media platform more than another. Do you favor one or do you use all three?

Ray:     As long as they come to the shows early ...

Brian:     So I guess that answer is they post a little bit everywhere.

Ray:     Yeah.

Steph:     Yeah.

Brian:     And they would love to see you.

Steph:     Outlook probably has the most tracks for us. Like Ray said, everything's a subterfuge to get you to the show.

6/13/17 - Special Guest: Vim & Vigor

Thanks Gabi from DC's Vim & Vigor for coming by this week!

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  1. Ashling by Motion Lines (Indie/Post-Punk)
  2. Going Going Gone by Vim & Vigor (Pop/Folk)
  3. Yellow Lines by Throwing Plates (Rock/Pop)***
  4. Vitamin by Hello Dharma (Rock/Indie)
  5. The Remedy by Dr. Badlove and the Remedies (Hip Hop/Funk)
  6. Pa Ra Ra by Aztec Sun (Funk/Soul)

    ***On the show Brian mentioned their song Weddings and Funerals, which was a mistake, he actually meant to refer to the Throwing Plates song Dirty Lies and Whiskey, which is awesome!  You should check that one out too!


It’s Festival Season, we’re looking to have a booker from one of these DC festivals on the show as a guest.  If you’re connected with any of them, please connect us with them! 

Jason Mendelson finished his project, a song for every Metro Station, all 91 of them!  We had him on the show Nov 1!
The Washington Post picked up the story this week.  Here's the link!


Blue Skies and Death - Sometimes (Single)
Lionize - Blindness to Danger (Single)
The Sea Life - The Sea Life (Self Titled, Full Album)
Vintage #18 - Poor Me - (official music video)


There's so many!  Visit our Local Music Calendar to see the full list!  These are just the few we discussed on the show to get you started.

Fri June 16
Hayley Fahey @ Villain & Saint in Bethesda, MD
Vim & Vigor @ Tortoise & Hare in Arlington, VA
Jackie & The Treehorns@ Rhodeside Grill in Arlington, VA

Sat June 17
Ken Wenzel & Jason Masi @ Taste of Reston in Reston, VA
Sol Roots @ Columbia Pike Blues Festival in Arlington, VA
Vintage #18 @ Silver Spring Blues Festival in Silver Spring, MD
Wylder @ The Hamilton in DC

Sun June 18
Patty Reese @ The Hamilton in DC

Tues June 20
Aztec Sun @ The Hamilton in DC

Thurs June 22
Katie Hargrove @ Vinyl Lounge @ Gypsy Sally’s in DC

->UPDATED LINK! Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-




Vim & Vigor is an ensemble indie pop band from Washington, DC. With influences ranging from Amy Winehouse to Jamie Cullum to The Head and The Heart, Vim & Vigor produces a sound that is unique and earnest with rich harmonies and layers of instrumentation. Vim & Vigor is a band full of team players, often switching leads on vocals and instruments. Gabi Schulte is a rhythm guitarist and vocalist; Sarah Moore is a vocalist, guitarist, banjoist and percussionist; PJ Tabit is a vocalist and keyboardist; Alex Porteous is the bassist; and Adam Schilpp provides the rhythm on drums. In addition, we have the ever-talented Tiffany Shanta joining us on violin.

Quickly gaining traction in the DC music scene, Vim & Vigor has performed shows at popular venues such as Jammin Java, the Black Cat, IOTA Club & Cafe, and DC9. They have also played at Rockwood Music Hall and Pianos in New York City and The Grape Room in Philadelphia. Vim & Vigor released its debut self-titled EP in 2016.



Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the great songs and incredible people behind the DC region's music scene. So now we get to know Gabi from Vim & Vigor. So Vim & Vigor is an ensemble indie pop band, turning folk apparently, from Washington, DC. They produce a sound that is unique and earnest, with rich harmonies and layers of instrumentation, all bundled together. Vim & Vigor is a band full of team players, so they're often switching leads on vocals and instruments. I was talking with Gabi, she said that that was ... On Going Going Gone, she sings on that one, but not all of the tracks ... they're different vocalists on all their songs, and I love that about the band. Gabi is a rhythm guitarist and vocalist, Sarah is the vocalist, guitarist, banjoist, and percussionist. We've got PJ who's a vocalist and a keyboardist, Alex is the bassist, and Adam is on drums. And in addition, Tiffany joins in on violin from occasion, on some occasions. Vim & Vigor released their self-titled EP in 2016, which is that song Going Going Gone you just heard.

     I first came across these guys because I'd seen them around the scene and I played in the same Battle of the Bands with them back in January, and loved their sound. And now it's just such a treat to actually have you here on the show with me, Gabi, so thanks so much for being here.

Gabi:     Thank you for having me.

Brian:     This is such a treat. So, now, talk about the band. How did it come together? Where did Vim & Vigor come from?

Gabi:     I think we came about, it's a story of how everything is just such a small world, because, turns out the keyboardist, PJ, started a music project with his fellow classmates. He was in grad school at GW. And so he just started a band and he knew that I sang and played guitar, so he asked me, and we knew each other from Scranton, Pennsylvania. We're both originally from Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Brian:     Nice. Okay.

Gabi:     Yeah. Yeah, so when I go down the stairs -- because it was in a basement -- for the first practice, I not only see PJ and his two classmates, the drummer and bassist at the time, but I also see the guitarist who's also from Scranton, and somebody I grew up with, the same neighborhood. So it was just really funny, there was three of us from Scranton in DC.

Brian:     And you didn't know that the third guy was gonna be there?

Gabi:     I didn't know that he was gonna be there.

Brian:     Wow.

Gabi:     I was just like, "What are you doing here?"

Brian:     And who was, who was the third guy?

Gabi:     His name's Brendan. He left the band a little while ago, just to pursue other opportunities, but he's very much still a part of our family.

Brian:     Nice. He's part of the Scranton family, so that's a thing.

Gabi:     Part of the Scranton family. Yeah.

Brian:     I love it.

Gabi:     Yeah. And so at the same time that they were kind of starting their project, I had been playing with a friend of mine, Sarah Moore, here in Arlington area. So we started at Four Chords [inaudible 00:02:59] on Wilson Boulevard.

Brian:     Yeah, in Chord House, that place.

Gabi:     Yeah.

Brian:     Cool.

Gabi:     Yeah, so that's pretty much how it got started.

Brian:     Wow.

Gabi:     Yeah.

Brian:     And it all came together. I love it. And the name, where does Vim & Vigor the name come from?

Gabi:     Right. So the drummer and his wife, Tyson, came out to see Sarah and I play a show at Four Chords, and it was kind of, I think, kind of like a tryout to see if we were actually good enough to be a part of [crosstalk 00:03:30]

Brian:     A tryout?

Gabi:     I think so.

Brian:     Oh my god. And Tyson, you were a part of that too, if you're listening. That's amazing. Okay.

Gabi:     So, I think we made it, and ...

Brian:     Well you're here, so that's a good sign.

Gabi:     And so his wife was basically just describing us and she was like, "Oh my gosh, they're so energetic and enthusiastic when playing." So she kind of dubbed us Vim & Vigor, and it kind of just stuck. We've kind of taken that meaning just to be super energetic and ... Not every song that we play is positive, because Going Going Gone has some sad moments, but I think we've turned it into meaning something hopeful. So I think that's what Vim & Vigor is.

Brian:     Nice.

Gabi:     Yeah.

Brian:     Well if you haven't seen them live, I've seen them live and there is definitely vim and vigor happening on stage when these guys are playing live, that's for sure. Now what about you on the personal side? So when you're not doing music, who's Gabi?

Gabi:     Who is Gabi? Well I work for PBS, so I am a project manager, and I love movies, and going to watch movies of all ... any time I can. And that's pretty much it. I mean, the band is definitely a second job, for sure.

Brian:     Oh definitely, yeah.

Gabi:     So it takes up a lot of time.

Brian:     Got it.

Gabi:     Yeah.

Brian:     Now are you like, an also like a yoga person, or do you ... are you a member of a book club, or what's other hobbies or things besides movies?

Gabi:     I like to run.

Brian:     Okay.

Gabi:     Can't say that I'm a good runner, but I definitely run.

Brian:     Okay.

Gabi:     Often. I recently signed up for a half marathon with my sisters. My sisters are very good runners.

Brian:     Got it.

Gabi:     So I think that's gonna be a challenge, but I committed to it and I paid for it.

Brian:     How long do you have until the half marathon?

Gabi:     It's in September, so I have some time.

Brian:     Okay.

Gabi:     But yeah, gotta kick it into gear, so we'll see.

Brian:     There it is. 13 point something.

Gabi:     Point one.

Brian:     Point one miles. Wow look at you go. All right, running. And hopefully you're not running from anything and you're running for fun.

Gabi:     I'm running to better my life. Let's just say that.

Brian:     I love it. I love it. All right, so now talk about -- there's six, possibly seven of you, on stage -- talk about like a funny moment. What's the funniest moment that comes to mind when you think about the band?

Gabi:     I think Sarah, Sarah is awesome, because she can feed off the energy of the crowd and the song, and she will do ... she'll just start kind of jamming on a moment and kind of just go with the bassist and dance with him a little bit. She just keeps everyone on her toes. So I think Sarah just really keeps things lively and every show is kind of a new experience because she just kind of like ... I don't know what she's gonna do. Who knows? I don't know.

Brian:     And has she ever done anything absolutely wild in these?

Gabi:     I think a couple times she's tried to go into the crowd, but she was limited by the cord.

Brian:     So she had a leash, it had to keep her on stage.

Gabi:     Yeah.

Brian:     All right. Sarah, you were leashed, I'm sorry. They strategically keep the length of the cord, the appropriate length so you can't run away.

Gabi:     It's purposeful. Correct.

Brian:     I got it. So I think you should just go get a wireless set and really mess with them one day.

Gabi:     Oh man.

Brian:     That would be wild. I'd love to see Sarah on a wireless, on a wireless setup, that'd be awesome.

Gabi:     Yeah.

Brian:     All right, now what about biggest success moments for the band so far? What comes to mind?

Gabi:     I think ... We love it when -- not to say that this happens all the time, but it's happened a few times -- where there'll be people that we don't really know, close friends of ours, singing our songs or singing lyrics from our songs, or really just jamming out and being like, "Oh, I saw you guys last week," or something like that, and coming up to us and just really paying attention to our original music. Because we play covers and originals as well, so when people that we don't know, say something about us with our original music, it's awesome.

Brian:     That's cool.

Gabi:     Yeah.

Brian:     All right. Now what about ... Talk about a time that you tried and failed. What comes to mind?

Gabi:     Well, I mean, I think every show.

Brian:     Oh stop it. You do not fail at your shows.

Gabi:     Well I will say this, one time we had a show at Iota, which is down the street I believe.

Brian:     Yeah.

Gabi:     It's a great venue. We had a new song. We had a cover of Come Together by The Beatles.

Brian:     Oh nice.

Gabi:     And we didn't have that much time to practice it, and we just kind of made a last minute decision to just go for it, and I think we bombed it. It was, yeah. We just kind of, we couldn't just ... there was no communication.

Brian:     What does that mean? The wrong notes? You didn't ... You just missed cued?

Gabi:     Just the timing, yeah. The timing and cues, and there's some chord changes. Because we wanted to do ... we always try to switch up our covers and make them our own.

Brian:     Yeah.

Gabi:     And we wanted to do an interesting jam in the middle, but we just, we kind of forgot what each of us were supposed to do, and it was just bad. So we failed. But you know what? We still play that cover out, and I think it's getting better.

Brian:     And now you rock it. So next time you go to a Vim & Vigor show, make sure you request Come Together by The Beatles.

Gabi:     Yes, exactly.

Brian:     Because that's gonna be a good one. And I heard them do Michael Jackson once, that was awesome too. Ask for that one too. All right. Now what about ... What's something in your music collection that might surprise us?

Gabi:     So, I feel like we have such a mix of influences, and one thing that I am pulling for is to do a musical night. We have ...

Brian:     Like, musicals like singing, like Broadway musicals, musicals?

Gabi:     Yes. Yeah.

Brian:     Oh nice.

Gabi:     So we, I mean, like I said, we do a lot of covers. I think that's a part of any local band, is doing cover shows, and we love them. It's really fun to play stuff that people know. But, PJ and I are pretty enthusiastic about musicals, so I think just it's a matter of time before we get the rest of the guys on board, and I think it's gonna happen. I think you should watch out for it.

Brian:     Okay. And what's the first song that comes to mind when you think about, "Ooo, I want to do a musical song"?

Gabi:     It'd be amazing if we could do Elephant Love Medley from Moulin Rouge.

Brian:     Oh my.

Gabi:     Yeah.

Brian:     All right.

Gabi:     I don't know if you're familiar.

Brian:     So if you're listening ... Oh I do, I remember the Elephant Love Medley vaguely. I'm not gonna lie, I'm gonna go YouTube this, or Google it, afterwards, so I can check that out.

Gabi:     It's pretty epic.

Brian:     And then the next time I come to a Vim & Vigor show, I'm gonna make requests and put the band on notice.

Gabi:     Sounds good.

Brian:     I love it. Now, what's ... So what about you, Gabi? Where does music enter your life? How did you become a musician?

Gabi:     So I ... My brother, when I was younger, he started playing music way be- ... when I was really young. He's about five years older than I am. I was a huge copycat and just thought he was the coolest guy ever -- and he is -- and so I just copied him. So I was like, "I need to learn guitar," and stuff like that. So I started playing when I was in freshman year of high school, and he taught me my first song, which was a Dave Matthews song.

Brian:     Which one?

Gabi:     Lover Lay Down.

Brian:     Nice.

Gabi:     Because you essentially just play two strings at a time.

Brian:     Yeah. Okay.

Gabi:     So it was pretty easy. So yeah, that was the first song I learned, and ever since then I started playing with a high school band. Like we had a folk group in high school.

Brian:     Yeah.

Gabi:     So ever since then it just happened, and I just love to write and play out, and it kind of just evolved from there.

Brian:     And it all went back to Dave Matthews and your brother.

Gabi:     It did, yeah.

Brian:     That's amazing.

Gabi:     Yeah.

Brian:     I love it. All right. Well shout out to bro, thanks for doing what you did because now we got Gabi here in Vim & Vigor as a result. What a cool story. One of my favorite questions to ask is: if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Gabi:     I think an issue or a challenge that the band comes across a lot, is finding time to keep this going. Because we're all full time, or we all have full time jobs, and it's a lot of time, a lot of effort going to practices and all that stuff. So I say, just find the time, because it's worth it. I mean, if it's something that you really love ... We have such a blast doing it , and even though it's exhausting sometimes, it's awesome.

Brian:     Find the time. Don't give up, keep working on it.

Gabi:     Yeah. Keep going.

Brian:     I dig it. Keep going. And if people want to find out more about Vim & Vigor and follow you guys, where do they go?

Gabi:     You can go to our Facebook, /vimandvigormusic. You can go to our website, And we have an Instagram, vimandvigormusic, and a Twitter. But mainly all of our info is on the Facebook and website, and you can find all of our upcoming shows, media, any videos that we'll have, it'll be there.

February 14, 2017 - Special Guest: Miles Ryan of 7DrumCity

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THAT playlist - you read that right, for those moments when you're together with that someone special, it's THAT playlist!  DC artists have produced incredible music for just those types of love moments, and we're happy to have put them all together for you.  Check it out HERE, or on our Find-Browse Music Page!


  1. All Right - Carolyn Malachi (Jazz/R&B)
  2. Perfection - Kenny Sway (Pop/R&B)
  3. Favorite Girl - Aaron Abernathy (R&B/Soul)
  4. Set You Free - Aztec Sun (Funk/Soul)
  5. Sunflower Eyes - Lookout Gang (Rock/Soul)
  6. Freeze - Prinze George (Indie/Indie Electronic)
  7. You Get The Wiser - Menage a Garage (Punk/Punk Pop)
  8. Intro/Outro music by Fellowcraft (Hard Rock/Blues)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-

Miles Ryan

Video - Bio - Photos - Links


DC Music Rocks Miles Ryan

7DrumCity is a music studio on North Capitol Street NW that offers drum lessons band practice space, and community events. The synergy of these things has created a hub and community space for musicians to meet, hang, learn, and even perform in a cozy environment. Our 100 drum students and several dozen core bands that practice here have created a thriving place to grow! 

DC Music Rocks Miles Ryan (3)


We just opened our new studio at 1506 North Capitol Street NW featuring 3 floors and a 2-story carriage house in the back. 3800 square feet, 9 rooms, and enough space to host a music festival. We grew from just 2 students in the owner Miles’ living room in 2011 to our beloved music studio on U street for 3 years, and as of January 31st, our new North Cap studio! Come see what it’s all about at our Grand Opening Festival on February 25th from 2-10pm, featuring 22 bands, art display, short films, giveaways, food, and beer. 




Official Website:




DC Music Rocks Miles Ryan (2)

Interview Transcript

Brian:     Miles Ryan is the creator and owner 7DrumCity. 7DrumCity, which opened in 2011, is a music studio on North Capitol Street Northwest that offers drum lessons, band practice space, and community events. It's become a hub for musicians to meet, hang, learn, and even perform in a cozy environment. Hosting more than a hundred drum students and several dozen core bands that practice at 7DrumCity regularly. They just opened their new studio at 1506 North Capitol Street, featuring three floors and a two story carriage house in the back. So it's 3,800 square feet total. Nine rooms in total and enough space to host a music festival.

                  So with that, listeners, I first met Miles through the Flash Band program and 7Drum, his studio ... I went and took lessons there, and I've gotten to know the guy. And I am so excited that I get to introduce him to you because he is such a cool member of the scene that it's a treat to have him on the show. So it's with great pleasure that I introduce Miles Ryan. Say hi man. Thanks for being here.

Miles:    It a treat to be here too. I [crosstalk 00:01:11] love you, just to get that out of the way.

Brian:     (Laughter) It is that special Valentines time of [crosstalk 00:01:15] the year so I love you too, man. Let's keep it going with the love. I love it. And speaking of love, you love drums. So how did 7DrumCity, or 7Drum Lessons ... It's had different names over the time, but how did this whole idea come about? How did it start?

Miles:    Well the idea ... Man, I thought this would be an easy question, but ... I originally just wanted to make some money on the side teaching drum lessons. I used to be in the solar energy industry and I was living in Boston. And I got laid off. And that was in May 2010. Around then I was hanging out with some entrepreneur friends and-

Brian:     Good friends, by the way. Entrepreneur friends are great friends to have.

Miles:    Yeah, good to hang out with those kind of people.

Brian:     Absolutely.

Miles:    But they were pretty influential for me. Also I was dating a woman who lived down here and she's a jazz singer. Another music entrepreneur herself.

Brian:     Awesome.

Miles:    Lena Seikaly(sp?), actually. But you should check out some of her music sometime.

Brian:     Okay.

Miles:    I came down to D.C. and then I basically started a website. Wanted to teach drum lessons. My friend Chris Williams, who went to Babson College, was sort of begging me for lessons. [crosstalk 00:02:43] And I was like, "All right, fine. I'll teach you a lesson." And I was like, "This is actually kind of awesome." I like teaching. I forgot I used to tutor Spanish and Italian in high school and college and that kind of thing.

Brian:     Now where did the name "7Drum" come from?

Miles:    Well, Seven ... It was originally called "7DrumLessons" because I wanted to show up more in the search engines because it was a clear name, drum lessons. [crosstalk 00:03:18] But something identity, maybe, of something ... I've thought a lot about it, but seven is about the chakras, the seven chakras of the human body.

Brian:     Really? No way. It comes from the chakras? [crosstalk 00:03:31] I love it. Miles, I had no idea, man. There you go. It's all about the chakras on Valentine's. But it's also all about the drums. There it is.

Miles:    So for those of you who don't know, there's seven ... The chakra system, which is basically an eastern based thing ... But it's now sort of just different energy centers of the body. They represent different emotions or energy that you can experience. And I though that it was kind of a cool way of categorizing the experience of being human and all that.

Brian:     Seven chakras. Love it. And is that a personal ... Are you big into the chakras or you familiar with it and you-

Miles:    I'm familiar with it. My mom talked to me about it. She's a reiki master which is where you ... I don't know. I don't really get it necessarily. [crosstalk 00:04:29] But you lie down and they clear your chakras of blockages or something. It's really cool. I don't know. Have you ever done that?

Brian:     I haven't tried before, but I've heard a lot of good things about it. So I'm a pretty open minded guy. I'd give it a shot. It sounds awesome. And I love the fact that that somehow stemmed into the name of this great thing. And so now tell us about this new location now. When did you move in? When did it open?

Miles:    Well let me just explain ... Maybe just get to that point first, I guess. I just started off ... Again I was just gonna do it on the side as I was looking for another job. And then people kept signing up. I realized that there wasn't anything else. So basically I brought my drum kit from high school into my living room. Somebody signed up. That was so amazing. It was like, I got an e-mail that someone signed up. I was like a stranger [crosstalk 00:05:25]

Brian:     That you didn't know. [inaudible 00:05:25] no longer was your friends. It was somebody else.

Miles:    Oh yeah.

Brian:     What a cool thing.

Miles:    Yeah, and he ended up taking lessons like four years, [crosstalk 00:05:32] which is awesome. Anyway, I was in my living room for three years, and then found a space on U Street. Got a three year lease there and that's where everything kind of blossomed. You made it sound like, the way you're describing it, that this is a new studio starting from zero. But we've actually already had about a hundred drum students and all these bands and stuff that preexisted. So our lease was up at the other spot so we moved to this new place. It was kind of tough to leave our beloved, yellow building. [crosstalk 00:06:09] But I--

Brian:     Where about in D.C. is this one located. You said on North Capitol Street.

Miles:    Yeah, North Capitol Street. So if you stand in the middle of North Capitol there is a ... Just watch for the cars, but-

Brian:     Don't stand in the middle of Capitol, for reference.

Miles:    Anyway, if you peak out you can see the Capitol Building It's kind of cool. It's like up on hill and then it's like right where North Capitol hits Florida Ave which goes straight over to U Street.

Brian:     Got it. Which is near ... What metro stop is that near?

Miles:    It's near the NoMa metro stop. So it's one block up from NoMa, basically.

Brian:     That's cool. So what about you outside of drums? We know that you ... We're pretty clear you've drums and you got a drum lesson place that's turned into a drum studio. What about you outside of those things?

Miles:    Well, it is Valentine's Day.

Brian:     Excellent.

Miles:    I'll start with what I should start with which is my amazing girlfriend [inaudible 00:07:08][crosstalk 00:07:09] Just gotta shout it out.

Brian:     Shout out to the love. The lady in his life. Yup, I love it. Okay.

Miles:    Amazing woman.

Brian:     Awesome. Happy Valentine's Day.

Miles:    Spend time with her. That's number one thing.

Brian:     Got it. Okay. Time with her.

Miles:    Check that off the list.

Brian:     Oh no. There's no checking. That one's in there automatically 'cause she's that awesome. So props to the woman in you life, man. Awesome.

Miles:    Thanks to ... I'm just gonna shout out to Bumble. Bumble's awesome.

Brian:     (Laughter) Yes, shout out to Bumble. I love it.

Miles:    It's been-

Brian:     Yes.

Miles:    Five months since that story. So you know, Valentine's Day theme.

Brian:     Okay, I dig it. Absolutely.

Miles:    Miles' personal life.

Brian:     All right, so out side of your life now, is there there more? What else? There's a dog, right?

Miles:    Yeah, there is a dog. You must know me or something.

Brian:     Yeah, I do. It's like I've seen you before. I've been buggin' you. Whatever. So, then, who's the dog? Tell us about the dog.

Miles:    Well my dog, his name is Remo, which is also a brand of drum head.

Brian:     Ah, so that's where the name comes from. A dog named Remo. Remo drum heads. Very good heads, by the way.

Miles:    He's a black lab/pointer mix. And so he's really cute in my biased opinion. He usually can be found at the studio. Very chill, relaxed dog for a three year old.

Brian:     Cool man.

Miles:    Oh no, go ahead.

Brian:     I was just gonna ask, what about the personal life? And I'm just curious. And I'm gonna ask you another question which is biggest success moment that comes to mind when you think about 7Drum. What comes to mind?

Miles:    Well, I mean that first student, was honestly still like a very emotional moment. His name was Mitch. He's awesome.[inaudible 00:09:03]

Brian:     And you got ... This was when you were still in your living room or hadn't even got the drum set yet?

Miles:    Hadn't even moved to D.C. yet. That was in December.

Brian:     Wow.

Miles:    Made the website and everything.

Brian:     Awesome.

Miles:    But anyway, that was cool. And then I guess another big thing was hitting a hundred students. Active enrolled students, which was like I think last fall.

Miles:    I just sort of had that number. It's a nice number. But of course that number is always sort of going up and down if someone's away for the summer. Then you're like, "Well do you count that?"

Brian:     No, we're counting it. A hundred students, [crosstalk 00:09:48] that amazing. That's amazing. I love it. Now, one of my favorite questions to ask is, "If you had one piece of advice to offer, what would it be?"

Miles:    Well, I prepared for this question but it was hard to pick one.

Brian:     All right, we'll start with one. What d'you got?

Miles:    I mean, I'd say visualize what you want.

Brian:     Say more.

Miles:    Spend time-

Brian:     In your head? Is it a vision board?

Miles:    Yeah, in your head. Thinking about what it is that you want to see happen. And it will happen. You have to ... And this is what big thing that helped me get to where we're at is just trying to set goals, you know. Working backwards from where you decide you want to get to.

Brian:     Sure. So are you at your vision? This place on North Capitol? What's your vision like in your head?

Miles:    Well right now I just want to take over the world. But-

Brian:     Got it. Okay.

Miles:    No, no, no. That's exaggeration. But honestly, well right now, you're asking my goals right now?

Brian:     Well you said you have a vision. So what was your vision before you got to here? Were you envisioning where you're at now? Did it look different in your head?

Miles:    No, when I started I didn't start this studio, or community, or business because I was trying to have a big 4,000 square foot studio. I just wanted to ... My vision was I thought people were working too hard in general and too stressed out and not having balanced enough lives. So I wanted to try to help people live more balanced, fulfilling lives.

Brian:     Got it.

Miles:    And I think that music should be like sports. Everyone has some sort of exercise that they like. Everyone should have some kind of music or artistic thing that they like, which I think most people do. But I don't know if it's already unacceptable, or something to be like, "No, I don't do any exercise."

Brian:     Got it.

Miles:    But what about ... We gotta get everyone going on music and feeling those vibes and-

Brian:     I agree. Well all right. So we'll get people going. And now I want to get to the amazing tracks that you brought us, but I do want you to share with folks what's the website. If they want to find out more about 7DrumCity, where do they go?