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Braddock Station Garrison

8/01/17 - Special Guest: Steve Schillinger of Braddock Station Garrison

Thanks Steve Schillinger from Braddock Station Garrison for coming by the studio this week!

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

FROM TODAY'S SHOW

MUSIC

  1. Spotlight by Bencoolen (Rock) 
  2. Go Home, Sally Mercy by Braddock Station Garrison (Rock/Power Pop) 
  3. Balance on the Wire by The Lantern Slides (Indie/Dream Pop)
  4. Me too, Flower Girls by Bells and Hunters (Acoustic/Rock) 
  5. Chase the Moon by Jahnel Daliya (Indie/Folk)
  6. Footprints by The Sometimes (Rock/Country)

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

DC Music Rocks on CBS TV!  They did a feature story on DC Music Rocks on Monday evening on CBS!  We're sending a big thank you to the amazing team at WUSA9 and Bruce Johnson for having Brian on as a guest on #offscripton9!  The segment was an interview, but the best part?  They played clips of videos from: Aztec Sun, Brent & Co, allthebestkids, Fellowcraft, Aaron Tinjum & the Tangents, Kenny Sway, Mark G Meadows, & Karen Jonas!

Link to WUSA9 #offscripton9 website and post:  http://www.wusa9.com/mb/opinion/editorials/off-script/-dc-music-rocks-puts-spotlight-on-vibrant-music-scene/460869470

NEW RELEASES

Jen Miller - Hometown (Single)
The Buzz  - Summer of ‘17 (5 song EP)
In Your Memory - Failure To Launch (8 Song Album)

THIS WEEK'S LOCAL DC SHOWS TO SEE 

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 4
Jahnel Daliya @ Music On The Mill in Occoquan, VA
Sub-Radio, Fuzzqueen @ Rock N Roll Hotel in DC

Sat Aug 5
Skribe @ 7 Locks Brewing in North Bethesda, MD
Sol Roots @ Iota Club and Cafe in Arlington, VA

Sun Aug 6
Veronneau @ Villian & Saint in Bethesda, MD

Mon Aug 7
Bencoolen @ Bullpen at Nationals Park in DC
Vim & Vigor @ Jammin’ Java in Vienna, VA

Wed Aug 9
Wylder @ Gypsy Sally’s in DC

Thu Aug 10
Bells & Hunters, Fellowcraft @ The Black Cat in DC



BRADDOCK STATION GARRISON

VIDEO - BIO - LINKS - TRANSCRIPT

BIO:

Steve Schillinger DC Music Rocks

Steve Schillinger is the singer and rhythm guitarist for DC-based band Braddock Station Garrison. The band's music can be described as power pop meets Americana with a healthy dose of classic rocknroll. The band has recently released their third album, Saint Stephanie and the Stones. While playing shows around the DC area in support the new album, they are already working on songs for their fourth record, which they plan to release in 2018

Links

http://www.braddockstationgarrison.com/

http://www.facebook.com/braddockstationgarrison

http://braddockstationgarrison.bandcamp.com

Twitter: @BSGRockNRoll

Instagram: braddockstationgarrison

braddock.JPG

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we are shining a spotlight on the great songs and incredible people behind the DC region's music scene. Now let's get to know one of those folks, Steve's here with Braddock Station Garrison. Steve Schillinger is the singer and rhythm guitarist for Braddock Station Garrison. The band's music can be described as power pop meets Americana with a healthy dose of classic rock and roll. The band has recently released their third album, Saint Stephanie and the Stones. I've played a show with this guy. I've seen him live in action.

Steve:     Good times.

Brian:     I've seen their shows. Good stuff coming from these guys. It's such a treat to have you hear.

Steve:     That's a high compliment coming from you my friend. High compliment.

Brian:     Oh shucks. You're making me blush here. It is a treat to have you. Thanks for being here.

Steve:     Thank you for having me. It's an honor to be here.

Brian:     Now, talk about Braddock Station Garrison and talk about the band and how that happened, where it came from.

Steve:     We've been together for about five years now, started with me and my friend Tom, who plays the lead guitar in the band. We used to play softball together. He was always telling me we should get together and jam. I was always hesitant because I had only done like singer, songwriter kind of thing, and one day he sort of just finally wore me down. I went over with a song book and a guitar, and we started playing, and it just clicked. We found a rhythm section fairly quickly after that and the rest is history, as they say.

Brian:     That's wild. Where does the name come from?

Steve:     The name comes from, so Braddock Road, we kind of both live just off of Braddock Road. We liked the idea of Braddock. At the time, we were kind of thinking we would be sort of like a Virginia band, sort of like a Neil Young, Crazy Horse kind of thing and something sort of rustic and like that. If you drive enough around Virginia, you're going to find places like [inaudible 00:01:44] and I thought of, Braddock Station, that's kind of neat. Then the Garrison, is sort of like because I'm a Civil War buff. Garrisons are kind of the soldiers who were left behind to like guard the rail crossing or the town. We thought, Braddock Station Garrison. That sounds pretty good. That's a mouthful, but we like it. My wife will claim that I did BSG on purpose because to link us to Battlestar Galactica but that is a complete and total happy coincidence, no matter what she says.

Brian:     Battlestar Galactica. That was an accident that did not happen on purpose.

Steve:     A happy accident.

Brian:     Very cool.

Steve:     I have not received a cease and desist letter from the Sci-Fi Channel yet.

Brian:     We're in the clear. Don't stop man. Keep it going. Keep it going. You've been in DC for a while now.

Steve:     Yeah, I came here for college in the summer of 1991. Yeah. I went to American University. I was born in Chicago.

Brian:     Another AU grad.

Steve:     Another AU.

Brian:     Look at you, alright.

Steve:     I was born in Chicago, but grew up in Dallas and came here for college and just never left.

Brian:     Wow. I like that.

Steve:     26 years now.

Brian:     Where did guitar and music enter your life? How did that happen?

Steve:     Oh well I was always, since I was a little kid, a big music fan. My parents were both big music fans. My mom was a big Beatles fan. That's where that came from. My dad was a big fan of a band called America. Like Horse with No Name and Sister Golden Hair and songs like that.

Brian:     Oh yeah.

Steve:     I used to remember listening to them as a little kid and that kind of just sank in. Just been loving music ever since. Didn't really pick up the guitar until about 10 years ago. No, no longer than that. Maybe about 1999, so that's like 17. Time flies. Yeah, I just picked up the guitar. A buddy of mine, my friend Tom he showed me some chords on a guitar and I just kind of took to it. Started writing songs and here I am, on the air.

Brian:     I'm glad you took to the guitar and you started writing song.

Steve:     I wish I had done it earlier.

Brian:     All this great stuff, yeah. I mean, previous albums, I've been a fan of your music for a while.

Steve:     Thank you.

Brian:     This is cool. What about on the personal side now. Aside from being a musician, what's life like for you? What kind of hobbies do you have?

Steve:     I'm like a normal person. I read a lot. I collect vinyl records. That's the newest expensive hobby I have. I'm one of those nerds.

Brian:     Awesome.

Steve:     Like I said, I'm a Civil War buff, so some of that and yeah. I love going to Nationals games. I know one of the bands, I think Ben Coolin is going to be at the little bullpen outside Nats park, so I'm a big Washington Nationals baseball fan, but my heart is always with the Cubs.

Brian:     Uh-ho. Those Chicago roots come through.

Steve:     They come through. I figure I can root for the Nationals. It's okay because I was here before them. It's alright. It's not like I moved to like Los Angeles and become a Dodger fan. That would be cheating. I was here first, and they came to me, so it's okay. Yeah, we like to go to the games. It's a good time. They play the Cubs, I bleed Cubby blue.

Brian:     There it is.

Steve:     Sorry folks.

Brian:     Chicago roots.

Steve:     Don't hold it against me.

Brian:     You heard it here first. It's nothing to love because you're a DC musician, so I don't care about your baseball preferences when it comes to music. That's cool. Alright, now what do you have in your music collection that might surprise us?

Steve:     To surprise us? I kind of like everything. I'm a big metal fan, especially like a kind of Joni, stoner rock kind of stuff. I love that stuff. If I was actually adept at playing guitar, I would probably be in that kind of band. I'm just a strummer and a singer.

Brian:     Okay.

Steve:     It's where you get[inaudible 00:05:27]. I love metal. I love good pop songs. I was on Facebook and a friend of mine was lamenting about the best selling debut records of all time, and mentioned like Boston's first record and then like Guns and Roses. Then he mentioned the first Mariah Carey record in a derogatory way. I said, "Man, don't knock that first Mariah Carey record. That is a great pop record. Come on."

Brian:     Yeah it is.

Steve:     It's good. After that, it's down hill, but you know?

Brian:     That's right. I have a soft spot for him as well. It's really true.

Steve:     A good song is a good song, whether it's done loud and heavy or sweet and sugar.

Brian:     Wow, so for metal to Mariah Carey.

Steve:     All ports in between.

Brian:     I feel that's a T-shirt we should make for you, from metal to Mariah Carey. I don't know. That's got the makings of something.

Steve:     Like any song writer, I went through my Americana phase, my alt-country phase. Last night I was at the Birchman seeing a show. Saw Nikki Lane there. That was a great show.

Brian:     Wow.

Steve:     Great place.

Brian:     That's cool.

Steve:     I like a lot of different kinds of music.

Brian:     A good variety, cool. What about, funniest moment that comes to mind with Braddock Station Garrison.

Steve:     Funniest moment? Well, I would actually say the funniest moment was when I did a solo show a couple weeks ago down at O'Sullivan's right down the street here in Arlington.

Brian:     Yeah.

Steve:     I was playing Wednesday nights from 9:30 at night to 1:30 in the morning. Yeah.

Brian:     That's four hours but that's wow.

Steve:     That's exhausting. At the end of the night I'm packing up and these kids are kids. Everybody is a kid to me, like 20 year olds. The kid comes up to me. He's obviously has had a few and comes up to me and says, "Man, I want to say that I really, really like your music." I'm like, "Okay. Thanks. I appreciate that." He says, "I got a question." I said, "Okay." He says, "Do you know where we could maybe get some cocaine?"

Brian:     Stop it, really?

Steve:     He did. He did. I said, "No. I don't." I thought, that's what I have become now. I am now the guy who looks like he knows where to get cocaine, for whatever that's worth. Met all my [inaudible 00:07:34] in life.

Brian:     I don't know whether that's status or not man.

Steve:     I'm not sure I should be proud of that or not.

Brian:     Yeah, one look at you, and I'm going to ask you where to get coke. Holy crap.

Steve:     Get some blow. I don't know. For the record, I do not know.

Brian:     The things you learn. I love it. What about, first memory performing. Go back in time now. When you started with music, where were you? When did that happen?

Steve:     The first time, it was an open mic. I don't remember the name of the place but it was over near a Tyson's Corner. It was just a bar. I forget the name of it. I don't even think it's there anymore. I had just started to play. I maybe had been playing guitar for about a year. Some friends of mine, I said, "Let's go out. I want to try playing out in front of people." I did a couple covers. I think, I don't even remember what they were. I played with a couple other guys to sort of make it a little bit more easier, so it's not just me up there by myself.

Brian:     Sure, yeah, yeah.

Steve:     It's with friends. It's kind of solidarity. Then the place was empty, so there was nobody else for the open mic. He said, "Do a few more." They said, "Steve, you just do a couple on your own." Did them and had a great time, and they kind of sunk into me. Music bug drug me in.

Brian:     I was going to say, the music bug caught you in Tyson's Corner. What do you know.

Steve:     Who knew? Tyson's Corner.

Brian:     I was going to say, there's a lot of things I've heard about Tyson's Corner, and the music bug-

Steve:     It's not like Liverpool, but it'll do.

Brian:     Not quite Liverpool. Alright. Now, if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Steve:     In terms of like performing or song writing, or playing?

Brian:     I kind of want to leave that up to you.

Steve:     I'll say it for the aspiring guitarist, people who are just like wanting to learn to play the guitar and are kind of intimidated by it. The first thing I would say, there's two things. When you're picking out a guitar, find one that feels good when you hold it. That's not just in your hand but when you're sitting down and the guitar is in your lap, and it's up against your chest, find a guitar that is comfortable, that isn't like awkward when you put your arm over it. If you're not comfortable when you're doing it, you're never going to play and you're never going to pick it up. It's going to just gather dust.

     The second thing I would say is learn your chords. Don't try just learning how to do the solo to Stairway to Heaven. That's nice. That's great. I've had people like, folks say, "Listen to this." They play like Eruption. I'm like great, can you play a song? They're like, "No." I was like, alright, well if you learn, DCG, you can play any Oasis song. You're on your way. Learn your chords.

Brian:     Alright. Learn the chords and make sure the guitar fits nice.

Steve:     Make sure it's comfy.

Brian:     Make sure it's comfy.

Steve:     Comfortable.

Brian:     I dig it. Alright.

Steve:     Rock is all about comfort.

Brian:     For those folks who want to find out about you and Braddock Station Garrison, where do they go?

Steve:     You can go on the interwebs and we have a website, braddockstationgarrison.com. We're on the Facebook, so find us there. We're on Instagram. I think it's just Braddock Station Garrison. Twitter is BSGrocknroll and our band camp page. That's a good place if you want to check us out. It's just braddockstationgarrison.bandcamp.com.

April 4, 2017 - Special Guest: Don Zientara, Producer & Recording Engineer, Inner Ear Studio

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FROM TODAY'S SHOW

MUSIC

  1. Popular Russians by Braddock Station Garrison (Rock/Power-Pop)
  2. Ophelia by Karen Jonas (Country/Americana)
  3. Meet Me in the Middle by Peter Maybarduk (Indie/Alternative)
  4. No Easy Way Out by Staunton (Rock/Folk)
  5. Tuesday Morning by Hayley Fahey (Rock/Indie Rock)
  6. Alien Drugs by Jackie and the Treehorns (Rock/Alternative Rock)
  7. In Retrospect by Lisa Said (Folk/Alternative)

NEWS & LINKS

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DON ZIENTARA

VIDEO - BIO - LINKS - TRANSCRIPT

Bio from Don:

Grew up in Rochester, NY.  Had several friends in school who knew quite a bit about electronics and taught me to build/design/repair that sort of equipment.

Had old tape recorders all my life.  Also wired them so that it was a sound reinforcement system.  Experimented with electronic design and function.

Studied art at Syracuse University.  BFA in 1970.

Attended graduate school at West Virginia University, majoring in painting and printmaking.  Studied paper construction and restoration.

Was drafted into the Army in 1971.  Lottery.  Number one.

don.jpg

Signed up for electronics training.  After basic training finished, was told there was a surplus of electronic trainees, but would I want to draw and paint portraits for the Army Recruiting Support Center (Cameron Station, Alexandria)?

Accepted the invitation to work there.

Applied for, and received a CO (Conscientious Objector) in 1973.

Went to work for the National Gallery of Art as an exhibits framer and paper conservator.

After about 5 years, became the NGA's audio engineer

Stayed there for another 4 years, then went on to work as studio manager, then on my own.  Have been running Inner Ear Studio ever since.

Have 2 daughters, 5 grandkids, and 1 great-grandkid.  I surf, cook, perform music, and speak to groups (this sounds like a singles ad!!!)

Thanks!  That's all, folks!

 

 Links:

http://innerearstudio.com

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

Brian:    Don Zientara grew up in Rochester, New York. He studied at Syracuse University. In grad school at West Virginia, he majored in painting and printmaking. Don drafted into the Army in 1971. He signed up for electronics training, but after basic training finished, he was told there was a surplus of electronic trainees so instead, he was offered a position to draw and paint portraits for the Army recruiting support center, which he accepted. His career moved on to the National Gallery of Art as an exhibits framer and paper conservator, and then becoming an audio engineer, which is an amazing transition to me, and he then moved on to work as a recording studio manager, and then eventually, branching out on his own where Inner Ear Studios was born, which has been around for decades at this point.

Don Z:    Yeah.

Brian:    He's got two daughters, five grandkids, and one great-grandkid, and he also surfs, cooks, performs music, and excels in public speaking, which listeners, I got to work with Don because Fellowcraft, my band, recorded our album at Inner Ear Studios, and it was such an honor to work with him in hallowed ground with all those musicians. It's with great pleasure that I introduce Don Zientara.

Don Z:    Aren't there some trumpets somewhere that need to [crosstalk 01:13]?

Brian:    Oh, the proper introduction for you, right?

Don Z:    Exactly.

Brian:    Yes, I need to look at a sound file for some trumpets or something. That would be a great-

Don Z:    Yeah, those English horns, right?

Brian:    Exactly. Now, the first thing right off the bat, as I introduced you, it talked about how you went from the exhibits framer and paper conservator to audio engineer.

Don Z:    Yeah.

Brian:    How did that happen? Can you share that?

Don Z:    Sure. Let me back up a little bit. First of all, just to get in some of the history behind it all. I started off playing guitar because my parents wanted me to study some musical instrument.

Brian:    Nice.

Don Z:    I grew up in a Polish community and in the Polish community, there basically is one sacred instrument, which is the accordion.

Brian:    I guess that makes sense.

Don Z:    Of course.

Brian:    Polish music is kind of known for that.

Don Z:    Absolutely.

Brian:    Yeah.

Don Z:    Yeah, get out and polka.

Brian:    Yeah.

Don Z:    Luckily, I was born at a time when Elvis was coming into vogue.

Brian:    Got it.

Don Z:    I was 10 years old. They actually offered guitar lessons at the place I was at so I bailed on the accordion and I went into guitar.

Brian:    Guitar, got it, which that was more appealing?

Don Z:    Come on.

Brian:    If you're in a Polish community, it seems like accordion would be the hot thing to do.

Don Z:    You look at all the ladies and who do they flock around? The accordion player? No.

Brian:    I'd like to say the accordion player, but no, you're definitely right, it's the guitarist always. It's always the guitarist.

Don Z:    Yeah, or at least you'd like to think so, at least you'd like to think so.

Brian:    Yeah, right, exactly. Got it.

Don Z:    From there, basically, everybody joins a band if you play guitar, but we had no money for amplifiers or anything like that and so, we'd scrounge around on trash day going through and finding all these Magnavox consoles that were thrown out by the people at the time and we made speaker cabinets, a buddy of mine this is, and I had a tape recorder, a Webcor tape recorder-

Brian:    Where was this?

Don Z:    Yeah. This is in Rochester.

Brian:    You're talking about-

Don Z:    Rochester, New York.

Brian:    Rochester, New York.

Don Z:    That we turned into an actual amplifier.

Brian:    Yeah.

Don Z:    We played guitars through this tape recorder amplifier and sang through it. One little, probably about 2 watts, and coming out of these speakers from this cabinet we built out from these Magnavox consoles and it was exciting. We put all these things together and it was real interesting doing this. I had in electronics sort of, kind of dabbling in it to that degree.

      What happened was somehow I went into art school at Syracuse University. I don't know why because I was a mediocre artist, but I figured I was a mediocre artist, but I was failing in English, Math, Science, Chemistry, Biology so we'll take mediocre.

Brian:    It's the one you weren't failing in, is that-

Don Z:    Yeah, it was the one I wasn't failing in.

Brian:    Got it.

Don Z:    Then graduate there, went to West Virginia University like you said and then, I was caught up in the draft lottery.

Brian:    Oh, which was-

Don Z:    You don't remember that? You're too young.

Brian:    Full disclosure, I was not around for the draft lottery at that point, but what I'm curious about is, from everything I've heard, that's a hot topic at the time?

Don Z:    Yeah.

Brian:    That was a contested thing. When you got caught up in that, was it incredibly traumatic? Did you just accept it? What ...

Don Z:    This is the Vietnam War going on and there were a lot of deferments and what was happening was because of all these deferments, some of the people in Congress were saying, "This is not fair. The inequality is all over the place. What we're going to do is we're just going to pick birth dates out of a container like a lottery and we're going to pick number one, number two, number ... " and I was number one in the whole thing.

Brian:    Oh, you were the big winner.

Don Z:    I was the big winner in the thing.

Brian:    Got it.

Don Z:    I was definitely going to go in and I checked upon it and they had some programs going on. I figured I'd keep that in the back of my mind, but I was drafted. I was selected for the draft and when you're selected for the draft, you basically have to have a physical. Everybody knows that, you have an army physical.

Brian:    Yeah.

Don Z:    I went to West Virginia University that year. I said, "I can't take a physical. I'm at West Virginia. I'm in Morgantown, West Virginia." They scrambled and they got things together and moved the physical around to Morgantown. I was back for Christmas vacation in Rochester. I said, "I can't take it. I'm in Rochester, New York." They scrambled around and they fixed it up for Rochester. I was back at West Virginia University again. Come summer time, they got me.

     I figured why don't I get some formal training in electronics? I went into that program, they guaranteed training electronics, went through basic training, went to the place where the school was and waited and then waited some more and waited some more and waited some more. Eventually, I was called into maybe the front office there and they said, "You have a guarantee and we will honor it for this electronic training, but at the moment, there's too many people doing it. We just happen to have a position open in Alexandria, Virginia for people to draw and paint. Would you want to do that?" I figured for about two seconds, would I want to draw and paint rather than shoot people with a gun?

Brian:    The answer was yes, clearly.

Don Z:    The answer was yes, yeah. I took a moment to think about that and so, I came to Alexandria, Virginia, like you said with the recruiting support center there. I got to work on exhibits. That gave me my first taste into presentations as a whole.

Brian:    Oh.

Don Z:    Whether it's audio or visual, I was into presentations and I loved it.

Brian:    Got it.

Don Z:    I went through that thing. As it was, I got out on a CO. I applied for a CO and got out. This was about 1973. Then, I went to the National Gallery of Art.

Don Z:    Worked there matting and framing and doing a little bit of conservation work for getting exhibits ready. Once again, we're in exhibits, we're into presentation.

Don Z:    Eventually, after about five years there, they were giving a tour around to some of the places in the gallery and they were building a recording studio and we toured that. They were hooking things up and wiring things up [inaudible 07:56]. They had problems with the power supply there. I said, "All you have to do is connect it up like this."

Brian:    Yeah.

Don Z:    They said, "Hey, do you want to run this place?"

Brian:    Do you want do this? Yeah.

Don Z:    Yeah, exactly.

Brian:    That's how it happened?

Don Z:    That's how it happened.

Brian:    Just because you fixed ...

Don Z:    Yeah.

Brian:    I love it. Wait, then fast-forward then, so that was how long? You were there for how long?

Don Z:    I was there five years in prints and drawings.

Brian:    Five years.

Don Z:    Then, I was there for about another four or five years in the electronics section, the audio recording section.

Brian:    How did that then become Inner Ear Studios? Was that ...

Don Z:    I went from there to managing a studio, which didn't work out because I couldn't get my hands dirty.

Brian:    Uh-oh, because you were fixing and you were recording-

Don Z:    Yeah, I was pushing papers all the time, administering it, manager.

Brian:    Right.

Don Z:    I didn't like that so, I just started doing stuff totally on my ... Now, I had been recording all this time already.

Brian:    Yeah.

Don Z:    Because I record a lot of the early, Teen Idles, Minor Threat, all that stuff.

Brian:    Yeah, at that time, was that in your basement?

Don Z:    Yes.

Brian:    Was it at the location now?

Don Z:    In my basement.

Brian:    How did you get linked up with them? Just the underground network, they heard of you or how did that happen?

Don Z:    That's a every interesting thing. There's parallel universes going on. I was playing in bands all these times and one of the bands I was in had Robert Goldstein for a guitarist and he has since passed away, but he-

Brian:    For those who don't know, who's Robert Goldstein?

Don Z:    Robert Goldstein was the music librarian towards the end of his life for NPR.

Brian:    Oh. Got it.

Don Z:    He was also a very progressive guitarist and we were like a folk rock band. We played a lot of covers and stuff like that, but he had more talent than I think I had for sure.

Brian:    Right.

Don Z:    Eventually, the band broke up. He went into a band that was more to his taste and called me to record one time when they're playing at I think it was American University. Playing on the same bill were The Slickee Boys so they said, "Hey, you got an extra roll of tape?" I did so I recorded them. Their manager at the time was Skip Groff who was Yesterday and Today Records and he knew all the punk people. I didn't even know punk was around.

Brian:    Right.

Don Z:    I didn't know anything about it, but he came in and worked with the Slickee Boys to mix their tapes and everything and said, "I'd like to bring over some people. These guys, Teen Idles, they might have something to do here." So he came over with them and this, the relationship with a lot of the guys in that band and a little later on he said, "You know, there's a black punk band that I'd like to bring over there. Would you work with them if you don't mind?" I said, "Yeah, sure, sure."

Brian:    Yeah.

Don Z:    They sound good and that was the Bad Brains.

Brian:    Wow.

Don Z:    I was immersed into all this because of just serendipity a lot, very much.

Brian:    I know people are curious because I know I'm curious, too, how did that evolve into ... There's an HBO special at your place, the Foo Fighters recorded at Inner Ear Studios. Did that network continue or how did you get linked up with Dave?

Don Z:    It continued. No, it continued and Scream and Dain Bramage, I did not record Dain Bramage, but I recorded Scream and they were ... Punk was evolving.

Brian:    Yeah.

Don Z:    Punk was evolving more towards the ... It had a little bit of a pop feel to it. Kingface, there were some groups like that and Scream was one of them that had ... They could sing well and they put a really good melody behind songs.

Brian:    Yeah.

Don Z:    Kingface was the same way. A lot of the punk groups were doing that. Basically, I recorded them so I knew Dave from back then.

Brian:    I see.

Don Z:    Then when he broke up ... Didn't break up with Nirvana. Nirvana sort of broke up.

Brian:    Dissolved, yeah.

Don Z:    Dissolved, right, that's a good word.

Brian:    Yeah.

Don Z:    Yes. He came over and he said, "We've got these demos I want to record. Do you want to record these things?" I recorded the demos for him and I actually asked him, "What's the band going to be called?" He said, "The Foo Fighters." I said, "That's a stupid name," yeah.

Brian:    You told him it was stupid?

Don Z:    Yeah.

Brian:    What did he say? [Crosstalk 12:37]

Don Z:    I have struck out on names for bands. The Dismemberment Plan, I took Jason Caddell aside one time and said, "Jason, you've got to change the name of the band. Dismemberment Plan, no one's going to remember that. Come on. Let's get real. Let's get something in there."

Brian:    Yeah.

Don Z:    I have not had a good track record with names of bands. They just haven't worked out with me.

Brian:    Man. Some of these are big personalities that are in the studio. What do you do? You were talking earlier about the conflict between people or we joked marital problems or stuff, when that stuff happens, do you get involved? Do you purposely not get involved?

Don Z:    First of all, usually, people will act on a professional basis and these could be local people, too.

Brian:    Yeah.

Don Z:    They know how to focus pretty well. They don't get involved in a lot of stuff. A lot of the times, it's the people who are, and I'll use the term loosely, amateurs that want to be all over the place. They want to pick their own microphones out. They want to pick the position of the [mount 13:41] in front of the amplifier and, "Why are you using this and why don't we use this? I've seen this being used on YouTube. We should try that," and all that.

     As an engineer I try different things at different points, but as a musician, you should ... I'm speaking for myself, you should not concern yourself with that in a way. You should concern yourself with the way it sounds. You are there to look at the sound of things and making sure that your instrument, whether it's a voice, a guitar amplifier or a base amplifier or a drum set sounds the way you want it to sound. At that point, you can say, "We need more snap in the snare or we need more bottom end to the kick drum."

Brian:    I see.

Don Z:    Not, "We need to use an AKG112 for the kick drum because I've heard that Def Leppard uses that when they record."

Brian:    I got it. Now, I'm with you. All right, and one more question because I want to make sure we place more of the music in here about your work with some of these other artists, but the one question that I love to offer that I'd love to know from you is if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Don Z:    Focus.

Brian:    Focus.

Don Z:    Focus, rehearse. Focus on what you're doing. Focus on your job and what you're doing and be critical. Be critical. Make sure that everything is turning out the way you want it to turn out, but you need to remember that you have a certain job that you could do 100%. Everybody has their own job and everybody wears a different hat and we should keep it that way.

Brian:    Yeah. Got it. Profound. Now, for those folks who are interested in finding out more about you and what you've got going on, is there a website or where should they go to find that out?

Don Z:    I don't know. Wikipedia?

Brian:    You're just out there doing it. Look up Don Zientara on Wikipedia. That is one way to do it.

Don Z:    Yeah.

Brian:    Innerearstudio.com, check out the website.

Don Z:    Inner Ear Studio has some stuff, but I don't have a website myself. I just call and talk-

Brian:    Got it.

Don Z:    Hey, if anybody wants to call me, call the studio. I talk to them. If anybody's got ideas or wants answers to questions, I love talking about recording, microphones, tape recorders, anything along that line.

Brian:    Got it. All right. Give him a call.

November 15, 2016 - Special Guest: Veronneau

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FROM TODAY'S SHOW

NEWS

MUSIC

  1. Cover Up - The SomeTimes (Rock/Country)
  2. Johnny Stone Stole My GIrl - Braddock Station Garrison (Rock/Power Pop)
  3. I Could Be The One - Vegas With Randolph (Pop/Power Pop)
  4. Waiting In Vain - Veronneau (Jazz/World)
  5. Sweet and Sour - Janel and Anthony (Indie/Avant Jazz)
  6. What's Going On - Mark G. Meadows (Jazz/R&B)
  7. The Persistant Elephant - Cristian Perez (Jazz/World Fusion)
  8. Intro/Outro music by Fellowcraft (Hard Rock/Blues)

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Veronneau

VIDEO - BIO - PHOTOS - TRANSCRIPT

BIO

Veronneau DC Music Rocks

Award-winning, international band VERONNEAU have been captivating audiences across North America and Europe with their vocal and guitar based world-jazz. A delicious blend of bossa nova, jazz, samba and swing performed in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Their recent releases, Joie de Vivre – Joy of Living, and Jazz Samba Project earned rave reviews and climbed into the top 10 of leading jazz and world music charts around the world.

VERONNEAU's passion for musical creativity has been honored with awards, grants and commissions. VERONNEAU curated Strathmore Music Center's Jazz Samba Projec festival, produced music documentaries, a musical play, and created a live interactive performance with contemporary dance troupe Company Danzante.

"Alluring and enthralling!" Ricky Kej - 2015 GRAMMY award winner

"Music for big crowds and bright lights" Canadian Audiophile

 "Veronneau is the jazz vocal version of the sexy little black dress...

.....welcome to the land of rhythm and groove" Critical Jazz  

 

http://www.veronneaumusic.com/

https://www.youtube.com/user/VeronneauMusic

https://twitter.com/veronneaumusic

Veronneau DC Music Rocks
Veronneau DC Music Rocks

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

Brian:     That was Veronneau and their track, "Waiting in Vain." With that it is, well let me just tell you, they're an award winning international band that has been captivating audiences across North America and Europe with their vocal and guitar based world jazz. A delicious blend of bossa nova, jazz, samba, and swing performed in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Bring your A game when it comes to the listening because they bring it on four different languages. Their recent release, "Joie de Vivre," the joy of living and jazz, samba project earned rave reviews and climbed into the top 10 of leading jazz and world music charts which was an unbelievable accomplishment for these folks that are right here in D.C. Veronneau's passion for musical creativity as been honored with awards, grants, and commissions. They've curated the Strathmore Music Center's jazz samba project festival. They produce music for documentaries and a musical play and created a live interactive performance with contemporary dance troupe Company Danzante here in D.C.

                  I personally came across these folks because they also are host of Music Alley, which is a phenomenal, phenomenal show about D.C. Music here on 96.7 FM and they are all about the music scene here in D.C. When I heard about them and then I heard their music, it was a no brainer that I definitely wanted to get them on here so that I could share them with you because they are just phenomenal. Listeners, it is with great pleasure that I introduce Lynn and Ken from Veronneau. Say hi guys.

Lynn:      Hey Brian, how are you?

Ken:        Hello there. How you doing?

Brian:     God, it's such a treat to have you guys here. Such a treat.

Lynn:      It's a wonderful pleasure to be here.

Brian:     Tell us about that track that we just played. Tell us about that.

Lynn:      "Waiting in Vain," so that's a Bob Marley tune if you listeners might've recognized it. A beautiful, classic reggae and we decided to play with it a little as were embarking on the jazz samba project which brought us into deeper, deeper into bossa nova and samba. We thought, "Hey, how about we try to do a little bossa nova with that tune," and this is what came out of it. You know, another piece of it was the horns which normally, we don't perform with horns. This is a treat for to bring on horns. I just knew that I had to have the horns on that piece.

Brian:     They sound so good, it's true.

Lynn:      That's Jim McFalls on trombone and Jeff Antoniuk on sax and it's just so lush. I just love it.

Brian:     Wow, phenomenal track. Tell us about you guys now and the band. Where did it come from? How did it start?

Lynn:      Ken, You tell again how the band started and all of that. 

Ken:        This particular band, because Lynn and I have both been playing music for a long time in Europe and over here in America. We'd been doing in America a lot of acoustic folk stuff and hop things just as a duo. We kept on saying, "You know, it'd be really nice to play nice venues or a decent venue," and so on. Maybe even actually get paid and so on. Lynn had this feeling that-

Brian:     The dream. It's the dream. Uh huh.

Ken:        Jazz, jazz could do it. I met another guitar player, David Rosenblatt. I put off meeting him for a long time because everyone said, "You should play with David. He plays guitar," and I kept thinking, "Yeah, he probably knows like three Eric Clapton songs and that's it." I'm not very hopeful.

Brian:     Some people may think that status but apparently that's not status. Okay.

Ken:        You know, maybe "Stairway to Heaven" but just the intro.

Brian:     Oh okay.

Ken:        When I actually went around and met David, my jaw dropped. He's just this stunningly good jazz guitar player, particularly in the Brazilian style. He was brought up as a kid in Brazil.

Ken:        He went back there on a scholarship to study jazz guitar in Brazil. He brought that Brazilian side to what we do. We got together very, very quickly, about six years ago, something like that.

Lynn:      Yeah.

Ken:        We played our first gig in December. We were in the studio, recording the album by March. It's been non-stop ever since.

Brian:     Wow. Now I know you guys do original music and you also play a lot of covers or great interpretations of great songs that most folks know. The decisions, where does that come from? Who makes those calls?

Lynn:      I think the band and everybody together brings material to the band and then we decide if we like it, if we can arrange it. We do the same for the originals too. It may start from a rhythm, it may start from a riff, it may start from some lyrics, and then we get together and we arrange together. It's very difficult for one musician who specializes in one instrument to write for everybody convincingly.

Brian:     Right.

Lynn:      Right. I think I appreciate the fact that we're all very open minded about that. I would never dare try to write a guitar lick.

Ken:        That works the other way as well. I'll come up with a great song and lyrics and Lynn will go, "That's un-singable. It simply cannot be sung." 

Lynn:      There's too may words.

Ken:        She would go through there and red line the, a, if, and, and get rid of those extraneous words so that it's pronounceable.

Brian:     Right. That makes sense. What about outside of the band? Yeah, outside of band. Tell us about you guys, personally.

Lynn:      Oh when we're not playing music. We're married.

Brian:     In case you didn't know. Public service announcement, they're taken, sorry guys.

Ken:        I liked the vocalist so much I went and married her.

Brian:     Yeah you did. You're a lucky man, you. You're a lucky man.

Ken:        Yeah, I always tell people I married, I overachieved in the marriage state so you know it was-

Brian:     You married up, I think I heard them say, yeah?

Ken:        I'm married up, yeah.

Lynn:      I think he's taking advantage of being on the air to say these sweet things.

Brian:     Uh huh, absolutely. As he should.

Ken:        We do music full time outside of this.

Lynn:      Yes.

Ken:        We do music full time and we both did have day jobs and we left them at six years ago and things snowballed. It started off as being let's just leave the albums are doing well, let's just do performance and so on and look after our little boy. It snowballed into all the other things you mentioned, the plays, the films, the dance. I also mentor musicians for the Strathmore. Lynn and I have doing a second time with curating a series of local world music at the Creative Cauldron Falls Church. We found ourselves involved in so many different aspects of music that we never imagined.

Lynn:      I'm also a session singer on certain projects. Yeah, earlier in the show you were saying how incredible the pool of talent we have in the area. I agree with you, I don't think we'll ever get to the bottom. It's rich, it's interesting, it's diverse and we're extremely lucky that we have the time and energy to be involved with so many people. 

Brian:     What is your favorite part about the D.C. music scene specifically?

Lynn:      Wow the incredible wealth of talent. Sheer, raw, deep talent.

Brian:     Wow, yeah definitely. Ken, any thoughts there?

Ken:        I think also particularly in the genre, you know it's interesting, we're listening to the records you're playing. The records, I'm showing my age there, the records. Your old school.

Brian:     Uh huh.

Ken:        It's a breath of fresh air to hear that because we don't tend to hear that as much. We tend to be listening to world and jazz music more.

Brian:     I see.

Ken:        Within our world, a lot of those musicians, there's a lot of cross fertilization. We'll see a guitar player or bandoneon player or a vocalist popping up on each other's albums all the time. That's really nice. It's really nice that you can say, "We'd like to collaborate. Would you be interested?" and it's usually yes. There's not a competitive sense in D.C.

Brian:     That's awesome.

Ken:        I have been told by some musicians who've lived and worked professionally in New York that they either came back to D.C. or they came to D.C. and fell in love with it because there was the possibility. It was a much less pressured, much less competitive situation. There's work, there's money, not a lot, but there's money. They really enjoyed either coming back home or setting up home here as musicians.

Brian:     Now what about the best show you've ever played? What comes to mind?

Lynn:      Oh wow, what comes to mind, that would have to be the Strathmore Music Center, the large stage there.

Brian:     Yeah, that's a big one up there too.

Lynn:      That's a big one, yes.

Brian:     For those who have never been to the Strathmore that are listening, where is that one? What is that one?

Lynn:      It's in, is it North Bethesda or is it Rockville there?

Ken:        It's North Bethesda. North Bethesda.

Lynn:      North Bethesda, Maryland. It's just on the outskirts of the northern suburbs of Washington, D.C. The center's about 10 years old and it really is the state of the art facility.

Lynn:      The sound is phenomenal. It is actually very beautiful. It holds about 2,500 people.

Brian:     Wow.

Lynn:      We've had the opportunity to perform there in an extravaganza. I call it Lynn's extravaganza. It was a jazz samba project festival that we had curated and Ken was deeply involved with the entire two weeks of workshops and documentaries and exhibits and tons of concerts of course. It was the finale and I thought, "I need a big finale. I want a big finale," so I had the whole horn section and wonderful players. I had a Latino choir and I had a samba dancer. It was fun.

Brian:     Oh man, what a treat.

Ken:        Oh and a harmonica player. We brought in one of the world's top harmonica players from New York who has played with us a few times.

Lynn:      Oh yes, yes. I forgot.

Brian:     Wow.

Ken:        He too loves to come down to D.C. Jumps on the bus when he's not touring in Brazil or Japan or something to play with us.

Lynn:      Right.

Ken:        We had Hendrick as well, Hendrick [Meurkens 00:10:48].

Brian:     What about a time when you guys tried and failed?

Lynn:      Do you want to tell, Ken?

Ken:        Yeah, when we tried and failed. I think the biggest, the most surprising thing, we went to a venue out in Shenandoah Mountains and one thing we do all of the time and always have to is we promote. We really do the work to do the work in this field is so important. You're in a partnership with the venues and you can assume they're not going to do the promotion. If they do it's a bonus. We go to radio, we go to newspaper, we do the social media, we do the whole thing. We did our work, go to an area we've never been to in the Shenandoah Mountains and we went out there and there were five people in the audience.

Brian:     Oh my goodness.

Ken:        We've never had that before. That was a real shock to us.

Lynn:      A gorgeous venue. The sound was absolutely amazing.

Brian:     Oh man.

Lynn:      But nobody came.

Brian:     Nobody came.

Lynn:      You know they say if you build it, they will come. No, they didn't come.

Brian:     It's so true. I think every musician's got that story where you're just playing to the sound man. That really, oh man, okay.

Ken:        They were a very receptive five people. At the same time, you're thinking, "Are they staying because they'd be embarrassed to leave or are they actually really enjoying it?"

Brian:     Yeah. I got one last question that I love to ask and that's if you have one piece of advice to offer, what would it be?

Lynn:      Ken is always about do the work and be diligent and promote and support the venue as much as you are supporting your audience too. I'm sorry, I'm speaking for you, Ken, now. I would like to like to add, as a band leader, I support my band. I look out for my band. I make sure they have the material that they need to work. I make sure they have schedules. I make sure they know where to go, how to dress and what to expect. I like to look out for my band and Ken likes to look out for the business.

Ken:        For the business. We do tour. We tour out in Europe and when we go there it's like a military operation that put together. We got a sheet that says this is where you need to be at this time, this is the time we'll pick you up in the car.

Brian:     Preparation is key, it sounds like.

Lynn:      Yeah.

Ken:        Yeah. Here are the phone numbers of where we're staying and all the rest of it. We really do the work in advance for those tours.