Viewing entries tagged
Hello Dharma

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

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

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

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

FROM TODAY'S SHOW

MUSIC

  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!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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!
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/this-guy-wrote-a-song-for-every-metro-station-all-91-of-them/2017/06/12/6cbf345a-4acb-11e7-9669-250d0b15f83b_story.html

NEW RELEASES

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 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HfiO8xwZpg (official music video)

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 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

VIDEO - BIO - LINKS - TRANSCRIPT

BIO:

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.

Links

http://vimandvigormusic.com
https://www.facebook.com/vimandvigormusic
https://www.instagram.com/vimandvigormusic/

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

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, vimandvigormusic.com. 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.

5/9/17 - Conrad Osipowicz, Founder and Owner of Blue Room Recording Studio

Big thanks to Conrad for joining us on the show this week!

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

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

FROM TODAY'S SHOW

MUSIC

  1. Brighter Day by Caroline Ferrante (Indie/Americana)
  2. Danger Close by His Dream of Lions (Pop/Rock)
  3. Down by Jen Miller (Indie/Indie Pop)
  4. Carolina by Hello Dharma (Pop/R&B)
  5. Back Where I Started by Pressing Strings (Folk/Rock)
  6. I'm Okay by Nelly's Echo (Pop/Soul)

ANNOUNCEMENTS

NEW RELEASES

THIS WEEK'S LOCAL DC SHOWS TO SEE

SEE THE FULL CALENDAR - You can even filter to shows nearby!  We hope you'll go to one!

Fri May 12

Lesson Zero @ Rhodeside Grill in Arlington, VA
Olivia Mancini & Run Come See @ Rock & Roll Hotel in DC

Sat May 13

Kingman Island Bluegrass Fest
The Split Seconds, Derek Evry, 9 to 5, and Fellowcraft @ VFW Post 9274 in Falls Church, VA

Sun May 14

Veronneau @ Villain & Saint in Bethesda, MD

Mon May 15

Thievery Corporation w/ Orchestra @ Kennedy Center in DC

Tues May 16

Lanternfish, Technicians @ Black Cat in DC

Wed May 17

Ken Wenzel @ Ireland’s 4 Courts in Arlington, VA

Thurs May 18

Backbeat Underground @ Villain & Saint in Bethesda, MD

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-



CONRAD OSIPOWICZ

VIDEO - BIO - LINKS - TRANSCRIPT

The Blue Room Live Video Link Brian and Conrad discussed: https://www.facebook.com/blueroommusicstudio/videos/1453223031355708/

Bio:

Conrad founded Blue Room Productions in 2009 after graduating Magna cum Laude from Emerson College in Boston, MA with achievements in audio/radio production and entrepreneurial studies. While living in Boston, Conrad acted as the Live Mix Director for WERS 88.9 FM, one of the largest stations broadcasting to the New England area and online around the world.

As a producer and engineer, Conrad has continued to push his boundaries by attending workshops, master classes and industry conferences which have taken him as far as Avignon, France, attending the Mix With the Masters seminar with legendary grammy-award winning engineer Chris Lord-Alge. As an experienced producer with over 13 years of experience and a veteran drummer, Conrad is one of the most versatile and respected producers in the DC area, as well as being a voting member for the Grammy’s. He’s also a member of the Audio Engineering Society, a society comprised of leading audio engineers and scientists as well as the Washington D.C. chapter of the Grammy Foundation.

 

Conrad playing drums for his Tool Tribute Band which he discussed on this episode.

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're 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 incredible people. We have Conrad, who founded Blue Room Productions in 2009 after graduating from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, in audio and radio production and entrepreneurial studies. While living in Boston, Conrad acted as the live mix director for WERS 88.9, which is what you mentioned earlier with Thievery Corporation, that's where you came across them, so the Boston connection. It's one of the largest stations broadcasting to the New England area, and online around the world, so as an experienced producer with over 13 years of experience, and a veteran drummer, Conrad is one of the most versatile and respected producers in the DC area as well as being a voting member of the Grammys. That's what everyone wants to know, right? Are you a voting member of the Grammys? This man is one of those people. He is also a member of the Audio Engineering Society and overall great guy.

      I first came across Conrad when my band, we had entered into the competition for a Whammy, for the Washington Area Music Awards, and my album got picked up as a possibility for that. Conrad heard the album, and he reached out, and wanted to do ... He has something awesome called Blue Room Live, which we'll talk about here in the interview, but I got to participate in it. I'll be sure to share that video with you, because that was a cool experiece. It's awesome he's sharing those videos. It turns out, by the way, he's an awesome guy, so afterwards it was like, "All right, Conrad, I want you to come on the show man, let's talk to you." Listeners it's with great pleasure that I get to formally introduce Conrad.

Conrad:     Thanks very much, thanks for having me and thanks for your kind words.

Brian:     Thanks for being here. Now, one of the things I want to know, first, I want to know why is it called Blue Room?

Conrad:     The first studio, I have one location in Maryland and one in Virginia, the original Blue Room Studio, the walls were blue before I arrived. It was a empty room with a carpet and these funky red lips couches, no recording equipment, no vocal booth, and the walls were blue, so the name kind of stuck for the last seven, eight years.

Brian:     Became the Blue Room.

Conrad:     It sure did.

Brian:     There you go. That's really funny. At what point did you ... It wasn't when you first moved in you called it the Blue Room, then it became, ultimately, a business name.

Conrad:     Yeah.

Brian:     When did it go from the nickname to the real name?

Conrad:     I never knew even the name would last or stick around and it would be as notable as it is now, but even the second studio in Virginia, all the walls are painted blue in all of the rooms, the isolation room, control room, everything is blue. It fit.

Brian:     It became for real then. That's amazing, all right. Now talk about, for those listeners who don't know, I was talking about Blue Room Live. Tell them what that is and where that came from.

Conrad:     Absolutely.

Brian:     Talk about that.

Conrad:     Well were trying to follow similar to your footsteps, we want to support local music, and be a hub for local DC musicians to meet at our studio, to connect with each other, to perform their original songs, and to get out there into the environment. It's difficult now, in 2017, it's a completely different landscape as far as promoting your live music, so we're trying to give local talent an opportunity to perform and stream live in our studio to Facebook, or YouTube, to have a great avenue to get out to their fans and friends.

Brian:     That is really cool. Where did the idea come from for that? Was that ...

Conrad:     I'm very much into technology, I'm a nerd, and a geek at heart. Hybrid musician and nerd, so recording engineer worked out.

Brian:     I appreciate your honesty sir.

Conrad:     [inaudible 00:03:29]

Brian:     It's that nerd thing.

Conrad:     I'm very much into emerging technology, things which are right over the horizon. I'm just now getting heavy into 3D and VR, being able to broadcast a live concert from our studio in VR and to the goggles people wear around the country, around the world.

Brian:     Wow.

Conrad:     Maybe six, nine months ago, I knew that Facebook and YouTube, they're investing into infrastructure for live streaming, but up until a certain point you could only stream with your phone. Trying to find a way to do it with multiple camera angles, a very high quality audio mix from ProTools, everything done live on the fly like a radio show, like today. There's a lot of added pressure, it's a much different mentality verses just booking the studio for a session and recording, recording as many takes as you want. There's really a lot more added pressure when you're trying to hit that live broadcast, as you know.

Brian:     Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we do it live on here and then we also share the recording, but same thing with Blue Room Live too. If you got to the Blue Room ... The Facebook tag is ...

Conrad:     BlueRoomLive.com will take you right to our Facebook site where those streams occur, BlueRoomMusicStudio.com tells you all about our studio, and Blue Room Live takes you right to the archive of all of our previous live streams.

Brian:     Awesome, so definitely, they've had some amazing groups that have been on there. By all means check out fellow crafter, Black Alley was the one right after us, I thought that was amazing. They do incredible sound because it's a recording studio.

Conrad:     You got it.

Brian:     You guys really do justice to how awesome the sound is of these bands.

Conrad:     We care about that too, I'm not satisfied with someone streaming off the internal mic on their iPhone, I want to have a high quality stream to listen to. Band like Black Alley, last month, we had 6,500 simultaneous viewers tuning in from our tiny study in Herdon, Virginia. It was a blessing and we're hoping to do that all summer long.

Brian:     Now the musicians, I've had a couple musicians ask me, because they thought it was incredible, which it did, if they were interested in signing up for that ...

Conrad:     Sure.

Brian:     ... or getting to know. What's the best way for them to reach you for that?

Conrad:     I encourage any local groups to contact us to do a live stream, or just to chat, and to talk about a potential project, or any way we can collaborate, and support, and be a hub for musicians in the area. The best thing is just give us a call or send us an email, it's info@BlueRoomMusicStudio.com. Feel free to send samples of your work, any information you can share about the group, your experience recording and performing in the DC area, and we'd be happy to host you.

Brian:     Yeah that's awesome, very cool. Kind of right now, what about ... Now I know you're also a musician too, so talk about that. What are you into with music around here?

Conrad:     I've been a drummer for about 17 years so far.

Brian:     [inaudible 00:06:11] high five on the drummer thing.

Conrad:     High five on drums.

Brian:     That's it, all right.

Conrad:     Team drummer here.

Brian:     Yeah.

Conrad:     That's really my primary instrument, I can hang on guitar and bass as well, but I'd say at least more recently over the last few years, my primary passion, my primary instrument seems to be the mixer in the recording studio. That's where I live most of the time.

Brian:     that's a very powerful instrument. It should not be overlooked, that's for sure.

Conrad:     Agreed.

Brian:     Now, so you play around town now. How did the Tool tribute band, how did that start?

Conrad:     I play in a band called Wild Eyes, we're a Tool tribute group. We've been performing for over four years already in New York, Virginia, Baltimore area. I'm into not just loud, aggressive, screaming metal, but something that's a bit more powerful, something with something interesting to listen to, especially in the rhythm department as you can imagine. I'm into music with a lot of polyrhythms, a lot of double bass, a lot of kind of unique blue notes, and odd type signatures, and strange maybe non-typical western music you might hear on the radio. Tool is right up my alley. We play these epic songs from maybe seven to maybe 15 minutes long. There are these long twisted epic songs that we idolize these guys, I'm actually going to see them perform three times in 10 days in DC, New York, and Boston, in two weeks.

Brian:     Wow.

Conrad:     It will be really cool. I will be loaded on Tool.

Brian:     That's cool. All right, so you go see some shows. Now what else with what you're doing ... Talk about outside of music now, and outside of the studio, who is Conrad outside of that? Hobbies, what do you do outside of that?

Conrad:     Not much. I'm so heavy, I'm so passionate into audio engineering, into high fidelity, high quality, high resolution audio and video, that's a really a passion of mine. All my friends are musicians, whenever I have free time I'm always going to shows at any venue in the DC area. I've been to the Fillmore twice already this month. I've there all the time, seeing shows downtown, Velvet Lounge, Black Cat, DC 9, trying to not only meet other musicians, but trying to support my friends, and their shows, and they support me and my endeavor, and my studio, so I try to pay it back, as you're doing also.

Brian:     Now I can't let you get away with just saying more music, so tell us something else man. What else is outside? Is there a certain TV show you like, are you a hardcore workout guy, is there any ... Do you have pets at home, or any kind ... What's outside of it.

Conrad:     I have a beautiful German Shepherd, Silver, that I adore. I try to get to the gym when I can every now and then. I don't have cable TV, so I don't even watch that much TV, just a little Apple TV now and then. The majority of my time and love, which gets me out of bed every day is running my business, running the studios, mixing, mastering, meeting new clients, traveling when I can. I'm very involved and very active in the DC chapter of the Grammys, and go to all of their events, and panel discussions. I'm quite active in the AES, Audio Engineering Society, a group of professional engineers and producers. I travel to all of their affairs and expos in LA and New York. I've been to the Grammys five times already, so I travel to LA every year and vote on the ballot and try to stay very active in my community.

Brian:     I think you succeed in that, so it's not just trying, I definitely think you succeed. Now talk about what's something in your music collection that might surprise us?

Conrad:     I try to be extremely open when people, you ask people, "What kind of music do you listen to?" They say, "I listen to everything." I really try to listen to everything. I try to be well versed and try to listen to top charting songs on Spotify, even styles I may not typically reach for, it doesn't have to be rock, it doesn't have to be metal, I listen to pop songs, jazz, folk, country, gospel, blues, reggae, because I have to be familiar with those genres. My clients expect that kind of contemporary sound, or maybe they're looking for a older vintage sound, who knows?

Brian:     Got it.

Conrad:     I try to be extremely well versed, like a chef who might cook all different types of cuisine around the world. I want to be the same capacity as a recording engineer, very well versed.

Brian:     You're well versed, is there one that surprises you that's in your music collection?

Conrad:     You know, I'd say while I enjoy working with pop singers, and individual singer song writers who maybe play guitar and sing, or play piano and sing, I always gravitate towards working with bands, and recording live instruments. I much always ... I prefer to set up a live drum set, and mic it up, and track live drums instead of resorting to drum loops, or sequencing, or using some midi synthesizer or something like that to ... As far as strange genres, I really don't have any. I'm extremely neutral. Even country music, and hip hop, and jazz, and every perspective, I try to do it all. A bunch of my friends invited me to see deadmau5 at Merriweather Post in Columbia. I don't go to too many EDM shows, or electronic shows, so that was something different for me.

Brian:     You were there?

Conrad:     I was there.

Brian:     Awesome.

Conrad:     I was there seeing with the animations, and the subs, and the lasers, and fog, and everything, and it was pretty wild. I was the guy in the back with the custom earplugs in my ear, protecting my ears. I'm usually that guy.

Brian:     Yep, absolutely. Hey listen, custom earplugs, if you like live music, or you work with live music, custom earplugs, or at least hi-fi earplugs are definitely a great investment.

Conrad:     Agreed.

Brian:     I'm glad you're doing that.

Conrad:     Critical.

Brian:     Now, earliest memory with music.

Conrad:     Well I started playing drums at age 12, I certainly remember growing listening to whatever my parents, my family, was playing, driving in my dad's blue Nissan ZX300, listening to Deep Purple. Of course he's a big fan of the Beatles too, so those were heavy influences in me too. I started playing piano for about a year or two, and took a lot of lessons, but at age 10 or 11 it's difficult to really stick with it. As soon as I tried drums, and even sitting at the kitchen table, and my dad was trying to demo, and grill me, and see if I can play simple rhythms on the table. I did, and I passed, so he said, "All right, let's sign you up for drum lessons." From age 12 on I've been very deep into percussion and drums. That really carries over even into my career as an audio engineer, because I'm a stickler for timing, and making sure the groove feels correct, and feels proper. Things have to be in tune, and in time, and if the drums aren't feeling right, I sit and analyze, and nudge, the drums around, and force them to get into time. Because nothing bothers me more than a strange, a funky feeling groove. I don't mean funky in a good way, in the bad way.

Brian:     It's funky in the kind of smells way, right? I get you.

Conrad:     There you go.

Brian:     All right now, one of my favorite questions to ask is if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Conrad:     Networking and connections, especially in smaller markets, not in Nashville, or New York, or LA for example, but in a city like DC, being friendly, being outgoing, and collaborating with other musicians is everything. My business and my career as an engineer, as a musician, as a band mate, wouldn't survive without other people, and without connections and assistance from them too. Going and being active in your community, going to events, whether it's Grammys, or AES, or something else you're interested and passionate about, you got to get up, you got to get out of bed, you got to get dressed and go to these events. A lot of them are Saturday, Sundays, some of them are in different cities, but to go and smile, and pass out business cards, and meet people, you never know who calls you six months, or six years later, and says, "I met you a while ago. You had this metal business card. I need an album to be mixed," or, "I have a song to master," or something like that. You never know who is going to knock on your door.

Brian:     You sound like you have experience with that, is there a story that comes to mind with that one that [inaudible 00:14:29]

Conrad:     I recall the first time I went to the Grammys, which was about five or six years ago, I sat one row in front at the Staples Center in LA with ... There was a reggae artist behind me who we just started talking, and had some time to kill. I gave him my card, and months later he called me and booked me to mix his entire album. That alone, that project alone paid for my whole trip to LA, and all my meetings, and travel, et cetera.

Brian:     That's amazing.

Conrad:     I never knew, I never guessed he would call. I even forgot about him, and he call and said, "I remember, I was sitting behind you at the Grammys at the Staple Center. Let's do some work together." You never know who's going to give you a call.

Brian:     That's amazing. That networking thing, I love it. Now, if folks want to find out more about you and the cool things happening at Blue Room, where do they go?

Conrad:     I encourage you to check out BlueRoomMusicStudio.com, that's the domain for my two studios. One is in Bethesda, Maryland, one in Herndon, Virginia, we're about half an hour from the White House, from downtown Washington. I'd love anyone and everyone to reach out, and if you'd ever like to come by for a studio tour, or need a consultation for your project, I engineer, and I have a few other very talented engineers I'd be happy to introduce you.