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Stone Driver

3/27/18 - Special Guest: Mystery Friends

Thanks to Mystery Friends 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 PlayStitcher, TuneInPocket CastsPodBeanPlayerFM, or THIS URL in your app of choice

 

FROM THIS SHOW

MUSIC

  1. Voodoo Woman, by Stone Driver (Hard Rock, Rock)

  2. Keflavik, by Mystery Friends (Indie, Dance Rock)

  3. ***Aimless Kid, by Queue (Indie, Indie Rock)

  4. Fade, by Lavender (Indie,Indie Pop)

  5. ***Graves, by Kid Brother (Rock/Folk)

***The first time we've played this artist for you on the show, & a new artist profile added to our DC Artist Database!  There's new artists every week!

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


ANNOUNCEMENTS

We need your help supporting WERA 96.7FM, a big supporter of the local music scene in DC, & the station where the live version of our show airs!  Arlington County is planning to cut funding for the station by 20%, which would gut the station staff, drive up costs to the station’s community considerably, and potentially even cause the loss of the station itself.
https://www.arlingtonmedia.org/about/proposed-fy-19-county-budget-catastrophic-aim

The county board will vote on the proposed budget on April 21st. Here’s how we need your help before the vote:

1) If you live in Arlington, or know someone who does, forward them this link and sign our petition - Urging the County Board to restore AIM's funding.
https://www.change.org/p/arlington-county-board-urge-the-arlington-county-board-to-act-to-restore-arlington-independent-media-s-funding

2) Share Your Feedback on Arlington's FY 2019 Proposed Budget - This county survey asks Arlington residents to give feedback on the proposed budget. Must be completed by April 9, 2018
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FY19BudgetFeedback

3) Write your County Board members - countyboard@arlingtonva.us - Tell them you want AIM's funding restored!!  Sample letter here - https://www.arlingtonmedia.org/about/proposed-fy-19-county-budget-catastrophic-aim/sample-letter-county-board-stop-aim-budget-cuts

4) Speak with a County Board member at an Open Door Monday. Open to all Arlington residents.  No appointment is necessary to talk one-on-one with a County Board member on any topic. Mondays, 7 - 9PM, at locations around the Arlington. See schedule below:
Open Door Monday at Langston Brown Community Center - Monday, April 2nd https://countyboard.arlingtonva.us/open-door-mondays/


NEW MUSIC RELEASES

  • Stone Driver - Voodoo Woman (Single - Hard Rock - RIYL AC/DC)

  • Time Is Fire - Stories Untold (3 Song EP - Hard Rock - RIYL Gang of Four)

Our 2018 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:
https://open.spotify.com/user/dcmusicrocks/playlist/7kbMQzbrQPisoJq5A76V3k


NEW VIDEOS

The Split Seconds - Come To Mary https://youtu.be/JdZ4VhPHfA4

Thievery Corporation - Depth of My Soul ft Shana Halligan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3PyhMO171E

2018 Tiny Desk Contest Videos By Your Local Artist (See Youtube Playlist below)

  • Sub-Radio

  • Lavender

  • Crys Matthews

  • Nardo Lilly

  • Justin Trawick

  • Thaylobleu

  • Aztec Sun

  • Near Northeast

  • Skribe

  • Leo & Cygnus

  • Flo Anito

  • Mystery Friends

Our ‘DC Artists 2018 Tiny Desk Videos’ Youtube Playlist:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtzE3kBQ_70mSpEqXgQVvD6mR7yxbdyuV

Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtzE3kBQ_70kU0_uB-sdviWajkbzi2Akr


THIS WEEK'S LOCAL DC SHOWS TO SEE

Here’s just a few highlights for the coming week, be sure to check out the calendar for the full list of all the upcoming shows!
http://www.dcmusicrocks.com/local-music-calendar

(RIYL = Recommended If You Like)
Fri Mar 30
-Queue @ Black Cat on 14th St (Spacy Indie Vibe, RIYL The Nationals, The Cranberries)
-Bencoolen & FeelFree @ Gypsy Sally’s (Reggae, RIYL Red Hot Chili Peppers, SOJA, Steely Dan)
-Oh He Dead @ DC9 Nightclub (RIYL Alabama Shakes, Amy Winehouse, EP Release Show)

Sat Mar 31
-Lionize & Tomato Dodgers @ Rock & Roll Hotel on H St (Hard Rock & Funk, RIYL Metallica & Cake)

Sun Apr 1
-Rare Essence @ Society Lounge in Silver Spring (Go-Go, RIYL Chuck Brown

Tue Apr 3
-Rachel Levitin @ Pearl Street Warehouse (Rock, RIYL Sheryl Crow)

Thu Apr 5
-Chris Cassaday & Sol Roots @ Union Stage (Funk Blues, RIYL Eric Lindell, The Wood Brothers, Dave Matthews, Sublime)
-FuzzQueen & Nah. @ DC9 (Rock Indie, RIYL PJ Harvey, Waxahachie, Courtney Barnett, Hospitality)

Mark Your Calendar FUTURE shows discussed during the show:

Apr 23
Mystery Friends @ DC9

May 26
Stone Driver, Black Dog Prowl, and Fellowcraft (Brian's Band) at Union Stage
Epic Hard Rock Show - RIYL: AC/DC, Metallica, Guns & Roses,   


Patreon

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)**



Mystery Friends

Video - Bio - Links - Transcript

Mystery Friends's Bio:

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Mystery Friends is a band rooted in the DC-music tradition while forging its own path forward. Since forming in 2016, the band finds its sound from a variety of influences, but they all fit together like a weird, wonderful puzzle. The band has been likened to Chvrches and Talking Heads, among others, but never looks to copy someone else’s sound. Combining powerful vocals, angular guitars, woozy synths, and a funky rhythm section, Mystery Friends makes moderately danceable rock music for a time when people need a reason to dance.

Links:
https://www.mysteryfriendsband.com/
https://www.instagram.com/mysteryfriends/
https://www.facebook.com/mysteryfriendsband/
https://twitter.com/mysteryfriends_
https://open.spotify.com/artist/1nkamhZ86zDvuB1HB3Wq8y
https://mysteryfriends.bandcamp.com/

 

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INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

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. Mystery Friends formed in 2016 and finds its sound from a variety of influences that all fit together like a weird wonderful puzzle. The band has been likened to Chvrches and Talking Heads among others and combining powerful vocals from Abby over there with angular guitars, woozy sense, and a funky rhythm section.

     Mystery friends makes moderately danceable rock, which we established means only extreme dancing sometimes, regular dancing other times. Moderately danceable rock I love it. Moderately danceable rock music for a time when people need a reason to dance. So and I first came across these guys, God it was probably a couple years ago. I've been following you guys for a long time since the first EP came out and I've been such a fan so for me it's a fanboy moment for me where I get to say thank you guys so much for being here. This is really cool.

Dave:     Well thank you.

Brian:     Absolutely. Now so for those folks who haven't heard it what is it that makes you guys special do you think? I hear all the time that like, "Oh we have great energy." Or something but what else, what makes you guys special or different you think?

Danny:     Reverse guitar.

Brian:     And if they don't know what a reverse guitar is what is that exactly?

Danny:     That's a guitar that you play backwards and put it into a sample pad.

Brian:     Play backwards meaning upside down and in your left hand? What does that mean?

Danny:     Yeah well that's what we tried it first.

Dave:     That's phase two.

Abby:     Yeah.

Dave:     So yeah I mean I would say part of what I think makes us unique or special would be that we take, we're a band with many influences and many, we bring a lot of different things to the table and that's could be a detriment but I think it's actually an asset because you know none of us are of the same exact musical taste and I think that ultimately that means we have like we try to write in that you know summary the combination can be interesting. You don't hear a lot of things like that because we're not all going from, "Oh I have to play like Radiohead. I have to play like whatever." Everybody has a different influence so therefore those are all represented in the music we ultimately produce.

Brian:     Got it and how did you guys come together?

Danny:     Very slowly. So I think actually the way that the name kind of works for us is that we all, so me and Dave went to high school together, but I met Robbie through his now fiancee. I met Abby through my girlfriend Kate's friend's sister. Is who Abby is. And I knew about Abby moving to DC months before she actually did and you know kind of probably scared her at a party one time when I told her I put a track on the playlist of the party that we were at. And so we kind of, yeah, so we kind of come from everywhere.

Abby:     Yeah.

Brian:     So in it, but what I'm collecting from this is that you all some how knew each other a little bit it wasn't like a Craigslist thing?

Dave:     Yeah. That's right.

Abby:     Correct. Yeah.

Danny:     Except for our drummer who's not here. Who Robbie met-

Dave:     Who was Robbie with?

Robbie:     I met his sister at-

Danny:     I met his sister at a wedding.

Robbie:     Yes.

Danny:     Yeah.

Dave:     So instead of Craigslist-

Danny:     And we needed a drummer.

Dave:     Robbie found someone at a wedding and through persuasion-

Brian:     You found someone at a wedding.

Dave:     Yeah.

Brian:     I love this combination. Holy smokes. I can't even keep track of all the things you just said but at the same time the level of connections it's like three degrees of separation from what's his name? Kevin Spacey?

Abby:     Yep.

Danny:     We probably know everybody in the DC area if-

Dave:     Yeah. Yeah.

Abby:     Somehow.

Danny:     [crosstalk 00:03:26] powers.

Abby:     Someone's connected or yeah well connected. If they're capable of something.

Brian:     That's amazing. And the name itself where does Mystery Friends come from?

Abby:     We joke 'cause it was a random name generator actually. But then we kind of landed on that and we're like that's actually really good. So-

Brian:     Now wait were you all like sitting around the name generator together at a rehearsal or did somebody find it and was like, "Hey what about this?"

Abby:     It was one of those rehearsals were I think we were let's rehearse but then it ended up being let's just eat pizza. So yeah I think there were instruments there but I don't think you can call it a rehearsal.

Brian:     So you had your phones out and you were looking on name generators and oh Mystery Friends.

Abby:     Yeah. It might've been Robbie. Yeah I don't, we had a list of like reject names and I think Mystery Friends was actually listed there and I'm like wait a minute that actually works for us. So you know all the odd connections and the friend tree that we have of how we all kind of came together so it worked out well.

Brian:     That's amazing and re-introduce yourselves real quick one more time. It's your name and what your role is in the band. Run through it for me real quick.

Abby:     Yeah Abby I'm the vocalist and the synth player.

Dave:     I'm Dave and I play guitar and synth and other stuff.

Brian:     Got it.

Danny:     And I'm Danny I play guitar and sample pad.

Brian:     Yeah.

Robbie:     Robbie here. I play bass.

Brian:     Yep and there's one more he is ...

Robbie:     Greg.

Abby:     Greg.

Brian:     Greg [crosstalk 00:04:38] he plays drums.

Abby:     Greg on the drums.

Dave:     Yeah on behalf of Greg he plays drums.

Brian:     On behalf of Greg.

Robbie:     The most mysterious of all the friends.

Brian:     Yeah I was going to say and I'm a drummer so you're the most important part and I love you man. Just so you know.

Dave:     Oh yeah. I can attest we tried playing without a drummer and I can attest that it is not as good as it sounds.

Brian:     See now you're just sucking up to me. Don't stop. Don't stop. That's so good. So now talk about you guys outside of the music. So then on the personal side, all of you guys, what are your hobbies? What do you do outside of Mystery Friends? Abby you first.

Abby:     Well it's funny because we all kind of have our corporate work jobs which kind of consume but we still find time for the band and for other things and yeah I'm really heavily involved in the events. You know industry out here in DC so I'm working a lot of events and going to a lot of events.

Brian:     Nice. What kind of events are your favorite kind of events?

Abby:     I, this is so cheesy but I love weddings. It's just, I cry at every single one of them.

Brian:     Oh my goodness. Oh that's so adorable stop it. I got ...

Robbie:     Even though she's missing mine.

Brian:     Oh.

Abby:     We're gonna do that right now aren't we.

Brian:     That's a shot over the bower. Alright.

Dave:     All out.

Abby:     That's just [crosstalk 00:05:43].

Brian:     He was waiting until now to do that. He really was.

Abby:     He was.

Brian:     Oh God that's hilarious. Alright Dave what about you man?

Dave:     So I am a also a tax lawyer. So that's less fun than music but it is what I do.

Brian:     That's so nerdy.

Dave:     Even for the synthesizers that I have. And then I also play, well I don't play so much baseball these days, but used to play baseball and now I'm auditing my [inaudible 00:06:05] shop because I'm playing music instead.

Brian:     Oh that's-

Dave:     And also Abby's being modest. She's also a successful solo artist and she just released a really cool video so you should check that out.

Brian:     Nice. And if they want to check out that video where do they go?

Abby:     It's on YouTube now and the official music video is up as of yesterday. Two days ago.

Brian:     And they should search for?

Abby:     Escape Plan by Abby Sevcik. And if you need help spelling that it's S-E-V-C-I-K.

Brian:     There it is. Alright and so next up. What do we got?

Danny:     I don't do a whole lot. I program professionally so I spend a lot of time around a computer and then I go home and play video games on my Nintendo Switch.

Brian:     Fantastic. [crosstalk 00:06:42] top two video games?

Danny:     Top two video games right now are we talking?

Brian:     Yeah. Like if you were going home now what two would you likely play?

Danny:     Probably Breath of the Wild and Golf Stories the current one. It's an RPG revolving around golf.

Brian:     And if they don't happen to know what game system are those on?

Danny:     Those are on Nintendo Switch.

Brian:     Got it.

Dave:     You thought the tax lawyer was nerdy?

Danny:     I was kind of like, "You made a mistake there."

Brian:     Oh well if you guys want to compete you know I got, that's cool. Alright and now what else? Talk to me man Robbie what do you got?

Robbie:     Yeah so I'll follow up with the day job as we all have them. I'm a real estate agent so I spend a lot of time looking at houses and et cetera. In my free time me and the fiancee [Bria 00:07:27] we love to go outdoors. We do a lot of hiking and skiing all those types of things.

Brian:     And what's the latest outdoor thing that you've done that comes to mind?

Robbie:     This is kind of weird but I'll go with it anyways. My buddy lives out in Alexandria and he decided he wanted to recycle a bunch of beer cans so we were outside. We built a kiln in his backyard and melted down beer cans and turned them into art. So ...

Abby:     Very outdoorsy.

Brian:     Oh my God.

Danny:     Yeah that's the type of outdoorsy

Dave:     Yeah the destructive fire based outdoorsy.

Brian:     Oh my God that's like, I didn't know what I was expecting but I wasn't expecting that. And then we were just talking about the nerdy level of the other two guys and now, oh wow. It's so good. I love you guys. Now one of my other favorite questions that I love to ask is if you could offer one piece of advice and this is for all of you guys, I want you to answer, if you can offer one piece of advice what would it be? Abby you're first.

Abby:     I think the best piece of advice I've been offered that I often relay is don't ever get to a point where you feel like you made it. I think that there's a lot of little success that come about that you're like "Oh my gosh this is so cool." You know I think you can kind of level yourself off if you're not careful. So just always you know remaining humble but also reaching for the next level of whatever you just obtained.

Brian:     Yeah and just out of curiosity what's the most recent success moment that comes to mind for you when you say that? Don't let it get to you but what comes to mind for you?

Abby:     It's crazy 'cause I'm sure a lot of people have experienced but this was my like, "Oh my gosh I made it." Dangerous but somebody saw me off the street and was like, "Are you in that band Mystery Friends?" I was like [crosstalk 00:09:03]. And I didn't want to know 'cause I'm sure like that was probably a friend of a friend but I'm like no I'm just going to go ahead and assume that that was a complete stranger.

Brian:     I am so glad that that happened to you. That's amazing. Alright Dave you're next man talk to me.

Dave:     I would say don't be lazy. I think, you know, if this band has been nothing else but exercise and you try there's a good chance you might just succeed even when you don't think your qualified or very good and you might not be. But if you're willing to go for it. I mean we basically shown that just trying and asking and just going of rit can be remarkably successful and it's really easy to do nothing so if you have a passion for it don't be lazy. Go for it.

Brian:     Don't be lazy. Right. I like it. And what is, is music an example of where you weren't lazy or didn't be lazy?

Dave:     Yeah I would say so. I would say I don't think the band collectively is very lazy with music. I think the first couple months we played or the first six months we played. We probably were pretty lazy you know. We sat around and played and just kind of you know tried out some sounds and hung out and ate pizza and once we decided we're actually going to do it and put a focus to it and like spend the time and money to make it right it was you know eye opening how much you can go by just being willing to go for it.

Brian:     That's awesome. Very cool. Alright next up talk to us.

Danny:     I think I mean this kind of plays into what Dave was saying but it's always worth asking the question so I mean that's how we kind of got a lot of our gigs around DC was just saying, "Hey can we play here?" And reaching out to different people I mean I think we even reached out to DC Music Rocks at some point and we're like, "Hey you know I don't think we know you but we'd love to." So I really do feel like kind of, you know, it's kind of like the Michael Scott quote, "You miss a 100% of the shots you don't take." Yeah.

Brian:     Is it Michael Scott? I feel like everybody [crosstalk 00:10:45] has been quoted. So many people have been quoted saying that actually. I heard it so many times. It was Michael Jordan, [Gramsky 00:10:52] I mean there are so many. Absolutely. Charles Barclay I'm sure one day I said it.

Danny:     He said a lot of things.

Brian:     Oh my God that's amazing. Alright Robbie. You're up man. You're in here too get up here. What do you got?

Robbie:     Keep throwing me near the mic so I'll take one from some personal experience. I think that I spent a lot of time growing up around some very talented musicians and always felt that I would not be able to play at their level and that if I did try to play along with them that I would be wrong and one thing I've learned from the band and from a lot of reading that I've done recently is you know there is no right or wrong in music until you've defined it, right? So music is supposed to be a conversation and the only way to get better is to play with other people and you know if you're lucky you'll find people who are better than you like all these folks here that'll make you become a better musician.

Brian:     That's awesome. I love it. Alright keep exploring keep doing it. I love it guys. And for those folks who want to find out more about you guys and the cool stuff that's happening with Mystery Friends where do they go?

Danny:     Mysteryfriendsmusic.com. We're on Facebook at Mystery Friends. Mystery Friends on Twitter, Mystery Friends on Instagram.

Dave:     Technically Mystery Friends band on Facebook but everything else is Mystery Friends.

Danny:     Okay. Fair.

Dave:     Some reason somebody else has Mystery Friends that is not us.

Brian:     Go figure right. And it's not a Scooby-Doo reference?

Dave:     It's not a Scooby-Doo reference.

Brian:     There it is. Okay.

Robbie:     But we are taking a mystery ...

Dave:     Yeah we are taking a van on tour which is effectively the mystery van but-

Brian:     Oh my God.

Dave:     But we will not be hopefully solving a crime.

Brian:     Please put a sticker on it or something. It would-

Dave:     We'd get sued is the only [crosstalk 00:12:23].

Brian:     Oh my God you're taking a band van. That's so good.

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!  

^^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

 

FROM TODAY'S SHOW

MUSIC

  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<-


 

PATREON

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)**



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8/29/17 - Special Guest: Sean Russell, Recording Engineer of Cue Recording Studios

Thanks to Sean Russell - Recording Engineer at Cue Recording Studios in Falls Church, VA - for coming by the studio 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. Center of Attention, by The Split Seconds (Punk)
  2. Back There, by The Loving Paupers (Reggae, Roots Reggae)
  3. It's Alright, by Caz Gardiner (Pop/Rock)
  4. Life Is Like A Limousine, by Throwing Plates (Rock/Pop)
  5. Without The Rest, by HyeTension (Hard Rock/Rock)
  6. Stone Driver, by Stone Driver (Hard Rock/Rock)
  7. When We Get Home, by Derek Evry (Rock/Alternative Pop)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-

ANNOUNCEMENTS

----We’re hosting a show at the 9:30 Club on 9/2!  Ever since our humble beginnings, we’ve dreamed of sharing the incredible music from the DC local region in a venue that is fitting for the incredible talent these musicians have.  Please come!  If you know someone who would be interested in this, would you share it with them too?  Or share it with them in general?  If we draw a good crowd, the 9:30 Club has said they’ll let us make this a regular thing, and we’d love to get more great local artists on that caliber of stage.  We really appreciate your help!  We love supporting this DC local music scene!

Facebook Event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/233306840525249/

9:30 Club Ticket Link:
http://www.930.com/event/1546598-dc-music-rocks-festival-washington/

Preview Playlist of These Great Artists:
https://open.spotify.com/user/dcmusicrocks/playlist/6NA7boFgtB5hUpDPDdD7BQ

----The DC Mayor’s 202Creates September celebration of the creative economy is here. All September, there’s going to be events all over the city!  Go attend an event!  Events are listed on the website, and if you know of an event that’s not listed, certainly contact them through the website.     http://www.202creates.com/

NEW RELEASES

Music:
Paperhaus - Nanana (Single)

Video:
Khadijah Moon - Pray/Believe
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-97AXGKnws

Electric Grandmother - Feedback Lives
https://youtu.be/AVCxkr2F-ho

Electric Grandmother - Police Department Theme Song
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZAlN70IJ7E

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 Sept 1
Flo Anito, Laura Tsaggaris @ The Lincoln Theatre on U St in NW, DC
Monday Mistress @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA

Sat Sept 2
The Split Seconds, Throwing Plates, Stone Driver, Hayley Fahey, Thaylobleu @ The DC Music Rocks Festival @ The 9:30 Club on U St in NW DC

Sun Sept 3
Aztec Sun @ The Lincoln Theatre on U St in NW, DC
The Duskwhales @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA

Mon Sept 4
Matt Tarka @ Atlas Brew Works in NE, DC

Wed Sept 6
A Shrewdness of Apes @ The Majestic Lounge in Alexandria, VA

Thurs Sept 7
Wylder @ Live! Summer Concert Series (Lunchtime) near Federal Triangle Metro in DC



Sean Russell of Cue Recording Studios

VIDEO - BIO - LINKS - TRANSCRIPT

BIO:

sean russell DC Music Rocks Picture 3

Sean Russell is a multi-platinum engineer who’s worked with Damien Marley, Bruno Mars, India.Arie, KIX, ODESZA, among many others. Working out of Cue Recording in Falls Church, VA. 

Links
Website
: :  www.cuerecording.com
Facebook: seanrussellengineer
Instagram: @seanrussell
Podcastwww.thecircuslife.com 

Sean Russell DC Music Rocks Picture 2
Sean Russell DC Music Rocks

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

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 my man Sean Russell is a multi platinum engineer who has worked with Damien Marley, Bruno Mars, India Arie, Kicks, Odessa and many others and works out of cue recording studios in Falls Church, Virginia.

     I first came across Sean when I was attending a Battle of the Bands competition in Hanna, Indiana. I was at a Jammin Java ...

Sean:     Jammin Java.

Brian:     And they announced and it was like you know Sean I want to get you on the show, man. I want to get know you a little bit more and so now I'm honored that we get to do that now, thanks for meeting me, man.

Sean:     Sorry it took so long to set this up, this is fantastic.

Brian:     No, they don't know that, no worries. It was just last week, don't worry about it man! (laughs)

Sean:     I just wanted to give you some props man because you're doin' an amazing job of like highlighting local artist and like putting them on the show and you're extremely organized about it and I appreciate that, man, that's very cool, thank you.

Brian:     Well, thanks, man, I ...

Sean:     Absolutely.

Brian:     I'm blushing over here. But we gotta stop talking about me because this is about you, man, so let's get back to you. So talk about ... Now you're a recording engineer ... What does that mean, really?

Sean:     That means I try to facilitate the things that artists have in their heads and record them in such a way that hopefully makes everyone look good. That's kind of the idea.

Brian:     So does that mean, now ... Recording engineer technically means that you are the guy responsible for setting up the mics ...

Sean:     This is true.

Brian:     And doing the recording ...

Sean:     This is true.

Brian:     And adjusting the levels and editing things?

Sean:     And editing things, yeah. In some cases, editing more things than others, sure, sure.

Brian:     Depending on how it goes. Yup

Sean:     Sure.

Brian:     Now, recording engineer doesn't necessarily mean mixing and all of the electronic computer stuff as much.

Sean:     This is right. I do a fair amount of mixing but on an average day I will typically dress a studio for a producer so that different musicians coming in, be they session players or, you know, the regular type of human musician players that come in and be comfortable so they all have music stand lamps, they all have headphones hopefully that work, they all have a decent headphone box setup ... I'm picking microphones for sources so if you're an overly bright singer I'm not gonna use an overly bright microphone, that sort of thing.

Brian:     I see.

Sean:     I'll work with the producer, with what kind of microphones that they want because you know these different microphones we use pick up sounds in different ways and I try to make sure that everyone can hear everything and, I have a, you know, decent collection of witty one-liners that I try to throw at artists regularly to keep them on their toes.

Brian:     (laughs) Like what? I want an example, come on.

Sean:     There are some FCC regulations that are [inaudible 00:02:35].

Brian:     Oh, they're curse words! Oh! [crosstalk 00:02:38]

Sean:     Most of the time, you know, it's something like, "That was good, there was more good than bad in that," you know? Things like that

Brian:     (laughs)

Sean:     "Try not to suck as much on this one," you know what I mean? Things like that.

Brian:     Right, I got you. Positive reinforcement from Shawn. (laughs)

Sean:     Positive reinforcement. You gotta push the artist sometimes.

Brian:     How did you get into this? Is this always been your plan?

Sean:     Yeah it's funny, my uncle was a huge influence. My uncle Steve Creech ... I remember doing a demo tape at like 10, 11 years old when he had to like put a drum set together quickly with a couple of microphones but he recorded the talk back so when he pushed talk back, the talk to my headphones, pout it all on cassette tape it was just ... You know me just banging on a bunch of drums and him at the end, "Oh, that was pretty good, Shawn, let's try it again," and I kept that cassette for a thousand years, man, I gotta find that thing, it's somewhere in my house. But that kind of had the bug and then, you know, in high school, you know, you're in the band and you gotta get the demo, right? How else are you gonna get the gigs?

Brian:     Of course. Yeah, true.

Sean:     And I was always the guy in the band that was tryin' to record us and, you know, tryin' to task [inaudible 00:03:38] a studio 424 MK2, you know what I'm talking about, you guys ...

Brian:     If they don't know what you're talking about, what does that mean?

Sean:     Everyone knows the 4-track tape recorder ...

Brian:     Ah, yes, oh!

Sean:     Yes, still have mine and ...

Brian:     Straight up tape recorder ...

Sean:     Yeah, man, yeah just a little 4-track and tryin' to figure out how to get to vocal louder, you know what I mean?

Brian:     (laughs)

Sean:     I went down to the beach, moved out of this area here ... I was playing drums in a band called Porkchop and ... The Groovalistic Porkchop and I was down in Myrtle Beach doing that for a few years and that band kind of went south so I sort of went to school for a year down in Florida ... And back in 2002 I got a piece of paper saying I should know how signal flow goes and then I came back to this area

Brian:     Wait, wait, translate that ... That means you got a degree?

Sean:     I got a degree ...

Brian:     Okay.

Sean:     I got a degree at the ...

Brian:     Degree in what?

Sean:     I mean, a degree in audio engineering is not really, you know, like a degree in broadcasting or something like that ...

Brian:     Right.

Sean:     It's ... You know, it's a Bachelor's. I got hit with ... It doesn't really matter, you know, when the guy's making your record you're not going to be like, "Hey, do you have papers to do this or just like, man that snare drum sounds great!"

Brian:     Right. He's gonna listen to what you've done before and then if likes what you did you're hired.

Sean:     Yeah! I don't think a school really matters as much maybe in this field but I did pay a lot of money for that and thank goodness I paid it all off and I came back to this are and one way or another sort of found my way working out of different studios in the area. Now right now all of my gear pretty much lives at cue recording but there's some other fantastic rooms in the area that I'll visit, like Blue Room Studios in Herndon and Bias Recording in Springfield, Dave Mallon's got a great new spot in Anondale, so being a freelance is great I can kind of move around, but I mean, a lot of my microphones and microphone pre amps and fancy compressors and things you know ... the things with the knobs. All the stuff with the knobs you see in the photos, a lot of those live at cue recording at Red Room, so, cuerecording.com

Brian:     There we go, cue recording. Now what about you outside of all this recording and stuff ... Hobbies? What is life like for you outside of all that?

Sean:     Sure, well you know we're coming up on hockey season. I'm not a big sports guy but the Washington Capitals are sort of my thing. My wonderful, beautiful girlfriend, Patty the angle, she's very understanding about that but I enjoy some gardening and botany in general and she and I kick it a lot ... That's a lot of the off times with her going to different events. We were just at the Vegan Soulfest this last week ... We have VegFest coming up in DC this Saturday, it's gonna be fantastic, you know ...

Brian:     Nice.

Sean:     All of the best ...

Brian:     So you're a vegetarian guy, too?

Sean:     I'm a vegan actually, yeah, plant-based and it's a fantastic thing ... I thought it would be ... It's really great, you know, it's not just for the animals although, veganism is specifically a liberation for the animals but it's also for my health and the environment, man, it's incredible, especially with all the global warming and everything in the news. It's never been easier to make those changes. There's so many dairy-free options, it's incredible so I highly recommend that everybody, you know, check it out. Check out What the Health the documentary. There's a couple different great documentaries on Netflix right now, Cowspiracy ... I highly recommend you guys go to Youtube and check out Earthlings ... Yeah.

Brian:     Yeah, my man, and if you're looking at dieting I just stumbled across The Obesity Code, which is a book that I've been ... that's been tremendously helpful for me at least to understand the dieting thing, too. Along with those I definitely watch the ones on Netflix, there's a lot of good stuff out there on diet, make those choices.

Sean:     Definitely. Yeah, no, veganism is just an ethical position against the exploitation of animals, you know? And there's no other lifestyle you can live right now that's more beneficial for, like, not only the planet, obviously the planet and yourself but, also just animals, man, it's great.

Brian:     Now, go back to the music and the recording in your life. Now, you talked about drums, you talked about podcasting and you talked about, there's been a lot of difference ... So what came first? What order did they happen in?

Sean:     I guess it was, you know, playing drums and then trying to record those drums so that ...

Brian:     Got it.

Sean:     And then eventually ...

Brian:     How old were you when you started playing?

Sean:     I guess I was like nine or ten, yeah, and I had a friend drop off some drums and he, I guess, was a left-handed drummer. He left them set up left-handed and so I started toolin' around and I'm gonna confide in you right now here, I'm also ... I'm a left-handed drummer, like authentic.

Brian:     Whoa! Like for real?

Sean:     [crosstalk 00:07:55] hand or nothing, yeah

Brian:     Whoa, so that means you got the high hat on the other side of the [crosstalk 00:07:58]? Straight up flipped, wow!

Sean:     Yeah, it's like a mirror, yeah.

Brian:     I'm impressed.

Sean:     I got lots of people poking at me on Instagram about it, so it's ...

Brian:     (laughs) I love it, a lefty. So there was drums ...

Sean:     There was drums, yes.

Brian:     And then you tried to record the drums and that's where the recording came in.

Sean:     Well, you know one of my first memories, you know, growing up as a kid, I don't know if you remember, I'm sure some people out there ... Someone in their car is gonna remember this ... It was a Fisher-Price tan sort of ... It had a handle, it was a tape cassette that you could record. It was probably like ten inches wide, it was probably like you know this little hand held jobby and I would hold it up to the radio and I would try to record off of it and then I would try to record off that in the Speak & Spell or somethin', I was tryin' to get things happening so it's ... I've always been kind of tinkering with it. Not that I have an electrical degree or anything like that but I've always been trying to tinker with microphones and I still have some of these mics from when I was 17, 18 these EV microphones and things like that but ...

     I guess from there playing in different bands until, you know ... Porkchop and then moving to Myrtle Beach and then moving out to Asheville for a little while and, yeah ...

Brian:     So then after that, that's when the podcast happened once you were working in the studio?

Sean:     Yeah, I'd been back here for a while and Justin Trawick approached me about doing a podcast and kind of convinced me somehow ...

Brian:     And what's it for those folks that want to check it out? What's it called?

Sean:     "TheCircusLife.com", the Circus Life podcast ...

Brian:     Excellent.

Sean:     ... We focus on local artists based in the area and touring national artists of course but we always try to have musicians on to play music for us ...

Brian:     Yeah.

Sean:     Oftentimes I make them perform in front of just like one microphone, like one ribbon mic in the room kind of thing, very 1955...

Brian:     That's cool. Shawn, my favorite question that I always want to ask is, if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Sean:     If I could offer one piece of advice just to anyone?

Brian:     However you want to answer.

Sean:     Okay, that's a big question. So, if I could offer one piece of advice, let's see, that's a great one. I would have to say it would be listen. So I'm a recording engineer, part of my job is just to listen, and none of us do it enough, I don't do it enough. But I guess it would be just to listen.

Brian:     Got it. Listen, and meaning listen for what? Listen to what's happening? Listen for details? What are you ... Say a little more.

Sean:     If you're listening, you're not talking and hopefully you're taking in as opposed to putting out and hopefully that's something that I've been trying to do for the last half of my life and getting a little better each day, maybe, [crosstalk 00:10:20] but it makes it a little easier to communicate when you're listening ...

Brian:     I love it. You got two ears and one mouth and you should use them proportionally.

Sean:     I love that, that's great.

Brian:     There it is. Alright, and now, and for those folks that want to find out more about you, where do they go?

Sean:     You could find me on Instagram just at @Seanrussell and the Facebook page Sean Russell Engineering. My website right now is kind of in disrepair but TheCircusLife.com works just fine.

Brian:     That's right, check out the podcast.

5/16/17 - Special Guest: Stone Driver

Thanks to Stone Driver members Tim, Chad, Dan, and John for joining us 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. Aberdeen by Swampcandy (Folk/Americana)
  2. Send Me by Stone Driver (Hard Rock/Rock)
  3. Over you by Classified Frequency (Rock/Fusion Rock)
  4. Loud Boyz in Love by Loud Boyz (Punk)
  5. Black Cat by Lionize (Rock)
  6. Know the Score by Borracho (Hard Rock/Stoner Rock)

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Artists who are DC Residents! the DC Arts and Humanities Fellowship Program is accepting applications.  You can receive up to $10,000.  It’s not hard to apply and you don’t need to show a final product at the end.  Go check it out!  
    https://dcarts.dc.gov/node/1237331

NEW RELEASES

THIS WEEK'S LOCAL DC SHOWS TO SEE

Fri May 19
Pleasure Train & Surprise Attack @ Mason Inn in DC
L.A.T.O. @ The Hamilton - Loft in DC

Sat May 20
Black Masala @ Celebrate Takoma Festival in Takoma, MD
Soundproof Genie  @ Hard Rock Cafe in DC
Throwing Plates @ Barnhouse Brewery in Leesburg, VA

Sun May 21
The North Country @ Dew Drop Inn in DC

Mon May 22
Ken Wenzel @ Open Road in Fairfax, VA

Tues May 23
Sol Roots @ The BullPen Nationals Park in DC

Wed May 24
The Duskwhales @ Gypsy Sally’s in DC

Thu May 25
Classified Frequency, Derek Evry & Stone Driver, Charity Event for Joe Strummer Foundation (@strummerville) @ Black Cat in DC

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-



STONE DRIVER

VIDEO - BIO - LINKS - TRANSCRIPT

Stone Driver

Bio:

Stone Driver is a critically acclaimed rock band based in Washington, DC with Chad Lesch, Tim Boyer, John Gossart, and Dan Epley.  Stone Driver pulls from a wide diversity of musical influences, from Pink Floyd to Alice in Chains, blues rock to progressive, to create meaningful, relevant, and real music.

Stone Driver completed their second album "Rocks" with London, UK based producer Sefi Carmel, who has produced music for other notable artists David Bowie, Phil Collins, Bruno Mars, and BB King.

Stone Driver has been featured on both national & international media outlets, and has generated a diverse fan base of modern rock, blues, grunge, and classic rock aficionados.  Stone Driver and its members have shared venue billings with Living Colour, the B-52s, Radiohead, The Whirlees, Bush, Everclear, Hole, and Soundgarden.

Links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/StoneDriverBand

Instagram: www.instagram.com/stone_driver

Twitter: www.twitter.com/StoneDriverBand

Official: www.StoneDriver.com

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INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

Brian:     Stone Driver is a critically acclaimed rock band based in Washington, DC. We got Chad, Tim, John, and Dan. Together the pull from a wide diversity of musical influences to create meaningful, relevant, and real music. Stone Driver's been featured on both national and international media outlets, and it has generated diverse fan base of modern rock, blues, grunge, and classic aficionados.

     I first came across these guys when I was checking out the scene, and since I'm in a rock band, I totally loved the rock, and I heard these guys and I was just hooked. And ever since then we've kept in touch. It's with great pleasure that I get to formally introduce Stone Driver. Thanks for being here guys.

Chad:     Thanks for having us.

Brian:     This is amazing. Now, right off the bat I want you to tell us about ... So the name Stone Driver; where did that come from?

Chad:     Oh boy ... That was ...

Tim:     That's a good story, right?

Chad:     It involved, I think a dictionary ... It involved a little bit of bourbon. It involved a little bit of pointing at different names ... And we kind of liked it. I mean, the silly stuff aside ... You know, we think about a lot of the modern rock bands and classic rock bands ... We like Stone Temple Pilots, Rolling Stones, et cetera. So kind of that Stone Theme in Rock music.

Tim:     And then the driving music, the driving beat. That goes along with it to.

John:         It wasn't taken.

Chad:     Yeah, that too.

Tim:     After a Google search ...

Chad:     After multiple Google searches worldwide we found one band name that was still available, so we embraced it.

Brian:     You found it, you found the one. And I love it. Tell me the story about how you guys came together. How did Stone Driver come to be?

Chad:     So it ... Really, in this form it was a mix of all of us kind of reaching out, being independent musicians and using some of the different tools that are out there to find other players. Everybody who's been in a band has been down the deep scary pit that is Craigslist. You can get some unique matches there that ... some are appropriate for radio, some are not. And there's other websites like BandMix where you can find profiles of individuals that kinda list what they're looking for, music influences et cetera. So, we were really kind of lucky to form all together using those tools and just jelling.

Tim:     When I hooked up ... Chad and I were ... We've been in the band the longest at this point, but when I joined up I heard these guys, what they were doing, and thought it was just a great sound and I wanted to be a part of that. I thought it had a lot of potential. So, that's what attracted me to it.

Brian:     While I have you here, I realize that they're listening to you and they don't know your voices. So, introduce yourselves real quick.

Tim:     I'm Tim.

Chad:     I'm Chad.

Dan:     I'm Dan

John:         And I'm John.

Brian:     And tell them the instruments too. What do you play?

Tim:     I play bass.

Chad:     I play guitar, which has also been called the bass piccolo by other people.

Dan:     Dan: I'm the drummer.

John:         And I sing.

Brian:     Got it. And together that's the crew. Cool. All right, so now ... Now talk about where music came from for both of you. How did you end up playing music? How did that start?

John:         I think we've all been in bands for a long time. I mean, unlike some of the guys that we see around DC we're a little bit older. Not much, but a little bit older.

     When I playing music in Boston at Boston College, and was part of that scene in the '90s ... And everybody to my left's got more impressive stories than that.

Dan:     So I'm a recent transplant to DC area ... About three years. I'm originally from the Pacific Northwest, so I kind of grew up in that '90s grunge movement that started happening there. So I played a lot of bands around the West Coast. And over here I got to hook up with these guys.

John:         He's doing the like, "Aww, shucks," thing. This guy has shared the stage with the biggest grunge names of that era: Nirvana and Soundgarden ... And he was in a band called The Whirlies that was like setting the stage for what happened in the '90s. So Dan, as usual is being more humble than necessary.

Dan:     Aww shucks ...

Chad:     It's humble drummers ...

Brian:     Thank you for pointing that out, and I want to know those details. So, please call the other guys out to if they do that as well. We want to know these details. Share them with us.

Chad:     This is Chad, and any interesting details I have are completely fabricated. I grew up in a household that was a really big fan of classic rock and blues. At the same time I was growing up ... You know, similar story ... Grunge was coming out and getting really into Nirvana and Soundgarden, and some of the other heavier acts, like Tool ... So those two kind of influences really weighed heavy on me, but definitely a strong blues-rock base . And, you know, some of the classic influences there.

John:         Again, he's playing it down. So this guy's got connections to rock royalty. The Lush name I think most people know out there. And I think there's an Iron Butterfly connection that he might want to talk about.

Chad:     I am declining any 13 minute drum solos. Although I'm sure with the two drummers we have in this studio, they could do it.

Dan:     We need that.

Chad:     No. My uncle got offered the job to play bass for Iron Butterfly back in the day, and respectfully declined to be a teacher. So, you know, he figured,  "Those long bass solos ... that was just to much man. Let's deal with some kindergartners."

     But also a really big influence on me, musically and wanting to play music.

Tim:     Well, as a bass player, a lot of people will sympathize with my origins. My brother was in a band, he was a guitarist, and there was an upcoming battle of the bands, and the bass player in the band left. So I got drafted to be the bass player. This is quite a long time ago. We won the battle of the bands so I stuck with it. I moved out to Colorado. I played in Boulder for several years out there with several bands. About 15-20 years ago I moved back east and have been playing with a variety of different bands here in the DC area. It's been my dream just to play out, get a really tight band and play good original music. I think I found it with these guys. Just a great connection between all of us, musically.

Brian:     Now that's amazing. Now, what's ... One of my favorite questions to ask, and I'd love to ask you guys ... I want to hear from each of your actually. If you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Chad:     Geez ... Just keep at it. I think that's what I'd throw out there. We were talking a little bit before the show and we were talking about how it can be hard to be a local band, although the internet is exploding, sometimes it seems it's that much harder to pull in a draw or let people know it's local. So I would encourage people, and this isn't a shameless plug, to go to websites like DC Music Rocks and get invested in the community. It's out there, and the more that you network with other groups and other people who appreciate the local music ... The sooner you do that, the sooner you're gonna get some more opportunities. But other than that, you gotta keep plugging, keep plugging, keep plugging, and keep trying to be original with how you can get it out there.

Dan:     I think some of it to, at least for me, you have to have fun doing it. I mean ... There's times where we get done practicing and are playing and we kind of look at each other and are like, "That was fun." I think that's a big part of it too. You have to enjoy it.

John:         You gotta get used to playing for the bartender ... I mean, you're gonna have some of those shows. We've outnumbered the people that we're looking at early on, and you gotta do it. I think Dan's absolutely right. You gotta love it; you gotta have fun. You gotta be able to play that show as hard as you would play the Black Cat. And we've had those shows, and we have fun. We've had some tough nights where it's us up there, but we're doing it 'cuz we love doing it and we have fun. We've had some great shows. I would just wish somebody was around to hear it.

Tim:     I'd say my advice would be, as a musician, is just to keep an open mind and listen to all kinds of different music, because you never know what sort of influence you might get from it. And it's always been my goal to try and draw from all kinds of different music. So that would be my musical advice.

Brian:     And you know, that is a perfect segway into my next question, which is; now what do you guys have in your music collection that might surprise us? You're this hard driving rock band, but what do you have in there that might surprise us?

Chad:     I have the greatest Menudo hits in my car right now, and it's great. It spans the entire 17 to 18 year collection with a full cast of rotating members. I probably should try and recover from that one . Miles Davis; been really into that as of late. So, been trying to get a lot smarter on the jazz front and try to expand a bit, musically. So, trying to push myself there.

John:         I'm wearing a special shirt ... I was ... I could never play it. I started out on the bass; never got as good as Tim, anywhere near Tim. But I started out on the bass and I was hooked on the Ska scene. In Boston Bim Skala Bim was breaking out back then, and I aspired to that, and I still listen to that stuff; Chucklehead and Bim everyday.

Dan:     I gotta pretty surprising one, probably. I have the sound track to the Phantom of the Opera.

Tim:     Really?

Dan:     It's good.

John:         He wears the mask a lot of times at shows, and it's kinda creepy.[crosstalk 00:10:49]

Chad:     I get asked to wear the mask a lot, but that's for other reasons.

Tim:     What kind of drum kit do they use on that?

Dan:     A very special drum kit.

Tim:     Mine is no surprise with being a bass player; old school funk. Anything with a hard driving funk beat ... I'm into that.

Brian:     That's awesome. There's Silkman; that hard driving funk beat is a key to a lot people's hearts too. So that makes a lot of sense.

     Now, just to wrap here. Make sure if those who are listening want to find out more about you guys, where do they go to find out?

Chad:     So Facebook is usually the most up to date. We're @StoneDriverBand on Facebook so you can find us pretty easily there. We've also recently taken to Instagram, which is Stone_Driver on Instagram. And finally, after some years of counseling the band has convinced me to delete our MySpace page, so any aficionados out there ... I apologize. It's no longer an option

Brian:     Excellent.

John:         And Stone Driver.com

January 10, 2017 - Special Guest: Stephanie Williams of DC Music Download

^^Episode Is Live Now - Click Above (might take time to buffer/load, refresh page if issue)^^

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

 

FROM TODAY'S SHOW

NEWS

MUSIC

  1. Mrs. Piano - Kenny Sway (Pop/R&B)
  2. Orca - Moogatu (Hard Rock/Jam Band)
  3. I'll Walk Away - Stone Driver (Rock/Hard Rock)
  4. Paused Parade - Young Summer (Indie/Alternative)
  5. Silurian Stomp (feat. Rachel Ries) - Fellow Creatures (Rock/Indie)
  6. The Greys - The El Mansouris (Indie)
  7. Intro/Outro music by Fellowcraft (Hard Rock/Blues)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-



STEPHANIE WILLIAMS

Video - Bio - Photos - Links

DC Music Rocks Stephanie Williams

Bio

Stephanie Williams is the founder and chief curator of D.C. Music Download, D.C.'s largest outlet for local music news. An Ohio native, Stephanie moved to D.C. in 2009 and started D.C. Music Download in 2012 to spotlight some of the awesome acts she discovered while living in the city. Five years later, D.C. Music Download has grown from a small blog into a full-fledged media company that includes a flourishing editorial, events, and cinematography division.

Links

http://dcmusicdownload.com/

https://twitter.com/DCMUSICDOWNLOAD

https://www.facebook.com/dcmusicdownload/

DC Music Rocks Stephanie Williams Head Shot
DC Music Rocks DC Music Download Group Stephanie Williams

Interview Transcript

Brian:     Stephanie Williams is the founder and chief … Editor in Chief of D.C. Music Download. It’s D.C.’s largest outlet for local music news. She’s an Ohio native and moved here in 2009, and D.C. Music Download came around in 2012 to spotlight some of the incredible acts that she discovered while she was living in the city in the D.C. area.

                  Five years later, D.C. Music Download has grown from a small little blog into this full-fledged media company that includes a flourishing editorial events and cinematography division, so D.C. Music Download has grown and along with the great scene here. Listeners, with that, it’s my great pleasure that I get to introduce the founder and Editor in Chief of D.C. Music Download, Stephanie Williams. Say hi, Stephanie.

Stephanie:           Hey. What’s going on?

Brian:     It is such a treat to have you here, and tell us the story, the brief story about D.C. Music Download now. How did it start? How did that happen?

Stephanie:           Sure, so it happened a little serendipitously I guess you would say. Long story short, back in college, I was a broadcast journalism major, and I was doing a lot of the same things that I’m doing right now, covering a lot of the local artists and bands that were living in the city and just putting the word out there about some of the awesome acts that I was finding. That came and went, moved to D.C. in 2009 to start an internship at Discovery Channel which grew into a full-time job eventually.

Brian:     Wow.

Stephanie:           Yeah. That was good, and I was doing the corporate thing for a while, but I felt like there was something missing getting back into that element of getting back into the music scene, going to shows, and just putting myself in that world again, so around I would say like 2011, started going to more concerts, started meeting more people in the scene, started going to more D.C. shows, and discovering some awesome bands from there. Around that time, I was like, “You know what? I feel like this kind of clicks with what I want to do creatively, which is to get back into covering music again.”

                  The origin of D.C. Music Download’s name is actually because it was originally supposed to be a podcast, only outlet, and we didn’t have any writers like any of the people that we have right now in terms of like editorial, so it was just myself, my recorder, and just doing the thing.

Brian:     You blew my mind because I’ve been dying to know. I picked up D.C. Music Download in about 2013 or 2014. It just came on my radar, and I’ve been wondering, “It’s called ‘D.C Music Download.’ Why is there a ‘Download’ because it’s a news or it’s a …?” That’s so fascinating. It was a podcast?

Stephanie:           Yeah. It was a podcast, and so I bought the domain thinking, “Okay. All my podcasts are going to be on here, and you can literally just download it from the site,” and so that’s where it came from.

Brian:     Yeah. Wow.

Stephanie:           Yeah, and then from there, I started finding more people along the way who were interested in contributing more than just the podcast, so then it grew into what it is now which is a news magazine site that … It was just funny now because the podcast is input to the wayside for all the stuff that we do now, so we have a staff of around 30 people who produce all sorts of content.

                  Amazing, amazing contributions. Everything from show reviews to amazing interviews, long form features, events, and we even have a cinematography staff who creates amazing beautifully shot videos for us. It definitely have grown into something much bigger than I anticipated, but I mean, definitely, it’s been a pretty awesome ride in terms of just seeing it grow and just seeing where everything lies ahead.

Brian:     If somebody was curious if they’ve never heard of D.C. Music Download or we were to tell them to check it out, what are they … You were talking about some of the things that you do, but what are the things that D.C. Music Download does really well? What will they find?

Stephanie:           I think this is primarily what keeps me going with D.C. Music Download. It’s a pretty big effort, a large endeavor, and I think honestly what keeps me going is the fact of telling stories that we feel are really important, bringing to light issues, topics in the community, people who were doing awesome things here, and just bringing to light those people who may not get the attention or maybe the notoriety that they should get and just put it in the forefront and tell people like, “Hey. I mean, this is something that you should pay attention to,” or, “This is a great band you should know or just a cool project that you might not even realize is happening right in your own backyard that you should check out.” Yeah. I think that’s honestly the most rewarding part of doing this is just being able to spotlight those stories that may not be as easily noticed to the public.

Brian:     Wow, that’s really cool. All right. Now, tell us about Stephanie outside of D.C. Music Download.

Stephanie:           Yeah. For me, I actually just started this as my full-time thing which is pretty exciting.

Brian:     Congratulations.

Stephanie:           Thanks.

Brian:     That’s … so full-time Editor in Chief like this is it.

Stephanie:           Yeah. This is it.

Brian:     Wow.

Stephanie:           It’s been pretty crazy. Honestly, it’s one of those things where it’s like you just do it and see what happens.

Brian:     Yeah

Stephanie:           Yeah. For a while, I was in the corporate sort of industry, doing that behind the scenes. In a way, I feel like my personal life and D.C.M.D. are very much intertwined. I see this as like my life and just all the stuff that I’m doing right now is stuff that it’s not like I separate the two at all. It’s all combined into …

Brian:     Does this mean you pretty much just work seven days a week and it doesn’t feel like work? Is that what it is?

Stephanie:           Yeah. Very much so in terms of it not feeling like work.

Brian:     Got it.

Stephanie:           Yeah. I try to go to shows as much as I can. I’m not getting any younger. I’ll say that. Going out to shows isn’t as easy as it used to be. Going out like multiple shows a night and like all that stuff. I’ve been trying my hardest, but just trying to go as many shows, trying to discover as many new bands and songs as possible, and just …

Brian:     Is it just music, or what other hobbies do you have? Tell us more about Stephanie.

Stephanie:           Yeah. For me, it’s funny because for me, I actually just … besides music, I like to also … I’m pretty artistic, so I like to do a lot of painting. Also, I love just going out and exploring art, going to …

Brian:     Wow. Yeah. Uh-huh (affirmative).

Stephanie:           One of my favorite museums actually that I like to go to, and just like meditate, and just be by myself is the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Portrait Gallery. It’s like you can go there all day, just walk around and …

Brian:     Is that the one with the courtyard in the middle too that …?

Stephanie:           Yeah, it’s a great place to go. I love being in the outdoors which like you can’t really do much of that now with …

Brian:     Right, since it’s winter and stuff.

Stephanie:           Yeah, yeah. I love going out, just being outside, and just being able to just meditate and just be able to relax, and so that’s what I like to do, just going hiking anywhere I can find that’s just a good place to be alone in that sense.

Brian:     Absolutely.

Brian:     When you think back to D.C. Music Download now, what’s the funniest moment that comes to mind?

Stephanie:           The funniest moment that comes to mind. I will say that we have a really awesome staff, and we usually … Every year, we go and do a bar crawl for the holidays, so we usually go …

Brian:     Awesome. Okay.

Stephanie:           We usually start at Satellite Room, and then we’ll see who’s left at the end of the night. It goes from like 20 people to like three people. Last year, we ended up doing this big pub crawl. Down U Street is where we usually go. It was funny because we went to … I think it was Cloak and Dagger which used to be Patty Boom Boom, and so one of our staff members wanted to … This is like towards the end of the night, by the way, so like people are having fun, whatever, and somebody want to do the rain dance, so they literally took the umbrella, started doing the rain dance in the middle of the club. Some guy and this … Literally, this like big bodyguard came downstairs and literally just like snatched the umbrella like full-hand just snatched it, and he’s like, “Sir, you got to go.” He’s like, “But it’s raining, and I don’t have my camera with me,” and he’s like … and I’m just like, “Dude, let’s just get out of here.

Brian:     Let’s just go?

Stephanie:           Yeah, and it was so funny because he was like all like stressed out, and he was like running out into the street in the rain. I’m like, “Oh, that’s … Poor, poor guy.”

Brian:     Oh my goodness. Wow.

Stephanie:           Yeah, he … Yeah, we have a lot of fun together. Besides doing like stuff for D.C.M.D., we always like to hang out behind the scenes. Yeah.

Brian:     Absolutely. What about … When you think about biggest success moments now, what’s like the biggest success moment that comes to mind with the project?

Stephanie:           For me, I would probably say our anniversary shows at 9:30 Club, so particularly the first one that we did back in 2014. Up until then, we only had done like maybe two small shows at Rock and Roll Hotel. Like we had like no track record with putting on big shows at that capacity, so that was the first big event that we did that we were like, “Okay. Let’s see how far we’ve come and what we can do,” and so we decided to put together this awesome lineup. We had Drop Electric play, The Sea Life, Young Rapids, and The Raised By Wolves at that time, and it was just … We also had Girls Rock D.C. involved, and it was a … It was like definitely one of … probably the highlight for me. There’s been a lot of other concerts have been awesome, but this one particularly stood out because we ended up selling out that venue that night.

Brian:     Wow.

Stephanie:           Yeah, 1,500 capacity venue that I did not think in my wildest dreams that we’d be able to do, especially at that early in our lifespan.

Stephanie:           It was just so cool to see so many people turn out. The thing is a lot of people didn’t know. They’ll come to see one band, but a lot of them stayed for the whole show just like checking out new music and just being supportive of the D.C. music scene that night.

Stephanie:           I think that was definitely, definitely a highlight for me that stood out.

Brian:     Definitely. I always love to ask, what’s one thing you have in your music collection that might surprise us?

Stephanie:           Okay, so my mom is Korean.

Stephanie:           She actually exposed me to a lot of K-pop which …

Brian:     Oh, yeah? Okay.

Stephanie:           Yeah, which is like … Like usually, in that, like I’m not … Like it’s one of those things where I would never have thought.

Brian:     I should … so if they don’t know what K-pop is, that’s just Korean pop? 

Stephanie:           Yeah, it’s Korean pop.

Brian:     Okay.

Stephanie:           Really like … It’s just like super poppy, very … What I love about it is just … It’s just so catchy, and it’s just like …

Brian:     Is this like Gangnam Style that …?

Stephanie:           Kind of. Yeah. I listen to a little bit of the girl groups. There’s like Girls’ Generation. There’s F(X). F(X) I love. It’s like this five-girl group that they each have like their own very distinct styles.

Stephanie:           They have like a very … not really so much pop, but more so like electronic, dance type of music, and they’re really good about like experimenting and diversifying their sound, so it’s …

 

Brian:     That’s cool.

Stephanie:           Yeah, and it’s just crazy because I feel like once I gotten to one band, it just segued into just knowing all these other bands that I like would never have discovered, so it’s …

Brian:     That’s awesome.

Stephanie:           Yeah, so it’s random

Brian:     So K-pop? All right. I dig it.

Stephanie:           Yeah, so K-pop.

Brian:     The last question I love to ask is, what’s the one piece of advice you would offer?

Stephanie:           One piece of advice that I would offer is to not psych yourself out when it comes to thinking that something, especially a goal that you have in mind is too big because I always feel like anything is possible, but it just depends on the time. Like sometimes, you might have a goal, and maybe you weren’t able to reach it at that time because it just wasn’t the right time or you weren’t ready for it yet.

                  I think with us, there’s just so many instances where I thought that was the case. Like 9:30 Club and us selling it out that year, like that probably wouldn’t have happened prior to it because we just weren’t ready yet, and we just weren’t able to be at that capacity to do it at that time, but I think … Yeah, I think just set what you want, and then just be realistic about how you’re going to get there. You’ll get there. It’s just a matter of when.

Brian:     Just figure it out and do it.

Stephanie:           Yeah.

Brian:     I love that. Great, great stuff. Now, for folks who want to find out more about you and the cool things that are going on and happening with you, where do they go? What are the best sources for them?

Stephanie:           All right, so the best one is obviously dcmusicdownload.com. We’re also on Facebook at the same handle, D.C. Music Download. Twitter, same handle. Also, we’re on Instagram as well, same handle.

Brian:     Got it, so social media and the website? That’s the best …

Stephanie:           Yes, and on snapchat