Viewing entries tagged
The Duskwhales

7/24/18 - Special Guest: Kid Brother

This week on DC Music Rocks, Kid Brother, an independent band from Leesburg in Northern VA, stops by for a chat with host Brian Nelson-Palmer.  The episode also features great tracks by Rachel Levitin, Dr Robinson's Fiasco, Milo and the Doldrums, and The Duskwhales.

^^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 other podcast app of choice.

Kid Brother Bio:

Kid Brother

Kid Brother is an independent band from Northern Virginia, founded when the celestial space gods called upon Richard, Dylan, Lindsey, Sam, and Christian to go forth and create a band in the spring of the year of our lords, 2016. Focused on originality and genuine lyricism, Kid Brother fuses together elements of rock, indie, folk and blues to create a sound that truly is their own.

Kid Brother
Raw Social Selfie Kid Brother.JPEG

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  1. Save Myself, by Rachel Levitin (Pop, Rock)

  2. Pastels, by Kid Brother (Indie Rock, Folk)

  3. ***Did You Find What You Want?, by Dr Robinson's Fiasco (Hard Rock, Alternative)

  4. Built For No One, by Milo in the Doldrums (Rock, Indie Rock)

  5. Fight Back by The Duskwhales (Indie, Gypsy)

***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<-


Nominations came in, almost a thousand of them, we’ve tallied the results and have put up the ballot.  Votes accepted now through Saturday 7/28.

Have you bought your tickets yet?  Hundreds of tickets have already been sold, they’re only $15, go ahead and buy your tickets right now.  We’re having a party and we want you there!



  • Prinze George - Mind Over
     Smooth Indie-Electro Single - RIYL Metric, Purity Ring, London Grammar

  • The Colonies - Bound To Be Something Good
     Classic Rock Vibe Single - RIYL The Strokes, The Black Keys, Hippocampus

  • Billy Winn - Dreamland I
     Electro Pop 5 Song EP - RIYL Icona Pop, Pet Shop Boys

  • Menage A Garage - More Human Than You
    5 Song Pop-Punk EP - RIYL Pixies, Green Day, They Might Be Giants



Our 2018 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:

Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


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!

Jul 27 - Fri
The Duskwhales (Indie/Rock) @ MilkBoy ArtHouse in College Park, MD
Two Ton Twig (Bluegrass/Folk) @ Pearl Street Warehouse in Washington, DC
Chris Cassaday & The Cassaday Concoction (Funk/Blues) @ Solly's in Washington, DC

Jul 28 - Sat
Virginia Creep (Hard Rock) @ DC9 Nightclub in Washington, DC
Pressing Strings  (Folk) @ Hill Country DC in Washington, DC

Jul 29 - Sun
Caz Gardiner (Pop/Reggae) @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA

Jul 31 - Tue
Makeup Girl (Hard Rock) @ DC9 Nightclub in Washington, DC
The Sea Life (Rock) @ Union Stage in Washington, DC

Aug 1 - Wed
Eli LevChris Cassaday & Justin Trawick (Folk/Bluegrass @ Jammin Java Presents: Former Best Friends in Vienna, VA


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

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

We're Looking For Advertisers/Sponsors

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

12/05/17 - Special Guest: Mark Reiter; of Daycare Swindlers, Bias Studios, & Furnace Record Pressing

Thanks to Mark Reiter, of Bias Studios, Furnace Record Pressing, and Daycare Swindler's drummer, for hanging out with us in the studio this week!

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

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




  1. Beloved, by Touch the Buffalo (Rock, Grunge)
  2. Darkness, by Daycare Swindlers (Hard Rock)
  3. The Same, by Cabin Creek (Folk, Bluegrass)
  4. Plenty of Blues, by The Roustabouts (Blues, Blues-Rock)
  5. Appalachian Witch, by Gallows Bound (Bluegrass, Punk)
  6. Slow Down, Jerusalem, by The Duskwhales (Indie, Retro Rock)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


We’re excited to share that we’ve reached this epic milestone!  We’re going to plan some kind of party to celebrate this milestone, stay tuned!

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

Our live shows air on WERA 96.7FM, and the station is celebrating its second anniversary this week. To commemorate this occasion, we’re reaching out, hoping you’ll participate in keeping WERA as a valuable and lasting piece of the Arlington Community.  This week, from December 4th through 10th, we are hosting our first Winter Fund Drive.  It’s a great chance to support the broadcast of local programs about your local community here in Arlington and DC.  Just visit http://WERA.FM and click DONATE. Thanks for your support!

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

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



--The North Country - In Defense of Cosmic Altruism (10 Song Album - from Sept 29 2017!)
--Backbeat Underground - Outrun (single)
--Better Homes - Your Love (single)

Our ‘2017 New Releases by DC Artists’ Spotify Playlist:


Our ‘DC Artists Official Music Videos’ Youtube Playlist:


Dec 8 Fri
Black Dog Prowl @ Villian & Saint in Bethesda, MD
Bencoolen @ Lost Rhino in Ashburn, VA
Soldiers of Suburbia & A Shrewdness of Apes @ O’Shaughnessy’s Pub in Alexandria, VA

Dec 9 Sat
Vim & Vigor @ Upshur St Art & Craft Fair in Petworth (in NW DC)
Chris Timbers @ Biergarten in Mclean, VA
Rare Essence @ AQUA near Brentwood/Ivy City (in NE DC)

Dec 10 Sun
Uptown Boys Choir @ Songbyrd Music House in Admo (in NW DC)

Dec 12 Tues
Cinema Hearts @ Black Cat on 14th St (in NW DC)

Dec 13 Wed
Maryjo Mattea @ Ugly Sweater Holiday Party @ Roofers Union in Admo (in NW DC)


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

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

Mark Reiter, of Daycare Swindlers, Bias Studios, & Furnace MFG



Mark Reiter Pic

Mark Reiter is a mixer, record producer and audio engineer. He is also a drummer and plays in the rock group Daycare Swindlers. His ADHD prevents him from enjoying fishing but he can tap his foot in time for prolonged periods. After two or three cups of strong black coffee he has been called “irritating” and “intolerable.” He enjoys recording analog and has worked with many local and national acts which do not include Rush, Genesis, Peter Frampton or anyone related to Frank Zappa. His mixes frequently invoke the feeling of a feudal lord surveying his lands atop a hill during a misty summer dawn. His production style is highly collaborative but he is woefully illiterate across a wide spectrum of Asian tone languages and dialects. While he is harshly criticized for his inability to perform on-the-spot conversions rates of pre-Hellenic currencies into modern legal tender, he can “use the hell” out of a compressor and has had many experiences involving microphones. He was drawn to engineering by “all the lights and buttons” and secretly enjoys a Teutonic feeling of power and dominion when recording. He understands ProTools but established a near-legendary ability for being able to fatten snare drum tones at the DOS prompt. His interests include werewolves, Vikings, dinosaurs, comic books and a wide spectrum of sundry passions that adults with fully-formed central nervous systems eschewed long ago in pursuit of economic security and furthering their respective bloodlines. He will/will not accept tattoos, Star Wars figures and/or heartfelt platitudes as payment for recording services. He is anecdotally credited as being the first audio engineer to say “What the hell is wrong with this thing?” and “I know someone who can fix this.” He works at Bias Studios just outside Washington, DC, is one-third of the Castathetic Podcast team and is the steely-eyed, handsome creator of the BitCoin.

Some of Mark's credits:

  • Craig Enger
  • Weird Wolf
  • Risk Ray
  • Collider
  • Ruin By Design
  • Wildlove
  • Fire Street
  • Charles Barrett/Direct Connection
  • Rodent Popsicle Records
  • XK Scenario
  • The Good Fight
  • Walkabout
  • Japan in the 80's
  • The Walkabouts
  • Lions in the Grass
  • Supreme Commander
  • Two Man Advantage
  • Gallows Bound
  • Walk the Plank
  • Daycare Swindlers
  • The Pietasters
  • The Idle Gossip
  • Max Levine Ensemble
  • Save the Arcadian
  • Poorboy
  • Charlie Bear Quartet
  • Say-10 Records
  • No Less Records
  • Becca Levy - Drums
  • The House, The Old - Drums
  • Bob Kelley - Drums
  • The Overprivileged
  • VMS Records
  • Brother Bill
  • Castathetic Podcast
  • Michelle McTierney
  • Beatville/VileBeat Records
  • Hudson Falcons
  • Go-Kart Records
  • Mark Linskey
  • The AKs
  • Senores Jovenes
  • Lucky So Far
  • Iron Lung Remedy
  • Oasis CD Duplication
  • No Cash
  • Jose Maria
  • Shwa
  • The Twats
  • Rocket City Riot
  • Nice Guy Records
  • Yum
  • Drytown
  • The Duskwhales
  • Last Armistice
  • Static Scene
  • Cabin Creek
  • Karla and the Brotherhood
  • Alex Rhodes - Drums
  • Julianna McDowell - Drums
  • Azura
  • Aerial Escape
  • Sam Sade and Alpha Krav Maga
  • Vim and Vigor - Mastering
mark reiter.jpg


Brian:     On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. Mark Reiter is a mixer, record producer and audio engineer along with an operations manager and a drummer. He works at Bias Studios just outside Washington DC, and is one third of the Castathetic podcast team. He's also the drummer in the rock group Daycare Swindlers, and he enjoys recording analog and has worked with many local and national acts. I first came across Mark's name when I was talking with the ... not the Daycare Swindlers, the Duskwhales when they were they were on the show. They spoke so highly of you, man. Then, I started looking into all the cool things you're doing and was just was blown away. Thank you for now coming and being here with me. This is awesome.

Mark Reiter:     Thank you for having me.

Brian:     Now, talk about ... Quickly go over the things that you said you're involved in, because I just brought up a few of them there. List them out for us so that they know.

Mark Reiter:     Yeah, the engineering and producing stuff that I'm doing out of Bias.

Brian:     Where is Bias located?

Mark Reiter:     Bias is in Springfield. Did you know that?

Brian:     Okay.

Mark Reiter:     I'm technically a freelancer, but they let me in the door and you know.

Brian:     Got it.

Mark Reiter:     They give me some assignments from time to time. Just the audio and production work. Then, the operations management stuff at Furnace and helping ... Basically what I do is I run the production side of it and oversee a bunch of really hard working people who put records and press records and get records out the door in time and learn the art and craft of record pressing. Then, I also get to be in the Daycare Swindlers, which is ... we're in the our 20th year.

Brian:     Holy smokes. 20 years.

Mark Reiter:     Yeah, a lot of smokes. Yeah, it's crazy.

Brian:     A lot of smokes. Oh, man. There's a great Daycare Swindlers history if they want to look into that. That's for sure.

Mark Reiter:     Yeah. Don't look too closely.

Brian:     That's there. Then, I brought up Castathetic podcast. That is something you do or ...

Mark Reiter:     That is the thing that Ken Barnum who also works at Bias and a crazy guy named Keaton Beus, we do this together, and every few weeks we do something kind of similar to this. We have bands come to Bias, they play live. Keaton will interview them. Then, we do a mix and put it out, and it's a good way for bands to accomplish. Kind of the same thing that you're doing.

Brian:     That's amazing.

Mark Reiter:     Get the word out there.

Brian:     If they want to check out the Castathetic podcast, if they're listening, where would they go to find that?

Mark Reiter:     The best way to get it, you can go to It's there. I think we're ... I'm embarrassed to say that I don't really handle any of the technical side of it. [crosstalk 00:02:57] recording.

Brian:     No. There's no worries.

Mark Reiter:     Yeah, is the best way to do it. You can also find it on my website. There's a link to it, which is Shameless plug.

Brian:     Shameless plug Mark Reiter music. That's Reiter, is R-E-I-T-E-R.

Mark Reiter:     Yup.

Brian:     Got it. Now, what ... Tell me the story behind the Daycare Swindlers name.

Mark Reiter:     No one ever asks this question.

Brian:     No? Well, I'm glad that I could be the first.

Mark Reiter:     All right.

Brian:     Tell us.

Mark Reiter:     I'll try to do it really quickly. We started in the late '90s. There was another wave of ska revolution going on, and DC was a hotbed for that stuff. We sort of did our own version of ska music, which is a poor version of it with electric guitars and no horns and sort Operation Ivy thing. Right? There's a band called Dance Hall Crashers, and we really liked the way that that name sounded. It's got a lot of syllables and it's kind of rhymey. We did that horrible thing that all bands do, which is to sit around in the basement and drink a lot of beer and come up with a name. I'm looking at the Dungeons and Dragons monster manual. We could be Gelatinous Cube. No, we can't be Gelatinous Cube. Our guitar player Mark O'Connor came up with Daycare Swindlers and it stuck, and we get asked about the name a lot.

      I think it's a great name, but it does come ... People sort of raise their eyebrows sometimes. We got asked in an interview once if we had named ourselves after the Ronald Reagan speech about the daycare swindlers from Chicago who were hustling the government for funding to run daycare centers out of their homes.

Brian:     That's not a good association.

Mark Reiter:     That's where we got the name from.

Brian:     There it is. Can you confirm that is in fact where that came from or no-

Mark Reiter:     It didn't come from the monster manual.

Brian:     ... that came from the dictionary and the monster manual and all of that stuff.

Mark Reiter:     Yeah.

Brian:     Okay. All this stuff. Wow. Cool history. I love that. All right. Now, you've been in DC for ... what's your connection to the DC region? For a while, immigrated here, moved here.

Mark Reiter:     Yeah. I was born in central New York in Binghamton, and lived in Buffalo for my childhood. My dad is a government guy, was a government guy. He got an opportunity and came down here. I did high school down here and ...

Brian:     When you say down here, what part of are you talking about?

Mark Reiter:     The beautiful Dumfries triangle Quantico area.

Brian:     Excellent. Okay.

Mark Reiter:     Home to your [inaudible 00:05:33] Mills. It was in high school, I was always sort of a music nerd. I apologize. I'm going to say you know. It's a verbal crutch. I can't get rid of it today.

Brian:     We're not listening. Just tell us. It's okay, man.

Mark Reiter:     I sort of fell in love with the storied musical past of DC, especially the discord, the hard core, punk rock thing. That was really my point of entry into music, and it's still not totally even though the Daycare Swindlers were originally a punk band. Being part of that scene is super exciting to me.

Brian:     Wow. Now, what about ... You on the personal side. Now, outside of all this, this music stuff, and you told us all the jobs and the things you're involved in. In your free time, what do you do, Mark?

Mark Reiter:     I got married last year.

Brian:     Congratulations.

Mark Reiter:     Thanks, man. Thank you.

Brian:     Yeah.

Mark Reiter:     My wife and I, we have no human children, but we have two furry children.

Brian:     Oh, furry children.

Mark Reiter:     Two Siberian Huskies. [crosstalk 00:06:40].

Brian:     Wow.

Mark Reiter:     We're both big Star Wars nerds. My wife is training to be an MMA fighter.

Brian:     Really?

Mark Reiter:     Yeah. Which is awesome and also-

Brian:     Are you training with her? Have you [crosstalk 00:06:51].

Mark Reiter:     I am a test dummy for Jujutsu moves. Every few days I get to find out what she learned.

Brian:     She kicks your butt.

Mark Reiter:     Yeah. I can't breathe, and the room goes gray, and she's proud and I'm terrified.

Brian:     That's fantastic. Your home life just sound so fantastic, man. Two fur babies and some MMA fights when you're home.

Mark Reiter:     Yeah. I'm a very grateful dude.

Brian:     That's awesome, man. I love it. Do you guys ... are you into ... She does that. What do you do with some of your free time, the little that you have? It's not just Star Wars.

Mark Reiter:     Well, I don't know. I'm also an avid reader. Yeah, it's weird. The past couple of years, I've not had a lot of free time. The time that we do get to spend not working and not doing the music is kind of veg out time. My wife and I are very protective of those handful of moments when, you know.

Brian:     Yeah.

Mark Reiter:     Because I really am working two gigs and sometimes three. Again, I'm grateful for that work. I would rather be that busy than have none of these things coming across the plate.

Brian:     Yeah. Got it, man.

Mark Reiter:     It seems mundane, but it's actually kind of magical to just be able to spend a night with my wife and a [sahee ball 00:08:27] and eight episodes of Stranger Things.

Brian:     Nice. Oh god, so good. Absolutely. I totally get it, man. One of my favorite questions to ask on the show is, if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Mark Reiter:     I think in this gig, in the music world, being aware of your motives and trying to figure why you're doing something. Why is this important to you? Is it important to you because it's placating some kind of deep need that your ego has presented to you? I find in my own life that when I've operated that way, I've caused problems for myself and for other people. I think that part of this especially being in a band, and the Daycare Swindlers were fairly successful for a good number of years, and you can lose yourself a little bit in that and the tension that comes along with it. You can tend to feed that inner self and in a kind of negative and dangerous way.

     I've come to a place in my life where I realize that everything that I'm a part of that's cool is because I'm part of a bigger whole. You know, sort of the notion that together we are what we can't be alone. When I find myself operating from that standpoint, whether it's at Furnace or at Bias, in the band, then really cool things begin to happen not to me, but to us. That's the kind of energy that I want to be a part of. It takes some discipline to keep the ego and the things that it wants at bay. I find when that's happening, that's when the really cool stuff begins to flow.

Brian:     That's amazing, man. Such good words. A part of something bigger. I love it. Now, you brought up a lot of things. If people want to find out more about what you brought up, so there's Furnace, and there's Daycare Swindlers, and there's ...

Mark Reiter:     Bias.

Brian:     Bias Studios. Where do they go to find those things?

Mark Reiter:     The internet.

Brian:     They all have websites.

Mark Reiter:     Yeah., the S's are together.

Brian:     That's B-I-A-S Studios.

Mark Reiter:     Exactly.

Brian:     Okay.

Mark Reiter:     You can find Furnace at furnacemfg, that's Mary, Frank, George, dot com.

Brian:     Got it.

Mark Reiter:     Then, you can find me at, and the Daycare Swindlers are Daycare-Swindlers.

Brian:     Daycare-Swindlers.

Mark Reiter:     Dot com.

Brian:     Got it.

Mark Reiter:     We're on Bandcamp at Facebook and Instagram and Twitter.

Brian:     All those places.   

9/19/17 - Special Guest: The Duskwhales

Thanks to Seth, Brian, & Chris, The Duskwhales, 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



  1. Gotta Have Your Love, by Area-301 (Hip Hop, R&B)
  2. In the Year of Jubilee, by The Duskwhales (Indie, Pop Rock)
  3. Birds and Bees, by Milo in the Doldrums (Indie/Indie Rock)
  4. Coldest Summer Nights, by Alecia Renece (R&B, Soul)
  5. Bicycle Seat, by Daycare Swindlers (Hard Rock)
  6. Washing My Hands, by Rocknoceros (Pop/Kiddie Pop)

->Follow The Show's Spotify Playlist<-


--We’ve joined Patreon!  Your support on Patreon will help give us the means to get better, do more, evolve, and be more involved!  Please visit our Patreon page, and support us so we can grow and do more!  We also intend to set aside 10% of all incomes to reinvest directly in the DC Music Community, whether through charities, sponsorships, events, etc.  We want to continue to pay it forward in that way as well.  Thanks for considering!

--DC Music Rocks is now syndicated!  Episodes will also be aired on 96.3FM HD4.  This is the DC Government’s Radio Station which officially launched Sept 19.  Check us out, here’s the link to our program page on the station!  We’ll let you know when episodes will air once we get more information about the schedule.  This is High Power FM, you can tune in from anywhere in the region on your FM dial, 96.3FM HD4.


Staunton - Sunrise (Single)
Hayley Fahey - Fire (Single)

Hayley Fahey - Fire
Elena & Los Fulanos - PONLE FIN (with English subtitles hit the CC)


Fri Sep 22
Swampcandy @ The Hamilton near MetroCenter in NW DC
Rocknoceros @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA

Fri-Sat Sep 23
Surprise Attack, Moogatu, Nappy Riddem @ Hometown Get Down in Clarksville, MD

Sat Sep 23
Matt Tarka, Tomato Dodgers, Leo & Cygnus @ Mainstreet Music Fest in Ellicott City, MD
A Shrewdness Of Apes @ Autumn Music Fest in Alexandria, VA
Hayley Fahey, Fellowcraft @ Clarendon Day in Clarendon in Arlington, VA
See-I @ Oyster Fest at The Salt Line in SE DC

Sun Sep 24
Rare Essence @ U Street Music Hall on U St, in NW DC

Tues Sep 26
Caz Gardiner @ Black Cat by 14th & U St in NW DC
Would you support us?  We'd love to grow and do 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!

The Duskwhales



Duskwhales Promo Photo DC Music Rocks

The Duskwhales - The Duskwhales are a three-piece indie rock band formed in Manassas, Virginia in 2010.  Their sound is reminiscent of 60's groups such as The Beatles and The Doors through prominent use of keyboards and memorable vocal harmonies. While incorporating the best elements of their psychedelic roots, the young trio creates a sophisticated style of their own in both studio and live settings. They have shared the stage with national acts Car Seat Headrest, Diane Coffee, Little Green Cars, and Frankie Cosmos, as well as performed to packed audiences across the East Coast. The Duskwhales are currently touring in support of their latest album Sorrowful Mysteries. 

When The Duskwhales are not touring in support of their own music, they can be seen performing a variety of oldies and classic rock covers at local venues and events. Their cover repertoire includes hits songs from The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Elvis, The Cure, Tears for Fears, MGMT, and many more! They have performed at a number of notable events such as The National Cherry Blossom Festival, Herndon Festival, World Police & Fire Games, Thomas Jefferson Poplar Wine Festival, and Arlington County Fair. The band has also provided live entertainment for private events including parties, dances, and weddings.

The Duskwhales DC Music Rocks
The Duskwhales DC Music Rocks


Brian (DCMR):    On DC Music Rocks, we're shining the spotlight on the great songs and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. The Duskwhales are a three-piece indie rock band formed in Manassas, Virginia in 2010. Through prominent use of keyboards and memorable vocal harmonies, and some sweet vocal harmonies by the way, their sound is reminiscent of the '60s groups, such as The Beatles and The Doors. While incorporating the best elements of their psychedelic roots, the young trio creates a sophisticated style of their own and are currently touring in support of their latest album, which you just heard a track off of, The Sorrowful Mysteries. These are the guys. Guys, thanks for being here.

Chris:     Thanks for having us.

Seth:     Thank you.

Brian (DCMR):    And now, since they're listening to you, introduce yourselves and what you play in the band.

Seth:     I'm Seth. I play guitar and I sing.

Brian:     Well, Brian, I am Brian, and I play keyboards.

Brian (DCMR):    Another Brian. I love it. All right.

Chris:     Too many Brians. I'm Chris. I play the drums.

Brian (DCMR):    And Chris on drums. So there's only three of you that made all that sound we just heard?

Seth:     Yes.

Chris:     Hard to know.

Seth:     There's ghosts in the machine.

Brian:     I think it was just us.

Brian (DCMR):    Excellent.

Seth:     Really good producer.

Brian (DCMR):    I was, yeah.

Brian:     Yeah.

Brian (DCMR):    You guys are awesome. So talk about ... First, I want to know the name. The Duskwhales. Where does that name come from?

Seth:     Our parents came up with it.

Chris:     That's not even true.

Brian (DCMR):    Oh stop it. For real.

Brian:     They definitely helped.

Brian (DCMR):    How did that happen?

Brian:     Well, we were-

Seth:     We just have good parents.

Brian:     Yeah, we got good parents. We were very, very young. We started the band in early high school. Seth wasn't even in high school.

Seth:     Yeah.

Chris:     Seth wasn't even born, actually.

Brian:     Yeah, it was kind of just a goofy name that we liked and our parents liked.

Seth:     They had to name me first because I wasn't born yet. Then we named the band. That's how it goes.

Chris:     Just put the words together and thought it sounded funny, and here we are.

Brian (DCMR):    Wow, so Dusk and Whales just came together, and then it became The Duskwhales.

Brian:     Yup.

Brian (DCMR):    And how long has that ... It's been ... You guys have been doing this for a few years, then.

Chris:     Yeah.

Brian (DCMR):    And it's always been The Duskwhales? That was it?

Seth:     Yeah.

Brian:     Almost eight years now.

Brian (DCMR):    That's amazing. And talk about ... Now, how did the band come together? Did you know each other? What was the ... How did it start?

Seth:     I knew Chris when I was really young, and then I met Brian when I was ...

Brian:     Pretty young as well.

Seth:     In, like, seventh grade.

Chris:     Seth and I played soccer together, so we'd been tripping over each other for many years.

Seth:     Yeah, now we just do it in music.

Chris:     Yeah. We were in high school and it was a very small high school, so everybody knew each other, so we kind of gravitated towards each other and then just started playing music together.

Brian (DCMR):    So in high school you started playing music together?

Chris:     Yeah, in high school.

Seth:     Well, I guess you were in high school. I wasn't.

Chris:     Junior high.

Brian (DCMR):    Fair.

Seth:     Junior high.

Chris:     The same building, though.

Brian (DCMR):    The baby. Yep, all right. And was it like talent shows or you were all in band or after, it was purely after school?

Chris:     [inaudible 00:02:42] music, so ...

Brian:     Our first show was a sweet 16 party.

Seth:     Yeah.

Brian:     For one of our classmates. One of your classmates.

Chris:     Yep.

Brian:     And then ...

Brian (DCMR):    You said "you" pointing to ...

Seth:     Chris.

Brian (DCMR):    Chris' classmate.

Brian:     Yeah, sorry. Yeah, because we were all in different grades. Chris was ...

Brian (DCMR):    I see.

Brian:     Yeah, Chris was in the grade above me and then Seth was in the grade below me.

Brian (DCMR):    Got it.

Brian:     Yeah, it's a little confusing there. But then we played ... We would do spiritual teen night. [crosstalk 00:03:12] That was an interesting experience. That was one of our early shows.

Chris:     Yeah. School events and then non-school events. We kind of gravitated away from those and then, yeah, just kind of started doing our own thing and learning a lot of cover songs and writing progressively less worse songs, I think is the important part.

Brian (DCMR):    It's evolved over time.

Chris:     Yeah.

Brian (DCMR):    Where did the harmonies come in. Did you all automatically know how to do that or did you learn over time?

Brian:     Well, we started doing a lot of cover shows, so we started covering a lot of The Beatles. Chris is a huge fan of The Beatles, and so he really likes to get it, dig into all the different harmonies so that we can authentically replicate the harmonies that are in The Beatles' songs. So we've kind of been learning from them.

Chris:     There's a really great YouTube series by this Italian ex-opera singer-producer.

Seth:     I didn't even know you liked The Beatles until now.

Chris:     There's this guy named [Gagliasso Fudu 00:04:01]. I'm probably butchering his name, but he's this crazy opera singer and he has a series where he analyzes all The Beatles' tracks, going through each of the individual harmonies. The stuff that he uncovers is pretty mind-boggling. You listen through She Loves You and all that.

Brian (DCMR):    Wow.

Chris:     Yeah, so we study that. It's like our Bible.

Seth:     Yeah.

Brian (DCMR):    So studying The Beatles and then incorporating some of that knowledge into your own music.

Brian:     Absolutely.

Chris:     Just copying it, basically.

Seth:     A lot of the harmonies, though, like before that, they would just come about naturally, just figuring out ideas.

Chris:     I was just copying Seth most of the time.

Seth:     That's true.

Brian (DCMR):    I guess the key is you're playing a lot of chords anyway, so you already kind of know what the notes would be.

Brian:     Oh yeah. We do, sometimes if we're stuck we'll go to the keyboard and we'll just figure out what's going to be the coolest little chord that we could come up with?

Seth:     That's what The Beach Boys would do, honestly.

Chris:     It works well because we have different ranges. I tend to gravitate towards the higher stuff, Brian goes lower, and Seth can kind of go wherever he wants, but he ends up somewhere in the middle.

Seth:     Sometimes I just stay there.

Chris:     To make it sound good, so ...

Brian (DCMR):    Wow. That's awesome. So now, what about you guys outside of music, then? Are you, like personal hobbies or what do you do other than the band? What is life like?

Seth:     I tend to go wherever I want. Chris goes for the high. Brian stays low. [inaudible 00:05:22] I have just recently got back into roller blading. We learned how to roller blade for a music video last year, and I put it away for a while, but I'm starting to roller blade again, so I'm having fun with that.

Chris:     All of the scabs are reopened.

Seth:     Yeah. On my knees already.

Brian (DCMR):    That tough learning curve. Roller blading.

Brian:     We started a Dungeons and Dragons group.

Brian (DCMR):    For real?

Seth:     Yeah.

Brian (DCMR):    That's awesome.

Chris:     It's not that awesome.

Brian:     It's a lot of fun, but ...

Brian (DCMR):    Who's the most Dungeons and Dragons of the three of you?

Brian:     Well, I'm the dungeon master.

Brian (DCMR):    Okay. So Brian is the one.

Brian:     Yeah, so guiding them along in the story. But we've got Hargrove Milk, Seth's character, and then Chris is Brody Brown.

Chris:     Oh my gosh. Brian killed off my character.

Brian:     It's a good time.

Seth:     Yeah, Brian killed his character.

Brian:     In the most recent session, yeah.

Chris:     He's a ghost now, as far as I'm concerned.

Brian (DCMR):    There it is. All right, so we're messing with dungeons, dragons, and ghosts now.

Brian:     Yeah, Dungeons and Dragons and Duskwhales.

Brian (DCMR):    What about you, Chris? Outside of music.

Chris:     Oh boy. Jeez, I eat a lot of salad. [crosstalk 00:06:23] Hanging out in the basement. Go for long walks. I don't know.

Seth:     You read.

Chris:     Yeah, I started reading It. The movie just came out, so I wanted to read that book. It's pretty spooky, so if you want a good scare, pick it up at your local library.

Brian (DCMR):    Like actually having nightmares from reading this?

Chris:     Yeah, if you enjoy having nightmares, this is the place to go.

Brian (DCMR):    This is the, okay.

Chris:     Stephen King.

Brian (DCMR):    Oh man, yeah, Stephen King, he delivers on that for sure.

Seth:     Oh yeah.

Brian (DCMR):    What about you guys? What's the ... Let's say the biggest success moment that comes to mind when you think about The Duskwhales?

Seth:     I'd say playing at the 9:30 Club.

Brian (DCMR):    Awesome. When was that? Tell me that story.

Seth:     We'd just, it was the last day of our, not the tour, but the tour before that. So it was end of our tour and we got to just play at the 9:30 Club, which was ridiculous because it's the best venue in DC, possibly that I've ever been to or have seen a show. I've seen every band that I love there, like Of Montreal and ... There's too many bands to even think of, but it was just, to be on that stage was humbling and empowering. It was really cool.

Brian (DCMR):    That's awesome. All right, 9:30 Club. That'd be it. Now, what about ... You were talking about those other bands, so let's have fun with this one. Each of you guys, what's one thing in your music collection that might surprise us?

Brian:     One thing in our music collection.

Brian (DCMR):    They're laughing, by the way, right now, so this is going to be good, if you can't see them.

Seth:     That's real extreme, though.

Brian:     Something that we listen to. Oh my goodness. Yeah, that's the crucial one.

Chris:     Maybe we should pick one for the other person.

Brian:     Yeah, I like that idea.

Brian (DCMR):    All right, so call them out.

Seth:     For Brian, it's Katy Perry Teenage Dream, which is probably one of our best pop albums.

Brian:     Oh my goodness, it's brilliant.

Seth:     It's really good.

Brian (DCMR):    Excellent.

Brian:     It's a geniusly crafted pop album.

Brian (DCMR):    Oh God, Brian, I'm so impressed right now.

Brian:     And everything she's done since then, it hasn't quite been Teenage Dream. That's, what an amazing album.

Brian (DCMR):    It hasn't quite been the same.

Seth:     She had a video where she burned the wig from that era, which was a huge mistake.

Brian:     Yeah.

Seth:     Can't go back. That's Brian's.

Brian (DCMR):    So that's Brian. What have we got?

Brian:     All right, let's see.

Chris:     Digging into Seth's roots, he had a big Emo era.

Seth:     Yeah

Brian:     That's true.

Chris:     So he hit hard on the My Chemical Romance.

Seth:     Still do.

Chris:     And all those ...

Brian:     Yeah, no shame.

Brian (DCMR):    Excellent. This is where if we pulled up next to him at the stoplight, you'd see him in the car, just absolutely singing his brains out.

Chris:     Yeah, just losing it.

Brian (DCMR):    Going for it.

Seth:     Yeah, my car's actually falling apart on the inside because of just hitting it, listening to music.

Chris:     It's a bit on the inside [inaudible 00:08:56]

Brian:     Seth, let's think though. Chris has such good taste in music.

Chris:     What have you got on me?

Brian:     Yeah, what?

Chris:     You got nothing.

Brian:     There's got to be something.

Seth:     What about if we just question what he listens to, like you don't like that he listens to that Australian band Pogo, like that really strange band that just takes Disney songs and-

Brian:     Oh yeah.

Chris:     Oh yeah, well that's ...

Brian:     He likes Disney music.

Chris:     No, okay, so this is-

Brian (DCMR):    Disney music. Oh, so good. [inaudible 00:09:20]

Chris:     Obviously Disney music is great.

Seth:     I'm just thinking of something you didn't like that he listens to.

Chris:     There's this Australian DJ named Pogo who takes little samples from Disney movies and he works them into these weird arrangements. So it's like the entire song is composed up of little bits of Pinocchio and there's a little bit of Snow White, and look, there it goes!

Brian:     It actually is really cool.

Chris:     It's super strange, yeah, and it's ...

Brian (DCMR):    Oh my God. That's amazing.

Chris:     It's kind of electronic stuff.

Brian (DCMR):    Now, one, so my favorite question that I love to ask is if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Seth:     To anyone?

Chris:     Don't quit.

Brian (DCMR):    It's up to you. Answer it however you like.

Brian:     Yeah, don't quit.

Brian (DCMR):    Don't quit. Say more.

Chris:     Keep at it. Don't get discouraged, because you're probably going to play a lot of shows that don't make you feel the inside, but you might play something that you feel pretty good about yourself. Practice a lot.

Brian:     Yeah, practice.

Chris:     Practice with your full band and with yourself.

Seth:     Practice instrumentally and then practice only with the vocals.

Chris:     Yeah.

Brian:     Yeah, and know who you are and be true to yourself, which is very vague, but know what your dream really is. If your dream is to become famous, then that's ridiculous. That can't be your dream.

Brian (DCMR):    Right. That makes sense.

Brian:     Yeah, but to make music, to make music for other people, you've really got to get your priorities in check.

Brian (DCMR):    Know the direction you're headed in. I like that, guys. Now, if they want to find out more about you and the cool things that are happening with The Duskwhales, where do they go to follow you guys?

Chris:, Facebook/TheDuskWhales, @TheDuskWhales on Twitter and Instagram are the main ones.

Brian (DCMR):    Excellent.

Seth:     Or come to a show and get to know us.

Chris:     Yep.

Brian (DCMR):    I was going to say, in person they're ... I'm sitting here with them and they're amazing guys. I hope you get to meet these guys someday.

April 18, 2017 - Special Guest: Sub-Radio

Big thank you to the incredible guys from Sub-Radio for coming by!

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  1. Feint of Heart by Pop Co-op (Pop/Power Pop)
  2. Caroline by Sub-Radio (Indie/Indie Rock)
  3. Insanity by Black Alley (Rock/Hip-Hop)
  4. Hear me out by Underdog Champs (Punk/Pop Punk)
  5. Fireworks in Autumn by Andrew Tufano (Folk/Acoustic)
  6. New Romantics by His Dream of Lions (Pop/Rock)
  7. Emerald Skates by The Duskwhales (Indie/Indie Pop Gypsy Rock)


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DC Music Rocks Sub-Radio

Washington DC's Sub-Radio makes smart, danceable pop rock that's always expanding its boundaries, with elements of funk, folk, and EDM present on their 2016 release Same Train // Different Station. The sextet's high-energy live performances and variety of outstanding vocalists have put them on the map up and down the East Coast. Sub-Radio is composed of Adam Bradley (vocals), Matt Prodanovich (guitar), Mike Chinen (guitar/keyboards), John Fengya (guitar/keyboards), Michael Pereira (drums), and Barry Siford (bass).  The band has garnered comparisons to established pop-rock acts like Maroon 5. Multiple songs have been recognized in national songwriting competitions as Sub-Radio played festivals from New York to North Carolina. Notable festivals include the Cherry Blossom Festival, Celebrate Fairfax, and LAUNCH Music Festival and Conference. The new album, Same Train // Different Station, is available on iTunes, Spotify and all other music outlets. The band is currently playing shows in support of the album up and down the East Coast. 



Brian:   Sub-Radio makes smart, danceable, pop rock that's always expanding it's boundaries. Their 2016 release entitled Smart Train Different Station incorporated elements of funk, folk, and EDM. Members include, we got Adam on vocals, Matt on guitar, Mike on guitar and keyboards, John on guitar and keyboards, Michael on drums, and Barry on base. These six guys produce high energy live shows which have become well known and have garnered comparisons to established pop acts, like the big ones like Maroon 5 and such. Great shows from these guys. I first came across them a few months ago. I caught a video for Caroline which is one of their big, it's one of my favorite music videos. They're all in the van. If you check out their profile on, that's the video I've got for them. Just cool things from these guys. Listeners, it's with great pleasure I get to formally introduce Sub-Radio. Hey guys. Welcome. Now, they can only hear your voices, so tell them who you are. Introduce yourself and what you play. I've got three of them here in the studio. Talk to us.

Michael:   Hey. I am Michael. I'm the drummer.

Adam:   My name is Adam. All I do is sing.

Matt:   My name is Matt and I play guitar.

Brian:   The other three guys who aren't here. Those guys are?

Adam:   Yeah. We are missing, we are a six piece band like you said. We are missing John who plays just about everything for us and probably could play instruments he's never heard of.

Brian:   Okay.

Adam:   We got Mike who plays guitar and keyboards and then Barry is our alterative base player.

Brian:   Got it. Those are the guys. Together you make this magic that is Sub-Radio. Now, tell us how did the band get together. Talk about that story?

Michael:   That's an old one. Matt, you should probably take this one.

Matt:   We go together in high school, actually, so it's been you know, what like 15 years now? It's been a while.

Adam:   It literally has been a decade since we were in high school.

Matt:   We all kind of met up early on and just kind of started jamming out together. Then we realized we should be in a band together in high school, because it was fun.

Brian:   Awesome.

Matt:   We kept playing music together, and here we are 10 years later almost and now we're going to be doing really cool stuff this summer.

Brian:   I applaud you guys for still being together because staying together for that long is an achievement. Congrats on that one guys. Now, the name, Sub-Radio. Where did that come from?

Adam:   The name evolved from an older band name that I won't mention for SEO purposes on the air.

Brian:   You're so politically correct. Thank you sir. I really appreciate it.

Adam:   We had a band name in high school that we weren't really happy with so we reworked it, but essentially where this name came from is the early members of the band choosing random words out of a Best Buy catalog.

Brian:   For real?

Matt:   Oh yeah.

Brian:   A Best Buy catalog?

Matt:   It's real.

Adam:   That's going to be a historic anecdote in like five years when there are no Best Buys left. We'll explain during the story.

Matt:   It could have been Circuit City man.

Brian:   Yeah. Oh man, well all right. Well Best Buy catalog. That's amazing. All right. Now, I was asking you earlier during the break for the listeners, what's the song writing process for you guys? How does it go? Does one person bring a riff? Does somebody write the whole thing? How does that work for you guys?

Michael:   Kind of bounces around from song to song, but generally we'll start with a riff. Matt is often times the riff generator. He's got such a knack for it. Yeah, he's got such good head for it. He'll come to the band with a riff and we'll jam on it. We'll just all improv stuff and Adam will sing a melody. No lyrics yet, but he'll kind of hobble something together and then we'll develop the lyrics later. That's how we've been doing things lately. Or, alternatively Bradley will come to us with chords and lyrics already written and then we'll write the music to it. It's the same kind of process where we jam out, so everyone writes their own parts, which is pretty neat.

Brian:   That's cool. Now, when you're away from the music, talk about you three personally. What do you do outside of music and the band?

Matt:   Personally, I do a lot of other music. It's just kind of all music for me right now. I'm about to graduate college and I'm studying music in college at James Madison University.

Brian:   Shout out to JMU.

Matt:   Yeah.

Brian:   All right cool.

Matt:   Yeah. Outside of the band, I'm just kind of always focused on music stuff. I really like soccer too so I'm a big DC United fan and in the EPL, [inaudible 00:04:48] is my other team. Other than that, yeah it's just all about music.

Brian:   Nice. How about you Adam?

Adam:   Oh the important stuff. Got to get the soccer team shout outs.

Brian:   DC United, yes. You're allowed to shout out to them on this show. Absolutely.

Adam:   I am a distance runner outside of the band. Between the band and between the running, that's about 90% of my waking hours. I've done the Marine Corp Marathon in DC a couple times.

Brian:   Good gracious man. Serious distance running.

Adam:   Distance, emphasis on the distance. Yeah.

Brian:   Got it.

Adam:   I live up in Silver Spring. I'm in an acapella group in DC. I try to, not to be too on the nose, with your show, but I try to get to as many local shows as I can during the week when I'm not playing my own.

Brian:   Awesome. You are allowed those [inaudible 00:05:37], sir. Those are awesome brownie points to have. Yes, local shows. I love it. What about you Michael? What's your thing?

Michael:   By day I am a mechanical engineer so I do design and manufacturing work for a telecommunications company. I do a lot of CNC machining, a lot of laser cutting, water jack kind of stuff. Yeah. That's me during the day.

Brian:   Got it.

Adam:   Peels it off so casually.

Brian:   Then he comes to be a rockstar afterwords.

Michael:   Yeah. I studied physics in school so that's my background.

Brian:   Got it.

Adam:   We're missing the other three STEM majors in the band. They're all out at the office but it's a science heavy group.

Brian:   Yet I love the combination with art. Sometimes scientists and artists, they become both. The people bridge that gap. There's a lot of really smart folks that do music on the side in DC and as a result you get things like Sub-Radio and so many other cool groups that I've got profiles for, just amazing. The technical smarts that also translate into amazing musical, artistic skills.

Adam:   Michael brings all kinds of that stuff into the band. I mean, between rhythmic things and like literally making stuff for the band.

Michael:   Yeah. I've built a few things for the band and I'm going to be building a few like custom things for the band to come. Yeah, I feel like if you're sciency or mathy for some reason that pattern practice from science and math will help you in music, especially as a drummer. A rhythm heavy, I like to focus on rhythms a lot and so it's kind of mathematical.

Brian:   Talk about the biggest success moment that comes to mind for Sub-Radio thus far. What comes to mind on that?

Adam:   Wow. That's got to be pretty recent. I mean, we had a chance back in December at JMU to play with a band called Small Pools.

Brian:   Small Pools?

Adam:   It's a band from California but they are sort of a model that we look to right now. They're playing our genre. They're getting a good deal of success with it. We got to open a show for them on campus, and played to a crowd with, to our surprise, to my surprise anyway, I don't know about you guys, that knew some of our lyrics and was there to see. We played the show with like our idols, this pop rock band that's like making it and touring with cool bands and everything and after the show, the JMU school newspaper writes an article about the show, about the student union board that organized this show. They wrote an article about it. The article is like about how nobody expected the opener to be so good.

Brian:   It's the little things in life, the surprise that the successful moment is when they write how good the opener was.

Adam:   The picture accompanying the Small Pool article is a picture of us playing. It was a cool moment. That was a win-win.

Brian:   That's amazing. I love it. Now, what about your earliest memories with music. Where does music come from for you guys?

Michael:   Oh, that's a very, very good question. I come from a family that with no background in music whatsoever. I'm the only musician of even including all of my extended family. I have a pretty large family and I'm the only dedicated musician. One of the few that plays any instrument at all. I would sit by the radio and listen when I was young. I never had any training but I would listen constantly. I would just sit there and listen. That's kind of my first experience with music.

Brian:   Wow. You guys? What do you got for first experience with music? What comes to mind?

Adam:   In contrast, my dad was in a band in college. Didn't really go anywhere but he was in a band in college. He had like a recording studio in our living room when I was a baby and he was still putting a lot of tracks down and he hid them all from me on our iTunes, our shared iTunes account for years. He didn't want me to find them. There are pictures of me at three years old with the big headphones on in front of a mic. He wanted his son's voice on the track. That and my dad raised me on the standard white guy fare of dad music. Zeppelin and The Who and all that stuff, which was good intro.

Brian:   Yeah. Matt, what about you?

Matt:   Similar to Mike, no one ever in my family at all has ever touched a musical instrument. It was kind of up to me to figure that out by myself. I wasn't really interested at all in music to be honest, until I picked up a guitar around like I want to say middle school. Sixth grade I think I touched my first guitar. Then after that I was just like, I like this.

Brian:   It started with guitar.

Matt:   Then it just went on from there. I started writing songs pretty early and that's what got me into the whole wanting to be in a band thing. That's when I met these guys and just kind of snowballed from there.

Brian:   That's awesome. I got one more question that I always love to ask, and that's to any of you who wants to answer which is, if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

Adam:   Who are we advising?

Brian:   That part's up to you.

Adam:   Future musicians?

Brian:   If you want to, sure.

Adam:   Just one piece of advice, generally.

Michael:   At that Small Pool show, we got the privilege of actually hanging out with the Small Pools guys afterwards. I will pass on a piece of advice that was given to me from their drummer, and their singer, kind of both of them. I heard it from the drummer first. Don't be a jerk. Don't ever in life. You can extend that anywhere but be easy to work with. Don't be a jerk. Just be nice and everyone will have a good time for it.

Adam:   That's kind of the guiding principle of Sub-Radio to this point I think as well.

Brian:   Don't be a jerk.

Michael:   Yeah don't do it. There's no reason.

Brian:   It sounds like a really successful t-shirt campaign too. Don't be a jerk, hashtag. There you go.

Adam:   Oh man. You might have just given us something there.

Brian:   Possible band radio shirt. There you go. Make sure you get the hashtag in there so you can find all the people with the photos, right? Now for those listeners who we're going to jump into some music. For those listeners who are interested, who want to find out more about you guys, where do they go to find out more about Sub-Radio?

Adam:   We have a website. It's Obviously, we're on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram all those other apps.

Matt:   You can get our music on Spotify, Sound Cloud. It's up most places you would find music, even on the weird ones like Google Play.

Michael:   CD baby.

Brian:   All the places.

September 27, 2016 - Special Guest: JR MacDonald

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

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  1. Exnations - Found You (Pop/Alternative)
  2. The Pocket - Lila Rose (Reggae/Rock)
  3. Fellowcraft - Glass House (Hard Rock/Blues)
  4. Clutch - D.C. Sound Attack! (Hard Rock)
  5. Hundredth Nomad - Dosed (Hard Rock/Grunge Rock)
  6. Laura Tsaggaris - Dig (Rock/Americana)
  7. The Duskwhales - Lavander Ladies (Indie/Pop)
  8. Intro/Outro music by Fellowcraft (Hard Rock/Blues)

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JR Macdonald

Video - Bio - Photos - Transcript


JR MacDonald is the Guitarist and Frontman for Fellowcraft, an original Rock and Roll band from Washington DC. He started playing guitar at age 17, and wrote his first song in a matter of months. He's a veteran of the US Air Force, and spent 13 months overseas while enlisted. He has been an active fixture in the DC Music Community for over two years. JR has been featured as part of Fellowcraft on numerous worldwide podcasts, Television, and Radio. He has never put milk in his coffee; he favors simplicity. 


JR Macdonald Live on DC Music Rocks

Interview Transcript

Interviewer:  Tell us about J.R.? Then tell us about J.R. and Fellowcraft?

J.R.:  Well, J.R. is short for Jon Ryan, I have been a musician since I was about 17 years old. My mother was a singer/songwriter and a worship director, she used to do worship music. Still does. She has been playing guitar as long as I can remember. She taught me how to play at a very young age when my brother was taking lessons and decided he wanted to move over to the bass guitar, so I picked up his acoustic, I still own it, and I started playing. My mother taught me a couple of riffs, and she's like, "I'm not going to teach you if you're not going to learn," and I said, "All right, I'm in this, I'm learning." That riff that I learned became a song, that song kind of followed me and that's how it all started. It started by learning a few chords and then picking up from other people what they would teach me.

Interviewer:  Wow, so you brought that and so now J.R. is the front-man for Fellowcraft. What are your roles in the band, how does that part work?

 J.R.:  Being a front-man for band really is just another way of saying lead singer, or at least just the connection to the audience. I think you mentioned earlier, I really do enjoy jumping around and getting wild and crazy on stage because it's really where I draw my energy from. The songs themselves, the band members, like you and Brandon, and then the connection through the music to the crowd itself. You know we've played so many shows, I mean I jump around for the sound-man, you know, so if it's just me and the sound-man-

Interviewer:  This is true, and listeners, he keeps referring to talking about may as well because I am the drummer in Fellowcraft, which is the same band that J.R. is in, so I have my band-mate on today, and that's why we're going to talk about some things sounds like we're talking to each other because we're in the same band because we are. I have seen him jump around for the sound man.

J.R.:  Yeah.

 Interviewer:  You know what? He still does it just for the sound-man. It doesn't change, it's kind of incredible to watch him do his thing. It doesn't matter whether it's for two people or a sold out show at the Black Cat, he's the same crazy performer and it's amazing. J.R., speaking of like jumping around at the Black Cat and stuff what's proudest and or coolest moments that come to mind from your music career so far?

 J.R.:  Two of them specifically, one was our Black Cat show. We played the Black Cat in the summer and we were opening up for an incredibly talented band called Rainbow Kitten Surprise, and I love their music I was really looking forward to opening for them. When we loaded in the back I was bringing all my gear into what I call hallowed ground, the Black Cat is holy ground to a musician in this area. I saw Johnny Graves' sticker right there on the dumpster and I just thought to myself, "Like, I'm walking in the shadow of my heroes," I've looked up to Johnny from the moment I met him. That was really cool. Being backstage and feeling the energy, like Dave Grohl was here, you know.

 The other thing that comes to mind is playing at Rock and Roll Hotel specifically, like as y favorite show I've had but I think one thing stuck out, it was recording at Inner Ear Studios and not just at Inner Ear, but with Don Zientara. I mean, he did Fugazi, he did the Bad Brains, he did the Slicky Boys, I mean this guy is a DC institution, and there we were as a band. Not only in his presence, but under his tutelage in his studio. It was an amazing experience. I walk in the shadow of the heroes I grew up looking up to.

Interviewer:  Really, and it truly was an incredible experience working with Don, I could say. I was definitely an institution ad listeners if you've got questions or thoughts for J.R. you can send them over on Twitter, just tag at DC music rocks. I will get them over to him while he's here on the show. With that I want to hear about, so talk about the biggest lesson that you've learned?

J.R.:  You got to respect the hustle. I mean, as a musician its a hustle. It's hard. It's half business, it's half songwriting. Its a relationship. Every band that I know of, every single one of them, the band-mates are like boyfriends and girlfriends, or boyfriends and boyfriends, or girlfriends and girlfriends. It's wild to see it happen. It's a hustle and it's hard. There's people's feelings, there's people's opinions, and then on top of that you've got all of this marketing that you have to do, image coordination, and let's not forget, your main reason you got into this was because you wanted to make music. In my case like, I wanted to write music, and play music, and perform, so that's one little sliver of it. I would tell any musician that's getting in the game, "Respect the hustle. Be good to those people around you, be polite, be professional, but respect how much work this really is."

Interviewer:  There is certainly a lot that goes into it, and becomes a team effort, that's for sure. The better the team the better it is. Absolutely. Share with you us, how do you find your music? How does that come to you?

J.R.:  Typically I find my music through shoes that I go to, or friends that are into a band and tell me about it. I don't have one place that I go. I'm not a Spotify guy, I'm not a Bandcamp dude. I'll go anywhere if you have an album out, I can find it. I just Google you. You know? As an artist you get to control the direction and medium of where your music goes. If you don't want to put anything on the internet and you just want to sell CD's out of the back of your car, if I've heard your music and like it I'm going to buy a CD out of the back of your car.

 Interviewer:  Right.

 J.R.:  Most of the time, it's shows. Like I go to a show, one of songs that's on listed was a band that I saw at the 9:30 Club, and I'm like, check this band out, going to get their stuff. That's as simple as it is for me. If I like your stuff, I will ask you where I can find it and I'll go get it. I hope other people do the same.

Interviewer:  Definitely. It's a blessing, well fans like you are certainly a blessing because it's just not ... sometimes everybody has their different approaches and I love that about you, man. You do go out, I've seen you go out and get the CD's. With bands that we're playing with, too. I've seen it. All right. One piece of advice? I love to end with this question because I think it appeals to everybody and I love hearing the responses that I get from guests, so for you, what's one piece of advice you have for DC musicians, and one piece of advice you'd offer for DC music fans?

J.R.:  For DC musicians my advice is simple as possible and that is just support the scene. Help bands out. Go to shows that aren't on your bill. Help a band out when they need a guitar, if one breaks. I had a musician who [inaudible 00:06:36] who was on a bill with me at Rock and Roll Hotel and I blew out two strings during a solo and it was going to take me a hot minute to fix it up, we can a plan for it, but he just walked over and just handed it to me. "Here is a guitar, J.R.," I think that's the kind of thing that makes this scene so amazing to me. Support the scene. Go to their shows, help them out when they need it, get on bills when you can, be as professional and polite as possible, but support them.

To fans it's really simple, go see bands play live. It's that easy. I mean, I relish every bit of support I can get. I am so thankful to anyone if you've liked my video online, if you've followed us on Spotify, anything. Anything you do, thank you so much. I won't ask you to do anything beyond that, but if you really want to make a different just pay the cover charge and get in the venue. You can buy merch, you can buy drinks to support the businesses, but that's it, just go to shows.

Interviewer:  I think that's a, going to shows is an interesting thing if you go to shows, please by all means introduce yourself to the band, to the bands and to the musicians because for me, and I know for J.R., it is truly a treat when people after the show, we love to stick around and talk to folks. If you enjoyed the show, or if there's a part of it that you enjoyed, same thing with your comments on the videos. That personal connection is a powerful thing, but go on to that shows, in person.

J.R.:  I would say the same thing to the artists. Be good to your fans, they're the reason that we get do this. You and I don't get to play music in DC for any other reason other than people come out and watch us do it so I want to make sure that every single on of them is taken care of and has a great experience.

Interviewer:  Absolutely. Thank you J.R. for the words of wisdom and for sharing a little bit about you. It's a treat to get to know the man behind the music which is why I love this part of the show in the interviews, it's truly a treat. Then the next part of the show, has to do with bringing great music. One of the things that I challenge all my guest to do is to bring us great music and J.R. has delivered ten-fold on that on. First up for today, J.R. what do you have for us?

J.R.:  This is a song by one of my favorite bands of all time, this is Clutch, with DC Sound Attack.

Interviewer:  Sweet. Thanks guys, you're awesome.