The Delta Saints are making a name for themselves among the alternative music industry, and for good reason, too. Monte Vista, their latest release, is a distinctive blend of alternative rock, blues, and a little bit of everything else.
Sleeptalk is the type of band that sounds as if it came straight out of an Indie film. Soft, filled with an upbeat yet gentle sound, and almost iconic in nature. Their newest album, by the same name, starts off with a short intro, also entitled “Sleeptalk”. The silky beat almost makes listeners feel as if they’re floating. The blend of far-away sounding voices with a slow-moving beat makes for a great opener for the album.
Josh Cocktail Hallbauer Interview
An interview with Radical Something’s frontman
When this talented California band ripped through Orlando a few weeks ago, we cornered vocalist Josh Hallbauer who is more commonly known as Josh Cocktail for an interview. He shared his thoughts on their unique brand of rock, what drives their performances, and what to expect at their entertaining shows.
Something Radical on the Indie Rock Scene
I’ll admit that twenty-four hours ago, I had no idea who the hell Radical Something was. I liked their name, thought they had a cool logo, was intrigued by their bio, and honestly just as interested in seeing their tour mates Matisyahu.
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After witnessing their blistering forty-five minute set, I was an instant fan. This California trio (turned quintet for this tour) just dripped with energy, charisma and talent, and were an absolute blast on stage. Their music was fresh, creative and fun, and it didn’t take long for them to win the crowd over. If you see them touring through your area, they’re a can’t miss live act that needs to be on your radar.
If I had to categorize their music, I’d call it Indie Surf ska with a touch of hip hop. I spoke to lead vocalist Josh Hallbauer (Josh Cocktail) before the show and asked him to describe the band’s sound, “The music is like laid back California reggae. We’re into connecting with the crowd. Our show is based off of how we feed off of the crowd, it’s energetic for sure.” And, from the minute they hit the stage, it was clear to see he was true to his word. (My full interview with Cocktail will be published here in a few weeks)
From the first notes of “Escape,” they were constantly interactive with the crowd. All three primary members share vocal duties; Cocktail had the highest voice, and boasted a broad range, while Alex Lagemann (Loggy), and Michael Costanzo (Big Red) were a hit more rap influenced. The voices were all quite different, but they complemented each other and blended together nicely throughout the show.
The one constant throughout the ten song set was that the band members were constantly upbeat. (See full setlist below) They bounced across the stage, weaving between each other as they raced around deftly trading off vocals. It was a bit of cohesive chaos that was just a blast to watch. Loggy on guitar and Big Red on bass spent most of the show playing their respective instruments, and they were backed by talented touring musicians on guitar and drums.
(We will post more photos on our Facebook page in the next few days)
An early highlight of the show was “Cheap Drink,” the first song of the night that prominently featured all three vocalists. It was a raucous party anthem that also featured drum and guitar solos. By that point in the set, the entire crowd was smiling, dancing, and answering to the band’s every desire. They followed with a killer version of their new offering “Cali Get Down.” The crowd loved it, happily singing along “What Up Mother Fucker?” in a song that I felt was the most entertaining of the evening. <Grab Cali Get Down on iTunes>
They slowed the tempo down a bit for a few songs featuring excellent vocals from Cocktail, and then it was back to the party for a frenetic finish.
Perhaps hearkening back to Cocktail’s undergrad time at Florida Atlantic, or the brief period when they recorded a few tracks in Southern Florida, these California guys easily bonded with their new friends from the East Coast. A few quotes from the stage that captured the vibe:
- “We’re fucking exhausted but you people are our energy.”
- “We appreciate your love and energy”
- “You guys make it real”
The beauty of those quotes? It showed a true symbiotic relationship between band and fans, and it was genuine. These guys absolutely appreciated and were humbled by the rollicking crowd, and the feeling was reciprocated.
Oh, and Matisyahu? They were okay, but I left early as they didn’t hold a candle to their more creative, energetic opening act.
Okay, well if you made it this far in the article, you are obviously a rock music fanatic like the Rock And Roll Animals at RARAsFarm. Do us a big favor and like our Facebook page for future updates, rock news and photos (including from this show). Thanks and please spread the word to other intelligent, creative, beautiful music fans like you 🙂
Cali Get Down
Step Right Up
Jake Kilmer (Smile Empty Soul) Interview
A decade ago, three brash young Californians exploded onto the Alt-Rock scene with a smashing breakthrough single “Bottom of the Bottle.” Their first release peaked inside the Top 10 and they were on everyone’s list of band’s to watch. But then, they seemed to slip off the Alt-Rock radar.
Were they a one-hit wonder bereft of potential? No, far from it. The rock music business is a fickle one, record companies are unpredictable, and radio stations schizophrenic. While the trio still churned out excellent music, they lost some of their presence. But, fortunes are changing, and the trio is again on the cusp of big things.
We recently caught up with talented drummer Jake Kilmer after a rousing set in front of a few thousand rabid fans at hard rock’s premier music festival, Welcome To Rockville in Jacksonville. The band symbolically kicked off the set with “Black and Blue,” the title track off of their latest release; then powered through a nice sampling of their past decade of music, both new and old.
We took a few moments to chat about the band’s latest project, and their plans for this summer, shortly after they left the stage.
RARAsFarm: So, you guys had a big crowd out there. What did you think of the Jacksonville fans during your set?
Jake Kilmer: I thought they were into it. There was some good energy there. I got an awesome picture with the guys in it and the crowd in the background, we had a lot of fun.
RARAsFarm – here’s the photo Jake referenced, and it is pretty damn good (we’ll provide our link to their show photos below)
RARAsFarm: You’ve been together for about ten years now, and just released your sixth album, Chemicals, how’s it doing?
Jake Kilmer: It’s going good and fans dig it. They know more and more songs each day. Our second single “Chemicals” is out on Sirius XM’s Octane and it’s being picked up on radio stations all around the country.
RARAsFarm: You mention Octane, and truthfully there’s parts of Florida with no good rock stations, so Octane is where I hear most of these Welcome To Rockville bands. Has it become an important station for a band’s success these days?
Jake Kilmer: Now it is, sure; Sirius XM’s Octane is bad ass, because it’s nationwide. If you’re on there, you are doing something right because you’re pleasing them.
RARAsFarm: What are your plans for the summer?
Jake Kilmer: We’ll be touring. We just put a shitload of dates on our SmileEmptySoul.com site. We’re going all over.
RARAsFarm: Are you guys just focused on touring, or making new music now?
Jake Kilmer: We’re just focused on touring. Sean’s always been writing. Collectively we all work on the tunes together to put them together, but he’s the songwriter. I’m sure he’s been writing a bunch. It’s never been hard for Smile to get together and produce new material; it’s only been hard to get the right label team who aren’t douchebags, to become a part of the team and support us.
RARAsFarm: It sounds like you have a lot of company. A bunch of bands I speak to are facing the same challenges.
Jake Kilmer: That’s why it’s bad ass that we’re doing our own thing label-wise. We’re in control and that’s why we didn’t come back so fast. We got off that label because they didn’t do shit. We found a new opportunity with a friend of ours willing to invest. We put together this team, found a great radio team and publicist, and we’ve been working hard at it. And, we’re not going anywhere.
RARAsFarm: Well, the new stuff sounded great today and it was nice to hear, and you guys killed it live. Hopefully we’ll see you again soon on the East Coast.
Jake Kilmer: Cheers. Thank you.
Check out the latest Smile Empty Soul album below. It’s jammed with solid straight-forward American alt-rock, and some of their best stuff in years.
Make sure you Follow Us on Twitter and Like Us on Facebook for more from Smile Empty Soul in the near future.
Our Smile Empty Soul concert photos are here on our Facebook (Like Us, please): Welcome To Rockville Photos