Gas Can Music
Z Rokk, singer/songwriter, guitarist for Automatic Static was the guitar player for Simon Says on Hollywood Records back in the late 1990's and early 2000's. After the disbanding of Simon Says in 2002, Z pursued his education and earned a BA in Political Science from CSU Sacramento. He pursued Law school and was accepted to McGeorge Law School in Sacramento. After realizing that music was where he wanted to be and not the law, Z started Automatic Static by himself as a project in a small one-bedroom apartment in downtown Sacramento. After recording and writing for a year or so, Z started to play live shows with friends and musicians around Sacramento filling in the line up. Being a huge Nirvana fan Z decided that a simple 3 piece would be a great tight group to rock with as he was handling both guitar and vocals himself. He recruited friends and long time local Sacramento musicians Matt (tone factory) on Bass and Kevin, drums. Together they form the wall of sound that is Automatic Static. Z Rokk has contributed music to soundtracks as "Varsity Blues", "Johnny Tsunami" and National Lampoon's "Beerfest". Z Rokk has toured with bands from the likes of Filter, Staind, Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock, Deftones, and Far, Type O Negative, Sevendust and many more. Musical philosophy is "Less is more!" Z Rokk owns and operates a music School in Sacramento, where he has taught music lessons for over seven years. He also owns a small recording studio recording his own music as well as other local bands around Sacramento and Northern California.
Season of Mist
The shifting movement of red hot sand, spiralling around the withered trunk of a gnarled tree are among the hypnotic visions KYLESA evoke with "Spiral Shadow". Drawing deeply from the roots nourishing their unique sound with the essence of crust punk, psychedelic and stoner rock as well as sludge metal, the US-band is tapping into an even deeper musical universe than ever before. It all begins in Savannah, Georgia, where guitarist and singer Philipp Cope founds KYLESA together with Brian Duke on bass and drummer Christian Depken of his former Sluge Metal act DAMAD during the year 2001. They are joined by singer and guitarist Laura Pleasants from North Carolina, who at the time attended the Savannah College of Art and Design.
The name KYLESA is derived from the Buddhist concept of "kilesa mara" meaning delusionary states of the mind. The band essentially came from a Crust Punk background, which DAMAD was a part of and like NEUROSIS included weird effects into its sound. Cope and Duke were admittedly big fans of the latter, but also deeply into the Stoner Rock scene and other styles of hard guitar driven music. To this fundament Pleasants contributed her own liking of Crust, Punk and Thrash Metal as well as Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd and Deep Purple. This eclectic mixture of tastes converged into their heavily explosive debut "Kylesa" (2002), which has been aptly described as a Metal-Punk hybrid with sombre guitar attacks, groove laden drumming and brutally corrosive vocals.
In May 2001 KYLESA were well on their way to finish the recordings of their debut album and a first show with MASTODON and CREAM ABDUL BARBAR was played in their hometown Savannah on June 2, 2001. Only four days late tragedy struck: bassist Brian Duke died from an epileptic seizure during the night of the 6th of June. After a painful period of grief and mourning the band decided to honour their late bass player and close friend by finishing the record and two more songs where added with the help of local friend Michael Redmond taking over Duke's bass duties.
KYLESA inked their first deal and released the 7" EP "Point of Stillness" (2002) shortly before their self-titled debut "Kylesa" (2002) was finally unleashed, which had already been recorded one year before. The artwork for both releases was created by famous graphic designer Pushead, who is probably best known for his work for METALLICA and his band logo remains in use until today. Corey Barhorst joined KYLESA during the year 2002 as a permanent replacement for Duke. Barhorst already contributed to their split EP with Memento Mori (2002), which was quickly followed by a split album with Floridians Cream Abdul Babar (2003).
Ever since the year 2002 the band has turned the road into their second home and toured heavily all over the US and increasingly from 2005 onwards added the cities of Europe to their places of residence. As regards recordings KYLESA found the next outlet for their burgeoning creativity with another EP titled "No Ending/110 Heat Index" (2004), Christian Depken deserted his drum stool, on which Brandon Baltzley took seat next. Baltzley joined just in time for the recording of KYLESA's sophomore album "To Walk a Middle Course", but left soon again after its release in 2005.
This renewed vacancy on the drum post turned out to be a blessing for KYLESA as the band then decided to have two drummers with Savannah local Carl McGinley of Unpersons and Jeff Porter joining in 2006. This dual drum attack added a new dimension to KYLESA's already unique sound and was first employed on their third album "Time Will Fuse Its Worth" (2006). By now the band had gained a large domestic following and largely become internationally recognised as well. The constant touring took its toll as the band parted ways with Corey Barhorst in 2007, who rejoined in 2009. Also during 2007, McGinley, Cope and Pleasants recorded two Pink Floyd cover songs: "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" and "Interstellar Overrdrive". The latter appeared on a "Tribute to Syd Barett", while the former was offered on the KYLESA Myspace page for free downloading. Laura Pleasants regards these recordings as a turning point since she started to sing seriously for the first time and kept developing her striking vocals ever after.
During the year 2008 Porter could not join in for the next European tour and was in turn replaced by Eric Hernandez, who was recommended to the band by their friends from TORCHE and also appeared on KYLESA's highly acclaimed fourth full length "Static Tensions" (2009). On both sides of the Atlantic critics and fans strongly applauded this release and the band received an invitation to embark on a tour with MASTODON, which gained them even more attention. With their style now firmly established KYLESA finally substituted Porter with Tyler Newberry to keep the impact of their twin drumming.
With their new line-up KYLESA went into studio to record the successor of their masterpiece "Static Tensions". Album number five received the title "Spiral Shadow" and was the first release in the band's new partnership with international label Season of Mist. Unleashed in October 2010 "Spiral Shadow" immediately scored a hit and entered charts on both sides of the Atlantic. KYLESA gained several "Album of the Month" titles in major magazines like Metal Hammer, Rock Sound, and Visions as well as being featured on the front covers of Terrorizer and Inferno Magazine among others. Several tours through Europe and the US with bands like CONVERGE and HIGH ON FIRE among others are currently following or in preparation. With "Spiral Shadow" KYLESA have fine tuned their formula, which has come close to perfection now. Let the fiery passion of these burning riffs engulf you!
Red Light Management
Ki:Theory (a.k.a. Joel Burleson) is a recording artist and producer who specializes in genres of electronic and alternative rock. He and his band have toured nationwide US, Canada, Japan and Korea including a performance at the Bonnaroo Music Festival. He's done remixes for Daft Punk/Tron Legacy, Kings of Leon, Queens of the Stone Age, Kasabian, MuteMath, Ladytron, Sasha, UNKLE and Brazilian Girls among others. His original music and scoring work has been featured on television including C.S.I., National Geographic Channel, in ads including Converse, Billabong, Audi and in numerous films and videos games. He continues to make music that he likes to hear in hopes of creating something that others might like to hear. The newest Ki:Theory release, Arms For Legs is available as a free download at kitheory.com.
From Austin to San Francisco, from Liverpool to Prague, Canadian songstress Dorine Levy has wowed audiences and scored hits and gained legions of followers.
At the tender age of 16 Dorine wrote and performed the lead track for the ambient ‘9Beach’ compilation ‘La Mort’ and notching up 50,000 sales worldwide.
Major fashion brands sat up and paid attention to her debut ep and the track ‘Falling Star’ was used by H&M and Zara in their promotional soundtracks.
All this was a far cry from when Dorine found herself moving at short notice with her parents from Montreal to Tel Aviv. Despite the upset. she used this as motivation to become a powerful, unique musician, singer and producer who takes her influences from both sides of the world.
She scored success in the southern hemisphere when selected as one of the ‘Top Five International Acts’ in the 2010 MTV Australian Music Awards, even though she’d never visited the country.
Her first full-length album ‘Underwater’ she released the opener ‘There For Me’, which scored thousands of views on YouTube in days, gained a slot on MTV’s boutique playlist, and was used by Forever21 fashion brand’s global advertising campaign and by Quiksilver for their annual worldwide Pro France television recap.
No less than the legendary Tom Robinson played it on the UK’s BBC6 Radio – an accolade few can achieve.
‘Cow boy fest’ the third track released from the album was used by the loved Korean fashion brand Suecomma Bonnie for their trilogy worldwide campaign.
Her first UK single ‘Lenyrose’ was an instant hit, premiered on Indie Shuffle, was shortlisted and ‘Track of the Week’ at ‘It’s All Indie’.
The official video for the track involved fans and volunteers and renowned video masterminds Neil Cohen and Lavie Sharon who also worked with the likes of Beyonce.
Premiered by Wonderland Magazine, Dorine’s video received more than 1,000 shares and was added to the MTV Boutique playlist
After playing incessantly around her home town, Dorine and her band were invited to play a series of key industry events, including shows at Sxsw, Cmj, Indie Week Canada, First Nouvelle Prague Festival,Canadian Music Week and Sound City in Liverpool as well as festivals such as Jamrock in Czech and Culture Collide in LA and San Francisco and supporting acts such as Caldwell, Lucy Rose, Jviewz and many more.
Now continuously playing events and gigs in Tel Aviv, Dorine has spent the year creating and recording new music in her studio, with more than 100 tracks in the bag, the first five will be released this year in the UK and Canada.
Jenna Earle is not your typical singer-songwriter. With a moody yet inviting soundscape that stems from her unique slide and open-tuning guitar techniques, her music couples distinctive lyrics and vibey production with sultry, almost haunting vocals. Born into a gypsy lifestyle, Jenna literally began her life on the road when her mom gave birth to her while traveling and she has been "off the grid" ever since. Spending her youth on a farm devoid of electricity and running water, Jenna's childhood consisted of one-room schoolhouses, bohemian parties and entertaining herself by listening to her parents and their friends play blues and flamenco music.
The product of a musical family spanning many generations, Jenna was fortunate enough to appear as a featured vocalist on a Juno-nominated album by uncle Lenny Graf at the age of 11. Her music education was furthered after watching late-night jam sessions at smoky downtown jazz clubs and attending Selkirk College, where she earned a diploma in music composition. Jenna's latest EP was produced by Bill Bell (Jason Mraz, Justin Nozuka, Tom Cochrane) and reflects her wide-ranging influences from greats such as Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Robert Johnson.
Jess Penner is a cheerful and cheeky, creatively ADD artist from Los Angeles. She's opened for FUN., toured near and far, and her whimsical indie pop songs have been featured in media all over Gods green earth. Raised on a banana farm on Kauai, HI; Jess is also a dinner party throwing, hen raising, people loving, thrift store shopping, self professed tomboy who hates musicals and tilapia but secretly loves painfully slow BBC miniseries and booty dancing alone in her bedroom.
SONGS Music Publishing
French-American multi-instrumentalist and stunning vocalist Sydney Wayser has emerged with her sophomore album The Colorful, a more lighthearted follow-up to 2007's The Silent Parade. It presents a collection of songs decorated with the playfulness of toy instruments while maintaining 22-year-old Wayser's sense of intimate and serene elegance. Praised by NPR for her "natural gift for melody and musicianship," The Colorful demonstrates a developed maturity that showcases this gift clearly and delicately. Now based in New York, Wayser grew up in LA, spending her summers in Paris. She quickly gleaned much of French culture from her songwriter father, leading her to musical influences that include Edith Piaf, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Jacques Brel, among many others. This European sensibility is evident on both The Silent Parade and The Colorful, each filled with tunes that could easily provide a soundtrack to a Godard film or a playful scene from Jeunet's Amélie. The Colorful, as a whole, feels like a sonic representation of this transition through the earth up towards the light. With an unwavering sense of charm and wit, melody and phrasing, Wayser's latest offering is an irresistible invitation to follow her into the light; an invitation not to be denied.
With GOLD MOTEL, it's always summer, the bags are always packed, and the car is always running. Beneath tight pop hooks and warm melodies, GOLD MOTEL's songs are infused with joyous exuberance as well as sweet melancholy. The ten tracks on GOLD MOTEL's debut album Summer House are snapshots of dreaming, transient youth in constant motion - driving down desert highways, watching fireworks from the boardwalk, wandering the city in an endless summer but, in the end, always searching for the safety of home, friends, and love.
The Chicago-based quintet originated in the warmer climate of Los Angeles during the summer of 2009. Greta Morgan (The Hush Sound) returned from a year in Southern California to her hometown of Chicago, bringing with her what would become the five-song GOLD MOTEL EP. Collaborating with her friend Dan Duzsynzski (This Is Me Smiling), recording began on a set of sharp, sunny pop songs with a decidedly West Coast outlook. Working with Duzsynski, Morgan realized that her pre-conceived solo project could grow into a full band effort.
Through the fall of 2009, GOLD MOTEL transformed into a full-fledged band, adding Chicago music veterans Matt "Minx" Schuessler, Adam Kaltenhauser (both of This is Me Smiling), and Eric Hehr (The Yearbooks). The super group played together live for the first time in December of 2009 with a sold out headlining debut at Chicago's Beat Kitchen, coinciding with the release of the GOLD MOTEL EP.
Since then, GOLD MOTEL has headlined shows from Los Angeles to New York (and most cities in between) in support of Summer House. In November 2010, they released a two song 7" vinyl, Talking Fiction.
A lot can happen in the span of six years. The Star Wars saga can turn interesting again. Narcissistic nutcases with ghastly hair can assume commander-in-chief roles. The Chicago Cubs can even win a championship.
And Lightouts can ambush us all with the outta- nowhere stroke of genius that is Wake, their first long- player since 2013's Want.
Family commitments, geographic hurdles, vaporizing vocalists — all played a role in the unusually lengthy interval between Lightouts albums. Band leader Gavin Rhodes succinctly summarizes the downtime: “It sucks to say... but sometimes life gets in the way of rock 'n' roll.”
With the foursome — Rhodes (guitars, keyboards), Greg Nelson (lead vocals, guitars), Dean Perry (bass guitars), Josh Fleischmann (drums) — scattered these days between Brooklyn, Austin, and, uh, Peruvian Amazonia, getting the band together to lay down tracks isn't as simple as it once was. Add day jobs, kid-raising, ayahuasca experiments, and shaman-searching to the mix, and the risk of a logistical fiasco on par with corralling a thousand feral kittens gets perilously real.
Rhodes remained undeterred during the era between Want, which landed on several influential best-of-2013 lists, and Wake. After his creative partnership with Nelson went on hiatus mid-decade, Rhodes hooked up with Dead Kennedys singer Skip Greer for 2015's More Than Ever EP, which Rhodes released under the Lightouts name. Once Greer went back on holiday in Cambodia with his brand-name act, the stage was set for Rhodes and Nelson to reconnect and rekindle the spirit of their earlier work together. The rest is mystery.
Lightouts' finest feat on Wake, apart from the songs themselves, is making time seem to stand still. Eight of the record's ten tunes are brand-new — “Disappear” and “My My” have been revived and punched-up from their original single versions — but the sonic thread between Wake and Want is seamless. Even the records' titles read like companion pieces, separated by only two letters.
But even if Lightouts' sound remains (mostly) the same, Wake plays more concisely than the sprawling Want. The urgent pace hits early with nimbly chugging opener “Disappear” and continues on through “Celebrate,” the album's earworm of a crescendo. Along the way, “Yes I Dü” is a Hüskertacular wig-flipper, “Make Believe” grinds gracefully midway into the record, the major chorus in “Victory” backs up the song's big-talking title — and all three drop lyrical throwbacks to Want and its theme of weighing the true worth of certain desires within all of us. The band is tight as a Mason jar throughout, with Fleischmann and Perry locking in and careening around Rhodes' fluidly insistent guitar lines. Atop it all, Nelson's stirring vocals soar and dip like a hungry kingfisher, recalling a “Heroes”-era Bowie at the top of his emotive game.
A deeper listen to Wake reveals poignant September 11 recollections from a New Yorker (“Shake Your Sweet”), tempo shifts guaranteed to mess with your equilibrium (“Evil Hearted”), oblique references to seeing visions (“Wake”) and being miles away (“Lucky Strikes”), straight-up references to bailing out (“Disappear”)...there's no shortage of connect-the-dots material to work with here.
True to its title, Wake is the sound of Lightouts' rally from an extended nap. Or is it? Perhaps it's a funeral bell, a signal to mourn a loss — something the striking cover art evokes. Rhodes is banking on the first interpretation: He's on a creative tear these days, having amassed enough demos for another pair of albums, at least.
Time will tell — whether it seems to stand still or not.
Bio written by:
Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
The Record Machine
The debut release of Kansas City band Capybara is filled to the brim with jangly synth melodies, light falsetto harmonies, and a syncopated percussive style that perpetually threatens to start a raucous party. Try Brother, self-produced in the Spring of 2009 in the mountains of northern New Mexico, blends earnest eyes-wide-open lyrics with delicate multi-instrumental arrangements. Their style draws on many influences, evoking classical chamber pop, down-home banjo folk rock, and soaring indie riffs in equal measures.
"Capybara won't long be an unknown commodity with its jittery, percussive, freakout folk pop. No xylophone is safe when the foursome takes the stage with at least as much pep as Arcade Fire and with songs that are way more fun than anything on Neon Bible." - The Pitch Weekly, Kansas City
Growing up in the American Heartland with a good old-fashioned Midwestern work ethic, their longtime childhood friendships and tightly-knit brotherhood help drive Capybara and fuel their creative fire. While early press reviews of Try Brother have drawn loose comparisons to the work of Dirty Projectors, Sufjan Stevens, and The Flaming Lips, it is clear that Capybara's new album comes straight from the heart.
"Capybara seem to have tapped into the sharpest fragments of the contemporary alt scene with kaleidoscopic expertise. They master every sound they make and never sound like pretenders, always like musicians; original, diverse, vibrant. Not that I mean to gush. Take a tour for yourself." - Monkton VS. Plankton, UK Blog
Look out for Capybara as they embark on their second national tour in Autumn 2009, touring in support of Try Brother, out now on The Record Machine.