Emo Meets Folk: A Chat with Alex Wieringa From Rare Candy

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“The best gigs happen when people are screaming lyrics back in my face,” says Alex Wieringa, front man of Rare Candy. The Chicago-based band, which Alex started when he was just a teenager, has developed a distinctive sound over time that blurs the line between punk-rock and folk. I discovered Rare Candy’s various EPs on Spotify last month, and I’ve been hooked ever since. (I’d even go so far as to say that RC is my fave band right now.) For this week’s post, I chatted with Alex about his skillful songwriting, inspiration, and newly found place in the emo genre.

A Perfect Playlist: Tell me a little bit about how you got started. How long have you been singing?

Alex Wieringa (Rare Candy): Rare Candy began as a solo passion project of songs that didn’t “fit the mold” of a previous band I’d been in. I was in my school choir from preschool until 8th grade, then I started playing real shows by myself when I was 19.

APP: You have a super unique sound. How would you define your genre?

AW: I’ve been tagging Rare Candy as a “folk-pop” band, and it seems to fit pretty well. I began playing in more pop-punk influenced band when in high school, but always had fun playing more blues and folk-style guitar. My uncle played in blues and country bands for as long as I could remember, so it was something that was familiar to me. Those two influences seemed to just mesh and come together naturally.

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APP: I’ve read in a few different places that Rare Candy fits into a new wave of emo music. Are there specific artists, emo or not, that have inspired you over the years?

AW: I think that Rare Candy unintentionally fits into the emo genre. The vibe of my music takes a direction that has been seen in bands like Modern Baseball and The Front Bottoms, to name a few recent groups. I also took influence from bands such as Go Radio and Nevershoutnever when I was younger. I very much enjoy pushing what I can do guitar-wise in order to spice up the instrumentals on a more straight-forward melody. I’ve been a big fan of The White Stripes/Jack White, The Milk Carton Kids, and The Tallest Man on Earth for some time now, all of which have influenced my guitar playing.

APP: Your most popular single, “If You See Her, Tell Her I’m Over It” is one of my favorites. The song is pretty self-explanatory, so I won’t ask you what it’s about. But if you had to sum it up in one sentence, what would you say?

AW: In one sentence: “I’m definitely not over it, but I very much want to be, so I’m going to fake it till I make it.” (P.S. It’s all love now, though.)

“You’re the kind of girl that makes me wish that I had never even met you. I miss you every day, and even though you’re not around I don’t resent you.”

APP: Each of your songs is its own story. Is there one song/story that means the most to you?

alex guitarAW: There are a few songs that I hold very close to me. “Sweet Potato Taco” got its name when my two best friends and I were taking a break from recording and we had, you guessed it, sweet potato tacos. But it was also written at a time where I was missing someone dear to me and it is undoubtedly one of the most positive and happy songs I’ve written. “Swatch Dogs and Diet Coke Heads” is probably one of my favorite stories. It’s just a very powerful realization of not blaming myself for things that go wrong, and a story of moving forward and sharing blame. These are two songs that stray from my usual “sad as fuck” vibe.

APP: Fave movie soundtrack?

AW: “Tarzan.” Phil Colins is an absolute madman. He could write a song about anything and still twist your heart into pieces while making you want to sing along to every word.

APP: There are a few of your songs that have flat-out made me cry. Your lyrics, which convey specific stories and experiences, are also incredibly relatable. When you’re writing a new song, how do you hone in on that emotional aspect of the story and craft a song?

AW: Thank you so much, I’m flattered. I always do my best to never force lyrics or a song idea. In order to keep my stuff genuine, I immediately jot down any interesting ideas I come up with. Sometimes, I’ll bang out an idea in an hour. Other times, a song will take weeks. Being patient gets stressful and annoying, especially when I’m sitting on one song for so long, but it’s the key to my writing. I always write what I would want to listen to had I been going through the same situation from an outside perspective. I enjoy my own songs very much, which makes it that much more fun and easy to say what I want to.

APP: Tell me a little bit about your latest record, Turnip Head. Where did the name come from?

AW: The songs on Turnip Head were all written around the same time. The song “Dry Clean only” very much would have fit on the earlier EP, Cream Soda, but the rest of the songs are much more mature in guitar style and in lyrical content.

“Turnip Head” is the name of a character from the movie “Howl’s Moving Castle” by Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki introduces the character as an enchanted Scarecrow who follows Sophie, the protagonist, along on her journey. He’s always silent and bouncing around, lending a hand while he can. We find out later that he was cursed and far from his homeland, and also that he’s in love with Sophie. Long story short, I thought he was a cute concept and related to him in an odd way. A long journey and a happy ending.

APP: Fave song lyric of yours?

AW: My favorite lyric I’ve written is: “you always hated being woken up, I should have spoken up and said just what was on my mind that day you packed your things,” from “Queen of Autumn.” It’s just very intimate, genuine and vulnerable. The entirety of that song is such a tender topic and heavy situation. The lyric “are you living, or just trying to stay alive?” also hits home. My favorite line to perform is: “I know I said I’d call but to be honest I just got a little faded.” Because lol true. Plus, I always scream it at the top of my lungs every time, and normally the crowd does too.

APP: What’s next for Rare Candy? Are you working on a new record/planning to tour soon?

AW: I’m writing all the time. I have a new single in the works simply for the sake of steadily releasing material. A small tour is coming up in the winter, and then more recording next year. Always keeping busy for sure.

~

Thanks so much, Alex!

Find Rare Candy:

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An Exclusive Interview with Animal Sun

Animal Sun, made up of brothers Steven Blake and Will Alton, are bursting onto the indie music scene. Formed in 2015, the band was named after their close friend James Sun, who tragically passed away in 2011. Animal Sun’s debut EP, “Beginnings,” released in July of this year, showcases the band’s soulful sound, pulling inspiration from artists like The Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins and The 1975.

The guys are currently prepping to perform at the iconic Peppermint Club in West Hollywood, CA on October 26th. In other exciting news, Steven and Will were recently notified that they are on the official ballot for the Grammy Awards for the following categories: Song of The Year – “Girl in Blue,” Record of The Year – “Girl in Blue,” & Best Pop Duo or Group Performance – Animal Sun, “Girl in Blue.”

I caught up with lead singer Steven Blake and chatted with him about their first music video, their fans, working with Grammy award-winning engineer Robert Margouleff, and more.

Listen below!

 

Find Animal Sun:

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5 Songs With Weird Backstories

Ever wondered about the story behind some of the world’s most popular rock songs? I did some research, and put together a small list of what I found were the most bizarre. I’ll never hear them the same way again…

“Every Breath You Take” – The Police

117898460Most fans assume this is a sweet love song about someone who’s beyond infatuated with their partner…so much so, that they simply cannot stand to be apart from them. But according to Sting, the track is a bit darker than that. He wrote it during the aftermath of his divorce from his first wife, Frances Tomelty, and during the beginning of his relationship with Trudie Styler. (The women were best friends — yikes.)

In reality, the song is about a possessive lover who is obsessed with his ex. He becomes jealous of everything she does without him, so as a result, he watches her every move.

“One couple told me ‘Oh we love that song; it was the main song played at our wedding!’ I thought, ‘Well, good luck’. I think the song is very, very sinister and ugly and people have actually misinterpreted it as being a gentle little love song, when it’s quite the opposite.” – Sting

So, if someone crushing on you sends you this song…run.

“Total Eclipse Of the Heart” – Bonnie Tyler

total_freakin_eclipse-1Written by composer Jim Steinman in 1983, this song, paired with its haunting music video (left), is actually about vampires. (I love vampires, so I now love this song even more.) The original title was “Vampires In Love,” as it was composed for a Nosferatu musical. When Jim first played the song for Bonnie, it sent shivers down her spine. She was eager to get in the studio and record it as soon as possible. The song was originally seven minutes at full-length, but Bonnie cut it down to four minutes for radio-play. Jim said in an interview that the song is about “the darkness, the power of darkness and love’s place in the dark.”

Why wasn’t this song featured in Twilight?! Talk about a missed opportunity.

“Smoke On the Water” – Deep Purple

1-QrmtM44Us4r6ihV69Btl6wOn December 4, 1971, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention were playing a show at the Montreux Casino in Switzerland. About halfway through the gig, some crazy person in the crowd fired a flare gun at the wooden roof. It immediately went up in flames, and panic ensued. All of Zappa’s band equipment was destroyed. Nearby, the members of Deep Purple were recording music for their upcoming album. According to npr, “They were forced out of their rooms by the fire, but memories of the smoke billowing out across Lac Leman, or Lake Geneva, gave them a song title.”

Turns out, this go-to guitar track has a more somber history than you might have thought.

“Never Learn Not To Love/Cease To Exist” – The Beach Boys

the-beach-boys-never-kearn-not-to-love-capitolCharles Manson was an American criminal and cult leader in the 60’s. Manson and his followers, known as the “Manson Family,” committed a series of seven murders, all part of Charles masterplan to spark a race war.

Before the murders, Charles was a struggling singer-songwriter living in L.A. He became friends with Dennis Wilson, drummer and founding member of the Beach Boys, and in 1968, the group recorded one of Manson’s original songs, “Cease to Exist.” The Beach Boys re-titled the track “Never Learn Not to Love,” altered some of the lyrics, and released it as their own.

Try listening to THAT song in the same way. Creepy.

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” – Nirvana

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“Teen Spirit” was a popular deodorant brand in the 90’s, and you can still buy it! The title of this iconic song came from Kathleen Hanna, (a member of the band Bikini Kill) who wrote on Kurt Cobain’s wall one night. She gratified “Kurt smells like Teen Spirit,” teasing him and referencing the deodorant brand that Cobain’s girlfriend wore. When Nevermind was released in 1991 with this track on it, sales skyrocketed for Teen Spirit Deodorant.

 

“He actually didn’t know it was a deodorant. I felt like a bit of an asshole that I didn’t tell him, but I kinda thought it was funny. He just liked the ring of it, smells like Teen Spirit, but he also just had a good knack for picking out interesting phrases.” -Kathleen Hanna

Kurt Cobain totally gave Teen Spirit deodorant free PR without even knowing it!

3 Songs I Wish I’d Written

As someone who writes poetry and short stories often, I appreciate the complexity and beauty of songwriting. Although I’ve never written a song myself, I’ve always wanted to. So when I hear a song that strikes me or reminds me of a situation I can relate to, I often think to myself, “dang, I wish I’d thought to write that.” Here are three of those songs.

b441ef-20170906-phoebe-bridgers“Motion Sickness” – Phoebe Bridgers

This track isn’t about motion sickness, but rather, emotional sickness. Although there’s no legitimate definition for “emotional sickness,” I’d say it can be defined as the feeling you get when you’re overwhelmed with love for someone, or on the flip side, flooded with grief after your relationship with them has ended.

Phoebe Bridgers tells a vivid story of the birth of an unusual relationship: “you said when you met me you were bored,” “and you, you were in a band when I was born,” and its chaotic end: ” I’m on the outside looking through. You’re throwing rocks around your room. And while you’re bleeding on your back in the glass, I’ll be glad that I made it out, and sorry that it all went down like it did.” The soft guitar reverb and subtle harmonies in this track compliment its lovely lyrics.

The driving lyric/phrase in this song, “I have emotional motion sickness. Somebody roll the windows down. There are no words in the English language I could scream to drown you out,” are what got me. Phoebe captures a very familiar experience– feeling trapped by your emotions, even dizzy with them, and wishing there was some sort of escape. We’ve all wished at one point or another that we could roll down the “windows” of life and take a break from reality.

e972fc17c9186112bbb962ee03762bb7.600x600x1“Lose It” – SWMRS

Any sentimental music-lover will connect with this song: “Tell me why’d you have to have such a damn good taste in music? Yeah, if all my favorite songs make me think of you, I’m gonna lose it.” I’ve been there.

The first verse intrigued me, as it told the story of two people who made mixtapes for each other, not knowing that the other person had done the same thing. You’d think that this would probably mean both of them have similar, strong feelings for one another. This may be true, but it’s revealed that something went wrong in the relationship and it ended.

“When I first saw you I made a mixtape. I didn’t know you’d do the same damn thing. When I said goodbye to you it went quiet, cuz I didn’t wanna feel any pain.”

This song has a prominent bass guitar, which adds to the mysteriousness of the relationship, situation, and two people.

Fun fact: Lead singer of SWMRS, Joey Armstrong, is the son of of Billie Joe Armstrong, lead singer and lead guitarist of punk rock band Green Day. Joey and his pals formed SWMRS after watching School of Rock in school!

500x500“Parma Violets” – Jealous of the Birds

The metaphors in this song are strikingly beautiful. There are themes of insects, light, colors, and death through out the whole track, which reminds me of some poems I’ve read in the past. This is why I chose “Parma Violets” to add to my growing list of songs I wish I’d written.

Parma Violets themselves are a popular British candy that fizz in your mouth. (We have a similar candy here in America called Zotz.) In this track by Jealous of the Birds, the main lyric is “Oh please, don’t you swallow those pills like Parma Violets again,” which alludes to someone who may have had suicidal tendencies in the past. Lead singer Naomi Hamilton suggests that this person swallowed pills as if they were candy–quickly and nonchalantly. The quiet piano and guitar in the track reflect its somber, delicate tone.

It’s interesting to me that Naomi would choose Parma Violets candy to use as a metaphor for prescription pills. Because this type of candy fizzes in your mouth, wouldn’t it be counter-intuitive (and uncomfortable) to pop one after the other into your mouth without much thought?

Naomi continues to describe her interactions with this person, using a moth as a metaphor for a secret shared between them: “Once you showed me a secret, delicate as a moth. It barely shivered, its wings were so soft. Then it flew up to the fluorescent light. I knew right then that you would be alright.” This is the only lyric that suggests the person Naomi is singing about may be doing better.

The second to last verse is my favorite. Naomi sings about every person in the world being connected by color. Light travels through us and we all reflect different shades of the same, “true” blue.

“Our lives are prisms, the light beams through. Refracting colors is what we do. We’re different shades of the same blue. But at least we’re true, at least we’re true.”

Whenever I write poetry, I always gravitate towards themes of light and color, so these lyrics really inspired me.

I made a playlist of every song that has struck a chord with me over the years. Check out the full playlist here:

 

-Sophie

Now Playing: Summer 2019

Hello, readers! Welcome back. 🙂

Huge life update for those who don’t already know: a little over a week ago, I graduated from the University of Oregon! Changes, changes.

Among others, one change is a shift in my music taste. Don’t get me wrong, The 1975 and alternative tunes will forever be my #1, but I’ve recently opened myself up to a few genres I’d never considered exploring before. Curious about what I’ve been jamming out to? Read on.

“Forever” – The Lonely Biscuits

This song hooked me with just the first line: “The car’s break lights sorta look like a heartbeat. Between the windshield wipes, wish you were in the front seat.” Paired with an alluring electronic guitar riff that eventually builds and becomes loud and biting, this lyric really struck me. It captures a familiar experience–driving through the city late at night with that one special person. The glow of  traffic/break lights illuminate their face in bursts, and you’re happy to just be there.

I consider this track to be a love song that was written after the death of a relationship. It features an echoey sound bite of a woman, seemingly on the other end of a phone line, saying “hello?” following the first verse. The sense of confusion yet eagerness in her voice makes me wonder if these two people haven’t spoken for quite some time.

Simple yet stunning, this track has easily become one of my summer favorites. The punk-esque vocals are definitely different from what I’ve listened to in the past, but the fantastic imagery and sick guitar keeps me coming back for more.

“Slip Away” – Perfume Genius

This song was featured in Booksmart during the pool scene. I love Perfume Genius, and I was thrilled to hear his voice make an appearance on the soundtrack! (Plus it’s perfect for that scene.) Like many Perfume Genius songs, this track builds up slowly and beautifully, then explodes with sound and color.

“Chest Piece” – Rome Hero Foxes

My sister and I went to see these guys perform at Lola’s Room in Portland a few weeks ago, and it was so fun. Followed by Heart Attack Man, Glacier Veins and Sincere Engineer, this was the first pop-funk/emo live show I’ve attended…and to my surprise, I loved it! The crowd was lively, the bands were engaging, and the music was LOUD. This song, “Chest Piece,” is off Rome Hero Foxes’ latest album, 18 Summers.

“A Part of Me” (ft. Laura Whiteside) – Neck Deep

This is another seemingly “off-brand” track for me. I came across it in sort of an unusual way–it was included in a playlist made for me during my last term in college when things weren’t going so well. Despite that, the song still makes me smile. I swoon every time I hear lead singer Ben Barlow describe the girl he loves, even after they are no longer together: “I like her ’cause she’s smart, headstrong and independent, she puts me in my place, but I don’t know where I stand.” You don’t hear  girls described this way very often in music.

The lyric that really tugs at my heart strings, though, is: “And if only I could find the words, or muster up the nerve to tell her…I’ll never forget her, and she’ll always have a part of me.” I’ve always believed that each person you meet who meant something to you leaves a part of themselves behind, even after things change or you no longer speak.

“Take Me As You Please” – The Story So Far

This is another new pop-punk favorite of mine. I found it on Spotify last month, and for some reason, it sounded super familiar. I couldn’t figure out why, until I texted a link to my friend, who I figured would also enjoy it. A few minutes later, he texted me back: “Sophie. I showed this song to you like 6 months ago and you loved it then.” Oops! I guess I forgot. It was fun re-discovering it, though. The harmonies are stunning.

“Atlas: Two” – Sleeping At Last

Have you ever taken the Meyers Briggs personality test? Similarly, the Ennegram test is “a model of the human psyche which is principally understood and taught as a typology of nine interconnected personality types.” Sleeping At Last, a musical project led by multi-instrumentalist Ryan O’Neal, created a song for each of the nine personality types which he sings from the various perspectives. My song, “Atlas: Two” (I’m a type 2, the Helper) made me tear up a little. Want to know which song Ryan wrote for you? Take the test here, then find your song here.

 

Golden Days (album) – Haley Johnsen

Killer vocals, breathtaking lyrics, and a kind heart…that’s Haley Johnsen, a local Portland artist who is on the RISE and seriously KILLIN’ IT. (She recently toured the U.S. with band Joseph and later Big Wild, plus her latest album features a duet with Allen Stone!) If it’s not already obvious, I simply adore Haley.

I was stoked for the release of her brand new album last month, Golden Days. I attended her record release show at the Doug Fir, and was thrilled to see the entire venue FILLED with fans, family, and friends. Hearing her perform the dreamy new tracks from the front row was so much fun–a few of my favorites on Golden Days are: “Cinderella,” “City Of Me,” “Everything Comes Back Again,” and “I’ll See You Around.”

“Mausoleum” -Seryn

Absolutely in love with this track at the moment. It was used in a UO Graduation 2019 video, and I think of my school every time I hear it. Watch below!

Seryn is a four-person band from Texas, often described as having a “big sky” sound. What also drew me to this track was the song’s intro, which sounds a lot like another fave of mine, “Razor” by Foo Fighters.

 

Enjoy these tunes and your summer!

xoxo

Sophie

An Interview with Little Comets

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I’m thrilled to give you all this post! Little Comets, an English indie-rock band that formed in 2008, have been one of my favorite bands since high school. I’m ecstatic to have interviewed lead singer, Rob Coles, for my blog.

Little Comets, made up of brothers Rob and Michael Coles, plus friends Matthew Hall, Matt Saxon, and Nathan Greene, released their debut album, In Search of Elusive Little Comets in 2011. The next year, the band released their second album, Life is Elsewhere, (my favorite!) under Dirty Hit records. If you’re unfamiliar with Dirty Hit, they’re an award-winning, British, independent label (and happen to be my favorite record label), whose artists include The 1975, Pale Waves, Wolf Alice, The Japanese House, and more. Little Comets were signed with Dirty Hit until 2017. They independently released their third album, Worhead, that same year.

Matty Healy of The 1975 mentioned his friendship with the guys in an 2013 interview.  Little Comets even helped produce some of The 1975’s early tracks.

“Little Comets took us out on the road when we were in our very embryonic stages of our old band and just let us open up for them. We started getting fans off the back of that…Then they helped us produce ‘Sex’ the song, and ‘You,'” -Matty Healy

I discovered Little Comets in 2013 when they performed a show at a small, intimate venue in Portland. I got tickets to the show out of curiosity, and after just a few minutes, I fell in love with the band’s unique sound. Echoey, driving drums, beachy guitar riffs and vivid lyrics that can be interpreted in a variety of ways…that’s Little Comets.

Little Comets started out by playing small college gigs, cafes, and other unusual venues in the UK. Since then, the guys have come a long way. Just this last year, the band teamed up with Catfish and the Bottlemen (another fave band of mine) for a sold-out arena tour. After that, the band spent the winter writing and working on new music in none other than singer Frank Sinatra’s former summer home in California! These days, album number five is in the works, and the guys are planning out their next tour–it will be the first time they’ve hit the road in two years.

A Perfect Playlist: Tell me a little bit about how Little Comets got started. Have you all been involved in music-related projects since you were young?

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Little Comets (Rob Coles): Mickey are I brothers, so we’ve been writing songs in the house since we were very little. Once we’d finished Uni, we decided to see if we could make a living out of being creative, musically, so we set about finding other musicians to form a band. That was the start of Little Comets with Mark (our original drummer), and Matt, our bassist.

APP: One of my favorite songs of yours is “Bridge Burn.” It’s a super special song for me and a few friends. Can you tell me a little bit about the story behind it?

RC: Ah thanks, that’s nice to hear! That’s a song I wrote in my bedroom while Mickey was mixing songs for our second album. I kind of wrote/recorded it roughly and had lots of lyrics almost immediately for it. The coast is pretty great for providing lyrical metaphors. Theme-wise, it’s just about two people who realize that their time is up. When Mickey heard the song, he really molded the landscape. Initially, it was just a B-side, but in hindsight, we probably should have put a little more faith in it, as it seems to be a pretty popular song.

APP: Your sound/genre has been described as “kitchen sink indie.” Do you agree with that?

RC: Haha, I don’t really mind–as long as people are polite and constructive, they can describe our sound how they like. I suppose that it could mean, in terms of subject matter, that we write about kitchen sink-related things, which was certainly true of album one. In a sonic sense, though, we do use a lot of percussive instruments which are also kitchenalia, so if the cap fits…

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APP: If you could invite one artist/band to be in the crowd at one of your shows, who would it be and why?

RC: We got really excited once at a gig in Oxford because somebody asked that Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead) be put on the guest list. It spoilt the gig, though, because we spent the whole evening looking for Jonny Greenwood despite him not actually being there, and probably never having any intention of being there. So I would choose Jonny Greenwood because I haven’t said “Jonny Greenwood” enough in this answer.

APP: Your latest music video, “American Tuna,” is super creative and visually complex in how it was filmed. Can you tell me a little bit about your experience filming? How did you come up with the idea as it relates to the song?

RC: It was fun, but stressful. We had received an email telling us, despite our very polite request, that we explicitly couldn’t use the building. So the whole process was based around being very secretive. This definitely hampered the final product, as we couldn’t redo shots or control timing or lighting. Mickey was in a Paternoster lift in an 18-floor building with the camera. As the lift travels up, each floor is a different scene which tells the story of a relationship. Mickey was in that lift for about 6 solid hours while we chased him ’round the building, doing scenes in non-chronological order to avoid security cameras. We were happy with the final video, but I just wish that people could see the levels of effort and time that just three people were involved in executing. It looks pretty pro, and the DIYness doesn’t come through. I think that given the constraints, it’s amazing. But I’m biased.

APP: That’s mind-blowing. Writing music is super different from filming a visual interpretation of a song through a music video. Has that ever been a challenge for you as a band?

RC:  I think we’ve learned to separate the processes quite naturally. We also like learning new skills, so the challenge of making a video or a piece of artwork is an opportunity to do that. The only problem is time. We are three people, yet we have to record, write, and release the music on our own label, then promote it whilst making the videos and artwork. Because we are novices in many of these areas, it takes us longer to produce these assets. That often puts us behind, as artists at a commensurate level have teams of people and pools of financial resources that we don’t. It does make the task psychologically difficult at times as well, compounded by the fact that we are in a industry that gives credence to having a machine in tow. We often get overlooked and dismissed because we don’t have a manager, record label, publisher, art director, plugging team etc. I think this is where the real challenge lies for us.

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APP: You haven’t toured for two years, but you’re making plans to head back onto the road soon! Do you have a favorite/funny memory from being on tour in the past?

RC: Probably when Matt broke his foot in Texas. We spent the next five days telling him he was fine, but then talking privately about how he was really hamming it up. By the time we got to Missouri, he got an X-ray and found out he had a hairline fracture. We felt TERRIBLE! He completed the rest of the tour perched on a bar stool during the gigs, and he became my hero.

APP: Are there any songs you feel you’ve outgrown that now seem to stray from your current sound?

RC: Ah no, they are all our babies. They popped out for a reason and we can’t really turn them away even when they become slightly haggard/annoying. That would be bad song parenting!

 

Thanks for taking the time to chat with me, Rob!

Listen to Little Comets here:

 

My Dream Job: A Career In the Music Industry

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I’ve been feeling nostalgic, excited and reflective these past few days as I enter my last term of college. As a result, this blog post is a little different than the usual, which I thought would be fun. 🙂

I’ve always loved to create. Whether it be through writing, art, or music, creating something that I can then share with others is a passion of mine. Since I was old enough to read and write, I’ve loved to create my own publications. It started with “Sophie Magazine,” when I was nine, then led to my first blog at twelve, “DottyZine,” which I named after my pet hamster. “Sophie Magazine” usually featured interviews with my little sister, lists of my favorite books and music at the time, fake advertisements, and “letters to the editor” submitted by my babysitter. 😉

IMG_4324I am now entering my last term of college. I’ve studied journalism for the past four years with a focus on public relations, and I’ve enjoyed every minute. I feel so lucky to be able to say that I love what I study every day. It has absolutely been the right fit for me. My dream is to someday work in the music industry doing PR. This could mean serving as a PR rep for a band, label, music venue…who knows? Although I’m unsure of where exactly I’ll end up as of now, I’m beyond excited to get started. “Sophie Magazine” may be out of print, but I still have the same passion and drive to create that I did when I was nine!

I remember the day I decided I wanted to pursue a career in the music industry. It was one sunny, adrenaline-filled afternoon during my sophomore year of high school. My high school was located in the middle of downtown Portland, so I was surrounded by a vibrant community where things were always happening around me. I heard about a small, free concert venue through my local radio station that was just a few blocks away, and I started going to shows during my lunch breaks. As soon as the bell would ring for break, my friends and I would burst through the high school doors and race down the block. The shows were always short, usually ranging from 30-40 minutes, and the artists would often do a meet-and-greet with the audience after the show–the perfect amount of time to fit a high school lunch period or quick, after-school activity. 😉

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After meeting Ed Sheeran, October 2012

The first time I met one of my favorite artists there, Ed Sheeran, I walked outside afterward and sat on the curb, taking in what had just happened. A newfound level of joy washed over me–I could hardly contain myself. (If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may remember my previous post about this experience/venue.)

This joy eventually developed into a passion for meeting the people behind the lyrics–the artists who changed my life, face-to-face. I remember grinning so hard that day my cheeks ached. I thought to myself, I want to be involved in this world. I want to help other fans feel this way. But how could this translate into a career?

I began exploring options within the industry as I entered college, and eventually settled on the path of journalism. My parents are both writers, so I’ve grown up around pen and paper, journals, and books my whole life. (The Tripod Trilogy, A Wrinkle in Time and The Golden Compass are a few of my favorites.) It was an area in which I was familiar, but I wanted to explore the branding, promotional, client-interactive side of the journalistic field. I discovered the world of public relations, and quickly realized I could apply my passion for music, and the excitement I felt that day meeting Ed Sheeran, to that area.

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Chatting with The Paper Kites, March 2017

I considered pursuing music journalism, but decided I’d like to be even more involved in the industry (both PR and music) than that. I want to help artists,’ and bands’ visions come to life, meet PR professionals, collaborate, learn, and create a brand, plan, or event that will not only benefit a client, but allow fans to feel that same joy I did that first time I met a favorite artist.

Music is such a huge part of what makes me who I am. It sparks an excitement, joy and enthusiasm in me that nothing ever has before. It drives me to take risks, venture outside of my comfort zone, meet incredible people, and continue on the path to becoming a PR professional. I’m thrilled to have found an area of study in college that I can connect to this passion. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Want to read more about PR/journalism in the music industry? I created a blog about this specific topic for a class I took last term! Check it out here.

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My first “concert review”? LOL.