Walk off Hits is made up of some very interesting people. They taught us a lot about them as musicians and people! They also taught us some baseball terms and stated that two of the members are actually therapists. So when you listen to them, you could say you do listen to a therapist! Two, as a matter of fact! Read on to learn more.
1.How did you decide on your band name? It sounds more like a radio station, or TV channel that actually plays music videos?
The band was named by myself and Will back in 2010 with the help of my dad and brother. Baseball was my first love, and I wanted to try and connect it with my music in someway. Naming the band “Walk Off Hits” was a tribute to my baseball career, and it also held meaning to the type of music Will and I enjoy writing. A Walk Off Hit is the most exciting play in baseball, and we like to carry that “exciting” aura into the studio, on the stage, or wherever we are.
2.How do you personally feel like your music should be described?
We always have a hard time with this question. We call ourselves a pop/rock band because we feel like it leaves the door open to be whatever type of band we want to be. The guys and I have so many different influences, that our songs end up hopping around genres. We tell people that we are a “pop/rock/soul/funk/punk/blues” band haha. We really don't want to be tied down to a specific style.
3.It sounds like you listen to a lot of different styles of music, but what would you say is your favorite?
Everyone in the band has their own “favorite” genre. Will loves classic rock(The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd), Spencer digs alternative music, Ross is a closet pop/punk fan, and Rion is all about the funk/soul.
4.On that same note, name something you listen to that nobody would expect? -My favorite pop/punk bands are Motion City Soundtrack, and New Found Glory, but with that said, my favorite band of all time is Tower Of Power. I don't think a lot of people our age really know who TOP is haha.
5.Can you explain what inspired the Miss Jones video?
The video was easily adaptable from the song and the character we created during the writing process. We wanted to bring Miss Jones to life, and we had a great time doing it. Our biggest inspiration was to just go all out in making Miss Jones as crazy as she was portrayed in the songs lyrics.
6.Your debut EP is called The Love of The Game -what game is it you speak up and what do you love about it?
The Game can be different things for different people. There is nothing more pure than doing something for the pure love of it. It's the reason I played baseball, and it's the reason all of us formed Walk Off Hits. We love and respect the music game more than anything, and that's why we decided on the name for the EP.
7.What does your dream tour lineup look like?
Geeze that's a tough question haha. Here is my best shot: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against The Machine, Blink 182, Tower Of Power, Stevie Wonder, and James Brown. Need to have a good mix of rock, funk, and soul.
8.Other than music, what do you do?
We each have our own hobbies/jobs outside of music. Will and I Ross are therapists for children with autism, Spencer has his masters in Mathematics, and Rion went to the Art Institute for audio production.
9.What are your favorite songs? (Name one you wrote, and one you did not that you enjoy)
Ross: Favorite Cover: “Only So Much Oil In The Ground” by Tower Of Power | Favorite Original: “Hey! Lady”
Rion: Favorite Cover: “Cold Sweat” by James Brown | Favorite Original: “Give It To Ya”
Spencer: Favorite Cover: “Sugar We're Goin' Down” by Fall Out Boy | Favorite Original: “All They Gave Me Was You”
Will: Favorite Cover: “I Wish”-Stevie Wonder | Favorite Original: “Lonely Heart”
10.Anything you would like to add? Promos, advice, random comments, whatever you want.
Just want to say thank you to all of the people that made this album and video a reality for us. We were so fortunate to work with Jonas Apuya of ColoredRoom, and Ron Cabildo of Definitive Talents Inc. Without these guys the video wouldn't have happened. Also, huge thanks to you guys for giving us the opportunity to do this interview with you!
Thank YOU for doing the interview with us, we appreciated it a lot! As for everyone else out there, feel encouraged to check them out on all their social medias linked below. You can get their EP, The Love Of The Game now on iTunes.
Website /Facebook/ Twitter / Instagram
We sat down with Dugan Cruz, Madus' lead vocalist, pianist, and guitarist to talk about a ton of things. From the magic in life, to name changes, sports and anime, and so much more! Dugan seems to be Immortal Music's type of person, and maybe he will be yours too! Read on to learn a ton more about the singer of a band you may have only just discovered.
1. You said they could never feel any other way -so how do you feel about it all?
I feel life is inherently magical. The more I learn, the more I stand in shock, awe, and wonder at all the beautiful things around me. I can't always feel this way, but it's what I know to be true and keep as a reference point for when I am really down. That being said, I think there's a lot of people too afraid from their own emotional scars to participate in moments of appreciation of all the cool stuff around them. I dunno... Hah. Sorry for rambling on that one. I just felt it was kind of an open-ended question.
2. You went from Tangent Transmission to Madus, what inspired the name change and what does it mean?
The name HAD to change. From the time Sam and I started playing up to the point of changing the name we had become completely different people. We acquired different tastes in music, we learned new things about the industry, we made new friends... All around we just felt... different.
When we knew we wanted to change the name we had drafted up a page of almost 50 different ones. Just as a rough. We continued narrowing it down until we came down to MotherBox, Woodman, and Madus. I liked Madus the most not just because of it's personal relevance to me, but just aesthetically it felt the most balanced. You got five letters with one in the middle and two on either side. That part just felt right. As for the story behind it... I was in a pretty dark place before changing the name. For the record, it's true, NOBODY likes you when you're 23. Especially not yourself. Anyway, Sam's mom had noticed me being all introverted and low and lent me this book "The Wheel of Time" by Carlos Castaneda. In the book there's this Yoda-esque character named "Don Juan Matus". We changed the T to a D and boom. There you have it.
3. What would your dream concert lineup be?
Ah man... DREAM? Like ANYTHING is possible? It'd have to be a huge festival like Coachella for me to fit even an inkling of everyone I wanted on a bill, but I'll take that format and give you just three for each day. I know I am kinda cheating here, but you DID say dream!
Friday: I figure we gotta get a dance party goin' to blow off a week of work-steam in a fun way.
Stevie Wonder, Prince, Michael Jackson.
Saturday: We've had a night of dance and a bit of a day to rest, so now it's time rock!
Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Led Zeppelin.
Sunday: Now we're all feeling a little bummed looking at the death of our weekend in the face, so we want a couple groups that'll help us lean into love and accept it's about to be over.
Jeff Buckley, Queen, The Beatles
Yeah... then I'd wake up and realize I just had the best lucid dream of all time. That'd be a dream!
4. Other than music, what do you do?
I know the other guys are each into their respective sports. Sam's a tennis nerd, Kirby's a Hockey buff, and Lenny... I wanna say he's mostly into soccer, but I remember him arguing with Kirby that the hardest sport available is Nascar because of the suits people have to wear and other technical stuff like that. Hah, he's gonna kill me if he ever sees that. But anyway, that's not really my scene. I like playing sports from time to time, and it's sometimes fun to stroke the left brain with the stats and systems of it all, but for the most part I find it pretty drab in comparison to movies, comic books, motorcycles, and even just going for a hike.
5. Name something you listen to that nobody would ever expect?
I don't really know what people expect of me, but I can tell you what music I listen to but rarely talk about! Enya, Sarah Mclachlan, Rammstein, Chromeo and a buncha random music from soundtracks of movies, anime, and video games. Nobuo Uematsu's music for Final Fantasy 7 holds a VERY special place in my heart. Aside from the depth that game had in talking about sucking life out of a planet, death, and eternity, the music was so mind-blowingly emotional. Tifa's theme on piano can still make my hairs stand on end.
6. How does the writing process go for you personally?
It's a lot like gardening. There has to be a seed. Sometimes the seed is a riff, a beat, a lyric, a tone, an effect, a dream, a response to some incident or person. It's all really circumstantial. Once you've got that seed though, you plant it in the soil of your brain and you let it sit. You give it water, you let it grow into different parts of yourself. Certain parts of it grow more through emotion, other parts grow more through intellect. No matter what though, you have to give it attention and time and nurture it until you feel like you've created a new plant you've never really seen before. It may seem similar to some of the other plants you've created, but it'll never be identical. Then you start selling the idea of that plant to the rest of the band and they'll have ideas, and then maybe the engineer will have ideas on how to present that plant to the rest of the world, but it's really very internal and personal. Unless you're just singing about your ass or how much money you have. I don't really know how to write songs like that.
7. What's one of your biggest goals (Musically, or in general)
To try and explain to people what's going on in my head and gut in a way that makes sense. I have a lot of weird intense shit flying through my head and emotions and I always feel like I fumble in attempts to explain it. I think that's why I like music so much. There's so many times you'll hear a song in another language or something and you're like "yeah... holy fuck I feel that." Then someone explains the lyrics and it hits even harder.
Aside from reaching out as an individual to the rest of the world, I'd say one of my biggest goals is to raise a family with a steady socioeconomic situation for the kids. Obviously I'd love to fall in love and meet my soulmate or whatever, but even if that doesn't happen, I really don't care. I am still on the fence about the morality of adoption taking precedence over breeding your own children because of our planet's insane over population; But the magic of continuing the genetic code is still there. Hah, I mean the irony of creating another life. You could spend your whole life amazing the world through your achievements in whatever field, and NONE of that will ever amount to the miracle of creating another human being! It's such a mind-fuck! The dumbest, easiest, most pleasurable thing in life is ironically the most miraculous. Just to clear up any assumptions for the record though, I am Pro-Choice. If anyone reads this and gets all giddy about the possibility of me enforcing some archaic dogmatic law... Nope.
8. What are three things you simply cannot live without? (The obvious things, such as food, water and air do not count.)
Information, depth, and curiosity.
9. What has been the coolest experience you have had so far as a musician?
Headlining our own show at the House of Blues Sunset on the main stage. We were lucky enough to do that twice as Madus, and both times literally felt like a dream. The sound there is second to NONE and we really pulled all the stops out to promote for a HUGE draw. The addiction to the drug of that inebriating feeling is so harsh that even after being clean from it for over a year now, I will work endlessly until I experience it again. I know I was going on and on about sex in that question earlier, but I think that feeling may actually trump that. At least for now...
10. Is there anything you would like to add? (Promotions, advice, random comments, ect. Whatever you want really.)
More than any plug I could throw on at the end here, I want to personally thank YOU Ariel. I took the time to read the "About the Creator" section, and I have to tell you, you're fucking awesome! From the reviews of albums, to the personalized questions, to the uniquely casual yet intelligent writing style you have, I am impressed. That thing you put in where you talk about being in a room with 10,000 people all singing the same song. You get it, and you appreciate it, and it's because of people like you that artists want to keep getting up every morning to try and find a way to do something bigger and better. So again thank you!
If anybody reads this far down, we've got a big EP release show at the Viper Room on Sunset June 5th. It's only $8 pre and $12 at the door. If not for us, there's gonna be some other really talented acts like Kiven, In Urgency, Good Deeds, a rad Nirvana cover band called Dive, and our friend DJ Frawsty. Would love to see you all there. Cheers!
Dugan, you sir, or the rest of Madus are encouraged to stay in touch with Immortal Music. We look forward to hearing from you again soon! If you ever find yourselves in Florida, hit us up -we would love to come out to a show.
As for the rest of you, for more information on Madus, be sure to check them out on Facebook, Twitter, their official website, Reverbnation, and Instagram.
Their EP, All The Way is out now! It will be available on May 19 on iTunes!
Up The Chain is a indy rock trio, and the three of them sat down to speak with us! They told us a lot of things, including venue stories, dream tours, sexual escapades they unfortunately get to hear, and more!
1) What inspired the lyrics for The Hardest Stone?
Reed: Every moment is something new and there are no certainties for the future. In many ways this idea can be scary, but I believe it's possible to find comfort in it.
2) If you could tour with any band in the world, who would you like to tour with and why?
Kirby: The gorillas, because their style is out there and they seem like they'd be fun to hang out with off stage, just kickin it.
Reed: I've been a big fan of Conor Oberst's songwriting for many years, so I'd want to be on board with anything he was up to.
Noah: I hear that the Rolling Stones draw really well, so it'd be cool to get them on some shows.
3) Name something you listen to that nobody would expect.
Kirby: Katy Perry
Reed: My neighbors having sex
Noah: Flying Lotus
4) Where did your band name come from? 'Up The Chain', people tend to get driven up walls, not chains, so now we are curious.
Kirby: It's from an episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast that has an interview with Willie Nelson, check it out, you'll hear it.
Reed: Coming up with band names is one of our favorite time killers in the van, yet somehow we manage to have a pretty lousy name. We are thinking of changing it to "The Very Idea of Macaulay Culkin" or "Natalie Portman & The Courtesy Flush."
Noah: I'm a big fan of "lmnop" "hype retention" "Jean and the jackets", and "band name I call it".
5) What inspired you guys to include the demo version of "The Hardest Stone" on your EP?
Reed: The song has 2 completely different lives and we love them both. On stage it's fun to play it loud and make a bunch of noise, but the song was written on an acoustic guitar with a mellow finger-picking style. We have good feelings about both, so why not? That's Kirby and me playing guitar on the demo version.
Kirby: We felt really strongly about the performance and recorded it at our beach house recording studio. Every time we hear it we are transported back to that fall night in Avalon. It just felt right to close the EP with it.
6) What is your favorite song on the Window Into Worlds EP and why?
Reed: I like the title track. It's a love song. I also really like the production on "At the Door." The version we play live is different from this one, but Karl Petersen really made this recording his own and for that reason I'm into it.
7) What world would you most like to have a window into? (Such as another universe, or a fictional land like Hogwarts, Narnia, Middle Earth, ect)
Kirby: Probably the backboard of the 1997 NBA playoff championship game. 4th quarter, 6:54 left.
Reed: Nicolas Cage's manager.
Noah: I think of it in more of a global sense, like trying to see our world from different perspectives. Empathy is our greatest asset as humans.
8) What has been your best fan experience as a band so far?
Kirby: We had a gig get rained out and ended up playing an impromptu show in a cigar box guitar store. We played for hours with the owners and all their friends. We told stories, heard stories, drank till our hearts were content. It was the best night of tour and one our favorite shows so far.
Noah: We returned to a venue we had played at once before, and the manager came to see us even though it was his day off. For somebody who works in a restaurant to spend their day off at their job means a lot to me. He also told us that he bought a record player just to listen to our vinyl.
9) Other than music, what do you do you?
Kirby: I work in film in NYC on shows like Elementary, The Blacklist, and Beat Bobby Flay.
Reed: I make records for people at Weird Candle Studios and scrape by playing 4-hour cover gigs at your local outlet mall.
Noah: I work at a restaurant and I assist a forensic psychologist in preparing court testimony.
10) Anything you would like to add? Social media plugs, advice, random comments, whatever you would like.
Thank you very much to Up The Chain for doing this interview with us! We enjoyed it a lot! Also -hi, Reed!
They may not have wanted to plug anything, but we will. Be sure to check out their EP, Windows Into Worlds and know you can follow them on Facebook, their official website, and iTunes!
On the afternoon of May 11, 2015, Immortal Music received a phone call from Sworn In's front man, Tyler Dennen, and we talked quite a bit about their music, and his personal goals. He says their music is really weird and pretty heavy, and told us how he will know he's made it in this business one day. Want to learn more? Well, just keep reading. You may just learn a lot.
1. A lot of your work are concept albums, which has been your favorite and why?
The most recent is my favorite so far, 100%. They all are concepts but its cool. I was listening to tarot cards and had to write a song about it.
2. Name something that you listen to that nobody would ever expect?
I listen to a lot of Justin Bieber, his newest CD is great. Confident is probably my favorite.
3. What would your dream tour be? (To take part in)
MCR come back tour -that would be great.
4. Who or what are some of your biggest inspirations? (Musically or not, either works)
Undoubtedly, Gerard Way and Billie Joe Armstrong.Those two are what got me into music.
5. How would you describe your music to those who have never heard it before?
Really weird and pretty heavy.
6. You released The Lover/ The Devil last month, but what do you think would happen if the two worlds collided? Would it be magical or complete chaos?
That's sort of the whole point of the CD, one side is the lover, one is the devil and then it switches.
7. If you could describe your musical career in one word, what would it be and why?
Hmm....That's a hard one. Interesting. Its just everything you do, its really interesting. Its not a life most of the people you know, don't lead. So its different and that makes it interesting.
8. What is one of your biggest goals personally? This can be career wise, or in general.
One of my biggest goals is to own a hot tub. That's how I know I've made it.
9. What is one of your favorite memories as a musician?
Definitely a festival called Heavy Montreal in Montreal, CA, we played with Metallica and Slayer. The grounds were gorgeous, we had golf carts to ride on, there was an open bar, we saw a lot of great bands. It was just awesome.
10. It sounds like you are all constantly sick on the road, how does effect performances and the over all experience of touring for you?
Yeah I'm sick all the time. I have type one Diabetes, and it does suck. It gets hard to get up there and play a show, when you're sick. And you're always in the van, getting each other sick. It makes touring kind of suck.
11. Then how do you manage to stay positive?
Not well. *Laughs* I don't know. I get pretty down in the dumps on tour, I try to stay positive by thinking of the shows and the fans are cool, but that's pretty much it.
12. Hopefully you all manage to stay healthy. Take care of yourselves the best you can. Is there anything you would like to add before we go? Promotions, advice, comments, whatever you like.
My clothing brand is Funeral.co, be sure to check that out, but other than that, that's about it.
Huge thanks to Tyler, for taking the time to do the interview with us! We appreciate it a lot. Be sure to check out their brand new album, The Lover/ The Devil which is now on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, ect and remember that you can follow them on all their social media, which is linked below.
(Pssst...We do recommend checking out his clothing brand, we looked and quite liked what we saw.)
Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram/ Official website
These are interview that I myself have done. They have not been found anywhere, they have not been done for me. They are my work.