Wall Of Orange | SPOTLIGHT Series No.2 ‘Small Hour Crimes’ World Premiere!

By Candice Anne Marshall

Two nights ago, I told Gary Parks, Frontman for Texas-based band Wall Of Orange (WoO) these words, ‘I’m going to be honest with you Gary, I see you guys going through the roof with your music. It’s exceptional, and when I say exceptional, I am talking Grammy Award winning music. I really mean that. It’s been a very long time since I’ve listened to music comparative to Pink Floyd (I am a David Gilmour fan), or even Peter Gabriel, that affects me deeply and makes me excited about music again. Your music makes me excited about music again. You have our (SMC’s) support with anything. Don’t stop. Just keep going, keep creating. I know you are going to get to that status and you know what I mean when I say that. It’s not even really about that though – it’s that you are going to keep bringing something lovely to this world, and this world needs that. We have lost so many important musicians recently. Hearing your music is like that tiny seed that begins sprouting up out of fresh soil and you see that burst of bright green. It’s like that, and it’s so refreshing. I know where Wall Of Orange is going, and I’ve never been wrong…’

My summation above merely scratches the surface of what this band deserves to hear and after viewing the new music video for ‘Small Hour Crimes’, I am satisfied in my declaration. Take a Jimmy Hendrix, Tame Impala, Pink Floyd, Woodstock-themed acid trip and maybe throw in a tambourine for good measure and that pretty much describes this video. Lux, brilliant colored kaleidoscope visuals, blended with shots of the band performing is what you see throughout – It’s exquisite visual in relation to the ecstasy audio. Th song itself SHINES in terms of showcasing the deep bass sound and wicked shredding throughout (those guitar skills – WOW!) in combination with Parks gentle, soothing vocals. Add video to this scenario and you have yourself a truly magical psychedelic adventure.

I hope you all have great speakers – you’ll want to play this LOUD!

Watch the video here in this post (see below) or as it is showcased on the front page of Starlight Music Chronicles.

*Exclusive Interview* with WoO frontman Gary Parks, February 22 2017

SMC – Hello Gentlemen! This is probably the quickest back-to-back Numbered Series Spotlight feature we have had! There has been some exciting new developments on the Wall of Orange front including your World Premiere of ‘Small Hour Crimes’ on the front page of the Starlight Music Chronicles (SMC) website today! We are thrilled that you chose us to launch your new video. Can you tell us why you chose SMC as the platform?

WoO – SMC has been wonderfully supportive of Wall of Orange from the very beginning. We definitely feel like part of their amazing family of artists. What you do for emerging talent really does make a huge difference. Music can be a nasty business, so I really value the close and trusting relationships I’ve made in the months since the album was released. We’ve gotten some great traction and response to the Series No. 1 review and interview SMC did on us, so I wanted to offer SMC the chance to premiere the video exclusively.

SMC – The video is simply gorgeous. I fell in love with the ‘Sweetest Blue’ video after my friend David Somerville sent me the link and this one is a continuation of awesome! Can you tell us about the creative team behind the creation of this video?

WoO – I approached a good friend and former Tomorrowpeople bandmate of mine, Erich Scholz, about directing because I knew I wanted to do something psychedelic and he has a knack for that kind of stuff. He’s a walking encyclopedia of film. I showed him some old experimental film from the early 70s and we discussed some basic concepts, but really didn’t storyboard anything. It was all done pretty much improv. We shot some stuff of us playing in the studio, then of me walking around Dallas at night. In keeping with the retro psychedelic feel, I asked Sallie Mood, who sang on the song “Lost by the Sea” on the album, if she would do some interpretive dancing. I wanted it to look like Woodstock meets a Ralph Bakshi cartoon or something. She has a background in musical theater, so of course was amazing. I kept telling Erich: trippier, more layers, more grit. This song isn’t as emotionally deep as “Sweetest Blue”, so I wanted a more easy going vibe; just a barrage of evocative images and lots of pretty layers.

SMC – We noticed that Sallie Mood shared our World Premiere video clip from the SMC page onto her Artist page and she mentions in the share that she is the girl dancing in your video – she’s an Artist as well! What is your affiliation? After hearing some of her music I was very smitten!

WoO – She’s amazing. She’s got one of the most heavenly, unique voices I’ve ever heard. She’s also an amazing actor. I invited her to come be in the video because I had seen her own videos and loved her on-camera character. She’s just cool. Erich would say stuff like, “Uhhh… here, play with this plastic tommy gun.” and she just turned it on. She really brings it in everything she does. She was recommended by a mutual friend for a commercial music project and when I heard her sing I was blown away. Her voice has a very rich, timeless quality. She’s on the very top of my list for session vocalists. I see more Wall of Orange and Sallie Mood musical collaboration in the future for sure.

SMC – I know that your videos are always something exquisite in terms of art creation – can we expect all your videos in future to be just as creative? I really look forward to watching them as they are so in sync with the theme of the song: brilliant!

WoO – I’m very calculated with the imagery that surrounds Wall of Orange. Maybe because I have a graphic design degree. It really is critical. It all works together to create your brand. Even though the “Sweetest Blue” and “Small Hour Crimes” videos (and songs) are dramatically different as far as the emotion, I think what ties them together visually is the explosive use of color. I’m really into that. And I think that will be very evident at our live shows as well!

SMC – We will always have your music on our hit list and have recently begin adding SPOTLIGHT Artists to our Spotify playlist. What are your thoughts on being on this playlist – we have some pretty stellar talent on it!

WoO – Thrilled! Since people seem to stream music as their primary source for listening these days, play listing is huge and can really help build an audience. Of course we are honored!

SMC – You had mentioned to me recently, Gary, that there was some pretty exciting stuff coming up. Of course, for the purpose of our readers they should know that I am asking this question only one day before your press release hits The Chronicles and by the time this interview is published, they will have an idea of what’s to come, but can you tell us here what fans can expect coming up?

WoO – After a couple minor hiccups, we are ready to hit the stage. Our debut show will be at The Kessler Theater in Dallas on April 29th with more shows being announced soon. To debut at such a respected venue is huge, and we are thrilled. The Kessler is an amazing place and the team there is very supportive. We’ve been working very hard to deliver the goods live. Fans can expect the band to sound like the album, with a few little extras here and there. Plus, we’re working on some exciting visuals for the show. My vision from day one included a dramatic visual experience. Along with Wall of Orange live making its debut, I can say that exciting things are happening behind the scenes as well! I’m almost in disbelief at what’s going on and hope to be able to go public with some exciting news very soon.

SMC – You recently released vinyl! I am very excited to receive mine! Can you tell us about these and what one can expect when they receive your self-titled album?

WoO – 180-gram vinyl, gorgeous cover art, exquisite sound. It’s thrilling. To have this music committed to actual vinyl is surreal. You can hear all the glorious detail that I worked my ass off on in the mix. It really does sound amazingly better than MP3. It’s a crime that so many people listen to music on their phones. I’m guilty too, though. I’m so glad vinyl has made a comeback. Erich Scholz, who directed the video for “Small Hour Crimes”, has a killer setup at his place and when I heard the test pressing there I just about cried. To be able to sit back and hear the vinyl, and hold the cover art in your hand and examine it… that’s how it’s supposed to be. That brings value back to the experience of music.

SMC – What kind of reception have you received from your fans since our last Spotlight feature?

WoO – It’s been great. So much has happened, actually it’s kind of staggering. We got a lot of shares of the spotlight article. I still get messages every day. What’s most meaningful to me is when people tell me how they can relate to where my head was in writing the songs and how they connected with them.

SMC – I saw towards the end of last year that several Entertainment platforms put Wall of Orange in some top ten lists and gave some nice credo to your album! Are there any you would like to give a shout out to?

WoO – Rotation 11! They named our album #5 in their top 11 of 2016 and the amazing thing is it came right out of the blue (no pun intended). David Natan and the gang over at Rotation11 are very passionate about music, and it shows. Thanks again, Rotation11! If you aren’t following those guys, you’re missing out. We also made KXT 91.7’s Best of 2016 list, about halfway up their list of 91. To have shared the list with the likes of David Bowie and Radiohead was incredible.

SMC – Have you received radio play yet? I think that’s what is happening with this press release correct? There’s a radio campaign? Are there any stations you would like to give a shout out to?

WoO – Of course KXT 91.7, who has kept us in rotation for a good while. We’ve also been invited to do a live session on KXT, details coming soon. Also, big thanks to DJ Debbie Sexxton at The Eagle 97.1, Mark on the Radio at 1310/96.7 FM The Ticket, DJ Ian Hales at Acacia Radio in the UK and DJ Brody Ramone.

SMC – I watched a time-lapse of the album art being created and I have to say again: WOW Danny Rix has some serious skills! (time lapse video included in this feature – see below) Has Danny been a part of the video creation with The Sweetest Blue video? Will he be creating anything in terms of video for the band in the near future?

WoO – Yeah, the dude is a badass. I thought the time lapse video was pretty spectacular myself. Danny creates most of the design for Wall of Orange, including our logotype, and has always been an important voice when it comes to our visual style. His Illustrations are truly incredible. I’d also like to mention that there’s all kinds of Wall of Orange swag available at redbubble.com You can get album art throw pillows.

SMC – Since we’ve last interviewed you, what country has been your biggest supporters in terms of fans?

WoO – We still get a lot of love from the UK. I am dead set on a European tour at some point. “Lost by the Sea” was written about a trip to the Isle of Skye in Scotland, as a matter of fact. It’s a true story. I felt deeply connected there as well as, well… lost. Like seriously lost. A wonderful English family there on Holiday had to rescue us with hot tea. I think the love at home has grown quite a bit, though. I do love Texas. It’s weird, you know Jimmy Hendrix had to go to England to become a star because nobody here really cared. Funny how that works.

SMC – What has been the biggest compliment you’ve received so far for your art?

WoO – I’ve gotten several that have totally blown me away. One guy said we were his favorite band of all time. I mean… wow. Just reading the comments sometimes, and knowing that people are really, truly listening to what you are saying – that is everything to me.

SMC – If there was one word or phrase to describe your music, what would that be. I saw on your Facebook page that you pinned ‘The Sweetest Blue’ video with the phrase: New Atmospheric Rock’, which is really fitting! I could almost say that you boys are in a genre of your own the music is that original!

WoO – Space Rock, Neo Psychedelic, Shoegaze, Acid Folk, all those terms have been thrown around. How about “Honest”.

SMC – TOURS! What’s coming down the pipe and when? Coming to Canada ever? (laughs)

WoO – As mentioned, our big debut show is in Dallas at The Kessler Theater on April 29 with The Angelus and Sudie supporting us. We will be in Forth Worth at Lola’s Trailer Park on May 19, with more dates being announced soon to include Austin, Houston, possibly Tulsa, Ok City, etc. Then we’ll begin to venture out! Canada? Sure. I hear Edmonton is nice. If only we knew someone to tell us where the good restaurants are…

SMC – The Starlite Room Gary – The Starlite Room! Come on up! (laughs) We are so excited for the next part of your journey! Have you already been working on some new music?

WoO – Funny you should ask. Coming soon is a new song, “What Day Is It”, to be made available to everyone who gives us a Facebook share or joins the email list. I think it would have fit onto the album nicely, and who knows maybe it will end up on a deluxe edition release with a live track or two. I write daily. I have volumes of half-written songs in various states. The next album is already taking shape.

SMC – You’ve recently connected with legendary Producer Stuart Epps – what did he have to say for your album? When I spoke to him, he sounded very impressed with everything!

WoO – Stuart is indeed a legend. It was thrilling to talk with him and get his thoughts on the album. We had a very nice email exchange, and he seemed very impressed. He thought the drums were a little dirty, and I assured him it was intentional. I even added tape hiss to the album because I wanted to smear it all together a bit. Digital cleanliness is sterile and boring. I found myself really “roughing things up” in the mix because I thought it sounded more exciting. I’m honored someone like him even gave it a listen.

SMC – I never did get to ask you this in our last interview and I do like to ask this question because it’s kind of telling of the kind of music you are digging – what are your favorite songs on your most recently played playlist?

WoO – I really love Temples and the new Flaming Lips. I tend to go back and revisit old music as much as I do seek out new stuff.

SMC – I do know that in our last interview you had mentioned that you are a Music Producer and have your own recording studio. You also mentioned that your band was assembled after the album was recorded. It looks as though you have your band together now with yourself Gary, Matt Hunt, Danny Rix, Jay Spence, and Aaron Long. Are you all ready to hit the road for touring?

WoO – The band has graduated from “learning phase” to “polish phase”, so, yes we are!

SMC – In our last interview, you mentioned that you are a dreamer and that it comes out in your lyrics – can we always expect euphoria with upcoming new music?

WoO – Making the debut album was kind of a purge of emotions for me, some of them not so great, but what felt like a huge triumph personally. I do feel like I’m in a different place now. My most successful songs tend to be about memories of experiences instead of speculation or making a statement of some kind, political or otherwise. I have no desire to get overtly political in my writing right now, but I guess that could change. I’ve just never really connected with those kinds of songs emotionally. I really just don’t give a shit. Let your vote do the talking and shut up already. We have that luxury. It’s all identity-based, weaponized bullshit nowadays it seems. At the end of the day we all want the same thing – to not feel alone. That’s what I want my songs to do for people. I like to write about deeper human emotions and experiences, things I think every person can relate to on some level.

SMC – Alrgiht, last question: What does success mean to you all individually and as a band?

WoO – Being able to do what you love and afford to eat. Screw the rest.

SMC – Ha ha ha! Love it! Thank-you guys!

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To see the brand new ‘Small Hour Crimes’ music video that has launched today, see below or head on over to the front page of our website where the video will be posted for one week! Simply go to: www.starlightmusicchronilces.com

Wall Of Orange has also been added to our Spotlight Artists Spotify playlist – click here!

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Wall Of Orange’s Social Media (click to view)

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

YouTube

Spotify

iTunes 

**PRESS RELEASE FEBRUARY 21, 2017**

WALL OF ORANGE WELCOMES YOU INTO THE FUTURE WITH NEW SHOWS, SONGS AND SOUND

Experience the neo-psychedelic band’s self-titled debut onstage at The Kessler Theater on April 29

(DALLAS, TEXAS – February 2017; source: CultureHype) – A former member of Dallas space rock legends The Tomorrowpeople, prolific musician Gary Parks is trying something new – in the form of a brand new neo-psychedelic band called Wall of Orange. With a newly released album, the now full-time music composer is turning heads with brilliant lyrics, stunning instrumentals and crisp production on this self-titled debut. The band will make their debut on Saturday, April 29 at The Kessler Theater. Two Dallas-based musicians are joining Wall of Orange onstage: experimental group The Angelus and female vocalist Sudie. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the show starting at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here online. The Kessler Theater is located at 1230 W. Davis St., Dallas, Texas 75208.

Parks, a commercial music/indie film composer by day, had an HBO Sundance Award-winning movie under his belt before venturing out to start Wall of Orange. While Wall of Orange is a psychedelic pop group, their sound extends into new worlds. Heavily influenced by Shoegaze and Neo-Psychedelic giants like The Verve, Spiritualized, My Bloody Valentine, MGMT and Tame Impala, Parks is striving to capture a sound that encompasses both his love for layered, dreamy soundscapes and the pop sensibilities he honed during his years in the TV and film industry. To capture this, he needed bandmates as innovative as him—and he got them in the form of longtime friend and bass player Danny Rix and drummer Matt Hunt.

After an extensive demo process, recording for eight songs that would become the debut album began in the spring of 2016 at Pure Evil studios and continued into the summer. The album dropped in August, after which guitarist Jay Spence and keyboardist Aaron Long joined the band—the Wall was complete. Now, the group is prepared to hit the stage and bring avant-garde, sci-fi-infused psychedelia back to the major venues of Dallas.

Parks’ former band was known for its innovative use of 16mm film, projections and electronics. Wall of Orange continues that tradition with a full multimedia experience, to include projections and dramatic lighting onstage. At their debut, the band will headline The Kessler Theater on Saturday, April 29. But if that’s too long to wait, fans can sample their style with the stunning video for their new single.

The forthcoming video for the song “Small Hour Crimes” was directed by former Tomorrowpeople collaborator Erich Scholz and contains a cameo from local artist Sallie Mood, who also sings backup vocals on the new album. Parks and Scholz were inspired by old Ralph Bakshi cartoons and some experimental films from the early 1970s for the look and vibe of the video. It’s all in a day’s work for Wall of Orange, as the band typically draws inspiration from a myriad of artists when they set out to write a new song. The most important source of inspiration is you: The audience.

The single “Small Hour Crimes” is already in rotation locally on KXT 91.7, and made the local NPR station’s “Best of 2016” list. The song and others from the debut album have also gotten rotation on The Eagle 97.1 and The Ticket as well as UK radio airplay.

“My influences are all over the place, but the vision from the beginning was big, dreamy and lush with a focus on lyrics people could relate to and want to sing along with,” Parks says. He’s weathered personal storms to bring his unique art back to the Dallas music scene, and now his mission is to lift up the audience—and take them into the future once again.

To purchase Wall of Orange’s self-titled debut EP, visit iTunes or the artist’s website. For more information, please visit www.walloforange.band.

What people are saying about Wall of Orange:

“Wall of Orange can best be described in one word and one word only: EUPHORIA. The album is consistent across the board in its execution through brilliantly written lyrics, soothing vocals that are very easy on the ears, meticulous production, and otherworldly instrumentation.” – Starlight Music Chronicles

“Wall of Orange has created a barrage of a magnificent sound, taking the best of Shoegaze, Synth-Pop, distorted guitar, and Alternative Rock, marking a truly unique new standard to be admired. In a word, this album is dazzling.” – Hunter McLeod, Brody Ramone’s Dirty Glitter

“Your music collection needs this album. Wall of Orange possess a freshness often lacking in today’s rock music.” – Rotation11.com

“‘Sweetest Blue’ is an intriguing song. Some might say it’s unusually dark for pop music, and it could equally be argued that the band is unusually pop centered for such dark moody music. Either way, score one for both the colors orange and blue.” – Ghost of Blind Lemon

“Wall Of Orange ‘Sweetest Blue’ reminds me very much of Nothing’s ‘Guilty of Everything’ album in regards to its shoegaze tendencies and overall warming feel, which basically means it’s absolutely stunning.” –1forthepeople.com

“Wall of Orange has an anthemic shoegaze rumble. Lovely.” – glofimustdie.com

 

Track Listing:

  1. “Sweetest Blue” (4:54)
  2. “Small Hour Crimes” (4:17)
  3. “View from a Broken Couch” (4:17)
  4. “Monster” (4:17)
  5. “Lost by the Sea” (3:58)
  6. “Little Destroyer” (4:21)
  7. “New Medicine” (6:26)
  8. “Hellogoodbye” (5:13)

Press Contacts:

Amber LaFrance

Cell: (469) 877-1533; [email protected]

Kali Ah Yuen

Cell: (808) 321-3754; [email protected]

 

 

The Fontaines | SPOTLIGHT Series No.3

The Fontaines | Exclusive Spotlight Interview

February 16th, 2017

By Candice Anne Marshall

There are some Artists that have fallen into our SMC Spotlight ‘Numbered Series’ category for their exceptional talent and Los Angeles based band The Fontaines have certainly earned this prestige. Since my first interview with the band (The Fontaines Series No.1) in 2015, they have remained consistent with the timing of their releases and the quality tracks that remain unique and iconic. When we reviewed The Fontaines stellar new four song EP ‘ii’, it became apparent that this was a band that needed to be followed in a Numbered Series on our Spotlight (See The Fontaines Series No. 2).

On February 8th, 2017, the band released their newest single ‘Evaporate’. A disco-style song oozing with the delicate punch-drunk love vocals of leading lady Charlotte Fontaine. I’m certain that this is a song being spun by notable Radio stations such as the famous Rodney Bingenheimer’s ‘Rodney On The Roq’ KROQ FM radio for its Studio 54 quality: epic and unforgettable! The beat is exquisite with vintage sounding instrumentation reflective of the days even I would go to the roller rink. The lyrics and vocals are sexy, fun and, I predict, the song will be a global 2017 Summer hit. If you are wanting to discover a new sound, tap into ‘Evaporate’ and let the soulful funky groove take over – just make sure you’re near a dance floor because after hearing the first few chords, I guarantee you won’t be sitting!

We have added The Fontaines’ new single ‘Evaporate’ to our SMC Spotlight Artists Spotify playlist and we look forward to hearing more as the band edges towards their next EP release! Catch the video for the single below and be sure to sample the bands complete music library on their SoundCloud as well.

I was lucky enough to catch up with Charlotte Fontaine for an exclusive interview recently. Here’s what she had to say:

SMC – We are THRILLED to have you on our Spotlight once again! This time we are going to be chatting about your new song ‘Evaporate’ that was recently launched. WOW! You guys keep getting better and better! Can you tell us about the kind of traction you’ve received from media responses to the new song?

CF – We’ve been getting such great feedback for “Evaporate”. Just yesterday we were named one of Tidal’s “Rising Artists To Watch” and they shared the track.

SMC – I fell in love with the two of you since the first day I heard your sound. It’s very unique! This new stuff has a nice, almost disco beat to it. Who wrote ‘Evaporate’?

CF – Thank you! We wrote “Evaporate” in a tiny treehouse in Mount Washington.

SMC – When can we expect a video release for the song? We’d love to feature it on the front page of our website!

CF – We won’t be releasing a video for this single actually. We’ve decided to let the song speak for itself.

SMC – Is ‘Evaporate’ a good taste of what’s to come for The Fontaines?

CF – We’re going to be putting out a few more singles in the same vain, and then our debut album.

SMC – I seriously love the videos you post on The Fontaines Facebook Page timeline…. it’s nice to see video of you and I think it connects you to your fan-base quite well. I know I have asked this previously but sometimes it varies – which platform do you think receives the most response to your posts?

CF – Conversational videos are the best form of social media in my opinion, I love it when I can see my favorite musician talking about what they’re up to. Twitter is my personal favorite at the moment though.

SMC – I saw that you have been added to some awesome Spotify playlists! Congrats! We are happy to say that you are on our SMC Spotlight Artists Playlist now too! What are your thoughts on Spotify and the kind of traction you receive on that platform?

CF – Thank you for adding us to the SMC Spotlight Artists Playlist! I use Spotify every day myself so it’s been fun to see that other people are seeking us out on there.

SMC – Is there another Album release coming in the near future?

CF – Soon, very, very soon!

SMC – I had a listen to your new song ‘Pitted’ which was sent in as an entry to the NPR Music ‘Tiny Desk Contest’ – it was fantastic! Can you tell us more about this? (the song and the contest)

CF – I’m glad you enjoyed “Pitted”.  It’s an unreleased number off of our debut album. It’s the first song I’ve ever had to stop recording midway through because of crying so hard.

SMC – Can you tell us who you would like to give a ‘shout out’ to in terms of Media support for The Fontaines?

CF – How can I not give a shout out to the one and only Candice Marshall for always supporting us!

SMC – I know you have been regularly spun on Rodney Bingenheimer’s Rodney on the Roq – KROQ show in Los Angeles – what other radio stations have shown a keen interest in your music?

CF – Getting played regularly on Rodney On The Roq on KROQ has been amazing. I’m excited to see where else it ends up.

SMC – Are there any festivals you will be playing this year?

CF – We might as well be getting on the plane to go to SXSW now!

SMC- I had a look at your website – it’s well laid out! Who manages all your music platforms and is responsible for the creation of visual content behind them?

CF – Hank and I design everything “Fontaines” related anyone sees. To me, the visuals go hand-in-hand with the music, so how could we not do it ourselves.

SMC – In terms of genres, what and who are your favorite go-to’s?

CF – I’ve been listening to “I Love You Always Forever” by Donna Summer on repeat for days.

SMC What do you think is most vital to grow your bands brand within the industry with Media and Fans?

CF – Making music you…yourself… would listen to.

SMC – Where do you draw your inspiration from when writing a song?

CF – Interpersonal relationships. Does anything else actually matter?

SMC – How do you execute a concept with a written song in terms of instrumentation? For each Artist, I get a different answer. I am curious what the process is like for you….

CF – Songwriting for us is like building a house of cards. Hank and I create the bass with chords and a melody and lyrics, then our bandmates (Daniel Zuker, bass, and Chrystian Kaplan, drums) come in and add their parts.

SMC – I think one of the things I love most about The Fontaines is that you promote your music in a very unique way. I feel the music and your image is enough to be considered one of those bands that really doesn’t have to push the promo to be truly great – you just are! Your brand stands on its own as something everyone wants to hear/know/see. It’s extraordinary. What are your thoughts on my views?

CF – What a great compliment! Music is the one place in my life where I truly never hold back from being myself, so it means a lot to hear you call it “extraordinary”.

SMC – I like to also mention that your songs: one to the next to the next is entirely different in its composition and sound. Is that deliberate? I love the range in sound you create!

CF – We’re just having fun putting out the music we feel fits our life at this moment in time.

SMC – It’s been some time since we last spoke. I saw that you have played a lot of live shows and will be playing at SXSW Festival next month! How did you land that? It’s awesome!

CF – I’m really looking forward to playing SXSW for the first time. I’m stoked to see Austin.

SMC – What are the top five songs in your most recent playlist? Inquiring minds want to know!

CF – “Get Physical” by Pep, “Calling You” by Jeff Buckley, “Wipe Out” by The Surfaris, “Comme Moi” by Edith Piaf, and “Stronger Than Me” by Amy Winehouse.

SMC – What do you think makes The Fontaines an ‘iconic’ band? I feel you are and I have my views, but I would like to know what your thoughts on yourselves are….

CF – I’m happy that we get to make whatever kind of music we want to.

SMC – We look forward to hearing more and have added your new single ‘Evaporate’ to our SMC Spotlight Artists Spotify playlist. Can you give us some parting words or a teaser of what’s to come from The Fontaines in the next 3-6 months?

CF – Stay tuned for our debut album. In the meantime, you can check out our single “Evaporate” on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube.

SMC – Thank you Hank and Charlotte! As always, we love having you on the SMC Spotlight!

CF – Thanks for having us on the SMC Spotlight!

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Band Members

Charlotte Fontaine (Vocalist)

Hank Fontaine (Backup Vocalist, Guitarist)

Daniel Zuker (Bassist)

Chrystian Kaplan (Drummer)

Biography

The Fontaines are a brother-sister duo based in Los Angeles, California.  Charlotte Fontaine (vocals) and Hank Fontaine (guitar) began writing new-wave influenced rock songs after growing up all over the world as kids.  The siblings are backed by Chrystian Kaplan (drums) and Daniel Zuker (bass) live and in the studio.

In 2016 The Fontaines performed at music festivals including Savannah Stopover, Canadian Music Week, Broke LA, and Make Music Pasadena.  In June, the band released their new EP, “ii,” which has gotten airplay on KROQ in Los Angeles.  The band is currently finishing up their debut full-length album, set for release in 2017.

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The Fontaines Social Media Links (click to view):

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Spotify

YouTube

Bandcamp

 

Scott Patterson | SMITHRADIO SMC February 2017 Artist of the Month!

By Candice Anne Marshall

images provided by Scott Patterson | SMITHRADIO

If any of the Starlight Music Chronicles followers on Twitter were paying attention from January 15th to 22nd, they would have noticed a flurry of activity. This was the seven-day period that will go down in our history books as the Artist of the Month fan voted competition that broke some serious records in terms of ‘fan votes’. It was the first time ever that a band (fan nominated) would achieve the highest ever votes for the social media poll posted. In fact, SMITHRADIO fans were relentless in their pursuit of making music history by elevating their favorite Musician, Scott Patterson and his band, to this level of success with a whopping 1112 fan votes tallied as of January 22nd, 11:50 pm MST. (previously, the highest votes ever recorded was held by The Roxy Suicide in December 2015)

Recently. I connected with Scott to talk about the February 2017 Artist of the Month win, his fans (who have now labelled themselves the SMITHRADIO Army), and what that means for the upcoming Artist of the Year competition in June 2017. Here’s what he had to say

INTERVIEW | Scott Patterson SMITHRADIO January 30 2017

SMC – So tell me, what are your thoughts on winning SMC’s February 2017 Artist of the Month (AOM) competition?

SP – Well, it’s a terrific honor to get this kind of validation so early in the game. I didn’t expect to get a nomination, was surprised when we got it and was even more surprised we won. Kinda pinching myself on this one, truth be told.

SMC – Yes, they sure did! It’s so exciting Scott because a lot of Artists who come out with a first single don’t have this kind of support right away and I believe it’s what SMITHRADIO has produced so far that really has enraptured the fans. What was your first reaction when you found out you were nominated by a fan?

SP – My fans have always been there for me. There have been times when I’ve been so exhausted, too exhausted to continue on a given day and just seeing a few nice comments got me to the finish line. I’m doing this all myself – my own label (Blind Horse Records), my own small but dedicated staff and fan support that is unprecedented for me.

SMC – That’s true! You’re right!

SP – My assistant called to tell me that we were beginning to pull ahead in the voting and I was quite moved by the whole thing. It meant the fans were supporting it and wanting to represent. That was very meaningful for me and the guys (band). I never thought we would win.

SMC – what was your reaction to the win?

SP – I didn’t know right away. My assistant contacted me and said, ‘They’ve made a decision and we won!’, and I thought, ‘Good Lord, how did that happen?’ I was excited. I was in the middle of writing a song when I got the news. So, I allowed myself to have that moment, and then the work ethic in me demanded that I stop celebrating and get back to writing the song. After my writing session was done, I got on the phone and was talking to everyone (band) and we had a good time (celebrating). We are really excited about it.

SMC – Yeah, that’s great. The fans went crazy. I think they’re still celebrating.

SP – Yeah, Isn’t that amazing?

SMC – Absolutely. I’ve seen this happen with another young (new) band once before and I know that this is possible. Aside from the win, how did the name SMITHRADIO Army come about? That’s pretty cool.

SP – That was a term I was kicking around with my assistant at the beginning and then some fans picked up on it and ran with it so it stuck. I have some very loyal fans that are spreading the word about “HAHA SONG” and SMITHRADIO just like any other band but these particular fans are going the extra mile. Can’t wait to meet them, comp them when we tour and thank them personally.

SMC – That’s exciting. So, which Social Media platform did you find the fans most active on for this competition?

SP – I spent more time on twitter and I jumped on the Instagram and Facebook band pages to engage as well. I just tried to be active on as much as I could.

SMC- What are your thoughts on the other Artists you competed against in terms of the camaraderie while there was active fan voting?

SP – I think they were a very classy group of people. They congratulated us and were very kind. I was really moved by all that and I wish them all the best. I don’t know their music but I can’t wait to hear it. When we go to the U.K. I can’t wait to see The Black Jackals.

SMC – Hey that’s awesome.

SP – Yeah, they just kick ass! Also, Neil and Adam – such nice guys! I haven’t listened to their stuff but I am going to. They all reached out to me – classy guys. That’s what I love about music – these Musicians are so giving and generous. It’s not really a competition really, it’s a chance for people to get to know one another and share music.

SMC – Absolutely. That’s really the point of our fan nominated competitions – is to engage and cross promote the Artists. When we’re talking indie music, we are talking about bands who may not know a lot of the other Artists that are in other countries. Because SMC promotes bands on a global scale, this is a way of introducing one another via the fans. For this new season, we have three European bands who have won AOM (Hannah Clive, DaveIt Ferris, and Tamsyn) in the latter part of 2016 and now one North American band to kick off 2017 (SMITHRADIO). We have a few more months left before we head to the Artist of the Year competition in June 2017 so there may be more, but SMITHRADIO is the first North American band to win AOM this season. Last season, our Artist of the Year (IAMWARFACE) is from the U.K. and they won with 22,000+ votes. What are your thoughts on all of this?

SP – Oh wow. Well, the EP will be out and we will hopefully be touring by then so maybe we’ve got a chance. Wow.

SMC- I think you do!

SP – Okay, well, we’ll knuckle down. We’ll see what happens. Does this mean we are enrolled into the Artist of the Year event?

SMC – Yes. All our Artists of the Month are automatically enrolled into the June 2017 Artist of the Year (AOY) event.

SP – Wow. Okay!

SMC – It was your fans who nominated you and brought you to this place.

SP – They are the very best in the world which is why I am being so meticulous with these tracks. Want them to be as good as they can be for the fans. They deserve that.

SMC – Part of the Artist of the Year win means you get a scholarship for ArtistMax. This program is in Los Angeles with Producer Ken Caillat (Fleetwood Mac) and his daughter Colbie (Caillat – Grammy award winner), who is one of the program mentors. Our AOY winner will also receive VIP invitations by ArtistMax to VIP events as part of their scholarship program as well. It’s kind of a big deal. So, what are your thoughts about going to that next level in addition to what you’ve already accomplished?

SP – Wow that’s great. Well, we need to just keep doing what we are doing. The 5 songs (for the new EP) are almost mastered. We are going to release the EP and then a single after that. There is a single that I wrote that has a different feel than the rest of the songs (on the EP). It’s a more serious song which hooks into something we’re involved in. We want to roll this out the best way and that’s really the step to take us to the next level. We’re going to be playing the SXSW (South by Southwest) 2017 Music Festival this year as well. I was on the Rachael Ray show back in November and played a couple of bars of “HAHA DONG” and right there, she said, “I want you to come and play at SXSW. We have three stages down there and you get one of them for a 30-minute set”. That’ll be fun. Rachael really hooked me up. You know, we had that instant chemistry when we met and we had a great chat. Spectacular woman. She and her team are comped for life any show we do. I mean, how do you pay someone back for being so generous and having your back like that? Anyway, could go on about her forever. Love her.  There’s also a Sirius XM radio concert in New York as well as an AOL Build appearance which will hit Facebook as well. We are rehearsing for that. In the meantime, writing a lot of new material and eager to get back in the studio to record. Don’t like songs to sit very long after they are born.

SMC – I heard an interview earlier today that you had with Pulse 98.4’s Big Drive Home with Peter Greenwood. You talked about your influences. Who are your main ones?

SP – When I was five I use to stand on top of my parent stereo console (like a coffee table) with a hairbrush mic and sing along to Beatles songs. Hard Days Night, Rubber Soul. I’d put on shows for my parents when my dad got home from work. Then there was The Rolling Stones and ‘Satisfaction’. The sound of that guitar bore into me and from that moment I wanted to play guitar as well as sing. We had an old Spanish guitar laying around the place and I started plucking away. Growing up it was Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Zepplin, Bowie, James Gang, Skynyrd, Deep Purple, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Yes, The Who, the usual suspects. I liked bands and songwriters. I liked guitar heroes. I liked guitar solos and drum solos. I like bathing myself in the giant cloud of marijuana that hovered above the ice rink at The Spectrum in Philly where I saw all those great bands. There was joy, anticipation, beautiful girls and a big train of rock music coming our way as soon as the lights went down. Joni Mitchell fascinated me. The tone of her voice is really special. Neil Young, too.  Love that big arena sound – The Who, Zepplin. When Patti Smith came along that just blew apart everything for me because what she was doing was her poetry and putting music to it. People were doing that a lot in the Village in NYC in the early 70’s but not like that. Blew me away. There are so many different types of performers – flashy showmen/women, introverted songwriters, etc. and I love them all. Anybody with the guts to get out there and just play their songs, well, I’m gonna listen. Over the past twenty five years or so there have been some great bands and songwriters but the one guy that always stood out for me was Noel Gallagher. No bullshit. Just gets right to it. With him it’s about the song and nothing else. It’s about a melody, a dynamic and a structure over an entire set. Very powerful. His ‘High Flying Birds’ will be my next concert to attend.

SP –SMC – So when we talk about your five song EP, we are going to be listening to songs that are your truths, correct?

SP – Yes. The songs are all about a girl: they are either break-up songs, love songs, or they’re ‘can’t-wait-to-get-away-from-you’ songs. The one song that will release as a single after the EP is launched is not me, it’s someone else’s point of view. I put myself in someone’s shoes and felt a need to tell the story of their life through that song. I imagined what it must be like for this individual to go through this particular experience. Deals with PTSD.

SMC – I do know that Patti Smith’s daughter had reached out to you and that you are looking at doing a benefit concert with Patti. Does this song tie into that?

SP – It may…. it’s about one specific type of a person but it could cross over into everyone who is experiencing these types of feelings. It’s not specific to any one category of person but that’s who I am telling to story of the song through. Kristina – pieces of it has been online, and that’s a song that might be appropriate for a benefit concert. That’s about a young girl being sexually abused and becoming a teenager who escapes her circumstances.

SMC- So many people look to that to tell that kind of a story. In terms of your EP and the kind of variety in genres (blues, punk rock, rock), what can we expect?

SP – You’re going to get rock and roll, Americana, some Glam, a dash of punk. In the same family as “HAHA SONG”.

SMC – Yeah, I love it.

SP – Yeah, I love it. Some good, classic party songs on the album and I attribute that to coming out of long period of writing very serious material and, quite frankly, getting sick of writing serious material. I simplified everything and started writing the kind of songs that come out of jam sessions with friends just horsing around at a party with maybe a beer or two in you. Just let it fly, appreciate the major chords and play what’s fun to play for YOU. What feels right and good in the moment. Might be the simplest progression but doesn’t matter if it rocks. It’s RockNRoll, man. It’s not complicated. Write what you feel and scream it out.

SMC – Oh excellent! You’re songwriting style is very strong.

SP – Like I said…..it’s rock. Rock is a specific discipline that too many people clutter with bullshit. Rock is supposed to hit you in those places we can’t talk about at family dinners. Rock is momentum. It’s a locomotive, it’s inevitable. But it’s personal to each songwriter. I write all the time which mean I’m strumming the guitar all the time. A lot of time bullshit comes out but when a real song comes out of your soul, for me it comes fast. Five minutes. Like a window opened and some power handing you something good. That’s exciting.  So, there’s stuff in the hopper ready to record. These are the songs I’m sharing with the world.

SMC – That’s exciting! In terms of touring, are you possibly looking at Australia?

SP – We’re looking at everything. Candice, we’re looking at touring all over for a number of years. We want to play everywhere and we don’t want to stop. That’s just something I want to do until I drop. So yes, we are looking at all possibilities to go everywhere. We are in discussions about this right now and we need to choose wisely. We thought we were going to start in the USA to do a six-week tour of the south west, now a lot of other countries are stepping up: Brazil, Scotland, U.K., Japan, and it’s a nice problem to have but we don’t want to alienate anyone. We want to do it right, so we’re being very careful and methodical about it. There will be something to announce soon enough. I understand the fans are getting anxious but I promise we will announce the EP and some solid dates real soon.

SMC – I know that the pressure is on but I do know the process of producing something that is quality and that takes time….

SP – It does. I spent the holidays laying down guitar tracks for a couple of the songs for the EP. I am very meticulous about this. I am working with people that are equally meticulous. We don’t want to have to go back and redo anything, we want to get it right the first time. Recording a song properly is complex. The listening public is very sophisticated now and they’re used to a very high quality recording because there’s lots of great Producers and bands and they’re hearing great stuff all the time. It’s important to step up and compete and we’re going for a knockout punch and “HAHA SONG” set the bar real high.

SMC – I know it’s going to be a great follow-up: you’re working with Michael Nomad Ripoll (Producer and Guitarist for SMITHRADIO)

SP –  Yeah, Nomad and I work well together in the studio and we are producing a great album. Hell of a guitar player, too. The band is together and we will be introducing members soon.

SMC – Are they the same musicians that will be touring with you that were also in the studio recording?

SP – Couple of the same and a couple different.

SMC – Going back to Patti Smith, what was your reaction when her daughter reached out to you?

SP – Total shock. Read that email ten times before it hit me. Full circle kind of thing. Nice when that happens.

SMC – Absolutely. So, what is the greater feeling of gratification for you: finishing the recording of a new song, or performing in front of an audience?

SP – Either or. They are both great feelings that stay with you. I’m addicted to both. Can’t imagine not recording or performing.

SMC – I agree. It’s funny because I had a fan private message me and say that they felt that this career path you’ve taken really speaks about you as an individual the most. Do you feel the same?

SP – That is an accurate statement, yes. I’m ready. I have tried to pursue a music career several different times in my life: out of high school, again when I was out here in LA initially, then back in New York, and a couple of different times out here. What remains the same is that I continued to write music. When I was growing up I began writing my own stuff.  Now, it’s about getting my music out of my own body and soul. That’s what interests me. So, to answer the question, yes, I feel this is the right path for me. Things are happening and people are responding in a positive way. I’m steering the ship, it’s my record label, it’s all coming out of me. That’s where I am happiest.

SMC – It really shows too. You’ve been on a few talk shows already, Jimmy Fallon, The Today Show, and Rachel Ray to name a few since “HAHA SONG” released and you could really see that you were excited when they began to talk about the single and your music career. What were those experiences like?

SP – It was completely surreal. When I went out there and sat down on the couch next to Jimmy (Fallon), and we started talking and he held up a placard with the “HAHA SONG” on it, a photograph that I took, it was just a surreal moment. Here’s the biggest talk show guy in the world holding up my song and talking about it. I thought, ‘Good God, it doesn’t get any better than this!’ It was a real moment. That was the moment, to reference the previous question, that I knew I made a good decision in choosing this career path. I have made a lot of bad ones in my life, but I made a good one here.  

SMC – When I saw you walk out, I jumped up in my seat and shouted ‘YES! He did it!’

SP – It was surreal. It’s The Tonight Show. Grew up watching it. Was a head trip.

SMC – I know, I was so excited for you.

SP – They give you seven minutes but it feels like seven seconds. It’s over before you know it.

SMC – You know I really don’t think that will be the last time he will have you there. He always has a music component on his show and I’d love to see you two do that sing-off or guitar playoff – whatever it may be. Is that something you’d like to see happen?

SP – We went out for dinner after and I pitched the idea of the ‘three lost Dylan brothers’ to the Producer (Bob hasn’t anything to do with this and nobody knows about them) but they do Bob Dylan covers. Let’s see if the phone rings.

SMC – Oh, that’d be great.

SP – Then the Producer sent me a clip of Jimmy actually doing Dylan which was really funny. Jimmy is talented – really talented.

SMC – That would be amazing. One of the fans had asked if you would be looking at writing a SMITHRADIO Army song?

SP – I think I already have…. I wrote a song about taking over the world (laughs).

SMC – Pretty much!

SP – It’s something that I’ve been tossing around as a way to say thank you to the SMITHRADIO Army. It’s got to be rock with a little bit of humor. I am trying to get the right tone and balance for that song so yeah, I’ve been thinking about that song. Absolutely.

SMC – When we are talking about this all coming together, and the fans being there for you, years down the road, when you are really in the groove, you’ve gotta look back at the beginnings and the people who were there at the very beginning, how would you pay homage to them?

SP – The people that I started out with are still with me. They are either with me in spirit, or they’re employed by me. The team is very solid. They’re very dedicated, and loyal and that’s the great part about it. It is a family, it’s an extended family. The vision is: maybe a year from now, there is a SMITHRADIO convention, or a picnic, or a weekend retreat, something like that. These people get along very well. They are connecting and making friends and that warms my heart.

SMC – In terms of looking back at the first couple of interviews that you and I have had – One of the fans asked why I hadn’t changed the original GORDON name on the title of those articles to SMITHRADIO. I told them that the purpose of SMC was to actually chronicle the journey for the Artists we support. Therefore, you will see a numbered series on the Spotlight portion of our website. We feel it’s important to keep the chronicle as it was written with no updates so that we can keep a well-documented history of the Artist’s career and milestones. Later, when the band has become big, it’s always nice to uncover the beginnings and find those treasures for fans. What are your thoughts on this kind of authenticity?

SP – Hey, you’re the boss of that situation. (laughs) Well, hey, that’s what I was then and I think it should stay. I agree.

SMC – What’s behind the name change and the name itself?

SP – I thought of what my biggest influence was and what made me want to do this (music career) – what changed my life as a young person most radically, and that was Patti Smith. Through Patti, I discovered that Artistic courage and staying true to your art really was. Through her, I discovered so much literature – Arthur Rimbaud (French Poet) who, I ended up having a bigger obsession with than Patti.

SMC- I remember you referencing that in one of our earlier interviews.

SP – Yeah, and there were a lot of other literary influences that I went through in my youth because of Patti Smith. I discovered – to borrow her term – “the country of the mind” as it related to music and poetry. There’s a deep spirituality that isn’t often recognized through her work. A kind of faith, deep-seated. I would listen to Patti Smith live concerts from The Bottom Line (venue in New York City) via WMMR (radio station in Philadelphia) when it was past my bedtime. It would be late when she would come on and I would listen to these Sunday night live concerts….We had to change the band name because I was doing this this radio interview last summer and the DJ said, “Wow, that’s quite an EP you’ve got there. It’s a really punk sound”, and I said, “What are you talking about, we don’t have an EP yet”. That’s when we found out there was another band with the same name. So, we had to change the name. I didn’t want to come up with just any name – had to be very meaningful to me. I just kept thinking about Patti and those Sunday nights listening to the radio with the sheets over me, in the dark on a rainy evening in South Jersey and Patti Smith turned low so no one could hear. Those were the moments that make you really dream, so I just thought Patti Smith on the radio…. Smith Radio….SMITHRADIO. I thought, you know, I’m a wavelength on SMITHRADIO. Artistically, I was invented by Patti Smith. She is the Muse.

SMC – That’s an amazing story. I love that! Wow……wow.

SP – I grew up with a very artistic mother who demanded artistic integrity, honesty, vulnerability and, above all, spirituality, in every piece of art, music, book, film she exposed me to.  So, that’s what I aspire to. We’re starting this EP off with songs about love gone right and gone bad, longing with a kind of wistful resignation.

SMC – So there was that deep connection with her. I think you and I…. if I had read correctly…. both had mothers who passed away in 2008.

SP – Yes, my mother and I had always had a very deep connection…to the point where we were telepathic. I knew what she was thinking all the time, and vice versa. We didn’t have to speak, we just knew with a look. She never had to tell me to do anything, I always knew what she wanted me to do or what was expected of me.

SMC – My relationship with my mother was very similar, so I can concur.

SP – Yeah and it really contrasts with my relationship with my father because I had zero connection with him. We didn’t understand one another. He wasn’t around very much and when he was, it wasn’t very pleasant. When he left, I was really kind of relieved.

SMC – Now when I look at you having this success in your career along with also having a (young) son, and he starting to play with his guitar…with you not having that relationship with your own father, what would you like to bestow upon your son that you may not have gotten from a fatherly figure?

SP – My job is to prepare him to leave home eventually and thrive in the real world and that’s what I am doing. He’s very bright, willful. Absorbs everything I’m doing or saying so gotta be careful. The thing that really struck me is how much joy he brings every day, how funny he is. I literally laugh all day with him. Smart, quick, mischievous. Ton of fun. Then there’s the scary side, the worry but all worth it. He’s watching me build my music into something and I am very proud of that. I already have a nice, fat scrapbook about SMITHRADIO to go through with him when he’s ready. If I can inspire my boy to strive for great things and fight for his dreams I’ll have done my job.

SMC – In combining those two questions together, would you say that your mother, being the primary caregiver – obviously, she had to wear two hats – would you say that the skills she bestowed upon you is something that you are passing down to your son?

SP – I think that the greatest gift that my mother gave me was…. you know, she was toughest person that I’ve ever met. I’ve never met anyone with a backbone like that. She was 5ft 2” and the sweetest person you would ever want to meet but man, when people crossed her……uh oh! She wouldn’t yell. She would get really quiet and say, “Let me tell you about the facts of life here”, and we would go ‘Uh oh!’ She was amazing. But just tough as nails. Her famous line to me is the line I always say now and that’s: ‘Give ‘em hell’, that’s all I heard when I would walk out the door of the apartment was ‘Give ‘em hell’, and I did. In every aspect of my life, I gave ‘em hell. She wanted us to be competitive in all areas, and we were (he and his sisters). I still am – I don’t know any other way. I compete, therefore I am and that’s just what she wanted for us. She instilled the work ethic by example. I wish there were 30 hours in the day because I love putting in the work for my music. There’s just not enough time in the day.

SMC – I know, I can relate.

SP – I’m just at it all the time. People think I’m a mad man but I’m always saying, ‘I’ve got to go, I’ve got to go write.’  Songs hit me in odd place at odd times but the bottom line is they don’t hang around forever so you gotta split and get it down. When the Muse calls you answer.

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