Sallie Mood | SPOTLIGHT Series No.1

SMC Spotlight Artist Interview | Sallie Mood March 3rd, 2017

By Candice Anne Marshall

While setting up the World Premiere of Wall Of Orange’s’ music video for ‘Small Hour Crimes’, I made the fabulous new discovery who goes by the name: Sallie Mood. She is new to the music scene in terms of radio play but in listening to her beautiful vocals, you’d think she has been doing it for years. The Florida-born, Dallas, Texas beauty is, in fact, connected to the Gary Parks, Producer and Frontman for Wall OF Orange and has plans to work on mixing her new recordings with him. In speaking with Parks, he added, ‘She is insanely talented. Seriously, her voice is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever heard. She sang the bkg vox on our song “lost by the sea”. She needs exposure. I’m thrilled that you like and want to promote her!’. Coming from someone who I already hold in high regard in terms of ‘exceptional music’, I knew this meant this discovery was akin to a five-year-old discovering presents under the tree on Christmas morning.

Yes, she is truly that great.

I was lucky enough to connect right away with the lovely songbird I now refer to as #TheDarkBeauty (yes, I have been given permission) where we delve deep into the heart of just who Sallie Mood really is. Enjoy!

SMC – Hello dear! Welcome to the Starlight Music Chronicles (SMC) Spotlight! I am so happy to have discovered you thanks to my boys at Wall Of Orange! Your appearance in their newest music video ‘Small Hour Crimes’ was stunning! There was something about that sixties psychedelic vibe that I loved about the video and you were amazing in it! When I saw that you shared the sneak peek video for the band I thought to myself, ‘AH-HA! I found her!’ lol! THEN I listened to your music after some digging and I knew you HAD to be on our SMC Spotlight ASAP! After my spiel, what are your thoughts on this?

SM – I truly must say, I am feeling beyond honored to have been a part of the genesis of Wall Of Orange – Gary Parks is an incredibly brilliant and hardworking human. I know he invested every ounce of his being into those songs, the whole package. When he asked me to be part of the video, that was my opportunity to travel into the beautiful universe he’s created and find my place, my role. I think our music’s come from neighboring universes, existing somewhere inside of ultraviolet light waves. I wasn’t expecting my inclusion in this project to lead me to you – what a wonderful surprise it’s been. I love keeping up with SMC and I’m feeling so blessed to be included in the Chronicles of Starlight Music.

SMC – To further this discussion, I would like to invite you to be one of our Numbered Series Artists – meaning: we follow your career journey and write frequent, (numbered, and chronicled) pieces about your progress. Would that interest you?

SM – That sounds so thrilling to me! Like a chapter book. I’ve come across so many amazing artists via your chronicles. I would love to be a part of the SMC archives.

SMC – Okay let’s get into some personal stats… how old are you?

SM – I’ve been here for 25 years. But if I didn’t know how old I was, I would guess I’m somewhere around 100 or so.

SMC – Can you tell us how you became connected to the Wall Of Orange boys? In my opinion, they are a class act and anyone involved in the WoO camp is truly stellar!

SM – I met Gary a few years ago through a mutual friend when he was looking for a singer for a commercial. Shortly thereafter, he began working on his album and called me in to sing backing vocals on ‘Lost By The Sea’. I remember feeling really inspired and motivated by his diligence toward the project feeling like ‘these are my people’. He sees this intangible universe and makes it visible so we can all experience it with him. He’s a true artist. I’m so glad he called me that day.

SMC – There is only one other Artist that I love as much as you in terms of being a solo Artist primarily and that is Hayley Richman. You both have such gorgeous, seductive, melancholy and haunting vocals. They are unforgettable! I hear some Lorde in your vocals though…. have you ever heard that before?

SM – Hayley Richman is a gem. Her lyrics are beyond her years. Your words are so kind, Candice – it’s wonderful to be spoken of in that light! I remember when Lorde released ‘Royals’. The first time I heard the track, it was still pretty underground. I remember listening to it a lot because I could really relate to the words. No one has ever told me I sound like her. But I do believe we may be seeing the world in a similar way.

SMC – Why is music your career path choice?

SM- I honestly can’t image life without music. Words speak. Add a melody and you’re suddenly saying so much more. I grew up in musical theatre. I was constantly getting into the minds of the characters I was portraying. Singing their songs. Three times a year for almost 10 years. Then I turned 18 and went to college to study architecture and I realized I had no earthly clue who I was. I felt directionless and confused. Everything in my world was suddenly forced and didn’t fit right. I loved architecture but I missed living in those fantasy worlds that exist in the theatre. After a couple years of college, I found myself in a really dark place – unbelievably dark. I was empty. Completely empty. I got a keyboard and painted the keys like a rainbow with some nail polish I had. I thought it was kind of ugly but I think that was my way of trying to bring myself back to life. I started writing poems with melodies. I wrote 89 of them in one month. I would type them up and spend hours organizing them into acts and scenes in Word documents – kind of like a playbill crossed with a script. And then I would just read through them. A million times. Studying and editing the words, over and over, wondering how the story would continue. It was like I was turning my life into a musical production so it felt meaningful again. But secretly. Only for me. I didn’t realize it at the time, but writing those songs pulled me out of that darkness and, for the first time, I felt like I was getting to know myself. So, I never stopped.

SMC – I have looked at all your branding and it’s stunning! Do you do all your own graphics, photography, and branding?

SM – Thank you so much! I do it all myself. A while ago, I realized it’s very difficult for me to explain what’s in my head to another person. So, I’m constantly trying to learn more about every aspect of my craft.

SMC – I do have to say that I sense there is a dual personality thing going on in your presentation. Is that intentional? Riley O’Riley A.K.A. Sallie Mood being the precursor of this perception on my part. Can you tell us a little bit more about these two lovely characters?

SM – Well, to begin with, Riley O’Riley is me in the purest form. Sallie Mood is an extension of the part of myself that overwhelmingly believes in love, hope, peace and truth. We are similar in a lot of ways, but Sallie Mood is more of an observer of humankind, whereas Riley O is walking in it. Years ago, I went through a phase when the songs pouring out of my brain were so hallow and dark, it made me uncomfortable – I realized that whatever I was singing about became embedded in my being. I was sowing seeds of hopelessness. In retrospect, I know I had to  endure that phase for the purposes of personal healing, but it left me thinking: if I believe that love never fails, I need to walk in that; if I believe that hope always endures, I need to walk in that; if I believe peace can always be found in the midst of chaos, I need to walk in that; if I know the truth is unchanging, I need to walk in that. I believe these things all the time, but sometimes, when things happen unexpectedly and suddenly nothing makes sense, it’s easy to forget the truth of the matter. Emotions take over. Sallie Mood feels like I do, but she never forgets the truth.

SMC – Your videos are overwhelmingly emotional and deep – in the very best way. I feel like there is some sadness in your vocals and they are reflected in your videos. Can you tell us who is responsible for the creation of your music video content?

SM – At a young age, I walked through a series of unfortunate events. I seemed to be enduring one horrible thing after another with no time to take a breath in between. The theatre was my safe haven – I found refuge in the characters. For me, life has never felt weightless or happy-go-lucky. It’s always been so heavy. When I started making videos, I just set the stage, wallowed in whatever mood I was in, and turned on the camera. If I look sad, it’s because I was sad. If I’m acting coy, it’s because I was feeling that way. So, I just hit record and go with it. My lens are dark, sad and weird. But there’s this bright white light shining on everything now and I think that’s what makes my videos dramatic – there will always be darkness, but a light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. I also find public domain videos on the Internet of old documentaries. I love old footage of fauna and flora and war. There’s a pattern language there that the newer footage doesn’t possess. I just find images I like that help tell the story.

SMC – You have that voice that one wants to listen to when they are having the worst possible day. Honestly, its calming and pleasing to the soul. I loved the video for ‘Rigor Mortis’ and I feel it reflects the mood of the song. When you begin the songwriting process, do you already envision how you will execute it to the final presentation?

SM – I’m so glad to know the music comes off that way. When I write a song, I have no idea what I’m doing. I usually hear a melody at first. No words. But I’ll only hear a melody if it comes to me. The music doesn’t come from me. Rather, it’s sent to me and I act as a conduit. Sometimes it comes at really inconvenient times but I have so much respect for the music, I’ll put everything else on the back burner until I’ve exhausted all efforts to understand what the music is trying to tell me in that moment. I have a list of words and phrases that stand out to me. If I hear something that should be on that list, I will drop whatever I’m doing and write it down. After I get a handle on a melody, there’s usually one thing on that list that says “this song is about me!” And then everything falls into place. When I wrote ‘Rigor Mortis’, I was in limbo. I knew I was at a turning point in my life – it was time for the darkest part of me to die off so I could grow spiritually. Rigor mortis was not a phrase I had written down though. My beautiful friend Amy had just passed away and I guess I was trying to swallow the reality of the situation. At that time, nothing made sense again. Those words wouldn’t leave my head. I had to use them.

SMC – I was told by a little birdie that you may be doing some work with him soon… (ahem, Gary Parks) and I also saw a clip you just posted on your Artist Facebook page called ‘Clementine’ when can we expect that to drop?

SM – ‘Clementine’ is an 8-minute song I’ve been working on for almost a year. It’s a love letter to someone I don’t know yet. But it’s also a love letter to the world. I have a really clear vision of what that song and video should look like and that’s why I’ve been so slow – I don’t want to settle. I want to do it justice. Gary and I have a little trade going and his end of the deal is to help me mix some songs I’ve been working on. I’m hoping to get the chance to work on that with him sometime in the next few weeks. I think he really understands where I’m coming from, so the opportunity I have to work with him on this is really the opportunity of a lifetime for me.

SMC – We would LOVE to host the video on our website as a world premiere like we did for Wall Of Orange. Would that me something of interest for you?

SM – Oh, I would absolutely love that. ‘Clementine’ is one of the songs I’m most passionate about. I recently acquired a new video editing software so I’m excited to explore what I can do with the footage I’ve gathered for this video. To drop the world premiere on SMC would be a dream.

SMC – You are admired by me and I equivocate you to singer/songwriter Jake Bugg. In my opinion, you two are right up there in terms of being extremely unique with your lyrics and style of vocals. Have you heard of Jake Bugg? I would LOVE to hear a duet with both of you! That would be like heaven meets earth!

SM – I saw Jake Bugg live at the House of Blues a few years back – he’s incredible. He has this coolness about him that’s different from other kinds of coolness. His voice is so raw and his lyrics are poetic. To do a duet with him might be a nice experience. He’s kind of created his own genre – he’s bold and fearless. Bold and fearless is always a good combo.

SMC – Can you tell me what you feel is the most important thing in the creation of your music in terms of its overall sound?

SM – I want to create music that is universal; music that the younger generations, the older generations and everyone in between can all find relatable. Simultaneously, I want to create music that is thoroughly true. Facts can be violent and hard to swallow, but the truth is always loving, forgiving and unchanging. The yoke of truth is easy and its burden is light. That’s what I want my music to sound like.

SMC – Can you tell me about that ‘Ah Ha’ moment when you realized this was the career path you want to take?

SM – After I spent awhile writing poems and songs for myself at college, I met this woman, Lynn Clark-Geiner. It was 2011. She invited me to go to Chicago and sing in front of some music producers. That led me to the opportunity to go to Nashville and record an EP with producer Nick Trevisick. I started feeling like my life had a real purpose. I think Lynn was sent to me from God.

SMC- I ask this in most all my interviews because each Artist has a different answer. This also gives our readers a way to connect to you aside from being an Artist. Can you tell us five things about yourself that no one else knows?

SM – I am not a night person – I love waking up before the sun. My favorite color changes daily but is usually some variation of gold, pink or blue. I love plants – I think they have feelings. My mood is very dependent upon the weather. I’d usually rather stay in than go out.

SMC – What is a deal breaker in terms of your career and what you are willing to do or not do for fame?

SM – I’m only willing to do what I know is right. Although the world is colorful, I see things in black and white. I immediately know if something is not good, not right – at this point, I don’t think anyone could convince me to do something that I know is not right. In this industry, I think fame might just be a byproduct of hard work. The goal for me is to do what I know I have to do in order to sleep well at night.

SMC – What does the term ‘Success’ mean to you?

SM – For me, success is a word that separates genius from insanity. I think if enough people relate to my music, I’ll know I’m not completely insane.

SMC – Which designer or store do you get those wicked clothes from?

SM – Buffalo Exchange and The Salvation Army are my stomping grounds. Almost everything in my wardrobe is from one of those two stores. It’s like walking into a treasure chest when you go to places like those.

SMC – What is the one thing you hear most consistently from fans when they first discover your music?

SM – I’ve noticed a lot of people use the word “beautiful” when responding to my music. I don’t think people like to be told what to feel, but I think people like to be told what to pay attention to. I love the juxtaposition of a heavy, thought provoking topic and a simple, timeless chord progression. I feel like that’s what the old music does. That’s the kind of music I think is beautiful.

SMC – Have you received radio play yet?

SM – I have not received radio play. I don’t think I’ve created anything worthy of the radio waves as of yet. Maybe one day that will happen.

SMC – I know that currently, you are based in Texas, were you born somewhere else or have you always lived in Texas?

SM – I was born in Hollywood, FL. I grew up all along the Atlantic Coast of Florida. The colors there are unspeakable. I still think of the east coast of Florida as a home. But Dallas is a cornerstone in my upbringing. I know Dallas.

SMC – How have other media platforms been in terms of acceptance of your music?

SM – This really cool blogger called Queen Beetch shared my song and video called ‘Up In Smoke’ at the end of last year. It was such an honor to be shared on her blog because you can get on her site and scroll for days – everything she posts is some underground music brilliance. It was a really good feeling.

SMC – What is your peer support like among your friends?

SM – My number one music companion is Colin Boyd A.K.A. Coin Boy. He’s an incredible performer, singer/songwriter/guitarist/ukulele maestro. He gave me my first ever gig in 2012 at a dive bar in Dallas called J. Pepe’s. Now we perform together on a weekly basis and I just love it. We are working on an EP for our duo band called The American Dreamers. He’s out there floating in space with me so it’s a nice partnership.

SMC – Has the music industry jaded you in any way? If so, how? And how did you react to it going forward?

SM – I can’t say I’m at all jaded toward the music industry. I have definitely gone through some totally bizarre experiences that have left me mentally paralyzed for periods of time. Those times were rough because it felt like the life had been sucked out of me and I didn’t know if I’d ever feel the music again. But then I start to hear the music again and I sing a new song. I know bizarre things will continue to happen and throw me into dark places, but I have a peace in knowing that the music comes back. It always comes back.

SMC – What is the coolest fan experience you can recall?

SM – My first follower on Instagram is called @sheccxd. I immediately followed her back because I saw myself in her. Based on her Internet persona, she loves the challenge of a good old fashioned heartbreak – it hurts, you don’t want it, but there something about the beauty you find in that pain that makes it all worthwhile. She seems to see through a lens of mellow drama and finds glimmers of light in dark places. She had a photo of me as her profile picture for a while – it was surreal when I first stumbled upon it.

SMC – What do the next 6-12 months look like for you in terms of your career?

SM – In the near future, I hope to have some recordings of my newer songs ready to share with people. I’d also like to share some more visually stimulating videos and digital art.

SMC – Do you have any tour plans for this year?

SM – I don’t have any tour plans. I do perform around town as Riley O’Riley, but Sallie Mood really only exists on the Internet and in my mind. I would love to travel around singing songs one day. I’m such an introvert though. I have never boldly sought that out.

SMC – Are there any instruments that you enjoy playing?

SM – I grew up playing the piano. My parents bought me a 66 key keyboard when I was young. A few years ago, I was gifted an Oscar Schmidt tenor ukulele. That’s now my instrument of choice. It inspires an entirely different world of music than the piano. Recently, I removed the bottom 2 strings from all my guitars so I can play them like a baritone ukulele – I’m really enjoying playing those altered guitars as well.

SMC – After delving further into your music, I feel there’s a little bit of a Janis Joplin vibe happening too – Have you ever been compared to her?

SM – Oh man, Janis. A pioneer of soul wrenching music and hippie-glam. Her sense of fashion and her fearlessness left an impression on me when I was in my teenage years. People have told me I give off a similar vibration as her. I don’t consciously try to embody that though. It’s not often that I find someone or something that makes me feel at home inside of my mind, so when I find that I study it. Janis is one of those people. If she was still alive, we’d probably be friends.

SMC – Okay, last question: I feel you would also make a great Actress as well. If given the choice to only do one or the other (career), which one would you choose and why?

SM – I’ll sing forever. Putting on a show comes with singing. You have to be able to tell the story visually and sonically, melodically. I’ll never forget the first time I made a grown man cry while I was singing a song – he approached me after the gig and thanked me. After that night, I knew I never wanted to stop making grown men cry. I knew I never wanted to stop inviting people to a sonic avenue where they could shamelessly experience their emotions. People want to go to that place but the world encourages us to put on this ‘I’m okay, you’re okay’ mask. I know a fake smile when I see one. Music can penetrate the soul of a person in a way that nothing else can, for better or for worse. I don’t know what it was, but I know that man faced something monumental that night. Not because the music was sad but because the music was true. A broken world makes for broken hearts – this world needs music that speaks truth and life. If my music can help only one person heal from within, then I’ll just keep doing it for that one person.

SMC – Thank you Dear! This has been a pleasure! I look forward to seeing you go all the way. Reach for the stars and stay uniquely you all the way because that is evident in the music you are producing. I am interested to see where this takes you next!

SM – Thank you so much for this wonderful experience, Candice. This has been a joy. I look forward to keeping up with you and all the amazing artists you post about on SMC.

SMC – Ps: I think I am going to hashtag you as #TheDarkBeauty from now on. It’s fitting xo

SM – The Dark Beauty, that’s a stellar name.

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Sallie Mood Social Media (click to view):

Website

SoundCloud

Facebook

YouTube

Instagram

Twitter

 

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)

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**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; amber@culture-hype.com

Kali Ah Yuen

Cell: (808) 321-3754; kali@culture-hype.com