Friday, March 5, 2010

A sitdown with Saosin

By Ashley Campbell

Back in November, the Pactour came through Philadelphia and gave attendees a night of diverse performances. Before the show, Barricade Buzz took some time to chat with Saosin’s bass player Chris Sorenson and talked about Thanksgiving, the current tour and having one of their songs featured on CBS’s NCIS.

Barricade Buzz: The Pactour kicked off a little less than a month ago, how has the tour been for you guys so far?

Chris Sorenson: It’s pretty standard for a tour. But I mean, we’re headlining so there’s a lot more stress involved to not only put on a good show, but playing late and showing up early and everything included. But it’s been pretty standard, we’re really excited. The bill is very diverse and I think that’s really important to us, having a diverse bill, it’s not the same band throughout the night.

BB: How do you feel about the other bands? Are you fans of any of them?

CS: Uh, yea. Innerpartysystem, we’re fans of them and POS is the only hip-hop artist that I think is good. I don’t really like rap or hip-hop.

BB: Are there any specific shows that have stuck out in your mind on the tour so far or any that you’re looking forward to?

CS: Last night in New York was really good. We’re looking forward to getting back to the East Coast because the East Coast is a home away from home for us. I’m sure tonight in Philly will be great.

BB: While you guys are on tour, how do you keep yourselves busy when you’re not playing?

CS: Sleep. I don’t know, there’s a multitude of things. Sometimes we’re always helping set up. Ya know, just standard normal time-killing things.
BB: Do you guys ever sight-see?

CS: Not anymore.
BB: Yea, ‘cause you guys have seen everything at this point, right?

CS: Yea, we’ve been touring for a while so when you go to New York or Philly it’s not like, ‘Hey, you wanna go to Pat’s and get a cheesesteak? Again?’
BB: Haha, alright. Well, you guys released your latest album a few months ago. How did you guys decide what songs to incorporate into your set list?

CS: I don’t really think it’s a conscious effort, I think it just depends on the energy of the song. ‘Cause you can’t really say like, ‘Oh, I want to play all of the heavy songs’ or ‘I want to play all of the popular song.’ So we just kind of decided that we were going to play this many songs and these are the songs that we want to play, so, it’s really just what we wanted to play.

BB: Have the fans seemed happy with the choices you made? Whether they’re older songs or new songs?

CS: Yea, I think so. I haven’t heard any complaints. So, I think that’s a good sign. But, ya know, the set flows really well and for all of the times there’s new songs that maybe people don’t know, there’s a song that they’re familiar with before or after it.

BB: You guys had one of your songs used on an episode of NCIS. How did it feel to have your song used on such a popular show?

CS: I don’t know. It’s really not that big of a deal to us because it’s not really one of our goals as a band. I mean, it’s awesome to think that potentially 25 million people heard your music all at one time, ya know? I’m more stoked about being on the soundtrack with Bob Dillon and a bunch of other artists.

BB: This year is coming to its close, is there anything that you guys are looking forward to before it’s over, whether it’s concerning music or just life in general?

CS: No. Getting this tour done and getting it under our belts, I guess.
BB: Do you guys have any plans yet for next year?

CS: Yea, we’re going overseas for quite some time. We’ve kind of built a really good fan base internationally, especially in places like Asia so we’re going to go explore. And we’re going to go down to South Africa and South America and some other places and just get out of the States. I mean, there’s 50 bands playing every night in every city here in the States so it’s like, time to go away somewhere else for a little bit.
BB: Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I know you have the day off, but you’ll still be on the road. Do you guys have any plans for the holiday?

CS: For all of the times we’ve been away for Thanksgiving, which has pretty much been every year, we’ve done something. I think the only year we didn’t do something was, no, I’ve got to think about this. Well, to answer the question, we’re going to our drum techs house. He lives in Cherry Hill, NJ so we’re gonna go eat some Thanksgiving dinner with his family. We’re going to pile all 12 of us in there so it’s gonna be hectic but yea. They invited us over, so. Last year we were down in Florida and were at Aaron [Gillespie] of underOATH’s house so he and I cooked dinner and then the year before that we were, I don’t remember where we were. Actually we were in the U.K. so we didn’t even celebrate it. And then the year before that, we were in Boston. And the year before that we were in Portland and ate Thanksgiving dinner in a hotel from a big buffet.
BB: Alright, well I know you guys have been here before so, what do you guys think of Philly?

CS: As a city in general, I think it kind of smells like fish. Sorry. Well, this area does. But it’s a cool city. It’s very, um, it’s a more industrial New York. The weather has never actually been nice. I feel bad for you guys. Every single time we’ve been here, it hasn’t been nice.
BB: Maybe it’s just you guys.

CS: Yea, we’re bad luck chucks. But we’ve played a lot of weird venues here. We played the North Star Bar, that was very ghetto. They have these hip hop chips, like, with Lil’ Bow Wow on them and there was a message on the wrapper. Master P had one. But we also shot a DVD the last time we were here, at the TLA, which is now called the Filmore which I hate.
BB: It’s not called the Filmore anymore, they changed it back.

CS: They switched it back?

BB: Yes they did.

CS: Yea, but the crowds were great. We’ve played here at the Troc before and it was great.

BB: Alright, well that’s pretty much all I’ve got.

CS: Well, thank you.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A little one on one with Nick Breining of This Building

This Building is a dual vocalist rock quartet from La Crosse, Wisconsin, formed from several band break ups. Barricade Buzz had the pleasure of exchanging emails with the band's bassist, Nick Bereinging, to find out more about these guys and their EP due out in December.

How did you guys come together as a band?

Well Chris and I (Nick) were in a previous band called "Claiming Nothing" that broke up. After a few months we realized we didn't want to give up on music, so we asked two of our friends(Jesse and Jaimie) who just left the band "Battlehero" if they wanted to start up a new project. They were down for it so we started practicing around the middle of November in 2007. However, after we got done recording all of our drum tracks for our EP, our drummer Jamie decided to leave the band because he wanted to pursue a more pop-punk band. After a few months of searching we found another drummer named Adam who joined the band a mere month ago. So, here we are now and about to release our EP on Dec. 28th at the Warehouse in La Crosse WI.

How did the name come about?

It came about after a dream I had that woke me up at 3 in the morning. For some reason the name this Building was stuck in my head so I told the guys and they all liked it. It's open to many different forms of interpretation for the audience to decide what it means.

What are some of the influences for your music, if any?

Ah, well all of us have a wide range of musical tastes. Jesse is really into metal, pop punk, and rap. Adam is into metal as well but loves old school pop punk like Blink 182. Chris enjoys all genres but currently is into Senses Fail, Forever the Sickest Kids, Brand New, Underoath, and Four Year Strong. As for me, I enjoy powerpop, acoustic, electronica, and some screamo, but I've been listening to a lot of Brand New, Manchester Orchestra, City and Colour, and Anthony Green. It's kind of surprising the sound we have compared to the music we listen to haha.

You've had trouble with finding a drummer in the past, what was it like working as a band without the "beat" to the ensemble? 

It was hard let me tell you. We had to put a lot of the song writing on hold, however our good friend and room-mate Matt filled in on drums for all of our shows until we found Adam.

How was it putting your debut EP together, aside from the drummer thing?

It's been a lot of fun but it's taken a really long time to get it done. Most bands go to a producer and someone else to record their CD's, but we've embraced the do-it-yourself attitude and decided to track it all ourselves at Jesse's studio. So far it's sounding awesome and we're about to send the tracks to Mike Kalajian at Fine Print Audio for mastering.

For someone listening to This Building for the first time, what do you want them to take away from the music?

We put a lot of energy and emotion into our music, and we hope that someone listening would find that they can relate to the songs. We hope after one listen, they immediately want to go back and listen to the song again.

You guys are relatively new, so how do you want to achieve success in today's music business, do you want to start with your fans, or hit up all the labels? Or do you want to fly under the radar and become some unknown sensation?

We want to take over the world haha, but really we just love writing/playing music and would enjoy doing it for the rest of our lives. So, it would be nice to be able to make a stable living while playing music. Ideally, we would like to be on a good indie label and build a strong fan base.

What are some of your goals, plans for the future?

Well, as stated above, taking over the world!

For more on This Building, please visit their Official MySpace:

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Young band looks to share more than just music with fans

By Angelyn Thornton
photo by Amy Willard
In the cooling air of early November, Barricade Buzz stood in a huddle behind a tour van with the members of There For Tomorrow. (A little sketchy, we know.) We were given the opportunity to catch up with Maika, Chris, Jay and Christian after their set at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC.
On this night, There For Tomorrow rolled into Washington with Straylight Run, Scary Kids Scaring Kids and Anberlin on a nationwide tour that Jay Enriquez, the band’s bassist, simply described as “perfect.” With hair that even I was jealous of, the Orlando-area boys discussed all things TFT including their myriad of promotional gigs, the therapeutic power of music and the pros and cons of being younger artists.
Not even old enough to drink yet, the band is no stranger to life on stage. Though this is their third national tour, this is the first time they are playing to crowds of this size on a regular basis. In addition to touring, There For Tomorrow has also graced the stages of a Warped Tour or two in the past. As for the Warped experience, “it’s just exciting because you’re playing a festival with all these other bands that you’re seeing around you and kind of competing with in a sense,” noted drummer, Chris Kamrada. “But, all in all, it’s nice to see bands that you grew up listening to and bands that you’ve toured with before so it’s kind of like the best of both worlds.”
Being comprised of 19 and 20 year olds, the band occasionally finds that age can be an issue as Maika Maile, lead vocalist and guitarist, explained that sometimes “[other bands] give us kind of a rep but I think we’re a little different. I think we’re starting to get taken seriously. I think we’re a little more mature as a group.”
There For Tomorrow also has an impressive resume of promotions and events to their name. Earlier in the day, Maile and Christian Climer, guitar and vocals, participated in the Game With Fame event hosted by Xbox in which fans were invited to play Halo 3 against the boys on Xbox Live. So how did they hold up? “We got our butts whipped a little,” said Maile, “but we did alright.”
Thankfully gaming skills are not a requisite for rockstars. The band, along with their video for “No More Room to Breathe,” is currently nominated for an MTVU Breaking Woodie Award which honors emerging artists of the past year. “That’s a big deal to us,” said Kamrada, “We’re kind of shocked about the whole thing.”
There For Tomorrow is in the category alongside other up-and-coming artists including All Time Low and We The Kings. Results will be announced on November 19th at the 2008 Woodie Awards to which Maile said “we have no expectations to win. We’re just happy we get to be there and hang out.” Of course, Barricade Buzz wishes the band nothing but the best of luck.
The interview was then interrupted by an eager couple seeking a meet-and-greet and the boys graciously obliged. We later reconvened back at the van for a one-on-one with Maile. With multiple EPs to their name since the formation of the band, the sound has notably matured.
“We evolve as people and change with every experience we have. So it just naturally happens. And, of course, our music and us as a group coming together creatively. That’s going to happen,” said Maile.
For the lead singer, music is a release; it is a means of venting emotions in a way that is relatable to fans. “I want to use myself as an example of what I’ve gone through, what I’ve experienced, what I experience everyday and I want people to be able to relate to that,” shared Maile. The creative process, however is a group effort as he added, “We all have our part, definitely, in writing. I just bring forth the base of the song and then we all come together and do it as one. That’s why it’s a There For Tomorrow song and not a Maika Maile song.”
There For Tomorrow will be on tour through December, after which they will head back into the studio to start work on their first full length album with Hopeless Records. “We’re really excited about what we have to offer with our first full length and what’s going to be on that…We’re excited to go home and write and be creative,” said Maile. Hopefully, we will hear a full release packed with some brand new songs in the not-too-distant future. Until then you can find out more about There For Tomorrow at for music, blog and tour updates.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

24 hour music marathon inspires Electric Touch

By Angelyn Thornton
photo by Amy Willard
On October 30th, Barricade Buzz had the pleasure of sitting down with Ross Dubois, Louis Messina Jr, and Christopher Leigh of Electric Touch in a private office in the VIP section as the Hard Rock CafĂ© in Washington, DC quickly filled up with awaiting music-goers. 
On this night, the venue played host to benefit performances and charity auctions whose proceeds went to various causes including breast cancer awareness and Operation Troop Aid, which raises money to support American soldiers overseas. Minus the band’s front man, Shane Lawlor, we managed to spend some time with Electric Touch to discuss the ins and outs of music, touring and their fans.
The Austin-based group, which formed only in 2007, recently released its self-titled debut album in August, scoring much acclaim from critics. With three Texans and one Brit coming together to make music, the results of this diverse collaboration were bound to be anything but boring.
“A lot of it is like the bread and water of rock and roll,” said Ross Dubois, the band’s bassist. “Like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones. We also have an influence by bands that put on a big performance like Aerosmith or KISS,” he continued.
From vocals to lyrics to performance, the presence of the band’s influences can be found in different ways and at various times. Apparently inspiration can arrive at any moment as Dubois recalled, “The night before our first show, Shane and I just happened to be going through the channels and there was a 24-hour KISS marathon so we watched it and were like ‘Yeah, that’s a good move, that’s a good move!’”
Several minutes into the interview, guitarist Christopher Leigh, who was previously occupied with a search for his jacket, immediately jumped into the conversation (upon its discovery, of course). When asked what kind of first impression Electric Touch wanted its music to make on its fans, Leigh without hesitation, answered simply, “we want you to start spreading the love.” There is an element to the Electric Touch charm that one absolutely cannot deny: their fans are their number one priority.
“It’s all about the fans, you know?” remarked drummer, Louis Messina Jr. “We wouldn’t be here if the fans weren’t there. And if you’re not playing for the fans then you’re just playing for yourself.” Without being signed to a major label or having a radio single, Electric Touch has successfully been winning fans over one city at a time.
“We really want to build our fan base from the ground up,” stated Dubois. “Meaning that we want people to see us and be accepting of our performance and become fans of that,” he explained. The effort is not lost on the fans. The powerful presence that these four men have when they take the stage is undeniable.
“If [the fans] come to the show, we want them to feel. We want them to have just as much of an adrenaline rush as us when we get on the stage...We don’t want to disappoint anybody. It’s our job to entertain them,” remarked Messina.
After having the Electric Touch experience, it is difficult to imagine how any person could go home disappointed. When it comes down to it, an Electric Touch performance is just a damn good time.
“We consider ourselves to be entertainers, you know. Performers as well as musicians,” said Dubois. He added, “We try to give as much effort or more, even, to becoming the best entertainers as well as being artists and musicians.” Done and done.
These guys are no stranger to the concert circuit, having already loaded up with plenty of festival and touring experience, even in their short existence together as a band. In this past year, Electric Touch has played several big-name music festivals including: Lollapalooza and Coachella. Touring and festivals, however, are not easy to compare since they are each a different experience in their own right.
As Messina put it, “People from all over the world come out to these festivals and you’re playing for the world, basically...And the people, they just spread out, they go back to their homes and they start spreading the word there. So that’s what’s so awesome about festivals.”
After the Hard Rock tour, the band has many dates on their schedule back in Texas and will continue to rock America city by city. But are international performances in the future for Electric Touch? That’s not out of the question, according to Messina, “we’ve definitely got to go back to Shane’s hometown and we get to be the cool guys with the cool accents.” Cheers to that.
Shortly hereafter, the conversation digressed into a discussion of the origins of the Tina Fey phenomenon that has swept the nation in the past weeks. Though not entirely pertinent to the interview, it was thoroughly entertaining. Getting back on track, the guys, who opened for Filter on this particular date, noted that the rest of their shows will be with local bands.
As mentioned before, the Hard Rock national tour is helping to support charities raising awareness for breast cancer as a part of “Pinktober.”  “It’s a good feeling playing rock and roll for that,” said Messina. And we agree.  Although the band has no definitive release date for a second album, or a second album in general, the pieces are, however, falling together as they may. 
When the sophomore stylings of Electric Touch are finally ready to be released unto the world, we here at Barricade Buzz have nothing by high hopes for them. If their loyal fan base is any indication of the support that they have behind them, success is inevitable.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Electric Touch - Hard Rock Cafe - Washington DC

Angelyn Thornton had a chance to sit down with Electric Touch before their performance at the Hard Rock Cafe in Washington DC