We sat down with Justin and Jacob from Centerpath. We talked in depth about their influences and story behind their new single “The Day After Tomorrow”.

This single was inspired by the terrifying truth about the relationship that mankind has with our planet. There’s nothing political about this song, it’s not our opinion on the matter – It’s a wake up call to our generation. The writing is on the wall, our species is destroying our planet, in thousands of different, irreparable ways. And we are the only ones who can stop it. It’s a truth that weighs heavily on us every day. And this band has always been about having a REAL message behind our songs and our lyrics, so, it just made sense to take a subject we were so passionate about and create something from it.
“The Day After Tomorrow” obviously has it’s own literal meaning, and in the context of the song it makes total sense, being that the song is about the impending doom of climate change and environmental pollution. So that’s what the name actually means. But the inspiration for it totally did come from that awesomely cheesy movie from 2004, not gonna lie. It just felt like it fit the message so well, we had to use it.
As far as the production for the single goes, right around mid-January we had the raw vocals recorded by Augustus Cryns at Soundcheck Studios in Hollywood. Everything else was done in our home studio, by our guitar player Justin. It took him about two months to get it done, but he hasn’t ever had any formal mixing education, so we were pretty pleased with how the final result turned out.
We didn’t really have a specific sound that we were going for in the studio as far as production goes. We were more concerned with trying to forge our own sound. But obviously our musical influences came into play a little bit, so if I had to name a few bands they’d probably be Periphery, Meshuggah, Slipknot, Korn, and Lamb of God. There are elements of all of those production styles that we wanted to incorporate into our own, but overall the goal was to make a product that could sit in a playlist with those bands – without sounding like complete garbage compared to them. I don’t know if we’re there quite yet, but this is by far the closest we have come yet!
“We felt like we needed to release this song off of the EP first, because the message for it is so dire.”
It’s something we felt needed to be heard, as soon as possible. This song was the message that we had always wanted to tell people, but never had the courage to. It’s dark, and it’s brutally honest, and the lyrics are almost uncomfortable to listen to. It was meant to be a call to action for some, and a calling out for others. But the message was something that we knew a lot of people would stand behind.
It’s impossible for me to pinpoint what we go for when we write the music. I don’t think we really go for anything. This band is one of those weird situations where everybody seems to almost always be on the same page when it comes to writing our music. Our goal has always been to write what we’ve always wanted to hear, and to be that band we wished we could have grown up listening to. Our instrumentalists have been working together on this band for over 3 years, so they’ve really developed a sense of the ideal sound for “Centerpath”. Its not something that gets discussed often, or really at all. We all kind of just get together to jam and write, taking pieces of everything that we do and eventually constructing songs out of the parts that fit the vibe of the band. After writing several albums together over the years under different band names and working with tons of different musicians in the process, the guys have developed a really solid connection as players and writers. And with our new singer Jacob in the mix, things seem to finally be falling into place.

We’re beginning the process of recording our 8-track debut EP, which we expect to be out by Summer 2017.

Here is a sneak peak on the latest single “The Day After Tomorrow” by Centerpath 

Follow Centerpath on Facebook, Youtube by clicking either of the social media names.

Ending Pay to Play. Is it hurting musicians and the local music scene?

What is Pay to Play? 

Pay-to-play is primarily described as any event that a band has to pay to perform. This is most often seen when a band is asked to sell x amount of tickets and must remit ticket monies before playing an event, or else they forfeit their time slot. Musicians themselves are held responsible for promoting these types of events with little help from promoters and are often mailed tickets to sell to people in-person.

What is the difference between Pay to Play and Presale/tickets for an event?

Some musicians prefer to perform at events where there are ticket sales as it provides the benefit of show-goers buying tickets in advance, often online, giving the event coordinators & bands an idea of how many people are actually attending. Most often, for these types of performances, the band is given either a guarantee for performing and/or a door split based on sales. The event coordinators are responsible for promotion of the event; so, of course, more work goes into booking quality talent.

Why is pay to play hurting musicians and the music scene?

The pay-to-play structure of promoting puts money first and talent second. Bands are left to promote themselves AND the show, with little more than a flyer from the promoter. Come show night, they hardly make money off merch (if at all since their fans just had to pay $ to get into the venue) as the majority of pay-to-play deals leave the venue/promoter keeping all funds from the door. There are many promoters sending contracts to bands to send all the ticket monies prior to the show, to guarantee their time slot ($$$’s or more), sometimes taking a percent of their merch sales as well. With money being of the highest priority, it puts young, inexperienced musicians on stages they aren’t ready for because they have financial backing (often from their parents). It has made the promoters lazy since there are always new, fresh faces gracing the scene (at least here in California). It’s very obvious to any band that’s been around more than a year that these promoters send mass messages to new bands with minimal social networking presence or bands that have already expressed disinterest; throwing a wide net trying to catch any band they can. This makes show lineups poorly thought out, with bands of various genres and ages being on the same stage in the same night. It has fans come in for just the one band they bought a ticket directly from and they leave right after. Music fans have no idea where to go to find new music and they believe all new music is of the same lack of caliber

What can I do (as a band) to help the scene in this struggle?

Don’t succumb to performing pay-to-play shows, they are not your only option! If your band is new or not ready to perform on a stage for pay, play a free show! There are bars, venues or even people with large backyards that are willing to host music for honest musicians for free or for a split of the bar or door. If booking isn’t your forte, hook up with some of the few promoters in the area that are against pay to play. Go out to shows in your local scene that your band is not playing.

What can I do ( as a music fan) to help the scene in the struggle?

Quit complaining about a $5 cover and support people pursuing their passion to share that they have created with you. Check in at the event online and put your phone away! Artists want interaction and you’ll meet like minded people easier and a lot less creepier than on Tinder, I promise.

What if I want to play a venue that only does pay to play?

Patience. Build your brand and eventually they will come knocking. Build a solid team and a great local pull, document it correctly on all social platforms, and then these places will call for you. Crazy to think about not looking for a shortcut, isn’t it? In closing, there are a lot of better ways that you can spend your money to progress your band than a 30 minute set time for one night. Once we all say no, bands will stop being taken advantage of. The music scene is a team effort and the more we act like it, the better off everyone is including the fans who make this all possible.

Thanks for reading.

John Safari President/Co-Founder OCML

 

Alorion chats with us about their recent album. With their latest cover of “Starboy” now available on their Facebook and website, we sat down with the guys from Alorion and discussed their latest album.

With their latest cover of  “Starboy” now available on their Facebook and website, we sat down with the guys from Alorion and discussed their latest album.
What inspired this EP?
This EP was inspired lyrically, by a few different life experiences. A lot of it has to do with love as I’m sure you can tell. Musically we were reaching for something that was “different” just by not setting any limits on ourselves.
Where did the name of the EP come from? 
Austin had come up with the EP’s title and not only did it sum up the music properly, but with this EP, there were many behind the scenes moments that were both chaotic and joyful in terms of creating the EP.
How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
This was the “chaotic” part of the process. We originally went to Orlando Florida to record the EP with Tom Denny (ex. A Day To Remember) in Nov. 2014 but the EP was not finished by him. We then tried a few studios but were not pleased with the results. Finally, we found Eric Mata who has now become a huge part of our sound and he helped us finish the record and release it in the Summer of 2015.
What kind of ‘sound’ did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
Production wise, we wanted something theatrical. Something that would help the music seem like a movie was playing in your head as you listened to the songs. Our producer Eric was a big help in us achieving that.
What is one of your favorite tracks on the new EP? and why? 
“Before I Fade” is one that means a lot to us, it’s the first song we worked on as a band together and it’s just one of those songs where we gave our absolute everything lyrically and musically. We play it last in our set, it’s also a crowd favorite.
Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)
Collectively, bands we really enjoy are:
Linkin Park, Metallica, The Strokes, The 1975, Slipknot, Pvris, Never Shout Never, The Devil Wears Prada, Crown the Empire, there’s so much we can say…These are all bands that inspire us or made us want to become a musician.

Check out more information about the band and more of their  music at www.alorion.com

The First Time Enter Shikari Ever Played, Today Won’t go Down in History LIVE

The First Time Enter Shikari Ever Played, Today Won’t go Down in History LIVE

First off, I have to say I was at the first Enter Shikari show at Chain Reaction on May 14th, 2007. So it was an absolute must to go to the first show of the Take to The Skies 10 Year Anniversary Tour with Being As An Ocean. I’m sure I’m in this video in the pit somewhere from that night at Chain in ’07.

Now on to last night. I did something I never do and I stayed outside until ES took the stage. I guess I wanted my night to be all about the nostalgia and boy, was it worth it! When they first took the stage and went into Sorry, You’re Not a Winner, it brought me right back to that sweaty front row at Chain ten years ago. Bouncing around in the push pit, screaming the words with a thousand strangers, a feeling of being totally immersed in a show and becoming one with it. Their stage presence was nothing short of captivating up until the moment where nostalgia reaches reality, I’m too old for being in mosh pits for a long period of time. A sad realization. 

I took a step back to the left side and then ES decided to bust out, Today Won’t Go Down in History for the first time live, ever! So naturally, I took my phone out and filmed the song, all while catching my breath. This would be the only time until the last second of the set that my phone would not be in my pocket when I captured a picture of Rou on the floor with a light and his guitar, just after shredding the end their set. Enjoy the light show and #EnjoyLocalMusic
“Today won’t go down in history,
So shut your eyes.”
 

 

We talk to Against The Sun about their latest album!

1. What inspired this EP?

This EP is a collection of songs that have been written over the past few years. Each song revolves around themes of loss, alienation, helplessness, loneliness, and heartbreak. Our music is written with the emotional experience as the main focus. We craft the music, lyrics, and melody all fit together really nicely because they often all get written at the same time. As soon as there’s a really impactful emotional experience, the guitar and lyric sheet comes out and the music flows from there.
While each of these songs were written at different times, we specifically chose the order of these songs to tell a story. The first three tracks all are about feelings of disappointment, frustration, and anger towards a relationship that is going downhill. Then, in the fourth track, Obligations, we see why the relationship isn’t working out. We hear both perspectives on their problems and the song ends by exploding with heavily distorted instruments to symbolize the breakup. Then, the final two tracks, including the title track ‘Alone,’ are about dealing with all of that pain and loss and how to move on.
2. Where did the name of the EP come from? 
We chose Alone as the title track because loneliness was the common theme that tied all of the song together. Alone sums up the lyrical themes of the EP really well. There’s a lot of pain on this EP. Whether it’s coming from being with someone you love or being without someone you love. Ultimately though, at the end of the day, no matter what, you are alone. We all have to be okay with ourselves. We have to process this pain and learn how to be okay with being alone. 
3. How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
We actually recorded everything in sixteen hours, so it was our quickest recording process so far. There was this sense of urgency during recording and it created this incredible energy. I think we rose to the occasion and I’m really proud of how we performed under that pressure. The mixing process was where we spent most of our time. We worked really hard on developing the tones we wanted and we think that was a really good decision to take the time that we needed to make it right.
4. What kind of ‘sound’, production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
We all come from similar musical backgrounds but we all have our own unique perspectives that we bring to the table. Primarily, we’re a Hard Rock band so we like big heavy guitars and lots of bass. We take our sonic inspiration mainly from a mixture of late 90s and early 2000s Post-Grunge/Hard Rock, late 90s and early 2000s Alternative Metal, and some more recent Hard Rock bands. We like being heavy and having breakdowns and some fierce riffs but we’re also really melodic and vocally driven, so it’s a nice blend of the beauty and the roughness.
6. What encouraged the band to choose the current single for this new EP?
We didn’t really have a “single” technically speaking but the song we mainly promoted for this EP through shows and social media is the first track on the EP, In Chains. The songwriting process for this song was the most collaborative it’s ever been and I think it shows. Everyone has parts where they stand out and it’s just a great heavy song to start off the EP.
9. Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)
We all love Hard Rock and Alternative Metal music but each of us have our own little sub-set of genres and bands that we admire. Our drummer, Tim, is really into the heavier music such as Arch Enemy and Periphery. He brings his love of Death Metal to the table which keeps that heaviness in the music and it adds a lot of technicality. I absolutely love Post-Grunge Hard Rock, bands like Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle, and Seether, and that’s where the band gets its primary inspiration from. However, we all love Pop Punk so much! I think people can hear that in some of our songs, we’re faster and a bit more jumpy than most Hard Rock bands.  Last but not least, Calvin, our bass player, loves everything and anything that New Found Glory puts out. Not just that, but Calvin knows more Pop Punk bands than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s awesome, and he makes sure that the Choruses we’re writing are catchy and that we have plenty of energy in our music when we need it. All of our different inspirations combine to make the music that we write and it’s a unique combinations of a lot of elements of our various interests.

Check out more information and more music at www.againstthesun.com

In Celebration of Women’s Day, Here is our selection of four influential and strong leading members of the local music scene.

On March 8th we celebrate “Women’s Day” and our local music scene is full of strong and influential female members. It was really hard to narrow down the list to a few, but here is our pick of the most influential and strong women of the local music scene. 

 

Sabrina Lentini 

Southern CA based Singer/Songwriter she participated in American Idol landing on the Top 48 and HUB’s Major and Minors. She stopped by our studios and took part of the #OCMLREampSessions Check out her website and learn more about her at  SabrinaLentini.com

 

 Sophia Anita Reyes (New Evils) 

With a powerful stage presence and great vocals! Sophia leads the band “New Evils”  Her shows are always captivating and upbeat. Check out their music and more content here Facebook.com/NewEvils

 

Aimee (Harriers Of Discord)

The self proclaimed “Boss Ass Bitch” Aimee embraces the world of “punk rock” and “Western Surf Rock” becoming one of the dominant leading women in the Punk Rock Local Scene. Check out their music and upcoming shows here Facebook.com/HarriersOfDiscord

 

Kalie Wolfe (RVLS)

Mention her name and more than likely people will know who you are talking about. A leader in the local Hardcore/Rock scene, she leads as one of the most influential members. She can kick your ass and perform at the highest level on stage captivating the attention of the audience within seconds. Even with a broken/damaged shoulder, she takes a page out of  Dave Grohl  book and finishes off her set even if she’s in pain. Check out her latest cover and upcoming shows at Facebook.com/rvls We had her on our Artist Spotlight which you can also check down below.

 

 

Cedar Boulevard talk about their New Album

Three months into the new year which means bands start posting new music. We sit down with the guys from Cedar Boulevard and talk about the new album and the plans for this year.

 

What inspired this Album? 

‘Turn To Stone’ was inspired by the desire to write music that was different. We knew we wanted to put out new music and we knew we wanted to write a full record rather than just an EP. So we knuckled down and wrote and the largest theme on the album is just about the desire to make music and find purpose in it.

Where did the name of the album come from?

The album name ‘Turn To Stone’ comes from the lyrics of the first single of the first name.

What kind of ‘sound’ production wise; Did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?

We wanted a big rock sound but combined with a bit of a modern metal mix as well. Hard hitting, driving drums and very tight guitar tones mixed with a melodic aspect. Similar to a band like Avenged Sevenfold where there is a contrasting element of heavy and melodic parts. 

What is one of your favorite tracks on the new album? and why?

‘Tear” is probably the favorite track on the album. The majority of the song is at 200bpm, so its super fast and just feels like a whirlwind. The chorus has a super catchy hook and its got a great energy about it.

Does your vision for coming up with music get affected at all by time?

I think so, and this album is a perfect example. We put an EP back in 2015 that was a mix of punk/hard rock and we have completely switched gears for this album leaning more towards a hard rock/post hardcore style. After playing the EP for 1.5 years we realized it wasn’t the style we really wanted to be playing, we wanted to do something heavier.

Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)

Overall we listen to a lot of rock whether it be Guns N’ Roses, Rush, Green Day, Led Zeppelin and we feel like that’s where a lot of our melody comes from. Instrumentally we have a bit of a harder side and love a lot of metal bands like Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold, Trivium and Megadeth.

Get more information about Cedar Boulevard and their upcoming shows at www.CedarBoulevard.com

 

Upcoming shows :

Cedar Boulevard Viper Room March 8th

Cedar Boulevard at OCML Boscoes March 11

Cedar Boulevard Los Angeles March 22

 

 

A Quick Checklist For Proper Stage Etiquette 

A Quick Checklist For Proper Stage Etiquette 

There are a lot of little details that need paying attention to to ensure a smooth, successful and outstanding sounding gig. This is a quick checklist to make the process a little bit easier. 

Step 1 – Once the show is confirmed, send the promoter a stage plot. A stage plot should illustrate what the set up for your equipment is, noting the number of mics and plug ins.
This doesn’t need to be anything crazy and can be a photo of a drawing on paper. We aren’t picky.

Step 2 – Upon arrival to the venue (before the first act introduce yourself to the sound tech and let them know you are there and ask what he/she needs from you. Use this time to tell the sound tech and fx you might need for your set.

Step 3 – When the act before you starts, start staging your gear. You do not want to be setting your gear up on stage. Being ready to play shows professionalism and keeps the show on time. Long change overs bore fans and can cause some to leave.

Step 4 – Work with the sound tech to get levels right before you play, and if you need something adjusted wait until after the song is over. No one knows there is anything wrong unless you say something about it.

Step 5 – Engage with the crowd, thank them for being there, thank the venue and remind everyone to tip the bartender. Venues remember and appreciate this a lot. Remember to thank the other bands and let everyone know where they can find you on the Internet.

Step 6 – Get off stage faster than you got on. We do not have time for you to break down on stage. You should be off stage in 5 minutes or less to keep change overs as short as possible.

If you follow these easy steps you will make everyone’s night run much smoother, which means they are more likely to have you back. Plus, the show is more fun when it’s on time and running smoothly. The little details are the most important as they are the most overlooked.  
Thanks for reading. You can find more on this on The OCML Podcast, Episode 19 on Stage Etiquette.