Watch CVLTVRE’s new music video titled “Birthday Song”

Inland Empire’s Post Hardcore band CVLTVRE released a new music video for their song “Birthday Song” which is taken from the bands upcoming album “All Life is // Act.1 An Act of Letting Go” which is scheduled to be released on February 16, 2018 through Standby Records.

This extended play is part of a four-part series dealing with self-purpose and identity. “Drown” is the first single off the EP, and it specifically deals with control over situations you have none in, and learning to accept it.

Check out the video down below and don’t forget to follow the band on social media.
Facebook  | Instagram | Twitter
Also, you can pre- order the new album here: Merch | Itunes

Of Ennui on Their Love for Chula Vista & Not Writing About Yourself

(UPDATE 1/18/18: Of Ennui has unfortunately had to cancel their set at Friday’s show due to a health issue within the band. OCML sincerely wishes them all the best as we move forward with Hawk Auburn, The Slashes & a TBD replacement.)

To build up hype for this Friday’s no-cover showcase at Chula Vista’s Manhattan Bar (courtesy of our sister company, the San Diego Music League), we’ve talked to a couple of the bands on the bill. Following yesterday’s conversation with The Slashes, we chatted with Chula Vista’s own Of Ennui. Lead vocalist/guitarist Brian Strauss gives fascinating takes on his hometown’s unique place in the SD music world, how each member adds to the band’s dynamically heavy sound, and the artistic joys of writing lyrics from a character’s point of view.

This interview was edited down slightly for clarity. No major points or context were changed.

How do you like to describe Of Ennui’s overall sound/themes/ideas for the uninitiated?

Strauss: Of Ennui is dynamic, ethereal music. We play some really heavy music, but it’s punctuated by bursts of really beautiful playing as well as cathartic, melancholic lyricism. We bounce between some really sternum-crushing doom & long dream-like musical tangents.

That dynamic comes through strongly in one of your newest songs, “Doom in Bloom,” really piling on the crescendos & general intensity as it moves along. Can you talk about how that track came together?

Strauss: That track was the last song written before Angus [Garcia] joined us on bass. At that point, our songs were initiated by a guitar riff from Christian [Cate] or myself. In this case, I started the song, and Christian compensated for the lack of bass by playing primarily low tone guitar parts. Christian has an amazing ability to compliment whatever melodies I come up with, and I think our musical chemistry largely stems from the intensity of our friendship over the last 13 years. When you add a musical prodigy like [drummer] Indigo [Machado] to the mix, it takes the song to another level. Angus joined shortly after, and his bass parts proved a monumental force behind the power our songs wield.

I wrote the lyrics as a direct response to [Jack] Kerouac’s claim that he would die an old man with a book shelf filled with works all bearing his name. And I suppose it grapples with the mortality he must have faced coming to terms with the fact that that dream would not come to fruition, and I applied those sentiments to a fictional character.

When you’re writing from the perspective of other people, real or fictional, what would you say you get out of that creatively?

Strauss: I think it’s more challenging, which is where most of the creative satisfaction is derived from. If I just write about my own life, well that’s not very interesting, is it? Anyone can write about their own life, but it takes imagination to write about concepts that don’t directly apply to you. You have to sort of graft these sentiments that you might feel in real-life situations & apply them to how you imagine these fictional scenarios would go. It’s less about the characters & more about the sentiment behind them.

And it’s really silly when you realize how often people will automatically assume you’re writing about yourself when they hear your songs. Take for instance the assumption that because I’m a man, all my songs are written in the character of a man, but really who’s to say my songs aren’t based in a woman’s perspective? Or from a different socio-economic perspective? Sexuality? Race? All of these things are traits we make assumptions of based on how we perceive an author, which is fair to a degree, but it’s also really limiting to the audience and the writer. And that’s how you end up with some dullard collection of songs that are all bland hetero-normative “love” songs pretending to be depressed.

The show you’re playing is in Chula Vista. As a band from that area, what can you speak to about its music scene?

Strauss: Chula Vista is an intense city. There’s a vibrant DIY scene & even more prevalent is the trans-border community. It’s amazing to see it flowering the way it is, and how interconnected all of those individuals have become. We’re going to be at the Manhattan on Friday, which is a little dive bar not too far from where most of us in the band grew up. As a kid I always used to make the walk to Broadway & G to the thrift store across the street, so it’s funny to me that we’re older and still doing so much of the same.

I think the big thing lacking in Chula Vista right now is a stable set of venues. Most shows in Chula Vista are house shows, which is great for the all-ages scene, but it also means there’s a big bridge to cross between all-ages & 21+ scenes because it’s all so geographically compartmentalized. In that way Chula Vista is a bit cut off from the rest of the music community, but damn near everyone in it fights tooth & nail to be heard, to be seen, and to be able to build opportunities if we aren’t finding them from traditional outlets. There’s just a crazy amount of diversity, and I think people are really starting to see Chula Vista as a place that’s fostering all these bored suburban kids who grow up to start these fantastic projects.

Following that show, what do we have to look forward to from Of Ennui in 2018?

Strauss: February will see the release of our second EP, Tone Poems, a sprawling collage of sounds that represents everything we’ve done in the last year. New merch, new music videos, and as always, a ton of live shows. We haven’t done a music video since before Indigo & Angus joined, so that will be especially exciting to premiere. I always tell my bandmates that I want us to be one of the hardest working bands in town, so you can expect us to stay true to that.

For more on Of Ennui, check out their Bandcamp, like them on Facebook & follow them on Instagram!

The Slashes: A Pre-Show Talk with San Diego’s Post-Punk Outsiders

To build up hype for this Friday’s no-cover showcase at Chula Vista’s Manhattan Bar (courtesy of our sister company, the San Diego Music League), we’ve talked to a couple of the bands on the bill. First, we chatted with The Slashes’ lead singer/guitarist Esteban Rene about their vintage post-punk style, their position as outsiders of the scene, and how his time as a bay captain inspired a song off their last album.

How do you like to describe The Slashes’ overall sound/themes/ideas for the uninitiated?

We are best described as post-punk, like we walked the wet London streets circa 79/80’s. So there’s a bit of the Britpop vibe as well. Lyrically like Edgar Alan Poe meets Iggy Pop. A 3-piece band from SD. All members are of Mexican decent. We all wear black, and song themes include love lost, disaffection, nautical life.

Nautical life stands out as a pretty interesting topic. What song comes to mind first as exploring that, and where did you draw the inspiration from?

I’m a licensed captain. The song is called “Compass Rose.” It’s on our debut self-titled record. I wrote it while on a cruise around the San Diego bay. The story is about 2 people trying to escape this city, specifically San Diego. She is stuck, and he’s coming to rescue her and take her away via ship- it’s that simple really. However, she disappears…

 

Definitely feeling the post-punk influence in the guitar tones & vocal style. Now like you alluded to, most of the songs you have out are from your 2015 album. What about your style has changed between that & the material you’re working on now?

We’ve simplified. Songs are shorter, faster, a little more aggressive & punchier. [We’re] working on a new EP. We have one [song] ready for listening [on our website] called “NuNu’s.” It’s about a once-popular bar, our hangout. It’s about living it up & enjoying a night out.

Speaking of bars actually, you’re kicking the new year for the band off next Friday at Chula Vista’s Manhattan Bar. What can you say about how that area’s local scene has helped/treated you guys?

Well we haven’t played Manhattan Bar before, [but we] have heard good things about it! There’s a lot of bands that play in the SD scene. Not a lot of bands like us, but that’s cool.

It’s been challenging getting decent gigs. We are by far not the darlings of the scene… if you’re not kissing the right arses, well, you know how cliques work. We have had [91X Loudspeaker host] Tim Pyles & [Casbah owner] Tim Mays help along the way. We just haven’t gotten a major push by the gatekeepers, if you will. We are the outsiders.

And following that show, what do we have to look forward to from The Slashes in 2018?

Currently booking a west coast tour, still in the making. Some possible gigs in NYC. We have new material recorded; just trying to find the right price to mix & master! [We’ll] keep you posted!

Catch The Slashes this Friday, January 19th at Manhattan Bar!

For more on the band, check out their website, like them on Facebook & follow them on Twitter.

Planning your Album Release from Beginning to End with Tommy Prevost | OCML Podcast

Episode 65
Planning your Album Release from Beginning to End
with Tommy Prevost 

At some point every musician is ready to release their latest music either online or in physical form. Tommy Prevost gives us an insight on what he has experienced as a musician. He explains his songwriting process, how he chooses what studio to work with. What he went through to choose the right artwork. The differences he experienced when he was recording the first album and his latest one. 

 You will learn about:

  1. The difference between recording at home and a rehearsal studio. 
  2. Researching and Choosing your recording studio. 
  3. Planning and preparing is the name of the game.

Thank you for stopping by and listening to the OCML Podcast! We are a group of promoters, artists, and fans that enjoy local music! Our main focus is to introduce you the listener into our world of the local music scene. You will gain a perspective and knowledge from us the promoters, fellow artists and fans that host this show. It will also help you get a better idea of the local music scene and how it works. If you like what you hear, subscribe using the links down below.

Song of the week
The Sly Digs – Patchouli

The Revies on the “Underlying Mexican-American-ness” of Their Emotional New EP

When coming up as a rock band, it’s one thing to come from a different scene. It’s another to come from a different country. Fortunately, The Revies have made great strides over the years to integrate themselves at a few musical hot spots along the southern U.S. border. Their next stop: opening at this Saturday’s no-cover showcase at the Rush Bar in Lake ForestSo ahead of the event, we talked with lead singer/guitarist Etienne Rosas about the history of the band, how their cultural identity affects their music, and the new material this prolific trio is prepping for 2018.

How do you like to describe The Revies’ sound/themes/ideas for the uninitiated?

Rosas: The Revies formed in Monterrey, Mexico in around 2007, so you can be sure that the band’s sound has undergone several phases and taken from varied influences. Generally, we have a classic garage rock feel with some “alternative blues” mixed into it, along the vein of Jack White and Audioslave, but borrowing heavily from old greats like The Beatles and [Led] Zeppelin. The band’s underlying Mexican-American-ness shines through a lot in our musical ideas, not just through Spanish lyrics, but through the themes of dual identity the band itself has grappled with over the years. Ultimately though, these themes have given us a compelling reason to develop a unique sound that captures who we are.

What’s a recent case where you especially felt that identity shine through as an inspiration?

Rosas: Our most recent EP was titled Heartwoken, and despite that being the name of 1 of the songs on the EP, we thought it was a really apt and all-encompassing name for our first EP in Los Angeles. The idea of Heartwoken is about hope in the face of defeat: the notion that apparent failure or disappointment lights a bright fire for reinvention, and in many ways, sets you free. This EP came out right after the 2016 election, and during an emotional time of our music career with our first steps in LA. Despite how bleak the environment could seem, I suppose this was our way of pushing forward and keeping faith in ourselves.

What was your experience like finding your way in the rock world in SoCal?

Rosas: We had actually played quite a bit in the US before (especially Austin) and always got a great response from American audiences, but SoCal and LA in particular were pretty different than what we expected. Initially, it was hard to land gigs that were not pay-to-play, and the gigs we did land were often not the kind that had built-in crowds. It was tough going from a comfortable and compact scene in Monterrey, where we had built a decent following, to a pretty spread-out and competitive city like LA where we essentially started from scratch.

That being said, we found some encouraging solidarity with other great bands and little by little played our way up to better stages, and that ball seems to be rolling a lot smoother now. It’s definitely a tough cookie to crack, but as big and daunting as it is, it also provides a ton of opportunities if you know where to look.

Coming off that recent EP, what do we have to look forward to from The Revies in 2018?

Rosas: We’re actually working on a new set of tracks that we plan to put out around March, and we’re really excited to play new material live. So short answer would be a lot more kickass shows. Our plan is to have a West Coast tour in the summer to present that EP, and in the meantime expand our stomping grounds to areas outside of LA. We don’t really know where any of that might lead in the bigger picture, but we really enjoy the ride. So we’ll keep it going as long as we can.

Catch The Revies this Saturday, January 13th at the Rush Bar!

For more on the band, follow them on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Heartwoken is available at “Name Your Price” on Bandcamp.

An Interview with The Naked I: The Sound, the Scene & the Spin Doctors

The Naked I proudly call themselves “your mom’s favorite local band,” a label accurate in all the right ways. Ahead of this Saturday’s no-cover showcase at the Rush Bar in Lake Forest, we chatted with lead singer Dakota Ringer about the old-school rock sound they bring to the scene, the artistic music video they just filmed, and 1 very productive shower…

How do you like to describe The Naked I’s sound/themes/ideas for the uninitiated?
Dakota: We are a 5-piece rock band that all grew up on classic rock, blues and funk! Those genres are very apparent in our songs, but we like to give them a contemporary kick in order to make them more appealing to a larger audience!

What bands did you really feel the influence of while making your new EP Grin and Bear It?
Dakota: I wouldn’t say there was one band that influenced us in particular, but one band we get compared to a lot is the Spin Doctors. Aside from the 2 songs that everyone knows by them (“Two Princes” and “Little Miss Can’t be Wrong”), they are a RAD jam band with a lot of our same sound; Up-tempo blues rock with a funky rhythm section. We rely heavily on Sean and Alexander (bass and drums) to really spice up our tunes.

What track stands out as starting from an interesting place?
Dakota: One of our new songs “Sunglasses Song” definitely has a pretty cliché story attached. The main riff of the song came from a shameless shower-jam session, and as soon as I got out, I grabbed a guitar and wrote the whole song in about an hour or so. It’s a fun, upbeat, beer-drinkin’ party song that I wrote in the shower…

 

As a band originally from San Diego, playing both there and OC, what do you think makes each of these local scenes special?
Dakota: The music scene in Southern California is a tough ocean to wade through! There are so many good bands hidden within this place and you’ve gotta hustle extra hard in order to break through at all. The bands within the scene are so supportive though, no one would ever step on a smaller guy to gain success. They’d rather help the small guy try to grow to their level, because they deserve to be heard!

What do we have to look forward to from The Naked I in 2018?
Dakota: 2018 should be a good year for the band! We ended 2017 on a very high note, getting radio play on local stations like 91X and an on-air interview where we got to discuss our album release party at the Casbah on January 15th. We are starting the year off with a bang, releasing our first major EP!

And coming soon is a music video for our new song “Further from Freedom,” which we just wrapped the filming for. The local art scene in San Diego and LA came together to create a music video that would make people think we had a very high budget. We had top of the line cameras, lighting rigs, a professional film crew, and actors willing to work for food! The passion for creating amazing art down here in San Diego is sometimes overwhelming. We are so lucky to have everyone we had working on it and its gonna be a stellar release! Should be releasing within the next couple weeks we believe…

Catch The Naked I this Saturday, January 13th at the Rush Bar!

For more on the band, check out their website and Like them on Facebook.

 

Learn what it takes to be a hired musician in the music scene with John Tessin | OCML Podcast


Today we have John Tessin stop by and chat with us about the life of a hired musician. John works for bands that need a musician either on a live performance or in a studio. We talk about what it takes to to jump into a world where your income and your future is in your hands. 

On this Episode you will learn:
1. What it takes to be a hired gun (musician)
2. What state of mentality and awareness you need to succeed.
3. How to find gigs as a hired musician.

Thank you for stopping by and listening to the OCML Podcast! We are a group of promoters, artists, and fans that enjoy local music! This Podcast will help up the up and coming artist get to know the local music scene. You will gain a perspective and knowledge from us the promoters, fellow artists and fans that host this show. It will also help you get a better idea of the local music scene and how it works. If you like what you hear, subscribe using the links provided down below.

Special shout out to the song/band of the week: 
Make sure you follow them on their social media.
Facebook  | Instagram  |  Website 

Bristol To Memory- It’s Ok


 

Exclusive interview with Jack Underkofler from the band, Dead Poet Society

How do you like to describe Dead Poet Society’s sound/themes/ideas for the uninitiated?
Jack: Our band likes to aim our sound toward anything that inspires us. It changes constantly, especially with this new music we’re currently working on. Right now, I think we all listen to a bunch of different music. Frank Turner, Kendrick Lamar, Alabama Shakes, St. Vincent… the list goes on. Historical events and weird imagery also inspire our sound. There’s something so fascinating about writing a song based around something that actually happened, or creating a story for a character in a piece of art. Every song we write is for the sole purpose of taking you on a fucking ruthless, emotional sonic roller coaster.


What’s a recent case of a real event inspiring one of your songs that particularly stands out to you?
Jack: We have a new song that is based on a short story from H.P. Lovecraft called “The Color Out of Space.” We also wrote a song called “Van Gogh” about one of his paintings called Café Terrace at Night. There’s a woman in the painting dressed in white, who looks like she works at the café. We wrote the song based on her perspective and how she’s working a tough job and having a rough night, yet the painting looks so peaceful and pleasant.

The video for your recent single “Under My Skin” consisted of clips submitted by fans. What was your experience in looking through all these people singing/playing your song? Did anything surprise you?
Jack: It was kind of insane. We were kind of surprised people submitted at all. We were expecting maybe one person and then all these videos came pouring in the last few days. We watched through all of them and, not gonna lie, we were freaking out.


I’m sure. And with that excitement for the new material in mind, what are Dead Poet Society’s plans for 2018?
Jack: We are hard at work writing new music. That’s our top goal is just [to] make the best music we can, and then some. We’re looking at working with a producer for these new songs, which we haven’t done before, so that’s pretty exciting. We also have some big stuff we can’t quite talk about yet, but I can say we have tours in the works, many shows to play.

(answered by singer Jack Underkofler)
Make sure to follow the band on social media and stay up to date on their shows
Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Website 

5 Photographers to look out for in 2018

The Local Music Scene is more than just musicians on stage. It is comprised of Designers, Photographer, Promoters, Venues, Writers, Videographers etc. Today, we bring you the 5 Photographers to look out for in 2018. You might see them working at a EDM Show, House Show, Warped Tour, etc. These are the guys that make your local show look like the “place to be”
Major props to these guys and make sure to follow them on their respective social media. 

1. Zack Perez

Social Media Links:
 FACEBOOK  |  WEBSITE  |  INSTAGRAM

Did you go to school for Photography?
I did not go to school for photography, I am self taught via Youtube University haha. 

What influenced you to get into photography?
Back in 2013 I started booking shows, at these shows a lot of my friends in the scene were getting into photography. Some of which were getting really great at their craft. I approached a couple and received some amazing advice, including the recommendation on what type of camera to pick up. Surprisingly I’m still using the first camera I ever bought, the Sony A6000. Huge thanks to my friend Johann Ramos aka The Work Of JAR for showing me the way and giving me a ton of tips starting out.

How would you describe your style?
I would say my style is very much so a strange mix of old school vintage film with a dreamy type saturated look that you’d see in a painting or abstract art. Many photographers put a lot of work into making their photos look “realistic” or “true to life”. My approach is completely opposite. I want to create art that is both detailed yet gives you an other worldly type vibe.

What is one piece of advice, you’d give, up and coming photographers?
My best piece of advice would be to:
1. Do your research before buying gear. Everyone’s style is different and not every camera fits every type of work. Also remember that you can mostly teach yourself everything you’ll need to get into photographyvideography by doing research online. 
2. Don’t try to shoot/edit your photos/videos to look like everyone else’s. Your work stands out best when you do something completely unique. People will respect your individual style and gravitate towards it, as it is a fresh breath of air.

Lastly, download lightroom & learn to use it well. Color grading/science is possibly the most important thing to master in photography. Using good colors can completely transform an image/video. Don’t forget to have fun & experiment!

2. Kitty Catalino

Social Media Links:
 FACEBOOK  |  INSTAGRAM


Did you go to school for Photography?
Not a whole lot, but enough to get the grasp of it. I took a class my senior of high school where I learned to do both film and digital photography. I also took a semester in college as well while pursuing my Bachelors degree in Graphic and Multimedia Design at DeVry University. Besides from that, everything else I have learned was all done by trial and error.

What influenced you to get into photography?
As mentioned, I took a photography class my senior year of high school, but that was only because I needed an extra class to get the credits I needed to graduate. My parents had bought me a kit that came with a beginner level DSLR and 2 lenses. After that class I never really went back to it until I took a semester in college. I wanted to get back into it but I just wasn’t sure where to begin. It wasn’t until I walked into the back of a record store one day to see my cousins old band perform that I would start a new beginning for myself. I wasn’t really sure what I was doing at the time and that showed in my work. Pictures came out absolutely terrible. At the end of the show, the promoter running the event came up to me asking if I could come back to more of his shows to take pictures. I really did enjoy shooting that first show, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to shooting a few more. After doing a few more shows, I learned that music photography is where my heart lied. Wouldn’t have found my passion if I wasn’t for the promoter and my very good friend Nolan.

How would you describe your style?
Describing what my own style is kind of tough. I like to just tell myself to “Just go shoot.” When it comes down to it, I enjoy bringing things to life. I love making colors pop in my images and enjoy capturing raw emotions. I am someone who just wears black all the time so it is always funny to think that I enjoy viewing the world in color. 

What is one piece of advice, you’d give, up and coming photographers?   
Taking amazing pictures takes time. Photography is one of those things that requires a lot of patience whether you are trying to figure out the right settings or having to deal with the editing software. The more you go out and shoot, the more you are going to learn things. Sometimes you will even learn a thing or two on accident that becomes your go to technique. Things are not always going to go perfectly and there will be times that you are going to have to get out of your comfort zone and that is okay because you will be able to say that at least you tried. I have been doing this for a good while, and I am amazed to see how far I have come. There have been times that I just wanted to quit but I was able to keep going through the help of the people who have supported me. So if you are a photographer reading this, never give up. Keep at it and over time you will surely be rewarded.

3. James Gross 

Social Media Links:
FACEBOOK  
|  WEBSITE  |  INSTAGRAM
Did you go to school for Photography?
No, I started off with very basic courses in high school and was self-taught afterwards. 

What influenced you to get into photography?
My father gave me my first camera when I was 15 and I ended up falling in love with the craft.

How would you describe your style?
Dark, moody, cinematic.

What is one piece of advice, you’d give, up and coming photographers?

Never ever give up on your craft. You can always improve, you can always learn. There will always be someone out there that is better than you at any given moment but it’s your job as an artist to adapt, and to improve on your short-comings. Experience is the best teacher and I always recommend just diving in the deep end and immersing yourself in it. Collab with other artists and shoot what you love and you will see your photos improve tenfold.

4. Gene Ramirez

Social Media Links:
 FACEBOOK  |  INSTAGRAM

Did you go to school for Photography? 
I never went to school for photography, I just kinda went on YouTube and read a lot about the terminology and how to adjust to each environment. I think I spent a whole two weeks locked up in my ex girlfriends room just reading and watching and learning everything inside and out before I actually went out and started shooting.

What influenced you to get into photography?

I guess I’ve watched so many bands and played so many shows that I always wanted to know what it would be like to capture those moments, and that energy of a band you know? So I picked up a camera in hopes of learning how to capture emotion and energy and really captivate a viewer and make them think about what they’re looking at.
How would you describe your style?
My style is I guess more old fashioned. I’m not super huge into editing like other photographers, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, however I think a photo should stand on its own and make a statement before you start adding presets or filters(for lack of a better term).
What is one piece of advice, you’d give, up and coming photographers?
A piece of advice I’d give newer photographers is to read a lot about the camera that you have. Learn the controls inside and out and make sure you understand most of the terminology. It’s over bearing at first and there’s a huge learning curve, but once you catch on, things get easier and you won’t spend too much time being frustrated at yourself (although that is definitely part of being an artist).

5.
ShotsByMatt


Social Media Links:
 FACEBOOK  |  WEBSITE  |  INSTAGRAM 

Did you go to school for photography? 
I actually did not! I originally went to university as an English major. The goal going into university was to land a job with Alternative Press as a music journalist. I originally decided to major in English because I wanted to keep my options open once I got my degree. After talking to my high school Journalism teacher, and a couple of mentors, I decided halfway through my education to go to the registrar’s office and officially swap my major to Communications with an Emphasis in Journalism. It was during that time that I met my good friend Corey who started ConcertCrap.com. He asked me to cover the inaugural Self Help Festival in San Bernardino for his publication. He was impressed with my writing and work ethic that he invited me to join his team.
I was the second member to join his publication and together we have grown that dream to a 32,000+ collective following on Facebook/Instagram as well as 3,200 unique monthly readers on the official site. I will say, however, I took two photo classes in university: Film Photography and Photojournalism. Both classes were mandated by the Communications department of my university so I had no choice in the matter. I had very little experience going into that class. Up until that point, I was still shooting on “Auto” on my family’s Canon PowerShot camera.
My professors was very critical as well. I didn’t like that aspect of my professor at first, however, because of her professionalism and her attention to detail, it helped me become a better photographer once I left her class. I started with Film Photography as my first class and I’m really glad I did because that forced me to shoot manual and learn how to operate the controls of the camera to get desired looks and exposures. Working hard to learn how to operate the manual controls of the camera helped me excel in my photojournalism class I took later on. It got to a point where I developed my skill set so well that friends and classmates were taking notice in my work and encouraging me to apply my photo skills outside of university. That push is what lead me to start shooting shows. Not only was I able to give back to my scene, but I was also able to live out both my passions at the same time.
What influences you to get into photography.
School, blogging and the music scene (primarily the pop punk scene of the early 2010s’.) When you follow certain bands on social media, you typically noticed someone who’s always tagged in their posts as the photographer. The repetition of these tags only promotes curiosity to learn more about these photographers. Artists that initially got my attention and kind of started the flames of my photo passion were Adam Elmakias, Kayla Surico, and Dan Bassini. I really like how intimate their shots were and how they portrayed the bands I was passionate about. I respected the art form, but at that time, never in a million years did I think I could do the things that they did. I initially shot shows because I had to and because being a music journalist means being as flexible with your craft as possible since press accommodates can be slim for independent publications. Fast forward to 2018 and I’m doing all the things I once thought that were impossible for a person such as myself. If there is anything to take away from this is that nothing is impossible if you apply yourself and there are many avenues to success. You don’t have to follow a certain path to achieve your dreams or live the life you always wanted to have. If anything, I encourage the people that follow my work and anyone reading this now to be a trailblazer this year. Dare to go against the grain and march to the beat of your own drum.
How would you describe your photography?
I would say late 80s’/90s’ film inspired. It’s changed over the years, but lately I have been trying really hard to emulate color grades that are reminiscent of different film rolls from that time era. I love nostalgic influences in art. In addition, trying to emulate that style takes me back to my childhood and that in itself makes me real happy. I’ll try to incorporate light streaks or digital textures into my work whenever I can and when it feels appropriate. I also like to put a cinematic feel to my work as well, however, I apply that style more to my video work more than my stills. When I say “cinematic,” I mean a teal/orange color grade combo, letter box cropping and smooth clips. I learned a lot about color grading, color correction and experimentation from my friend JAR (Johann Arteaga Ramos) and studying his work. Definitely check out him and his work out!
What is one piece of advice, you’d give, up and coming photographers?
As cliche as it is, my advice is to truly never give up. If you go down this path, you will eventually doubt yourself and become your worst enemy. It’s happened to me, it’s happened to other photographers I care about and I’m sure a lot of professionals go through the same valleys as well. In these times, you’ll find very reason to give up. However, if you truly love photography/videography and you really want to pursue you passion, I urge you in those trying moments to endure and to keep shooting despite how difficult it may be.
I also encourage aspiring photogs to always be hungry for knowledge. There is so much to be learned in this field, and the more you learn, the more skilled of an artist you’ll become. One of the best ways to learn is to find a mentor in your area and “shadow” them whenever possible. Most professional photogs will be open to helping you out because they too once were beginners and remember how hard it was as well. Aspiring photogs occasionally message me for advise and I always do my best to help in anyway I can. In addition, I encourage both bands and photogs to remember the ABCs’ of networking: Always Be Communicating. If you’re not taking every chance you get to market yourself and your craft, you’re slowly pushing yourself away from your goals.
Make it a constant goal to always network with industry professionals and to always put your craft/portfolio “out there.” We live in a very fast-paced and ever-changing world. If you’re not keeping up, you’re being left behind. It’s tough to say, but it is the unfortunate truth. My friend Chris Anderson of In Urgency once told me, “As long as you’re inching toward your goals each day, that’s all that matters. Even if it’s a small task like going to the store to buy gear, that will help your overall goals by being efficient with your time and being more prepared overall.” “There’s no such thing as ‘spare time,’ no such thing as ‘free time,’ no such thing as ‘down time.’ All you have is ‘life time.’ Go.” -Henry Rollins. Today’s your day. You have 24 hours. The question is, will you invest your time to get closer to your goals or will you waste the time you currently have? Rest is important and of course I advocate for a healthy balance of work and rest, however, even when you’re resting, I feel it’s critical to always be planning ahead so you can get to where you want to be.

The Difference between a Promoter, Manager, Booking Agent Tour Manager with Mike Brennan | OCML Podcast

Mike Brennan stops by and chats about his experience in the local music scene. His experience with the change of the industry. You will learn..
1. The Expectations of the Local Music Scene.
2. How the change of the industry changed the ways the local music works.
3. The Guidelines to Screwing up.
4.The Dissolution of the middle class (managers, local records labels etc)

Thank you for stopping by and listening to the OCML Podcast! We are a group of promoters, artists, and fans that enjoy local music! This Podcast will help up the up and coming artist get to know the local music scene. You will gain a perspective and knowledge from us the promoters, fellow artists and fans that host this show. It will also help you get a better idea of the local music scene and how it works. If you like what you hear, subscribe using the links provided down below.