Category: Interviews


Interview with MOD SUN

2010 was an insanely busy year for MOD SUN and 2011 is already looking like it may be an even busier year yet! When we first discovered MOD SUN, it was love at first sight for us….and we thought to ourselves how did we get so lucky? Here’s an artist with an amazing work ethic, down-to-earth personality, writes great songs, has a solid relationship with his fans (he loves them/they love him) and best of all….is one smart dude to boot!

We had a chance in late November 2010 to finally catch up with him while he was touring to snag an interview…hope you enjoy!

Interview with MOD SUN

Daily Unsigned: Talk about what MOD SUN is all about

MOD SUN: MOD SUN stands for “Movement On Dreams Stand Under None”. I classify the type of music I make as Hippy Hop. I base all of my music around finding positivity in every thing & every situation.

Daily Unsigned: What was your first memory of “rap” as a kid? Mine was reading the back of the Thriller album and seeing “Rap performed by Vincent Price” on Thriller. I asked my Mommy what “Rap was”.

MOD SUN: Hahaha, that’s awesome. Mine was seeing the Tupac “Changes” video on MTV. That’s honestly when I “found” rap.

Daily Unsigned: Rank these albums in order of importance to music 1-5: “Let’s Stay Together” – Al Green, “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back” -PE, “Revolver” -The Beatles, “Nevermind” -Nirvana, “Purple Rain”-Prince

MOD SUN: Prince, Al Green, The Beatles, Nirvana and PE

Daily Unsigned:  What’s the key to success in music as you see it through your eyes?

MOD SUN: If you are inspiring others to do better, you’re successful.

Daily Unsigned: How long have you been recording?

MOD SUN: Started recording drums at age 15. Started recording raps at age 19.

Daily Unsigned:  If you could do one (1) collaboration with an artist, dead or alive, who would it be?

MOD SUN: Hands down…….Bob Dylan.

Daily Unsigned: What’s the most ridiculous thing you have seen on tour?

MOD SUN: The wall of the hostel I was staying in rip in half due to a 7.8 on the richter scale earthquake…in New Zealand.

Daily Unsigned: Describe a MOD SUN live show.

MOD SUN: ENERGY, Sweat, Positivity, & an undeniable level of realness. Might smell like weed a lil too.

Daily Unsigned: How many days per year are you currently touring?

MOD SUN: 10 of the 12 months.

Daily Unsigned: Any advice, that is not cookie cutter, for up and coming artists?

MOD SUN: PUT OUT FREE MUSIC!!

Daily Unsigned: What are you currently listening to?

MOD SUN: Curren$y, Coltrane, Theophilus London, M.I.A., The Dream, & new MOD SUN.

Daily Unsigned: If you could leave everyone with one sentence that encapsulates who you are and the music you make…whatever it may be…what is it?

MOD SUN: “No matter what amount of negativity you are presented with, 5 minutes from now could be the best moment of your life.” -MOD SUN

Daily Unsigned: What is your take on the current state of music?

MOD SUN: Best place it’s ever been. You can go from your basement to the billboard! You can survive without a label…matter a fact, you’re better off without one!

Daily Unsigned: What was the last book that you read?

MOD SUN: “On The Road” by Jack Kerouac

Daily Unsigned: Describe your songwriting process?

MOD SUN: I only write when listening to the music. Always push to be creative. Make every song is your best song to date.

Daily Unsigned: What are 2 things you cannot live without on the road?

MOD SUN: Friends & weed.

Daily Unsigned: What websites do you and your fans frequent more than any other sites?

MOD SUN: www.themaskedgorilla.com

Advertisements

Interview with Samantha Darnell

After numerous months of trying to tie Samantha Darnell down long enough to do an interview with her…we finally landed it! Samantha is an immensely talented Singer who has a strong grasp on who she is and where she wants to go in her career…if you get in her way…trust that she will mow you over.

Interview:

Daily Unsigned: Seriously? Are you related to Daniel Boone?

Samantha Darnell: Sure am!  My great aunt researched our family tree and found out!

Daily Unsigned:  What’s your fascination with tattoos? How many do you have? Are you considering a sleeve? Is there a story behind any of them?

Samantha Darnell: I just love art and it’s another way for me to express myself and what’simportant to me.  I have 8 so far.  Each tattoo has special meaning and reminds me of who I was, who I am or who I want to be.  The nautical star on
my chest represents my many pop punk days.  I was in several pop-punk bands
and it was a huge influence on me.  On my left forearm, I have a quote by
Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of my favorite poets.  It says, “To be great is to
be misunderstood”.  We learned about Emerson in high school and it was one
of the few things that I actually took interest in because it inspired me
and I related to it.  Every day, I am misunderstood, but I stay true to
myself and am proud of who I am because it’s the oddballs that go on to
change the world.  I also have the Baltimore harbor skyline in a frame on my
forearm.  It’s not finished yet, but will be soon!  Baltimore holds many
memories for me.  I’ve played so many shows in the city.  It will always be
home to me.  I have an ’11’ on each foot because 11:11 follows me *
everywhere*.  No one believes me at first, but when they’re around me long
enough, they realize I’m telling the truth.  I laughed about it and shrugged
it off as coincidence in the beginning, but then it got to the point where I
couldn’t ignore it anymore.  I’m convinced that it means something.  Good or
bad or what exactly?  I don’t know…yet.  I have an Autism heart on my
right calf because as my job, I nanny for a boy with Autism.  His name is
Mikey and I’ve been with him for almost 7 years now!  He is my little angel.
I love him so much.  On my left upper arm, I have a vintage microphone with
stage curtains and the sheet music of the first solo I ever sang on stage in
the background.  This is the start of my full left arm sleeve!  And finally,
my favorite tattoo of all…my Bright Eyes tattoo with a yellow bird on each
side holding an end of a ribbon which is tied around a silver wreath.  Conor
Oberst is my hero and favorite artist of all time.  My favorite album is
‘I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning’.  Throughout the album, he mentions a yellow
bird.  In the song, ‘We Are Nowhere And It’s Now’, it says: She says, “These
bars are filled with things that kill.  By now you probably should have
learned.  Did you forget that yellow bird?  How could you forget your yellow
bird?”  She took a small silver wreath and pinned it on to me.  She said,
“This one will bring you love”.  And I don’t know if it’s true, but I keep
it for good luck. Ohhh…I want to plug Josh Couchenour from Flesh Tattoo who does all of my tattoos.

Daily Unsigned: You walk into a bar and ask the bartender for _____?

Samantha Darnell: Either a beer or whiskey.

Daily Unsigned: Do you collect anything? If no, then what would you collect?

Samantha Darnell: Vintage stuff/antiques!  I’m obsessed with the 1950’s and anything earlier. I could spend all day in thrift/antique stores.  It’s like treasure hunting for me.

Daily Unsigned: If you could play ANYWHERE in the world where would it be and why?

Samantha Darnell: Madison Square Garden.  I’ve been dreaming of playing there since I was little. Play there and you know you’ve hit the big time.

Daily Unsigned: Do you have any pets?

Samantha Darnell: Yep :)!  A cat named Salem and a min-pin named Remington.  They’re my babies.

Daily Unsigned: What inspires you musically?

Samantha Darnell: Life and all the feelings that come with it. Every single song is real…not just some bullshit I made up.  I sing about my experiences and could only do so.  Obviously, love (or lack thereof) is my most popular
topic, haha.

Daily Unsigned: Who is on your playlist as of today? Any bands we should check out?

Samantha Darnell: I’m really into singer/songwriter/folk stuff.  Some of my favorites are Conor Oberst, of course, Damien Rice, Regina Spektor, David Gray, KevinDevine, Amos Lee, etc. And I’m a huge jazz/blues/big band fan. Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Billie Holiday, Vera Lynn, Doris Day, Skip James, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, etc..  The lists go on and on for both.  But, a great song is a great song, so I’m open to all genres and will give anything a chance.  I want you guys to check out a fabulous band from my area called The Gentlemen!  They bring back rock n’ roll!  Their MySpace is
http://www.myspace.com/thegentlemenus .

Daily Unsigned:  If you could break a world record, what would it be?

Samantha Darnell: I’m pretty sure I’ve already broken the record as the worst driver.

Daily Unsigned: Clothing line, perfume, shoes, etc… If you had a choice, what would be the name of your personal product?

Samantha Darnell: You’ll just have to wait and find out ;).

Daily Unsigned:  What is your earliest musical memory?

Samantha Darnell: Making up my own songs on my tape recorder when I was 4 years old.

Daily Unsigned: In your opinion what is the WORST song ever?

Samantha Darnell: I’m sure I could think of a bunch, but the first that comes to mind is ‘Butterfly’ by Crazy Town.

Daily Unsigned:  Describe your music.

Samantha Darnell: Pop rock with a vintage twist.

Daily Unsigned: Vinyl, CD, Tape, MP3 or 8 Track…you are creating amnesty to one format for the rest of your life…pardon one.

Samantha Darnell: Vinyl is all I need!

Daily Unsigned: As a fan, what would be the greatest tour to see with any live or dead artists, individually or combined?

Samantha Darnell: Judy Garland, Bright Eyes, Queen and The Beatles.

Daily Unsigned: How difficult has it been for you as Unsigned Artist working towards getting momentum going with your career? Have you ever had one of those days where you said “F%^$” it I give up? What keeps you focused and energized on your music career path?

Samantha Darnell: It’s extremely difficult.  This industry is the hardest to break into, but I’m very stubborn, determined and hardworking and I just won’t take “no” as an answer.  There’s definitely been days where I’ve started to break down and been, like “Why couldn’t I have just wanted to be something more dependable and normal?”, haha.  But, I could never do it.  Music is my purpose in life.  I was born to do this.  And it’s my savior.  I’d be
absolutely miserable if I gave up.  Giving up is not an option.  And my
frans constantly keep me going with all of their support.  They’re the best <3.

Daily Unsigned:  Do you have anything new coming up music wise?

Samantha Darnell: Always!  I just finished recording my debut EP and am preparing for the release and live shows!  I’m very excited for the future and to get back on stage!

Interview with Quietdrive

Quietdrive has been moving almost non-stop since they first formed in 2002. We caught up with them recently before they again headed out on tour and had a chance  to get some insight on the inner workings of their band, the amazing relationship they have with their fans and the career path that led them to where they are today.

Interview:

Daily Unsigned: You guys formed the band in 2002…can you talk about the obstacle course in your career path that you have had to encounter and how that has affected your “big picture” goal?

Quietdrive: Well, we definitely have had a number of “obstacles”.  But, what band hasn’t? Through it all, we don’t think it’s really affected the big picture itself. Our band’s number one goal has been and will always be to create and distribute music to our fans. So going from a major label, to an independent label, to releasing our music on our own has definitely affected the way in which we go about attaining and achieving our goals, but hasn’t affected our over all goal.

Daily Unsigned:  We understand that you guys have another CD coming out on 12/14….can you talk about the writing and recording process that you endured?  How long it did it take you to write and record?  Where did you pull your inspiration to write it from?  Is there a particular theme or direction that you went with?

Quietdrive: Yeah, our self-titled full-length will be in Best Buy Stores across the country and on iTunes…Tuesday, December 14th (shamless plug : ) haha). But, the writing process started around May. We rented out a little practice space in our hometown of Minneapolis and just started writing. We hit the studio in June/July and the record was finished a month or two after that. Kevin, is our primary writer, but when we’re writing… inspiration comes from a variety of factors. Feelings, emotions, stories, friends, family, etc. it goes on. Basically, when we write a song, we try to tell a story, and if a song can convey a good story then you’ve got something special. As for themes in the record? I would say there aren’t any, but I would say that this record has a more mature sound to it. Wow, that was a long one.

Daily Unsigned:  Our staff have been fans of your band for many years and from our vantage point, it appears like your band has toured almost non-stop for almost 6 years now…with such a stressful touring schedule..how difficult has it been to have a personal life? How do you keep your relationships at home joyful while you are gone  for so many weeks and months at a time?

Quietdrive: Well first of all, that’s awesome that you guys are fans! But, yeah touring in any band can be a very stressful thing. And  it’s different for every band and every individual band member. Some guys can handle it very well, while others have trouble finding a balance. I think one thing that we’re grateful for is the amount of technology that allows us to communicate with our friends and family. I mean you’ve got cell phones where you can video conference, Skype is a big help, and you’ve got Facebook and Twitter two sites that basically let you experience someone’s life from afar (I just read that last sentence and realized how creepy that sounds, but it’s Facebook, so that sounds about right).

Daily Unsigned: We look at your band as a role-model for many of the bands out there trying to “Make It” in the music industry…what advice can you give them that has helped you?

Quietdrive: First of all, I think it’s important to talk about and define “Making It”. For some people… it’s the whole 9 yards of a label, big tour bus, world tours, Cristal flowing, maybe a drug addiction at one point, and then a behind the music.  And there is nothing wrong with that (maybe minus the drug addiction part), but you can still “Make It” or make a living in music without all that stuff. There are varying degrees of success in everything. Have good communication within your group. Make sure that you all have the same goals and that you’re all willing to work harder than you’ve ever worked in your life. Things don’t happen overnight, more so now than ever before. But, if you work hard and you want it bad enough, you’re bound to see success.

Daily Unsigned: Can you describe the relationship that you guys have with your fans? Can you share a moment or experience you had with a fan that left a long and lasting impression with you?

Quietdrive: We have a very strong connection with our fans. Without them, we’d just be five dudes. Just recently we had a group of fans help us pass out 4,000 free cds to concert goers attending the annual Jingle Ball. And for those of you not in Minneapolis, it is/was cold. I think it was like -10 or something? These fans helped and braved the beyond freezing cold for a few hours just to help spread the word for us. Truly amazing people. Thank you!

Daily Unsigned: Have you ever felt like throwing in the towel and giving up? What has kept you going?

Quietdrive: While there have been some rough points in our past we’ve been fortunate to all still have this unrelenting drive to keep pushing. I think we all just have such a huge passion for music that we can’t stop, even if we wanted to. That, and we’re five pretty good friends.

Daily Unsigned: What type of guitars and equipment do you guys play and use?

Quietdrive: JB plays on PRS McCarty through a New Vintage Amplifier and a googleplex of pedals. Will plays a modded Fender Telecaster through a Koch Amplifier.

Daily Unsigned: What are 3 things you cannot live without on the road?

Quietdrive: Gatorade G2. A hard drive with movies and tv shows. Our Minnesota Vikings blanket….it provides warmth and is the perfect padding when propping up a laptop for a van movie.

Daily Unsigned: What’s the key to success in music as you see it through your eyes?

Quietdrive: Being able to create, perform, and distribute music with people you love, for people you love, your fans.

Daily Unsigned: What social media outlet do you guys use the most to stay connected with your fans and why?

Quietdrive: We use Facebook and Twitter primarily, but we also use Formspring and a few others. Facebook is probably our primary outlet, and I think that is because it’s just the most established, our fans have had their own profiles on the network for a long time, and it’s so versatile and easy when it comes to posting.

To purchase their new album or to find out more about Quietdrive, please visit them at www.QuietdriveMusic.com

Enjoy their new music video!

Hoodie Allen

Hoodie Allen is a Rap Artist hailing from Long Island, New York. Hoodie  writes great “Pop” songs with intelligent lyrics and is able to serve them up to you with perfect cadence and with a style all to his own. Hoodie has been super busy lately touring in support of his most recent mixtape “Pep Rally” and we were lucky enough to get a few minutes with him to snag an interview. Hope you enjoy!

Interview:

Daily Unsigned: Hoodie Allen? Is that a nickname? Is there a story behind your name?

Hoodie: Yes, Hoodie is a nickname and I kind of adapted it all to a little tongue-in-cheek pun. It just stuck.

Daily Unsigned: Describe your process of writing? What influences and inspiration do you pull from when writing and crafting your songs? Do you make the beats first and then lyrics?

Hoodie: I feel like I’m constantly writing and hearing melodies. I’ll sit down and jot it out but much of the process does start by being inspired by a beat I have and then going from there.  I just write about what I’m feeling–what’s
on my mind? Usually freestyling to the beat will conjur up a melody or an
idea that sticks and then I run with it.

Daily Unsigned: Have you ever performed at a real high school pep rally? And would you?

Hoodie Allen: I haven’t but I would haha I know that my own high school played my music during their pep rally this year which was funny.

Daily Unsigned: If you could do a song collaboration with anyone, who would it be and why?

Hoodie Allen: Can I take the production efforts of Mark Ronson and guest vocals from Amy Winehouse? Right now that’d be fresh to me.

Daily Unsigned: What was the song that broke you out? What started the hype around Hoodie Allen?

Hoodie: In June, I released a song called “You Are Not A Robot” and that was the catalyst for everything that followed.

Daily Unsigned: What are your future plans for 2011?

Hoodie Allen: Being the king of content. New music, a lot more visuals, a lot more shows. Let people really get a better picture of who I am and where I want to fit in the music world.

Daily Unsigned: As an up and coming emerging artist, what advice can you lend to others  following the same career path as you?

Hoodie: DON’T DO IT! Nah I’m kidding. Be passionate, don’t get frustrated and do what you believe in and eventually it will get it’s proper shine.

Fresh: Look At What We Started

Link: www.myspace.com/hoodieallen

Contact: hoodieallenmusic@gmail.com

Interview with Immune

We recently had a chance to sit down and pick the brains of LA based Rock Band, Immune….enjoy!

*When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music together?
Rob Shulze (vocals/guitar) started the band in Providence, RI and we relocated to LA in July 2004. We went through several lineup changes after we got here – our current drummer (Johnny Skaare) came onboard in 2004, our lead guitarist (Joao Brandi, straight outta Brasil) joined up in 2006, and our bassist (Drew Worsley) joined in 2008. We’re inspired by the common goal of writing great songs and playing the shit out of them live! We want to keep working hard and improving all the time, so I’d say we’re inspired by the pursuit of excellence (that sounds like a bad motivational quote for a sports team, but fuck it).

*Where have you performed? What are your favorite and least favorite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?
You name it, we’ve played it. We started out like most bands do – parties, tiny clubs, benefit shows, acoustic gigs, and all of the other places a band plays when it’s just getting started. We slowly but surely worked our way up to better clubs on the Sunset Strip and in Hollywood – Whisky, Roxy, Viper Room, Knitting Factory (I think it closed) and Key Club, and then we started working with Live Nation in 2009 and moved up to House of Blues Sunset Strip, Anaheim and San Diego. This summer has been a huge step forward – we played the first date of Mayhem Festival with Korn and Rob Zombie as well as the first date of Ozzfest, both at San Manuel Amphitheater. That would have to be our favorite venue because of the size and importance of the shows we played there. House of Blues and Key Club are great too. Least favorite? We’d rather stay positive than bash any particular venue. The bottom line is that at some point in time we wanted to play there and they helped make it happen, so no point in negativity, right?
Upcoming shows as of now are House of Blues for Rock Sugar’s residency on 9/6 and Cinespace for the mighty Rock Monday on 9/20. More dates to be announced soon.

*Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? Do you think these topics will change over time? We write as a team and have a great process. Rob will come up with a new song and work it out pretty well as far as structure and basic ideas and then we run with it as a group. Occasionally a song will develop from a jam session or a riff or random idea, too. We cover some pretty heavy and powerful themes with our music – politics, war, peace, religion, personal freedom and accountability, family dynamics, relationships…you name it. Each song has a unique identity. We try not to repeat ourselves, and whatever the topic, we try to write lyrics and music we can be proud of and that people can relate to – that is the point, after all. We want to connect with our audience. There’s no way to predict how much the topics might change over time…we can state with certainty that we won’t be writing anything along the lines of “California Gurls” or “Tik Tok”. Ever.

*Could you briefly describe the music-making process?
Rob comes up with an arrangement which usually has the melodies, lyrics, and details worked out pretty well. Then we start jamming and experimenting with the basic framework until we feel good about how the song sounds. We usually don’t wait too long before we play a new song live – best to just throw caution to the wind and go for it. Testing new material in front of an audience always helps. But a song is never truly finished until it goes under the microscope of a producer in the studio.

*Top 10 Favorite Spots in LA
Pig ‘N Whistle – Tuesday night blues jam
Santa Monica Pier/3rd Street Promenade
Venice/Hermosa/Manhattan Beach
In N Out Burger
Poquito Mas
Priscilla’s (coffee shop in Burbank)
Rainbow Room/Sunset Strip in general
ArcLight Theater
Griffith Park
Hollywood Bowl

Link: www.myspace.com/immunerock

%d bloggers like this: