Category: Music

And the Winner is…Missy and Chelsea!

And the Winner is…Missy and Chelsea!

Without further adieu, the winner of the Fall 500 Dollar Battle of the Bands: Missy and Chelsea!:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDEqrdUxd4s&w=560&h=315]

As in the Spring, it was a tight contest. Missy and Chelsea will receive a check for 500 dollars. Both Pound and Bee in the Bonnet will also be receiving prizes to be named as thanks for their great submissions and support. Today we wrap up our first calender year since resuming publication, and what an amazing year it was:

Emily Sophia Van Binsbergen, James Morrow and Chris Davis worked with us on the relaunch, Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands and Floozzie Shooz took the honors in our first 500 Dollar Battle of the Bands, novelists RB Wood, Leah Petersen and Tim Queeney gave us great interviews, HARAH Designs provided our first fashion profile, Michele Kishita and Dennis Young shared their spectacular artwork, DJ Konai shared his take on the music industry, and Kathy Freeman, Reverence, Pound and Bee in the Bonnet gave us high- end music submissions.

And now, a special shout-out to Bill Madison, for both his amazing material and the introductions he made for us: One Song World and, as a result, Indie Bible. As a result of our Indie Bible listing, we have a five month log of submissions (but keep them coming, we will get to you!). Thanks Bill!

Here’s to great and successful 2013 for all of us – drunkenmermaid.com.

Happy Holidays from drunkenmermaid.com!

Happy Holidays from drunkenmermaid.com!

Thanks to all our viewers globally for their contributions in 2012. We’ll be announcing the winner of the 500 Dollar Battle of the Bands on New Year’s Eve. Today we have a special treat for you, the last finalist in the contest and one of our favorite artists, period – Bulgaria’s own Bee in the Bonnet. For those of you who missed it over the summer, here’s their video Sundays:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt-VqlH_V44&w=420&h=315]
Martin, Bogdan, Krasimir, and Teodora are supporting their new album Tick Your Time and Tock the Rest of It, which is available on iTunes and in our Amazon store. We’ve posted the video for Blue on our facebook page.

Make sure to let us know who you like best – Missy and Chelsea, Pound, or Bee in the Bonnet!

Happy Holidays.

 

They're Back! Fan favorites Pound continue the Battle of the Bands

They're Back! Fan favorites Pound continue the Battle of the Bands

The 500 dollar Battle of the Bands continues with Swedish alternative rock band Pound.

Pound BotB

We ran our first feature on Stefan Altzar (guitars & lead vocals), Christian Larsson (bass & vocals), Samuel Granath (drums), Janne Korpela (guitars) and Kalle Sandström (keyboards & vocals) back at the end of September and immediately received great feedback from our audience. Here is their recent video and official Battle of the Bands entry “Apocalyptic Smile”:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TvTD20vDWg]

Their new album releases in December, make sure to check it out! in the meantime, you can also see their video Phantom Killer on our facebook page.

Kicking off in Style Part 2: Missy and Chelsea

Kicking off in Style Part 2: Missy and Chelsea

And after much delay, the Fall edition of the 500 dollar Battle of the Bands is underway with a spectacular singer-songwriter duo from Chippewa County, Michigan – Missy and Chelsea.

Sisters Missy Zenker and Chelsea Zenker have the kind of talent at ages 17 and 15, respectively, that most of us can only dream of. To prove it, here’s their original piece Same Story:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cv1iHJf-cgo]

We rest our case.

But as listening to one of their songs makes you immediately want more, here’s another Missy and Chelsea original: No Stoppin’ Us Now

drunkenmermaid.com will be looking to interview the duo in early 2013. In the meantime, make sure to like them on facebook and visit the drunkenmermaid.com facebook page where we’ve shared their first ever Christmas song. Tell us what you think.

And so once again the bar is set high out of the gates. Up Next: a recent video from drunkenmermaid.com fan favorite Pound

Pound for pound, they're Sweden's best Alt Rockers

Pound for pound, they're Sweden's best Alt Rockers

Pound, from Borlänge, Sweden, is on the Drunken Mermaid’s short list of favorite alternative rock bands.  So we are quite happy to share our interview with Pound frontman Stefan Altzar.

Pound is Janne Korpela, Stefan Altzar, Sam Granath, Kalle Sandstrom, and Christian Larsson

drunkenmermaid.com: How did Pound form?

Janne and Stefan played together in the band Universal Puppies and wanted to do something new, so they formed Pound in 2004. The music was more heavy and with an electronic vibe.

drunkenmermaid.com: Tell us what each one of your brings to the band.

Stefan is the songwriter, producer, singer and guitarist. Janne is the Led Zeppelin -influenced guitarist. He’s the free spirit. Christian plays bass and sings. He’s a very important part of the solid rhythm section. Kalle plays keyboards and is the architect behind the beautiful sounds on top of everything – like the icing on the cake. Samuel is the grooviest drummer on the planet, making everything we do just sound good.

drunkenmermaid.com: Musically, who are your main influences?

We have so many influences. From 70’s bands like Zeppelin, Queen and Deep Purple. 80’s west coast bands, 90’s bands like Soundgarden and King’s X and of course a lot of newer bands like Muse, Biffy Clyro and Foo Fighters.

drunkenmermaid.com: What’s a song you’d like to cover? How would it sound as performed by Pound?

I Play Dead by Björk would be fun to cover. It’s perfect as it is but we would add more guitars and heaviness.

drunkenmermaid.com: Tell us about the making of Desillusionizer.

The Desillusionizer album is actually leftovers from the Stardust, Lies and Holy Water album. We thought the songs were too good to throw away so we re-recorded some stuff and re-mixed it.

drunkenmermaid.com: What is your favorite track off of the EP?

My favorite track is Not the Same.

drunkenmermaid.com: You are signed with DO IT Management out of New Zealand; they’ve got some great artists, including yourselves. How did that come about?

We submitted the Fool You video to a video competition and we were one of seven finalists. Paul at DO IT management/records loved it and we got the deal.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJN4Q-TLc20]

drunkenmermaid.com: When will you be releasing your next album? What can you tell us about the new tracks?

The new album will be released after the summer. It’s called One of These Days I’m Gonna Bring You the Sun in a Box and it will be much more varied than before. A mix of all our influences. Longer songs, more keyboards, more unpredictable things happening. So at least the reviewers in Sweden will hate us. 🙂

drunkenmermaid.com: You did a tour of Germany and Switzerland last year. What were the highlights?

You get very happy when you’re playing in another country and the people understand what you are doing. We got very good response. The highlight was a gig in Aalen, Germany. A lot of nice people there.

drunkenmermaid.com: Where are you touring next?

We are touring in Sweden after the summer but we would love to come to the US!

Amen to that. Until they get here, visit Pound at their website and on facebook. They rock.

DJ Konai: A Unique Spin on the Music Industry

DJ Konai: A Unique Spin on the Music Industry

Over the past nine years, “DJ Konai” has established himself as a world-class DJ and music industry figure, working for Atlantic Records and DJing for Six Flags Maryland. His YouTube channel draws tens of thousands of views per month and climbing and he has north of 4000 Twitter followers. Recently he shared with us some insights into his career and the state of the music industry.

drunkenmermaid.com: Give us your backstory – how did you become DJ Konai?

When I was young, I was really into Genghis Khan and Confucius and studied their methods. I realized they had the same sound “Khan” in their name and then I just looked up what starts with that sound. Konai means a language that isn’t spoken or written. Since I am a producer, I feel that it is relevant because you can feel how I feel just by listening to the music.

drunkenmermaid.com: What do you think about the music industry today?

The value of music is a lot less then back in the 80’s. Due to the fact that vinyls used to cost more than mp3’s, it wasn’t as convenient to get as a download, and the supply of songs wasn’t nearly what there is now. However, more people are listening to music and the fans of music have gotten smarter and learned the quality of songs.

drunkenmermaid.com: Where does your music come from? What does it take to get it from concept to final realization?

Music comes from ideas that sit on top of other ideas. It takes attention to detail to get it from concept to final realization.

drunkenmermaid.com: Tell us about some of the producers you’ve worked with. How did you get hooked up with them?

I’ve actually worked with the Inkredibles who were signed to DJ Khaled and have done records for Jay-Z & Rick Ross. I learned a lot from them about how to make your music sound more radio quality. Before I just wanted to do what I wanted to do. After I met them, I realized there were certain rules in the music that I had to abide by. I got hooked up with them by putting them on radio stations; at that time I was working for Atlantic Records.

drunkenmermaid.com: What’s your best remix to date – the one that should be checked out above all others?

Right now I just finished a Madonna Remix but the one that’s the most popular is the Britney Spears Remix:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL7DQsuv5OQ?list=UUHAoaVSY8hGHo-Bk0K90Ewg&hl=en_US]

drunkenmermaid.com: What do you think it is that makes someone successful?

You have to have your own niche that others recognize you for. If Apple didn’t come out with a phone that you touch the screen with and apps that are easy to access, then they wouldn’t be one of the highest valued stocks right now.

drunkenmermaid.com: Tell us what its like to experience DJ Konai live. Any videos we should check out?

My shows are filled with energy. My goal is to make sure everyone has an amazing time whether I have to play my music or line dances, because it’s not about me, it’s about the people. I’m actually coming out with a video real soon DJing at Six Flags. www.youtube.com/djkonai is where you’ll be able to catch it.

You can also follow DJ Konai at www.twitter.com/djkonai. His remix of Brittany Spears’ Big Fat Bass is shared here on our facebook page.

Berlin Calling: Kathy Freeman's vast and awesome Empire

Berlin Calling: Kathy Freeman's vast and awesome Empire

Drunken Mermaid met Kathy Freeman via facebook, and after one listen of I’m Alive – You’re Dead we immediately knew we had to do an interview. Enjoy.

drunkenmermaid.com: You have an amazing background, emerging from the punk scene in the UK. Tell us about your early career and how you ended up in Berlin.

I was in a hippie blues band in Liverpool UK in 1977, just as punk exploded.  Almost overnight we reemerged as the harder, faster, meaner Accelerators.  Ditching twelve bar covers for three minute anthems, and riding a series of dodgy vans with our faithful and fearless roadcrew, we gigged constantly over Northern England for the next four years. We shared bills with the Buzzcocks, XTC, Siouxsie and the Banshees. Heady times. But by 1981 punk was losing its edge and our contemporaries were signing deals with big bad labels who’d steered well clear of misfit outsiders like us. The party was ending and I called time. Then I lived in London for 20 years, playing in a range of projects, including grunge-rockers The Birdhouse and my punk metal four piece Joyryde. Eventually I got into psychobilly, as guitarist with party rockers Death Valley Surfers (despite my lack of tattoos). Their chaotic forays into unsuspecting European venues eventually led me to Berlin. I realised I could have a better life there than in the UK. The right doors opened and I was living there within three months.

drunkenmermaid.com: What song do you wish you’d written? How would it sound performed by Kathy Freeman?

I covered I Love Rock’n’Roll (Merrill) and Tainted Love (Cobb) and I do a shedload of rockabilly and country covers on live shows. But  I never sat down and thought “I wish I’d written that!”  It’s more that songs I love have inspired me to write my own, better songs.

drunkenmermaid.com: What’s the worst gig you’ve ever played? (not that we’re trying to dredge up painful memories).

I have an effective painful memory eradication programme. NEXT!

drunkenmermaid.com: What’s the best?

My first show with the Accelerators in 1977. The bass player had quit only hours beforehand, but we did it in true punk fashion without him. We were so wired up we just went off like a machine gun and didn’t miss him for a second. The audience went crazy, we rocked like there was no tomorrow, and that was that!

drunkenmermaid.com: Is there anything you’d change in your career along the way?

There are certain people that I should have steered well clear of. But then again, I wouldn’t have so many songs.

drunkenmermaid.com: Tell us about some of the musicians who’ve influenced you over your career. Who are your favourites?

It started with early Dylan and roots blues music, e.g John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters –  followed by too many punk and rock bands to list. I’ve always liked Motorhead, and carried a torch for Doctor Feelgood and Wilko Johnson – true British grit. Nowadays I listen more to country and rockabilly artists such as Elvis, Cash and Hank Williams.  And I’m specially inspired by female artists who have, for whatever reason, had a rough ride – Courtney Love,  Marianne Faithfull, Wanda Jackson, Eartha Kitt, Amy Winehouse….

drunkenmermaid.com: Your dominant projects are Kathy Freeman’s Empire and Kathy X. How do the two differ?

Kathy Freeman’s Empire is an umbrella label for anything I am, or was, involved in. Kathy X is my three piece psychobilly band.

drunkenmermaid.com: Tell us about your latest recordings. How do they fit into your history and what do you like best about them?

My latest recording is the solo album Second Skin. All the songs, apart from the Tainted Love cover, have evolved from past experiences, personal and musical. I’ve played half of them with Kathy X for a long time , but it’s a whole different ballgame to record them with a solo dynamic. It was a challenge to keep the “rock edge” without the safety net of a full-on backing. I’m very pleased that the song Farewell – which didn’t suit Kathy X, and which I actually found too emotional to play solo(!) – has finally had an airing; and it’s come out as a powerful track.

drunkenmermaid.com: We want Kathy Freeman videos. Any plans to film some upcoming performances, or make a short film?

Yes – probably tracks from Second Skin. As for short films, I’m open to offers! In the meantime you can see my latest Kathy X video here:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wJt_zmNQqU]

You can get details on Kathy’s upcoming shows on her websites: http://kathy-freeman.de/ and http://kathy-x.de/ and make sure to check her out on facebook.

From Bulgaria with Love: Bee in the Bonnet

From Bulgaria with Love: Bee in the Bonnet

Drunken Mermaid got turned onto Bulgarian rockers Bee in the Bonnet through our friends at One Song World. Bee in the Bonnet is Martin Profirov (Drums), Bogdan Dmitrov (Kitara), Krasimir Tenev (Bass), and stunning frontwoman Teodora Ilieva. We caught up with Teodora fresh off their appearance at Spirit of Burgas, where they played alongside the likes of Sum 41 and Korn.

Bogdan Dmitrov, Krasimir Tenev, Teodora Ilieva, and Martin Profirov

drunkenmermaid.com: How did Bee in the Bonnet form?

We all love playing, travelling, making our own music, meeting different kinds of people. This is our lifestyle. That’s what brought each one of us in the band. The initial idea was to play covers abroad. But, even during our first tour, we started making our original songs. And from the very beginning until today everything happens at high speed and passion.

drunkenmermaid.com: How did you come up with name Bee in the Bonnet?

The idea came from the fact that we do not restrict ourselves to one style. Sometimes we have more ideas in the field of alternative rock, sometimes it’s funk and sometimes it is a ballad with alternative elements. So that’s why: “Bee in the Bonnet”, whatever comes in our minds, it is out!

drunkenmermaid.com: What is your favorite Bee in the Bonnet Song so far?

It is always the last one! Now we are making new records again. My favorite is the one that I recorded yesterday. It’s called Requiem for a Bastard. Soon you’ll be able to hear it.

drunkenmermaid.com: Tell us about that making of the video for Sundays.

The video was filmed very light and it was extremely fun. Because of our great happiness in our work it always goes like this. In this video we have a lyrical hero. Her name is Martina Dimova and she did a great job. She was extremely professional and brought the presence we needed.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt-VqlH_V44]

drunkenmermaid.com: Musically, who are your main influences?

Every one of us likes different music and probably has different influences. But anyway, we are able to have our own approach and thinking in the creation of our music.

drunkenmermaid.com: What song would you most like to cover?

If it should be only one, there will be disagreements, for sure… Maybe something by Muse. Just maybe…

drunkenmermaid.com: What are your favorite venues to play live?

We love playing at festivals. Our last festival performance was this month at Spirit of Burgas. We also play very often in all kinds of clubs, bars and parties and it is always a good experience for us.

Bee in the Bonnet at Spirit of Burgas (2011 edition)

drunkenmermaid.com: Where would you like to perform that you haven’t yet?

Wherever someone would invite us and where our music would be appreciated.

drunkenmermaid.com: In that case, we’d like to see you in Philly, Boston and London, for starters. In the meantime, when will you be releasing your next album? What can you tell us about the new tracks?

We are working on our new album at the moment. But recently our last album “Tick your time and tock the rest of it” is already available in the major sites for distribution. It is issued by the U.S. company FCB records/I.O.D.A.

You can give Bee in the Bonnet’s new track a listen in our Amazon store, and visit them on Myspace and facebook.

All Hail the New Metal Gods: Reverence

All Hail the New Metal Gods: Reverence

Those that visit the Drunken Mermaid regularly know that we are all metal heads here, especially after that shot we ran of a two-year old Nicko McBrain disciple playing Powerslave. So we are especially jacked to share our interview with Bryan Holland of Reverence, the best metal band we’ve heard in ages (and we don’t say that lightly, coming from the old school Sabbath, Purple and Long Island Öyster camps… )

Reverence

drunkenmermaid.com: Reverence is comprised of some pretty accomplished names in metal. How did Reverence come to be? 

After finishing my last tour with Tokyo Blade I decide to build a new metal band from the ground up. I found Todd Hall (Jack Starr’s Burning Starr) on Myspace while in my search for a premier vocalist, to me it was essential to find someone whom I could write with, had a similar personality and goal for the band and above all was a stellar vocalist, I found all of those things in Todd and thank the Lord almighty for his guidance. I am longtime friends with Savatage, Crimson Glory drummer Steve “Dr. Killdrums” Wacholz so as soon as Todd and I had a few demos recorded, I approached Doc and he signed on immediately, as did Frank Kruckel, who was my bassist in Tokyo Blade. Doc recommended Sanxtion guitarist Pete Rossi as our second guitarist and upon hearing his additions to our demos we knew he was the right man for the job.

drunkenmermaid.com: Tell us what each one of you brings to the band. 

With Todd and I being the core writers, Todd brings amazing vocal talent but also his very smart lyrical and melodic sense. Doc, sheeesh, its Dr. Killdrums…I’d pick Doc over Mike Portnoy any day! Pete is a stellar guitarist, a real shredder yet has an amazing feel for melody, while still being very humble. Pete added a lot of texturing to the songs and co-wrote some very cool songs that definitely took the band to a new level. Unfortunately Frank left us just after recording the album due to some family stuff so Todd brought in Ned Meloni his bassist from Burning Starr and so far Ned has been nothing but a complete professional and am very glad he is now a permanent member of Reverence.

drunkenmermaid.com: In the pantheon of metal, which bands do you most resemble? 

I think we have some similarities to early Judas Priest, Dio, Queensryche and Savatage. But a lot fans have commented that they think we sound like Metal Church, Malice to Sanctuary and Metallica. I think we probably have a wide field of sounds that connect us to several notable groups, which can’t be a bad thing! It’s really interesting to hear everyone’s thoughts on who we’re compared to, seems fans hear the music differently from person to person, I think that’s a really cool thing to be able to connect to so many people.

drunkenmermaid.com: For our readers who don’t know Reverence yet, what songs should they start with, the ones that really sum up who you are and what you are capable of? 

I think a few songs like Bleed For Me and Too Late have the essential Reverence signature sound to them with catchy riffs, soaring layered vocals while still being really melodic, but I think even Revolution Rising and When Darkness Calls fall into that too.

drunkenmermaid.com: Where do you want to take metal as an art form? 

I don’t really view it as an art form so much, we’re just trying to write our own blend of early 80‘s metal style. That kind of style seems to have been a bit of lost for a while and we figured if we wanted to hear the style we loved so much we might as well make it ourselves. I’ve already started toying with new ideas and riffs for the next album so I don’t think you’ll see us stray to far from the first album, maybe a bit heavier and darker but it will still have our signature sounds that many really seem to love.

drunkenmermaid.com: Tell us about making the video for Bleed for Me

The ‘Bleed For Me’ video was shot on Mothers Day, Sunday May 13th in a club called The Vault in Bay City Michigan. They had a nice stage set up and great lighting rig so it worked perfectly for what we wanted. We had a great time shooting this video and I think it really captures a feel for what the band is in a live setting, I think you can really feel the cohesive vibe within the group. Bleed For Me was actually the last video we shot of three that entire weekend, the first being the video for Too Late and the second being for the song After The Leaves Have Fallen which will be released in a couple months.

drunkenmermaid.com: Theatrically, what makes a great metal performance?

I think you can feel it if the band is gelling and flowing together, you can feel if their fake or genuine. I think the band needs to do more than just stand there, some bands like Dream Theater are stellar musicians but boring to watch, you have to find a good mixture of showmanship and be musically proficient too, I guess it all depends on what each band is trying to say and represent, too.

drunkenmermaid.com: What’s the best audience you’ve ever played for? 

That’s a tough one, I’ve played in front of amazing sold-out crowds in Athens, Paris and Germany. It varies from open-air festivals to clubs, too. Both have a special place in my heart and have a totally different vibe in connecting with the audiences, so it’s really hard to pick but those few places stick out in my mind as some of the best audiences.

drunkenmermaid.com: What metal song do you wish you’d written?

So many good songs…I can think of three I’d love to have written: Balls to the Wall, Hall Of The Mountain King and Take Hold Of The Flame…pure classic metal!!

drunkenmermaid.com: When will you be releasing your next album? What can you tell us about the new tracks?

With When Darkness Calls having been released just two months ago we haven’t really given a lot of thought into the next album. I have started messing with some leftover riffs and new ideas with a couple song brewing but I would say that continuing to promote this album with another video coming out in a couple of month and our European tour this fall are the next things on our mind the most. I would really like to get another album out sometime next year but at this point it’s anyone’s guess when that will be. The working titles of the songs I have so far are “Liberty or Death” and “Til the Bitter End” but once I give them to Todd those could all change or not be used at all, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Hopefully the wait won’t be long. In the meantime, you can hear some truly amazing metal at Reverence’s website, their facebook page, and their ReverbNation page. We’ve also shared the Bleed for Me video our facebook page.

Liquid to Solid: Dennis Young

Liquid to Solid: Dennis Young

Dennis Young’s initial claim to fame came as the percussionist for the legendary early 80’s NYC band Liquid Liquid. Since the days of Liquid Liquid, Dennis has continued to actively record, releasing a number of solo projects and playing on various other recordings. He has also expanded his repertoire: over the past several years, Dennis has been moved to paint. There is a strong relationship between the music and art that Dennis creates. Both reply on spontaneity, rhythm, and textures. Images of tribal masks and abstract patterns both collide and mesh effortlessly in his body of work.

drunkenmermaid.com is honored to showcase the following works that Dennis has shared with us, along with commentary in his own words:

Red Eyed Alien

 

“Red Eyed Alien”- I was watching one the many ghost reality shows on cable which made me think of doing this painting with the red eyes.

 

 

 

 

Tribal Mask

 

 

 

“Tribal Mask”- This is one of a series of tribal mask paintings that I have done. I love reading about the many ancient natives and tribes that lived many years ago.

 

 

Maze

 

 

 

 

“Maze”- I like blending different shapes & colors together and I wanted it to be very colorful and abstract. I am happy with the way it looks.

 

 

To see more of Dennis’s paintings or to contact him, visit dennisyoungmusic.com. We highly recommend you do.