We had the privilege of being asked to do an album review for The Radiance Effect’s new EP Mad Mess. A few months ago they came through on tour and played some new songs and we couldn’t wait to hear recordings of the songs. All of the songs have such strong emotion in them. We literally cannot find anything bad about this album, it really is worth a listen. It seems like it’s a big step forward for the guys. It’s already got quite a bit recognition and it hasn’t even been released yet.
Give this album a listen, really. You will not be disappointed. It’s an easy listen and full of catchy songs. These guys really work well together and we couldn’t be happier for them and the release of this new record. We can only imagine how hard they worked on it, and listening to it is the least anybody can do. Go support these guys, they really deserve it. Go check them out at a show when they’re in your area, buy their music, buy their merch, talk to them because they’re really nice guys and genuinely care about everybody interested in their music.
Here is an interview that we did with the guys of The New Divide, a Christian rock/worship band from the Vancouver, WA area, started in 2006.
Andy Ziesemer: I play guitar and sing for The New Divide.
Cyrus Kohl: I play drums for The New Divide.
Douglas Ziesemer: I play bass guitar for The New Divide.
What’s the story behind your band name?
AZ: In Revelations 3, there is a verse where, basically, God is talking and he says, “You gotta be either hot or cold, but because you’re lukewarm I’m gonna spit you outta my mouth.” So basically The New Divide just means there’s gotta be a point of division in how you live your life, either for yourself or for the Lord—not for yourself—that’s the opposite for yourself. No? Yes. That’s where the name came from. Like four years ago.
What are your plans for the rest of 2011?
CK: Our plans for the rest of this year are getting our CD out, which is supposed to be a huge push for us because it’ll help with our name, which is growing, and it’ll help us, as a band, be more serious about what we do. And I think further plans are just to get and play on much bigger tours. That’s something that we all decided, and we’ve been a rock band for the last, probably, two and a half years or so, and we really feel like we want to start moving in more of a “worship band” direction and write more worship songs and be more worship focused and not so much rock focused. More mature music.
AZ: We’ll still do rock-y stuff, but leaning more towards worship and stuff like that.
What are your favorite bands?
DZ: My favorite band is Sanctus Real, they’re a Christian band. They’re really good, you should check them out. That’s my favorite band.
CK: My top three if, I had to: Thrice, Death Cab For Cutie, and probably Oh, Sleeper. Gives a wide variety.
AZ: I can’t lie, I really like Taylor Swift’s new record. I’m trying to think of what I listen to right now. I listen to this guy named Warren Barfield, he’s like an acoustic-y kind of guy. I really like that, it’s really chill. And then you can’t go wrong with Foo Fighters and Anberlin.
DZ: Also, to add to mine.. Lady Antebellum.
What keeps you occupied while on tour?
DZ: Text messaging. West Wing. Seasons 1-7.
AZ: LOST. Seasons 1-6. And Cyrus text messages a lot. Words With Friends. My username is andyzies.
CK: I think movies keep me entertained while on tour.
AZ: We also stop and take pictures at pretty much every state sign that we ever see. And we put stickers on the inside of our van. Our van doors are covered in state stickers. On our tour with The Radiance Effect we played basketball twice. It was brutal. I bled profusely from the lip. I rammed my lip into Corey’s shoulder and bled for a few days.
What inspires your music?
TND: The Lord.
CK: I think that noticing how God gifts us is a huge part of that, like, I know that I can play, but I know that it’s because God gifted me with that—to play with talent. God put music in me. It’s a great feeling when I play because a part of me knows it’s how I worship God, another part just feels it. So, I guess by playing music it inspires me. Also, sometimes when we play with other bands and the band before us isn’t very good, but has a lot of potential in their music, I get very inspired to play. I don’t know why. But I do.
AZ: Well, our music is inspired by our relationships with God and also with the experiences we have with people and life.
How do you balance your band life and personal life?
DZ: My musical life and personal life are one in the same. So, I don’t really have much of a personal life.
AZ: That’s not true, he has friends.
DZ: But my friends are all across the country and I met them through music. So, it’s.. I don’t really know how to answer this question.
AZ: I will say that my personal life is balanced when I get home—I’m married—so, when I’m home, my personal life involves my wife and I hang out with her, so any time she’s off work, I just pretty much ignore my phone and hang out with her and we go on dates and we do that kind of stuff so that is kept as the most important part of my life. Doug and I are brothers and we all are really close to our families, so we try to maintain those things.
CK: My personal life is my musical life. Music is in me, a part of me, just like my friends and family. So in order to keep anything balanced you have to spend time with, and sew into. I make sure I’m always communicating with my family back home as much as I am out on the road. It’s tough sometimes, but very important to me.
What are the biggest challenges being in a Christian band?
TND: To know that there are always kids watching us, listening to what we say, then do. How we behave around them, being in a Christian band is not easy at all, God puts so much responsibility on us, if we lead kids astray, we will be judged on that. It’s a freaky thing. So, always remembering to do this is a very challenging thing for any Christian band.
Is there anything you would like to add?
AZ: ……..Cyrus is really good looking
AZ: Follow us on Twitter @thenewdivide. We have a new record coming out really soon.
DZ: If you ever want to bring us gifts to a show, we like almonds..
DZ: Almonds, I like almonds.
AZ: This is a selfish gift request. We like gift cards, especially to Starbucks. And, uh, be our friends!
Our friends in The Radiance Effect are doing a pre-order for their new album Mad Mess. Check it out! They’re really amazing guys and have such big hearts. This is one of the songs on the new album, live and acoustic.
From Indian Lakes released their debut full-length record, “The Man With Wooden Legs” on December 15, 2009. The band recorded the album with producer Dryw Owens (Consider The Theif) during the summer of 2009. The songs that were spawned out of those sessions reflect the bands’ collective maturity and purpose while being surrounded by music that is otherwise derivative and lacking any sort of defining positive charecteristics. Joey Vannucchi’s (vocals, guitar) lyrics and musical abilities are well beyond his years and show that this record is only the tip of the iceberg as far as the band’s potential is concerned. You can’t describe these songs with buzzwords or spiffy adjectives. It can really only be summed up in this way: These songs are about the doubt, faith, love and hope that we experience everyday… only the’re told in a way only these five young men from the mountains of Yosemite can express. You will just have to listen.
Here’s an interview we did with a guy named Michael (Mikey) Davis, previous member of The Honesty and The Bigger Lights, a singer/songwriter from Ellicott City, Maryland.
How long have you been playing?
I’ve been playing music for almost 13 years now. It’s something I think I was born to do, and I love every second of it. Writing, playing, I love it all.
Who are your biggest influences?
My biggest influences are Blink 182, more so Travis Barker, Acceptance, Anberlin, The Almost, The Ataris, The Starting Line, Letter Kills, and Mute Math
Where would you like to see your music career be by this time next year?
I would love to see my career excel, and even maybe sign to a label, but my main goal is to just continue writing songs that I love and releasing them for those that enjoy them too.
What instruments do you play?
If you give me an instrument, I’m sure I’d try and learn how to play it. My favorite instruments that I play are drums, and guitar, but I also am really starting to enjoy singing.
Is there anything you would like to add?
Thank you so much again to Left Coast Press for giving me this opportunity, and for anyone that read this just stay tuned for new music coming soon. I’m working on my debut solo album as we speak.
We interviewed Gabe Mouer from a band called The Welcome Home located in Portland, Oregon. For fans of Goodnight Sunrise, He Is We, and Abandon Kansas. (Photo by: Red Williamson)
Over the year we’ve seen your band members change a couple times. What do you initially look for in a band member? What characteristics would the “ideal” band member possess?
Each time we tried to find a forth member it was about the best way to flesh out our sound. We brainstorm where our music is headed before we decide if we are looking for either piano, lead guitar, ambient guitar, or what have you. Most importantly, does the person see eye to eye or share our vision? Talent and capabilities are sort of a no brainer, but if you can’t get a long with the person the union is ultimately doomed to failure. Right now we want a clean and focused sound, that is most easily attainable with just the 3 of us.
How long have you been playing together? What have you learned about the music industry since you first started?
We’ve been on this crazy ride known as “The Welcome Home” for just over 3 years. Jason and I played in a band together freshmen year of high school when we still lived in Austin TX. When I moved up here sophomore year I met Dallas and him and I played together off and on. Jason moved up a couple years or so after high school and the rest is history. We started this band in ‘08 at the tail-end of the myspace-era when social networking became the key tool used to both promote and discover music. Each new venture in online communication requires bands to quickly adapt to the new forum in order to remain connected with listeners. You have to stay on top of technical innovation. So, in essence, we’ve learned that it’s an uphill battle, but it can be a lot of fun too!
We’re all either from or nearby Olympia so we know of Evergreen Noise and how they sort of took you under their wing a few years ago. Have you built similar relationships elsewhere or do you find that rare on the road?
While we owe a great deal to Evergreen Noise, we really got our start thanks to our good friend Cameron McGee who used to run The Hub City Club in Centralia. Through him we opened for bands like Goodnight Sunrise, and even Weatherbox early in our inception. In the beginning there was no Evergreen Noise, just a young kid named Jesus who occasionally booked shows. As Hub City Club fell apart Jesus broke off to make a name for himself and we were lucky enough to be a part of what he was doing. Building relationships with promoters is a hard thing for a band who doesn’t tour consistently. Promoters want you to bring kids to shows, which is difficult in new places. If you are lucky you can find a small handful of venues who see that you are putting effort into bringing kids out and will book you. Mall promotion, like us playing Hot Topics really helped us bring kids to shows on tour.
From what we’ve seen, you have released a few EP’s out already. Are there any plans for a full album?
I would love to do a full-length, and I have a whole concept record all planned out. The problem comes down to finances and whether or not you can recoup the costs of such an endeavor. For the first time since the 60’s we are truly returning to the idea of artists favoring singles, 1 or 2 song releases, in order to meet the demand of the buyers’ need for new material constantly. The philosophy being that the average listener wants a couple of “accessible hits” so why bother producing a 10 song effort when only 1 or 2 will be cherry picked. This also allows bands to release new music several times a year to stay relevant. As far as I can tell this is where we are headed, which really bums me out. If I had the money I would be putting out full-length records but you gotta play the game I guess.
Tour can get dirty. What are some of your tour “vices”? What are things you need in order to stay clean and sane?
I work a lot from my laptop, I try to make sure I am writing down ideas musically and try to do as much journaling as I can, I’m also a notorious sleeper. Dallas has to have his Starbucks, seriously, the kid is an addict. Jason likes to listen to audiobooks like Stephen King’s IT, which really makes the rest of us uncomfortable when we’re trying to sleep. We try to take in as much of each new city as possible.
We see a lot of bands in the same spot as “The Welcome Home”. At this point, are you planning on playing music for fun or career? As a band, what are some of your short term and long term plans both personally and financially to support your choice of making a living through music?
The goal of this band has been, from the beginning, to make music full-time. However, as the business model has geared towards giving music away for free and touring remains a financial risk, we have to think about the realities of that dream. Jason and I are enrolled in college, our degrees are mostly music focused, and Dallas works. In the near future we’ll be producing our own records and also intend to write and record for other artists in order to continue making music without breaking the bank.
What has proved to be the best form of promotion for you? Word of mouth, social networking, street teams, etc.
Social networking can be a strong ally, but constant bombardment of self-promotion can quickly become off putting. We have really amazing friends and fans who go out on a limb for our little band, we owe everything we have to that. It has taken me a long time to really acknowledge how important it is to put yourself out there and promote on the streets as well.
What’s the average size of your shows? I know you just recently played in Seattle. Do the crowds vary drastically in each venue or are you getting a good amount each time?
It absolutely varies from show to show. Recently we’ve played to crowds of nearly 200 and also crowds of 2. Promotion, venue, backing bands, and location all come into play.
Have any of you experienced any private lessons/high education within music or are you all pretty much self taught?
We are, for the most part, self taught. Each of us took lessons briefly, I learned to read tablature and split. Jason did choir throughout high school and sings in a choir in Portland. I study music history at Portland State.
What can we look for in the immediate future? Maybe a show in Olympia?
We would LOVE to play Olympia ASAP. We will be playing around Portland and have been talking with booking heavyweight Mike Thrasher about getting put on a show opening for bigger touring acts this summer. We will be releasing some new material before the fall!
Thank you for the interview! Are there any local artists on the west coast that you would love to see promoted?
Our friend James Michael has decided to continue Sleep for Sleepers solo, he is honestly one of the nicest people I have ever met and a great songwriter. He has started a kickstarter to help fund his new record; http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1125512524/sleep-for-sleepers-records-a-new-record
Also, check out a band called Florence Acres from Seattle WA. The guitar player, Carson Heffner, produced our record. I’ll be producing their full-length early next month!
Where can fans go for samples of your music?
We’re on basically all sites where you can buy music but we like to promote the bandcamp the most because you can both stream and buy it. And if you buy there not only is it slightly cheaper for you but also they don’t take a cut so all the money goes to the artist. Here’s the URL: www.thewelcomehome.bandcamp.com
Thanks so much for taking an interest in us, it means the world!