It’s been a while since The Graveyard Shift (now Friday nights at midnight) posted to the WMFO blog, but we return with a vengeance: the show’s first ever band interview. And it is fitting to feature a band that formed in WMFO’s backyard. Carved in Stone has its roots in Malden and Medford and consists of Mike Olen and Adam Dipersio on Guitar, Andrew Ang on vocals, Jason Barsotti on drums, and newest member Anthony Torres on bass. While the band members are young (ages range from 19 to 24), Carved in Stone has been around since 2011, played with Psychostick, and graced the stage at the Palladium.
On Friday night, April 10, they’ll be playing Day 2 of the South Shore Insanity Metal Fest at 91 South Street in Kingston, MA along with Quick! Before the Outbreak, The Floor’s Embrace, Til Our Collapse, Lies in Motion, and Paradigms. The show is all ages, doors are at 6 p.m., and tickets are $10.
You can download two free tracks from Carved in Stone here and then listen while you read the full interview in which the band talks about the local scene, what it’s like to book and play shows, and a special benefit show they play later in the month…
It looks like you went through some pretty early lineup changes. How did the band originally form, and how did the current lineup come together?
Originally it just started with Mike and Adam in high school playing acoustic songs. We met our previous members through advertisement. Personal reasons led to our previous members leaving and eventually it led to our current singer, drummer, and bassist.
What is it like to balance other commitments?
Balancing all of our commitments can be tough. Some of us are in school, and some of us are both working and in school. This is a passion of ours, and we are very dedicated to this band, so we make it work.
How did you come up with your name?
We were trying to think of a name for days. Our drummer at the time came up with Set in Stone, and it was already taken by other groups. We ended up changing it to Carved in Stone.
How was the recent bassist search?
It [was] tough. Bassists in this genre are pretty much unicorns! Pretty much impossible to find. Thank god a friend of ours has joined and we have a full band at the moment.
What was the first show you played, and what was that experience like?
Our first show was at Paul’s Pub in Methuen. It was a new experience, but a memorable one. [It] was a dive bar, but we still had a blast with all of the other bands.
Malden/Medford isn’t exactly known as a hotbed for metal, especially compared to areas like the Merrimack Valley and central and western Massachusetts. Do you feel unique coming from this area? Is there a bigger scene than people think?
There is not much of a scene, but there are some talented musicians that have come from this area. We like to think that we are unique and have our own style, but it has nothing to do with the area that we come from.
What is the state-wide scene like? Do you find it to be more collaborative and community-based? Or is there a bit of competition?
There are bands that love this music and want to play. The bands that we interact with are extremely talented. There are other bands that are not really in it to have fun, but rather do it to get big. We don’t look at scenes to be competitive. Instead we look at it as inspiration. There are a lot of sick bands that we perform with and hear of, and watching them perform and listening to their music pushes us and drives us to become better both individually and as a band.
Are there any other local bands you’ve grown close with?
We have grown close with our good friends Til Our Collapse. We have also had some great experiences with Apollo’s Resurrection, My Missing Half, Nightslasher [ed. note: who unfortunately just broke up last week], and many other amazing bands that we are lucky to have come across.
How do you go about getting gigs?
Adam does pretty much all of the booking. When we got our first show, we performed with some great bands who later invited us to perform with them again, and it just formed a chain reaction where other bands would invite us to perform with them. Eventually it led to us meeting the people we book with.
What is the biggest show you’ve played so far? What was that experience like?
We have performed at the Palladium a few times and [last year’s first ever] Rock the Block Festival at the Claddagh. The experience is nerve-racking before we get on stage. Pretty much every performance we have is a bit nerve-racking before we perform, but once we start performing the nerves turn into excitement, and we just have a blast.
How did you end up on the Psychostick bill?
Thanks to our good friends from Killer Robot Promotions and Sammy’s Patio we were able to land this amazing opportunity. A huge thanks to them for everything that they have done for us. Sammy’s Patio is a great venue for any bands that are looking for shows. Every time we perform there the crowd is sick. We book our shows for Sammy’s Patio through Killer Robot Promotions, and they are hands down one of the best bookers we have worked with. Highly recommend these guys to any band looking for a place to perform.
You had a flourish of shows around the end of 2014. What was that like?
It was a great experience. This is what we love to do so any show opportunity we come by, we will take it if we can. We grew a lot and the amount of shows helped us become a bit better with our performances each time.
Can you talk about the Angie’s Angels benefit show you’ll be playing on April 25?
This is a benefit show to help battle cancer. All of the proceeds go right to the Boston Children’s Hospital. Angie’s Angels is a group that helps with people that have cancer. It is going to be held at DV8 in Providence and promoted by Rocksteady Promotions. This is a great show, and we are very excited to be performing this show with our friends Til Our Collapse. Below is a link to the donation page. Please donate for this cause. Every dollar counts. You can also check out the Facebook event page.
What do you find to be the best method of getting your music and band news out as an unsigned band?
Social media seems to be the best way of getting our name across. We use any social media you can think of. Word of mouth is also a great way.
What is your approach to and process for writing original music?
Usually Mike comes up with a riff or bare bone structure of a song, and during practice we will jam with him and come up with the other parts of the songs. If anyone else comes up with lyrics, a riff, or anything, we just start jamming to that part and it all just comes together naturally.
Are there certain lyrical themes you explore?
Mike usually writes a lot of the lyrics, and it is usually anything that comes to his mind. A lot of it is about his life and what goes on.
Can you talk about the songs you’re currently working on?
We are experimenting with a more aggressive style than what we usually play. All of our songs usually have a different tone and uniqueness about them because we don’t like to be bound by one style.
Are you planning any physical releases?
We did just finish a rough draft EP. We don’t have much money so it’s hard to plan anything now. We are saving for bigger things, though, so keep an ear out!
What else does 2015 have in store?
Hopefully we will have a lot more shows. We would like to get some new recordings and possibly more merchandise. We would also like to expand our reach throughout the New England area—possibly farther—and expand our fan base. Hopefully!
Hey all! I took last week off for Bastille Day, but I hope you all enjoyed two weeks ago’s picks of the week! I’m really excited for Alt-J’s American release! Now onto some other stuff,
This week’s MD Picks are…
Pomplamoose has released quite a few tracks via their YouTube channel over the course of the past few years, all of it incredible. They recently dabbled in Electro-Pop with the single linked to above, and just dropped a new EP. Definitely check them out!
Similar to: The Ting Tings, The Submarines, Shiny Toy Guns
Album: Regina Spektor – What We Saw From The Cheap Seats
Regina Spektor is one of my absolute all-time favorite artists, and her new album doesn’t disappoint. Incredible sound, with a bunch of old tracks redone, and some new ones to boot, this album is terrific. And, to all the DJs wanting to play this album on their show, it’s available in the MD-recommended rack in Studio A! Recommended Tracks: “Patron Saint,” “Small Town Moon,” “All The Rowboats.”
Similar to: Ingrid Michaelson, Kate Nash, Immaculate Machine
Song: Madeon – “Finale“
I hope you all were as excited as I was when Madeon dropped his newest track. The 17-year old French electronic artist is an incredible force and one that’s been taking over the electronic scene in the past few years. Check out this track and check out all of his other tracks on his SoundCloud.
Similar to: Yelle, Wolfgang Gartner, Dave Edwards
Enjoy! See you next week!
Hope you all enjoyed last week’s picks of the week! The Oh Hello’s are really a great new sound. Now onto some other stuff,
This week’s MD Picks are…
The frontman took a journey to Russian Siberia before writing Balto’s newest album. And like the animated dog, a sense of loss is apparent in the newest album, October Road. There’s a great mixture of seclusion, longing, and optimism inherent to their lyrics. Just an all around terrific sound. They may not have released much in the past few months, but they’re definitely an artist to keep track of. Enjoy! Recommended tracks: “The Railyard,” “Self-Portrait.” Though, in all honesty, they don’t have a bad song.
Similar to: Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver
Album: Alt-J (∆) – An Awesome Wave
Sometimes only identified by the Delta character they associate with all their music, Alt-J is a group out of Leeds, UK, that plays what they like to call “folkstep.” It’s an interesting style: a mixture of electronic backing and folk-inspired rhythms, lyrics, and musicianship. I guarantee you that you’ll have at least one of these songs stuck in your head for a while. Unfortunately, the album won’t be released in the US until September, but the group was nice enough to post the entire album on their SoundCloud. Recommended Tracks: “Breezeblocks,” “Tesselate”
Similar to: The Maccabees, The Wombats
Song: Rhye – “Open“
So this song is actually a bit old, by at least several months. but I feel it’s a track that still, nonetheless, needs to be shared. This enigmatic duo has only released this one song so far, and little is known about the band’s origins, intentions, or identity. Pretty cool, huh? But seriously, this track is just absolutely beautiful. I dare you – try listening to this song only once. It won’t be easy. Enjoy!
Similar to: Chairlift, Purity Ring, Neon Indian
Enjoy! See you next week!
Hey everybody! We’re introducing a new tradition where each week the Music Director (me) selects a new artist, album, and song that are bound to perk your ears up a bit. Each week I’ll be posting something that may have gone under your radar a bit, but you’ll really like. Some of these will be available in the rotation shelves (look for the silver stickers), but most of this is just to spread the music around! I hope you all will enjoy it!
This week’s MD Picks are…
Artist: The Oh Hello’s
Really great new artist from Texas. Their new album merges a lot of folky aspects with a new rock and alternative sound. This brother-and-sister combination has great vocal harmonies.
Similar to: Mumford & Sons, The Civil Wars
Album: The Tallest Man On Earth – There’s No Leaving Now
I absolutely love The Tallest Man On Earth. For those of you who don’t know him, he’s this Bob Dylan-esque Swedish singer-songwriter with a very folky feel. This album, though maybe not as revolutionary as his Shallow Grave album, is incredible and definitely worth a listen.
Similar to: Bob Dylan, Joe Pug
Song: Michael Kiwanuka – “Home Again“
This British singer-songwriter merges soulful roots music with a great bluesy background. Michael Kiwanuka has the incredible ability to make you feel like you’re in some raggedy pub somewhere, just watching him pour our his soul. This song is just so beautiful.
Enjoy! See you next week!
Any song Elvis Costello sings sounds like an Elvis Costello song, so I’m always surprised to find out about songs he didn’t write. Possibly his most well-known song, “(What’s so funny about) Peace Love and Understanding” was written and first recorded by Nick Lowe, later Elvis’ producer on Armed Forces. Elvis recorded it as a B-side to a Nick Lowe single and tacked it onto Armed Forces for the 1979 American release when his cover became a hit in the UK. This was back in the days when a hit single could make a hit record. The album went gold in the US and has been hailed as helping define New Wave by Rolling Stone. Elvis was at the height of his popularity and it’s impossible to know how big an impact the addition of “Peace Love and Understanding” had on record sales. Still, these days you know you haven’t come to the end of an Elvis Costello concert until the short, sweaty man in huge glasses sings “Peace Love and Understanding” (the suit in the above photo began as the same shade of gray). (more…)
Here are the new releases for March 15, 2011:
Album Art From the Band’s Website
Did you know that Friday comes after Thursday and before Saturday? Apparently Rebecca Black didn’t or, if she did, she just wanted to give us all a friendly reminder. In spite of the heavy Autotune, Black’s voice remains shrill and her attempts at Mariah-esque riffs are cringe-worthy. The lyrics are inane and the graphics in this video are, in a word, tacky. But let’s put production value and actual musicianship aside for a minute. Did anyone else notice that Rebecca’s friend – who is “cruising so fast” on the highway with her – has braces? Braces!! All I know is that she should not be cruising in the back of a convertible. What are her parents thinking? If you haven’t seen this newest YouTube sensation, take some time to party, party, party on a Friday with Rebecca Black on this week’s Music Video Pick. But be forewarned; you may have to look away in discomfort and pain.
Ke$ha looks surprisingly clean in her video for her newest single “Blow.” In fact, for a moment, I even forgot that this is the girl who brushed her teeth with “a bottle of Jack.” But in spite of this new-found hygiene, Ke$ha’s video still manages to stay in the realm of the absurd. And in her world, the absurd includes making out with a unicorn in a tuxedo and hitting on that guy from “Dawson’s Creek.” Watch it for yourself after the jump on this week’s MVP – Music Video Pick. (more…)
Ed. Note: Welcome to the first of our new weekly posts. Every day we will have a new post dedicated to something involving the music industry. Tuesdays will focus on new releases, so stay tuned for recommended picks and other albums coming out each week right here on WMFO.
Here are the new releases for March 8, 2011:
Featured New Release: R.E.M. – Collapse Into Now
A constant source of contention between my parents stems from my father’s love of music memorabilia, and my mom sort of has a point. This is the man who has a three-foot square poster of R. Crumb’s artwork for Big Brother and the Holding Company’s ‘Cheap Thrills’ prominently placed above their bed. (I think my mom is most opposed to the image of Janis Joplin splayed out on a bed, nipples fully erect.) The most common debate in our household, however, has to do with my dad’s ever-expanding record collection. When you walk into our living room, you are greeted by bookcases teeming with vinyl, flanked by dozens of milk crates strategically placed to catch the spillover.