Bradley Wik [Interview]

bradley-wik

I love music, but more importantly I love songwriting. I am a huge sucker for that beautiful singer/songwriter sound. I am that musically ill equipped sucker who has no artistic ability but has read too many God damned books, and feels like all music should be poetry. Poetry. That’s what it is all about! I’ve never understood some people, even those I respect and adore (I’m looking at you Marc Maron) who can say “I’m not a lyrics guy/lady”. In my brain, I can’t understand that. It’s about the fucking words, man! I want to hear that poetry set to a great guitar sound! Of course, if the guitar sound is not on point, it’s going to be awful. So, I think it all works together. I just put an emphasis on the words that are being sung so sweetly into my ears for my enjoyment.

And that is where I bring in the great Bradley Wik. Sweet shit, this guy is an amazing singer/songwriter. I dare say he is one of the best. I got a bit of flack some years ago for calling Eric Earley of Blitzen Trapper “the son that Bob Dylan wished he would have had”, but I dare say that Bradley Wik is tied with the genus if Eric (Again, I’m not trying to offend Jakob or his fans, it’s just a descriptor of talent, I love me some Wallflowers). I just love the idea of storytelling in musical form. And on far too few occasions we are unable to witness such beauty in song told as well as the likes of Dylan, Prine, or Cohen in this day and age. But, I truly believe that Bradley Wik is one of those guys that just fucking gets it. They have that emotional response to the world that should be required for all modern day singer/songwriters. Honestly, when I listen to this man, I want to do my damnedest to try and remove the idea of a “singer/songwriter” out of the equation, and just call them artists. What Bradley does with music is no different than what Ralph Steadman does with a canvas. It’s art that moves you in so many different ways. And it should be looked at as such.

So with that, please enjoy one of the best interviews we have ever had here at Trainwreck’d Society. He had some incredibly heart felt and warm responses during our digital interview, and I could not be happier to have been introduced to this beautiful human being. Buy his album(s), see his shows when he comes to your town, and goddammit love one another, I know this is what he would really want. Enjoy!

When did you first realize you wanted to play music for a living? What were some of your earliest influences? Who were your “guys”, as Maron may ask?

I was seventeen the first time I ever thought seriously about music as a career choice. Up until then, and from a young age, all I had ever done was play and watch sports. Growing up in Wisconsin, all I could imagine was playing shortstop for the Milwaukee Brewers or wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers. I dreamed of getting the final out of the World Series or catching a touchdown from Brett Favre at Lambeau Field. That changed suddenly when I tore my achilles tendon in High School. That helped me realize that I wasn’t talented enough to accomplish those goals. The next summer, when I was seventeen, I found myself working fifty hour weeks at a factory making Harley Davidson parts and accessories. While my friends were out on Friday night partying and being kids, I was going to bed early so I could get up at 5am for work on Saturday. I couldn’t imagine myself doing that for the next forty or fifty years. Music was something I always loved so dearly but wasn’t really an option coming from a town of three thousand people. That fact made me all the more determined to make it happen.

Early on in my guitar playing days, I fell in love with folk and blues music. I could learn three chords and play along to my favorite Carter Family, Woody Guthrie, Son House or Leadbelly songs. My buddy’s mom had learned a lot of those old songs from her mother and was more than happy to teach them to us. A sort of passing of the torch. From there, I found and began my obsession with Bob Dylan and I knew a journey to New York City was in my future. But my big madeleine-dipped-in-tea moment was when I found my mom’s old vinyl copy of “Born to Run.” I felt like Indiana Jones uncovering a priceless artifact, except this one belonged on my record player and not in a museum. I’ll never forget gently removing the album from a stack of old records, blowing the dust off, just like in the movies, and putting it on the turntable with excitement. So much excitement, in fact, that I put in on upside down. So, the first song I heard was side B, track one: “Born to Run.” To this day, I can’t fully explain what happened in that moment, but, needless to say, it rearranged my fucking molecules and I was off into a new world. Like Bruce, I still had to go through my folk music phase, but Rock N’ Roll was always my one true love from there on out.

Your 2012 release, Burn What You Can, Bury the Rest, is still one of those amazing go-to albums that never disappears from my playlists. It’s been a few years, so could you tell us how this record has affected you? Have you experienced much change since the album came out into the world?

I really didn’t know what to expect upon releasing that album. It was our debut record and my first record ever. I was very confident in the songs but secretly I was just hoping we could sell through the thousand or so CD’s that were sitting in boxes in my living room. I know so many talented people who have worked so hard and put all their time, energy and money into an album that sits in boxes, collecting dust in a closet. It’s such a disheartening thing to see. Music can be very cruel as there is no direct correlation between talent, work and success. But, we (with lots of help from my extremely amazing girlfriend) worked our asses off promoting and were fortunate enough to get lots of support for that record in print, online and from radio. The shows very quickly got better (getting paid decent money as opposed to a six pack of PBR and whatever tips we can scrounge up) and we had to get better as a result. The more we moved forward, the harder we had to work to keep it going. It’s sort of cliche, but we had to learn how to be a “real” band instead of four guys who play music, drink beers and do a few shows a month to try and impress girls. But I think the craziest thing was when the record first came out and I was still working at a local paint store, random people would come in and recognize me from the album they bought after hearing us on the radio or my picture on a show poster or article they read, etc. It was weird to be in dirty, paint-covered work clothes and have someone ask for picture. But that will always seem weird to me, I suppose. The album has a wonderful picture of my handsome face on it and someone always wants one when I’m tired and sweaty after a show or something. Go figure.

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So, your song “This Old House” is a very important song to me, for reasons I can’t even fully express. Let’s just say it this song hit me at exactly the right moment in my life, and I interrupted it as such. But, now that I have the chance to ask you, can you tell us what this song is really about? What was the inspiration behind this brilliant track?

It warms my heart to hear you say that about “This Old House.” My goal in making music has always been to try and give back, at least a little, of what music has given me. Music has been the backbone of my life and I define chapters of my life through music. The Wallflowers’ “Three Marlenas” was my middle school girlfriend and, subsequently, my thirteen year old broken heart. Sun Kil Moon’s “Glenn Tipton” was the breakup from the first girl I ever loved. Springsteen’s “Racing in the Street” got me through the end of the next relationship. Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” saved me in my darkest of days. I think my favorite thing about music is how personal it is and how the same song can mean so many different things to so many different people depending on when it passed through their lives and what they needed from it. A relationship with a song can be a very singular and powerful experience. As a songwriter, I’ve always felt that some songs come easy, and you just have to sit down and write ‘em out, but some songs you have to earn. “This Old House” was one I definitely had to earn. As a musician, I could talk about songs, especially my own, for hours on end (just ask my girlfriend…) but I’ll give the Reader’s Digest version. Buy me a couple bourbons sometime and I’ll give you the whole story…

I had been living with this girl for a little over three years. We met in Seattle, moved to New York City together and then headed back west to Portland, OR. We were young. She was just eighteen when we started dating. I was only a year older. She’d had a tough life up until that point but was strong and trying not to show it. We would end up going through a lot together, and the years we spent in New York definitely changed things for us both. Things were already pretty rough when we left New York for Portland and only got worse once we got here. Neither one of us felt a connection to Portland the way we did to New York, and we both desperately missed our old neighborhood in Brooklyn. Our lives were spent looking backwards, which is dangerous. But soon I had a new band and was playing music again. She never got comfortable. The relationship had gotten so bad that I kept hoping she would leave me. But she wouldn’t. We said horrible things to each other. It was obvious to everyone, except us, that this needed to end and we would both be better off apart. Finally, months later, we broke it off and she moved out. I, for emotional (and financial) reasons, had to move out of our apartment. I found the cheapest and shittiest place I could in the neighborhood. I didn’t have a car so I had a buddy help me carry all my shit down the block and up three flights of stairs to the new place. The only upside of the new apartment was that it had a fire escape that I could sit out on and smoke cigarettes and drink while looking out at the city. I never write songs when I’m still very emotionally invested; I want to understand what I’m writing about from both sides. It took months and months to get to that point. But one night, after a couple bottles of wine, I was listening to music and staring at the wall when it finally made some semblance of sense. Looking around, they never fixed anything in that apartment, they just painted over it. I could see nails, holes, painted over outlets, all sorts of damage, evidence of the people who came before me. I started to think about all the life that had happened in that shitty apartment. I wasn’t the first to live there and I certainly wouldn’t be the last… We’d had our good times and our bad times, and like most relationships, it was more likely to end than last forever. We were just chapters in the middle parts of our stories, with many before and many after.

So you are a Portlander. How do you feel about the current state of the Portland music scene? Do you think things have improved over the years, or is the scene dissipating? Also you performed at my favorite spot, the Ash Street Saloon, How was that?

I’ve been pretty unimpressed by Portland’s highly-touted music scene since arriving here. When I first got here, about six years ago, I heard a lot of comparisons to Austin, Seattle and even Nashville, and that simply hasn’t been the case. While there are a handful of nice venues to play, like the Doug Fir and Mississippi Studios (and I could throw Ash Street in here), many have closed down and there aren’t any places you can count on to have quality music night after night. It’s mainly just trying to find out what touring bands are coming through town and cherry-pick those. We’ve found much more success in touring and getting out of town for shows. Portland’s scene has always struck me as standoffish as opposed to accepting, unlike so many other cities I’ve played.

But, I definitely have a lot of great memories from playing Ash Street. We’ve played there a handful of times and it’s always been a fucking memorable experience. Definitely the worst toilet situation from a venue we’ve played (which includes the Satyricon before they closed it a second time) but in a very Rock N’ Roll/charming way. The stage is great, the sound is great and the crowds are always drunk enough to let loose and have some fun. I remember one time, after some heavy rains they were having issues with the power and said there was a chance we would get electrocuted but we could play if we wanted, which, of course, we did. I broke a string during one of the songs and it snapped me in the hand hard and scared the shit out of me. I thought I’d gotten shocked and said to myself, “Well, this is it,” and promptly forgot what song I was singing. Of course, it all turned out fine, and we put on a hell of a show to try and warm up the cold, wet crowd that braved the weather to come out. Another time we played there, I remember I was so sick. I was a mucus-producing machine, was coughing like crazy, was losing my voice and I could barely stand up without getting dizzy. But, we had promoted the piss out of the show and had some great other bands lined up so I didn’t want to cancel last minute. With the right amount of Nyquil, bourbon and tea, I got through it. Can’t say I remember the whole night (I briefly blacked out at the end from exhaustion, and probably in part because of the Nyquil/bourbon in my system) but I’ve been told that I pulled it off pretty damn well. Ash Street always seemed to be a jumping off point for the rest of the night. Rarely did the night end there. There were always places to go, girls to meet, bottles to drink and cops to avoid. I’ll say this, I’m glad my shitty apartment was within stumbling distance. It was always: throw the guitars and amps in the van and see where the rest of the night takes you.

So what is next for you and the Charlatans? I understand a new record is completed, and about to hit our ever-yearning earholes? What can we expect on the next effort?

We learned a lot going through the process on the first album about what to expect, what we like, what we don’t and, most importantly, what the vision for the next record would be. We kept hearing after shows that people wanted a record where we sounded the same as we did when we played live. I love the first record and the songs that made the cut but our live shows were always much higher energy and a little unpredictable. Obviously, there was no way to jump off the stage, dance with the crowd and end up spinning around on the floor, Angus Young-style, during recording, but I really wanted to capture that same feeling the best we could. We found a great studio that was built into an old warehouse building where we could all get in the middle of the large live room and play together, as a band. We’d spent years playing together and months crafting the songs and I wanted the recordings to reflect that. So, we did it old school: one room, live, to tape. We did bring in a piano/keyboard/organ wizard (so many thanks Chris Hubbard!) and did some vocals/background vocals after but most of the record was recorded in that room. Is it perfect? No, but neither are we. Neither is Rock N’ Roll. We’re all a little rough around the edges and Rock N’ Roll wasn’t meant to be spotless, it was meant to be real and to make you feel something. I miss that humanness in modern music. I wanted to make a record that feels like it could have come out in the ‘76 or ‘86 or 2016, and I think I accomplished that.

This could seem morbid, but work with me here: If you were given the chance to give a memorial performance at the wake of any one of your influence, past or present/dead or alive, who would it be? What would you play? 

Morbid as it may seem, it’s not the first time I’ve thought about it. I’d love the opportunity to honor Bruce Springsteen with “Reason to Believe” or Bob Dylan with “Visions of Johanna.” But if I could only choose one, I would go back and play for Jeff Buckley. His voice has carried me through the worst of times. I would cherish the opportunity to make a small gesture in repaying my debt to him. The song I would choose is Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released.” I think most great artists struggle with a feeling of inward loneliness that rarely dissipates. It’s hard to reconcile the physical world around you with the world that you live in most of the time. It doesn’t feel like you quite belong to anything, anyone or anywhere. What you see or feel doesn’t match up with what you’re supposed to know. I think that’s the world Jeff Buckley lived in. I think he’s in a much better place now, one that works to understand him, as opposed to here where he tried to understand us.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Bill Murray singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” like Daffy Duck during a World Series game at Wrigley Field. Bill Murray is certainly one of a kind, and goddamn it, the world is a much better place because of him.

 

And finally, check out this well done filming of Brad & Co performing the fore mentioned “This Old House” at the Doug Fir in Portland, OR. Nick Kostenborder is the original YouTube poster, and again, he did a great job. Check it! Oh, and be sure to make your way to bradleywik.com for more information and updates on the new album and tour dates and what not. Enjoy!

Cas One: Happy Anniversary [Single]

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Take a deep fucking breath everyone. Seriously, before you listen to the poetry that is “Happy Anniversary”. Yes Cas One is a rapper, but what you are about to hear doesn’t fully constitute a “rap song”. And not just because its an accapella single, but because this is real poetry. And it’s fucking painful. It seriously hurts to listen to it. I can honestly say I can’t remember the last time I heard something so painfully relatable that it became a gut-wrenching process to listen to. If you can listen to this shit and not instantly feel so much pain for the great Cas One, you have to be a soulless wonder. And anybody who has been through a similar situation, no matter the end result, it will be like hearing everything rolling through your head that you wish you coul articulate as well as this man. At least it is that way to me.

3 minutes. I just 3 simple minutes, Cas One fucking steals time. In just 180 God damned seconds, this man releases something to the world that is almost undescribable. Look, just listen:

 

Seriously, how to critque that? It’s impossible. I’m just going to say that it is genius, and I am so excited to hear the Cas One vs. Figure album coming soon from Strange Famous Records.

To wrap it all up, I can only use the description that Cas One uses himself:

“My name is Jacob. When I rap my name is Cas One. I am going through a divorce.”

That’s all you really need.

 

 

Petros, Jubal, Purna, Lucky, & Soultru – Moja Maisha (Produced by Bodi) [Single]

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Avid readers of TWS should instantly recognize the name Bodi. He has been a staple around here since our inception. He was the Trainwreck’d Person of the Year in 2013, not only for being an amazing artist, but as a man who took philanthropy to a whole new level. If you are unaware, you can check out the retelling of it all right HERE.

And our man Bodi is back, sort of. While Bodi may have made the happen, he isn’t exactly the focus here. Our man has guided the creation of something absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. A piece of art that, if it doesn’t pull on your heartstrings a bit, you just straight up don’t have a heart.

I will let Bodi explain it himself:

This is a song by Petros, Jubal, Purna, and Lucky – four boys who live in orphanages in South Africa, Nepal, and Peru. For all but one of them, it’s their first time recording a rap, let alone writing about their lives.

100% of the proceeds from this single will be donated to their respective orphanages.

A few years ago, I spent the better part of a year living in orphanages around the world, getting to know the kids and their caretakers, learning their stories. When word would get around that I’m a rapper, it was usually just a matter of time until the kids and I would sit around a table, hammer out a beat with our fists, and freestyle, or read raps or poetry. It was a way to remove barriers and connect on a deeper level.

Some of the kids asked me to lead a few impromptu hip hop classes, and help them write a verse about their lives: where they came from, what it’s like now, where they want to go.

Petros, Jubal, Purna, and Lucky were game to have me record them rapping to a basic drum beat graciously made by a friend. When I returned home, I worked on crafting an instrumental for their verses. This is their song. These are their stories. I feel honored to have been there to listen, to press record, and produce it.

Moja Maisha is a Swahili phrase that means “One Life.”

 

As most of us know, this is not unusual behavior for our dear friend Alex. He is one of the most selfless people on this planet, and we are honored to call him a friend. So please check the track.

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/track=431023822/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/

 

You can download the song for any price you like. Donations are encouraged and will go a long way. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the song will be going back to their respective orphanages.

 

 

Cas One vs. Figure: Murder Media [Single]

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Well, the day has almost finally come, Everyone. Tomorrow is Election Day. Fucking finally, right? We finally get to figure out which monster will soon be the figurehead of the United States of America. And I will be the 4 millionth person to say, this is a sad time. It really feels like a lose-lose situation, but there really isn’t anything we can do about it. We are defenseless against the actions of the people that rule us. But there is solace is one thing: some good ass art has come out of this whole debacle. So let’s talk about that!

For those who were not aware, the amazing independent hip hop label Strange Famous made the greatest decision of their existences earlier this year when the decided to sign on two of the greatest artists in Hip Hop, Cas One and Figure, together as Cas One vs. Figure. And last March, they released a beautiful lyrics video to their brilliant track “Murder Media” that I feel is so damn appropriate for this day. Seriously, I cannot think of a more appropriate song to represent this day that will always be a proverbial cum stain in our history. The world is in such a disarray that we absolutely NEED a track like “Murder Media”. And as you would expect from two of the greatest artists in the Hip Hop world, they created something absolutely beautiful.

So, when you are out there at the polls deciding the future of this nation, I hope this track is seething through your brain. Remember: “You’re only as strong as your motherfuckin’ cause”. So what is your cause? And how far are you willing to go? Vote how you will, but understand that our future is looking grim, and while it seems like there is nothing you can do about it, you can’t give up hope. I’m not telling you to vote. I don’t buy that bullshit claim that “if you don’t vote, you can’t say anything.” No, not voting is a statement in itself. And if you do vote, please understand the consequences of your actions. Feel whole-heartedly about the choice you make.

And more importantly, listen to good goddamn music! And by good music, I am definitely talking about Cas One vs. Figure. Check out this amazing video for “Murder Media”, and formulate your opinions accordingly.

Check out more great work from Cas One Vs. Figure at the Strange Famous Website.

Sleep: All Men Must Die, But You First [Album}

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The man is back! Back with a god damned plan at that. Yes, the golden child of Cincinnati is back with a brand new album that will blow your mind. Our man Sleep brings back his old school meets new poetry sound on All Men Must Die, But You First. In a business that has become so saturated with absolutely garbage, it is such a breath of fresh air to hear an actual lyricist spit over eclectic and energetic beats. I say this with absolutely honesty, there is NOTHING to hate on this album. From the concept of the songs, to the delivery of Sleep’s signature flow, it’s an overall perfect album. My only complaint is that it’s not 437 tracks long, but obviously that would be unreasonable.

It’s almost impossible to pick out one singular track to highlight, as they whole album as a concept is absolutely incredible. But, if I really felt the need to showcase one singular track, it has to be “Church with Grandma”. What an honest and deeply touching song that speaks nothing but the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It’s a track that defies so many stereotypes as well. As of this writing, I honestly can not remember hearing another hip hop artists, a black hip hop artist anyway, speak so diligently about being a non-believer.

I sit here and try desperately to find some sort of simile to use to describe Sleep, but’s not really possible. His style is so specific. I will say that he is sort of like the Bill Burr of hip hop. Not that he is telling jokes (although, if you follow the cat on Facebook, you’d think he was a professional comic). It’s just his delivery of truly powerful and truthful statements that make him so incredible and at the level of talent that Burr is in the comedy world. And All Men Must Die is definitely his best work to date. After about 6 or 7 listens of this incredible album, I’m pretty god damned certain I can say with total honesty: Sleep is a force of nature that just cannot be stopped, and has a talent that could take him in any direction he may choose. Fact.

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You can pick up the album HERE, on a pay what you want scale. Throw in some cash people! It’s worth a million bucks, so you can through in at least five.

Check out this video for “Ima Be Famous”:

Matt Costa [Interview]

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If there is one singer/songwriter that I have always loved and respected just so damn much, it will always be Matt Costa. In the early 2000’s I was a huge fan of everything that Brushfire Records was putting out. I loved Jack Johnson, and if you check out Part 7 of our From The Vault series, we still defend Jack to this fucking day. I love many of their other artists, but I can say without a doubt that Matt Costa was always the best, and is still the best to come out of that line up.

And Matt has proven that he is a creative mastermind with his latest project doing the original soundtrack for the film Orange Sunshine, that is absolutely beautiful. It’s something completely different from what his fans might expect, but it is fucking brilliant and needs to be heard. It is absolutely brilliant, and must be heard. The album will be out on November 11th, and is a must hear. You are going to love this album, I can guarantee it.

So, with that, I am so happy to say that we got a few words from Matt, talking about how he got into the world of music, what keeps him going, and a bit about his work on Orange Sunshine. So please enjoy!

 

When did you first realize that music was meant to be the reason for your plain of existence?

When I was a kid I heard Jerry Lee Lewis playing piano. A little later my Dad showed me The Who’s Tommy and Cream’s Disraeli Gears, I wanted to live in those worlds; the sounds were so powerful. I wouldn’t say that those influences are obviously apparent in my music, but that was my first introduction to Rock and Roll as a very young kid. I didn’t start writing music till I was 19. Since then I keep going further down the rabbit hole.

When did you first have that “Holy Shit, I’m a working musician now”. Basically, when did you  realize your art was officially your world?

When I started being able to pay rent from money I made performing or selling records. My girlfriend at the time was working and going to school. We we where living in Sacramento. She would come home, after I had gone through about two pots of coffee, and I would be running around the house like a mad man singing melodies and running over to catch them on the piano with a tape recorder. I was also learning a lot of songs. Whatever songs I could get my hands on; preferably the older the better. She couldn’t handle it but my wife now can.

Can you please tell us a bit about Orange Sunshine? How did you become a
part of this project? And  what drew you to this story?

I received an Email from a mutual friend of the director his name was Klee, named after Paul Klee the Artist, but pronounced Clay. Because his name is Klee I always trust him. He explained that William Kirkley was making a documentary on the Brotherhood of Eternal Love called Orange Sunshine. The title was familiar to me and the story was a local one. I had read some stories about this group and their drug smuggling history. I currently live in Laguna Beach where the story took place. Klee connected me with William Kirkley. He asked me to write a few songs for the film, and shortly after I submitted those he asked if i would be interested in scoring.
While the sound is obviously a bit different than those just tuning back in from your days on Brushfire Records or your recent EP’s, that is obvious, there is also a strange essence to this amazing record that is undeniably appealing. But, what else was different for you in completing the music for this film? What were the main things you were looking to do differently on this record, and do you feel like you accomplished them?

I let the film dictate the moods. It was a different approach for me, with the exception of about 3 songs, there aren’t many with vocals. I let the film be the lead and that was refreshing.

And I must throw it out there, “Call My Name” is a brilliant single. Simply goddamned brilliant! Can  you tell us specifically what you were trying to convey in this beautiful
psychedelic doo top (as I would call it) track? Is there a personal reason this track exists?

Well thanks!! The song is a traditional sounding love song but untraditional in a sense that it is referencing enlightenment brought on with the Orange Sunshine LSD that was spread throughout the world. Its refrain “I Need Your Love” is a call out to the Brotherhood of Eternal Love. It appears for brief section when two of the characters get hitched. They start a conservative life in Orange County and quickly realize after taking LSD that they need more from life.

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I read on your website that John Steinbeck was once a fellow dweller of your community. Did you find  that his essence still lived among the residents? Real question, would you
consider Steinbeck’s work to be a major influence on your own work?

The Cottage where Steinbeck wrote “The Pastures of Heaven” sits on top the steepest street in town. You wouldn’t know that one of the most Important literary figures in the 20th century lived here, there no placards and there aren’t any streets named after him. I do a radio show on Tuesday nights and the DJ before me has a screen saver of the western flyer; the boat Steinbeck traveled to the Sea of Cortez. Sometimes he will quote Steinbeck on his show or he and I will talk about our favorite scenes from his novels. My favorite Steinbeck book isn’t an official novel but “A Life in Letters,” where his personal trials and creative process are revealed. Steinbeck has definitely brought me closer to my home state California.

Your hit single “Mr. Pitiful” appeared in numerous films and trailers and yada yada yada. I know this  is all old news. But, I have to bring it up because our old friend and fellow TWS interviewee, John Hamburg, was the man behind the Paul Rudd fronted comedy I Love You Man, so I have to ask, how was it hearing your track set as the background to such a goofy, yet undeniably sweet, moment in comedic history?

Honestly I’ve never seen it, but I have seen all his other films and loved them. The one thing it did do is make my family believe I really made it as an entertainer.

What would you consider to be your greatest non-artistic influences?

My Wife, Family, and Friends.

I know you are currently on the Orange Sunshine kick at this time, but do you have any foresight into what will be next? What is the next thing we can look forward to hearing
from you?

I’m writing new record and looking forward to sharing it.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

My friend lost a tooth. It was one of his front teeth. He has long hair and
A beard and a big missing tooth gap. It’s a strong look. I love him.

 

You can catch Matt Costa on a few West Coast dates. Each night features a screening of the acclaimed film Orange Sunshine with a concert to follow by Matt Costa performing songs from and inspired by the film. A Virtual Reality Component is included taking you inside the minds of “The Brotherhood of Eternal Love”. Here are the dates for November:

November 15th – Los Angeles, CA @ The Masonic Lodge at the Hollywood Forever Cemetary

November 17th – San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s

November 20th – Seattle, WA @ El Corazon

November 21st – Portland, OR @ The Albert Rose

November 22nd – Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s

 

IAN SWEET – Shapeshifter [Album]

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Dear fine TWS readers, please forgive me, as this is my first outing back into the “album review” world in almost two years, but I feel like I have chosen a fine example of why I want to be back in this business. I have a new style of doing things, and I feel like this album is the perfect lift off for me to explore new grounds, and more importantly, new sounds (no, I will not be rhyming as a “thing”, that’s just a happy coincidence.

So, IAN SWEET. Wow. This is what has been happening since I have been away, huh? Nothing can make a hack music-blogger feel more insignificant than hearing something like this that  has been building into a bigger and better thing while I was busy battling the inner turmoils of mild depression and the demons digitally brought before me courtesy of an Xbox One. But, what a fucking joy to come back to! There is just so much to say about Jilian Medford, the mad woman behind this beautifully deranged project. She is obviously an amazing songwriter, singer, and all of those things she has been told in so many ways over the years. She was solo before this, so she knows she is amazing. There is no Pandora’s box being opened on that front. But, I have to bring up the fact that the entire sound of Shapeshifter is absolutely fucking fantastic! I am a lyrically based, singer/songwriter type fan in general, and it is hard to shift my ignorant ass from that form. But, I will be damned if this trio didn’t up and do it! I am in love!

Seriously, you get everything from this record! For poetry obsessed aborigines like me, you get some serious wordplay about battling depression enraged by terrible relationships and the overall tyranny of living amongst the mortal world from a woman who “just fucking gets it!”. But, for the Marc Maron-esque folks out there, you get some pretty intense yet organized guitar work, perfectly timed drums mixed into a beautiful rhythm that is undeniably catchy and obviously important for so many reasons.

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There really isn’t a damn thing you couldn’t love about this album. I mean, they have an ode to Michael Jordan for shit’s sake! You get to wax philosophy about terrible past loves while enjoying basketball legends, skateboarding, and the inevitable idea that we may all die alone some day. What the hell else could you want? This is just about perfect, if we really had an idea about what perfect really meant. I don’t think any of us really do. But, I guarantee Shapeshifter is very very close.

Alright, thanks Everyone! Please let me know how this works for you. Not so much the album, because if that didn’t work for you, well, there is no fucking help for you. This is beautiful music. I’m being personal. Did I do okay? Am I alright? Whatever, listen to more IAN SWEET!

Learn more about IAN SWEET from Hardly Art, or find them on Facebook (we still do that, right?), and on Twitter (this is definitely a thing still, right?) Find them on Instagram however the hell you would do that. Also at their website.

Check out this video from IAN SWEET right here as well!