The Montreal band’s self-titled EP offers a diverse variety of rock sounds. A particular strength of this release is how it manages to convey a sense of live, uninhibited sound in a truly rare way. While Vidyarthi refers to Subject-Object as “digital blues,” drummer Stefan Jovanovich describes the sound as “deceptively heavy.” This label is particularly fitting for the first track, ‘Watergun,’ which features a driving blues energy, rough vocals akin to The White Stripes and heavy yet catchy riffs and jams. At times Subject-Object reminds me of Trail of Dead, but the album also features jazz and funk grooves, alt rock energy, skilled solos and solid drumming.
Right the Stars is the brainchild of singer/songwriter/producer Rich Jacques, and although you may have already heard the band’s music in movies or on television (The Breakup, One Tree Hill), their self-titled debut doesn’t come out until June 15th. Before it does, The Rock and Roll Report is here to prep you on all things Right the Stars, as seen through the eyes of Rich Jacques himself.
Q: Rich, thanks for taking the time to discuss the new record. What was the inspiration behind the name of this project, “Right the Stars”?
A: I had been contemplating names for the project and then I heard Wilco’s “Jesus etc.” on the radio. There’s a line in that song, “You were right about the stars” [and] I got inspired by that and then edited it to Right the Stars.
Brothers Tony (vocals and keyboard) and Mike Beliveau (bass), along with drummer Jason Morris, are the trio behind Los Angeles’ Crash Kings. Although they’ve just released their self-titled debut, Crash Kings have already scored tours with the likes of Chris Cornell, Stone Temple Pilots, The Bravery, and Rooney and next on the bill is a tour with Australian rockers, Jet. Mike took some time out of their action-packed schedule to answer some of our questions.
Q: I’m loving the blend of big, classic rock sounds with modern rock sensibility on the new album – what sort of musical influences led you to create this sound?
A: We are pretty rooted in classic rock, as well as some jazz and grunge. The Beatles, Zeppelin, Queen, Frank Sinatra, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Brad Meldau, Buddy Rich, Soundgarden, STP, Supergrass …
Q: Even more amazing to me is that there’s no guitar on this record. You’ve somehow made an arena rock record with just keyboards, bass, and drums – how did you do it?
A: The piano is a huge instrument with an enormous sound, if you play it a certain way. The goal was to have the piano sound as big as two guitars, but with more clarity. Add in some bi-amped bass with fuzz and you can cover a wide frequency spectrum. Then sprinkle some massive hard-hitting drums in the mix and you get a lot of sound. Then it’s all about trying to write some good songs and rocking out on stage.
New York City’s newest modern rock offering comes in the form of Starcode; a band founded by brothers Dave (Vocals and Bass) and Dan O’Connor (Drums), and joined by Greg Nicotra and Steve Bernstein (Guitars), whose style of “high-energy, dark pop rock” separates them from the herd.
Working with famed producer Dale Penner (Nickelback, Mathew Good) Starcode put together their stellar, brand new record, A Fine Line, which delivers no-nonsense melodic rock that is built on a strong acoustic base and decorated with plenty of tasty electric guitars and harmony vocals.
Recently, Dave was kind enough to take the time to answer some of our burning questions.
Q: Hi Dave – thanks for taking to time to chat. To start, tell us a bit about how Starcode began.
A: Starcode began with a few friends and family – Dan, the drummer, is my brother – getting together to share their love for creating and performing music.
Q: Do you have a favorite track off the new release? If so, what makes it stand out for you?
A: This is something that evolves with my moods. So, my favorite track today may not be my favorite track tomorrow. Even tonight as I doze off it may change. So, right this second? I’d have to say I Found A Way. It stands out for me at this time because we’ve just shot the video for it and done some shows where it really seems to have moved the crowd. There are few things better than seeing a roomful of people singing along to a song that you’ve sweated and tortured yourself to create.
Q: Working closely with a relative can be a double-edged sword. How has it been for you and Dan?
A: Dan and I have been playing together for years. Our first band, Amethyst, had their first gig when I was nine [at the Shriners Hospital in Springfield, Mass] [but] we have most definitely had some moments of rivalry. There were many things and tantrums thrown over the years. I must say however, that when things got serious for the band and we started going on the road it sort of morphed into an “us against them” sort of thing. We tend to unite along with the other guys instead of getting at it amongst ourselves. So I guess our secret for not killing each other is finding a common enemy. They’re out there and we’ve conveniently found a great way to come together against them.
Lost Without Cause are an Alternative Rock, three piece outfit hailing from Watford, Herts, UK. They have been playing together since their formation in 2004, and so far have played well over 200 gigs with the likes of My Passion, Saving Aimee, Fei Comodo, Koopa, The Runners and Linchpin.
To give you a little background information on Lost Without Cause: in 2007 the band was selected by MTV as part of their new talent initiative program, which involved a live performance and an interview which aired on MTV2 throughout April, May and June 2007. In July 2007 they visited and recorded a live session in the world famous Maida Vale Studios, and in November 2007, after progressing to the 3rd round of an International Battle of the Bands, were invited to play at the London Astoria 2. The gig was a massive success and the band progressed onto the 4th round where they once again played the London Astoria 2. In July 2008 they were selected by Bon Jovi from over 400 acts as one of the Top 20 bands with the chance to support them at their Twickenham show. Unfortunately, after an online vote, they narrowly missed out.