Jackson Mud is a newly-formed blues band that’s fronted by Smoking Popes singer/guitarist Josh Caterer. Their lineup also includes bassist Ray Somera, keyboardist Renaldo DeSouza and drummer David Benkert. Last month, they released their debut EP via Artistic Integrity Records, called Down Time Blues. We spoke with Caterer and discussed how the EP was written and recorded, as well as what some of its songs are about. We also talked about his early exposure to the blues, how Jackson Mud formed, the origin of the band’s name and more. Continue Reading…
The Bigger Empty traces its origins back to 2007, when Mike Felumlee, (current/founding Smoking Popes drummer, former Alkaline Trio drummer) began playing solo shows. He called upon some friends to assist him in playing live, and after a few years of playing shows together they’d grown to become more of an actual band than a solo project. As of last year, they started calling themselves The Bigger Empty, with a lineup consisting of Felumlee on vocals/guitar, guitarist Jim Steinkraus, bassist Reuben Baird and drummer Kevin Baschen. When asked as to what inspired the band’s name, Felumlee said “We have a song called ‘The Bigger Empty’ about my dog that runs away quite frequently. It’s about him going out into the world and discovering that it’s really not that great out there and he’d rather be back home. We loved that song title, so we decided to use it as our name. The lyrics and title were written by our friend Brian Birkland. I team up with him a lot when I’m stumped on writing lyrics.”
This Saturday, 7/25, The Bigger Empty is playing Subterranean with Spitalfield and Daniel Wade. The show starts at 6:00 PM, is 17+ and costs $17. They’ll have copies of their debut EP available at the show, though it officially comes out on 8/08 via Artistic Integrity Records. The EP is called vs. The Cloud and was recorded at bassist Baird’s studio, Chicago Sound Lab. Check out a song from the record below, called “My Great Escape.”
Superball Music – Release Date: 6/02/15
For their second album, Matt Skiba and the Sekrets forgo the melodic punk influences that dominated their first record in favor of power pop and ‘80s synthesizers. And that makes sense, as their first effort was comprised of leftover song ideas from Alkaline Trio, (Skiba’s primary band). This time around, Skiba wrote specifically for the Sekrets, and once again enlisted bassist Hunter Burgan, (AFI) and drummer Jarrod Alexander, (My Chemical Romance). The result is a much more collaborative album that’s brought to life with great success by producer Rob Schnapf. The record kicks off with “Lonely and Kold,” a radio-ready song that evokes hints of The Cure and is propelled by a catchy guitar lead courtesy of Schnapf. Skiba’s voice sounds clear and confident as he sings about breaking old habits and moving on to better things, a theme that emerges several times throughout the album. “She Wolf” comes next and it’s a danceable, Bowie-like tune that’s loaded with keyboards, vocal effects and the masterful bass playing of Burgan. “Krashing” is another prominent entry and features a layered arrangement, creative drumming and a memorable, monster hook. The record concludes nicely with the vulnerable, piano-laced track “Never Believe” and the nostalgic, atmospheric charm of “Vienna.” KUTS is a cohesive, listenable album that’s both inspired and well-written. Longtime fans of Skiba’s work are sure to enjoy this, as are those interested in hearing him effectively experiment with synthesizer-driven rock.
The Suizos formed in 2011 and feature singer/guitarist Darren Vorel, (That Lying Bitch) and singer/guitarist Chris Mason, (Super Happy Fun Club). Their name is inspired by the suizo burritos found at Taco Burrito Palace #2 in Lincoln Park. Mason lives nearby and after late night writing/drinking sessions, the duo would often find themselves indulging in the fine cuisine at said restaurant. The band recently recorded a four-song EP at Atlas Studios with Matt Allison, and “Fuck Work” is the second single from the release. Mason handled drum responsibilities on the recording, while Dave Tirio, (Plain White T’s) played bass. According to Vorel, the basis for many of The Suizos’ songs is “stuff we don’t like,” and this song certainly falls under that category.
To coincide with the song’s debut, The Suizos also created a video for the track, which Vorel and Mason co-directed. The concept for the video came to the band while on a recent road trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to witness Green Day’s induction. When asked what filming the video was like, Vorel said “It’s always fun to do music videos. I wanted to be an actor when I was a kid, so this is as close as I’m going to get. Chris and I managed to rally a lot of amazing people to be part of this. We had a high school kid named Spencer help us with camera this time, so we could focus more on our roles. Corttanie, (our lead) is someone I met while doing the Mancow show with my other group. She is totally amazing, foxy and has a fantastic potty mouth that livened up the set. Chris was like ‘What if we got Matt (Allison) to play the boss man?’ I was like ‘That’ll never happen.’ And then it did. That was my favorite part. The guy’s a natural and had us all in stitches on his shoot day. We have an hour of bloopers that are just terrific.” The Suizos don’t have any upcoming shows booked as of yet, but do plan on releasing the remaining two songs from their EP very soon. Check out the exclusive premiere of the “Fuck Work” video above and buy the song on iTunes here.