Saturday, February 28, 2015

Indie Ville TV #30 Nominee Alternative CD Greyhaven

Written by  Patricia Faulkner               

Greyhaven, consisting of 4 members: Brent Mills on vocals, Devin Harper on guitar, Johnny Muench on bass, and Jared Barron on the drums, has been nominated for Indie Ville TV’s ‘Alternative Album of the Year’.
These humble thrash wizards are from Louisville, KY, branching out into the vast conscious ocean as a storm with their riveting beats, progressive bass and rhythm, and unapologetic vocal front.
Bassist Johnny Muench and vocalist Brent Mills had a moment to talk about what drives them to do what they do.

Q: Who did the album art for Cult America?

Brent: Our friend Travis Porter! In Ohio, on our second tour (out of 4 so far),  we were traveling in a two-door, four-seater Explorer attached to a trailer with all of our equipment inside, and we broke down.
He picked us up when we needed help. When it came time for the record, we had an idea to use a painting, and Travis sent us a rough of his concept, and we juggled it back and forth between the band and him until it materialized.

Q: What is the subject matter of the art he did for the album?

Brent: It has to do with being OCD, having a compulsive disorder, and how mind-numbing the world can be sometimes in dealing with that.

Q: Your song “Workhorse” is pure poetry actualization that living the ‘American Dream’ is in a light can be quite the nightmare.

Brent: I wrote that song at work while I was mopping or sweeping at work one day. I’m a floor tech at a nursing home.
Johnny: This song is about our society and its laws crumbling.
I work in a liquor store and witness people waste their money every day.
We live in a society where most of our money is spent on drugs, alcohol, war, and keeping politicians paid. Workhorse was a song that came to us naturally for us in the writing process.

Q: Any advise for someone interested in the heavier side of the music industry?

Brent: Don’t be scared to do what you want. I see people mimicking bands with the most views, top ratings, latest Tweeted songs. Why would you want to mimic another band? What are you really trying to say?  Express yourself.

Q: What are some of your personal vocal influences in in your music?

Brent: Mostly trying to figure out what doesn’t hurt my throat too much. Haha. Serj Tankian from System of a Down. Nirvana..every time I Die.

Q: What do you think is an element that today’s youth could instill in their lives to create a solid future/foundation for themselves?

Brent: Well, do you want to provide for your family or live a quiet life? If so, that’s great. Do what you want to do. It depends on what you want.
There are people out there like me that don’t want that.
What I want to do is express myself and make art.
As cliche as it gets to sound, don’t give up on your dreams.

Q: As independent artists, we are driven to create order from the mess in our heads.
How much external manipulation did you allow in the recording of Cult America?

Brent: We like a lot of different, varying music, but we do not was to let ourselves be influenced too much by one thing. We dig southern swing.. but not too much. We write freely.

Q: I noticed these lyrics in a song of yours called ”The Absolute American”,
“I’ve been through Hell, and I came back an atheist
Because I didn’t want to believe what I’d been through
and I’ve been singing the songs of the promised land
I guess you could say I’m the Absolute American”
Tell me a little bit more about what drove you to write this song.

Brent: The record was written shortly after some things in my life happened, and I literally didn’t want to believe that anything I was going through was true. My disbelief was a crutch, and I thought I could simply wake up one day and redo things. Also, in conjunction with the way the systematic government is set up, it literally enables you to get hooked on drugs, and go to jail. That’s what it wants in order to feed itself. It is so hypocritical in its own message.

Q: I’m interested in your religious history. Was your family rooted in any form of religion?

Brent: I have never been religious. My mom and dad are not religious and never were..I have always felt awkward at church. It’s interesting how people choose to describe things outside of themselves. I like the imagery. I think it’s beautiful in a way.

Q: Favorite must-read books?

Johnny: 11/22/63 by Stephen King and 1984 by George Orwell
Brent: The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls and Slaughterhouse by Kurt Vonnegut

Q: Did you watch any cartoons that stuck out to you growing up?

Brent: Oh, yeah. Dragonball Z, Pokemon, CatDog. You know, those weird cartoons on Nickelodeon.
There were some really fucked up things going on there..

Q: Do you have any siblings?

Brent: I actually have quite a bit. I have 4 brothers, of which I am the oldest.
I live with 3 of them. My second youngest brother, who is around 12 or 13 years old, plays drums.

Q: What is one thing you try to keep in mind during a live performance?

Brent: Trying not to fall down. Not breaking the mic stand.
 That’s happened more than once. Try to focus on staying in key, and sounding good.
There are bands that fuck up live when they’re not in sync with the people they’re playing with.
So, making sure you’re all on the same wavelength.

Q: Any crazy fans yet?

Brent: We’re a really tiny band, really. Mainly at shows we see our friends, so we love seeing new people at our shows.
We’ve been making a lot more friends.

Q: Did you take any form of art class, band, choir in school?

Brent: I used to draw a little bit.. I played violin in 5th grade, but didn’t stick with it.
In middle school, I took choir. My dad taught me to read guitar tabs, so I can just read those and go from there.

Q:What are your weapons of choice, and what would you like to try in the future?

Brent: I like singing the most. Guitar, but lately I’ve been playing bass.
I would love to maybe one day pick up playing the piano.

Q: How do you feel when you are onstage?

Brent: I feel normal. I feel like I belong up there. I don’t feel like that anywhere else. We had a show at a local pizza place and when we started our set and people rushed the stage and around us. A friend of mine asked me afterward, “Does it ever get terrifying when people surround you?”
No-it doesn’t.
It’s comforting.

To hear Greyhaven’s music, check out the links below:

If you are interested in the mind behind the album art of Cult America, check out
Artwork and Fortnight Booking
instagram- @travisjayporter


Indie Ville TV #29 Make Up Artist Nominee Samantha LA

Written by Patricia Faulkner                         

Samantha LA has always been talented, with drawing and cosmetology, with a keen eye for fashion. As a published model, certified fitness instructor, and award-winning makeup artist, she has been featured in numerous magazines and fashion shows, some of them being Black Pinup Magazine, Feroce, Paul Mitchell Hair Show, Matrix Hair Show, and Fashion Bug.
She now has her own printed zine, MyBelleza Inc. Magazine, launching its first issue on May 5th.

Q: Tell me one thing that keeps you strong and consistent as an independent force.
Samantha LA: Keeping in mind every aspect during freelance, scheduled work, when times get hard, no matter what-that you are working for the Lord. Try to keep God in your life. Everything I do brings me back to God.

Q: What is your idea of a look that is timeless?

Samantha LA: Anything that compliments pearls.
Pearls will never get old! Never.

Q: Do you have any beauty icons or female role models that have inspired your work?

Samantha LA: I have three. I hate to say it, but my first, I would say is Marilyn Monroe, for standing out with her curves.
My second would be Dorothy Dandrif. Lastly, Josephine Baker.

Q: What is your mission in your work as an independent female MUA in the modern world?

Samantha LA: My talent has enabled me to use the skills I have to complete God’s mission.
Religious art is powerful, and in my magazine I am open to all religions and ethnicities.

Q: What should a person eat for healthy skin?

Samantha LA: I would say fruit is good. Green leafy vegetables, and water.
Lots and lots and lots of water.

Q: Any awkward moments or obstacles when working with someone?

Samantha LA: (laughs) Contouring a big forehead, or highlighting a small chin to make it appear larger.

Q: What is your goal with the models you train and work with?
Samantha LA: My company welcomes all ethnicities, and they must be respectful young ladies in order to get them where they need to be in life, in this industry or not.
With how I train them, they’ll have these things for them later in each individual life anywhere they go.

Q: What are colors in your opinion that should never be worn in cosmetology?
Samantha LA: I think specifically on the eyes..yellow, orange, or pink should not be worn casually. That should never happen unless you are going by a bolder theme.
Q: Any specific color palette for 2015? New looks you’ll look forward to in the summer?

Samantha LA: I would like to see a lot more natural beauty in correspondence of bright colors, for example, a neutral face with bright pop lip color. Emphasis on the natural look, but not too much contour. Contouring is more appealing in the fall/winter season.

 If you would like to observe some of Samantha LA’s work, below are links provided to do so:

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Indie Ville TV #28 Heather Williams Owner of Life in Nash

Written by Lillian Rhine                                                   

My name is Heather
Williams and I currently have a blog/website/brand called “Life In Nash.” Three and half years ago when I moved here from Atlanta, I wanted to document my journey as I chase the dream of being a songwriter. I also wanted to share the crazy and cool things that were happening in my life and in my new city and hopefully inspire others to chase their dreams as well. I spend my time blogging about local events and going to all the new restaurants to tell the world what we Nashvillians already know: Nashville is off the chain! It’s growth is amazing and there are so many awesome things are to do, to experience, and, honestly, to eat. I also freelance and do marking/social media for small businesses in the city as well!

  • How many venues have you frequented locally? Probably one hundred. Nationally?  Hundreds more. I used to live in Los Angeles as well. 

  • Do you get asked by promoters to be at events? Not yet! 

  • What’s the hardest part about doing what you do? Now that Nashville is truly booming, it’s hard to be at all the cool events, shows, and/or new spots and keep up. However, I still try my best to talk about or blog about every event, an opening of a restaurant, a festival, or a show. Even if I am not there. I just truly LOVE being here right now as Music city rises to it highest peak! 

  • What are your aspirations? I have so many. I honestly just want to wake up everyday living my purpose; To love what I do and to inspire others.  Hopefully help to change lives and to grow with Nashville. I want to use “Life in Nash,” not only as a marketing site for the city, but I also want to give back to the community and partner with a company like “Project 615.” I would love to collaborate and market  branded shirts with them. I want to have a few songs cut by an artist. I want to write a book someday and tell my story of how I lived and overcame profound trials. How I moved here only on faith, from where I was in a very dark place, but by the grace of God, I‘m still here. And how I have always followed my heart no matter what and that everyone can live the life they want by living fearless and believing in themselves. Also, to maybe own a boutique store someday and have a family.

  • Have you ever considered partnering or opening your own venue? I would love that! My friend, who owns his own film company in Atlanta, was in town and we were walking downtown late one night. We looked up to see all these vacant spots on top of Tootsies and Roberts. We thought how cool it would be to open a venue up above those bars on Broadway.

  • What’s the best part about doing your job? I just love sharing the excitement of all the new things happening here. Meeting NEW people is great too! I love networking and learning people’s stories. I love sharing my experience here! I love to small talk. It sounds weird, but I could do it all day. 

Also, before I relocated to Nash, I worked for Kevin Rathbun, in Atlanta. He and his brother were “Iron Chef,” winners. He currently owns four restaurants there and he is obviously a talented chef and an amazing guy. Working with him, I turned into a foodie immediately. Therefore, I love trying new places and unique cuisines.

  • What your advice for those who want to do what you do? First of all, just believe in any idea that you have as well as yourself. Put it out there. Work on it and don’t let others steer you away from that idea or desire. If you believe, it will come about. Do research on everything. Google is great!! I google everything. Ha. Read books. Be smart and go with your gut. Talk to people who do what you want to do. Pick their brain and learn from their experience. If your heart is in it and it makes you happy, you will be successful.

Indie Ville TV #27 Newcomer band 8 Faces

Written by Patricia Faulkner                             

Newcomer band, 8 Faces, has finished recording their first studio album, awaiting to break out in spring/early summer of 2015. The band contains Willow Parrish, Hunter Lovan, Ray Zen, and Ethan Kyle. These young minds sat down with me and toyed with my emotions as I pried what I could from them about their upcoming album. Here is a glimpse onto their lives as developing musicians.

Q: I see that you are all at varying ages..Exactly how old is everyone here and who does what?!

Hunter: Well, I’m 15. I am the guitarist. Willow, our front woman, is 16. 
Our drummer Ray Zen is actually 13, and our bassist Ethan is 16.

Q: How long have you been a band and who started it all?

 Hunter: We’ve been a band for about a year, and Willow and I have been playing together since the beginning. All of us went to school together except for Ray. We found him playing at a music showcase. 

Q: Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

 Hunter: I’d say The Eagles, The Doors…Pantera! Led Zeppelin. 

Q: The song “Before Their Eyes” has a video out now..What is the story/message behind that song?

Willow: My dad and I wrote that song together about a girl coming of age and growing into something she wants other people to see. Basically a song about a girl growing up and growing into herself.

Q: I recall hearing your vocals and thinking in my head that they could translate across many different genres. Out of all, why did you choose the metal side of things?

Willow: The way my family has grown, there was always that metal/rock vibe, so that’s something I grew up on, and has always been something I listened to. 

Q: How do you feel about the demographic you’ll be performing for in the future?

Ethan: Terrified. (laughs)
Ray: Yeah, it’s an interesting demographic to see coming into a band at a young age, because I’m still in middle school. I’m in 7th grade. It’s interesting.

Q: Nashville needs more metal, so you guys better crank it out. At times, with developing bands it can almost become a competition of who can play the loudest. What is one element you try to stay mind as a unit?

All: Have fun!
Ethan: Have fun, and to make sure everyone is giving in the creative process.

Q: What is a problem you avoid during this creative process?

Hunter: I don’t know. We are a pretty diverse group. We aren’t just metal or just rock. We all listen to a wide range of things. It’s all about diversifying yourself. Don’t get stuck in a rut.

Q: What is one thing that you think an independent artist or ensemble should try to remember when writing music? 

Hunter: Take your time with the songs you are writing.
Ethan: -Make sure they each have their own personality.
Hunter: At first, your songs are not going to be good, and you’re just going to accept that and keep writing and working, but one day they’ll be good. 

Q: Tell me about the album coming out.

Hunter: We have everything recorded as of right now. We have 12 songs, but we’re cutting it down to about 8 or 9. 

Q: Where do you see yourself as a band in one year?

Willow: Doing what we do.
Ray: I think when we get finished up with this album, we’ll start doing more blues know, groovy stuff.
Hunter: Yeah, we don’t plan on slowing down. 
Not moving too fast, but we’re definitely all in for the long haul.

Indie Ville TV #26 Tree Read: A Girl In The World

Written by Patricia Faulkner              

Local pixie song seamstress Tree Read has an album out called “First Grade”. 
It is a charming indie-acoustic real-life story about her experiences as a girl in the world. I wanted to know about her process and snuck a peak inside her charming world as a modern female artist, so we sat down over coffee and had a few words.

Q: How long have you been writing music?

Tree: My song are actually poems I sing to people. I have been writing poetry from the age of 7. When I was 14 years old, I received a breakup text from an older boy I was dating at the time. I was heartbroken, and when my stepfather and I put our money together for my first guitar from Corner Music, I wrote my very first song, “Ow”.

Q: What is the process for the creation of an album for you?

Tree: I create the album art first, paintings usually, and the rest seems to fall into place. I have no idea what is to come with this next EP, but one thing I do know is that when I get the ego out, great things happen. 
There will be people that tell you that you can’t. You can’t-you’re too tall. You can’t-people don’t want to listen. You can’t do what you love. They believe that because they didn’t get their dream, why should you? 

Q: What inspired you to kickstart “First Grade”?

Tree: I woke up one day and decided I wanted to write an album. 
I didn’t know anything except that it was going to happen.

Q: What were your informative years like growing up?

Tree: I went to boarding school for 6 years, and then I went to college in Switzerland. It was a pretty intense learning experience, and it’s the funniest things that stick. To remember mountains and capitals for geography, I would sing to myself to remember.

Q: What was your major in Switzerland as a student?

Tree: Art History, or as they say, getting into student debt. 

Q: For your next ep, what information would you willing to release about it?

Tree: This brings me back to the story of “First Grade”, actually. For Christmas break from college, I came back to Nashville for my very first show at 12th and Porter on 12-21-12, which was supposedly rumored to be the end of the world at that time. Literally 2 days before Christmas was when I decided I was going to move out, drop out, get sober, and move in with my boyfriend. All at once. All of this decided in one day. So I started telling myself, “I’m going to record an album, I’m going to record an album.” Two days later I was in the studio. So that is “First Grade”. This next ep is me reaching out to the universe. I have no idea what is going to happen, and that is the beauty of it. The cover for it is compiled of spray paint, photography, and flower petals on canvas. I have been sober for two and a half years now, and that’s been a big part of my music as well as letting my self feel things and reaching out to others.

Q: The track “Something Higher” is a very emotionally charged song on the list. In juxtaposition of the more, poppy Bowie vibe, I was taken back. What moved you to write it?

Tree: The album was completely finished at one point. We were done recording! Merely two days after the fact, my mother rented a hotel room for the two of us. She sat me down and told me that she had cancer. I rushed back in the studio and recorded that song for her.

Q: If you could share the stage with 3 musicians of your choice, who would you choose and why?

Tree: 1) Patti Smith, for she is more of a poet than a musician.
         2) Mike Campbell from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, for his understated guitar wizardry.
         3) and Mick Jagger, for his energy, man.

Q: So, as a note to other singer-songwriters trying to get their emotions and messages out, what would you say to budding musicians such as yourself?

Tree: Think about what you're selling yourself. Half of my brain is selling what the other half is buying. Don't sell yourself short, and don't get caught up in your own emotions when there is a whole world of emotion to explore out there.