Scott Zuniga is an emerging songwriter who has just released his first demo recordings—a small set of impressive, mature indie/folk compositions. But Scott has been involved with music internationally for years as a director and producer, among other roles. We were lucky to catch this talented neophyte to learn about his runaway successful kickstarter campaign for the new album, how the Loch Ness monster helped him come back from a difficult period, what it’s like to direct a music video for an Arabic rap star, and how having a Scottish mom can influence your dreams.
We had an excellent field of candidates this year: Many of the big LDS players had new albums out and we saw some old linescratchers friends come back from the dead. Without further ado, our results, based on a popular vote:
Are Mormons responsible for saving Morrissey’s solo career? Kind of. Maybe. One might be.
Haun’s Mill’s new album came out on September 21. They sent me a copy for review more than two months before that. And I’ve been listening to it regularly in that time, but what with touring (theirs) and illness (mine) and losing things (universal), this darn interview has taken for bleeding ever to get into a final form. But we arrived! And it was worth it!
Because of my ongoing inability to embed videos on Linescratchers, the full version of this interview will appear only on A Motley Vision, but to whet your appetite, here is an excerpt:
[Because of my ongoing problems with embedding videos, please read this post about The Killers, Neon Trees, and Imagine Dragon at A Motley Vision. Thanks.]
New single off RGC’s latest EP. It rocks!
Arthur is also the founder and honcho here at Linescratchers. He sat down to talk with us about the desperation that bore his new album, why anyone should care that he’s Mormon, and how Eastern Orthodox Christianity has influenced his work.
Odes has a unique creation story. Can you describe the contributions from all the people involved and how it came together?
Well, there are a couple creation stories for Odes. The first is that the project was initially created to help me repair my car. Long story short, my wife and I were driving down to Charlotte, NC, with our very small baby, for a grad school interview, when our car broke down in the middle of Tennessee. We were then completely taken advantage of by an unscrupulous tow/mechanic guy and depleted our savings completely. We didn’t know how we were going to pay bills that month. So I decided that maybe I should just get a bunch of my recorded demos into some kind of presentable form on a Bandcamp account and sell them to raise money for our bills. I had been particularly inspired by a collection of ancient Christian hymns called the Odes of Solomon and a few of my songs were strongly influenced by those hymns. However, due to my pathetic need to pay the bills, a bunch of family and friends pre-ordered the album, enough that our immediate need was fulfilled. Since the matter wasn’t urgent anymore, I decided to create an album out of the material that was truly worthy of being called an album. Around 10 months later, Odes was finished.
A few of my musical contacts I’ve made through Linescratchers helped along the way. Ian Fowles (from The Aquabats!) volunteered to play lead guitar on some songs, and he can be heard in “Don’t Wake Me Now” and “Last Song.” Davey Morrison Dillard asked me to write a song to be featured in his upcoming film adaptation of the play WWJD? and that was “Don’t Wake Me Now.” Adam Kaiser of the Neighbors almost played drums but moved out of his city last-minute and couldn’t do it. I got a friend of a friend, Jared Palick, who plays drums in Portland, to play drums on “Last Song.” My sister sang harmonies on “Gabriel,” and my brother sang harmonies on everything and played drums on all the other songs, so it was really a collective effort from a lot of friends.
Lastly, Young Sim has invited me to list my album under his Feel Good Music Coalition label which I happily did. I love that guy and take every opportunity to work with him that I can.
Upon hearing rumors that I had been working hard to wrap up an album project for December release, I decided to sit down with myself for an interview. Here are all the facts for our loyal Linescratchers readers.
Does your album project have a general theme?
To me, these are guitar-driven songs about life. They are real, they are raw, and they are relevant. That’s pretty much the theme of the project.
In a recent YouTube video released by the Provo-based band Fictionst, members of the band browse a record store. After picking up albums by various artists and mentioning each by name, the camera zooms and focuses on the Atlantic logo. At the end of the video, Fictionist frontman Stuart Maxfield finds a Fictionist album in the Local Music section. He picks it up and looks at the camera…
… proving you can say much more without saying anything at all.
Fictionist plans to make their big announcement at the Velour Live Music Gallery in Provo, Utah on September 21st. Until then, we would like to congratulate them on signing with Atlantic Records. Congratulations, Fictionist.
Michael Dowdle’s bio is the musical equivalent of the resume of a CEO. He has played rock, jazz, classical, country, and everything in-between. On my mission, we were only allowed to listen to hymns or the Tabernacle Choir. His album 50 Favorite Hymns was a lifesaver. Adding to his vast musical repertoire, Michael is releasing a new rock/fusion album called Convergence.
1. (of several people or things) Come together from different directions so as eventually to meet.
These are the questions the guitar geek in me wanted to ask Michael. Continue Reading →
A transplant from Houston, Texas, to Utah, Michelle Kennedy has a lot on her hands. Not only is she a law student, she also is a singer, composer, and performer otherwise known as Calm Paradox, and releases music on her own music label. Inspired by classical as well as indie music, philosophy, and literature, Michelle has gained as much of a reputation for her raw, honest lyrics as she has from her intuitive tonal style. Juggling songwriting and performing with other pursuits can take a toll on a musician, but Michelle has not let that stop her from releasing an album of music called How to Mind, which is now available for purchase in several outlets. In this interview, Michelle tells us about her songwriting influences, her lyrical style, and her unique approach on How to Mind.
So Michelle, since you have a degree in philosophy, tell us what you think of William James’ Pragmatism. Don’t hold back.
A: William James and the Pragmatists are quite interesting, but that is all I have to share on the subject. Philosophy is a very personal pursuit of mine, and thus one of the few things that I’ve learned to keep for myself. Continue Reading →
For a few weeks now, I’ve been listening to the latest effort from the Aquabats, and contemplating my critique. Having done a number of reviews and critiques over the years, this one has been the hardest, because it is such a unique project. I have heard of the Aquabats but had never heard their music until now. So, rather than review this by comparing and contrasting it with past works, I am simply going to focus on this particular body of work.
So, to point out the obvious… this is not your “typical” band. With their spandex “rash guard” super hero shirts and their anti-negativity helmets, they not only deliver everything you would want from a world famous rock band, but they also travel the planet in their highly customized Winnebego fighting crime, including notorious bad guys like Gasface and Kitty Litter.
Or at least that’s what I hear.
So, on to the music… It’s juvenile, cheesier than cheetos in nacho sauce, completely over-the-top, borderline ridiculous, and… FUN! It’s actually refreshing to have something on my iPod that is fun, light-hearted, energetic, and full of satire. Continue Reading →
For your consideration, a two step formula for judging art: 1. Identify what the artist attempted to accomplish 2. Assess whether the artist accomplished it.
Low is never as monolithic as you remember them being. One word summaries (slowcore) hide the most important and interesting part of Low–their focus on relationship. Dynamics are Low’s secret: within a harmony, a song, an album, and increasingly, a discography. Like the Beatles, like Nirvana, revisiting the back catalog is always a pleasant surprise because the precious space we have in our brains to categorize popular music doesn’t let us retain the exceptions to our heuristics. And it’s the exceptions that make those bands stand the test of time.