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Exclusive Ear buds Interview: Reality Suite

By Kristyn Potter

Exclusive Ear buds Interview: Reality Suite

A few months back, we released a cassette tape in partnership with New Jersey rock radio station, WRAT featuring the New Jersey indie, pop, rock group Reality Suite. ITC sat down with them for an exclusive interview—read it here folks! 

How did you meet?

Antonio was introduced to me by his cousin in the 4th grade. I played drums – Antonio owned a guitar – could barely play. But we both had this uninhibited desire to create music. We sang and poorly played into a boom box….created our own cassette tape “albums” every few months and lent them to our classmates in elementary school. Antonio and I began playing with other people in High School – this is when I met Joe. Years and several bands later, we formed Reality Suite and met Kimmii through a Craigslist ad.

How did you get started?

(Brian King, Drums) My cousin played me KISS Alive 2 when I was just entering kindergarten. After seeing the bombastic live photo that spread across the album’s gatefold, I wanted to be a rock star. I am not sure why I chose the drums…..but I was banging on everything from the garbage cans outside, pots and pans and the guard rail on the road in front of my parent’s house. I also began writing lyrics and arranging songs in grammar school. Eventually, I became fascinated with the recording and production side of things.

(Kimmii Heart, Vocals) I started singing when I was 4 years old. I would walk around the house singing “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion. I wouldn’t shut up. I was driving everyone in the house crazy. My parents saw that I had something special and signed me up for vocal lessons. I started writing lyrics and melodies and wrote my first song in 5th grade. When I was 14, I got my first taste of the studio when recording 2 songs that I had written and a cover song. It was then that I realized I wanted to look for a band. I began auditioning and joined my first band. After two bands I joined/started not working out, I discovered Reality Suite andddd the rest is history….

(Antonio Valenti, Bass) At age 10, my brother-in-law Bill gave me his old guitar with a bunch of beat-up Beatles vinyl. I was so intrigued.  Soon after, he gave me his KISS “Alive” album and then I was obsessed with music. With a keyboard given to me by my other brother-n-law, I began making cassette tapes of songs, beats and melodies. I grew up listening to RUSH, Pink Floyd and Metallica - mostly rock, but eventually I began looking for something different. Because I was also a DJ, I began listening to more dance music. Being engulfed in dance music – I became more interested in playing bass. I began writing and singing with various bands before reuniting with Brian and forming Reality Suite with him and Joe.


(Joe Padula, Guitar) At age 5 my parents bought me my first Kiss album “Dynasty.” I listened to it over and over using coffee cans as drums (guess I started out as a drummer). I had a next-door neighbor who was a few years older than me who exposed me to Zeppelin, Ozzy and the Eurythmics and since was hooked to Rock n Roll!!  When I was 9 I bought Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The song “Beat It” was the be-all end-all for me. I was so enticed by the solo in that song that I nagged my parents for a guitar and lessons which I started that same year. I later found out Eddie Van Halen performed on that song and became a huge fan by my early teens.


Who are your biggest influences musically for Reality Suite and do you think that you try to add these influences to your music or if it just happens naturally?

Great question. We each have mostly our own individual influences, then some influences we do share. For example – I am not sure if there is any one band that we ALL like. It may be two band members out of four, or three out of four. But our individual influences and shared influences overlap and create something unique. Kimmii and I love heavy rock and metal - but we also love pop music….so, from bands like In This Moment, Halestorm and Metallica to The Weeknd, The Struts, Meg Myers, etc….Joe mostly digs riff-rock, like Van Halen, Five Finger Death Punch and Guns ‘N’ Roses. Antonio - he brings out the more experimental avant garde side of us…. he’s into Radiohead, etc….he probably has the most eclectic taste of all of us - but he doesn’t really prefer pop music. So, it’s a fine line we all walk to compromise and satisfy everyone - and potentially create something unique.

Let's talk about that record deal, congrats first off! With the record deal, would you say that you've 'made it' or do you feel like now you're just getting started?

The record deal with Lion’s Pride Music is very exciting. We have had several European record labels approach us over the last two years since our debut “SKINN” was independently released. With this offer, we feel the record label is giving us the resources to grow while delivering our music to a much larger audience. We definitely do not feel that we’ve “made it.” We look at it as additional support. We have been working hard releasing Reality Suite music on our own label for almost a decade - we see this as “business as usual,” we will just have more industry support and resources. We are definitely just getting started!

Any new music coming?

Yes! I am excited because we have been demoing new songs and should be recording them formally from October - December. Our current 5 song EP, Awaken will reissued next year as a full length 10 song CD and digital download. I am hoping that everyone will hear a new single in early 2019. With each new batch of songs that we write, I'm proud to say that we are constantly challenging ourselves and attempting not to repeat ourselves. There will obviously be our key characteristics - you'll always know it's a Reality Suite song because of Kimmii's distinct voice - and Joe's guitar work, etc....but our songwriting chemistry is always evolving, so that keeps us fresh.

Any upcoming shows you want us to share?

Dingbatz, Clifton NJ 11/3/18

Debonair Music Hall 11/17/18

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Earbuds: Show Review "Termination Dust"

By Kristyn Potter

Earbuds: Show Review

Review and illustration by Von Ecker.

Brooklyn received a taste and vibe of the last frontier with the sounds of Alaska’s Termination Dust, and as I sit typing out this review my ears are still ringing with joy.

Currently on tour opening up for the indie rockers Modest Mouse, and fresh off a show in Akron, Ohio. Termination Dust has assembled a sprinkling of intimate DIY shows across the country during the tour, which is what led us to Bushwick’s Public House to see the Dream Pop band in action.

Dream Pop as a genre is new to me, and if it’s new to you I’ll do my best to describe it for you. Imagine, if you will, listening to indie rock while huffing rubber cement, without the side effects of losing brain cells and your self respect. Or if that situation is a little too seedy for you, how bout taking a bath listening to indie jams while you're underwater. The sound just has this nice subtle, fuzzy nostalgic distance to it that I really enjoy.

During the Termination Dust set, they jammed out to their songs “Clutter”, “White Walls” and “Spring Break Up”  which transported me back to high school and the heartache of relationships that got away. The band really translates their sound amazingly live. Lets face it, nothing is worse than getting pumped up to see a band live after falling in love with their music, and discovering they sound nothing like their album. It’s the music equivalent of a Tinder date gone bad.

Another thing that I appreciated about the band is that they convey such a positive message, which is something that is definitely needed in music and culture today. Even while dealing with heavy subjects as depression, love lost, and the trials of life, their music still echoes hope. The band are also huge advocates of body positivity, and making sure that everyone sees the beauty in themselves. So in this world that sometimes feels like it’s slipping back into the dark ages, it feels good knowing there are bands like Termination Dust bringing us back towards the light.

Termination Dust is back playing with Modest Mouse and touring the lower 48 states until October 21st. Be sure to check them out next time they roll through and play at a venue near you.

Remaining tour dates below:

October 3

Pittsburgh, PA at Mr. Roboto

October 4

Columbus, OH at Bourbon Street

October 5

DeKalb, IL at 7th Street Space

October 6

Iowa City, IA at Public Space One

October 7

Minneapolis, MN at Hi-Watt House

October 16

Norfolk, VA at Chrysler Hall

(W/Modest Mouse)

October 17

Columbia, SC at Township Auditorium

(W/Modest Mouse)

October 19

Bloomington, IN at IU Auditorium

(W/Modest Mouse)

October 20

Springfield, MO at Shrine Mosque

(W/Modest Mouse)

October 21

Wichita, KS at The Cotillion

(W/Modest Mouse)

 

Website- www.vonecker.carbonmade.com

Instagram- @voneckerwho

This article was originally published on Left Bank Magazine.

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October Garage Sale

By Dan Marter

October Garage Sale
this october we will be DEEP discounting select titles from our catalog

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Ear Buds: Indian Summer Interview

By Kristyn Potter

Ear Buds: Indian Summer Interview
Not going to lie, it's super rad that our founder's old buddy from college and another friend started this sick festival - Indian Summer & Asbury Park Fall Bazaar. It happened this weekend, but amongst all of the planning and festival craziness, Joe from Indian Summer chatted with me on the fest, his friendship with Dan, and some advice for bands.
Alright, so it's kind of crazy you started a festival with your buddy - I can barely even get up and out of bed for work on time, how did you do it? 

Once the Anchors Bend got city approval to have a section of the beach as part of the bar, my buddy Colin said "Dude, we should put bands out there!" From there he came up with the name Indian Summer and we booked the bands we played in as well as our friends bands and our friends to DJ and there it went. The first year was a ton of fun and VERY DIY. I remember giving the security guards for the bar whatever cash I had in my pocket to help us load the sound and gear down onto the beach. It was... a learning experience!! But probably the most fun one of all of them.
After doing some heavy stalking of you on the internet, it seems like your whole professional life has been working in various parts of the music industry - wanna give a brief description for our readers?
HAHAHA Yup! Careful what you choose to get into folks, gets real hard to get out of.... I can trace it back to one moment. I was a sophomore at Rutgers and just got back from a Rugby game (I played for 3 years while at Rutgers) and went to my uncle Bill's house in downtown New Brunswick. He was a very successful prosecutor and someone I always looked up to. So I would try to go have dinner or a beer or whatever I could with him to pick his brain. I remember being on his balcony with blood in my ear and I think a broken nose  from my Rugby game that day and he asked me, "Joey why don't you just focus on the music thing? You don't have to go into law or anything you don't want to do..." It was soooo obvious but something that never clicked until then.. From there I interned at Universal Records in Manhattan and started my journey in music... for better or worse! From there, worked and interned for both reputable as well as not so reputable companies across a lot of different facets of the industry, management/booking/label/PR/marketing/radio and video promo/live venue/music rags/radio show/live sound/tour manager/doorman/bartender/talent buying....
Anything in the music industry you absolutely loved?
When I was younger, the free CDs and tickets to shows. The older I got, being able to to help in even the smallest of ways, a band or artist who was trying to make their living in music. The little victories were as important as the big deals that got done.
It's been five years of running this festival, have you noticed anything over the years and/or how have you grown through this?
I cannot believe it's been five years. Time flies the older you get. I think our biggest success was to partner with the Asbury Park Bazaar (which my wife runs) and to include camping on the beach (which we did not want to do at first, so we can't take credit for that one. Was all from the AP Boardwalk staff, they were right about adding it and deserve all the credit). It has made Indian Summer more.... balanced, and more then just some music festival. Aside from that, on the music side, my partner Colin curates all the music and he has always done a great job of bringing in some amazing talent from the local scene as well as from around the country. Dude knows his music.
Is Asbury Park your home?
Sort of. New Brunswick was always my home. But I moved to Asbury (3rd Ave) basically on a whim one weekend in 2008. Then I moved in with my girlfriend (now wife Jenny) in Neptune in 2010. We sold that house and lived in Lavallette for a year and now are back in  our new house in Shark River Hills (Neptune) since March of 2018. So we are about 10 minutes away from the downtown. We both work in Asbury and hang in Asbury so we basically call it home though! 
What are you doing when you're not planning this rad music festival/event?
Working all the time!!! hahaha No, but I help my wife with the Bazaar, I play in a band (The Vice Rags, and yeah I won Top Dummer in the Asbury Park Music Awards 2018... NBD....) work on the house and take our dog Edith on trips whenever we can. Bartend one night a week at Bond St. Bar (last remaining original bartend there... yeah Im old) and try to cook dinner and do laundry from my pregnant wife (baby is due Indian Summer / Fall Bazaar weekend... yup...)
Any advice for bands trying to get their music heard?
Play as much as possible (shows AND practice). Just be you and work hard AF. The rest comes with the hard work. Be yourself and honest and don't try to be something your not. There is SO much music out there but, I think, it comes down to people wanting to make a REAL connection with music. The lyrics, the performance everything. It's not easy and that's why there is only a handful of bands who make it to that next level. So try to have fun and enjoy the ride... Let the rest fall into place. 
You and Dan (ITC founder) go back for quite a while, what's your favorite Dan memory?
There are SOOOOO many, most of which I can't even talk about.... So let's just say, when he was the Eyeball Records mascot (full big black boxy suit, like a sports team mascot) at SXSW in like 2007. At the time he was (and I love to remind him of this), my intern when I worked at Degy Ent. the first time around. I was down there for for and he was tour managing our friends The Gay Blades but also earnign extra cash dressing up as this mascot walking around sixth ave. (That's right kids, you ALWAYS gotta find that side hustle, no matter what it is!).
Orrr, maybe it was at his wedding where he walked out with his mom to QOTSA "You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar But I feel Like a Millionare" and his mom booty dropped and twerked up on him when it kicks in!!! hahahha was amazing. (that's also probably my favorite song if that were a question here...)

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Ear buds - Steal Away Mini Doc

By Kristyn Potter

Ear buds - Steal Away Mini Doc

This new San Diego rock band Steal Away recently charted on Apple Music and iTunes but what actually caught my eye is this mini-documentary that they did. Full of personality, some live studio shots, and cuts to interviews from each of the members, this doc is such an intimate moment with the band (and p.s. it's a great way for you all in bands to show PR, music blogs, and fans a little inside look at their friendship and music.)

Use these guys to get inspired with your own music (or reach out to our boy Nunzio to help you come up with some press ideas of your own).

 

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Ear buds Interview with Chicago's Primo JAB

By Kristyn Potter

Ear buds Interview with Chicago's Primo JAB

“I want people to better themselves through the things I’m doing … make the world better through something I’ve done.”

 We chatted with the very smart, very talented, and damn good rapper Primo JAB on how he got started, his new album he just dropped, and what Jab means for those of us living under a rock. One of the sickest interviews I've done in a while, take a look.

 

ITC: So let’s start at the beginning, where are you from? 

Primo JAB: I’m from the West side of Chicago, called Oak Park. Born and raised. I’m a Sox fan … the voice of Homer Simpson went to our school—that’s my claim to fame: he spoke at my graduation.

 

ITC: How did you get started in music?

Primo JAB: I’ve always loved music, even as a kid. I’m sure my parents could tell you numerous times of using music to put me to sleep, and I remember doing little talent shows as a kid. I’ve always wanted to perform and be creative and use my imagination and have fun. As I grew up I fell into hip hop, and once I found out that anybody can rap, I’ve been perfecting my craft, and trying to get better and better.

 

ITC: Do you think anybody can rap?

Primo JAB: Anybody can rap. There’s various things anybody can do but to actually demonstrate at a high level, it takes a special something … that doesn’t mean everybody should rap. It’s different.

 

ITC: Yeah that’s completely true. Some people probably shouldn’t rap, but your stuff is really good. So you just dropped an album this year?

 

Primo JAB: On the Fourth of July, I put out my latest project, called The Book of Jab. I put a lot of work into it. I put out other albums and other projects before and each one of those I took notes on what I did the last time, and cleaned it up. On this album, I’m not perfect but I definitely feel like its 99.9999 percentile of a great hip hop project … it feels really good. I’m trying to tour, do shows off it; I’m working on a video for it next week.

 

ITC: Have your friends listened to it? What did they think?

 

Primo JAB: They like it, they’ve enjoyed it. So far everybody around me enjoys it. But it’s about strangers, I want strangers to love it, not people who don’t want to offend me.

 

ITC: Yeah I totally get that. So what is your ultimate goal with all of this?

 

Primo JAB:My ultimate goal is to be prosperous and take over the world and share my vision, through this music. And use this music to create a platform where I’m able to do other things, also music related… opportunities to help kids learn [about] entertainment jobs etc., help with socioeconomic growth and development. I want people to better themselves through the things I’m doing … make the world better through something I’ve done.

 

ITC: How old are you?

IPrimo JAB: ’m in my 30s.

 

ITC: And what is ‘Jab’?

 

Primo JAB: The jab is your product, it’s your brand. Whatever you’re pushing, that’s your means of making your way each day. Jab: its the foundation. Primo JAB, it’s the best jab. Numero uno jab.

 

I’m from Chicago and jab is street slang also … jab is used to describe commerce that might be happening in the black market. so it’s a little play on words.

 

Thats what I think hip hop has come away from … a lot of people trying to understand cycles; words come out and they get thrown around. Thats why I really like ‘Primo JAB’ too, primo sounds like family, primo thats your cousin, so primo jab is cuzzo, cuzzo jab. you’re family you’re my guy.

My producers name is godBLESSbeatz, everyone was confused. So I want to clarify that PrimoJAB used to be the both of us but I took the name to really cement the brand recognition.

[It] used to be two people, now its just me. But the same people who were involved are still involved.

 

ITC: Let’s do a fun fact or fun show story, you have any?

 

Primo JAB: I do trivia. I know all types of things.

 

ITC: Do you go to trivia nights?

 

Primo JAB: Yeah there is hip hop trivia I do. I go and dominate. If i don’t win, I’m always in second or third place. 

 

ITC: Favorite rapper out here right now - big and also underground

 

Primo JAB: I’ve been playing a lot of older West Coast stuff. Ice Cube and Redman are two influencers, they shaped who i am. I put the Wu-Tang Clan up there, Outkast, Tribe Called Quest, Nas. I really like Kendrick Lamar. I'm a fan of Future and Gucci Mane, I really enjoy their music and think they have been overlooked for what they contributed sonically. The Migos are decent as well. 

For newer rappers, Westside Gunn, Lil Eto, Crimeapple … a lot of people on the album (Flee Lord, Ras Kass, A. Flip, Blacksmith, El Camino, IceLord, Liym Capital, Daniel Son).  

ITC: Anything else you want to add?
Even though I'm from Chicago I also want to shout out Atlanta because Ive been here for a while and have well established ties to the city's cultural contributors. 
Thanks again to Primo JAB for taking the time out to chat with us. He's the real deal. Listen to The Book of Jab below.

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Meet the Team: Kevin

By Kristyn Potter

Meet the Team: Kevin
How you got started with IntheClouds
Dan and I have been friends since college. We were both in the music industry program. The first time I can remember meeting him was when he got kicked out of the department’s annual welcome meeting for new students. He was a character. Now they invite him back every year to inspire students - go figure.
I watched Dan slowly grow ITC into “a thing” over the years and really admired him for it. He was passionate about the bands and the music, he pursued it because he loved doing it. Total DIY mentality. I did my part to support the cause buying records, sending him opportunities, coming out to shows for new releases... but in 2016 he told me he wasn’t sure he could keep it going and I told him I wanted to do more. I put together a proposal to take some work off of Dan’s plate. It started with a relaunch of the website. I pulled in help from a former colleague from Sony, June Lim, to help with the redesign and asked my roommate Rich Chu to do the coding that was over my head. From there things just started to snowball. 
Favorite band of all time
Deftones
The band or artist you love that everyone else seems to hate (or a band you hate that everyone seems to love)
The band “issues”. I know they’re all the rage with the kids so I guess I’m officially old.
What you do for intheclouds
I focus on business growth. I’ve been pulling people in, adding processes and collaboration tools, doing SWOT analysis, and serving as product owner of the eCommerce systems.
What you do as a day job
Product Owner at NBC Universal and Principal of Profyts LLC.
Something very few people know about you
I listen to Jazz on Sunday mornings because it makes me feel like an adult... not sure why. It’s just background music for cooking breakfast or reading the news but it elicits a mood that I can’t reproduce on a weekday or even Saturday.
Last song you listened to
Post Malone “Congratulations”

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New Tunes: Interpol "The Rover"

By Kristyn Potter

New Tunes: Interpol

Interpol is back and arguably better than ever. 

What I love about them is that each of their albums (and corresponding tracks from various albums) still retain the classic Interpol sound—atmospheric and dark; gloomy but not entirely depressing—but are distinct in their own right.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, compares to Turn on the Bright Lights, but I'm finding that I am enjoying their new tunes almost as much. 

Their forthcoming Dave Fridmann-produced new album, Marauder, comes out in a few weeks (August 24th) on Matador Records. And this video is a precursor for what's to come.

The video was shot on-location in Mexico City in June, during a whirlwind journey where Interpol announced their new album via a livestreamed press conference – only to be unexpectedly interrupted halfway through by a mysterious figure played by Ebon Moss-Bachrach (GirlsThe Punisher), capturing the attention of fans and media alike.

Today, the mystery has finally been revealed with the release of the video directed by Gerardo Naranjo (Narcos, The Bridge) – giving further context to the elusive cult-like character, ‘The Rover’ himself, blurring the line between documentary and fever dream in a heady montage of psychedelic, hedonistic adventures. If it sounds strange, that's because it kind of is. And that's all fine.

Check their Worldwide Tour Dates below:

8/13 – Mexico City, Mexico – Teatro De La Ciudad Esperanza Iris

8/14 – Mexico City, Mexico – Teatro De La Ciudad Esperanza Iris

8/23 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer – w/ Honduras

8/24 – Brooklyn, NY – House of Vans

9/11 – Boston, MA – Orpheum Theatre – w/ Sunflower Bean

9/12 – Montreal, QC – Olympia Theatre – w/ Sunflower Bean

9/13 – Toronto, ON – Rebel – w/ Sunflower Bean

9/14-16 – Chicago, IL – Riot Fest

9/16 – Detroit, MI – Royal Oak Theatre – w/ Sunflower Bean

9/17 – Columbus, OH – Express Live! Indoor Stage – w/ Sunflower Bean

9/27 – Dallas, TX – Bomb Factory – w/ Sunflower Bean

9/28 – Austin, TX – Bass Concert Hall – w/ Sunflower Bean

9/29 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall Lawn – w/ Sunflower Bean

10/1 – Phoenix, AZ – The Van Buren – w/ Sunflower Bean

10/4 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl – w/ The Kills, Sunflower Bean

10/5 – San Diego, CA – SDSU Open Air Theater – w/ The Kills, Sunflower Bean

10/6 – Berkeley, CA – Greek Theatre – w/ The Kills, Sunflower Bean

11/6 – Tokyo, Japan – Akasaka Blitz

11/14 – London, UK – Royal Albert Hall w/ Nilüfer Yanya

11/16 – Manchester, UK – O2 Apollo – w/ Nilüfer Yanya

11/18 – Dublin, Ireland – Olympia Theatre – w/ Nilüfer Yanya

11/23 – Hamburg, Germany – Mehr! Theater – w/ Nilüfer Yanya

11/24 – Copenhagen, Denmark – TAP1 – w/ Nilüfer Yanya

11/25 – Berlin, Germany – Tempodrom – w/ Nilüfer Yanya

11/27 – Utrecht, Netherlands – Tivoli Vredenburg – w/ Nilüfer Yanya

11/28 – Brussels, Belgium – Forest National – w/ Nilüfer Yanya

11/29 – Paris, France – La Salle Pleyel w/ Nilüfer Yanya

2/16 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden – w/ Car Seat Headrest, Snail Mail

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