Category Archives: interview

Interviewed | Caveboy

Caveboy is a band driven by the past, future and determination. Their music is a raw emotional world that commands attention. The trio have mastered how to merge real life experiences into their indie dream-pop. In every song you hear each struggle and triumph it took to get their elevating sound. Formally known as Diamond Bones, Caveboy shifted their dynamic and encompassed their new start with their self titled debut EP released just last month.

Remi-a

Photo by Remi A

Made up of Michelle Bensimon (vocals), Isabelle Banos (bass) and drummer Lana Cooney, Caveboy is a band that plays with the idea of strange, while showcasing what’s good about being on the other side of normal. After a listen, you’ll be right there with them.  

After falling in love with their track,Something Like Summer, there was so much I wanted to know. Simply, about them finding their new sound and new personas as Caveboy. Before their previous show in Toronto, Michelle, Isabelle and Lana and I took to a coffee shop to talk about their new band, sound and how the response has been.

The band represents who you are now, who are you guys now?

Michelle: I think who we are now is a representation of what Caveboy is. Before we were called Diamond Bones.  We changed our name and revamped the band a little bit. Caveboy is who we are, it’s this primal, raw, passionate, getting your hands dirty kinda people who love music and love what we’re doing.

Lana: Diamond Bones was kind of a start for us, to hone in on what we wanted to do with our sound, with our performance and image. Once we felt like we’d outgrown that we shifted to Caveboy, it was a fresh start for us to focus in on what we were intending to do with our music.

How come you felt as if you didn’t relate to Diamond Bones anymore?

Michelle: I think Diamond Bones was just something we came up with, to be honest, very quickly. Not necessarily with any true meaning.  When we came up with the name we liked how to sounded and we did find the meaning in it. But it didn’t come from any meaning. I think with Caveboy, like Lana said, is that “fresh start” and that need to connect to every part of what we were doing. Not just the music, but how we look, and the name is such a huge part.

Lana: It’s the identity.

Let’s talk a little about the EP, how long was the EP in the works?

Lana: The EP was a combination of a lot of work. Originally it was supposed to be a full length album and we set out to start working on that a good two years ago, maybe more. So it has been a long process, but every moment of it really counted. It allowed us to really figure out what we wanted to do. Even though it took a few forms, we went through a lot of changes with it.

Is there a particular song that you find relates to you all the most?

Michelle: I would say, Something like Summer. Its been written for a bit now, but it’s something that’s really fun and it really represents Caveboy. It’s [Something Like Summer]  about growing up and growing out of things. We often play it last and it’s this hype moment, where we give everything that we have left in us. It’s the punctuation of our set. We love the feeling and it gets us to the finish line.

How has the response been to the change?

Lana: With the name change came a new kind of response than from what we were doing. First off, we changed our name so we had to tell everybody what we were doing. People were pretty receptive and accepting of what we were doing and now that we’re Caveboy and playing as Caveboy, people are really understanding what we’re doing, what we’ve been working towards and what we were going for.

What do you like seeing when you look into the crowds at Caveboy shows?

Isabelle:  I’m fortunate enough to not have to be focusing on singing lead the whole time. So I get to really have little moments and look out, those moments when I can sneak a stare into the crowd and see what’s going on. I just love seeing people as lost in it as we are. Whether their eyes are open or closed. If they’re looking at us or looking at the ground, just in it.  Just having a great time. If we had anything to do with that it’s just the best feeling.

After seeing them perform they do just that. They draw the audience in and make them remember their name. If you haven’t yet, check out Something Like Summer. 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cotton Ball Conundrum | This is What Happens When You Ask Curses Questions Using Their Song Titles

Outside Adelaide Hall in the sketchy brick alley, Curses braved the harsh wind to  answer a few questions using song the titles off of their debut EP, The Bridge. Here is a little taste of the uniqueness that is Curses. With the first show of their Canadian tour only a few hours away, Martin Broda, Daniel Ennis, Michael D. Ferreira and Michael Farina were already dressed to perform. All unintentionally matching in head to toe black and white clothing with some sort of leather accent, the four let their personalities shine and the conversation turned into a laugh-fest after each member revealed a few facts, even they didn’t know about one another.

The question was “What is something that makes your heart stop? after Until My Heart Stops. This is what happened:

“Bugs. I can’t even kill bugs. I feel too bad,” Lead singer, Martin Broda said.

Farina shifted his stance. “I actually hate you right now.”

Broda laughed, ducking a little closer to the wall he was leaning against.

“I caught a mosquito in my hand and just put it outside.” His pallid cheeks held a faint blush as the seeming dad of the group showed a softer side. Tucking his hands deeper into his leather jacket, he went on. “That’s nothing. Did I tell you about the centipede? I hate centipedes. Hate centipedes.”

What did you find one let it free?” Drummer, Farina said rolling his eyes.

“No. It was worse. I saved it,” The singer defended. “I saw one and it couldn’t really run because it had a massive piece of lint stuck on one of its legs. I felt guilty, so I was like, I’m not gonna kill you. So with my sock, I pushed the lint off of its leg.

His mates laughed while he hung his head, nodding.

“It probably crawled into your mouth while you were sleeping.” The drummer taunted, but his turn was next.

“Every time I perform. For me, I think every night everything is going to spiral out of control,”Farina said. “After the first song I think, okay, I’m gonna get through this. But for the first song in every show I’ve ever played in my whole life just feels like it’s about to get away from me. That’s just the way I’m built.”

Bugs, and performing itself, one is understandable, while the other is ironic. Moving on to the song titled, Goosebumps, bass player Ferreira revealed a fear that was just plain…special.

The question was “What gives you Goosebumps?”

“Cotton balls,” Ferreira spat out. Ignoring the stares from his mates he went on. “When I squeeze a cotton ball, I can’t breathe. It a weird sensation from the cotton.” He shivered.

“…What the hell?”Farina said. “Are you okay?”

“I don’t know what to say. I’m at a loss for words,” Ennis said.

So we revisited the cotton ball conundrum Farina couldn’t quite seem to let go.”Like, when you touch it?” he asked rubbing his temple.

“Like it’s fine when it’s at a doctor’s office,” He said pretending to swab his arm.  “But like, if I have on in my hand I just,” he shivered, ignoring Farina’s glare.

“You know what gives me Goosebumps, learning about our bass player,”  the drummer said, still glaring in the bass players direction.

Check out The Bridge to be released on October 16th, where you can hear the songs that prompted all the drama.

Keeps Tell Me About Their First Impression of Toronto

They went to a record store, got pizza, and then got some coffee.

Photo by Zachary Gray

By looking at Agustin Escalante (left) and Robbie Jackson, you might think they’re from Toronto. With Jackson dressed in vintage blue jeans and Escalante in retro stripes with matching corduroy lookalike pants, you wouldn’t bat an eye seeing them at a café on Queen West. But these boys  are straight out of Nashville, Tennessee. Playing at The Drake Hotel for their first time in the city, Keeps, took a little time after the show to spare some thoughts on their intro to the city.

“It feels like people here don’t really give a shit…which is awesome,” Robbie Jackson said. Escalante laughed in agreement. “It’s not even just the style, everyone here is just…really beautiful.”

Despite the lack of time to explore the city’s treasures in depth, they took to the culture straightaway, instantly declaring Queen Street “right up their alley”. With only a few hours to spare between arriving, unloading equipment and opening the show, they had a just enough time to get the breakdown on Queen West. Wandering among pizza parlours and record stores, the two noticed a few things about the city and the people.

“We come from Nashville where there is a line of style and everyone adheres to that,” Jackson said.

“Here, there is a fresh sense of style that’s really unique and genuine too,” Escalante said. Though there was a bigger revelation, in the city for just a few hours and the first question on their mind was,

Why are there so many attractive people here?” Escalante asked running his fingers through his curled hair. “And everyone is so nice. We were just unloading and people were like, ‘Oh are you guys playing tonight? It’s gonna be great.’  or they’d crack a joke like ‘You guys don’t pack light.’ they were so friendly, we were just like, where are we?”

“It’s so nice and refreshing to meet such nice, kind, warm, beautiful people.” Jackson said. The two shared another laugh.

The two front the band Keeps. They take the finest sounds of the past and mesh them into something modern, mesmerizing and adding a few grunge elements along the way. Having perfected their genre-bending sound in their past EP’s Rift and High both released in 2013, you don’t think they could sound any better. But watching them perform outweighed hearing them recorded. As soon as they took the stage, they crushed any unfamiliar feeling of a new band and made the room wonder where these two came from and how we haven’t heard of them before. The ease and confidence of their sound translates to an interesting stage dynamic, where Escalante smiles to himself between singing and Jackson looses himself in a world of his own.

If you haven’t discovered them yet, you’re missing out. Check out the photos of their performance here.

“Masturbation and The Appeal of Side Boob” This is What Happens When You Ask Albert Hammond Jr Questions Using His Own Song Titles

As his wife tried to connect to the wifi, Albert Hammond Jr sat on a beaten couch, eating ginger and drinking tea before his show at The Opera House in Toronto, and let me bother him for a few minutes.

“Shoot,” He said with a friendly smile. Moments in things took an interesting turn as we covered everything from masturbation, finding past selves and even a Spinal Tap quote.

…wait wait…what? A gentleman like this? How did this come about you may ask, well, the questions were kind of a joint effort, unknowingly on his part. Using song titles from his latest solo-release, Momentary Masters, I asked questions using all ten of the titles.  The result was pretty hilarious. Get ready for some fun reads!

What is being Born Slippy ?

Albert: I guess it means an idea constantly in motion. It’s the adventurous side of life that can be seen as disastrous. It’s like you’re always and forever in motion. You can never hold on to anything too tightly, because…you’re born slippy.

Tell me about a moment you’ve been so incredibly Power Hungry.

Albert: The closest I’ve ever been to power hungry would be ambitious. To me power hungry comes across as greedy. I don’t want to call myself that just because I feel that.

When have you ever been caught in someone’s shadow or caught in your shadow? (Caught By My Shadow)

Albert: I can do both! Caught in my shadow is constantly. It’s kind of in reference to an idea that a shadow exists and you exist in the same time. As light shines on you, you coexist and you can’t throw away your bad side and just be good. They’re always there together. Caught in someone else’s shadow, we’ve all felt it. When you let someone else’s things influence you, someone else’s shadow overpowers you.

Has there ever been a moment when you feel like someone is Coming to Getcha?

Albert: In the song it sounds a lot more intense. I never get into fights. It’s just the idea of something, I guess we fear. It hits our emotions and I guess we fear it or get excited by it. Fear and excitement can be kind of the same thing, it just depends on the level of excitement. I don’t know it’s coming to get us. It could be exciting, like a girl you have a crush on.

What is something you feel like you’re Losing Touch with?

Albert: *laughs* Oh so many things. Can you imagine yourself when you were 10?  We don’t relate to past selves, and then as you become more conscious and aware of your inevitable death it feels very strange.  I constantly feel like I’m living another story; another person’s life because we change so much. I feel like I’m living someone else’s life by feeling disconnected to past selves. Though I never feel like it’s negative, it just is, like the weather. Just because it’s raining it doesn’t mean its sad. I might have lost time when my younger self, but a lot of those versions come back, some things I thought I’d never see them again. Like the way I make music, for a while I was just doing it. Then I got that feeling back, from when  I was a teenager.

What is something you Don’t Think Twice about?

Albert: *looks at his wife* Masturbating.

What does living on the Razor’s Edge mean to you?

Albert: Well, I really like this move that Bill Murray did called Razor’s Edge.
I forget whether it was in a book I read or if someone told me, they describe life as a Razor’s Edge. There is such a fine line that you just have to notice. They say a joke in Spinal Tap, ‘There is such a fine line between clever and stupid’ but it’s true. Everything is so close to touching each other, you get both sides of something. It’s an idea of walking on both lines. How do you come across as being smart without being cocky or dickhead-ish. The best way to describe it is a tightrope.

Either way you’re going to get cut though.

Explain a Touché moment

Albert: There are so many and I can’t think of one right now. I just love saying it. I wanted to called the record Touché and I was going to have the cover just me getting backslapped. I just like *whispers* Touché.

Drunched in Crumbs?

Albert: It’s more than drenched, it’s drunched. It’s just when you overcome your emotions. Life is just too much of everything, whether it be good or bad. That’s what I feel is in the song. But in a way, thinking about it now,  it’s all fun in the end when you get to look back at it. There isnt a time, even when I think of the saddest time, when I can’t think it all looks good. It’d go back to all of it.

I was trying to think of a question for Sideboob, but I don’t even know what it would be… so what do you like about Sideboob?

Albert: I guess it’s the…okay. Is it just me or does it seem finer than cleavage? It’s a nicer word for sure.

It always seems sexy to me. Someone’s dressed in a T-Shirt…it’s more scandalous. The other one is just in your face all of the time so it just becomes like… butt cheeks. Although butt cheeks aren’t something you see all the time.
It had nothing to do with the way the song was thought up, I just thought, I don’t know. I tried to get a song title for that song but they all sounded too serious. I had fun playing with words with the song, so I thought that if I called it “a strange place to hunt for you” that it would all sound so cheesy. Sideboob just felt like the way. It has that dramatic ending.


Momentary Masters

  1. Born Slippy
  2. Power Hungry
  3. Caught by my Shadow
  4. Coming to Getcha
  5. Losing Touch
  6. Don’t Think Twice
  7. Razors Edge
  8. Touche
  9. Drunched in Crumbs
  10. Side Boob

I don’t really need to say anything else do I? Because listening to Albert Hammond Jr explain why he likes side boob is probably the perfect end to this read. Check out Momentary Master’s to hear the songs that caused all the commotion.

Inside The Weirdo Shrine | Backstage with La Luz

La Luz

From their chilled demeanours to their ‘80s clothing it’s apparent they’re not your typical girls. If it were high school, they’d be the ones that don’t fit in and don’t care. They’d hang out in the parking lot among their group of misfits being so effortlessly cool that you’d secretly pine to be them. You’d wonder where they came from, how they’re so comfortable just being and how they’re so unintentionally genuine. Once you gather the courage to speak to them their tactic is very apparent. Simply, zero fucks given. Naming their latest album, Weirdo Shrine, the four-member girl band has no problem embracing what makes them stand out. The album has a gritty imperfectly perfect feel. The band banishes any façades or gimmicks and focuses their sound on the never out-of-style beginnings of rock with their heavy surf sound. The Beach Boys would be proud of the alternative surf-rock, grungy guitar solos and the sly grittiness tuned into each track. Having recorded the album is a surf shop; there is a subtle hiss that you almost miss until you listen to the album on repeat. The imperfection that would have been a downfall in any other work seems only to aid the overall interpretation of the band’s sound, and the girls themselves.

La Luz Cover
Mariam, Alice, Shana and Lena

Awaiting their set at Adelaide Hall amid open beers, red cups, and an awkward orange couch, the band took a moment to explain why being a weirdo isn’t a bad thing.

“Being awkward and being powerful is a good exchange. I feel like that’s a good way to relate to people, that way we’re not coming off like we’re too cool for school, you know?” Singer Shana Cleveland said.

So how does being outcasts translate into their music?

Shana: I don’t know if it translates to our music.
Alice: …well, stage presence wise.

Shana’s silently disagreed with a shrug.

Lena: I don’t know, if I saw us on stage, I’d think we were pretty strange. Like if someone asked me, ‘Hey Lena, how was the show?’ I’d say, ‘I don’t know they were pretty weird.’
The ladies laughed.
Alice: Yeah, there are sometimes when I’m like we are beautifully awkward. There are times when I think people are just laughing because it’s so awkward.
Shana: Being awkward and being powerful is a good exchange. I feel like that’s a good way to relate to people, that way we’re not coming off like we’re too cool for school, you know?

Weirdo Shrine, was taken from a song lyric and paired against black bole. Though after some thought, Black hole seemed vague enough to get lost in the similarly named projects, making the ladies ultimately decided on Weirdo Shrine.

Because as Lena explains, “If you call an album weirdo shrine, what are they going to say?” But the album name has a deeper meaning than a quirky tribute.

Shana: I was just thinking about things that we get obsessed with. Things all around us that are big or small, from religion to fear. Things that are weird or strange in a way that no one can see them like you do. It’s based on personal hang-ups or your own personal expression.
Alice: I think of a weirdo as someone that just feels misunderstood, like when you feel people aren’t understanding you.
Mariam: I take weirdo as a positive thing and a negative. When I’m thinking about it positively, I’m thinking about my friends how much I love them for being zany and being, quirky I guess. But a weirdo can also just be creepy. Like people we deal with on the daily.
Mariam: The day isn’t made if there isn’t one weirdo.
The rest of the band laughed at the unspoken memories.
Alice: Meaning a negative weirdo.
Lena: Well then, maybe they don’t deserve that term.
Alice: I think they deserve the term creep.
Mariam: Yeah, maybe not. I just think of a weirdo as someone I’d get along with,”

So there are good ones and bad. But in the end, for all those positive weirdos out there, Shana may have explained them best,

Shana: I think being unique is definitely something to embrace, I think that it doesn’t always have a positive effects in life, but it’s usually a positive way to be. I feel like I grew up feeling like a weirdo, and still feel that way.  I just don’t know how to totally relate to the world and it doesn’t know how to totally relate to me. But I think a lot of people feel like that sometimes, and a lot of times, that can be a source of inspiration.

Car Accidents, Bribes and Getting Saved by Their Horns: The Worst Day in the Life of Busty and The Bass

From building steady fan bases in Montreal, Toronto and New York, playing festivals such as Canadian Music Week and The Montreal International Jazz Festival and just announcing a fall tour, there is no doubt that the “best days” for Busty and The Bass come in waves. The 9-piece set-up credits the best times as a band to multiple things like their send off show last April after graduation, and the surprise shows they thought were going to be awful. But if you ask them the worst thing that has happened to them as a band, they’ll speak of a request they never appreciate hearing.

“Like, we always get that one guy who asks us to play Uptown Funk,” Milo said as Nick rolled his eyes.

“They see we have horns and they think, ‘oh they should play Uptown Funk,” Nick said. “You will never hear us play that song.”

But if you keep prodding them, they’ll look at each other and without saying a word instantly agree on that one particular day that is forever engraved as “worst day ever” in the band’s history.

Catching up with Milo (left) and Nick (second from left) before their show in Toronto, they let the flashbacks begin as they explained Busty and The Bass’ day from hell.

At first brushing off the story, Milo and Nick smirked to one another as the topic was brought up.

“I can recount our worst day as a band whole, was in New York last February,” Milo began.

Nick smiled and nodded in agreement. “Yup.”

“We were in a recording session and we came back out and our van with a bunch of stuff had been towed…and we had a gig that evening. We dropped a bunch of money, paid all these parking tickets, and it took forever,” Milo explained.

But the “shit as hell day”, as Nick described, it was far from over.

“We went there, got the car, and realized that our guitar player didn’t have his guitar amp,” Milo said. After searching the band realized the amp had been left on the side of the road and was long gone. “So it was car towed, parking tickets, and guitar amp was stolen,” Milo tapped his fingers as he listed the events.

Yet, as the true professionals they are, they put the day behind them and went off to the gig, too bad the bad luck wasn’t quite finished.

“Mike was driving our other minivan and he had gotten into two accidents on the way to the gig.” Milo said with a smirk.

“There was two?” Nick asked laughing. “He got sideswiped and then?”

“I don’t know, I just remember there being two.” Milo said following in Nick’s amusement. “So we had to like pay these people off to not press an insurance claim.”

“Yeah they were…they were not happy,” Nick added. “They just kept yelling.”

Enter the horns. After getting yelled at by the other drivers the band discovered that the stage wasn’t the only place that their instruments brought them luck.

“Yeah, they were really pissed off but then they found out they [Nick and Mike] were horn players,” Milo said.

“And then they were so down,” Nick finished. “They came out so, so, mad and then it got to the point where they were still so pissed off but they were actually talking. They saw the foreign plates and asked ‘well what are you in town?’ we said we were in a band and they asked what instruments we played.”

Which caught the excitement of the other drivers.

“’They were like ‘horn players? Wow.’ and then it was a complete 180. They were so nice to us,” Nick said. “We ended up just giving them a hundred bucks.”

“It was the first time we discovered that our horns could get us out of trouble,” Milo said. “There is a joke that we do, saying that basically our horns get us out of a crazy amount of situations.”

A trick the band uses to get out of speeding tickets.

“Yeah we say, we’re a band, we’ve got four horns. They [police] see that and I think they think, oh these guys got enough problems.” Nick laughed.

“Yeah, they just think they’re not making any money, I’m not going to give them a 200 dollar speeding ticket.” Milo added.

Despite New York being the setting for the bad memories, they haven’t let that stop them from going back. Their ever growing fan-base in the states brings them back with welcoming arms. Now off to take a small break to begin writing and recording their first full-length album, the band is enjoying writing sessions all together for the first time as a band.

Thrifty Kids: Sarah Cogan After The Performance

Thrifty Kids Backstage at The Edge's Next Big Thing
The Band: After meeting in school and recording their self-titled EP, released back in February, as part of a school project, Thrifty Kids have made an impressive start for themselves. From the three tracks released, Cherry Wine, Granola, and Dry, they’ve mastered a striking first EP. Their sound is a nostalgic trance of surf-rock with an honest purity. Yet, there is a small sense of reserve that makes you crave more of them. Sarah Cogan (vocals) Dylan Frankland (guitar), Cam Alford (bass) and Simon Kou (drums), will no doubt unleash a few surprises in the future.

After playing The Phoenix and putting their best set forward, Thrifty Kids’— an indie-surf rock band from Ottawa—Sarah Cogan shares a little about the band’s future and her thoughts on performing.

You just walked off stage, how do you feel right now?

“This is definitely this biggest crowd we’ve ever played ever. So many people, it feels great! We were talking about that you can’t see anything when you’re up there, so we just felt so confident and so alive. It’s all about the vibes in the crowd and they were giving some good vibes, it was great. It’s just a good time up there.” Cogan said.

What can we expect from the band?

“We’re in the midst of recording an album right now. You’re going to hear more of the mellow vibes, the surf tones, and just a lot more vocal harmonies. We’re experimenting a lot more and we want to create more of a fuller sound.”

Amidst the album, the band is also planning a large uproot to Toronto.

“We’re actually singing our lease tomorrow,” she gushed. “We’ll be moving to Toronto September 1st.”

The band has a loving history with the city; their first show in the city became ranked as their best.

“Our best show ever was at The Piston.” Cogan recalled. “It was good food, great people and good times. It was a great bill.”

With talks of shows in the future, an album on the way and their fate yet to be announced, this band is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Thrifty Kids - Full Shot

The Band: After meeting in school and recording their self-titled EP, released back in February, as part of a school project, Thrifty Kids have made an impressive start for themselves. From the three tracks released, Cherry Wine, Granola, and Dry, they’ve mastered a striking first EP. Their sound is a nostalgic trance of surf-rock with an honest purity. Yet, there is a small sense of reserve that makes you crave more of them. Sarah Cogan (vocals) Dylan Frankland (guitar), Cam Alford (bass) and Simon Kou (drums), will no doubt unleash a few surprises in the future.

 

“Thanking The Rock and Breathing” The Honest Heart Collective After The Big Performance

Ryan The HOnest Heart Collective NBT_edited-1The Honest Heart Collective came on stage and played their best show, which was also deemed the most nerve-wracking. With their fate yet to be determined and the success behind them, a sweaty, dazed and happy Ryan MacDonald talked about how a certain wrestler helped him out before playing as a part of the top six at The Edge’s Next Big Thing.

“It was awesome. As soon as the drums kicked in all my fear just went away. It was perfect. I don’t think we could have played any better.”

Still enthralled from show, and now relaxing with a beer in the media lounge, it was clear the performance high was still bright in the singer’s eyes. Not one to normally let his emotions claim a show, MacDonald felt the pressure with the contest on the line.

“I have anxiety. This is the first time playing a show with so much on the line. I could feel it in my arms. I could feel this tension building and it was nerve wracking to move forward. I was sitting on the steps backstage before the show just thinking, ‘okay, you know, you’re gonna have to do this. Make it work.’”

Normally the singer calms himself by breathing and focusing on vocal health, but with five other bands to beat he needed something a little more intense to keep him focused. Something which came from an unexpected source: a video of a speech Dwanye “The Rock” Johnson gave to the US Women’s Soccer Team, that he admits he watched over and over before the show.

“It was like ‘you guys are rock stars,’ and ‘you guys are perfect,’ the only thing that was off was instead of of saying 5 he said twenty-three.”

Laughing at the silliness now, MacDonald stands by his unofficial support system.

“I put him on our guest list, I don’t know if he’s coming,” he joked. “All I know if that, if The Rock shows up I wouldn’t want him to be paying cover.

“It’s not my record anymore” – The Lost Identity of Michael Rault

Michael Rault 3

Almost unrecognizable, he walks up to the stage. Under a mess of hair, his finest pair of ripped jeans and tattered sneakers Michael Rault takes his place at the mic. As he begins laying into the microphone it’s clear his moustache isn’t the only thing that’s new. If you listened to Rault from way back from his Ma-me-o days, one thing is very clear, he is not the same artist he was introduced as. In fact, if you begin to wonder if he’s the same artist at all.

“Sometimes I feel like you go through intense personal stuff, there’s a lot of stuff to work through, but a lot of the time musical ideas have been influencing me,” Rault said.

After hearing the raspy voiced-quirky-talent, you wonder why you don’t hear him on every radio station. From his beginning in Edmonton, making harmonic YouTube videos with sister, Emily Rault, to the now Toronto-based concoction of perfectly, eccentric uplifting ‘70s influenced rock, the performer has come quite a way to banish his pervious self. With the release of Ma-me-o, back in 2010, he made a name with his, then, signature style of 50’s rock. He began working on the album at 19; the outcome was surprising from such a young talent and made him one to keep an eye on. His single I Don’t Need No Help Getting Down even earned iTunes single of the week

“It’s [Ma-me-o] not my record anymore,” he explained. “When I made my first album, I think it was only released in Canada, I was 19. I mean, I’m 27 now, I don’t even play those songs live anymore. It would be funny if I had to do any songs off the record, it would feel like doing a cover song now. I would rather do a cover song by another artist than myself.”

After gaining attention the artist began touring and facing pressures that began the change. Rault admits of feeling pressured to produce “the same thing, but different,” during the highlighted album’s faze. It was soon thereafter his style began to change. With his mellow follow-up EP, Whirlpool (2012), which was a blending of demo’s; he showed the first stage of what would be a new direction taken for the artist.

Five years later, the world is introduced to, Living Daylight. Released back in May, the album features a laid-back influence reminiscent of the ‘70s rather than the higher energy feel of his debut, which he no longer identifies with.

Fans were shown a new side of the performer with his latest release. Focusing on more guitar solos, harmonic tunes and an overall “trippy” aspect even influenced in the albums artwork and videos, Rault is changing up his entire style. But with the lengthy release times between albums Rault finds himself still a tad drawn away from the latest release.

“Living Daylight is more representative of me, but it’s more of a look at things to come,” Rault said hinting the change in his latest music. Currently working on a few demos for a new album Rault explains what fans can expect.

“It’s going to be—this sounds weird,he paused. “It’s getting a little bit more tripped out than the last record. I want to focus on more precise solos, more rocking, in a classic way, but balanced out in a good way so it’s not a ridiculous guitar record.”

A Dislocated Jaw, Sexist Remarks, Bullies and Chai Tea: The Tour Diaries of Le Butcherettes.

Since the release of their latest album, Cry Is for the Flies, Le Butcherettes, Teri Gender-Bender, Jamie Aaron Aux and Chris Common, have spent their nights in arenas full of screaming, adoring fans ready to get a glimpse of the band. They take the stage and command the audience’s attention. Gender Bender makes performing a raw, hair-thrashing abnormal event you crave to see more of. Encountering everything from dislocated jaws to hecklers, Teri herself takes time to give an exclusive look inside the tour diaries of Le Butcherettes.

The Shows

The First Performance—I was 12 years old when I first got an acoustic guitar and decided to take it with me to class. While the teacher was writing a long paragraph on the chalkboard for us copy unto our notebooks I took the opportunity to get in front of the class and sing songs I had freshly written. The teacher tried to interrupt me but I wouldn’t’ stop playing eventually the teacher was taken aback and let me finish my songs. The bullies in the classroom tried to make fun of me after I finished so I smashed the my guitar over the leader of the packs head. His head was so thick and dirty that it ended up breaking my guitar into pieces. The teacher did not like this one bit so she sent me to the principal’s office. I got a suspension. It could have been much worse for me said the teacher but he said in a whisper, “You may have a future in music and in…. prison…”

The Best Performance—The best show? Damn, they are all so much fun and each show has it’s own unique moments. But recently, the best after show must have been in NYC (with The Melvins) because we got to hang out with our loved ones, Trevor Dunn, Kimbra, Brian Cook, Bex Sheers, Mudhoney, Ipecac team, were all there to show their support so that was like taking a hit of delicious powered orange juice to the brain. It was very nice. The crowd is always good in NYC. So much goes in in that City. Damn oh man.

If you could go back and tell yourself something the first time you performed, what would you say? I would tell myself to not be so trusting of people. But I would have not listened to my now self either way. I can be very stubborn. Always. In any dimension I am sure.

How is touring different with a second album under your belt? It’s definitely more exciting because you can get pretty bored of playing old material over and over again. Playing new songs is always fun because it’s a process of breaking into them. Like breaking into leather shoes. You need to use them a bit until they stop hurting your feet.

 How do the crowds differ from your first tour? It’s always different every time. You try to feed off the energy of an audience but when the crowd seems to be more interested in looking at their phones or yelling obnoxious sexist remarks I tend to beat the shit out of myself out of desperation because it brings me back to my childhood at school where I would blame myself for not being accepted by the bullies.

The band is known for the eye-catching shows, do you ever feel pressured to exceed expectations? I would probably feel pressure if it was a gimmick. But I can assure you that the one thing I’m good at in this life is being able to express honest emotions. Honest emotions created by a hologram world? Maybe. So then that means it’s all a copy of a copy of a copy of a machine from another machine that will never know the true purpose of it’s purpose. Not knowing your true purpose makes one feel purposeless therefore life turns into a crude joke, so funny yet so hauntingly beautiful. So to feel pressure by something that is essentially funny would be even more hilarious but I’m not that funny. Just good at being a clown.

 Have you ever left the stage unhappy? Never leave a stage feeling unhappy. Quite the opposite I leave it feeling fulfilled; for that split moment it feels Like it is okay to pass away. Mission completed. Even if there are technical mishaps or a stale audience or this or that or power shortage or this or that… The key is to use those problems as elements and turn them around to favor you. Again, playing music is a beautiful joke. Have a good time. Release. Just like lovemaking. Release. Accumulate. Release. And if the juice is good it will leave it’s magic behind if not at least there was some sort of pleasure.

The Hardships

The craziest thing that has happened on stage? My jaw was dislocated during singing with a very wide mouth while…. then there was a blur and it felt like a volcano had erupted in my face and before I knew it a 12 year old in the audience helped me pop it back in. Mexico is a surreal country.

What is the worst part of touring— Getting sick on tour. Everything else isn’t bad at all. I really like the repetition to it. It’s a reinforced routine. I actually love it.

Is there anything you dread? Oh, not so many things: Illness, Incompetence, Lack of sleep, my morning breath and people with a lack of perspective and empathy.

Your past has a way of catching up to you; a feeling Teri knows too well. She’s outspoken, raw and has made it known to push the boundaries and redefine normal. With a strong female lead there are bound to be some antagonists lurking in the crowds.

“You try to feed off the energy of an audience but when the crowd seems to be more interested in looking at their phones or yelling obnoxious sexist remarks. I tend to beat the shit out of myself out of desperation because it brings me back to my childhood at school where I would blame myself for not being accepted by the bullies. Whoever is mean and rude to opening bands speaks volumes of what they are like in a modern day in the life. You have to be pretty bitter person to give someone hell for pouring their guts out to strangers. But then again, it’s what makes a show more interesting: the battle.—The constant shift of moods in an audience is impressive. Fortunately enough I feel a sincere connection between the audience and us. Because if you work for their trust they appreciate that and they themselves begin to trust you and slowly open themselves up to you as well. It’s a two way street.

Behind the scenes

What are the main things you personally need to survive a tour? Carry on bag, notebook, book, recording device, small four wheeled luggage, neatly rolled up clothes, zinc, elderberry immune boosters, acoustic guitar and good company.

 What is the one thing you always look forward to on the road? Writing in notebooks, drinking Chai tea while listening to Marc Maron podcast, it varies though; From working on new tracks in my logic to listening to The Beatles. JAJAJA! Such creatures of habit we are!

Is there any particular place you look forward going back to? I looked very much forward to visiting Kentucky. I have never been there before until recently on tour with The Melvins. The Bluegrass state.

What have you learned about the band on the road? The band is very easy to travel with. We all keep to ourselves but at times it feels like a comedy club cause Jaime and Chris can crack out hilarious observations when in unknown cities or eery midnight road driving. One thing is for sure we are all introverts so it’s nice to be in sync cause’ also we are all creatures of habit so touring goes well with us. : )

With a third album, A Raw Youth, to be released in September you can bet the band will be on the road again with plenty of chai tea, notebooks and lots of ‘love-making’ on stage.