How Mighty Mighty Bosstones Created Ska-Core

Categories: Q&A

Drea Catalano
Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Determining which came first -- ska or punk -- is irrelevant. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones offer up a duel personality that's simultaneously abrasive and chill. First (or maybe second), the driving energy and angst of punk rock pushes the pace, while the cool riddims, staccato guitar and punctuating horn blasts of ska strive for equal rights. Put it together and you have the Boston band's contribution to musical history: Ska-core.

"The same person who played the punk rock records for me, played some English ska records. I fell in love with the punk and the ska," says MMB founder Dickey Barrett.

Barrett deftly merged the two styles together, creating a sound ideal for pulling on a blunt, then working it off in the mosh pit. The band's latest album, Magic of Youth, features a decidedly harder edge, though Barrett insists the ska influence remains.

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Francisco the Man Is A Real Band and Does Exist

Categories: Q&A

Jessica Isaac
Francisco the Man

Whether it's apathy or simply ignorance, some bands tend to remain mostly hidden from the world. This can add an air of mystery, or perhaps lead to an underground cult following that will ultimately lead to a burgeoning career. For Los Angeles' Francisco the Man, there's no real answer for the band's inaccessibility.

"We're a real band, we do exist," guitarist and vocalist Scotty Cantino confirms during a recent phone interview. "I don't really think too much about online prescience, maybe to a fault. ... We just focus on writing songs, recording and playing shows."

The band just released it's debut album, Loose Ends, a dreamy atmospheric pop extravagance that deftly melds '90s shoegazer with '80s new wave and '00s floaty electronics. It's an interesting stylistic mix -- urgent, buoyant and pulsating.

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Step Inside the Dark World of Primus & the Chocolate Factory

Categories: Q&A

Rick Levinson
Les Claypool's love of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has led him to this.

Everyone loves chocolate--some more than others.

Les Claypool, the mad genius behind Primus has taken his love of chocolate and churned it into a new album, Primus and the Chocolate Factory. Inspired as a child by the Gene Wilder cinematic portrayal of Roald Dahl's book, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Claypool saved box tops for a chocolate bar-making kit, and then sold his own chocolate Wonka bars to his grammar school classmates. Years later, the dark concept of the film still lingered in Claypool's brain, luring the bassist ever closer to becoming the master of his own chocolate factory. Following his vision of the past, Claypool has recreated the movie soundtrack in that timeless, dark and wacky Primus manner.

"I'm sure there's folks out there that didn't appreciate it. That is the risk of taking on a sacred cow," he says. "The thing is it's not so much about telling the story of Wonka and Charlie and the chocolate factory as much as it is the perspective of a young kid, which was me, back in the early '70s, experiencing the world of Wonka."

A twisted experience, clearly.

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Everything You Want to Know About Pizza, According to Pizza Underground

Categories: Q&A

The Pizza Underground likes it simple: just a slice of cheese, please.

"Pizza is life and life-affirming," says The Pizza Underground. And who could disagree? By extension, The Velvet Underground could be described similarly. That's why, with songs like "Pizza Gal" and "Take a Bite of the Wild Slice," The Pizza Underground is one of the best combinations of things ever.

TPU was formed in 2012, but really took off last year, much of the momentum attributed to its kazoos and actor Macaulay Culkin. The band is also Matt Colbourn (guitar), Phoebe Kreutz (glockenspiel), Deenah Vollmer (pizza box percussion), and Austin Kilham (tambourine), who are no less important.

(And no, Culkin didn't die this weekend, contrary to rumors. He's still very much alive.)

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Pissed Jeans' Matt Korvette Talks About His Band of Noisy Dads

Categories: Q&A


Matt Korvette of Pissed Jeans is used to hearing noises like static and feedback, but our phone conversation started off with too much of what is normally a good thing to the band's lead singer. The Allentown, Pennsylvania, noisy punk(ish) band makes its first trip to Phoenix on Friday, November 7, and according to Korvette, "we're pretty stoked" about their show with local power house Gay Kiss and Tucson mind-blowers, Lenguas Largas.

Up on the Sun caught up with Matt as he prepared for the early tour dates, and he talked about the band, influences, and life as a part-time noise rock superstar.

Up on the Sun: Hey...apologies for the bad connection, but you must be used to some feedback at the volume you guys typically play at.

Matt Korvette: (Laughs) Haha, yes. I'm finally in my element.

So tell us about Pissed Jeans.

Matt Korvette: Hmmm, I don't know. I guess we are just kind of a representation of all the things we tend to gravitate towards in the last 30 years of loud guitar music. Just kind of fun. There is a pretty wide range of things we're interested in and we're not trying to recreate any one particular thing. Pissed Jeans are all about just trying to be in the vein of bands we really enjoy.

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Black Keys Drummer Calls U2 iTunes Stunt a "Disservice" to Artists

Categories: Q&A

Danny Clinch
Black Keys' drummer Patrick Carney only really wants you to hear the first track from the band's new album.

Due to space limitations, we couldn't include every part our conversation with Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney, who's coming to US Airways Center on Monday, November 10, in our print feature this week.

Our story focused mostly on Carney's outspoken stance on the need for streaming music services to pay artists more, and how his position parallels and contrasts the anti-Napster stance that got Lars Ulrich in so much trouble at the turn of the century.

That said, the conversation touched on many topics, including how the only song he really is excited to show people from the band's new album, Turn Blue, is the opening track, how producer Danger Mouse is like a third member of the band, and how file-sharing probably helped the Black Keys get popular.

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Black Veil Brides Singer: Haters Are "Still in High School, and I Graduated"

Categories: Q&A

Artist website
Black Veil Brides

Admittedly, in the past it seemed very easy to poke fun at Black Veil Brides.

After all, when they first hit the scene, the band members looked like something out of a poor man's Mötley Crüe comic book, minus the enduring rock anthems. They exist in a macho metal world that often disregards them. People often wonder if these guys are a band or if this is really singer Andy Biersack's my way or the highway solo project disguised as a band. Regardless of their past these young up and comers may be turning a corner with the help of producer Bob Rock, who has worked with Metallica, Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe, 311, and more. Their new record, IV, shows promise that they may be more than just a gimmicky rock band your 13-year old little cousin likes.

Despite the gothic James Dean look, Biersack is intelligent, witty, full of positivity, and doesn't come across as the dictator, but actually the opposite. He gave us the skinny on working with Bob Rock and "little people with big mouths" who talk shit about his band.

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Kris Kristofferson Explains How Shaking Johnny Cash's Hand Changed His Life

Categories: Q&A


"It's just me and my guitar," said Kris Kristofferson when I asked him about his upcoming show at Phoenix's Celebrity Theatre on Tuesday, October 14. Songwriter, actor, Army captain, Golden Gloves boxer, helicopter pilot, football player, Rhodes Scholar, and husband, Kristofferson has done multiple things many of us would be happy about if they were our only major accomplishment.

Seriously, though, Kris freaking Kristofferson. A real Renaissance man, a hall of fame writer of hit songs.

I got to spend exactly 10 minutes talking to Kristofferson a few days ago, and at no time during those fleeting seconds did I waste time thinking about the short duration of our chat. I was told, very pleasantly, Mr. Kristofferson could only be interviewed for 10 minutes at a time. For almost any other entertainer, I would have rolled my eyes and thought, "what a diva," but for a true living legend like Kristofferson, a member of the Highwaymen, it was a small concession to make. In reality, I could have chatted with him all day because the guy has literally done it all.

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The Senators Talk New Album, Recorded in Hollywood Studio

Senators Facebook page
The Senators are part of the locals stage at Summer Ends Music Festival this weekend.

Local Americana group The Senators have had an exciting year. The band has recorded a live session album in Paramount Studios in Hollywood, opened for Phillip Phillips in front of 4,000 fans, while also playing the occasional local bit at Sail Inn or Crescent Ballroom. You can catch The Senators on the local stage at Summer Ends Music Festival this Saturday where they will perform foot-stomping heart-warming folk tunes for you to enjoy.

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Copenhagen's Lower Gets "Mistaken for a Punk Band," Causing Inappropriate Moshing

Categories: Q&A


Copenhagen's Lower have been together since 2009 and recently joined up with Matador Records, which just unleashed the band's first full length recording, Seeking Warmer Climes. The four-piece creates edgy punk that is forceful, creating a little pervasive anxiety as its noisy guitars teeter on the edge of explosion while generally remaining contained. The music is topped with brooding vocals that maintain a darkness while also revealing a bit of a lighter, romantic twist. The band has just hit the states for a tour and is playing Friday, September 26, with Merchandise, Rat Columns, and Body of Light at Tempe's 51 West. We got in a quick chat with Lower's drummer, Anton Rothstein.

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