It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s An Horse.

This Friday, at the North Star Bar, I had a chance to sit down and ask the lovely people of  An Horse some questions. They are a two piece band from Australia who has toured with many big name bands in the past few years. Guitarist and singer, Kate Cooper and drummer Damon Cox have been killing it on tour for the past months since their sophomore album, Walls was released. Check out the interview below and check out this video from the new album. Keep an eye out on this band, they’ll be blowing up soon. They rule.

With just a two member band, do you find things to be more manageable? And are there ever moments, whether it be during a live performance or in the studio that you wish you had more members?

Kate: No. Way. We’re very capable. In the studio less is better, because we get to do more stuff.

Damon: We feel like we have everything we need. If something needs something, then we’ll just play it ourselves. 

Having toured with big acts such as Alkaline Trio and the Silversun Pickups, what’s one band that you dream of touring with?

Kate and Damon: We’ve been pretty luck to have toured with the bands we’ve toured with. We’re grateful for those experiences.

Kate: We’d love to play with Neil Young.

Damon: A lot of the bands we’ve toured with we’ve been big fans of beforehand so we’ve gotten pretty lucky.

Do you prefer opening for larger bands or playing small shows that you headline?

Damon: We like bigger stages and bigger venues for some reason. We just feel more comfortable on those stages because…

Kate: It’s kind of where we started.

Damon: Our first tour was in those bigger kinds of rooms and we kind of learned how to play together in those big rooms. 

Kate: We would prefer to be headlining in the big rooms…we just gotta get there!

Having Walls released earlier this year, and what seems like endless touring, what’s next?

Kate: Home! No…thats a lie!

Damon: We go to Europe after this. We’ve still got three more shows with Kevin [Devine]. I think we’re gonna try to do some more touring with him in America or Overseas. But we’re going to Europe and then home for some summer festivals. We’re not too sure what’s gonna happen after that. We’re gonna assess what’s going on. Think about a new record maybe. Nothing’s been booked past January at this point. 

Being on Mom and Pop Records with bands like Tokyo Police Club, Metric and Freelance Whales, do you feel influenced by these bands or other bands on the label at all?

Kate and Damon: No, not really. 

Kate: I like them all! But no, not really.

Do you feel influenced by any of the bands you tour with?

Damon: Yeah. 

Kate: Definitely.

Damon: Most bands.

Kate: Try to rip them off all the time. No, that’s not true, but it’s hard to not be influenced by a band you admire on tour. Whether it’s just the way they play or their business practices or the way they treat people. You learn so much.

The sound of the recording and the band together has tightened and changed from Rearranged Beds to Walls. What can fans expect for a change in sound in the next release? 

Kate: It’s not gonna come out of left field what we do. We’re not gonna do a Kid A. The key, for me and Damon is just to get better at what we do and thats incrementally and all the bands that I really admire just grew to write better records and better songs. That’s all I wanna do. Keep writing songs that keep me happy. And Damon happy. And our Mom’s happy. It still blows my mind that there are people who listen to us who aren’t me and Damon and our moms. That’s the plan though, just getting better at what we do. But it will definitely be a step up. There’s no point in putting out a record out if it’s not a step up. 

If you could go see any band, whether together now, broken up, or dead, who would you see?

Damon: I’d like to see Fugazi play again.

Kate: I’d like to see Buddy Holly. Or Otis Redding.

I know genre is a very controversial topic, but I find it so hard to place a label on An Horse. But if you were to walk in to a Record Store, what section would you look through to find your own albums?

Kate: Like the General Rock/Pop section.

Damon: Indie Rock section usually. It’s usually filed under “H”

Kate: Which is incorrect. But yeah, we just try to make good music and if people like it, that’s cool. 

Eric Osman

A Sound Aside release first LP, Shake This Feeling

A Sound Aside, a local band from Orange County, California, released their very first full length album this past week. If you want some laid-back music to listen to, you should definitely check out Shake This Feeling. After listening to it, you will get the generally idea that most of the song lyrics are about girls, and having problems with them. However, these lyrics are beautifully written and the vocals are pleasing to the ear. Even if you have never heard of these guys before in your life, give this album a chance. I promise you won’t regret it. Having met these guys, they would be stoked just to know more people are listening to them. “Keep Up”, which is the very first track on the album, is surely a song to mention. It sets the tone for the rest of the album and has a catchy chorus. A personal favorite, “Better Broken Down”, is a heartfelt song which will more than likely be stuck in your head after hearing it. And after listening to it once, you’ll want to over and over again. These guys definitely put together an amazing album and it was worth the wait.

Rating: 8.5/10

Our Say: Definitely support these guys and buy the album, if you dig it. It’s available on iTunes and Amazon.

If you’re cheap: “Keep Up,” Better Broken Down,” and “Summertime”

Deanna Chapman

Destry at CMJ [Interview]

At the Big Picture Media showcase during CMJ was 60’s pop-inspired Destry, whose lead singer Michelle DaRosa sat down with me to talk about her favorite YouTube video and her past projects. Read more below.

My name’s Michelle. I play in the band Destry, I sing and play guitar. I live in Boston, I’m from New York.

Haley: How would you describe your music to people who had never heard it before?

Michelle: I would describe our new record as 60’s pop sounding.

Haley: How did your past projects bring you to where you are today?

Michelle: I guess every time you make a record you can look back and wish that it was different in one way or another so every record you make is you growing as a musician and coming closer to defining your sound and becoming something cool, hopefully.

Haley: When do you hope to come out with your next release?

Michelle: Maybe in a year or so, would be nice.

Haley: How has the CMJ experience been for you?

Michelle: It’s been really great, it’s been fun! Excited to play tonight.

Haley: What is your favorite YouTube video?

Michelle: Hmmm, I have so many favorites! Let me think about that for a second. Well, it’s so hard to say. Have you seen the one with the little girl playing with the dead squirrel? That’s up there, I don’t know if it’s my favorite. It’s kind of awesome, but terrible at the same time!

Haley: In a movie of your life, who would play you?

Michelle: I would love Natalie Portman to play me because she is beautiful and talented and cool.

Haley: What would you want to eat for your last meal?

Michelle: It’d probably be pasta. It’s pretty much my favorite.

Haley: What’s next in store for you?

Michelle: Well we’re just starting a tour; tonight is the first show of our tour. So we’re playing here and then doing a couple shows over the next week or so.

For more information or to book an interview, contact Haley Holmes.

Daytrotter Live: Moby

Daytrotter, in a series of changes to their website and business model has started to offer live streams of recording sessions with bands, and today, they’re offering a free stream of their recording of none other than Moby.

Head over HERE to get the code to access the stream at 2PM EST and check out Daytrotter’s new style.

~ Michael Rodino

TICKET GIVEAWAY: Matt Hires at World Cafe Live 11/1

F-Stop/Atlantic Recording artist Matt Hires has hit the road this fall for a special set of acoustic shows that will kicked off October 25th in Minneapolis, MN and ends November 9th in Matt’s hometown of Tampa, FL.  This tour will mark the last chance fans will have to catch him before he heads back into the studio to record his sophomore album.   

A charming and charismatic live performer, Hires has spent much of the past two years touring with like-minded artists such as Paolo Nutini, Dave Matthews Band, Marc Broussard, Eric Hutchinson, O.A.R. and NeedtoBreathe.  The Tampa-based tunesmith releasedan EP, entitled ”A To B”- produced by Eric Rosse (Tori Amos, Sara Bareilles), last year as well as the “Live Sessions EP” this year, which was recorded in a studio in his hometown.

We are giving away two, that’s right TWO tickets to Matt’s show on Tuesday at World Cafe Live. This should be a fantastically fun show, and a good bit of midweek entertainment. All you have to do to enter is Reblog this with the line, “I want to see Matt Hires play World Cafe Live!” For an extra chance to win, go ahead and like our facebook page and comment on our page and say you want to win. We’ll give you props for that.