channeled in a way . I have this emotion and this feeling , I don ’ t know what it means . Sometimes it starts with a hook , like “ End of the World .” I had that hook and was like what does this even mean ? Then it ’ s a process of discovery – what is this song about ? It kind of evolves that way for me . “ All I Want ” – that was the first song we really collaborated on . The other songs were ideas that I already had that came with mostly structured songs that we maybe arranged a little . “ All I Want ” was one of those songs where Ace played me this demo and holy shit it just inspired me right away . I sat down and wrote all those words probably in a night . I don ’ t always get to write like that . So that was our first real true collaboration . “ Will I Make it Home ” was a song where it just happened to be I was driving a lot , commuting a lot , and I had this idea come to my head . I was actually thinking at the time imagining what it was like being a truck driver , being on the road all the time , wondering if you ’ re going to make it home to see your family . As the words started to come around I really discovered this story about , from the perspective of someone who , and I was in the military . I wasn ’ t at war , and didn ’ t do anything crazy . There ’ s people who have done way better things than I ever had . Kind of putting myself in those shoes of what it would be like . I remember when I was young my dad was in the Coast Guard and he ’ d be gone and mom ’ s having to kind of raise her kids alone . One thing I don ’ t specifically like is going and getting an album and you listen to it from beginning to end and it sounds like the same . You don ’ t know what song you ’ re in . It ’ s all the same . There ’ s nothing different . This is why I like bands like Pearl Jam . You can listen to them and their songs really are all over the place .
“ After the Fall ” connected with me on the first lyric . You talk about it and I ’ m starting to feel tight . It ’ s about as close to the perfect song as you ’ re going to get .
MICAH : The backstory on the song is , I wrote that song and we recorded it almost 2 years ago , before this happened ( speaking of the untimely passing of his wife , Holly ). I actually struggled with releasing this song and “ End of the World ” because both of those songs tell stories of the end of a relationship , the end of something . What was weird is it wasn ’ t actually happening , I didn ’ t know it was happening . To kind of get personal for a second , my wife got sick almost
a year prior , and almost died . We were about to release those songs and I said no , I don ’ t want to release them because it felt like it ’ s almost prophetic in a
way , Like it was predicting the end . But they were songs that kind of came from an emotion that I had been channeling and feeling and experiencing . She had also been sick . I didn ’ t want to release them because I was like , I feel like I ’ m bringing into existence these things that I ’ m writing about , so it was very hard . There ’ s something kind of brewing inside and I don ’ t necessarily know what that emotion is . The songwriting is a process of discovery for me and feeling what that is . I feel very empathetic and think about situations or struggling in a relationship . So the song “ End of the World ” we made a video about this kind of virus taking over the world and kind of made it funny . I wanted to kind of deflect , and not make a video that ’ s very literal , but it is . It ’ s about when relationships don ’ t survive and it feels like the world is ending . And “ After the Fall ,” they ’ re very painful experiences . I put things out that I feel very very emotionally connected to . It ’ s hard for me to write a song that isn ’ t some deeply personal feeling . I don ’ t think I could ever write a song that ’ s just about groupies . Yeah that may be a good time but it ’ s just not something that personally connects with me on an intellectual and deeply emotional level and I probably will never write songs like that . ( Continued on page 69 )
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SOME OF THE HOT NEW ARTISTS FROM THE ® REVERBNATION LAUNCH PAD LIVE TOP 20 YOU SHOULD BE PAYING ATTENTION TO. p;p’/ single Black Mamba, it’s as real and honest as music gets. A true survivor, Crystal has risen from an ex- treme, life-altering childhood to become the artist she is today: honest, bare-all and fearless. Infi- nite Alchemy is both a testament to the adversity she has overcome and a victory over it. Slicing through the music like shards of broken glass, Crystal’s lyrics are pure bloodletting catharsis. The very moniker of Ignite is symbolic of her ascension from darkness to light, which she has funnelled into Inifinite Alchemy. Every part of her love, her aggression, her regret and her optimism have been poured into the album like molten rock. lost, depression, addiction, anger and heartache, in an earnest attempt to move the global and cultural conversation, on mental health and wellness forward. RTFX is the host of the Launch Pad Live Wednesday night at 9pm est on 99WNRR. Craving Strange Newcastle Kings A wall of distorted guitars, and a rhythm section like a kick in the chest. A poignant and guttural lyrical exploration of mental health, and lack thereof... Come sing along to pissed off victory anthems for the broken hearted. Honing their sound in the isolation of the frozen Canadian North, with no music scene melting pot to speak of, Newcastle Kings were left to draw in- ward creating their own aggressive expression of alternative rock. Their sound pays homage to the explosivity of the 90’s and 2000’s, while pushing the genre forward, exploring the uncomfortable corners of the mind. Songwriter Skylar Dayton uses personal tribu- lations, as well as literary and film inspiration. Canvassing topics like failed relationships, love Crystal Ignite Crystal Ignite makes music supercharged with kinetic emotion. Meshing together the paral- lel universes of analogue and digital, the Mel- bourne singer sweeps through the decades, building stadium-sized rock laced with pulsating electronica and deep, heavy grooves. Her debut album Infinite Alchemy is a lyrical and musi- cal barrage – focused, purposeful and uninhib- ited – that tells her story in alternating waves of shadow and illumination. Led by searing first Writing songs and performing live isn’t some- thing we do, it’s who we are. Not a want but a need, a drive (a totally selfish one) to genuinely put ourselves out there to be judged, loved, hated, cheered or ignored based on the music and the per- formance. Whatever we get, we earn it every time. And it keeps us from driving off a bridge when we get sad. Well, we’ve played hundreds of shows, released albums, EPs, singles and videos, toured much of the US, released a song in Mandarin (none of us speak Mandarin), toured China (they liked our Mandarin), played SXSW (mmmm taco trucks) and have multiple song placements on radio and tv (everything from the Discovery Channel to MTV). We’ve worked with (here come the name drops) Continued on the next page PAYOLA! By Ronnie Shapiro Stoeckel Continued So while I understand a lot of the frustration regarding ticket sales, it’s also an opportunity to get yourself out there and make a name for yourself to a larger audience. As long as the venue does their job, and the band does their job, then the show should be amazing for everyone involved.” Joe Ami- bile, singer for New Jersey based indie rock band Sister Salvation, says “pay to play is an artist’s perspective.” He said many artists think their music alone will sell them, but they should be thinking of doing ticket sales as advertising their business. You have a product that you want to reach a wider audience, you basically do what you can to do accomplish that. (I am paraphrasing our phone conversa- tion, therefore I cannot do an actual quote. But it was a really good and enlightening conversation!) Of course I couldn’t do this without getting Rofo Audio’s Ray Short’s opinion (because, it’s Rofo Audio…). He says “Opportunities may come from it that you can’t even see right now. And you might play really well, sell some merch, gain a handful of new listeners, and all of that means it’s a win.” Obviously there are many musicians out there who don’t have the same views on it as these guys and I do, but that’s their prerogative. If you want to play on the Warped tour, you need to shell out at close to $100,000 at the least. If you want to play anywhere on the Sunset Strip you will have to sell hundreds of dollars to your show in order to play. It’s a common practice on every level still, but one that has a stigma attached, but can be a successful choice if worked correctly. So how did it turn out for us? Well, just as our frustrations reached peak level, we had a breakthrough. We started selling tickets again! We gave one pair away in a contest, and the person who won them had friends buy tickets from us. Then a few other friends had their schedule open up and they purchased a couple tickets too. By the time the show started, we sold all that we needed to. The relief we felt at that moment was incredible, however, will we be able to do that again Photo Credit: Joe Schaeffer in the future? One way of thinking is if we can sell that many during a pandemic, we can sell double that at a normal time. OR, we only sold them because people were itching to get out and see live music. The only way we’ll know for sure is if we do it again. The show ended up going very well, and we will certainly take on the challenge again when the opportunity arises. It will be a game of chance again, but we’re willing to take that gamble for the sake of our business. Views of the artists or writer do not reflect the views of Total Order Magazine or 99WNRR.