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Ashenmoon When they first began writing their debut album, AshenMoon bassist Garry Beers, singer Toby Rand and guitarist Jimmy Khoury unraveled their personal songwriting and began col- laborating a “Passion Project” in Beers’ garage studio.There, in the heat of the San Fernando Valley (LA), they created the recipe and sound of AshenMoon. A fusion of 70’s, new wave and modern rock n roll. Produced by Beers (co-produced by Rand), the album is influenced by the electronic grooves of Beers’ work with INXS, hooky riffs inspired by Khoury’s work with Beth Hart, whilst Rand traverses his range emotionally with tales of heartbreak, love and redemption; something uniquely his own. Vanishing Point The band formed in the early 1990s with the line up of guitarist Tommy Vucur, drummer Jack Lukic and bassist Joe Del Mastro, from an earlier band Eye. Vocalist Silvio Massaro and keyboard player Pep Sammartino joined the band in the mid 1990s and the band changed its name to Vanishing Point. Soon after Andrew Whitehead joined as a guitarist. After several member changes the band returned in 2020 to release one of the best albums of the year. Dead Elysium is a powerful record with soaring melodies by Silvio Massaro and furiously passionate gui- tar work and arrangements by Chris Porcianko The Honest Heart Collective Anchored by four lifelong friends, The Honest Heart Collective was born from brothers Ryan and Nic MacDonald, a moment at a Springsteen concert, and a rotating cast of musicians made permanent. Their new song “Linework” embodies an old soul take of heart-on-sleeves storytelling accompanied by a guitar-driven backdrop and big production. A fixture on the Launch Pad Live for 3 years now, the band from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, The Honest Heart Col- lective will continue to be a socially conscious, hit writing machine for years to come. Which do you prefer better…..do you prefer being a studio rat? Or do you prefer playing live? HYRO: I prefer playing live all the time, man. It’s too much fun getting up there with the people, rocking out and shit you know what I’m say- ing? I do love the studio, but I write music fast. I never really spend all day and all night in the studio. I don’t know what people be doing all night in the studio. When we make a song, the music just comes to me and I’m done. The music kind of carries me where I want to be. I get sleepy at night. I don’t want to be in the studio all night long. What was on Hyro’s ipod when he was 10 years old? HYRO: Aw ten man? Shit. I don’t know about 10 but it was mostly hip hop when I was 10. But it’s Tupac all day. I come from Houston. DJ Screw, Snoop, R & B. I like R & B. Immature, and Bone Thugs, that kind of stuff. There was a lot of hip hop and R & B when I was young at 10. Then when I got to high school that’s when the rock was sneak- ing in but I still wasn’t in it like that. But I seen people put Korn on the desk, the Deftones, carve it on the desk. Slipknot and things like that. Marilyn Manson. He’s evil. That’s an evil motherfucker right there. I’m scared of him and shit. So I didn’t really mess with it. And then my senior year, that’s when I really dived in to rock and started going in and digging. Like Rancid I was listening to, At the Drive In I liked later on, Bad Brains, Fishbone. ‘Cause I saw they were black and I was like oh shit black people doing rock? Jimi Hendrix I learned more about. I just started diving in to all that kind of stuff like Rage Against the Machine. They were always was around. It was like oh shit somebody’s rapping on rock. So I changed the channel to MTV and I see it. Photo Credit: Joe Schaeffer Is there one old school song that you want to redo? Or kind of mash it up and do your own thing to? HYRO: “Sabotage” for sure, I’d like to make that fucking awesome. The Crowning Concluded Your music always has a human connection. I appreciate that. That’s the thing is when you write these, I know how deeply I feel about them, and maybe everybody feels that way about all their songs. It’s always hard to judge if other people will connect with it in the same kind of profound way that I do ‘cause you know, I wrote the lyrics, right? As humans I think we all have this deep desire to con- nect with people in more ways than just over sports, politics and football teams. We all want a deep spir- itual experience with others to share other humans. It’s how we’re wired. Being able to put out a song that, it still blows my mind when someone can hear a song that we wrote and just connect with it and tell me a story why this means something to them and how much it connected with them. It’s really the ultimate spiritual way of connecting with people. I know that sounds maybe hokey and weird to some people but as an artist, isn’t that what we’re all try- ing to do? We’re using our art to connect with peo- ple. All of us want to feel like we’re not alone, we’re in this together with other people, and sometimes it doesn’t always translate. I have songs that I’ll prob- ably never release or play for other people because it’s just something that I connect with, I don’t know if it would ever resonate with them in any kind of way. But who knows, maybe it will. That’s kind of how I feel when I hear stories like you telling me how much it connected with you. It’s really like the ultimate….it’s not to get famous, it’s not to get rich, it’s to have that deeply personal spiritual shared ex- perience with someone. We’ve been working on an EP that’s coming out pretty soon that’s part of the video. So we’ve got 5 songs we’ve been working on, recording and finish- ing up. We just started producing this other one that we’re going this weekend or next weekend we’re go- ing to hit the studio on. We got the song I just sent you the other day I don’t know if you had a chance to listen to it, “Pushing Daisies” – we got a little video coming out for that. It’s another song we’ve kind of been sitting on for a while. Page 72