Friday, February 15, 2013

Interview with Bret Von Dehl of The Relapse Symphony

     The Relapse Symphony is, without a doubt, the band to watch! Together less than a year, this band already has die hard fans known as "Rebels", are signed to Standby Records, released an EP last December and are currently writing their first full length studio album. Last year's Time's Running Out EP showcased the band's rock n' roll style which lead vocalist, Bret Von Dehl, says will expand on the new record. The band (Bret Von Dehl - Vocals, JC Charles - Guitar, Alex Foxx - Guitar, Brandon Kile - Bass, Tyler Gloyd - Drums) recently opened for Black Veil Brides on 2 dates of their Church of the Wild Ones Tour and are continuing to build a following. I recently spoke with Bret about opening for BVB, the new record and his love for TRS's fans. Check out our conversation below!

Front Paige Metal News: How do you describe The Relapse Symphony's music?

Bret: It's really hard for a band to say "We sound just like this band". We've been told that our music is kind of like a mix between My Chemical Romance, Skid Row, and Green Day. I can agree with that. We're all very influenced by those bands.

FPMN: What inspires you as a performer and a musician? When did you first realize that music was a passion for you?

Bret: For me personally, it was at an extremely early age. My father was always into rock music when he was a teenager. As a kid, I always grew up on it. My dad still listens to rock music. We go to shows together sometimes. He's always at our shows and all that stuff. When I was about two years old, I had an Elvis Presley VHS tape  that I watched religiously until it completely wore out, and I grew up on bands like Motley Crue and Poison and stuff like that. For me, it was like around that age that it just made sense to do that.

FPMN: What was it like opening up for Black Veil Brides a couple of weeks ago?

Bret: It was fantastic! Me and Andy have been friends for quite a few years. They were around on the East Coast, and he wanted us to play some shows. He likes the band and everything. We thought it was cool. I hadn't seen him in a while. It was good to see those dudes and everything. They were really cool to us and everything. It went great. The crowds were insane! They have a really insanely awesome fan base, and everything went well with us. The crowds loved us, and it was too cool.

FPMN: When can we expect new music from you guys?

Bret: We're actually in the middle of writing a full length. We've been writing and demoing our asses off. We've been really excited about all this new material we've been working on. The full length is gonna be really, really rad. I think with the EP, we were still kinda finding what we wanted to do. I'm really proud of what the EP has done and what it sounds like. It's probably my favorite piece of music that's been put out in quite a few years. I think we finally got a hold on what our sound is. It's gonna be really cool for everybody to see where this band is going, and we're really taking the bull by the horns this time.

FPMN: What mark do you hope to leave on the music industry?

Bret: We hope to leave a huge mark. We'd like to be remembered for a band that's just a rock n' roll band and a really damn good one. Sort of the way that a band like Guns N' Roses is, I guess.

FPMN: What is something that you would like my readers to know about your music?

Bret: First of all, it's fantastic so you should go listen to it. So, there's that. (Laughs) Not to be narcissistic at all! Obviously, we have a look, and everybody thinks "theatrics". People go "Oh, you're a theatrical rock band". I don't think so. A band like My Chemical Romance, you mentioned Black Veil Brides, they're very theatrical, and that's cool. We like what they do, but we're just a rock n' roll band. Our songs, we write about real life, everything, our experiences and all that. I think we look the way we look because of the bands we're influenced by. I think it was bands like I mentioned like Guns N' Roses and Skid Row that we grew up on as kids. It just makes sense in our heads. We're not trying to put on any kind of theater or anything like that. I just wanna be known for being a really good rock n' roll band. That's basically our aim.

FPMN: One thing I've noticed about the band is that you're really close with your fans. Would you like to say anything to them?

Bret: I definitely look at them like a big family. As for the band, we don't even like calling them fans. It just feels uncomfortable to us. They care so much about us, and we care so much about them that it doesn't even feel like a fan relationship. The fans write me on Facebook and Twitter, and I always make sure I get back to them. I just want to say to them thanks for all the support and they should get stoked for our videos and the record we're writing. I'm really, really excited about it, and I know that they're gonna love it also. I can't wait for them to see what's coming up.

Random Questions:

FPMN: If you could collaborate with one band or artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Bret: I always have trouble with these questions because there are so many people that I would just love to work with. I'd have to say- I'm actually looking around at the posters on my walls right now to answer this question. It would be awesome! (Laughs) I'd love to write with Slash because he's such a badass riff writer. I love everything the dude has done from GnR to Velvet Revolver. I think that would be fantastic.

FPMN: What is your biggest pet peeve?

Bret: Oh, I have so many. I'm your typical asshole lead singer. (Laughs) My biggest pet peeve though is probably wind. I hate being outside in the wind. It drives me insane. I don't know. It sounds dumb, but it just fucks your hair up, and it's annoying! I don't know, it drives me crazy. I also hate when you're texting someone and they're online on their Facebook or Twitter and they're tweeting and you're like "Wow, what a dick. I can text you, and you can tweet but not text me back." That's a big pet peeve of mine as well. Yeah, so wind and tweeting but not texting me back pisses me off so nobody do that to me.

"Burning Bridges"

     Be sure to connect with The Relapse Symphony on Facebook and Twitter, and buy their EP here! What do you think of their music? Comment below!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Interview with Alexx Calise

     Fans of Lifetime's show Dance Moms are probably already familiar with this accomplished singer, songwriter and guitarist. Alexx Calise's hit single "Cry" was featured on the show, and the track has no doubt gained her a lot of attention. (Click here to check out the video)
     Late last year, Calise released her 3rd project, an EP entitled AC3. I'm fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to speak with her about the album.

Front Paige Metal News: How do you describe your music?

Alexx: It's been a little bit different throughout every album, but on the whole I would say that it can be best described as rock alternative. A lot of people have been saying that it's a cross between Alanis, Weezer, and the Foo Fighters, especially for this particular EP because it's really raw sounding and ultra 90s, which is my favorite. I'm kind of a grunge girl. That's what we were trying to achieve with this record.

FPMN: What inspires you as a performer and a musician? When did you first realize that music was a passion for you?

Alexx: First and foremost, I've always been a writer. I've been writing stories and poems and all kinds of stuff like that ever since I was in kindergarten. I went to a Catholic school since like 6th grade or so, and we would go to mass every Wednesday and obviously there would be singing. I really enjoyed that. I used to look forward to that part of mass. We always had a chance to sing and everything. That's where I discovered that I was able to sing, but I come from a pretty musical family. My father is a guitar player. He's a really, really good musician. My great grandfather played about 13 instruments, and I had a great aunt who was a classically trained violinist. It's kind of in the Calise genetic makeup. It's in our DNA. So, it's not entirely surprising that I went down this road.

FPMN: One of the things that I really like about you is that it seems like you wear your heart on your sleeve when it comes to your music. How do you feel other people relate to your songs?

Alexx: I'm Italian and by nature we tend to do that. We tend to wear our heart on our sleeve. We're hopeless romantics and very passionate. I think that that's what people grab onto. Not to say that everyone in the industry is in it for the money and the fame and all these different things, but often times you hear a lot of the same thing. I don't see and hear a lot of people that sing with a ton of heart anymore. I see a few bands that I think really do have that. Lzzy Hale from Halestorm is a badass bitch. You can feel it when she sings. I'm not too familiar with all of their albums or anything but I know from what I've seen of her, for example, live she really sings with a lot of heart. I really grab onto that. I think that when people listen to my stuff they kind of see that same thing that you told me. That it's full of passion and that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I think that a lot of people can relate to the things that I have to say. I like to write about human emotions. The things that I'm writing about are based on my life. They're my life experiences. I think that we tend to experience the same things as human beings, and I like to write about it.

FPMN: What mark do you hope to leave on the music industry?

Alexx: It's not to say that I'm out to change the world or anything like that or that I'm reinventing the wheel with what I do, but I like to think that the kind of music that I produce is a different approach or a different take on what does exist already. What I hope to do is inspire people. I think that's what we all aim to do as musicians. In so many words, I hope that I can be some kind of a comfort to people. For example, when my song "Cry" came out, it really started doing well, and a lot of people reached out to me saying "Thank you for making a song like this, for making a song that I can relate to so much." If I can do that for people, especially on a grand level, that would make me extraordinarily happy. That would be amazing. That's all we can really ask for and hope for as a musician, I think.

FPMN: What was the recording process of the EP like?

Alexx: It was kind of an interesting process. We did everything entirely at home except for the drums. We worked on it for about 6 months or so. We camped out at my apartment, and we just hashed everything out. It was very experimental. In terms of tones and everything we just kinda sat there and fucked with knobs and did all kinds of crazy stuff. One of the songs "Survive", which is the ballad on the EP, went through about four different incarnations, and the final incarnation was entirely different than when we first started messing with it. Now it kinda has this crazy, acoustic Pink Floyd thing going on. It was very experimental. I thought it really broadened my scope as a musician, as a vocalist and a guitar player. It made me a way better everything.

FPMN: What is something that you would like my readers to know about your music?

Alexx: I try to write with passion and heart and soul, and I think that's the most important element when you're writing. If you do it for any other reason, you're an idiot. (Laughs) Just write with your heart, and do everything in life with heart. That's all you can do. It's what's going to make you happy at the end of the day.

"Break My Heart"

     You can also check out a documentary on the making of AC3 here! What do you think of Alexx's music? Comment below! You can buy AC3 here.Be sure to connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.