By: Nick Manduley
So you’ve decided to finally start a band! Maybe you’ve been wanting to do this for a while, or maybe deciding to start a musical project was a bit of a new development for you. Either way, you know this is something you want to do, and you want to take this band as far as you can take it. Here’s a few things you should understand before you start searching for bandmates or thinking about hitting the studio.
1. You need bandmates you have chemistry with.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you need to actually like, respect, and enjoy making music with the people in your band. Ideally these are people you consider family; some of the best friends you’ve ever had. You should all be on the same page about the kind of music you want to create; writing and practicing should be something you view as fun, not simply work! Having good chemistry with your bandmates is vital to writing good songs- and just enjoying being in a band in general.
2. The Three P’s
Let’s say you’ve dreamt about being in a band your whole life, and now you’re finally at the stage in your life where you’re ready to start a band that you want to take as far as you possibly can. Well, chances are you’re not gonna blow up overnight. Or in a week, month, a year, two years…. My point is that if you’re trying to go somewhere with your band, you need to have patience, perseverance, and passion.
(1) Patience. Writing, recording, and promoting an album, single, or EP can be exhausting and time consuming. Always remember to pace yourself; the mental and physical health of you and your bandmates should always come first. Let’s say you’ve got a debut single or EP completely recorded and ready to go, you’ve marketed and promoted the hell out of it, you’ve racked up loads of likes and follows on your socials, maybe even the preview you posted of the music video you made for your single got a decent amount of views. Release day finally comes, you’re checking Spotify plays, views of your music video, your bandcamp stats, etcetera- and it’s not what you hoped. Maybe it’s nowhere near what you hoped, not even a little. This may leave you with a bit of a sour feeling, but remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day! You’ve got march to the beat of your own drum, sure, but the thing is you actually have to keep marching; which leads me to……
(2) Perseverance! Keep moving forward, keep playing shows, keep writing music, keep at it! If writing/playing music is what makes you happy, then by all means you should keep doing that, no matter what. The world will not suffer from a surplus of music. How long it takes for you to “blow up” shouldn’t matter really at the end of the day, and as long as you’ve got a….
(3) Passion for what you’re doing, you’ll continue to move forward at your own pace!
3. Be realistic.
Let’s say you want a really professional sounding single or album. Or maybe you want a professionally shot music video. Or maybe you want to hire a PR firm to run a campaign for your next release (wink-wink!). The fact of the matter is that these things cost money- a lot of money. Of course, spending money on stuff like this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when you’re a band that’s just starting out, you should be asking yourself whether or not that professional recording/pro-shot video/expensive PR campaign is something you legitimately need (or can afford) at this stage in your band’s life. Look into doing these things yourself; record your own music, film your own videos, advertise yourself. It’ll save you money and give you loads of good experience.
It’s also important to recognize when something like a professionally shot music video or a professional PR campaign may be right for you. Let’s say your band is 3-5 years old, you’ve got an album or two under your belt, and you think it’s time to take your next release to a more professional level. Put together a budget and see what you can afford, and consider what specific services may be of most use to you.
4. Be kind, especially when there’s a networking opportunity in your midst.
Call me a dirty hippie, but I completely subscribe to the notion that we, the human race, are all one; and therefore, when you hurt others, you’re also hurting yourself. That’s why it’s important to put your best foot forward, to do good things without expecting a reward, and to do your best to put out positive energy into the world around you. Specifically at any shows you play! Talk to the other bands, watch their sets, make friends! These people can get you connections to folks in your local scene who record music, shoot videos, etc. Being active in your local scene can do a lot for your band; these are the people you want to be interacting with when you’re just starting out! Also, attend local shows in your area that your band isn’t billed on. Go out to support your friends bands, because one day you might need their support too.
After the dissolution of My Chemical Romance in 2013, Alternative Press released an article that reviews all of the band’s appearances in the magazine throughout the span of their career. Read the full article here.
By: Nick Manduley
Columbia, South Carolina-based post-hardcore outfit When I Say Jump completely flies off the handle their debut record “Separation Anxiety.” Released back in January, the eight-track album offers a unique blend of hardcore, emo, and pop punk. The opening track “Debby Drowner” immediately throws the listener back to the mid-2000s “mall emo” days, when albums like My Chemical Romance’s “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge” and Fall Out Boy’s “From Under The Cork Tree” topped the charts. However, it isn’t before long that the vicious screams and biting guitar riffs begin incorporating into the mix, and the result gives those aforementioned iconic albums a run for their money.
“I’ve Been Skipping the Bus, but This Day Pass Is Burning a Hole in My Pocket” showcases the band in this heavy light, as well as their witty lyrics fueled by raw emotion. “This Gun’s Just A Conversation Piece” features brutal vocals and ripping guitar work that’s reminiscent of bands such as Every Time I Die or My Chemical Romance. “Dishonest Love” is another emotional track that tackles themes of betrayal from friends with splintering guitar riffs that explode into a melodic chorus. Tracks such as “Cry, Wolf” shows a bit more of the band’s dynamic, opening with a soft droning guitar against a light synth composition, with emotionally charged vocals courtesy of vocalist Brennen Monk. This release definitely makes it clear that the boys in When I Say Jump aren’t messing around; they’re a band with a mission to make music that’s not only amazing, but sends a real message as well.
Fans can expect a new music video before the year is out, as the band has been working with director Jaiden Frost. “Separation Anxiety” can be found on major streaming platforms, and is available for the “name-your-price” option on the band’s bandcamp account. Listeners will also find the band’s heavily scream-ladened cover of Lil Nas X’s hit “Old Town Road” available for download.
Welcome to #Food4ThoughtFriday, where we here at Muddy Paw take a moment to step back from our usual content, and talk about something that holds significance to us; whether it be a special recipe, a pivotal moment in our careers, or even an appreciation post for a beloved pet- the sky is the limit! This week, our intern Nick is sharing his own take on some iconic comfort food: Mac and Cheese!
By: Nick Manduley
Macaroni and cheese has always been a major source of comfort for me. It’s perfect to eat on a cold, rainy day, it’s a great pick-me-up for when you’re feeling down, and it’s a wonderful accompaniment to anything and everything BBQ. It’s simple, it’s comforting, and people are always happy to see it on the dinner table. It’s what we call a crowd pleaser.
When you’re a 20-something in college, however, the optimal time to eat mac and cheese is anytime you’re not sober. Picture this: it’s 1:45 in the morning, and you’ve just stumbled home from the bar with your best friend-slash-bandmate. You guys just played a super fun show with a lot of talented bands, and you decided to hit up your favorite bar afterward which always plays your favorite kind of music. While there, you guys had 2, 3, maybe 9 beers between you. It’s hard to say for sure. What isn’t hard to say is how hungry you two are! And what are you guys craving? That’s right, mac and cheese! So you grab a pot, filler’ up with some water and turn on the stove. Before long it comes to a boil, and you pour your uncooked Velveeta pasta shells into the steaming pot.
As you stand there, with your high blood alcohol level, watching the pasta boil, you begin to think how you can bring this boxed Velveeta mac and cheese to the next level. The great thing about mac and cheese is that because it’s so simple, it’s very versatile! So you decide to let out your inner Gordon Ramsey and bust out yet another pot. You get some butter, flour, and milk and make a simple roux.
This is the part of the recipe where you start to get creative! Rouxs are fun because they act as a blank canvas to your ideal cheese sauce (or whatever it is you’re using the roux for). Use any cheese and any seasonings you want! I personally decided to go with swiss cheese, as well as nutmeg, pepper, and mustard for seasonings. My mother had her own mac and cheese recipe that she made frequently when I was growing up; nutmeg and mustard were her secret ingredients. It gives the dish some nuttiness and tang, while rounding out the flavors of the cheese. After I had this homemade cheese sauce going, I decided to mix in the packaged cheese sauce that came in the box. The result was probably one of the best mac and cheese I’ve tasted in my entire life; thick, creamy, rich, and bursting with flavor. Once you’ve gotten your cheese sauce to your liking, pour in the pasta, mix, and serve!
-1 Box of Velveeta Mac and Cheese (or more depending on how many people you’re feeding)
-Flour (I probably used around 2 or 3 tablespoons, but pretty much everything in this recipe can be eyeballed, so take these measurements with a grain of salt)
-¼ stick of Butter
-Approx. ½ Cup of Milk
-Approx. 5-6 Slices of Swiss Cheese (or any cheese you like!)
-½ Tablespoon of Mustard (use your favorite! I used Heinz Yellow and it was great)
-Nutmeg (use any seasoning you enjoy!)
-Salt + Pepper (to taste)
-1 Packet of Velveeta cheese sauce
PASTA: Bring water to a boil in a medium sized pot, pour in your pasta, stir occasionally for about 7-8 minutes or until pasta is tender and then strain.
CHEESE SAUCE: Combine butter and flour in a medium pot over medium heat. Stir until butter is melted and flour is incorporated. Then pour in milk and continue to stir. Add your cheese gradually while continuously stirring until all the cheese is melted and a sauce begins to form. Add in Velveeta cheese packet and stir until incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste and any other seasonings of your choice, adjust as desired. Add in your pasta, stir, and serve.
By: Nick Manduley
Asbury Park hardcore punk outfit Kissies released a new single, “Angley,” on June 17th. The song, named after guitarist Alex Angley, was released as a means of raising funds for the guitarist’s debt from the legal system. “Angley” is a short track; clocking in at just under a minute, the four-piece bombards the listener with screamed vocals and vicious, dissonant guitar riffs. The noisy guitar tones and precise rhythmic execution makes it very clear that this band is something to keep an eye on in the heavy music community. Guitarist Kevin Henson and bassist Luke Hendriks (of Teenage Halloween) provide amazingly visceral vocal performances, as well as a politically charged spoken word section courtesy of Hendriks. The track is available on their bandcamp account for one dollar (as part of the preorder for their upcoming EP “S”, due out August 10th), with the self titled EP being available the “name-your-price” option, providing fans with the option to donate if they feel so inclined.
Kissies emerged on the D.I.Y. New Jersey punk circuit in 2018, playing shows in the area and blowing show-goers away with their raw, noisy, scream-ladened brand of hardcore. The band, describing their sound as “queer skram,” dropped their debut self-titled EP on March 5th, 2019. The band’s songwriting thematically deals with the struggles of the LGBTQ+ community as well as mental health. The band will be next performing July 10th at Chamber 43 in Highland Park, New Jersey with other talented local acts such as Sunrot, Miriam, and North Carolina-based death metal act Basilica.