59 Conversations with Strangers



59 is not an accurate number of my conversations with strangers. The real number is a lot higher. Some Interviews I did for other sites have been archived beyond finding or my access removed. 59 is just a random number I picked for the title because I liked it and the number should be as random as the conversations. These are a small part of some middle of the night emails, texts or phone calls with strangers willing to spill their guts about anything to another stranger.

If you want to read any interview in its entirety you can follow this link to the old site and check it out.


Dan of Tai Chi Swayze. Describe the whole making of the video Stumble Home experience. Good grief. Ok, imagine the scene, it’s a freezing cold East London winters night at 4am in the morning. It’s minus 3 and you’re inside a horribly scary abandoned children’s hospital. You’re wearing only your underwear and a giant bears head while a crazed gypsy is humping you rather loudly. That was me. My Mother hasn’t seen this video and I hope she never does!

Raul Bianchi of The Expendables. If a movie was made about your band, what celebrities should be/would you like to see cast? It should be played by horrible actors, like porno bad. Maybe just actually use porn actors but no sex in it. If that didn’t work then I’d say the cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia or Workaholics. Not because they look or act like us but because they crack me up.

Cj Paolilli of Three Last Words. What are your thoughts in general about the music industry today and do you feel it’s easier or harder with newer technology and social site promoting? It is and it isn’t. Yes, social sites have given us access to millions of people, but it has also done the same for a million other bands. You have to do something to stand out from the pack. I don’t really have thoughts about the music industry as much as I have for artists. I feel like a lot of artists cater to people and genres. What I mean by that is, I see a lot of bands write a genre, not a song. I believe solidly that if you’re not saying something real you shouldn’t say anything at all. Don’t write the song that you think is going to sell a million copies. Write the song that you’d buy. In short, you can’t be what tomorrow needs, you have to be what you need now.

Guest blog by Elijah Kellogg of Matter. The other day, my friend and I are driving about in his car. He likes to listen to “popular” stuff on the radio. Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” comes on. If you haven’t been to a wedding in the last five years, let me refresh your memory of the song’s most poignant (and repeated) line: “If you like it then you should have put a ring on it.” So the song is playing and after about the 10th or 11th “put a ring on it,” my friend—who is now frustrated and distracted to the point that he can’t even keep his conversation going with me—finally punches the power button to his radio and yells out “DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO, BEYONCE!!!” I laughed pretty hard and he laughed too; he was joking, no doubt. But, without even realizing it, my friend had made an interesting point about the lyrical content of most modern melody lines: it’s preachy. It simply tells, and lacks any descriptive, and, therefore, any real thought-provoking value.

Caroline of The Charm The Fury. What’s the general reaction from people towards TCTF having a female screamer, vocalist? They are all intrigued by it. Female screamers aren’t new any more these days, but still people are very amazed by what you do. They just don’t understand how such manly growls can come from a girl. When we first started out with the band and everything went quite fast, some people would say that was all ‘just because we have a female screamer fronting the band’. That made me work harder, because I want to be great at what I do, while using a good technique, and really do my best job at our live gigs. I don’t want to be ‘just a female screamer’, but a good one as well.

Iggy of Iggy and the German Kids. Something pretty major happened in your life around the age of ten? Yes, I auditioned for the MET and began learning music to perform in Operas. However, at the time, I definitely didn’t grasp the immensity of the situation. Looking back now I do, though! I was in the Opera for 5 years. I sang in forty different Operas, including solos in Magic Flute, Tosca, Billy Bud and Werther. I was lucky enough to sing in Operas with both Pavarotti and Placido Domingo.

Greg of Rival Tides. Name a dead artist you would love to perform with if possible and what song would you choose? To answer for my guitarists, I’d say Stevie Ray Vaughan. We wouldn’t even need to perform with him, just jam together and learn a thing or two.
As far as live acts go, I’d say Anberlin. They’ve been a big influence on us for a long time and personally, they’re my favorite band. ***NOTE***As a fan of Anberlin myself, I asked Greg how he felt about Anberlin’s song/video, Unstable, since it caught me off guard a little with its different sound. His response “Anberlin’s song Unstable and their decision to make that a single/video caught me by surprise. It’s a good song but I didn’t expect a B-side to become the biggest push from that release. I would have loved to see a music video for Intentions or Desires from Vital but I’m just happy they’re staying creative and doing what they want.”

Devin of Surrender the Fall. I’ve heard some pretty weird things went on while you guys were recording at Sonic Ranch in Texas . What actually went down? Funny thing about all that is that it mainly happened to me. The studio we were at ” Sonic Ranch” is located outside of El Paso in a town called Tornillo. The ranch itself sits on the border of Texas and Mexico and the border fence actually runs on the property. We were there during the time when all the Mexican drug cartels were going from town to town and causing all those horrible disturbances. I woke up one morning and noticed a fresh bullet hole in my window to my room and a whole in the wall by the headboard of my bed. I shrugged it off and felt very lucky. The room that I was in had no air conditioning in it but it wasn’t bad because of the weather and time of year we were there. The creepy part started after being there a couple weeks and I would wake up to cold air on my neck that felt like breathing. That didn’t bother me until one night where I woke up on the floor, nose gushing blood and no idea where I was. I got up walked into the closet thinking it was the bathroom only to figure out it wasn’t. By the time I got to the bathroom my nose was gushing blood and I had to get into the shower to wash it off of me and to make my nose quit bleeding. I remember looking down in the shower and the floor looked like a scene from a horror movie. When I finally got myself cleaned up and made my way back to the room I saw a trail of blood that I had left on the way to the shower . I got back in the room and noticed that when I came off the bed I hit my face on an old wooden chair. That chair was no longer in my room after that because I threw it down the hallway. The creepy part about this is that I don’t move in my sleep and my back was hurting on both sides like someone pushed me with every bit of strength they had. After that night there wasn’t any more occurrences . It was pretty nuts.

Yellabird. Describe yourselves: Part of our success as a band is our meshing, complimentary personalities. We met working on another musical project, but our level of commitment, musical style and responsibility motivated us to start Yellabird. We’re both very passionate about our music and work hard to realize our collective vision. That said, we’re still two blokes that participate in general blokeish activities. Bring either of us a cold Dogfish 60 and we’ll be friends in no time.

Video Interview with Sun & Flesh. Describe your own music: I would probably describe it as mountain goats having sex on Saturn’s moon while tripping on wheatgrass shots.

Tim King of SoilDo you guys have pre-performance rituals? Most definitely. Me and Ryan take a nap before show time. We all have a shot or two of jager 1 hour before show time. Adam MUST wash his hands and take a piss 3 minutes before stage call.

Goodbye Blue SkiesWhat’s the most ridiculous thing in your practice studio? What’s the most ridiculous thing in your van when you tour? What is the craziest thing that has ever happened during a live performance or while on the road? Victor: Probably one of the most ridiculous times on stage would have to be when we played in Pontiac, MI. We played right after a band who threw marshmallows all over the stage and crowd. During our set, I slipped on a marshmallow and accidentally punched someone in the face standing in the front row! Chris: There’s a blow up man with sunglasses, a wife beater tank top and hane’s underwear just chilling in a blow up kiddie pool at our practice space, why is it there, no clue but we haven’t gotten rid of it haha. We normally don’t have crazy things in our van since we can’t keep a van to save our lives haha, working on getting a new one though!

Justin Eastwood of Cold SummerExplain the story behind the name. Well I came up with the name and the meaning can be quite open to interpretation with the oxymoron, but there is a bit of a personal story behind it. The summer where we’d pretty much started work on the band (summer of 2010), my mum had a sudden deterioration of her health, I used to visit her whenever I could, as I’d moved out of home and was working full-time and well busy with getting this band together. I pulled up one day outside her house to see an ambulance parked up, and at that moment i just felt so ‘cold’, everything was out of my control and I just sat there with her just wondering what was going to happen. Thankfully she had recovered as time went along and as well as this a lot of stuff that happened to me that particular summer and my surroundings had this ‘cold’ feeling I couldn’t shake off. It was the complete opposite to summers I’ve experienced in the past, especially when I was younger, summer time can be remembered as some of the best times of my life.

RamseyYou’re getting a lot of press. How has the progression of the band changed your lives over the last year? Well, Mike (of SwitchBitch Records) emails us about 50 times a day with new things to do. We now sleep in 4 hour increments in order to promote all of these sites that are all saying mean things about us. We no longer have money. We moved from the sunny south to 2013’s snowiest city, Boston, MA. And we fucking love it.

Autumn in Helen. Origin of band name? The name of the project, Autumn in Helen, is a tribute to the complexity of the feminine universe. Helen represents a character in which everyone can identify himself. Both music and lyrics are about love stories and hate, bonds and loneliness. Autumn becomes symbol, a season of life, the closeness to the end, the senescence of every feeling, of every human link.

Ghost Writer. You recently asked “Are we the electronic version of a trashed up Cole Porter?” Elaborate and…are you? JM:Well, our music is rather electropop while dark and really musically morphed open wounds and as such we can say we’re desperate romantics always on the outlook for things that escape them. At the same time, there’s an hedonist angle to the music and sounds, it’s upbeat and not nostalgic although sad and filled with echoing souvenirs. I guess the Cole Porter angle can be found in the irrepressible romanticism associated with lyrics that leave no prisoners.Frank: Cole who? (chuckles).

Krisana Soponpong of Black Taxi. Body Paint. What all gets painted? What should people expect from a live performance? Has anyone ever sued you for ruining their clothing at a show? Everything gets painted that wants paint. There is no set of rules or restrictions. We have not been sued yet for ruining people’s outfits BUT we have had to buy people shots after shows in “appreciation” of their sacrificial clothing.

Jules of The DodozYou all get sucked up in some kind of black hole portal to a different time and place but because you can purr you get control over where you end up in the past, present or future. Where would you choose to go? In the future, so that we can try new technologies to play louder and make cats sing on stage with us.

Monochrome HeartsWho is Yu Phoenix career wise prior to MonoChrome Hearts? Who is Yu Phoenix on a more personal level? Career wise prior to MonoChrome Hearts I am the co-founder and Guitarist of Cinema Bizarre, popRock from Berlin, active until 2010. We toured the world, won a couple awards, golden Records and even opened for Lady Gaga. On the personal side, I am my family’s black sheep, enthusiastic gamer, part-time Poet and enjoy going to the gym! Who is Sebastiano Serafini career wise prior to MonoChrome Hearts? Who is Sebastiano Serafini on a more personal level? Before MonoChrome Hearts and also now I am an International Model since I was 15 for many brands such as h.Naoto, GStar, True Religion. I acted in a couple TV Dramas in Italy as well as Japan and also played the keyboard for DNR (Dreams Not Reality)at shows like V-Rock Festival in Tokyo. At personal level, I really like spending time with my cat and singing at Karaoke. What’s the most important thing you want people to know about MonoChrome Hearts? Yu: With MonoChrome Hearts I feel that we got a great option to give a voice to many people who are unheard, to reflect all that we know into our work and compress it into something, giving others power and hope to always go on…to never be afraid!

Joel Sandberg. You recently drove through a snow storm to see HER BRIGHT SKIES. They have praised very highly your piano covers of some of their songs. What was it like to meet and hang out with these guys and how was the show? Hehe this is a funny story. They were playing at this gig in a town not far from where I live so me and some friends decided to defy the horrible weather and go see them. I’ve been a fan of Her Bright Skies some years now so getting their praise for my cover on their song Little Miss Obvious was really big for me! It led to me getting the opportunity to release an EP through their management company Panic and Action. Anyhow, it was awesome finally getting to see them play live. They’re a fantastic band with such a presence on stage. We also got to hang out a little which was great. I’m also glad they all recognized me from my covers on their songs! All in all, it was a great day!

Where the Skeletons PlayYou use vintage equipment with ties to some famous musicians. Who and what? A Marshall guitar head that once toured with Motorhead. Drum mics that recorded the Beatles. A microphone preamp that was working at the 1966 World Cup Final and an analogue mixing desk that had a leading role in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’, when Bond gets beaten up and thrown through a sound proof window onto a sound desk! Along with tons of vintage gear! We have been very lucky and privileged to use such nice gear!

Gabriel DeCrockerHow do you balance work and music? That’s a question that even I can’t answer, lol. I wake up at 5am to work out then take the trolley/bus to work at 6am to make it by 7am. I get off from my first job at 3pm then take another trolley downtown and start another job at 4. I work until midnight, walk home and fall asleep. It starts over the next day. I work 70 to 80 hours each week. When I get a day off music fills my time…writing, practicing for live shows. I’m excited and impatient to get where I believe I’m supposed to be. Music in my life is literally the way I’m going to escape living the way I do right now. It’s the only thing that keeps me alive. I have a message for the world and I can’t rest until it’s delivered. No joke, real shit….straight from the source.

Asaf of OnomaBug is an awesome song and video. Share some behind the scenes moments from shooting it. Thanks! The video was filmed in an old weird deserted hotel. We ran into a bunch of crazy things there such as a fully armed squad that told us to get the hell out, and a live nude model. Also, a body was apparently found there a week prior to the shooting. We had to test the logistic idea of the ropes beforehand so we actually tested it in the middle of the street! We ran ropes from the balcony of my apartment, with me playing all tied up on the street pavement. People didn’t seem to mind…

Strong of Rebel Inc.  Being “A generation’s premier protest Band” cannot be easy. What event/events initially led to being so motivated in this direction and how much hell have you paid because of it? There were certainly different events for each of us. For me, it was the movie JFK. I got so pissed off, and started researching his assassination heavily on my own. What it led to was a rabbit hole filled with seemingly endless events and questions that logic, science, and mathematics do not support, let alone confirm. I was a sucker for the 9/11 story for a long time as well, but when I was awakened to research this event, I found so much evidence to not support the official story, that my anger from the deception of my own government was amplified greatly. We have been very well received nearly everywhere we go. We’ve even played towns of the most deployed military bases with mostly positive reactions. There will always be those who call us conspiracy theorists, but we just laugh because those are the people who have turned off their brains. The “hell” we pay to be REBEL INC. is the sacrifice it takes to make this all happen. Strained friendships and relationships, financial hardships, and outside drama to name a few. When we’re on stage though, or we get goosebumps writing a new song, none of that shit matters.

Chrystal of JakalopeTell me about your solo “Love for Sorrow” project. What is it? Why are you doing it? What is the main thing you want to accomplish with it? Love for Sorrow is a quote inspired by Nick Cave who said “I believe the love song to be a sad song, it is the sound of sorrow itself”. My solo project is a collection of songs I’ve written either on the piano or bass. I tend to write songs about love and human relationships but lately I’m deliberately trying to stay away from that because I have too many. I’m doing it because it’s what I do best and the only thing I want to do. I didn’t have much choice in the matter, music found me. What I hope to accomplish is to release a solo record that I can be proud of. I’ve never been that satisfied with my solo recordings, I’m too hard on myself. I’ve spent so many years developing my own sound, it’s only been recently that I have found the direction I want to go in. I’m hoping my music will have a positive impact on other people’s lives.

Nick of Throwing Gravity. So I saw the video of the prank on 12 Stones you guys were part of. Describe the master plan . Well to start off its not easy to fit grown men into women’s clothes. The show took place in Marietta, GA at the 120 Tavern and Music Hall, and since it was the last show of the tour we all wanted to do something fun to one another. During our set, Blameshift and 12 Stones got up on stage and played Cornhole behind us as we played our song “What She Wants”. There’s a nice lil video of it on YouTube. During the Blameshift set Paul Mccoy from 12 Stones dressed up as a…well I’m not quite sure. He had a longhaired brown wig on with a bandana wrapped around his head and some ray ban sunglasses on. He also was wearing some daisy duke cut off jean shorts. Anyways he strutted around stage like a waiter with shots of whiskey on a plate and fed the Blameshifters. Finally during 12 Stone’s set Jenny from Blameshift had an idea for all the guys to dress up in drag and flaunt around stage. Jenny ended up bringing in mostly all her clean clothes for us to wear so we would look legit. Let me tell you I don’t know how we kept it together because it was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen!

Adam Roth of Are We Human and Broken IrisWhat is the main thing you want people to know about your work and objectives? I/We mean business, I was born to do one thing… create music, I’m alive for one reason, music… it saved my life. My job is to channel signals from the earth, space or other dimensions and translate sounds and messages to our own human kind in hopes to understand and assist us as a race to make our short life on earth more fulfilling. I really just want to take over our world and tell all the current political parties to kick rocks and admit no one knows anything.

Brian BuckleyExtra Terrestrial beings land on Earth and of course they’re going to land in LA. You’re the first one to come in contact with them. They’re friendly. How do you spend the day? I would spend the day saying.. Don’t follow mass media because you will find it hard not to generalize the entire race (especially the current state of affairs in our country). Keep your eyes on the art and you will better understand what we have the potential to be presently. Oh and I would make them watch JAWs right before I took them to the beach, as sort of a social experiment. haha!

Pink Fuzzy Animals (formerly 100 Monkeys). You’re suddenly God of the Music Industry. What’s the first thing you do? Stroke my long white beard… make CDs square… pay the artists… all sorts of crazy unheard of things. Are you going to see Breaking Dawn II? I’m sure I will at some point. (If you’re reading this and wondering why I asked this stupid question, Jackson Rathbone, aka as Jasper Hale of Twilight, was a member of 100 Monkeys) Still a stupid question but that was kind of the point.

Alistair Hennessy. How much shit did you cram in your van for the current “Feel Something” tour and what’s in there that would probably surprise me? Rusty Bucket (our van’s name) is pretty well at capacity I’d say. The trailer is absolutely at capacity, and every nook that isn’t for seating/sleeping is crammed with all of our daily life stuff. One thing we probably have in total excess is oatmeal. Tubs of the stuff. There’s two yoga mats. A Muppets Treasure Island blanket, adult wipes, and I also have a book about real estate investment. Write two lyric lines of a new song right here, right now. This is taking too long, and my battery is about to die.

Lee Glynn of Sound of Guns. Write a six line poem that describes your most recent tour.  Wow… errm…I’m terrible at poems so I’ll do a Haiku instead…~As the winter fades,We watch from our moving beast. Europe was immense~

Afshin Effati of MelancholicA. What is the music industry like in Iran? What would you change about it? Simply I can say that we don’t have any music industry in Iran, where music is interdict. (forbidden) So we have resulted in an Iranian-based online music band to collaborate with foreign musicians … Not local guys. Describe your own music. Typically, the music of MelancholicA presents dark and somber moods, often orchestrated through the use of various instrument patches from a keyboard. MelancholicA sings of sorrow, loss, death and darkness.

DeceitWhat do you feel has been the most defining moment or milestone for Deceit since the beginning? Maybe the moment we decided to stop playing covers. It started with a guitar riff, a drums fill and a vocal line.. We called it Get your Control, our first song. In that moment we understood we could do something together, something different, something powerful! So we looked each other in the eyes… and we went out to buy some beers!

Janele of The WickedName an artist, dead or alive, that would be your dream to collaborate with. I’d like to collaborate with some dead guy. I don’t know who. Just a no name guy who lived in the 50’s and had a lot of shit in his life. Someone who can inspire me, not really to play music with.

Tryg Sebastian of Fall From GraceAll of you have had some near misses in life. Tell me about that. Brian takes the cake on this one. Some years ago, he was in a head on collision, broke all his ribs, both arms, both legs, and ruptured his aorta. When the paramedics tubed him, they paralyzed his left vocal cord. After being pronounced dead at the scene, and in a coma for a month, he relearned how to play guitar. He’s on borrowed time now, and his passion for life and music reflect it!

Dan GodlinIn high school you were Captain of the football team, MVP at one point, and scouted by Ivy League Colleges. In your free time you’re writing music and pursuing your love for it whenever possible. These factors led to you eventually being faced with the very difficult decision of choosing between sports and music. Tell me about that struggle. Football for me had always been my physical outlet, and I became very good at it by the time I hit senior year. But sports never fulfilled me in the same way that music did. I kept quiet about my songwriting during high school because it was hard to be a sensitive football player – and especially Captain. When sports had ended in the middle of my senior year, I got the chance to delve into my music pretty seriously. I immediately realized that my creativity was far more satisfying for me than anything else in my life. Therefore when it came time to make my decision, I ultimately went with my gut… And I haven’t looked back since.

Little Hurricane. Favorite screw up moment from filming the “Haunted Heart” video?  That would have to be when Tone got pulled over during the driving scene in the middle of nowhere. We did not have a permit to film in the desert, he had an open container of alcohol in the car, several traffic violations, and an unregistered firearm. We had been waiting all day for the “golden hour” when the sun was setting. Wouldn’t you know it but that’s when he got pulled over. We literally watched the sun set before our eyes, with nothing we could do about it. The officer insisted no more filming or all of the rented equipment would be seized. We actually snuck in the last few shots of the day; it made it exciting and a story to tell to our friends.

Luke of Make Do and Mend. You’re assigned the job of creating a time capsule for your city. What do you put in it? I’m from Birmingham, Alabama so I’d take away all the shitty racism and homophobia that exists, bury it with a blindfold, and not tell anyone where I buried it.

TeeJay of Crashing Broadway. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever been asked to autograph and did you? Crazy enough, I was asked by a fan to autograph her TEETH one time. The only catch was that she was missing a few crucial ones. I was only able to put the first and last letter of my name, but I think people got the point, haha!

Calling HomeWhat do you want people to know about the sacrifices artists make to pursue their music? Write music that makes YOU happy. It is often hard for a group of artists like a band to agree on all the aspects of a certain song. Keep trying to write a song is better than your last, always have the ability to improve and expand upon the art your group is creating. Experiment! Most importantly, work smarter, not harder. There is no need to blow someone’s life savings on funding your project, find resourceful ways to promote yourself without having to break your bank account

EarlyRiseYour song “Wasteland”, alone, helped to grow your YouTube views by 750,000. Did you have any idea that song would be so popular? We had no idea. When we finished the album we were actually debating for a while which songs we should release first. We eventually decided to go with Wasteland because it was one of our favorite songs on the album and we’re glad we did!

Drew of Day Above GroundThe video for your song “Endless” depicts very emotional performances. How do you separate yourself enough from a song to get through filming a video or performing it on stage? Well I guess you never really separate yourself from any of your work. That’s the thing, this all comes from the heart. There is no acting. We create our music from real situations, so it’s easy to put yourself in the mood of the track. We write material that comes naturally.

Mike of SaturateWhat is the best thing about being on tour and what is the worst? The best thing about it is the “purpose”. We feel free on the road knowing that we are doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing. We make the best of all of our shows therefore we acquire peace of mind from it all. The worst thing is breaking down on the side of the road in BFE.

PseudonymphoDescribe your own music.
Wolfgang: Kind of straddling the canyon between Grunge and Prog, and losing stability causing us to regularly wobble all over in the direction of rock & metal. And it’s often just as self-indulgent and pretentious as that analogy would suggest 😉 This is the part where A lot of bands seem to be self-consciously over-modest, but we have a pretty strict quality control policy when it comes to writing. If we wouldn’t listen to it out of choice had another band released it, we drop it and move on to something else.
Don: Post-Pre-Bullshit-Mad At Yer Dad-Metal-Grunge-Prog…Core.
Sam: Loud and relentless but with texture and nuance to compliment it
Rio: It’s got 3 guitars and a bass playing at the same time- often different things and sometimes the same. There are also drums, and some words that we made up (but that existed already individually)
Ben: Fucking awesome. Somewhere between grunge and prog.

The Black Hands. What’s the origin of the band name? We had a hard time deciding on a name and researched different things and ran across gangster mafia info that we found interesting. The mafia would leave threatening “black hand notes” like, pay us or die, etc to people they wanted to exploit or blackmail. Also it was the name of a secret Serbian Military group founded in 1901 that is thought to be the group that killed Frances Ferdinand which was the catalyst leading up to WWI and since we share a lot of their feelings about the government not always making decisions in our best interest we liked the idea of that and of being a catalyst to something important through what we’re trying to do.






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