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An Interview With Alex Vazquez of Weigh The Wind

Alex Vazquez former drummer for Sky Harbor, Shout Out the Crowd, Jack the King, The Worst is Yet to Come, and who knows what else, recently let me in on some details about his reunion with Weigh the Wind and fallout with Shout Out the Crowd. Check it out.

Sam Acevedo: So why exactly did you and SOTC split?

Alex Vazquez: (After a quick laugh) Well shit between me and John’s mom… she was bad mouthing me behind my back… you can just say the band and i “had our differences.”

Sam Acevedo: Wow the last thing I was expecting was someone’s mom being involved. After the breakup what put the idea of a reunion with WtW in your head?

Alex Vazquez: Well it wasn’t just me. It was Joel and Jenna as well. Jenna and I were gonna start a side project punk group, but Joel wanted to start jamming again. We then came up with the idea to start up again. Also with a fourth member (Jorge) on lead guitar.

Sam Acevedo: So you guys finally got that second guitar you wanted, has it changed your sound at all?

Alex Vazquez: Absolutely. He definitely gives us that fuller sound we’ve been looking for. Jorge is honestly the most talented guitarist I’ve ever jammed with. Not only has he come up with excellent leads in our new material, but he came up with leads for our old EP as well.

Sam Acevedo: Speaking of new music, what kind of stuff can we expect out of WtW and when do you think you’ll have it up on Facebook?

Alex Vazquez: Well we’ve definitely matured in our sound. We haven’t necessarily changed it, we’ve just become more well-rounded as a group. Expect the same catchy choruses in the new material, but also expect the music to be much more intense. We’re planning on releasing a full length, but we’re not sure when at the moment. We’re still writing and prepping for shows.

Sam Acevedo: Going back to BrokenSound for that? (BrokenSound recording)

Alex Vazquez: Actually, we’re not sure yet. We’re thinking of going to Vince Ratti, who recorded The Wonder Years’ concept album “The Upsides”. He’s a really chill dude, and I’ve worked with him before so we’re hoping he’s available when we’re ready to record.

Sam Acevedo: Wow, that’s pretty intense, sounds like a decent bit of cash too. last question, do you guys have a set date for the reunion show or any ideas of where you want it to be?

Alex Vazquez: Honestly, Vince isn’t that expensive. He’s very fair with his pricing/payments as well. In terms of a reunion show, we’d like to get something huge set up, but we don’t know when and where. Hopefully before April since we’re dying to show the world our new material.

Well there you go, you can follow Weigh the Wind here, and stay posted for follow ups and more interviews with local bands headed your way. Later.

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Bomb The Music Industry!

Bomb the Music Industry! What can I say, I love them. I’m completely gushing right now but there’s a point to this. BtMI! is the kind of band that I think, on some level or another, every musician should idolize. If it’s not for their 10$ or under and all-age-shows only policy, then for their business skills, and if not for that then for their musical skills, and if not for that then for their lyrics I mean these guys do it all. They make their own shirts, record, produce, and distribute their own albums, they even set up a record label and made a home for musicians with their same DIY mentality, these guys are, in my eyes, the Messiah of Punk Rock or at least the DIY scene.

I keep saying “these guys” and “they” but technically BtMI! is a musical collective and the only “real” member is Jeff Rosenstock (Ex-The Arrogant Sons of Bitches).

Anyway, aside from being a 100% DIY band, Jeff brings a new meaning to the term “band-fan openness” (mainly because I just made it up). Aside from updating the band’s website, which is actually just a Tumblr account, with such honesty as:

“Although no one has called us out on this, we have been playing a handful of shows that a bit more expensive than $10, the most recent of which is a show with Das Racist on Long Island. We don’t plan on making a habit out of this, and we will ALWAYS fight tooth and nail to make our headlining shows $10 or less (I think in one case in Toronto last year, it had to be $13 or it couldn’t be all ages.)

In all honesty, we’re just making sure we’re still doing things that are interesting to us. Headlining shows all the time can get olllllllld and I think all the higher priced things we’ve been playing are all pretty unique circumstances, and things we’re excited to be a part of. We also always try to set up something cheap (or free) in those areas around the same time as the pricier jump-offs.

So fear not. We’re only continuing our trend of selling out in small increments. Can’t be perfect.”

Jeff and the rest of BtMI! also post a synopsis of each of their albums right there on the website, where you can also download them, for free. As if that wasn’t enough you can even find a little paragraph or two on each individual song from each album, sometimes it’s only the songs lyrics but other times Jeff tells you exactly why he wrote each song and exactly what they all mean to him. I mean that’s nuts, complete insanity to me, I’ve never heard of a band being so upfront with their fan base, and I can only assume it’s paid off for them.

BtMI! runs Quote Unquote Records entirely on donations, the label supports his own band and a number of other notable acts including Laura Stevenson and the Cans who’ve been growing steadily for a while now and have even been mentioned in AP magazine a few times.

In the end I just need to give BtMI! a huge shout-out because they’re just a great band, and you should really go check them out if you haven’t. You can legally go download all their music for free on the band’s website, don’t forget to throw them a donation and keep the DIY ball rolling. Thanks in advance.

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