Category: AXS Interview

Interview: Rachel Reinert discusses her infectious debut single, ‘Cool’

Photo by Angela Talley

When singer-songwriter Rachel Reinert joined Gloriana at the age of eighteen, she began a whirlwind journey that yielded the band three critically-acclaimed albums, extensive tours and working with artists like Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Alan Jackson and Zac Brown Band. The group was even awarded the Academy of Country Music’s Top New Vocal Group as well as earning an American Music Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year.

But Reinert had always envisioned herself as a solo artist, and in 2015 the sultry vocalist decided to fulfill her life’s ambition. She stepped away from the spotlight and began developing a sound that infuses her poetic voice with a California-country vibe.

The title of Reinert’s hook-laden debut single, “Cool,” is apropos. For not only does it introduce the beautiful songstress as a solo artist, but it also exposes her unique, groove-ridden combination of pop and country, with tasty elements of artists like The Eagles and The Stone Canyon Band.

AXS recently spoke with Rachel Reinert about “Cool,” her decision to leave Gloriana, and more in this exclusive new interview.

AXS: What was the driving force that made you decide to pursue a solo career?

Rachel Reinert: Time was the biggest factor. I had originally moved to Nashville from California when I was sixteen. I signed a publishing deal and had every intention of being a solo artist. I was on that path for a few years; doing a lot of writing and spinning my wheels. When I turned eighteen, I had the opportunity to be a part of Gloriana. It ended up being one of the most amazing experiences of my life for eight years. We had a great run, but after the third album, I thought in my heart of hearts that it was time to set out on a fresh start. So, I put my head down and started writing. I wanted my sound to be very California-country. Rooted in where I come from and the music I was raised on.

AXS: How did your new single, “Cool,” originate?

RR: I started writing with David Naish and Melissa Fuller. We developed this amazing rapport and friendship. Whenever I feel comfortable in a room with someone and can share my experiences and what’s on my mind, that’s when the best songs develop. That day, I went in and told them I wanted to write a song about my first love. So, we started diving into the story and how the relationship I was in went from first love to first heartbreak and being absolutely devastated. Then, over the span of almost fifteen years, the relationship developed into a true, genuine friendship. It’s an interesting dynamic about time and forgiveness and how all of those experiences make you into who you are and where you’re meant to be.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Rachel Reinert by Clicking Here!

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Interview: David Archuleta discusses his new Christmas album, ‘Winter In The Air’

It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years since David Archuleta’swhirlwind run on American Idol. An experience that launched him into superstardom and ushered in the release of his debut, self-titled album, which sold nearly a million copies worldwide and made the singer/songwriter a household name.

In getting with the holiday spirit, Archuleta is unveiling his eighth studio album on Nov. 2 – the appropriately titled, Winter In The Air. The twelve-track compilation is Archuleta’s second Christmas-themed release and features his unique take on such Christmas classics as “White Christmas,” God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Mary, Did You Know?”

The album also features three original tracks co-written by Archuleta, including the bubbly first single, “Christmas Every Day” and the testimonial “He Is Born.” Archuleta also captures the magical feeling of the season with the sentimental title track. Pre-orders of Winter In The Air are available now and fans who do will receive an instant download of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”

AXS recently spoke with David Archuleta about Winter In The Air, his time on American Idol and more in this exclusive new interview.

AXS: What made you decide to do another Christmas album?

David Archuleta: I’ve always loved Christmas music. Even when I was recording the first one nine years ago, Christmas From The Heart, I was already talking about doing another one. For this album, I wanted it to have a happier, classic, forties and fifties vibe of Christmas music on it. I tend to lean more serious and sacred but wanted to make sure there would also be good-feeling songs on there as well. So, I pushed myself a little and feel there’s a happy medium between the two.

AXS: You have a few originals on the album as well. What’s the secret to writing a Christmas song?

DA: This is my first time really getting into writing Christmas songs, and there are three different directions you can go. The first one is like the song, “Christmas Every Day” that I wrote with Cason Cooley and Dave Barnes. I wanted to write a song that was happy and bouncy. One with a “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” and “All I Want For Christmas” kind of vibe. I wanted a song that sounds like you’re walking down the street and you see Christmas lights on the houses and buildings. It asks the question, what are the things you see?

The second version is a more sacred spiritual approach, and that’s the song, “He is Born,” which expresses my testimony. I wondered what it would’ve been like to have been a shepherd that was there that night. What would I have observed and what would it have been like to have heard the angels singing praises?

The third is more romantic and that’s what I named the album after. “Winter In The Air” is about taking in the moment, breathing in the cold air and looking up at the branches of the trees with no leaves on them. Everything is quiet and you’re feeling the snowfall. I wanted to capture that moment.

AXS: Let’s talk about a few other tracks on the album, beginning with “White Christmas.”

DA: It’s the highest selling Christmas song of all-time and a classic. I do Christmas shows every year and this is a fun one to sing and to see how much people love it. I decided to record it for this album and do my own take on it.

Read the rest of my
Interview with David Archuleta by Clicking Here!

Interview: Punk pioneer Palmyra Delran discusses her infectious new single, ‘Come Spy With Me’

Photo: Fred Lammers

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Palmyra Delran has often been referred to as the “Lucille Ball of Rock ‘n’ Roll” by the legendary Little Steven Van Zandt. But the trash-pop maven and punk pioneer is provoking espionage with her infectiously cool new single, “Come Spy With Me.”

The song is the title-track of Delran’s new album that’s due out Nov. 9. The album mixes groove-ridden elements from the early days of punk and explores subjects like today’s volatile political climate. “Come Spy With Me” also features an arsenal of special guests, including Van Zandt, Debbie Harry (Blondie), and John Carlucci (Fuzztones).

AXS is excited to premiere Delran’s new single, “Come Spy With Me” and recently spoke with about the new music and more in this exclusive interview.

AXS: What inspired the new track, “Come Spy With Me”?

Palmyra Delran: Initially, it was sort of a nod to cool spy shows like “Get Smart”. I’ve always liked the image of people talking into shoes and watches, which are things you can actually do now. I also love those clunky flashcubes on cameras. There was always something so funny about snapping a picture, getting temporarily blinded by the flash and then it would click to the next position. Then I made the connection between that and how weird the world has become. You see surveillance cameras on almost every corner and wonder why people even bother committing crimes. Everything is recorded and they’re sometimes in custody by the next day.

AXS: How would you describe your sound?

PD: Trash Pop… not Pop Trash. Trashy Pop describes the sound of the pop music. My stuff is a little rough but still catchy – with harmonies, hooks and riffs. It’s gotta be melodic!

Read my new
Interview with Palmyra Delan by Clicking Here!

Interview: Drake Bell discusses his intimate new tour, music

Photo: Vince Trupsin

The one thing you have to admit about singer/guitarist Drake Bell is that his music can’t be pigeonholed. The multi-talented artist has always had a way of showcasing multiple sides of his musical persona. Whether it’s the pop-fueled songs from his days acting on TV’s “Drake & Josh,” to the dynamic, rockabilly-flavor from his 2013 album, Ready, Steady Go!. Or even more recently, like last year’s EP, Honest and his current singles like “Call Me When You’re Lonely” and “First Thing In The Morning.” Bell’s music is ever evolving.

Longtime fans of Drake Bell and his music will be excited to know that the artist is currently embarked on a new U.S. tour (dates are below). A singer-songwriter-formatted style where Bell will crisscross the country with just himself and his guitar. The new tour promises to deliver an intimate look into Bell’s eclectic sound by stripping the music down into its truest form. Combining all the best elements of Bell’s pop, rock and rap into one tasty musical stew, Bell’s set will offer an honest look at the man and his music.

AXS recently spoke with Drake Bell about his new tour, music and more in this exclusive interview.

AXS: What can fans expect from your new tour?

Drake Bell: This is going to be a fun, intimate tour where it’s just me and my guitar getting in touch with fans and seeing the songs broken down into singer-songwriter style. When you do the big shows with a full band it’s not as easy to communicate with the audience or hang out with fans after the show. This is a cool way to get a gauge on what people are digging and to see what songs are working. It’ll be just like being in my living room hanging out.

AXS: What’s your songwriting process like?

DB: It usually starts with a beat or a chord progression or melody. Lyrics are always last for me and they always develop once the melodies are made. As far as what to write about, it’s usually about my experiences in life. Inspiration comes from all over. Songs like “Call Me When You’re Lonely” and “First Thing In The Morning” are explorations into this new sound and are good examples of how eclectic the music is. One day it may be rap, one day it may be pop, one day it may be rock. That’s what’s good about being an independent artist.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Drake Bell by Clicking Here!

Interview: Brynn Elliott discusses her anthemic debut EP, Time Of Our Lives

Photo By Jimmy Fontaine

Brynn Elliott’s debut EP, Time of Our Lives is a beautifully crafted, living diary from the songstress’ four years in college. Her music is inspired by life, feminism, friendship and a deep understand of the human condition.

Songs like her hook-laden “Might Not Like Me” speak to that female empowerment, while the groove-ridden title track and the ethereal “Internet You” talk of living in the moment and not hiding behind faux personas.

Time Of Our Lives is an infectiously palpable debut from a rising star, and better still, just a taste of what’s to come.

AXS recently spoke with Brynn Elliott about her new EP and more in this exclusive new interview.

AXS: How would you describe the new EP, Time Of Our Lives, in terms of its sound?

Brynn Elliott: For this EP, I wanted to write empowering anthems because that’s what I was experiencing in college. Each of the five songs came from that four-year journey. Sonically, there’s a lot of eighties empowerment and angst because that’s what the songs are about.

AXS What inspires you when you write and create?

BE: It usually starts with an idea. I studied philosophy at school and love the process of thinking slowly and trying to understand an intuitive or universal idea about the world or human beings. For me, that’s what songwriting is. The best songs come from that one idea; whether it’s the Internet, being a woman in 2018, or the simple experience of falling in love. It always starts with a concept or idea.

AXS: Let’s discuss a few tracks from the new EP beginning with the song, “Internet You”. What can you tell me about it?

BE: I have a section in my phone filled with concepts and titles and one of them was for a song that was originally called “Internet Love.” It’s weird how the Internet is shaping our romantic interactions. Sometimes, I would be set up through mutual friends and would check out their Instagram before we met. Then, when we did meet in person, I noticed the person I met in real life was different from the Internet version. We spend so much time curating an image of ourselves that we tend to forget to put the same energy into our relationships. It’s about making the real you the best that it can be.

AXS: How about the track, “Might Not Like Me?”

BE: That’s a song I wrote when I was going through this break-up. I was in a relationship with this guy who made me feel like I was too much into music and school. I was very busy with school and on the road touring on the weekends. He made me feel like I needed to dim my light. I was always concerned about what other people thought of me and that song is about the moment I decided to let him know how I felt. It was my decision to be myself and not worry about the opinions of others.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Brynn Elliott by Clicking Here!

Interview: Love Ghost’s Finnegan Bell and Mya Greene discuss the band’s new album, ‘Lobotomy

Love Ghost is a young, alternative rock band that’s been playing venues in and around the L.A. area for the past three years. What’s even more amazing than a few of the band members still being in high school is the fact that they’ve opened for bands like Buckcherry and Smash Mouth and were recently awarded Best Alternative Band in the 2017 Hollywood Music In Media Awards.

Love Ghost’s first full-length album, Lobotomy is a psychedelic, groove-ridden collective of songs hearkening to the days of grunge, but with a uniquely cool, twenty-first-century vibe. Songs like “This is The Truth,” “Nowhere” and “Parasitical Identity” tastefully capture the youth-ridden angst but with a fresh, deeper sense of maturity.

In addition to the new album, the band is gearing up for its next round of live dates, which includes opening for Fuel at the Canyon Club in Santa Clarita, CA on Friday, Sept. 14.

Love Ghost is Finnegan Bell (vocals/guitar), Mya Greene (viola), Ryan Stevens (bass) and Samson Young (drums).

AXS recently spoke with Bell and Greene about Lobotomy and more in this exclusive new interview.

AXS: How did Love Ghost come together?

Finnegan Bell: It actually started a few years ago. The original lineup included people I had brought together from school and from being a part of the School of Rock. Me and Mya actually met at a jam session and because our parents work in casting together.

AXS: How would you describe the sound of Love Ghost’s album, Lobotomy?

Mya Greene: There are a lot of inspirations but we’re not copycatting anyone. It has its own unique sound.

FB: It’s definitely grunge and hard rock, but there are also elements of classical, pop and even a little bit of psychedelic.

AXS: What’s your songwriting process like?

FB: For me, it usually starts with the melody, instrumentation or guitar part. Then I’ll bring it to the band, who’ll expand on it, and then I’ll write lyrics on top of it.

MG: A lot of the time what happens is that we’ll all get together and have jam sessions where song ideas will come out. Then we’ll come up with our own parts and make suggestions on each other’s parts.

AXS: Let’s discuss a few tracks from Lobotomy, starting with “This Is The Truth.”

FB: I wrote the lyrics for that one. There was a time in my life when I had reached a spiritual plateau and was numb to almost everything. That song is me trying to force myself to be able to find a direction or motivation to get out of an eternal numbness.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Love Ghost by Clicking Here!

Interview: Guitarist Craig Goldy discusses his new project, ‘Dream Child’

Dream Child is the new band founded by ex-Dio guitarist Craig Goldy that was conceived after a brainstorming session with the president of Frontiers Records. Goldy’s mission was to pay homage to two of his favorite bands, Deep Purple and Rainbow, but in a unique and ferociously cool way. Joining him in the line-up are some of rock’s most dynamic players, including Simon Wright (drums), Wayne Findlay (keyboards), Diego Valdez (vocals) and featured guest, Rudy Sarzo(bass).

Dream Child’s debut, Until Death Do We Meet Again, and songs like “Weird World,” “You Can’t Take Me Down,” “”Under The Wire,” and “One Step Beyond The Grave” succeed in conjuring up images of Goldy’s musical heroes, but it’s also an album that’s best experienced loud and with a set of headphones.

AXS recently spoke with Craig Goldy about Dream Child and more in this exclusive new interview.

AXS: How did Dream Child come about?

Craig Goldy: It actually began when I was on the phone with the president of Frontiers Records, Serafino Perugina. Deep Purple and Rainbow have always been my favorite bands. I’d been watching some of my their videos on YouTube and noticed that a lot of the comments were all the same: “They don’t make music like this anymore.” I casually mentioned that to Serafino and he said, “Well, can you?” I told him I could. Then he said, “Can you get Rudy Sarzo and Simon Wright?” I told him I could do that too and that I’d also like to have Wayne Findlay on keyboards. Then he asked me who I’d have sing.

AXS: What was your answer to him?

CG: About eight years ago, a friend of Diego Valdez sent me an mp3 of a Dio cover he did of a song me and Ronnie wrote for the Killing The Dragon album called “Push”. It was so good it was frightening. It was almost as if Ronnie had covered his own song. I remember calling Diego and telling him how great I thought he was and that someday we’d do an album together. When we lost Ronnie in 2010, I was destroyed and it took a long time for me to get the inspiration to do original music again. But I remember saying at his first public memorial that whenever I do original music again I’d like to utilize everything I learned from the master in such a way that I hope would make him proud. The mission of this album is to recapture an old era that was thought to be long gone and never return, and that’s what we did.

AXS: What was the songwriting process like for Until Death Do We Meet Again?

CG: Since I had learned Ronnie’s method on how songs, melody lines, lyrics and titles were written, I decided to utilize it. Me and Chas West wrote “Under The Wire” and “Midnight Song” together. Jeff Pilson [Foreigner] wrote the first verse of “It Is What It Is” and then I took it from there. Doogie White had written the melody line and some of the lyrics to “Until Death Do We Meet Again” and then me and Wayne took it apart and added a middle section. Simon and I were in the same room together when we did the drums. Rudy got an amazing bass tone and [co-producer] Allesandro Del Vecchio was able to make it even more aggressive. Even Diego added some different melodies that made everything better.  It was a real collaboration.

AXS: Let’s discuss a few tracks from the new album beginning with “Weird World.”

CG: I’ve always wanted to do a song like that. I had the chorus in my head for a while but it needed to be… weird! The riff for the middle section was originally the verse for the melody and lyrics of the song, “It Is What It Is.” It was a song that needed special treatment and an odd middle section.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Craig Goldy by Clicking Here!