Category: Medium

Interview: Stop Thrust’s Jordan Kai Burnett and Claron Hayden Discuss Their Unique Brand of Blues-Punk

Rising from the musical landscape of Astoria, a neighborhood in Queens, NY, blues-punk band Stop Thrust has been slowly making a name for themselves.

What makes the band so incredibly unique, aside from the often dual-perspective comparison to acts like July Talk and The Dead Weather, is that all four members of the group are seasoned pros of the musical theater. This offers another dynamic layer of craft to the band’s already impassioned performances.

The band will be performing at the legendary Rockwood Music Hall on Monday, July 8th before celebrating the release of their long-awaited EP at The LetLove Inn in Astoria, Queens on Wednesday, August 14.

Stop Thrust is: Jordan Kai Burnett (vocals), Claron Hayden (vocals, guitar), Will Schnurr (bass) and Matt Wills (drums).

I recently spoke with Jordan Kai Burnett and Claron Hayden about Stop Thrust and more in this exclusive new interview.

How would describe your brand of music?

Jordan Kai Burnett: We went down a rabbit looking at all kinds of bands we love and how they identify themselves and the way that music has evolved. When it comes down to it we like to call it blues-punk.

Claron Hayden: We’ve been influenced a lot by the associated acts coming out of Third Man Records — Jack White from The White Stripes, who’s now with Alison Mosshart [The Kills] in The Dead Weather. There’s also a Canadian band, July Talk, that’s inspired us. They add two perspectives the entire time and not just in a one or two song thing.

JKB: They’re a huge influence because of the male/female dynamic and the gritty, sexy nature of their music.

How did Stop Thrust come together?

CH: All of us have worked professionally in theater and other projects in music. Matt and I have actually known each other since we were kids. Jordan was in the process of developing material for a solo project and the two of us had done a few songwriting sessions where we compared notes and music. It came to a head that what we both actually wanted was to build a band that was fun, energetic and had a shared, dueling perspective between both angles inside of a relationship.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Stop Thrust by Clicking Here!

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Interview: Caly Bevier Discusses Her Edgy New Single, “Hate U Sometimes”

Photo: Lindsey Byrnes

It’s been a surreal four-year journey for L.A-based pop artist Caly Bevier. Following a trajectory that included overcoming a stage-three cancer diagnosis, earning herself a Golden Buzzer on NBC’s America’s Got Talent — where she was sent directly to the semi-finals by judge Simon Cowell — and an insatiable debut single, “Head Held High,” the inspiring singer-songwriter is back with her brand-new track. The edgy and ethereal “Hate U Sometimes.”

The song is a hauntingly inspired, groove-ridden track with universal appeal. One that describes the empathetic, and at times confrontational, feelings between significant others, partners, and family members.

All relationships have their ups and downs, but Bevier’s message resonates on much a deeper level. A sentiment that says even though we may not always agree, at the end of the day, we can still hold firm to our commitments to each other and say, “You know I love you, don’t you?”

I recently spoke with Bevier about “Hate U Sometimes” and more in this exclusive interview.

What can you tell me about your new single, “Hate U Sometimes?”

Normally, I’ll write all of my songs, but “Hate U Sometimes” was one that was sent to me. I could relate to it on so many different levels. I went in and helped re-write a few parts and the bridge. That’s how it came about.

What’s your typical songwriting process like?

It all happens naturally with producers and writers. Sometimes I’ll go into a session with a bunch of ideas that I may or may not use. Typically, the producers are the ones who will start a track, and then I’ll go lay down some melodies and lyrics.

How would you describe your sound?

I’ve been living in L.A. the past few years building a sound that I’d consider to be edgy-pop. What’s cool is that, in the future, I can go deeper into a more alternative-pop sound. Artists that inspire me are Halsey and Billie Eilish.

You’ve gotten to work with songwriters like Bonnie McKee, who’s worked with Katy Perry among others. What was it like collaborating with her?

It was extremely cool. Bonnie was in one of my first sessions and taught me how to do melodies and be comfortable with getting my ideas across. As a woman, you sometimes feel shy and might not want to say the line. She taught me to be confident and that’s really helped me grow as an artist.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Caly Bevier by Clicking Here!

Interview: Kansas’ Ronnie Platt Talks Upcoming Show At Sands Event Center, Classic Hits and New Music

Photo: EMily Butler Photography

With a career spanning more than four decades and more than thirty million in album sales alone, Kansas has firmly established itself as one classic rock’s most iconic bands. Since releasing their debut album in 1974 the band’s hits like “Carry on Wayward Son,” “Dust In The Wind,” and “Point of Know Return,” have become staples of classic rock radio and continue to be used in film, television and video games to this very day.

In 2016, Kansas released their acclaimed fifteenth studio album, “The Prelude Implicit,” and spent most of the next two years touring it as well as celebrating the 40th anniversary of their landmark Leftoverture album. With even more tour dates, including performing albums in their entirety, and the talk of even more new music, Kansas shows no sign of slowing down.

On Thursday, May 30, Kansas will be bringing its Radio Classics Tour to The Sands Event Center in Bethlehem, PA. A show that promises to feature material that spans the groups legendary career as well as a few surprises.

Kansas is: Phil Ehart (drums), Richard Williams (guitars), Billy Greer (bassist/vocalist), Ronnie Platt (vocalist/keyboards), David Ragsdale (violinist/guitarist), Tom Brislin (keyboards) and Zak Rizvi (guitars).

I recently spoke with vocalist Ronnie Platt about the band’s upcoming performance in Bethlehem, new music and more in this exclusive new interview.

What can fans expect from Kansas’ upcoming performance at The Sands Event Center in Bethlehem, PA?

Fans are going to be in for a fantastic, high-energy, music-packed show. Songs from album number one all the way up to “The Prelude Implicit” and everything in between. Bring your extinguishers because the band is on fire.

What do you think makes the music of Kansas, and classic rock in general, so timeless and special?

I think it’s the depth, diversity and dynamics of the music. It also doesn’t hurt that Kerry [Livgren] was also influenced by classical music. Today, people are still listening to Mozart, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. These are guys who lived hundreds of years ago. Their music is still being played because there’s a level of musicality and intensity that makes it remain timeless. Kansas has that same element. It warms my heart when I see young kids and teenagers at our shows getting into it and aren’t just sitting there waiting for “Wayward Son.” It’s cool to see an appreciation of this music at all age levels.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Ronnie Platt by Clicking Here.

Interview: Styx Bassist Ricky Phillips Talks Touring, Music And Career Highlights

Classic rock pioneers Styx has gone through waves of change over their legendary forty-seven-year career. But perhaps at no time in the band’s history has it shown more diversity, musicianship or the ability to adapt and fire on all cylinders than in 2019. In addition to showcasing its arsenal of radio hits on its current tour, Styx is able to draw material from deep in its catalog, much to delight of diehard fanbase.

Tracks from the band’s most recent release, The Mission, also find their way into the band’s set list. The concept album, an adventurous forty-three-minute thrill ride chronicling the trials, tribulations and triumphs of the first manned mission to Mars, conjures images of the band’s mid-70s sound with with 21st-century appeal.

On Tuesday, May 21, Styx — Tommy Shaw (guitars/vocals), Lawrence Gowan (keyboards/vocals), James “JY” Young (guitar/vocals), Todd Sucherman (drums), Ricky Phillips (bass) and Chuck Panozzo (bass), will bring its well-oiled machine to The Sands Event Center in Bethlehem, PA for what’s sure to be a night to remember.

I recently spoke with bassist Ricky Phillips about the band’s upcoming performance in and more in this exclusive new interview.

What can fans expect from Styx’s appearance at The Sands Event Center?

Every show is different but what I can guarantee is that Styx is running like a well-oiled machine. We still do close to 100 shows a year and are on the road most of the time. We’ll play the hits everyone expects, like “Renegade,” “Come Sail Away” and “Blue Collar Man,” but we also try to go deep into the catalog and find little nuggets like “Snowblind,” “Suite Madame Blue” and “Castle Walls.” We also have a new record out called The Mission and we’ve been having fun playing some of the new songs as well.

Speaking of The Mission, didn’t the band recently do a show in Las Vegas where you performed the album in its entirety?

We did. It was only one night but it was a blast. We had people fly in from all over Europe and Japan just to see it. The Mission is a concept album about NASA preparing its first manned flight to Mars. The music and storyline is right in Tommy’s wheelhouse. He created characters and a storyline that runs throughout the album. It has a sound like the Grand Illusion and Pieces of Eight period of the band, with vintage instruments and analog recording. It was a great feeling to create something that sounds like was recorded in the 1970s.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Ricky Phillips by Clicking Here!

‘Bullet Train’: Christian Burns Discusses A Reunited BBMAK And Infectious New Single

Photo: Allister Ann

Although BBMAK hadn’t released anything collectively since 2002’s Into Your Head, the members of the multi-platinum English-pop group known for hits like “Back Here,” “Still On Your Side,” and “Out Of My Heart,” have remained friends and occasionally found themselves meeting up at various social events.

It was during one of these soirees that an impromptu jam session occurred. A resulting video clip of the performance was posted on social media and instantly went viral, sparking talks of a full-on reunion.

Now, after a fifteen-year hiatus, the reunited members of BBMAK — Mark Barry, Christian Burns and Stephen McNally, are back with an infectious new single, “Bullet Train.” Releasing on Friday, May 3, the track is a small taste of what to expect from the group’s highly-anticipated new album due later this summer.

“Bullet Train” is the logical next step in the band’s evolution. A groove-ridden locomotive of musical maturity, guitar-driven hooks and, of course, the ubiquitous BBMAK signature three-part harmony.

To coincide with the release of the new single, BBMAK will embark on the first leg of the group’s North American “Back Here Tour” which begins May 6 in Boston, MA. Other dates include stops in cities like New York, Detroit, Nashville, Dallas and Chicago.

I recently spoke with BBMak’s Christian Burns about the reunion, “Bullet Train” and more in this exclusive new interview.

How did the BBMAK reunion come about?

Even though we hadn’t done a show or anything together since 2003 we’ve stayed in touch and remained friends and gotten together at various events. We had an event a few years ago where we got out the guitars and had a jam. I posted a video of us singing “Back Here” on Facebook and it went crazy. It had about two million views. We really enjoyed singing together again and it morphed into where we’re at now — our first new album in fifteen years and about to hit the road and go back on tour. It naturally felt like the right time to do it.

What was it like getting back in the recording studio again as BBMAK?

It was like riding a bike. You never forget. We hadn’t written in the same room for many years so we just got the guitars out and had a jam. I remember the first day we came out with four really strong ideas. Two of which are on the new album.

Let’s discuss the new single, “Bullet Train.”

That was one of the ones we wrote on the first day we got together. We liked the feel and drive of it. It’s the glue and transition from the last album to where we are now. We’re excited to get it out there.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Christopher Burns by Clicking Here!

‘Winds of Change’: Legendary Singer/Songwriter Jim Peterik Discusses New World Stage Album

Nearly twenty years after the release of “Jim Peterik’s World Stage,” the legendary singer/songwriter and Ides of March frontman is back with one of the biggest and most grandiose albums of the year, ‘Winds of Change.’

Set for release on April 26 ‘Winds of Change’ features Peterik collaborating with an arsenal of melodic rock’s greatest superstars, including Dennis DeYoung (ex-Styx), Kevin Chalfant (ex-The Storm), Kelly Keagy (Night Ranger), Toby Hitchcock (Pride Of Lions), Mike Reno (Loverboy) and Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon). As an added bonus, ‘Winds of Change’ also features the previously unreleased track, “Love You All Over The World,” sung by the late Jimi Jamison.

Jim Peterik and World Stage arose from the idea that the musical and spiritual collaboration of great artists and friends could make something magical. ‘Winds of Change’ continues that trend by not only displaying the versatility and talents of Peterik but also the musical embellishment by a seasoned (and legendary) cast of singers, musicians and friends.

I recently spoke with Jim Peterik about ‘Winds of Change’ and more in this exclusive new interview.

What inspired the new World Stage album?

Jim Peterik: It was a phone call put me in motion. I’m a non-stop writer. Every day I’m writing concepts and pieces of songs and looking for a reason to rally the troops and put out something meaningful. One day I got a call from Serafino Perugino,who’s a great friend and mentor. He was a big fan of the first World Stage album and told me that it was time for a new album. I got to work and started making calls to the people I wanted to be involved, including Don Barnes [38 Special], Kevin Chalfant, Toby Hitchcock [Pride of Lions], Kevin Cronin [REO Speedwagon], The Nelsons and Kelly Keagy [Night Ranger].

Let’s talk about a few songs from the new album, starting with the title track. What can you tell me about “Winds of Change?”

About a year ago I was writing songs with Don Barnes and Danny Chauncey for a new 38 Special album. One of the songs was called “Winds of Change.” It was my favorite of the new songs we’d written. When I was asked about doing a new World Stage album I asked Don about finishing up a song to use. That’s when he said, “Well, how about ‘Winds of Change’?” I was like, “Oh, hell yeah! [laughs]”. I was blown away. So, I got a final vocal from Don, took it back to Chicago and built the track around it. It was a blessing that he let me use a track that was earmarked for a 38 Special album.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Jim Peterik by Clicking Here!