LiveMusicTO is proud to inform you all that Florida natives, AMELY, have just been added to our December 1st, 2010 showcase!
With their instantly catchy songs, Amely is living proof that it only takes a second to make an impression. Despite only officially forming just over a year ago and signing to Fearless Records in spring 2010, the Orlando, FL quartet has already made an impact on the pop rock scene, gaining a rapidly-expanding following both in the U.S. and beyond. With their debut EP Hello World, the band has created the perfect introduction to their sound – melodic, infectious… and about to get fans across the world addicted.
Amely began as a studio project for lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Petie Pizarro, who began writing songs that had so much potential, he decided to record an EP, On My Own, at Vision Sound Studios in Jacksonville, Florida, with producer Daryl Phennager (Red Jumpsuit Apparatus). Impressively, Pizarro played all the instruments on the recording, including guitar, bass, piano and synths. Bringing in Nate Parsell in to record drums, the pair completed the EP in June 2008. “For a couple of years I had been writing songs for Amely while I was with my old band,” notes Pizarro. “When we finally recorded them and got the mixes back, we knew that we had to put all of our energy into making “Amely” more than just a project.” Pizarro and Parsell set about forming a band, completing the line up with Patrick Ridgen on bass, and guitarist Brandon Walden. Amely was born.
Playing their first show in March 2009, the band quickly gained a reputation for their high-energy live shows. The band went on to play three national tours, opened for All Time Low and played the Kevin Says Stage at the Florida dates of Vans Warped Tour 2009, rounding out the year with a spot on the Unsilent Night Festival with A Day to Remember, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Senses Fail and Breathe Carolina. Love for the band stretched beyond the U.S. to American Samoa in the South Pacific, where the band performed in front of 8,000 people for Blue Sky’s 10 Year Bash. “It was astonishing to find people singing our songs at shows in cities that we had never even visited before. It blows us away every day.” In less than a year the band had clocked up a million plays on their MySpace page, and were named one of PureVolume’s Top 20 Unsigned bands of 2009. Ready to take things to the next level, the band kicked off their most impressive year to date by signing to Fearless Records in January 2010.
Produced by Zack Odom and Kenneth Mount (All Time Low, Mayday Parade, Cartel) and Mike Green (Paramore, Breathe Carolina), Amely's debut EP Hello World is a bouncy blend of spirited rock spiked with a healthy dose of power-pop influence. Wishing to create a sound with mass appeal, not pinned down by a single genre, the band has created eight timeless tracks in the vein of pop-rock dynamos such as All American Rejects and Jimmy Eat World, that defiantly refuses to adhere to any age range, gender or mindset restrictions. “We want to be a mature pop/rock band with a sound that kids can get into, but adults will also enjoy,” notes Pizarro. “The four of us have grown together so much in the past year and a half, not only personally but musically as well, and we think it truly shows in the new EP.”
Pizarro and his band mates are thrilled about the wide open future that lies in front of them. “We can't wait for people to hear the true direction of the band, and get our sound heard across the world,” notes Pizarro. “We cannot wait for people to hear our more evolved sound. This EP is something that each of us has put our heart and soul into and we are excited to meet anyone who can relate to it, because ultimately our fans are our sole inspiration for doing what we do.”
Get ready to be charmed by the sweet sounds of Amely, one of pop rock's newest and most promising acts. Text courtesy of Fearless Records.
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with former MuchMusic VJ Tim Deegan, and found him to be one of the most genuine, down to earth people I’ve met in the entertainment industry. A couple months removed from his position as VJ, Tim and I discussed his departure from Much, his current and future plans, and his perspective on some of the issues facing today's bands. Tim has developed a huge following all over the country and has several upcoming projects currently in development to satisfy all those loyal fans. As someone who has interviewed, and interacted with, some of the biggest names in music Tim is an honest and knowledgeable personality that the entertainment business should not be without.
by Billy Gavel
The great guys at Embrace invited us down to Sneaky Dee’s on Saturday November 20th to check out Black Lungs with guests Monster Truck and Junior Battles. Unfortunately I arrived too late to set up for Junior Battles though I’ve heard good things and look forward to running into them again. I had seen Monster Truck before and knew I’d be in for an all-out assault of power cords and good honest rock and roll, and I wasn’t disappointed! These guys come to party every time they take the stage, and make no apologies for it. They are a refreshing throwback to core hard rock music and are a lot of fun to see live. When The Black Lungs took the stage the crowd was primed and ready to cut loose with the gritty nuts and bolts power punk this band is synonymous with. Currently playing in support of their new material, Valley of the Dolls, including the completely catchy song-Stay out of Parkdale, this is my favourite side project out of several originating from Alexisonfire.by Billy Gavelphoto: Vanessa Heins
The guys in Take Me to The Pilot threw this little video together for LiveMusicTO - make sure you come check them out at our December 1st showcase
Where did the name Take Me To The Pilot come from?
The name simply popped out one day. Naming a band properly can be one of the hardest parts of the process, and we were lucky enough to come up with one that works. Orginally it is the name of an Elton John song, though.
How long have you been together as a band?
Well as a band we have been together since April 2010, however various acoustic incarnations were around much longer. Officially, Mike started TMTTP as an acoustic project in February 2009 and it's grown from there.
What have been some of your biggest accomplishments so far?
Well we've been lucky enough to be able to tour, hook up with award-winning producer Dale Penner (Nickelback, Holly McNarland) for a development/management deal, and were even included in a vote for the upcoming season of disBAND:Discovered on MuchMusic. Ultimately, though, we consider our fan base to be our greatest accomplishment. We have the most amazing fans that are more like family than anything. We love them to death.
What is your favourite song to perform live, and why?
I think this changes every night. For us, it's any song that let's us hit our stride, connect with the audience and really get people invested in what we're doing. Some nights it's a specific song or two, others it's every song in the set. We just love to play.
How would you describe your fans?
Our fans make what we do worthwhile. To know there are people out there who are connecting with the music we make is why we do what we do.
What are you most looking forward to in 2011?
We can't wait to get out on the road. We are always looking to get our music heard by new people and having new adventures on the road. We hope to play our biggest shows yet and to tour coast-to-coast. We also hope to get back in the studio in the new year and record some of the songs that didn't make the EP.
What is your favourite venue to play in Toronto?
Well, we have only played in Toronto once before, at The Supermarket. Therefore I suppose that it would be our favorite by default. Really though, our favorite venue is the one where YOU come to the show.
Where is your favourite spot inpthe city to grab a drink and hangout as a band?
We had a killer time at the Tattoo Rock Parlour last time we were in town. We got to meet Gene Simmons and Bruce Springsteen, and the drinks weren't bad either! We also spent 3 days on Queen Street which was super rad. The shopping and food were killer and Mike got a tattoo at Adrenaline. Toronto kicks ass.
What has been the craziest fan moment to date?
I think it had to have been in Sudbury on our last tour. We showed up at a high school in a town we had never played in before and did two sets following their student council speeches. Those kids went NUTS. I can honestly say I know what it's like to be Justin Bieber. All this for a band they had never seen before. We were definitely stoked.
For people seeing you live for the first time at our showcase on December 1st, what can they expect?
People can expect four guys who will give their all to make sure that everybody in that room has a damn good time. The music is gonna be hooky, loud and heartfelt and the sweat is gonna pour. Expect to dance and scream and sing your ass off.
On Monday we caught up with Maddy Rodriguez, who takes the spotlight on our homepage for November & will be playing at our December 1st showcase! Check it out!
Video by Andy Wood
Interview by Matt Vardy
There are some bands that come along every once and awhile that I find myself drawn to and anxiously await every show. Don’t get me wrong, there are many good and even great bands that consistently put on stellar performances, but a few always seem to stick out because of the infectious nature of the environment they create with the their sincerety and talent.They virtually will the audience to have a good time.
Currently in the studio recording for a 2011 release, and October’s artist of the month at LiveMusicTO,Stereokid is one such band. As yet unsigned, they enjoy a large loyal following whose only complaint is that they want the band to play more often.
I talked with the band, Greg Neal and his brother Danny, Roger Lambert and Kento Aoki, about the grind of the club circuit and the pressure for them to be successful.
by Billy Gavel
Abandon All Ships rolled into town on October 27th/2010 to wrap up their ultra successful “Geeving Across Canada” tour in support of their first full-length CD “Geeving” at the Phoenix Concert Theatre. Check out the band performing Megawacko2.0 as the huge crowd eats it up, fist-pumping their way to complete bliss while being bombarded with a spectacular sound and light display. Also check out pics from the after party at the Velvet Underground following the vid. This band must be seen live to fully appreciate their growing influence!
by Billy Gavel
by Billy Gavel
This past weekend I was travelling through the Niagara region when I decided to take a detour down to Welland to visit one of TO’s favourite adopted bands-The Street Pharmacy. We met up at Central Music, a music store where lead guitarist and singer Ryan Guay was having a custom guitar built from the shell of an old favourite. The band is rounded out by Ryan’s childhood buds Nate(Dog) Triano on rhythm guitar, Dan Fretz on drums, and newcomer Jesse Robitaille on bass.
Currently enjoying a four day run at the #1 spot on MuchMusic’s UR 11 with their hit single Stone Bricks and Mortar, you may remember these guys as the co-winners of Disband season 2. Currently they are working on their fourth studio album and begin touring shortly in support of their new material. The rock edge to the new stuff is a testament to this band’s versatility and what their growing fan-base has come to appreciate. Watch the interview as we talk honestly about their experiences with the industry, the obstacles overcome and still ahead, and the future direction of the band.
Checkout the Street Pharmacy at www.TheStreetPharmacy.com www.itunes.com/StreetPharmacy www.youtube.com/StreetPharmacyMusic www.facebook.com/StreetPharmacy
As far as cliché sayings go in the world of music, an artist claiming that they are developing a more “mature” sound definitely tops the list. If we only had a shiny nickel for every time we witnessed an act crash and burn in their attempts to redefine their own art in the spirit of Sgt. Pepper’s or The Joshua Tree, or even Bat out of Hell II. Ok, well the first two at least. Sometimes taking the safe route and sticking to what you know gets you to where you want to be. Just pray that your genre of choice doesn’t recede faster than Fred Durst’s hairline. It’s happened before and history has a funny way of repeating itself.
As a music fan, nothing brings me sonic bliss faster than hearing something that has a nice amalgamation of a little old with a little new. Great new music is more often than not, a bit nostalgic with soul and swagger from a time when sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll meant something more than a slogan on a neon pink t-shirt worn by a grown man with meaningless tattoos across his neck.
It’s great to see that the gamble has paid off for the boys in Chasing Amee. Their new tracks are a far departure from their pop punk beginnings with more of a classic punk rock sound that works for today’s music lover. Standout tracks such as GO!GO! GO! , Over and Over, and my personal favourite, The Outbreak captures today’s contemporary rock aesthetics with the sounds of four decades of white knuckle, black label – good ol’ punk rawk. I was pleased to hear hints of The Clash, Black Flag, Rancid, with a touch of Jimmy Eat World’s “Bleed American”, and newer MCR in these recordings. I shouldn’t have to remind anyone this, but punk has always been about having a message in the music. Nothing wrong with the “boy meets girl, boy falls in love, girl breaks his heart” song; but hell, even Blink was on that conscious tiff when they got down to it! Although articulation was always a bit lacking. It’s refreshing to see Chasing Amee making music that strikes a chord with my “fuck you” side. I can’t help to pump my fist in an 80’s manner when I hear a trail blazing chorus screaming, “...stand up for yourself, stand up for your lies”. Billy Idol would be proud.
Overall, a very good listen. If you enjoy Anti-Flag, The Artist Life, newer Against Me!, or edgier Gaslight Anthem material, it’s definitely worth your while to check out Chasing Amee. Looking forward to seeing where they go from here and how their sound will evolve.
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/chasingamee - by Justin Kwan