Stories from the music underground
Stories from the music underground
Michael League, leader of the Grammy award-winning band Snarky Puppy, reveals what it was like to write with David Crosby.
Ian Chang, a classically-trained drummer from Hong Kong, explains how his voracious appetite led him to the maximalist band Son Lux. We had a chance to speak with Ryan Lott, leader of Son Lux, as well as guitarist Rafig Bhatia. Special thanks to Adam Schatz (Landlady) and Justin Chang (Ascot Chang) for being guests on our show.
Turkuaz, a colorful 9-piece power funk band from Brooklyn, shares how the band originally formed, chose their name and grew their fan base. Singers Sammi and Shira read through a list of the band's rules of the road - which they break all the time, and we also get a chance to hear from Thor Harris, the original author of the viral list: "How to Tour in a Band or Whatever." Stephen gets to practice a fascinating vocal tip.
Meet the man who has seen it all: Jeff Dorenfeld. He's the former manager of the multi-platinum band Boston, former tour manager for Sammy Hagar, and former tour accountant for Ozzy Osbourne. Jeff is the mastermind behind the launch of the Berklee Popular Music Institute (BPMI), a new experiential program that is taking students to large music festivals across the nation such as Lollapalooza, Osheaga, and Electric Daisy Carnival New York.
Season 2 of the Rock House kicks off with one of the most talented drummers in the music industry: Nikki Glaspie. Nikki has played with Beyonce, Chaka Kahn, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Maceo Parker, Destiny's Child and George Michael. In 2012,
Nikki left Beyonce and started her own band, The Nth Power. In this episode, we were lucky enough to speak with Nikki as well as Nate Edgar (bass) and Nick Cassarino (guitar, vocals).
SURPRISE! We have a very special BONUS track where we introduce Turkuaz - one of our feature bands for Season 2 of the Rock House. After the short preview, Stephen spends some time with his long-time piano teacher, Mrs. Elaine Friedlander of Friedlander Piano Studio. Meanwhile, Michelle gives us an update on her Podquest.
In our Season 1 finale episode we bring you a glimpse into the mysterious life of Brian J, lead guitarist and singer for the Brooklyn band Pimps of Joytime. David Bailis (bass / keyboards / synths) discusses the band's song-writing process and gigging thirty nights a month in Brooklyn while Kim Dawson (vocalist) shares her perspective on working with Brian. Stephen and Michelle prepare for Season 2.
Evan Friedell, lead singer, songwriter and guitarist for the electronic rock band Jimkata discusses pandas, failure and the future. Evan's brother, Russ, reflects on their childhood while Aaron Gorsch (synth & guitar) shares skateboarding memories, and Packy Lunn (drums) compares Russ and Evan's personalities. Finally, Stephen and Evan resolve some unspoken tensions.
How did Russ Friedell become the manager of Jimkata and Big Mean Sound Machine? How do you build your band's brand? Russ shares his experience with marketing, promotion and touring. Angelo Peters, Evan Friedell and Packy Lunn weigh in their thoughts. Stephen is evasive on his experience touring with Jimkata in 2015.
Grant Zubritsky is a well-known Brooklyn bassist who has performed internationally with an impressive list of artists such as Nina Persson (lead singer for The Cardigans), Alex Winston and Cymbals Eat Guitars. He's spending the first part of 2016 on tour with MS MR and the High Highs in Australia. Grant also records and produces his own projects which include Lazer Cake and Monuments.
Marie Kim is a Berklee-trained keyboardist, singer, songwriter, and sound engineer. An accomplished musician from Brooklyn, NY, Marie leads an original synth-pop group called Blank Paper. She has toured the world with bands such as MS MR, St. Lucia, and X Ambassadors. When she’s not on tour, Marie is the Front of House engineer at Webster Hall – one of the largest venues in New York City.
Born in the woods of Connecticut and raised in the wilds of Boston, lespecial has established themselves as an aggressive death funk trio. Luke Bemand, the bassist for lespecial, talks about how the band was first created, the making of the lespecial's latest album - Omnisquid, and living in Allston rat city.
Mr. Vin Pugliese - a talented lighting designer, engineer, artist and juggler - shares his experiences with building video domes, mapping 3D projections, touring with The Hornitz, and cruising down the Charles in his motorboat. Stephen gets a chance to geek out about synthesizers.
Welcome to our metal episode. You'll hear first hand from drummer Chris Narainen of Lord Almighty, Proplydz and Jazz First about what it's like to be a financier-turned-rockstar from the exotic island of Mauritius. We'll also give you an update about our start-up podcast endeavors, Stephen's solo project Psychic Spies, and Michelle's wedding plans.
Stephen and Michelle go home for the holidays and interview an old friend: Andy Vernon. Andy talks about playing with Slave Dog, growing up with the guitar, playing Nirvana and Green Day, and recounts an especially strange convention one night at the Holiday Inn.
Ever wonder what it’s like to manage a band? Forrest Chess is a seasoned manager, booking agent, production manager and craft beer connoisseur. Hear his views about the underground music industry in this third episode of our Rock House Podcast.
Mike Carter can really shred a guitar – but can he cast some pod? Find out in this second episode of the Rock House where we interview Mike about growing up in Scranton, playing with The Indobox, and performing with the Disco Biscuits at the House of Blue in Boston.
Jules Jenssen is a viking band leader, drummer, DJ and friend. Our very first episode features music from Ross Jenssen: Jules' new heavy futuristic instrumental project featuring powerful electric bass and drums.
About the Creators
About the Creators
Stephen is a classically-trained pianist and studied jazz composition and synthesis at the Berklee College of Music. For more than ten years, he has toured across the nation with various bands including The Indobox and Jimkata. Stephen also runs a private studio called Learson Piano where he teaches piano to students of all ages.
Michelle is freelance journalist with a B.S. and Masters from Cornell University. Stephen and Michelle both grew up in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and they are proud owners of their puppy Bartok and residents of Allston, MA.