It’s hard to tell whether Frank Vieira found country music, or whether country found him, but there’s no denying it’s a perfect fit.
Nocion‘s MJ and David conquer 3 Questions and a Song Episode 29!
- Let’s say I tag along with Nocion on your next tour, what bands would the soundtrack between shows contain.
- You have a new album in the works, how far off is that release, what can we expect to hear on that album compared to your first 2, and where will it be available for our listeners to purchase?
- Bonus Question: What is something people would be surprised to learn about each of you?
- Do you find being in PR kind of on an island unto its own makes it challenging to reach the rest of the world? asked by Reality Suite in Episode 028
About the Song: The Grave
The Grave and/or Bridges Collide. The Grave deals with the horrors of child trafficking and sexploitation/sale of organs, while Bridges Collide is basically a love story gone awry.
About the Band: Nocion
Location: San Juan, PR
Band Genre: Hard Rock/Metal
Nocion is based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The band was formed in 2001. Nocion’s music is a blend of many different musical influences, these can be heard throughout their music. The band has had a long run throughout the years playing with various renowned international artists from the US and Latin America, such as Mushroomhead, Juanes, La Ley, Bersuit Vergarabat and others. They have released two albums so far: 2006’s “Existencia” and 2017’s EP “Into the Darkness,” with a new album currently in-the-works.
Purchase Nocion’s Music
The 3 Questions for Reality Suite
- If you could erase an album from your mind so that you can hear it again for the very first time?
- Tell me about an embarrassing moment you’ve had on stage.
- If you could open for any internationally touring band, who would you pick and where would you start the tour at?
- What is something that your fans would be surprised to learn about you?
The Song: Kiss the Ring
This song addresses the struggle of interacting with fake friends and denying the pressure of bowing down to their expectations. Kiss the Ring was collaboratively written by the band in one session after the record label, Lions Pride Music requested that we include new material to gesh out the Awaken EP.
About Reality Suite
Band Location: North Haledon, NJ USA
Band Genre: Rock
“Reality Suite is a bit of a New Jersey super-group. Their fusion of modern and classic rock is a fairly compelling mix since they really don’t sound like any other indie band I can think of,” – Jim Testa, contributing writer to Rolling Stone magazine and founder of Jersey Beat fanzine.
Rock is dead. But hard work isn’t. After 10 years of evolving as melodic rock savants and releasing dozens of independent singles and EPs, Reality Suite has been determined to awaken the masses and demonstrate that rock is NOT dead. “Reality Suite has become one of my favorite bands for numerous reasons. They are a kick-ass in your face rock band with a dynamic front woman,” declares East Coast renowned photographer, Jec Crespi. WRAT 95.9FM radio DJ, Tom Hanley stated in his blog, “The female-fronted Hard Rock act puts out a modern Arena Rock sound comprised of killer vocals, complex instrumentals and meaningful lyrics.”
After the 2018 self-released “Awaken” EP exceeded fan expectations and garnered the attention of several European record labels, Danish based Lions Pride Music won the partnership with Reality Suite resulting in 2019’s expanded album “Awaken (Deluxe.)” This frst full-length album not being entirely band-produced incorporates the production skills of hard rock producer/engineer Mike Ferretti (Sevendust, Saliva, Brand of Julez) and pop/R&B producer Earl Cohen (Lady Gaga, Jessica Simpson, Pink.) “Awaken (Deluxe)” was released worldwide on June 28th digitally and on CD.
Formed in 2009 in North Haledon, New Jersey by childhood friends Brian King (drums,) Antonio Valenti (bass,) and Joe Padula (guitars) – their ambitions have been to produce heavy, melodic rock. After several male and female vocalists, Kimmii Heart had joined in 2013 establishing the defnitive line-up known today worldwide. In September of 2015, the self-produced debut full length ”Skinn” was released. A unique sound to global rock fans, it was secretly a greatest hits album capitalizing on Reality Suite’s most popular songs from previous EPs. “Skinn boasts a number of standout tracks, including hook-laden frst single, Die Dreaming with the equally infectious Save
My Life and Playing with Fire,” printed the Record/Herald News reporter, Brian Aberback. The song Save My Life was featured as the Song of the Week in Steppin’ Out, a NJ music publication while MPire Magazine declared, “Skinn is a damned near perfect piece of rock, one that incorporates the old and new in the right balance.” After an aggressive band managed social media campaign, Reality Suite has developed over 27,000 followers worldwide. There are pleas from male and female fans of all ages requesting the New Jersey based band to perform in their cities and countries. Several continents are represented by fans posting photos with their “Skinn” CD, wearing Reality Suite t-shirts, posting screenshots while streaming tracks and videos of themselves singing their
songs. “When recording “Skinn,” we didn’t know if anyone was going to care about it,” Brian told WDHA 105.5FM DJ, Lidsay Klein in an interview. “We knew about 12 friends that would be interested, that was it. Months after its release, we are constantly receiving praise from fans around the world. It is so fulflling. It is truly driving us to take our new album to the next level,”
In October 2016, Reality Suite released the single “Bury Me Alive.” Leading music review website, Stereo Stickman stated: “It feels like an instant classic. It’s like the band have taken this incredible leap forwards into alternate territory, without sacrifcing any of what we loved about them in the frst place. They’ve brought back the things we loved the most about early 2000’s rock and pop-rock, and fused it ecectively with this fresh and always addictive Reality Suite sound.”
In May of 2018, Reality Suite released the Awaken EP. Brian King revealed in an interview with PopBreak.com: “The songs “Grave” and “Cut, Burn, Bruise” may be closest to defning what “Awaken” is all about. During the writing for what became “Awaken,” Kimmii and I realized most of what we were writing lyrics about were losing loved ones. Each of us in the band had lost someone in the last two years. I lost my mother in 2016 to lung cancer – which spawned the song “Cut, Burn Bruise.” Kimmii lost a close family friend which inspired “Grave.” Antonio lost his mother and Joe had lost an Aunt in 2017 – so, as much as “Grave” and “Cut” are about missing a loved one, in the
context with the other songs – “Awaken” becomes an album about recovery and rebirth……leaving the pain behind and moving on. The songs “Live Now Forever,” “Dead to Me,” and “Lust” drive that point home.” As Kimmii sings on the “Awaken (Deluxe)” lead-oc single “Kiss the Ring,” “I don’t need you telling me what’s right, I’ve got my own two eyes – I WILL NOT KISS THE RING,” Reality Suite have never compromised their visions yet earned the loyalty of many fans worldwide. Get a grip on Reality – or get out of the way.
Find Reality Suite Online:
The 3 Questions for Dynasty Xero
- If they made a movie about Dynasty Xero, who would play you?
- If you could erase your favorite album from your memory so that you could hear it again for the first time, which album would you choose?
- How did you come up with your band name? asked by Salina Solomon in episode 026.
The Song: Falling
The song was written during the summer of 2019 and is an upbeat rock song, also borrowing elements from pop-punk. It was the first song that we released to Spotify (Nov. 15, 2019).
About Dynasty Xero
Band Location: Steubenville, OH
Band Genre: Rock
In a decade when rock experienced limited commercial success, Dynasty Xero exploded onto the stage with their high-energy rock ‘n’ roll. Their sound is built from the dueling guitar riffs of Michael Schisla and James Lamansky, Keith Montenegro’s punk-inspired basslines, and Tim Rankin’s thundering drums. They were raised on their parents’ record collections and MTV videos that had re-surfaced through YouTube and Myspace. But they were also quick to embrace the music of the 21st Century, and with the rise of EDM and continued success of pop-punk, they found new sonic territory to assimilate into their rock sound. Dynasty Xero formed when lead guitarist Michael Schisla met bassist Keith Montenegro at Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2018. Shortly into their friendship, Michael offered to teach Keith several advanced guitar exercises that translated well to bass. Their first lesson quickly turned into a jam, and within a week the two were determined to start a band. Shortly after, they filled out their lineup with Tim Rankin on drums, and James Lamansky as a second guitarist, all while writing songs and playing shows. They became a staple of Franciscan University’s music scene, often being booked to perform or open for an established artist at school events. Today, Dynasty Xero is better than they have ever been. Wherever they play, they play to screaming, loyal fans and curious passersby who always leave having enjoyed themselves. But the best they’ve ever been isn’t enough. On November 15, 2019, Dynasty Xero released their first single, “Falling” to Spotify and other platforms, with promises of more songs soon to come.
Find Dynasty Xero Online:
Salina Solomon tries her hand at 3 Questions & a Song on episode 026!
- How has your time spent in Long Island, London, and Nashville affected your songwriting?
- If you could join any musician on stage to perform, who would you want to join and what song would you do?
- What is your favorite time signature to play in? Asked by Dwayne of Big Ugly on Episode 025.
The Song: Let Go
Off stage, Salina lends her time to charities that support education, military veterans, and the community at large. Salina recently partnered with Magnet Schools of America to create high school scholarship funds in the memory of her grandmother. She was able to give (3) scholarships in April 2019. Currently, Salina is hosting a House Concert series called “What Is?!?!”, where she invites the local community to her home on a quarterly basis that focuses on a topic of interest through discussion and music. Examples are “What is Community?” and “What is Education?”
Find Salina Solomon online
- Ozzy Osbourne has been doing a lot of collaborating recently, including some artists that you wouldn’t expect. Which non-metal artist would Big Ugly want to collaborate with?
- If there was an apocalyptic event and most of the human race and a handful of people have to repopulate the Earth, which Big Ugly song should they listen to?
- What is your why for your music, and what motivates you to created music.. on the deepest level? asked by Matt Westin in Episode 024
The Song: 4 Walls and an Empty Bed
Mike Nemes – Lead guitar
Eric Hatten – Rhythm guitar
Sean Renshaw – Bass guitar
Dwayne Gupton – Drums
- What is it about country music that drew you away from engineering and to the stage?
- If you could go back in time and follow a musician around for 1 year and not change history, who would you follow and what would you like to learn from them?
- What instrument do you use to write with.. and do you write the music or the lyrics first asked by Richard Leko of Broomfiller on episode 023
The Song: Hey Bro
Purchase Matt’s Music
- https://www.amazon.com/Stomp-Matt-Westin/dp/B07VSWK1LT/ref=mp_s_a_1_4?keywords=matt+westin&qid=1577748618&sr=8-4 https://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Matt-Westin/dp/B07VZ92Q5H/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?keywords=matt+westin&qid=1577748618&sr=8-3
- If you could erase any album from your memory and listen to it again for the very first time, which album would you want to do that with?
- Can you tell me about the moment that you knew you wanted to be a musician?
- Where did you get the name BROOMFILLER? asked by Norman LaStrange of Blödhren in episode 022.
- BONUS Question: Have you ever written a 7/8th grade Social Studies textbook?
The Song: How Long, So Long The song
- What draws you to the stage and why metal?
- What is one thing that you love about the Roanoke music scene and what is one thing that you hate that you would change?
- When you go see a band live, what do you expect? Are you listening to the lyrics, the music? What about them makes you want to see them live? asked by Stringg Harris in Episode 021
- also get some stage presence advice and find out where the name Blödhren came from?
About the Song: No Weakness
It is about how easy it is to do wrong. How we are constantly plagued with choices and it is always so much more tempting to pick the easy, less morally comfortable option.
Genre: thrash / groove metal
City: Roanoke, VA
Four piece metal band from Roanoke, Va. We play fast, hit hard, and always have a good time doing it. It’s not often that the planets align in a way to allow a band to accomplish so much in such a short amount of time. In the case of Roanoke, VA natives Blödhren though, the universe has definitely been in their favor.
From October 2016 to January 2017, founding member and guitarist Ox forged the band from the ground up. With a steadfast vision, Ox set out to create metal that not only gave honor to bands such as Pantera and Slayer but also pushed the roots of metal forward into territories occupied by acts likened to Gojira and Lamb of God.
First recruiting vocalist Norman LaStrange (Survival of the Sickest) and drummer Stephen Boothe (Rezult) in October 2016, the three started hammering out material in the months following. The band then brought in bassist Allen Christian (Sophie’s Scar, Metallic Division, Black Rose Mourning) to complete their sound.
I recently had a chance to sit down and interview Chip and Maleena Dominick from Chip and the Charge Ups, as well as, Brian Gulish the Vice President, Marketing & Communications for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. We talked about the new collaboration by Chip and the Charge Ups and local vocalists: Liz Berlin (of triple-platinum recording artist, Rusted Root), Doug Carnahan (of After The Fall, voted “Best Rock Band” in the Iron City Rocks Pittsburgh Music Awards for the past five years), Jen Craven (of emerging metal band, A Common Crown), and powerhouse gospel vocalist, Char Fields. Black and Gold Christmas. Don’t forget to purchase the track and the shirt! The sell of the accompanying T-Shirt is being donated to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. In the interview you’ll learn about the making of the song, how to make donations to the food bank, and volunteer at the foodbank. You can listen to the interview (above), watch the official video, and read Patrick McElravy’s review below:
It’s the middle of November in the City of Steel. We just had our first decent snowfall, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and Christmas is not so far off. It’s football season which means the black and yellow terrible towels are waving frantically throughout the city of Pittsburgh as people huddle up in front of the television or pile into Heinz Field for the Steelers. Stores everywhere already have good old Saint Nick up on display everywhere and Butterball Turkeys are flying off the grocery store shelves as fast as the stock boy can load them. It’s official, people, we have entered the holiday season…..one of the craziest, most stressful, fun, and most meaningful times of the year.
Now that we got the obvious out of the way, this time of year is a time of giving, gathering, and celebration. It seems as though Pittsburgh power pop band Chip and the Charge Ups are already way ahead of the game with their new holiday anthem “Black and Gold Christmas”. The seed for the project was planted ironically in the blistering summer heat of July. Singer/songwriter Chip Dominick and company would set out to write a Christmas-themed song portraying various landmarks and traditions about the city they love and hold so dear. Once the band had the general structure of the song mapped out they took things a step further: Recruiting various rock vocalists from the surrounding Pittsburgh area (After the Fall and A Common Crown to name a few). With a task as big as writing a strictly Pittsburgh-themed holiday song while collaborating with various vocalists, how would the end results turn out?
“Black and Gold Christmas” definitely hits in all the right places and some. The band do an excellent of creating a fantastic backdrop with melodic gusto and punch for the various singers to showcase what they each bring to the table. The first half of the “Yinzer” track allows for everyone to show their individuality, taking turns showing their prowess, but it isn’t until the back half of the song where we really see the magic really happen. After a short bridge, Chip acts a conductor bringing everybody back in for the grand finale. Everyone works together to display some impressive harmony work to build the ambiance. One of the most definitive qualities of “Black and Gold Christmas” is that it is fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Everyone is there and having fun and hanging out to make this holiday-laden tribute to the city of Pittsburgh.
Chip and the Charge Ups certainly have quite the product on their hands. “Black and Gold Christmas” serves as a fun track that I can see being adopted into Pittsburgh culture with its powerful performances and excellent songwriting. A noteworthy mention is Chip and the Charge Ups have partnered up with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank for the track’s release. “Black and Gold Christmas” is now available on all digital platforms with all profits from the T-shirts being donated to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. So bust out your Christmas wreaths and terrible towels and go download “Black and Gold Christmas” today to rock out and help a great organization within the Pittsburgh community!