Category Archives: 0511

05.11 Worcester Music Awards 2011

intropic-copyCan we get a huge round of applause for everyone ~ bands, fans, DJs, venue owners, solo artists, music stores, photographers, radio stations ~ who made Pulse’s 5th annual Worcester Music Awards the biggest and best one yet!? This was one terrific event from start to finish and showed just how amazing our local music scene is ~ and that’s what the Awards are all about, honoring the scene, supporting it, promoting it, and bringing together all the people who make Worcester County a great place for anyone who loves music of any genre…rap to rock, hardcore to hip-hop, jazz to jam & groove and everything in between. The energy at Ralph’s from the huge crowd was off the charts! Sure, the Awards are a competition, but this year it seemed like they were more about celebrating all the nominees, not just the kickass winners, and bringing together a bunch of different people who all have one thing in common: a love of music.

We thank each and every one of you for nominating and voting for your favorites in all the different categories, for spreading the word about the Awards on Facebook, Twitter, and by word of mouth, and we congratulate all the winners ~ but there are some other special people that we want to thank as well. The Awards couldn’t have happened without our Sponsors ~ Kurlan Music Center, Celestial Effects, Pro-Quality Guitar Effects, Rolling Rock, Days End Tavern, Music Go Round, 1490 WMRC’s Living for the Weekend, Flash House Studios, Union Music, Fontanez Recording Studios, JLS Design, Knockouts Haircuts for Men, Miraculous Creations, without the live performances by Griffon, Sean Fullerton, One Step Further, Scott Babineau, DJ Sha-boo, Niki Luparelli, and Soulstice, without our presenters ~ Kim Jennings, Sarah Kenyon, Erika Birch, Ray Auger, Eric “Swede” Jernstrom, and the owner and president of Pagio, Mr. Paul Giorgio, without Justin Perry, our stage manager, without our graphics/slideshow wiz Katey Khaos, without the rest of the Pagio team including Chris Reddy, David Simone, and Lara Dean, and of course without our host extraordinaire, Jeff Royds of New England Garage Bands. Big thanks also go out to Vincent Hemmeter and the terrific staff at Ralph’s (and congratulations to Ralph’s for winning Best Live Venue ~ there’s a reason it’s like a second home to most of the bands in Central MA!), and to Justin Mayotte and Justin Hammond of FlashHouse Studios.

In the pages that follow, check out the great pix from the Awards (all courtesy of FlashHouse Studios) and some cool quotes taken from interviews with the winners (you can find a complete list of all the winners on page 15). Then head over to www.thepulsemag.com to read the full interviews with your faves who brought home a trophy at the end of the night!

Family Business 508

Who plays what: Grown ~ lyricist, Big D ~ lyricist, Atlas Jenkins ~ Lyricist, DJ

Year formed: 2008

On your next album cover, you get to have any celebrity ~ dead or alive ~ that you want doing anything that you want.  Whom do you choose, and what is he/she doing? Charlie Sheen being eaten by a tiger.

Steven Tyler on “AI” ~ brilliant business man, total sell-out, rock icon with a good sense of humor just having some fun? He’s a local guy, a Red Sox fan, has an iconic voice… he’s doing his thing. Good for him.

If you opened a bar, it would be called…? The One Mic Stand.

Best gig you ever played? Every show is better than the last. History is for those watching from the sidelines. We stay in the present.

What inspires you, musically speaking?

Big D: My city

Grown: The energy that is created when we start a new project and we can feel it starting to come together. Atlas: Everything I have ever heard has made an impact; from the sublime to the abhorrent. Inspiration is all around us.

What kind of music do you listen to in addition to hip hop?

Atlas: Honestly, I don’t really listen to that much current hiphop; a lot of it comes from the mouth instead of from the soul. There’s so many artists I could mention here…I generally listen to classic stuff in any genre. WICN is my favorite radio station so that should tell you something.

Big D: I actually listen to 90s hiphop mostly.

Grown: Everything unless they are screaming.

What would you put in a time capsule that’s to be opened 100 years from now to represent your music/style? Our ties, our musical catalog, our Pulse Award.

What’s your favorite “get it on” music?

Big D: R. Kelly’s “12 Step”

Atlas: Side 1 of Roberta Flack’s “Feel Like Makin Love” album.

Grown: The Aladdin Soundtrack. Try it. Trust me.

What would a drink named after you be called?

Grown: Grown Fu. Like King Fu, but not.

Big D: “The Glass Building”- house vodka with Worcester-water ice cubes in a tall glass.

Atlas: Donkey Punch.

Are you role models for up and coming hip hop artists or are you a cautionary tale?

Atlas: It’s no secret that we add a stitch to the fabric of our legacy with not only every move we make, but every syllable we speak… so yea. Role models, no question.

Big D: Role models, no doubt. Our shows are classy, our rhymes speak to what goes on in life with no vulgarity.

Grown: We like to think that we bring happiness to all the people out there and that when you come to a Family Business show, you will have a great time with no hassle.

What was it like when you realized that this was your true passion in life?

It wasn’t a conscious decision, it is just something that has always been there; I think there is a moment where you become aware of it and that’s a cool thing. Artists will always find some outlet for expression. It’s just part of their make-up; they can’t help but express themselves. It’s involuntary; it’s just what they do.

Do you have a special name for your groupies?

Big D: The Business District.

Atlas: I really don’t pay attention to that. I just want to create music.

Are you interested in producing/collaborating with other artists at all?

This city and region has a lot of talent that we feel privileged to be associated with. That legacy we mentioned? Same goes for who you work with and run with. We are selective, but if an artist inspires us, we are always down to create and collaborate.

Do you consider Hip Hop a music genre or a way of life ~ or both?

Atlas: Read “Bomb the Suburbs” by Upski, then maybe you’ll understand.

Big D: It’s definitely my way of life.

Grown: No doubt, it’s the way I live.

Technical excellence or magnetic stage presence ~ is one more important to you than the other? Rule number one: this is a performance art. Period. Anyone can sound like a hip hop Messiah on wax. Stage presence is a quality that speaks to the core of what an emcee is. It cannot be compromised; you cannot ~ no matter how skilled ~ move the crowd without that component. Additionally, in order to captivate the crowd and command their attention when all you have is you and a DJ…the technical skills are a must. Live hip hop can get real old real quick if your skills aren’t top notch; there is nowhere to hide, it’s just you up there.

In your opinion ~ best Hip Hop artist ever?

Big D: Impossible to answer.

Grown: Yea, there are so many greats.

Atlas: Group: Public Enemy, Performers: The Roots, Emcee: Eminem

Where are you going to put your Pulse Music Awards Trophy? We have it hidden somewhere in the city… a hundred bucks to anyone who finds it. There’s a treasure map on the back to D’s house.

What word best describes YOUR interpretation of hip hop music? Misguided.

You are asked to do a PSA for a good cause ~ what cause would you choose? Save the Trees.

If your band name had already been taken, what would you have called yourself instead? Extended Family.

What’s the ultimate compliment someone can give you after seeing you live?

Atlas: Words are words. Words don’t matter; you can see it in their eyes if you did your job right. You can feel it when they hug you or just want to shake your hand.

Grown: Someone saying, “Best local act I’ve seen in a long time.”

Big D: When we are asked, “When’s the next show?”

Anything else you’d like to add? Check out our website @ www.familybusiness508.com for upcoming shows, shouts to all of our incredible fans, we have the most loyal support in the region…this one’s for you, everyone we roll with (you know who you are), all the great artists in the city (you know who you are), Yohon DI and everyone at Selective Hearing (91.3 WCUW every Friday night) for floating our songs over the city, the cats at www.hulkhatetimetravel.com for being the source of hip hop culture in our region, [all the] venues that have welcomed us back time and again. 508 STAND UP! LET’S GOOOOOOO!!!!

Niki Luparelli and the Gold Diggers

(and sometimes Niki Luparelli and the Speakeasy Combo), Winner, Best Jazz Act, Sexiest Musician

img_1399-copyYear formed: late 2007/beginning of 2008

Members and who plays what: The band can range from a lounge trio of 3 people (piano, bass, and vocals) up to a party band of 7, depending on the gig.

Chanteuse Niki Luparelli ~ vocals, Dapper Dan Burke ~ vocals, piano, Lower Clef Geoff ~ Upright Bass, G.E. Winters ~ drums, Johnny English  ~ sax , Andy Cummings ~ guitar, vocals,

Age range in the band: 24- 30ish

On your next album cover, you get to have any celebrity ~ dead or alive ~ that you want doing anything that you want.  Whom do you choose, and what is he/she doing? David Bowie, and he is signing divorce papers with Iman with one hand and handing me his phone number with the other.

Steven Tyler on “AI” ~ brilliant business man, total sell-out, or rock icon with a good sense of humor just having some fun? I never watch “American Idol,” but I still think it was weird and a little creepy that he had his 16 year-old daughter Liv play hot jailbait in the “Crazy” video.

You open a bar…what’s it called? Tricky Niki’s.  It will have an indoor swim-up bar and girls in bikinis drink for free.  Every kind of food imaginable will be deep fried for your pleasure.

Best gig you ever played?  I loved Boston Super Mega Fest. We got to share the lineup with sorts of old famous people , like Rick Derringer and the one guy still alive from Badfinger, and we got sassed by Peter Tork. I also got to sit in the Batmobile and the General Lee. By the way, not to burst anyone’s bubble, but the doors on the General Lee opened. They were not welded shut. That is all.

What inspires you, musically speaking? Musically speaking, champagne and Jagermeister..Actually, I’ve always loved the old torch/lounge/Vegas singers. Dean Martin, Peggy Lee, Rosemary Clooney, Julie London.  I grew up listening to Patsy Cline and Bette Midler.  I love everything from the era when people went to supper clubs and wore smoking jackets. I always wanted to be a part of that world/time period. Aside from the polio.

Rehearsal beverage of choice? Show beverage of choice? During rehearsal we tend to drink red wine or whatever cocktail I can pull together out of my eclectic liquor cabinet.  At shows, I drink my inspiration.

What would you put in a time capsule that’s to be opened 100 years from now to represent the band? Our underwear. A lock of hair from each of us. Some nudie pics.

What’s your favorite “get it on” music? David Bowie, or anything moody with no vocals. I tend to really focus on the lyrics so I’m easily distracted.

You’ve gotten so popular that there’s even a drink named after you.  What’s it called? The Trickster! 7 kinds of rum, sour mix, pineapple, OJ, and grenadine.  Just one and you are over the legal limit.

Are you a role model for younger performers or a cautionary tale? I encourage the youth of America to bleach their hair, put on red lipstick, fake eyelashes, Spanx, a push-up bra, and rage against the dying of the light.

Try to describe what it felt like that second everything clicked and you knew this line-up was The One. It felt like I drank a Red Bull and took two Xanax.

Do you have a special name for your groupies? My Kittens. Meow.

Anyone interesting in producing other talent’s music? I stay away from the production side, except for putting on shows like Jerkus Circus, which I co-founded in 2005, the James Bond Cabaret, and the David Bowie tribute show.

Technically excellent or killer stage presence ~ is one more important to you than the other? No, I   definitely feel strongly about both. I’ve taken voice lessons since I was 12, and completed my music degree from URI (was aiming for opera, but I didn’t want to stop smoking and drinking, which is when I started singing with my first jazz band), and also spent many years (I won’t tell you how many so I don’t age myself) honing my wit on hecklers and drunks by performing stand-up comedy throughout New England and New York as well as hosting the madcap 3-hour variety show, Jerkus Circus . You can’t fake the training or the stage experience. You don’t need to be funny in every genre of music, don’t get me wrong, but Cabaret, which is what we mainly do, should be an actual show. Not just a chick in a dress with her hands clasped singing Stormy Weather. You need to engage the audience, react to them, talk to them. It takes years and hundreds of hours on stage.

In your opinion ~ best band ever?  Most underrated band ever? Best Band Ever, Led Zeppelin, most underrated,  the Kinks

What word best describes your music? Two words. Vintage Nouveau

Does each of you play just “your” instrument, or do you play others as well? I can fake 3 chords on my pink ukulele, sometimes some maracas, occasionally the triangle. Dan can play piano and guitar. Andy can also play banjo and uke. Geoff can bust out a ukulele or a violin in addition to the bass. Johnny English can also play clarinet and flute.

Who does your CD cover artwork? We don’t have a CD yet. When you play all covers, even ones written by dead people, ASCAP wants you to give them a lot of money to record them. But, I do all of our poster artwork.

The band has to do a PSA for a good cause ~ what cause would you pick? Something that would make everyone cry. Like the Three legged Dog Foundation. Or one-eyed cats.

Two opening bands and a headliner ~ what tour line-up would you want to see? Monkees, Led Zeppelin, and David Bowie.

If your band name had already been taken, what would you have called yourselves instead? Tricky Niki and the 12 steps.

What’s the ultimate compliment someone can give you after seeing you live or hearing your CD? The best compliment is when someone wanders in to have one drink, and we keep them there until close.

On your first big tour ~ who brings the most hair care/beauty products?  The most porn? Herbal tea?

Well, herbal something. The fellas are pretty low maintenance. I need at least two hours to get ready, a humidifier, two sets of curlers, a bottle of champagne, and oodles of make-up.

Anything else you’d like to add? We’ll be playing the Twin River Casino main stage  (the Lighthouse) on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8th from 2-6, and the Atrium at Foxwoods on Friday July 15th and Saturday July 16th, 9:30pm-1:30am.  I’m also putting on the David Bowie Tribute show again on Saturday, June 25th at Ralph’s.

Find out more at www.nikiluparelli.com!

Scarecrow Hill

Year formed:  2003

Members and who plays what:  Tylor ~ vocals and percussion, James ~ guitars and vocals, Lanny ~ guitars, Joel  ~ Bass, Jay ~ Drums.

Age range in the band: 22-28

On your next album cover, you get to have any celebrity ~ dead or alive ~ that you want doing anything that you want.  Whom do you choose, and what is he/she doing? Pauly Shore. Just holding up a copy of our CD…on our CD. I think that would be epic.

Steven Tyler on “AI” ~ brilliant business man, total sell-out, or rock icon with a good sense of humor just having some fun? He’s a brilliant business man. Keeping himself relevant in a market when the great gods of the past are fading.

You open a bar…what’s it called? That Place with the Drinks

Can you describe what it felt like that second everything clicked and you knew this line-up was The One. Validation. It was just perfect, and we all saw it. Everything we had gone through to make this happen was finally worth it.

Best gig you ever played? Locobazooka at the Comcast Center. It was amazing!

What inspires you, musically speaking? Everything. It’s rare that a day goes by that SOMETHING doesn’t make us want to play, or write. It’s how we breathe.

In your opinion ~ best band ever?  Most underrated band ever? Best band ever is Led Zeppelin. Most Underrated? Maybe Dope.  Or 40 Below Summer.

Rehearsal beverage of choice? Show beverage of choice? Rehearsal is usually Powerade, shows are always water. Poland Spring,to be exact.

What would you put in a time capsule that’s to be opened 100 years from now to represent the band? Our album…and a pack of Marlboros.

What’s your favorite “get it on” music? The “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” theme song.

Do you have a special name for your groupies? “Hill Dolls” for females, “Scarecrows” for guys.

You’ve gotten so popular that there’s a drink named after you.  What’s it called? We have one. It’s called “Wake up Juice.”

As a band, are you role models for younger musicians or cautionary tales? Haha. We like to think a little of both.

Anyone interesting in producing other talent’s music? Absolutely. Tylor already has, and James is going to school for production.

Which words best describe your music? We call it “aggressive rock” Or “mosh pit love songs.”

Does each of you play just “your” instrument, or do you play others as well? We’re all pretty well- versed in several instruments. James and Lanny play piano and bass. Joel plays guitar. Jay can sing, and Tylor is actually a nationally sponsored, award winning drummer.

Who does your CD cover artwork? Was the final image a collaboration or one person’s vision that worked for everyone? Carrie Reddington Of “Dollwork Designs” ~ she and Tylor collaborate on ideas, and then she makes it happen.

The band has to do a PSA for a good cause ~ what cause would you pick? Keeping music programs in the school system. It’s unfair that kids today don’t get that.

Two opening bands and a headliner ~ what tour line-up would you want to see? Dope, 40 Below Summer, and Sevendust. In ANY order.

If your band name had already been taken, what would you have called yourselves instead? We were called “Standing Room” for a while before Scarecrow Hill. We probably would have stuck with that.

What’s the ultimate compliment someone can give you after seeing you live or hearing your CD?

Just that they’re a fan. It’s all about people feeling the product we put out there. Nothing else matters.

On your first big tour ~ who brings the most hair care/beauty products?  The most porn? Herbal tea? Tylor would probably be the most guilty of all three. Ha Ha!

Anything else you’d like to add? Thank you for giving us the chance to do this and to be a part of an awesome thing for local music. We wish ALL local bands the best!

Band/Solo Artist Name: Chet Williamson, Winner, Lifetime Achievement Award

What inspires you, musically speaking? Art that reveals its humanity

As a solo artist, are you a role model for younger musicians or a cautionary tale? I can only hope to be a role model. Mentoring is part of the jazz legacy and I strive to honor that.

On your next album cover, you get to have any celebrity ~ dead or alive ~ that you want doing anything that you want.  Whom do you choose, and what is he/she doing? Sophia Lauren, listening to me playing.

You open a bar…what’s it called? Harptones

Best gig you ever played? [It was] with the Cambridge Harmonica Orchestra in Capitol Building in DC.

What would you put in a time capsule that’s to be opened 100 years from now to represent your music? A chromatic harmonica

What would a drink named after you be called? Chromology

Technically excellent or killer stage presence ~ is one more important to you than the other? Connecting with my audience emotionally is more important [than either].

In your opinion ~ best band ever?  Most underrated band ever? Max Roach/ Clifford Brown Quintet

What word best describes your music? Improvisational

Who does your CD cover artwork? StephenDiRado and Ron Rosenstock

You’re asked to do a PSA for a good cause ~ what cause would you pick? Habitat for Humanity

Two opening bands and a headliner ~ what tour line-up would you want to see? Toots Thielemans and Hendrik Muerkens

What’s the ultimate compliment someone can give you after seeing you live or hearing your CD? “Thank you.”

Anything else you’d like to add? Music is “Soul” made manifest. Play like your life depends on it.

Dick Odgren

Winner, Legends Award

Was there music in your home when growing up? Neither of my parents played, but my three brothers and I all played. My older brother was the first to take piano lessons.  After he started, I was checking out what he was doing, I was about nine, and then I was begging, “Let me take lessons!” When I was ten, I started with lessons.  And then my next brother, Paul, took drum lessons.  And then our kid brother, Jim, started playing saxophone.

What inspires you, musically speaking? Phrasing and beauty.

Which jazz masters truly influenced you “to the core?” I admit, first was Brubeck:  “What was that?  And what are they doing?”  Probably most influential was Bill Evans.  Everybody who  plays has to check out Bill.  He was staggeringly great.  And all the horn players… John Coltrane, Charlie Parker.  We listened to Miles Davis all the time.  Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea.  Through all those years was Keith Jarrett.  There isn’t anyone like him. The depth of his music is beyond comprehension… he’s more into the potential sounds of a piano than anybody I’ve ever heard.

You open a bar…what’s it called? LIME ~ that’s Emil backwards.

Best gig you ever played? Every gig with Emil Haddad was the best.

Who does your CD cover artwork? Gina Simonelli did the last one.

What’s the ultimate compliment someone can give you after seeing you live or hearing your CD? “Sounded like you were having a blast.”  [And we do! J]

Anything else you’d like to add? I’m grateful for having had the opportunity to perform and to teach eager musicians all my life.

DJ Shaboo

img_1334-copyOn your next album cover, you get to have any celebrity ~ dead or alive ~ that you want doing anything that you want.  Whom do you choose, and what is he/she doing? Porn Star Pinky. She is bent over with my name written on her butt with chocolate

Steven Tyler on “AI” ~ brilliant business man, total sell-out, or rock icon with a good sense of humor just having some fun? I say rock icon with a good sense of humor just having some fun.

You open a bar…what’s it called? Da Wreckroom

Best gig you ever played? Local Bazooka (2001) w/ my band 7 Hill Psychos

What inspires you, musically speaking? My kids

What would you put in a time capsule that’s to be opened 100 years from now to represent your music/style? My turntables & 2 channel mixer

What’s your favorite “get it on” music? Caribbean Vibes (Reggae)

You’ve gotten so popular that there’s even a drink named after you.  What’s it called? Splash!

As a DJ, are you a role model for up and coming DJs or a cautionary tale? Role model!

Describe the moment when you knew this was your true passion in life. When I saw 1500 people clapping and cheering after my performance.

Do you have a special name for your groupies? “Lint”

Are you interested in producing/collaborating at all? Yes

Technically excellent or killer stage presence ~ is one more important to you than the other? Both are equally important

In your opinion ~ best DJ ever? Jazzy Jeff

What word best describes your music/style? Creative

You are asked to do a PSA for a good cause ~ what cause would you pick? Foster children

If your DJ name had already been taken, what would you have called yourself instead? Magic Fingazz

What’s the ultimate compliment someone can give you after seeing you live? Great performance

Anything else you’d like to add? Haters don’t motivate me….My children do.

The Great Whiskey Rebellion

Winner, Best Country/Americana Act

Year formed: 2009

Members and who plays what:
Nick Checchio ~ guitar, vests / Emma Hyatt ~ drums / Amy Levine ~ fiddle, vocals / Geo Poor ~bass, backup vocals

Age range in the band: 23-29

On your next album cover, you get to have any celebrity ~ dead or alive ~ that you want doing anything that you want. Whom do you choose, and what is he/she doing? Mario, Ghandi and Tom Waits sitting at a table playing cards and drinking whiskey, with an unexplained giraffe in the background.

You open a bar…what’s it called? The Whiskey Fountain

Best gig you ever played? Our CD release at Tammany Hall. Tons of people and crazy energy.
Rehearsal beverage of choice? Show beverage of choice? Jameson and Jameson

What would you put in a time capsule that’s to be opened 100 years from now to represent the band? A beautiful barrel of whiskey with our logo on it, so that it’s been aged over 100 years and tastes ridiculous.

What’s your favorite “get it on” music? Mid-90s slow jams

You’ve gotten so popular that there’s even a drink named after you. What’s it called? This already happened. It’s called “whiskey.”
As a band, do you consider yourselves role models for younger musicians or are you cautionary tales? I think we’re role models for younger musicians because we play something other than the crap that we’re fed by the radio. We take old folk songs and make them accessible by playing them with a rock style. Amy started off as a classical violinist but has much more fun playing fiddle tunes and using her instrument for a wide variety of musical styles.
Describe what it felt like that second everything clicked and you knew this line-up was The One. It felt like a wave of scrumtrilescence flowing down the side of a whiskey mountain.

Do you have a special name for your groupies? Rebels

Technical excellence or killer stage presence ~ is one more important to you than the other? We obviously prefer both, but people see a live show for the energy. We take pride in a very high-energy show and try to be as technically excellent as possible while bringing the stage presence.

What word best describes your music? Neotraditional

Does each of you play just “your” instrument, or do you play others as well? Geo is originally a classically trained percussionist and a guitarist. Amy dabbles in mandolin, ukulele, a little bit of guitar, banjo, and kazoo.
Who does your CD cover artwork? Was the final image a collaboration or one person’s vision that worked for everyone? Our artwork was done by Mark Tang, an art student in Boston. The vision and final image were a collaboration ~ we all knew that we wanted some kind of adventure with a whiskey mountain as the final destination. Mark took it to the next level and used whiskey to paint some of it.
Two opening bands and a headliner ~ what tour line-up would you want to see? The Dear Hunter, Tool, Pink Floyd
If your band name had already been taken, what would you have called yourselves instead? The Greatest Whiskey Rebellion
What’s the ultimate compliment someone can give you after seeing you live or hearing your CD? “We paid $55 to see The Pogues last night, and you guys were much better.”  ~ Real quote from St. Patty’s day show at Beatnik’s!

Flock of Assholes

Winner, Best Cover/Tribute Band

Year started: The dawn of the Pepsi Generation

Members and who plays what: Symon LeBoner: vocals, kazoo, cowbell, slide whistle, scat solos, Stinque: bass, all four strings,            Kaiser GooGoo: keyboard, one key at a time, Alex Van Hanjaub: drums, several at once,             Andy Hummers (Music Award Interview Question Answerer): guitars, several at once, and Phil Sphincter: castanets, manager and photographer.

Age range in the band: From the very, very young to the very, very old. Mostly very, very old.

On your next album cover, you get to have any celebrity ~ dead or alive ~ that you want doing anything that you want.  Whom do you choose, and what is he/she doing? We choose both Grace Jones for her striking bone structure and Lady Gaga for the fact that she sells a lot of CDs. They will both be depicted french-kissing each other while wearing Gitano jeans and sitting on the hood of a Delorean.

Steven Tyler on “AI” ~ brilliant business man, total sell-out, rock icon with a good sense of humor just having some fun? I think his sobriety has clearly manifested into a terribly aggressive case of Alzheimer’s Disease. He sadly has no recollection of how cool he was when he was still on drugs.

You open a bar…what’s it called? Simply, “The A-Hole.”  I assure you, it will have no big-screen televisions and spotless bathrooms.

Best gig you ever played? Unfortunately, we all suffer from severe self-loathing issues and so far, every gig has left us sort of unimpressed with ourselves. I’d like to be hopeful for the future, but honestly, it’s not my style.

What inspires you, musically speaking? This band is not fueled by inspiration. Nay, we are fueled by a common love of all things 80s, fear of Communism, and not a small amount of liquor.

Rehearsal beverage of choice? Show beverage of choice? We are actually quite famous for not rehearsing, so no answer there. Other than the aforementioned liquor, the majority of us like to stay dehydrated throughout the set, as to help keep our pasty complexion, which looks much better with the light show.

What would you put in a time capsule that’s to be opened 100 years from now to represent the band? A half-off admission coupon for one of our shows. We will certainly still be playing our usual circuit in 100 years.

What’s your favorite “get it on” music? Personally, I like to listen to something soft and romantic, like Billy Ocean, but only played through a Teddy Ruxpin doll. (Google it, kiddies). Involving Teddy in the act really sends me over the top.

Try to describe what it felt like that second everything clicked and you knew this line-up was “The One.” It happened one night when our manager started to play “the clicky thing” in the Thompson Twins’ song “Hold Me Now.”  We were all so overcome with this wave of joy at the sound that we all simultaneously stopped playing, looked over at Phil and wept. I’m tearing up just thinking about it. To this day, we can never make it through the whole song.

Do you have a special name for your groupies? Certainly. Brenda.

Anyone interested in producing other talent’s music? We are barely interested in producing our own music, let alone someone else with talent.

Technically excellent or killer stage presence ~ is one more important to you than the other? We have found that audiences are often unimpressed with our incredible technical excellence so we have decided to shift our attention over to having incredible stage presence. It was just a matter of economics, really, but the difference is slight. Instead of practicing our instruments for hours and hours each day, we now do it in front of a mirror.

In your opinion ~ best band ever?  Most underrated band ever? Both honors would have to go to the Hooters.

What word best describes your music? Sussudio.

Does each of you play just “your” instrument, or do you play others as well? We barely play our own instruments, but given the chance, we will always play everyone else’s instruments so see how green the grass grows on the other side of the stage.

Who does your CD cover artwork? We hire Jared Nagel, great grand-nephew of Patrick Nagel who famously did Duran Duran’s Rio album cover. He’s a terrible artist, but you just can’t get that kind of cred anywhere else.

Two opening bands and a headliner ~ what tour line-up would you want to see? Ooooh. This is a toughie. Let’s start off with Taco (“Puttin’ on the Ritz”) for an appetizer, then follow it up with Meatloaf, then finish it off with some Vanilla Ice.

What’s the ultimate compliment someone can give you after seeing you live or hearing your CD? Handing us money and panties.

On your first big tour ~ who brings the most hair care/beauty products?  The most porn? Herbal tea? Our stylist is in charge of our hair care products, and he travels with a trunk the size of a refrigerator full of mousse and Aqua Net. Our manager provides the porn. He makes it himself. We don’t drink herbal tea. We are Earl Gray all the way.

Anything else you’d like to add? We would like to thank the wonderful readers of (insert magazine name here) for all their support. We hope they continue to find solace and joy in our performances so that they can feel just a little bit better about themselves. That and make us more money.

One Step Further

Winner, Best Up and Comers Act

img_1563-copyYear formed: May 2009

Members and who plays what: Ryan Pasakinsas ~ vocals/acoustic guitar, Scott McGrath ~ vocals/keyboard, Rob Thompson ~ vocals/sax, Tim Gruntman ~ electric guitar, Adam Morin ~ bass, Jay Anderson ~ drums

Age range in the band: 22-32

On your next album cover, you get to have any celebrity ~ dead or alive ~ that you want doing anything that you want.  Whom do you choose, and what is he/she doing? Willem Dafoe.  No idea why.  But I imagine he would be smiling very creepily.

Steven Tyler on “AI” ~ brilliant business man, total sell-out, or rock icon with a good sense of humor just having some fun.  Rock icon having fun, combined with a brilliant business man.

You open a bar…what’s it called? The Laboratory

Best gig you ever played? Bull Run, Jan. 2010, we’ve probably performed better in other gigs, but the crowd and energy were both great.

Rehearsal beverage of choice? Show beverage of choice? Rehearsal ~ wine, show ~ micro brews

What would you put in a time capsule that’s to be opened 100 years from now to represent the band? Our fiber optic tree that comes with us to all our shows.  Also, our album and live recording.

You’ve gotten so popular that there’s even a drink named after you.  What’s it called? Rob Thompson

Try to describe what it felt like that second everything clicked and you knew this line-up was The One. It felt a bit like luck, we never planned to have a sax in the lineup, it all just worked.

Do you have a special name for your groupies? The Eyeliner Mafia

Anyone interesting in producing other talent’s music? Tim [Gruntman] has a studio and offers production services.  Look him up!  www.altimeterrecords.com

Technically excellent or killer stage presence ~ is one more important to you than the other? Both are important, but we all enjoy technical excellence a bit more.

What word best describes your music? Dynamic

Does each of you play just “your” instrument, or do you play others as well? Aside from Ryan, everyone can play multiple instruments.

Who does your CD cover artwork? Was the final image a collaboration or one person’s vision that worked for everyone? Adam and Scott do the artwork.  They did it all and we happily signed off on it.

If your band name had already been taken, what would you have called yourselves instead? Toast

What’s the ultimate compliment someone can give you after seeing you live or hearing your CD? “I wish I wrote that,” or anything that alludes to good songwriting.

Anything else you’d like to add? Thank you to all who nominated, voted and came out to the awards show!   Go to www.onestepfurthermusic.com to see our upcoming dates.

12 Step Program

Winner, Band You’d Most Like to See Reunite

Year Started: 1998

Members and Who Plays What: Jeff Doiron (guitar), Jay Morgan (guitar), Trey Holten (vocals), Dave Corey (bass), and Erik Zarazinski (drums): these where the last members of the fully functioning band who had written songs and recorded an album. Other members included Jeffrey Beaudette (drums), Martin Pelligrini (bass), Dan Alden (vocals), Dave Zazeky (drums), Sean Cottle (bass), Mike Lirange (guitar)

Age Range of the Band: early 30s

What word best describes your music? Metalhardscreamraprockpunkcorestuff

If your band name had already been taken, what would you have called yourselves instead? Meat Monkey

What inspires you, musically speaking? Booze and chicks

Steven Tyler on “AI”~ brilliant business man, total sell out, or rock icon with a good sense of humor having some fun? Business man

What would you put in a time capsule to be opened 100 years from now to represent the band? Dave Corey

If you guys opened a bar, what would you call it? Muffs

Best gig you ever played? Locobazooka main stage Comcast Center

Rehearsal beverage of choice?  Show beverage of choice? Sparks 7.0

What would a drink created in your honor be called? Cellophane 12.0

As a band, are you role models for musicians or a cautionary tale? Cautionary tale

Technical excellence or magnetic stage presence ~is one more important than the other? The stage presence

In your opinion, best band ever? Most underrated band ever?  Snot

Who did your CD cover artwork? Photo by Jeff Doiron, artwork by Erik Godin, and a cover was born.

The band has to do a PSA for a good cause~ what cause would you pick? Fighting drug abuse ~ and wouldn’t have said that 10 years ago as 12 Step!

What is the ultimate compliment someone can give you after seeing you live? Why are you playing at this craphole?  You guys should be on bigger shows!

On your first big tour ~ who brought the most hair/beauty products? When we toured we were all a bunch of filthy, unsanitary, smelly …well,  you get the idea.

Anything else you’d like to add? 12 Step played 100s of shows and WE THANK EVERYONE WHO CAME OUT TO SEE US FROM 1998 to 2009!

Lori Diamond & Fred Abatelli (duo)

Year started: 2008

Members and who plays what: Lori ~ Piano/Vocals, Fred ~ Guitar, Bass, Vocals

Age range in the band: Over 35…or “seasoned”

Steven Tyler on “AI” ~ brilliant business man, total sell-out, rock icon with a good sense of humor just having some fun? Steven Tyler adds so much fun dimension to that show, and surprisingly, he can be both articulate and eloquent at times.  I think he’s fabulous!

Best gig you ever played? Wachusett Valley Folk Festival – by far!!!  We’ll be headliners THIS YEAR as well along with David Wilcox and Mary Gauthier!  Somebody pinch me!

What inspires you, musically speaking? Anything that truly comes from the heart…pure, raw emotion that can translate with authenticity.

What’s your favorite “get it on” music? Even though Marvin Gaye is among the obvious choices, his power cannot be denied!

As a band, are you role models for younger musicians or cautionary tales? While we understand the more exciting answer would be “cautionary tale,” we are a couple of strange folks who just happen to truly enjoy behaving like professional musicians.  I know – how boring is that?!

Try to describe what it felt like that second everything clicked and you knew this line-up was The One. Well….the more we performed together, the more fun we had.  We knew there was no going back!

Technically excellent or killer stage presence ~ is one more important to you than the other? While both of these elements are important, in the end, it comes down to your skill.  Stage presence will only take you so far if you aren’t evolving as a musician.

In your opinion ~ best band ever?  Most underrated band ever? The Eagles might not have the reputation they deserve since they ended up on such a commercial road.  Still, EACH and every one of the band members could play and sing his hearts out.  Exquisite, thoughtful harmony work like that does not come around every day.

What word best describes your music? Chill Vibe or AdultContemporAcoustiFolk

The band has to do a PSA for a good cause ~ what cause would you pick? Second Chance Fund for Animal Welfare.  They are local, and they do amazing work in rescuing cats and controlling the feline population!  In fact, our humble record label, 5th Chakra Records, is throwing a festival that will directly benefit this organization on October 1, 2011.  Check out SecondChanceFund.org.

Two opening bands and a headliner ~ what tour line-up would you want to see? Diana Krall as the headliner with Norah Jones and Amos Lee opening the show!

What’s the ultimate compliment someone can give you after seeing you live or hearing your CD? A fan once said to me, “I might have to leave…you’re touching on things that are a little too close to home.” Sure, she was going to leave, but I knew I had made the connection!

On your first big tour ~ who brings the most hair care/beauty products?  The most porn? Herbal tea? As a licensed stylist, I’ve got a whole separate suitcase for hair/beauty products!

Anything else you’d like to add? We are honored to have been nominated for the Worcester Music Awards!!

Mongrel

Winner, Best Live Act
Year started:  2003

Members and who plays what:  Adam Savage (guitar), Jessica Sierra (vocals), Dave Kazukiewicz (drums), and a bassist to be named later.

On your next album cover, you get to have any celebrity ~ dead or alive ~ that you want doing anything that you want. Whom do you choose, and what is he/she doing?
Jess:
Jim Morrison wearing a Mongrel band shirt sitting back in a chair getting a ** from Taylor Swift. The title would be Choke on This.
Adam: I can’t beat that….

Steven Tyler on “AI” ~ brilliant business man, total sell-out, or rock icon with a good sense of humor just having some fun?
Jess: Total sell out…”American Idol” can kiss my rock and roll ass!!
Dave: Rock icon with a good sense of humor just having some fun…AND a sell out!
Adam:  Haven’t watched it, it’s a pure business/sellout move but isn’t that pretty much the ballads/90s-2000s era of Aerosmith anyway….kind of mixed feelings on Iggy Pop performing on there too but if anyone deserves the bit of extra recognition and payout for all the years they’ve put in without losing credibility, it’s Iggy (or Lemmy).

Best gig you ever played?
Jess:
In a little crowded bar in Clairemont, NH. The energy was amazing
Adam: CBGB with Trashlight Vision and Blitzkid,  Club 125 with The Misfits, and The Palladium mainstage with GWAR are all right up there.

What inspires you, musically speaking?
Jess: A lot of things.
Dave: Life & a-holes who are hopefully no longer a part of it…and some who still are!
Adam: Lyrically, I’d say life events, the news, politics, and exes (bandmates and “girlfriends”)…there’s not often a shortage of such things to write about . Musically, I’d say seeing great concerts (The Bronx, NIN, Pearl Jam, Amen, old-school Slipknot shows).

Rehearsal beverage of choice? Show beverage of choice?

Jess: WATER for practice and show!!!!!! I’m all about being professional. Once off stage,  it’s a whatever I can swallow kind of thing haha.
Dave: Gatorade/water & a Captain & Coke
Adam: On band time, it’s iced coffee, Diet Coke, water, energy drinks ~ nothing that will impair the rehearsal or performance. When it’s time for an alcoholic drink it’s Jager, Cabin Fever Maple Whiskey, mead, or chocolate martinis.

What would you put in a time capsule that’s to be opened 100 years from now to represent the band?
Jess: Business card, Tshirt, CD, a picture, and a note that says, “Keep us alive!”
Dave: Each of our cryogenically frozen heads! And one of my paintings. Whoever finds it can thaw us out & we can sell the painting to finance a new CD & tour. Dead artists are so much more valuable!

What’s your favorite “get it on” music?
Jess:
SCARECROW HILL!! Bow chicka wow wow!
Adam: NIN, The Doors

You’ve gotten so popular that there’s even a drink named after you. What’s it called?
Jess:
I have one already ~ lol  ~ It’s called “The Affliction.” Quite tasty but only available at select bars so if it were a world-wide drink, I’d want it to be called “Smart Ass” ~ It needs to pack a punch but be OMG yummy.

Are you a role model for younger musicians or a cautionary tale?
Jess:
I’m a “parental supervision required” type of gal.
Adam: Overall, I think we have a pretty positive message of self-empowerment, free will, and not allowing yourself to be manipulated and abused by people/situations; however, this certainly doesn’t come with a G, PG, or PG-13 rating.

Try to describe what it felt like that second everything clicked and you knew this line-up was The One.
Jess:
Kind of like sex

Do you have a special name for your groupies?
Jess:
“Bitches”
Dave: Yes, but I don’t think it can be printed in Pulse.
Adam: “Mongrel Bitches”

Anyone interesting in producing other talent’s music?
Jess:
Nope
Adam: If I found the right band, yeah, I could see down the road taking on other bands for management, or in a label capacity.

Who does your CD cover artwork?

Jess: Well, I called Adam and gave him my idea and he had already had that vision prior so we were on the same wave length (in reference to our upcoming new album Reclamation and companion EP Declamation).
Adam: We’ve used different artists over the years but typically either I’ve had a concept in mind and let a real artist run with it, or we’ve trusted the artist to come up with something cool. Previously we’ve had art done by Acey Slade (ex-Dope/Murderdolls/Amen/Trashlight Vision), Raiin from RI, Jo Burgon from the UK, and our upcoming CDs are being done by Brian Amey from the UK.

Technical excellent or killer stage presence ~ is one more important to you than the other?
Jess:
I want the best of both worlds in order to have a kick ass show.  Both are required in my opinion.
Dave: 60% Killer stage presence, 40% technique
Adam: Definitely has to be a balance but I’d go with Dave’s ratio…I’d rather a good but not technical performance than an overdose of technique but the presence and performance of a shoe-gaze indie rock band.

On your first big tour ~ who brings the most hair care/beauty products? The most porn? Herbal tea?
Jess:
Adam for hair care haha, ME for porn and Dave for the drinks 🙂
Dave: I agree with Jess
Adam: Jess had better share!

In your opinion ~ best band ever? Most underrated band ever?
Jess:
SCARECROW HILL for both
Dave: Best band ever is obviously KISS!
Adam: Best band ever (tie): The Doors, GnR (original lineup), Black Sabbath (Ozzy era). Most underrated (tie) would be AMEN (especially the “We Have Come for Your Parents” era line up), Mother Love Bone, and Trashlight Vision.

Does each of you play just “your” instrument, or do you play others as well?
Jess: I play the skin flute well 🙂 I sing and can play keyboard and guitar. I’m a talented bee-atch, aint I? lol
Adam: I have dabbled on bass and have been forced to sing on occasion, but otherwise just guitar as anything serious.

The band has to do a PSA for a good cause ~ what cause would you pick?
Jess:
I’m down for all causes but I’m really into the breast cancer benefits.
Adam: Cancer, Diabetes, Immune Disorders, and the West Memphis 3 case.

Two opening bands and a headliner ~ what tour line-up would you want to see?
Jess:
AFFLICTION, SCARECROW HILL and MONGREL…yeah, I’m that confident ~ haha!
Dave: Polluted Remains, Mongrel & Danzig
Adam: Misfits (Danzig era reunion), Mongrel, Guns N Roses (Appetite-era reunion)

If your band name had already been taken, what would you have called yourselves instead?
Jess:
“Undecided Pecker Neck”
Adam: “Germans Love Smurfs”

What’s the ultimate compliment someone can give you after seeing you live or hearing your CD?
Jess:
“I have never heard someone have the power you have. I went to walk out and you opened your mouth and I just couldn’t leave.” (Note from Adam: This actually did happen in Boston at a show we played at Church.)
Adam: You’ve inspired me to play/to start a band/ to keep playing. Though there was one show years back I was walking around after our set and someone told me that getting hit in the head with my guitar was worth it cause we were amazing….I felt bad about it but that’s pretty high praise when getting smacked upside the head with a 13 pound piece of wood is worthwhile!

Anything else you’d like to add?
Jess:
Yeah, ALWAYS SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL MUSICIANS!!!!!!!!!
Adam: Support your local bands, especially the originals scene (someone’s got to write the cover songs of tomorrow), and THANK YOU to everyone who nominated, voted, and has shown their support for us ~ it means a lot ~ THANK YOU!!!

A Ton of Blues

Winner, Best Blues/R & B Act

Year formed2010

Members and who plays what:  Mike “Spud” Kelly ~ vocals & harp / Scott LeBlanc ~ guitar /Jeff Lorenzen ~ bass, and Al Clark ~ drums

What inspires you, musically speaking? Any music, well played, with soul.

Steven Tyler on “AI” ~ brilliant business man, total sell-out, rock icon with a good sense of humor just having some fun. All of the above.

If you ever opened a bar, it would be called…? What else?  A Ton of Brews.

Who does your CD cover artwork? Was the final image a collaboration or one person’s vision that worked for everyone? It was a collaboration of one man’s multiple personalities that didn’t work for anyone.

Best gig you ever played? Dec. 2010 @the Bull Run with Johnny Winter.

How would you best describe your music? Three words: “Finger lickin’ good.”

What would you put in a time capsule that’s to be opened 100 years from now to represent the band? A pepperoni pizza and a chocolate cheesecake.

What’s your favorite “get it on” music? Theme song to Bugs Bunny cartoons.

What would a drink named after you be called? Ummm….A Ton of Booze.

As a band, are you role models for up and coming musicians or are you a cautionary tale? Cautionary role model.

The band has to do a PSA for a good cause ~ what cause would you pick? The NAAPH.  The National Association for the Advancement of Personal Hygiene.

If your band name had already been taken, what would you have called yourselves instead?  Three Fat Bastards and a Skinny Guy.

What’s the ultimate compliment someone can give you after seeing you live or hearing your CD? “Your music makes me wanna pee wicked bad.”

Anything else you’d like to add? We’re a group of guys that love what we do and work really hard to make it sound good.  We also host a couple of Open Blues Jams , which we consider our way of “paying it forward” for all the help that we’ve received from others.  We are very humbled by our nomination and would like to thank everyone who voted for us.  We also want to thank Pulse Magazine for their tremendous support of the Worcester area music scene.  Now, is there any pizza left?

My Silent Bravery

Winner, Best Pop Act

Year formed: June 2008

Members and who plays what: Matthew Wade, aka Shwach ~ guitar and vocals / Hugh Allen, aka Hugh Hefner ~ bass / Brian Kearsley, aka BK or B Kizzle ~ sax / Sean “OOOH Baby” Davies ~ drums

Age range in the band: mid 20s – early 30s

On your next album cover, you get to have any celebrity ~ dead or alive ~ that you want doing anything that you want.  Whom do you choose, and what is he/she doing? [We’re] Jamming with Bob Marley.

Steven Tyler on “AI” ~ brilliant business man, total sell-out, or rock icon with a good sense of humor just having some fun? Rock icon with a good sense of humor!

You open a bar…what’s it called? Matty Kid’s

Best gig you ever played? Best gig would be a three day stint at the Chicken Box in Nantucket. Good times!

Rehearsal beverage of choice? Show beverage of choice? Rehearsal: Iced tea. Show: Whatever is on tap and is on the house!

What would you put in a time capsule that’s to be opened 100 years from now to represent the band? Our first WMA!

What’s your favorite “get it on” music? Hugh Hefs and BK’s Jazz combo ~ it’s afternoon and early evening delight!

You’ve gotten so popular that there’s even a drink named after you.  What’s it called? Shwizzle!

As a band are you role model for younger musicians or  cautionary tales? Role models.

Try to describe what it felt like that second everything clicked and you knew this line-up was The One. An orgasmic rush of lust. Baby making music at its finest!

Do you have a special name for your groupies? Bravehearts!

Technically excellent or killer stage presence ~ is one more important to you than the other? BOTH – Can’t survive on one without the other!

What word best describes your music? Inspiring!

Does each of you play just “your” instrument, or do you play others as well? We stick to what we do best.

Who does your CD cover artwork? Matt designed the overall concept by picking images and then had two designers put it together. The Standard Agency did the front cover image and Jani Duncan Smith put the booklet and liner notes together. Our new album cover is being design by Zeb Love.

The band has to do a PSA for a good cause ~ what cause would you pick? The Wounded Warrior Project. The REAL American Heroes!

Two opening bands and a headliner ~ what tour line-up would you want to see? Openers: Skid Row and Whitesnake.  Headliner: Poison.

On your first big tour ~ who brings the most hair care/beauty products?  The most porn? Herbal tea? Hair care: Matt; porn: BK or Hugh “Hefner” Allen; herbal tea: Sean “OOOH Baby” Davies.

Anything else you’d like to add? Thanks for the opportunity. Thanks for the memories!

Andy Cummings

Winner, Best Solo Act

dsc_0439-copyWhat instruments, in addition to your voice, do you play Guitar, harmonica, ukulele

On your next album cover, you get to have any celebrity ~ dead or alive ~ that you want doing anything that you want.  Whom do you choose, and what is he/she doing? What an interesting question! Hmm… oh I don’t know, Henry Fonda picking blueberries.

You open a bar…what’s it called? I suppose I would call it Wet Brains.

Rehearsal beverage of choice? Show beverage of choice? I’m a Polar Ginger Ale man. I am a Worcester boy, after all.

What would you put in a time capsule that’s to be opened 100 years from now to represent the band? Me.

What’s your favorite “get it on” music? Otis Redding.

Technical excellence or awesome stage presence ~ is one more important to you than the other? Both are equally important to me.

In your opinion ~ Best band ever? The Who.

What word best describes your music? Traditional.

You have the opportunity to do a PSA for a good cause ~ what cause would you pick? The Human Fund.

Two opening bands and a headliner ~ what tour line-up would you want to see? Buddy Holly and The Crickets, The Les Paul Trio featuring Bobby Darin, Elvis Presley w/Scotty Moore and Bill Black.

What’s the ultimate compliment someone can give you after seeing you live or hearing your CD? Any positive feedback is welcomed. It’s a joy when people like what I do.

Anything else you’d like to add? Thanks for the love!

Cougar Bait

Year formed: 2009

dsc_0463-copyMembers and who plays what: Chest Rockwell = lead vocals, guitar / Rod “The Bod” Hamilton = lead guitar, vocals / Buck Strokem = bass / CT Luscious = drums.

What would you put in a time capsule that’s to be opened 100 years from now to represent the band?

Chest Rockwell: Our new EP; it’s so hot, it may result in further climate change.

What inspires you, musically speaking?

Buck Strokem: Music is probably my biggest inspiration

Chest Rockwell: Bowie… and my own reflection.

Rod Hamilton: Nothing. Some days I can write; others I can’t.

Best gig you ever played?

Buck Strokem: A good gig to me is when we all just have a good time.

Chest Rockwell: Well, during one infamous Lucky Dog show, an elderly man climbed onstage and began humping Buck, who would have been upset if he hadn’t been under such heavy sedation.

BuckStrokem: Wait, what?

On your next album cover, you get to have any celebrity ~ dead or alive ~ that you want doing anything that you want.

Chest Rockwell: I’m hesitant to answer, because our last album cover was deemed too sexy.

Rod Hamilton: ist… Sex-IST

What word best describes your music?

Rod Hamilton: Sexy

Chest Rockwell: Tyrannosaurus-sex

CT Luscious: Desirable

Steven Tyler on “AI” ~ brilliant business man, total sell-out, rock icon with a good sense of humor just having some fun.

Chest Rockwell: It’s a no brainer; he’s a brilliant, sell-out icon, just having some fun.

Do you have a special name for your groupies?

Chest Rockwell: Cougar Baters

You open a bar…what’s it called?

Chest Rockwell: The Cougar Hole.

Buck Strokem: The Bait Trap

What’s your favorite “get it on” music?

Chest Rockwell: Cougar Bait’s Soul to Tame. It’s an irresistibly sexy force; it’s been banned in several prison systems and correctional facilities. I’m actually getting it on right now as we speak.

Rod Hamilton: DUBSTEP

You’ve gotten so popular that there’s even a drink named after you.  What’s it called?

Chest Rockwell: Cougar Juice, or Big Chest Surprise.

CT Luscious: The Lush

As a band, are you role models for younger musicians or are you cautionary tales?

Rod Hamilton: For the time being, role models. But don’t hold me to that.

Chest Rockwell: Is Chest Rockwell a role model? It’s really not for me to say. Sure, if you want to grow up to be a sexy rock-god from Mars, then…yeah. But, again, I would never actually say that.

Try to describe what it felt like that second everything clicked and you knew this line-up was The One.

Chest Rockwell: Literally seconds after promoting myself to lead singer, I just knew it was a brilliant move.

Rod Hamilton: You know that scene from Scanners when that guy’s head blew up? It was a lot like that.

Technically excellence or killer stage presence ~ is one more important to you than the other?

Rod Hamilton: I go for a good combination of the two.

Chest Rockwell: Far too few bands can pull off the raw, untamed sexuality necessary to distract an audience from a mediocre performance the way that we can.

In your opinion ~ best band ever?  Most underrated band ever?

CT Luscious: Led Zeppelin is the best band ever, and Peter Frampton is the most underrated, mainly [for] the song “Do You Feel Like We Do?”

Does each of you play just “your” instrument, or do you play others as well?

Rod Hamilton: Well, technically Buck doesn’t play any instruments…

The band has to do a PSA for a good cause ~ what cause would you pick?

Chest Rockwell: Nickelbackers Anonymous

Two opening bands and a headliner ~ what tour line-up would you want to see?

Rod Hamilton: Cake and The White Stripes opening for Wyld Stallyns

If your band name had already been taken, what would you have called yourselves instead?

Chest Rockwell: We were very close to calling ourselves “Fat Oprah and the Muffin Top Girls.”

What’s the ultimate compliment someone can give you after seeing you live or hearing your CD?

Chest Rockwell: “I want to have your child”… I get that a lot.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Buck Strokem: No seriously…what happened to me at The Lucky Dog?

7 Minute Stagger

Winner, Best Hardcore/Metal Act

Year Started: 2008

Members and Who Plays What:

Emile: Drums, Sean: Bass, Russ: Guitars, Trey:  Vocals, Amanda:  Vocals, Erik:  Guitars

On your next album cover, you get to have any celebrity, dead or alive, that you want doing anything that you want.  Whom do you choose and what is he/she doing? Sam Kinneson in the back seat of our tour bus screaming out directions.  “RECAAAAAAALLLLLCUUUUULATTTING!!!!!!  MAAAAAKE A LEEEEEFFFFTTTTT!!!!!”

Can you put into words what it felt like that second when this line up “clicked” and you knew this line up was “The One?” Our first show at Easy Street after Greg departed and Russ joined was the defining moment.  We recorded the performance on a Flip recorder and the stage show was right where it needed to be from day one.

What inspires you, musically speaking? Collectively, we love anything that is well composed and performed with passion and precision.

Steven Tyler on “AI”~ brilliant business man, total sell out, or rock icon with a good sense of humor having some fun? None of the above.  American Idol represents the main problem with the music industry.  It’s a glorified karaoke contest that people then get a recording contract for winning.  So, in short, we have no opinion because we have never seen the show.

Best gig you ever played? It depends on the band member you ask.  It’s a toss up between a show we played at The Raven in Worcester with 18 Wheels of Justice and Metalympics Event Four at Easy Street night club in Greenfield, MA.  At The Raven, kids were going nuts and bouncing off the walls all night.  It was a great atmosphere.  At Easy Street, everyone knew the lyrics to our songs and the place was packed to the gills.  We were all dressed in full camo gear as it was the theme of the night.  It was an amazing show.

Rehearsal beverage of choice?  Show beverage of choice? Sparks and beer…….for both of the above.  Amanda will have water please.  On the rocks.

What would you put in a time capsule to be opened 100 years from now to represent the band? If they made a time capsule large enough….Sean….just Sean.

You’ve gotten so popular that there’s even a drink named after you.  What’s it called? “The Staggah” Malt liquor.  Only comes in forties.

Who does your CD cover artwork?  Was the final image a collaboration or one person’s vision that worked for everyone? We are still in the process of devising said image, but our logo was done by Dustin Clancy.

Technically excellent or killer stage presence ~ is one more important than the other? The band is split on this one.  It’s a matter of perception.

Does each of you just play your instrument, or do you play others as well? We can all play multiple instruments.  We are not masters at them all, but are capable of playing them.

Two opening bands and a headliner ~ what tour lineup would you like to see? “7 Minute Stagger,” “In This Moment,” and “Soilwork”  ~ Awsomeness!

Who does your CD cover artwork?  Was the final image a collaboration or one person’s vision that worked for everyone? We are still in the process of devising said image, but our logo was done by Dustin Clancy.

The band has to do a PSA for a good cause ~ what cause would you pick? Definitely “Save the Music.”  Music programs in schools are slowly diminishing and it is important to instill a love of music in the youth of our country so they will be inspired to chase the same dreams that we have.

If your band name had already been taken, what would you have called yourselves instead? Worcester: The Musical”

What is the ultimate compliment someone can give you after seeing you live or hearing your CD? Just that they love our sound because it is unique.  Unique is an overused word and we recognize that we are not truly “unique,” but it is awesome when someone categorizes you in a stand out fashion when the metal community can be fairly catty and competitive.

On your first big tour~who brings the most hair/beauty products?  The most porn?  Herbal tea? Amanda by far would bring the most hair and beauty products.  She literally has a trunk full of makeup and hair gadgets.  It’s a toss up for porn….either Emile or Sean.  They both love the girl on girl action.  And herbal tea would have to be Trey….his vocal chords get a little rough after a few shows.

Anything else you’d like to add? Come see 7 Minute Stagger at The Raven in Worcester on May 13th and at Easy Street Nightclub in Greenfield, MA on Saturday, June 4!

Wachusett Mountain Music Festival

musicfest-logo-copy“Going into our 14th year with the Wachusett Mountain Music Festival, there are too many people to thank for making it such a success, but we have to especially recognize the fans who have come year in and year out to support this festival,” said Tom Meyers of Wachusett Mountain.

“As most people know, we started out with a blues festival and eventually added a rock lineup on a second day and then combined the two,” Meyers explained. “Over the years, we had blues stars Bettye LaVatte and the Fabulous Thunderbirds sharing the stage with classic rockers Pure Prairie League and The Outlaws and it worked really well. This year fans can expect another blend of styles at the festival.”

Meyers added, “Looking back, we’re really proud that we’ve been able to bring so many legends like Commander Cody, John Mayall and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown ~ and so many others~  to the area, as well as showcase some great local talent like Chris Fitz, Jon Short and Clutch Grabwell.”

Mistress Carrie from WAAF

copyMistress Carrie has been such a fan favorite for so long that we thought she’d more than earned the right to talk to Pulse readers about anything she wanted to ~ so without further ado, here’s Carrie, unedited, sharing her personal philosophies and once again proving that there’s so much more to this DJ than just a killer attitude and sexy on-air persona.

Wow! What an honor. Not only to be nominated for this award, but to be given “free reign” to write whatever I want! OH THE POWER!!!

When I was asked to write some advice/opinion/life philosophy/good natured banter for this article, I needed to think about what to write for a while. My conclusion? One word… PASSION! It all stems from passion.

In order to be successful at anything, you need passion. You must love what you do and be willing to work longer and harder than anyone to get where you want to be. I learned that lesson at WAAF back in the “old days.” My passion for music is what made me get up at 3:30 am and be willing to fetch coffee for FREE for over 3 years! All of the money in the world is no substitute for passion. If you don’t love what you do, you are wasting your life. And if you love what you do, and are willing to work hard, the money will follow.

Passion, is also what you need to defend your convictions! You must feel so strongly about what you believe that you are willing to put all of your efforts into defending it! In my case, my passion lies with our troops. In my opinion, they deserve all of our love and support. They deserve a golden pair of scissors to cut through any and all red tape that keeps them from the best care and treatment. Our soldiers have signed a blank check to all of us and they never know who is going to cash it, when, and what will be involved. And they sign it anyway! Would you do that? Our nation is only as strong as the people who are willing to fight for it. And those brave few (1% of the US population) deserve everything that the other 99% of us can give them.

My life philosophy? PASSION! Live every day to the fullest! I’ve said it so many times…”If I can die doing it… I’ll try it once.” Life is a gift, but it’s not like a Faberge egg that should be treated gently. Life is an opportunity to try everything that comes your way. Sure, you’re going to make mistakes…But, it’s those mistakes that you learn the most from.  That’s why I spend my time riding my motorcycle and skydiving.  It’s the feeling of barely hanging on that I live for.

I’m not sure who wrote it, but my favorite quote is: “Life, is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely, in a pretty and well preserved body.  But rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “*#@% YEAH! What a Ride!”

Thank you for this amazing nomination!

Mistress Carrie

Callsign: NARKO

wma511

05.11 Comic Dennis Wirth

By Seth Stutman

ent-comic-dennis-wirth-copyWith an abundance of insight and energy, Worcester comic Dennis Wirth is entertaining audiences all over Central MA ~ and no-one is safe from his sharp wit, as he rips everyone from George Bush to Native Americans and everyone in between.

The Gardner native and restaurant manager at the Jade II in Leominster draws from Ron White, Andrew Dice Clay, and Eddie Murphy: “I wanted to make somebody laugh as hard as they made me laugh,” Wirth said. He’s doing just that, with a style that can best be described as vigorous and loud.

Wirth’s fascination with comedy began at an early age; he realized that stand up was his dream after catching a Sam Kinison special on HBO in the early 1980s. From there, he enrolled in Introduction to Stand Up Comedy at a local college and began booking shows and forging connections.

“I wouldn’t be half as far if it wasn’t for [Jerry Caruso]; I owe so much to him,” Wirth said of the older local comic, also from Gardner, who took him under his wing. Because of the help and encouragement he received as a young comic, Wirth is eager to dole out advice to the next generation: “Don’t try to be a comedian, go up there and have fun,” he said.

One of Wirth’s most popular bits involves him describing himself as the “Child Support Superhero;” it draws the most laughs from the crowd in general, but men who come to the show with their significant others usually wait until afterwards to tell Wirth just how funny they think his observations on sex ~ and in particular his sex life, are. “A lot of guys are there with their girlfriends and they’re reserved, but they come up to me after the show and tell me how hard they wanted to laugh,” Wirth said.

“Of all of the comedians in Worcester, Wirth is one of the best,” exclaimed Shawn Hansen, host of Shawn Hansen’s Comedy Corner. Coming out of Wirth’s show at Lucky Dog, he added, “[Wirth] is worth every penny, and might just be better than Dane Cook.”

Wirth spreads the laughter all over Central MA, but does he have one club that he considers his comedic home? “I love playing at Scoreboards in Leominster; the crowd’s really into it there,” he said.

As for his future, Wirth has big dreams. “It would be great to get to the point where I could do comedy full time,” he shared. “Also, I’d like to eventually put out my CD.” But in the meantime, Wirth is satisfied with his place in entertainment: “[Comedy] taught me how to laugh at my pain. Hopefully, I can make others laugh at their pain.”

You can find out more about Dennis Wirth and where he’s playing next by visiting www.denniswirth.webs.com.

05.11 Up & Comers

Here are bands & artists you may not have heard of yet…but they have major potential and you get to read about them here, right before they make it big! And “Graduates” are musicians we highlighted in past issues whose careers, as we predicted, have really taken off!

Crypter

By Alex Kantarelis

crypter-copyHudson’s Crypter (Nate Chartrand ~ vocals, Jeff Ramos ~ lead guitar, Eddie Zwirbla ~ drums, Russell Weed ~ bass, and Campbell Hewett ~ guitar) are rocking the metal scene with their old school thrash that’s is a hybrid of early Metallica and Norwegian Death Metal, or (if you know your bands) a cross between Kreator and Demolition Hammer. In fact, it was a Kreator show that got everything started: while still in high school, the guys all went to see the German thrash band and decided then and there that they needed to start their own band.

The band members range in age from 16 to 21 and have accomplished quite a bit in their year and a half existence, starting with the recording of their 4 song demo about a year ago, which opened the door for a lot of opportunities. “With that demo we’ve managed to play with amazing bands like DRI and Overkill. It’s been great,” said Nate Chartrand. Their true-to-the-roots style also landed them on shows with Death Angel, Lazarus A.D., and Gamma Bomb, but playing with DRI stood out for Nate. “I’ve been listening to DRI forever and I have a DRI patch on the back of my leather jacket. It was awesome,” he said.

Crypter spent the past few months working on a full length that features 11 new songs of old school thrash metal, not revival thrash. The new songs have been written for quite a while and all of them have been played live. The new full length will be coming out this summer, and the band plans on releasing the songs themselves. Once it’s out, they hope to get on the road and start touring. Definitely keep an eye out for them.

www.facebook.com/CrypterThrashMetal
www.reverbnation.com/crypter

ANTIETAM

By Katey Khaos

antietam2-copyFormed in 2008, Worcester’s hardcore/punk band Antietam gives a refreshing kick in the pants to the seemingly dead punk scene. That kick was intentional, too, as frontman Pat Shanley told me when I asked what inspired him to start the band: “I felt bored listening to the music I had such passion for.”

Songs like “Shipwrecked” and “No Morphine” are sure to get any crowd moshing with their fast paced guitar riffs and in-your-face lyrics. Shanley credits Last Lights as his driving personal influence, along with Mountain Man and 80s punk legends Slapshot and Black Flag. Guitarist Jeff Soderman keeps it local and says that Worcester’s own Concrete Facelift was his sole inspiration for wanting to start Antietam.

Antietam has released two 7″ records ~ one full length self-titled, as well as a split with It’s Alive. If you’re lucky, you can also find Antietam’s tour demo CDs, which were released for their 2009 and 2010 tours. As Soderman mentions, Antietam has a sizeable cache of songs that are recorded but as of yet unreleased. They’re currently deciding which of those songs to feature on their next CD, and are also hoping to release new tracks this summer.

Antietam completed an East Coast /Midwest tour in August 2010 and have been playing smaller gigs since then. As Shanley puts it, “It’s tough to have anything serious going because we’re all juggling either school or full time work.” They are, however, in the midst of planning an August tour. In the meanwhile, check them out at www.facebook.com/pages/Antietam/324657751257 and www.myspace.com/antietamworc.

Photo by Jonnie Coutu – taken at The Firehouse, Nov. 2008.

05.11 Stone Sour’s Roy Mayorga & Theory of a Deadman’s Tyler Connolly

Dream It, Fight for It, Become It

By Jillian Locke

ent-lead-stone-sour-copyWhat better way to honor the hard working local bands who struggle day in and day out to make their labor of love into something bigger than themselves than to talk with a couple musicians who have done exactly that ~ and persevered. I had the opportunity to talk with Stone Sour drummer Roy Mayorga and Theory of a Deadman vocalist Tyler Connolly and get a glimpse into two very different paths of two extremely successful musicians who are both currently billed on The Avalanche Tour (which also features Halestorm, Skillet and Art of Dying), which touched down at Mohegan Sun on Sunday, May 1.

With a resume boasting such projects as NYC thrash band Nausea, the legendary Sepultura, the Roadrunner United project with Dino Cazares, and loads of session drummer and scoring experience, Mayorga has ridden the emotional rollercoaster of rock and roll all the way to the top. Starting at the ripe old age of 14, Mayorga played in more than a few punk rock and hardcore bands; it was the inspiration he drew from his heroes ~ Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Who, Kiss, and Thin Lizzy ~ that got him through exhaustion and less-than-ideal jobs. “I struggled a lot, went through lots of ups and downs and did a lot of jobs I didn’t want to do,” Mayorga reflects. “But you gotta do what you gotta do.”

Connolly’s musical background was a bit more genetic, giving him a head start on the competition. “My Dad was a musician, so I pretty much grew up with instruments and recording equipment all around me; we even had a jam space in the basement. I was really lucky.” TOADM traces its roots back to a restaurant job Connelly and bassist Dean Back worked together, and since the late 90s the boys have been pressing towards their current success that no one saw coming.

ent-lead-theory-of-a-deadm-copyMayorga never anticipated Stone Sour’s success either. “Five, six years ago, I almost gave up. Before Soulfly, there were so many different bands and situations that I moved on from. I came to a halt, and at 34-35 years old, I thought I was done.” But clearly, being done with music was not in the cards. His motto, “Believe in yourself and you’ll get there eventually,” resonates with musicians and non-musicians alike. “I’ve been doing this for a good 30 something years of my life, and I’m lucky to have a gig like Stone Sour and to play music for a living.”

For Connolly, his path naturally unfurled before him, leading him towards a means of artistic and financial sustenance that he now knows was destined all along. “I’ve given up family and relationships to do what I do. This is the path I chose, and I love to sing songs for a living. I didn’t really know if I could accept this ~ being who I am ~ but I’ve always been a really independent guy, kind of the oddball of all my friends. I never knew what that would lead to…I would have never expected it to be this, but I guess I should have seen it coming.”

To all of the bands nominated in the 2011 WMAs: What is your destiny? Is it laid out before you, or is it something for which you’ll fight and sacrifice almost anything? Will you grab it by the horns and pursue it with every fiber of your being?

Make sure to pick up Stone Sour’s latest album, Audio Secrecy, and stay tuned for a new release by TOADM that they’ve been busy recording at Bay 7 Studios in Los Angeles, CA.

www.theoryofadeadman.com, www.stonesour.com

05.11 Where Are They Now?

Checking in on the Local Bands Who Inspired Us Back in the Day

By Alex Kantarelis

scan0001-copyLooking back, it’s hard to believe how fast time flies. It wasn’t long ago that every weekend you’d see a flyer for a show at the Space, the Espresso Bar, the QVCC or Sir Morgan’s Cove (now known as the Lucky Dog). Some venues are still here, some are long gone, but they cemented Worcester as the premier place for bands to play in the late 90s ~ and some even in the 80s. National acts would come through every weekend to witness first hand one of the best musical scenes in the nation. If you were from Worcester, you were lucky to be growing up during a great time for music in this area. So let’s take a look back at the bands that filled and defined our scene back then. Not everyone became a famous rock star, but all of them went on to do some cool things. (Note: Godsmack and Staind are not on this list because they were busy doing Alice in Chains covers and nobody really gave them a second listen ‘til knowing the right people gave them their big breaks. Hey, sometimes the truth stings.)

BANDS THAT ARE STILL TOGETHER…

Not every band can manage to keep at it for as long as these bands have. In ’98, it was common to see a show with Overcast, Converge, and Bane on the bill ~ and all three bands are still playing, still touring, and still releasing new material. If anything, they’ve become even better with age. Fans of their older material, fans who haven’t really checked out those bands since the late 90s, should do so immediately. These bands are responsible for some of the best hardcore and metal in the world today.

7th Rail Crew. These guys brought a crazy level on intensity every night, led by frontman Jay Lawn (aka Jay 7, or Siete) who took inspiration from groups like House of Pain and Rage Against the Machine to form his own style of rap mixed with rock and hardcore. This was pre Limp Bizkit and these guys weren’t cashing in on a trend, they were creating it (along with Eastcide, of course). They disbanded after Locobazooka in 2002, but during their time, Siete lived the rock star life to the fullest. After a few near death experiences, he took his life in a new direction, moving to Florida and becoming an ordained minister. “My wife said to me, ‘Of all the things you can’t do, why not do all the things you can.’ So I went on a spiritual journey, trying to figure out my path and what I was supposed to do in life,” he said. Helping his friends along the way, and occasionally serving as the minister at their weddings, he has managed to bring a new level of positivity to everyone around him. “I’ve brought some people to church that really needed help, and church helped them. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that,” he said. Aside from that, he also runs his own screen printing business. As for the others in the band, Jeff Lawn (aka Hefe) is still playing drums in a cover band and was touring with the band Genuflect (featuring members of Reveille). Guitarist Ennio is still playing in bands here and there, and has a 9-5 computer job, and bassist Meat is working as manager of a car parts shop. They played a reunion show last year and haven’t quite given up on the idea of playing again, so “open your eyes” because we might be hearing their name again.

flyer-copyEastcide. MA’s biggest rapcore act dominated the scene ~ along with 7th Rail Crew ~ and sold out shows at all the venues,even landing a spot on the TV show “Farmclub” (hosted by former MTV VJ Matt Pinfield) where they played with DMX and Third Eye Blind. While the band called it quits in 2003, the guys have all remained involved with music. Guitarist ChampEY is currently working as emo band Taking Back Sunday’s road manager, and owns and operates recording studio Liberty & Union, where the latest Dropkick Murphys’ record was recorded. Vocalist Jake is now the singer for Taunton rock band White Knuckle Rodeo. Luke, the bassist, is touring the world in the indie rock band Wheat, and has even played both the Conan O’Brien and Carson Daly shows. Drummer Swifty is playing drums for punk band Bad Blood and the Cruelty. Kool Aid is the only member of the band who is no longer playing music. He currently owns a business in CT. Band DJ Markie B still spins records, DJs for the rap group One Life, and owns his own studio and record label called Raised on Rakim (raisedonrakim.com). Markie B recalled, “I’m from Plymouth and the others were from Taunton, but our home town was Worcester. It was the premier spot on the East coast to see music. One night you’d have the Deftones, the next night you’d have Eastcide and ForcedFed ShovelHead, the next night it was 7th Rail crew and Chillum. The whole Worcester scene was unbelievable back then.”
…AND ONE THAT ISN’T
Rawhead Rex. Worcester wasn’t all about rapcore back in the day. Rawhead Rex sounded more like a cross between White Zombie and Pantera. “We came out in a time when the hardcore movement was really coming into full swing and we were labeled a metal band because we had long hair,” said drummer Craig Lindberg. The band accomplished quite a bit ~ they put out 2 CDs, were voted best metal band in Worcester in 1998 in the old Worcester Phoenix, and even spoke briefly with RCA records about a potential deal (that sadly never happened). After calling it a day in 2001, the guys went their separate ways. Vocalist/bassist Eric Jernstrom joined up with Lindberg to play in Beware the Ides for a while, and now he’s happily playing mostly acoustic music. “[Eric] has a tremendous voice (as opposed to the screaming he did in Rawhead),” Lindberg said. Rhythm guitarist Tom Nickerson is currently in school finishing his degree and still plays recreationally, as does lead guitarist Paul Caine who plays guitar in a Jimmy Buffet cover band. Can’t get much further removed from the styles of Rawhead Rex! As for Lindberg, he is currently working in Shrewsbury as a personal trainer, and remembers his days in the band fondly: “It was a fantastic experience, and I think everyone else in the band would say the same thing.”

This is only scratching the surface of what went on in Worcester a decade or more ago. There were so many bands, so many shows, and so many stories that came out of those days. It was a different time for music, a time when being the best onstage was a lot more important than looking cool on some music blog or in your press photos. It was a time when going to a show was a lot cooler than staying home and updating your tumblr. While those days may be gone, the impact they had will last forever. I think it’s safe to credit the bands from that era for putting Worcester on the map, and for making Worcester a great tour stop for all bands, even to this day.

THIS JUST IN! Craig Lindberg of Rawhead Rex has just confirmed that the band’s original line-up has reunited and will be playing a reunion show on July 23 at The Lucky Dog ~ you do not want to miss this long-awaited reunion!!