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Imagine Dragons Talk Singapore, Working With Their Secret Dream Artist, And A Name For Their Pet Dragon!By Joey Aug 16, 2015
Dragons aren’t just myths and legends anymore. They’re here come 25th August, to rock Singapore Indoor Stadium.
With a collective stage presence that’s known to be absolutely electric, it’s hardly a surprise this Las Vegas group sold out shows and played at the biggest music festivals around the world.
Yep, Imagine Dragons owe their meteoric rise in the music industry to their diverse sound, creative directions and philanthrophic efforts. It’s not a winning formula for success they’ve concocted; it’s just how they’re put together, amassing a continental fanbase that’s quite formidable.
So when they’re not behind an illegal Muppets fight club, what does the Grammy Award-winning band have to say about their upcoming concert in Singapore, and their latest album, Smoke + Mirrors?
1. I Bet My Life is a great track - if you guys had to bet your life on something - or someone - who or what would it be?
We bet our life the Singapore show will be a good time.
2. Describe the upcoming concert in Singapore - but it must rhyme with Smoke + Mirrors!
Soak in Tears? Cloak and Fears?
3. What was the best musical inspiration you got from a tour?
The best inspiration comes from the fans we interact with at the shows. They inspire us constantly.
4. An artist or a band you dream to work with onstage/offstage?
Maybe Paul Simon? Paul McCartney? Any Paul, really. There is actually one artist we’ve always wanted to work with that we are planning something with right now. But it’s a secret.
5. The one Singaporean dish you are dying to try?
Not one in particular, but we have heard how amazing the food is and can’t wait.
6. What major influences made Smoke + Mirrors a more diverse sounding album than Night Visions?
Both albums were pretty diverse, but maybe Smoke + Mirrors seems more so because it was written on tour. You experience such high highs and low lows in touring, and that is reflected in the music we wrote which may have made the music more diverse.
7. I think the Tyler Robinson Foundation is an amazing and forward initiative - so will there be any chance of working with charities overseas, such as Asia? You have lots of supporters and fans here.
We are so excited about the work the charity has done and has planned for this year. We’ve had selfless fans all around the world participating and raising money for these families. We’d love to continue that work in Asia.
8. You guys mentioned before that your second album is actually a New Year's Resolution - but are there any personal or band resolutions yet to be fulfilled?
We are always setting new goals for ourselves. It’s the crazy thing about our band that we have come further than we could have ever dreamed and still feel this insatiable drive to do better and push harder.
9. Smoke + Mirrors explores "world cultures" as a musical item - so, what impressions do you have of Singapore's musical culture?
We haven’t been able to spend enough time in Singapore to really experience enough local music, but there certainly have been Asian influences from our last tour. We had some of our greatest musical experiences last year collaborating with Asian artists from Japan to Korea.
10. Imagine if you guys could have a pet dragon - what would you name it and why?
Falkor the Luckdragon (from the film “The Never Ending Story”), because he was one of the greatest dragons of all time.
11. You guys often say that you are very critical of yourselves. Mind sharing what are some of the criticism you have given each other - or yourselves?
It’s not as much that we are critical of ourselves as that we constantly are pushing ourselves. If you ever feel too comfortable as an artist, you probably are doing something wrong. We try to analyze, maybe too much sometimes, how each show is going.
Photo credit: E! Online
It felt like a dream when Echosmith graced us with their presence and talent on the night of 11 August. And before they rocked the stage on possibly one of the best days of our lives, we got to hang out with the cool kids themselves!
It was a pity that Jamie wasn't with the band as he was with his wife preparing for the arrival of his baby. However, the remaining trio still brought the essence of what Echosmith is really about by defining their sound, sharing why they bring along bottles of Febreze on tour, and revealing some of their pet peeves.
Find out more below!
Jess Glynne is a 25-year-old Brit starlet who is radiating with positivity with the release of her latest single, Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself. This red haired songstress first got her big break when her collaboration with Clean Bandit on the track, Rather Be, became an international smash hit.
The song went on to top the charts and even a collected a Grammy for Best Dance Recording earlier this year. Not bad for a singer to have four #1 singles (Rather Be, Real Love, Hold My Hand, Not Letting Go) and the most prestigious award in music under her belt before even releasing her debut album.
In our interview with Glynne, she talks about being bullied growing up, backpacking around the world, same-sex marriage, and turning a painful break up with her girlfriend into something positive.
1. Your album, I Cry When I Laugh, is an introduction of you as an artist. What can the fans expect?
I Cry When I Laugh is a chapter of my life over the past 3-4 years and it's an album full of hope. It's soulful and upbeat and full of life experiences that anyone can relate to.
2. What have been the challenging aspects of making this album?
I guess at the beginning the most challenging aspect was finding the right producers and the right sound that was me.
3. Your latest single, Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself, is such a motivational music video about overcoming grief and taking risks. What was the inspiration behind the song and the video?
I went through a really hard break up and I was completely heart broken. Whilst I was going through this I was signing my record deal and my dreams were coming true. I remember signing my record deal and going home that same night and crying myself to sleep.
Things changed and I had a lot of work and I was adamant I wouldn't let this defeat me so I chose to take on the positive things in my life and see the light. This song is about not letting the sadness defeat you.
The video is also demonstrating the same message. Seeing the positive in a situation where you could easily beat yourself up about it.
4. What is your favourite lyric from your own songs?
I think one of my favourite lyrics I have written is from Don't Be So Hard On Yourself and they are... "I came here with a broken heart that no one else could see, I drew a smile on my face to paper over me".
5. You wrote the track, Saddest Vanilla, with the amazing Emeli Sande and it talks about bullying. Can you share your experience with us growing up?
When I was growing I think I was always a bit different. I used to get nasty comments about the colour of my hair but nothing that affected me for very long. I was quite an outspoken child and not a lot of my friends were and that set me aside. My teachers weren't very supportive at my school with my music and never let me in to any of the shows and I think that was a form of bullying; it killed my confidence in singing and performing. I just totally walked away from it. All these things were lessons for me though and they opened my eyes to the world of people and if you want something, you have to trust and rely on yourself and not let others be the judge.
6. You’ve won a Grammy before even releasing your debut album! That must have been surreal. How did y’all celebrate your win?
I know! What an insane achievement I still don't quite believe it. I celebrated at Sam Smith's party with my good friend and my manager!
7. You had to undergo vocal surgery last month, and Sam Smith actually recommended Dr. Steven Zeitels. Have you fully recovered? Did Sam gave any advice regarding your vocal cords?
I am pretty much fully recovered now. I still have a bit of vocal training I have to do before I'm fully back but I'm not far off. Sam was amazing giving me advice after his operation and I am so grateful for his recommendation. Dr. Zeitels has completely fixed me and I think my voice is now going to be better than it has ever been.
8. What is the best and worst advice you’ve gotten in regards to the music industry?
To be honest I haven't been given so much advice but what I would say is don't trust everyone with everything and just take it all in your stride.
9. After leaving school, you went traveling for five months. Which countries left the most impact on you and why?
I think Asia and South America left the most impact on me. They were the most beautiful places I had ever been to and the people were just so amazing. Life in these countries is totally different to here, in certain parts it's quite scary cause it's so far from what we know but it was so inspiring.
10. You auditioned for The X-Factor when you were 15 and that left a bitter taste afterwards. Could you share with us what went down?
It didn't leave a bitter taste at all! It just showed me what I wanted and what I didn't want which I am actually very grateful for. Those shows aren't for everyone and it wasn't for me but it's amazing for others and it's such a great opportunity to be given.
11. Fast-forward 10 years later, what has been instrumental in building up your confidence as an artist?
Living and performing, I can imagine have been the most instrumental parts of building up my confidence as an artist. Living through what works and what doesn't and performing again and again, constantly evolving.
12. What are your thoughts on the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in US?
I think it is so amazing that this has finally happened. Love is love, it shouldn't matter who the person is that you love, as long as they make you happy then who is to judge. Love is so special and no one should be denied of that.
Photo credit: Warner Music
The Maine's Jared Monaco Names His Current Celebrity Crush (Last Question Is For You Aspiring Musicians)By Michael Jul 09, 2015
So we got in touch with Jared Monaco from American alternative rock band The Maine and we posed a few fun, interesting and thought-provoking questions to the lead guitarist as we prepare for the well-loved group's anticipated set at TAB when this 5-piece arrives in our little country.
The American Candy Tour is coming to Singapore, so here's our full interview with Jared for you to whet your appetite in your wait for The Maine concert.
In 3 words, describe The Maine right now after 8 years as a band
Still Having Fun.
What has been your favorite part of the American Candy Tour so far?
I really loved watching our fans react to all the new songs in a live setting. It's rare that the new material is the most exciting part of the setlist.
What is your favorite part of recording the album at The Joshua Tree?
I find it incredible that we were able to go somewhere away from home and record a full album using only tools that we personally own. There was a massive sense of accomplishment when we were done.
Also, the views were beautiful. I've lived my entire life in the desert, but Joshua Tree has something different than Arizona. It had a really positive and inspiring vibe.
Favorite song off of American Candy?
I like the tone of the title track "American Candy" and I feel it sums up the spirit of the album really well.
Who is your current celebrity crush?
Dave Grohl. Always Dave Grohl.
What is the band's favorite song to play live currently?
"English Girls" has been getting the best response live. I like to feed off of the emotions of the crowd, and the song usually gets the best reaction. It makes it a little easier to keep the energy up.
If you could collaborate with anyone right now, who would it/they be?
That's a tough one. Collabs can get weird. Like when Paul McCartney did a song with Kanye. Yikes.
CSWS, Black & White, Pioneer, FH, American Candy. In your opinion, which album represents the band's best work?
I'm probably always going to answer that question by saying the most recent album, just because it still feels fresh. Honestly, I'm proud of every album we have made. There are mistakes that I never got to fix, and things I know I could have done better, but I like the finality of the whole thing. Once it's done, it's done.
These days I feel like we have become pretty good at putting out music that sounds as final as we would like it to be.
If you could be in any other band (past or present), who would it be?
What are you guys looking forward to the most when you arrive in Singapore?
I can't wait to be back! It is such an incredible place. Last time we really got to adventure and take in the whole city. The show was hot and sweaty and full of energy. I can't wait to experience that again.
Do you guys really intend to "grow your hair out while you still can till you go bald like an old man"?
I'm going to keep it short. Who knows, maybe I won't miss it so much when it's all gone.
What would you say to a young band/artist who dreams of making it big one day?
You DO NOT have to say yes to everyone. If you have a true vision and are willing to work for it, do not compromise unless it will ultimately put you in an even better place.
The music industry is full of variables, but if you have some talent and are willing to work tirelessly to create opportunities for yourself, you stand a chance. It's not easy work, but the results are often worth it.
Tickets are still on sale for The Maine Live In Singapore so get yours if you haven't! See you at Neverland II @ St James Powerhouse on August 15!
Photo credit: Big Picnic
Joshua Dun, best known for his formidable drumming presence as one half of Twenty One Pilots, sounds like a pretty easy-going guy. In between grappling with the debilitating effects of the band's Australian descent and finalising a music video, the aerodynamic percussionist took time to speak with Spin or Bin Music about the success of their latest record, Blurryface, and more.
Dun is genuinely perplexed both at the gravity attached to Blurryface's newfound number one status and the multiple instances our phone call got cut mid-answer. “I think I was rambling on that,” he hastily laughs, making sure his replies are fully-formed.
Quick to qualify any sweeping statements made, Dun is candid is his exposition, constantly making reference to his counterpart Tyler Joseph and eager to offer up both opinions and personal anecdotes.
How does it feel to have put out a number one record?
I feel like we’re always trying to get better and push ourselves musically and come up with new ideas. Hopefully do something better than we’ve done before – that’s what we really set out to do with this record. Just recently, we were number one on the Billboard charts which was crazy so I think for us it was kind of – I don’t know; during the writing process, even after recording and during that whole crazy period of when the album’s done being recorded and when it’s released for everyone to listen to, there was this weird feeling of “I hope people like it. I hope it’s good.” So then the album came out and within the first week, became number one in the US. We didn’t really know what it meant first of all, because we never really paid attention to numbers, the charts or anything. But more people we talked were asking us about it, bringing it up and congratulating us so we realised it was a bigger deal than we thought. For me, what I realised was that it meant that there was enough people who were invested enough to buy into this idea of an entire album and sort of resonate with what this is. It was really cool to me and it was exciting that there were a lot of people on board.
Where were you when you heard the news?
I think we were playing a show somewhere and I remember Tyler and I both got this email at the same time and we looked at each other and were like, “Oh my gosh!” Like I said we didn’t really know what it mean and we’re like “What… What is this? But it seems really cool.” So we were both confused and really excited about it.
I saw a picture of you with your face all bloodied up for an upcoming music video. Rumour has it that you guys filmed for Lane Boy – what can you tell us about it, what were the inspirations behind it?
I’m not sure where that photo came from but I think the one where my face is all kind of bloody was actually for the Fairly Local video and we kinda had this idea for sort of a different ending that didn’t totally play out to how we wanted it to. We did recently shoot a video for Lane Boy and Tyler and I were just sitting in the hotel room earlier approving the video. I’m actually really excited for it because half of it is from a festival [Bunbury] we did in Cincinnati, Ohio which y’know is an hour and a half away from our hometown. From the very beginning of what we’ve been doing it’s really been about the live show and the people at the live show, so it was really cool to utilise the people who came to be a part of our show in Cincinnati and then turn it into a music video. The initial concept of the video stems from doing something at that festival and then the narrative came after that. I would say look out for that because we’ll probably put it up pretty soon.
Blurryface the character has his own Twitter account, caused a substantial amount of buzz and reportedly leaked Blurryface himself. How did you guys come up with such an ingenious marketing plot and what are some of your favourite fan theories?
Blurryface, going back to the beginning, is this concept that personifies insecurities, doubt and the potential fear of failure which we all deal with. When Tyler and I both think of this idea of Blurryface, what’s exciting for us is that it has become a very specific thing to us but it also represents something so much more general and broad to a larger group of people, which I think is great. I started reading a lot of the theories and there’s so many of them. Honestly, I can’t say which ones of them are true or false because I think the important thing within coming up with a theory is that there can totally be truth to all them. I think even when you relate it to music – for example, if I were to play you any song I’ve been listening to lately and then say, “What does this mean to you?” I think you can draw a completely different meaning for yourself than I have. What’s so cool about music is that people can come up with a meaning for themselves related to their own lives in totally different ways. But then what’s exciting for us is playing shows and realising that every individual in that room probably has different feeling and thoughts for each song than the person next to them. At the same time, it draws people together in such a unique and amazing way that I’ve never even seen before; I think that’s the power of music. I’ve even studied it and written papers on it about how there’s healing properties to music and there’s therapy involved and that’s how I look at it for myself – every show that I play is like therapy for me.
Tyler has talked about the reggae flavour of this record; how he was inspired by a night in Amsterdam and his attraction to how the genre “gives [him] room to say things and take the sing where [he] wants it to go,” (Alternative Press #316) – was there anything in particular that influenced you sonically that translated into Blurryface?
I’m constant either showing Tyler a new song or artist and he’s constantly showing me something new and both of us grew up listening to tons of different kinds of music. Yeah, that night in Amsterdam we both walked into that room and you could tell that it was an authentic reggae band, inspiring the both of us. But I don’t know – I think the most inspiring thing along the way was just the fact that pretty much this entire album was written on the road. As we played more and more shows in different countries or different cities, every room kinda has its own feel and takes on a creature of its own. So as we progressed in playing shows and even in the writing process, I think it’s us realising (even feeling out the set; which songs comes after the next), “What could be best after this song that we haven’t written yet?” We were trying to write the song that’s perfect for our set list and what sort of atmosphere could be created in that live show.
I think it’s really neat how you guys present music to your fans by saying it’s “[their] album, [their] tour,” it adds a sense of personal possession to the art you’re sharing with them. But is the line drawn at piracy or do you feel that it doesn’t matter how people consume it? Some people like Taylor Swift think we should pay for what we value.
In light of such a public stance against streaming – what I’ll say is that in my opinion, five years ago, these streaming services didn’t exist but at the same time, even when I was in high school, there were other services that existed which didn’t involve paying at all. Whether it’s downloading off an application on your computer or torrenting an album-
Exactly! Yeah I’ll admit I’ve been part of illegally downloading in my past as well but what I think with Spotify and now, Apple Music that provide streaming for a price – I really think it’s a step in the right direction as far as how artistes are paid. My own opinion is that I love playing music and I love when people hear the music and most importantly when they resonate with it. For me, I don’t really care too much how they get it. If somebody comes to a show, likes it and buys a CD then burns 20 copies and gives them to their friends – I’m totally fine with that. There are companies who are starting to realise that we’re not in the same age where you had no option but to buy a vinyl record or even a typical CD but now there so many other options. I think the music industry in general is realising that and trying to find a way to make it more fair not only for artistes but writers, producers, engineers, labels and anybody who’ve put work into releasing an album. I’m in support of some the new ideas to move this whole digital music thing forward. I wouldn’t say that we’re at the final destination where it can be, but I think there are a lot of creative people who’re at the forefront of where this thing’s heading who can get it to a really good place for artistes and all the people who deserve some payment for the work that they do. But with all that said, I believe – and this is coming from me, who is a fan of my own band – I just want as many people as possible to hear the music.
Tyler’s mother has publicly aired her hate for his climbing. Do your parents have any qualms about you back-flipping off a piano or drumming precariously atop a sea of people?
Both Tyler and I grew up in very non-musical families – there has been no music or performance background. It’s been interesting on many levels as this thing has progressed forward and the ideas that Tyler and I have come up with to try and gain people’s attention from the beginning. I used to play in a gorilla costume! We’d play in bars for like 5 to 10 people and half of them are watching a sports game at the bar and our whole idea was that we just wanna try to make fans in whatever way that we can. So I think that’s developed over the years and in some way, will always be our mentality. Yeah Tyler’s mum gets real upset when he climbs stuff but y’know, she’s coming from a mother’s standpoint and not kind of an “Oh yeah, you should try to win over the crowd!” standpoint. My parents come from the same standpoint too, they come to shows and they tell me they get so nervous every time I do a backflip off a piano or something else. I also feel very fortunate to have the parents that I do who are so supportive and let me play drums in their basement when I was fourteen years old. I would also say that any parent who allows their child to play drums deserves some kind of medal because it’s kind of a loss to take as a home owner!
I saw the list of regulations you had to abide by in order for you to play drums.
Yeah! I used to walk up to the local music store and play their electronic drums and then finally when I convinced my parents to let me buy drums, that was kind of the contract they came up with. That’s awesome that you saw that; that was absolutely a real thing that we agreed upon to allow me to get my own set of drums at my house.
[It was at this point when the conversation was abruptly broken off for the third time. We didn’t even get to say thanks.]
Spin or Bin Music is proud to be the Official Music Blog for the Twenty One Pilots Blurryface World Tour 2015!
Date : 16 July 2015, Thursday
Venue : Suntec Convention Centre, Hall 401-402
Ticket Prices: $98 (standard), $108 (at the door)
Photo credit: Jabari Jacobs