Interview: Max Chapman and His Musical Journey

319639_310100862432208_397297309_nEnglish DJ, Max Chapman, has been making a name for himself in underground music. His first debut track aired on the Pete Tong show on BBC Radio 1, and since then, Chapman has been making and releasing a variety of music, from electronic club music to house.

“When I was about 20, I visited my friend’s house and his house-mate had music coming out from his room. It was crystal clear and really subby, which is what caught my attention, so I had to go take a look. At first I thought he was mixing, but to my surprise, he had a little studio in his bedroom. He had a little midi keyword, some monitors and a little midi drum pad. When I asked what it all was, I couldn’t believe he was making music in his bedroom,” says Chapman.

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As of today, Chapman has been touring a lot and playing in different clubs around the world. He’s been playing in Mexico, United States, South America, Australia, and everywhere in Europe, including the UK. “I am so busy! I’ve never had so many gigs, and I’m really excited for this year. I have a residency at Sankeys in Ibiza for Magna Carta, which is a massive London-based brand and also gigs all up and down the country and in every corner of the globe,” he says. “There’s a lot of new music too, I have 3 EPs coming out in the next few months and different remixes coming out throughout the year.”

Chabe: Can you talk a little bit more about your record label? How and when did you start Resonance Records?

Max Chapman: Resonance Records opened in March 2012, started by me and two friends. It started as a platform where we would release our music, as the industry was tough. It wasn’t long before we went our separate ways, and it’s now just me in control of the label, although we are still very close. The first few releases were so successful that we were getting regular support and features from Beatport, and it basically snowballed from there. Now we have a bunch of artists that are up there with the best, and we’re still rapidly growing. The next few releases are absolutely huge!

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Even though Chapman plays all types of music genres his favorite ones to play are between tech house and house. “…but if I had to choose, it would be tech house. I like to play tracks from artists like Waff, Leftwing & Kody, Dale Howard, Detlef, and that sort of vibe,” he says. However, he does like to listen to everything, and one of his favorite artists at the moment is Detlef. “His stuff is sick!,” remarks Chapman.

You can find Chapman in different clubs around the world: The Warehouse Project, Space, Fabric, Pacha, Ministry of Sound, and many more. Max Chapman’s new EP from Lost Records is out now! For more info on Chapman, visit his website here.

Interview: DJ Till Von Sein

1385649_10151674296452676_1907041851_nBorn in Berlin, DJ Till von Sein took some time off his busy schedule to answer some questions for ChabeChrod Music Blog. Von Sein has had a lot of success djing around the world and I got some sneak peeks of what he has planned for 2015.

Von Sein started making music at a young age, and after he learned what djing was all about he knew he wanted to do it. “I always liked the idea of djing ever since I first saw it in my early teens, but never really had the money to buy a proper set up,” he says. “…when I had my first job that was the first thing I did; that was around 1998 or so.”

Since then, Von Sein has continued his journey as a DJ and he has a lot planned for this year, which involves his second album. “I just finished it and it’s coming out on SUOL –an independent Berlin based record label– 10993405_10152560967427676_844659307223381011_nin May. So that’s my main focus right now… this also includes a heavy touring schedule taking me all around the world,” he says. Von Sein started the year off by playing in South Africa, China, Mexico, U.S., Spain and many others. “I have a four week tour in the U.S. and Central America before my album tour kicks off in Europe,” he reveals.

So, aside from having amazing djing skills, Von Sein is also part of Clique Bookings. The agency started in Paris and is now based in Berlin working with artists all over Europe, such as: Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Lebanon, Belgium, and the UK. “Clique is an agency one of my best friends started 10 years ago. I joined it seven years ago and I’m30262_397546882675_5488298_n still stoked on how far we made it; I love my job,” Von Sein says. “I can’t really tell what I like more, I mean djing is still maybe the best for me, but I always need that balance in my life between working with music and still having that office life.”

I also got to talk to Von Sein about his music interests. “I listen to a lot of rap and soul/R&B music. Right now I listen to the selection radio show every week and a lot of LA Funk music like Dam Funk, Brian Ellis, etc.,” he says. “And of course always some D’Angelo, Sade, Marvin and well, the list is endless.”

Melissa Brooks and The Aquadolls Release New Music Video

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The Aquadolls’ “Sinus Infection” music video is out now! I had a brief interview with Melissa Brooks to talk a little bit about this video and the song, and this is what she had to say:

Who came up with the idea for the Sinus Infection music video?

I wanted to close out the chapter of Stoked On You with a nightmarish video that broadcasts my darker side with the use of a black and white camera, haze, dancing, and rock and roll with the full band!

How does the music video tie into the song?

This video is more of a performance video, but the song itself is meant to be creepy and evil with a touch of sensuality. The lyrics “You were a dream, but not a good one” start off the video in a hazy dream-like manner, and the video continues to be going between reality and the unconscious mind.

How did you come to direct the video?

This was the first video that we worked with an outside crew, and it couldn’t have worked out any better! We were blessed to have the videotumblr_nkep8iWupN1raar9ro1_540 directed by Susie Francis, who is a genius. She had the really cool vision for the video, and I danced and flipped my hair a zillion times and had a great time! True story, but I actually head-banged so hard for a day straight that I couldn’t move my neck two days after filming haha. ROCK AND ROLL! xx Hope you enjoy the video!

The Aquadolls will aslo be performing at SXSW: Here’s their schedule

Spencer Ludwig Talks New Projects

spencer 4While many recognize him as the amazing, talented  trumpet player from Capital Cities, Spencer Ludwig has a lot more going on. I got the incredible opportunity to interview him and talk more in-depth about his future plans and new projects. We talked everything from working together with his band mate, Ryan Merchant to his personal life and his family, including his girlfriend who he adores. There are many exciting things happening right now with Ludwig’s career that are sure to leave you intrigued. Plus, he also gives some pretty great tips to others trying to move forward in the music industry. Here’s what Ludwig had to say:

So how and when did you start playing the trumpet? When did you become such an incredible trumpet player?

I started playing trumpet after I discovered the great Miles Davis when I was 17 years old. I was determined to be able to musically communicate on his level of sophistication and coolness. At the time I was going to be a senior in high school and I wasn’t very focused. I decided to use the trumpet as my ticket into college. I taught myself, recorded an audition CD and applied to the one and only school I was hoping to get into to study jazz, which was CalArts. Somehow I got accepted with a full scholarship, which is where I studied jazz for four years from 2009-2013. Since I needed to support myself during that time I taught trumpet to elementary school students and gigged and rehearsed with different local LA bands on a nightly basis. I ended up getting pretty deep into both the teaching and the LA gigging worlds. Capital Cities was just one of my ‘gigs’ – when things took off with them is when the next chapter of my life began.

How has being part of Capital Cities changed your life?

Before Capital Cities I had never thought of performing in front of huge crowds or dancing and rocking out with my horn as a goal. I was focused on jazz and making ends meet in the LA music scene.10899568_768227849936236_715257175_n As things with Capital Cities progressed I started to embrace what it meant to be a trumpet player in a indie/electro/pop band. My influence had expanded beyond comprehension and to this day it still grows. My goal has always been to send truth, spirituality and positivity through my music and performances and to bring a deep appreciation to the trumpet — Capital Cities amplified my ability to do so beyond what I could have ever imagined. Now because of Capital Cities I have amazing platform of knowledge and experience to work from. I can also thank Capital Cities for showing me the world. You don’t grow up thinking that you’ll play trumpet and see the world but over the last three years I’ve been lucky enough to do so at least three times.

Now that you’ve transitioned from playing the trumpet to also having your own project as a singer and songwriter, what are your goals for spencer 3this new phase? What are your feelings on it?

I’ve always been a singer and a songwriter. I was a lead singer, songwriter and guitar player in my 8th grade rock band “The Hollow Dolls.” When you get older and you’re also playing music to survive you don’t always have the luxury to do what you musically want to. Now that Capital Cities is taking some time off to work on the second album I’m using this time wisely to work on my own songs and collaborations. I plan to put out a solo record as soon as possible.

Could you talk a little bit about HISTORY? What are its future plans?

HISTORY is my side project with my friend and Capital Cities band mate, Ryan Merchant. We ended up writing a bunch of songs on the road and “History” was the one we finished first and felt compelled to share with the world. I became good friends with RAC after SWSW 2014 so when we were looking for a producer to take “History” to the next level I thought Andre would be perfect – and he was! It was very exciting for me to release this into the world since it was my first piece of original music that featured my vocals since my 8th grade rock band. Other than continuing to write and release music there are no specific plans for HISTORY.

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How is working with Ryan Merchant? Why did you guys decide to start HISTORY and how is it different from working together in Capital Cities?

After traveling the world together and basically living together for the last four years I can say that Ryan along with the rest of the guys are like family. Me and Ryan have a really great friendship outside of the band so working together on music comes very naturally. We have a similar style and desire to write about our feelings, which is very different from the vibe of the Capital Cities music. I think because of our closeness it’s easier to speak about more personal subjects. As Capital Cities we are always in tour mode but with HISTORY it’s writing mode – that’s how it’s different.

I know you also have the Ludwig & Stiegler Co. going on. How long have you been part of this group?

The Ludwig & Stiegler Co. started in January 2014. It’s been a blast since day one in Manila! I improvise over fun new-disco and deep house music that my buddy DJ Jason Stiegler spins. It’s a really fun low pressure project. We mainly do corporate events but someday we hope to bring in some original music and turn it into a bigger thing. For now it’s just another way to play music with friends for fun. I also usually invite friends Channing C. Holmes of Capital Cities to play drums, Justefan to play vibraphone and James King of Fitz and the Tantrums to play sax! They are all beasts.

I’m sure you’re a busy musician. How do you balance your work life with your personal life?

I work 24/7 but when I’m home in NYC with my girlfriend Diana I try to ignore my phone and computer as much as possible. Since we spend so much spencer 2time apart I really try to make being with her as much about her as possible. She means everything to me and has been a huge support to me since I was 15! Between her and my music there isn’t much time for play but I make a huge effort to keep in touch with friends. I’ve made amazing friendships around the world over the years that I intend to keep forever. Family is also extremely important to me. I try to speak to my parents a few times a day at least. I also try to make it to LA at least once a month  – I’m a mama’s boy at heart.

What musicians have inspired you throughout your life?

Miles Davis got me hooked on the trumpet. Mars Volta inspired me to get started with writing and performing. Keebody made me want to speak the language of music and make everything I play funky and complex. Chet Baker influenced me to have a sweet tone and to play melodically. Michael Jackson pushed me hard every day – I want to be the trumpet playing version of MJ. Stevie Wonder is my favorite soloist. I love Phoenix and Debussy and Daft Punk and pretty much everything out of France. I love Balkan music, I love Salsa and Iove Brazilian music. RAC is a recent major inspiration – he puts out more quality content than any musician out there. Capital Cities had a huge influence on my songwriting too. I love deep house. I love all the oldies between the 40’s – 90’s. I love hip hop too. Niles Rodgers and Pharrell are also major influences.

Would you say you’ve accomplished your goals as a musician? What advice would you give others who are also trying to make it in the music industry?

Every day is a series of finishing some goals and starting others. I’m proud of what I’ve done so far yet I’m eager to accomplish so much more. As far as I’m concerned I’ve only just begun to accomplish what I am truly capable of. I will never be totally satisfied. I am always pushing myself to grow and to improve. I would advise young musicians to never give up and to 11049241_1411087562527286_726226863_ncollaborate with as many people as possible because you never know what will come of the music you make. Never stop making art. It doesn’t matter if music becomes your profession or not just continue to push yourself to improve so that you can unlock one of the most universally beautifully languages in the world and to be able to speak it with whoever crosses your path.

Throwback to SXSW’13 when I met both Spencer Ludwig and Ryan Mercant:

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Interview: Pop Singer Neyva Talks New Music

IMG_7789 Pop singer-songwriter from Southern California, Neyva, recently began sharing her music. Even though she just began putting her own music out for the public to hear, she has always been surrounded by it. “I started making music about six months ago during the summer, but I’ve always been a musician,” she says. “I’m a bassist/guitarist, but primarily a bassist since I was 12 and a singer since I was 14.”

Many musicians start their journey with some type of inspiration; for Neyva they were female artisIMG_8129ts. “Female artists are what empowered me to start making music, as well as real life experiences, which led me to writing lyrics,” she said. Some of her favorite female artists include: Charli XCX, Sky Ferreira, Gwen Stefani/No Doubt, HAIM, The Runaways, and Lorde. When asked to describe her inspirations Neyva says they are “ in general, kick-ass women in the music industry, thoughts in my head and people surrounding me.”

The idea of touring the world is also one of the things that keeps NeyvaIMG_7935 going and keeps her inspired in her musical career. She sees herself touring in many places as she can and hopefully one day, worldwide. “I’d love to play in London or Tokyo. I’ve never been to either of those places and they both fascinate me,” she says. Neyva has recently made her first music video –Technicolor–  with help of the Aquadolls. I wish her the best of luck with her musical career and hopefully we’ll be listening to her music on the radio some day. Make sure to check her out!  

NEYVA – Technicolor (Music Video)

Tumblr:www.neyvamusic.tumblr.com

Instagram: @neyvamusic

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/neyvamusic

Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/neyvamusic

Twitter: www.twitter.com/neyvamusic

Can Maroon 5 Crash My Wedding?

So I’m pretty sure you’ve already heard about Maroon 5’s brilliant idea of crashing real weddings for their ‘Sugar’ music video. How awesome does that sound? I wish I had known sooner and I might have made up a fake wedding just to meet this incredible band and of course the beautiful Adam Levine.

Just by looking at the reaction of the bride and groom you can see how fun and exciting it must have been for them. Even the guests were having the time of their lives. This was definitely a cool idea for Maroon 5 to do. There is a never a dull moment with this band.

I’m dying to go see them here in Dallas. They’ll be performing at the American Airlines Center on February 16th. If you have the opportunity to go, don’t let it pass.

Here’s the video:

Interview: Melissa Brooks from The Aquadolls

Singer10361508_606755306102825_7789317122447005558_n-songwriter Melissa Brooks has come a long way starting with the idea of being in an all-girl punk band in high school to now being the only girl in an all-male band. Brooks, together with her guitarist “and muse” Ryan Frailich, Josh and Colin all form part of the psychedelic surf punk band, “The Aquadolls”.

“I had been writing music all my life, but never recorded anything or shared my music with anyone, so when I met my guitarist Ryan1902724_600579230053766_987624803638429956_n Frailich, he helped record all of my early demos and I put them online as ‘The Aquadolls’,” said Brooks. “Once people started listening to my music and I started getting offers to play shows, I was like ‘Oh crap, I need to actually get a band together’,” she continued.

So what inspired the name of the band? Brooks explained how it was made up by an old friend of hers. “The name just stuck. That’s when I was trying to make the all-girl band thing happen, which is funny, cuz my bandmates are boys. I guess I’m the doll,” she said.

Kate Nash In Concert - San Francisco, CAThere have also been rumors that Brooks will no longer work under the band name “The Aquadolls”.  She will be transitioning as a solo artist and she goes into details about it: “The Aquadolls is essentially my solo project already, since I do all of the writing. The name is misleading, and for my next album I’m going under my own name because it seems silly for me to hide behind a band name when it’s my music!” said Brooks.”I’m still playing shows as The Aquadolls and our studio album ‘Stoked On You’ is seeing an official release December 2nd! she continued.

How will Brooks be different from The Aquadolls? “I’m focusing more on expressing myself through lyrics. The Aquadolls is more of my silly 10646747_645650952217043_535551748164374145_nside, not really to be taken too seriously,” Brooks said. She continued by explaining her new album and how it will be more reflective of herself and all the things she’s been going through in her life. “It’s really expressive and really beautiful, yet still has all of the same fun vibe as the older stuff,” she concluded.

What can fans expect from your upcoming work? “Wold domination!! I want this new music to reach as many people as possible, as it has more of an accessible sound and I feel like a lot of people could relate to the thing I’m singing about”. Brooks further continued, “…two demos that I put online a while back are going to be on the album, including ‘Teen Dream’ and ‘I Hate School’. I am starting to play some new songs at my shows as well, tumblr_nd72m0pY1u1raar9ro1_400and it’s been seriously fun”.

I concluded the interview by asking Brooks some personal questions about her music preference. We all know everyone loves learning about the artists our favorite artists admire. Brooks shared  she loved Gwen Stefani, Courtney Love, and Grimes. Lately she’s also been listening to Charli XCX when not working on her own music.

 

 

Make sure to go like both Melissa Brooks and The Aquadolls  on Facebook. And also follow both their Twitter accounts: Melissa Brooks and The Aquadolls.