Contributor Rema LaTorre recently talked with Joe Settinery about his new song "Batman Cries" and much more! Read it HERE
By: Rema LaTorre
Rich vocals might be the best way to describe the music Joe Settineri brings. His latest single and music video "Batman Cries" takes that power and reaches out to all who struggle to overcome times of doubt and sorrow with the hope that they can overcome.
Do you feel that you are a latecomer to the music scene or does pop and adult contemporary have a wider window on their timeline of being an artist?
JPS: Yep. I’ve actually been at this for quite a while, but I do feel a little like a latecomer at times – but only for a short hot minute, and then I move on to creating my own journey.
Have you always written and performed this type of work?
JPS: Yes, I would say so -- I have always written similar types of songs with a similar emotive subjective matter, but I would say my sound has definitely progressed and changed over the years. I finally feel like my sound is my sound if that makes sense.
Your voice carries a strong vocal presence, were you involved in the stage singing as well?
JPS: Ha! Yes. Guilty as charged – here and there.
Can you share with us all the various people and their contributing talents to this song?
JPS: It was small but mighty crew and I love them all! Mike Krompass produced the song and also brings his crazy guitar skills to the picture. Scott Westervelt plays on it as well and he’s quite possibly the best piano player I’ve ever worked with. Ashley Clark added his trademark strings to the song at the end, and the whole thing just came alive.
"Batman Cries" is a song that many can identify with.
Did you write this particular song, and what drew you to the character Batman?
JPS: Yes – I wrote it. The song concept was perfect for Batman once I got started. The concept was about the strongest among us falling and trying to get back up. Of all the superheroes out there, I just felt like Batman had the toughest exterior emotionally and would be the least likely to crumble. What if he broke down? Let the debating begin.
Has the pop culture world resonated with this well?
JPS: It’s definitely been a mixed reaction across the board, but all in all I would say yes. It has sparked a conversation amongst lots of passionate people and I love that. I have also gotten a lot of messages from people everywhere who really connected with this song and that makes it all worth it.
Obviously, your song is doing well on streaming, your numbers are strong. That must feel pretty satisfying.
JPS: Thanks. Yes, It does feel good. I’m super happy that people are listening.
Previously this year you had released "Hello Goodbye" and now "Batman Cries" with each release what is your drive towards your ultimate goals for your music Joe?
JPS: My main goal is to create music that people want to hear and that people can connect with. We have another song (Oxygen) coming out in early 2019 and I’m excited to let people hear a different side of me. I’m just trying to keep the ball moving forward – musically.
As both of your releases seem to deal with things we all identify with, how can the public use this particular song "Batman Cries" to maybe help themselves or another person?
JPS: This song is all about examining our feelings when the strongest people in our lives (ourselves included) are down and out. Even the strongest people need a hand to get back up sometimes. It’s ok to need help. So, I think keeping that in mind while we observe the world around us … and within us … is really important. What if we simply lowered our expectations of those around us? And even more importantly, maybe we should lower our expectations of ourselves – just a little bit.
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel and check out Official Lyric Videos like this one from StitchedApart
LA Rock band and our friends Joyous Wolf drops their Official Video for the classic "Mississippi Queen". Check them out on the remaining dates of their tour - WATCH
Chicago based metal band Aftermath as dropped their official lyric video for "Smash Reset Control" off of their upcoming LP There Is Something Wrong- LISTEN HERE
Check out our CEO Evan J. Thomas on Comcast Community Network! Also SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube Channel and see ALL we offer!
We recently interviewed Chip & The Chargeups as we discussed their creative mashup of Green Day/ Poison songs "Good Riddence, Fallen Angel" and MORE!
By: Micheale Janson
Running at full megaton speed, Chip & The Charge Ups are amped and ready to rock! A band that takes their passion for creating strong melodies and rocking them out. They know how to have fun too while creating their sound.
Zapping the rock n roll world with their latest single/music video/mashup Chip & The Charge Ups are set to bring Pittsburgh, Pa to your world!
Micheale Janson: Thanks for taking the time out! Please start out by introducing yourselves.
CHIP DIMONICK: I sing most of the lead vocals and play guitar in Chip & The Charge Ups.
MALEENA DOMINICK: I play bass and do a little singing for Chip & The Charge Ups.
JEFF DIPERNA: I play drums and sing backing vocals for Chip & The Charge Ups
CHRIS BOWERS: I play guitar. I joined the band back in March.
MJ: What is the music scene like there in Pittsburgh?
CHIP DIMONICK: The Pittsburgh music scene has improved tremendously since I started playing regularly in 2005. We have some amazing music festivals that have been started and grown in the past few years. They have really helped push homegrown music to the mainstream. Pittsburgh radio is playing a greater variety of local music than ever. There are plenty of opportunities for Pittsburgh bands to open for national acts. And, most importantly, the quality of the bands themselves has gotten pretty darn good! So, while I would rate the Pittsburgh music scene as "great," I still think we have a ways to go in the media, including radio. In some ways, there are media outlets who have a gatekeeper mentality that keep everyone but their friends out of the spotlight. In other ways, Pittsburgh's tight-knit community heritage has resulted in an "equal exposure for everyone" approach that has lumped the best music in with mediocre music, making it more difficult for fans to discover some of the more interesting music out there. I think that, as a city, we are finding our way on the path to becoming a great music city and I'm extremely proud of the progress we've made!
MJ: Do you get a sense that the social and economic climate drives the music being created everywhere?
CHIP DIMONICK: Yes and no. In some ways, it doesn't. Think about how tough it is to make money as an original music act these days, now that streaming has largely replaced physical music sales. And combine that with the fact that the Internet has allowed everyone to get their music out there. There's an economic environment of maximum competition for minimum money. Yet, musicians are still pursuing music! That means that people are playing for passion, not for money. But, some people do want to make money with music. I can think of several rockers who are now playing country music. And I can't help but conclude that it's because they simply want to make a living as a musician, because they were much better rockers than they are country artists. But, I guess there is still a little money in country, so they'll do whatever it takes to have that status of making money as a musician. So, there is definitely an economic effect on the music being created, but I don't think it totally dominates every musician's creative decisions.
MJ: It takes a great deal of practice to become an excellent musician. How many hours a week do each of you put into your instruments?
MALEENA DOMINICK: I sing in the honors choir and concert choir at my school, as well as play viola in the honors orchestra. Taking all that into account, as well as the time spent playing bass in Chip and the Charge Ups, I typically spend about 19 hours a week learning and practicing music.
CHRIS BOWERS: I’m a firm believer in taking time out of my day to improve my musicianship. I typically practice two hours every night. My practice routine consists of scales, ear training, music theory, learning new chords, improvisation, technique, and finger dexterity.
JEFF DIPERNA: Well, this might shock many of you. I do the majority of my practicing and learning in my car while commuting to and from work or on road trips. I enjoy studying whatever music I’m tasked to learn so I find it best to do it in my car where it’s just me. I’m able to focus on the material a lot more and, if necessary, replay portions of the material over and over so I can tighten things up. Of course, once I have it down I put it to the drum kit. Other than that, I’m rehearsing in two bands with two rehearsals per week so I get a good five to six hours per week bashing the skins.
CHIP DIMONICK: Even though I "do music full-time," it actually involves a lot of time working on the "business" side of the "music business": marketing, PR, booking shows, etc. I would say that I spend less than half of my work week on actually working on my instrument.
MJ: This mashup brought together two opposing genres really, punk and hair... was it a challenge to blend?
CHIP DIMONICK: Blending the genres wasn't much of a challenge. Actually, in all of the mashups I've composed, that's the easy part!
MJ: What process did you all go through to create the song from beginning to end?
CHIP DIMONICK: The tougher parts of the process involve finding songs that fit together, making decisions on what parts should be where, and then actually executing the recording of the song to the level of detail necessary to make it mind-blowing.
MJ: Where did the filming of the video happen?
CHIP DIMONICK: We filmed the video in three locations. The performance scenes, glass-throwing scene, and kick-to-the-lower-abdominal-area scene were filmed at the Rex Theater in Pittsburgh. The bus scenes were filmed at the Westmoreland Transit bus maintenance garage about an hour outside of Pittsburgh. And the other scenes were filmed in and around my house.
MJ: The wigs are great! It looks like an 80's Twisted Sister video... inspiration?
CHIP DIMONICK: I loved Twisted Sister's early videos! But the inspiration was definitely from the original Poison "Fallen Angel" video. We tried to match the hair as closely as possible. We even had a professional hair stylist work on Jeff's wig to get it as close to Rikki Rockett's poof as possible!
MJ: Of course, Chip & The Charge Ups do other types of music, didn't you all have an album come out this year? Talk about the music from it.
CHIP DIMONICK: Yes, we released our debut album, "Flow of the Current, Part I," in September. I think that the songs on the album are pretty diverse: "Front Row" is clearly in the vein of The Ramones, "The Ol' Two Niner" hints at metal, "Shine Again" has a contemporary inspirational vibe, and so on. But, the common thread is a power pop element that drives energy throughout the entire album.
MJ: What vibe would you say it put out to the scene?
CHIP DIMONICK: We aim for all of our songs to be catchy. It doesn't matter if we're doing a ballad or going for a reckless punk feel. We want all of our songs to be the type of songs that you'll be able to sing from memory an hour or a day later. I think that enables us to hook fans in no matter what genre a particular song leans toward and I think that is the vibe that people on the scene are getting as we try to grow recognition of Chip & The Charge Ups.
MJ: Looking back at your accomplishments this year- anything stand out to each band member as to what you have done musically?
MALEENA DOMINICK: One thing that stood out to me this year alone, was getting to be in the music video we recorded for our song “Good Riddance, Fallen Angel.” It was so much fun, even though it was just one song, getting to run around the stage for hours, performing and getting to perform in front of a camera. The end product of the music video was so amazing, and the whole process of getting to be the lead actress in it was a thrilling experience.
JEFF DIPERNA: I guess what stands out the most for me as a musician “musically” would be the new challenges in early 2018 to learn a complete album, within a very small time frame, written by other musicians and performing that material in front of live audiences within just a few months. I would say for myself I’ve accepted that challenge and conquered it.
That album would be Chip & The Charge Ups first album “Flow of The Current, Part I” and, as a band, we not only conquered this together and grew strong as a Pittsburgh outfit in just eight months, we’re going to conquer so much more in the days ahead. I mean, we truly hit the ground running with this. I’ve also changed my stage presence and appearance during shows which I’m having a ton of fun with. Chip just has that vibe about him which gets us all …..well…..charged up! This entire project has been full of accomplishments and I’m really looking forward to another year.
CHRIS BOWERS: I feel accomplished with our sold out CD Release Party, Green Day/Poison mashup music video, and every live performance we’ve done up to this point. It’s crazy to believe that the band kick-started in April. I’ve definitely learned a lot over the past couple of months.
CHIP DIMONICK: The combination of releasing the album then quickly translating those songs into an energetic live show really stands out to me as a major accomplishment. We are only getting started and I am charged up to continually work on our live performances so that they can get increasingly better. I am really encouraged by the open-mindedness of us as a band. With that open-mindedness, there are no barriers to really putting on a live show that stands out and gets better each and every time we set foot on a stage.
We recently talked to the Phoenix based rock band After The Calm as we discussed their new song and video "Stuck On Repeat" among other topics - READ IT HERE
Rising from the southwest desert heat and blazing across the globe, After The Calm is sending out their latest single/video "Stuck ON Repeat
Micheale Janson: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with us. Please start by introducing yourselves.
David Nunez - “My name is David Nunez and I play lead guitar. I also do most of the design work for the band.”
Jonathan Habermacher - “I am Jonathan or Jon, and I play guitar in After the Calm. I enjoy going out to shows and hanging out with friends.”
Logan Miracle - “Logan and I sing.”
Henry Cota- “Hi I'm Henry, bassist and somewhat of a background vocalist.”
Kody Rattler - “My name is Kody, I play the drums.”
MJ: What is the music scene like there in Phoenix?
David Nunez - “It’s been blossoming. There have been new music venues popping up like crazy. The talent here is crazy so expect great things from Phoenix, AZ.”
Henry Cota- Compared to years ago, the scene has really come together. In the past, it was the wild west, everyone out for themselves. Currently, there are so many talented bands and we all network in some capacity makes playing gigs really enjoyable.”
Logan Miracle - “I really enjoy a lot of the people I've met over the few years we've been playing. Obviously, there is a bad apple in every bunch. But a lot of bands here are very supportive of one another.”
Jonathan Habermacher - “It is great! We have made some great band friends and the past few years more bands have been supporting each other instead of just looking out for themselves.”
Kody Rattler - “How I imagine every scene is: People are all looking for the same thing; some are more supportive than others. Being genuine to yourself and others is the best thing you can do.”
MJ: Do you get a sense that the social and economic climate drives the music being created everywhere?
Henry Cota- “Some bands yes, they write music solely with the purpose of sharing their message about the climate. Dont hear too much from artist recently, not much Rage Against The Machine bands anymore.”
David Nunez - “I think it’s a huge factor. So many hits throughout the years are because people needed a common voice and music gave it to them. We write from the heart and the experiences we’ve gone through. Being poor, rich, depressed, or happy create a ripple effect which is felt in every note.”
Jonathan Habermacher - “Every band writes for different reasons and are motivated by different things. A lot of bands to write based on politics and take stances.”
Logan Miracle - “Music is an art. Art is for you as the artist to create what you feel right then. You capture it, and hopefully one person can see it and appreciate it.”
Kody Rattler - “Music is a way to express yourself and there’s a lot of people who gravitate towards that outlet.”
It takes a great deal of practice to become an excellent musician. How many hours a week do each of you put into your instruments?
Henry Cota- “We meet up twice a week 5 hours total, more if we have something huge coming up. Personally I play my bass in between practices because I just need to be playing, not everyday but a few times a week.”
David Nunez - “I like to play every morning before work on my acoustic. Mostly just mess around with notes and record an idea on my phone. Every phone I've had has hundreds of ideas throughout the years. One goal I had was make a riff a day.”
Jonathan Habermacher - “We practice as a band around 5 hours a week split between 2 practices a week. Some practice by themselves more than others but we all are usually very busy with families and full time jobs so it is hard to practice as much as we all would like to.”
Kody Rattler - “Typically meet twice a week, though schedules can often conflict.”
Logan Miracle - “Practice twice a week. But I'm always singing in my off time or when I'm driving.”
MJ: The song "Stuck On Repeat" really peels back the skin of truth. Does the music you create tend to be based on real-life experiences?
Henry Cota- “ Every song so far has a personal experience one of us has gone through.”
David Nunez - “Yeah it’s hard to write about anything that’s not personal I think. We are all made up of our experiences.”
Jonathan Habermacher - “Yes, almost all of our music is written from personal real-life experiences.”
Logan Miracle - “Every one of our songs come from real life experiences or how we were feeling at that time.”
Kody Rattler - “I often write in the moment. Outside that, most of the lyrics come from Logan’s life experiences.”
What process did you all go through to create the song from beginning to end?
Henry Cota- “Starts off with either a lyric or riff that's brought in, or just a jam session. From there we record what we have on our phones and use that as a template, continue till we have a song. Eventually get it professionally recorded and sent to the masses.”
Logan Miracle - “Wrote the entire structure of the song in 30 minutes right at the end of practice. Made our like tweaks and changes. And we were very lucky enough to have Matt Good record the song.”
David Nunez - “This song is an interesting one. We had a little over half an hour left in practice and decided to try to write something before we had to go. This song was literally written within half an hour and carried the title “30min or Less” until we picked “Stuck On Repeat”. When I say written I mean it had a beginning, middle, and end. Overall it was maybe 75% complete. It’s funny how songs made in a quick moment end up being some of the best songs.”
Jonathan Habermacher - “It was a very long but gratifying process. First, we wrote the song which I believe came from a riff David made during practice. From there we created the whole song and made tweaks to perfect everything. When we thought it was at a good spot we recorded a cheap demo with our friend Aaron to be able to hear it and make any additional tweaks. Then we professionally recorded it with Matt Good to really make it shine and have the highest sound quality possible.”
Kody Rattler - “We wrote the song one practice, continued to refine it and eventually cut a demo. Took a while to finalize the lyrics and then the name, as we had quite a few options up in the air. Once we recorded, we brainstormed ideas on the music video and later executed.”
Where did the filming of the video happen?
Jonathan Habermacher - “All the inside shots were in the house I recently moved into over in Chandler. The outside shots were just a few miles away where a week before filming we found some alleyways and a shop to film at.”
Kody Rattler - “Various locations, mostly house shots and alleyways.”
Of course, After The Calm does other types of genres, as a matter of fact, seems something was stated that ATC kind of pride themselves on not fitting into an exact category. What do you say?
Henry Cota- “We have the ability to play Warped Tour or Ozzfest type of events (both are gone now RIP). Not too many can say that. Bigger reach for fans.”
David Nunez - “It definitely lends itself to help make us stand out. How many bands out there have music to play with As I Lay Dying one day and then Taking Back Sunday the next? ”
Jonathan Habermacher - “We all have different styles of music that we enjoy so we usually write different styles of music. This is why some songs sound so different. This gives us the ability to play at almost any show and fit in with the headliners genre.”
Logan Miracle - “I think we've always just wanted to write what we enjoy. And we like so many different genres. But recently I've seen us start to try to hone in on our sound. I'm excited for when we start writing new stuff.”
Kody Rattler - “I think we find reasons to make it work, such as being able to play different types of shows. I’d like to see a more refined sound as we go; that’s one of the reasons we chose to release three unique songs.”
MJ: What vibe would you say your music puts out to the scene?
Henry Cota- “I believe we give out the vibe to others in the scene that we are fun and easy going, but at the same time we mean business.”
David Nunez - “We bring a lot of energy to our shows. So vibe wise I would say it’s positive and welcoming. In the end we are just some dudes that love to play music.”
Jonathan Habermacher - “Hard to say since we can’t look at it from an outsider’s perspective but I hope people see the personal experiences that we talk about and it is written to help others through hard times in their life.”
Logan Miracle - “We're just five friends that love playing music and want to connect with fans.”
Kody Rattler - “Vibe? I have no idea.. We have fun on stage and people enjoy the shows. I hope we inspire those around us to be true to themselves.”
MJ: Looking back at your accomplishments this year- anything stand out to each band member as to what you have done musically?
Henry Cota- “Playing the big venue The Marquee Theater in our town was on my bucket list and now I can check it off.”
David Nunez - “Warped Tour will always stand out as an accomplishment that I can die happy with lol.”
Jonathan Habermacher - “Warped tour is probably the biggest accomplishment we have done. Everything we have done led up to getting a spot and performing at one of the biggest music festivals. Not only that but so many people visited our merch tent and bought stuff so that tells me that people really enjoyed us when they could have bought merch from so many other bands.”
Logan Miracle - “I think having us put together our 3rd Annual Fundraiser for the Arizona Humane Society. The past 2 years we've done car washes and even did a video tour of the location here in Phoenix. Now we're having a benefit concert with all proceeds going to the AHS.”
Kody Rattler - “We played the last Warped Tour, which was an honor. Other highlights include releasing three singles and hosting our first benefit show.”
MJ: What is in store for ATC, short and long-term goals?
Henry Cota- “Short term, play more shows outside of Arizona. Long term, quit our day jobs and do music full time.”David Nunez - “Short term would be to Tour. Long term has to be an albums worth of music ready to go.”
Logan Miracle - “Short term, tour. Long term, put out a debut full length.”
Jonathan Habermacher - “In the short term I want to be able to start touring as much as possible. In the long term I want the band to be able to support all 5 of us as a full time career.”
Kody Rattler - “Hopefully an LP long term.”
MJ: When we are traveling ever out west... where is the best place to get tacos?
Henry Cota- “We have a hidden gem here in Phoenix called Taco Bell, there is dish on the secret menu called a chalupa.
David Nunez - “La Frontera food truck has the best tacos in town. 3501 W Lincoln St
Phoenix, AZ 85009 United States.”
Logan Miracle - “In my opinion, the best tacos come from pop up tents or food trucks. But I'd say if you need good ol’ reliable, go to Federico's. Spelled exactly like that. There are so many knock off restaurants.”
Jonathan Habermacher - “Wow, that’s extremely hard cause there are so many amazing taco places in AZ. For cheap tacos, most place has Taco Tuesday’s for $1 but if money isn’t an issue I have really enjoyed Joyride tacos. You can also find some amazing food at random food trucks around the city.”
Kody Rattler - “I’m a fan of a lot of mexican food places, so it really depends on your level of quality. Abuelo’s is one of the better mexican restaurants out here.”
Former members of Limp Bizkit, Puddle of Mudd and Saliva form new band called Sleepkillers, release new track and video called "Dirty Foot" - WATCH IT HERE
Kansas City, MO rock band Alice Sweet Alice dropped their Official Lyric Video for "The Hostage" and today released their album The Macabre Carnival - HERE
Tony recently covered legends Social Distortion at Old National Center in Indianapolis, check out his bad ass photography HERE
IT'S HERE! Not only is today Halloween but we have NEW Slipknot! They have unleashed a bad ass video for "All Out Life", off their album due out in 2019 - WATCH
Check out the Official Lyric Video for