Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Artist Interview - In My Coma

In My Coma are a 3-piece rhythmic rock band based in Toronto, Canada and are our latest feature interview competition winner. In My Coma were formed by Singer-Songwriter Jasper James and at Song Revelation we were delighted, despite Jasper’s hectic schedule promoting their new album, that he agreed to complete a full feature interview. Read on to find out about Jasper’s musical background in the UK, In My Coma’s musical inspirations and what his career highlights have been.  

    Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be? 
IMC is a Briternative 3-piece that combines melodic alternative rock with the dark elements of British pop.  

  Q: What is your musical background? 
I’m the guitarist and songwriter of the group and I grew up in a very British family. My mum blared Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys while my dad spun old Beatles records. We moved around a lot too. I was born in England and I’ve also lived in Tampa, a bunch of other cities, and now I’m pretty close to Toronto. Naturally, grunge had a big impact on me because I came into my teenage years in the mid to late nineties and that’s where my rock inspiration comes from. I pride myself on listening to everything I can get my hands on because my mind is a musical sponge. I want to soak as much in as possible so that I’m able to continue moving forward. I’m kind of like a musical parasite I guess.  

Q: How have the last 12 months been for you? 
Busy. It took a long time, but we recorded our debut album and have released it on iTunes. We’re thinking about re-releasing a deluxe edition soon after we get some more momentum going for the band. We have a couple tracks we kept off of the album in case we wanted to do this.  

  Q: Who inspires you musically? 
I like anybody that tries to be different. That’s what it takes these days. We’re in a realm of musical ADHD and so music needs to grab people. So I gravitate towards the interesting, untested music typically. Right now, I’m really liking M83’s “Midnight City.” But just last week, I was bobbing my head to Kasabian’s “Club Foot” when they played in Toronto.  

  Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to? 
I look up to the sustainable artists. It’s difficult to have longevity and the bands that have acquired that recently should be praised, because it’s no easy feat. Right now, I still really like Muse, Queens of the Stone Age, Kasabian, and other bands like that.  

  Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with? 
I’d love to tour with a band like Bush. I think our music is very compatible and in Gavin’s old age, I may finally be able to compete with him in the “looks” department. But let’s be honest, who am I kidding?  

  Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment? 
Currently on my “Jogging Playlist” is: M83 – Midnight City, The Naked and Famous – Young Blood, 311 – Down, Elbow – Grounds for Divorce, and Skrillex – Bangarang.  

    Q: What is your creative process for creating a track? 
It differs from song to song. I wrote some of the album’s tunes on my acoustic and then the band and producer transformed them into something greater. I’m also a nut for electronic sounds and samples so quite a few of our songs have spawned from an electronic creation of mine. It’s a nifty way of writing because you get various flavors of music. Something I write on the computer is typically completely different from anything I would come up with on the guitar. It just triggers your brain in a different way, which helps you grow and expand your music.  

  Q: What's more important, melody or lyrics? 
This is a tough one, but I’d probably say that I’m a stickler for the lyrics. I want our songs to mean something. It’s great obviously if you have a very catchy melody in the chorus, but if your lyrics are something like “garbage cans are gray and horses eat hay,” then it’s probably not going to go very far. But now that I think about it, those lyrics are fantastic. Consider them copyrighted. I’ll sell them to Nicki Minaj.  

  Q: Where are you based? 
The band is based in the greater Toronto Area. We consider ourselves Toronto/Hamilton based. We have venues we consider home in both cities.  

  Q: What's it like being where you're from? 
Well, I still feel like I’m from England. I’ve been in so many places but my family has always thought of England as home, though Canada has been a very gracious host for the past 20 odd years. I think being from England and living in the Toronto area gives a little bit of an edge to the music. Like I said earlier, people are looking for something different and I think my background brings a unique style to the creative table.  

  Q: What are you currently working on? 
Promoting the sh** out of our album. We play live constantly and we’re only focusing on getting our album out there to as many people as possible. We just came off four Toronto based shows during Canada Music Week so it’s safe to say we’re burning the candle at both ends, but we’re young, so to date, we’ve been able to handle it. Plus, it’s exhilarating!  

  Q: What's been the highlight of your career to date? 
So far, I would have to say that my highlight was when Alan Cross gave us a positive review of the album and made our song “Losing Sleep” one of his “songs you must hear” on his blog. Later on, he also blogged about a video we did for our song “Believe Me.” It seems like he’s a fan and I was listening to him on the Ongoing History of New Music when I was 12 years old I think. So, now he has talked about us. That’s pretty cool.  

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months? 

  Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you'd like to tell us about? 
We’re playing Cherry Cola’s in Toronto on June 8. We love that place. But, we’re also playing a bunch of shows in May, including the opening party for Hamilton’s Spring Music Festival with Never-ending White Lights on May 10 at the Corktown. That one’s going to be a blast as well.   Q: 

What do you do to relax? 
I jog a lot. I’m also a huge football (soccer) fan. I play FIFA on X-Box when I have some free time, which isn’t very often, but I think I could give even the best a run for their money in that game.  

  Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why? 
Either of the following: Lollapalooza, Coachella, Woodstock… on the main stage.

    Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be? Stick to your guns. If you see interviews of artists that have “made” it, they all say the same thing. They were told “no” by more people than they could count. So, don’t let that get you down and keep moving on.  

  Q: Is there anything else you'd like to let our readers know about? 
We’re social media animals. We’re all over twitter and our facebook. We’re also planning on filming a video for every single song on the album. So please check us out, write to us, comment, etc. We always write back!

  Editors’ Note: In My Coma take artistic chances combining rhythmic rock with electronic influences but the results are incredible and individual. Definitely one of Song Revelation’s bands to watch over the coming months!  

 If you’d like to contact In My Coma, or check out more of their tracks, just follow the links below:
  twitter link:
  facebook link:
  myspace link:
  web page link:
  reverbnation link:
  Youtube channel:  

Discover a Spanish Music Festival This Summer

Summertime means festivals and from Glastonbury in early June to Leeds and Reading in late August, Britain spends every weekend rocking out in a serious fashion. From the major name festivals to the smaller boutique events, it seems that everyone who is anyone is heading to a festival, which means you should be too. However, there is a growing trend to look outside rip-off Britain with its expensive yet water-downed pints and rubbish weather and seek festival fun on foreign shores. Once you factor in the cost of getting there and where to stay (many festivals provide free camping), the benefits of seeing your favourite bands in the blistering sun become all too apparent.
  Get In The Sunshine
There has always been a major travel link between Britain and Spain and the nation sandwiched in between France and Portugal remains a popular tourist destination. Spain has also become one of the major destinations for festival goers so why not combine a sunshine break with a few days at a music festival? The obvious choice is Benicassim, which takes place in July, and with up to 9 days of free camping included in your festival ticket, the price starts to become very reasonable. The festival, situated in between Barcelona and Valencia and being a two hour train journey from both cities lasts for four days and goes long into the night. In fact, the bands start playing around 5pm in the evening with the last acts finishing up around 6 or 7am. After that, if you are still up, it is a short trek to the beach to sleep, catch some sun and try to recover before doing it all again the next evening.
  WHERE IS BENICASSIM? Benicassim rules the roost
Benicassim is an astounding festival (if the gale force winds stay away) and is a very relaxed and chilled out atmosphere. With numerous stages, indie bands and big names dominate the line-up until 2am and then dance acts take centre stage. It’s a great blend of artists and the timing of the event makes it perfect for those that hit their peak when the UK clubs normally close or when the sun starts to break. There is more to Spain that Benicassim though as Barcelona rightly proves. The Primavera festival, occurring at the end of May, is celebrating its 14th year in 2014 and has grown into a five day festival. The line-up is very indie-centric but again, features many glitchy or charismatic dance acts when the sun goes down. If you think these festivals do not offer enough dance music for you then the Sonar festival in June in the Catalonian capital is for you.
  Foreign festivals can be affordable

Primavera, Spain

The Barcelona festivals do not provide camping but they take place in the city, with the Metro line or buses ferrying revellers back to the city centre at all hours. Flights to Barcelona can be found for quite cheap and Barcelona has a host of hotels and hostels which will suit any traveller on a budget. Given the festival hours, you will only need a hotel to contain a bed to sleep for a few hours each day; anything else would be a waste!

Primavera, Spain

British festivals are an excellent and integral part of summer but if you want to experience something brighter, taking in a Spanish summer festival could make 2014 your best summer yet.