Tag Archive: “Daytrader”

Westing is about to release their loudest album to date, I Haven’t Been Feeling Myself. With this album Westing departs from their previous quiet acoustic sound and introduces a whole new intensity, expanding into a full band post-hardcore sound.

“After several solo shows, I quickly realized playing quiet acoustic songs by myself is not what I want to do. I need to be loud.” – Matt Mascarenas

Matt Mascarenas started Westing as a solo project in 2015. In what began as a way to keep his musical creativity alive when he wasn’t touring, Westing quickly became an ongoing pursuit, releasing a series of impromptu acoustic singles and splits.

Westing set out to record in a new environment and teamed up with Brett Romnes (I am the Avalanche) and Gary Cioni (former band member from past band Daytrader) during the fall of 2016 to create I Haven’t Been Feeling Myself at Barber Shop Studios in Hopatcong, New Jersey.

What originally started out as an acoustic solo project, Westing has transformed into a high intensity sound somewhere between the punk-rock he grew up with and indie songwriting he grew into. I Haven’t Been Feeling Myself will be released on April 14, 2017.

Westing is offering free downloads via Bandcamp beginning Thursday, April 13: https://westing.bandcamp.com/album/i-havent-been-feeling-myself

Visit the band here:

Royal Psalms
Royal Psalms

Brooklyn, NY’s Royal Psalms have released their Rise Records debut EP, I Could Have Been Anything on iTunes. The band features former Daytrader guitarist Gary Cioni, Crime In Stereo bassist Eric Fairchild, Aficionado vocalist Nick Warchol and drummer Joseph Ruotolo.

Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Warchol to discuss the record. This is what he told us.

How does Royal Psalms differ from your previous projects?

For me, Royal Psalms is a little more straight forward than projects I’ve been a part of in the past. My last band, Aficionado, always tried to do the unexpected. We always wanted to challenge the listener. Royal Psalms focuses a lot more on the songs themselves. We’re not trying to challenge anyone by being overly technical or intricate. We really just want to connect with people by writing good hook-filled songs. Royal Psalms is, simply put, a band for the people.

When did you begin writing the material for your most recent album?

This project took a minute to get off the ground. We began writing material for the I Could Have Been Anything EP in the summer of 2013. The songwriting process was actually very quick and smooth. There was almost immediate musical chemistry between the people involved in this project. It was the recording process that ended up taking a little while, just because we all had a bunch of crazy stuff going on in our lives last year. This past winter we finally got our shit together and finished it. I think it was worth the wait because we’re all really stoked about these songs and the way the recording came out.

What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing?Why was it so troublesome?

I don’t think any particular song was difficult to record or mix. We’re professionals here. Haha. If I had to pick one, for me, I guess the song “Anything” was difficult…only because I changed my idea for the verse melody like a hundred times before finally landing on one that I really loved. Sometimes when you write a melody, and you sing it for a while, that melody becomes engrained in your head, and it’s difficult to stray away from, even if you don’t really like it. I remember driving in my car every day for a month blasting the instrumental track for “Anything” hoping something good would just come to me. Finally, the skies opened up, a beam of light shined down, and it came to me.

Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?

At one point I think we totally rewrote the song “Slow Horse”. So, that song is totally different from the way we originally conceptualized it. I think we wrote the original bones for that song at one of our first band practices ever. We ended up scrapping a lot from that practice, but there were parts from that song that we felt really good about. So, we re-visited it months later and rewrote a much cooler version of it.  

Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?

Yeah, actually. There aren’t any real celebrity appearances or anything. But Chris Kehoe, who was the bassist in Aficionado, wrote and recorded lead guitar parts for five of the six songs. Chris Curtin, a musician I’ve known for a long time who’s played a bunch of cool bands from the area, recorded and wrote leads on 1 song. And Craig Dutra, who played keyboard in Aficionado, wrote and recorded a little slide guitar part on the song “Stagnant Water.”

Who produced the record? What input did that person have that changed the face of the record?

This record wasn’t any sort of big time crazy production. Most of it was recorded in our practice space in Brooklyn with Robert Cheeseman. He brought his gear in, and over the course of several months, we met up a bunch of times and hashed it out. I’m sure Robert did some producing. Craig Dutra did some producing on my vocals. But for the most part, I’d say it was self produced. We had a pretty good idea of what we wanted to the songs to sound like and we just went for it. Maybe on the full length we’ll seek out the services of a producer, but we haven’t planned that far in advance.

Is there an overarching concept behind your new album that ties the record together?

The record is called I Could Have Been Anything. The overarching concept behind the majority of the lyrics is regret. Thinking back on choices you’ve made throughout your life. Thinking back on the different paths you chose to take. Thinking back and wondering how your life would have turned out if you had done things differently. If you had followed through on all the things you talked about wanting to become. On all the plans you had for yourself when you were young and hopeful about the future. A bunch of heavy stuff, ya know.

Have you begun playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?

We’ve just begun to play these songs live. So, it’s tough to really say at this point. We played our first show last week, and we’ve got a handful of shows scheduled in the upcoming months. I’m really looking forward to playing these shows and having a better answer for you! Hopefully the answer will be “all of them.”

(Catch Royal Psalms live:

5/28: Amityville, NY @ Amityville Music Hall w/ Fireworks, Turnover, Sorority Noise

5/29: New York, NY @ Webster Hall Studio

w/ Fireworks, Turnover, Sorority Noise

5/30: Cambridge, MA @ Middle East w/ Fireworks, Turnover, Sorority Noise)

Prescriptions EP
Prescriptions EP

In July 2013, Heartless Breakers released their debut Prescriptions EP.  Featuring catchy riffs and melodies, and a cohesive sound, it made a great first impression for the band.  Although they’ve since announced the impending release of another, acoustic EP, titled Lighter Doses, Ghettoblaster caught up with HB’s Matt Mascarenas (ex-Daytrader) and Bryan Lee, to discuss their earlier effort.  This is what they told us about it.

When did you begin writing the material the Prescriptions EP?  

Matt: We started writing “Prescriptions” in January of 2013. We had been exchanging ideas about the band and direction for a month before that while I was still living in Richmond, Virginia. We started piecing together songs night I flew into town.

What was the most difficult song to take from the initial writing stage through recording and mixing?  Why was it so troublesome?

Matt: The recording process was extremely smooth for us. We had a few different versions of each song demoed before entering the studio and had a clear vision of what we expected the final product to sound like.

Which of the songs on the record is most different from your original concept for the song?

Bryan: All of the songs turned out to be pretty different from their original iterations, honestly. Our songs are very rhythmic and tend to be based around the drums and the bass. Which is kind of strange because we almost never start writing songs with percussion or bass ideas. They almost always start with an idea on guitar. Funny how that works. It makes for an interesting writing process because just about every song turns out to take a pretty lengthy journey from where it began. What Chase feels when he’s writing lyrics or melodies over a song may be completely different from what Matt or I were feeling when we wrote the song/idea, but that doesn’t make it any less fitting. It takes a song idea that one person came up with and turns it into a shared experience. Songs changing from their original concepts is one of the coolest things about writing music with other people.

Did you have any guest musicians play or sing on the record?

Bryan: We didn’t have any guest musicians per say, but we did go about writing and recording our record in a very collaborative way. One of our best friends and HB live guitarist, Sam Richards, was with us in the studio almost the entire time helping us dial in guitar tones. We worked with two different engineers in Salt Lake City (Joel Pack and Andy Patterson) to record the EP and they both injected their own unique styles into just about every aspect of our record. We love working and collaborating with other people when it comes to our music. Pretty much every person we work with whether it’s recording, playing live, filming videos, shooting photos, etc, is a member of our band. Collaboration rules.

Is there an overarching concept behind the EP that ties the record together?

Matt:There’s not a set theme behind it. The songs tie together because we wrote around the same time. We were capturing the moment more than anything. We are still a very young band and experimenting with direction. I think doing a theme record for our first release would’ve been a bit limiting.

Have you been playing these songs live and which songs have elicited the strongest reaction from your fans?

Matt: We’ve played all these songs live. We usually play extended versions of the songs live and it’s been really exciting to see how receptive everyone has been so far.

(Read about the band’s forthcoming EP here:

http://propertyofzack.com/post/70509325964/poz-exclusive-heartless-breakers-lighter-doses-ep

 

See a video of “Burn and Bury” from the EP here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRzmiPheC78

And then catch them live here: