Candy Hearts is a pop punk quartet whose lyrics are sickeningly sweet in the best possible way. The band is Mariel Loveland on guitar and vocals, Kris Hayes on guitar, Christian Migliorese on bass and Matthew Ferraro on drums. On Valentine’s Day, I got to see Mariel do a solo performance at the Johnny Cupcakes store on Newbury Street. I’d been seeing a lot of hype about this band on the internet and read that they were working with Chad Gilbert from New Found Glory, which is rad. I enjoyed the acoustic performance, but the full band show on April 3rd was what really hooked me into their music.
I’m a proud Jersey girl and was stoked to learn that Mariel is also from the great state. In between songs, she asked if anybody at the show was from New Jersey and I was the only person to raise a hand. Being from NJ definitely comes in handy because I got the next song dedicated to me.
After the show, I sat down with Kris and got to learn more about Candy Hearts.
What was it like recording your EP The Best Ways to Disappear?
KH: This was our first EP that we’ve released and we got to record with Paul Miner who’s worked with New Found Glory and Terror. We have two full-length albums one of which was put on blog for free download, I think the blog is called If You Make It and it got like 7000 downloads. I engineered, mixed and mastered the second album Everything’s Amazing & Nobody’s Happy by myself and then we got a tour offer from Man Overboard.
What’s it like working with Chad Gilbert? How did you get hooked up?
KH: It all started on twitter; Chad sent us a direct message and the rest is kind history. He hooked us up with Paul Miner, which is a dream come true. The whole recording process lasted five days, one day of preproduction and four of recording. I’m used to being the person behind the board and it’s a much different and relaxing experience to just have to focus on playing. I wouldn’t believe you if you had told me in high school that I would be working with Paul Miner or Chad Gilbert. Chad’s a phenomenal producer and understands what the strengths and weaknesses are in a song.
Do you prefer performing acoustic or electric sets?
KH: Mariel does the acoustic solo stuff. We tried playing with multiple guitars, but it’s a more intimate with just her. When Mariel performs solo, it’s like she’s singing from her diary and listeners are able to connect with her lyrics more.
Where in Jersey are you from? What venues do you play at when you’re there?
KH: Mariel is actually the only one in the band from New Jersey. The rest of us are from New York. We’ve had more success touring than playing local shows. It’s just not something we’ve ever done; we’ve played a couple of one-offs, but that it. Most of us consider New York City our “hometown” and it’s hard to play shows there because of its declined punk scene.
What’s your favorite venue to play?
KH: Anywhere – we played two sold out shows at Irving Plaza in NYC. It’s a venue that’s been around for a long time and has gone through a bunch of name changes. Playing to a crowd of 1200 people in our home city was unreal.
Any good tour stories from March Radness?
KH: We had a bunch of April Fools tricks planned, but were hindered by van issues. We’ll be saving them for next year. Well you’ve already heard the sticker story from Jeramiah (in Pentimento), but someone stuck a tail of stickers on our friend Lance’s ass while he was watching a band and he had no idea.
So you guys went to SXSW, how was it?
KH: It was so fun! I’ve been there as a fan before – it’s a shit-show and overwhelming. It was still overwhelming to play there, but it was more organized on our end. We played the Bridge 9 Records showcase with our other label mates Lemuria, Octaves, What’s Eating Gilbert, Weatherbox, Loma Prieta, Goodtime Boys and Silver Snakes. People think that we’re great friends with all of the bands since we’re on a label with them, but we hardly get to play with each other. It was awesome to be able to play with friends and meet the other bands on Bridge 9!
Are you guys excited for Skate & Surf?
KH: We’re so excited! Do you know who we’re playing with…? Fall Out Boy! It’s crazy. But honestly, we’re honored that we were asked to play; it’s going to be fun.
What else does 2013 hold for Candy Hearts?
KH: The day after Skate & Surf, we’re playing at Pouzza Fest at the Metropolis in Montreal. I’ve been to the Metropolis and saw NOFX there, I’m super excited for that. Candy Hearts is playing Stay Sweet Fest in Richmond, Virginia on April 14th. We’re also going to be at Insubordination Fest in Baltimore in June. We’re going to be going on the road again after that, so stay tuned.
On April 3rd, the March Radness Tour with Allison Weiss, Candy Hearts and Pentimento came through the Great Scott in Boston and I was fortunate enough to chat with Jeramiah Pauly from Pentimento!
Pentimento is a four-piece punk rock band from Buffalo, NY and is made up of Pauly on guitar and vocals, Vincent Caito on bass, Lance Claypool on guitar and Michael Hansen on drums. They’ve been traveling around American on March Radness since March 2nd, played at South By Southwest in Austin and wrap up this tour in Philly tonight, April 5th.
Whats the coolest venue you’ve played on this tour?
JP: Chain Reaction in Anaheim, California. It’s a great punk venue that’s been open since the 80s. So many amazing bands have played there before us and it was so cool to be able to play there as well.
Any good pranks this tour?
JP: Tucker, our tour manager started doing this thing where he would take stickers from all the bands, put them on the backs of people and nobody would notice. So one night as pay back, I think in San Diego, we told all the fans to take stickers and put them all over Tucker. By the end of the night, he was covered in them. [laughs]
I know your album was released in November, but are you writing any new material?
JP: Yes! We are always writing; it’s something that’s never ending. Expect new music in mid 2014.
What was recording like for your self-titled?
JP: We recorded the album at GCR Studios in Buffalo with our friend Jay Zubricky. The studio is actually owned by one of the guys in The Goo Goo Dolls. Everything was recorded over the course of 4-5 months.
How important is it to be able to connect with your fans?
JP: It is the most important thing, it’s everything. We love being able to communicate with others through music. The lyrics mean something to all band members and it’s amazing that our fans connect with them as well.
Do you have any specific musical influences?
JP: I grew up listening to The Bouncing Souls, The Weakerthans, Saves the Day, bands like that. I was really into the DIY punk scene.
What are you most excited about in 2013?
JP: Touring, definitely. This is the longest tour we’ve been on yet and we’re looking forward to touring more! I work at the Town Ballroom and as a bath fitter in Buffalo – touring is a nice vacation from the nine-to-five.
Other than Buffalo, what’s your favorite city to play in?
JP: It’s either Chicago or Boston. We have a bunch of friends in both cities and it’s always good to catch up with those people when we can.
After chatting with Jerry and the rest of the band, I’ve gathered that these are some of the nicest guys making music right now. The emotions behind their music are so genuine and their passion shines through when they play. If you get the opportunity to see this band live, I highly suggest you do just that. I went to the show a casual listener, but left the Great Scott a huge fan.
You can stream all of their music on their bandcamp and be sure to ‘like’ their page on Facebook to get updates from the band. They’re an incredibly friendly and talented group of guys and deserve all the love they get (and more!)
- Virginia Wright
By, Wax on Felt Blogger, Dylan Manderlink
You’ve probably seen the gay marriage equality box spreading on social media and you’ve probably heard the protests and rallies both supporting and opposing gay marriage in the recent news. While this is an issue so many of us are currently responding to, Seattle native and rap artist, Macklemore has responded and been in support of marriage equality in his music since the beginnings of his musical career. Although we know him by his uniquely catchy Thrift Shop and Can’t Hold Us, one of his most notable songs when he first became popular was Same Love - a song proudly in support of gay marriage and the basic human right of a person being allowed to marry whom ever they want. He also comments on the political controversy surrounding the livelihood and private matters between a gay couple - alluding to the fact that a couple’s relationship is something that should not be decided by political officials who know nothing about people’s personal lives.
When I was in the 3rd grade
I thought that I was gay
Cause I could draw, my uncle was
And I kept my room straight
I told my mom, tears rushing down my face
She’s like, “Ben you’ve loved girls since before pre-K”
Trippin’, yeah, I guess she had a point, didn’t she
A bunch of stereotypes all in my head
I remember doing the math like
“Yeah, I’m good a little league”
A pre-conceived idea of what it all meant
For those who like the same sex had the characteristics
The right-wing conservatives think its a decision
And you can be cured with some treatment and religion
Man-made, rewiring of a pre-disposition
…Human rights for everybody
There is no difference
Live on! And be yourself!
When I was in church
They taught me something else
If you preach hate at the service
Those words aren’t anointed
And that Holy Water
That you soak in
Has been poisoned
When everyone else
Is more comfortable
Rather than fighting for humans
That have had their rights stolen
I might not be the same
But that’s not important
No freedom ‘til we’re equal
Damn right I support it
And we support it too, Macklemore. Thank you for using your music to inspire and empower others to stand up on behalf of those who aren’t granted equal rights. This is a societal discourse we all should take part in and Macklemore’s musical career helps foster that conversation through the power of the arts.
In writer Aishwarya Dongre’s recent blog post entitled Their Worries Are Justified she comments on our society’s mistreatment and objectifying nature towards women with saying, “ I regret belonging to a society in which women are just objects to play around with and provide sexual satisfaction”. There are many factors and aspects of our patriarchal and testosterone-empowered society that have encouraged behavior like this but to highlight one in particular, I think it’s important to critically examine the state of our current music industry. Local radio stations will bleep out the N word, along with classic swear words like fuck, shit, and motherfucker. But, what about degrading and dehumanizing words that disrespect the female body and a woman’s well-being? Often in the hip-hop/rap scene, women aren’t referred to as women but are rather deprived of respect and humanity but constantly being called bitches, hoes, freaks, whores, skanks, and pussies, thus perpetuating a culture where men think it’s okay to make those derogatory and dishonorable labels for women the social norm. In this popularized music culture, women are portrayed in such a sexualized way while also making them seem overtly insubordinate and then portraying them as crude and raunchy human beings because they are sexual. In essence, hip-hop/rap songs like Dr. Dre’s “Bitches Ain’t Shit” and Tyga’s “Faded” objectify and sexualize the female body while also shaming them for being sexual beings in the first place.
Dr. Dre oh so articulately and “respectfully” raps:
Bitches Ain’t Shit but hoes and tricks,
Lick on these nuts and suck the dick.
Get the fuck out after you’re done…
We used to roll around and fuck hoes and night
Tight than a motherfucker with the gangsta beats…
I didn’t give a fuck where the bitch was at…
Suckin’ on his dick just to get a buck or two
Bitch can’t hang in the streets, she found herself short
So now she’s takin’ me to court
So, from these few verses alone, what the listener is apparently supposed to gather is that women or in his case, “bitches” don’t mean anything and aren’t good for anything except oral sex but once the woman is done performing a sexual favor for him, he demands her to get the fuck out.
Definitely a positive, empowering, and respectful portrayal of women right here…
But the song continues to perpetuate a dehumanizing and sadistic treatment of women by comparing his hoes and bitches (aka the female gender in general) to an object. What object you ask? Oh…just some pancakes. The song continues and says:
Fuckin’ hoes, clockin’ dough up to no good
We flip flop and serve hoes like flap jacks
So as a woman, not only do I feel disrespected that “bitches” and “hoes” have become normalized labels for my gender, but that men feel an immense superiority and power over us women, so much so that they can just serve us like flap jacks? So, not only do you think my body is just up for grabs, but now, without my gender’s permission or consent, you’re just going to compare us to being as easy as making pancakes? It’s lyrics and songs like this one that have promoted an inhumane view on women and a demoralizing approach to portraying them through music. Not only is this public portrayal of women simply degrading but because it is popularized through the music on the radio or by high-profile artists, these shameful viewpoints become the social norm and no one seems to think twice about the disgusting and perverse lyrics their singing along to and laughing at.
Especially with the recent events of the Steubenville Rape trial and an increased dialogue and awareness happening on Emerson’s campus, I implore you, both men and women, and supporters of the music industry, to get some critical distance from the dehumanizing and objectifying lyrics you are listening to and think about what those harrowing and dejected words are perpetuating and encouraging in our society at large.
As much as I personally love the Boston rain, I long for festival weather again. I want to be back in big fields, rampaging through crowds and not being able to contain myself while I listen to some of my all time favorite bands in quick succession. Last summer was good, but this summer seems to be the one that’s throwing us the best of the best. We told you about the Boston Calling festival (here’s the link again: http://bostoncalling.com) but we all know you want more. No matter where you are this summer, there is a festival. Here is the list of links in chronological order, location, and headliners:
April 12-14, 19-21 (two weekends!), Indio CA
Stone Roses, Blur, Phoenix, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Vampire Weekend, Wu-Tang Clan
Electric Daisy Carnival http://electricdaisycarnival.com
May 17-18, New York NY
May 24-26, Chicago IL
June 21-23, Las Vegas NV
Dates TBA, Orlando FL
Avicii, Benny Benassi, David Guetta, Kaskade, Tiësto
Governor’s Ball http://governorsballmusicfestival.com
June 7-9, Randall’s Island NYC
Kaye West, Kings of Leon, Guns N’ Roses, Nas, Pretty Lights, The Avett Brothers, Grizzly Bear
Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival http://www.bonnaroo.com
June 13-16, Manchester TN
Paul McCartney, Mumford & Sons, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Björk
Firefly Music Festival http://fireflyfestival.com
June 21-23, Dover DE
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Vampire Weekend, Foster The People, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Pitchfork Music Festival http://pitchforkmusicfestival.com
July 19-21, Chicago IL
Björk, Belle & Sebastian, R. Kelly
August 2-4, Chicago IL
So a lots going on in the music world right now, and here are some things Wax on Felt is particularly excited about - in Boston and beyond!
It was just announced that this summer Boston will be hosting it’s first ever Boston Calling Music Festival hosted by The Bowery Boston at City Hall Plaza on May 25-May 26th, 2013. The lineup is SO SICK featuring acts like The National, The Shins, Andrew Bird, Portugal. The Man and more. We are so excited that our city will be starting such an awesome music festival. Check out more info here and make sure to get your tickets on March 8th
Iron and Wine have released another preview of their upcoming album Ghost on Ghost. The track is called Grace for Saints and Ramblers and it is a pretty sweet track, getting us really pumped for their new album. Check out the bouncy-pop tune here.
Also, here are some shows we’re looking forward to:
What have you been listening too???
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