Phantom Elite are back and promise to be bigger than ever. This time they were signed to Frontiers Music for a multi album deal. We were delighted to chat with Marina La Torraca, the powerhouse fronting Phantom Elite.
Teen Art Out: Hi, Marina. Great to hear from you again.First of all, congrats on being signed to Frontiers Music. This is exciting! How long have you been working on this?
Marina La Torraca: Great to be here again! 🙂 Having a label support has been on our minds since Wasteland and the opportunity with Frontiers came up a few months ago, during the writing process of our new album.
Teen Art Out: For those not as familiar with the music industry, what does it mean today to be on a record label’s roster? More specifically, what does it mean for Phantom Elite?
Marina: Although the music industry is changing, it still means a lot! A label (in combination with a booking and management team) can offer a lot of support, be it financial, or in terms of work force/expertise and network. An artist nowadays has the possibility of distributing and advertising their music independently, but unless one is in a very privileged financial and networking situation, it will definitely be harder to expand one’s fan base.
What it means for Phantom Elite right now is exactly that we’ll get to increase the amount of people working together to bring the band further. And with that, ultimately the chance of reaching more people with our music is always wonderful.
Teen Art Out: You’ve briefly mentioned that you’ve been working on a second album. We know you cannot give away that much, but we still have to ask about it. What would you say has been the main creative force or idea driving this album?
Marina: Well! I would say this album is an ode to persistence, hard work, fighting and triumphing over the big and small struggles life may bring. Lyrically and musically it is very heavy, personal (quite dark at times!), and will certainly put listeners through a roller coaster of emotions.
Teen Art Out: What attracts you to music or performances by others? There is definitely so much good music and so many great shows, but only so much time (and money).
Marina: You are right! Haha. But I’d say I’m personally very attracted to technical quality of a performer or an act, in combination (and this is the most important thing for me) with interpretation. An artist has to make me FEEL things in his/her music and performance, he/she should show me who he/she is, otherwise I’m out. I guess in short: I love artists who know their shit, who know who they are, and go all in.
Teen Art Out: Is the artistic life lonely by definition or is that a myth? What do you do to counteract it?
Marina: Hmmmm, good question! I think it can be quite lonely in the sense of, you have different work schedules then “most people” in society, and you go out to dinner with a couple of friends who work at a bank and you find yourself having nothing to do with their routines and topics. So you tend to bond more with people in the same bubble, so you end up in a bubble, haha. But it’s okay. I actually always seek a little bit of alone time on tour, for example. I’m quite a big introvert and being around people all the time wears me out. So I’d say I have to counteract the social part of being an artist with a lot of meditation, Netflix and lonely walks, haha.
Teen Art Out: If there was any skill you could learn instantly, what would you like to learn?
Marina: Oh man, I’d love to improvise crazy vocal riffs and runs, haha. But I’m working on that, maybe some time soon.
Teen Art Out: Would you rather take a trip to outer space or bottom of the ocean?
Marina: Definitely outer space. Bottom of the ocean creeps me out.
Teen Art Out: As the winter holidays are approaching, do you have any special traditions surrounding them you’d be willing to share with us?
Marina: I’m not a very keen on tradition and don’t come from a very tradition oriented family. I just love to spend some quality time with the people I love who are very close to me, that’s it. Oh, and guilty pleasure: I also tend to watch “Home Alone” sometimes.
Teen Art Out: Last time we talked, you mentioned that happiness is “fighting the good fight”. What does that mean to you now?
Marina: Oh, I still agree with that, haha. That to me means being and acting in alignment with your values, always watching if you’re choosing to do something for the right reason or not. And I believe these daily experiences and choices bring one true joy, not only temporary ecstasy.
There is nothing quite like finding a new song to be enthralled by. Or even better, discovering a band that is exciting and fresh. One of those bands is Remember the Monsters, the fresh rock band out of Los Angeles.
You have just released a new single, “Close Encounters”. Tell us a bit about this “out of this world” material. “Close Encounters” has been in the making for a while – even before our previous release, “Sink.” We originally wrote it with our previous singer, but Julian (current singer) honestly brought it to a whole new level! We worked with producer Matt Good (Asking Alexadria, Sleeping With Sirens, Hollywood Undead) and we’re thrilled with how it came out!
> What attracted you to the style of music you are playing? We like music with energy that’s easily accessible – Stuff that’s gets you moving, or gets you feeling.
> What song of yours are you most proud of? Why? Our previous release, “Sink,” took a lot of work. Getting it produced then shooting an awesome music video took a lot of time and coordination. We’re still an independent band so we put together and paid for everything. We’re definitely proud of that one!
> How is the songwriting process for you? It’s a group effort. Lyrics and instrument arrangements get bounced around and pieced together. Then it gets run by the whole band and we make changes to it until we’re ready to get it produced. We try to make each song the best that it can be.
> You have released a few videos and lyric videos. What is for you the visual identity of “Remember the Monsters” and how should it tie in with the rest? We want videos that are energetic, well produced, and visually engaging. We want to show that we’re having fun with what we’re doing, but we’re also serious and put time and effort into the quality. Some really cool video ideas for future releases and we’re looking forward to getting more out there.
> What’s the coolest thing to have happen so far for you related to the band? Shooting a professional music video and see it come out really well was pretty awesome. We were also featured in a video by Jared Dines on his YouTube channel, which drew in a lot of new fans!
> What is next for “Remember the Monsters”? We’re working on new material and have some big things coming up. We don’t want to spoil any surprises, but we’re definitely hard at work!
> How was the first ever Remember the Monsters show? What became different as you continued to play? The first show we played was a fun one. It was at a local music venue that’s seen some pretty big acts come through. Someone proposed during our first show, so congratulations to them! As we continued to play we always try to turn up the energy and get the crowd more involved. You get better the more you do it!
> What are some of the best shows you have been to? What makes them memorable for you? I’ve been to all kinds of shows! I love the high energy of rock acts like AFI and Coheed & Cambria, I’ve also seen Lindsey Stirling live and that show was an experience. There’s a band from Denmark called Mew that I’ve been a fan of for a while that played in the states and that one was amazing!
> What’s your favorite ’90s jam? I actually love The Smashing Pumpkins. Gish and Siamese Dream are my jams.
> Lastly, what is something you want to say to our readers? We want to thank everyone for all the support, you guys are rad and are the reason we do what we do! Check us out on all the social medias and stay tuned for much more from Remember The Monsters!
Apocalyptica descended upon Bucharest in a show we will surely remember. They have been celebrating their 20th anniversary for a few years, so we were glad to see them return with Apocalyptica plays Metallica by 4 cellos.
First of all, we all know Apocalyptica, the world famous metal
cello band. I had seen them last year in a festival so I already knew just how
incredible their live show was. That being said, we were not ready for what
came. It was an incredible night of emotional music, that left us all wondering
how they can do all of that with just cellos. But more than that, their stage
presence, their charisma, their wit, all made for a great evening.
The show had two parts, the first seeing the 4 celloists in front of panels, creating such a powerful image. Would have been much appreciated if the stage was not so low, and most of us could have actually seen that. The magic of a cello show is that the audience can be heard so much louder, somehow making a 1700 people show seem so intimate and special. Though you’d expect the public to singalong a bit more loudly to well known Metallica songs.
They started strong with bangers like Enter Sandman and Master of Puppets, continuing to play songs from their first ever album (obviously Metallica cover album). It was really magical from beginning to end. Even for those who knew the band, myself included, it was surprising and incredible to hear it all and know it’s being done just with 4 cellos. The sound and atmosphere was just so intense.
The second part of the show was heavier, with the appearance of drummer Mikko Sirén and hist very interesting drum set. They took us through well known songs, but also included some gems such as Orion or Escape. And for a little snippet for those who paid attention, during Seek & Destroy, they also gave us some tunes from AC/DC’s Thunderstruck.
What I must definitely mention is that I have rarely seen better interaction with the public. Eicca and Perttu took turns engaging the crowd, sharing anecdotes, being funny and very charming. Kudos to Perttu for being quick silver on stage, running all around while playing a cello. And a huge bow to Eicca, who clearly fought through fever and illness to still give us one hell of a show.
It’s been a couple of days and I am still thinking of how great the show was. We all knew they are great musicians, but seeing them on stage is something else. The whole show is just something else, pure magic. I am so glad we were able to see them in Bucharest once again, and let’s hope we do this again soon.
Bucharest was definitely Brought to Life! Once again Evanescence graced us with their music and presence and we were there for it.
The night was opened by Chaos Magic, who were bringing a nice rendition of symphonic metal. The crowd was gathering surprisingly early and they did play to a lot of people. The lead singer, Caterina Nix, can really show off powerful vocals. It was a nice way to start the evening.
Next up were Veridia, who I can only describe as “Ariana Grande with guitars”, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I think they sounded very good and were a good choice opening up for Evanescence. But the singer had her ponytail and moved and sang like Ariana Grande :)) They were fun and I will probably listen to their material some other time. Yes, many people were upset because “it’s not truuu metal”, but I am petty like that so I want to like the band even more.
There aren’t a lot of bands that make me as nostalgic as Evanescence does. The main difference is that they still got it. The could be touring with the same setlist for the next few decades and it will not be enough. There’s nothing quite like hearing “Bring Me To Life” sang live. Yes, it was missing the male vocals. But knowing that they were only included in the song by sheer force of the label, who though Amy Lee could not anchor a song on her, I am more than happy to hear the crowd fill in and try to sing both parts at once.
The setlist moved graciously through energetic songs and heart-wrenching ballads. The audience was not all that energetic, but on softer songs like “My Immortal”, “Call Me When You’re Sober” or “Lithium”, they joined in for a very emotional rendition of the songs. As for the more energetic “Going Under”, “What You Want”, or “All That I Am Living for”, I screamed my lungs out. I cannot pretend to be the biggest Evanescence fan. I am more of a “I used to listen to it in 7th grade and I hope I still remember the lyrics” fan, but I still enjoyed the show.
An extra special moment was the last song, or rather last songs. The show ended with a medley of Haunted / My Last Breath / Cloud Nine / Everybody’s Fool / Weight of the World / Snow White Queen, a new addition for this tour.
Amy Lee did not sit still for one moment. Running from one end of the stage to the other, she lived each song and interpreted it in a way only she can. Whether she was singing and jumping around, running to the keyboard and back, she was truly mercurial. The more I see her do it, the more impressed I am with her.
She interacted with the public much more than in previous concerts and seemed genuinely happy to perform and thankful to be here. Genuine is a word that would describe her whole presence, where it is clear she is performing, but you can feel it’s really her living the show and giving her very best on each song.
She reminded us that the video for Bring Me To Life was filmed in Bucharest all those years ago. More than that, it was the first time she got a passport and traveled abroad, so Bucharest has a very special place in her heart. She later posted about it on Instagram as well.
While I went on and on about Amy, I do have to mention the rest of the band played their very best. Musically they lived to every standard. My impression however, was that they were there just as a support for Amy. Whether they were singing on stage or somewhere off stage would not have made that big of a difference. I didn’t really get that “band” feeling. In their defense, it’s hard to catch up with Amy on stage.
The reason Evanescence is still so important all these years later is hands down because of Amy Lee’s impressive creativity. I have talked at length about her great voice and incomparable stage presence, but the real reason is just how good a songwriter she is. Her songs meant so much to us and they still do, so we’ll come back again and again to hear her sing them.
Do you ever sit
and think about why are you doing some things and consider who has done or said
them first? It may sound as overthinking. This is not something we do all the
time; unless one is fond of digging towards the root of things.
study history in order to find an explanation for their present days, others
study etymology in order to understand the whys behind the language they are
speaking. There can be many weird, maybe even funny stories that can come out
of this research. I went ahead and selected a few interesting and important
ones, which have profound consequences to this day. Let’s see how those go.
The universe of
storytelling comes in many shapes – realistic stories, fictive stories, myths,
legends, fairytales, the story our grandpa told us from back in his time or a
simple occurrence told by an old friend. Most of the times we are not aware of
the effect that this has on us in the long-term.
Some brief examples: the tooth fairy, the monster under your bed, the acts of love we usually do, the “pandora’s box” phrase – there is an explanation behind all of them. Where do we use them and what is the connection with the “past”? Let the overthinking start.
Fear of the dark and other childhood stories
night of insomnia you might have experienced at some point. Amongst all the
other twisted thoughts in your head, you were probably thinking about the
terror the dark creates within you – that terror that gives you a strange
feeling and it remembers you of your childhood. What was it that scared you so
much back in time? Maybe the monster
under your bed…
The fear of the
monster under the bed is very common within children and we may sometimes find
ourselves recalling this fear. However, where did it come from? Who started
this? Some parent, at some point, threatened his child for the first time with
the appearance of the monster from under their bed, when they did not want to
sleep. Anyway, even this idea and affirmation comes from an older story and
from some developed human instinct. From the beginning of time, every attack
and every malefic occurrence was happening during nighttime. Then there is also
the common and normal fear of what we cannot see. We cannot protect ourselves
and neither beware of our “enemy” in the ark. This phobia is being fed by the
numerous horror stories we read or watch. This psychological thig mixed with
ancient and modern stories will make one turn on, one by one, every light of their
house when they hear a noise. We have all done it at some at some point.
While for adults
it is a bit hard to overcome this fear, as it turns into a more serious one, it
is possible to, at least, help children fall asleep. Mythology gives us the
“good guy” as well – the “Sandman”, who
actually helps children fall asleep. It is a Scandinavian myth that says that
he is throwing magical sand in their eyes, which is also meant to bring the
good dreams. In the mind of a child, this could work as a psychological effect,
just as the “placebo” effect works on us when we take a pill. The Sandman is
also a good example of how old stories and myths could inspire art – we can
find him as a main character in Neil Gaiman’s comic books, The Sandman and as a symbol in Metallica’s Enter Sandman song. Some stories live through other stories and
most of them start as a childhood story. Here is another one:
Do you remember fairies? We used to love them as a child. I have one that was also present in our childhood days – in an apparent, physical way, in our naïve mind – the Tooth Fairy. As a child, losing a tooth was neither a simple procedure, nor an event without consequences. It hurt, but hey! – we were getting money for it. Maybe not us in Romania, but American kids surely were getting some gold for their teeth. The old myth says that if we left your lost tooth under your pillow during the night, the tooth fairy would come and pick it up. As a reward, she would leave us some money under the pillow. In our innocent childhood days, this was a moment of happiness. And this myth was told for the first time in the medieval era. It is impressive how we still use this technique with kids nowadays (like Santa Claus, just that not as popular).
Maybe you have a
vague memory about throwing your tooth over the roof of your house. This would
be another made up myth of how to be rewarded for your lost tooth, which is
applied in other cultures. It doesn’t bring money but it is said to bring good luck
to kids. Not that much worth the pain, right? I remember believing strongly in
fascinated with stories; their world revolves around them. That’s why it is so
easy for parents to educate them with the helping-hand of a good story. In
fact, we are led by stories, too, even though we don’t realize it. We can take
a deeper look into the adulthood world.
When did the romanticism start?
Taking one of the nicest things adults enjoy doing today – nice, romantic stuff with or for their partners. Some things might be done by instinct but others are inspired from stories heard before, although we may not realize where and how we heard them. It could be a recalled tale from your childhood, an old movie you watched before, a glimpse you took into your mother’s romantic novels or some simple gestures and adventures noticed outside there, in your surroundings.
Romeo and Juliet is one of the most commonly used comparison when referring to an in love couple. “Be my Juliet and I will be your Romeo”, “Romeo and Juliet are together in eternity”, “A lovestruck Romeo sang the streets of serenade” – some songs that made use of these characters and of the ever-lasting love story. It’s taken as an example of true love and sacrifice, as a whole, but also as an example of a prohibited love. Anyway, since the 16th century people long to find their Romeo/Juliet. This is an older example, but most of the idealistic love stories depict a feeling that can overcome any challenge, a feeling that is stronger that any barrier in life.
There are some
more examples that could quickly come to mind: Tristan and Isolde, Beauty and
the Beast and The Sleeping Beauty or some more modern stories like Rose and
Jack´s one from Titanic. Oh! And let´s not forget Jane Austen´s books and her
particular characters and dialogs she builds between them. We have proof that
love examples and inspiration can date back in any cycle of our life. As a kid,
we don’t recognize their importance; as a teenager, we desperately wish to live
the same stories; and as an adult, we don’t really realize that we had looked
for that feeling before.
Tristan and Isolde – the end of their tragic love story depicts a rose that
grown on Tristan’s tomb – a rose that will live forever. When did we first hear
about roses, by the way?
This flower of passion is a symbol for love and romanticism since the beginning of art and culture. We have the Greek mythology as a reference and Aphrodite’s legend – the flower would grew with her tears and the red color would be given by her lover’s blood. It’s marvelous how a simple legend can have such an influence over the world and their customs; and this is just a legend out of thousands, maybe million others. Maybe you have come upon Saint George’s one:
Dragons “lived” way longer than in George R.R. Martin’s books. The legend made Saint George the main character of a brave battle with a Dragon and a beautiful love story. He saves a princess whose destiny had made her the perfect sacrifice for the dragon who was threatening the city. From the dragon’s blood there grew our famous rose, which he offered to the princess.
Saint George is
the patron Saint of various towns and countries but I would choose Catalonia
(Spain) for some “did you know” facts here:
during Saint George’s day,
according to tradition, men have to offer roses to women.
the legend is so powerful
within Catalans that even their flag contains the image of the Saint, on a
horse, killing the dragon with his sword
the architecture of “Palau de
la Música” in Barcelona is beautifully portraying, amongst other impressive
statues, the statue of Saint George and, also, a ceiling where multiple roses
surround the bright stained glass.
This is how a
simple story can become a culture and how it can turn into art as well.
Here we are
looking through another example of romanticism, which is, perhaps, a more
rarely encountered one. It is a special gesture because it suggests respect and
honesty. It would be interesting to talk a bit about its origins: we can go way
back to the Roman empire when it was employed as a sign of submission and
respect for monarchs (it could have settled the base of its evolution). It was
later on, in the 17th century, in the Polish and Spanish courts as
an expression of courtesy and esteem. In time, it turned into the romantic
gesture we all know today, still having as main symbolism respect and sincere
appreciation. We can consider it fully valuable.
Even words have a story
Now let’s get to
something even more common and which we often encounter in our lives: the
language, our daily speech. During our day-to-day conversations, we find
ourselves saying some sentences or more like expressions that we had surely
heard before, that are specific of the language or quoted from some old story.
Whenever we are
joking around with our friends, we use all kinds of quotes and phrases we had
heard in movies and books. So whenever I say that my room is my private space,
“you shall not pass!” Most probably,
the first thing that comes to your mind is Gandalf´s face and Lord of the
Rings. However, this phrase was shouted for the first time during the First
World War, within the battle of Verdun. It was emphasizing the determination of
the French army to defend their territory from the Germans. The original
expression is “they shall not pass”. Nowadays it is still used in similar
situations and propagandas, given the power and courage that it evokes.
If we were to
have a wider, cultural view, the sentence has been adapted in various
languages, too, although one may utter it in English most of the times. In
Romania, for example, “pe aici nu se trece” has been said during the “battle of
Marasesti” (still against the Germans) and it gave the name to a Romanian movie
inspired by the historic WWI happenings.
the infinite quoting scenarios, from different cultures, there are some funny
ones that come in view (well…in “hearing” actually). Latin America is a fully
alive and full of humor land. That is why they also have a great deal of weird
and amusing quotes and phrases. “Vete al
carajo” could totally fit into this category. It is literally translated as “go to the carajo” but we have to see with this carajo means, as it is a typical Spanish
word.On the old Spanish sailing
ships there was this guard post on the highest point of the ship, which was
very uncomfortable due to the windy conditions and the movements of the ship
which were making it unstable. Given its bad position, it was also used as a
punishment. Crewmembers who were disobeying the rules were being sent there.
Therefore, each time latins get mad at someone they send them to “el carajo”. Thinking
about it, it is actually one of the few phrases that actually make total sense.
Consider it for the next time.
The English “fair play” term is an accurate example
of how language adapts to the passing of time. The one who “gave birth” to this
way of expressing justness was Shakespeare. He used it in “The Tempest”, where
it was pointing out the negotiation of kingdoms. Currently, we are using it in
sports or in any other day-to-day similar circumstances. Sometimes it’s
interesting to think about its origins; it is not “fair play” to not give
Some stories are traveling through time
We have seen that stories affect us unconsciously and they
sometimes inspire us as well. There is more to it, anyway, when somebody taken
action on them. Things flow along with time and people use, recycle and
modernize learnings from before.
The modern art and technology is even using old discoveries in
order to make them real or to create a piece of art.
mentioned by Plato hundreds of years ago, is taking more and more shapes today
with the scientific discoveries. It also creates some pretty terrifying horror
movies (Example: Stranger Things series)
Does this sound familiar to you? It’s that kind of song that
gets stuck in your head instantly and unwillingly.
The Bella Ciao song, initially composed as a defensive
against fascism and chanted by the Italian partisans is still intonated during
protests for freedom and opposition. Besides, it also makes the main theme of
the famous “Money Heist” show. In the series, the song conveys the shouting for
strength and resistance. Its symbolic meaning can be applied in a variety of
scenarios and it can be a tool for art creation. I bet you would feel like
playing that song on the background even in some small, glorious moments of
your life, too.
matter whether you are an adult or a child. Everybody deserves a story and,
consciously or unconsciously, that old or modern fairy tale is leading your way
through life. They say kids are smart in their tiny, imaginary world. This is
why we should be kids from time to time and use this adulthood tales to develop
something bigger out of them; or in order to just enjoy and escape from reality
from time to time.
Sonata Arctica are back in force with a new album and video! They have released today their 10th studio album, »Talviyö« (“Winter Night”), and it’s definitely a good one. It is symphonic, atmospheric, and powerful, everything you can wish from from the Finnish band. With both cheerful tunes and their trademark sad ballads, not the mention the usual touch of cheesy lyrics, we could not be happier.
The video for Who Failed The Most was directed by Patric Ullaeus and it is the second from this album, after Cold.
Keyboardist Henrik “Henkka” Klingenberg states, “The wait is finally over, now all of you will hear what we’ve been working on for the past year or so as we present our latest album »Talviyö.« It was quite an experience getting this album ready for you guys and for the first time ever, we had some outside help from our very own Mikko Tegelman who produced the album. We focused on playing live this time and I think the album really captures how SONATA ARCTICA sounds like today. It will be a blast to go out and perform this new music alongside selected cuts from our catalogue. See you soon and meanwhile we hope you enjoy the album as much as we did making it.
are proud of their history. They are proud of the independence they fought for,
and they even, sometimes, bury the not-so-honorable portions of history to
remain prideful. Growing up in America, you learn of this soil’s history nearly
as soon as you start school, but it is painfully clear that the history we
learn is full of men. Men fought and
won the Revolutionary War. Men fought the Civil War. A man abolished slavery. Our
presidents are filled with nothing but testosterone. It was all men.
causes one to wonder: where were all the women?
they not allowed to be involved? Were they confined to their homes, bearing and
taking care of children? Were they waiting patiently for their husbands to come
The answer is simple: they weren’t. Women are scattered all across American History. This country’s history is saturated with the efforts of women, trying to make a difference. The only difference between these men and women is the men’s efforts are documented. They are taught in school, and they are celebrated during national holidays. Women’s stories are not. And it is not because they don’t exist. It is simply because they’re silenced.
The British are coming! The
British are coming! If you have ever lived in
America, learned anything about American History, you know the name Paul
Revere. He is the brave man that journeyed through the night, letting everyone
know the enemy was arriving.
What is not very well-known is that Sybil Ludington did
the same exact thing at sixteen years old, no less.
Ludington was born in 1761. Her father was loyal to the
English throne until three years before America signed the Declaration of
Independence in 1776. Joining the Revolution, he was promoted to Colonel of his
On April 26, 1777, Sybil Ludington took the ride of her
life when another man was simply too tired to continue. She alerted her
father’s men, that were scattered at the time, of danger and telling them to
return to the front lines. It is estimated that she rode twice as far as Paul
Revere, ranging to about 40 miles in total.
Because of her noble efforts, men were able to march and
face the British in the Battle of Ridgefield. And even though, she is often
forgotten today in history, George Washington did honor her for her efforts.
Coretta Scott King
Most people know Coretta Scott King because of her
husband: Martin Luther King, Jr. But what many do not know is that King was a
very integral part of the Civil Rights Movement.
Before she met her future husband, King dreamed of
becoming a famous singer. However, she soon sacrificed that dream in the name
of fighting for her civil rights. She excelled at a young age, graduating from
high school as the valedictorian before moving on to receive her BA in music at
Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. King was then awarded a scholarship to
further her education at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where she
met Martin Luther King, Jr.
After marrying her husband, King found herself in the
middle of the Civil Rights Movement, fighting peacefully alongside her husband.
Because of her family’s participation, her and MLK’s proximity to the movement,
they often received death threats. Their home was a never-ending target for
groups against their efforts. King also openly criticized the way in which the
movement tended to exclude women while she fought for injustice.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4th,
1968. Even after her husband’s death, King continuously supported the efforts
of the movement, participating in a labor strike only days after her husband’s
funeral. She remained the voice of several women’s right causes, traveling to
lecture about those issues as well as racism and economic ones.
Because of this, King was awarded the Universal Love
Award. She also published a memoir, documenting her time with Martin Luther
King, Jr. and their fight for justice. It was her hard work that finally paid
off in the materialization of the federal holiday in 1983, honoring her husband.
women in history remained so unknown that their name is not even documented. Agent
355 is one of them. She was one of George Washington’s most reliable spies
during the American Revolution.
seen with Britain’s highest-ranking officers, working for the other side of the
Revolution. She often attended cocktail parties and soirees with the British
elite, though her intentions far passed simply socializing.
Agent 355 was the member of America’s first
elite spy ring, though little to no information is known about her person.
Though people have described her as many would a typical spy, one who has wit
and charm like no one else.
of Agent 355, America could defeat the world’s most powerful military of that
time. She is the only member of this spy ring whose identity remains unknown,
and no one knows what became of her after the Revolution. But it is because of
her that the Patriots could gain their independence.
women are only among the hundreds that have been silenced throughout American History.
The success and tenacity of these women have helped build this country to what
it is today, though there is still much more work that needs to be done.
Simply because these women achieved great things does not
mean the achievement of their male counterparts are lesser, though these
women’s efforts do get buried while the efforts of men are celebrated on a
public forum and in large scales. National holidays are created in honor of men
while many women’s efforts are not even taught in educational settings.
light on just a few important women helps brings them to an equal level as men.
At the end of the day, that is all women ask, even present-day. People are so
used to men being superior that placing women at an equal scale is seen as
not want to be superior to men. We simply want to be seen as equals. Our hard
work makes a difference, and it should be celebrated just as men’s hard work
Mother Tongue (noun): the language which
a person has grown up speaking from early childhood.
My mother tongue is
English. My father’s mother tongue is English, too. My father’s father’s mother
tongue was Yiddish. It was the only language he spoke until he was eight, when
he fled his hometown.
My father’s father married a woman who spoke Yiddish. They spoke it sometimes to each other, but they did not speak it to my father. They did not speak it to my father because they were afraid for him; they were afraid that even though they were raising him in America, where they came in hopes of being safe, teaching him Yiddish would mark him for violence and alienation. Even here, they were afraid.
Schmuck (noun, pejorative): a foolish or
contemptible person, lit. male genitals.
“I just think it’s
such a perfect word for him,” my non-Jewish thirteen-year-old friend said about
the word schmuck. The “him” in question was a classmate she had a not
particularly well-founded distaste for her. I didn’t know how to tell her that
to many Yiddish speakers, schmuck is too offensive a term for this
“Yiddish just does
such a better job of expressing things than English!” she gushed. It would be
the better part of a decade until I was finally taught that many Jews in
concentration camps only spoke Yiddish. They could not express anything to
their captors or their non-Yiddish speaking neighbors. Many of them would never
express anything again.
Shtetl (noun, historical): a small
Jewish town or village in eastern Europe.
“Do you know the
name of the shtetl your family is from?” I am asked by another Jewish
father figure. His family has been here longer than mine has. He knows more
Yiddish; his mother is less afraid. Sometimes, she teaches me words, mostly
insults. I have a difficult time using them; they don’t sound right in the
middle of an English sentence. I don’t know enough Yiddish to make Yiddish
“No, I never knew
my grandfather.” I know some things. My father’s father thought he was from
Ukraine. Our family friend said that the area was under Polish control when my
grandfather left. If my grandfather knew the name of his shtetl, he
would have known it in Yiddish. I’m afraid that if I’d ever known my
grandfather, he would have had a difficult time telling me my own family
history. I’m worried that he would have been afraid to talk about it. He spoke
English, but it wasn’t his mother tongue. We wouldn’t have spoken each other’s
Koved (noun): honor, dignity, respect.
“Look, I got it.
Can I get some koved-ing?” I asked my friend. I don’t remember what “it”
“Some … what?”
is a Yiddish-English hybrid word I think my family invented. It is always used
in the context given above – koved-ing is always demanded. It means,
roughly, respect, praise, lauding. “Can I get some koved-ing?” is a way
of asking for acknowledgement, sort of. It’s hard to describe exactly what it
means, which is why, when I want koved-ing I ask for koved-ing,
rather than asking for something in English.
“Um, it’s like …” I
trail off. I have a hard time explaining it to my friend.
Mother Tongue (noun): the language which
a person has grown up speaking from early childhood.
My father did not speak Yiddish to me because he could not, because his father did not speak it to him. It cost me three hours of work to buy the updated Yiddish-English dictionary on Amazon. It contains tens of thousands of words.
My father did not speak Yiddish to me, but I hope, one day, I will speak Yiddish to him.
Bad Blood are a new project promising to make a big splash.
Even before their first album was released, they came up with a new way of
thinking about music and revenue, allowing fans to buy stake rights to their
song, by partnering with Vezt. They then lined up some commercial endorsement
and made sure people knew about them. They surely got Jason Momoa hooked on
their music, as if you needed an extra reason to listen to them.
Teen Art Out: How did the idea to
partner with Vezt first come about?
I was first introduced to Vezt by my friend Maxim Horner who was working for
them at the time. He had me come into the office to meet the founders Steve
Temple Pilots manager)
and Robert Menendez to check out the app and I was blown away. I was like
“This is it. This is the new music business right here.” I signed
with them and had immediate success for my single “Let’s Go” that I
put out as a solo artist. I knew partnering with them and Bad Blood was definitely
the right decision for the new upcoming record. Vezt is an amazing way for us
to connect with our fans on an even deeper level and share in the ownership of
the music together. In the end we’re all in this together. We should all share
in the profits of the songs. They aren’t just mine, or the bands, they are
everybody’s, and by that I mean the fans. We all create the success of the
We’re riding into the future of music production and making a pact with the
fans. It’s exciting.
Teen Art Out: What kind of impact
did that have on how you approached your album?
I think I would have written the songs the same way. I’m always trying to top
myself, better lyrics, better hooks, and I believe this Bad Blood record is
some of my best work as a songwriter yet. The fact that our fans can share in
the ownership of these songs now through Vezt is just amazing and I’m inviting
them in, arms wide open. Every time we all stream the music, promote it on
social media so more people hear it, watch the music video, etc we’re all going
to profit from it. That’s the amazing thing about Vezt. Those who have
ownership in the music earn money just like the band does. It’s truly a
revolution for the music business.
I never think about anything other than just the music when I’m making a
record. That’s my focal point while in the studio.
Teen Art Out: What are 5 words that
describe the album best?
Uplifting, powerful, huge, anthemic, ROCK.
Hard Ass Rock And Roll.
Teen Art Out: The album promises to be big even before it is released, not just with the app partnership but with the song licensing deals. How did those come to be?
Chris Clemence: We’ve been very fortunate to land some big commercial spots and a video game placement before the record has even come out. So far we’ve landed a Bentley commercial, William Henry commercial and 2 songs in the video game Mutant Football League on PlayStation and Xbox. We have a few other big ones in the works as well. We’re super proud of these deals and I think it shows the music speaks for itself. And these deals give our fans even more confidence to buy in shares of the music with Vezt. The record is already successful and it hasn’t been released yet. It’s wild!
I feel that we have crazy fans for our music before it’s even released! I can’t
explain it but I can tell you that I love it. It’s a great feeling. The music
speaks for itself.
Teen Art Out: What was the hardest
part about getting this record out? What about the most fulfilling?
In the beginning of making this record we were dealing with some really
difficult people both on the creative and business side. I’m not going to name
any names, but they made everything impossible and seemed to want to sabotage
the project at every turn. But we didn’t let it happen and we didn’t let them
win. And I think the best and most fulfilling part is that right there.
We didn’t give up, we didn’t quit, we pushed through and now we are releasing
an amazing album that’s already getting an incredible response and landing lots
of amazing placements and deals. The “bad blood” we had with these
individuals only made our group stronger as a unit of brothers and we know we
can’t be stopped.
Chad Cherry: From the very beginning we had to fight the ones who opposed to get to where we are now. The classic “dog eat dog” is real. We rise above.
Teen Art Out: How do you approach
songwriting? Do you start from musical lines or lyrics?
I do most of the lyrics and melodies and Chris (Iorio) does a lot of the main
music parts and riffs. Chad and Kenny always have amazing ideas and parts as
well. We’ll have a basic skeleton and then just keep making it better and
better until we’re ready to record it. Some of the stuff we just came up with
on the spot in the studio. I remember we still needed a second verse for Own
The Night and I just wrote it on the fly while we were tracking the song in the
studio. Sometimes that’s when the best stuff happens. Everyone in the band is a
seasoned songwriter and I love the record we came up with.
I’m the Cherry flavored icing.
Teen Art Out: What can we expect
from Bad Blood on tour?
A hell of a show. We’re taking no prisoners when we hit the stage.
I’ll give you the same answer from a question you asked earlier: HARD ASS ROCK
Teen Art Out: How long does it take
you when you’re back from tour to miss being on tour?
I think I start to miss it the moment we’re finishing recording a song we’re
really excited about. It makes me want to get out and play it for everyone.
I have so much going on in life that touring is sort a balance. We all keep
busy enough so time flies and the next thing you know you’re back out on the
road again. It becomes part of your lifestyle.
Teen Art Out: When was the first
time you thought of yourself as an artist?
Just now? Haha I don’t really think of myself as one even though that’s what we
are. This is just what we do and I love that other people are digging what
we’re doing and are excited about it. That’s what keeps me going.
I would say that I’m just fan. I’m not really an artist. Michelangelo was an
artist, aha! All the stuff we do is just an extension of who we are.
Teen Art Out: What was your first
job? What did you like or not like about it?
Chad Cherry: First
time I remember making real money was when I painted on some leather jackets
for some cool older rocker dudes in a band. I still have that job today with
Chad Cherry Clothing! I made pizzas too at one point. That was a greasy job,
but hey, free pizza.
Teen Art Out: If you could have a carpool karaoke with anyone, whom
would you choose?
Grimace from McDonalds. It would be more entertaining to see him try to get in
the car than to hear him sing though.
Oscar the Grouch. His voice is melodious.
Teen Art Out: What is the best
compliment you have ever received?
The best compliments are always from fans about how a song I wrote helped
change their life in a positive way or helped them in a hard time. Anything to
make their lives better. That means the most to me.
Definitely have to agree with Chris on that one. Music is the universal
language and when it helps heal or change something for the better that’s a
very special and extremely important thing.
I have been
following Myrath for some years now and I could not be happier to see them get
more and more successful. Their latest album, “Shehili” took the charts by
storm (pun intended – Shehili is the name of an ancient wind, coming all the
way from the dunes of Sahara). Oriental metal never sounded this good, but the
band did not start with just creating a strong album and went forward to a huge
production of live shows. With fire jugglers, belly dancers and even an
illusionist, their show caught everyone’s attention and earned them the
headline spot at Sweden Rock Festival.
We caught up
with Elyes Bouchoucha (keyboards) to find out more about their album and future
plans, plus some fun questions to get to know him better.
Teen Art Out: With
each album you expect a bigger and better response, but with this one it was
really there. Do you find it to be more an acknowledgement and recognition of
everything so far, or is it just a starting point?
Elyes Bouchoucha: It is both really, because on one hand we have been working really hard
over the past years to reach the level we have reached today and by consequence
the recognition or acknowledgment, and on the other hand it is also a starting
point for Myrath as the forerunner of this unique genre of Blazing Desert Metal.
Teen Art Out: At
any time during the process of a new album, do you go back and listen to the
previous records to perhaps compare or see where the new one would be placed?
Elyes: We have
all of our music imprinted on our minds and, to be honest, after these many
years we reached a point where we can immediately recognize a tune or compare
to a previous melody when discussing a new one.
Teen Art Out: You
have talked a lot about your great relationship with producer Kevin Codfert and
now the lyricists you have worked with. How easy is it for you to let others
come into your project? I imagine sometimes egos must be put aside to recognize
other people’s creative input.
Elyes: To put it in a manner that is related to our latest album Shehili, our creative process is somewhat of a collective sandstorm of creative ideas; we start with a lot of input swirling around and then move ahead by selecting what we think is best to work with and refining the rest further. It is more of a team work and everybody has a say. Our work has always been like this, a family effort where there is no place for egos because our mutual goal is Myrath’s music and its success rather than individual victories or recognition.
Teen Art Out: “Believer”
was such a huge and amazing video, which now got two sequels in “Dance” and “No
Holding Back”. When did you first think of the songs and videos as a trilogy?
Elyes: We always thought that we need to have a sequel to Believer as we liked the idea of Myrath’s members in an alternate reality, especially after we saw the huge positive feedback from fans and critics. The idea then came while working on Shehili, we thought it was best to build on what we already started with Believer and Zaher’s peculiar objects that transports to other realms.
Teen Art Out: How
strange is it to work with as many visual effects?
Elyes: It is
very exciting to work with CGI because you can never know what the final result
would be until you see it, we have to work with imagination and a green screen
while hoping for the best. The results were awesome although we definitely hope
to reach Game of Thrones CGI level one day, Haha!
Teen Art Out: Last
year you had an extremely impressive concert at “Festival International de
Carthage”, with thousands of people cheering for you in your home country. How
have the international tours and success influenced the way you are received in
Elyes: It is
not only due the international touring and growing recognition but also the
amazing support of our fans in Tunisia who came in their thousands for the 3
festival concerts we did in 2017, and that of course helped in having us play
Carthage International Festival 2018 as the first metal band to ever feature in
the prestigious festival.
Teen Art Out: How long does it take you when
you’re back from tour to miss being on tour?
Elyes: About a day or two! Haha. It is
very rewarding to be on the road with the band and getting to meet our large family
of Myrath’s fans in a new city every day, it is an experience like no other and
despite the tiresome daily routine of packing, unpacking and moving from city
to city, once it is over I miss it immediately.
Teen Art Out: What
are some pieces of home you would like to find wherever you travel? It can be
places, ideas, customs, foods, anything.
Elyes: I love
travel and I am very interested in exploring new places, cities, food, and customs.
I do not look for home in the places I visit but rather try to experience them
in their own way. I always make sure to try the local coffee wherever I go as I
am a coffee addict J I also like
to try new food and get to know the local areas and shops. I especially enjoy taxi
rides when the local radio would be on and I get to listen to the music of the
country we are in.
Teen Art Out: What
are some of the things people cannot understand about being an active touring
musician until they become one?
hectic speedy tempo of the daily routine where everything must be done in the
fastest time possible to ensure being on time for the show. Life on tour is a
very special experience and I honestly think you need to experience it for
yourself to fully realise what it means. It is exhausting and exciting in equal
measures and every day is an adventure in itself.
Teen Art Out: One
of the themes we have dealt in our issues is “Art Kills”. Must Art be a
sacrifice to be true and real? There is of course the myth of the lone and
Elyes: I came
to realise that everything worth having requires a sacrifice of some sort. If
you want to get good grades in school for example, you will have to sacrifice
your leisure time and spend it studying instead. Art is similar in this aspect;
if you are to connect to your creative spirit and produce art then you must be
willing to sacrifice long hours of solitude and hard work. I do not think that ‘Art
Kills’ per say, but it does require a great deal of effort and energy to
produce it, you might be lonely at times or you may feel misunderstood but when
the final result comes out, you will realise it was worth every moment. The
outcome is always rewarding and worth your sacrifices.
Teen Art Out: How
competitive would you say you are as a person? Is it safe to play Monopoly (or
other games) with you 😊?
Elyes: I don’t
think of myself as being competitive but I do enjoy a good challenge! It is
definitely safe to play Monopoly with me but you should also bring out your
best game because I won’t make it easy, I play to win! haha.
Teen Art Out: What
is your limit for adventure-seeking? Do you go on the scariest rides in an
amusement park, would ever skydive?
scarier the better! I love a good adrenaline rush and I always go for the
adventures that push my fear limits further. I would definitely try skydiving
one day when the opportunity comes.
thank you very much for this nice chat and stay blazing desert metal 😉