Only 2 days away from bringing the SXSW experience right to your screen!! We are stoked to offer our unoffical SXSW showcase via webcast on our blog . Be sure to jump in on the action from 12pm to 6pm get as we broadcast the event live from Austin.
Ear buds strongly recommended & in case your boss catches you busting out the funk cubicleside dont worry we got your BACK! Dr’s Notes and all!
As a little warm up to Fridays event scope out a few music videos from this years acts:
If you’re looking for something to do this weekend and are in the mood for a bit of musical goodness and good times… Check out American Royalty this Friday 10/7, atCulture Collide Festivalin Echo Park, LA.
Culture Collide Festival is a 4 day event put on byFilter Magazinethat starts tomorrow (10/6). They have a pretty insane line-up slated for the festival that will undoubtedly make for an awesome time. The concept behind Culture Collide is, “a four-day international festival welcoming artists from 24 countries and counting, bringing their unique perspectives on music and culture to LA’s East Side for a musical melting pot of live performances, film screenings, and happy hours featuring food and drink from around the world. The festival will once again end with the Toyota Antics Block Party, a free all-day event in Echo Park on Sunday, October 9th.”
Friends of the Ark Crew and past Weekly Feature artists American Royalty, Classixx, and YACHTwill be gracing the stage over the weekend and pumping out some serious tuneage so get excited!
American Royalty will headline the Co-Op venue at 9PM on Friday 10/7 Classixx will perform the Reform venue at 9:30PM on Saturday 10/8 YACHT will headline the ECHOPLEX venue at 12PM on Friday 10/7
The artist in the spotlight of this Weekly Feature is a multi-talented musical mastermind who’s relentlessly trying to create the perfect blend of electronic and acoustic music. In our opinion: Billy Scher and the rest of the guys in the band American Royalty aren’t too far away from discovering the secret recipe.
American Royalty came out swinging fast and hard with the release of their debutEl Ardemo EP and first live show together just less than a year ago. Buzz about this mysterious new group’s eccentric sound and mind-blowing live performances spread like wildfire and they immediately began taking LA by storm.
With a complete disregard for the word “genre” and the creative mindset that anything is possible – American Royalty has successfully carved our their own niche in the music world. Continue reading to get the inside scoop on the band in this edition of the Weekly Feature with Billy Scher of American Royalty. Enjoy!
Name: Billy Scher Place of Residence: Venice, CA Current Jam:J. Philip – Bootyberg Favorite Food: toasted P B & J Mode of Self Expression: light sculptures
Ark: Hey Billy, thanks for taking the time to do this interview with us. Could you begin by telling us a bit about yourself and American Royalty? Billy: My name is Billy Scher. I was born in New York, NY and raised in New England. I’ve spent the last 5 years in California. I’ve been playing guitar and writing songs since I was lad in the country. American Royalty was formed in the Spring of 2010. Our first live show was in September of 2010 so it has been a year since we have been on the live music scene. Marc (the other half of American Royalty) and I are obsessed with trying to find the perfect combination of electronic and acoustic music. We are working on the formula, but at the end of the day it is all about process. I would say my favorite part about American Royalty is the fact that there are no creative boundaries. No boundaries means we can sonically travel to any realm of reality. That’s a special thing that not all bands have the privilege of doing.
Ark: How did you guys come up with the name American Royalty, and is there any symbolism behind the name? Billy: When we were trying to think of a name for the band we started to talk about the desert. And skulls in the desert. And a skeleton that would come out of the sand to ride horses, so skeleton cowboys who then died and came back as skeleton cowboy zombies. That’s when we came up with American Royalty.
Ark: The last time we saw American Royalty perform live, you were doing vocals and also switching off between jamming on a guitar and a sampler. How do you manage to pull it all off at the same time?
Billy: It is just starting to feel natural. I like to move a lot when we play live so it is fun to switch it up and be able to groove all over the stage.
Ark: We’re all about trying to learn the creative processes different artist take when it comes time to create a new track or album. When you’re getting ready to start making music is there some form of “routine” you tend to stick to, or does it vary each time depending on the mood?
Billy: Honestly, it is always different. Sometimes it feels like a song is just meant to be and comes out. Other times it is a battle to make it work. The process might start with a vocal melody, a synth line, or a guitar part, but it’s always different. The key is being ready and willing to follow an idea down the rabbit hole to see where it takes us.
Ark: Your debut EP El Ardemo is killer! What else were you and the rest of the band listening to while writing and recording the music for the EP?
Billy: Thank you. Glad you like. We are always listening to a ton of different genres, but at that time the Black Keys, Bloody Beetroots, and Beck were definitely in high rotation.
Ark: Was there a specific “a ha” moment in your life when you realized you wanted to turn your passion for music into a career, or did it just kind of come to be naturally?
Billy: I am extremely blessed and lucky that I am able to be doing music full time right now. At the end of day, I am all about positive energy and believing in what you want. A combination of that mentality, dedication, supportive friends who let me couch surf at their place, and luck has allowed me to get this far, which is only a start. I have also been fortunate enough to know that I wanted to pursue music from a young age. The big moment was when I saw the light while watching Blonde Redhead at Vegoose in 2007. There was a moment during their set that I was in it with them. I felt like I completely understood their vibe. At that moment they were the definition of music for me. I connected with them on a musical and artistic level that I had never been on before. It was at that moment that I decided to start logging my 10,000 hours.
Ark: Alright. Now it’s time for the “lightning round.” If you could answer as quickly as possible, we’d appreciate it: *Billy’s answers are in RED
Digital or analog? – Analog
70s or 80s? – 90s
Dive bar or nightclub? – Dive Bar
San Francisco or San Diego? – San Francisco
Surf or snowboard? - Sledding
Ark: What can we expect from American Royalty in the future? Are there any projects you guys are working on that we should keep an eye out for?
Billy: We are currently in the studio recording a new four song EP. We are extremely excited about the songs, but are even more excited because this is the first time we are recording in a legitimate studio with people who are sonically on the same page as us, so the sound we have always imagined is finally starting to take form. Shout out to Eric and Infrasonic Sound. We are releasing one of the singles called “I’ve Been Fighting For You” on vinyl with Seaport Records out of New York City. The whole EP should be dropping in early October. Be on the look out!
Ark: What do you and the rest of the guys in American Royalty like to do with your free time/ what are a few of your hobbies?
Billy: I’ve been on a crazy deejay high for a little bit now, so if I am not working on original songs I am up on the CDJs and looking for new music. I still try to get down to the basketball courts at Venice Beach once a day to play a quick game of pick up. Between the courts for me and ocean for Marc (who is a surfer) Venice Beach is a nice place to have at the end of the street.
Ark: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions Billy. Any last words for the readers?
Billy: It’s been a pleasure. Thanks for featuring us on your site!
Now scope out the video of an in studio recording session they did last month for the song “Levrolution” and listen to a couple other songs by American Royalty!
Last Tuesday night we headed over to Mesa to check out the new LEAF art installation and watch American Royaltytear it up on stage for the 1 year anniversary of C.A.M.M. event.
What is C.A.M.M. one might ask…? Well, it stands for Cinema Art & Music Movement and it takes place every Tuesday night at Mesa which just so happens to be a stone’s throw away from Ark HQ. So naturally we knew this one was a no brainer and we had to go check it out.
Over the years we’ve watched LEAF evolve into the killer company it is today, so were super amped to see what they had in store for everybody. And before even walking through the front door of Mesa you couldn’t help but be impressed by how all out LEAF went with the artwork. They took it to a new level by decking the entire place out with everything from floor to ceiling photography panels, life-size cardboard cutouts, art pieces dangling from the ceiling, and everything in-between. Not a single detail went unlooked.
Everyone was in good spirits and the minute American Royalty took the stage the place went nuts! These guys have a sound all of their own and put on killer live performances. Suffice to say, we were not disappointed. (*Check back soon for a little surprise we’re doing with American Royalty.)
Overall, It was an awesome night filled with art, music and friends and we’re definitely glad we were able to check it out. We weren’t able to snag too many photos of the event but as soon as we get them they’ll be posted on the blog. Here are a few photos courtesy of the SUN group for now:
As we mentioned a couple of times over the past few weeks our buddies at Collaborative Media are throwing their second annual Pacific Festival: OC this Saturday. The guys went above and beyond with this one and stacked the lineup sky high with a cornucopia of musical talent. So whether you want to vibe on some mellow surf rock tunes, bounce to legendary hip hop classics, or dance the day and night away to heavy electro beats: the Collaborative Media guys have you covered.
With over 50 acts performing throughout the day/night we hope everyone heading to Pacific Festival is as excited as we are. And it goes without saying that since set times are close and there are multiple acts performing at the same time… you may have to flip a coin once or twice to decided which act to go see. decisions decisions…
Anyhow, in all our excitement we’ve thrown together a list of 10 performances that we think are worth checking out and you might like too. Some are well known and others are not as well know, but either way they all make awesome tunes and we can’t wait to see them live. As you browse through our list just click on the artist name to find our more about them and hear their tracks!
*Oh, we’ve also taken the liberty of including a map of the venue for you to check out before heading to the festival on Saturday. Enjoy!
1. Cut Copy
We can’t think of a better way to bring an already epic day to an end than by watching a live performance by Cut Copy. It never ceases to amaze us how GOOD these guys sound live and we’ve been itching to see them again since Coachella earlier this year! Set Time & Location: Midnight-1am @ Main Stage
Get ready to get down with some serious “day disco” tunes when Poolside takes over the Lakeside stage and transforms it into a full-blown dance party. The summertime vibes will be in FULL effect. Set Time & Location: 4:35pm-5:35pm @ Lakeside
“I’ll get you”! Well maybe we won’t … but Classixx definitely will get those feet of yours moving in no time flat. Armed with an endless supply of smooth tunes these two know exactly what it means to spin to win. Set Time & Location: 9:50pm-10:50pm @ Lakeside
4. The Twelves
This musical genre-bending Brazilian duo pulls out all the stops and goes full steam ahead during their performances. Since they’re constantly doing live mixing on stage no two shows are the same and you never know what they might do next! Set Time & Location: 10:50pm-11:50pm @ Lakeside
5. Ghostland Observatory
By far one of the best performances we’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing in our entire lives. Words don’t do justice to how rad of a show Ghostland puts on…so go experience it for yourself. Simply put: they had to get approval from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) for their laser and light show. DON’T miss this one. Set Time & Location: 9:20pm-10:20pm @ Main Stage
Not only is Wishengrad a close friend of the Ark Crew, he’s also a musical mastermind. Over the years we’ve seen him spin everything from old school hip hop to heavy electro tracks and everything in between. So be prepared to rock because this guy knows how to bring the heat! Set Time & Location: 5pm-6pm @ Red Bull MXT
7. American Royalty
LA based group American Royalty is the perfect example of all the good that can happen when rock is mixed with electronic music the right way. The amount of raw energy they put into their shows is absolutely unreal and 100% worth checking out. Set Time & Location: 3:10pm-4:10pm @ Pacific Stage
8. Guns In the Suns Deejays
This will be a set unlike any other during Pacific Festival and a spectacle at that. Imagine putting Motley Crue, David Bowie, Boys Noize, Daft Punk (and 15 other artists) into a blender and pushing the “ON” switch… what you would end up with is something the likes of the Guns Deejays. Set Time & Location: 6pm-7pm @ Red Bull MXT
If you’re in the mood for some seriously strange and awesome tuneage then set a reminder/alarm/notification (you get the picture) for FiFiNASTY’s set. In addition to cranking out melodies, breaks, drops, bleeps and blips that will have you begging for more…this duo puts on a performance that is equally as intriguing. Set Time & Location: 8:20pm-9pm @ Shagadelica Stage
Watch the day turn to night while you jam to the auditory gems of Phantogram. This will be the perfect set if you feel like taking a little breather to relax and still catch some quality tunes. Set Time & Location: 6pm-6:55pm @ Pacific Stage
Scope the venue layout to get a feel for the place before making your way to the festival on Saturday