Category Archives: Interviews

Cosby Sweater Changes Their Name To Turbo Suit, Announces Tour & New Album!

The time comes for every artist to face the daunting challenge of selecting a moniker that represents their sound, their brand and their persona. In 2012, Indianapolis funktronica trio settled on Cosby Sweater, a pop culture reference to the flamboyant knit sweaters doned by an ‘80s sitcom star, which were later coveted by artists like Notorious B.I.G. as collectors items and referenced in cult-classic films like “High Fidelity.”

Cosby Sweater (the band) has been establishing themselves in the music scene, touring the US, performing at a plethora of top national festivals and releasing four albums, all during their short tenure. Their fans embraced the vision behind the name and often show up in their best Cosby sweaters. Like the sweaters themselves, the name conjured a warm and familiar feeling._PRC7516-Edit

Recently the word “Cosby” has developed a negative connotation in the news, and the elephant in the room has become too big to ignore. That once comfortable feeling associated with the band name is now surrounded with a preconceived thought that doesn’t reflect what the band represents.

Starting in January 2015, the band will effectively be known as “Turbo Suit.” What is Turbo Suit? A Turbo Suit is the suit that exemplifies how “You Do You” the best. It is the band morphing out of Cosby Sweater and into something that is fresh, fast, and stylish. Musically, the band has brought it to the next level with their new material. So, it only makes sense to “suit up” in a new vessel that showcases the band’s evolution from Cosby Sweater to Turbo Suit.1487783_736886263036791_4171680448606332986_o

Along with the name change, the trio has announced dates for their winter tour which commences on January 14th in Allston, Massachusetts. Turbo Suit will be touring in support of their forthcoming album, “Out Here,” which will be released this spring.

The new full-length album represents a musical raising-of-the-bar for the band. “Out Here” will feature an impressive roster of special guest including Jake Cinninger, Joel Cummins and Andy Farag (Umphrey’s McGee); Natalie Cressman (Trey Anastasio Band); Zion I; ProbCause; Joe Hettinga and Marcus Rezak (Digital Tape Machine); Rusty Redenbacher and more.

David Embry (production and vocals), Nicholas Gerlach (tenor saxophone and EWI) and Jeff Peterson (drums) are “suiting up” in 2015, and they can’t wait for you to join them!

“Out Here” Tour Dates
January 14 | Allston, MA – Wonder Bar
January 15 | Philadelphia, PA – North Star
January 16 | Plains, PA – River Street Jazz Cafe
January 17 | New York City, NY – B.B. Kings Blues Club^*
February 5 | Cleveland, OH – Beachland Tavern~
February 6 | Detroit, MI – Elecktricity~^
February 7 | Traverse City, MI – Winter Microbrew Festival
February 13 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
February 14 | Kalamazoo, MI – Bell’s Brewery^^
February 18 | Lacrosse, WI – Popcorn Tavern
February 19 | St. Cloud, MN – Red Carpet Nightclub
February 20 | Fargo, ND – The Aquarium
February 21 | Duluth, MN – The Rex Bar
February 26 | Minneapolis, MN – Mill City Nights**
February 27 | Madison, WI – The Orpheum**
February 28 | Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall**
March 4 | Urbana, IL – Canopy Club**
March 5 | Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room**
March 6 | Live Oak, FL – AURA Music & Arts Festival
March 12 | Iowa City, IA – Gabe’s
March 13 | Columbia, MO – Rose Music Hall
March 14 | St. Louis, MO – 2720 Cherokee*
March 18 | Covington, KY – Cosmo’s
March 19 | Lexington, KY – Cosmic Charlie’s
March 20 | Louisville, KY – Zanzabar
March 21 | Carbondale, IL – Hangar 9
April 9 | Knoxville, IL – International
April 18 | Austin, TX – Stubb’s Jr. Indoors ^
May 15 | Stewart, OH – Colordance Music & Arts Festival
May 22-24 | Chillicothe, IL – Summer Camp Music Festival

**with Lotus
^Umphrey’s McGee after party
*featuring Joel Cummings on keys
~ Post Cherub
^^Digital Sweater (Digital Tape Machine + Turbo Suit)
~^with Michal Menert

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Freekbass Interview & Upcoming show at The Funky Biscuit Dec. 30th

As part of their Winter Tour, Freekbass & The Bump Assembly will be performing at The Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton on Tuesday, December 30th.

Touring in support of their new album “Everybody’s Feelin’ Real” which was produced by Duane Lundy (My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Ben Sollee) and featuring contributions from members of Bootsy’s Rubberband, Parliament-Funkadelic and Trey Anastasio Band, Freekbass & The Bump Assembly will have the dance party jumping on the night before New Year’s Eve.

With organic, bass-centric sounds mixing with forward-looking soundscapes, “Everybody’s Feelin’ Real” finds Freekbass bridging the gap between classic funk and the future of the groove. Inspired by the inventiveness and massive sonics of David Bowie, the ten-songs on Everybody’s Feelin’ Real celebrate a sound while simultaneously pushing the envelope of what it is and what it can be. Funk is only a part of it.

HYPE editor, Phil Sunkel, sat down with Freekbass to talk about the tour in support of the new album, advice and Bernie Worrell.

Photo by Michael Weintrob
Photo by Michael Weintrob
HYPE: How’s your night been?

Freekbass: It’s been great, man. I just did this podcast with this pretty cool guitar radio show. They’re digging on music on the manufacturing side of things out of Austin, TX. It was nice.

HYPE: Awesome, gonna have to check that out. You want to just hop right in to this?

Freekbass: Yeah. I’m ready whenever you are.

HYPE: Cool. Why don’t you go ahead and tell me about tour so far?

Freekbass: We just released an album a few months ago called “Everybody’s Feelin’ Real.” We’ve been trying to gradually ramp it up. We started off right when the album dropped. We went out for about three weeks with Particle. They were relaunching their thing too, at the same time. Now, we’re going out as winter months go on, doing obviously more club dates and also jumping on some festivals where we can. Trying to spread the word of the funk to everybody that’ll come and listen.

HYPE: Tell me a little bit about the recording process for “Everybody’s Feelin’ Real”. You guys recorded with Duane Lundy?

Freekbass: Yeah, Duane’s just incredible. He’s worked with some great people. Works a lot with Jim James from My Morning Jacket. He did a bunch of stuff with Ben Sollee, definitely from the analog world of music. You want to have a Floyd Rose sound, he doesn’t try to simulate it. He was so good when we first started doing my album, he asked me “what are you trying to achieve”; what do you want? I said, I want to get that same feeling I had when I would hear Stevie Wonder’s “Talking Book” or “Maggot Brain” by Funkadelic or “There’s a Riot Goin’ On” by Sly and the Family Stone. He told me if you want to have that kind of vibe on the album, we needed to record it like those albums were recorded. We sat up in the studio, and played everything live as a unit. If someone messed up in the unit, we didn’t overdub, we started over again and started right fresh on the track. I had my bass and my bass amp, cranked it loud, like it was live. A lot of times when you’re in the studio, it seems like they’ll have your amp on 2, and be like, OK, play it just like you do, make it sound just like you do live. You’re like, how do I can do that? You know what I’m saying? The feeling that we’ve captured on the album is going to far exceed anything Ive done anyways. It’s just been great. We had so many great guest collobartors. Jennifer Hartswick of Trey Anastasio Band came in to do a bunch of tracks. She did some amazing horn work on the album. It’s the first album, every album that comes out, obviously, it’s your new baby, but this is the one that I really feel good about. It’s not bullshit too; and I’m not saying that to say, “hey, I’m so great.” It’s more interpretive, sonically. I really like the way it’s mixed and the tones that are coming out of it. It feels really good to go out, play it and tour. That was another thing, too, was with Daune’s help, we tried to capture the way we sound live, and not try to make it. When you play live, its totally different than in the studio. Every time your in the studio, there’s always that temptation to keep overdubbing and overdubbing and making it bigger, but then live, you can’t really reproduce that. There’s a song on the album thats just bass, drums and vocals. That’s it. It’s been translating really well live, too, I think, because we’re able to reproduce these sounds very well live.

HYPE: Could you tell me a little bit about the David Bowie influence going on in the album?

Freekbass: Well, I’m a huge Bowie fan. Besides the obvious thing of Bowie always recreating himself in almost every album that he did in his whole career. Besides the visuals of him simply looking different, the thing I always thought was so great about Bowie is that no matter stylistically, whatever he did still sounds like Bowie, whether he was doing funk or rock or experimental or avant gard stuff, it all still sounded like Bowie. You’d say, oh, that’s Bowie the second you hear it. As a song writer and as a performer, that’s one of the things things that I’m always trying to emulate. Whether I’m doing something that’s more country sound, more rock sound, whatever, it’s still like, I want people to think and say “oh, yeah, that’s Freekbass playing.” On the production side, going back to the Duane Lundy example, a lot of the albums we’re using for references, like Bowie’s “Scary monsters” and “Heroes” and stuff like that, sonically, those albums were pretty avant gard albums that somehow ended up still getting on the pop charts, which is mind blowing. How dissident his stuff was, but they still were hit songs.

Photo by Adam Henry
Photo by Adam Henry
HYPE: Before this interview, I was going through some questions that I wanted to ask you and I saw a lot of people asking the same questions. So I’m going to ask you something now I don’t think you’ve ever been asked before.

Freekbass: OK, go for it. And yeah, you’re right. I do get that. That’s a lot of that good bio stuff.

HYPE: I want you to imagine for a second, that you could right now, at this very moment, go back in time. You could go back to when you were working in that music shop. You’ve got your first bass guitar on layaway. You could tell yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

Freekbass: Wow, that’s an awesome question.

HYPE: Yeah, that question has been years in the making.

Freekbass: Wow. I guess probably, this is going to sound ultra cliché, but don’t try to play to what people think you should be, or what you think people will necessarily like. Whatever moves you, play that. That’s why, not to pull the whole album into it, but over the last couple of years, especially since the album came out that I’ve really felt comfortable in my own skin. Whether you love it or you absolutely are repulsed by what I do, this is who I am, and this is what I do. That’s what makes people come to my shows . I would tell that 12 or 13 year-old boy, if something’s really cool, don’t try to feel like you have to try to play to that, become that, if that’s what you want. If you’re going to be a funk bass player, be the funk bass player. If you’re going to go up there and look crazy on stage and jump around and be silly sometimes, if you’re honestly feeling that way, then be that way. Don’t feel like oh, I’ve got to be this person or I’ve got to try to be more like this person acts on the scene or whatever. I hope that answered your question.

HYPE: I think it definitely did. I like how you brought up the album too, it seems like you’re at that fruition point where you are playing the music you really want to play.

Freekbass: Definitely. I’ve gone through a lot. I’ve got a group we play occasionally too, Headtronics, its a project with DJ Logic and Steve Mullet, which is more on the electronic side of stuff. I loved that I did all that stuff, but this music now definitely makes me feel like I can take a deep breath. It’s me. I’m me, now, and for better or worse, this is who I am.

Photo by Michael Weintrob
Photo by Michael Weintrob
HYPE: I want to ask you, now that the album’s out, what would you say are your goals?

Freekbass: I love being on the road. I love touring. We’re already starting to write the next album. So basically, I guess my immediate goals in the near future is to continue to tour more, as much as possible, and in as many places as possible, for as many people as possible. I’ve been really lucky to be able to work with some amazingly talented people. I always feel incredibly blessed by that and to be able to keep doing that, while finding that magical muse amongst people is incredible. Performing is not just necessarily the people that you’re performing on stage with, I almost feel like the audience is part of the band too. They become part of the music. In each different environment, it’s like you’re playing with a different band every night, when you’re playing in front of a different audience every night. The audience is part of the band. That’s one of the exciting things about touring. Just more and more touring as much as possible, for as many different types of people as possible.

HYPE: Awesome. That’s it for my questions. I do have one more thought that I want to touch on. Are there any bassists that you’re keeping your eyes and ears on?

Freekbass: Bass players in particular or just musicians in particular?

HYPE: Bass players in particular.

Freekbass: Bass players, wow. There’s so many bass players that I’m enamored of and in love with their style, but I’ve always been more of a collective of how this bass player plays with this group or a person’s individual style. We just got done doing a bunch of dates with The Nth Power last week, that band. They’re getting such a great buzz right now and they should, because they’re just so, the way they play, they kick ass. It’s not just one individual person in that band. It’s All of them individually that are incredibly talented, but it’s the way that they come together as a unit that makes The Nth Power what it is.

HYPE: I totally agree.

Freekbass: Yeah, exactly. In terms of bass players, it’s more about sounds and creating landscapes in terms of sound. One of my biggest influences as a bass player, is actually not a bass player. It’s Bernie Worrell.

HYPE: Oh, wow, he’s really incredible.

Freekbass: Yeah, Bernie and I have played together a lot and I have loved all the stuff he’s done with P-Funk and Talking Heads. All the stuff he did, a lot of the times he was playing the bass lines on the keyboards. There’s a magazine out of England called Bass Guitar Magazine. About a year ago, they had me list my top 5 or top 10 bass players and why I liked them. I think one of them I wrote on there was Bernie. I said, I know technically he’s not a bass player, but he thinks like a bass player. That’s a huge influence to me as a musician and even as a person. He’s a wonderful human being on top of that. Even though Bernie’s not a new comer to the scene, I’m always keeping my eye on what he’s doing. He’s always doing something new and ground breaking.

HYPE: Oh, yeah, definitely. I was surprised to hear that, everything I read, is like, oh Freekbass and Bootsy Collins, Freekbass and Bootsy, so I think it’s awesome to hear about Bernie’s influence on you. He is simply incredible and He’s still out there doing his thing.

Freekbass: Yeah. That’s the thing about him and Bootsy, and even George Clinton, that a lot of their contemporaries now are doing the casinos and the oldies tours and that kind of stuff. Those guys are still cutting records like it’s 1967. You go to a George Clinton show, and it’s all kids. They know that they’re still as edgy now as they were 20, 30 years ago. Which I think is awesome.

For more information, music and tour dates visit

TAUK Interview About Collisions

TAUK has literally been the talk of the scene this past summer. Having tuned their individual talents into one well oiled machine, the guys are on the route to infamy.

Editor, Phil Sunkel, got the chance to sit down with the guys to do a little interview before their set at the Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton, FL.

HYPE (Phil Sunkel): Let’s get this started. I’m going to pass this around to you guys. I know, it’s so much fun to pass around the mic._DSC5048

Charlie Dolan: It’s better than you telling us, “Yeah, I didn’t get any of the interview.”

HYPE: Oh, shit. I forgot to press record. Can we go back and do that again? Hahaha just kidding.

Isaac Teel: Everyone do that again for another hour.

HYPE: So You guys must get asked a lot about the name, right?

AC Carter: Not as much as you think.

HYPE: Really? Because I was sitting here thinking, I bet every journalist that comes up to you is like, “What does Tauk mean?”

Isaac: Some of them do. I think the most recurring question is, “Where are you guys from?” or “How’d you guys started as a band?” Those are the most recurring questions.DSC_7107

HYPE: Yeah, those are pretty standard. I’m not going to ask those.

Charlie: Yeah, so the name comes from a town at the end of Long Island where the three of us grew up, called Montauk. Our name is really just a homage to our home island.

Matt: The long one.

Charlie: The Long Island.

HYPE:Ok so, this past year you guys have been doing a lot of stuff, a lot of crazy cool stuff. What are some of your highlights? What are some of the regrets?

Matt: Last night was a regret. We got very large milkshakes at four in the morning. I regret that. I think most of us regret that. As far as the highlights go, I think Lockn’ Festival was definitely a huge highlight for us.

HYPE: You guys packed out that set, right?

Matt: Yeah, it was a one o’clock set. It was hot as fuck and a lot of people came out. We were happy about it. Mad Tea Party was a great festival. Floyd Fest. The Hudson Project was really good.

AC: Catskill Chill.

Matt: Catskill Chill, also amazing.

HYPE: I do want to ask you guys about your new record, “Collisions”. How would you say it’s different from Homunculous and …

Isaac: Pull Factors?

DSC_7067HYPE: Yeah, how would you say it’s different from the recording process for those albums and how would you say they sound different?

AC: It’s always been a step-wise process for us. When we did “Pull Factors” we were kind of figuring out who we wanted to be. We were going through some transitions at that point so we said, you know what? Let’s just get in the studio, experiment, lay some things down and see what happens. “Pull Factors” was exactly that. It was a combination of different writing styles from across the board that we all contributed to.

We kind of painted out our own unique palette with that. That was definitely the foundation for our next effort, “Homunculus”. “Homunculus”, we were really concerned about the compositions. We wanted to make sure that, as our first full LP with Isaac, we wanted to make the strongest statement as possible as a complete album experience from start to finish.

Each song flowed into each other. Then, we toured and toured and we came up with “Collisions”. We expanded on “Collisions” by taking the best parts of “Homunculus” and just really working through them. Allowing ourselves to play more and experiment more, take a little bit more solos and just have a little bit more fun, you know.

People kind of had a taste of what we did, but we really wanted to bring the live aspect of our show into this album. We want it to be as on point as a studio album, as it would be for a live show. We really tried to bring that perspective to that.

Matt: Yeah, I think there’s a lot of similarities between “Homunculus” and the last one. Kind of going off what AC was saying, a lot of the new stuff is kind of stronger. There’s a lot of aspects that we took from “Homunculus” and there was some songs on that album that I think would still fit on the newer one. There’s some that wouldn’t really fit, in terms of just the composition styles. We made a series of choices to kind of go with a style that’s more like funk and groove based. We did a lot more writing as a band on the last album as opposed to the album before it. I think that kind of let the band shine through, everyone as an individual kind of got to have their voice heard a little bit more on the new album.DSC_7068

Charlie: It was also the difference that we, for “Homunculus”, we kind of just jumped in the studio, we already had some ideas. We had some things worked out. We stayed in the studio and churned it out whereas “Collisions”, the last one, we worked on all the songs together. We toured on them, really saw how that ended up developing the songs. That’s also why it kind of gave it a little more of a live feel. It also allowed us to develop the songs in a different way than we had with “Homunculus”.

Isaac: I totally concur with what everybody’s saying. I think we just took more risks with this album in terms of sound, melody, and groove. I think, hopefully, that came across. I think that this last album showed a lot of growth. We did a lot of pre-production for this latest record and I think it showed through the music.

HYPE: I think that’s true. “Collisions” is almost a literal term for the cohesiveness that has come from working through the past albums and getting to where you are now. I want to move it in to asking you guys what is something each of you has learned over this past year? Then, after that, one more question and you guys can go watch The Fritz.

Matt: I think something we learned is that this has been the most shows that we’ve ever played in a year so we’ve been busier than we ever have. It’s actually been the best year for us by far, but I think something we’ve learned is it’s really difficult to finalize writing your material on the road. Before this year, everything we wrote was in the studio.
We’d go in the studio, practice, and just come up with ideas. We didn’t have a ton of free time, but we had more free time than we do now. Right now, the biggest challenge is we’re playing all these shows and it’s really driving us. We’re like, oh, man, we need another song that would be great for this night. It’s kind of cool that we’ve got a lot of shows to look forward to. Our schedule’s filling up for the future. At this point, we’re learning that you kind of have to take the time to slow down at a point and it’s very important to grow and to make sure that not every show’s the same for people when they come back. For me, I know that I’ve learned, maybe I can’t tour 360 days out of a year, you know? I can’t do it. You could, but good luck._DSC5066

AC: I think that one thing I’ve tried to take away from this is just keeping a positive attitude no matter what the situation is. I mean, who knows? You might have fun.

Matt: You might.

AC: You might have fun, but honestly, though just keeping a good positive head about things because not every song, not every day, not every show is going to be the most amazing. It’s just to keep push through it, you know, just making sure that you’re keeping a positive head no matter what.

Charlie: Yeah, I’d agree with what AC is saying. It’s like the big thing we learned is to stay positive and stay humble, putting the right energy out there and really just working hard and going at it pays huge dividends. Maybe you might not see it immediately, but you know, months, weeks down the road, it really does pay off. Being sincere people and putting every effort in our heart into it, is I think the biggest thing we have going for us. Just going into any situation, even if it’s a shitty situation, with a positive attitude and just trying to make the best of it. It’s been huge for us and I think that’s the biggest reason why we’ve had so much progress and that we still like each other, get along, and that we’re still together making music. I think it raises the ceiling for where we can go.

Isaac: I mean, that’s very well said.

HYPE: I’d say that’s the quickest that anybody’s ever answered that question. DSC_7089

Isaac: Yeah, man, I mean, for me, I’ll keep it quick. The biggest lesson I’ve learned this year is patience. Through all the shit we’ve been through and what we’re going to go through, everything has it’s time. You can’t rush it. If you rush it, you’re not going to be ready. You want to prepare yourself to be ready to step up when you need to, when you’re called on. I think we’re going to have plenty of opportunities, patience is key. Everything will fall into place.

HYPE: Thanks guys, I appreciate you all taking the time to sit down with the HYPE Fam.

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Eliot Lipp Interview About Watch The Shadows, New Full length Album With Michal Menert & More…

ELiot Lipp has for a long time, been at the top of my list of favorite producers, especially when it comes to the Prettys Lights Music Label.

Lipp recently dropped his new album, “Watch The Shadows”, with some of his best songs to date. Editor, Phil Sunkel, got the chance to cacth up with Eliot to talk about the new album, Michal Menert and more.

HYPE (Phil Sunkel): Let’s just hop right into it with talking about some of your highlights for the summer.

Eliot Lipp: From this past summer?

HYPE: Yeah, anything that really sticks out in your mind?

Eliot: Well, there was one show in New York that was pretty awesome. It was, I don’t know, July. And I played at this little club called Glazz House. I guess that was probably one of my favorites of the summer just because I love Brooklyn … I love summer nights in New York and that was an epic one.

HYPE: Uh-huh (affirmative).

Eliot: And that was kind of one of my favorite shows I’ve done in New York, I guess. Yeah, I don’t know, it’s hard to think of a highlight. There was this one small festival in Pennsylvania called The Big Dub. That was another one that was pretty cool.

HYPE: Oh yeah. Let’s see here … what was your Halloween like?

Eliot: Oh, it was good. I did a sold out show at Cervantes’ in Denver.

HYPE: Oh, hell yeah.

Eliot: With a bunch of my friends, like Paul Basic, SuperVision and in the other room was The Werks & Zoogma.

HYPE: Oh, nice.

Eliot: Yeah, it was just a lot fun … that was a fun show. It was packed. Everybody had crazy costumes on.

HYPE: Nice. Was that part of the Keepin’ It Crew tour?

Eliot: No, that was just … I mean the three of us did some Crew tracks, but the tour was over I think the week before that show. So it wasn’t really part of the tour.

HYPE: Okay. Now I want to start talking about your latest album, “Watch the Shadows.” Can you tell me a little bit about the album and how it’s different from some of your past work?

Eliot: Yeah, that album took me a couple of years to finish. It went through a lot of different phases. At one point, I took a lot of the samples out and replayed them, like with live musicians and vocalists and stuff. So that really changed the feeling of it for me. I got it to sound exactly how I wanted to, but the process was just so different. But I’d also say a lot of the orchestral sounds, the strings, the brass and stuff, that’s something kind of new to my sound. I haven’t really fucked with that until this record. I started using more classical musical influences. I think it helps make the album a little more cohesive because I jump around from different genres through the whole thing. 1470393_187567054769582_482182339_n
HYPE: I definitely feel like, compared to some of your past work, there’s a different feel and vibe on the new album. I think that comes from the, as you were saying, the orchestra background and stuff like that. My next question is, do you think we’ll be seeing the live band out on the road with you again?

Eliot: Yeah, definitely next year. I don’t know if it’s gonna be the same guys because my guitar player is in Cage of the Elephant now hahaha. So they’re using him quite a bit. But we’ll see. I love touring with a live band. That’s something I miss.

HYPE: It’s definitely a whole other beast. I remember at Halloween last year, that was, I think, definitely one of the highlights for me.

Eliot: Oh, thank you. Yeah, that was some fun.

HYPE: Yeah, that was a great time. And I wanted to ask you what do you think is something you’ve learned about yourself over this past year?

Eliot: Oh, this past year? I think one thing I’ve learned is that … I don’t know how to explain it. But one concept that’s been sort of coming up with me lately is just about how your ego can stop you from reaching your goals. You know? I mean its like how sometimes the only person holding you back is yourself. And it’s hard when its like that. I’ve caught myself in situations where, whether it was my own insecurities or what not, but I’ve caught myself sort of holding myself back from doing what I really want to do and it’s all in my own head. That’s something that I think I’ve learned; I’ve become more aware of it. I haven’t exactly learned how to figure it out or fix it, but I’m becoming more aware of that. You know? And that’s just something I think I’ll figure out more as I get older. I love all these projects that I do in music, but its hard not to get caught up when you could successfully wrap up a project, like an album or a tour or something, there’s a lot of just hoops to jump through and there’s a lot of obstacles along the way. So as I’m trying to learn how to deal with all those, that’s one thing I’ve had to overcome is myself.
HYPE: I think that was a very well put answer, too. Now I want to ask you about who you’re keeping your eye out on because I know you seem to know a lot of people in the edm scene and you always have your ears on the up and coming stuff. Who would you say you’re keeping an ear on right now?

Eliot: Well, there’s a Florida dude, Sir Charles.

HYPE: Oh yeah, love Charles.

Eliot: Yeah. Everything I hear from that dude just gets better and better. And there’s also Black Liquid. He’s starting to have a lot of success. I’ve been a fan of his for a long time. There’s another artist, his record I released in July, he’s a dude named Nuncaduerma from Chicago. I’m a big fan of his stuff, too. He’s relatively underground but he just played at Law and Theory in Los Angeles and he’s been playing around Chicago more. He’s just starting to kind of gain some momentum. But, you know it’s been a good year, man. A lot of people who I’ve had my eye on for a while have started to really blow up and I’m excited about that.

HYPE: Uh-huh (affirmative).

Eliot: Like I said about Black Liquid. But also this dude named Gladkill. You know Gladkill?

HYPE: Yeah, I’ve heard of him. I think I saw him recently.

Eliot: Yeah, he’s been one of my favorite producers for a long time. He put out an EP this year that I just can’t stop listening to. I dig him.1392045_187566908102930_390126899_n

HYPE: Seems like it’s been a really busy, awesome year for the whole scene, you know?

Eliot: Well, everyone has to hustle, you know? They’ve got a lot of competition. Like a few years ago there wasn’t this many touring acts and there wasn’t this many musicians. There’s just more people doing this now, so if you’re going to stay in the game, you have to really concentrate your effort on what you do. I think that’s why we’ve seen so many quality releases coming out lately.

HYPE: Exactly. I totally agree with you. And now, kind of leading away from that, what are you most looking forward to in 2015?

Eliot: Well, Michal Menert and I just put out a couple songs together. We just did a release of one track called “Victory” and then we put out another song called “Jacques Nouveau”. We actually released it on a cassette tape. We’ve been selling the cassettes at our shows.

HYPE: Oh yeah?

Eliot: But our plan is to finish a whole album together and we have a bunch of other songs in the works. So one thing I’m excited about for 2015 is to release this record that Menert and I have been working on. I just love collaborating with him. He’s easy to work with. We’ve got a similar process. So that’s one thing I’m really looking forward to is just getting back in the studio with Michal.

HYPE: Cool.

Eliot: Another thing in 2015 Ill be doing is, I’m going to be doing a solo headlining tour, I’m really looking forward to that. I’m just kind of still going through all the options and trying to figure out what I want to do with that tour. But that’s something that I’m looking forward to as well.

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American Aquarium Interview With BJ Barham

American Aquarium almost called it quits but not before they were able to record a landmark album produced by the infamous, Jason Isbell. That album, Burn.Flicker.Die. ignited a fire in the group that would lead them across the country and back into the studio.

HYPE editor, Phil Sunkel, got the chance to speak with front man BJ Barham about almost calling it quits, their new album “Wolves” and tour.

HYPE (Phil Sunkel): Lets just kick it off by talking a little bit about Burn. Flicker. Die. And then from there I’ll move it into the new album … But let’s start with Burn. Flicker. Die. And working on it with Jason Isbell and stuff like that.

BJ Barham: Sounds good.

HYPE: So tell me about making that album.

BJ: We recorded it down in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. We were down there for eight days. Luckily, by then Jason had been working on Southeastern, so he, he’s been a buddy of ours for a couple years and we were kinda sitting at the bar one night, he made the comment he’d like to produce one of our records. And then we just joked around about it for years, and then finally we called him up and said “hey, uh were you serious about that?”

HYPE: (laughs)

BJ: And so he said yes. He brought us down to Muscle Shoals and when we went down there it was just a batch of songs … it was supposed to be our last record. We were kinda all at our wits end. We weren’t making any money. And so we knew we needed to get these songs down to tape because, you know, we thought they were good songs and we wanted to get it done before we decided to call it quits.

HYPE: And so why the decision to go onto another album now?

BJ: Because Burn. Flicker. Die. completely changed the trajectory of the band. When that album came out we had right about 5,000 Facebook fans. Now we’re at 12,000 in just two years. So it doubled our fan base. It took us seven years, I mean six years, to get those first 5,000 and then just two years to double it. That really just kind of changed our national graph on a fan base. By changing it, it basically allowed us to play better music for more people while actually making a living playing music. Who would of thought that we could actually get to a point where everyone in the band made a decent wage, that everybody could have an apartment to come home to, because of that, everyone was a lot more willing to get on the road and to contine being apart of the band.

HYPE: I wanted to ask you about one of the songs in the album, Jacksonville. Can you tell me a little bit about that song? Did you grow up in that area?

BJ: Yeah, I didn’t grow up in Jacksonville but my fiance is from there.

HYPE: Oh, cool.

BJ: Um, and before that, her … Jacksonville is kind of a, uh … I didn’t have as many good memories about Jacksonville.

HYPE: Haha (laughs)

BJ: So that’s what that song’s about. That song’s about all Jacksonville’s really good for is going and getting pretty fucked up. Unless you’re from Jacksonville, that’s all Jacksonville is good for. But now that we’ve spent a lot more time in Jacksonville and really got a lot better acquainted with the fine folks of Duval County, um, it’s a little bit better place to go nowadays.

HYPE: And I mean now that the music scene has kind of built up again, it’s kind of right up your guys’ alley. You know?

BJ: Yeah the music scene is just getting better and better every year in Jacksonville.

HYPE: Yeah, I actually went to Flagler College and my brother went to UNF so I’m very familiar with Jacksonville.

HYPE: Oh, nice.

BJ: Yeah, uh, my gal went to UNF, too.

HYPE: It’s a great school. So, did you guys just get done playing the MagFest?

BJ: Tonight, we actually play MagFest tonight at 8:45.

HYPE: Cool, I bet you guys are pretty pumped right?

BJ: Yeah, we’re pretty pumped. It’s really a huge MagFest this year, we actually get to play the big amphitheater stage. That’ll be nice.

HYPE: Yep, and are you guys staying all weekend before you head out for Europe?

BJ: Sadly, no. We actually have a music video to shoot tomorrow and then Saturday is my old lady’s birthday.

HYPE: Cool.

BJ: And, uh, this Sunday we leave for Europe.

HYPE: That’s awesome, man. And now let’s, let’s talk a little bit about Wolves. Could you describe to me how this record’s going to be different from Burn. Flicker. Die.? Who do you have producing it and all those things.unnamed-4

BJ: Well, Brad Phillips is producing it. He used to be in a band called Megafaun. Now he plays with Sharon Van Etten. Um, just as Burn. Flicker. Die. was a growth for the band, Wolves is a triple jump for the band. This is the first record where I really think our lyrics really make the music. A lot of times we’ve struggled in arrangements that a lot of times the guys in the band haven’t been as happy with pushing the boundaries of, “oh we can’t do musically.” I think this record is the ultimate compromise for us, because we spent a lot more time worrying about our music backing up the lyrics instead of just lyrics.

HYPE: So it’s a big step up than, kind of a new combination with the lyrics. That’s pretty cool.

BJ: Yeah for sure. This is the first record where everybody’s walked away from it feeling pretty happy and I’m not saying I wasn’t happy about Burn. Flicker. Die. But as we look back at the last two years, there was definitely things that could’ve done better. As far as the arrangements, as far as the musicianship, really all the parts that were played. With Wolves, we feel a lot better walking away from it.

HYPE: Sounds like it’s getting to be more of a culmination of what you guys have been striving towards.

BJ: Oh, for sure. That’s the ultimate goal. Especially since the band has been around for almost nine years now. So if you’re a band for nine years, the ultimate goal is to keep pushing yourselves. To do something different, to do something better, to become a better band, write better songs, and I think that we’ve definitely done that. This is the best batch of songs that I have written personally and I definitely think it’s the best representation of what the band can do musically.

HYPE: Awesome, and how would you describe the sound on the new album?

BJ: Um, the new record leans away from the bar sound. For a long time, our biggest crutch was kind of the bar and the bar sound. All the songs were about one night stands, drinking, and doing drugs. Then we hit 30 and we grew up. You know, my nights don’t revolve around what time the bar closes anymore. My night revolves around what time I can talk to my gal and how soon I can get home from the road. Priorities change and as they change, what I write about changes. So instead of writing about the pretty girl that I want to go home with, you know, I write about the pretty girl that’s at home waiting for me. I think this record is definitely the most grown up thing we’ve done. I think Burn. Flicker. Die. was kind of the death of songs about drinking and wasting our lives. We’re a band that’s completely focused again. When you’ve teetered on the edge of calling it quits, it puts everything into perspective. And you know it can go either two ways; it can make a band realize that being a musicians not what you’re cut out for, or it can do what it did for us. It completely rejuvenated the band and what we’re trying to do. We realize our potential now, it’s just about living up to that potential now.

HYPE: Now my last question is just about the European tour and what you guys are excited for?unnamed-3

BJ: Oh, Ok good. Yeah this is our fourth or fifth trip over to Europe. We do it once a year. It’s kind of like our vacation. We still have to work and we still have to play shows every night, but it’s always fun to experience. Like we’ve seen the most of what the U.S. has to offer, Multiple times, We go to a lot of the same cities. On this European tour there’s only one, two cities that we’ve even ever played before. So it’ll be a lot of fun to travel around and then kind of have that feeling of getting to experience something new.

HYPE: Awesome man. That’s what I like to hear. Anything else you’d like to add, that maybe I didn’t touch on?

BJ: Just, uh, really excited for folks to hear Wolves. It comes out February 3rd. I don’t think anybody in this band has been more proud of anything we’ve ever put out. So, I can’t wait to see what the fans think about it.

For more information and music from American Aquarium visit

Photo by Alysse Gafkjen

Flow Tribe Interview At Fantasy Fest in Key West, FL

Ever since I got the chance to catch Flow Tribe open up for Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, I knew I wanted to do an interview with them. Their hard-hitting new orleans influenced funk music puts my blood to a boil, which forces me to break out into a dance move, every time I hear the guys.

I got the chance to meet up with the guys before their last show of their residency at the Green Parrot in Key West, FL during Fantasy Fest.

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Interview with Ben Morrison of The Brothers Comatose

The Brothers Comatose have been burning rubber across America for the past couple years. The brothers have made a name for themselves as a boot-stompin’ americana roots bands that brings an incredible energy to their live shows.

HYPE editor, Phil Sunkel, got the chance to do a quick interview with Ben Morrison (one of the brothers in The Brothers Comatose) about their new album, food and doing dishes.

HYPE (Phil Sunkel): Start off by telling me about the Brothers Comatose summer and kinda what you guys had going on this past year?

Ben Morrison: Let’s see here. It has been a really crazy year, a road dogging sort of year. Earlier in the year we went out on some pretty big tours, which was awesome. We did a month with the band Devil Makes Three, that was incredible.

HYPE: Nice.

Ben: And then, we did a month with Yonder Mountain String Band, which was also awesome. We’ve just kinda been playin’ non-stop, traveling all over the country. We’ve been to the southeast a couple times, east coast, Midwest, up and down the west coast.

HYPE: I was reading on the Brothers Comatose blog and I saw that you guys lost Gio this year. What has it been like without him?

Ben: Gio has been a buddy for a long, long time, so it’s kinda like not having one of your best buds in the band anymore. So that was hard, but you know, we have a really great bass player right now. He’s kind of stepped in and filled in that role really well. You know the rest of us are all playing well and getting along with each other and it’s been nice to have somebody else that can step in and do a great job.ChicoliveshotHYPE: And now you guys are all working on a new record together, right?

Ben: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Probably, um, early-ish 2015. Most likely spring 2015? I don’t know. All that stuff takes awhile to actually get out there, so, we’re working on tunes right now and setting up recording dates. Things like that, so that’ll be happening over the next couple months which is pretty exciting for us.

HYPE: How would you say the new album differs from Respect the Van?

Ben: It’s kind of hard to say at this point in the game really, cause we’re compiling tunes that we’ve all written or worked on together, and uh, but you can’t really say until you’re in the studio and you see the direction that it’s going. It can take a whole different life of it’s own depending on how you end up doing the recording process and what songs you end up keeping and what songs get shelved for now. There’s definitely some of that same sort of vibe that’s on Respect the Van, but I think schematically it’s a little bit different. It’s kinda like a portrait of where we’re at in our lives. I’d like to maybe re-answer that question when we’ve been in the studio, and have a better take on it at that point.

HYPE: Sounds good to me. Now I want to ask you about the beginnings of The Brothers Comatose at the Morrison House. Could you tell me a little bit about that?

Ben: Sure. My brother’s in the band as well, he plays banjo, and we’re the only two siblings in our family that ended up as musicians. Our mom was a musician when we were growing up, she still is I guess, but she was in a band when we were little kids. It was a cool little group, four-piece, very vocal and harmony heavy, quartet, folk group, you know. They were kind of doing the Crosby, Stills, and Nash sort of stuff. We used to sit at our house and watch them rehearse when we were kids. That was really, really inspiring for us. Then as we got a little older we started playing ourselves. They started throwing music parties, kind of on like Sundays or whatever, you know off days where the band wouldn’t necessarily be playing gigs or anything, maybe once a month or something like that everybody would get together. It was pretty informal. Everybody would sit around, playin’ songs, and everyone would just jam on the songs. It was like, “Oh, cool. You wanna play this song? This is kinda how it goes.” And everybody would learn it real quick. It was kind of like going to school, you know?

HYPE: That’s a pretty amazing way to learn how to play.

Ben: Yeah, so I think that kinda like led us down the path that we’ve chosen.

HYPE: Sure seems like it.

Ben: Yeah, so we blame our mom for that for sure.HYPE: Haha That’s pretty awesome. Next I’d like to ask you about something on the blog again, food. I notice that you guys are definitely foodies. Could you tell me a little about some of the best places you’ve been to, maybe in the past couple months?

Ben: Oh man. Past two months, sure. You know, traveling a lot can be difficult. You’re in a van for hours and hours and hours, and then, you don’t necessarily, being in a band, you don’t necessarily like get to see the sights of any particular city ’cause you’re rolling in, you’ve gotta go to the venue, and you play. Then it’s dark and then you go to the hotel. Then you gotta get up and drive again tomorrow, but we do try to make time to go to food stops that are specific to that area or city, or whatever our tour manager is really, really, big, uh, big about, he’s really good about that. You know there’s this place called Prince’s in Nashville, and it’s like super spicy fried chicken, like greasy, spicy fried chicken.

HYPE: Oh, yeah. I like the sound of that.

Ben: It’s basically thrown on a piece of Wonder Bread or something like that and it’s amazing. So that was really good. Actually, one of our hosts, we crashed with a friend’s mom in Nashville, and she’s from Louisiana and she made us some incredible gumbo.

HYPE: Oh, wow.

Ben: We have our favorite spots for sure, but yet a lot of times people will give us recommendations. Like, when we’re in the southwest, certain like green chili spots we have to go to, um we also have our favorite sandwich shop up in Seattle.

HYPE: Let me guess, is it Paseo?

Ben: Oh, yeah. You know it?

HYPE: Well, there’s actually anotehr Paseo down in Key West, FL.

Ben: No shit.

Phil Sunkel: Yup. Same menu too. It is probably the best damn Caribbean roast I’ve ever had in my entire damn life.

Ben: Yeah, that’s what we get every single time.

HYPE: I had a friend who I told we were getting Paseo. I said, “Yo, we’re gonna go to lunch in Key West.” He’s like, “Where?”, I say “Paseo.” and he says “Grab me a salad.” And I’m like, “Dude, I’m not grabbing you a salad at Paseo.”

Ben: Yeah. Definitely not. Like, just try it. Just try the Caribbean Roast and you’ll understand.

HYPE: That’s what I told him haha.
brocowebsite2Ben: That’s pretty exciting actually, like to have your spot that you go to, and you know, cuisine is just different all throughout the country. We tend to be kind of spoiled being from the West Coast, ’cause it’s like, you know, fresh veggies and fruits, and good restaurants. It’s not always that way when you’re like traveling around though, but each individual area usually has its thing. Like if you go to Memphis you’ve got to have barbecue, or St. Louis, you know you’ve got to have the ribs, the dry rubbed ribs. So, we’re pretty good about seeking all that stuff out.

HYPE: I’m the same way when I’m out there on the road. Getting towards my last questions here. This one’s kinda been a new one I’ve been throwing out there. What’s something you’ve learned about yourself over the past year?

Ben: Oh man. Good question. I guess it would have to be in relation to being on the road, because (laughs) it’s funny, what I’ve learned about myself is that I enjoy doing dishes.

HYPE: Haha really?

Ben: Which is totally a strange thing and I’ve recently found out, like within the last year, that I’ve enjoyed doing that. You know, I used to hate it when we were kids and my mom’s like, “Uh, you gotta cook dinner or do the dishes.” But I have discovered that I really like it. It’s kind of really strange, you know ’cause this year when we’ve been out on the road like non-stop, and you know, you stay in hotels every night, you go out to eat every meal. I realized that not only is it calming and sort of meditation like to do dishes, but I feel like it’s like a, uh, it’s like a little bit, what’s the word I’m looking for, like domestic, right?

HYPE: (laughs) Yeah.

Ben: t’s weird because its sort of a taste of home. kinda like what being at home is like, ’cause it’s like you have to do the dishes, you know.

HYPE: Oh definitely, I mean, if you don’t do it, it wont get done.

Ben: So, I feel like when you’re on the road, it’s so chaotic. You don’t get to cook, you don’t have the opportunity to do that, but having some dishes to do, to me is calming and it kind of reminds me of being at home, which is totally weird, but that is something I’ve discovered.

HYPE: I think that’s totally reasonable when you’re on the road all the time.

For more info about Ben and The Brothers Comatose visit

Jack Shure “Inner Space Explorer” Interview

Jack Shure’s art exhibit, “Inner-Space Explorer,” will take place this Saturday, Nov. 8th, at the Phaneros Gallery in Oakland, CA at 8pm. His solo exhibit features 12 brand new three feet by three feet oil paintings, which Shure completed between the months of May and October and will include a live set from Erothyme.

To get everyone out there pumped about the visionary artist’s exhibit, HYPE contributor Katie Murphy, sat down with Jack and some of his friends to talk about his work.

“When we paint with an open heart and mind we see into who we have the potential to become and we put it all on the line for the world to see…silently,” wrote Jack Shure.FRUIT_OF_PAINShure paints with the goal of providing his viewers with a portal into the unknown sacred realm, as well as allowing them to “find their own sacred space within, to listen for the subtle but potent message that art can teach us about ourselves.”

He’s only 26, but his art and soul far surpass his years on Earth. His strokes are nimble and adept, his highlights hit all the right spots, and the flow of his work is remarkably effortless and dynamic.

His relaxed and welcoming demeanor is refreshing and makes anyone in his presence feel at home. When meeting him, one can’t help but notice Shure’s kind eyes hidden behind his glasses and his intricate geometric half-sleeve tattoo, as he speaks freely about his artwork.

Jack found early inspiration in the Michelangelo book his mom gave him when he was nine. “I was blown away by that book,” he said, “I definitely saw those paintings and thought to myself, I want to do that one day.”

Shure began his career as a pen artist and silk-screening for poster art and clothes.

“Once he got into paint, he was always meant to be a painter,” said Mike Esparza, fellow artist and Jack’s good friend from high school.

Creation is something that has been embedded into Shure’s life since birth. His mother, a modern dancer, and his father, an ingenuitive architect, raised Shure in a supportive environment that encouraged individuality and artistry. He began schooling at the Waldorf schools in Boulder where the essence of childhood is nurtured with intention, inspiration and a deep connection with nature.ChrisDyerCollabFeminineLove-Dec.2012Shure attributes much of his earliest artistic tendencies to that school. “Art was a super powerful thing when I was younger because it gave me a place to escape to,” Jack said.

He mentioned that they didn’t even teach kids spelling or math until around the 4th grade and instead focused on developing a child’s imagination through kinesthetic experiences.
His alternative high school for “Indigo Children” strengthened his desire to constantly create.

Indigo schools cater to children who display a new pattern of behavior believed to be evolutionary in nature. Indigo children are usually found to be extremely creative, energetic and sensitive. “He’s a humble, kind and loving human being that cares about his passions,” Esparza said.


By definition, Shure fits this profile, however, his individualism and artwork speak for themselves and are beyond the confines of a definition. His unbelievably advanced artistic ability is uncanny and progresses everyday according to those close to him.

“It’s surreal and was very intimidating at first, but it’s an indescribable feeling to watch your favorite artist work and develop before your eyes,” said Cooper Neil, Shure’s apprentice. “He gets better every day and that’s what I aim to do by being in his presence.”

Neil has the coveted position as Shure’s apprentice and spends time painting with him in an intimate creative environment at Jack’s home studio in the hills outside of Boulder. ScarabSunrise

He described Shure as a gentle but stern and honest mentor who is easy to talk to and work alongside.

“One thing about Jack is that he treats everyone with respect,” Neil said, “Jack has no ego and is constantly pushing himself to progress his artwork.” Shure calls his closest friends “creative allies.”

Esparza and Neil both spoke of how Shure helped them learn to take time to develop their colors, add more depth to their work, as well as practice painting in the moment. That’s not the only guidance he has provided for those close to him.

“Jack has made me want to do more classic works, stuff that echoes through,” Esparza said, “I feel like the painting has become more and more attached to the workings of myself and putting out pieces is a meditation for me. This is Jack’s influence.”

In his high-energy studio, collaborative critiquing is encouraged, and it’s easy to see how so many breathtaking works come out of his studio on a regular basis. “We’re all the teachers and we’re all the students,” said Mike. “We all think differently and bring something unique to the table, and the equation is exponential at that point. It opens up barriers that you put up for yourself when someone else can see through that.”

Martina Hoffman and Robert Venosa are two artists that began inspiring Shure around the age of 19. They use the ‘Mische technique’ in their work, which is a mixture of animal protein and oil emulsion.

“It’s like alchemy, because you’re mixing a water-based paint with oil based paint and that shouldn’t work, but it does,” said Shure.

He made it his goal to master the “Mische technique” after studying under Andrew Gonzalez and Amanda Sage at the Vienna Academy of Visionary Arts in Italy. When he got back from the trip, Mike described Shure as “glowing with a sea of passion.”seedsofchange

“Once he started with oil and Mische technique, he opened my eyes to find the answer to how light works,” Esparza said, “He taught me to study everything without prejudice of the color that you think you’re seeing and look to see what actual colors are there.”

His vibrant colors are the result of thin and transparent glazes that he builds by repeatedly layering oil and protein emulsion. This technique creates the jewel-like effect and depth that are apparent in his unique artwork.

As of late, Jack credits artist, No Me (Edonna), for pushing him past his comfort zone while working on a collaboration together.

“He paints in a very different style than me, so it was very informative tuning into his way of seeing things,” explained Jack.

Shure’s integration of learned techniques alongside his thirst to evolve is what plunged him into his new style that is evident in the “Inner-Space Explorer” series.

Although some of Jack’s earlier work is reminiscent of Rick Griffin and Robert Venosa, he has truly grown into his own over the past couple of years. His older works were very calculated, and he would make sure everything was perfect before he even took it to the canvas.

He stumbled upon his new style featured in the series “Inner-Space Explorer” by accident while working through a painting that he was originally unhappy with. “It all went to shit and became very chaotic,” Shure said, “I just kept pushing thru that, built off of that chaos, found this and now I am able to tune into the chaos.”

His new approach is all about the moment, exploration and no attachments to the final product.

“This new way of painting has really been helping me to explore new techniques and new parts of myself,” said Shure, “It’s been very liberating for me.”

Each painting incorporates tangible forms, complex geometry, wispy yet precise strokes and unbelievable detail in of a surrealistic fusion, of sorts.

The fluidity of Jack’s work and the rigidity of his practice make him one of the best contemporary and progressive artists today. WHEN_WORDS_FAIL

“The colors, the textures and the design all have a natural flow and work in unison, and after watching him work, I see how natural his painting talent is,” Neil said. It’s second nature to him. Not to mention, he paints for up to 15 hours a day sometimes.”

One of Jack’s favorite pieces in the series, “Fruit of Pain,” unfolded as he learned the story of the model whose father had just died of cancer. He wanted to integrate an animal that was symbolic to the rest of the message of the painting, so he chose the raven, a macabre symbol of rebirth and courage. “It’s about turning your pain into light, love or transmutation,” Shure said.

He utilizes live models for the figures in his paintings whenever possible, and says he chose women figures because “Women are the creator of man, and we wouldn’t be here without them,” Jack said, “I want to pay homage to that any way I can, and I really like to express that beauty.”

When asked about the balance of life and death in his work, he replied, “Death is a mystery and has always been a topic of discussion for me. We can only speculate what it means. It’s a symbol for mystery and rebirth because I think we die and are reborn many times in a lifetime.”

Shure is approaching the next level of his career with a promising future in the contemporary art world. Not only is he an esteemed oil painter, but he’s also a recognized name in the ‘grassroots’ art and music scene with his designs featured on popular sunglasses, apparel and concert posters.

His career has culminated in his anticipated solo exposition at Phaneros Gallery in Oakland, Calif. on Nov. 8. The show titled “Inner-space Explorer” features 12 original 3 feet by 3 feet oil paintings, which Shure completed between the months of May and October this year.

This is an extremely difficult feat for any artist, especially for an oil painter who uses meticulous and ongoing layering techniques.

When asked if he considered himself a “visionary artist,” Shure replied, “It can sound a little self-righteous to call yourself a visionary because we are all visionaries in our own right. I just call it art.”

In order to fit Jack into a category, a new genre has to be created. “I would call his work ‘Truth Paintings of the Spirit’ or ‘Urban Classic Surrealism,” Esparza joked.jack

Jack Shure is one of the most talented and modest artists I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, and the experience was very awe-inspiring.

Jack’s hope for his future is to “Get better at what I do and spread it to more people that it makes sense to.” Shure’s advice to aspiring artists, “Anyone can do it, you just have to work your ass off kid. And don’t forget, NEVER STOP CREATING.”

All images courtesy of Jack Shure