Talking Politics With New Politics

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

monumentour.png?w=474&h=521So I know I’ve posted about them before but I think that New Politics is definitely worth multiple posts. Especially seeing as they are doing their first headlining tour here, the Harlem USA Tour. Not to mention they’re already lined up to join Fall Out Boy and Paramore on the Monumentour! They’re definitely on their way up in the world and after seeing them perform here in Florida this weekend I can’t say I’m surprised. The group has an excellent stage presence. Plus they are just really friendly guys, I got an interview with them earlier this year for a different blog I was working for but because of a conflict of interest it was never posted. Since it wasn’t posted on that other site I thought I’d share it with you BTs.

Keep Learning Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades

PS. It is super long or it felt that way when I was typing it up.

Interview with New Politics Members: David Boyd, Søren Hansen, and Louis Vecchio

TBITHS: What is your guilty pleasure song?

Louis :Yeah, probably Ke$ha. I enjoy Ke$ha a lot.

TBITHS: She is catchy.

Louis: Yeah she is. What about you guys?

Søren: My first guilty pleasure was almost definitely Ace of Base.

David: They did sell like thirty million records, that means everyone’s guilty.

TBITHS: Yeah everyone’s got a little Ace of Base hidden somewhere.

Søren: Well I had like long hair and I was really into harder stuff like Metallica but I got this tape recorder and I had a tape that had two sides on there. The one side it was “Enter Sandman” by Metallica and then the other side was that ace of base song.

David: I Saw The Sign?

Søren: No, not I Saw the Sign. It was umm—(Sings “All that she wants is another baby.”) I just love that song, it’s so good.

2558David: My guilty pleasure at the moment, well I’ll listen to a lot of the underground and stuff on the internet, but then every once in a while I’ll listen to top 40 and there will be a song that makes me say wow this is a great little melody. It’s like a feel-good song. There’s this R&B/Hip Hop song called Crickets. I’m not sure who it is but I listen to that one and thought wow this is really great. But it’s one of those guilty guilty ones. Like only listen to it in your head phones, not tell anyone.

Søren: But we love music, we really do. And you know what it’s funny with this time that we’re living in now that there’s no rules anymore you don’t have to have a guilty pleasure anymore. If you like a certain king of music you just have it on your iPod or Spotify. You can mix it with stuff you grew up with and whatever you want. The same applies to writing an album now. It’s like why would you have to like one type of music anymore than another especially when everything is available to you.

David: Yeah as long as it’s honest and from the heart.

TBITHS: You guys like to mix genres a lot in your own music right?

David: Absolutely. That’s one of the things with us being song writers, we also have a respect for a good song, it doesn’t mean we have to be fans of that artist but a good song is a good song.

Søren: I would say song writing wise that we listen to Rihanna more than a lot of other stuff, like that kind of world. But it’s funny cause we’re definitely a punk band at heart but it comes out more in songs intentions like if it means something then it’s good.

TBITHS: I read in another interview that you guys [David and Søren] actually met through your lyric writing, right?

David: Yeah, we were both doing music and we met in a studio. We went to lunch together and we were complaining about the song we were doing which wasn’t ours, but of course we had to be right about it. So we were complaining about how we weren’t getting our way.

Søren: Looking back at it yeah that’s exactly what it was.

David: But we started singing each other songs. Every time he would sing a song I’d be like “oh my god that’s a hit.” And every time I would sing he’d be like “Yeah that’s really good.” So we ended up deciding to meet up and try writing some stuff together. We just clicked really well and had three really good ideas right there.

Søren: We became really good friends within a week.

David: Yeah but we don’t take ourselves too seriously and have the same sense of humor. We have a lot of fun.

TBITHS: And that really shows in your performance. I saw you guys at the New Now Next Awards and you looked like you were having the time of your lives.

Søren: Yeah and you know the funny thing is that humor is one of the great ways to break down the barriers. And there are just so many of them that I don’t get. Like how can anyone have a problem with like gay marriage? It’s insane.

David: But we’re also from Denmark.

Søren: Yeah, where we’re from it’s really different. But for us to get to go to the New Now Next Awards was a cool statement for us. Like we’re not gay but at the same time it’s like why would anyone have a problem with it.

David: But also Love doesn’t have to be male or female, it’s just an emotion.

Søren: And this is a cool time we live in because as the generations change we’re going to see so many things looked upon with different eyes. I think it’s a very interesting time.

2556David: You can see it happening like I have a friend in Denmark that has been together with his husband for like twenty-five years. And that’s longer than a lot of straight couples I know. And it’s just like these guys are proving that it’s not a big deal. But I’m not even just speaking about gay marriage, but all kinds of differences in equality. When you see that those boarders are broken and it doesn’t do anything but bring more people together than how can it be a problem?

Søren: Yeah and in Denmark there was a problem with integration. Like a lot of Muslims came over and they are some of the nicest people but the integration just completely failed and it has a lot to do with belief. Not being able to accept different beliefs and it goes both ways. When you look back on it, you can see how it happened. I don’t even know how we started talking about this but now we’re on a rampage. But I just know that the only thing unfortunately that will really establish a real integration is time

David: It’s also your ability to give in to experiencing it. And when I say experiencing I don’t mean you have to do it, but giving in to the whole emotional change. But change is always hard, cause you going out of your safe haven.

Søren: [Starts laughing] I just gotta laugh cause now we’re started with this and poor Louis—

David: Louis is the American in our group.

Louis: I’m actually not a quiet person but because I’m next to them I seem way more quiet.

TBITHS: Is it a culture thing, do you guys notice your cultural differences a lot?

Louis: Not a lot. There are certain things, like their sense of humor is awesome, I love it but when we’re in a restaurant and they’re saying words like cock and stuff really loud we Americans would be like “Shhh!”

David: But that also has to do with that we’re just kids that don’t really care. It’s not like we can say that all Scandinavians are like that. But we [the band] do have a liberal side that we don’t take it too serious. But we clicked really quickly too. Louis and I became like brothers over night. When I say that I mean literally. We had a sixteen-hour drive from New York to Detroit. Søren slept through the whole thing, just like “are we there yet?” “No.” [Snoring noise.]

Louis: David was up the whole time, cause they don’t have a license, only I had one.

David: So he was driving and told me the only way he was gonna make it the whole time is if someone’s talking to me. So by the time we got there he knew my whole life story.

Louis: Yeah that’s when we really bonded was on that sixteen-hour drive.

David: And we all have the same goal like. We’ve all been doing this since we were young and all want the same thing so that really helped us to bond quickly.

TBITHS: So now do you [Louis] help with writing the songs too?

Louis: Yeah well they had a different drummer before for the first album but this new album was definitely a collaboration. I mean these guys are the masters when it comes to the melodies.

Søren: It’s funny that he’s saying that because we wrote so many songs, it was really hard for us to write this album because we had built these walls around what New Politics was. And I was one of the biggest defenders of that but with Louis, looking back at it, the songs that he liked were the ones that made it on to the album. Him saying “I love that” actually made us want to work on the song more.

David: We’re so inspired, when we do stuff like the basic demo but then to have him bring in his rhythms in to it and add his ideas it shows that every song has become what it is because of everyone’s contributions.

TBITHS: And after putting so much work into each song do you guys have one on the album that is your favorite?

Søren: Well they are all so important. Every single song is about our journey, like our traveling here and the culture shock and the things we lost. We’re just so proud of this album. Off the first album I’d easily be able to say that “Dignity” was my favorite but on this album I don’t have a favorite. I really don’t.

David: And on thing about when we write is that there is a lot of diversity. You have “Just Like Me” which is a punk song then you have the more pop songs and the ballads. It really let us explore our ability to write songs and take advantage of the opportunities in our lives. Some of these songs have gone through everything, heaven and hell, with us. Like “Overcome” we had set at the beginning but we kept coming back to it because, just like a lot of these songs, it went through this whole period with us. They’re all just really great songs. But if I listen to the album now I think that I’m really most proud of “Overcome” because I think it has a lot of feeling in it. And I hope that it can be felt by anyone going through hardship.

TBITHS: I can see why it would be hard to pick. When I first listened to the album my favorite song changed almost everyday.

Louis: And that’s exactly how the album came about, like every song was in a different area or feeling.

TBITHS: That’s really cool. We have to wrap things up. You guys are awesome and I hope your tour rocks.

Check Out Mark Russell!

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

Last week I went to a show at The Abbey in downtown Orlando.  It’s a pretty nice space and if you’ve never been it is definitely worth checking out.  With an elevated stage, full service bar, and modern décor, it functions as a nightly live entertainment venue. Featuring concerts, comedians, cabaret acts, and community theater, this is a great place to look into if you want a variety of options to fill your weekly night life or if you’re looking to host an extravagant event of your own. My visit was for a concert; a friend of mine got me the opportunity to interview Mark Russell, one of the performers from the evening.

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I wasn’t quite sure what to expect at first.  You know how it goes with local shows, sometimes you get stuck listening to half ass covers and mediocre original songs. But this guy is the real deal Beautiful Thinkers.  Two albums and a single available on iTunes, a music video series being campaigned on mtv.com, and both piano and guitar skills, I’d be willing to bet on him to make it big.  I bought all his songs as soon as I got home.  His single Dance has already reached 43 plays on my iTunes play counter.

I didn’t get a chance to listen too much from Russell’s opener, Malaya, but I liked their energy and would consider giving them a chance.  Russell and his band wasted no time getting set up and starting their set. (Nothing worse than waiting too long for the next band to come on in my opinion.)

Mark Russell took the stage with four others, using drums, guitar, bass, synthesizer, and piano to round out the band’s sound.  My favorite song off his album Take Two is September, which I recoded on my iPhone during the show. Check it out: (The vocals aren’t as good as they were in person, my iPhone apologizes.)

Interview with Mark Russell and Band:

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Mark Russell: Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Piano

Glen Samuels: Synth, Piano, Background Vocals

Doug Echeart: Drums

Jordan Major: Bass Guitar

Joseph Donfraid: Electric Guitar

TBITHS: How did you form the band?

Mark: It’s weird because it’s been a long time, there’s been a band for probably four or five years.  As for the members right now I think it’s been Glen and I the longest.  Then Jordan, our bass player, was picked up.  Then we added Joseph to the list about a year and a half ago.  And our newest is our drummer Doug who’s practiced with us once and played three shows.

TBITHS: Glen told me that you play Pop/Rock. Who would you say are your influences for that genre?

Joseph: There’s a guitar player named John Bloom that used to be in a band called Yesterdays Rising, he’s a pretty big influence for me.

Mark: I kinda like a little bit of everybody.  There’s some hip hop stuff, even like OneRepublic, Ryan Cabrera, I guess more on the pop side, Maroon 5.  But I think what makes us so good is that everybody in the band likes different styles of music.

Glen: Well I know that Jordan and I are really into Death Cab for Cutie, Ben Gibbard, anything he does we’re all over.  I think we bring an indie kind of sound to the group.

Doug: Yeah I like Indie, Classic Rock, I’ll listen to top 40 too. But I grew up playing a lot of Church music.

Mark: I want to say that actually everybody in the band has at one point done some church music.  I know for me in college I was leading worship for a while.

Glen: I was pianist for the church I grew up with for about ten years.

TBITHS: What would be some places and other bands that you’d like to play with if you got to pick?

Mark: I played House of Blues Chicago a long time ago and that was like the sickest House of Blues I’ve ever been to.  I’d like to play there with the full band. Pretty much any arena would be cool.

Jordan: Yeah any arena, like a place where you can just hit your bass, and feel the whole room shake with you.

Mark: As far as people I don’t know I can think of a lot of cool performers.  Getting out there with Justin Timberlake or Maroon 5 would be cool.

Joseph: Anybody that brings a big crowd, man there’s money there.

Doug: I think Regina Spektor or Ingrid Michaelson, like one of those cool female vocalists that just everything they write is awesome.

Mark: Hopefully someone that’s cool to hang out with.  We’ve played with a couple big people but you hang with them back stage and it’s just not as fun as some of the smaller but still successful groups that you play with that are really cool and down to earth.

TBITHS: How can people get your music besides coming to shows?

Mark: As far as CDs you can get a physical copy off our site or iTunes and I think Amazon.  You can hear us on Pandora and Spotify.  Hopefully you guys buy a CD, take it out, put your windows down, and blast it. (You can find a full list of sites to hear them on the about page on Mark Russell’s Facebook.)

TBITHS: Anything else you’d like to say to everybody that reads this?

Mark: Come to a show soon, it’s a lot of fun.

TBITHS: And people can check out your website to find out when and where you’re playing, right?

Mark: Yeah, as far as the web goes there’s OfficialMarkRussell.com, that’s kind of like a central hub it can send you to Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Myspace, pretty much everywhere that we’ll update when we’re having another show.

photoKeep Learning Beautiful Thinkers

The Boy In The Heart Shades

DisneyBound + Interview W/ Leslie Kay the Girl Behind the Idea

Hello Beautiful Thinkers,

Have you ever looked at a Disney character and thought wow they’ve got style?  Leslie Kay, the face behind DisneyBound, apparently did. DisneyBound is a blog on tumblr “where fashion geeks and Disney nerds collide.”  The idea behind it is to take a Disney character and create a modern outfit based off of their style.  This can mean finding clothes that match the character’s color scheme and personality or trying to match their outfit exactly.

Looking through the DisneyBound archives you can find outfits from more Disney movies than you’d even remember existed, from 101 Dalmatians all the way to Winnie the Pooh. The archives also have a few themed pages like RunDisney, sports attire based on characters, and Couples, outfits for both you and your special someone.

When you start to look through the different outfit examples it becomes clear that you don’t have to be a fashionista to dress like a Disney character.  You also don’t have to have a lot of spending cash: I was able to put together two different outfits from the clothes in my closet alone.  And a quick trip to the mall for a few key pieces allowed me to pull together a few more.

On a recent trip to Disney World with a close friend, we brought out our inner characters like true Disney nerds.  I wore a Prince Eric inspired outfit and she wore one based off Merida from Brave.  We discovered that we weren’t the only ones in on this unknown Disney secret: while waiting in line at the bag check for Epcot we saw a girl in a purple dress with a flower braided into her hair, which is Rapunzel’s look in Tangled once they reach the kingdom.  My friend couldn’t help excitedly yelling at the girl about how we were DisneyBounding as well. When she turned towards us we saw a Pascal plushy on her shoulder, the perfect finishing touch to her outfit.  She said it was her first time DisneyBouding too.

Check out some pics of my Disney character inspired outfits to see how simple it can be! There’s Prince Eric (Actually worn to Disney. The Little Mermaid is my fav!), Jim Hawkins (From his first scene in Treasure Planet), Dr. Facilier (This Character from The Princess and the Frog is perfect for anyone that likes a little goth in their look), and Rufio (From Hook, not actually a Disney movie but Peter Pan related so close enough.)

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Interview with Leslie Kay:

tumblr_m34ab8WcSK1qj9wxoo1_500TBITHS: When did you start DisneyBound?

Leslie: DisneyBound started about 2 years ago.

TBITHS: Did you always want DisneyBound to be as focused on the outfits as it seems to be now?

Leslie: DisneyBound begun as a travel blog for my best friend and I to channel our excitement for our upcoming trip to Disney World. Originally, it was going to be just another Disney fan Tumblog, but the focus quickly changed.

TBITHS: Are you surprised at how many people your site has reached?

Leslie: I never intended for DisneyBound to reach so many people – so it’s such a blessing.

TBITHS: How did you come up with the idea for DisneyBound?

I was playing around on Polyvore one day and began creating an Leslie: outfit based off of Rapunzel using trendy clothes instead of costume. This is something I had been doing for a few years when I’d shop. I posted that look for Rapunzel and the blog quickly took off from there.

TBITHS: Do you have any ambitions of going further into the fashion world outside of DisneyBound?

Leslie: Yes! My next goal is to launch a fashion line and have been working on a few collaborations with other lines. My “MackieBound by DisneyBound” collaboration with Bob Mackie was my first nod from the fashion industry which was very exciting…so it’s my goal to continue down that path.

TBITHS: What is your favorite thing about your site?

Leslie: For me, I love being able to get to know people from all over the world through DisneyBound. I love talking with fans and getting to know them.

TBITHS: You have a Harry Potter section in you archives; can we look forward to any other Non-Disney character inspired outfits like this to come?

Leslie: Every so often I do do looks based off of non-Disney characters. I think DisneyBound is overdue for a Harry Potter day actually 🙂

TBITHS: How often do you wear DisneyBound outfits?

Leslie: About once a week I’ll make sure to DisneyBound. My days are spent blogging day and night – so wearing super cute outfits often go to waste as people don’t see what I’m wearing daily. But when I do go out, I always try to DisneyBound.

photo-2Keep Learning Beautiful Thinkers,

The Boy In The Heart Shades