MP3 Concrete Sky - Every Face I Spend
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10 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Hard Rock, ROCK: Rock & Roll
"Concrete Sky is an unquestionably talented group of musicians whose music is loaded with hooks and mass commercial appeal."
- - Splash Magazine
"The Virginia band thatâs oh so heavy."
-- MOTF Switchboard , UK
Sooper Dooper Wowie!!!
-- Shad O'Sheh, President of Fraternity Records
Why this name?
It took almost a year to decide on a fitting name. The band eventually agreed to take the name from their song, "Concrete Sky". The names reflects a combination of heaviness and lightness found in our original music.
Do you play live?
Concrete Sky performs over 100 shows a year, in Virginia and New York. We are planning to play in states across the US this summer and would like to work with other bands in new areas, and look forward to "gig swapping" with those wishing to gain recognition in our strong areas, primarily in the Virginia Beach/Norfolk area. We've played in both large outdoor venues and small clubs. We like big stages, because it allows us to bring out the whole light show and PA -- plus, since we are a high-energy band, we don't have to worry about knocking each other out. We enjoy playing in any size venue, and more people the better. One of our favorite gigs was a concert we gave at a sold-out highschool auditorium. It was one of our first shows, and it let us know we were onto something musically.
How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?
The internet has opened up the doors for a lot of musicians. It's helped us build a significant following in many countries, particularly in Great Britain, Japan and China. We are waiting for an opportunity to play overseas. I'm not sure how many have downloaded our mp3s, but I know we get a lot of emails of support for our music from areas our CDs aren't available at yet.
Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
We'd love to be picked up by any label that could help us get our music out there quickly. Our music is both timely, and we'd like to think timeless, and there is a sense of urgency to cover as much territory as possible. It's important to continue growing as a band and in success to maintain momentum. Many great bands have fallen by the wayside because they lacked the team-determination and an aggressive business plan with goals and landmarks. I think we have both. We have had several offers from small labels, and have considered them. Our biggest fear is that we'll get let down. We also know the horror stories of bands signing with major labels with nothing to show for it. Part of that may because the labels have tied them up and not given them adequate promotion, and part is because the bands wasted a lot of money they didn't need to. Our approach would be to complete tasks well under budget. For example, there is no reason to work out all your parts in an expensive studio. We work out our parts in rehearsals, then in a home studio first, and don't need a lot of takes in the studio. We don't need limousine service and the top floor at the most expensive hotels in town either. We also don't let partying get in the way of performances on stage or the studio. The short answer is, yes, we'd be happy to look at offers from major studios, but will also look at independent labels with fair contracts, distribution networks and radio access.
Each member in the band comes from successful regional and national bands and have years of performance and studio experience to draw from.
Concrete Sky has influences from all music styles, and is even influenced to a degree by literature, politics and art. Our sound has been compared to Creed, Pink Floyd, Stone Temple Pilots, Jeff Beck, Santana and the Beatles, which should reflect the uniqueness and versatility of the band. The philosophy and inspiration behind many of the songs initiated by Hembree, come from the ideas of Italian writer, Italo Calvino on balancing lightness and weight in literature.
The Canadian Rockies is hard to beat -- especailly the Banf area.
We keep it straight forward for our music: guitars, bass and drums, though there are some keyboards and effects used in the studio. We have a strong light show, including intellegent lights, and use a lot of Mackie gear for PA. Bob has a couple Line 6 Vetta stacks, Mike like his Marshall half stacks, and Dan uses a variety of bass amps, depending on his mood. Chris is the same way with drums, you never know which of his sets hell have on stage from night to night.
You can visit our MySpace site at https://www.tradebit.com for pictures, video and mp3s.
Concrete Sky Quote:
"Concrete Sky is what would happen if Creed had talentâ
--DJ Harley at https://www.tradebit.com
Concrete Sky: The Next Big Thing ??
By Nick Vodka
I¹ve recently had the pleasure of seeing what could very well be the "next big thing" to come out of Hampton Roads. The band, Concrete Sky (CS), is an unquestionably talented group of musicians whose music is loaded with hooks and mass commercial appeal. At first sight, they appear to have a tough-as-nails look, and I must admit, I was a little nervous when they invited me backstage. I thought they were going to jack me for my wallet or something. But they are actually a nice bunch of guys to talk to, very personable, friendly and with a great sense of humor.
Within the group are five members; lead vocalist Bert Croswell, guitarists RJ Hembree and Mike Fellers, bassist Dan "the man" Foster, and Chris Serrano on drums. All are obviously very talented and experienced players; several have toured professionally.
Of course, its always good to see a band who has a great singer, but lead vocalist Croswell ( originally from California ) is not only a talented singer , but he is the epitome of what an exciting front man should be . While the band is playing, he¹s all over the place; we kept wondering what he would do next. In between songs, he¹s communicating with the audience, being funny, witty and entertaining. He reminded me of David Lee Roth minus the ego (thank God). Also from California, CS¹s founding member, RJ Hembree, has toured the east coast with the Rhythm Rats as a lead vocalist, which gives him an edge at adding nice harmonies to their songs. He also plays most of the lead guitar parts with a tasty, melodic flair, and he seems to play for the song, although he is capable of burning it up when the song calls for it.
On the other side of the stage is Mike Fellers, who also plays lead guitar in the cover band "Bandamit". Mike has been paying his dues as a Hampton Roads musician for quite a while and it shows. He accompanies the other musicians with perfection, never overplaying. But look out, man, when he gets a lead spot he can tear it up. I would like to see CS give Mike more lead guitar parts, but he¹s one of the newer members and I was told that many of the guitar leads were already worked out at the time he joined the band. Hopefully on the next CD?
On bass guitar is Dan Foster from Connecticut, who moved here just two years ago and promptly co-founded the band with Hembree. Dan attended Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California and has also toured professionally. He seems to know his way around the bass, using multiple effects units to give a more interesting texture to his instrument.
Locking in with Dan is Chris Serrano on drums, another native of Hampton Roads. Chris holds a Bachelor of Music degree and teaches percussion full time at Cape Henry Collegiate School in Virginia Beach. Although Chris is the newest member of the band, you would never know it from his playing. His meter is like a clock, his fills are right on, and when the going gets heavy, look out! He¹s on fire! While Hembree is the main songwriter, Croswell and Foster also contribute quite a bit to the lyrics and music.
You want to talk about a busy band? Check this out: They just finished their first three song demo, currently completing mix down of their first full length CD while simultaneously writing and recording their second CD, just completed a live video, got their web site up and running and receiving hits world wide ( https://www.tradebit.com ), just renovated and upgraded their recording/rehearsal studio, recently purchased an extensive stage and special effects light show and full PA system in gearing up for near future planned tours , and , they are currently putting together the first "Hampton Roads Original Music Series" shows. While their initial CD recording will be the product of two years of writing, recording, personnel changes and mix down, everything else above was done in the last two months!!Å WOW!! Å ..Do these guys sleep? Å . Don¹t they have day jobs? Å Å How do they do it??
Their future goals are to finish recording their second CD this year, possibly do a regional tour this summer, start on a world tour by late 2004, and to continue to write and record music that will stand the test of time. Concrete Sky is just starting to shop their music to major and independent record labels and would also like to secure professional management, booking and international distribution by the end of this year. They are also being featured in the April edition British E-magazine called switchboard. You can view that story by going to https://www.tradebit.com
Right now they have been going to the shows of other local bands in hopes of finding a few bands to share gigs with. Foster states: "We love the chance to play with new groups, build our following and make new connections for other possible gigs. How can you lose?"
Concrete Sky is also looking for clubs who would like to hire them for opening or headlining shows. They can contact Bob Hembree at 588-7681 for more information and open dates.
I had time for a short interview with the founding members of Concrete Sky, RJ Hembree & Dan Foster . Chris Serrano steps in a little later, here¹s how it went:
NV: How long have you guys been collaborating as a band?
RJH: 2 years, Dan had placed an ad in a local music mag & I was the only one who answered it.
NV: What was the first song you worked on?
RJH: "Pre-Lude to Dream Machine" was actually the first song we completed, but we actually started with instrumental jazz stuff. But we kept sliding back to the rock thing and eventually stuck with that. We still slip in some jazz riffs here & there.
NV: Do you miss playing jazz?
( Dan & RJ answer simultaneously )
Dan : Yes . I have some jazz music written that I would like to complete in the future.
NV: What bands inspire you?
RJH: Incubus, Korn, Miles Davis.
Dan : Korn to Miles Davis? That¹s quite a jump bro, what¹s in that cigar you¹re smoking?
I think what he¹s saying is we love a wide range of music and are inspired by many bands & types of music.
NV: Chris, how did you get started with the band?
RJH: We went through 5 drummers before Chris, trying to find the right guy.
Dan : With the last drummer, I gave him $5 to get us a pack of beer for practice . He hasn¹t gotten back yet.
NV: How do you write songs?
RJH: Some are just a jam. Someone might come in with a blueprint for a song & we build on it. Sometimes we create loops on the computer and just build on it, but each musician eventually adds feeling & emotion to the song through their own parts. Some of our songs are meant to bring you into a fantasy world.
NV: Why do you want to make it? Do you want to be known or change something? Where¹s your drive?
Chris: I don¹t know Å Å Å poverty?
RJH: For a musician, what could be better than knowing you emotionally moved somebody?
Dan: I originally started playing for 2 reasons, 1 was my love for music, 2 was to meet girls. At this point in my career, I would like to create an enormous steady income through royalty checks. When I accomplish that, I¹m going to buy an oceanfront beach house down at Sandbridge, put a recording studio in it, and just make great music all day long and hang on the beach. I am a very creative person and really enjoy constructing songs with these guys. They¹re easy to work with and also very creative people, we have fun with it.
NV: How many bands were you in before and how far did they go?
Dan: Too many to count. I¹ve cut records, been on radio & television, opened up for big name bands and toured but never hit it big Å Å .. yet. I¹ll keep trying until I¹m dead.
RJH: "Ally" was a heavy metal band, we played in Washington and the surrounding states. But with the Rhythm Rats, we played some big gigs, making $3000 per night. We were playing out of Harrisonburg and touring up & down the east coast. Tim Reynolds was our fill in guitar player at the time. Chris: "Exit 175". We did a lot of gigs & recorded a CD. "EZ Axess" played the local club scene.
Quite possibly the next big thing to come out of Hampton Roads? Sound interesting? Believe me; Concrete Sky is worth a listen. Check them out at a club near you.
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