20 Watts


Words of the Week: An Interview with The Breakfast by 20watts

Each week, 20 Watts is poised to feature a new exclusive artist interview! Here we present our WORDS OF THE WEEK!

PREVIEW: The Breakfast’s MySpace and Web site.
READ: OUR REVIEW of The Breakfast at the Westcott last week!

20 Watts: Tim, this one is for you. Who are your main jazz influences?

Tim: Miles Davis is probably up there. As far as jazz guitar players go, John McLaughlin, John Scofield. For more traditional jazz I like Wes Montgomery definitely. Has he been a huge influence? Probably not, but I respect his music.  Miles has definitely affected me musically. Jeff Beck has influenced me for fusion, but he’s more of a rock player. He’s not a jazz guitar player per se.

20W: You guys are pretty technical musicians. You have a lot of fast runs in your music. What you all do or what did you do originally to work on your technique? Any exercises that you found helpful to get on the level that you guys are on now?

Tim: Faster!  Fasterrr!

Jordan: Just gigging all the time. I mean fifteen years ago I started studying a little jazz, playing some fake book stuff.  But just playing with all the different bands made me a better player. Continue reading

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ISSUE 20 | Q&A: 20 Watts Interviews Jim Farman, Founder of Bonnaroo by 20watts
February 21, 2010, 10:13 pm
Filed under: Interviews, Issue 20, Issue 20 Interviews | Tags: ,

Spectators have flocked in droves to Bonnaroo Music and Arts festival for most of the past decade

Part of 20 Watts’ Best of the Decade Coverage!
PREVIEW: VISIT Bonnaroo’s Website

Superfly Productions began with a group of college friends producing shows from their Tulane University dorm rooms. Twelve years later, the company is celebrating the eight-year anniversary of its Bonnaroo Music Festival, now one of the largest festivals in the country and the place where bands like My Morning Jacket and Kings of Leon got their start.

Superfly co-founder Rick Farman isn’t content basking in his accomplishments. He’s looking forward to the next ten years.

20 Watts: How did Bonnaroo gets its start, and what was the inspiration for it?

Rick Farman: A lot of different types of events, everything from the New Orleans Jazz Heritage Festival to a lot of the big festivals in Europe Continue reading

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ISSUE 20 | Q&A: 20 Watts Interviews Kid Sister by 20watts
February 21, 2010, 10:13 pm
Filed under: Interviews, Issue 20, Issue 20 Interviews | Tags: ,

20 Watts interviews rising hip-hop artist Kid Sister

Part of 20 Watts’ Best of the Decade Coverage!
PREVIEW: VISIT Kid Sister’s MySpace

Who You Calling ‘Kid Sister’?

Melisa Young says she’s the future of hip-hop — A-Trak and Kanye West agree.

Her hip-hop pedigree is virtually unassailable. The 29-year-old Chicago-born emcee also known as Kid Sister is sister to Josh “J2K” Young of DJ duo Flosstradamus, girlfriend to A-Trak and a good friend of Kanye West. In fact, Kanye appeared on her de­but, along with Estelle, Cee-Lo and a host of top-shelf producers.

She may just be the hottest young thing in hip-hop, and she’s changing the game as she goes. 20 Watts interviewed her.

20 Watts: First off, congratulations on your debut album Ultraviolet (Nov. 17). How does it feel?

Melisa Young: Really crazy, because it’s been a long time coming. Continue reading

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Words of the Week: An interview with Aaron LaCrate by tjwell01

Aaron LaCrate, a big-time DJ/hip-hop mogul, is an SU Alum.

Each Monday, 20 Watts is poised to feature a new exclusive artist interview! Here we present our WORDS OF THE WEEK!

PREVIEW: Aaron LaCrate’s MySpace and his website.

LISTEN TO HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE INTERVIEW:

From the age of 10, Aaron LaCrate has been a prolific music talent from the streets of Baltimore and went onto launching his record label and clothing line, while also collaborating with Jay-Z, Lily Allen, The Cool Kids, Gorillaz and Mark Ronson–oh, and I did mention he went to Syracuse University? He’s been a secret famous alum until now, and the stories of his DJ days at SU are eerily familiar and fascinating. After rising to the top of the underground DJ/hip-hop scene, the fellow orange wanted to reach out to share his story.

20 Watts: Talk a little bit about being a young DJ in Baltimore when you were a kid…

Aaron LaCrate: It was great. It was nothing like it is now. There were no DJs back then, there were these electronic stores that sold records, stereo equipment and car stereos, so for me I had to assemble a mobile sound system. I had to go to the Goodwills and the flea markets, whichever way, I had the two different turn tables. It was really exciting back then because it was uncharted territory. There was no way to learn how to mix, no way to learn how to do anything, but to go on your own journey and find people that would like you enough to share that information with you. It was almost a very subculture thing. It was a testament to your personality and your character to how far you would get, in a lot of ways.

Continue reading

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Words of the Week: An Interview with Semi Precious Weapons by tjwell01

Semi Precious Weapons' Justin Tranter says they are "a filthy rock band."

Each Monday, 20 Watts is poised to feature a new, exclusive artist interview! Here we present our WORDS OF THE WEEK!
PREVIEW: Semi Precious Weapons’ MySpace
LISTEN TO HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE INTERVIEW:

Led by filthy rock n’ roll purist Justin Tranter, Semi Precious Weapons, are the gritty opener act touring with Lady Gaga on her Monster Ball Tour, but don’t be fooled–these guys are quite the showmen themselves. They keep it simple: they want to party, and they want you to have fun, and they do it in high heels. They started out like your average rock band, but the road they took to get to where they are now is anything but average. Keep a look out for their debut LP You Love You at the end of March.

20 Watts: Describe your band’s overall attitude and style.

Justin Trantor: The overall attitude is to make balls-to-the-wall rock n’ roll that kicks ass, and is really fun. We want people to have fun, to party, we want people to get laid. I think that’s what the whole point of rock n’ roll should be, and another important part is danger, excitement, and kids’ parents should be mad at them for listening to us–all of those good things. Obviously we also get the glam label thrown at us, and I think that’s just because I wear high heels, but there’s definitely a lot of worse things to be called than glam.

20W: Some people say you’re like the glam version of The Sex Pistols. Ever heard that before?

JT: I think my favorite quote was that we’re like The Sex Pistols if they came out of the Warhol scene. I think that’s our favorite description of our band ever.

Continue reading



Words of the Week: An Interview with The Silent League by 20watts

20 Watts talked to The Silent League this week about their new album and why they make great music. Check back here for new interviews every Monday!

PREVIEW: VISIT The Silent League’s MySpace
READ: COVERAGE of The Silent League’s set at the Westcott this past Saturday!
READ: REVIEW of The Silent League’s latest album But You’ve Always Been the Caretaker
Each Monday, 20 Watts is poised to feature a new, exclusive artist interview! Here we present our WORDS OF THE WEEK!

20 Watts was given the opportunity to sit down with the members of The Silent League after their set at Westcott Theater this weekend. The interview was held in the second floor of Westcott Theater on a few comfortable couches with the six band members relaxing, throwing back some beer and wiping the sweat from their foreheads after an energetic live show. Here’s what we talked about.

20 Watts: We’re here with the Silent League. This is Eric Vilas-Boas interviewing. You guys have just released your third album, how does that feel, how is it different from your first two?

Justin Russo: I feel like our first two albums were sort of just building up steam, figuring things out as we went along. This one we’ve done our best to pre-plan and get everything into place. I’m pretty happy with the way the album came out. Everything’s been going great so far, so yeah, I’m pretty stoked.

20 Watts: How is the third album constructed compared to your first two? How was it different? Continue reading



20 Watts Video: What is 20 Watts? by tjwell01

What is 20 Watts, exactly? We’re the guys who bring mixtapes instead of flowers on the first date and the girls who’ll never shut up about their favorite new single. We love music — that’s all it comes down to for us. We’re gearing up to step it up this year. New developments are on the way, and we can’t wait to keep improving the brand. Keep reading and listening, because we feel the love.

Love and stereo,

20 Watts