Vintage record store to open in downtown New Bedford

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

Purchase Street Records is located at on Purchase Street in New Bedford, MA (PHOTO BY ROGER CHOUINARD)
Purchase Street Records is located on 767 Purchase Street in New Bedford, MA (PHOTO BY ROGER CHOUINARD)

Looking for a store with a variety of vintage, heavy metal music along with classic rock and punk records? Roger Chouinard will be hosting the grand opening of his new shop Purchase Street Records on Saturday, December 3rd. The shop is named due to its location at 767 Purchase Street, in New Bedford, Mass. This shop will sell a variety of vintage records, tapes, and T-shirts focusing on the theme of heavy metal, punk and hard rock music.

Chouinard recently spoke with Limelight Magazine about why he chose to open up the store.

“I took a year off from my previous ownership,” he explained. “I’ve been doing the buying and selling throughout my life and I’ve always enjoyed music because I play drums and I have a musical heritage with family members.”

Chouinard chose to open up the shop in New Bedford because he grew up in the area and has pursued music within the local music scene.

“My bands and I see this as a forthcoming city in the arts district,” he said. “I really just wanted to bring music back to the area as when I was growing up it was a city that everyone of them wanted to play and make a name for themselves in.”

At Purchase Street Records, Chouinard will mainly be selling vintage records, tapes, and T-shirts. Many of his items are rare finds since Chouinard has been collecting rare metal, punk, and hard rock items for years.

“I’ve collected so many heavy metal/hard rock items in bulk because I know that style of music and for some reason it finds me,” Chouinard said. “I have a lot of Euro metal, heavy metal, and even indie titles. With that said, I also have some of the best classic rock collections that you can find and you know everybody loves classic rock.”

As a business owner, Chouinard has set some goals for Purchase Street Records.

“My goals are for the shop is to be an outstanding business in the community and bring back vinyl,” he said. “I hope to make somebody’s day when they find a record they been looking for forever.”

Not only is Chouinard a lover of music but his uncle, the late Bobby Chouinard, also inspired him. Bobby was the drummer for Billy Squier, Beggars and Thieves, Peter Wolf, and several other acts.

“My uncle taught me that anything can be achieved and you treat people the same way no matter if they are on their way up or on their way down,” Chouinard said. “Everyone’s a person no matter who, what or how they’ve lived in life.”

At Purchase Street Records, Chouinard will also be selling his uncle Bobby’s book titled Bobby Chouinard: Drummer Extraordinaire. The book was published by Roger Chouinard and it’s about Bobby’s life and the different bands he played with.

“If you’re a lover of music please go like our Facebook page, Purchase Street Records (click HERE), and if you’re not a big music collector please pass on my name to somebody that is. I hope everybody has a great holiday,” Chouinard said.

Candlebox to perform at Narrows Center in Fall River, Massachusetts

logo-candlebox-jpegThe Seattle rock band Candlebox will perform an acoustic set at the Narrows Center in Fall River, Mass., on Saturday, March 25, 2017, in a concert presented by JKB Entertainment Group. This show is one of only two New England dates, with the first one already sold out. Purchase tickets to the Narrows show HERE.

Led by vocalist and guitarist Kevin Martin, Candlebox first achieved success in the early 90s with their own approach to the grunge style — one that incorporated more blues and classic hard rock instead of the punk elements inherent in the original grunge style. With this more mainstream sound, Candlebox went multi-platinum with a number of hits, including “Far Behind,” “You,” “Cover Me,” and “It’s Alright,” and gold albums from 1994 through 1999.

Candlebox broke up in 2000, but reunited in 2006. Two years later, they released their fourth album Into the Sun, followed by Love Stories and Other Musings in 2011. Earlier this year, they released Disappearing in Airports which charted on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart.

For this special intimate show at the Narrows, expect to heart their classic hits, fan favorites and songs from their new album but done with an acoustic twist.

The Narrows Center is located at 16 Anawan Street in Fall River. Tickets to the show can be purchased online at www.narrowscenter.org or by calling the box office at 508-324-1926. For those wanting to purchase tickets in person, box office hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 12 noon to 5 p.m. or during show times.

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Starrdust among eight bands to rock “3 in 1 night” benefit concert on Dec. 17th

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

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Starrdust is set to rock a benefit concert on Saturday December 17th, for Toys for Tots, Wigs for Kids, and St Jude’s at Mardi Gras Multiclub in Cranston, RI.

Starrdust is an all-star rock band consisting of four of rock n’ rolls living veterans: Matt Starr (drums), Jason Cornwell (bass), Scott LaFlamme (guitar) and Patrick Stone (vocals). Limelight Magazine recently caught up with Cornwell to discuss how this band met and came together to form Starrdust and their plans for the Benefit Concert on Saturday December 17th, at Mardi Gras Multiclub in Cranston, R.I., for Toys for Tots, Wigs for Kids, and St Jude’s, an annual event hosted by Eric Tier.

The four members of Starrdust played in many other bands before deciding to form Starrdust, such as their current and past contributions to Ace Frehley, Bang Tango, Beautiful Creatures, Dizzy Reed, Hotel Diablo, Kevin DuBrow, Mr. Big, 3 Parts Dead, Burning Heat, Super Troup, The Road Dogs, Adler’s Appetite, and Budderside. If your enjoy of these bands, you will enjoy Starrdust.

“I was playing with Eric Martin the singer from Mr. Big from 2012 on and off and Matt Starr is actually a member or Mr. Big now,” Cornwell said. “He’s taken over drumming for Pat Torpey. Then summer of 2015 I was invited out to do the Ultimate Jam in Hollywood which was just kind of taking off.”

At this event, Cornwell met Matt Starr, a well accomplished drummer known for his work with several bands. Starr was interested in the band set up that Cornwell had with Super Troup and The Road Dogs. The two decided to start their own band and decided on the name Starrdust since Starr had always wanted to use that name. Cornwell then invited Scott LaFlamme, a fellow musician of his, to join the band and Starr invited once of his other friends, Patrick Stone.

While Starrdust is still a new band, all band members have songs that they have brought to the table. The band usually plays songs from the other bands that each member is in yet they have also written and recorded some Starrdust original songs. They are hoping to get their original music released by spring 2017 but right now they are mainly focused on covers.

“We’re going to be throwing some originals out there in the next couple months or so,” Cornwell said. “For the next few shows, we’re going to be doing songs from the bands we play with like Ace Frehley, as well as some classic KISS. Scott’s been in the band, not currently, but he is in the band Bang Tango for six years until recently when he decided to leave, so we’re going to be doing some of Bang Tango’s hits. Then we’re going to hit it pretty hard with some of the Mr. Big stuff because both Matt and I have a big connection to Mr. Big.”

Each musician in Starrdust has an extensive history within the music industry yet they each provide an important piece to the puzzle.

“Everyone brings something to the table,” Cornwell explained. “Myself, being a very technical bass player, I graduated from Berklee College of Music. I’ve worked there and also taught and whatnot. Matt’s from that kind of path as well. He does a lot of teaching. He does a lot of clinics. He does a lot of mentoring kind of stuff. Scott actually has his own institute called LMI which stands for LaFlamme Music Institute and then you add a great vocalist to the mix.”

Starrdust is playing a benefit concert on December 17th, supporting three children’s charities (Toys for Tots, Wigs for Kids, and St Jude’s Research Hospital) at Mardi Gras Multiclub, located at 1500 Oaklawn Avenue in Cranston, RI, from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Other acts on the bill include: Opiate (a tribute to Tool), Alice ( A Tribute to Alice in Chains), Beast Over Boston (A Tribute to Iron Maiden), Under Surveillance, Rahway, Sinners Inc., and Sunset Steel.

“It’s a really great venue. I’ve played there a number of times,” Cornwell said. “Eric Tier does this event every year so we’re donating our time. I’ve known Eric since 2012 when I played Monsters of Rock and we just hit it off. He’s a really great event planner. He’s got a bunch of different bands but we’re the headliner. There will be great food. They will be raffling off all kinds of items.”

Tier has been organizing this annual event since 2009 and the event has grown ever since.

“Eric’s been really involved in every one of my bands. He’s probably one of the nicest guys to deal with around here. He’s always been really available and great to work with,” said Cornwell.

When Tier asked if Starrdust would be willing to play the benefit concert, Cornwell was all in. He felt fortunate to have such a brand new band as Starrdust invited to headline such a show, that he said he would clear his schedule and make sure the band was there.

“I’m looking forward to having a great night and raising money for charity,” Cornwell said. “I’m looking forward to meeting up with a bunch of friends and bands that I’ve known and played with for years. I’m based in the area so it’s not that big a deal but for people like Matt who’s not from here, people really appreciate the fact that he’s flying all the way in.”

Starrdust will be playing two other shows during the same weekend as the benefit concert. They’re kicking off the weekend on December 15th when they will perform in Manchester, NH, at Club Jewel, which is also a charity event for the Manchester Animal Hospital. On December 16th, they are playing a more low key show at Uncle Eddie’s Oceanside Tavern in Salisbury, MA.

Tickets for the “3 in 1 Night” Benefit Concert on Dec. 17th are $10 each or you can bring a brand new, unwrapped toy for admission. Raffles and auction times as well as T-shirts will be at this important event.

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MASS are ‘Holden on to Christmas’ and helping Toys for Tots

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

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MASS is known as a hard rock band from Revere, Mass., but they have decided to show another side of themselves with the release of a four song Christmas CD Holden on to Christmas. You may know these four musicians as the rockers that they are but they are also all fathers who believe that no child should go without presents on Christmas.

The band first decided to give to Toys for Tots in 2010 when they released their first Christmas single. They released a second Christmas single in 2014 and once again donated the proceeds to Toys for Tots. This year, MASS decided to step up their game by releasing a full, four song Christmas CD, which is limited to 500 copies and they’re already selling fast. Get your copy HERE!

Limelight Magazine spoke with MASS vocalist Louis St. August about the success of the first two Christmas releases and the band’s inspiration for expanding their Christmas tradition by releasing a Christmas CD this year. The first Christmas single they released did very well and they were able to raise around $3,000 for Toys for Tots. For the Christmas release in 2014, MASS ended up raising even more money for the charity. Since there was only a limited number of copies for both of these releases, MASS decided to put that music, remastered on a CD, with one original MASS Christmas song.

“We have the three songs that we previously recorded and a brand new original Christmas song called ‘Holden on to Christmas’,” St. August explained. “We had them all remastered and we put them all together on the CD.”

The CD was just released on November 17th but already around 300 out of the limited 500 copies have been sold. Along with this impressive first week of sales, MASS is glad to be able to once again give Toys for Tots a substantial donation.

“No child should go without receiving at least one gift on Christmas,” August said. “We felt strongly about that, especially myself, so I presented the idea to the guys [Gene D’tria, Mike Palumbo, and Joey “Vee” Vadala] and they all agreed.”

Not only is this CD a grouping of four merry songs but it is also a true MASS album. With so many other Christmas albums out there, St. August talked about what makes this CD different.

“Our fans like MASS music so they like our renditions of the songs that are rock but also Christmas,” he said. “People who have written me back really appreciate the new song we wrote so I think the CD is different than other Christmas CD’s because we have a little bit of a different style and our voices are different. It’s coming from a melodic, hard rock band and it’s just showing a different side of us; a side that can do ballads and happy, Christmas tunes.”

St. August first started thinking about creating a Christmas CD in August since the band would need that much time to create Holden on to Christmas.

“I started it in August and I actually sang the Christmas song that we wrote on a hot day in September,” he said. “I had to kind of force myself into the Christmas spirit.”

Holden on to Christmas consists of three previously released songs, “Jingle Bell Rock”, “Grown Up Christmas List”, and “Where Are You Christmas”. The last song on the CD is the title track which is a original MASS Christmas song “Holden On To Christmas”. St. August explained how that last song came into fruition.

“We’re coming out with a brand new album next year, a full length album,” he explained. “It will be our ninth studio album. We wrote a couple songs when we were in the studio and one of the songs just didn’t fit with the rest. So my idea was, ‘why don’t we change it and make that into a Christmas song?’ I put Christmas lyrics on it and added some Christmas kind of atmosphere to it with sleigh bells and the choir.”

MASS hopes to continue releasing Christmas music every few years and also donate as much money as they can to Toys for Tots. MASS has even considered doing a possible MASS Christmas concert in the next couple of years.

Paul Bielatowicz: Bringing sound to the silent film ‘Nosferatu’

BY JULIA CIRINGNANO

Paul Bielatowicz & Simon Fitzpatrick (PHOTOS BY JANEL LAFOND-KILEY)
Paul Bielatowicz & Simon Fitzpatrick (PHOTOS BY JANEL LAFOND-KILEY)

Guitarist Paul Bielatowicz and bassist Simon Fitzpatrick will be back on the road this December by popular demand. Both are extremely talented musicians known for their work with drummer Carl Palmer, of Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Asia. For their December run of dates, Bielatowicz and Fitzpatrick will be premiering one act from their soundtrack written for the classic silent film Nosferatu.

Bielatowicz is a sensational guitarist from Lancashire, England. He attended school at Leeds College of Music and pursued music for a while before he was offered the opportunity to play guitar for the Carl Palmer Band. Although he has only released one solo album in 2014 titled Preludes & Etudes, he has a vast history within the music industry touring the world, recording music, and playing phenomenal live shows with musicians such as Neal Morse (Spock’s Beard), Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater), Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big) and Les Paul.

For a while, Bielatowicz toyed with the idea of creating a soundtrack to a silent film. In the same out-of-the-box manner in which he approaches many of his projects, Bielatowicz chose to write a soundtrack for Nosferatu, a silent German expressionist horror film, after watching the movie a few years ago.

“I feel that music and art should connect people on an individual and personal level,” Bielatowicz said. “Sadly we live in a society that seems to be moving away from that idea, where mass media and maximum profits are the primary goals of creativity. I’m always looking for ways to rebel against this modern day trend – writing and performing a live soundtrack to a 95-year-old silent movie just seemed like the right thing to do!”

“The name I gave to the silent movie soundtrack project is The Orchestra of Lost Emotions,” Bielatowicz said. “With all the wonderful technological media innovations we have today, I feel like we miss out on a more personal experience – our physical and personal relationship with the world is becoming a lost emotion – hence the name of the project.”

Bielatowicz loves to challenge himself as a musician so creating a soundtrack for a movie such as Nosferatu that has been surrounded by so much hype has been an exciting experience for him.

“I think the history that surrounds Nosferatu makes it a very attractive movie to tackle,” Bielatowicz said. “The director’s initial plan was to make a version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula but when permission was denied by Stoker’s family, he decided to go ahead and make the film anyway, tweaking the script and changing the characters’ names – Count Dracula became Count Orlok for example – in an attempt to avoid copyright infringement. Despite their efforts, the changes were not enough to avoid a lawsuit. Shortly after its debut, a judge ruled in favor of the Stoker estate and ordered all copies of the movie to be destroyed.”

Thankfully, some copies of the film survived, and today it’s become a cult classic. The movie sprouted a wave a creativity within Bielatowicz and he knew this was the project for him.

Nosferatu has the reputation for being a creepy horror movie, which of course it is but it’s also so much more than that,” Bielatowicz explained. “F. W. Murnau was the genius director of his day and the movie is a cinematic masterpiece full of innovative camera techniques, cutting edge special effects and emotional acting performances. It’s difficult to imagine how innovative Murnau actually was in his early silent movies – you have to remember he was literally inventing the media of cinema at the time and the films he made still stand up as a benchmark for modern day movies to be measured by.”

“Not wanting to give too much away, Nosferatu doesn’t follow the standard plot norms we came to expect of Hollywood over the 100(ish) years that followed,” Bielatowicz said. “The hero turns out to be not-so heroic, while his love interest becomes the heroine in an emotional climax to the movie. That’s definitely not what audiences would have expected in the early 1920s. The way Murnau succeeds in communicating these subtleties and emotions using the medium of silent acting and camera work is nothing short of genius.”

The Orchestra of Lost Emotions is a multi-cultural soundtrack. Bielatowicz combined his English heritage and the original film’s German elements to create a masterpiece. This piece of art also incorporated Bielatowicz’s rock sound with a mixture of classical music.

“I guess my influences as a composer aren’t what you’d typically expect for a rock guitarist!” Bielatowicz said. “Classical music has always been my passion and there’s a huge classical influence in the music I’ve written for this soundtrack. As for the German connection, I think fans of classical music will recognize a huge tip of the hat to Beethoven throughout.”

Bielatowicz talked about the main characteristics that differentiate the Nosferatu soundtrack from his previous material such as his stripped back solo album Preludes & Etudes.

“The biggest difference is that I’ve written all the music to tie in very closely with onscreen action,” Bielatowicz explained. “Scoring for a silent movie allows you the freedom not only to write music which evokes the emotions of a scene but also to incorporate sound effects into the music. Elements such as footsteps, door slams etc. are all incorporated in the music as an attempt to blur the lines between soundtrack and sound effects.”

The soundtrack is split into four acts. Bielatowicz will be premiering the first act on his December tour along with the first 30 minutes of the film.

“[The first act] is a great introduction to the movie and goes right up until the dramatic moment where the main character first meets Count Orlok the vampire,” Bielatowicz explained.

Along with the premiere of Nosferatu, Bielatowicz will also be playing a variety of covers and original music.

“We’ll be playing a selection of classical showpieces, including a lot of music from my solo album Preludes & Etudes,” he said. “You can expect to hear movements from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, some Beethoven favorites, Chopin Etudes, Debussy ballads, famous opera overtures all arranged for electric guitar, bass guitar and Chapman stick, like you’ve never heard them before! Mine and Simon’s tour follows an extensive tour with Carl Palmer, where we’ve been playing tribute to the late Keith Emerson, so you can probably expect a couple of ELP [Emerson, Lake & Palmer] classics thrown in too!”

The last time Bielatowicz and Fitzpatrick played together, they received rave reviews. Both musicians always put on a dynamic instrumental performance, and this one is bound to be even better due to the premiere of the soundtrack. Bielatowicz confirms his true talent by creating an all instrumental playlist that never bores the audience and never begs for vocals.

“I think variety is the key to maintaining an audience’s interest in any musical setting,” Bielatowicz said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re solo instrumentalist, a full band with vocals or a 90 piece orchestra, if everything you play sounds the same then your audience is going to get bored pretty quickly. Obviously, the fewer elements or instruments you have in a band, the more creative you have to be about maintaining variety but as long as you remain mindful of that then it’s possible to keep an audience’s interest no matter what instruments you have at your disposal. Dynamics play a big part, as does instrumentation, the use of different sound effects and obviously having 25 minutes of your set devoted to playing a soundtrack along with a movie screening helps a lot too! Audiences can expect a carefully thought-out set, specifically designed to keep them on the edge of their seats for the entire duration of the show.”

Bielatowicz has been playing alongside Fitzpatrick for many years and is excited to embark on another tour with him.

“Not only is Simon one of my best friends but he’s also one of the most gifted musicians I’ve had the pleasure of playing with,” Bielatowicz said. “I think our musical styles compliment each other perfectly – there’s no one else I’d rather do this tour with. I guarantee audiences will see him doing things they never thought possible on the bass guitar or Chapman Stick!”

Over the years, their relationship has grown and they have pushed each other to be the best musicians they can be. Their musical chemistry is evident during their live performance and this bond has been created and solidified through their years of friendship and musical expansion.

“I definitely think we’ve inspired each other to take our instruments to new places,” Bielatowicz said. “The way we both play our instruments is quite un-guitary and un-bassy and I think it’s fair to say we’ve influenced each other on our musical journeys.”

Here’s is the complete list of tour dates for Bielatowicz and Fitzpatrick’s tour. Visit the websites of the public venues to purchase tickets.

December 8, 2016 – Pawnee, IL (Private Concert)
December 9, 2016 – Milwaukee, WI (Private Concert)
December 10, 2016 – Chicago, IL (Private Concert)
December 11, 2016 – Gibsonia, PA (Private Concert)
December 12, 2016 – Blend of Seven Winery, Delaware, OH
December 15, 2016 – Tupelo Music Hall, Londonderry, NH
December 17, 2016 – Hollis, NH (Private Concert)
December 18, 2016 – Hartford Road Cafe, Hartford, CT
December 20, 2016 – Schwenksville, PA (Private Concert)
December 21, 2016 – Triad Theatre, New York, NY
December 22, 2016 – Narrows Center for the Arts, Fall River, MA

Y&T and Stryper’s Michael Sweet headed to the Narrows Center

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If you’re looking for the perfect holiday gift, JKB Entertainment Group is pleased to announce Y&T and Stryper’s Michael Sweet at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, Mass. Tickets to these shows will surely please the rocker on your list.

On May 2, hard rockers Y&T will perform songs that span the band’s over 40-year career, including “Meanstreak,” “Don’t Stop Runnin’,” and “Summertime Girls,” for a show that will last at least two hours. Purchase tickets HERE.

Formed in the early 1970s, Y&T is one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s own innovators of the hard rock sound, influence bands such as Ratt, Motley Crue and Metallica. With over a dozen studio albums that have sold in excess of four million copies, Y&T always deliver. In fact, whether performing to a festival crowd of 50,000 or in an intimate venue like the Narrows Center, Y&T’s high-energy set and passionate performances still captivate legions of fans around the globe, proving Y&T’s music timeless.

One month later on June 2, Michael Sweet, front man of the multi-platinum rock band Stryper will play an acoustic set of Stryper classics, songs from his solo career, and much more. Purchase tickets HERE.

With a career and repertoire spanning over three decades, Sweet has fronted one of the most trailblazing groups of the MTV generation, written a stable of Billboard charting singles, filled arenas all the world over, said goodbye at the peak of it all, took stock in a thriving solo career, got Stryper back together for yet another record breaking run and even took a stint co-leading one of the most legendary classic rock acts ever, BOSTON, from 2007 to 2011.

The Narrows Center for the Arts is located at 16 Anawan Street in Fall River. Tickets for both shows are currently on-sale now through the venue’s website, www.narrowscenter.org, or by phone at 508-324-1926.

Liz Bills ‘Comes Alive’ through a variety of music endeavors

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

Analog Heart (PHOTO BY SHIVOHN FLEMING PHOTOGARPHY, SUBMITTED BY LIZ BILLS)
Analog Heart (PHOTO BY SHIVOHN FLEMING PHOTOGRAPHY, SUBMITTED BY LIZ BILLS)

Liz Bills has a voice as sweet as cotton candy and as harsh as a dull knife. Her words erupt from deep down in her stomach and burst from her pink lips with hypnotic qualities. Bills is a mixture of Alanis Morrisette and Brandi Carlile with a passion for pop and psychedelic music. After one listen you will be swept into Bills’ rainbow colored world where she will gnaw at your heart strings then help you dance away the pain.

Liz Bills grew up in Haverhill, Mass., and started composing and performing music at the age of eight. She played piano with classically trained pianist Lynn Willby and self-taught herself guitar. In 2011, Bills attended Berklee College of Music where she studied songwriting and vocals.

During her classical studies courses, Bills decided to form a rock band, called Analog Heart.

“We formed back in 2011 on Craigslist,” she said. “I decided I wanted to start my own rock band from scratch so I took a chance and placed an ad. I found Jesse soon after and we clicked right away.  Most of our members have been from Craigslist including the new lineup and we are all very close.”

Analog Heart released an EP in 2012 consisting of Liz Bills on vocals, Jesse Cohen on guitar, and Austin Ferrante on drums. The band’s music has been given many labels such as indie, alternative rock, alt-country, pop, blues, and R&B.

Bills and David Cook were both on the TV show American Idol, yet Bills explained that her band name Analog Heart has no connection to the Cook album with the same title.

“I love hearts and wanted that in our name,” Bills explained. “I also wanted to write organic and honest music from the heart so that’s where Analog came from.”

Bills was on Season 12 of American Idol. She spoke about the experience where she made it all it way to the top 30 female and top 60 total.

“It was a very humbling experience reminding me to never stop working hard at singing and performing because I was surrounded by incredible musicians,” Bills explained. “It also taught me a bit about the demands of being on a major TV network competition and how it is more about the show itself then about the singing.  Not that I have anything against that, it just opened my eyes to the reality that shows like [American Idol and] The Voice are shows and singer’s lives are put on national TV. It’s also helped me become very strong and take people’s opinions with a grain of salt.”

She also would like to be a contestant on The Voice someday.

“I’ve learned that I must trust myself, stay true to myself, and not be sensitive or take things personally and keep working hard,” Bills said. “I now audition for The Voice every six months. It took me seven years of auditions with American Idol to make it on the show.”

While pursuing The Voice, teaching music lessons, and playing shows with Analog Heart, Bills also finds time to post YouTube videos displaying her immense, raw talent. On YouTube she covered many of today’s popular musicians such as Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, Vance Joy, Taylor Swift, John Legend, Sia, Hozier, Ariana Grande, and Meghan Trainor.

Within these covers, Bills explores her vocals which are both potent and sensitive and her creative ability. Bills talked about how YouTube has helped to propel her career.

“YouTube has been a way for me to connect with my fans and my students (I teach voice, guitar and piano lessons for a living),” Bills said. “I treat YouTube as a resume — a way to show people what I can do.”

Along with the artists Bills has covered on YouTube, she is also inspired by “Hanson, Billy Joel, Lady Gaga, Grace Potter, the killers and other classic rock music.”

“I actually love pop music and bring that element into the band. I will be launching my solo project this winter with an EP,” she said.

She explained that this album is going to be more pop than the pop/rock sound that Analog Heart has captured.

Jesse Cohen and Bills are the two main songwriters in Analog Heart. While Bills leans more towards a love for pop, Cohen will always be a rocker. They combine both their tastes to create Analog Heart’s unique sound.

Although their tastes in music may differ a bit, they have found one similarity. Both Bills and Cohen’s music style and music videos have been influenced greatly by the psychedelic era.

“We shied away from this for a long time because we wanted to be ‘modern’ but through that experience we have come to embrace what we gravitate to naturally, which is this groovy hippy late 60s/70s feel,” Bills said.

Analog Heart truly expressed their psychedelic vibe in their new music video for “Come Alive.” Click HERE to see the video.

“I wanted to do something fun and colorful and I also didn’t want to take myself too seriously, though the song itself is about abusive relationships and of course that isn’t something to laugh about,” Bills said. “I am over my angsty music writing years and just want to make people smile and feel good about themselves and to be entertained.”

“Come Alive” is featured on Analog Heart’s newest album titled Sun Here I Come that was released on March 5, 2016. Bills talked about the album title and the song it was named after.

“We wrote a song called ‘Sun Here I Come’ and it’s about coming out of a depression I was going through,” Bills said. “I remember being in the woods camping with the sun on my face and feeling better than I had in a long time, that’s where the title comes from.”

Bills explained how the band has evolved since their EP release in 2012 and their first full album Sun Here I Come.

“The EP sounds very young and polished, more poppy,” she said. “I wrote all four of the songs on the EP at the time. We were a new band still trying to find ourselves together. The latest album is much more mature, more guitar driven with Jesse’s influence writing half of the songs, more uplifting and positive with my emotional shift from depression to self-love and acceptance.”

Bills expanded more on the positive themes within Sun Here I Come and the main message she hopes to convey with this album.

“I want people to feel empowered and strong and loved and like they can do anything!” she exclaimed. “This is the kind of album you put on when you want to pump yourself up!”

With new positive energy, Bills talked about the band’s plans for the future.

“Our plans are to write a lot of new music, tour in the spring and tour in the late summer to support the next album. We will also be releasing a single this winter,” she said.

Music and entertainment coverage since October 2006!