Sunday, November 29, 2015

The College Experience with Casey Buckley

>> Hey hey hey! Hope everyone is excited to see this feature come back to life! It's been almost a year since we've had one of these on the site (crazy, right?) so here's a brief explanation of what we're doing here: The College Experience is my way of discussing the pros and cons of taking steps to have a career while still being a student, or how the desire to be involved with the music industry could interfere with the pursuit of a degree. I'll be asking a selection of folks the same basic questions regarding their school, their role in the industry, their struggles, and their goals. I'll also ask about each person's individual projects, whether they are photographers, musicians, publicists, writers, promoters, and the like. I think it'll be interesting to see how each person deals with the difficulties of balancing and prioritizing the various obstacles faced by students with big ambitions.

>> Today we're highlighting Casey Buckley, a hardworking musician who made a point of graduating from Northwestern before committing 110% of his focus to music. Read about Casey's album Take The Good and what Casey learned from interning with Red Light Management, graduating early, and making tough choices on the road to pursuing multiple dreams. 

Please state your name, age, what school you attended, your major, and what year you graduated.
My name is Casey Buckley. I’m 25 years old and graduated Northwestern University in 2011. I majored in Political Science with a focus on International Relations.

When and how did you first get involved with the music scene?
I’ve been a musician my entire life – singing and playing both piano and violin from a very young age. I began seriously playing guitar in high school and started writing songs my freshman year of college.

Were age restricted shows ever a problem for you?
Yeah, it certainly limited what I was able to go out and do on the weekends. I couldn’t get into a lot of bars/clubs to see the musicians I wanted to. As far as my own shows, I just played at coffeehouses. If I played at a bar, they’d mark my hand with an X so I couldn’t drink – but then none of my friends could (legally) get it wasn’t always the greatest.

Now that you're out of college, has that aspect gotten easier? Are things more accessible to you now?
When I finally turned 21, it was nice to not be limited by age in terms of places I could play as well as shows I could get into myself.

You were only 20 when you graduated. Would you say that finishing school that early gave you an advantage or did it make certain things more difficult?
Graduating college early definitely gave me an advantage in terms of having less student loans. Northwestern wasn’t cheap, so being able to have three years worth of loans rather than four has been nice. I’ll be happy once the loans are all paid off and I can be (more) financially free!

You're wholeheartedly pursuing music now, but what experiences have you had in the industry up to this point?
My first industry job was an internship at an artist management company. I worked at the NYC office of Red Light Management. I learned so much in the very short period of time that I worked there – and made some really great friends in the process. If anyone is looking to get involved with the music business, I definitely recommend starting with artist management. It’s a discipline that gives you visibility into just about every aspect of the music world.

What did you learn from that experience with Red Light? 
Aside from the practical lessons about seeing how things work, the overarching theme of what I learned is that you are as good as your hustle. I was working multiple jobs at the time and still aimed to give 100% in each. The head of the internship program at Red Light took a chance on me (given that I had zero experience at that point) and gave me an amazing opportunity – I owed it to her and to myself to take full advantage of that opportunity.

Being actively involved in the music industry, how often were you tempted to skip class or put off an assignment in order to attend or play a show? How did you make those choices?
Luckily, I didn’t have any evening classes – and I didn’t schedule any daytime shows! Academics come first at school – there’s plenty of room elsewhere to find time. I have carried that thinking over with me into the ‘real world’. My social life is the primary casualty of my dual responsibilities as a musician and citizen of the real world.

Were you often faced with tough choices when it came to priorities and scheduling as a student also involved in the music industry?
I wouldn’t say I faced too many tough choices – I tried to always plan a few steps ahead of everything to avoid serious conflicts. Proper scheduling is key to most things in life.

As a musician, did you find it hard to find a place to practice or focus on writing? Was it hard to coordinate shows and performances for the same reasons?
This is definitely true. I was lucky that Northwestern had a music school with plenty of practice rooms available to all students – it wasn’t necessarily a quiet place to write, but it was a place where I could play at full volume all hours of the day and night. That being said, I’m sure the people in my freshman year dorm were happy when spring quarter ended and they didn’t have to listen to the guitar any more. As much as I tried to play outside, the Chicago weather often forced me indoors. Luckily for me, a guy down the hall (who happened to be a good friend of mine) had a habit of playing through Jimmy Hendrix’s greatest hits. People tended to forgive my quiet acoustic strumming a bit more easily than they could his rendition of ‘Little Wing’ or ‘The Wind Cries Mary’.

Did you ever struggle to find space to store your equipment? Was it ever hard to afford the equipment you needed?
I was lucky that my instruments made it through college unharmed. A notable incident happened during my third and final year of school – my roommate was sick of listening to me play the ukulele and decided to padlock the strings. He was nice enough to put a (clean) sock in between the padlock and the wood so it wouldn’t scratch the instrument. I can’t remember how I convinced him to take it off... Being able to afford equipment was a definite struggle. I just made do with what I had. At the end of the day, all I needed was my acoustic guitar to write songs. Don’t get me wrong, though – it is nice to have other instruments and effects!

Did you struggle with roommates aside from the padlock incident? Did they ever complain about you taking up too much space or being too loud with your musical endeavors?
As long as my instruments didn’t obstruct any common areas, my roommates were fine from a space perspective. The volume was definitely an issue – especially if they took naps throughout the day or needed peace and quiet to study.

Did the recording of your new album, Take The Good, overlap with your time in school? How did you balance writing and recording with your class schedule and assignments?
Recording didn’t overlap with school, but a good portion of the writing certainly did. A few of the songs were written while I was still at school and others in the year immediately following college. It’s sometimes hard to strike a balance between writing and other obligations, as inspiration doesn’t always follow a schedule. I always have a voice recorder handy and either whistle out a tune or hum it if I need to be really inconspicuous. I have stacks of notebooks at home filled up with lyrical ideas – either written down when I had one handy or transcribed from my voice recorder.

Was your time in college and your dedication to get a degree influential to your writing for that album?
It definitely was influential given that, had I not attended college, I would not have been placed into any of the situations that served as inspiration for these songs.

In your opinion, what is the most important thing for people to know about Take The Good? Is there a specific message you want people to take away from listening?
Take the Good covers so many different aspects of the personal side of growing up – which of course involves a heavy dose of romantic relationships – that it’s a bit of a ‘make your own message’ record. I left conceptual space in each song so the listener can bend the music to their own life – allowing them to let the songs resonate with them as best fits.

Overall, what was one of the biggest obstacles you faced while trying to progress your career while still in school?
One of the biggest obstacles to any artist nowadays is the financial one. While being in school arguably sets you back further in that respect, it also allows you to self-fund and build your own musical platform.

How did being in college help you advance your involvement in the music industry?
I took some poetry courses which had an interesting effect on my writing – but other than that I wouldn’t say college directly helped my music industry career. It does however, allow you to work elsewhere in the real world – which is a very real issue many younger musicians don’t consider.

Do you think it's been beneficial to start your career path in the music industry while you're still in school?
If you want to pursue a full time job on the business side of music, it’s definitely best to start as early as possible. Get an internship as soon as you can and keep building your network. From an artistic standpoint, just create. I’ve been creating my whole life and will continue to do so forever. It’s not something you just wake up one day and decide to do (but, hey, maybe it is for some people). Don’t schedule art, but make time for it.

What have you been up to since graduation?
As I mentioned before, I have some student loans that I’ve been taking care of. In addition to that, studio time isn’t free and I’ve foregone the crowd-funding route so far. I’m not independently wealthy, so I work to make sure I can continue to exist and make music.

What would you say to someone debating how to pursue a career in the industry while still in school? What advice would you give to a younger you?
First off, I would tell them to graduate. Having a degree and completing it in 4 years or less is only going to make your life easier. Sure, anyone can point to some successful dropouts (Gates, Zuckerberg, Mayer) – but there are exceptions to most rules. Brilliance doesn’t disappear when you’re handed a diploma. As far as advice for a younger me, I’d probably tell myself “you should never have to break up with a girl twice.”

What's next for you now that Take The Good has been released?
I’ve already started writing new songs and have recorded a few of them. I think a few more tours are in order and then we can start looking at some new releases and hopefully a sophomore album!

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Nope, thanks for reading!

Continue Reading

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Celebrate 15 Years of The Used with Two Albums in Two Nights

>> Everyone remembers their first favorite band. The special connection, the songs that drew you in and made you a loyal fan - these things stay with you even if you outgrow the music. The Used was my first favorite band, and I am thrilled to share the group's latest news. 

>> To celebrate 15 years as a band, The Used announced details of their upcoming anniversary tour. Starting in April, the band will perform two shows in each city on the celebratory run. The Used, the band's self-titled album, will be performed in full on the first night with In Love And Death being performed on the second. Pre-sale tickets are available today with regular on-sale beginning this Friday. The full list of dates can be seen below, and both tickets and VIP packages can be purchased at

15 Year Anniversary Tour Dates:
April 05 and 06 - Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
April 08 and 09 - Salt Lake City, Utah @ In the Venue
April 12 and 13 - Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre
April 15 and 16 - Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
April 19 and 20 - Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
April 22 and 23 - Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live
April 26 and 27 - New York, NY @ Playstation Theater
April 29 and 30 - Sayerville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
May 03 and 04 - Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero Theatre
May 06 and 07 - Boston, MA @ House of Blues
May 10 and 11 - Royal Oak, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
May 13 and 14 - Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
May 17 and 18 - Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
May 20 and 21 - Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
May 24 and 25 - Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
May 27 and 28 - Los Angeles, CA @ Club Nokia

>> In addition to the excitement of the 15 Year Anniversary Tour, there will also be a new live CD/DVD from the band! The Used: Live & Acoustic At The Palace was recorded at the band's intimate unplugged storyteller performance, which took place last month at The Palace Theater in Los Angeles. The songs that fans know and love were reimagined and performed with a 4-piece string quartet and harpist (arranged by Hiro Goto), a piano player, percussion and a 3-piece gospel choir. The live album will officially be released on April 1st, but fans will receive a digital copy with each online ticket purchase. You can find more information on this live CD/DVD at

Continue Reading

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tonight Alive and Set It Off Co-Headlining The Fight For Something Tour

>> Having just announced details of a new album and a world tour for 2016, Tonight Alive have revealed something extra special for the US leg of the run! Set It Off will be co-headlining The Fight For Something Tour set for March, which is bound to leave fans of both acts absolutely thrilled. The Ready Set and SayWeCanFly will be along for support, adding to what is already a fantastic line-up. Tickets for this tour go on-sale on November 3rd and can be purchased at

The Fight For Something Tour Dates:
March 01 - Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge
March 02 - Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
March 03 - Pontiac, MI @ The Crofoot
March 04 - Buffalo, NY @ Waiting Room
March 05 - New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
March 06 - Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
March 08 - Baltimore, MD @ Soundstage
March 09 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
March 10 - Greensboro, NC @ Greene Street
March 11 - Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
March 12 - Orlando, FL @ Beacham Theatre
March 14 - Houston, TX @ Walters
March 15 - Dallas, TX @ Trees
March 17 - Phoenix, AZ @ Nile Theater
March 18 - San Diego, CA @ Soma
March 19 - San Bernadino, CA @ Self Help Fest
March 20 - San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
March 21 - Sacramento, CA @ Ace Of Spades
March 23 - Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
March 24 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos
March 26 - Salt Lake City, UT @ In The Venue
March 27 - Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
March 28 - TBD @ TBD

>> Following a string of Australian shows and a run of dates across Europe, Tonight Alive will drop their new album, titled Limitless, on March 4th as they're on the road in the US. The band has emphasized that this is only the first leg of a world tour, so if your city has been left our there's no need to worry! The group released a gripping video for their new track "Human Interaction" which you can see below. Also, the gents in Set It Off will be playing three shows on their own after this run, and you can get the details for those dates at

Get Connected:
Tonight Alive: WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Limitless Pre-Order
Set It Off: Duality on iTunes | Facebook | Twitter
The Ready Set: Facebook | Twitter
SayWeCanFly: FacebookTwitter

Continue Reading

Monday, October 26, 2015

Saint Ballantine Unleash Hypnotic Single "The Stoned"

>> Hailing from New York, Andrew Thomas Reid and Brian ‘Sene’ Marc have come together to embark on a new musical journey as Saint Ballantine. The two producers / musicians initially formed this new outfit after both collaborating at the Clubhouse in South Brooklyn. The Clubhouse, a modern day creative commune founded by Reid, has hosted over 50 artists who create a myriad of artistic works. Having come from such a vivacious environment, the gents in Saint Ballantine are bringing their creative artistry to life in something that has yet to be seen elsewhere. The duo describes themselves as “Gangsta Indie Rock”, which comes off as a combination of sharp production elements, heavy subject matter, and festival-ready downtempo tunes. Reid and Sene have incredible chemistry as writers, leading to a slew of versatile and meaningful songs. The duo prides themselves on the interesting mix of influences and genres in their music, and their knack for experimentation is personified in their latest single, "The Stoned."

>> Released through Tommy Boy Entertainment, “The Stoned” gives listeners something completely new. The intricate use of hypnotic electronic sounds with far away yet ever-present vocals gives a twist to what some call 'typical indie rock.' The anything-but-typical indie beat gives an enchanting background to the vocals as rock undertones subtly express the darker side of the lyrics. Listen to "The Stoned" below and get groovin'!

>> We hope to see more from this dynamic and innovative duo as they continue to make some of their most enticing music to date. For now, be sure to keep tabs on Sene's acting career - he just announced his part in the upcoming Marvel's Luke Cage Netflix series!

- Jody Seidel & Kate Russell

Get Connected:

Continue Reading

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bayside Announce Northeast Holiday Shows

>> Happy Holidays, folks!  It feels too early to say that, doesn't it? As we prepare for Halloween, Bayside are planning ahead and putting together something special. The band will play a series of intimate shows in the Northeast starting on December 15th. Tickets for these shows are available now through, and the full list of shows can be seen below. 

Continue Reading

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Album Review: 'That's The Spirit' by Bring Me the Horizon

>> When Sempiternal leaked back in 2013, fans of Bring Me the Horizon were met with abrupt changes to the band's overall sound. Although it was a departure from the band's original sound of chugging guitars, guttural grows, and shrieking screams, Sempiternal still kept a sense of heaviness throughout most of the album. To be honest, it was my favorite BMTH album to date, and many others would agree.

>> Fast forward to September of 2015 where BMTH fans were met with a new album, That's The Spirit, which would take the band in all different directions musically, except metalcore. I'm sure there are many disgruntled fans who wished lead vocalist Oli Sykes would growl at least once on this album, but for a majority of listeners, the new sound is welcomed with open ears. In fact, That's The Spirit was so welcomed that it hit number 2 on the Billboard Top 200!

>> That's The Spirit opens up with a song called 'Doomed,' a depressing, atmospheric song that introduces the theme of the album, which Sykes has described as a celebration of depression. It reminds me of 'Can You Feel My Heart,' the beginning track off of Sempiternal, which introduced a new sound right off the batThis song is nothing if not depressing in the lyrics, but a beautiful song none the less. The chorus really shines, especially when Sykes hits the high note when he sings "I think we're doomed," which contrasts the entire feel of the song very well. You can listen to this song below. 

>> "Throne" was met with enthusiasm because it may be the one song that reminds me of BMTH's sound off of Sempiternal. There is a taste of metalcore throughout the song, with it's mix of cleans and a minimal amount of screams, the incorporation of keys, and it's faster pace. This song kept me banging my head every time it came up in the queue. You can check out the music video put out for 'Throne' below. *Editor's note: This song is also worth hearing because it's ever so similar to Linkin Park's "Faint" and that song is a JAM. God bless who ever attempted this mash-up.

>> Another excellent song was the first song the band released for this album back in October 2014, titled "Drown." It is another song that tackles the topic of depression. The sound has no connection to the old BMTH (much like this entire album), and it was an interesting to choice to promote the new album that they would release a year later. It was a bold move to show that the band was completely stepping away from their metalcore sound, and I don't think I could have picked a better single. You can watch last year's music video for song below. Spoiler alert: it features the band performing at an old variety show in front of mentally unstable people and the set is plagued with werewolves and exorcisms.

>> This album falls short with the track "Happy Song," even with the understanding that the band was going for irony with this one.  It's the band's attempt to sound like a radio rock band, making it a basic rock song you would hear on any of today's top rock stations. The gimmick-y cheering section in which you hear what seems to be a cheerleading squad chant out the word "Spirit," just makes me enjoy the song even less. Sykes states in the song that when we're depressed many people believe that singing a happy song will change their mood. He feels that simply doing that is just a quick fix and doesn't remove the root of the depression. The meaning in the song is all well and good, but it won't stop me from hitting skip when this song comes up.

>> That's The Spirit is a contender for album of the year. Although it is great departure from Bring Me The Horizon's original sound, it was a change that was welcomed with open arms by many fans, both old and new. You won't find it hard to enjoy the entire album all the way through (unless you're me and do not enjoy 'Happy Song'). That song aside, every other track has something that will pull you in and make you want to listen over and over again. If you haven't listened to That's The Spirit yet, what are you waiting for?

- Zach Zima

Get Connected:

Continue Reading

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Rocket Summer Takes Over the West Coast This November

>> The Rocket Summer (Bryce Avary) is back with plans to cruise around the west coast this fall! Beginning November 3rd and ending November 20th, The Rocket Summer will be on the road for the Returning West Tour with support from TEAM*. To add to the exciting news of a 2015 tour, Bryce has a new full length coming out as well! To pre-order the new album and to check out some awesome packages go to: The full list of dates for the Returning West Tour can be seen below.

>> In response to a question about East Coast dates, Bryce replied "Don't worry! It's all going to happen. We just couldn't make it all happen on this specific run. Can't wait to see you guys again. We'll eventually be wherever you are in the not too distant future!" So if you're a fan of the music but don't live on the West Coast, don't sweat it! There will be more dates announced sometime soon. For now, be sure to order a copy of Bryce's new album and stay tuned for more updates!

- Jody Seidel & Kate Russell

Continue Reading

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Academy Is... Announce 'Almost Here' 10 Year Tour

>> Starting this December, The Academy Is… will continue celebrating 10 years of Almost Here by touring across the country! With Almost Here being released in February 2005, it’s time to celebrate one of the band’s and fans’ favorite albums. The tour will begin in Orlando, Florida on December 5th and will take a trip across the US ending with their final show on December 30th in San Diego, California. The somewhat mysterious act Partybaby will provide support on the run, so it'll be exciting to see what those musicians have up their sleeves as well. Tickets go on sale to the public this Friday September 18th at 10am, and pre-sale VIP ticket packages are available at: The VIP package options offered are outlined below the list of tour dates and a message from the band:

After an incredible weekend at Riot Fest in Chicago, we are pleased to announce that we will be taking the show on the road! This December we will be continuing our "Almost Here" 10 year celebration with a tour of the USA! We are incredibly excited to see some familiar faces, as well as make some new friends while celebrating 10 years of this record that changed each of our lives forever. We can't wait to see you there!  
 -The Academy Is...

Almost Here 10 Year Tour Dates:
12/04 - Orlando, FL @ House of Blues
12/05 - Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
12/06 - Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle
12/08 - Norfolk, VA @ Norva
12/09 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
12/10 - Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
12/12 - Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero
12/13 - Boston, MA @ House of Blues
12/15 - New York, NY @ Best Buy Theater
12/17 - Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
12/18 - Detroit, MI @ St. Andrew's Hall
12/19 - Cincinnati, OH @ Bogarts
12/20 - Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
12/22 - Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
12/23 - Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
12/26 - Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
12/29 - San Francisco, CA @ Regency Ballroom
12/30 - San Diego, CA @ The Observatory

>> VIP ticket packages are limited and include the following:
  • Ticket to the show 
  • Early venue entry 
  • Individual Polaroid with The Academy Is… 
  • Pre-show hang with the band 
  • Exclusive hand-made print by the Butcher 
  • Pre-signed and numbered "Almost Here" 10 Year Anniversary poster 
  • Exclusive The Academy Is... VIP cloth bracelets 
  • Super limited side stage and post-show bus hang add-on packages also available 

- Jody Seidel and Kate Russell

Get Connected:
The Academy Is...: Facebook | Twitter
Partybaby: Facebook | Twitter
Almost Here on iTunes

Continue Reading