|The Kinected: Ron Anthony|
Shockwave: Hi Ron, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions. What is the music scene like in West Palm Beach?
Ron: Growing up in the New York City area, I learned that West Palm Beach was quite different than what I was accustomed to, especially when I initially moved down here. There really are not many locations that I would say are strictly "live music venues," where you can catch a bill with three or four original acts, charge a cover at the door and see an evening of completely original, new music. That is what I was used to, and it is just not prevalent here which makes it very difficult for original bands. A lot of establishments have live music, but utilize bands more in a way to cover music for the hours in between 'happy hour' and the 'club scene." This tends to make it harder for a band to have the opportunity to truly define themselves. With that being said, I have found that there are a lot of people in West Palm Beach that do like and appreciate original music, itching to hear some, and The Kinected has been very fortunate to have a solid foundation in our hometown of avid fans and supporters that come out to our shows to hear us play our original songs. Strength comes in numbers and with our growing following, we have been able to utilize a lot of these venues in a way to make them a home for us and our original music which is exciting.
On February 10th you released your debut album titled Evolution #9. The record is a unique blend of pop, funk and rock with an electro edge. Do all of you come from different musical influences?
All of us collectively appreciate and respect each others musical influences, and although each of us do share many common tastes, we also differ. We all collectively like artists such as, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Police, Duran Duran, The Cure, U2, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Earth Wind and Fire! This list could go on forever but it gives you a glimpse of what we dig and listen to.
Did all of you agree on the direction the album was going when writing it?
For the most part, yes. The sound evolved rather easily and it was nice to have the creative freedom and time to experiment with it as we recorded this album in my home studio. Alex and I produced it and I also engineered it, so it was a lot of fun to hear the songs take on a life of their own from one day to the next. As a keyboard player, I definitely enjoy the colors and textures that pads, synth bass, analog leads, and more bring to the table. I also love pure organic sounds like piano and strings. Alex is an amazing guitarist rooted in many styles, but really loves funk guitar players and song writers such as Nile Rodgers. We blended our influences. With Mike and Marck working so well together, owning their craft and adding such a tight groove, it was easy to put it all together. Mike can lay down such a perfect pocket one time through in the studio, and he only picked up the bass recently in 2007. I do think that Marck would have liked to have had some more live performances and organic drums in the equation, with that said, he is one of the best team players I have ever worked with and really is responsible for helping recreate the studio production live. He runs the drum triggers and drum samplers all while still killing it on the kit!
This album contains a lot of songs that had already been written, many by Alex, years prior to us forming The Kinected. Alex and I have been collaborating musically for upwards of 10 years now. Quite often a song will begin with a guitar lick or lyric Alex may have or perhaps a keyboard line or melody in my mind. Sometimes the entire idea is written and then brought to the table. That being said, we look forward to the evolution of the writing process as it is always nice to start with a blank canvas and see what we can cohesively paint together and I look forward to doing more of that on future records.
What is the writing process like in the band?
What is your favorite part of the writing/recording process?
On Evolution #9, I really loved the freedom; the freedom to wake up in the middle of the night out of a dead sleep, perhaps with an idea or an urge and know I can walk out of my bedroom and be in the studio creating, recording and laying that thought down. It was all such an incredible learning process for me as well as this is my first produced and engineered album. I love hearing the songs come to life. It is always interesting to a/b a previously bounced session and listen to the evolution of the song from one day to the next. I can imagine it is like watching your 'musical newborn' take form day to day as they grow so much so quickly.
What are some of the things that influence your writing?
Certain days have moments that may inspire a concept, lyric, or melody. You can quite often tell from the color and lyric of our songs what influenced us to write. We write from life. Take "Pressure" or "Victim of Circumstance." The title creates a mood and they are darker songs all around about people we didn't want in our lives anymore. Then there is a song like "Heart on Fire," which is a completely different vibe and happens to be a song that Alex wrote about the birth of his daughter. Life experience.
Did you have any guest spots or outside collaboration on the album?
We do not have any guest spots or outside collaboration on the album, however we are completely open to both and hope to perhaps do more of that on future recordings.
Were you able to experiment with different instruments other than the standard guitar, drums, bass and keyboard?
For the most part, the instruments you listed covered everything. We used a lot of different keyboard sounds to help shape the album, but everything we envisioned was able to come together with those instruments. Barring some success in the future, I definitely wouldn't be against using The New York Philharmonic Symphony for future recordings, but for now IK Multimedia's Miroslav Philharmonic digital workstation will have to do.
Has your single "Hypnotize" hit radio as of yet and how is it doing?
"Hypnotize" has just hit radio and I found out in a pretty insane way. I was in San Francisco at the time and ironically enough, I was out at a local restaurant, across the entire country from where I currently reside. All of a sudden I hear "Hypnotize" in the restaurant! We are currently on regular rotation on Sirius XM, specifically channel 3, 20 and recently found out "Hypnotize is currently charting at #141 on top 40 radio and #17 on Indie Radio which is very exciting. The feedback has been incredible and with that we have just launched a radio campaign, so soon enough it will also be hitting a lot of FM stations across the country. "Hypnotize" is also currently #1 on iHeart Radio's Discover and Uncover and has been for over six weeks straight now. We are very excited about the response thus far!
I noticed that you have some show dates posted up in different cities in Florida. Do you plan on taking the show on the road this year? What are the plans as far as touring in the near future?
Without a doubt yes! We are in the process of planning a tour for the fall that will take us through multiple Florida cities, then out of Florida, and eventually up the coast. Right now, we are in the middle of production for our music video for "Hypnotize" and once we wrap that up, we will be honing in on hitting the road. We can't wait either as we really love performing live and we look forward to having the opportunity to play in some other areas and spread the word.
Will you be doing any summer festivals?
We don't have any summer festivals planned at this current moment, however we are working on some fall festivals, but I don't want to say anything until we have confirmation.
Other than home, where do you seem to get the best response to your music?
According to Facebook stats, we have a rather large reach in the New York area. I think it is in part to the exposure we have received with iHeart Radio. We became a featured artist on Z100's website because of our chart position on Discover and Uncover, so we have received some good exposure in that area.
You have toured with some killer bands in the past. Is there any particular tour/show that stands out the most for you?
There are two in particular. As a band, Sunfest 2011 was excellent because we had the opportunity to play on the same bill with some incredible acts, some being influences of ours. The lineup for 2011 included artists like Earth Wind and Fire, Jeff Beck, Cee Lo Green, Jason Mraz, MGMT, and more. In an online voting poll we were also chosen as favorite act that year which was rather humbling. Although Sunfest was great, the show that stands out the most for me hands down is A Taste of Pinellas. I loved it because it wasn't about us. It wasn't about Sheryl Crow. It wasn't about Big and Rich or the All American Rejects. It was for a greater cause; something larger than music. A Taste of Pinellas is three day festival to raise awareness and money for All Children's Hospital. This hits close to home for us. Mike, my brother and bass player of The Kinected was diagnosed with Osteo-genic Sarcoma, a form of bone cancer when he was twelve years old. He was that patient and could relate to those kids. We visited a number of sick children in the hospital after our performance and it is something that I will take with me forever. To be able to give back and bring a smile to their faces, even if it was momentarily, was such an intense moment for me.
Are any of your songs being used in TV or movies?
Yes, at the currently moment, "Hypnotize" is being featured in the upcoming national theatrical release "Exposure." We are actually also in the movie performing the song which is exciting. The Kinected is also currently exploring other opportunities in the TV / movie industry and may have some more coming our way in the near future!
What do you think has been the biggest help in getting your name out there?
Having a tool like the Internet is a huge advantage to reach fans all over the world, but the biggest help has been a combination of many things. To name a few, we have the best fans and friends that have supported a grassroots campaign. They have been there as our voice to help spread The Kinected. Our reach has grown exponentially because of them and we are so grateful. Also, there is New Ocean Media, our P.R. Firm. In the short amount of time we have worked with them, they have done such a tremendous job in helping us from internet, radio, and print interviews, to National Television appearances, and even helping land us a spot on Sirius XM Radio. They are great!
Thank you so much for the interview. Was there anything you'd like to add or say?
If you want to know more about The Kinected, please "like" us on facebook and please drop us a line as we maintain our social networking sites completely and really enjoy interacting with our friends. Our album, "Evolution #9" is currently available on ITUNES and other digital stores. It includes 10 tracks including "Hypnotize." Thank you so much for your time, and thank you everyone for taking the time to get to know a little more about The Kinected!!!