Q&A: Capital Soirèe

Three best friends start a band, record some tunes and play shows around their city until they make something of themselves. It’s a story told time and time again, but no matter how many bands the boys of Capital Soirèe find themselves among, the Chicago-based trio continues to strive, most recently with their new 3-song EP Waves of Change.

The new release exhibits a different side of Capital Soirèe. The band has taken on a new approach to writing and recording, maturing their sound as they explore different vibes, tones and instrumentation. Multi-instrumentalists James Kourafas, Max Romero and Steven Rejdukowski gather in their recording basement to discuss their latest music and other upcoming projects.

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Q&A: Honeystone

A residential rooftop in Chicago’s South Loop became the latest stop in Honeystone’s collection of intimate showcases this week. The four-piece rock band, who has regularly been performing private parties, charity gigs and Sofar Sound shows throughout the city, says they enjoy smaller performances because it allows them to interact with fans. They make sure to take time before and after sets to speak with audiences and show their appreciation, knowing their support system plays a role in their success.

“We’ve been pretty fortunate with a lot of good friends and fans helping us out, [letting us know when someone] is looking for new bands for an event,” says lead guitarist John Nordquist.

The boys may be too humble to admit it themselves, but their success doesn’t solely lie with the word-of-mouth marketing of their friends. Honeystone has spent the past year creating a sound that brings together the best of old and new rock. Their well-crafted tunes along with their level of professionalism on stage have brought them to a number of musical milestones. With their summer tour complete and a batch of singles almost ready for release, Nordquist, bassist David Koslovsky, drummer Nathan Taylor and vocalist Justin Honigstein share what’s next for the band.

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Q&A: Vast Canvas

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Like many up-and-coming bands, Vast Canvas has experienced their fair share of band members; a year of lineup changes that have settled to include drummer Taylor Kreemer, bassist Parker Langvardt, lead guitarist Justin Doebert and the only original member, vocalist and rhythm guitarist Chelsea Foss-Ralston. In October, the four members worked with engineer Josh Stanley to record their 3-song EP Fck Around, out August 14 via Bandcamp, just in time for their August 17 show at Beat Kitchen.

Vast Canvas falls somewhere on the spectrum of DIY. While their sound is more fit for a conventional music venue, they took a hands-on approach to their latest EP, recording it in Foss-Ralston’s Pilsen home, just blocks from The DoJo, one of Chicago’s top DIY houses. It’s in the bright and open living space of this home where Kreemer, Langvardt and Foss-Ralston gather, (along with Uncka, the band’s polar bear pup), to discuss their new music and the ultimate struggle of responding to emails.

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Q&A: The Diving Bell

Storytelling and music often go hand in hand. Musicians have a way of turning personal heartbreaks into compelling anecdotes brought to life with vibrant instrumentals and mystic vocals. They craft songs to explore various realms of life, love, and in the case of The Diving Bell, Panama excursions and poisonous frogs.

The alternative folk rock group is headed by husband and wife duo Steve and Clare Hendershot, backed by Charles Murphy, Mike Parton, Graham Gilreath and Jake Gordon (pictured above). Clare and Steve met roughly five years ago during an open mic night at Uncommon Ground and have since worked on a number of creative products in addition to their band, including a multimedia art project and podcast. Even after recently welcoming a new member to their now family of three, the couple shows no signs of stopping. With a new EP expected for release later this year, and a few upcoming shows, Steve and Clare settle onto a couch in their Edgewater home to share how they’re turning art and creativity into a family business.

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Show Preview: Dunn Dunn Fest (2/18-2/20)

This week Chicago promoter Harmonica Dunn will be hosting Dunn Dunn Fest; a three night, six venue showcase featuring a number of local (and non local) bands. The fest will run from Thursday, February 18th to Saturday, February 20th with performances at Beat Kitchen, Subterranean, Tonic Room, Lincoln Hall, Schubas and The Hideout.

With so many great local bands at some of Chicago’s top venues, you really can’t go wrong with any show. Nonetheless, here’s who we’re excited to see:

 

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Profile: The Pact

What happens when a few metal heads, an R&B singer, an indie god and a closet Paramore fanatic join forces and start a band?

No worries, this isn’t the start to a bad hipster joke. Actually, it’s the foundation of Chicago-based band, The Pact. It may have taken nearly four years of reformations and sound searching, but the alternative pop group has finally established themselves with the perfect blend of unlike genre gurus.

With less than a year behind their current formation, The Pact has already played a number of icon Chicago venues (House of Blues, Bottom Lounge) and shared the stage with national touring acts (HalfNoise, Spirit Animal).  Combine this with the success of a recent EP release and an upcoming January 28th show with Tribe Society and The Karma Killers, and one might think The Pact has had a pretty easy ride.

But with any great story of success, there must first be failure.

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Show Preview: The Pact (1/28)

Who: The Pact

When: Thursday, January 28th @ 8:30PM

Where: Beat Kitchen

Price: $10 adv/ $12 door

Chicago-based band, The Pact, has spent the last few months crafting a sound that balances indie elements of alternative and pop.  This past November, The Pact released Reaching in the Dark, a five song EP recorded in the home studio of guitarist Caleb Harris. With less than a year behind the current lineup, the band has already played some iconic Chicago venues, such as the House of Blues, as well as shared the stage with well-known artists such as HalfNoise and Mighty Fox.

 

The night will also include performances by Tribe Society and The Karma Killers.