Connect The Dots Tour
Smallpools, Vinyl Theatre
Sat, October 28
Doors: 6:30 pm
Following the release of their critically acclaimed debut album 'Our Own House,' touring internationally, and performing at some of the biggest music festivals around the globe, MisterWives begins a new chapter in 2017. The band, consisting of Mandy Lee [vocals], Etienne Bowler [drums], William Hehir [bass], Marc Campbell [guitar], Jesse Blum [keys, trumpet, accordion] and Mike Murphy [Saxophone] will release their highly anticipated 2nd album 'Connect the Dots' worldwide through Photo Finish/Republic Records this spring. Born and raised in the creative crucible of New York City, MisterWives are the latest in a long line of genre defying bands to break out of the city that never sleeps and gain recognition on a global stage.
After renovating their long-time basement studio, the band spent a couple of months, in what they called Band Camp. Band Camp was their summer getaway to focus all their energy on writing and recording the album. They were able to create in an environment with no limits, no time constraints, nightly poker games, bbq's, some hysterical relay races and an atmosphere that solely promoted creativity. Having the opportunity to work in this way left the band wanting more so when the studio's proprietors -- Etienne's parents -- returned from their summer vacation, the MisterWives packed up their gear and moved to a house outside Woodstock, NY where they converted the living room of the house into a makeshift studio to finish writing the second-half of the album.
The final piece of the puzzle fell into place when the band flew to LA and met with producer Butch Walker. "Working with Butch aka the legend-jedi-ninja-warrior-producer was the answer to our prayers" says lead singer Mandy Lee. "Butch is by far one of the nicest most talented humble dudes in the business who continuously inspired us throughout the recording process. It was so refreshing getting to work with a producer who believed in humans making music, not computers. We had such a blast getting to record our parts in a few takes rather than comping/slapping parts to the grid/auto-tuning and other techniques that typically suck the soul out of music. Besides being a musical genius Butch is also the sweetest guy who somehow doesn't eat any sugar...riddle me that."
MisterWives' first single "Machine" was released on February 17th and showcases the next step in the band's musical direction. Influenced by many disparate genres yet beholden to none, the song demonstrates a tremendous self-assuredness and furthers the band's commitment to always being true to themselves even in the face of the music industry's constant pressure to conform. Songwriter Mandy Lee says, "'Machine' is a rallying cry to stand against a world that suppresses individuality and diversity. This song embodies the movement of celebrating our differences, staying true to yourself and to always stick it to the Sith Empire."
Just as the band's musical stylings know no bounds, the same can be said for Mandy's lyrical subject matter. "Oh Love" and "Revolution" paint a portrait of today's tumultuous political and social climate, inspiring audiences to reflect on what we can do to better live in harmony. "My Brother" highlights the enduring strength of familial bonds while grappling with mental illness, "Chasing This" explores the continuing weird and wonderful journey they've been on together and of course that simple and wonderful sickness that is LOVE with songs like "Coloring Outside the Lines" and "Drummer Boy."
Says drummer and co-producer Etienne Bowler, "We worked out of my parents' basement, DB Studios, and pieced together the demos one day at a time, constantly revisiting and pushing the songs to the outmost bounds, rhythmically and harmonically."
Mandy Lee adds, "I will say this till the day I die but music is medicinal and I'm so fortunate to have an outlet that helps me overcome any tragedy or celebrate any triumph thrown my way. This record lyrically and sonically goes in so many different directions, which is how the concept "Connect The Dots" came to fruition. Our existence is made up of so many different variables that we are constantly trying to piece together and make sense of. At times it might just look like a jumbled nonsensical mess of numbers and dots but in actuality each piece is crucial to completing the picture."
"The last few years have definitely been the best kind of whirlwind you could ask for!" says bassist Will Hehir. "We've been so lucky to get to play live for amazing audiences all around the world, develop musically as a band and grow even tighter then any of us ever thought possible. We're humbled by the people who have supported our music over the last few years and can't wait to see what the next part of the journey has in store for us!"
In addition to releasing 'Connect the Dots,' MisterWives will be touring around the country with Panic! at the Disco on a sold out arena tour this spring, to be followed soon after by nationwide headline dates, festival appearances and general world domination.
After bursting onto the scene with their 4 song self-titled EP, Smallpools has toured to all corners of North America supporting Twenty One Pilots, WALK THE MOON, Neon Trees, Grouplove, and Two Door Cinema Club, as well as playing both Lollapalooza and Firefly Festival. The release of their self-titled debut EP gained them critical acclaim and brought them their national TV debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live, performing their debut single "Dreaming" which was produced by Captain Cuts. You can hear watch the music video for "Dreaming" here, which has almost 9 million views, and counting.
On March 20th, 2015, the band released their debut album, LOVETAP!. Receiving over 85 million Spotify streams, the band performed their second single "Karaoke" on Late Night with Seth Meyers followed by two successful North American headlining tours.
In addition, "Dreaming" reached #1 in July 2015 at pop radio in Japan resulting in a sold out headlining show at Club Duo in Tokyo and a premier slot at Summer Sonic Festival.
This year, the band co-wrote the song "Break Up Every Night" on The Chainsmokers' debut album, Memories... Do Not Open, which was released in April via Disrupter/Columbia Records. The song was performed on the duo's Saturday Night Live debut on release day.
Smallpools consists of Sean Scanlon (vocals/keys), Michael Kamerman (guitar), and Beau Kuther (drums).
A piece of paper may seem flimsy, but once it’s folded into something it becomes stronger, its weakness suddenly transformed. That’s true for people, too: Once you recognize your weaknesses you can shift them to become your strengths. You can become like that piece of once-flimsy paper, now folded into origami. That’s the premise behind Vinyl Theatre’s dynamic second album, which takes the title Origami to represent the idea that you have the power to reform your personal limitations.
The Milwaukee trio started writing the new music shortly after finishing their 2014 debut album Electrogram, their first release for Fueled By Ramen. The musicians found themselves deep in thought while touring the country extensively over the past two years, reconsidering how they wanted to project their ideas through their songs. The goal on Origami was to tell a cohesive story, rather than just gather tracks together, and Vinyl Theatre wrote nearly 40 songs, beginning with one called “My Fault,” which encapsulates the main message of the record.
“We toured for eight and a half months during our first year out,” Keegan says. “You start to realize your weakness and your strengths on the road. You realize that there will never be a last hurdle – there’s always another one. There’s always something more to be gained. That song is about finding strength in your faults, which carries through the rest of the record. It’s a positive album with hopeful undertones, but it also touches on these harder parts of life.”
The musicians mostly wrote between tours, finding time off the road to focus on the new music. Only one track, “Pull Your Weight,” was written in a hotel room in Pennsylvania while on tour. There was an emphasis on growth this time around, a desire to push beyond what the group achieved with Electrogram. “We’ve always looked up to bands that were able to progress with each album and to make sure that you're not putting out the exact same record,” Chris notes. “In the past our releases were simply what we had written. This was the first time we were able to write song after song and really make sure we put out the best possible ones.”
In August of 2016 Vinyl Theatre headed up to upstate New York to record at Dreamland with producers Albert Di Fiore and Alex Aldi, whose work with Passion Pit inspired the musicians to connect with him. The band spend a month recording day in and day out, focusing solely on the music. They used real drums for every track and wanted the process to feel as organic as possible. There were no limits put on what could be tried and in the end, Vinyl Theatre left feeling like they’d tested all sonic options. “We were able to try everything we wanted,” Keegan says. “We can look back at the album with no regrets now because we know we had the opportunity to explore the songs in the studio.”
The final album spans nine songs, each of which reveals a thoughtful message in its lyrics. “30 Seconds,” a propulsive rocker, is about the brevity of life and how amazing it is that we get any time here at all. The hopeful song asserts that we have a birth date and a death date, but what’s really important is that dash in between them. “New Machines,” a surging, layered number, embraces a new sound for Vinyl Theatre. The compelling song asks whether there’s an end to knowledge, exploring ideas of spirituality and how important it is to keep searching for new ideas. It feels like the band’s most thought-provoking and mature song to date. That sense of imagination and open-minded consideration is an important facet to Origami overall.
“When we wrote our first record we were still working other jobs,” Keegan explains. “A lot of songwriting was on the weekends. It was like an escape, so the songs were happy and hopeful. Now we’ve had time to sit together over these long drives on tour and we’ve thought a lot about things. We’ve had time to consider what kind of impact we want to leave on people. We want to make enjoyable music, but also have a bigger impact on those who listen.”
“This album definitely has hopeful undertones and positive messages throughout the songs,” Chris adds. “Ultimately, we wanted to write songs that were close to the heart and that show a different side of us.”
Origami marks a massive growth for Vinyl Theatre. The guys originally started writing songs together nine years ago via Skype, but didn’t officially form as a band until three years back when they unveiled their Chromatic EP in the summer of 2014. Since the release of Electrogram a few months later, the band has toured with Twenty One Pilots, Smallpools, The Mowgli’s and Dashboard Confessional, and headlined Summerfest in their hometown of Milwaukee. Being on the road so much has pushed the musicians to become even better, which is reflected in the new songs. They’re driven by a sense of pride in their work, always aiming to do more and to create music that is hopeful and encouraging to those who listen. For them, Origami is about embracing who you are and using that knowledge to become stronger.
“Even when something feels paper thin you can make anything out of it,” Keegan says. “You can make anything out of yourself, too, when you realize what you’re made of.”
815 V St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001
815 V St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001