INTERVIEW with Guitarist Sean Hurwitz

Sean Hurwitz performs at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Photo by Candace Hogan.

Sean Hurwitz performs at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Photo by Candace Hogan.

Israeli-born guitarist Sean Hurwitz has played amongst the big leagues in the music world. He’s toured with Enrique Iglesias and Smash Mouth, and played with Gin Blossoms, Anna Nalick, Chris Wallace, Judith Hill, just to name a few. When he’s not on the road, he’s hard at work recording, writing, and producing for music and film. Technical mastery and keen precision to detail make up his trademark skills on and off stage.

Sean took time to chat with us about his guitar gear, collaborating with other artists, and how he spends his time off tour.

INTERVIEW

Follow Sean Hurwitz:
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INTERVIEW with Mackenzie Nicole

Mackenzie Nicole photo courtesy of Strange Music, Inc.

Mackenzie Nicole photo courtesy of Strange Music, Inc.

Mackenzie Nicole defies the pop standards with her classically trained chops and urban rock influence. Her musical experimentation led to her debut single, “Actin Like You Know” which caught the attention of Travis O’Guin, the co-founder and C.E.O of juggernaut Strange Music, Inc. Her recording history predates the single as she made her debut on platinum certified rap icon Tech N9ne’s K.O.D.

We chat about life as a pop artist on a rap label, her musical influences, and being a young woman in the music industry.

INTERVIEW

Follow Mackenzie Nicole:
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Strange Music:
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VoyageLA interview with Jessica Klausing

Jessica Klausing photo by SAW Photography.

Jessica Klausing photo by SAW Photography.

Words cannot express my sincerest gratitude. Thank you VoyageLA for taking the time to chat with me about my music blog. I am deeply humbled by all of the support! Thank you to all of the readers, contributors, music artists, and music professionals that have helped On The Flipside Music become what it is today. 

Check out the full INTERVIEW.

 

Contributed by VoyageLA Staff

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jessica Klausing.

Jessica, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?

I have had a passion for music and writing from an early age. I did not officially combine the two until my sophomore year at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, GA. I was skimming through some magazines at this local music store where I used to take guitar lessons and just thought, “I want to write about music. This is what I want to do with my life.” I went home and contacted every music magazine on that magazine stand. I had one that offered me a guest writer slot.

My job was to write about the different guitar recording techniques used in professional studios. For the record, I did not know anything about recording or mixing music whatsoever! My work was cut out for me, but I was determined. I spent countless hours at the campus library (we had a really bad internet connection at home!) researching anything I could find about recording guitars. I interviewed guitar players and visited actual recording studios. A few months later my first music article was published in Recording Magazine, and that opened the door to more publication offers for me.

I initially created my music blog for a class project. I was so focused on writing for print publications that I never considered blogging. The idea came about from some friends overseas – they wanted to read my music articles but could not find those magazines. I posted my articles on that blog to share with them. I love talking about music and sharing it with others. I’m always eager to hear music recommendations from others too! The blog was an easy way to connect and share with a broader audience.

In 2013, I moved to Los Angeles to fully immerse myself in the music industry. I worked night shift full time at a television company just to be able to do unpaid internships for various record labels and PR companies during the day. It was rough! I was exhausted and frustrated but refused to give up. I thought about my music blog and remembered why I moved here in the first place. I started to put the focus back on my blog – my passion. I am blessed today to be able to work with some of the most incredible people in the music industry.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?


It has been more like a rollercoaster. There are days when I go through writer’s block and struggle to find the desire to write or post anything. I’m my own competitive rival. I always challenge and put pressure on myself to write better than my last article. Writing can be a daunting chore but after finishing an article, I’m inspired to want to write more.

I would say the biggest obstacle is marketing. There are so many amazing music blogs out there that it can be quite challenging to stay relevant on social media. I run and manage my blog and the social media accounts all by myself, so that can be overwhelming when I’m working on multiple projects.

I don’t have a set social media schedule. I just post whenever I feel inspired. It’s a good idea to unplug from the digital world every now and then! A little break helps the creative process. Overall, I do think it’s important to just post for you. Don’t try to do what everyone else is doing just for the followers. Share what makes you happy.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about On The Flipside Music – what should we know?


I use my blog to help promote upcoming Los Angeles music artists and professionals.

Living in Los Angeles has opened my eyes and ears to so much musical talent! I’m a big supporter of live music. Records will always be special, but to me, the magic happens on stage.

There is no greater pleasure than watching an artist bare his or her soul to the world. I love getting out discovering new music. I strive to introduce the newer music as well as re-introduce some old favorites too. Music never goes out of style. If it’s something that I love listening to then I just gotta share it with others.

On The Flipside Music has evolved so much over the years. What started as a simple college class project has become a working collaboration. I not only write about and interview artists, but I also help book gigs, promote, and manage artists.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
 

Resilience. The road to success is filled with many unexpected twists and turns. I have had many obstacles try to knock me down and keep me there. It still happens. The key is to have the confidence within yourself to always persevere.

Interview with Matthew Phillips

Matthew Phillips photo by Noah Gilman.

Matthew Phillips photo by Noah Gilman.

Up-and-coming singer-songwriter Matthew Phillips has been making waves through San Diego’s music scene with over 100,000 followers on Instagram and receiving endorsements from Fender Electric Guitars, Taylor Acoustic Guitars, GHS Strings, and Voss Water, just to name a few.

We got to chat with Matthew about his journey becoming a solo artist, independent artist struggles, and his mad videography skills!

INTERVIEW.

Be sure to follow Matthew Phillips:
WEBSITE
FACEBOOK
INSTAGRAM
SOUNDCLOUD
YOUTUBE

 

Interview with Falling Doves' Chris Leyva

Falling Doves. From left: Mike Dorsey and Chris Leyva. Photo by Kelli Hayden.

Falling Doves. From left: Mike Dorsey and Chris Leyva. Photo by Kelli Hayden.

The Falling Doves never play it safe.

Chris Leyva (guitars, vocals) and Mike Dorsey (lead guitarist) create an unpredictable mix of garage rock with jazz, metal, Latin, and pop infusions. Known for their deep lyrical confessionals and aggressive playing, this band is not afraid to combine the classics with the new.

Falling Doves' Chris Leyva chats with us about his musical influences, international touring, and the new upcoming Falling Doves album.

Check out our INTERVIEW.

Falling Doves Social Media:

WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

Interview with Courtney Lavender of Xs & ARROWs

Xs & ARROWs photo by Zoran Orlic.

Xs & ARROWs photo by Zoran Orlic.

 Xs & ARROWs are about to take over the Los Angeles music scene. You may remember the band, formerly known as EXIT, joining U2 on stage in 2001 and again in 2005 at the Staples Center for a legendary performance of “Out of Control.”

Check out our interview with lead singer Courtney Lavender HERE.

Xs & ARROWs offer a unique acoustic rock soundscape that seems to marry the California desert to the spirit of Ireland. Their debut EP, From Here will be available in October 2017. The new single, “Questions,” featuring Irish musician Glen Hansard, is currently available to stream on Soundcloud.

Interview with zerrissen era

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Check out my interview with Arctic musician zerrissen era HERE.

zerrissen era is an indie multi-instrumentalist who crafts his eclectic songs in the harsh Arctic environment. During the winter months, he records in an amploo (an igloo lined with amplifiers) and in a Laavo during the summer. These studio spaces create a unique and ethereal sound. 

Check out his music! An album purchase helps fund the Arctic.

www.zerrissenera.com

CD Baby

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Interview with Victor Krummenacher of Monks Of Doom

I remember the first time that I listened to Monks Of Doom. Their album, Meridian, caught my wondering eye at the local music store. This album sounds like a psychedelic journey into a dark circus. I became hooked and had to get all of their albums. Each album spawns a different psychedelic journey through different worlds. 

Twenty years later, the Monks are back with a new album, The Bronte Pin.

Victor Krummenacher of Monks Of Doom and Camper Van Beethoven took time to chat about his new music and more. 

Check out my INTERVIEW.

 

Interview with Justin Levinson

Growing up, 60's music was a staple in my household. While all the other kids followed 90's artists, I was engrossed with the classics.  I can fondly remember listening to The Monkees, The Beatles, and The Beach Boys on the way to school. There was such purity in the music back then. The focus was all about the lyrics and instrumentals. Sadly, this innocence is lost within most of today's top hits.

Justin Levinson is one of the few musicians that dare to dig back into the golden era of music. His newest album, Yes Man is a 60's stylized power pop that tells the story of a lost soul taken advantage by only being able to say yes. Levinson draws from his own personal experiences to make music that's authentic to him.

Check out my interview with Justine Levinson HERE. We discuss his new music, musical inspirations, and tour plans.

Interview with Megan Slankard

Megan Slankard performs with the Bose Troubadour. Photo by Jessica Klausing

Megan Slankard performs with the Bose Troubadour. Photo by Jessica Klausing

I have heard Megan Slankard's name echoed throughout the Bay Area music scene for many years. It was not until early this year that I was properly introduced to her music. Oh boy, have I really been missing out! Her heartfelt ballads are perfect for anyone that appreciates thought provoking lyrics and a little soulful guitar.

Megan, alongside Jeff Campbell, Matthew Szlachetka and Jamie Kent did a special writers-in-the-round tour across the country known as the Bose Troubadour Tour. I caught a show on one of their stops at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood. This was my first experience at an "in the round" performance as well. My expectations were met and then some more. These talented friends provide honest lyrics with beautiful harmonies. All worth checking out!

I was able to chat with Megan after the tour about Patreon, the Bose Troubadour Tour, and her experience as a young, indie artist. You can check out my interview HERE.

Megan Slankard is currently on an American solo tour. You can buy her music and check out the tour dates on her website. She will play Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, CA on October 23rd. Tickets can be purchased HERE.

You can support Megan on her Patreon page right HERE.

Below is a video of Megan performing "Like Always, Alex" on one of the Bose Troubadour stops. This is my favorite song and what inspired me to check out her music.