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Q&A with the deli's Artist of the Month in February: Eric Ott

The Deli: How did the band start?

Eric Ott: I was in a few bands before going solo. My last band album was with Mercuryhat. We made a couple albums that did ok and got some nice reviews. We had so many people coming and going within the band I decided it was kind of a joke to keep the name Mercuryhat. So going solo...

Click here to read the rest of the Q&A with Eric Ott.

(Photo Credit: Michael Winters)

 

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Q&A with the deli's Artist of the Month in February: Eric Ott
by Chrissy Prisco


The Deli: How did the band start?

Eric Ott: I was in a few bands before going solo. My last band album was with Mercuryhat. We made a couple albums that did ok and got some nice reviews. We had so many people coming and going within the band I decided it was kind of a joke to keep the name Mercuryhat. So going solo, I could release anything I wanted to and have anybody play with me. It really gives me the freedom to do anything I want as a writer.

What are your biggest musical influences?

70’s Singer/Songwriters, R.E.M., Jeff Tweedy, Radiohead

What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?

Tan Vampires, Beirut, First-Aid, Vetiver

What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?

Concert: Def Leppard  Record: The Knack, Get the Knack

What do you love about New Englands music scene?

There are some great places to play in such a small area. You can cover a huge area within a few hours of driving.

What would you like to see change in the local music scene?

I would like to see the extinction of Cover Bands.

What are your plans for the upcoming year?

Promote Letter Box with small regional tours, release my full band record in June then maybe another album in the Fall. I also have a new album coming out with Nate Laban (Former Brickhouse Singer).

What was your most memorable live show?

Hackmatack Theater in 2010. It was a sold out show. I was warming up for Martin England and it was the first time I played with Cellist Kristen Miller. Pretty much the first time I played solo. It was either going to fail miserably or go really well. It went so well I decided to make a record with cello.

Is there someone who has helped your band grow through support?

Joe Simes. I would have to say without him, I would have quit a long time ago.

Is there a piece of equipment you couldn't live without and why?

My Demo station. (Mac) I write and record demos a lot! I may demo a song 15 times before I record it for release. It has helped me learn how to write. It has also helped me realize that I should not press record when drinking vodka.

Why do you read The Deli?

If I stopped writing/playing music tomorrow I would still be a happy man. There is so much great music out there. The Deli gives me the opportunity to read about and listen to some amazing bands in the area. The Deli is truly an independent resource for great indie music. Also a great resource for indie bands.

 

 
 

Eric Ott
(Photo Credit: Michael Winters)

 

 
 
 

 

Eric Ott
Letter Box

Eric Ott

 

 
 
 

 

MTV Hive Live Boston -- Sun., Mar. 25 feat. Cloud Nothings, The Dirty Dishes @ Brighton Music Hall

MTV Hive Live is about to present its first Boston show this Sunday, March 25th at Brighton Music Hall featuring Cloud Nothings' performance streamed live online for everyone to watch. This show marks the expansion of the successful Hive Live in NYC concert series, which seeks to bring emerging music to the masses through live-streamed concerts. Cloud Nothings' Hive Live in Boston performance is also part of Crossroads Presents and The Fenway Recordings Sessions.

Hive Live is a celebration of all the great music that's happening in NYC, Boston, and around the world. Its aim is to offer up a concert-viewing experience to be shared by a global audience via livestream. The livestream will begin on March 25th at 11pm ET for people to watch Cloud Nothings' performance. We suggest trying to snag a ticket to the event, which is $10 because supporting acts include A Classic Education and hometown favs, The Dirty Dishes (pictured above).

Doors are at 8, Show is at 9. 18+.

--The Deli Staff

Bells Down -- Destroyer EP

For every screaming music dance craze, for every generation's “turn off that racket” rock and roll or cacophony punk noise comes an equally hip yet polar opposite sound. The new millennium's second decade has been kind to bands that have turned down and spread out their sound, spawning a solid scene of experimental folk, singer songwriters, and an encyclopedia of other low volume sub genres to round out the sound of the town. Hampstead, New Hampshire’s own Bells Down fit nicely into this niche of acoustic based bands, and their first E.P. Destroyer acts as a fine introduction to the Granite State outfit.

Destroyer is a five track sampler that shows off the band’s sit-around-the-campfire song style. The numbers are laced with a variety of acoustic string set ups, nuanced brass, and sing along gang vocals. The harmonies on the songs are well executed and come off especially well in the title track, where a dueling ukulele/vocal bridge gives the song a sort of old world tone that doesn’t come off as tacked on. The E.P’s lyrics are mostly disenchanted poems with themes of thin line love and hate and fickle passion that lead singer Bayley Blaisdell delivers with a clean and untouched vocal track that roots the E.P. as a self-recorded effort.

All together, Destroyer acts as a quick and solid moody E.P. with simple but enjoyable production and interesting instrumentation. Fans of such acts as Feist, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Saint Vincent would be well advised to check it out.--Anthony Geehan

Superfrog -- Call from the Moon

I was pleasantly surprised when I received a package in the mail from the Portsmouth, NH-based band Superfrog. Not only had I been sent a copy of their latest release, Call from the Moon, but it was accompanied by a cover letter and very well-designed one-sheet. Call me old-fashioned, but I appreciate seeing a band put in the time and effort to distribute a physical press kit.

As for Call from the Moon, it was equally as impressive. I often find myself straying away from groups labeled “jam bands” because of their song lengths and superfluous instrumental solos. I love guitars, but seriously, who needs to hear a six-minute guitar or bass solo? My skepticism quickly dissipated as I listened to this record. I thought the band did an excellent job of showcasing their instrumental prowess without going overboard. They were able to produce tight, well-orchestrated songs while still demonstrating a mastery of their respective instruments.

In his cover letter, drummer Shane Cormer highlighted a few select tracks he felt were especially impressive on the album, and after listening to each of the songs, I find I am inclined to agree with his suggestions. I thought the second track, “Astronautical”, which was featured on Relix Magazine’s February/March 2010 CD sampler, was the best song on the record. I found the trumpet melodies to be quite infectious. The chorus really lifts the song up to another level, propelled by the entrance of perfectly placed back-up vocal harmonies and held down by an extremely tight rhythm section.

Based on what I heard from these songs, I would have to say that Superfrog has a great knack for crafting catchy and energetic choruses. “IOU1” is another track that demonstrates their propensity for great hooks. Their use of back-up vocals during the chorus of this song, coupled with a smooth trumpet line and “Fool-in-the-Rain-esque” drum groove, really gets this song stuck in your head.

Overall, I would have to say just one word can sum up Superfrog—professional. From the way they handle the distribution of their music to their creation of a brilliant blend of jam band-ska-rock, Superfrog has a sound that can certainly draw the interest of all kinds of different fans.--Daniel McMahon

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