At Capacity

DREAM BOY - Waterparks Review

By Christina Morgan 

On the night of
August 14th, Texas-based pop-rock group Waterparks, released their
latest single ‘Dream Boy’. The song is the third track that has premiered
from the band’s newest album entitled Fandom, in addition to ‘Turbulent’,
and ‘Watch What Happens Next’. The album is expected to drop later
this fall, on October 11th.  It premiered on the radio station Sirius XM
, after trending on twitter as the #1 trend. Comprised of lead
singer Awsten Knight, bassist Geoff Wigington, and drummer Otto Wood, Waterparks
have always been a band where they are always able to get some kind of
message across, whether that be about relationships, what it’s like to be a
musician, or just life in general. ‘Dream Boy’ is an upbeat track, with
just the right amount of pop and electric, along with satirical lyrics. It’s reminiscent
of  early 2000s pop, with just a dash of
MGMT, and hints of the Gorillaz.

The band has never
been afraid to shed light on the wrong doings of the music industry, which
makes this track no different. ‘Dream Boy’ addresses the overtly
materialistic/cookie-cutter image that the industry strives to market to the
masses. In addition to exposing unfair industry practices, the song is rather
unique in the way that it begins with the chorus: “Am I the boy you dreamed
of? Living in your self-conscious…Do you believe in love?”.
These lyrics
specifically point out how at a young age, a person can become infatuated with
a musician to such an extent that they’re constantly being thought of. Although
a quite satirical track, the lyrics “I was born to be your favorite…”
highlight the ‘perfect’ standards that boybands like NSYNC, One Direction, The
Vamps, among many other artists were, or are currently held to. It seems as
though these artists are specifically curated in a way, whether it’s through
contract, or management, to represent this idea of a person who they want to
show the world. The lyrics continue to poke fun at these rules and regulations
with “Build a boy, pick your pieces, overjoyed never leave your heart
destroyed, I’m your boy…custom-made, your beloved…I’m your favorite.”

 In some cases, artists aren’t allowed to share if they are in relationships, or show certain parts of their personality, and are marketed to mass audiences as being ‘single’ so they are more appealing to their most often than not teenage-girl comprised fanbase. Therefore, the thought is put into the young impressionable girls’ heads (for the most part) that there’s a chance they could be with their ‘idol’. The most obvious result of this is such a damaging perspective to have, but it makes the management companies more money and in turn, the artists more marketable. Although this is clearly wrong, and takes advantage of young teens in the most vulnerable years of their lives, it also creates a strong fanbase who should not be discounted due to their specific gender-heavy demographic. This constant regulation of said artists’ personal, and public lives, including how they dress, speak, what they say in interviews, date (romantic lives), etc. really take a toll on their lives. The industry moguls know that these people they’re essentially controlling to the nth degree, are actual living breathing human beings, with free will, who crave a creative environment to make their own art on their own terms.

With this track, Waterparks
express their feelings and frustrations for the music industry, while
supplying fans with an upbeat pop song, ironically the same kind of songs they
are deconstructing. ‘Dream Boy’ is a successful electro-pock track, that
has currently reached over 21K views on YouTube. 

Check by out Dream Boy here! 

Interview with Running On Empty

Words by Jasmine Calcitas

The California-based band, Running On Empty, released their first single, “Dirty Campaigns”, this past week…AND they haven’t even graduated from high school yet. The track is a fresh sound to the rock genre and is very socially aware. The young five member band showcases their talent and passion for music in all that they’ve put out so far, whether it be a single or posts on Instagram of their intimate shows. At Capacity was able to speak with drummer, Gavin, about how their new single and what’s to come.

Happy release week! How does it feel to have your first single out?

It feels great to finally have our music out in the world! We have been working on recording for about three months! It’s awesome to see our friends listen to a song that we made!

What was the writing/recording process like for the song?

Our writing process usually starts with a riff. With this song we made drum and bass parts around the main guitar riff and later created vocals to match the energy of the song.

How would you describe your work to someone who hasn’t heard it yet?

I would say, “Imagine five teenagers got fed up with sitting school all day every week. These five teenagers became friends and one day went to Taco Bell. They drank 4 liters of Baja blast each and then went and made some quality music.

What inspired the five of you to start a band?

We were inspired to start a band by some of our friends such as Strange Case and Sir Please. Also, my dad’s band, Clyde, has been a big inspiration for me personally.

In your Pinstriped interview, Anthony said that creativity comes from within. Do you find that all of you help cultivate that creativity within each other when writing music or do you find that you start with the ideas individually then bring it to the whole band once you have more of a grasp on it?

I think that we all bring the creativity out from within each other and that it shows in how cohesive our single sounds.

Who are some of your influences as individual artists and as a band?

Some influences on our band are System of a Down, early Maroon 5, Ocean Alley, Rush, and Santana.

Where do each of you hope to be in the next five years as individual artists and as a band?

In the next five years we want to be on a cross country tour of the US!

As a concert-goer, what has been your favorite or most memorable show?

SYSTEM OF A DOWN. They were amazing live and I will never see a show that could top

it. They were so tight and the crowd loved it. Definitely a night I will never forget for the rest of my life.

From the concerts you have played as a band, what’s your favorite moment so far?

Our favorite moment is a recurring one. We cover “Siva” by Smashing Pumpkins in almost every show and near the end we have a wall of death. That’s gotta be some of the best experiences I have had in my
life seeing people crash into each other.

What do you hope listener’s gain from your music going forward?

I hope listeners enjoy our music! we want our music to make people happy and overall emanate positive vibes! we hope they come to our shows after listening.

With the release of this first single, can we expect an EP or more in the next year?

I would expect the release of another single very soon and after that an album!!!!!

Finally, what should we expect for the future of the band?

The future of the band is to continue putting on and playing in awesome shows! We have our own festival we run a few times every year so that’s coming up again in the summer and we will release music as
we have the money to record it!

Check Out Running On Empty

Instagram | Spotify

Twin XŁ - “How to Talk to Strangers” (Album Review)

Written by Christina Morgan

One may ask what a band of brothers
and college dorm mattresses have in common.  The answer is they’re both named ‘Twin XŁ’.
The group is comprised of seasoned professionals from the music world, including
Stephen and John Gomez, as well as former Nekokat member Cameron Walker. Though
you may recognize these fellow musicians from past projects like The Summer Set
and Nekokat, their newest project is worlds apart. Their sound is fresh, upbeat,
and flooded with nostalgia. Although Twin XŁ’s genre cannot be pinned down into
one word or category, the group definitely takes inspiration from several
different music genres. In a recent Instagram livestream, the band had a
listening party with fans where they spoke about the album and what went into
its creation. 

The first half of the EP had
already been released in singles throughout the late fall and early winter,
before the whole album’s release date on March 1st.  ‘Good’ was the first single to hit streaming
services on September 21st, followed by ‘Sunglasses’ on November 16th
and ‘Friends’ on February 8th. This is an album that really
resonated with me, and I do believe it has a sort of montage/narrative story to
it. The album starts off with a retro upbeat track entitled ‘Sunglasses’ which
is the perfect song to drive to with friends. The lyrics “I wear my sunglasses, so nobody can see me…I must protect my soul.” seem to highlight upon the feelings of anxiety and possible agoraphobia.
According to bassist, John, the origin of ‘Sunglasses’ had all started with a
simple bass line he had created on a voice memo. The next track, ‘Friends’, has
a very chill vibe to it, with some found audio added in at the start as well as
the end of the song. Similarly to ‘Good’, ‘Friends’ also has a music video to
accompany it as well. The video involves all of Twin XŁ dancing around in a
decked out house. The video really channels a Black Mirror-esque vibe by having
Cameron hang out with what seems to be an inanimate bear, who eventually comes
to life and starts to dance along with the band. 

‘Neon Summer’ is the next track off
the album. This song seems as though it could refer to the character
progression the subject in ‘Sunglasses’ goes through. The lyrics “I wear my sunglasses, so nobody can see me,
I take no chances I must protect my soul…”
vastly contradict the line “Open your eyes, set yourself free, under
the sun where we wanna be…”
from ‘Neon Summer’. The character/subject of
the album is slowly coming out of their shell, and becoming more extroverted.
It almost has a Beatles-esque quality to it as well, quite possibly channeling 60/70s
rock to incorporate more of a rounded out sound, which does not adhere to any
specific genre; let’s call it “genre-fluid”. ‘Good’ follows suit with ‘Neon
Summer’ as being a feel-good song. 

‘Thrill’, the third to last song on
the album has a very cinematic feel to it. This track is definitely one you
could see playing while an overview of a party is shown during a coming of age
film. It’s definitely one of the more upbeat songs on the album for sure, and
will definitely get people up and dancing around. The song originally was
crafted from a melodic hook that comes right after the chorus, and is described
by the band as a “crazy” song of theirs. ‘Everybody’s Talkin’ is a track that
exudes confident energy. The line “Everybody’s
talkin, but I don’t hear a thing, I just do my thing..”
seems to describe
how some people can fall into gossiping and keeping up with the on-going trials
and tribulations of celebrity lives, but this person just doesn’t want anything
to do with that. They want to just do their own thing, and not be bothered by
what everyone else is thinking or saying about them. ‘Don’t Wake Me, I’m Still
Dreaming’ is the last track off the album. It’s really that one track that
makes you feel nostalgic, but can’t quite put your finger on why or how. In
their livestream, John also stated that ‘…this song makes me nostalgic for
something I haven’t experienced yet.” 

The reason the album is so good, is
because there’s a song for everyone on it. Whether you like upbeat songs,
feel-good tunes, or ones that are a bit more cinematic, there’s a track you can
jam out to. The album is rather relatable as well, due to the fact that Twin XŁ
wrote songs that include times where you may feel insecure, or less of
yourself, but also have songs that make you feel ‘Good’ or more confident in
yourself; which everyone has been through at one point or another (pun-intended).
Buzzing off their latest album release, ‘How to Talk to Strangers’, the group
is heading out on a national tour of the US along with Jukebox the Ghost and
The Mowgli’s.

Check Twin XŁ Out!
Website | Spotify | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Using Format