Features Music Year End 2014 Pass The Mic: Artists on 2014

Year End 2014

Music: Pass The Mic: Artists on 2014

Brian Phee (Counterpunch - guitar/vocals)

1. What are your top five albums that were released in 2014? (In order 1-5)

  1. Scorpios - Scorpios
  2. Lagwagon - Hang
  3. The Lawrence Arms - Metropole
  4. Chris Cresswell - One Week Records
  5. This Legend - It's In The Streets

2. What band did you discover in 2014 (can be a brand new band or an older band) that had an impact on your life? What made them significant?

Scorpios is my version of a super group.  Comprised of singer/songwriters Joey Cape of Lagwagon, Tony Sly of No Use For A Name, Jon Snodgrass of Drag The River, and Brian Wahlstrom. This quartet exquisitely pieces together their strengths as such singer/songwriters in a way where each member is not the focal point, nor the frontman. One could say that without each one of these members, Scorpios would be far from complete. I grew up on (and still regularly listen to) everything involving Joey Cape and Tony Sly. And, with the passing of Tony Sly, this serves as a final farewell to ones who found so much inspiration in the words he wrote and the way he wore them on his sleeve.

3. How will you remember 2014? (In terms of music)

2014 was a great year in music. Many new artists, new record labels, and veteran bands sticking around long enough just to surprise us with what might be their best record yet. Lagwagon and The Lawrence Arms are perfect examples of how many of these established bands have maintained their presence in their respective scenes while not trying to change their sound, all the while not regurgitating the same record over and over. Both bands didn't try to reinvent the wheel either. They wrote organic and mature albums, showing their progression as a band while still showing the world the sound that got them to where they are today.

4. What can we look forward to from you in 2015?

Touring, touring, touring. I know for sure Counterpunch will be doing a full US tour in the late winter/early spring of 2015. We will also be doing our fourth European tour in the spring. We also look forward to making our way to Canada in the late spring/early summer. Anything after that is still up in the air. Either way, we are looking forward to getting out on the road and supporting our full-length Bruises, which was released this past August on Cyber Tracks Records.

5. What records are you looking forward to most in 2015?

Honestly, I haven't heard too much about what is being released in 2015. I do know that the new Strung Out album is gonna be knock out. I had the pleasure of previewing a few of their demos without vocals and I was completely blown away. I am also very stoked to hear the new Versus The World record in its entirety. I did get a chance to check out a few of the final cuts and I can say for certain, this is going to be another home run by the band.  

6. What trend will you forever associate with 2014 in music?

Not that this is 100% specific to 2014. It just seems that now, more than ever, many of the older music fans are now taking the time and pride in rebuilding a scene in which they grew up in/on. All, once a part of a community that thrived so vigorously on raw and heartfelt emotion of the music. This goes for rock, punk, alternative, or whatever other genera you can think of. Somewhere along the way, we as a whole, lost focus of what music is really about. It's about how a song or composition can make you feel in a way that nothing else on this earth could ever do: happy, joyous, sentimental, or even sad. I don't think music was never meant to be a fad. Instead, it intended to show off the talents of the innovators of their time.       

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Words by the SPB team on Dec. 14, 2014, 3:29 p.m.

Major props to all the bands, and also to Nicole Kibert for her ever-awesome photograph at the top of the feature. Thanks!

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Series: Year End 2014

Our annual round-up of the best music of the year 2014.

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