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July 2020

Listen Up

Garrett Owen

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Photo By: Melissa Laree Cunningham

When left to our own devices – something we’ve all experienced an abundance of in 2020 – some choose a path of betterment while others go the self-destructive route. For singer-songwriter Garrett Owen, he has spent The Year of Quarantine studying songbooks, transcriptions, melodies, and even the music of Stone Temple Pilots.

“This may sound dumb, but I really think they may have been the most sophisticated popular rock band of the ’90s,” he said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace.

Owen’s latest album, Quiet Lives, is due September 18.

We recently sat down with Own to discuss attention spans during the pandemic, chord growth, and why he loves nine and 11, but not necessarily 10.

TrunkSpace: Your new album Quiet Lives is due to drop September 18. What kind of emotions do you juggle with when releasing new material to the masses, and is the experience different this time around given that the entire world, essentially, has ground to a halt?
Owen: It is a little different for sure, but maybe people have the ability to pay more attention to music coming out during this time. I’ve spent my life working on these things, and I have feelings about them and emotional attachments to them. That would be the same no matter when they were released. I’m just really excited to get these songs out there.

TrunkSpace: Normally you would tour to support a new release, but that is not something that is possible in every state right now. How has promoting the upcoming album changed? How do you get the word out when people can’t get out themselves?
Owen: I almost feel like this weird situation helps me. This way I can focus on promoting the album online as much as possible and probably more than I would if I’d ended up touring.

TrunkSpace: Quiet Lives is your second full-length album. As someone who knows your music better than anybody, where do you personally hear the biggest growth as an artist between the first album and the latest?
Owen: I think I’m starting to go through another musical growth period. There was some growth in terms of complex chord progressions on Quiet Lives. One song has 14 chord changes in the chorus not including inversions (“Souvenir”). “Hour In The Forest” is also complex, and I think of that tune as a growth song for me. I think my willingness to have producer Taylor Tatsch do a lot more with several of these songs is just a part of maturing. I think sometimes less is more and other times, more is more, and sometimes, I really want more stuff going on.

TrunkSpace: If someone sat down to listen to Quiet Lives front to back, what would they learn about you both as an artist and as a person?
Owen: I think they’d learn that I’m a “tell-all” when I write. I don’t mind singing about pretty embarrassing emotional situations. I’ll put my scars on display as long as it rolls off the tongue when you sing it. I like breaking rules. I love a lot of songs that don’t have a traditional verse-chorus structure. I like when a song has a chorus, melodically-speaking but not lyrically, and I use that idea quite a bit. A friend caught me taking the easy way out with a verse to one of these songs and called me on it, so I went back and re-wrote the verse and had to go re-record it. I think they’d learn pretty quickly that preconceived notions about how to properly do something are not ideas I really care about. With that said, I want my unconventional sides to still be listenable, so I try to pull unconventional ideas together with enough melodic content that it’s still pleasant.

TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with the album?
Owen: I think I’m most proud of just finishing it at all, or calling it done and moving forward. One friend said, “I think you should throw one more tune on there to make an even 10.” I thought, Well I’m for sure leaving at nine now, though I used to think 11 tracks was my favorite number of tracks for a full-length record. I like 11 more than nine, but I also like nine more than 10. Ten feels basic. Nine feels like I feel a lot of the time.

TrunkSpace: We have all been in some form of lockdown for the majority of 2020. How much of your time spent social distancing has also been spent creating? Have you experienced a creative jolt during this period – and will it lead to another album?
Owen: I experienced some nice little bursts of creativity during the super extra downtime, but I think I spent more time trying to learn. I pulled out some songbooks, transcriptions of some pretty complex stuff, and really tried to analyze the method behind certain songs – to the point of writing the letters out above the notation and comparing them with the chords they’re being played over (I’ve mostly lost my ability to comfortably read standard notation). I tried to figure out what’s going on here that makes these songs interesting to me. I also dug into some of my favorite Stone Temple Pilots songs. This may sound dumb, but I really think they may have been the most sophisticated popular rock band of the ’90s.

Photo By: Melissa Laree Cunningham

TrunkSpace: How do you define success in the music industry and do you feel you are comfortable where you are creatively at this point in your career? Is the Garrett Owen of 2020 the artist you always wanted to be?
Owen: I think if I could have a career touring and put out a record every few years, I’d call that success. Although no matter how far-fetched, my dream is still to play in front of thousands of people. I played in front of about 10,000 when I won a songwriting contest, but doing it with a band would be a totally different experience.

TrunkSpace: Where are you hardest on yourself as an artist and how do you overcome those self critical insecurities?
Owen: I get down on myself about having a tendency toward certain kinds of melodies. I talk myself off that ledge by saying, “Beatles songs tend to sound like Beatles songs. Jackson Browne songs tend to sound like Jackson Browne songs. Eagles songs tend to sound like Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and J.D. Souther songs because they wrote those songs.”

TrunkSpace: What do you get out of writing and performing music that you are unable to achieve as a listener alone? What does being a songwriter mean to you as a person and does it give you the balance that you need?
Owen: Listening to music is incredibly satisfying, but when I realized I could have some kind of outlet with it or show parts of me you’d never otherwise see, I went from being interested in playing to being obsessed with playing for about the next six or seven years. I’m still obsessed, it just looks different than when I was younger.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Owen: I’m not sure I would take that trip. I like not knowing exactly where something is headed. I like when I’m not sure where a storyline is going. I like having something to stay curious about.

Quiet Lives is set for release on on September 18.

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The Featured Presentation

Daya Vaidya

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Photo By: Morgan Pansing

Playing a conniving and dangerous “bad ass” did not come naturally for Daya Vaidya. In order to understand the character Jen Kowski from the series Bosch, the Oakland-raised actress spent a week preparing for the audition that ultimately led to her being cast, proving once again that preparation pays off.

So by the time I finally got the role, I feel like I already had her in my body… then it was just about putting myself into the circumstances of what was happening in the story,” she said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace.

Season 6 of Bosch is currently available on Amazon Prime Video.

We recently sat down with Vaidya* to discuss the diverse Bosch fandom, the bittersweet goodbye on the horizon, and the Lance Reddick effect.

*Due to our own complications during the pandemic, this interview was originally conducted in May and is just now being posted as we return from hiatus.

TrunkSpace: Season 6 of Bosch recently premiered. From our count, that brings you to about 20 episodes of playing Jen Kowski. What is it like getting to spend that much time with a singular character? At what point do you start to know her in a way that makes understanding her motives and actions as seamless as you do your own?
Vaidya: I needed to know what motivated Jen before I even auditioned for the part. When I first read the script I didn’t understand her – she was conniving, manipulative, dangerous and an overall bad ass! The character really intrigued me, but I didn’t know how to play that. I didn’t want to play a stereotype or play her one note. I spent about a week preparing for the audition, trying to get into the headspace of that kind of woman. So by the time I finally got the role, I feel like I already had her in my body… then it was just about putting myself into the circumstances of what was happening in the story. It’s only grown since then.

TrunkSpace: With Bosch, the entire season is dropped on a single day. How soon after that do you start to feel the ripple effect of the latest arc within the fandom? Is it almost instantaneous?
Vaidya: Totally! About a week before Bosch drops, I start hearing from the fans almost every hour on Twitter and Instagram. Everyone is getting excited, they want to know or hear some hints on what’s going to happen in the upcoming season. The thing I love the most about Bosch fans is that they represent a huge cross section of our country and world. I’ve noticed that Bosch fans come from many different demographics, varying wildly politically and socially, but they share one thing in common: they love the authenticity and mood of the show. I also would say, most fans tell me they binge the show in a few days!

TrunkSpace: Without new projects actively in production right now, the latest season of Bosch may be one of the last new offerings people see for awhile. Has the current state of the world changed this experience for you – waiting for and promoting the latest installment of the series – while in the middle of all of this uncertainty?
Vaidya: It’s been crazy! Trying to publicize a show while stuck in the house, unable to go out, do in-person press, or just talk to people has been challenging. Yet on the other hand it’s forced me to spend more time connecting with people online and in different spaces, getting creative with how to engage with fans. I’ve had more time to answer questions and interact one-on-one with people I may have never previously connected with. I’ve also enjoyed spending time with my family. I am enjoying what’s happening, versus being on this crazy whirlwind, which is how it usually is. This whole pandemic has forced me to slow down and take stuff in and just appreciate the ride.

TrunkSpace: The series has already been renewed for a seventh and final season. What emotions do you juggle with knowing that this project – something you were actively involved in since Season 2 – will be coming to an end?
Vaidya: I am honestly pretty sad, I feel like Bosch has been a part of my life for so long and I don’t want to let it go. It has been one of the best acting and set experiences of my entire career. But at the same time I’m excited about what’s on the horizon and what other projects I get to be a part of and discover; as well as, which new characters I get to play. So it’s a bittersweet moment. I’m also going to miss playing Jen! She’s my alter ego and helps me be more savvy in business. I learn from her.

TrunkSpace: For the viewer, the end product is always the most memorable, but for those involved in the project it must go much further than that. What’s the most memorable aspect of getting to work on Bosch that you’ll carry with you through the rest of your life and career?
Vaidya: I would say working with Lance Reddick, definitely! He’s a rare gem of an actor and most of my scenes are with him. He’s one of the most gracious, professional, and talented actors I’ve ever worked with. He’s a great partner on set because everything he does is about the story and not ego. He acts from a similar place as me and we had so much fun playing and discovering how these two connected, past what was written on the page. He’s also hilarious and tells the best Hollywood stories! He’ll have me cracking up many days, telling me stories about the crazy films he’s done. He sure has a resume and so much wisdom!

TrunkSpace: What has been an unexpected bonus or reward – something you could have never anticipated when you first started your journey as an actress – to a career in the arts? What is an aspect of your life that you wouldn’t have now had you not taken this path, but at the same time, one that you can’t imagine your life without now?
Vaidya: Freedom. When you first start out as a young actor it’s such a deep grind that you don’t have a lot of time to enjoy the moment. But after putting in years and years of work, one of the best things that happens is that your career starts to go and you get a certain level of freedom in your life. Freedom to discover how I want my day to go, how I want my life to be and what I want to say as an artist. I didn’t realize I would love and need that so much. You need a steel stomach for this business. Usually money is tight and sometimes things aren’t happening, but I learned not to equate my self worth with my booking ratio. It’s gotten sweet in the last 10 years because I’m not trying to ‘get a job.’ I’m just trying to express and deepen my experience in whatever character I’m playing. I have a framed quote from Philip Seymour Hoffman that I read every day:

If you get a chance to act in a room that someone else has paid rent for, then you’re given a free chance to practice your craft. And in that moment, you should act as well as you can, because if you leave the room and you’ve acted as well as you can, there’s no way that people who have watched you will forget it.”

TrunkSpace: There are ups and downs in any career, but certainly the entertainment industry is known for delivering peaks and valleys. Was there ever a moment where you considered walking away from acting, and if so, what kept you on your path and looking forward?
Vaidya: I knew I never wanted to do anything else in my life. There were times I got frustrated and wanted to give up; and of course questioned my path. But I never had a Plan B and I never looked elsewhere for another career. What I did instead, was work on strengthening my center so that I wouldn’t be as affected by the ups and downs of the business. I stopped getting hurt by the rejection and took it more as a lesson in growth. That allowed me to work from a place of truth and joy, not just getting a job. That’s what’s allowed me to survive in this business and most importantly, love it.

TrunkSpace: You’ve appeared in a number of memorable series and projects over the years. We’re curious… what is a character that you wished you had more time to spend with and why?
Vaidya: Sophia Del Cordova. (Laughter) This was a Colombian telenovela star I played in one episode of the show Castle. She was one of the most fun and hilarious characters I’ve ever played. And I had to learn two pages of Spanish in four days! I would’ve loved to bring her back and keep tightening up my Spanish. I want to be fluent!

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Vaidya: Tough question, I have so many! But I would say the moment I found out I’d booked the series Unforgettable on CBS. I’ll never forget because my husband and I were bathing our infant daughter. I hadn’t worked in a while and after having a baby, an agent told me my momentum was gone and I thought my career was over. It was a Friday night, late and I didn’t expect a call. My agent called me out the blue and said I got the job and would be moving to New York. I cried happy tears with my husband, as my daughter laughed and splashed us with bubbles. We all hugged. My whole life changed in that moment.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Vaidya: I take that journey a lot in my mind. I think of it more like a visualization or something that I’m creating. I don’t know the details or the specifics, but what I do see is happiness, freedom and the ability to create art. I see myself traveling with my family and working on films and TV shows all over the world. I want to continue to produce projects that push boundaries and break stereotypes of what it means to be urban, a woman of color and intellectual. Those aren’t mutually exclusive things and those are the stories my husband (producing partner) and I like to tell. Most of all I’m excited to see my kids grow and I’m curious for what the future will reveal!

Season 6 of Bosch is available on Amazon Prime Video.

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The Featured Presentation

Fiona Vroom

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Photographer: Charles Zuckerman/Hair and Makeup: Leah Roberts/Digitech: Zenna Wong/Stylist: Janet Adrienne

With a global pandemic raging, almost all of us were forced into quarantine at some point in 2020. Being self-contained – isolated – would have seemed like science fiction just a year ago, but reality is not that far removed from make believe these days. Sure, the characters in TNT’s Snowpiercer are technically locked down on a train, but they’re still locked down. We can all relate to that.

I think that, when working in the world of science fiction, the line between fiction and reality gets blurred quite easily,” says series star Fiona Vroom, who plays Ms. Gillies. “That’s why it’s so much fun. Because we, as an audience can really imagine it happening.”

We recently sat down with Vroom* to discuss Julie Andrews inspiration, Jennifer Connelly admiration, and why a career in acting is both a blessing and a curse.

*Due to our own complications during the pandemic, this interview was originally conducted in May and is just now being posted as we return from hiatus.

TrunkSpace: Snowpiercer is based on a popular graphic novel/film that has became a cult classic over the last few years. Is there a different vibe signing on to a project like this knowing that there will be eyeballs on it when it eventually airs? Does it take some of the uncertainty out of it?
Vroom: Snowpiercer, being a popular franchise already, comes with expectations. The fans and audiences were waiting for this show to launch, and there will be people who are disappointed, and people who are crazy about it. As a performer signing on to the project, I feel a certain amount of responsibility to deliver for the fans, so there is an added amount of pressure. But it’s such a fun and thrilling ride being on this train. Everyone will enjoy it in some way.

TrunkSpace: There’s something kind of timely to the project in that – here is humanity inhabiting a singular location all while we, as a society, are on lockdown. Have the parallels between fiction and reality blurred even more so now given where we are currently?
Vroom: I think that, when working in the world of science fiction, the line between fiction and reality gets blurred quite easily. That’s why it’s so much fun. Because we, as an audience can really imagine it happening. And I feel that the way society is at the moment, at least I’m hoping that people will be able to slow down, pay attention to what we are doing to the planet so that we don’t end up freezing the earth by accident and have to live on a train. Global warming is real, and it’s not going away unless we change.

TrunkSpace: Without new projects actively in production right now, Snowpiercer is one of the last big new series audiences may see for awhile. Has the current state of the world changed this experience for you – waiting for and promoting a new project – while in the middle of all of this uncertainty?
Vroom: The experience is different because we can’t all be together to celebrate the launch of this show that has been in the works for three years now. So it’s disappointing in that way. We did hold a Virtual Premiere, and it was actually really fun. Things will be different, but they will only feel different for a little while. Soon enough it will be what we are used to.

TrunkSpace: In the series you’re playing Miss Gillies. Without giving too much away, can you tell us what’s in store for her and what you enjoyed most about getting to bring her to life?
Vroom: Miss Gillies is a little ray of sunshine onboard the train. It was so much fun bringing her to life. I drew from one of my favorite movies, The Sound Of Music, and took a page from Julie Andrews in the way she interacts with children on screen. Miss Gillies runs a tight classroom, but she has a secret, as do many of the characters on board, so who can you really trust? It was a pleasure playing that fine line.

TrunkSpace: For the viewer, the end product is always the most memorable, but for those involved in the project it must go much further than that. What’s the most memorable aspect of getting to work on Snowpiercer that you’ll carry with you through the rest of your life and career?
Vroom: Watching Jennifer Connelly work. She is so precise. She cares about every detail, she asks questions that are important to the world we are playing in. She is an extremely careful and detailed worker and I learned a lot from watching her.

TrunkSpace: What has been an unexpected bonus or reward – something you could have never anticipated when you first started your journey as an actress – to a career in the arts? What is an aspect of your life that you wouldn’t have now had you not taken this path, but at the same time, one that you can’t imagine your life without now?
Vroom: I like this question, thank you for asking it because it’s important to remember why I chose to be an actor. I always say, it’s a blessing and a curse. To have a career in the arts isn’t always easy. It takes a long time to be a trusted professional. It’s a hustle and sometimes you feel like you’re on a hamster wheel. Some days are long and hard and you’re outside on location and it’s freezing and the conditions are really rough and you have to act like nothing’s bothering you. Other days can be easier. Now I’m at a place in my career where I feel very comfortable. I’ve been very lucky to work as much as I do. And now I am learning to enjoy the down times. To enjoy having a day or a week off and slowing down. So the freedom I’m feeling at the moment is new to me, and a surprise, but I’m really grateful for it.

TrunkSpace: There are ups and downs in any career, but certainly the entertainment industry is known for delivering peaks and valleys. Was there ever a moment where you considered walking away from acting, and if so, what kept you on your path and looking forward?
Vroom: I often think about leaving the business because it is filled with so many highs and lows and that really takes a toll on your soul after a while. Sometimes six months can go by without a booking and you start to think it’s over, I’m washed up, I’m never going to book again… and then you book a job and all those feelings of insecurity melt away and you are once again filled with hope and encouragement. So I often feel like I’m in a relationship where my partner (in this case, the industry) gaslights you enough to string you along a little while longer. You get stronger and it gets easier to deal with, but it doesn’t ever go away, at least not for me.

Photo Credit: Justina Mintz / TNT

TrunkSpace: You’ve appeared in a number of memorable series and projects over the years. We’re curious… what is a character that you wished you had more time to spend with and why?
Vroom: I wish I could have spent more time being Barbara Beaumont in Season 11 of The X-Files. She was fun, and really layered. First of all it was fun to be a cult leader and to play a character who was actually 90 years of age. I wished I could have stayed in the world of being the villain. It was sooooo fun playing a scary powerful woman who on the flip side was actually very insecure herself.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Vroom: Working with Tim Burton. He’s a genius and I love his films and his way of telling stories. I was so honored to be in Big Eyes.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Vroom: Wow, that’s wild to think about. I often dream of what my career will look like. I think dreaming is such an important part of being in a creative industry. I dream all the time that I’m working on a film with Susan Sarandon and Meryl Streep and we are all great friends. And sure, I’ll take a peek of what’s in store for me in the next decade… why the hell not!

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Listen Up

Imogen Clark

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Photo By: Jeremy Dylan

Australia’s Imogen Clark believes she became a songwriter because she feels so deeply. One of the benefits of expressing emotion through song is that those feelings then become a shared experience for both the performer and the listener, something Clark has witnesses firsthand.

I try to be honest about my struggles with those feelings, because I want others to remember that it’s completely okay to not feel okay during difficult times,” she said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace.*

With her new EP Making Of Me set to release on August 21, we sat down with Clark to discuss the evolution of her sound, making music without boundaries, and being productive in a time of isolation.

*Due to our own complications during the pandemic, this interview was originally conducted in May and is just now being posted as we return from hiatus.

TrunkSpace: We are all experiencing uncertainty and a cornucopia of emotions given the current state of the world and the varying levels of quarantine we have been all been in these last few months. How has that impacted you as an artist? Have you found yourself to be creatively-inspired during this span?
Clark: Every day seems to be a little different. Some days I feel really productive and I’m using a daily working-from-home routine and exercise regime to keep myself on track, but other days I feel pretty overwhelmed with feelings of anxiety and depression. The reason I became a songwriter was because I feel a lot of things very deeply all the time, and that can be both a blessing and a curse, especially in times like these. I try to be honest about my struggles with those feelings, because I want others to remember that it’s completely okay to not feel okay during difficult times. I feel so grateful that some of my favorite artists are still releasing music, as I’m always inspired to keep writing and honing my trade when I find new music I love. The loss of the experience of playing and watching live shows has taken its toll on me, so I’m glad there’s still creative energy to be found in records. And I hope that’s what my new music can provide for someone else too.

Something I have found really great during isolation is doing some skill building. I’m trying to improve my piano and lead guitar playing by taking Zoom lessons in both, keeping my brain healthy by reading a lot, and listening to/writing more music.

TrunkSpace: In the middle of it all, you recently released a new single, “Found Me,” and you’re preparing to unveil your EP, The Making of Me, in August. How have you had to change your promotional focus during this time to ensure that this work you’ve poured so much of yourself into has the best chance at finding an audience?
Clark: We made the decision that, rather than put everything on hold during this pandemic, we’d release this music and make the most of what we can do safely right now, which is share music with people from afar. I think now more than ever people need something positive to brighten their days, and I hope these songs can be that for some people.

While I’d love to be out there touring these new songs, in the meantime, we’ve got a fun virtual tour going on. Starting this Saturday (16th May), every fortnight I’ll be live streaming a professionally produced show from my backyard in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia. The show is open to anyone across the globe, and it’s a “pay what you can” ticket price, so anyone doing it tough right now doesn’t have to miss out. Each show will have a different theme; acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano and an “all request” show, and the shows won’t be archived so folks will have to tune in live to catch them. If you tune in, you’ll get a full preview of all the songs from the upcoming EP, as well as some old favorites and new covers. Once it is safe to do so, we definitely can’t wait to get back out on the road to venues across Australia, the U.S., the U.K. and Europe.

TrunkSpace: What could someone learn about you as both an artist and as a person in sitting down to listen to the EP, front to back?
Clark: I hope that listening to this EP shows people that I’m someone who is feeling a little more comfortable in my own skin after years of self-doubt and feeling beholden to other people’s ideas of who I am, or what authentic art is. I worried for so long about the box I fit into musically, and perhaps who others wanted me to be. There’s a feeling of liberation and self-discovery to this record that I’m very proud of, and that reflects how I felt while writing and recording it. It’s a collection of songs about building confidence through adversity, and becoming the person you always wanted to be, or who people told you you couldn’t be.

TrunkSpace: As we understand, putting this EP together took its emotional toll on you because it represented a lot of what was going on in your personal life, sort of worked through in song form. Do you ever worry – or at least, take pause – when you put that much of yourself into a song or album? In the age of social media and everyone having an opinion they speak out loud, is it scary exposing yourself to that through your music?
Clark: Especially as someone who suffers from anxiety and is a chronic people pleaser, putting yourself and your feelings out on the line for a living is absolutely terrifying. But it’s also exhilarating and gives me a sense of strength and happiness that I live for. Having started playing music professionally at 12 years old, I’ve spent a lot of my life feeling underestimated or patronized, constantly seeking the approval of others who saw me as just a little girl. For the first time, I’m unafraid of what people think of me, or whether they think I’m good enough to be here, and I think that shows in this new music. I’m embracing all the kinds of music I love and want to write now.

TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with the EP?
Clark: I’m probably most proud of the evolution of my sound, and the sincerity of the lyrics. I’ve always had so many pop sensibilities in my songwriting, but I was always afraid of letting them live in my recordings. I worked on this album in LA with producer Mike Bloom (Jenny Lewis, Julian Casablancas), engineer Will Golden and my manager Jeremy Dylan. It was one of the most freeing experiences of my life because we let each song flow naturally and become exactly what it wanted to be, without asking ourselves “What genre of music are we making?” Musicians are used to living in a box defined by a genre category that they’ve been placed into, usually by someone else, and this can be so frustrating and limiting. But with this record, we used wildly different production references – everything from Chris Isaak to Christine and the Queens to Prince – and for the first time, I felt like I was making music with absolutely no boundaries for where it could go.

Lyrics have always been my favorite and the most important part of songwriting for me. All the lyrics featured on this record feel very raw and honest to me, and are at times painfully autobiographical. I’m proud of having the courage to share so much of myself in my music.

Photo By: Jeremy Dylan

TrunkSpace: Where are you hardest on yourself as an artist and did that manifest during the creation and recording of the EP?
Clark: I tend to always be hardest on my own vocal performance in the studio. I’ll usually get up in my own head too much about it, and I’ll start thinking so much about making the vocal performance sound perfect (I think this comes from 10 years of classical training!), that I can barely think about the emotion I’m supposed to be conveying. What Mike, Will and Jeremy all helped teach me in the studio this time around, was that a perfectly performed vocal in a song isn’t going to make anyone feel much of anything. What will make them fall in love with the song is the emotion you convey through your voice, so that’s what I tried to focus on most during these recordings. I really let loose in the vocal booth like I never had before, and we tried so many things that put me well outside of my comfortable zone.

TrunkSpace: How has where you’re from impacted you as an artist? Would you be a different artist if you grew up in a different city surrounded by different people?
Clark: I think where I’m from made me a more down-to-Earth person. I come from a tiny rural town called Bowen Mountain, on the very outskirts of the Greater Sydney region. There are no street lights or shops here. Everyone knows each other’s names, and the names of their dogs. We all say hello in the street and we all pull together in times of crisis, as we showed with our amazing Rural Fire Service volunteers earlier this year during the Australian bushfire disaster which impacted my town. I think if I’d grown up in a city, I wouldn’t have developed that sense of small town kindness and friendliness, which I feel is a wonderful and helpful trait to have when it comes to meeting so many new people on the road. When you come from a town like this, you can never develop a swollen ego because the people around you remind you pretty quickly where you came from!

I think coming from a small town also gives you classic small town big dreams. You want to do your little community proud by leaving the town and going onto bigger things, but you never forget that was the town that made you into who you are.

TrunkSpace: If you sat down with your 10-year-old self and gave her a glimpse of her future, would she be surprised by where her musical journey has taken her thus far?
Clark: I don’t think 10-year-old me would have believed it if you’d told her what she’d have achieved as a 25-year-old. My music has given me experiences I never believed I’d be privileged enough to have. On this record, we had Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello & The Imposters) come into the studio to track drums, and Benmont Tench (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers) come in to track keys and organ. These are musical heroes I admire hugely, and people I thought I’d never even get to meet, let alone get to work with. I’ve had the opportunity to play in cities all around the world and connect with fans at huge gigs supporting some of my idols like Shania Twain and Clare Bowen. I’m so proud of these experiences, and I think 10-year-old me would have been super excited too.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Clark: I don’t think I would. I think a big part of the magic of life is that you don’t know. You don’t know where you’re going or who you’ll meet and when, and how that will change your life in the long run. Five years ago, I sat in my favorite venue, the Enmore Theatre in Sydney, and fell in love with Jenny Lewis’ music for the first time. She was playing her song Acid Tongue, and singing and playing guitar beside her was Mike Bloom. As I sat in that theatre drooling over the stunning harmonies the band were providing, I had no clue that five years on, I’d be working with Mike in the studio. For me, the thrill is in the surprise and the unexpectedness of it all; in my career but also in life in general. If you know where you’re going to end up, the journey isn’t quite as fun. I’m sure as hell excited to find out as it comes, though.

Clark’s latest EP, Making Of Me, is due August 21.

 

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The Featured Presentation

Sam Valentine

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Photo By: Amanda Peixoto-Elkins

There was a great shift in the world of entertainment when Covid-19 hit. Movies were bumped from the release schedule, productions delayed, and theaters left empty. For those films still brave enough to venture into the socially-distanced fold of the cinematic experience, audiences – albeit smaller than the norm – were waiting to participate in the best form of escapism. For the independent horror hit Followed, that meant being #1 at the box office when it finally opened in June, which was a pleasant surprise for star Sam Valentine, who like everyone else, was navigating the highs and lows of 2020.

I do think that being one of the only new films dropped during this time has really helped us find a much bigger audience than we could have imagined with an indie horror feature, so you have to count those small victories,” she said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace.

We recently sat down with Valentine to discuss giving people an escape, how she has kept her career in focus during quarantine, and why she chose to start the podcast One Broke Actress.

TrunkSpace: Your latest project Followed was released in the middle of a pretty tumultuous time for not only the country but the world as a whole. In a way, is it nice to be a part of people’s escape during all of this – to be their outlet to what was “normal” once?
Valentine: Absolutely. The film focuses so hard on social media and how we consume it, which I think is especially relevant in a time when that is one of our only connections. And being able to give people a fun and new (albeit kind of terrifying) piece of content to enjoy right now feels like a relevant contribution. On a personal note, this movie has been such a long time coming for all of us involved (we shot it back in 2016!) so it was such a great personal high note.

TrunkSpace: As you mentioned, social media is given a horrific spin in Followed. For many people, social media can be a love/hate relationship with its own share of real-life scares. What’s your relationship with social media today in 2020?
Valentine: Much like all of our emotions over the last few months, I have highs and lows. Sometimes I cannot imagine my life without the learning opportunities and incredible relationships I have made online. And then some days I leave my phone on airplane mode until the last possible moment. I will say diversifying my follows (specifically Instagram, the platform I use the most) has helped me come to a better place. During the height of the protests for Black Lives Matter, I made it a huge point to follow more BIPOC accounts, more body positive influencers, and just generally “clean house” on the content I was consuming.

TrunkSpace: Walk us through what the experience was like to see Followed brought to fruition, because like you said, you originally worked on it back in 2016. Was it a surprise to then see it released four years later and to ultimately find an audience?
Valentine: It has been a journey! This was the first film I was cast in after I joined the actors union SAG-AFTRA, so it felt like a big step in my career. But one of the hardest lessons actors have to learn is that nothing is on your planned schedule… ever. Our director, Antoine Le, has done an amazing job of keeping us all informed and up to date over the years. We even had a private friends and family screening with an early cut of the movie because they knew with the festival circuit planned before distribution, it would be a while before Followed got out into the world. And then we finally had a big theatrical release planned for April… but we all know what happened there! I do think that being one of the only new films dropped during this time has really helped us find a much bigger audience than we could have imagined with an indie horror feature, so you have to count those small victories!

TrunkSpace: A person can change a ton in a four year span. What would the Sam Valentine of 2020 have done differently with her performance in Followed? What choices did 2016 Sam make that you wouldn’t make today?
Valentine: That is such a hard question. I have definitely grown up quite a bit and found a lot more of my personal confidence, not only in my work but in my life as a woman in Hollywood. Of course you can always critique yourself the more time you have to reflect, but to me, the character of Danni will forever belong to 2016 Sam.

TrunkSpace: For fans, the final product of a film or series is always the most memorable part, but for those involved in a project, we’d imagine it goes much deeper than that. For you, what is something about your time working on Followed thus far that you’ll carry with you through the course of your life/career?
Valentine: Honestly, it would be the relationships established from that set. Our cast and crew had to fall in love in a two week span to make what we did, and I think those kinds of connections last a lifetime. Matthew Solomon (Drop the Mic) and I still have a close relationship and are always semi-joking about constantly looking for our next project together.

TrunkSpace: As an actress – a profession where you generally are required to work directly with other people in a scene – how have you kept the tools in your toolbox sharp during this extended period of isolation?
Valentine: I am still in my acting class every week at John Rosenfeld Studios – having a deadline to hit with a script and scene assignment has been vital for the days that everything feels messy and far away. I also have a self tape partner Jenna Michno who I have done some socially distant self tapes with during this time – we help keep each other in check and motivated. And lastly I have made a big point to continue to study film/TV and read a ton of books. Listening, being emotionally invested, and responding honestly are all skills we can practice… even at home!

Matthew Solomon and Sam Valentine courtesy Followed

TrunkSpace: You also run the blog/podcast called One Broke Actress. Creatively, what does this outlet do for you that you personally that you haven’t been able to achieve in you career? What does it accomplish beyond listeners?
Valentine: It gives me a job I can’t get fired from! (Laughter) Just kidding.

I have always felt there was a massive hole in terms of honest information about the day-to-day life of working actors. You can find thousands of articles and videos now from women being “real” and “authentic” and showing their scars and stretch marks and just being human. And I thought, “Where is this for actors? Why do we feel we are the ones who have to maintain a perfect image for casting/producers/etc?” So I decided to be the face of that movement and share as much as I can about this world I function in while inviting others to do the same. Too many success stories are written after they happen, so I get to write mine while it’s in progress.

TrunkSpace: What is the biggest misconception people have about a career in acting? What do those in your life – family and friends – who are not in the industry get wrong about your journey?
Valentine: I think the worst conception anyone has about this business (including people in it) is trying to map it out on any kind of time table. We can control who we are and what we choose to focus on, but the bookings, the “timing” of successes, that is all out of our control.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career as a whole thus far?
Valentine: It’s funny because you would think this answer would be some big premier or my biggest paycheck, but it’s actually when I was on set for a non-union allergy medicine commercial my second year in LA. We filmed the whole thing outdoors and I was on a zip line all day. I probably did 30 to 40 runs on that thing. I remember driving home and thinking, “Wow… I just got paid for something I would have paid to do… now this is the life!” I think finding the joys in the moments that don’t involve an audience is really the place success grows from.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Valentine: Nope. Firstly if you have seen any movies, very little good comes from time travel! (Laughter) But no, I have such deep faith in my long term career and life that seeing it in a moment wouldn’t do justice to the journey to get to that point. And I really love that I have today and tomorrow.

Listen to the One Broke Actress Podcast here.

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Uncategorized

You Have Opened The Trunk Wide

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If you’re looking for one of our past exclusive interviews, then you’ve landed in the right spot. Dig in and have some fun – we sure have putting them together over the years!

Michael Adamthwaite, Chris Agos, Anthony Alabi, Chantelle Albers, Keith Allan, Chas Allen, Usman Ally, Jason Altman, Tyler Alvarez, Cooper Andrews, Amy Aquino, Vanessa Angel, Steffan Argus, Adam Arkin, Cyrus Arnold, Sark Asadourian, Ed Asner, Ashlie Atkinson, Celia Au

Luke Baines, Chandler Baker, Russell Geoffrey Banks, Brittni Barger, Alex Barima, Caitlin Barlow, Jennifer Bartels, Adam Bartley, George Basil, Violett Beane, Antonio J Bell, Jimmy Bellinger, Diana Bentley, Rukiya Bernard, Jacob Bertrand, Brad Beyer, Tracey Birdsall, Summer Bishil, Joshua Bitton, Josh Blacker, Yoav Blum, Nathalie Boltt, Ezekiel Boone, Kristin Booth, Paxton Booth, Lili Bordán, Bruce Boxleitner, Max Brallier, Will Brittain, Adwin Brown, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Steve Brusatte, Tanner Buchanan, A.J. Buckley, Will Buie Jr., Danielle Burgess, Alafair Burke, Brooke Burns, Jake Busey, Hayden Byerly

Patrick Cage, Kevin Caliber, Elle Callahan, Jessica Cameron, Chris Candy, Adam Carbone, Matty Cardarople, Caitlin Carmichael, Arielle Carver-O’Neill, Salvador Chacon, Joelle Charbonneau, Bailey Chase, Osric Chau, James Chen, Jennifer Cheon, Michael Chernus, Irene Choi, Brock Ciarlelli, Dr. Dustin Cohen, Sherry Cola, Taylor Cole, Chad Michael Collins, Bree Condon, Chad Connell, Chris Conner, Jernest Corchado, Marama Corlett, Celestino Cornielle, Filipe Valle Costa, Tyler Cotton, Mekia Cox, Robert Craighead, Adam Croasdell, Parker Croft, Josh Cruddas, Colin Cunningham

Evan Daigle, Jason William Day, Lowell Dean, Dana DeLorenzo, Kim Delaney, Anand Desai-Barochia, Holly Deveaux, Jessica Dicicco, Lisa Marie Digiacinto, Nik Dodani, Troy Doherty, Thomas Dominique, Dan Donohue, Parveen Dosanjh, Lisa Durupt, Andrea Drepaul, Erin Duffy

Miranda Edwards, Amin El Gamal, Julie Ann Emery, Dylan Everett

Adam Faison, Alexandra Feld, Jonathan Fernandez, Larry Fessenden, Carrie Firestone, Sarah Fisher, Margaret Anne Florence, Kelsey Flower, Lindsy Fonseca, Andrew Francis

Jess Gabor, Mark Gagliardi, Danay Garcia, Spencer Garrett, Kimmy Gatewood, Elise Gatien, Joseph Gatt, Maggie Geha, Tammy Gillis, Sarah Gilman, Patrick Gilmore, Randy Gonzalez, Julie Gonzalo, Geovanni Gopradi, Lindsey Gort, Rebekah Graf, Harley Graham, Nadia Gray, Jessica Green, Kevin Greutert, Grey Griffin, Scott Grimes, Michael Gross, Fiona Gubelmann, Brian Guest, Lucie Guest, Luke Guldan, Havana Guppy, Arjun Gupta, Geoff Gustafson

Catherine Lough Haggquist, Emily Haine, Andrew Hall, Jason Butler Harner, David Haydn-Jones, Ricky He, John Hennigan, Falk Hentschel, Tasos Hernandez, Kathrine Herzer, Taylor Hickson, Gavin Hignight, Mark Hildreth, Jordan Hinson, Russell Hodgkinson, Tara Holt, John Hoogenakker, Nick Hounslow, Adam Huber, Jocelyn Hudon, Crystal Hunt

Natalie Irish

Craig Jackson, Mackenna James, Troy James, Sarah Jeffery, Jac Jemc, Nia Jervier, Lily Ji, Tim Jo, Noel Johansen, Dajuan Johnson, Kirby Johnson, Rebekka Johnson, Sarah Jones, Michael Jonsson, Amin Joseph, Jet Jurgensmeyer

Heather Kafka, Hiro Kanagawa, John Kassir, Hiro Katagiri, Alma Katsu, David Kaye, Mickey Keating, David Patrick Kelly, Malcolm David Kelley, Echo Kellum, Jonathan Keltz, Lee Kholafai, Darren Kent, John Harlan Kim, Jeff Kinney, Rebecca Knox, Angela Ko, Mpho Koaho, George Kosturos, Martin Kove

Kate Lambert, Sara Malakul Lane, Juliet Landau, Leanne Lapp, Seph Lawless, Caitlin Leahy, Nikki Leigh, Nelson Leis, Christine Lee, Joshua Leonard, Brook Lewis, David Lewis, Chloe Levine, David Lim, Lillian Lim, Dallas Liu, Gerrard Lobo, Trevor Long, Robert Longstreet, Crystal Lowe, Jenn Lyon

Peter Macon, Trevor Macy, Stella Maeve, Laci J. Mailey, Robert Maillet, Michael Maize, Ally Maki, Natalie Malaika, Allen Maldonado, Byron Mann, Mandell Maughan, Ronnie Marmo, Amitai Marmorstein, Rudy Martinez, Jennifer Marsala, Michael Masini, Chris Masterson, Griffin Matthews, Chi McBride, Erin McCahan, Woody McClain, Stephen McCauley, Graeme McComb, JD McCrary, Alison McGhee, Zach McGowan, Michael McGrady, Madeleine McGraw, Sheaun McKinney, Steven R. McQueen, Chris McNally, Derek Mears, Sam Medina, Jessica Meraz, Jaden Michael, Sean Cameron Michael, Levi Miller, Reid Miller, Sarah Minnich, Joe Minoso, Sarah Jane Morris, Jill Morrison, Burl Moseley, Michael Mosley, Jesse Moss, Kathleen Munroe, Miles Mussenden

Carel Nel, Nicole Alyse Nelson, Corin Nemec, Barry Nerling, Ashley Newbrough, Mickeey Nguyen, Minae Noji, Danny Nucci, Cig Neutron

Dr. Michelle Oakley, Aliyah O’Brien, Keir O’Donnell, Christina Ochoa, Meghan Ory, Lisa Ovies, Rena Owen, Ed Oxenbould

Joshua Pak, Marianna Palka, Cortney Palm, Giles Panton, Jocelyn Panton, Benjamin Papac, Jae Suh Park, Megan Park, Angel Parker, Aleks Paunovic, Dan Payne, Khary Payton, Chris Peckover, Adam Pelkowitz, Mark Pellegrino, Alexa PenaVega, Carlos PenaVega, Brendan Penny, Mark Perez, CJ “Lana” Perry, Elisa Perry, Thomas Pierce, Amy Poeppel, Lucie Pohl, Peter Porte, Ryan Potter, Mishel Prada

Matthew Quick

Katherine Ramdeen, Dania Ramirez, Lance Reddick, Annette Reilly, Fei Ren, Patrick Renna, Kim Rhodes, Denim Richards, Korrina Rico, Kenny Ridwan, Amanda Righetti, Diane Rios, Jared Rivet, Michael Roark, Elizabeth Roberts, Johannes Roberts, Mckenna Roberts, Jordan Claire Robbins, Evan Roderick, Holland Roden, Olan Rogers, Mark Rolston, Adam Rose, Marcus Rosner, Ashleigh Ross, Elysia Rotaru, Alan Ruck, Tim Russ, Alex Russell

Brian Sacca, William Sadler, Hayle Sales, Ray Santiago, Gian Sardar, Sherri Saum, Steven Sawchuck, Karl Schaefer, Steven Schirripa, Amanda Schull, Kelsey Scott, Geno Segers, Natalie Sharp, Kim Shaw, Jesse Ray Sheps, Bella Shepard, Jake Short, Kyanna Simone Simpson, Lovie Simone, Jocko Sims, Kim Slate, Antonique Smith, Douglas Smith, Kavan Smith, Madison Smith, David Sobolov, Todd Stashwick, Christopher Stein, Brian Stepanek, Shoshannah Stern, Jenny Stead, Mark Steger, Abby Stern, Booboo Stewart, Josh Stewart, Heather Storm, Jake Stormoen, Karen Strassman, Matthew Sullivan, Patricia Summersett, Justin Swain, Emily Swallow

Nick E. Tarabay, Brendan Taylor, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Paul T. Taylor, Lisandra Tena, Clarissa Thibeaux, Chantal Thuy, Rich Ting, Nate Torrence, Keenan Tracey, Mouna Traoré, Donald Tran, Oliver Trevena, Daniel Truly, Albert Tsai, Adam Tsekhman, Jack Turner

Daya Vaidya, Sam Valentine, Casper Van Dien, Laura Vandervoort, Janet Varney, Bruno Verdoni, Ian Verdun, Andrée Vermeulen, Izabella Vidovic, Sydney Viengluang, Lisa Vidal, Will Von Bolton, Will Vought, Fiona Vroom

Kari Wahlgren, Jonathan Lloyd Walker, Andrew W. Walker, Audrey Walters, Melora Walters, Mateus Ward, Benjamin Charles Watson, Bresha Webb, Steven Weber, Travis Wester, Victor Webster, Hudson West, Karimah Westbrook, Billy Wickman, Dash Williams, Dewshane Williams, Siobhán Williams, Derek Wilson, Alicia Witt, Jimmy Wong, Keller Wortham

Christopher J. YatesLovina Yavari, Kelvin Yu

Dominic ZamprognaHannah Zeile, Kat Zhang, Kyan Zielinkski, Madeline Zima, Brendon Zub

 

 

Monica Aben, John Calvin Abney, Acid Tongue, Julian Acosta, Natalie Alexander, All About A Bubble, Alxxa, Andrew W.K., Nels Andrews, Louis Apollon, Edan Archer, Jae Ari, Tonio Armani, Arms And Sleepers, Jocelyn & Chris Arndt, Mason Ashley, Ashrr, Taylor Ashton, Axis: Sova

Baby Shakes, Ed Balloon, Bandits On The Run, Bella Dose, Belleisle, Billie Gale, Bodega, Brick + Mortar, Broadside, Brother Moses, Buke & Gase, Bumblefoot

Carousel Kings, CFM, Imogen Clark, Clownvis, Chris Cohen, Collective Soul, Charlie Collins, Bryson Cone, Dana Cooper, Jack Cooper, Cosmo Gold, Matt Costa, Cricket Blue, A.J. Croce, Crystales, Cut Worms

Daddy Issues, Damn Tall Buildings, Marie Danielle, Dang Clets, Deeper, Defoe, Tara Dente, Dave Depper, James Dewees, Joe Dias, Leslie Dinicola, Dirty Mae, Joey Dosik, Doubleplusgood, Driftwood, Driftwood Soldier, Dry Cleaning

David Earl, James Elkington, Mark Erelli, Sam Evian, Exploded View

Edo Ferragamo, Samantha Fish, C.K. Flach, Flight Of Fire, Flint Eastwood, Claude Fontaine, Kyle Forester, Frenzal Rhomb, Fotocrime, Marty Friedman, Fu Manchu

Gallows Bound, Fay Gauthier, Gentle Temper, Gin Blossoms, GOGGS, Gold Casio, Goodbye Honolulu, Grave Danger, Taylor Grey, Gun Outfit

Henry Hall, Handsome Ghost, Jason Hawk Harris, Erin Harpe, Dave Hause, Heavy Hearts, Here Come The Mummies, Peter Himmelman, Luke Hogan, Drew Holcomb, Lonnie Holley, Holy Pinto, Jesca Hoop, Kelly Hoppenjans, Hundred Handed

I Am Casting

Jade Jackson, Joan Of Arc, Rich Jones, June Star, Junro

Kassin, Colton Kayser, Tom Keifer, Alias Patrick Kelly, Kingsbury, Kevin Krauter, Kulululu

Domenico Lancellotti, Jon Langford, James Lanman, Madeline Lauer, Frankie Lee, Eric Lichter, Like Pacific, Local H, Liz Longley, Los Elk, Love & Chaos, Lydia Loveless, Lowercase Noises, Lowland Hum, LPX

Michael Mancuso, Marinho, Market Junction, Jessi McNeal, Me First & The Gimme Gimmes, Matt Megrue, Melville, Francesca Milazzo, Jacob Miller, Milo In The Doldrums, Kimié Miner, Miss Tess, MGT, Mmhmm, Neal Morse, Mr. Big, Matt Muse

Nap Eyes, Natural Born Leaders, New Politics, Mackenzie Nicole, No Small Children, Novel Nature

Olden Yolk, Garrett Owen, Owl Paws

Pep, Emily Perry, Party Nails, Ph4de, Piece Of Cake, Laura Pieri, Noam Pikelny, Pine, PLRLS, Pom Pom Squad

Radio Macbeth, Ellington Ratliff, Michael Rault, Hayley Reardon, Reverend Horton Heat, Hilary Roberts, Jake Wesley Rogers, Ruby Boots, Ruby The Rabbitfoot

Safeguard, Santa Cruz, Eric Schenkman, Seez Mics, Chelsea Shag, Sheers, She-Devils, Sarah Shook, Johnny Showcase, Tory Silver, Sister Sparrow, Skux, Slow Coming Day, John Smith, Sofa City Sweetheart, Jordan Sommerlad, Soul Asylum, Sour Bridges, Speak Low If You Speak Love, States & Capitals, Static And Surrender, Steve ‘N’ Seagulls, Styx, Elisa Sun

Dudley Taft, Tanbark, Teenage Bottlerocket, That One Eyed Kid, The 131ers, The Berries, The Bottle Rockets, The Campfire Flies, The Church, The Devil’s Twins, The Dollyrots, The Gentlemen’s Anti Temperance League, The Gloomies, The Great Escape, The Great Palumbo, The NTWRK, The Rayo Brothers, The Tossers, The Verve Pipe, The Vox Hunters, The Whiskey Masons, The Yawpers, Glenn Thomas, Tiny Ruins, Toadies, Turquoise Noise, Two Inch Astronaut

Vandoliers, Stoll Vaughan, Carmen Villain, Vodi, Katie Von Schleicher

Walk Off The Earth, Wand, Wargirl, We Were Sharks, Whiskey Daredevils, White Reaper, White Suns, Marlon Williams, Willie & The Bandits, Luke Winslow-King, Write Home

You Me At Six

Zebrahead, Zjál

98º

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