Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Spending Some Time With Melanie Of MUTED SCREAMS


     Program Director, Robbie Rodriguez of RockRadio993 had the pleasure of sitting down with Ms. Melanie Gagne, Lead Vocalist & Guitarist of the Canadian rock group MUTED SCREAMS which formed in 2007. This is a melodic, hard driving grooving Alternative Rock Band, who have tight phrasing, catchy riffs, confidence and are very capable players. The first time I came across one of the groups videos, I was hooked. Let’s get down to it!


Robbie: Melanie can you give me the names of all the musicians in your band?

Melanie: Sure

Muted Screams is:

Myself on – Lead Vocal and Guitar

Charles-Alexandre Beaudoin – Guitar

Matt Boulanger – Bass

L-P La Roche - Drums

Robbie: What are your ages?

Melanie: I’m (24), Charles is (30), Matt (30) and L-P is (31)

Robbie: Where do you currently reside?

Melanie: Quebec, Canada

Robbie: How best would you describe your genre of music?

Melanie: I would classify it at Alternative/Rock

Robbie: When did your project realize you had the right combination of members to reach your dream?

 Melanie: To reach a dream you need to go in the right direction. In a band, when you aim for something, you really need to be in phase with each other because it's something like trying to shoot an arrow when there's eight hands on the bow. I believe the first show we did with our current line up would be it!

Robbie : How was your band name originally conceived? How many names did you go through before you settled on your current name?

Melanie: I started the project when I was still in high school. It wasn't even really a band, two acoustic guitars/vocals. We needed a name for a gig... Brainstormed some ideas, GoogledMuted screams” and no band appeared in the search results! That's kind of the story of why we picked this one! ( Laughs)

 Robbie: Wow, that’s awesome…on the first try! (Laughs) Let’s talk a little about the bands process, who is the main writer, and how do the other members contribute to the overall musical sound & arrangements?

Melanie: Charles and I are the main songwriters, but we always create a blend of everybody's ideas when creating the arrangments!
Robbie: What is your normal rehearsal and recording process like? What is your overall preparation prior to recording?

Melanie: We alternate between rehearsals to fine tune the live set, and rehearsals to work on new a song. We have a decent little recording setup at our place so anytime we want to record something new, we just do it. When the songs are ready, we are always prepared to record! That's the beauty of doing things yourself! Most of the time we start by recording some rough takes with a pod and midi drums, just to get the whole idea of the song. This way we spend more time laying down the ideas by spending less time on tweaking knobs for hours. When the song's ready, we redo everything giving more attention to tone and details.

 Robbie: How to do you integrate production and engineers, how important is your production team as it relates to your project(s)? Lastly, do you currently work with any specific producers, If so, what does that studio or producer brings to your sound?

 Melanie: We always tried to make things as DIY as we could, but sometimes it's best to let someone else do the job. Charles co-produced "What are you made of?" with Jerome Larochelle, a longtime friend of the band and excellent engineer. Basically, Charles did the tracking near Quebec City and Jerome the mixing in Regina, Saskatchewan. They both did great and had an understanding of what everyone wanted, I believe that's a something we can all hear when we listen to the songs.

Robbie: Tell me a little about your latest release? Why is this release significant in scope versus your previous releases?

Melanie: I think that the first full length is always really significant for a band. We’ve been working two hard years on it and we have put far more time on it than on our first demo in 2008. We hoped that this one could bring us up another step in our career and it did! We signed our first distribution and publishing deal mostly because of "What are you made of?"!

Robbie: How has your sound changed since your first release? What are the main

Melanie: We recorded the first at our beginnings! The tunes were not at their best and our sound was not clearly defined. We went through a lot of things in between the first and the second release. We became better at recording, we improved our playing. We had time to find our sound and to select the best songs we had to make that album. We also went through a couple of member changes, for example, Charles was on drums back in the days!

Robbie: How does the band get along? Is it a cohesive unit on tour? What advice would you impart on a new band attempting to tour?

Melanie:We have a good chemistry. I think the secret is that we need to define the true purpose for each member. One is driving, one is keeping the facebook page up to date, one is making a bad DJ of himself, while all I have to do is to sit back and relax! Just kidding. To new bands; stay easygoing and have fun!

Robbie: What would you say are the hardships of touring versus the greatest

Melanie: Seeing the crowd that shows up for you when you're not in your
hometown is one of the great part of it, but saying bye to friends
you've made along the road is probably the worst!

Robbie: Do you believe the industry and big production days are long
Melanie: No, grant me unlimited budget, and I'll prove it to you! Just kidding.
If by big production you mean an album recorded in a big LA studio, mixed by CLA and mastered by Ted Jensen, those days are probably not over yet. It's hard to compete with those guys!

 Robbie: What would you want to change? What would you bring back if you could?
Melanie: I'd like to bring back the days where there was more variety on mainstream music media!

Robbie: How do you choose your supporting acts when it’s time to

Melanie: We almost never choose, most of the time it's the promoter's choice. When we have to choose we go with friends!

 Robbie: What advice can you give a young band trying to get signed? Who should they trust?

Melanie: Trust yourself! If you're insecure, it just won't happen. It's business, it's about money, it's not about a good song or a great drummer... It's about sales, about how many people are going to your shows... Get noticed by the labels first, only then they'll listen to your songs!
Robbie: If you could do it over, what would you want to do in the
Melanie: I think that if I could do it over, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve made the right choice, and I wouldn’t come back on any decision I had to make.
Robbie: What’s next for your band?

Melanie: It’s sure that winter is always a good time to create music, cause it’s a dead season for shows here. So we'll write some new stuff for the next album. We’re actually planning the booking of 2014, but at this moment we take each day as it comes.

Robbie: Any additional tours? Releases? Videos?
Melanie: We are going to release new songs in 2014 for sure and who knows, maybe another video.
Robbie: Who is your label? Please provide some information on then.

Melanie: Higher Reign Music Group is based in Quebec city. It’s an Independent label that is building a strong reputation.

Robbie: How did your label approach you?

Melanie: The A&R of the label saw the teaser from our album on YouTube and really liked it. She contacted our drummer on Facebook. The funny part is that my drummer started to flirt with her because he said she was cute, and funny but then he realized that she was working for a label, and that she had more interest in our band than him…(Laughs) It didn’t stop her from wanting us on the label.

Robbie: I enjoyed “Deadwood” a lot. Can you provide a clear explanation on your message on this song?

Melanie: We don't need much to be happy and there's some easy ways to spread happiness around us. We all should stop to worry about the past and move forward.

Robbie: “Broken Wheel” is a powerful song, how personal was this song to you? Was it due to a break up?

Melanie: I think everyone had to face this situation. You know when you get enough of something when you realize that you’re in a bad situation and it makes you feel like shit. This is something that I had to face. We need this push or courage to leave someone when it’s time too.
Robbie: Would you plan on touring the US?

Melanie: You're right! We'll have to go say hi to our neighbors’ sooner or later!
Robbie: What national acts have you played with?

Melanie: We had the opportunity to play with Shinedown, Monster Truck, Pennywise, The Flatliners, Randy, Die Mannequin, Smash Hit Combo, Courage My Love.

Robbie: Thank you for your time and attention. We appreciate your interview. We look forward to seeing you guys on tour!

Melanie: Thank you so much Robbie!

Muted Screams Gear: Fender, Gibson, Mesa, Traynor, Vox, Line 6, Ampeg, Pearl, Sabian, Sennheiser microphones

Endorsements Sennheiser music Canada


L-p LaRoche

Steeven Leblanc
Vice-President of Marketing/A&R

Web site:

Article by:

Robbie Rodriguez

Program Director / Writer / Drummer

New Evolution Entertainment Management Home Of:

RockRadio993 Online

Temple of Rock Magazine Online




Sunday, July 14, 2013

Interview with Guitarist Debbie Barlow Phelps of Twenty 12 Tribe

On air personality & drummer, Robbie Rodriguez of CARNIVAL OF NOISE had an opportunity to sit down with Debbie Barlow Phelps for a brief interview. Debbie is one of the powerhouse guitarist' and Rock Goddess of TWENTY 12 TRIBE, which was formerly known as SIC CIRCLE.

This was a unique opportunity for us to catch up on music and life! Debbie is a great musician and friend. I was thrilled to introduce you to a little bit of the Tribe. This was our second encounter; we've interviewed SIC CIRCLE on our live radio show last year - It was now time to bring you Twenty 12 Tribe.

RockRadio993: What does your band bring to the table that another band does not?

Debbie: I think the originality of our music sets us apart from most. We're heavy but also bring melody in the vocals. Also having two vocalists in the band. Being a Female Guitarist/Song writer in a male dominated industry is not always the norm.

RockRadio993: What contributions has your band made to the music industry?

Debbie: I have tried to keep up with the NOW of the industry going ons. We are our own machine in the sense that we're self sufficient when it comes to booking and promotions etc. and for a major label looking to sign us we are already creating a "buzz".

 RockRadio993: If I was a large record executive why should I listen to your band?

Debbie: I believe we have good songs.

RockRadio993: What are your short term goals?
Debbie:We are currently writing the next album. We are stoked to bring in producer Corey Lowery (Bassist for Eye Empire). He's working on new EE album too so trying to coordinate studio dates for the Fall.

RockRadio993: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Debbie: Touring full time!

RockRadio993: Why rock music? Would you change genre for a record company?

Debbie: No I would never change genres for a record company if its not "me" or what I do?! I grew up listening to different genres of music. My dad was in a rock band, and he taught me all my first riffs...chunky rock riffs, it's always been about the Rock Music for me. But, my iTunes playlist is pretty random, it has Jay-Z - to - Keith Urban, to Five Finger Death Punch and back to Michael Buble!

RockRadio993: Do you think you have the work ethic to compete with major tours?

Debbie: Honestly I work really really hard at booking the shows Twenty12 Tribe are on. Our goal is to get on a competitive tour as support by years end.

RockRadio993: What are some of the hurdles you've battled to move ahead?

Debbie: I think my ovarian cancer diagnosis in 2003 was probably the biggest hurdle. I had to step away from all things music, put my faith in God, and some really great doctors to get back to healthy. When I re-entered the scene, the industry had completely changed to what we know now. Re-learning the "business" is always a challenge.

By Robbie Rodriguez for RockRadio993

Station: 888 506 9935

Sunday, June 9, 2013

New Hip Hop Artist On The Rise In Virginia!

RockRadio99.3 had an opportunity to sit down with Marcky Goldchain prior to his music video shoot. He has been busy working on production, lyrics and recording. We sat down for a couple of minutes during the video shoot to interview this up and coming Hip Hop Artist.
RR99.3: What is your name?
MW:       Marcus Wright....AKA. Marcky Goldchain
RR99.3: Where did you grow up?
MW:     I grew up in Englewood, New Jersey and Hackensack....then moved to VA
RR99.3: Who was a major influence on you?
MW:   Jay Z, My Mom, Biggie, Ma$e, anybody who has ever done something timeless
RR99.3: Why Hip Hop, what drives you?
MW: Hip Hop/Music is one of the only things in the world I feel like I can control. I like to help people,  I like to look cool, and I like to lead an influence. This is a sport where I can do all 3.
The artists I've met that tell me my day is coming soon, my friends that love the music from even across the world let me know to keep going.
RR99.3: What is your process when it comes to lyrics and production?
MW: I try to go off whatever feels right, Honestly I stopped actually writing my lyrics down so now its kind of a process similar to Biggie Smalls's writing tactics.
RR99.3: Are you looking for representation?
MW: That's something I ask myself everday. At some point I can see where it could be perfect, but then again, I've did most of this so far on my own. I think that will happen on its own at the right time and place.
RR993: How far are you looking to go?
MW: I want to take over the whole game, get my family straight, get alot of people help they need, ultimately make the most money possible and change the world.
RR99.3: Who would you like to collaborate with?
MW: Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Lauryn Hill, Ma$e, Miguel and Schoolboy Q
RR99.3 When did you come in to the game?

MW: I've always loved music but I'd say I officially came into the game around 12/13 when I wrote my first song.
RR99.3: What do you see now in your performance that is different than when you started?

MW: I'm getting really ill at controlling crowds, making people feel what I felt with my music. I been working really hard to still improve. The upcoming LATGA show will be cool.
RR99.3: Thank you so much for taking time out of your shooting schedule to speak to us.
MW: I appreciate you guys and what you do for music!
Contact Information:
Twitter: @MarckyGoldchain
Click Here for the New Video:

    Sunday, June 2, 2013

    Drumming & The Metronome

     Robbie Rodriguez
    Drummer for Carnival Of Noise

       Performing is an extension of the heart, mind and soul. Ask any performer; more than likely, they'll tell you that performing is like breathing. If you’re an artist, you'll clearly have an understanding of what I’m referring too. I’d like to speak a bit about my personal passion; in my case, its drumming and performance. Drumming has been a part of my life for as long as I can recall. This article is an extension of the passion and respect I have for the craft. I’d like to take this time to educate those who maybe inspired to take up a pair of sticks in order to pursue their musical dream.

    The drummer' role in any musical environment is a critical one; drummers set the foundation of the musical arrangement. The musician, or drummer has to be prepared to internalize time. All drummers face a daunting task in their approaches to all musical selections. There are many elements and layers which need to be examined in all arrangements. The drummer has to be thoughtful in the approach - this will assist the drummer to fully articulate on the instrument. The kit is an extension of the player, and the drummer has to master the voices on the kit. This mastery will exude raw emotion and a strong sense of confident time.

    Let’s look at how the drummer can perform an arrangement to better provide the needed foundation described above:

    In my early lessons which date back to the late 80's. I've sat down with my instructor, Bobby Sanabria - Bobby is an Grammy nominated musician and long time music educator, who was a Berklee School of Music graduate. My lessons took place in a small drum studio at Palomba Music in the North Bronx. I was just a teenager, not really sure what I was getting into. It was clear in my early instruction that I needed to learn how to read and interpret musical notation.

    The reading process can be a bit cumbersome and frustrating, but for any new student, its the best solution in the long run to have the exposure to structure and foundation. It becomes a solid building block to lay other complicated bricks. In those days, I wanted to read as much as I could - I wanted to learn as much as humanly possible. I would always recommend a good instructor, but I would also supplement that instruction with books and video resources to assist with development.

    For any student it is critical to play along with tracks and record yourself. This method will assist you in finding your voice. You’ll be able to focus on these areas which need attention. You’ll be surprised at what you really sound like, and you'll find out what you intended did not really translate well in the final performance. Using dynamics and the use of varied levels of sounds, it will allow the drummer to grasp emotion in order to convey that on the kit. Playing at one acoustical level will sound rudimentary, and will not show case emotion. By varying dynamics, it will provide you a larger tool bag of sound. By focusing on rudiments, the process will provide greater exposure and reach to increase your arsenal of drum riffs.

    In my early years, I was reluctant to utilize a metronome. I felt it was restrictive, and it was difficult for me to find the correct path against my playing in following along with the click. In reality , not using the metronome was counter productive to all the work I was putting into my rehearsals. Let me explain what I mean, the body will start to memorize movements through repetition or muscle memory. In reality the muscle memory is in the mind, the drummer starts to internalize time and it may fluctuate based on the lack of a metronome. The use of the metronome will assist the drummer or percussionist to lock in and internalize time. Its extremely beneficial for the drummer and the other musicians. Your arrangements and overall performances will sound and feel tighter.

    I’ve seen the changes in my playing; I now find that playing at slower tempos will solidify the rudimental performance in sticking, and will provide the muscle memory needed in order to start ramping up speed when called for. The metronome will assist the drummer to lock into the groove, and to expand the players arsenal by playing in time, off time or in complex time signatures.

    The metronome helps to open up ideas while keeping the band and arrangement moving forward in a positive direction. I wasn't a believer in the metronome; but now I am. I’ve been playing for several years now; I truly see the benefits of using it in rehearsals and live performances.

    I'm currently performing with Carnival of Noise, a progressive metal band based out of the Washington, D.C. metro area. I also support several solo artists with their musical arrangements and performances.

    Currently supporting these artists:

    Carnival Of Noise

    Emma Zinck and EZG

    Chris Lizzi Music

    Eva Jade Landon

    Ignite Violet

    Monday, May 13, 2013

    Tim Turner Jr. an NBA hopeful sits down with RockRadio993 DJ


    Tim Turner Jr. an NBA hopeful sits down with RockRadio993 DJ
    RockRadio 99.3's, Robbie Rodriguez sits down and interviews a very talented and possible NBA prospect, Mr. Tim Turner...This young man is doing everything possible to hit the big court.
     We sit down with Tim Turner in Stafford, Virginia to speak a bit about his love for the game of basketball.
    Tell me a little bit about yourself:
    Name: My name is Tim Turner Jr.

    RockRadio993: How old are you?
    Tim: 24 years old

    RockRadio993: Where are you from originally?
    Tim:  I'm from Stafford. You can say I'm a "Military brat" I've lived a few places, born in Cherry Point, NC then to southeast DC to MD to Ocean Side, California back to the DMV where VA became home.

      RockRadio993: How many years have you live there?
       Tim: About 15yrs

       RockRadio993:  Tell me a little bit about your family?
     My family is my everything. The greatest mother and father Michele and Timothy Turner Sr. Two sisters that make up my heart Quanika 27 and Faith 8. Well I'm special I have two moms if I let my older sister tell it.

    RockRadio993: We know you have a love for sports did your family support you?
    Tim: My family support is all I have ever had. When coaches doubted me, didn't help me get to the next level, when no one was there my family was. They are my motivation.

    1. How did you get involved in sports?
    From the womb I came out ballin, I was exposed to sports as early as 4 I started playing football and about 8 or 9 for basketball. My dad played sports I remember watching him play ball. I was always active it came natural.

    2. Who was your inspiration?
    My inspiration would have to be Michael Jordan, because he was the greatest to do it; Deion Sanders because he was the best at what he did and would put on a show doing it; Allen Iverson because he changed the game in his own way and was the best to do it at his size; and my mom because she gave me the greatest gift of life, she's the G.O.A.T(Greatest of All Time)

    3. Why did you pick basketball?
     Coming out of high school it was a toss up between football and basketball. I sent unlimited tapes, emails, and calls to schools and I feel basketball chose me. I honestly wanted to play football but I felt slept on, no schools really showed interest so a door opened for me to play basketball at a good level and I ran through it.

    4. What did your training regiment look like early on?
      Early on training was life. I would go from football straight to basketball season then on to the AAUs and Pop Warner football back to school sports, so there was never time to slow down. I spent numerous hours and days in gyms by myself, it was more a mental maturing and molding regiment early on.

    5. Has your training changed since then?
      My training hasn't changed, a little more drastic since I'm my biggest critic and I'm hard on myself so its just a lot of work I try to put in, a lot of late nights, less sleep but you have to sacrifice in order to be great and I'm Destine for Greatness (#D4G: my movement)

    6. How did you hone your skills?
      When I have a serious passion for something I believe there is no stopping me. When I finally chose basketball I went all in, lived on the court and just had a desire to experience the game wholeheartedly.

    7. Any particular coaches in your life shape your game?
     Honestly, not one coach sat me down and discussed my game. Each coach I had just ran with my abilities and let me work I pushed myself more than anyone. My high school coach, Joe Kania, wasn't sure how good I would be; my 1st college coach at Columbia Union College, Calvin Dunbar saw my potential, I averaged 18ppg ; my 1st coach at Davis and Elkins College, Amrit Rayfield recruited me saying "you'll average maybe 11" I averaged 22ppg that year; my 2nd coach at D&E, Bruce Martin, encouraged me to be the best me I could be. All in all, they pushed me by doubting me.

    8. What was your sports career like in high school?
     2003-2007 was the greatest four years of my life. It went football season straight to basketball season, I never tried out for high school basketball. My Junior year we won the Commonwealth District Championship in basketball (vs the great Baltimore Raven Torrey Smith may I add lol). I actually hit a game winner or half court shot all four years of high school it was a exciting time for me. All Northeast Region athlete in both sports. From scoring touchdowns to hitting game winners, high school made me who I am. Go figure I won most athletic in my school in 2007.

    9. What college did you attend, and was it in reference to attempting to get into the NBA?
      Fresh out of Brooke Point High School I attended Columbia Union College (now known as Washington Adventist University) in MD then transferred to Davis and Elkins College in WV. Every decision I have made has been in attempt to go as far as I can and to over achieve, so yea it was in attempt to put me in a better position to get to the NBA.

    10. What are you doing now to attempt to try to enter the NBA?
    Currently, I am still diligently working, everyday I'm doing something to improve myself whether in the gym or on the court. I'm in need of an agent so I'm looking for good representation I've been a few places for NBA Dleague camps and individual team tryouts to exposure camps, agency camps just trying to get myself out there, since this profession is about who you know.

    11. Tell me a little bit about the strings of your game?
     My game has evolved from high school. I went from being a defensive role player to an offensive assassin. I graduated from college scoring 2,071 career points, that's a 20ppg career average. Every gym I step in I here "shooter" I love it but I like to think I'm a all around guard. At 6'1 they tell me I'm a point guard, and I'm all about it all for it, but there's nothing I cant do on the court.

    12. Speak to the highlights of your most important game? High School it was either a game vs Colonial Forge, we were down 1 or 2 and I hit a 3 to win the game at the buzzer and my brothers (best friends) were right there on the court when I turned around. Coach Joe Kania told me before that game "Big time players make big time plays in big time games" and I showed up, it felt great. Or the rival game versus North Stafford when my point guard Rocky Ullah got hurt early in the game and I had to carry us. I scored like 26 points had the crowds going crazy, chants were in full affect, no one from the area will let me forget those two moments. In college, my junior year I had a career night versus Bluefield State I scored 41 points hit 10 threes but we barely won the game. In a critical timeout my coach Bruce Martin goes "what should we do?" and one of my teammates was like "give Tim the ball" and we pulled it out. I can also go to my final collegiate game at Charleston University, we had played them twice already that year and I was determined to get a W. I had like 36 points, left my heart on the court. I'll never forget they had a "Ultimate Fan" who had gotten to me in previous years, but the crowd had poster cards of all the shots I had missed for the year and was letting me have it this game. We lost by like 3 but at the end the "Ultimate Fan" came up to me and told me that was the most impressive performance he had seen at their school in years" while devastated it meant a lot.

    13. What does the game mean to you?
      The game is me! It's frustrating because the term "ball is life" describes me to the t , but everybody screams that now days. I wake up/go to sleep thinking about the next time I will get to lace up, put a jersey on, the next shot I'll see go through the net, the next move I need to work on. I'm built for this I can play with anybody, on any level and any size all because I have the heart to compete, you cant teach that!

    14. What is your ultimate dream?
     My ultimate dream is to be a story you cant deny, to prove that dream chasing and hard work truly pays off. I want to be somebody in this world that's an inspiration to peoples lives not through talk but action. My dream would be to go to a city and impact it like Allen Iverson in Philly, Hometown Washington Wizards would be my ideal situation. I don't desire the fame or the money, I need the game in my life to complete me.

    15. If you can change something in the past what would that be?
     I'm learning to live with no regrets, I did great individually, IF anything I want more wins for my schools.

    16. What do you think you can change right now to help you reach your goal?
    That's the million dollar question. I'm not sure, maybe networking, plugging myself like I'm use to in attempt to get in front of the right people. I am in search of an legit agent who sees what I see. Every single team in the world from the NBA to overseas is going to have to tell me NO before I let this dream go. My mom has instilled in me "Standing on a mountain of No's for one yes" I'm about that life.