Sandoval/Araiza: Project Playlist

If I were to have to give a quote about the music Jeff Sandoval and Mike Araiza make, it would be this: “This is music as it should be, no preconceived formula here. These guys write and play what they “feel” and that, my friends, is the true spirit of music.”

I’ve known these two guys for a while now and it had been my great fortune to have been at the birth of most of their work. Of The Earth, Frank Hannon Band and now as Jeff and Mike.

That being said, let’s talk about their latest effort  Project Playlist. I cannot tell you how many times I received a text or an excited phone call from Mike telling me to “check out this riff” or “what do you think about this?” there was passion in those messages and that fervor and passion found its way to the record untarnished. Jeff, on the other hand, is like a Zen Master, calm, cool, and collected. His lyrics and powerful yet smooth vocals carry weight and presence that in my opinion border on legendary. Let’s get into the tracks and stroll around a bit.

Project Playlist opens with “The Good Fight” (which happens to be my go to track on this record). Have you ever heard a song that just stays with you? I mean one that you find yourself hitting repeat over and over again? One that you manage to find something new with each listen? You find yourself absent-mindedly humming or tapping the beat throughout the day? “The Good Fight” just happens to be a song like that. Even cooler is that a couple of my close friends wrote it. I tried to put that aside and came to the conclusion that the fact that they were my friends was irrelevant, this is a damn good song, period. As I continued to listen to “The Good Fight” I compared it side by side with other songs and artists I consider in the same vein. This comparison led me to the conclusion that this track by a couple of guys that live in my town and I know personally can go toe to toe with artists like SIXX A.M., Pop Evil, STP, etc., etc. This track features studio wizard Chris Collier on drums and bass as well as production.

“So Long”, featuring Will Hunt on Drums, has a fresh , yet  familiar feeling and yet stays unique. Powerful and yet not abrasive in away this is a song that one could use to set the pace of their impending day. Feeling good and energetic is what this track brings to me.

“It’s All I need” features Kurt Arft on bass and Chris Collier on drums and really packs a punch. Deep lyrics and Jeff’s powerful vocals give this song some weight. This is a heavy song but not overbearing if you get my meaning. Their craftsmanship shines through here.

“Beggars And Thieves” features Kurt Arft again on bass and Will Hunt on drums. This track is probably the “grooviest” one on the record and will have your head bobbing and foot tapping as soon as you start listening to it. There’s a couple of twin guitar parts that Mike just kills with.

Project Playlist closes out with “No Answer” which features Frank Hannon has that 70’s vibe that just goes so well with this song. I love the guitar wok in this track. Nice way to close out the record with some quality music and friends.

What do we ultimately get with Project Playlist? A Rock and Roll record that stands up in this turbulent time in the music industry. Jeff and Mike said “Damn the norm, we’re gonna make the music that we feel inside” and it works, on so many levels. Music at its purest level is what we have here folks.

I must also give shout outs to Kurt Arft, Will Hunt, and Frank Hannon for stepping up and going toe to toe with Jeff and Mike. Their performances are outstanding on this record. I didn’t forget Chris Collier, not only did he deliver some killer bass and drums, like a mad scientist he grafted it all together to deliver a superior recording. I think that in today’s DIY music industry production quality has suffered at the hands of inexperience in record production. Jeff and Mike know the value of a properly produced record and have developed a relationship with Chris that works.

So, after all of that why should you get a copy of Project Playlist? I could say because they are my friends and it would be cool to help them out, but I’m not. You should get this record because it’s great music, that’s it in a nutshell.

Now, you only have until Friday 08/12/16 to get your order in at https://squareup.com/store/JeffAndMike  after that you will only be able to pick it up at live performances. Good news is new music is already being made so stay tuned.

Thanks Jeff and Mike for keeping music alive. – the Hellion

the Hellion Rocks talks to Jeff Sandoval and Mike Araiza about their new release Project Playlist

If any of you are like me, you constantly crave new music. Not just new music but quality music. Jeff Sandoval and Mike Araiza deliver, in spades, with Project Playlist. Jeff and Mike have taken many musical journeys together and have included me along the way. Check out this heartfelt discussion we had about how they got to where they are today. When you’re done watching I HIGHLY recommend you click on the picture below and order Project Playlist . There will be a detailed song by song review up this Saturday so stay tuned. Project Playlist is currently the front-runner for CD of the year on the Hellion Rocks and that’s no joke.  Order yours today!!!

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK AND ROLL!!!

-the Hellion

YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO WATCH IT!

CD Cover

     CLICK THE PICTURE TO ORDER NOW!

Project Playlist from Jeff Sandoval and Mike Araiza

Here you go folks! the Hellion Rocks purchased (yes I said purchased) four pre-release autographed copies of the new Jeff Sandoval and Mike Araiza CD “Project Playlist” to give away! If you want to win one before you buy one email me at janaya@thehellionrocks.com and tell me why you want one. Make sure to enter “Project Playlist” in the subject line. There are only four so email quick! In addition, I sat down with Jeff and Mike to discuss their musical journey and we rolled cameras….look for the video later this week.

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“It’s All I Need” – Jeff Sandoval and Mike Araiza

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Ok, so I have had this track for a few days now and can’t get enough of it. Jeff and Mike will be releasing the lyric video to the world tonight 01/31/14 at 6pm mst right here: Jeff Sandoval & Mike Araiza on their Facebook page.

Let’s talk a bit about the track and the video. While it is an acoustic track it does not come off that way at all, in fact, it’s pretty damn heavy. Let’s talk about the bass first. Kurt Arft lays down a heavy, dirty bassline that, by itself, does not seem like it belongs in this song but it fits like a puzzle piece into it. Kurt gives it that groove that this song so rightly deserves. Chris Collier, who not played drums on this but produced it as well, put all of those puzzle pieces together into one solid track.

What can I say about Mike Araiza? The guitars on here are clean, and I mean CLEAN. Mike is so full of melody and it truly shows in his playing and style. I keep forgetting that this is an acoustic track.

Ahhh the vocal stylings of Jeff Sandoval. There are not to many vocalists out there that can still give me the chills, Jeff is one of them.  You feel ALL of the emotion that Jeff is imparting into his vocals.

The video for “It’s All I Need” is an incredible piece of work as well. While it is a “lyric”video it leaves you with the images playing over and over in your head. You will find these images replaying in your mind every time you listen to this song.

Don’t miss out on the premier on 01/31/14 at 6pm mst right here: Jeff Sandoval & Mike Araiza on their Facebook page!

A conversation with guitarist Mike Araiza

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I have known Mike Araiza for several years now. In fact I remember sitting in the parking lot of the Owl Cafe with him and Jeff Sandoval listening to the freshly minted tracks from the Of The Earth project they had just completed.

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They moved on in their journey and the next step was an album of songs they had written that turned out to be the frank Hannon Band ‘Six String Soldiers. Which featured appearances by legendary guitarists Dickey Betts, Dave Meniketti, Rick Derringer, and Pat Travers.

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Now, I am excited to say, Mike and Jeff are taking the next step in their musical evolution. They are going to be releasing a series of new tracks as single releases over the next year. The first of which is tentatively called “All I Need” or “It’s All I Need”. This first track features mutual friend Kurt Arft on bass guitar and Chris Collier pulling double duties on drums and production duties.

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bassist Kurt Arft

bassist Kurt Arft

drummer and producer Chris Collier

drummer and producer Chris Collier

 

Mike and I had a nice conversation about all of these events and would love to invite you to listen to it right here:

 

Make sure you got to Mike and Jeff’s Facebook page and give them a like and show your support: https://www.facebook.com/JeffandMikeMusic!!!

 

it’s loud, it’s tonerific, it’s Jeff and Mike!

the Hellion

 

 

 

 

Mind Merchant release lyric video for “Killer Instinct”

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The hard working rockers Mind Merchant have released a lyric video for the track “Killer Instinct”. Inspired the hit Showtime series Dexter, “Killer Instinct” is the 2nd single released by the Chicago band, Mind Merchant. Mind Merchant is comprised of: Steve Crandall-singer/percussion, Bob Cashin- guitar/ vox, Doug Ehrhardt-guitar/vox, Kurt Arft-Bass/ vox, Mark Cox- Drums/ vox. Check it out right here:

     You can find Mind Merchant on the facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mind-Merchant/383766625024958

      it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s MIND MERCHANT!!!

     -the Hellion

2013 was a great year for the Hellion Rocks, bring on 2014!!!

178928_10150973183505972_426071352_n 2013 was great year for us here at the Hellion Rocks. Killer interviews, great shows and hanging with even cooler people. It’s very cool when you get to talk to artists you have grown to admire. It’s even cooler when they message you and stay in contact with you. It’s a great feeling when you also help to spread the word of a new up-and-coming band as well. In the past year I have learned how small the music community really is. It is amazing the connections that lead to other connections and how the music brings us all together.

I have to give thanks to my cohorts at Bleach Bangs Radio, Charlie Owens and Randy Norris. These guys are my brothers plain and simple. They are the embodiment of awesome and I am proud to work with them.

     Eddie’s Mates holds a special place in my heart as well. Sandy and Sean have not only helped us with Bleach Bangs Radio they also made the logo for the Hellion Rocks! Thanks EM!!!

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I have to thank my wife Dani for giving me the courage and strength to reach out and chase this crazy dream. She is ALWAYS there for me.

There are so many people who mean the world to me as well: Mike Araiza, Jeff Sandoval, Adam Joad, Jake Delling LeBas, Redd Yoachum and the rest from Scattered Hamlet, Craw Cajun and Kat Ford, Death Alley Motor Cult, Kurt Arft, Wornstar Clothing, Justin Manning and Crowned By Fire, and Dellacoma Rio and the Sunset Riot guys, Steve Helmer, Dave Gold, and Bobby Siekkinen . Those are just a few from an incredible list.

Thank you to all of the publicists that have worked with me this year as well. Here’s looking towards a productive 2014!!!

Thanks to Blabbermouth.net and Circus Magazine for picking up some of my interviews! I am honored and humbled.

Lastly but far from least I wish I could personally thank each and every one of the 60,000 people from the 140 countries around the world who dropped in on this site last year. I hope you enjoyed it and let me know what you want to see here in the future.

it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s ROCK N’ ROLL!!

see ya in 2014 – the Hellion