Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Blog Tour: Brian Harrison's The Vault - release March 6th

The Vault

Why would a multibillionaire create a customized vault that is controlled by watch mechanics inside and have a self-destruct mechanism inside to destroy the billion dollars worth of artifacts inside?

Simple, because he can.

On paper, Sam Montgomery is your typical eccentric philanthropic pharmaceutical billionaire whom has literally mailed five dollars to everyone in the US so they can “pay it forward.” But what people didn’t know when made a rare public appearance was that he was announcing he had leukemia. And more shocking was that when he said, “I’d rather die than give my sister the opportunity to save my life,” no one even knew he had a sister.
Elena Diamante nailed the sit down interview – at his small home on the tiny island of Antikythera in Greece. She was only planning on getting the scoop about Sam and his apparently estranged sister but she was also going to be the first journalist to see inside Sam’s custom made vault. It was built using watch mechanics, so it was completely self-sustained, and only opened once a year. It was even rumored that if it were ever tampered with, everything inside would be destroyed in a custom acid.
Come to find out for Elena, there would be one item inside Sam’s vault that could save his life, or end it even quicker, it was just a matter of whether or not the vault would open in time.
The vault explores Sam’s family dynamics and how they inspired him to become the successful man he is. The story is also told using Sam’s own family photos growing up, as well as text messages and Facebook/Twitter. There are even
hyperlinks within the novel as “Easter Eggs” for those readers that want to explore even more of Sam’s personal life, further blurring the lines of fact/fiction.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Music: The rock sound of Banana Blonde - interview with the band

We have a terrific band on the blog today. Read on to find more about their music and support their next album that will be released soon! 

Tell us a little about your background and where you are from.

I’m Zach Sheffield and I play guitar and sing for Banana Blonde. I grew up in Northeast Alabama and played in all kinds of bands since I was about 15. When I was 12, my older brother had an electric guitar in his room and I asked him if I could play on it for a little bit. I was hooked immediately. It was the same old story that you hear with guitar players. You can’t wait to get home so you can pick it up and play it. You learn every song on the classic rock radio station, and then you start trying to learn all of the songs in your music collection. The bug either bites you or it doesn’t.      

You definitely got the bug! And what's the story behind the band's name?

I was reading a story in college and they used the words “banana blonde” to describe a color. My friend and I thought that would be a cool band name. We liked the alliteration, plus I had really long bleached blonde hair at the time. Band names are way too serious now. When I think about it, most all of my favorite bands have unusual or comical names. It’s rock and roll. It’s supposed to be fun sometimes.        

Wow, who would guess it’s a color? Unusual and very cool. Who was your greatest influence to follow in the music career? Why? 

Zach Sheffield, singer and guitar player
It’s difficult to narrow it down to just one artist because I listen to so many things, but I’ve always admired the career of Iggy Pop. I like everything from the early years with The Stooges, his weird French albums, the unusual collaborations, and the current album with QOTSA. He always seems to do his own thing no matter the surrounding circumstances. That’s an important element to rock and roll…and art in general. When everybody starts marching to the same drum, that’s when the music becomes boring and stagnant. I think rock and roll is going through that right now. 

That’s right, there are always periods of stagnation and rock and roll does seem to be going through that phase lately. Do you also write the lyrics and compose the songs?

Yes. Well that’s mostly true. Chris Harrington (bassist) wrote the lyrics for a song on the first album, and he has written some lyrics on the new album. He has a lot of great ideas!

That’s great to have collaboration from different band members. When was the first time you performed live and how did you feel? 

The first time I played live with a band was my high school band Prophecy. We played in the basement of our singer’s house and invited all of our friends from school. We even invited a few teachers. One of them came too! It was a trip! We personally called everyone on the phone and invited them. There were lights in the basement ceiling that we covered with blue and red cellophane. I have a video from that night that I still enjoy watching. The drummer of that band, Chris Sims, plays drums in Banana Blonde. The feeling of that first performance in front of people was great!  We had practiced so much and we were so nervous, but it was awesome! I think we were famous at school for at least a week after that.

Sounds like it was really a lot of fun! Is there a specific performance you feel was your best so far? If so, where and why? 

My favorite Banana Blonde performance was the first. We played at Jake’s Music Hall in Gadsden, Alabama. I liked it because it was our first, and because we worked so hard to organize the whole thing. The audience was mainly family and friends who were there to support the kickoff of the band.

Must have been exhilarating to play for the first time, and I’m glad it was successful! What do you enjoy the most about your interaction with the fans? 

I enjoy the interaction with the fans online. It still amazes me that someone in New Zealand can listen to our music and send us a message saying how much they dig the song. The Internet has really opened things up for independent and new artists.

Indeed, that’s really awesome. How do you draw inspiration to write your music? 

Honestly, it comes from everywhere. I can be inspired by an emotion or something I see or hear. My music is just a reflection of what I’m experiencing around me. 

What are you working on now and what are your plans for the future? Where can we find and buy your music?

Right now we are working on our second album. It should be finished in April. Once the album is done, we’ll play a few gigs and promote it heavy online. I am really excited about this album. It took longer than we thought, but it’s worth it. Our first album The Great Pendulum Swing can be found on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music and any digital provider. You can also buy a physical copy on Amazon or Cdbaby.

Excellent, it’s great to know. Is there anything else you'd like to add? 

Thank you for doing this interview! This type of exposure has been really helpful to our band. It’s great being an independent artist because you have so much freedom, but we still need the promotion and support. To all the underground music lovers out there, if you like the band, buy their music and spread the word!

Thank you so much for your time letting us know more about you and the band, and we wish you guys much success with the release of your next album!

To purchase Banana Blonde on Amazon:

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