Search Results for "No Sleep Records"

Dying Scene Session: Rocky Votolato performs two songs from “Hospital Handshakes”

We’ve got a brand new installment of the new-and-improved Dying Scene Sessions coming at ya today, and it’s a damn good one (if we may be so bold).

As you’re no doubt aware by now, Seattle-based singer-songwriter Rocky Votolato‘s eighth solo album, Hospital Handshakes, came out earlier this week on his new label home, No Sleep Records. It’s his biggest, boldest, and dare we say best album to date. And while Hospital Handshakes might be more of a “rock album” than Rocky’s put out to date, the songs were written on acoustic guitar and take on a particularly haunting element when stripped down to their barest elements.

Dying Scene was luck not only to chat with Rocky over the phone a couple weeks ago but to sit down with him for an exclusive acoustic session as he wound down his intimate tour of secret living room shows across the US. Check out Rocky’s Dying Scene Sessions performances of “White Knuckles” and “So Unexpected” below!



Lee Ellis (Lee Corey Oswald) announces debut solo album, streams new song

Lee Corey Oswald guitarist/vocalist Lee Ellis has announced that he will be releasing his debut solo album Me and This Army on June 23rd via No Sleep Records.  You can hear the first single, “Arthur,” right here as you feast your eyes on the album art above, and the track list below.



Music video: Daisyhead – “The Smallest Light”

Nashville emo group Daisyhead has premiered the video for their song “The Smallest Light”.

You can watch it below.

he Smallest Light was released March 3, 2015 via No Sleep Records



Full Album Stream: Rocky Votolato – “Hospital Handshakes”

Rocky Votolato has released a stream of his forthcoming solo album, Hospital Handshakes. You can give it a listen below.

Hospital Handshakes, which marks Rocky’s eighth studio album, is due out April 21, 2015 via No Sleep Records. Pre-orders are available here. In case you missed it, Dying Scene caught up with Rocky late last week for an in-depth interview about the process behind Hospital Handshakes.



New Music: Rocky Votolato – “The Finish Line” off upcoming album “Hospital Handshakes”

Longtime scene veteran and recent addition to the No Sleep Records roster Rocky Votolato has debuted the album-closing track from his forthcoming solo album, Hospital Handshakes. It’s called “The Finish Line,” and you can check it out here. The site is in German, but trust us, the song is there.

In case you missed it, Dying Scene caught up with Rocky late last week for an in-depth interview about the process behind Hospital Handshakes. Pretty compelling stuff, if I do say so myself. Check that out here.

Hospital Handshakes, which marks Rocky’s eighth studio album, is due out April 21st. Pre-orders are available here.



Video: Lee Corey Oswald and Allison Weiss cover Weezer’s “El Scorcho”

Portland’s Lee Corey Oswald have released a live video of themselves covering Weezer’s “El Scorcho,” with the help of pop punk singer-songwriter Allison Weiss.

Check out the video, which was recorded at the No Sleep Records warehouse, below.



Koji announces new EP “Fury”

Indie singer-songwriter Koji has announced that he will release a new, four song EP titled Fury on June 16th through No Sleep Records. It will be his first release for the label. You can check out the tracklisting, as well as stream the title track (if you haven’t heard it yet) below.

Koji last released his debut full-length album, Crooked In My Mind, in April 2013 via Run For Cover Records. Pre-order Fury here.



DS Interview: Rocky Votolato on almost walking away from the music world, and his triumphant return on “Hospital Handshakes”


The life of a solo artist trying to make a go of a career as an independent singer/songwriter can be bit of a bipolar (in the non-clinical sense of the word) existence. There’s a certain amount of respect and adulation, particularly in this scene, that comes from being able to make a living in DIY-fashion, based solely on an audiences respect for your words and your energy. The reverse side of that coin, however, is where fear, doubt, and insecurity come in; wondering if people will still care what you have to say, wondering if what you wrote will be good enough to put food on the table both literally and figuratively.

Rewind this tape a few years, and that’s where we’d have found Rocky Votolato. The Texas-born, Seattle-bred singer-songwriter had just released his seventh full-length solo album, Television of Saints, and had been able to scratch out a living selling albums and touring regularly in multiple continents. On the surface at least, things should have been rosy. As is frequently the case with most art, however, the story extends far below the surface.

“I was having a really hard time writing,” Votolato says. “I was feeling really burned out, uninspired creatively. I was in a tough spot, and it’s almost like it didn’t seem like there was a point to even making music anymore.” He had recorded a full album of material, but unhappy with how it had come together, he scrapped the whole thing and went back to work. “With Television of Saints, I just recorded for hours and hours and weeks and months on end, trying to get everything just right,” Votolato laments. “By the end of it, I was totally burned out and had no perspective of whether it was good or not!”

While Television of Saints is generally held in high regard amongst the songwriter set and, more importantly, among Votolato’s fans, its release didn’t necessarily prove to be the cathartic moment that it perhaps should have been. One of the scene’s more prolific songwriters (seven full-length albums in a little over a decade) was on the verge of shutting the whole thing down. “By the fall of 2013…I just had decided that I was going to retire from music. I was just going to have a normal life with my family and get off the road.”

While that idea of giving up and walking away might sound ‘crazy’ to the layperson, when the words aren’t coming, there is no more difficult place for a songwriter. “I’ve always depended on music. It’s always been a healing force in my life. It’s something that has been there for me to have an outlet and to put some of that stuff that I’m dealing with, whether it’s just existential suffering or mental depression,” says Votolato. “It’s always really been comforting to have that as a place to go when I need to express that stuff.”

“I was severely depressed,” Votolato tells me, “and didn’t really realize that I basically just needed a shift in perspective. I was relating to the whole creative process in the wrong way.” There’s a fairly well-known (at least among book nerd circles) speech that was given by the late author David Foster Wallace as a commencement address to graduating seniors at Kenyon College in 2005. Wallace opens with a parable of two young fish, out for a morning swim. They cross paths with an old fish, who nods at them and offers the following greeting: “Morning, boys, how’s the water?” The two young fish continue swimming on before one looks at the other and says “What the hell is water?!?”

The point of his “this is water” speech is to get us to be more conscious of the unconscious way we go through life, opening ourselves up to our surroundings and to letting things happen. It seems that this sort of proverbial awakening is what Votolato needed to open up the dam again. “When I started to get that, it was a hard thing to go through,” Votolato says, “but when I did start having a good time again playing music and playing with words and having some acceptance from myself, I let go of that controlling attitude and needing everything to be perfect.”

The result of those floodgates opening again is 2015’s Hospital Handshakes. Votolato’s eighth studio album (his first for new label home No Sleep Records) is a departure from his normal work. “I really felt like I needed a new direction to keep things fresh and mix it up a little bit and keep it exciting for me,” states Votolato. “And I didn’t really know what I was going to get going in to (it like) that.” What he got was eleven tracks filled with deeper soundscapes and more rock guitar than any of his prior works, perhaps collectively.

“When songs are good,” says Votolato rather passionately,” it feels like I didn’t write them; they write themselves and you’re just kind of a channel for that. You get your ego out of the way and some cool art shows up and you capture it.” While the focal point of Hospital Handshakes very much remains Votolato’s lyrics and songwriting, he surrounded himself with a small stable of bona fide musicians (Chris Walla, ex-Death Cab for Cutie; Cody Votolato, Waxwing, Blood Brothers; Andy Lum of My Goodness; Eric Corson of The Long Winters) and allowed them the freedom to trust their instincts. That the whole process was recorded on tape meant having to make good decisions, and quickly. Rather than the two-year period of uphill skating that was Television of Saints, Hospital Handshakes came together in two weeks.

After Hospital Handshakes release, Votolato will be touring the States with a full band (stay tuned for dates, something he’s grown unaccustomed to in recent years. “More than any record I’ve ever made,” Votolato says, “this one deserves to have a full-band treatment, and it really kinda needs that to bring it fully to life.” He’ll also be taking a full band with him on a tour of Europe that’ll span most of May and June. It’ll be his first full-band tour across the pond, though it’s something he’s been looking forward to for quite some time.

Given Votolato’s history as a solo act, the music on Hospital Handshakes still works well when it’s just him. To give some of his hardcore fans a taste of what’s to come, he recently embarked on a 34-date US tour, accompanied by just an acoustic guitar: no PA system, no lights, no stage. Instead, he’s touring fans’ living rooms across the country: “I have such a loyal group of fans and…this only works if you have a dedicated fanbase of people that care about what you’re doing and want to see it in a really intimate setting.” If you live on the West Coast, you may want to check out the upcoming dates on Rocky’s living room tour here; based on the crossover relatability of Hospital Handshakes, it may be your last time to see him so up close and personal.

Read our full Q&A with Rocky Votolato below. We cover a lot of the above-mentioned ground in far greater detail, and also discuss an upcoming split with Chuck Ragan, some advice given to him by Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, and a lot more. Hospital Handshakes is due out April 21st on No Sleep Records. Pre-orders are available here.



New Music: Rocky Votolato – “Hospital Handshakes”

Longtime scene veteran and recent addition to the No Sleep Records roster Rocky Votolato has debuted the title track from his upcoming solo album, Hospital Handshakes. Check it out here!

Rocky is currently in the midst of a solo tour of living rooms across the country. There are still a handful of dates left; head here to see where you can cross paths with one of our scene’s better singer/songwriters!

Hospital Handshakes, which marks Rocky’s eighth studio album, is due out April 21st. Pre-orders are available here.



No Sleep Records signs Ghost Key (melodic hardcore)

Peoria, Illinois, melodic hardcore act Ghost Key have just signed with No Sleep Records. Check out a message from both the band and the label below.

Ghost Key last released their EP Winter in January 2013.



Seasons Change (pop-punk) stream new EP “Please Don’t Leave”

California pop-punk act Seasons Change are streaming their brand new EP Please Don’t Leave in its entirety right here.

The EP is set to be released on April 7th through No Sleep RecordsPre-orders are available here.



Koji streams new song, announces spring tour dates

Indie singer-songwriter Koji is streaming a new called “Fury,” which you can check out here.

While you’re listening to the song, you can check out some newly announced spring tour dates leading up to Koji’s run on this years Warped Tour below.

Koji released his debut full length album, Crooked In My Mind, in April 2013 via Run For Cover Records. There is no word on when his No Sleep debut will be released.



Seasons Change stream “Feel It” off upcoming album “Please Don’t Leave”

California pop-punk act Seasons Change are streaming their new song “Feel It” off their upcoming album Please Don’t Leave. You can give it a listen below.

The band’s upcoming album Please Don’t Leave is set to be released on April 7th through No Sleep RecordsPre-orders are available here.



Drug Church announce UK headlining dates

Albany hardcore band Drug Church have announced several upcoming headlining performances in the UK to fill in some off days between their upcoming UK tour with Gnarwolves and their European tour with Title Fight. Check out all the dates below.

Drug Church will be touring in support of their new EP, Swell, which was released last month through No Sleep Records.



Seasons Change announce April tour dates with No Tide and Little Envy

California pop-punk act Seasons Change have announced a string of shows they will be playing with No Tide and Little Envy this April. The full tour itinerary can be seen below.

The band’s upcoming album Please Don’t Leave is set to be released on April 7th through No Sleep Records. Pre-orders are available here.