All Clear, Kid! featured“The music business is a very tricky place. There’s this constant cloud over your head because you never know if your music is good enough for the main stream public.” – @allclearkid

Episode #278 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax

by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio

Music business…
Jovanni – The music business is a very tricky place. There’s this constant cloud over your head because you never know if your music is good enough for the main stream public. That’s what is really cool about the music business though, the people decide what they like and what they don’t like. Being in the business, you get to meet a lot of cool new people and go places you’ve never been before and see all these different types of cultures and lifestyles. It’s a very eye opening experience. A lot of artists are in the business for money or fame, and that is not what we’re about at all. Music, to me, should be a priceless item that holds some type of meaning and a base message. It’s upsetting to hear a lot of these songs now a days that are literal empty words with a catchy melody. Creating music that we feel and what we want to create is a definite challenge because it’s not what you would call “main stream” or “the normal”. We feel music should be an expression of ourselves, so we will always stick true to that.

Social media…
Joey – I personally find social media to be incredibly useful. Don’t get me wrong, we still believe stapling a flier up on the telephone pole of downtown a thousand times is completely necessary, but for those who are cities, or even states away, social media is VITAL. Some challenges are the growth, I believe. Trying to expand on a horizon that holds MILLION’S of people, seems impossible at times. But, you gotta keep pushing so people will notice. Never give up.
Jovanni – Social media is a game changer in today’s society. If it wasn’t for social media, a lot of bands would never have been recognized. It’s a perfect way to stay in contact with your fans about upcoming shows, tours, songs, merch, etc, while staying on a personal and intimate level. In the social media world, you are one small fish in the entire earth’s ocean. There’s a lot of ground to cover.

Singles vs an album…
Joey – I believe singles are a MUST for a band, especially a newer one. You can’t oversell your self, and just drop everything expecting everyone to listen to it all. Gotta give them a sample of the flavor, before they try the cake. People need to believe in you before dropping your whole album. That’s what we did. We have had an incredible support from friends, family, fans, everyone. We dropped the first single, then dropped one more a few weeks following. Then we said, okay, I think people might be interested, so we dropped the album. Marketing yourself as a band is so important. Being able to reach out to people and interact with a whole album is sometimes difficult, so I feel as if singles are so necessary.

The Journey…
Joey – I’ve been around music my whole life being introduced to it at a young age by my father. He showed me all the music he listened to when he was growing up, and always told me, that it’s okay to listen and prefer music in which “society” doesn’t “approve of”. Saying it’s okay to have my own taste. That has always inspired me to be creative in all aspects, not just music. Also, witnessing my Uncle James (who actually produced the record for us) play piano my whole life, made me always want to give it a shot. So around the end of 2013 for my 20th birthday, he bought me a keyboard. I instantly fell in love with the intricacy of the instrument. Later came me saying that I wanted to become a singer, also. It took a lot of self-doubt to get over, and an insane amount of trial and error; but never giving up. I credit Jovanni and my Uncle for the constant support, which I feel gave me the strength to finish the album, and also become an individualized vocalist.

Jovanni – Growing up music was everything to me, as it still is. I was always drumming on everything as a kid be it pencils, straws, my hands, you name it. I never had an actual drum kit growing up until I was about 16. Since I never had a lesson a day in my life, I had to teach myself practically everything and learn on my own. I had a lot of self doubt because I would see all these people who had been drumming since they were little kids and they would be amazing but it helped push me to try and become the best I can be, which of course, I am still pushing myself to that point everyday. My wide range of musical taste made it fun and easy for me to learn different styles of music and really get my creative musical side growing. I believe music is one of the biggest inspirations out there. It can help you express yourself, send all types of messages, make you cry, laugh, dance, and that is what inspires me everyday. Passion.

The Magic Wand…
Joey – The song is about Jovanni and I’s best friend. We witnessed him over the course of a long period of time go through something that isn’t easy to witness, and especially go through. Watching this situation from an outside perspective was unbelievable, emotional, heart-breaking, and of course, difficult. Seeing his strength waver almost overnight was a call of concern. Witnessing our best friend of over 10 years slowly decay from the inside was unlike anything we’ve ever had to do. We wished that we could just wish away all the pain he was going through, and his loved ones. We thought “Why can’t we just have a magical wand to wipe away not only HIS pain, but everyone else’s?”. Then it hit us. We can’t just wish it all away. We have to have what a lot of people lose in situations like this. Hope. Hope IS “The Magic Wand”. Whatever cards we’re dealt, we need to find hope within ourselves and our loved ones, and play the hand. We hope you all find your own magic wand, too.

Jovanni – The Magic Wand was actually Joey’s first song he worked on on his own. I remember him being cooped up in his room all the time and I kept hearing the melody daily with the thought, “Man, that’s catchy!” After he finished the base foundation of the song he brought it to myself and James and we were blown away at how well it was put together. From then on, we all contributed to the song and added some things, wrote our lyrics together, and eventually finalized the song.

A mix of emotion…
Joey – I remember when we showed our best friend the song for the first time, and after he said “that was cool! what’s it about?” and I just said, “You.” and a mix of emotions filled the car we were listening to it in, and that is something I will never forget. Something I personally worked so hard on, for that purpose, gave that person those emotions. It made me feel a first taste of “success” as a musician.

All Clear, Kid!The Album…
Jovanni – An expectation you can get from our music, is a roller coaster of emotions. Our message is to bring light upon the darkness that not a lot of people feel comfortable talking about. Everything we write about is true, real emotion that we felt at that time from situations of our past, present, or future. You are able to lose yourself in our music in whatever way you want that to be. Personally, this album means the world to me. We put so much hard work and raw feelings into it that it really hits home for me as well as others who helped contribute. Our music is meant to be taken however you would like. If you feel our music is speaking to you, or just something to dance and sing to, or even something in between, this music is here for you in any way you need it. Our goal for this album, along with our music in general, is to help. We want to be the music that we needed growing up, for someone else. Our music is on Spotify, YouTube, Itunes, cdbaby, Amazon, you name it, we’re there.

San Diego California…
Joey – We are from the beautiful city of San Diego, California! The place where the ice tea is cold, the air is hot, and the Mexican food is delicious. As you can tell, we love food, and iced tea (shout out to Arizona Iced Tea). As some might not know, San Diego is HUGE. There’s many many things you can do from going to the beaches of La Jolla, to the mountains of Cuyamaca, to the tourist hot spot of Balboa Park. There’s just so much you can do, but for us as musician, our go-to were concerts, and exhibits, and record stores. San Diego might not be known for their music scene, but man, do they show up and support. I can remember in my later teen years going to a concert once, maybe twice a week for the whole year. And it wasn’t the same kind of bands to roll through. It was rock, indie, metal, jazz, pop, everything. All venues here have a special attribute to them, also. So, if you wanted to go to a smaller, more intimate show, maybe you should see the band that is going to play at the Casbah. Or if you wanted to witness a huge concert, with all the lights, and the bass, and the volume, maybe Sleep Train amphitheater is for you. Whatever you want, we got it.

All Clear, Kid! indie music

I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
Jovanni – Joey. He’s come such a long way with singing and playing piano that, how could you not be inspired by that? Not to mention, he’s such a handsome dude. He has so much energy! Hands down, funniest guy I know. We also eat a lot together and he gives me fashion tips. I admire that. Follow him for handsome selfies @joeybalistrerii.

Joey – Jovanni. I can’t get like, more than 2 minutes with that guy before he starts talking about wanting Taco Bell, or taking selfies. He’s such an inspiration. He’s great looking, beats the heck out of the drums, and he even once retweeted something I posted on twitter. You should follow him @jovanniryan.

Music Trends…
Joey – I think people and musician’s especially are too worried about following a road that was paved for musicians to follow. They have to sound a certain way to get on the radio, they have to look a certain way, or perform a certain way. Whatever happened to BEING the trend? Being what people admire by being creative and so new. We’re not the first two-piece band, and I can promise you we’re not going to be the last. But, with that being said, we want people to remember us from what we ACCOMPLISHED not what we failed to do. We want to be remembered by always putting out heart and soul into every performance, and every song. And always writing music that WE want to write, not what the mainstream music is writing.

I am most afraid of…
Jovanni – Spiders. I have my mom or Joey kill them for me.
Joey – Taco Bell going out of business.

My personal definition of success is..
Joey – My personal definition of success is what cannot be achieved. Success to me is the constant self motivation to succeed at whatever you’re doing. You get close to the finish line, well, make a longer one so you can keep running and always break your molds. Everyday I wake up thinking how can I be successful today? I can make some money, or I can continue to go further than that. I don’t believe success is money, or materialism. It’s impacting someone with what you do or create. I was once told that one of our songs helped someone through a tough time, and that was success. I succeed in what I wanted to happen with my music. But my success does not stop there. I believe there’s so many people out there that can do the same with our music.

Jovanni – My personal definition of success is doing what you love. Whether it be music, a teacher, pilot, if you love what you do and you are happy, that is success to me. The fact that I am making music and it is something I love to do, I have been successful. Success is not how rich you are or how big your house is, or how many cars you have, but your richness in attitude and happiness. Success has no roof, so don’t think you can’t get anymore successful than where you are at. Success can be a constant growth.

My over all goal for my life & career is…

Joey – To never stop writing the music that we want to write. And to never put myself first when it comes to someone in need.

Jovanni – To be happy and help as many people I possibly can. I want to help make the world a better place.

3 Ways that I challenge myself…

1) Joey – I think about the millions of people out there who have felt/feel just like me.
Jovanni – I constantly try to improve myself, not only as a musician, but a person.

2) Joey – I think about how I have no plan B to fall back on, and that I will DO ANYTHING to make my dreams come true.

Jovanni – I try to find situations that put me out of my comfort zone in hopes I’ll be a little less awkward some day.

3) Joey – I think about what we’re eating after we finish doing what we’re doing that day.

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