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Dead Girls Academy, From Sunset Strip to Inkcarceration

July 14, 2018 – Mansfield, Ohio – Following their set today at Inkcarceration, we had a chance to sit down with Michael Orlando and Ben Bryan of Dead Girls Academy. Just outside of The Ohio State Reformatory we found a spot in the media tent backstage for a quick chat. Fresh off their set on the main stage, just about an hour prior, we were all set to talk a little about what makes up Dead Girls Academy.

Michael’s new project follows his popular previous band Vampires Everywhere. Starting fresh can be a challenge, but the path that he had carved out prior to Dead Girls Academy gave him a head start. With a fresh new single hitting the airwaves, and a slew of tour dates big and small, they are prepared for a full takeover.

Let’s get to know Michael and Ben a little better.


Splice: I noticed your video for I’ll Find a Way came out in 2017, and your album (Alchemy) finally came out this year. How’s the reception been to the new album?

Ben: So far it’s been great! The album just came out a few of weeks ago. It dropped right when we started the Vans Warped Tour, every show since, more and more people know the words, more and more people know the album, people are stoked about it. It’s been really great reception so far.

Splice: You mentioned on stage earlier you are now getting some good radio play for your single.

Ben: It’s been very popular on the radio. As a band you can’t really ask for more than that.

Michael: We’re close to 40. Yesterday we were at 42. Pretty stoked on that, we’re rolling 36. I’ll take it. Obviously the goal is to be top ten… I’m very competitive. Radio right now has some great bands on it, and we’re very fortunate to be a part of it.

Splice: You mentioned The Warped Tour, how’s the elbow?

Michael: Oh sh**t, Well…

Ben: He actually kind of stretched it out on stage today, I was surprised.

Michael: You know, I called my “mommy”, who’s the rehab nurse. She said “You better stretch that s**t”. I started stretching it… it’s still s**t. So I’m kinda like a Raptor now. (talking to Ben) You thought today… I got it up to an obtuse angle.

Ben: He actually got it up in the air today, which is progress.

Michael: I felt pretty happy about it. On Warped Tour itself I was wearing a brace, not a good look. I did the best I could. Our tour manager took me to the hospital and sent me to immediate surgery, and that’s not in the cards for me. I asked them what was the worse scenario. He’s like “It’ll heal on it’s own”. So now it’s healing on its own.

Ben: To Michael’s credit, when it happened, I had no idea that it had happened when I was on stage. I thought he was just being Michael, crawling on the floor, doing something funny. Then after the set he was like “I completely destroyed my elbow”. I said “What do you mean?” I thought we were just having fun up there. I didn’t even realize. He definatley soldiered through it, I gotta give him credit for that.

Michael: Does it look bad to you? (Holding it up and showing it to us, and it did look a tad swollen)

Ben: It did not look like a normal elbow for a few days.

Splice: You’ve got some tour dates continuing through July.

Ben: Yes, we’re gonna be on tour with Adelita’s Way, who’s actually playing here tomorrow. We’re very excited about that. Between Warped Tour and radio festivals, just a lot of festivals. so we’re ready to be back in clubs, have some fun, get intimate. It’s gonna be a fun tour.

Splice: Which ones do you prefer?

Ben: It’s tough, they’re so different. It’s apples and oranges. There’s something that’s so fun about doing festivals, kinda like one big day. Then there’s something so great about being in clubs, an intimate environment. It’s a different energy.

Splice: That is the word, intimate. I see you carried that over today when you went out to your merch table and asked the crowd to come check you out after your set. I think that’s what’s cool about rock ’n roll nowadays versus back in the arena days. Back with Van Halen and such, no one was approachable back then, and now that connection with your fans is great.

Michael: The connection online is amazing. The interaction online is amazing. Our goal is to bring back that Van Halen feel, where it gets larger than life. You’ve got Drake and other people that are untouchable right now. You see them, you wanna be them. Kanye and all that… I have so much respect for those people because they have revolutionized music. So for us we’re coming back as young new artists and we want that too in our genre of music. We’re taking what they did in the new school era, and we’re trying to bring it back to the eighties. We live in Hollywood on Sunset and we want that feeling.

Ben: Yeah, pretty much exactly what he said. That’s the goal. It’s great to make it more tangible. That’s what makes it rock ’n roll. It’s the fact that you can almost reach out and touch it, you know what I mean, It’s like this close. That kind of connection that we can create with our fans is amazing. That’s what we grew up on, you had bands larger than life, but you could do it. You could pick up your guitar and play it. That’s what you lose with some of the music that’s out right now. It’s like, where’s the rock ’n roll?

Splice: Now, you talked about what you grew up on. What are some of your influences?

Ben: Michael and I grew up on slightly different generations of music.

Michael: You generational piece of s**t. *laughter* Nah, tell him straight up what you like.

Ben: It’s OK… When I was a kid early 2000’s late 90’s, I loved bands like Green Day, Blink 182. Those are the bands that made me really wanna get involved in music from a young age. Now getting older and going back… my dad raised me on classic rock.  I was raised on The Beatles, Rolling Stones, anything that was British Invasion

Michael: Name a Rolling Stones’ song…

Ben: Brown Sugar, Sympathy for the Devil

Michael: Oh man, see, I go put on the spot at Rocklahoma and I was like… uhhhhh…

Ben: Paint it Black, I’m still naming songs man.

Michael: Yeah, I know.

Ben: So that’s what I was raised on. My own was the late 90’s with the Punk, Pop-Punk kinda thing. Then when I got a little bit older I went back and rediscovered, Motley Crue, Poison, Nirvana, bands like that, they kinda helped me become a little more well rounded in rock ’n roll and really gained some appreciation for it.

Splice: You?

Michael: S**t! At the same time I grew up on Genesis, Phil Collins… love Phil Collins man, absolutely a f**king idol. Poison, Motley Crue, Twister Sister, Skid Row. We submitted for Skid Row, you know what they said to us? This is f**kin’ wonderful. They straight said, “The crowd will eat you alive.” I’m like, “really?” You know what I’m saying. I though we were right in that genre man, but I guess not. It’s like this whole new regime of rock bands is bringing back a new fresh vibe, I just don’t think it meshes with the old vibe as much as people might want it to. I think that eventually it will. People are waiting for the next thing. The next thing to spark that rock thing. I don’t think we need nostalgia. I think we need fresh new music. When Nirvana came out, they changed rock ’n roll. Hopefully that’s what we could do, that would be rad.

Splice: Say you could collaborate with someone outside of your genre, who would be a good fit, or who would you just love to work with?

Ben: Ohhh… Post Malone. If I had to pick someone outside of my genre right now, it’d be Post Malone. 

Michael: Ah, man… Chris Cornell. Can’t do it anymore. I’ll be honest, when he was trying out for Audioslave I was at the rehearsal studios in Hollywood.  I heard him singing and I was like… (dropped jaw)  …man! If I could just be half that. It’s like amazing f**king icons that can sing like that. I respect Post Malone, I respect the whole culture, G-Eazy and all the people that are making a big f**king splash right now, I respect all of ‘em. ‘Cause you know what? At the end of the day they got themselves from A to Z very quickly. For me though being a singer, I idolize different singers. Kurt Cobain, I mean like… also we just played with Stone Temple Pilots at Spring Fling, but it wasn’t him (Scott Weiland). It’s just like those people have revolutionized music and I hope to God one day , gimme a couple of years and I can do that as well. 

Splice: I notice one thing about the style you guys have, it’s still very straight-forward rock. It does remind me of the skeleton of what the 80’s rock was.

Michael: I love you more now!

Splice: What has happened with rock, and how far can you take it without going super heavy?

Michael: Singers and people that want to take it to the next level. Bands like Nothing More, they’re so good. Like Rise Against, we just saw Rise Against like two days ago at the last festival, and we’re just like, wow. We everyday learn what it’s like to be a rockstar. I’m not sitting here and gonna tell you I’m a rockstar. I’m gonna tell you I’m learning how to be one from some amazing f**kin’ bands and I’m so grateful to be around them and learn what their doing.

Splice: Well it definitely showed during your set earlier.

Michael: You saw our set? Did you like it?

Splice: Yeah, absolutely!

Michael: Awe man, thank you!

Ben: Here’s the key. Like you said, it’s straightforward.

Splice: Right!

Ben: You think about every great band that ever blew up, it’s straightforward. You’ve got to understand that it’s aesthetic, and it’s something that’s gotta be easy to swallow. So it’s like how do you get your point across in the simplest way that everyone can understand and everyone can enjoy. So we can go up there and we can channel those people that we look up to, and look like rock stars up there, but we’re feeding you something that’s amazingly easy to swallow. It’s catchy, it’s poppy, but it’s out in a package that is not pop. It gives it that raw value that a lot stuff doesn’t have, which is pretty f**kin’ cool if you ask me. That’s what we’re kinda trying to do.

Michael: (to Ben) I appreciate you saying that Ben. From the day I met you… you came from a pop-punk background, you know. (to Splice) When I met him he was in a pop-punk band, so having him come over and saying this kind of s**t makes me happy!

Ben: ‘Cause it’s true. It doesn’t matter the genre. That’s something I learned from years of doing this. It transcends that into whole another level. And that’s the thing. For me, I grew up on Blink 182, I listen to our record and I love it, I’d buy it if I wasn’t in the band. It’s just good f**kin’ music.

Splice: Do you often jam out to your own music?

Ben: Of course.

Michael: Gypsy, you don’t listen to our music do you?

Gypsy: I was one of the first people to buy your album, and I actually have a physical copy of your album.

Michael: We’re not sure about that yet, I would look at her iTunes. *laughter*

Splice: Let’s talk about iTunes. Back in the 80’s vinyl was fading out, being replaced by cassettes and then CDs later on. Now everything is going streaming. What’s your feeling on that?

Ben: I love it. I don’t know about you.

Michael: I don’t mind it.

Ben: I love it now. It was kinda s**t five years ago.

Michael: Best Buy fading out CDs, all the people fading out s**t. At the end of the day if kids can hear it, that’s all we care about. We obviously want to make money. We obviously need to survive. But at the end of the day these streaming services are helping us do that.

Ben: You see big artists giving out music for free now. The thing is the money is in shows for us. But it’s also the connection that I was talking about before, it’s like here, take the music, enjoy it, and come see us live. It channels that energy into the live show and I think it’s great. I think that the industry over the past few years has been changing so much to adapt to the streaming platform that now it’s alot easier now for bands to take that kinda hit. It’s the same thing as he was saying before we’ve had such a great online response, that we wouldn’t neccesarily have as a younger band that hasn’t had the chance to tour in every city yet. Every city can look it up online and listen to it.

Michael: When we were on Warped Tour and we would go and post something on our IG it would get 300 likes. We got off Warped Tour and it was over 1000 likes. It’s because people get what we’re doing, they get it. You know I wanted to put together a group of people that were musicians that “got it” that were real people, and that’s important. Just like the 80’s man, you can’t track the 80’s. You can’t sing into a microphone and have tracks playing for you in the 80’s, you actually had to sing that s**t. We actually sing our music and we’re really stoked about that.

Splice: We talked a little about your tour through July. Do you have anything in the works for after that?

Ben: Yeah, we’re pushin’ hard. More festivals, it’s that time of year. Trying to get back over to the other side of the pond as well. We toured Europe in January, and we’re trying to get back there.

Splice: How was that?

Ben: It was amazing.

Splice: That’s what I hear, over there it’s just crazy.

Michael: Amsterdam was f**king bananas.

Ben: Yes it was!

Michael: Absolute bananas!

Ben: It was alot of fun. I can safely say I’ve been to Finland now, which I couldn’t say before. Very cold. Finland in January I would not recommend for a vacation.

Michael: I had the flu in Helsinki.

Ben: Michael did have the flu. There was a rampant flu. But it was amazing. We went out with our good friends in Falling in Reverse and that tour was alot of fun. Had a really good time. The fans over there are just something else.

Splice: Do you have anything else you might like to share before we wrap this up?

Ben: Yeah, buy Alchemy, come to a show. Come have fun.

Michael: To all the fans that have stuck with me from Vampires Everywhere to this new band, I see you. I see you online, I try to like everything. I run everything, don’t think that the label does that. I like everybody and I retweet everbody. It’s very important to me, and without you I wouldn’t be here. I never thought I would be on the radio. I never thought I’d be at a radio fest. So thank you INKcarceration, thank you to everyone. You as well, thank you for having us.

Splice: Yes, and thank you!


So there you have it. Maybe not your tyical interview subject matter, more like a bunch of music geeks talking shop, but the passion for music that comes from these two is unparalleled.

Their live set was great, and would be one I would love to catch in a club sometime. Striving for the larger than life personas on stage is what rock ‘n roll is all about. Heck, it started in the 50’s and continued through every decade until today. Rock stars seem equal to superheroes in my book. It’s nice to see a band like the Dead Girls Academy pushing to bring that back.

Check out their social media links below to see what they’re up to and give their pages a like or follow.

Check out our coverage and photo gallery of Dead Girls Academy set at INKcarceration HERE.

Check out their video for I’ll Find A Way

Dead Girls Academy:
      

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CEO | Artist Manager | Publicist | Senior Photojournalist

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Mary Elliott

If you don’t know me in person, you’d be shocked to see that I am over 6’ tall

I work: I own Splice Media Group

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Goals/Dreams: To be the next Rolling Stone!

Niche:
Tell us about your style, and what you contribute to Splice that makes you unique
My photography style is candid. I don’t necessarily like to pose people; I much prefer the raw beauty that I can capture when the subject isn’t paying any attention to me.

Splice (Bucket) List: Adele, Norah Jones, Sarah McLachlan, Guns n Roses, Kiss, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Def Leppard, Journey, Foreigner (again), Bob Seger, Ann Wilson (again), James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, George Strait, Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, Montgomery [Gentry], Little Big Town, Kid Rock, Zac Brown Band, Greta Van Fleet, Ozzy Osbourne …. I could go on all day!

Guilty Pleasures: The Oak Ridge Boys, Statler Brothers, Jimmy Fortune, Cristy Lane, Couponing, Dr. Phil, Smoked oysters, Steak with Blue Cheese Crumbles, Chewy Brownies …

If you could photograph any concert in history, what would it be? Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Conway Twitty

My favorite TV show is: This is Us

Favorite food: Steak

My dream car is: Cherry Red Jeep Wrangler

An interesting fact about me that people don’t expect is: If you don’t know me in person, you’d be shocked to see that I am over 6’ tall. I have Bell’s Palsy.

When you’re not photographing great concerts, writing about them, interviewing artists, doing album reviews… what can we find you doing? Spending time with friends and family. Flying my stunt kite. Doing something crafty. Enjoying the outdoors.

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Splice (Bucket) List: The Eagles, Bruno Mars, Robert Plant, Foo Fighters and too many more to list!

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First album I ever owned: Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin

My first concert was: Aerosmith at the Allen Park Civic Area in the early 70’s (real early 70’s)

The last concert I attended was: Joe Bonamassa at the Fox

If I could have attended any concert in history, I’d go back in time and see: Woodstock without a doubt.

Favorite non-photography activity: I love to travel and meet interesting people

The first concert I photographed was: Eddie Money at Pine Knob…………Yes I’m that old !!

If you could photograph any concert in history, what would it be? Altamont Speedway Free Festival in 1969. What really happened there?

The first concert I reviewed was: Foreigner 40

My favorite interview was: Kelly Hansen

If you could interview any celebrity in history, who would it be? George Washington

The last movie I saw was: Insurgent

My favorite book is: The Last Calling

My favorite TV show is: The Voice. Its music-based and entertaining!

My favorite food is: Pizza. There is nothing else!

Five items that are always in your refrigerator: Milk, leftovers, cheese, juices and vegetables

My favorite non-musical activity: Photographing Light Houses and working towards their preservation.

My most treasured possession is: My family. Material things can be replaced, family is forever!

My biggest phobia is: Drowning. I get goosebumps just saying that word.

My biggest pet peeve is: Procrastination

My favorite place in the world is: The mountains in the Pacific Northwest

My dream car is: Ferrari 250 GTO

My hidden talents are: That I love to cook!

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Mark Matson

Passion, persistence, and patience...all in the name of creating that feeling of a show for those that couldn’t get there.

I work: as a technician

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Splice (Bucket) List: Foo Fighters, Shinedown, Seether, Queens of the Stoneage, John Mayer, Pink

Guilty Pleasures: Playing guitar

The first album I ever owned was: ELO – Out of the Blue

My first concert was: Stevie Ray Vaugh at the Capital Theater in Passaic, NJ

The last concert I attended was: Gasparilla Music Festival featuring The Roots

If I could have attended any concert in history, I’d go back in time and see: Pantera

Favorite non-photography activity? Going to concerts

What was the first concert you photographed? Candlebox

If you could photograph any concert in history, what would it be? Stevie Ray Vaugh Alpine Valley Music Theater 1990 – his last concert

What is your favorite non-writing activity? Reading

The last movie I saw was: Star Wars – The Last Jedi

My favorite website is: Instagram

My favorite food is: A ribeye

My most treasured possession is: My daughters and my cameras

My biggest pet peeve is: Driving too slow in the left lane

My favorite place in the world is: In the pit at the front of the stage.

My dream car is: Ford Mustang

An interesting fact about me that people don’t expect is:  I look nowhere near my age.

When you’re not photographing great concerts, writing about them, interviewing artists, doing album reviews… what can we find you doing? Listening to music and discovering new bands

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I try to capture as much energy and emotion from the event I can. I want my photos to make you feel like you were there, and know what there felt like.

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What was your favorite interview? Not many interviews yet, but chatting about music with Tyler Connely from Theory was cool!

If you could interview any celebrity in history, who would it be? Jimi Hendrix

I get mistaken for this celebrity: Michael Anthony Hall

The last movie I saw was: Star Wars Episode 8

My favorite book is: Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

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My favorite website is: Drudgereport.com

My favorite food is: Pizza

Five items that are always in your refrigerator: Diet Mt. Dew, Gatorade, Eggs, Cheese, and something that is going bad.

My favorite non-musical activity: Relaxing

My most treasured possession is: My Family

My biggest phobia is: Failing

My biggest pet peeve is: People Chewing Loudly

My favorite place in the world is: Wherever I am at the time, by New York City is pretty cool!

My dream car is: Dodge Hellcat

My hidden talents are: I am a fine artist

An interesting fact about me that people don’t expect is:  I am a great cook!

My crush is: My Wife, of course!

When you’re not photographing great concerts, writing about them, interviewing artists, doing album reviews… what can we find you doing? Either DJing a party, or relaxing with a beer.

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I would like to be a touring photographer. I enjoy music, riding horses, playing guitar, and rollerblading.

Splice (Bucket) List: Pretty much any Rock artist. It’s what I grew up listening to and what I’ll always love.

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I enjoy: Concerts and discovering new music

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Unique perspectives

Splice (Bucket) List: Blink 182, Alkaline Trio, PUP

Guilty Pleasures: Collecting vinyl

The first album I ever owned was: Blink 182 – Enema of the State

My first concert was: Billy Idol

The last concert I attended was: Future Thieves

What was the first concert you photographed? Bald Eagle Mountain and Two Cow Garage

What is your favorite non-writing activity? Volunteering at an animal shelter

What was the first concert you reviewed? The Weeks

If you could interview any celebrity in history, who would it be? Tom Delonge

My most treasured possession is: My Nikon

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Melissa Payne

I enjoy alone time, photography, belly laughs, and my family

I work: Museum professional by day, photographer by night

I enjoy: alone time, photography, belly laughs, and my family

Goals/Dreams: Owning my own photography business, owning a Tiny House on some land and eventually traveling as much as my schedule will allow.

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A unique approach to my photography. I like making music portraits while photographing artists and picking up on small details others might have missed. Photojournalism.

Splice (Bucket) List: Margo Price, Nikki Lane, Lukas Nelson

Guilty Pleasures: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Craft Brews (especially stouts) and my favorite photography magazine.

My first concert was: The Judds

The last concert I attended was: The Banditos

If I could have attended any concert in history, I’d go back in time and see: The Bee Gees on their Spirits Having Flown tour

Favorite non-photography activity? Reading

I get mistaken for this celebrity: Michelle Williams

My favorite book is: Summer Sisters

My favorite food is: Mexican

Five items that are always in your refrigerator: Eggs, Duke’s Mayo, Raw Milk, Berries, Cream Cheese

My most treasured possession is: My family photos

My favorite place in the world is: Grant Teton National Park

When you’re not photographing great concerts, writing about them, interviewing artists, doing album reviews… what can we find you doing? Napping. Being a mom and a full-time professional can be tiring.

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Adrienne Row – Smith

I enjoy music, video games, satire, philosophy

I work: Freelance photography (specialized in commercial, promotional, and events), I also do retouching and editing services.

I enjoy: Music, video games, satire, philosophy

Goals/Dreams: Be famous

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Passion for promoting not only big-time artists, but local musicians as well

Splice (Bucket) List: Janelle Monae, Beyonce, Janet Jackson, and either Montebello Rockfest, Heavy MTL or Osheaga at least one

Guilty Pleasures: Sweet foods

The first album I ever owned was: Rise Against The Sufferer & the Witness

My first concert was: Sheryl Crow

The last concert I attended was: Amos the Transparent

If I could have attended any concert in history, I’d go back in time and see: Michael Jackson

Favorite non-photography activity? Reading / Video games

What was the first concert you photographed? Local Battle of the Bands

If you could photograph any concert in history, what would it be? Michael Jackson, or Beyonce’s Super Bowl Performance

What was the first concert you reviewed? Psycroptic

If you could interview any celebrity in history, who would it be? Janelle Monae

The last movie I saw was: Panic Room

My favorite book is: Symbolic Economy

My favorite TV show is: The Office

My favorite website is: Adrienne Row – Smith Photography

My favorite food is: Strawberries

Five items that are always in your refrigerator: Sriracha Hot Sauce, Strawberries, Yogurt, chicken

My favorite non-musical activity: watching movies

My most treasured possession is: Nikon D750

My biggest phobia is: I hate snakes

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My favorite place in the world is: my bed

My dream car is: Tesla Model 3

My hidden talents are: I have an uncanny ability to problem solve

When you’re not photographing great concerts, writing about them, interviewing artists, doing album reviews… what can we find you doing? Reading philosophy books, or planning out my next personal photography project.

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Eryn Smith

Eryn Smith

I work: I am a full time student working retail and an internship with Vinnie Mac. I also freelance concerts for my personal website.

I enjoy: Attending concerts, anything and everything spooky, going on hikes, and my camera.

Goals/Dreams: As of now, my goal is to graduate school and get a job in the music industry working as a tour manager or publicist.

Niche:
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I believe I can bring not only my unique eye for photography and creative ideas, but also my forever growing knowledge in public relation and social media.

Splice (Bucket) List: Foo Fighters, Weezer, Knocked Loose, The 1975, John Mayer, and Modest Mouse.

Guilty Pleasures: My biggest guilty pleasures are naps and Red Bull. They don’t go together at all, but I couldn’t get through a day without either.

The first album I ever owned was: All Time Low

My first concert was: John Mayer

The last concert I attended was: Warped Tour 2018

If I could have attended any concert in history, I’d go back in time and see: Spice Girls

Favorite non-photography activity? Hiking

What was the first concert you photographed? Chase Huglin

If you could photograph any concert in history, what would it be? Foo Fighters

If you could interview any celebrity in history, who would it be? John Mayer

The last movie I saw was: Heathers

My favorite book is: Cell by Stephen King

My favorite TV show is: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

My favorite website is: Twitter

My favorite food is: Sushi

Five items that are always in your refrigerator: Red Bull, cheese, salsa, almond milk, cherries.:

My most treasured possession is: Camera

My biggest phobia is: Heights

My biggest pet peeve is: Loud chewing

My favorite place in the world is: Chicago

When you’re not photographing great concerts, writing about them, interviewing artists, doing album reviews… what can we find you doing? Honestly you can find me at more concerts. Even if I’m not working, I’m still there. Concerts have such an atmosphere that I absolutely love to be in. I can never get enough.

Locations

Missouri Illinois

Senior Photojournalist

Traits

Smiley
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Trevor Redford

Goals/Dreams: Travel the world with my camera and music then eventually settling down with a home by the ocean. A simple dream, but that's good enough for me.

I work: Videographer and editor for an ice rink management company

I enjoy: Music (playing and listening), Hockey, Baseball, Video Games, traveling when I can afford it.

Goals/Dreams: Travel the world with my camera and music then eventually settling down with a home by the ocean. A simple dream, but that’s good enough for me.

Niche:
Tell us about your style, and what you contribute to Splice that makes you unique
Awesome photos and maybe some video of your favorite bands and musicians!

Splice (Bucket) List: The Wonder Years, Sum 41,

The first album I ever owned was: Hybrid Theory – Linkin Park

My first concert was: Green Day with New Found Glory and Sugarcult

The last concert I attended was: The Get Free Tour with Silverstein, Tonight Alive, Broadside & Picturesque

If I could have attended any concert in history, I’d go back in time and see: Any Blink-182 concert with Tom during the Take Off Your Pants & Jacket era.

Favorite non-photography activity? Trying to play hockey haha. I just started a couple years ago.

What was the first concert you photographed? I honestly can’t remember it was so long ago.

If you could photograph any concert in history, what would it be? The Green Day Blink-182 Tour

What was your favorite interview? I only filmed it, but Ian Cole from the Columbus Blue Jackets was an awesome interview.

The last movie I saw was: Ready Player One

My favorite TV show is: Scrubs

My favorite non-musical activity: Video Games

My most treasured possession is: My camera

When you’re not photographing great concerts, writing about them, interviewing artists, doing album reviews… what can we find you doing? Filming and photographing hockey games

Locations

Michigan

Senior Photojournalist

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Anna Tollstam

Guilty Pleasures: eating fruit bowls at 3 am while watching 90's movies

I work: At Starbucks

I enjoy: Going to concerts

Goals/Dreams: I hope to become a tour photographer

Niche: Tell us about your style, and what you contribute to Splice that makes you unique:
I love all kinds of music

Splice (Bucket) List: To shoot a music festival (preferably pop, rap, hip-hop, R&B type, really upbeat)

Guilty Pleasures: eating fruit bowls at 3 am while watching 90’s movies

My first concert was: Jason Michael Carroll when I was 6 years old and it was an interesting experience.

The last concert I attended was: Harry Hudson

If I could have attended any concert in history, I’d go back in time and see: Michael Jackson or Hannah Montana when I was between the ages of 6-11

If you could photograph any concert in history, what would it be? Machine Gun Kelly currently or Woodstock

If you could interview any celebrity in history, who would it be? Brendon Urie

My favorite book is: This is Where it Ends

My favorite TV show is: The Office

My favorite website is: https://annatollstam.wixsite.com/annatollstamart

My favorite food is: Avocados or bananas

My most treasured possession is: My camera

My biggest phobia is: Bugs with many legs

My biggest pet peeve is: Rude people

My favorite place in the world is: Chicago

My dream car is: Tesla

When you’re not photographing great concerts, writing about them, interviewing artists, doing album reviews… what can we find you doing? Working or school

Locations

Michigan

Photojournalist

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Ken Penn

My goal is to produce high-end music promotions with photo and video

I work: as a professional commercial, fine art, and entertainment photographer

I enjoy: Music, Art, Fashion, Traveling, Vegan Food

Goals/Dreams: To produce high-end music promotions with photo and video.

Niche:
Tell us about your style, and what you contribute to Splice that makes you unique
Many years of experience photographing bands of all types.

Splice (Bucket) List: Guns & Roses, Depeche Mode, Metallica, Bjork

Guilty Pleasures: Ariana Grande, Justin Timberlake, Morrissey

The first album I ever owned was: Run DMC Raising Hell

My first concert was: Red Hot Chili Peppers Live at VCU Shafer Court

The last concert I attended was: American Nightmare

Favorite non-photography activity? Drawing

What was the first concert you photographed? First major band was AFI in Charleston South Carolina

If you could photograph any concert in history, what would it be? Woodstock

What was the first concert you reviewed? Morrissey Live at Red Rocks, Morrison Colorado

What was your favorite interview? Gwar during GwarBQ

If you could interview any celebrity in history, who would it be? Morrissey

The last movie I saw was: Three Billboards

My favorite TV show is: Wild’n Out

My favorite food is: Vegan “Chickn”

Five items that are always in your refrigerator: Almond Milk, Hot Sauce, Tofu, Veg Chickn, Sunkist Grape

My favorite non-musical activity: Riding Motorcycles

My most treasured possession is: my photo equipment

My biggest phobia is: drowning

My biggest pet peeve is: personal space

My favorite place in the world is: Hawaii

My dream car is: Electric VW Bus

An interesting fact about me that people don’t expect is:  I’m 6 foot 4 inches tall with a lot of tattoos

When you’re not photographing great concerts, writing about them, interviewing artists, doing album reviews… what can we find you doing? Photographing conceptual fine art

last updated: 03/2018

Photojournalist

Traits

Ron Claus

My goal is to continuously improve my skills as a photographer. I want my photos to tell a story, pull someone in, lead them on a journey and make them smile!

I work: The week as an Engineer; My free time as a Photographer

I enjoy: Being around people and having lots of fun! Part is spending time with my family, but I really enjoy discovering music, traveling and being outdoors.

Goals/Dreams: My goal is to continuously improve my skills as a photographer. I want my photos to tell a story, pull someone in, lead them on a journey and make them smile!

Niche:
Tell us about your style, and what you contribute to Splice that makes you unique
The WOW factor. I want Splice’s audience to have the experience as if they were at the concert themselves through my lens.

Splice (Bucket) List: Oh my, such a long list here, but I’ll keep it short: Rolling Stones, Metallica, Alice In Chains, Kenny Chesney, Alison Krauss, Paul McCartney, Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie, ZZ Top, Mark Lanegan, Red Wanting Blue

Guilty Pleasures: Going to the movies with a large bucket of buttered popcorn

The last concert I attended was: Joe Satriani G3 Tour 2018 at the Hard Rock Rocksino

If I could have attended any concert in history, I’d go back in time and see: Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis, Sex Pistols, Buck Owens, Waylon Jennings, Chuck Berry

Favorite non-photography activity? Aside from my family, I really enjoy attending motorsport events, airshows and hot rod cruise nights during the summer. Camera in hand of course!

What was the first concert you photographed? The Reverend Horton Heat was my first time photographing a concert

If you could photograph any concert in history, what would it be? Tough question, as I wish I could have photographed both Soundgarden & Nirvana

Photojournalist

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Kristen Derr

My first concert was New Kids on the Block when I was 8

I work: software developer and photographer

I enjoy: traveling, sewing, cats, and snakes

Goals/Dreams: Travel as much as possible

Niche:
Tell us about your style, and what you contribute to Splice that makes you unique
Concert photos from large venues and smaller clubs!

Splice (Bucket) List: Thursday, Circa Survive, Jawbreaker, Finch (if they ever get back together…)

Guilty Pleasures: reading advice columns

The first album I ever owned was: The Offspring- Smash

My first concert was: New Kids on the Block when I was 8

The last concert I attended was: Pianos Become the Teeth

Favorite non-photography activity? Creating anything! I draw, build things, and design and make most of my own clothes.

What was the first concert you photographed? My friends Jonathan Monument

If you could photograph any concert in history, what would it be? I’ll always regret not getting into concert photography until after Finch broke up.

My most treasured possession is: My picture collection, going all the way back to my 35mm film camera from the 90s.

My biggest pet peeve is: When people drive slowly down the on-ramp and stop at the bottom. The ramp is there for you to speed up, not slow down.

My favorite place in the world is: New Orleans

Photojournalist

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Temma Hankin

Goals/Dreams: A house with an avocado tree in the yard, and a garden full of tomato and pepper plants, so I can have fresh guacamole and salsa at all times.

I work: In the entertainment industry

I enjoy: Spending quality time with my dog.

Goals/Dreams: A house with an avocado tree in the yard, and a garden full of tomato and pepper plants, so I can have fresh guacamole and salsa at all times.

Niche:
Tell us about your style, and what you contribute to Splice that makes you unique
Photography

Splice (Bucket) List: Andrew W.K., Chromeo, Jungle, Missy Elliott, Die Antwoord, and if you’ve got a time machine handy, David Bowie.

Guilty Pleasures: Singing songs to my dog/re-writing songs to be about my dog and then singing them to him.

The first album I ever owned was: I had a box full of Elvis, Michael Jackson, and Chipmunks cassettes. I’m sure that my parents heard “Heal the World” far more times than they ever wanted to.

My first concert was: Weird Al Yankovic

The last concert I attended was: Gramatik

My favorite book is: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Five items that are always in your refrigerator: Hot sauce, champagne, eggs, tofu, and garlic.

An interesting fact about me that people don’t expect is:  I used to drive a Cadillac hearse.

Photojournalist

Traits

Daniella Heminghaus

Goals/Dreams: to own a home within walking distance of the beach

I work: as a photographer

I enjoy: all types of food

Goals/Dreams: to own a home within walking distance of the beach

Niche:
Tell us about your style, and what you contribute to Splice that makes you unique
covering up-and-coming bands

Splice (Bucket) List: Thursday, The Gaslight Anthem, Foo Fighters, and Noname

Guilty Pleasures: coffee

The first album I ever owned was: The Gaslight Anthem’s “The ’59 Sound”

My first concert was: Against Me!’s New Wave tour

The last concert I attended was: Sorority Noise at First Unitarian

If I could have attended any concert in history, I’d go back in time and see: a Fugazi / P-Funk show in DC

Favorite non-photography activity? reading

What was the first concert you photographed? Officially— The Bouncing Souls “Home For The Holidays” show at The Pony

If you could photograph any concert in history, what would it be? any year of the revival tour would be cool

Photojournalist

Traits

Allison Souchuck

I enjoy collecting vinyl records and exploring abandoned buildings

I work: As a Police Officer.

I enjoy: collecting vinyl records and exploring abandoned buildings

Splice (Bucket) List: PVRIS, Taking Back Sunday, AFI, Senses Fail, PINK, Halsey, The 1975

Guilty Pleasures: trying new craft beers

My first concert was: Backstreet Boys

The last few concerts I’ve attended are: Real Friends with Boston Manor and Grayscale, Warped Tour x2, AFI, Paramore

If I could have attended any concert in history, I’d go back in time and see: Michael Jackson

What is your favorite TV show? The Office, Chopped, Bob’s Burgers

What was the first concert you photographed? Warped Tour

My favorite food is: Cookie Dough

Five items that are always in your refrigerator: Beer, cheese, pickles, milk, cookie dough

My favorite place in the world is: Las Vegas

When you’re not photographing great concerts, writing about them, interviewing artists, doing album reviews… what can we find you doing? working or traveling

portfolio - Allison Souchuck

Photojournalist

Traits

Allison Heimberger

my favorite non-musical activity: napping

I work: as a Lifeguard

I enjoy: Listening to music, playing my instruments, taking photos, and learning biology

Goals/Dreams: to become a doctor and/or become a professional musician

Niche:
Tell us about your style, and what you contribute to Splice that makes you unique
I capture live, energetic photos that are very in the moment and not posed or staged; strictly pure emotion

Splice (Bucket) List: The Happy Fits, Glass Animals, Hippo Campus, Freya, 3OH!3, Owl City, and Toto

Guilty Pleasures: Re-watching every season of The Office over and over

The first album I ever owned was: Led Zeppelin IV

My first concert was: Panic! At The Disco

The last concert I attended was: The Happy Fits

If I could have attended any concert in history, I’d go back in time and see: Led Zeppelin

Favorite non-photography activity? Biology

What was the first concert you photographed? The Happy Fits

If you could photograph any concert in history, what would it be? Definitely any classic rock band

What is your favorite non-writing activity? Creating art of loved ones

What was the first concert you reviewed? The Happy Fits

If you could interview any celebrity in history, who would it be? Hobo Johnson

I get mistaken for this celebrity: Natalia Dyer

The last movie I saw was: Super Dark Times

My favorite book is: Psycho

My favorite TV show is: The Office, Bobs Burgers, and Trailer Park Boys

My favorite website is: Facebook

My favorite food is: Pasta or ramen

Five items that are always in your refrigerator: Pasta, pizza, peach tea, cheeses, fruit

My favorite non-musical activity: napping

My most treasured possession is: My instruments

My biggest phobia is: The dark

My biggest pet peeve is: Rude people

My favorite place in the world is: New York

My dream car is: G wagon

My hidden talents are: Being able to hear a popular song and tell you what movies from the early 2000’s they were in

An interesting fact about me that people don’t expect is:  I can read peoples emotions really well

When you’re not photographing great concerts, writing about them, interviewing artists, doing album reviews… what can we find you doing? Practicing all of my instruments – flute, piccolo, saxophone, trumpet, guitar, and the ukulele. I also really enjoy painting watercolor portraits.

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