James R. Tramontana

The Importance of Flow: Interview with Reggae Super Star, SNOW!

Posted 13 Jun 2018

This is definitely one of the wildest episodes we've recorded to date. We had the extreme pleasure to talk to Snow, you know, the Informer guy. He's super amazing and has an INCREDIBLE story.

Snow is a Guinness Book World Record Holder, a former prison inmate (twice!), a Kiss fan, and a gifted musician. Our conversation covers all of these points and many many more.

Due to a MAJOR computer meltdown, we lost the first half of the interview but fear not! the second half is even better. Also, Andris Rebellion (awkwardly) gives us a recount of the info we lost to get everyone up to speed.

The big takeaway is: let go, and let it flow!

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Despite All Doug's Rage, He Still Hates Headphones (Interview with MARK IGNOFFO!)

Posted 06 Jun 2018


We start this fine episode by reflecting on (and playing) the two new songs we have in the works. Doug talks about how he writes guitar solos and he confesses that he mostly improvises his solos until they are fixed into their final, recorded form.

We bust Doug’s balls about his poor microphone skills and how much he hates wearing headphones. Doug gets pissy, then talks about his lack of organization. Jim talks about how much he hates computers. Andris is also very, very awkward.

Next, we interview Mark Ignoffo, recording engineer to the stars. Mark got his start in Chicago and recorded some amazing bands, including a very young Smashing Pumpkins. He also played on a few Smashing Pumpkins songs that made it on their first album. And he recounts that Billy Corgan had the loudest amp he’s ever recorded.

Mark tells us tales from his storied career as a recording engineer/studio owner and especially gets all gleamy-eyed when talking about how he recorded several of Jim’s bands in Florida (and how awesome they all were).

Mark shares tips and tricks on songwriting and recording. Don’t be afraid to spread your wings and write with variation in mind. Embrace pre-production!

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Is This Song Working? Sorry, I’m Very Fat and I Don't Look At My Hands

Posted 30 May 2018

We start out chitty chatting about nonsense then get down to work on two new songs: “Sweaty Betty” and “Holdin’ It Down.”

We play the songs a few times and chat about what’s working, what isn’t and then delve into sheer nonsense. Then, we realize we’re all idiots and the name of the show makes a lot of sense.

Jim has trouble remembering his parts, as usual. And accidentally identifies this episode as episode 7. It’s not. It’s episode 8 (or 9 if you count episode zero as episode 1...nevermind).

Doug accidentally spits out some music theory and amazes us all.

Andris keeps talking about how fat he is but he is far from the fattest member of the Red Hot Rebellion.

Progress is being made. The new song we started in a previous episode gets morphed into a waaaay better form and a much better song called “Holdin’ It Down.” Seeds of a vocal chorus are planted in this episode that eventually will pay off BIG TIME in a future episode. Hold on to your nuts!

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How To Survive as an Indie Artist: Interview with RYAN MALOTT (a total snack!)

Posted 23 May 2018

Today we talk to our friend and brochacho, Ryan Malott of 500 MILES TO MEMPHIS. Ryan takes us through his songwriting and recording process and offers some insight on what it's like being in a hardworking independent band slugging it out on the highways and bi-ways of America. Ryan's work ethic is second to none and his music is goddamn fantastic. He's also a fan of the show, so the conversation devolves into a series of callbacks to previous episodes and general silliness.

500 MILES TO MEMPHIS is recording a live album at South Gate House Revival on May 26, 2018. They are also recording the crowd for gang vocals to be used on their new studio album. More info here!

Check out 500 MILES TO MEMPHIS here!

Support the show and be rad: http://www.idiotswithinstruments.com

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