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Want episode 3 of Beyond The Barricade? Sure! 3-piece Toronto outlet Sure has made big strides in a short amount of time. In this instalment, you’ll hear all about the group’s inception up until now, how their creative process works and so much more. In my opinion, this is one of the most interesting episodes yet. Strap yourself in because Sure is about to take you out for a rip!

We sure can’t wait to see what Sure has in store for the future. Wait, don’t leave…sorry, bad pun.

But seriously, we’re very excited to see what these Toronto boys have coming up.

Join the conversation,  Tweet us!

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Sitting on the shores of Lake Ontario in their hometown of Oakville, Rob and Cole of Parkside tell us all for this installment of Beyond The Barricade. From their inception all the way until today, through every peak and valley, the boys lay it all on the table- but guess what? They had fun doing so.

Make sure to check out Parkside on Spotify!

Have you checked out Parkside yet? If not, here’s your chance!

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Every summer, the Vans Warped Tour takes off across the country, bringing fan-favorite and up-and-coming musicians to fans everywhere. The festival also attracts vendors and non-profit organizations that aim to share their messages with teens in the scene. The Canvas Foundation has been traveling with Warped Tour for multiple summers sharing their message and working to provide funding for art programs in schools around the nation. ATB sat down with Lydia Tavera to talk about the Canvas Foundation, its goals for the summer, and how you can get involved.


How long have you been with the Canvas Foundation?

I started working with Canvas just this summer. Connor, my partner who’s out here with me, has been with them for five or six years. I think they’ve been on Warped Tour for ten years or so. The majority of what Canvas does is with Warped Tour and sometimes they’ll do High School Nation or other events.

Can you explain your mission and what exactly the Canvas Foundation does?

The Canvas Foundation is a non-profit that helps fund art programs in schools that have lost funding. Through donations, we’re able to give back to these schools that have lost funding. We go through and see what each school needs. Kids can submit their schools for funding, too, which is really cool. We also have shirts that we sell and all of the shirts have designs on them that have been submitted by student artists, which is great. Mainly we want people to have a good time and we want people to realize that art is so important and keeping it alive is what really matters.

What differentiates the Canvas Foundation from other organizations?

On Warped Tour at least, a lot of the organizations are about suicide prevention or anti-depression or animal activism. We’re really the only ones out here at least this summer that are really pushing to keep art in schools. Art is our main thing. I know there are other organizations that are doing similar things, but there’s not a lot of them that are well known, and if there was a bigger one we could get a lot more done. Also, just given the current political climate, a lot of funding is being cut for art and people aren’t talking about it, so we’re trying to make people discuss it. We’re trying to get the message out there more than anything.

What is an average day like for you?

We wake up and go to load in. Something I didn’t realize before going on Warped was that the trucks parked in the middle of the field is where everyone’s stuff is, so you have to wait there in the morning with your dolly, haul everything in, wait to get placed, take it to your site, set up, and then we’re out there from the minute doors open to around 6:30 or 7:30 selling paint and calling people in. We’ve been trying to do a lot more work with bands, too. I just kind of wave at them until they come over and then we talk to them about what we’re doing and see if they want to get involved. We’re going to start doing a lot of canvases that the bands will paint. We have Movements doing one. I think The Gospel Youth is going to hop in. We’re trying to get Atilla. We’re going to have them sign the canvases and then we’re going to sell them at the tent. It’s a lot of “Here’s what we’re doing. You should come and help us.” It’s also really fun seeing the kind of people that want to paint themselves because you never know who it is.

What can people expect from your booth this summer?

Stained clothes, but in the most fun way possible. I’m going to be out there doing a lot of the social media stuff, so I’m taking a lot of pictures. I’m going to be doing weekly roundups where any pictures I take get posted on Facebook. Instagram will be going all summer. It’s a lot of fun. It’s crazy and it’s madness, especially if you get unlimited paint because you can come back all day. You’ll get free shade and unconditional love. We’re just out here trying to get kids involved and it’s a lot of fun. You can expect to leave covered in paint and really happy. You’ll probably see some band members stop by because we’re trying to make that a thing, but who knows? Also, bring $20 and buy a t-shirt. It comes with a free bag, a wristband or sunglasses, and unlimited paint all day.

Interview with the Canvas Foundation // AtTheBarricade.net

Will you be working with any bands during the summer?

Yeah! Movements today lent us their drills so we could build new canvases. A member of The Gospel Youth is coming to the tent in a bit to build a new canvas with us. We’re pretty close with Carousel Kings right now. We’re trying to get Atilla in on something. It’s crazy! It’s like a big family out here, and the more bands we can get involved the better. A lot of people we talk toare really excited about it, so it’s just a matter of meeting people. But special shout out to Movements. Patrick [from Movements] came up to the tent and was talking to me for half an hour about art, his experiences in high school, and about how his programs got cut, so they have been nothing but helpful. They’ve lent us their tools. They’re absolutely amazing. It’s really awesome being out here. A lot of people on this tour are just like, “Ugh. Their paint stains our stuff.” But at the same time they love what we’re doing, so it works.

What are your biggest goals for the summer?

For Canvas, we really just want to raise as much money as possible. I’m working very hard not to rebrand Canvas because it’s goals are already very specific. We know what we’re doing. We know who we are. We’re keeping art alive and we’re all going to have fun doing it together. For me, I just want to make sure people know who we are. When someone walks up to the To Write Love on Her Arms tent, they don’t ask what’s going on. They know what’s going on. They’ll buy a shirt and be stoked about it. I want Canvas to be that but for art, so I’m trying to really build our social media following. I’m trying to keep content flowing and really engage people, more so in a “This is what we’re doing” way and not just a “Hey! Get some paint!” way. So far, it’s been awesome. We’ve had a lot of people come up and say “Oh, I work at a school” or “My school lost funding” and it’s really important for me to communicate with these people and have those talks. I know it’s easier if you’re [an organization] like Can You Hear Me?. With them, you can sit down and have a conversation about “This happened to me and this is why I feel this way.” For Canvas, it’s a little more interesting because you can say “How did art affect your life?” You really have to spark these conversations and I think that’s what’s going to make us memorable and that’s what’s going to make us stand out.

Personally, I want to watch a full Neck Deep set. I have yet to do that. I’m really trying to make friends with as many people as I can on this tour because so many of us are doing such amazing things. It’s like Yeah, we’re not the lead singer of this band, but they’re working to save the oceans or he sets up this entire stage every day and it’s awesome. The coolest people in the world are out here and I’m so blessed to be a part of it. This is my first summer out here and I just want to make the most of it. It’s exhausting and messy and dirty. We have a shower on our bus, thank God, but I just want to have the best summer of my life. I’m out here with my best friend, too, and he makes it very easy.

What are some of the biggest obstacles you encounter while on the road?

Trying to fit everything in your bunk is a lot harder than you’d think it would be. Luckily, I have the coolest bus mates in the world. I think it’s just learning how to adjust to this new lifestyle. Being the new person on tour is kind of difficult because you have to work your ass off to prove yourself. It is incredible what you can lift when someone asks you if you need help. Like, I could not lift an easy-up tent by myself unless someone was like “Do you need help?” and it’s like “No. I can do this. I’m here.” Proving yourself is a big thing. You have work your ass off to get here and you have to work your ass off to stay. As Canvas, I think our biggest obstacle is just making people stop and listen to what we’re about. The second you say it’s donation based they kind of leave, but once you explain what it’s for, people get excited and they get so happy about it. I think it’s also hard trying to avoid stains on our clothes and trying to avoid stains on other people’s tents so they don’t hate us.

How do you attract people to your tent?

Sometimes it’s like “Hey! Want some body paint?” I’ll just wave at people until they come over. That’s how I’ve been getting a lot of the bands to come interact with us. Our volunteers are such a big part of it, too. We’re also giving out free bags all summer if you follow us on Instagram. A lot of it is just bothering people until they come over and if every two out of ten people you ask comes in then you’re still having a good day.

You guys are doing a screen printing class with The Entertainment Institute this summer. What is that like and how did it come about?

My boss Austin Phillips and Chad Long, who runs Choonimals, run a screen printing company called Tour Print in Portland, so this summer they partnered with TEI to do a screen printing class. They’ll screen print things in front of you, too. There’s bandanas, hats, and shirts. It’s really cool because we have this entire collective out here with Canvas, Choonimals, and TEI/Tour Print. We’re all out here busting ass together. Today I went and covered for the Choonimals tent. We’ll go help Chad and we’ll break down together. It’s just really awesome having a collective that stretches across so many things.

What made you want to get involved with The Canvas Foundation?

It’s an awesome message. Like I said, there’s a lot of similar organizations going on at Warped, which is cool, but for me art is so important. I interned with a non-profit dance company last semester doing photography and stuff. Watching the way non-profits organize themselves and start doing things and get their mission across is so incredible. I kind of knew that was the route I wanted to take. It’s a lot of hard work, but Canvas is so busy and so fun. It’s maybe one of the hardest tents to run all summer because people don’t want to give you money to paint. It’s also really difficult if it’s just you setting up. We have fifteen huge boxes, two dollies, three tents. It’s crazy. But at the end of the day you can sit down in your paint-stained clothes and just think that you had the coolest day in the world and it’s awesome. I love my job. I’m also working with my best friend in the world, Connor Amsden. He is the absolute best and I could not be on this tour without him.

What kind of things do you do during the rest of the year?

Canvas does different pop up events. We do a lot of stuff in Portland because that’s where we’re based. We did Chain Fest down in Santa Ana last year. I know we’re thinking about setting up at some other festivals. If anyone has any festivals they’d like us to get involved in, please let us know. Personally, I go to school at Northeastern [University] in Boston. I absolutely love it. I study Music Industry. I’m there during the week and on weekends I travel a lot and do merch at different festivals, which is absolutely amazing.

How can people get involved with you during the summer and throughout the rest of the year?

We actually have volunteers every date of Warped Tour. Spots may or may not be filled for upcoming dates this year, but we still have openings for a lot of them. You can send us an email or we have a link up on Facebook. You can also get involved throughout the year if you send us an email. Austin, the CEO of Canvas, organizes everything and we take volunteers from everywhere.

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You can call Defend Girls Not Pop Punk a concept organization, a campaign, a movement, or whatever else you want. More than that, it is a safe place. That’s what its creators were proud to celebrate last weekend, when it completed one year of existence.

Their project was a reaction to Parker Cannon of The Story So Far kicking a girl offstage for trying to take a selfie with him, but it was also much more than that. For the teens, who were both 17 at the time, what prevailed from Cannon’s attitude and the way people reacted to it was a sense that there was something wrong in the way female fans were treated in the scene, and they needed to take action. Most concert goers agree that taking selfies on stage is wrong and Cannon had the right to be mad at the girl, but this is not about manners. For (female) fans, it means something else: If you crowd-surf, you could be groped by other audience members and kicked by the band. In other words, both fans and artists can be disrespectful towards you, if they feel like it.

This is not the worst thing that can happen to you, though.

On May 26, 2016, Allie Terry and Kayla Celius created the #DefendGirlsNotPopPunk hashtag and the @DEFENDGIRLS twitter account. Their first post, now pinned, reads: “This is what we’re about. See the thread below and join us in ending the misogyny in the scene”. Below this tweet, the teens shared think-pieces about the state of the scene and explained they were all about inclusivity, looking to fight for victims of sexual assault, trauma, and abuse. “We are here for all of you” and “We love you”, they guaranteed.

Tired of watching stories of assault and abuse come and go with no real consequences, Allie and Kayla decided pop punk was well-off, girls were the ones in need of protection. Thus, came the name “Defend Girls Not Pop Punk”, inspired by Caitlin DeWeese’s t-shirt design which paid homage to Man Overboard’s “Defend Pop Punk” merch,

First, they created a hashtag and a Twitter account, then stickers and shirts. During the past year, Allie and Kayla’s movement have collected more than 1K followers and the support of many artists. Staircase Spirits and Brendan Lukens from Modern Baseball were just a few names who congratulated DGNPP on their birthday. They also shared opinions on Front Porch Step, Rock for Life, Moose Blood, Neck Deep, PWR BTTM, and whoever else was being called out for their actions. Their movement wasn’t strictly online, though: the teens even organized a concert in Illinois with an inclusive bill – something festival promoters still seem unable to do.

This scene is a lot more than just music for Kayla and Allie, it’s a community they grew up in. When they started to feel like they did not belong anymore, they decided to take it back. As a new wave of pop punk bands gets more and more attention, musicians – and concert goers – need to be reminded that girls are not just characters for their stories about heartbreak, they are a huge part of their public and should be treated with as much respect as their male counterparts. If you also believe that, you are invited to join Defend Girls in ending the misogyny in the scene.

ATB: How did you come up with the idea of Defend Girls Not Pop Punk?

Kayla: Defend Girls was definitely something that was festering inside of us for a while, even though we obviously hadn’t given a name to it yet—we just had the feeling and the desire to bring some change to the music community. I remember idly sitting by as more and more young women who happened to be big music fans came out with their stories of how they had personally been attacked or preyed on by these musicians with large platforms that they think they can do whatever they want with, and I just remember being so angry and knowing and feeling like there was more that I could do besides retweeting, reposting and sharing these stories. I knew I wanted to do more, and I remember being so frustrated to the point of tears at what was happening in general and sending Allie and text message about if I were to create or start something if she would be on board with me—and the rest was really history.

ATB: What are your main goals with the movement?

Kayla: To make a difference, to never shut up about anything and everything, to give more young women in this scene a safe space, to give musicians that aren’t just white men the exposure they deserve, to grow into something so strong and boisterous. To make Defend Girls just as much everyone else’s as it is ours.

ATB: Clearly, there are many problems with this scene and there are still not enough people using their voices to discuss them. How important is it to have a safe space?

Allie: It is SO IMPORTANT that we make the scene a safe space. So many people consider the music scene a home, but what’s a home when you feel out of place because you’re not represented? People go to shows to get away from stress, not experience it. The music scene was created originally as safe space from the “real world” but it’s really just turned into a white guy’s club, as most things do. There are so many issues to talk about in the scene, so I’m just going to use the term “inclusivity” to bundle all of that together. If we’re looking at specifics, REFORM WARPED TOUR. This wasn’t supposed to be a boy’s club. This scene is for everyone. We want people to go to shows and see themselves represented on stage, we want women to go to shows and feel safe. I can’t tell you how many times I felt I needed to watch my back at a show because some gross drunk guy was going to come up behind me and touch me inappropriately, and, unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated incident.

ATB: What can each of us do to defend girls?

Allie: Never ever ever shut up. Always speak up when you see something wrong, do not be afraid to call anyone out. Sympathize with victims of injustice forever and always.

ATB: In November of 2016, you organized a show in Illinois. How did it go?

Allie: For the lack of a better term, it was LIT. It was really really cool to be able to bring people together to support women and allies in music. I can’t wait to put on another one!

ATB: How did you come up with the idea of a concert? Was it hard at all to create an inclusive bill?

Allie: I figured that a show would be the best way to get our message across seeing as we are critiquing the scene. At first it was rough finding bands with women in them, I contacted three bands I had previously seen before, As We Once Were, Dead Split Egos and City Mouth to see if they would like to participate. Unfortunately, City Mouth couldn’t, but they suggested so many bands with girls in them and that’s how I got Pelafina. Then, I literally googled “awesome bands with women Chicago” and instantly fell in love with Blizzard Babies. Then, I asked Jackie Heuser of City Mouth to do an acoustic set because I love her, and then Caving, a good friend of mine, was recruited and we ended up with a totally awesome line up. Putting together this show really broadened my network and music taste.

ATB: You identify as intersectional feminists. How did feminism come into your lives? How important is this identification for you, as people and as a movement?

Allie: I’ve really been a feminist for as long as I can remember. Every year in elementary school, I would do a project on women my little heart found to be badass aka Susan B Anthony, Juliette Lowe, and Helen Keller. I never really started identifying as a feminist until my freshman year of high-school, though. Intersectional feminism is so important to me. I am unabashedly a social justice warrior and I will stop at nothing to ensure every human being regardless of race, sexuality, class, gender, etc. has achieved equity. Intersectional feminism is also important to our movement because, if we didn’t have this identification, our words would be fruitless and this movement would have no real meaning.

What do you do to help make the scene a better place?

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 It’s really easy for us to write about skills that are beneficial for musicians to have, or things every musician should do/say/think/eat… but wouldn’t you rather hear it from an actual musician? We got to speak with indie-electro artist TRACE about how she incorporates her 9-to-5 job skills into her music career. We hope you find her tips as helpful as we did. You can listen to her new track “Oh My My” below!

 


Before diving into music full-time almost a year and a half ago, I worked in two different careers. With a business and communications major from college and experiencing both corporate and not-so corporate working environments, it’s been useful to carry over what I’ve learned in my past into my present and future as an artist. Here are five things I’ve plucked from my 9 to 5 life into my current career as a singer/songwriter (and I hope are things you can adopt yourselves in your role as an artist).

 

1. Email etiquette. I’ve been so used to communicating through means of emails that I realized I at times surprised people with my prompt responses and or professionalism in the way I wrote. (And that I had a “signature” ha).  I was told once by an artist manager that she was shocked I responded to every email that was sent both to me and or concerning me. And I thought to myself, “why wouldn’t I!?” I also love emails…Oh and also sometimes saying “got it” to an email relieves A LOT of stress.
 
2. Grammar. Goes kind of hand in hand with emails but whether it’s through drafting them, or writing important responses, or proposals or even drafting up job descriptions, slang is a no. (Social media is another story of course). In general, holding grammar to an important degree tells the recipient you are serious about what you’re talking about, you are clear-minded with what you want to accomplish or expect and it also says you took the time to say what you really want to say.
 
3. Putting out fires. I feel like having had worked in intense deadline environments, I’ve experienced this motto in full: “It will get done.” I’ve learned that as long as expectations are communicated and people stick to their jobs and what they do best and that there’s an overall understanding that there are many moving parts to execute anything—a project, proposal, a track, a magazine article, etc., things will get done. Instant panicking does NO GOOD. And hurrying something will ultimately and usually be a detriment to your goal/life.
 
4. Boss-friend. I used to work for a friend who was also my boss. I think it took some time really understand boundaries on my end and hers as well and so I think what I took out of that was, there has to be both an understanding and acceptance of roles and a mutual respect between the parties. Every situation will look slightly different but I’ve learned when it comes down to it, It’s hard but not impossible to make sure people don’t feel left out and/or under appreciated and the only way to remedy that is constant communication. Did I mention respect?
 
5. Google Calendar. Ask my manager, she would say I’m obsessed with it. But organization is a major asset in any business. I used to have to meet consistently with my Editor-in-Chief, my interns, the producer, various writers, and so on and calendaring meetings or brainstorm sessions were easy and got everyone on the same page with the what, where, when and why questions. Now, I have to still touch base just as often with others but it’s now with my manager, my publicist, my business manager, etc. SO, Google Calendar has been a great tool in general. It creates a channel for a more efficient schedule and time management which I know we can all agree, in whatever industry, there isn’t enough of it, let alone cause to waste it.

What’s the most important business skill for a musician?

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Hello friends! Stan Musial here. I am very pleased to be a part of At The Barricade with the Beyond The Barricade interview series.

What I want to accomplish with this series is to shine the spotlight on the best up and coming talents from the Toronto area and have them tell their stories. I want you to get to know these artists and to relate to them on a more personal level by hearing who they are individually.

I am a man on a mission: To find these artists and groups and bring them to you. From all genres and walks of life, Beyond The Barricade truly has no boundaries. Picture this; Story time and history time all at once, just more fun than when we had to at school.

Episode One- Matlock Expressway

For the inaugural episode of Beyond The Barricade, we get to hear the story of Matlock Expressway from Oshawa, Ontario.

Hearing from guitarist and vocalist Justin Dileo, you will gain some insight on how this pop-punk outlet went from humble beginnings to very big plans for 2017 and going forward. Justin’s stories are truly one of a kind so kick back and enjoy the very first instalment of Beyond The Barricade.

How sick is Matlock Express?!

Which band would you like to see on an episode of Beyond The Barricade?  Tweet us!

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Ben Zucker, a photographer from the Central Coast of California, grew up loving music. It had such an influence on him that through the years that he transitioned from playing concerts to photographing them. Ever since then, he has been photographing anything that catches his creative eye, occasionally touring with numerous bands. Today, you can catch him on tour with alternative band Night Riots, photographing their every move. He took some time to sit down and answer our burning questions about tour life and the common misconceptions about photographers.

Ben Zucker // AtTheBarricade.net

This is Ben.


At The Barricade: If you could take your art in any direction without fear of failure or rejection, where would it lead? What new things would you try?

Ben Zucker: If I could take my art anywhere without fear of rejection, I would definitely try to do more combat photos. I really like mixed martial arts and I believe that the behind the scenes and training can be really interesting, kind of like bands behind the scenes. I’m not necessarily afraid of rejection but it is something I haven’t done yet that I plan on doing in the future. I think my knowledge of music photos and how I broke into this scene will definitely help with breaking into that scene. Start by taking photos of friends, then of their friends and just building from then on.

ATB: What is one thing you wish you knew when you started doing photography as a career?

BZ: I don’t really know if there was something I wish I knew before I started photography because I feel like you have to go through those awkward years. I spent so much time over-editing photos and testing out different things, but I really believe everything is a lesson so it just depends on how you learn from it all. I don’t like the photos that I took when I started but I learned a lot from just going out and shooting anything all the time.

ATB: Some photographers say that what they do allows them to see the world through a different lens (literally and figuratively). How does what you do affect the decisions you make in your everyday life?

BZ: Sometimes I feel like I see things through a lens all the time, not just when I’m taking photos. The other day I saw a man on the street and framed the image in my head but I didn’t have my camera with me and wasn’t thinking to take out my phone. Anything can be a scene and a composed image. Sometimes I’ll zone out of a situation and visualize it as if it were a photo or a movie. On a different note, this job really does allow me to see parts of the world I’d never seen until I started to tour and I’ve learned so much that I couldn’t have learned from staying in one place.

ATB: You’ve toured with Night Riots for quite a while, also doubling as their merch guy. What made you sure that you wanted to tour with them?

BZ: I’d gotten to know the guys in Night Riots for a while because we are from the same small town in California and I had been doing random photo or video things with them for a bit. I still felt stuck in life for a while and didn’t really know what I was doing with photography. I was working a comfortable job that wasn’t too hard but was constant, but when I got the call from Rico, the drummer of Night Riots, asking me to leave in a week for a month long tour I only hesitated for a few minutes before I said yes. I almost got so comfortable that I lost sight of what my ultimate goal was even when it was starring me in the face. It was a dream of mine to tour as a musician and then as a photographer so maybe it felt to good to be true, but it definitely was not. It was real life and it felt amazing.

ATB: I’d imagine that joining Night Riots tour after tour takes you to some pretty amazing places (Mexico in particular). Do you have any cool stories about the places you’ve traveled to?

BZ: I feel like I have a ton of cool stories from the road but because the people I travel with are some of the coolest guys in the world. If you’ve been to a show or met them, then you know what I mean and if you haven’t, then what are you waiting for? Mexico City was an amazing experience but I also remember a random time when I fell asleep in the van and Travis waking me up in Arkansas because the gas station was selling Butterfly Knives and he knew I wanted one. I think I remember that just as much as anything in Mexico. It’s the little things like that, that really stick out. As cheesy as it sounds, these guys have always pushed me to do things I was maybe scared or uncomfortable doing and its always paid off. Even the worst days are the best days because everyone is so rad to be around and has a lot of mutual respect for me and each other.

Ben Zucker Photography // AtTheBarricade.net

ATB: What kinds of responsibilities come with joining a tour as an official photographer for the band?

BZ: There are a lot of responsibilities that come with joining a band as their photographer. I can only speak for myself but you’re rarely just a photographer. I’m the only crew member, so anything they need, I’ll be trying to help with. Luckily I tour with guys that have worked so hard to get where they are and haven’t had much help so they will definitely help me a lot but they give me my fair share of things to do. With photos I have to think about their vibe as well as things that are interesting for that moment but also beyond. On a different level I’ll think about what might they want when they are retired and looking back on these moments, so there are plenty of ideas to keep in mind when just doing photos. When you go on tour as a photographer, there is never really a bad time to take photos. Every band and objective is different but for the most part, you’re documenting their life in that moment, so I always try and keep my equipment out and ready.

ATB: What is something people assume about your career that isn’t necessarily true?

BZ: A big thing that people assume about my career that isn’t totally true is that they need to go to school for photography. I get that question a lot and I hear that question get asked to many other photographers. It isn’t like going to photography school is bad, the more you can learn the better, but is it needed? I don’t think so. A lot of the job has to do with skill but it also has to do with your personality, and who you know. When on tour, I’m essentially living with 5 other guys and I’m with them all the time, so if I’m exhausting to be around, then they will find someone else. It isn’t that shallow but obviously no one wants to hang with someone that has a bad attitude because that will make the road so much harder. Some people have different personalities and that is totally fine, I don’t want to pretend like the road is always just a bunch of insanely happy smiling people because it isn’t. I’ve met way more awesome people than lame people though and I’m really thankful for that.

ATB: Personally, I’m a huge fan of every aspect of concerts and music in general, and my biggest dream is to tour with a band like Night Riots as a music journalist. Since you started out in the industry as both a fan and musician, are there still times when your inner fanboy comes out and you have to mentally pinch yourself to see if you’re dreaming? Could you share some advice about breaking into the business?

BZ: On the road, mostly in the van, I try to sit there and look at where I am physically and mentally and appreciate how far I’ve come and the great opportunities I’ve had. I try not to take anything for granted because you can’t get too comfortable with this career. If I could share any advice for breaking into this career or really any photography career, it would be to first really learn it. Go out and practice, learn the ways around your camera, try different styles. You can figure out the jobs and the shows and all that but learning your camera and trying to shoot in different settings and scenarios will only make those jobs easier. You’ll never stop learning, from other photographers, movies, or music. Take all the inspiration in and let it fuel you. I’ve met so many amazing people, I feel inspired everyday by them to always strive to inspire others around me.

Ben Zucker Photography // AtTheBarricade.net

For anyone that wants to talk more about this, please come out to a Night Riots show and talk to me at the merch table!


If you could photograph and tour with any band, who would it be?

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(And you can find Ben on Twitter & Instagram!)

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We had the pleasure recently of catching up with Lisa Loeb to pick her brain on being a musician. Below are her top 6 tips for musicians, and even though we aren’t aspiring performers ourselves…I’ll be honest, we’re all feeling pretty inspired. ATB’s debut album dropping in 2018?

You can catch Lisa in Canada this week: tour dates & her new single can be found after her A+ advice!


6 Tips For Musicians with Lisa Loeb

1.  Practice what you do.  If you’re a writer, write. If you’re a player, play. If you’re a singer, sing.

2. Don’t be afraid to collaborate.  You can learn a lot from others and they can learn from you.  It’s also good company!

3. Learn the business of music.  You should know how things work so that you can contribute, ask questions, and make things happen.

4. Don’t be afraid to get advice or direction from friends or professionals who know what they’re doing.  Sometimes someone can listen to what you’re doing or watch your stage show and give you constructive criticism and a perspective on what you’re doing which can be very helpful.

5. Get sleep.  Women often multi-task. Generally it’s a good idea to sleep so that you can fully function.

6. For women specifically- be unapologetic, be opinionated, don’t take the back seat or think of yourself as less.


Tour Dates

Feb 16 – Tillsonburg, ON (Sammy Krenshaw’s)

Feb 17 – Oakville, ON (Oakville Centre For The Performing Arts)

Feb 18 – Ottawa, ON (Centerpointe Theater)


Lisa Loeb gives good advice. What advice would you give to musicians?

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