Archives For American Authors

Keeping with my own Summer Kick-Off tradition, I hung back in the meet-and-greets with the artists that performed at the 95.5 PLJ concert and asked them what they were looking forward to this summer.
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The band American Authors made the trek up from Brooklyn to chat about playing our upcoming “Summer Kick-Off,” releasing its sophomore album and its new favorite social network, Snapchat.

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For the second straight year, The John Lennon Songwriting Contest called upon “Ralphie Tonight” to announce the winner of its year-long, international songwriting competition. This year’s “Song Of The Year” winner was “Dysphoric,” a track by Barrington, R.I.-based quartet The Rare Occasions.
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Each year, the contest is divided in to a pair of sessions. Over $300,000 in cash and prizes is awarded, culminating with the “Song Of The Year,” which includes a $20,000 prize.

Brian Rothschild, Execuitve Director of The JLSC and Matthew Reich, Vice President of U.S. Tours and Promotions, along with American Authors’ front man Zac Barnett joined “Ralphie Tonight” for the announcement. Barnett’s band won the contest in 2012. Read more from The JLSC’s press release here, and check out the interview and winning song below.

For my third straight year, and second with a press pass, I walked to the start of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on the Upper West Side. There, I got up close and personal with some of this year’s performers and had a unique perspective as the floats and balloons made their way on to the parade route.

Check out more photos at 95.5 PLJ’s Facebook page!

In my first report for OK! TV, I went backstage at Hammerstein Ballroom during soundcheck for VH1’s “You Oughta Know” concert. Mary Lambert, Aloe Blacc, and American Authors all stopped by to chat about the show and what they’ve been up to this past year.

OK! TV airs in New York weeknights at 11:30 pm on WLNY TV (channel 55 on TWC/10 on FiOS).

The band American Authors says that its new LP, Oh, What A Life, is about the highs and lows we all experience. Just within a week of the album’s release, the group had a chance to experience both peaks and valleys first hand.

On Monday March 3, American Authors sang its hit “Best Day Of My Life” on “Live! with Kelly and Michael” for the show’s post-Oscars special in Los Angeles. The band’s performance received at best, mixed reviews. The next day its debut LP hit stores. The following Monday, Authors returned to the “Live!” set, this time in New York. Things went a lot better, especially when the band was presented with a plaque to mark the single selling 1 million copies in the U.S.

“Strangely enough I think it was just the byproduct of people being overworked and overtired,” drummer Matt Sanchez explained before adding, “Not us by any means, the crew.”

“(The show) hired on a bunch of people from L.A. that aren’t on their normal team,” guitarist James Adam Shelley said. “There was a lot of craziness (for) everybody, so.”

Lead singer Zac Barnett simply chalked the whole ordeal up to “technical difficulties,” and bassist Dave Rublin chimed in, “Yunno, things happen. We’re human.”

A lot has taken place since the four met at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. The many commutes between New York and Massachusetts led the band to drop out of school three-and-a-half years ago, move to Brooklyn, and pursue their dream full time.

“Once we got down here, and started being inspired by the surroundings… the music that we’re creating now is so different than what we started out with seven years ago or so,” Barnett said. “It was just time for a change. We changed our name and became American Authors.”

The quartet hails from all over the country but has taken a liking to their new digs.

“Where we live in Brooklyn is just such a melting pot for artists,” Rublin gushed. The bass player grew up in nearby Maplewood, N.J. “Pottery people, actual painters, and then we have like street musicians and everyone in between; fashion designers and everything. So it’s just a really cool spot to go out to the bars in those areas and be like, running in to random people who’ve done so many things you’ve seen in the city.”

Or in the case of a band that dropped out of college and now has a platinum single to its credit, heard in the city.