Allstar Weekend sat down with ME when they made a stop in Anaheim, California on the GLMR KLLS tour. We got behind the scenes details on how the band got together and what crazy things they’re up to next!

When Allstar Weekend’s guitarist and vocalist Nathan Darmody,19, walked up to Michael Martinez’s, 21, front door, he was just looking for a drummer for his local band. Little did he know, within the next few years they— along with lead singer Zach Porter, 21, and bassist Cameron Quiseng, 20— would get signed to Hollywood Records, live their dream of touring the country and have a lead single for Disney’s new movie, Prom.

“We did it in a very traditional way. We started in the garage. I think the day that we all met together was at my house. It was the complete package,” Nathan said.

Before they became Allstar Weekend, Nathan was finishing up high scNathan saidhool while Cameron and Zach were starting college.

“Zach went to San Diego State University and lived in the dorms. Every weekend we hung out in the dorms. We started writing songs in Zach’s dorm before all of this happened.” Cameron said.

Ask Rebecca Black and she’ll tell you fame is around the corner with a good (or bad) YouTube video. But, the members of Allstar Weekend say they got signed and the opportunity to tour the country because of their hard work promoting themselves in person.

“We all grew up together in the same town in Poway, California.  We were all into music and we all started playing pool parties, battle of the bands at schools and clubs.” Zach said.

When the guys needed to get their name out there, their manager suggested they promote themselves outside of concerts and shows, Nathan said he thought the idea was crazy at first.

“Growing up, we all went to concerts and every time you walk out of a venue there are people handing out flyers. You are thinking to yourself, ‘I’d hate to be that guy.’” Cameron said.

Cameron saysThe guys promoted outside Jonas Brothers concerts in hopes of gaining a fan base through flyers and sample CDs.

“The trick was we dressed up like the Jonas Brothers. We wore ties and we looked like we were part of the show. People thought we were part of the show and we passed out flyers.” Zach said. “It was kind of weird. These girls would scream and chase us because they just thought we were an important band. They just went crazy.”

After promoting outside of different tours and movie premieres, a casting director got the guys to compete on Radio Disney’s competition, “Next Big Thing.”

“We ended up losing, but because of it we went from being just a band on MySpace playing local shows in town, to a band that had a song on the radio that kids all over the country could hear and then we got signed.” Cameron said.

Now that they’re becoming a household name, the guys continue to write their own music and perform shows for their fans. However, they do admit they still have to deal with haters and people who don’t support them as artists.

“You really only have to know one thing which is stay true to yourself. You’re going to have haters and people that don’t like you, but you just have to be you.” Cameron said.

Nathan said he thinks haters don’t really have a problem with you, but with themselves.

“They could be jealous of the opportunity and that you’re taking a risk, being courageous and doing your own thing,” he said. “We were very fortunate and all got really lucky to meet in high school and have something in common.  We’re very fortunate to write great songs and meet all these people in our lives.”

The guys are currently signed with to Hollywood Records (the same label as the Jonas Brothers!) and are currently on the Glamour Kills (GLMR KLLS) tour with headliner, The Ready Set. This summer, they’re opening for Selena Gomez, and will release a new album in June or July.

The new album will feature their current single, “Not Your Birthday,” which is also featured in Disney’s upcoming movie Prom. “People are really going to be surprised,” Zach said. “It has a very unique Allstar Weekend sound to it.”
-Marjorie Yan


Ever dreamed of a bunch of your favorite YouTube stars coming to your neighborhood?  Well, it’s happening! Greenhouse Entertainment and The Cloud Media got together and rounded up your favorite YouTube artists for a six-week  national tour called The DigiTour! Throughout April and May, your favorite artists like Dave Days, David Choi, Destorm, Ricky Ficarelli, Christina Grimmie,  The Gregory Brothers   (Hide yo’ kids!), Mystery Guitar Man and many more will stop by 27 cities and perform for you live (not behind a computer screen)! We caught up with drummer Ricky Ficarelli  and got the inside scoop on The DigiTour and the next beat in his career. 
 Ricky Ficarelli

ME: When did you realize you had a talent for playing the drums?
RF: My dad played drums when he was younger so there was alw
ays a drum set in my house. When I got into middle school I started doing band and got involved in the school programs. I thought to myself, well I have a drum set so I might as well use it.

ME: How did you get signed to The DigiTour?
RF: I started putting up YouTube videos about ten or eleven months ago. After I put up my second video, the co-producers of The DigiTour, Chris Rojas and Meridith Valiando signed me to their production company. I just kind of got thrown into this awesome circle of YouTube performers an
d I’m lucky enough to have gotten a spot on the tour and be a part of all of it.

ME: How has your life changed since you’ve started getting lots of viewers?
RF: My life has changed a lot. The first half of this year I was in normal high school and when all this crazy stuff started happening I relocated out to California. I’m doing an online school and running around town with all of these meetings and to different studios. My life has taken a really big turn, and I’m really blessed. I’ve been living in LA for a few weeks and I’ll be here up until the tour. After the tou
r my family is going to try and relocate out to LA.

ME: What’s it like transitioning to California from Florida?
RF: They’re both awesome, I think the only difference— well there [are] a lot of differences. It’s just that back home in Florida I have all of my friends and It’s just more chill and out here I’m running around and I’m busy. The weather is different and it’s a lot more dry out here. It’s two different feels. It’ll be nice to switch back in between and the DigiTour actually ends in Florida so when it ends I’ll be back home.

ME: What can the audience expect from your performance on the DigiTour? I know you posted a video about searching for band members to play along with you. How’s that coming along?
RF: As of right now we’re doing a band search. There [are] hundreds of awesome submissions so final decisions are being made. I’m also getting the privilege to play drums with the headliner on the tour, Dave Days. What I’m doing for my own performance and my opening act, all of that is coming down to the wire and all of the final decisions are being made.

ME: Your videos look awesome! Where are they recorded?
RF: Me and my dad turned my garage into a recording studio and we decked it out. Really it’s been a process since middle school. I’ve dabbled with recording softwares. Over the years I’ve been getting more equipment and I’ve been learning how to record. This year I started making videos and I have a few friends that went to high school for film and are continuing that in college.  I do all of the audio and they record. It’s a bunch of team work.

ME: Have you ever been faced with people putting you down?
RF: Yeah of course, being on YouTube people post on your videos and say whatever they want. Of course I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback but from time to time you get people that are, lack of a better word, haters. I just try to focus on the positive energy and just don’t focus on it. You just have to do what you’re passionate about and have fun and if you’re doing that, nothing can stop you.

ME: How do you decide which songs to cover?
RF: I get emails, tweets and Facebook messages and comments. I get tons of stuff. What I really try to do is try to play songs that get requested most often.

ME: Have you any worked with any bands or musicians?
A few months ago I put drums on Cymphonique’s record, Master P’s daughter. She has a show coming out on Nickelodeon later this year. As of right now I haven’t worked with any other artists.

ME: Which is the most difficult cover you’ve done?
RF: You mean skill-wise? I would say I spiced up my Ke$ha cover the most. It’s all about having fun, but I would say that one kind of has the most spiced up drumming in it.

ME: Do you have any other talents?
RF: My main passion is drums but I can play guitar, bass and I did band all throughout middle and what I went to of high school. I can play all of orchestral and classical and stuff like that. I’ve dabbled around with acting, but because of all this DigiTour stuff and music, I’ve put acting off to the side.

ME: Do you plan on going to college or is this what you want to pursue?
RF: Well right now I’m halfway through my junior year so after this year I have another year of school to go through. My plan is to keep my grades up  and see where music takes me and I’ll just have to see where I am a year from now and see if I want to go to college.

ME: Where you starstruck when you found out who you would be performing with on The DigiTour?
Yeah, I’m a big fan of YouTube so when I started getting involved in all of this, at first I was like, ‘Alright I used to watch these guys all the time, and now I’m hanging out with them.’ I’m pretty good friends with all of them now. Yesterday I did a video shoot with Dave Days for a couple of music videos. I’m very excited for the DigiTour, and it’s gonna an awesome time.

ME: What do you want to do in the long run? Join a band?
RF: I would say the ultimate goal is to one day find the right band that works and honestly I’m living out one of my dreams right now which is going on tour and playing drums. The ultimate goal would be to go on tour and find the right band and work on with music.

Check out Ricky’s cover of Ke$ha’s “We Are Who We Are” and tell ME what you think!
-Marjorie Yan

Photo Courtesy of The DigiTour

Sam BehymerWith a family filled with musical talent, Sam Behymer didn’t take long to realize that she too had a love for music. This 22-year-old Texas native is pursuing her music career in southern California. When it comes to music, Sam says it’s her native language. Read on to learn more about this rising star and how you can see her live!

Sam is a recent graduate from Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA and admits she’s had her fair share of road blocks as a musician. Even so, she believes the only way to overcome difficulty, no matter the circumstance, is to focus on things that are good and true. “I can either be driven by fear or by truth.  I want to choose truth.”
Sam just re leased her new EP “Bluebirds In,” and is proud to say that she writes all o
Tips for musiciansf her music.  

“The EP addresses many different kinds of fear and uncertainty. My hope is that my exploration of those emotions within myself can help other people to work through their own difficulties.” she said.

Sam’s music sounds like  a cute mix of acoustic indie with a tiny touch of pop. In her own words it sounds like a 22-year-old playing the piano and singing what she feels. Watch out, Sara Bareilles!

“I’ve been told that I have a unique voice, and I try to use my voice in such a way that the emotion in the lyrics comes through.”

Sam’s next show is Saturday, March 26, at The Roxy Theater in Hollywood. Can’t make it? Don’t worry! Sam is planning a summer tour too. Stay tuned to see when this song bird is flying to a town
near you. Can’t wait? Check out the music video to her song, “If You Don’t Mind”!

Let ME know what you think of Sam!
-Marjorie Yan

Skylar Grey

Although the name Skylar Grey may not sound too familiar (yet), she’s worked on tons of things that you probably have heard of. Skylar Grey is the stage name of Holly Brook Hafermann, a multi-instrumental singer, songwriter and record producer. Here are ten things you should know about this sure-fire star.
1. As a child growing up in Wisconsin, Grey performed professionally in a folk duo with her mother called Generations.
2. Skylar started her first band at the age of fifteen, and has worked with jazz musicians such as Jeff Eckles and Leo Sidran.
3. In 2006, Grey released her first album “Like Blood Like Honey” and toured as the opening act for artists like Daniel Powter, Teddy Geiger, and Duncan Sheik.
4. Machine Shop Recordings signed Skylar, and she performed on Fort Minor’s “Where’d You Go” under the name Holly Brook. After she released her debut album her contract was cut short when sales didn’t do so well.
5. Not only does she sing, but she writes music too! Grey has worked on numerous versions of Rihanna’s “Love The Way You Lie” with British hip-hop producer Alex da Kid.

6. Skylar is working on music with Kid and is signed to his production company, Wonderland Records.

7. You already know her voice! Skylar is also featured on Dr. Dre and Eminem’s  brand new cut, “I Need a Doctor,” Diddy Dirty Money’s “Coming Home” and Lupe Fiasco’s “Words I Never Said.”

8. One of Grey’s all-time favorite movies is “Brazil.”

9. Skylar sang the original demo version of “Love The Way You Lie” recorded.

10. Her writing contribution to Eminem and Rihanna’s “Love The Way You Lie”
  landed Skylar a Grammy nomination for “Song Of The Year” and “Best Rap Song.”
-Marjorie Yan