Holly Stell

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5eXSJGOdzM&w=560&h=315]

Music Produced at Trinity Gold Media Studios.

I had the honor and pleasure of communicating with Holly Stell. A Vacaville artist who at a young age started singing and continues to follow her dreams in the music industry.

Q&A with Holly Stell:

Maggie Guevara [MG]: When did you start singing?

Holly Stell [HS]: Age 3. First voice lesson when I was 9.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pvw1WT5HCcs&w=420&h=315]

MG: What bands and artists did you listen to growing up?

HS: Boyz II Men, The Beatles, Mariah Carey…and Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys, Obviously.

MG: What’s a typical day like for Holly Stell?

HS: I always have to have my coffee. I am in love with my new Keurig it’s amazing. Then I’ll light candles and listen to The Weeknd while I wake up. After that I’ll usually hit the gym or go on a hike at my favorite place, Pena Adobe, then get ready and hang out with my family and friends.

MG: What artists are you currently listening to?

HS: I’m obsessed with The Weeknd, Jhene Aiko, Frank Ocean, Florence + the Machine, A$AP Rocky, Yuna, Hans Zimmer and Wiz Khalifa.

MG: Tell me a little about yourself.

HS: I’m a very laid back person, but when it comes to my music I’m a perfectionist. I believe that the smallest elements in a song are just as important as the more noticeable ones because they all are contributing factors to what makes a sound unique. Writing music has become a part of me. It’s one thing to cover a song from another artist, but when you’re singing a song that you wrote it allows you to cater to your own specific emotion rather than someone else’s…You’re able to add subliminal messages that only you understand while matching it with the perfect melody. Writing is also very personal for me, so it’s crazy to hear a song that you wrote at 3am in your bedroom mixed and mastered. I love performing for people because it allows me to connect with them. I want my music to give people chills and tap into everything words alone can’t.

MG: When writing your lyrics, where does your mind go when you decide you have the words you want to convey when you sing?

“I’m in my own world when I write. Every emotion that I try to look past comes to the surface. It’s healing for me to put these lyrics to melodies.”-Holly Stell

MG: How would you personally describe your music to someone?

HS: Abstract, Subliminal, Trance, Epic and Mystical. I like epic chord progressions with dope beats. I think people put so many limits on life as it is, so why put limits on something as beautiful as music? I have no genre.

MG: Tell me about one of your most memorable moments while singing so far.

HS: Singing for President Bush, staying in an apartment in Paris while filming a PBS special and hearing Oprah say my name. I also performed my new song “Blind” for the first time at a festival recently and a little girl and her Mom loved it. That meant the world to me.

MG: Are you planning on going on tour? And if so, where were you thinking of going?

HS: There are shows lined up but no official tour yet. I would love to start out with some intimate settings to connect with fans.

MG: Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently while developing your sound?

HS: I would have liked to collaborate with more hip hop artists. I really enjoyed working with Red Dove.

MG: What are your strengths?

HS: I have an ear for exactly what I want in a song.

MG: What are your weaknesses?

HS: I procrastinate and my mind is always in so many different places at once that it’s hard for me to focus on finishing a song.

MG: Thank you so much for your time, Holly.



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Q&A with Over The Falls!

By: Maggie Guevara

[MAGGIE_ GUEVARA]:   “Tell me the story of how OVER THE FALLS came to be! Were you guys all friends before you formed the band? Did you all grow up together?”]

[Bret Fontaine _ Guitar, Vocals]: “Actually, we’re all from different parts of Nor Cal. I moved up to Santa Rosa in 2001 and was in a stoner metal band with Chris [Vocals] called B.U.R.n’R. Unknown to us, there was a fella named Tim [Bass, Vocals] in town who was rocking out with bands like Plan B and Risen (and Fallen).

A few years later, Tim and I met and formed a band called Captain Hashbrown. That was a prog-thrash-rock-just-about-everything-awesome band. Ryan [Drums] was out in Napa around this time with The Val Papadins.

Fast forward a few years to 2008; Tim had moved back from a few blissful years in San Diego, Captain Hashbrown was rolling but then nullified due to “jailed drummer syndrome”. Tim and I hooked up with Chris and desperately searched for a drummer for about a year til we found the mighty Ryan on Craigslist. God bless Craigslist. We’ve been going strong ever since! We first jammed in April 2009, had our first show in June 2009 at The Stork Club in Oakland. The rest, as they say, is science.”

[MG]:   “I’ll never forget the first time I heard you guys play at Chris’ Club in Vallejo. That was in 2010! Since then, you guys came out with another album. Thank you for sharing that with me by the way. It’s groovy! What inspired the new album?”

[BF]: “Thanks! Groovy is definitely part of what we were going for. I think the inspiration for the album was, as generic and corny as this sounds, us. It’s no small secret that we’re trying to fit more than one genre into this band here, and it’s no small feat to successfully tie all those sounds together. We really feel we accomplished it with this one.”

[MG]: ” I saw on your website that you guys were going to be performing in South Lake Tahoe at the end of the year! That’s so exciting! How did that opportunity evolve?”

[BF]: It IS exciting, isn’t it? OMG!!! We love Tahoe, being avid snowboarders (except for Ryan, who probably would be an avid snowboarder if he ever went). Credit for this show actually goes to Mike from The Business End (a killer punk band from SF), who asked us aboard.  This club is a blast to play.”

[MG]: “How many shows did you guys have this year?”

[BF]: “25. This year definitely didn’t have as many shows as the last, partly because we’re trying to focus on bigger shows with more thought put into promotion of them. Promotion: that is by far the toughest part of being an relatively unknown band. But we succeeded, I think, considering we got to play some great venues this year. Quite a few really good shows. Big thanks to all the folks that have rocked with us this year!”

[MG]: “What other venues were you looking to perform at?”

[BF]: “All of them! We had made a goal to play at Bottom of the Hill this year and ended up playing there twice over the summer. Played Elbo Room a few weeks back. We just want to keep hitting these great clubs in the city… onward and upward.”

[MG]: “Do your friends, family and loved ones travel with you guys when you go on tours?”

[BF]: “Good god, no. They’re sick of us! Just kidding, our wives (and girlfriend) are incredibly supportive, and generally there’s one or two of ’em at each show. But we play pretty often. They have lives, you know?  Various members of our families drop in from time to time to hear how much louder we’ve gotten since they last donned earplugs.”

[MG]: “Thank you so much for chatting with me today. It’s always a pleasure.”

[BF]: “Likewise!”


Over The Falls Band Members:

  • Bret Fontaine- Guitar & Vocals
  • Tim Bastianon- Bass
  • Ryan Alderman- Drums
  • Chris Rodgers- Vocals





CD Baby:


"So what do you think?
I’d love your feedback!
 – Maggie


By: Maggie Guevara

Earth Snake prepares to release its newest album, The Knowing Experiment, on January 13th, 2012.

The sounds of Earth Snake are progressive and in your face.  The mastermind behind all of the music is one person named Ed Stanley.  All of the instruments in his music are written and performed by him. Some of his songs are easily the kind that you can thrash about and head-bang to, and others you can just sit down and chill.  If you need to keep yourself pumped and ready to go for a high energy activity, just listen to one of his tracks like “Robots + Monsters” If progressive metal isn’t your flavor then maybe you’d enjoy something like “Flight.”  It’s smooth, relaxing and ethereal.

Raised in South San Francisco, Stanley started really playing music at the age of 10 and hasn’t stopped since.  In his early stages of musical development, he took private drum lessons and studied music in high school as well.  Now 22 years of age, Stanley is currently producing from the Napa Valley. On the new album you will find his song “Merely Practical Joking;”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqnWn3akSk0&w=560&h=315]
There’s much to be said about the demonstrative musician. Playing with time and space, Stanley integrates 8-bit and his knowledge of tempo changes with his passion for Djent, the subgenre the band Meshuggah coined, which expresses the heavy metal sound that spawned from progressive metal.

Stanley’s ability to capture a “full” sound while flying solo truly is an art form all in itself. Starting off as a drummer, Stanley takes what many might know as the “heart beat” of music to a new level.  But what I hear may be completely different than what you might hear. So check him out! Let me know what YOU think!


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"So what do you think?
I’d love your feedback!
 – Maggie