Alex, Andre and Forrest Burnham have been performing together for seven years, which is pretty remarkable because the three brothers from Vermont are, respectively, just 19, 18 and 15.
Early on Burnham took over their family living room and converted it into a jam space where they honed their skills playing for four to five hours a day. “When we plug in and start playing, we lose all sense of time.”
After almost five years of performing live, a friend hooked them up with NY based producers, Freddy Shehadi and Andy Marvel, who signed them to their production
Company, Headspinners, developed their demo package, and set-up several showcases with various major record labels. Apparently, the record execs saw what everyone else was seeing; a young band oozing with talent and a front man with an unmistakable and powerful voice. With two major record deals on the table, the boys did one final showcase in New York for Island Def Jam chairman and CEO Antonio “L.A.” Reid. The veteran record exec wouldn’t let the band leave the room until he signed them, not even after youngest member Forrest beat him at pool. “I happened to be on my game that day both vocally and with a pool cue,” says Forrest with a smirk. High-spirited and confident, Forrest fronts the band as vocalist, with older siblings Alex on guitar and Andre playing bass and keyboards.
The three brothers got the performing gene from their mom, a UCLA music major who studied opera, and their love of rock from their dad, who shared his record collection with his boys on a nightly basis.
Burnham has crafted a debut album filled with catchy rock/pop anthems. It features songs like Tedder’s “Catch Me If You Can,” the Espionage-produced “Look Like Her” (“I have been waiting all my life/for someone to come and put things right”), “Thank You,” a collaboration with producer/songwriter Kennedy, and the Headspinners produced power ballad by Burnham that helped get them signed, “Slow Dance.”
Their Island Def Jam debut album represents their first time co-writing with such established producers as OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, Brian Kennedy (Chris Brown, Rihanna, Backstreet Boys, Jesse McCartney), the N.Y.-based Norwegian production team Espionage of Espen Lind and Amund Bjorklund (Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister” and Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable”), Andy Marvel (Jessica Simpson, Celine Dion)/ Freddy Shehadi of Headspinners, and James Bourne of Busted (“Year 3000”).
“We started writing our own songs about three years ago,” says Andre. “But collaborating with these great producers has allowed us to take our song writing skills to another level.”
The boys started out by learning to play their instruments at a local music school in Vermont. At the time the two older boys joined the ensemble, there were no singers. Andre said, “Forrest will do it,” and the rest is history. “It was either this, or go play in the sandbox,” he jokes about joining his older brothers in the band. “I’m very competitive, but most of the time I’m joking and being sarcastic. From what I can tell, they don’t mind me getting a lot of the attention. In fact, they’re cool about it. They know their place,” Forrest says laughingly…“But seriously, we’re all equal.”
With Forrest in front, the band boasts brotherly three-part harmonies and indelible hooks, lacing them with lyrics that are universal and ageless… romance, betrayal, young love and, well, girls. “I never actually believed they had cooties, but up until a few years ago, I used to think that they should have their side and we should have ours…but now I’m a BIG fan,” says Forrest, whose vocal heroes include U2’s Bono, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, and The Killer’s Brandon Flowers.
“Our music has hooks and choruses that people can sing along with,” adds Alex.
And while their initial audience is most likely teenage girls, Andre is quick to point out,
“The Beatles’ fans were teenage girls when they first started out… Just give us another 40 years.”
“We definitely set goals for ourselves,” says Forrest. “One of them was to get a record deal and we’ve done that. Now our goal is to make great music that is timeless and to reach as many people as we can.”
With their good-natured sibling rivalry, each of the three Burnhams bring something a little different to the table. Alex is the designated riff-meister and Forrest is great at finding melodies, while Andre, also known as M.D.(music director), organizes the rehearsals and comes up with lyrical ideas.
“Everyone in the band does a bit of everything,” adds Forrest.
“When we first started playing, it was for fun,” says Alex. “And now it has developed into an insane amount of fun.” “We’re normal kids doing things that all kids do. We just happen to have a record deal,” says Andre.
With the release of their debut album, Burnham is ready to take the next step. It certainly won’t be the last.
"I've always had an eagerness to create," explains British/American Weatherstar creator Cameron Walker. "I taught myself guitar and began writing songs in middle school. Since then all I ever want to do is write songs. I feel it's my main purpose in life and I couldn't stop now even if I wanted to. There have been periods of time where I'll literally lock myself in my room for days working on a song until it's finished. I feel like the isolation brings out my creativity and once I start something I can't stop until I finish."
In just two years Weatherstar has released three EP's, toured nationally, performed at the Vans Warped Tour, has been noted as being "buzz-worthy" by MTV, Seventeen, J-14, Substream Magazine as well as Alternative Press Magazine and has been featured on Purevolume's Top Unsigned list. Even for a new up and coming artist like Weatherstar growth is a necessity. The electro pop band's latest release "Crystal Ball" (produced by Andrew Goldstein of theFriday Night Boys) demonstrates a new direction that Weatherstar founder Cameron Walker couldn't be more proud of.
"What's really cool about our sound is that even though we have this crazy electronic element going on, the heart of a rock band comes through. In some songs we have this really full synth heavy foundation which is layered with super powerful dirty guitars. Then we sprinkle that with Blink-182-esque guitar leads. Vocally I draw a lot of influence from Kenny Vasoli of 'The Starting Line.' I love Blink and The Starting Line and pop punk but I also love Katy Perry and have a love for top 40 pop music. Our drummer Billy is a huge Michael Jackson fan.. but he's super well rounded in jazz and other styles, he is a huge asset to the project. We love so many different kinds of music and I think this contributes to the uniqueness of our sound. I'm really flexible with things... I'll be super into something and then the next day I want to do something else. Keeping this band sounding fresh is important to me, it keeps me on my toes and exploring new things. We are constantly evolving and changing. It's the way of he future."
Although Weatherstar's future is still unraveling Walker states that he's "just getting warmed up" and ready for whatever 2011 has to offer.
Equal Squeeze is a pop-punk band from Edwardsville Illinois. The band was formed in early 2010 when lead singer Trey Garrison and drummer Joey Kotsybar joined up with bassist Stephen Gooden, guitarist Luke Hughes, and former guitarist Drew Jackson.
The band almost immediately started playing shows and hasn't stopped. Playing their own originals, the band tries to live by New Found Glory's words "...Pop Punk is Not Dead" while incorporating their own unique sound. After the bands humble beginnings playing graduation parties and battle of the bands, they began playing in St. Louis with bands like House of Heroes, The Graduate, Anarbor, I Call Fives and Parachute. The band recorded their first EP in mid January 2011 and is now available in the website store and on itunes.