Episode #237: Kenny Keil – Artist/Writer of Graphic Novel Smoove City, Out Now via Oni Press

The guest for this episode Kenny Keil, artist and author of the graphic novel Smoove City, a story of four best friends as they try to make their journey towards boy band stardom. Kenny Keil is an artist and writer whose work crosses a spectrum of music, comics, and comedy, appearing everywhere from MAD Magazine and comic books to VIBE Magazine and music videos. During our chat, we talk about his motivation in making Smoove City along with his process creating it. We also talk about what music we both like and what music influenced Smoove City.


Renaissance Soul Podcast – The Time and Time Again Episode (w/ T. Calmese – Detroit Hip Hop Artist, The Black Opera)

For this episode, we are joined by Detroit hip-hop artist T. Calmese, member of the creative counter-culture collective The Black Opera, and his debut album Time and Time Again. After taking an extended break from making music, the feeling never fully left T. Calmese and a few years ago, he started to pick up the pen again in a journey that would lead us to Time and Time Again. Along with a track-by-track breakdown, Calmese shares with us why he took a break from writing, the joy of just being a fan of hip-hop, and what lead him back to making music that would result in finally making a proper debut solo album.


Episode #236: Rick Spears – Author of YA Graphic Novel My Riot, Out Now Via Oni Press

The guest for this episode is Rick Spears, author of the YA graphic novel My Riot, recently released via Oni Press. My Riot, created along with artist Emmett Helen, is a riot grrrl story set in 1981 with its main character, a teenager named Val, struggling with finding her own identity while facing the pressures of conformity. It’s a story about how the counter cultures of our society have been influential to the people that we would later become.


Episode #235: Richard Sjunnesson – Vocalist of Swedish Melodic Death Metal Band ‘The Unguided’, New Album Father Shadow via Napalm Records

The guest for this episode is Richard Sjunnesson, vocalist of the Swedish melodic death metal band The Unguided, and they just released their new full-length album Father Shadow via Napalm Records. We get into how the band functions, fine tuning their method of operation of writing and recording the new album after a history of lineup changes and The Unguided being birthed out of Richard and Roger Sjunnesson’s previous band Sonic Syndicate. With Father Shadow, The Unguided go back to their harder roots blurring the lines between a melodic death metal and metalcore sound. And for a treat to their old fans, they even did cover versions of their own classic Sonic Syndicate tracks “Jailbreak”, “Denied” and “Jack of Diamonds”.


Renaissance Soul Podcast – The Majesty Crush Episode (w/ Hobey Echlin – Bassist of the 90s Detroit Shoegaze Band)

For this episode, your host Kelly “K-Fresh” Frazier is joined by Hobey Echlin, bassist of the early 90s Detroit shoegaze band Majesty Crush. They were an anomaly in the Detroit music scene as they were compared to bands with the shoegaze sound that typically comes from the UK, but they were oddly connected to so much within the city of Detroit. They were surrounded by other artists who also didn’t fit in any creative box while their lush, dreamy sounds along with the colorful members of the bands (especially vocalist David Stroughter) made them memorable around the city. But it was the passionate lyrics of Stroughter that set them apart and defined them. Majesty Crush captured a vibe of Detroit while pulling from their global influences.


Episode #234: Alla Xul Elu (Billy Obey, Joey Black, Lee Carver) – Ohio-Based Horrorcore Hip-Hop Group, New Album MauXuLeum Out Now on Majik Ninja Entertainment

The guests for this episode are Billy Obey, Joey Black, and Lee Carver, the Horrorcore Hip-Hop trio from Ohio known as Alla Xul Elu making their return to Fresh is the Word to talk about all sorts of gross and horrific things, including their new album MauXuLeum, out now via Majik Ninja Entertainment. The new album is produced entirely by Detroit’s own Slasher Dave (producer of late 70s/early 80s influenced original instrumental horror/exploitation soundtrack music and member of metal band Acid Witch), so we talk about how it is to work with one producer for a whole album as we go track-by-track through MauXuLeum. We also talk about our favorite spooky tunes and horror flicks. It’s always crazy shenanigans when I have these Xuligans on the show.


Episode #233: Fenrier – Drummer of Varg, Pagan Metal Band from Coburg, New Album Zeichen Out Now Via Napalm Records

The guest for this episode is Fenrier, drummer the Pagan Metal band Varg from Coburg, Germany, who just released a new album Zeichen via Napalm Records. With this seventh full length release, Varg go back to their Pagan Metal roots, and in my discussion with Fenrier, we talk about the band’s vision for this album and their origins. We also go into Pagan history and how that is perceived in Germany, along with how his home place has been dealing with the pandemic along with social issues like the Black Lives Matter movement. It was great to almost exchange notes on the similarities and differences between our respective societal and political climates. It’s always fun to learn about different cultures through music and this episode with Fenrier is a good piece of education.


Renaissance Soul Podcast – The Circle Of Darkness Episode (w/ Eric Lauder, Guitarist of Detroit Thrash/Death Metal Band Plague Years)

For this episode, your host Kelly “K-Fresh” Frazier is joined by Eric Lauder, guitarist of the Detroit thrash/death metal band Plague Years, as we talk about their debut full-length album Circle of Darkness released September 18th 2020 via Entertainment One (or eOne). While the idea of the band has technically been around for about a decade now, the four guys of Plague Years only started to make it a serious band within the past few years with the release of two EPs, 2017’s self-titled EP and 2018’s Unholy Infestation EP. Eric shares with us the origins of the band, how they got signed to eOne, along with his vision for the band has the main songwriter going into making Circle of Darkness. We go track-by-track throughout the album, talk about the videos they shot, along with the album’s amazing cover artwork.


Renaissance Soul Podcast – The Everything Has To Fall Apart Eventually Episode (w/ The Messenger Birds – Chris Williams & Parker Bengry)

For this episode, your host Kelly “K-Fresh” Frazier is joined by Parker Bengry and Chris Williams, just two guys known as The Messenger Birds. The Detroit alternative rockers releases their debut album Everything Has To Fall Apart Eventually on October 7th, 2020. We go into the origins of the band as both guys, who have long been close friends, found themselves in countless other bands before finally coming together in 2015 to form this duo. We also go on a track-by-track breakdown of Everything Has To Fall Apart Eventually along with discuss their videos, the album artwork, and having Third Man Records press the vinyl version of the album. While written and recorded throughout 2018 and 2019, the outlook on the world we are living in shown to us by The Messenger Birds on this album is very relevant for 2020.


Episode #232: Skeme Richards – Rock Steady Crew, Global DJ, Cultural Ambassador, Foodie and Pop Culture Preserver, Purveyor of Rare Gems, and Runs the Website Nostalgia King

The guest for this episode is global DJ, cultural ambassador, foodie and pop culture preserver, Skeme Richards, and you can read and listen to all his experiences online at his Nostalgia King website. He recently dropped a new vinyl only (NO DIGITAL) 7″ for “Rock Latin Steady” b/w “Bimbo To The Beat” via RBMBoots that sold out quickly.