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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Have you guys seen King Kong yet?" asks Megaphone's lead guitarist Paul Smith. "It's amazing. I'm not kidding, I cried and just wanted to go home and hug my dog."

Not exactly what you'd think of when you think of the quintessential rock star, but within the context of Megaphone, such overt sentimentality is fitting. The idea of regular guys who cry at movies and then morph into rock stars certainly isn't new, but it's a notion that fits this band. Megaphone truly is a bunch of guys who know how to rock and don't mind being a little mawkish about it.

Convened by former members of well-known area pop-rock groups like Precious, My Hotel Year, Dynaride and 3AE, Megaphone includes Smith (who was also a touring guitarist with Seven Mary Three and VonRay), guitarist/singer/founder Matt Bloodwell, drummer Matt Brown and bassist James Woodrich. The quartet came together to make straight-up modern rock that, according to the band, is not unlike Butch Walker or the Foo Fighters.

Each band member was looking for something different than their previous bands, particularly Bloodwell. "I was becoming unhappy with Precious, and I had been writing songs that I wanted to write in secret." Once Precious dissolved, Bloodwell said that he sought out the other members to create the brand of loud guitar rock he'd always wanted to be a part of.

The group just released its first full-length album, For Cryin' Out Loud, with a sound that stays true to Megaphone's influences, maintaining the defiant-yet-accessible arena rock attitude of Kiss and Cheap Trick. At the same time, the album includes Bloodwell's tender lyrics about being an outsider and reveling in the unconventional in such songs as "Uncool" and "Freak."

Even before the disc's release, Megaphone has prospered, gathering up fans both locally and throughout the region. This was not by accident.

"Packaging, mastering, the whole thing, we were intent on making it seem as if we had already made it," Bloodwell said of the band's look-successful-be-successful philosophy. "We had most of the CD finished before we did our first show. We wanted to do the recording first to help us focus our sound before we started playing live." As Bloodwell speaks, he chooses his words carefully and postures with purpose. It's intriguing to try and square this image of the conscientious planner with his role as the songwriting force behind the band.

The other members use self-centered jokes to put a patina of irony on just how unironically they rock. Such statements are an extension of the band's stage presence – the twirling drumsticks and rock-god poses are part of the arena rock mentality – but even though they try to laugh it off, it's clear they revel in the power a loudly played pop song can have over an audience. The indie-rock bashfulness of the lowercased "m" in the band's logo is at odds with the fact that, when the huge canvas bearing their name is draped behind the band onstage, it's backlit by the group's lighting designer.

Since the band's slot at FMF last year opening for Everclear, Megaphone has certainly been heard. They were twice profiled on "Mel's Favorite Band" on O-Rock 105.9-FM and have found their music showing up on podcasts worldwide (even scoring two Top 10 placements on the podcast-centered Podsafe Audio site). In the meantime, they're working on new material and will be shooting a video for "Uncool" at their Feb. 20 Hard Rock Live show. But it's their upcoming appearance on a Butch Walker/Marvelous 3 tribute album that has them truly excited.

"Thinking about all that makes us giddy like little girls," Smith admits.

by: Nicole Prezioso
- Orlando Weekly


Megaphone is a rock band that knows what they're doing. Their songs are structured and ear catching, and they posses a sound that's all their own. As they
prove with their smashing debut album, ’For Cryin’ Out Loud’. As a whole comes off very strong, with tracks that can go punch for punch with the best of them.
Songs such as "Freak" and "Not Your Enemy" really kick things off with a bang. Other great songs that follow are "Wasted", "Drama Queen" and "Stain". Megaphone, is powered by founding member, rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist, Matt Bloodwell, lead guitarist, Paul Smith , drummer, Matt Brown and bass player, James Woodrich. Every song on this CD is enjoyable but don't expect
anything unique. The lyrics are straight forward and simple but are accompanied by really great hooks and melodies. I can promise you this, you won't regret
getting your hands of this CD. I do have to warn you though, ’For Cryin’ Out Loud’ may never leave your CD player. If you like bands like Marvelous 3, Cheap
Trick, or London Calling you will DEFINITELY love Megaphone! If you're looking for a great album with real music, this CD is for you. Megaphone’s music is
very enjoyable & the lyrics are honest. All the songs ROCK, and you can listen to the album over and over. Megaphone is a group to watch for as rising stars!
Expect huge things from this band.- Tony Sison, ALL ACCESS MAGAZINE
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Tony Sison, aka The Atomic Chaser
President, Dedicated Rocker Productions
Home Of The Atomic Chaser's Rockers & Rollers Webzine
http://atomicchaser.journalspace.com/
ALL ACCESS MAGAZINE, Contributing Writer
- All Access Magazine


For some it might be hard to imagine Matt Bloodwell going from playing drums in Precious to singing lead vocals and playing guitar in Megaphone. But it has happened and with the lineup of the rest of the band, it actually works very well. The 10 tracks on For Cryin’ Out Loud sound kind of like a cross between Cheap Trick and Precious, some moments sounding like something Precious might have done. But this band is definitely more song-oriented and the tunes are catchy and memorable. We highly recommend this CD to anyone who basically just wants to rock. A very cool effort.

by: Paul Hennig
- 5 Out Of 5 Stars


Discography

For Cryin' Out Loud - 2005, Self Released LP
The songs "Not Your Enemy", and "Stain" from this record have been in the top 5 most downloaded rock songs list on the podcast friendly website podsafeaudio.com
"Not Your Enemy" has also been in the top 10 most requested list on XM Radio Unsigned (channel 52)
megaphone has also recorded a version of Butch Walker's song "Alecia Amnesia" to be included on the future release of "Ready, Tribute, Go!", a tribute to Marvelous 3 / Butch Walker, to be released by CD Smash Records.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

megaphone is a four-piece rock band from Orlando, FL. Loud guitars, big drums, solid vocal harmonies, and hooks that stick to the side of your head are what drive their music. This band of Orlando local music scene veterans was formed in early 2004 by Matt Bloodwell (former drummer for the well known Orlando band Precious). Matt put down his sticks, picked up a guitar, and enlisted some of the best rock musicians in town. Matt Brown (former drummer for RCA recording artists 3AE) signed on, as did Paul Smith (former touring guitarist for Seven Mary Three - Mammoth/Atlantic, and VonRay - Electra), and James Woodrich (former bassist for My Hotel Year - Doghouse Records). With a killer line up, the band released its first full length CD on April 15, 2005. Capitalizing on momentum the band gained from this release, they proceeded to play every high profile gig they could get their hands on. These shows included opening slots for national acts such as Seven Mary Three, Everclear, Edwin McCain, VonRay, and The New Left, as well as appearances at WJRR 101.1's Earthday Birthday 12, and the 2005 Florida Music Festival Main Stage. That's not to mention repeat performances at some of Florida's most prestigious venues, including Hard Rock Live, House Of Blues, and The Social, to name a few.
This band's live performance is nothing to shake a stick at. From the moment they take the stage, it is obvious that these guys know what they're doing, and they love to do it. The energy is undeniable, and the sound is equally as powerful.
megaphone has also been heard repeatedly on several Central Florida Radio Stations including WJRR 101.1, O-Rock 105.9, WHOG 97.5, and Rollins College Radio 91.5. The band has also been listed in the top 10 most requested songs on XM Radio Unsigned (channel 52). Between all this exposure, and two songs planted firmly in the top 5 most downloaded rock songs list on the podcast friendly website PODSAFEAUDIO.COM, megaphone's sound is making a statement, not just regionally, but globally.
For more information about megaphone, check out www.megaphonemusic.net, and myspace.com/megaphone.