Sikes | Pittsburgh Indie Hip Hop & Podcast News

Sikes is an Indie Hip-Hop artist & producer from Pittsburgh, PA. He also hosts a weekly podcast focused on the Pittsburgh Music & Entertainment scene called Start The Beat with Sikes.

GET IN LOSER. WE'RE GOING SHOPPING.

HEY THERE FREINDOS. FIRST OFF, I WANT TO INVITE EVERYONE OUT TO THE 5TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY FOR START THE BEAT W/ SIKES. IT’S BEEN A REAL FUN JOURNEY GETTING TO THIS POINT AND I’M HAPPY TO BE CELEBRATING THIS OCCASION WITH SOME SUPER AWESOME PEOPLE. IN ADDITION TO THE LIVE PODCAST ELEMENT OF THE EVENING, WE’LL BE HOSTING A LOCAL MUSIC SCENE MEET-UP FOR EVERYONE TO SOCIALIZE, NETWORK AND BE HUMAN AROUND EACH OTHER IN THE SAME ROOM FOR A FEW HOURS. YOU’RE ALL INVITED. COME HANG THE FUCK OUT.

Click through to RSVP!

Click through to RSVP!

If you are unable to make it out to the 5th Year Anniversary Party you have another opportunity to catch Start The Beat LIVE on April 12th at Podcast Night at The Tolma 2 alongside our friends in Thrifty and Neon Brainiacs. This event is at a private address but open to the public so please feel free to reach out for more info!

Click through to RSVP!

Click through to RSVP!

The past couple weeks on Start The Beat have been fantastic conversations. If you haven’t had a chance to check out these episodes you should set aside some time to engage your earholes with them.


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Been having a lot of fun with Sikes and The New Violence over the past few weeks playing a lot of more shows and working on new material as well. If you have not had a chance to see us yet this year the new set we’re playing is pretty rad and you should try to catch us at one of our upcoming shows! We have a couple more gigs this month along with a nice handful of others throughout the summer that we’ll be announcing soon.


We have just launched 2019 Summer Merch for Greywalker and if you’re into that sort of thing… well… you can give us your money I suppose! :-) People have been asking for us to make the shorts again and this is the FIRST TIME we’ve ever had snapbacks so I’m excited that we’re able to get these out to everyone.

You can also pick up this stuff at our upcoming shows throughout the summer while supplies last. YOu can find a list of some events down below. Come headbang!

Photo: Nick Prezioso

Photo: Nick Prezioso


Before we wrap up here I just want to remind everyone about the next Myspace Nite on April 19th at Brillobox. Our friend Bambi will be hosting the event. Come dance, dance. ;-)

Click through to RSVP!

Click through to RSVP!

That’s all for now. Goodbye. :-)

I'M A BLOG. HE'S A BLOG. SHE'S A BLOG. WE'RE ALL BLOGS.

It’s been a few months since I’ve updated this website blog. What the flapjack is going on? Mostly, just the same old shit but it’s all pretty cool. Let’s talk about it. Don’t worry… I’ll keep it short.

Feb 2019 - Myspace Nite (Photo: Nick Prezioso)

Feb 2019 - Myspace Nite (Photo: Nick Prezioso)

I don’t have an efficient way to discuss all this crap so let’s try taking things one at a time. Let’s start with Sikes and The New Violence. The last post I made on the website was actually discussing our latest album that we released back in November. Since then some people have listened to it. Some people have even gave us money for it. Some people are nice. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet you can listen to it for free on the internet. We’ve also been playing a lot of more shows. You can find some evidence of that below along with a calendar of upcoming shows if you give a shit.

UPCOMING SIKES&TNV SHOWS


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If you haven’t been keeping up with my podcast over the past few months I’ve been moving full force and am quickly approaching the shows 5th Year Anniversary. With no plans of really slowing down any time soon I am working on some pretty cool stuff as I move forward. For now though, take a moment to check out everyone who has been on the show recently and don’t forget that you can catch new episodes every Monday at 1:00 PM!

SPOTIFY: http://bit.ly/startthebeat-spotify
APPLE: http://bit.ly/startthebeat-apple
GOOGLE: http://bit.ly/startthebeat-google
STITCHER: http://bit.ly/startthebeat-stitcher
YOUTUBE: http://bit.ly/startthebeat-youtube
INSTAGRAM: http://bit.ly/startthebeat-instagram
FACEBOOK: http://bit.ly/startthebeat-facebook

In other podcast news I have recently made some new friends with some other podcasters in the PGH area and it seems we have created a little gang of sorts. (Special shout outs to Thrifty, Ghoul on Ghoul and Neon Brainiacs) In a celebration of continued friendship we will be hosting our SECOND Podcast Night at The Tolma event on April 12th. An evening of live podcast recordings with plenty of encouraged audience participations where YOU could be part of the show… If you want. Click the flyer below for more info and SMASH THAT RSVP while you’re in there.


Moving onto some Greywalker news we… recently released a music video for the track Gold Lust that was Directed & Edited by Brian Howe aka Sikes aka the person talking to you right now. We also spent some time in studio recently with our friend Sid Riggs and put together something special that we’re hoping to release very soon. We’re also officially back in full force writing mode with a couple of new demos under our belt. Lots of behind the scenes stuff but we’ll be playing a good bit of shows over the next couple of months so check out our new music video down below and underneath that you can catch a list of some upcoming shows. Nice.

If you’re reading this before March 30, 2019 you have an opportunity to come to a great event that we’ve been asked to be a part of in memory of our late friend JJ. You can find our more about this event here and by clicking through the flyer below as well.

UPCOMING GREYWALKER SHOWS


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Wrapping things up, I just want to give a bit if an early heads up on the next MYSPACE NITE. We did announce this last week on our new Instagram but the account is new and doesn’t have many followers yet (which YOU can help change) so this is our first “major” public announcement. I guess. It doesn’t really matter. What DOES matter though is that our favorite host BAMBI will be back with us this month and you can be damn sure that this party will be a blast. See below for photographic evidence from past events.

Photo: Nick Prezioso

Photo: Nick Prezioso

Photo: Nick Prezioso

Photo: Nick Prezioso

Photo: Nick Prezioso

Photo: Nick Prezioso

Photo: Nick Prezioso

Photo: Nick Prezioso

Photo: Nick Prezioso

Photo: Nick Prezioso

Photo: Nick Prezioso

Photo: Nick Prezioso


And well I think that is plenty enough for now. Just wanted to do my best to get things up to date on this “blog” and fill in any gaps you may have missed. As always, I’m working on plenty of new stuff and keeping the ball rolling. When something cool happens, I’ll be back to tell you about it. Until then, be kind to yourself and the people around you… OR ELSE. ;-)

AUGUST 2K18. Holler if you hear me!

AUGUST 2K18. Holler if you hear me!

Photo: Dave Walker

Photo: Dave Walker

Before I get into all the SIKES related stuff I just wanted to remind anyone new to this blog that the new GREYWALKER album is finally out! Without Control is available for streaming on all major Digital Platforms so if you haven't given it a listen yet please do! 

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Now onto the SIKES news... Last month I announced that we were going to be releasing the new SIKES AND THE NEW VIOLENCE album on November 1st and everything is still on track for that to be the case. This is very exciting for me. I hope it is exciting for you.

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The album is going to feature 10 brand new tracks but there's a good chance that if you've seen me live in the past year or two you've already heard an early version of some of these tracks. That being said, this album should have been released way earlier than the end of 2018 but I don't have the luxury of making music full time and well... life happens. However, having that extra time gave us an opportunity to bring Evan Thorsen (Greywalker, Byron Nash & Plan B) on board whose guitar work completely transformed the sound of this new record into something I couldn't of even imagined a year ago. It's been a blast having him on board and I'm glad things worked out the way they did.

The material is a lot more "hip-hop" focused than anything else I've recorded in the past 5 years and features some of the most sample based material I've ever recorded as SIKES. Just like our last album I've Seen Better this album has zero guest features and everything was 110% self-recorded and self-produced by me at my house in Troy Hill.  If you live in or around Pittsburgh try to keep your calendar clear for that first or second weekend in November. There is most likely going to be an event that I want all of you to be at. I can't say anything else at the moment but as soon as everything is locked in place I'll be making a pretty big announcement. You'll see...

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Another SIKES thing that I should bring up is my recent recognition in the Pittsburgh City Paper's 2018 Best of Pittsburgh issue. I made a video the day this was announced addressing my feelings on this and if you haven't seen it I will link it down below. Overall, I'm grateful for the support from every single person who voted for me but after being featured in the past 4 years of this issue I do hope some other PGH Hip-Hop artists get their chance to shine in 2019.

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With all of this other stuff going on I've had to take a slight step back from releasing new episodes of START THE BEAT. I am still working on plenty of new content for the show behind the scenes but the public output is going to a little less frequent over the next couple months. Regardless, I had some time recently to sit down with the guys in Smokey Bellows for a really fun talk on Episode 181. Links down below! 

If you want to become more involved with stuff related to START THE BEAT and join in on some discussions centered around topics discussed on current episodes and potential topics for future episodes I have started a Facebook group to help facilitate these conversations.

CLICK HERE TO JOIN START THE BEAT: FUTURE IDEAS & DISCUSSIONS

One last thing to mention regarding START THE BEAT and upcoming video content. As you may have noticed, I recently started experimenting filming the episodes and I was uploading the episodes to YouTube for a while but they weren't getting any interaction and YouTube is just an insanely difficult platform to break into. Especially when you're someone like me who doesn't release consistent content. If you look at my channel right now it's a variety pack of different stuff that isn't really related to each other and I think it has pushed some old subscribers away and only confused potential new ones. 

The plan moving forward is to create a new YouTube channel specifically for Start The Beat and other Vlog style content so I can shift my current channel back to more music related content. I just recently upgraded my equipment a bit so once I have some new content filmed on this new fancy camera I'm probably going to launch the new channel and see how things go from there. Once it's live you'll know!  


The last thing I want to to do before wrapping this up is just remind everyone once again about BREWTAL BEER FEST happening on October 20th at Mr. Smalls Theater and Funhouse. To help promote the event and have a little fun we've started up a silly series called the "Brewtal Boiz" where we talk about beer and metal and pop culture and everything else that our parents said would ruin our lives. The first couple episodes are down below. Check 'em out!


I think that is plenty enough for now. If you want to keep up with my nonsense on a daily basis you still can find me everywhere outside of here @therealsikes.

PS: Here is some art I did recently. Later!

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MAY 2K18. Sex, The News and Violence.

MAY 2K18. Sex, The News and Violence. I'm changing my band name. More on that below. ;-)

Here's everything I did in the past month or so that you might have missed and some more stuff coming up that maybe you won't miss now that you're reading about it. Let's dig in.

Photo:   Nick Prezioso

Photo: Nick Prezioso

Millvale Music Fest came and went. We played outside in the rain. I got very wet and I ruined a nice pair of shoes but the set was tight and it felt really good to be back on stage with The New Violence behind me. The new songs sounded killer and I can't thank everyone enough who toughed it out with us to watch the set. It meant a lot to see people sticking around and a few homies even managed to capture some footage on their phones which was nice since everyone with the fancy cameras ran for cover once the rain hit.

Photo:   Megan Maureen

Photo: Megan Maureen

Also, THIS happened...

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Sikes and The New Violence will be performing again this Month on May 29th in The Club at Stage AE supporting Spirt Animal. Tickets are only $10 so if you're in Pittsburgh and want to see us in a very comfortable, awesome sounding environment with some great bands come on out! This is going to be a really awesome night. Respond to the Facebook event page HERE and I'll personally nag you about coming. ;-)

Currently, the main focus with Sikes and The New Violence  is getting the new album finished so expect to see some more live action from us in the Fall. In the meantime though we do have a few dates scheduled throughout the rest of the summer. You can check them out below. More will most likely get added but this is it for now. :-)

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In other news my other band Greywalker just dropped the first single / music video from our upcoming album Without Control. The song is called "Pity Capsule" and the video was directed by Nick Prezioso. You can check it out below.

The self-produced album was recorded in part by Matt Very at Very Tight Recordings and was mastered by the legendary award winning engineer Alan Douches (Cannibal Corpse, Dillinger Escape Plan, Every Time I Die) at West West Side Music. 

I mixed the album if that counts for anything. Just saying. :-P

The album is going to be released on July 6th and the on the following day July 7th we will be having an album release party to celebrate with some super awesome bands and friends. We really busted our asses on this release and I'm super proud of it so mark your calendars and come party with us on July 7th! It will mean the world to us to see you all there. Seriously.

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On the most recent episode of One Minute Or Less I took another audience request and decided to try and answer a question that I have no business really answering. What's the difference between Emo & Pop-Punk? Watch me pretend to know what I'm even talking about in ONE MINUTE OR LESS!

CHECK OUT THE FULL PLAYLIST OF ONE MINUTE OR LESS VIDEOS HERE!


The past few weeks have brought us a few new episodes of Start The Beat. Check out some clips and links to full episodes below! 

Start The Beat 165: Bengt Alexsander of Action Camp & St. Dude

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On Episode 165 I sat down with Bengt Alexsander of the bands Action Camp & St. Dude for a talk about his personal experiences as a musician & sound engineer, the PGH scene so much more.

Explore the wide world of Action Camp & St. Dude and on their Facebooger pages. Links below:
facebook.com/actioncamppgh
facebook.com/stdude
 

On Episode 167 I sat down with Ryan Postlethwait aka Mega Beardo for some super laid back talk about Beer, Video Games, Horror Movies, Heavy Metal and everything else worth talking about. Ryan specializes in original compositions and metal arrangements of retro video game music under the name Mega Beardo but that's only scratching the surface. Sit back, relax and let's Start The Beat!

www.megabeardo.com

On Episode 168 I sat down with Brenda and Thom from the band Old Game. They make really good music and they are nice people to talk to. We had quite the hoot. Join us for a talk about the history of the band, the PGH music scene and plenty more. Sit back, relax and let's Start The Beat!

www.oldgamemusic.com

START THE BEAT with SIKES is available on iTunesStitcherGoogle PlayLibsynEpicast or wherever else you get your podcasts!


I think that is plenty enough for now. If you wanna keep up to date with whatever I'm doing on a more frequent basis for whatever reason you can find me across almost all social media @therealsikes. Later gators.

APRIL 2K18. This time it's PERSONAL.

APRIL 2K18. This time it's PERSONAL. I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. I just wanted to sound intense. Deal with it.

Photo:   Nick Prezioso

Photo: Nick Prezioso


First order of business: Just an important reminder that SIKES AND THE NEW VIOLENCE has a NEW lineup, NEW songs and a NEW live show that we will be debuting at the Millvale Music Festival 2018! We play at 6PM on the Gap Park Main Stage. Check out the video for more info and mark those calendars. We're less than a month away! OMG!
 

Check out a full list of SIKES shows below. Note: April 23 and May 1 are BOTH solo performances.

Here is a list of upcoming GREYWALKER shows too in case you're curious.


Second order of business: A friend asked me to make a video talking about what social media platform is best suited for bands nowadays and why. My answer is none of them. Find out more about that in ONE MINUTE OR LESS!

CHECK OUT THE FULL PLAYLIST OF ONE MINUTE OR LESS VIDEOS HERE!


Third Order Of Business: MYSPACE NITE is back this Friday once again at Brillobox. Doors open at 10. Me and Wyatt are spinning all night. $5. You know the deal. 

Check out this gallery of photos from some previous events taken by Nick Prezioso.

RSVP TO MYSPACE NITE HERE!


Last order of business: Episode 163 of START THE BEAT w/ Michael T. Nolan of VENUS IN FURS is now available! Check out this clip about the importance of a good live show. 

We also talk about his long history in the Pittsburgh music scene, the importance of putting on a real "show" and all of the creative forces that have been driving him along the way. Sit back, relax and let's START THE BEAT!

Listen to the full episode using the player above or find it on whatever other platform you prefer. START THE BEAT with SIKES is available on iTunes, Stitcher, Google PlayLibsyn, Epicast or wherever else you get your podcasts!


Episode 164 w/ Silence is also available! Check out this clip regarding the Pittsburgh scene and some thoughts on one of the most beloved DIY spots in the city. 

We also bout the history and message behind their band, touring the country, the PGH DIY scene and so much more. From playing paintball and making movies, to running a record store and trips to the hospital this conversation goes all over the place but it's really tight. Sit back, relax and let's START THE BEAT!

Listen to the full episode using the player above or find it on whatever other platform you prefer. START THE BEAT with SIKES is available on iTunes, Stitcher, Google PlayLibsyn, Epicast or wherever else you get your podcasts!


I think that is all for now. I'm sure there is more but whatever. I'll update it later. Stay tuned. Love ya. XOXO.