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On The Sticks



“When we start playing, it’s a feeling that is indescribable,” Moudi explained. “It’s like a natural high. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love playing shows and I don’t think I’ll ever give it up.”

The 22 year old Pueblo native, Ronan “Moudi” Neilson, might seem timid, but a whole other person comes out when he takes the stage. He let’s down his long curly hair, throws his shirt off to the side of the stage and plays the drums like no other. His understanding of speedy drum grooves is fascinating and his consistency is astonishing to say the least. Fast, slow, or moderate, he never fails to entertain a crowd.

Now, four years out of high school and just completing an Associate’s Degree in Arts and Applied Sciences, the busy Moudi is in high demand when it comes to anything Metal. From jamming in his basement to being apart of three different bands, he now has to juggle his time for practicing, school and work.


Ronan Neilson | PULP

From a very young age, Moudi has had an interest in music and specifically with the drums. His father, Ben Neilson, who also had an interest for the drums, happened to be the single reason why an interest was sparked inside of Moudi.

“My first influence was my dad,” Moudi expressed. “He had a drum kit and I wanted to learn how to play, too. If it wasn‘t for that, who knows if I ever would have wanted to play the drums.”

That’s really where his story begins. When he graduated to middle school, that’s when he got his real taste of playing in a band. He joined the school band and he fell in love with the drums. Since then, he has kept a similar practice regimen, which is practicing on his drums when ever he gets a free moment.

“I’ve played in like a million different groups, but I’ve been able to play steady shows with three different groups,” he said.

After being burnt out from playing with Force the Trigger and the unofficial disbandment of the group, he has settled down with three different bands, which are three different subgenres of Metal.

In between school and playing, he has to fit his job into his schedule, too. He’s been working at Drive-In Autosound for a while now, but he’s holding this job so that he can have money while he’s making some moves with his groups. Though he doesn’t play for the money, it would be nice to make money to do the thing he loves the most.

He belongs to Div_ider, Bleed to Death and Rat Racer.

With Bleed to Death, he describes it as “Thrashy, Slayery and in your face.” This is one of the most recent groups he has played with and this is the one band that he plays shows with now. Div_ider and Rat Racer are projects that are still in a transition, but he plans on playing shows with those two groups as well, once those groups are complete.

“Div_ider is in a transition with its name and style,” he explained. “We are trying some new Djent stuff and it sounds very cool.”

The love for playing is alive in Moudi and he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. When asked about the biggest gigs he has played, his eyes lit up and he quickly had an answer ready.

“The All Shall Perish gig at The Blacksheep motivated me a lot and Impending Doom was another big one,” Moudi explained.

So, outside of his passion for the drums, there’s an interesting background story to his nickname, Moudi. Before changing his name to Ronan, his nickname was formed. Moudi was something his dad called him, so it was an easier name to say. It was the only Lebanese Arabic name that has stuck with him since the name change. The first part of his name was Mohammed, which translated to “the praised one,” but he didn’t want the name of a prophet.

Moudi | PULP

Moudi | PULP

“My father gave me a story-long name that meant savior of the world, and I was like I don’t want to hold that title,“ Moudi explained. “People would also make fun of me for my name. I just got so much sh** for it, so I changed it.”

With the name change being a distant memory, Moudi is now able to focus on his ability to play the drums, instead of explaining how to pronounce his name.

The fundamentals of playing the drums might not be the hardest thing to learn, but the ability to play them at a certain speed and with a certain style is a feat that not many drummers have achieved. With passion and skill, Moudi is on hot pursuit to play with agility similar to Alex Rudinger, who is a multi-band/studio drummer. They both have that in common, they’re good at what they do and have branched out to different styles as drummers.

Moving forward from here, Moudi will continue to get better and will hopefully create some more opportunities in the future. He will continue to play gigs with his bands and go to school to become a sound engineer. Even if he couldn’t turn his love of drums into a career, he’ll still play on the side while he records other bands.

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CO Springs emcee Che Bong goes outer limits on new psychedelic full length



Electro-Soul Hip Hop | Che Bong – From the dusty ‘Amen break’ heavy loop-gone-psychedelic of album opener Telescope to the lo-fi space rockin’ of album ender The Paradox of Time, CS emcee Che Bong (of Bullhead*ded) has really outdone himself and the genre itself on Telescope to the Heavens. With an album full of immersive and challenging-yet-chill hip hop musicality that owes just as much to free jazz and psychedelic rock as it does to hip hop and neo-soul, Che is on some next level stuff.  Get. On. It.

90’s inspired Alt-Punk | Hooper – “No Monument” from Denver Rock City punkers Hooper does a couple things very well; it provides stellar songwriting and momentum building, gives a healthy shot in the arm of indie-slathered 90s era punk rock, and in doing both provides a direct line to the sonic and perhaps more importantly workhorse aesthetic of the nascent indie punk heyday of the 90s. Trip out on that, holmes!

Blackened Sludge-Punks | Worry – The newest EP from Colorado Springs heavies Worry is not for the faint of heart, smashing heads on the punk rock with a bludgeoning mix of seething sludge metal and intrinsically intense hardcore know-how. Monolithic and absolutely monstrous, the seven raw cuts on A Celebration of Suffering are gloriously bleak, blackened and smolder with an actual extremity that most other “extreme” bands often lack.

Slow Burn Indie Rock | Wrinkle – Mind melding and photosynthesizing the big hook power-pop of early Weezer and the Rentals with the wide-eyed indie bend of Neva Dinova and Cursive, Denver’s indie rock supergroup of sorts Wrinkle are a slackers fever dream; a haze of unaffected yet disaffected indie-fed pop rock that first and foremost rules and that is more commercially viable than them nor I would care to admit on their newest offering A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies.

All releases available for purchase now thru Bandcamp. Go Local!

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Raw Rock & Roll and dark Blues collide with Denver’s the Velveteers



At only six tracks long, this brand new self-titled EP via Denver’s the Velveteers (Recorded on warm analog tape at Silo Sound Studios in Denver) is a half-hour long magic spell; a concoction of twisted psychedelic undercurrent and blues-rock guitar histrionics draped in the smoky and arresting vocals of one Demi Demitro. Demi, along with co-founder and multi-instrumentalist John Demitro, conjure the kind of gnarled, foot-stomping rhythms and riffs that have dual citizenship between the acid-laced Led Zeppelin 70’s arena-rock heyday and the modern fuzz drenched, psychedelic revival of now.

Musically, this 2 piece makes quite the racket. Raw rock and roll power and deep, dark blues mystique collide head on. If you want a band that can riff, look no further! You may snap your neck clean off from all the head nodding you’ll involuntarily be doing. Like a confession to the dark lord himself, the Velveteers pen the kind of dirty rock and roll diddies that are a conduit for the heathen in all of us. With lyrical gems like “You know just what your doing to me / but heaven knows what’s up your sleeves” (off of the sublime album midpoint “Bloody Little Secrets”), Velveteers delve into the dark and macabre underbelly of the mind and bring back blues-laced musical treasures for the world to behold. We should be so lucky.

“The Velveteers” is streaming (and for sale hint hint) via Bandcamp now. Live dates and more info on Facebook.

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Building up with Pueblo’s Beyond Bridges



Reggae is a largely misunderstood musical genre; not only was it not invented solely by Bob Marley in the mid 70’s (who himself had even deeper musical roots with the Wailing Wailers in the early 60’s) like too many think, but it also encompasses an ever-growing and changing past, present and future, including entirely new groups of evolutionary musicians finding new ways to carry the island rhythms forward.

Forging driving and endearing music with reggae at the center, Pueblo’s own Beyond Bridges is at the forefront of such endeavors. Much more than your average reggae act, the band also harnesses elements of heavy So-Cal surf rock and alternative music, at times exploding with overdriven,intertwined and complex soloing a la metal gods Iron Maiden and monster stadium rock choruses. While the juxtaposition on paper seems odd, this quartet navigates such choppy and uncertain waters with ease, heavy riff-laden rock eased up with soothing dubbed-out reggae refrain.

All of this has come to a head with “On My Mind,” the first EP from Beyond Bridges; 5 songs from a formidable band of brothers who are here to have a good time and help you do the same.

John Bueno (PULP): I’m a few listens in to your new EP, and I gotta say, I’m a bit surprised something like this is coming out of Pueblo. Not in a bad way though; it’s just it isn’t something we usually have here.

Adrian Hernandez (bass/vocals): We’re all from here. So we get it. And we all know that there’s a stigma about anything coming out from here. But we’d like to think we can break through that.

Tony Garcia (guitar): I feel like there’s a new generation here; and they’re interested in progressing. It’s not “Pueblo can’t do this” anymore; now it’s more like “Pueblo SHOULD do this.” Kind of go beyond what we are comfortable with.

Speaking of going beyond, does the name Beyond Bridges represent that idea?

TG: Actually, when Kai (Furuto; multi instrumentalist and vocalist of Beyond Bridges) and I started this as a duo act, we would always write songs that would end up having this complex bridge part that would kind of veer off into solos and stuff. So we were looking for something involving bridges. We wanted to call it Bed Bath and Beyond Bridges. (laughs)

AH: It was too hard to license the logo. (laughs)

Your new EP was recorded and produced with Lastleaf Audio here in town; is this your first?

AH: Yes it is.

How was the making of it?

AH: Well, it was my first complete thing, so I don’t have a lot to compare it to. But we tried to go into a studio once early on, and maybe it was too early; but working with Matt (Herrera/ Lastleaf engineer) was a totally different experience; much more comfortable this time.

Some producers have a tendency to be a little too hands on or assertive when working with bands; it may sound soft, but most musicians are sensitive. Especially when it comes to something they’ve created. It was great having Matt, because he’s not the type to push you into what he wants you to do; he lets you guide yourself to the best sound and arrangement.

Kyle Spinuzzi (drums): We did drums the first day, and it was super easy. Matt is so great to work with. His place was comfortable to produce in and I went in confident. Plus it’s nice to do this in our hometown; not everyone gets that opportunity.

TG: It was really interesting for me. I do and run sound a lot, but it’s a totally different thing from raw live sound to the mixing and mastering stage; I knew what our sound was and what we could do, but it was really cool to turn that into an end result. It was a learning process the whole way.

I like that Matt didn’t autotune a thing, either. There’s very little correction on anything. We got a raw sound from him. There were a lot of takes involved to do that, though.

AH: Mostly because I was moving my feet while recording.

TG: But Matt wanted that to be us, in our raw stage, maybe with a little more sparkle. Moving forward,  I’ll take all of this in for our next recording as a guide for sure.

That’s a definite plus to do all the recording and mastering in town. Way easier I would think. You don’t have to rush it.

TG: We did it over the holidays, right when everyone was already busy.

AH: Oh yeah; the time span was over like 4 months or so. There was no big rush with Matt; he was never standing over us looking at his watch saying “you got a half hour” or anything like that. We were able to go over every song layer by layer, instrument by instrument, until we felt great about all of it. We were able to stay in a creative mindset that way.

It was also done like, 2 blocks from my childhood home. Which is pretty cool. (laughs)

AH: Also Kai, who is not here, is a big part of the sound too. He plays a bit of everything on the record, helped write the songs. He is our firecracker!

When it comes out, what do you hope listeners come away with from the after hearing it?

TG: Our music comes from a lot of different places; we aren’t gonna stick to a single musical genre. We like to use different genres like spices, you know? We’re not strictly a reggae band. We’ll use reggae as a spice, ska as a spice, rock and alternative as a spice; but the end product is a natural recording of who we are as a unit. The exact tones from that album are the same ones coming from my guitar; Adrian’s voice is pure and clean and beautiful. Kyle’s drumming is to a click. (laughs)

AH: There’s always some vulnerability to releasing something that you’ve worked on, you know? That’s another plus for working with Matt. I was talking to my dad today and I told him that good or bad, it’s gonna be out there; and it’s good to know that during the process of making the album the person you’re doing it with is making everyone comfortable with your creativity. You need to be wholehearted for it to come out organically.

Do you feel like Colorado is warm to you as a band?

AH: I think we are lucky to be from here; and Pueblo is lucky to be here right now. The reggae scene is absolutely flourishing right now, which is probably in no small part to the marijuana industry. But that’s another story. But that niche audience lives in Colorado; we’re able to be who we are as a band and still have these great opportunities, which is not something a lot of people get to say. We are able to fit in with bands all over the reggae spectrum because we don’t just stick to a sound; we like to just write songs, however they come out as individual creations.

So Colorado is a good home base then?

TG: Colorado is my base for sure. I am always down for it. I love it here.

AH: Absolutely. I think this is the most beautiful state in the country; I may have only been to like 12 other states, so I’m no almanac (laughs). But I feel proud and extremely lucky to be here, especially as a musician. This may be silly to some, but the idea that one day I might get to play at Red Rocks (Amphitheatre) is a huge driving force and motivation to keep doing what we’re doing.

That’s quite the goal!

AH: Baby steps, man.

Anything you’d like to see done differently here in the area as far as the music scene goes?

TG: It would be nice if Pueblo helped build its’ music scene. There aren’t too many live music venues here, but maybe the culture just isn’t quite there yet.

AH: I think it would be in Pueblo’s best interest to grab hold onto the artists we already have here. We could have a renaissance of sorts! It’s something we’ve talked about probably since I was a kid, but harnessing that artist energy from the area and giving more avenues to come out would do a lot, especially in this downtown area. But as is, I love this town right now too. It doesn’t get enough love or credit. We just wanna show people part of the arts that have always been here.

As a band, you maintain a pretty consistent live schedule, though. Any plans on taking it on the road more?

TG: Definitely. We’d like to create more small tours with bands that come through. Over the last year and half or so, we’ve had the chance to watch and learn from so many different bands. We get to see bands from all spectrums, and we would just to learn more from other groups and follow their lead a bit. Right now, we’re a great 30 minute band; but to put on a full 90 minute headlining set is a whole different beast. We want to learn under these smaller bands and create something special.

“On My Mind” from Beyond Bridges is available for pre-order now on iTunes, with a full release March 16th. For this and more, head to

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