Saturday, 27 September 2014

My Blogging Birthday!

Hello everyone!
I'm sorry to say that I actually missed the 1 year birthday for my blog - it was over a month ago!
I started my blog on the 26th of August 2013 and one year later I'm so happy with what my blog is now.
When I started 'Carolyn's Simple Life' I had no idea what I was doing or why I was starting a blog, I just knew that I wanted to write about something.
So after reading a few other blogs I finally decided to write about what I care about a lot:

I've written about concerts, albums, playlists, discovering new bands and I've even got to interview some really amazing musicians for my blog.

Along the way I've thrown in some other posts and I've decided to try and add a little more fashion and beauty into my blog (which you will all find out about very soon, I'm super excited for what I have planned on this front to help introduce makeup and fashion to my blog a little better).
Although this doesn't mean that music still won't be my main focus on this blog, as listening to music and talking about it is what I'm passionate about.

I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who reads my blog, follows me on Bloglovin' and has stuck with me here on this little space on the internet, it seriously means a lot to me and I appreciate it so much.
I really cannot express how thankful I am to all of you for reading my blog, you really are a lovely lot!

This blog, although it is small, is my pride and joy and means a lot to me.
I'm so happy looking back at my blog over the past year (although with a little embarrassment over some of my first posts) and I'm very excited for whatever happens over the next year.



Wednesday, 24 September 2014

My September Playlist 2014

Hello veryone!
September has been a very stressful and busy month (although there have been some good times) and I have been so thankful to have the music that I love, it has really helped me get through the past month.

There's quite a variety of songs in this months playlist, I hope you like it.

BriBry - Adventure Time

Fast Forward - Find You (Zedd Ft. Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant Cover)

MKTO - Classic

A Day To Remember - Have Faith In Me

Yellowcard - With You Around (Acoustic)

As It Is - Bitter, Broken Me

You Me At Six - Lived A Lie

All Time Low - Six Feet Under The Stars (Acoustic)

Never Shout Never - On The Brightside

Defy You Stars - Rest (acoustic)

A Day To Remember - Sometimes You're The Hammer, Sometimes You're The Nail

Fast Forward - Rude (Magic Cover)

Mallory Knox - Lighthouse

Nikk Banos (from Defy You Stars) - Bad Again

You Me At Six - Room To Breathe

A Day To Remember - Right Back At It Again

Panic! At The Disco - Collar Full

As It Is - Often (Acoustic)

A while ago on YouTube I subscribed to a group called Fast Forward.
They're quirky but talented and put really awesome twists on songs.  For example, using car doors closing instead of drums for a bass beats.
I've really enjoyed listening to them and I would definitely recommend checking out their YouTube channel if you're looking for something different yet brilliant to listen too.

Also, I want to have another little chat about You Me At Six (just in case you're a bit confused, I had a very excited babble about them in this post).
I really wish I'd listened to them sooner because - at least what I've listened to so far - I freaking love their music!
I'm really hoping to get one of their albums soon and if I'm not able too then I'll borrow one from my friend who's a really big fan of You Me At Six.
At the moment I'm really loving their songs 'Lived A Lie' and 'Room To Breathe' but I especially love 'Lived A Lie'.

Also, although I started listening to them a while ago, I feel like I can now call myself a fan of A Day To Remember.
I listened to 'Sometimes You're The Hammer, Sometimes You're The Nail' for the first time this month and I personally think it's pretty incredible.
From the lyrics to the dynamics, I love this song from start to finish.
It's an incredibly powerful song.
I also only just listened to 'Right Back At It Again' this month and it's brilliant! 
I had it on repeat for quite a while (and still do this sometimes) luckily I've not reached the 'I've listened to this song so much that I'm sick of it' stage quite yet.  I just really love this song, I'm sorry that I'm so bad at describing it to you all, you need to listen to it to understand what I'm getting at I guess.
I know I included their song 'Have Faith In me' in a previous playlist but, how did I only just fully appreciate how incredible the bass line is?  The bass line in this song is freaking awesome!  I also love this song lyrically (as I'm starting to find with quite a few of their songs).
Basically, I've been really loving A Day To Remember this month and they're music has made me want to listen to not only more of their work but other artists in the hardcore genre.

There's a lot of music that I'm really loving just now, I've been quite emotional recently and I'm so glad that the songs I love are a constant in my life.

I forgot to mention in my previous post that I changed the colour scheme of my blog and added some new gadgets to the sidebar.  I hope you all like the changes I've made.

Also, if you missed it, I interviewed Nikk Banos from the band Defy You Stars (who are included in this playlist) and if you haven't seen it then you can read it here.



Saturday, 13 September 2014

Interview with Nikk Banos from Defy You Stars
Hi everyone!
For quite a while now I've been listening to a band called Defy You Stars.  I first heard them last year and I thought they were really good, they were like Mayday Parade meets Sleeping With Sirens!  Since then I've loved listening to their music on YouTube.

The band initially started as a solo project for singer and guitarist Nikk Banos. 
After various lineup changes Nikk's friend Nikko Evans joined the band as the bass player and Patrick Milburn is now the drummer for Defy You Stars.

Since I love them so much I decided that I had to share this love with you guys (of course!) by getting you all an online interview with the bands frontman Nikk Banos.

1.  When was Defy You Stars formed?

"It was originally a solo project I started in like 2009 and in 2012 I met Patrick.  That's when things really started to take form"

2. How did you all come together as a band?

"I met Patrick in a previous band and Nikko and I have been close friends for a long time, like 8 years now.  We've been through a few line-up changes but it feels natural the way things are proceeding now"
3. How did you decide on the name Defy You Stars?
"I'm a big fan of literature. At the time, Romeo & Juliet struck a chord with me.  That's the simplified version of it" 
4. How long have you all been playing your instruments for?  Can any of you play any other instruments?
"I've played guitar for about 4 years,  I also play drums, bass, piano and, a few others.  I've sang for however long, I haven't been counting.  I think Patrick started playing drums when he was about 10 or 11.  Nikko was originally a drummer and actually only recently started playing bass"

5. Who are your main musical influences?
"Mine vary as time passes.  I go through various phases musically and emotionally.  I guess at the moment I take a lot of influence from The 1975, All Time Low, the second album from Sleeping With Sirens, Emarosa, Queen, Ed Sheeran, Pierce The Veil, and My Chemical Romance. 
Patrick loves You Me At Six, Blink 182, Mariana's Trench, and we both fan over 5 Seconds Of Summer, lol.
 Nikk listens to what I listen to basically.  Right now I think he has a thing for Letlive, The 1975, Pierce The Veil, and some other ones"
6. What have been some of your main inspirations when writing music?
"It really depends on my day but generally painting a picture: other music/artists, books and literature, people I meet and talk to, my own experiences.  I'm gonna get more into that after the record is down so people know what I'm talking about haha"
7. You guys are currently in the studio recording your upcoming album, how's that going for you?
"We actually hit the studio late September, we're gonna be picking off where we left off a few months ago.  Since we've started the line-up has changed 4 times, so we keep having to go back and retrack parts. 
This last time through should be a keeper though. 
I'm glad it has actually taken this long because we've dropped a lot of songs and written new ones we like more and we've evolved so much in the time we've had so far. 
I've worked with some different writers and we're definitely gonna try to make the best album we can with what we have"
Photo Credit (x)
8. You played the Vans Warped Tour in Denver this year, how was that for you guys?
"It was a total blast, the crowd was mental and we hope to do it more in the future.  I've been going to warped for 6 years so I definitely had a moment.  We all agree it was a milestone, but we plan on topping that soon!"
9. What's the best experience you've had since starting the band?
"We've just had certain shows where the crowd was epic.  We give the crowd as much energy as they give us and it goes back and forth.  There are small moments here and there when you make eye contact with someone crying or something and you know they get it. 
People tell us we've saved their lives and they drive hours to see us and we could not be more grateful. 
The fans surprise us endlessly with love and compassion and spunk"
10. Nikk, you've performed on stage with All Time Low and You Me At Six, what was that like for you?
"It was brilliant, haha.  I'm so used to answering these questions.  It put a fire in my gut which has since then made me unusually and relentlessly motivated. 
The band has met so many people since those experiences and it was wild to share the stage with bands that have changed my life"
11. How would you explain your music to someone who has never listened to you guys before?
"I couldn't explain it if I tried.  We're a bunch of guys that listen to a huge range of music, so we write with influence from all styles. If you like rock, indie, pop, pop punk, post hardcore, alternative, acoustic, or anything that is self expression, then I think you'll fit right in. 
We don't scream a lot cause we aren't angry all the time but we have screams here and there because life can piss us off sometimes.  Give us 10 minutes of your time, hopefully we don't disappoint!"

Photo Credit (x) (x)

12. If you guys could collaborate with any musicians who would it be and why?
"Tyler Carter, Matty Healy, Alex Gaskarth, Dan Korneff (producer), Kellin Quinn, Freddie Mercury, Vic Fuentes.  All simply because we admire their work and they are cool dudes"
13. What 5 bands would you love to tour with?
"It's nearly impossible to pick just five! 
If I had to probably All Time Low, Sleeping With Sirens, Pierce The Veil, The 1975 and 5 Seconds Of Summer"
14. Fall Out Boy or My Chemical Romance?
"I say My Chemical Romance.  Patrick would say Fall Out Boy.  I don't know what Nikko would say. I've seen them both live and both blow my mind"
15. What was the inspiration behind your most recent single 'Eventually'?
"I had a friend who struggled with self harm, and I also at one time in my formative years did as well.  I guess it was a mixture of that and just a period in my life in which I got really motivational right after being depressed and I was crossed with a lot of people and just wanted to create hope where I had struggled to find any, for myself and for others. 
It was kind of the story of my life and when I wrote the chorus I gave myself chills"
16. Do you guys have any plans for shows in other countries?
"We really want to go but there are no plans as of yet.  We are currently just fixating on this record and making sure there are people in other countries that want to see us"
17. What can we be expecting from you guys in the near future?
"An album with new and old songs and a tour (or two or three). That's all I'm capable of revealing as of now"

An upcoming album, performing at the Vans Warped Tour and hopefully a tour in the near future.
 Defy You Stars are definitely a band to listen too, they're incredible!

What I personally love about them is that although they have a typical punk rock sound, they're unique in the fact that they're not too heavy.  They remind me of Pierce The Veil but with less scream, particularly since Nikk has a very unique voice, like Pierce The Veil's lead singer Vic Fuentes. 
A particular Defy You Stars favourite of mine is the acoustic version of their song Rest.
I also have a lot of love for their song Stars, which features Rikki Luke Carter.

Defy you Stars are like a younger Sleeping With Sirens and I really hope that I'm lucky enough to see them live one day as I'm pretty sure that it would be an incredible experience.

I want to say a massive thank you to all the guys in Defy You Stars for allowing me the opportunity to interview them for my blog.
I honestly can't wait to hear their upcoming album as well as watch them progress in the music industry, they deserve to go far. 

Where to find Defy You Stars:


I hope you all enjoyed the interview, be sure to follow the guys and what they're up too as they have a lot of exciting things happening soon.


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Back To School Advice

Hey everyone!
For many of us it's that time of year again, we're going back to school.
I have personally finished high school and just started college so, I thought I'd share some of my tips and tricks to help out with surviving school.
 Stay organised & prepared  
It's important that you keep on top of your work.  When you get homework try your best to do it as soon as you can, otherwise you'll be doing it the night before and that's never a good idea - trust me, this is something I know from experience.
Make sure you have the equipment that you need for your courses and if you don't have the right equipment then find out if you're able to borrow the equipment from someone.
Don't be scared to ask for help
I know that this can be scary.  Whether it's sticking up your hand in class to say your stuck or talking to a teacher about problems your having at home or in school, ask for help.  I really can't stress this one enough. 
As someone who was scared to ask for help from a teacher, I suffered for it later on in class when I had no clue what I was supposed to be doing (this is something I still struggle with now at college).  If you don't understand something that your teacher has said then tell them.  Either put up your hand there and then or you could make a note of what confused you and ask them about it at the end of class.  You might even be able to arrange for extra help outside of class.
Do subjects you enjoy
When choosing your own subjects make sure it's subjects that you either want or need to do.
Do some research as to what you want to do when you leave school and see what subjects you'll require in order to get there.
I know that sometimes you have to do subjects you don't enjoy in order to get into the university, college or job you want to do and this can make it very tedious but try your best to stick it out.
I hate bullying. 
It's one of those things that almost everyone has experienced.  Whether you've been bullied, witnessed bullying or even been the bully, everyone's experienced bullying.
If you're experiencing bullying then I want to say that I'm really sorry.  It's a horrible thing to go through, I dealt with bullying for my first few years at high school and it was awful.
The best advice I can give is to try and find someone you can talk to about it, whether it's another pupil, a friend, a relative or a family friend.  Also, try and join some clubs you're interested in so you can make some friends who have the same interests as you.
If you know someone is being bullied then do something about it.  Don't just let it happen, it's probably the worst thing you could do.  Tell someone you think can try and prevent the bullying (such as a teacher), maybe befriend the person who is being bullied so they know they're not alone or if you feel you're in a position to do so, then approach the bully about what they're doing.
Some organisations you can contact about bullying (whether it's at school or at home) are linked below:
Make sure you're staying on top of your work and looking over topics you struggle with.  This will make it a lot easier when it comes to revising for both your mock exams and your final exams.  Find a revision technique that works for you and stick to it.  It could be reading your notes out loud, rewriting your work or making flashcards. 
You can read my revision advice post here.

Please do not feel as though you have to do any of these things, this is just my advice based on my own personal experiences at school.
I hope that those of you who are going back to school or starting a new school get on okay.  Just remember that you're not alone, there's other people in the same situation as you or who have been in your position.
Feel free to contact me if you are worried about anything to do with school, I'd be more than happy to help out.