Published on October 15 2014

Final Round: "We'll eventually get to writing a slow song here or there, but we like to rock!"

Final Round is a Rock/Punk/Pop band from Chicago formed in 2003. Members include Dan Lowes, Matt Hampson, Andy Lowes, and Jake Smith. The second full-length album from Final Round, "It Ends With Us Both Right Here," arrived in September 2014. It is a pop rock/punk album rich with vocal harmonies and guitar leads resonating influences from early work by Weezer, The Ataris, Jimmy Eat World, Foo Fighters, and others. Their first full length album "None of Us Will Ever Leave a Legacy" was recorded in 2006 by Dan Precision at the Bombshelter Recording Studio in Chicago, IL. 


First things first: who is Final Round and what's the story of the band? How did you all meet and happen to work together?


Matt: Hi, I’m Matt. I’m one of the singers, I play guitar, and I write the music. I guess I’ll tell the story of Final Round as I remember it. Before Final Round Dan and I were in a band called The Bruce Chi Affair with our friends Kevin and Caleb. It was the fastest, dirtiest, most fun pop-punk band you can imagine. Our songs were about things like mullets and trying to sleep with our friends’ sisters and heavily influenced by the Fat Wreck Chords compilation records at the time. When I started really getting into bands like Alkaline Trio, Jimmy Eat World, The Ataris, and Unwritten Law I decided it was time to start writing music in a new direction. It would still be fast and high-energy, but more guitar-rock driven. Thus, Final Round was born. We started with Kevin on guitar, who is a great guitar player and songwriter, but when he left the band to become a grown-up we got Andy, Dan’s brother, who is an amazing guitar player. On drums is Jake Smith, a great drummer who we've known since high school.


Dan: Hey I'm Dan, the bassist and singer; Matt and I both do lead vocals. We were friends in separate bands, one thing led to another and here we are!


You are a 100% punk-rock band. Can you tell us who your musical tastes and influences are?


M: The fast tempo and high energy of our songs I can definitely attribute to my pop-punk roots with bands like Alkaline Trio, Blink-182, NoFX, MxPx, Nerfherder, and so many more. My guitar leads and song structure are definitely influenced by Weezer and Foo Fighters. However, I personally consider The Ataris album “Blue Skies, Broken Hearts…Next 12 Exits” and Unwritten Law’s self-titled album to be the holy grails of the rock/pop-punk genre.


D: Listening to MxPx, NOFX, and Blink 182 really got me into music. After I started my first band and actually learned to sing decently, Jimmy Eat World had a pretty big influenece on my vocal styling. I also love Millencolin, Slick Shoes, New Found Glory, and Yellowcard.


How is the work divided between the four of you? Who writes the lyrics, the music, who takes care of the recording, the production etc?


M: I write the music, the lyrics, and get a good idea of what guitar leads I would like and then work them out with Andy. I do the same with Dan’s bass lines. For recording, there’s no one I would trust more than Dan Precision. He really cares about getting a good product out of his studio and has an ear for detail that I wouldn’t have believed possible if I didn’t know him. Not to mention the fact that we have so much fun in the studio with him! All of us are nerds about Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and video games. We all respect each other, joke around like old friends, and are always comfortable shouting out whatever crazy ideas we have during the recording process.


Final Round: "We'll eventually get to writing a slow song here or there, but we like to rock!"

Your music is impeccably catchy. These amazing guitar riffs, drum sections and harmonies are on point. How do you come up with such an efficient cocktail? Do you work a lot on that (adjusting and tweaking) or does it all come together naturally?  


M: I would say that every good catchy song starts with a hook, be it a lyrical phrase or a guitar lead, and the rest of the song is built from there. Once you have that great chorus you can start building upon it with other parts to make it that much better. As far as the instruments are concerned, I consider myself very lucky. I’ll show Andy, Jake and Dan some ideas and they’ll build upon them in ways I never dreamed. I would say the most time is spent on the vocal harmonies. For each harmony you hear, Dan and I have probably tried 5 or more other versions of it before settling on that. That’s a lot of loud a capella singing while the 2 of us are driving! We’re pretty fun to go on car rides with, as you can imagine.


Is there a particular theme behind the lyrics of your songs? Where do you get the inspiration?


M: I think a general theme in my lyrics is to be as truthful and passionate as you can about your life experiences. Feeling everything that you can and expressing that makes for a great song. As far as inspiration goes, I’d have to quote the last song of our new album and say you should “take a year to get inspired, come back with guts and eyes of fire.” If you have nothing to write about, then you aren’t doing enough. Go out, travel, get involved in a terrible relationship, (good ones are too boring to write about), anything that you can be passionate about. So yeah, I write songs about my personal experiences, but at the same time I’m pretty jealous of those who can write amazing fictional songs.


D: Most of the songs are actual stories that happened in our lives. Matt just finds a way to put a great hook to it and create that moment in time in song form, we polish it up, and there you have it. I've always been a sucker for songs that tell stories, so I think we do a pretty good job in that department.


Let's talk about your first record, None Of Us WIll Ever Leave A Legacy. How was the process of putting this piece altogether? Was it more of an easy ride or a bumpy road?


M: Definitely a bumpy road. Our inexperience made it take longer than expected and left no budget for advertising. Thankfully the songs turned out exactly how I wanted them to, which as a songwriter is the best thing possible.


D: It was definitely a learning experience. Although we had recorded many songs before, this was our first real professionally-recorded album. I think with everything, we just had a lot to learn about being in a studio with someone as professional as Dan Precision. But it was an amazing time, and we learned so much. I'm glad it turned out the way it did. I also think if we had an advertising budget it would have been heard an awful lot more.


This is an energetic record, with mostly uptempos. I bet your jam sessions must be quite a thing! Do you also have some slower songs?


M: Yes, we definitely love to keep things upbeat no matter what! Our jam sessions consist mostly of playing a song twice and then getting distracted by playing old NoFX, Weezer, and MxPx songs. On “None of Us…” aren’t That Right One and One Last Time pretty slow songs? Maybe those are just slow to me!


D: I'm sure we'll eventually get to writing a slow song here or there, but we like to rock. I love watching people dance around and sing to our music. 


Final Round: "We'll eventually get to writing a slow song here or there, but we like to rock!"

Is "Leaving a Legacy" part of your musical ambition? What would you like to achieve through your music?


M: The title track “None of Us Will Ever Leave a Legacy” sounds very depressing by name alone, but it is actually about how much we should treasure the period in time that we live in. The birth of pop-punk is something that I was a part of. It will be reborn decade after decade long after I’m gone, but it won’t be the same thing. Just as future generations mimicked hippies, greasers, and now even 90’s grunge, they’ll try to recreate it. But just like I say in the last lyrics of that song, “they’ll never have what we had during our days.” If my music doesn’t live on forever I’m perfectly fine with that because I’ve seen how it has affected people already.


D: This is where I disgaree with Matt. I hope to make it famous enough to have a large bronze statue of me flipping the bird erected in my home town. Although, I'd settle for a plague saying that I was a pretty cool guy...


Can you present us your new album "It Ends with Us Both Right Here"? What can we find in it? Could you tell us more about its story, its creation, recording process, etc.


M: Our new album “It Ends with Us Both Right Here” is a collection of songs we’ve been working on for years since the release of our last album. Things slowed down when I went away to college, but I never stopped writing. This album really represents my entire songwriting career and I believe the songs really show that. The opening track has lyrics I wrote when I was still in high school, other stuff is from our early punk days and still more was written while I was in college. The result is a great variety of songs and there’s definitely something for everyone on our album. And for recording, of course I’d choose none other than Dan Precision! We have a blast and make awesome music whenever we work together.


D: You'll find we pretty much picked up from where we left off with "None of us..." It;s full of catchy Harmonies, guitar harmonies, leads...and Jake Smith's excellent drum stylings, Before going in to record, Matt and I heavily focused on the vocals and harmonies, instead of winging it in studio like we did last time... We had probably 95% of the songs ready to go this time as well. There were still a lot of times where we'd record what we thought we liked, then Matt or I would just switch something up for fun and it'd sound great. I think that's my favorite part of being in the studio... you never know what is going to pop out of nowhere and make a song you thought was already good even better.


Do you have any live performances scheduled in the future? Speaking of live, let's say you have the opportunity to chose a venue, anywhere in the world, and a singer or band to perform with, where and who would you chose to do it with?


D: Actually, we'll be playing in October as Weezer in Chicago. After that we'll start focusing on booking up the next tour


M: Our goal for now is to make our music available to as many people as possible, get the word out, then start playing these new songs once all that is established. I can’t wait!


Anything to add?


D: Please be sure to check us out on facebook, bandcamp, or whatever you prefer. We love talking to our fans and hearing about how they feel about the new album, and all of that. I think social media gives us such a unique and amazing opportunity to interact with fans, and we do our best to get back to everyone that sends a message.


Thanks a lot !

Get in touch with Final Round!






Written by The Jamendo Team

Published on October 10 2014

Adrián Berenguer: "People who listen to my songs have to watch a movie in their minds"

Spanish born compositor from Alicante, Adrián Berenguer started music at the early age of 10 playing saxophone. One thing leads to another, he became an accomplished artist crafting masterpieces in every album released. Uplifting music, voluptuous tunes, kaleidoscopic songs, theatrical tracks... whatever the terms you choose to define his creations, everybody agrees on his ability to snatch you way in a "cinematographic" world where emotions rule. The third chapter of his movie "Camino" reveals a perfect balance between violin and piano which gives us, combined with other instruments, an astonishing performance.


  • Hi Adrián! Could you introduce yourself to our reader and tell us a little bit more about your story? How did you start making music and how did you become an artist?


I am in the world of music since a very early age. When I was 10, I started to study music and play saxophone. During that times I used to write my own piano and saxophone works. Later on, when I finished my musical studies, I started several projects like “Pura Mandanga” (group in which I play saxophone nowadays) and my own personal music pieces.



  • You are an exceptional soundtrack composer, every song you make is like a live painting. Can you tell us about the story behind your music? How would you define your musical world?


Normally, some of my works have their own history within them and others, on the other hand, want to express a particular feeling or sensation. My intention is that the people who listen to my songs have to watch a movie in their minds, a movie composed by their own personal experiences. That is the reason why the majority of the people who listen my songs tell me about their sensations about them and it is surprising to realize that everyone has felt different things.


Adrián Berenguer: "People who listen to my songs have to watch a movie in their minds"
  • Camino” is your third album release. A year ago we featured your second album, “Antimateria” (2013) on our homepage, did Jamendo have any impact on your life as an artist?


The fact that Jamendo published my album on its homepage last year made thousands of people aware of my music, and they enjoyed it. I received very good reviews about my earlier work and I hope I will obtain the same effect with this new album. Several songs from my previous album have been used for a lot of audiovisual works and it has been possible with my feature on the homepage of Jamendo.



  • The violin and the piano are noticeably frequent in your creations. “Mama” and “Marina” from your last album are admirable examples. How would you define the emphasis of those instruments in particular? Is it somehow linked to your musical influences?

In my music, the piano and the violin represent sweetness and affection. These instruments are able to transmit a lot of calm and serenity. Therefore these instruments usually appear in sentimental songs. I try to express my music as sincere as possible and to avoid influences from other authors, but that is impossible nowadays. I love the music by Danny Elfman, Keith Kenniff or Thomas Newman, they are exceptional composers.



  • When listening meticulously to your songs, the listener is going through a wide range of emotions, from sadness to happiness. Could you explain us your composition process? Does your mood influence your work, do you let your emotions seep in?

My compositions have much to do with the emotions that I feel at the moment when I am writing them. If I start to write them during a nostalgic day, the song will have this nostalgic atmosphere. Normally I try to express my feelings in my songs independently of the emotion that I am feeling at that time, it does not matter if it is sadness or joy. On the other hand, the listener also feels these emotions and he tries to move them to his own everyday life.





I hope to continue doing this which is what I like the most. When I am composing I am in a different world. The problem is that nowadays it is very difficult to make a living from music, but it is what I want to do and I will fight for that. Thanks to platforms as Jamendo it seems that the dream is a bit closer. Even so, I will continue writing and working to appear more often on the homepage of Jamendo!


  • One last question: is there any artist in the world that you absolutely dream of collaborating with?


Yes of course, I would love to work with a lot of people but if I have to choose I will choose artists like Keith Kenniff in order to learn from them all the things that I have not learn yet and to be able to enjoy their art.


Make sure to follow Adrián Berenguer...

...on Google+,

... on his Youtube channel,

... and of course, on Jamendo!

Written by The Jamendo Team

Published on October 6 2014

Jamendo Playlist Contest Whyd






We are happy to announce our new partnership with Whyd through the launch of the Jamendo Playlist Contest! The show must go on, ours just started today with two simple rules, make & share:



  • MAKE a playlist of at least 7 songs from Jamendo with the title “Jamendo Playlist Contest”


Start sharing here on Whyd!

  • SHARE as much as you can your playlist on Twitter and Facebook



The contest goes live now until Friday, October 17th. The top 3 playlists with the most shares become the finalists. Then, the Jamendo and Whyd team will announce the winner on Monday, October 20th.





2 tickets for a concert of your choice (up to €50 value each)!


Here are two cool playlists that will give you some inspiration!


   Rock Selection                       Hip-Hop Selection




              Electro Selection                           Jazz Selection




Meanwhile, keep your ears Whyd open and share the tracks you love with other Whyders by suscribing to their website!

Stay tuned ;)

Written by The Jamendo Team

Published on September 30 2014

Jamendo is a new source of music for Whyd!


Music is made to be shared. Here comes Whyd.

Whyd is a fast-growing social network for music lovers to collect and share the tracks they love, crafted in Paris by an international team. It allows you to go fetch any track you want from sources like Youtube, Soundcloud or Deezer, and share it on your profile and your friends feed. Looking to add more independent music to their constant stream of tunes, the Whyd team thought Jamendo was the perfect source to bring more diversity to the whole picture.

The platform is extremely simple: create a profile in a heartbeat, then just click on the "+ Add track" button, paste a Jamendo track URL and that's it! Heck, there's even a bookmarklet so you can add a track to Whyd directly from Jamendo!


Add a Jamendo track on Whyd

Add a Jamendo track on Whyd

"Never stop jamming" is their motto... Well, looks like we were meant to do this together!


=> WHYD'on't you go sharing a few Jamendo tracks right now!




Published on July 25 2014

Summer Playlist 2014!

Summer cannot be complete without a playlist that would go with your sunbathing sessions on the sand, picnics in the park, evening cocktails on a terrace and beach parties! As usual, we've got it covered with a selection of 18 shiny tunes to match with the good summer vibes! Lay back, take a sip and enjoy...

  1. Becays - Beach Club
    The first track of our playlist is a funky tune brought to us by French Electronic Band Becays. Smooth, groovy and suave... perfect to warm up!
  2. Other Noises - My Little World
    This fresh pop/rock track comes from Russian band Other Noises. The soft vocals and the flying chorus make it light and powerful!
  3. Quentin Hannape - I Wanna Be
    We've been playing this reggae/folk tune on loop since March, but sunny days are the perfect time for this light, sunny and hopeful track by French singer-songwriter Quentin Hannape.
  4. Juan Angel - Todo se Paga
    Juan Angel brings the Latin heat on our playlist with this flavored and spicy track. You'll start to dance without even realizing it!
  5. Michael McEachern - New For Me
    American singer-songwriter Michael McEachern excels in this Calfornian pop/rock sound, as testified by this track. A real guilty pleasure!
  6. Final Round - Carry On
    This punk-rock track is a favorite: instant, energetic, and efficient! The guitar riffs, catchy melodies and irresistible harmonies and vocals are characteristic of the American band Final Round.
  7. Aliver J. - GOL (Versione Inedita)
    The FIFA World Cup might be over but it doesn't mean that you cannot spend the rest of your summer days on the field! This track, by Italian rapper Aliver J., is perfect for that.
    Summer is also the perfect time to party! In this punchy and fun poppy/rock track, French band I'M FRESH! YOU'RE PRETTY will get up you up on your feet and on the dancefloor!
  9. Bryan Art - Sweeter Love
    Don't it feel good to bask in a hammock in the sun? This reggae track by Bryan Art will make you feel comfortable.
  10. Modern Pitch - These Nights
    We love summer rock, and this pop/rock gem is yet another example of what fits perfectly with the season. And we have to thank Modern Pitch, an alternative/indie band from Italy for this cool tune!
  11. Robert80z - Moonlight Jazz
    Time for a quick break with Robert80z, a Finnish composer. This soft, sensual and lovely jazz tune will keep you warm and at ease.
  12. The Easton Ellises - Falcon 69
    This dance/rock track from The Easton Ellises will make you want to get in your car, drive away under the red sunset, with the windows down and the volume up!
  13. RastaFlaires - NOU.CINC
    This track is a magical mix between reggae and jazz, where the organ, the trumpets and the bass call the shots. RastaFlaires's Catalan lyrics make it even more tuneful and pleasurable.
  14. Jonay - On the Beach
    Swedish hip-hop/RnB artist Jonay gives us the perfect song for your summer romance: tender and sensual. Aren't you captivated by this guitar riff?
  15. Josh Woodward - California Lullabye
    Seems like American artist Josh Woodward has once again worked his magic. This pop/rock track, brightened up by a banjo and a harmonica, will put a big smile on your face.
  16. Francesco Marrone - Io Saprò Volare
    We have found the love ballad of our summer, and it's brought to us by Italian artist Francesco Marrone! Bright, romantic and passionate, we can't resist!
  17. Emerald Park - Fugue State
    "Wake up, wake up!". Well, you heard them! Swedish band Emerald Park are the ones behind this peculiar indie-pop track.
  18. Don't Let Me Go (feat. Youngbird) - Lollita
    We close our summer playlist with this fine RnB/Pop tune by French singer Lollita and rapper Youngbirdy. It's sexy, fresh and catchy!

Written by The Jamendo Team

Published on #Features