Over the past year, Florida’s The Heavy Pets have been busy in the studio, and the group is gearing up to release their latest full-length album, Strawberry Mansion, on February 23rd. The new album—which will be released independently with some help from All Points Boats and APB Studios—marks The Heavy Pets’ first full-length studio album since 2011’s Swim Out Past The Sun, though the band has released some EPs during that seven-year period. Strawberry Mansion will be available on major streaming sites and for purchase in double vinyl, CD, and digital formats.It’s clear that the buzz around the group’s new album is growing, and given the group’s feel-good new tunes, it’s clear why. Strawberry Mansion‘s opening track, “Higher”, is a delightfully funky song with an island and some ska-like leanings. Plus, the group recently debuted the 70’s street-funk number, “Shahryar’s Rage”, and the track has over 100,000+ listens in just a couple of short weeks.Read on below to hear The Heavy Pets’ own Jeff Lloyd’s thoughts on the upcoming Strawberry Mansion, plus check out the group’s newly announced tour dates, including an album release party at Fort Lauderdale’s Culture Room on Friday, February 23rd, and an opening gig for Umphrey’s McGee at Whigfest Music & Arts Festival in Tampa, on February 18th.The Heavy Pets’ guitarists and vocalists, Jeff Lloyd and Mike Garulli, are no strangers to throwing an epic party. Most recently, the band hosted a three-set Festival After Party at Boca Raton’s The Funky Biscuit, which featured a second set that saw sit-ins from the likes of Eric Krasno, MonoNeon, DJ Logic, Tedeschi Trucks Band saxophonist Kebbi Williams, and trumpeter Ephraim Owens, highlighting how much respect the Pets have garnered in the greater jam and funk scene.The Heavy Pets With Eric Krasno, DJ Logic, MonoNeon, & The Tedeschi Trucks Band Horns – “Between The Sheets > Dewpoint”[via CHeeSeHeaDPRoDuCTioNS]We had the opportunity to speak with The Heavy Pets’ lead guitarist and vocalist, Jeff Lloyd, to discuss the inspiration behind the new album, the album’s special guest collaborators, and more. Check it out below! L4LM: This is the band’s first full album since 2011’s Swim Out Past The Sun. Did it feel good to get back in the studio and make some new music?Jeff Lloyd: It felt fantastic. We focused on a series of EPs over the last few years and felt it was time to get back in and produce a full-length record. We had a ton of material ready to go, so we felt it was time again to make a longer statement. I think we really found a process that works for us—recording at a variety of South Florida studios including our own, and finishing everything at the Power Station, where we have done the bulk of our work the last few years.L4LM: I’m assuming that’s a guest vocalist on “Shahryar’s Rage”. Who are the special guests on the album?JL: Actually, no. That’s our very own Jim Wuest singing lead on “Shahryar’s Rage”, with the rest of us singing some pretty rich harmonies in the back. It’s a cool sound and very uniquely Jim. We do have some South Florida friends we are proud to have on the record, including Michael McCleary (guitarist of Surfer Blood) on trombone and Rob Smiley on saxophone for the closing track “Holy Holy.”L4LM: Is that you or Mike playing slide on “The Ibis”? Sounds very Derek Trucks-inspired. Totally digging it. JL: That’s our dear friend, the one-and-only Roosevelt Collier! Ha, I wish I could play like that. He absolutely slayed that track—took my vision to a whole different level—but this should come as no surprise to me after working with him for so many years. That’s what he does. I absolutely love the parts he laid down, and the back and forth he does with Jim on the Hammond for the solo section.L4LM: What was some inspirations for the music y’all wrote on the album? JL: “The Ibis” was literally inspired by me waking to a yard full of birds one morning and doing a little research. Fascinating creatures. “Real News” I’d written years ago and thought pretty apt for today. There is so much going on on this record, and it is taking me back to our beginnings—a group of friends with a big group of songs. I still feel we are just getting started.The Heavy Pets will celebrate the release of Strawberry Mansion with a proper album release party at Fort Lauderdale’s Culture Room on Friday, February 23rd (get tickets here). In support of the new album, The Heavy Pets will head out on the road for an extensive run of headlining dates with support from acts such as Goose, The Clock Reads, and The Steady Flow. Additional shows include appearances at Fractal Beach Music Festival at Historic Virginia Key Beach Park in Miami on February 4th and opening for Umphrey’s McGee at Whigfest Music & Arts Festival in Tampa on February 18th. Take a listen to “Higher”, and check out a full list of tour dates below.The Heavy Pets Tour DatesFEB 17 – Jacksonville, FL – 1904 Music HallFEB 18 – Tampa, FL – Whigfest*FEB 23 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Culture RoomMAR 01 – Charlotte, NC – The Rabbit HoleMAR 02 – Asheville, NC – Funkatorium, Wicked Weed BrewingMAR 03 – Savannah, GA – Barrelhouse SouthMAR 08 – Fort Collins, CO – Hodi’s Half Note**MAR 09 – Denver, CO – Be On KeyMAR 10 – Denver, CO – Be On KeyMAR 21 – Jupiter, FL – GuanabanasMAR 22 – Dunedin, FL – Spring Beer Jam, Dunedin BreweryMAR 23 – Key West, FL – Smokin’ TunaMAR 24 – Key West, FL – Smokin’ TunaMAR 25 – Key West, FL – Green ParrotAPR 07 – Davie, FL – David Posnack Jewish Community Center, Orlove AuditoriumAPR 14 – Fort Pierce, FL – Sailfish Street PartyAPR 25 – Washington, DC – Pearl Street WarehouseAPR 26 – Philadelphia, PA – Milkboy***APR 27 – Providence, RI – Fete LoungeAPR 28 – New Haven, CT – Pacific Standard TavernAPR 29 – Allston, MA – Wonder BarMAY 02 – Brooklyn, NY – Knitting FactoryMAY 03 – Manchester, NH – Jewel Music Venue****MAY 04 – Norwalk, CT – Wall Street Theater****MAY 05 – Albany, NY – The Hollow****JUN 06 – Arcata, CA – Humboldt BrewsJUN 07 – Nevada City, CA – Crazy Horse SaloonJUN 08 – San Francisco, CA – Boom Boom Room* supporting Umphrey’s McGee** w/ The Steady Flow*** w/ The Clock Reads**** w/ Goose
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The FBI had an ex-environmental company official wear a wire to secretly record the son of New York State Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) discussing an alleged pay-to-play scheme, the official said.Bjornulf White, the former vice president of AbTech Industries, used the hidden device to record the senator’s son, Adam Skelos, who was hired by AbTech at the senator’s urging, discuss how Adam planned to lobby state Sen. Tom Croci (R-Bohemia) at Croci’s re-election campaign fundraiser rather than at Croci’s office so he wouldn’t appear on the senator’s official schedule, White said Tuesday during his second full day of direct testimony in the father and son’s corruption trial at Manhattan federal court.“After you meet with Tom Croci, I’m going to his fundraiser,” Adam told White in the conversation recorded on Feb. 13 at the W Hotel in Manhattan when he advised White on how to lobby Croci for legislation that would help AbTech. “That’s all I’m going to talk to him about.”Arizona-based AbTech is one of three companies that the former state Senate Majority Leader allegedly coerced $300,000 in bribes from in the form of no-show jobs for his son in exchange for illegally manipulating legislation. Both men deny the accusations. Adam, through a middleman, allegedly coerced AbTech into paying him $10,000 a month after threatening to sink the company’s bid for a $12-million Nassau County contract.White testified that the FBI told him to ask Adam about Chief Deputy Nassau County Executive Rob Walker, the $400,000 project that White said Walker promised AbTech, and what came of media reports that the senator was under federal investigation. White also asked Adam if he had a “safe number” so White could call him and avoid federal authorities recording their conversations on wiretaps. Adam gave White the number for Adam’s so-called burner phone—pre-paid disposable cell phones that aren’t billed in the user’s name. Then the FBI tapped Adam’s burner phone.The burner phone was one of many attempts Adam used to push for legislation on AbTech’s behalf despite his not being a registered lobbyist and despite breaking news of the federal investigation. White said Adam told him to avoid using email, and instead mail him paper copies of their request for Croci to sponsor legislation that would authorize AbTech to design and build its storm water drain filters, because state law requires different companies do those roles on public projects separately. Adam told White that he would hand deliver those paper copies to Adam’s father and Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, who was urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to pass similar legislation, White testified.“It’s better that I distance myself from being in, like, official meetings,” Adam told White in a Feb. 23 wiretapped call while discussing their lobbying strategy and how to avoid detection by authorities. “Normally, I’m never that cautious…but with everything going on, I’m trying to be.”Meanwhile, Adam set up another lobbying meeting for White with state Sen. Michael Venditto (R-Massapequa). Then he called the senator’s office to confirm that Venditto would be attending a GOP fundraiser after his meeting with White, according to additional wiretaps played in court. Adam thought Venditto would be more receptive than Croci, but his father’s senate staff canceled White’s meeting with Venditto before it could happen. When Adam found out, he called his father to complain.“I don’t work with that person anymore,” Adam told his father in a Feb. 24 wiretapped call. “He’s just a friend.”The senator was apparently more shaken by the news of his federal investigation than his son.“Right now we are in dangerous times, Adam,” the senator told his son.
Ginter has made a good name for himself in the Bundesliga (Picture: Getty Images)Chelsea and Arsenal have enquired about the availability of Borussia Monchengladbach defender Matthias Ginter on a free transfer for next summer, according to reports.The 26-year-old played a pivotal role in an impressive season for the Bundesliga club, in which they secured a top-four finish and Champions League football.Ginter’s solid form, which has seen him become a regular for the German national team, has also caught the attention of top European clubs.According to Sky Sport Germany, Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan are in the race for the centre-back’s signature this summer.ADVERTISEMENTWith his current deal with the club due to expire in 2021, Chelsea and Arsenal have also registered their interest in the World Cup winner’s services, should he become a free agent next year.AdvertisementAdvertisementHowever, the report states that his contract will automatically renew if he makes more than 25 appearances for Gladbach in the upcoming campaign.Regardless of that eventuality, the German outfit are already in negotiations with Ginter over a new deal. Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 28 Jul 2020 2:17 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Advertisement Comment Chelsea and Arsenal target Borussia Monchengladbach defender Matthias Ginter on a free transfer for next summer Lampard is believed to be on the lookout for a centre-back (Picture: Getty Images)Both Chelsea and Arsenal have endured defensive struggles, with the Blues conceding 54 goals in the 2019-20 campaign, which is more than any other side in the Premier League’s top 10.After securing the signings of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, Lampard is reportedly focusing on defenders to shore up his backline.Kepa Arrizabalaga’s place in the side is also an area of concern, but, the west London club will only sell him if they can recoup a large portion of their £71.6 million outlay on the Spaniard.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalMeanwhile, the Gunners go into their FA Cup final against Chelsea on Saturday with three senior centre-backs out injured; Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers and Pablo Mari.Speaking before Saturday’s final, Mikel Arteta admitted it an area they need to address.‘I already mentioned three central defenders who are not available and we haven’t had them available for a long time anyway, during this season,’ the Spaniard said. ‘We will have to address that.’MORE: Charlie Nicholas names just four Arsenal players that have shown ‘real substance’ this seasonMORE: Chelsea handed major boost in Ben Chilwell transfer pursuit as Leicester miss out on Champions LeagueFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramFor more stories like this, check our sport page Advertisement