Kicking off this week’s Follow Friday is a band that has very little information out there and a name that is impossible to search for, Los Angeles based math rockers, Standards.

Lead by Marcos Mena, Standards self-describes their music as “fruity melodies,” but in reality they are the type of tunes that float between catchy upbeat tracks and technical time signature changes, all accentuated with unique thump, hammer and strumming guitar techniques. Marcos technically is a duo alongside drummer Brody Taylor Smith, but this music is very clearly crafted for both the melody lovers and guitar nerds at heart. Although math rock is the simplest go-to genre to describe the band, Standards approaches their writing in multiple ways. 

We accept the term math rock but we don’t let it define us. It’s one way of describing what we do, but there are many others! We’re experimenting with song structure, polyphonic part-writing on a single guitar, and odd time signatures. These things overlap with characteristics of math rock but we’re also super into pop music, jazz, and electronic music, and these influences are definitely present in our music. We’re also really stoked that dads have been into our music, and that has to do with how we fit into the larger genre of rock as a whole, rather than the very specific category of math rock.

Marcos Mena to Frontrunner Magazine

Standards has released two efforts so far with a new full-length on the way via Topshelf Records in Summer 2020. You can keep up with all things Standards here.

Standards uses Skinny Top Heavy Bottom, Not Even Slinky electric guitar strings and Everlast Light Phosphor Bronze acoustic strings. You can also catch Marcos sporting his new Ernie Ball Music Man St. Vincent guitar!

Shawn Stockman (Boyz II Men)

A member of Boyz II Men since their breakthrough success in 1991, Shawn Stockman has written and produced music for several artists and occasionally steps into the role of a solo artist. His iconically classic R&B sound combined with smooth vocals instantly leaves you hanging on every line. Shawn’s laid back guitar style is like a soft breeze, calming and felt, as it locks into the groove. Though Boyz II Men remained Shawn’s primary creative outlet, it didn’t slow down his outside projects with artists like DJ Jazzy Jeff, Anthony David and the Foo Fighters. 

After being a judge on NBC’s hit reality TV show, The Sing-Off, Stockman then released his first solo album titled, Shawn. When asked how Boys II Men have created longevity Shawn mentioned,

What keeps us together is the idea and the fact that we respect each other not just our closeness but our space. We’ve grown up together, evolved together, and changed together, we respect each other’s space as human beings as we all change as individuals. We give each other that to make sure that we are still able to do what we do and love what we do.

Shawn Stockman to All Access with State Theatre New Jersey

Shawn continues to create and aspires to unite romantics around the world. Make sure to keep up with him and Boys II Men on their website and take a listen to his new solo tracks below.

Shawn Stockman uses Ernie Ball’s Regular Slinky electric guitar strings.


Arielle pulls from her personal journeys and transforms those experiences into well crafted songs that contain the nostalgic wanderlust sound of the classic 70’s, with a modern contemporary twist. In addition to writing and playing music, one of Arielle’s passions is guitar. She designed her own “Two-Tone,” guitar which was hand-built with her friend Patrick Yates. This guitar is a signature showpiece for “Arielle Guitars,” a custom line of instruments made for women. With praises from Brian May and Vince Gil, Arielle is carving her own path into the depths of music, whether it be rock, blues, or singing and songwriting, Arielle is a talent to be on the look out for. 

The music has been my greatest teacher in so many ways because things come through me sometimes that I can’t really take credit for.

Arielle to Rock and Blues Muse

Learn more about what Arielle is up to by checking out her official site, and listen to her dynamic music below.

Arielle transports you courtesy of her Ernie Ball Super Slinky electric guitar strings.

Matt Gilmour

Son of the infamous Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmore, Matt Gilmour stitches together a tapestry of psychedelic rock with touches of prog, blues, and indie. Matt’s first full length debut was released in 2020 titled Collages, where he took inspiration from a multitude of genres and married the pools of sound in a swelling dynamic fashion. The writing process for Matt was derived from jam sessions after he had returned to Austin, TX from the UK, after a bout with cancer.

That time brought me back to life, saved me from depression, and made me feel able to deal with things.

Matt Gilmour to Live Music News & Review

Throughout Matt’s life span of writing and performing he has used his personal strength to not only overcome, but to also possess resilience that shines through in his deep melodic guitar riffs, and finding his genuine sound. Keep up with Matt Gilmour on his social media and make sure to listen to his music below.

Matt Gilmour uses Ernie Ball’s new Ultra Slinky electric guitar strings gauges.

Christian Gisborne

Christian Gisborne may only be 17, but this producer/multi-instrumentalist has already been catching notice for the last few years for his original and honest brand of classic rock sensibilities in a modern era. 

Fronting the band Velvet Starlings, Christian and his band have been getting compared to Jack White, Arctic Monkeys and Ty Segal, while still finding a home within the tunes of The Clash, Bob Dylan and even the Beatles. It’s no wonder these guys snagged support from Shepard Fairey, Buzzbands LA, and multiple radio stations.

When it comes to guitar, Christian takes his queues from his 60s psych rock and classic influences like The Doors, The Who, The Kinks, and of course The Beatles, and blends that with his on-stage energy akin to bands like Cage The Elephant and Iggy Pop. 

When speaking about his biggest influences with music, Christian says;

At six; I also had a computer so I was downloading music off of the Internet, going deep into many artists’ catalogues – starting with The Beatles and everything evolved from there. I started experimenting on an old vintage organ and with some of my parents’ gear. The first songs I learned were by The Beatles, The Animals and The Kinks and then I switched to guitar. I was really into The Who, Cream; The Stones, The White Stripes; Cage the Elephant and Arctic Monkeys.

Christian Gisborne to Music Musings and Such

For now, Christian and the rest of the Velvet Starlings are prepping for a new EP release but you can catch up with the socially active player on all of his channels. Make sure to also check out their tunes below.

Christian Gisborne plays Regular Slinky and Skinny Top Heavy Bottom electric guitar strings. 

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