Interviews Reviews

Interviewing Casey Jones Costello

Disney is a brand that has encapsulated nostalgia around the entire world. Because of that, it’s a topic that Switching Styles have touched on quite a bit from Aladdin’s “A Friend Like Me”, Lion King Cover Songs, A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes, Finding Nemo Soundtrack Covers, Disney Music While Cooking, The Voice Of Phil Collins, And So Much More!! Read below to learn more about the Disney Covers and musical career of Casey Costello.

Introducing Casey Costello

Follow the movie magic with these soundtrack covers and @caseyjcostello’s fantastic TikTok account. Costello initially appeared in Switching Styles in a piece on Disney’s “Snow White” (1937). The article “Disney and Dreams: Snow White Cover Songs” included his work. In this profound and powerful duet, Casey Jones Costello and Yunjin Audrey Kim blend their gorgeous vocals with Yunjin’s stunning piano talents. Here’s a lovely cover of “Someday My Prince Will Come” that he made.

Interview With Casey Costello and Dylanna Fisher of Switching Styles

Photo by Pixabay on

One of the artists we’ve talked about is Casey Costello. His work takes inspiration from the world of Disney. With a long list of Disney covers and other classical music in his repertoire, Casey Costello certainly has the voice of a Disney Prince. Below is an interview with Casey Costello, a musician, and our very own journalist, Dylanna Fisher.

How Did You Get Started in Music?

I got started singing from the time I was young and sang in the boy’s choir at my church, St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church in Rochester, NY, and I joined several choirs in high school, but I didn’t take voice lessons formally until I was 15 or 16. I took lessons through the Hochstein School of Music in Rochester, NY, and then went on to get a bachelor’s degree in Music/Business at Nazareth College in Pittsford, NY.

Why Did You Decide To Be Known As Casey Costello As Opposed To A Stage Name Or Nickname?

I am known by my full name, Casey Jones Costello, so I include my middle name as part of my artist name because it almost sounds like it’s a stage name already since there are many cultural associations with the name “Casey Jones,” so I just figured it was easier to go by my real name than by a pseudonym.

How Would You Describe Your Sound?

I would describe my sound as traditional pop / classical crossover since I have been inspired a lot by singers whose sound bridges the gap between classical and popular music. I sing in what I hope is an authentic manner that preserves the character of the songs as they were intended to be performed when they were written by the songwriters.

Who Are Your Musical Influences?

I have many musical influences, including Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, Mario Lanza, Josh Groban, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Rosemary Clooney, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Robert Goulet, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, and so many other people. My musical inspirations span the gamut from operetta stars from the 1930s to popular singers of today.

Why Did You Start on YouTube?

I started on YouTube when I was maybe 14 years old just posting videos for fun, and eventually, as I started pursuing music professionally, I started using it as a platform to be able to post videos of my performances to it.

How Do You Think YouTube Functions as A Platform for Musicians?

YouTube can be a good promotional tool for musicians but frankly, it hasn’t helped me that much; TikTok has been a lot more useful in building an audience of fans much more quickly.

How Do You Feel About The Internet In The Music Business?

The internet has both helped and hurt the music business; streaming services like Spotify make it easier than ever to get your music distributed and heard, but it doesn’t pay very much royalties. Physical album sales like CD sales are much more significant in terms of being profitable, but very few people buy physical albums today.

How Has the Internet Affected Your Music Career?

The internet has allowed me to be discovered by many people who would not have otherwise probably ever heard of me, so that’s been a good thing, but again, it hasn’t helped a lot with actually selling albums; that tends to happen only when I do in-person concerts and sell CDs to people

Why Do Covers in Particular?

I do cover because a good song is a good song regardless of whether I wrote it or somebody else wrote it; I love the music of the Great American Songbook of the 20th century, and songs from Broadway, and Hollywood movies, and I sing what I like. I also want to sing songs that people know, because I do shows at senior living communities and other venues, and I find people enjoy music better if it’s familiar. I do write songs as well, but I do not perform originals exclusively.

How Do They Tend To Compare To The Originals?

I try to interpret songs in a way that is authentic and respects the intentions of the songwriters who wrote the piece, so my interpretations tend to be quite faithful to the originally published arrangements of the songs.

What Is The Typical Process Of Creating A Cover?

When I perform covers, I try to find the original edition of the sheet music because oftentimes a piece of music will have many different arrangements that have been done over the years, but the most authentic arrangement is typically the originally published arrangement, so once I have a copy of the sheet music, it’s as simple as learning the song and rehearsing the piece with my pianist. Sometimes if I can’t find a good arrangement or if the song isn’t in a good key for me, I’ll do my own arrangement of the piece using Sibelius music notation software, which is a longer process, but I’ve done that quite a few times when I can’t find a satisfactory arrangement of the sheet music.

“Some Day My Prince Will Come” Is A Gorgeous Duet Performance, What Was The Process Like For That Collaboration?

“Some Day My Prince Will Come” wasn’t originally going to be a duet, since it was never intended to be a duet, but I was doing a Disney-themed concert and the pianist who was accompanying me also happened to have a lovely soprano voice, so the thought occurred to me that perhaps we could perform the song as a duet. As it so happens, there are two sets of lyrics for the song, one intended to be sung by a man and one intended to be sung by a woman.

So I thought, what if we each sing the respective sets of lyrics to the piece separately, and then harmonize together at the end? It was really just a spontaneous idea and it happened to come together and work beautifully, and Yunjin Audrey Kim did a wonderful job as my duet partner and pianist for that song; I’m very proud of that recording and pleased that, years after performing it, I still get so many positive comments from people about how much they love my duet version of the song.

What Do You Think About Collaboration? 

I honestly have so very many themed concerts I have done over the years that I don’t think I could tell you what my favourites have been; there are so many. One of my favourites at the moment is a piece I included in a springtime-themed concert called I’ll Remember April; the song is called “One More Walk Around the Garden,” and it is just so poignant and not particularly well-known, so I really enjoy getting to sing that for audiences. “When You Wish Upon a Star” from Pinocchio and “I’ll Be Seeing You” are two of my other favourite songs to sing, but there are really so many others I love to sing as well.

Are There Any Specific Ones That Stick Out As Favourites? Many Of Your Performances Are Performed For A Live Audience, How Does It Compare To Performing Solely For A Camera?

During 2020 and much of 2021, I wasn’t doing any live performances in front of an audience due to Covid, so I started performing in front of a camera just to record concerts without an audience much more often; it was a bit of an odd experience because, on the one hand, it is great to be able to do retakes in case I mess up or my pianist messes up, and it’s less stressful.

On the other hand, I really enjoy the feedback I get from performing in front of a live audience and you simply don’t get that from performing in front of a camera without people watching; I like hearing the applause and the comments that people in the audience make to me after a concert about songs they enjoyed and getting that kind of tangible feedback that is only possible when performing in-person in front of a live audience.

What Are Some Of Your Fondest Memories Throughout Your Music Career?

I have many fond memories throughout my music career. I remember the very first public concert I ever did, I sang a song called “A Perfect Day” written back in 1910 by Carrie Jacobs-Bond, and an elderly woman in the audience came up to me afterwards and was crying, telling me that it had been her mother’s favourite song; things like that mean so much to me. I enjoy being able to evoke happy memories, or sometimes nostalgic but still fond memories, for people, and whenever I get that kind of feedback it makes me happy. Nearly every time I perform at senior living communities I get comments from residents telling me their memories of hearing the songs I was singing or memories that my songs evoked and how much it meant to them, and that means a lot to me.

One of my other fondest memories of performing was doing an all Rodgers and Hammerstein-themed show with several girls between the ages of 9-12 and it was delightful to get to share the stage with such talented young singers and sing duets and ensemble pieces with them. It was really just so much fun for me; the Disney show I did was a similarly fun experience since I also worked with several talented young girls that added such an element of fun to the show.

What Are Some Obstacles Throughout Your Music Career?

The obstacles in my music career have been numerous; Covid has certainly been a big one. Also, given that I perform “old-fashioned” music, it is difficult to find the right venues to perform other than at senior living communities. I don’t sing material that is going to be on Top 40 radio stations, so I have a very particular niche and finding the right audiences and venues for that niche is a challenge. Also, finding an agent who could help me book performances and help me find the right venues to perform is a challenge. And, as I mentioned previously, the shift towards streaming music over purchasing physical copies of music makes it difficult to make money from album sales, but that hasn’t deterred me from continuing to record and release new albums, regardless.

What Advice Would You Give to Musicians Just Starting Out On YouTube?

My advice to performers just starting out with YouTube would be not to put all your eggs in one basket; it’s very hard to get discovered on YouTube. It’s hard to get discovered anywhere, but you should use every outlet available to you, e.g., YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, a personal website, and if you have recorded music, make sure you’re putting it out on streaming services like Spotify, not just for streaming royalties but for the exposure. Use every social media outlet available to you and try to create content consistently that appeals to your audience; if you’re not sure what your niche is, try to figure it out and tailor your content to fit your niche and target it towards your target audience to the best of your ability.

What Are Some Projects You Have In Progress Right Now?

I have several projects I’m working on or have recently completed. I just released an album last month, The Morning After, which is available on most streaming services such as Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, etc., and is available for sale on CD as well. I am also working on a new show for the Rochester Fringe Festival in Rochester, NY which I’m calling A Little Night Music: Casey Jones Costello Sings Broadway and Beyond, featuring Gail Hyde on piano. The shows are scheduled to take place at the School of the Arts in Rochester, NY during the Rochester Fringe Festival in September, so my pianist and I are rehearsing for those shows right now and plan to record the songs from the new show for an album as well.

Where Do You See Yourself In 10 Years?

I don’t like to speculate on things too far off in the future; God only knows where I’ll be in 10 years. All I can say is that my aspiration is to be able to perform cabaret-style shows at venues across the United States, Canada, and elsewhere, and be able to make a consistent living by performing for and entertaining audiences of all ages and I hope to have an agent and that I’ll have recorded many more albums; it would be great if I could get signed by a record label, but if that never happens I hope to continue recording and releasing albums myself. It is very difficult to be successful in the music industry, but I love entertaining audiences and love it when people enjoy my music and I hope that I’ll always be able to continue singing and performing for people.

Photo by Expect Best on

Concluding Thoughts

Thank you for reading our lovely Disney and Disney nostalgia posts. We are always updating our articles with new and exciting themes. Follow our email newsletter or social media to stay connected with our Switching styles community.


A Family Brownies Recipe with Delicious Song Suggestions

What’s better than homemade brownies? A family recipe for homemade brownies and a homemade playlist for the baker! Check out an Ireland family brownie recipe as well as the music she listens to while baking them.

Photo by vjapratama on

Introduction To a Family Recipe

 We’ve heard from Jade Ireland, all about her love for cooking. She is a fun-loving person who enjoys everything to do with the kitchen. Most importantly she loves to cook, bake, and create culinary artwork. A few of her main focuses include Sustainable Life, cooking for Diabetics, Permaculture, and Clean Food.

She’s spent her life cooking and baking for her loved ones. Today we’re sharing one of those recipes plus a list of music perfect for baking. Below is Jade’s family recipe for delicious brownies.

Family Brownies Recipe

Here’s Jade’s family recipe for all Switching Styles readers and followers.

Photo by Marta Dzedyshko on

Ingredient List

125 grams of unsalted butter, chopped

125 grams CADBURY Baking Dark Chocolate, chopped

3 eggs, lightly whisked

1 1/2 cups white sugar

3/4 cup plain flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Step 1

Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan forced. Grease a 20cm (base measurement) square cake pan and line it with baking paper.

The easy way to line a square cake tin with baking paper.

Step 2

Place butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water). Stir with a metal spoon until melted. Remove from heat. Quickly stir in egg, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt until just combined. Pour into prepared pan.

Step 3

Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging.

Step 4

Set aside to cool completely.

Step 5

Delicious!! Time to enjoy.

Family Brownies Recipe and Baking Music 

Photo by Felicity Tai on

When Jade is in the kitchen, there’s always music playing.

“I find it helps me to focus, every kitchen I have ever worked in there has always been music. Kitchens are a loud environment—all the slicing and dicing. Music also makes the time fun, with all the singing and dancing that happens,” she explains in an interview with Switching Styles.

Here’s some brownie-baking music inspired, by Jade’s very own musical inspirations.

Lyfjaberg (Healing-Mountain)” By Wardruna

“Rún” By SKÁLD

“My Mother Told Me” By Alina Gingertail

“Valhalla Calling” By Miracle Of Sound Ft. Eric Hollaway and Peyton Parrish

Seven Nation Army” By SKÁLD

“Let It Go” By Connor Engstrom Music

“How Far I’ll Go” By Peyton Parrish,  Richaadeb, And Jonathan Young

“Nobody Like U” Ft. Halacg And Justine’s Mic

“I Won’t Say I’m In Love” By Caleb Hyles

“Circle Of Life” By Alex Boye, Alisha Popat, And Lemarti

In Conclusion

Thank you for reading Switching Styles this fall season. We’ve got many more fantastic articles of all sorts. Check out articles like Local Music Venues: Naked Cyber Cafe and Espresso Bar, Musical Gender Bending, and Starting a Blog about Covers and Parodies.


Interviewing Jade Ireland About Cooking and Music

Many folks combine music and cooking, or baking. Jade Ireland is one of those types of people. In this article, we dive deep into the relationship between music and cooking or baking.

Photo by Felicity Tai on

Jade Ireland is a fun-loving person who enjoys everything to do with the kitchen. Most importantly she loves to cook, bake, and create culinary artwork. Some of her main focuses include Sustainable Life, cooking for Diabetics, Permaculture, and Clean Food.

Jade Ireland Q&A 

Switching Styles has reached out to Jade to discuss how music combines with her culinary passions. Below is an interview with Jade and then some of Jade’s go-to cooking music.

How did you get started in cooking?

I got started with my grandmother. Every school holiday we were in the kitchen cooking up a storm. Every event in our lives revolves around foods of some kind.

What were some of the memorable events and meals from your childhood?

Every Sunday night we went to my grandmother’s house for dinner. The smells and the warmth of her house are the things I remember.

What is one of your favourite recipes to cook?

I find this to be very hard, what’s the setting? Who is it for? What type of food do the people you cook for like? I love to cook with an Asian twist, but nothing beats a choc chip cookie I make every Sunday and give to them the people I love. I find they make Mondays better.

 What’s one of your favourite Asian-inspired recipes?

Sushi bowls love them so easy and quick

What’s the secret to a good chocolate cookie recipe?

 Your grandmother would never tell you this but it’s the love they put into it. (And the type of butter, salted)

Why is cooking an important skill to learn?

We all have to eat to survive. Why not have some fun with it? The more you work at this the better you get, and the more you learn. I love that it’s a skill I will be forever learning.

What advice do you have for people that are wanting to learn to cook?

Don’t be too hard on yourself, time and practice are the things that are needed. Start with a dish you love to eat.

Right now, why is cooking with what you have so important?

The world is changing so much, waste is a huge issue at this point. I do believe that if this skill were handed down just like it used to be waste wouldn’t be such a problem. Scrappy cooking is a thing

What’s the biggest concern that people have when learning to cook?

That they won’t cook the items right. Or they are afraid of the knives and the skills of using them.

What are some tips for people that are nervous about cooking?

Keep using the knives, the more you use them the better off you are, and your skills will improve. Keep cooking, you may burn the items for the first few times, and you know what that’s more than ok.

I have been in the industry for over a decade. I too still get it wrong sometimes; I use it as a learning opportunity

Why does it help you to have music while you cook?

I find it helps me to focus, every kitchen I have ever worked in there has always been music. Kitchens are a loud environment. All the slicing and dicing.

The music also makes the time fun, with all the singing and dancing that happens

What songs are on your playlist while you work?

At this point I find myself putting on a lot of Viking tunes, the amazing artist Peyton Parrish, in saying this I have been making a lot heartier meals as we are coming out of winter where I am.

Does the playlist change depending on what you’re cooking?

100% it does. I go from Viking to Disney.

What recipes do you cook with Viking music versus listening to Disney music?

Winter and hearty foods are for the Viking music. Whereas I find Disney is light and summery so more salads and fruits

What are your favourite Disney movie soundtracks?

I’m an old-school Disney fan but I have a list of all the tracks, and I just hit shuffle. What ever comes on and you just let it go.

Sharing Jade Irelands Cooking Music

You read it right here! Viking folk music and Disney tunes are Jade’s go-to when it comes to cooking in the kitchen. Of course, we’ve got several examples to add to your very own cooking playlist!

Jade Ireland Pick: “My Mother Told Me” Old Norse Viking Chant By Peyton Parrish

“Ó Valhalla” By Skáld

“If I Had A Heart” Norse Version) By Colm McGuinness Music

“Go The Distance” From Hercules by Peyton Parrish

My Mother Told Me” By  Adam Chance And The Hound + The Fox

“Lava” By Bowcut Productions

“Arabian Nights” By Lydia the Bard

“Part Of Your World” By Ms. Chloe Dichoso

“I Won’t Say I’m In Love” By Thomas Sanders

“Beauty And the Beast” By Lindsey Stirling

Photo by Dapur Melodi on

Which of these songs are you adding to your Spotify list? Let us know in the comments below!


Chocolate Chip Cookies; Family Recipe& Quirky Playlist

Read our Switching Styles article below to get Jade Ireland’s delicious family recipe for chocolate chip cookies as well as a fantastic chocolate chip-themed playlist.

Introducing Jade Ireland and Her Chocolate Chip Cookies

Jade Ireland is a fun-loving person who enjoys everything to do with the kitchen. Most importantly she loves to cook, bake, and create culinary artwork. Some of her main focuses include Sustainable Life, cooking for Diabetics, Permaculture, and Clean Food. Switching Styles has reached out to Jade to discuss how music combines with her culinary passions and asked for some of her favorite recipes. Below is Jade’s family recipe for chocolate chip cookies.

Photo by Anete Lusina on

 Sometimes it’s hard to know what to make or bake in this case. In an interview with Switching Styles, Jade Ireland explained that it’s hard to pick a singular favorite recipe.

“I find this to be very hard, what’s the setting? Who is it for? What type of food do the people you cooking for like? I love to cook with an Asian twist, but nothing beats a choc chip cookie I make every Sunday and give to the people I love. I find they make Mondays better.”

Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe 

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on

Here’s a recipe to make your Mondays or any day of the week a little bit better.

Chocolate Chip Cookies Ingredients

150 grams of butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk chocolate bits, plus 1 tbsp extra
1 egg
1/2 cup dark chocolate bits, plus 1 tbsp extra

 Step 1

Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan forced. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Using an electric mixer or whisking, hand, beat butter and sugars, and 1-2 minutes or until smooth and well combined. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined.

Step 2

Stir in flour. Stir in dark and milk choc bits. Roll 2 level tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls and place on prepared trays, 3cm apart. Press down slightly. Decorate with extra choc bits.

Step 3

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until lightly golden and cooked. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Baking Chocolate Chip Cookies With Music 

Chocolate chip cookies are certainly a classic. What about baking these classics with a fantastic soundtrack?

Cookie Dance By Chip Chocolate

“Share It Maybe” By Sesame Street

“Faraway Cookies” By Caitlin Mc Ewan

 “Who Stole The Cookie From The Cookie Jar?” By The Jaynetts

C Is For Cookie” By Soul Sanctuary

Final Thoughts

Thank you so much for reading Switching Styles. Check out our blog for a range of different topics. We’ve got many more fantastic articles to keep you on the edge of your seat. Check out articles like Today we’re discussing Chickens, Mac Sabbath: Fast-food Fun for the Whole Franchise, Defining Covers And Parodies and a whole lot more!

Interviews Reviews

LARP and Social Anxiety

There’s no shame in being a new player or an anxious player.  Sometimes LARP and social anxiety overlap. read more about combatting social anxiety and enjoying your LARP game.

Introduction to LARP

Let’s start with the obvious question. What exactly is LARP? LARP stands for live-action roleplaying game. These games are a form of immersive game based off traditional role-playing games such as D&D, Pathfinder, Gamma world and so on.

Like these traditional roleplaying games where one creates you create a character based on the game rules. Then it’s time to roleplay as your character. The difference between TTRPG and LARP is that you play out that character’s thoughts, actions, and progression in live action. you act out the motivations, and actions, roleplaying what your character would do in any given situation.

For example, instead of telling your Dungeon master what your 5th level elf rogue does to sneak past the guards, you do just that. It’s a fantastic way to bring the game to life. You’re able to roleplay as Darcassan Joric, a fifth level roque with a history of drunken disorder likes and a love for the kazoo. From combat to diplomacy to adventure to friendship, there’s all kinds of situations to advance the characters’ storyline.

Joining LARP with social anxiety

Social anxiety is defined by The Mental Health Foundation as a “Beyond the typical sensation one might expect when speaking in public, meeting people for the first time, starting at a new job or school, or giving a performance, when the discomfort or feelings of shyness result in anxiety, fear, or avoidance and have an ongoing impact a person’s daily at work, in school then it could be social anxiety disorder (SAD).”

As it’s different from general nervousness in social settings, ‘jump right in’ isn’t the best solution. For most socially anxious folks, baby steps and social awareness are often the most helpful.

The Mental Health Foundation explains that “How we feel, think, and behave in social situations varies from person to person depending on our personality traits, upbringing, and life experiences. Some people are naturally reserved and shy whereas others might be more outgoing and extroverted, but anyone can have a SAD.”

This can make games that focus very highly on the socializing and person to person engagement like RPGS difficult. LARPS take it a step further by being longer, and more involved as you’re physically acting as the character.

Refuge LARP, a game based out of Calgary adores giving folks a chance to learn and to be comfortable. Their website reads, “Glad you made it! Come on in, learn about LARP, and take a break from the real world. Everyone is welcome to seek Refuge in our fantasy world. Whether you are new to roleplaying, new to LARP, or looking for a new LARP to play, we look forward to meeting you and answering your questions!”

Photo by Alexandre Silva on

Tips for joining a LARP with social anxiety

Social anxiety can be debilitating for inexperienced players as well as experienced. However, anxiety shouldn’t stop players from enjoying a weekend LARP game. Getting out there is rough but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. Here are a few tips when it comes to getting ready for a LARP game with social anxiety.

Join the social media groups and forums.

Even as a lurker, you can get more comfortable with how the players interact with one another. Try asking a question to some of the players either in a DM or a beginners’ forum. Most people will be very open to your curiosity or at the very least, know someone who can help.

You can take this a step further once you’ve figured out your character. Joining Organizations that your character may join provides another way to engage with the material as well to observe the subtleties of the game in game. Take these examples from the Refuge LARP. Depending on who or what your character is, these groups can include  The Home Guard 2.0: The Standing Army of Calanda,  or  The Arcane Sanctum 2.0: The Mage Guild of Calandonia, or  The Earth Weavers 2.0: The Order of Earth Casters, or The Silken Refuge: A Hobling run merchant house specializing in the trade of rare Silks from the island of Auric, or The Uruzaries: A High Orc/Ogre organization in servitude to the Oath sworn Shariah of the Edgeland Desert, or the  Hammer Outfitters: originally a Dwarven guild for craftsmen. You’ve got options!

Play as a monster

Cory Fliegel, the head organizer of the Calgary game Refuge says it’s easier to get started with non-player characters or NPCS. His Advice for newcomers is to start with the monster camp as it’s easy to start and simple to play. Monster camp is a nickname for the portion of the organizations that play non-player characters (NPCs) or monsters.

“Others jump right into being a PC and again, that is the choice everyone makes. Your level of comfort should be your main guide,” Explains the user guide for Refuge LARP”, You get to learn the game while gaining Experience Points (XP) for a future PC that you may play.

Playing as a goblin, orc, troll, bugbear, hobgoblin, kobold, mimic, beholder, or even an evil npc allows new players to get a taste for the game, and the rules without the stress of an entire character. It allows the fun to come first.

Get inspired

Do your research. Most LARPs have their lore, myths, history, and characters on their website. Take a look at the various options before you.

[Tip for those that don’t want to read the entire website or folks with ADHD – try a browser extension that reads out the page’s text to you. It’s a game changer for reading any block of text. Here’s what I use. And it’s free!!]

Attend with someone

Going with someone that’s been there before is a huge help. They’re able to show you the ropes and guide you through. Make sure you discuss this with them beforehand. They are sure to be an immense help, but they need to know how to help first.

As an added bonus to this, many games have incentivized introducing new players. Refuge LARP organizer Cory F. provides an incentive for bringing new players in with you and explains that “While only one member may benefit for each new player that purchases a membership, there’s no limit to the number of new players you can bring and receive rewards for! Plus, as a thank-you to both players may pick from a list specific magic items!”

Bring a friend

What’s better than one new player? Two new players!! It’s much easier to fumble through the first day when you know you aren’t alone. Chatting with friends, or folks on social media is a terrific way to meet people that are also LARP newbies.

Ask about Out of game (OOG) options.

Many games will have options for folks that want to take a break. Whether that’s a separate area where you can check your phone, have a snack, or go back to being you for a bit. Some games have a visual aspect to them such as a white headband or a hand on your head to tell other players, “Don’t interact with me.” It’s essentially the LARP’s version of AFK. Each game with have a slightly different approach, so it’s always best to ask.

If you are worried about potential panic or anxiety attacks, also ask about the first aid options. LARP games are meant to be fun not a health hazard.

Give yourself some slack

The first game can be overwhelming. There are a lot of new things to learn and stories to hear. Every new player goes through this, I promise you. Nothing you ask is going to be a surprise to the current players. They’ll either know the answer or send you to someone that does. Consider it your first quest!!

Remember that these are games that are meant to be fun. Take It seriously but not so seriously that it stops being fun. Here are some relaxing songs to help you focus and calm throughout the entire process.

Lost Tales: Our Secret Place By Dreamhop Music

Celestial Choirs By The Guild Of Ambience

Mysterious Music By Arondight Studios

Magic Library By Blue Turtle

Northwind By Brunuhville

Traditional Irish Folk Music By Lantern

Seeking Solitude By Daydreaming Of Persephone

Haunted Cemetery By Michael Ghelfi Studios

Coronation By CIRI

Got more tips to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!!


Adding Immersive Horror Music To Your Horror Games

Everyone knows that music makes the game, especially when it comes to horror. Adding in immersive horror music to your game will impress your players. . Read below on how to add a spooky soundtrack to terrify your players.

Introduction To Horror Games And Their Music

When players think of horror games, they want to be scared. This is the case for video games, LARPs, escape rooms, haunted houses, D&D games, and so much more. When your players take part in this game, they want to be terrified, usually.

Photo by Monstera on

Atmospheric soundtracks aren’t only in one specific genre. Music is important through many diverse types of games, and consoles. Regardless of whether you’re playing Carrion for the switch, Vampire: The Masquerade LARP, Call of Cthulhu RPG, Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly on PS4 and Xbox One, or SCP; secret laboratory on Steam, there’s still an element of music to it. Follow the video game topic on Switching styles, by signing up for our newsletter!

Think about the last horror video game you played. What kind of audio did they have? What kind of background noises or music? It was probably something creepy that made the hair on your arm and neck stands up. That’s because it’s supposed to.

“In recent years games developers, especially within the Horror genre, have become masters of creating soundtracks that have a terrifying eeriness and an atmosphere that keeps you on the edge of your seat,” Explains the writers at Anara Publishing.

Consider walking into a haunted house in your local community center. There’s music but it’s not Halloween-themed or horror themed it’s Swing covers of Disney songs. That’s not going to encourage people to be scared. They’ll most likely be more confused than anything else. It’s the same thing with other genres. Players aren’t scared if the horror boss battle is serenaded, by “Hot N Cold” from Katy Perry.

Fun Fact: When you get chills or goosebumps from a piece of music (or really from any aesthetic experience) is called frisson. The phenomenon is still being studied, by researchers around the world. (.)

Immersive Horror Music For Gaming

When it comes to adding an element of realism and terror to your game, it helps to have some options. Below we’ve compiled a few of our favourite horror-themed music. Whether you’re adding this to your Friday night MTG theme night, your monthly vampire masquerade session or even your biweekly Cthulhu D&D game, we’ve got you covered.

Creepy Music Mix #1, Instrumental Halloween Music

Dark Piano, Lucas King

Tormented Hybrid Horror Music Mix, Horror Music World

Dark Mystery Orchestral Remix, Cthulhu Mythos Music

The Yōkai Compendium, Realm of Dementia

Dark Victorian Music, Cryo Chamber

H.P. Lovecraft music, Cthulhu Mythos Music

Phobia; Tense Cinematic Background Music, Soundridemusic

Halloween Spooky Ambience, Cozy Rain

Goëtia, Peter Gundry

Detective Background Music, FesliyanStudios Background Music

Horror Cinematic background music, Elysium Audio Labs

Horror Ambience, ESN Productions

Tim Burton Vibes Compiled, Sundew Baggins

Darkest Dungeon – Combat Music composed, by Stuart Chatwood for Red Hook Studios

Want to support Switching Styles? Check out our merchandise at Redbubble. There’s a little of everything for everyone: coffee mugs, aprons, notebooks, posters, pillows, and of course musically inspired fashion. Read more nerdy titles on Switching styles like Heavy Metal Heroes; The Superheroes You Didn’t Know You Needed, and With Ether Q&A.

Interviews Reviews

Interview With Notedead

Are you ready? Are you sure you’re ready for this? We don’t think you are, but you better get ready. Switching Styles has the answers you need with this interview with Notedead.

Introductions All Around!

Max Preuss (drums) and Trymer Martin (guitars/vocals) combine to form the band, Notedead. It all started where all great bands start, with a passion for music. The band found their start during the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic, despite the hardships. Everything was rough. That didn’t stop them. For Notedead, this was a new beginning. The band formed in 2020 and has been rocking the world since.

Q&A Between Switching Styles and Notedead!

In an interview with switching styles, they’ve opened up about their band, their process, and their goals. Read below to get to know Notedead even better!

What is it about music that makes you feel passionate?

 Music emits emotion. I long to feel what the artist felt when they wrote the song and kind of experience it together. Music is also everywhere, from malls to elevators. And rhythm is in footsteps and your heartbeat, it’s everything.

 The emotions a song can put you through makes me feel alive

How did Notedead start and how did the Covid 19 Pandemic impact your band?

 Early on in Covid times when everything stopped and when we couldn’t jam with our bands Trymer started writing his own stuff and asked Max to write drums along with it. We both quickly realized that our writing for our respective instruments clicked together.

We started ripping out songs super-fast, so we decided to continue writing under our own band together which is Notedead.

How is being an Edmonton-based band impacted Notedead?

 It’s funny because only half of the band (Max) is Edmonton based and the other half (Trymer) is from Lacombe so it’s almost a long-distance type band relationship.

 The local music scene in Edmonton has a great group of people who support and encourage us, and we are forever grateful.

What inspired you to start playing and making music?


 Before I got into my own music I listened to my dad’s classic rock/metal, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Foreigner, ZZ Top, etc. Anyways but I’m in grade 5 I had some project to do at school and there was another classmate who did his project, but his was on Sum 41 and it caught my eye, so I got the CD “all killer no filler” at a Walmart in Manitoba, and that cd changed me.

From there I adopted my first taste of music away from my parents and it inspired me to want to play guitar, the ball started rolling from there!


Rock band. I loved the game because I was able to some of jam along to my favorite songs while simultaneously learning a basic version of the drums. I got very good at that game, and it made my transition into real drums very easy.

My music teacher in junior high band class then asked if anybody knew how and I volunteered to learn some percussion. The rest is history, between drum lessons, drumming for my high school jazz band & winning jazz artist of the year, it’s safe to say I’m a real drummer now

What bands or genres inspire your sound?

 Counterparts, Napoleon, Dance Gavin Dance, to name a few… but it’s really so hard to say what inspires our sound, so many bands growing up shaped us into the musicians we are and what our preferences are as well.

We also use it a lot! Of dead notes haha

Describe your creative process when you write new music.

 We both write our music on Guitar Pro. being as we are far away from each other, and we both enjoy the punctualness we can read. Trymer usually comes up with the first riff and then sends it to Max and Max writes the drums and then we work together from there, writing the song section by section.

Sometimes there will be a pre-discussed idea before we start on our next track, but we always write song by song and never add too much to our plates.

What’s your favorite venue for performing? Why?

 We don’t play shows as we are only a 2 man band writing songs to share with people, but if we could Trymer would want to play the St. Andrews United Church in Lacombe as he used to play local punk shows there growing up (it’s kind of odd I know, but it was so much fun!) and Max wishes we could play at Polar Park Brewery in Edmonton but it unfortunately just closed down.

What are some of your current projects?

 Currently, we have some new music in the bank but nothing to confirm aside from our new album “Separate Paths”. However, Max is in 2 other bands, Withered Days and Sol Runner.

What advice would you give to musicians just starting?

 Listen to music as often as you can. Find something that you wish you could make your own and take that drive to make your own with your inspiration and feelings

 Don’t give up, you’re going to suck at times, but music is a lifelong partner if you let it be.

Is there anything you wanted to mention that I didn’t ask about?

 Yes, our new album ‘Separate Paths’ is out September 9th

Interviews Reviews

Introducing Refuge LARP Calgary

Live Action Role-playing is a wonderful way to enhance practical skills, social skills, and overall creativity. One example close to home is the Refuge LARP out of Calgary.

What is LARP?

LARP or live-action roleplaying is an immersive game with the storytelling of traditional role-playing games such as D&D, Pathfinder, Gamma World and D6.

Photo by Lisha Dunlap on

Like traditional roleplaying games where one creates a character within the specifications of the game rules, and plays out that character’s thoughts, actions, and phrases. However, in a LARP, it’s merely live action. This means that you act out the motivations, and actions, roleplaying what your character would do in any given situation. From combat to diplomacy to adventure to friendship, there are all kinds of situations to advance the characters’ storyline.

No matter where the thrill of adventure and imagination can be found. There’s a story for everyone in a LARP game.

Introducing Refuge LARP Calgary

“Being a Hero is what LARP is all about,” explains the organizers, “Take on a role as a daring fighter, a dashing rogue, a powerful scholar casting magic or a combination of the three!”

The LARP website explains, “Our story focuses on our players as high-fantasy heroes pitted against seemingly insurmountable odds. Many times, they are victorious, but other times, well, that remains to be seen.”

LARP or Live Action Role Playing Games are an immersive roleplaying game played in person instead on paper. Refuge LARP Calgary is one of the longest running campaigns in Alberta. Starting the LARP in 2011, they’ve gained quite a following for the immersive fantasy game.

The Story of the Game

The story that’s the background for all roleplaying within the game is based on the mythical land of Calandonia. About the size of Europe theoretically, it provides a huge level of exploration for the characters. This land is the main area for game play and the most prominent of the world’s realms. It’s the seat of power.

There’s an overarching storyline with many different facets. There are many ways to engage with the storyline. From simple encounters with a goblin in the woods to more intricate engagement with the arch mage and grand council. The political ties between them makes it even more interesting including arch mage, grand council, and the Dwarven Enclave to name only a few of the participating rulers.

Joining meta organizations or Organizations that your character may join provides another way to engage with the material. These include  The Home Guard 2.0: The Arcane Sanctum 2.0: The Silken Refuge: The Uruzaries:  and Hammer Outfitters:  to name a few.

Refuge LARP Calgary Prep Playlist

Don’t hesitate to check them out. If you want some inspiration, here’s a LARPing playlist to get you in the LARPing mood!!

Medieval Fantasy Background Music By Realm of Dementia

Epic & Powerful Fantasy Music By Mortifer V.

Dark Chocolate and Classical Music By Sundew Baggins


Medieval Fantasy Tavern By Daydreaming of Persephone

An Epic Ride By Blue Turtle

Magic Bookstore in The Woods (Iroh’s Bookstore) By The Vault Of Ambience

Tree Temple By Ambience Lab

Exoplanet Nature II By Michael Ghelfi Studios

Dark Atmospheric Music from The Shadowlands By Cryo Chamber

Up To the Mountains  By Unwind Station

Share your larping inspiration with the Switching Styles community by tagging us on your socials.

Interviews Reviews

Featuring Notedead

This content was sponsored by Notedead. Thank you for supporting local music blogs like Switching Styles!!

Are you sure you’re ready for this? Are you ready for truly hardcore music? We don’t think you are, but you better get ready. Notedead is one of the most hardcore bands in the province, and they’re not stopping any time soon.


The band formed in 2020 and has been rocking the world since. They’ve been releasing music since their debut in 2021 with the release of their Best Wishes EP. Then the single “Labyrinth” was released a year later.

Max Preuss (drums) and Trymer Martin (guitars/vocals) combine to form the band, Notedead. It all started where all great bands start, with a passion for music. Despite the hardships, the band found their start during the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic. The covid pandemic was a tough time for Canadian musicians. Venues were closed. Live performances were limited. Finances for everyone were rough. Everything was rough. That didn’t stop them. For Notedead, this was a new beginning.

Getting Started.

Trymer started writing instrumental tracks solo during the quarantine. Channelling the pressure, uncertainty, and anxiety into the melodies, he created three of Notedead’s first songs. But something was missing, and that something was Max. As a drummer, Max had felt the impact of the pandemic firsthand. Trymer reached out and Max took to his role like a fish to water. They both quickly realized that their writing was an amazing match. That’s the exact moment that Notedead was created.

You may think you know the post-hardcore genre, but not like this. Max is a drummer, not only for Notedead but also for Withered Days and Sol Runner. His skill combined with Trymer’s artistry makes entirely unique music. This band brings something fresh to the post-hardcore genre. The band is inspired by classic rock and metal legends; Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Foreigner, and ZZ Top. That’s not all. Notedead’s influences also include contemporary bands such as Counterparts, Napoleon, and Dance Gavin Dance. Notedead is breathing a new kind of life into the genre with its music.

“A dynamic, immersive, and progressive assimilation of heavy influences. Rangy guitars work that balances urgent and melodic astutely and a pummeling vocal delivery intertwines deftly with the instrumental unit”

Raves Katie from Carry The 4 PR.

Their Music

This post-hardcore Canadian band is bringing out all the stops in their music. Notedead is bringing forth impressive drums, emotive lyrics, and an emotional connection to each one of its listeners. All their music has such a profound level of depth to it. Each note, each strum, and each word have a meaning and a purpose. That purpose is to connect with the listener within that moment.

Their most recent release is an album called “Separate Paths.” This album of 11 hardcore songs has been available as of September 9, 2022. Not even one of the album’s songs is flat when it comes to emotions. The songs all tell a story of humanity and share a part of the human condition. Pain, anger, joy, rage, and misery, it’s all there in their music.

Notedead is aiming to be one of the greats coming from right here in Edmonton, Alberta. The goal was never to impress people. It never has been. It’s been about the music. The real goal is to write great music that speaks to the human heart. Find their music online on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, and Bandcamp.

Check them out and let us know what you think!!
Interviews Reviews

Reviewing “Politician Man” by Adrian Sutherland

Just in time for the Canadian Election, Adrian Sutherland releases a single, “Politician Man”, discussing the issues of drinking water in communities throughout Canada.

Introducing Adrian Sutherland

Adrian Sutherland is an artist with more than just creativity and talent but a quality musician and a quality father. Adrian Sutherland is a Canadian artist from Attawapiskat First Nation on the James Bay. He’s not just a singer, songwriter, musician, speaker, author, and advocate but He’s also a father of four, a grandfather to four, a traditional knowledge keeper, and a respected cultural leader, fluent in Mushkegowuk Cree.

Northern Canadian roots rocker, Sutherland has become an increasingly popular artist. His Spotify Wrapped shows a huge following with over 10k listeners in over 57 countries.

Photo of Adrian Sutherland

As an artist, he’s taken to using his musical popularity to spread information and hope among Canadian citizens. Sutherland wrote this American-style song himself. With the writing help of the brothers Chris Gormley and Matt Gormley, the lyrics send such a vital message. During the Canadian election, this is a rather poignant message.

Introducing Politican Man

A press release by Adrian Sutherland explains, “The powerful protest song – Sutherland’s debut single as a solo artist – has been gaining audiences ever since its premiere on October 17, 2019, four days before Canada’s federal election. The video and its important message earned national media coverage at that time and continues to garner attention today.”

The federal election is a chance for a citizen to have their voices heard. People can fight for what they believe in, make a stand for their values, to stand with the people that can’t stand for themselves. The meaning behind this song isn’t just political. It’s much deeper than that, especially for Sutherland. It’s a far more personalized message.

Message Behind The Music of “Politician Man” by Adrian Sutherland

“The seeds for the song were planted in July 2019, when Attawapiskat First Nation – Sutherland’s fly-in Cree community on the James Bay in remote Northern Canada – declared a state of emergency over contaminated water,” describes Sutherland. This contaminated water has elevated levels of Trihalomethanes (THMs) and halo acetic acids (HAAs) which can cause skin irritation as well as increase the risk of cancer. These can’t be cleared by boiling the water.

“Attawapiskat should be drinking the same quality of water the people in Ontario and Canada take for granted,” Attawapiskat Chief Ignace Gull said in an interview with CBC, “We shouldn’t be going through this kind of stuff, to declare a state of emergency. If this happened in Timmins, they would deal with it the same day.”

Nigel Nakogee, 17, holds a sign in front of the Attawapiskat band office on Tuesday, protesting the community’s water quality problems. Published via CBC

In the Globe and Mail, you can Read Adrian’s previously written editorial piece about the lack of clean drinking water in Canada’s communities. Sutherland has never had clean water running into his home. This is a sad case for countless communities throughout the country. Countless communities throughout Canada are under water advisories.

Keep up to date on Short-term drinking water advisories including Boiled Water Advisories (BWA), Do Not Use Advisory (DNU), and Do Not Consume (DNC). There are also numerous long-term drinking water advisories available here.

“For his entire 44-year-old life, he has had to collect clean drinking water from elsewhere. When he was younger, his family used to draw water straight from the river. These days, Attawapiskat has two dispensaries where families access drinking water,” reads a press release from Sutherland.

This prompted Sutherland to write a song in response. Coming from a very personal place, Sutherland is using his platform to send a message about this issue.

“At almost the exact same moment, insensitive comments about water from a thoughtless politician in Ottawa sparked massive public outcry, and national media coverage. Politician Man, a song that speaks to Canada’s troubled relationship with First Nations, was Sutherland’s response.”

“The relationship between Canada and First Nations has been difficult for a long time, and in many ways, it still is,” continues Sutherland Politician Man is about this relationship, and the need for all of us – politicians, chiefs, Indigenous people, all people – to start listening to each other, and move past the blaming. We all need to do our part to make real change happen. That’s the message behind Politician Man.”

About The Music Video

The music video portion was created by Justin Stephenson, an acclaimed animator and filmmaker and produced by RoseAnna Schick. produced and engineered by Carl Jennings in Hamilton, Ontario, this is a fantastic masterpiece of a music video. Not only that, but it’s also been screened in over 20 film international festivals gaining several rewards including the following.

🎥 Yorkton Film Festival – Best Performing Arts & Entertainment – Jun 18, 2020   

🎞️ Moving Parts Film Festival – Best Music Video – Sep 26, 2020  

📹 Indie Shorts Buenos Aires & Indie Shorts Miami – Best Music Video – Dec 8, 2020

📽️ Phoenix International Short Film Festival – Best Music Video – Jan 4, 2021  

🎬 London Music Video Festival – Best Music Video – Jul 1, 2021 

“Politician Man” by Adrian Sutherland is not only an impressive work of art but also an impressive message. Visit here to see how you can make a difference in your community. Keep up to date on the progress of the Canadian Government here. Write and send a letter to Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Tell him it’s time to end drinking water advisories in First Nations.