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Our Definition of an...

IS... A musician or music lover who has found an alternative way to be successful in music or the creative industries.

graphic design. TattooisT. PR. Journalism. carpenter. record producer. a&R scout. writer. songwriter. photographer. model. tour manager. lighting desigN. Fashion designer. make up artist. editor. critic. poet.

EDITORS NOTE ALT- MU t e a m . . . Founder / Editor

Logo Design

Deputy Editor


Jennifer Le Roux Ruby Rebelle

Design Editor Lee Anderson

Lead Designer Dan Evans

Senior Designer

Suzanne Greenwood

Lead Photographer Scott Chalmers

Music Writer

Daniel Bateman

Picture Editor Kofi Agyemang

Copy Editor

Josh Humphrey

Marketing Assistant Charly Phillips

Sarah Bonnar

Hannah Mesquitta

ISSUE 1 Contributing Writers

Daniel Bateman Edward Couzens-Lake Hannah Mesquitta Jennifer Le Roux Jon Ostrow Josh Humphrey Louis Crowe Martin Wake Rhys Milsom Rich Fownes Ruby Rebelle Steve Young

CONTACT US . . . WEBSITE - facebook twitter - contact - Cover Page Credits... Photo: Scott Chalmers Subject: Mister Joe Black Design: Lee Anderson a lt m u m ag a z i n e .co.u k

Wow – it’s finally here! Six months ago Alt Mu Magazine was simply an idea totting about in my little brain. I noticed that most music magazines, or even those offering advice, focused on the frontline; on ‘being famous’ and had a lack of insight into the vast array of people that make the live action possible. Having experienced my own highs and lows in the music and creative industries as an ambitious performer, as well as developing my writing, marketing and design skills, I wanted to create a magazine that actually helped musicians or music lovers find sustainable careers in music or the creative industries. We define the term ALT-MU to represent a musician or music lover who has found an alternative way to be successful in music or the creative industries. In this issue Mister Joe Black is our featured ALT-MU and looking ravishing on our cover. To find out more about him check out his interview on page 10. We also catch up with Matt Lucas’ co-managed band, Bitter Ruin (58) and alternative model and ex musician Nina Kate on page 20. Our first fashion spread is an eye opener showcasing Nina Kate’s latex range, Jane Doe. We also have experts offering top tips on writing album reviews, finding your online voice, gaining confidence and Rich Fownes from Bad for Lazarus on the DIY Scene. Please tuck in and come back for our next issue out in April! Peace out...

Jennifer Le Roux Founder / Editor

CONTENTS ALT-MU Interviews...


8 Meet the Team



Work Experience in Music

The Dark Flowers

Advice on how to improve your CV

Jim Kerr & Paul Statham on their new project…



Find out what makes us tick...


Burlesque Feature Getting sexy with your music…

30 Fashion Shoot

10 Mister Joe Black Featured ALT-MU: Cover star & King of Cabaret Noir…

Missing Citizen Alternative rock band from Portsmouth, UK

58 Bitter Ruin

Nina Kate’s latex range takes centre stage…

Initially rather disturbing, but ultimately brilliant!

64 Velvetine Interview with Rock n Roll band with big plans…



Famous ALT-MUs

Nina Kate

Inspirational multi-talented musos in the spotlight…

Stunning alternative model and ex musician…



Ribbon Album Review

Martin Wake

‘All End’s Eve’ mastered at Abbey Road Studios…

From music lover to Record Label Manager…









What’s Your Forward Slash?

Music Fiction: Part 1

Jobs in Music

A look at mult-talented professionals…

Three-part story, Ghost of Glasvegas…

Helping you find a career in music…




10 Alternative Careers in Music

Rock Star to Tennis Umpire

Upcoming Tours

Tips from our marketing expert, Jon Ostrow…

Ex musician Barry Malki shares his journey to the tennis courts…

Tour listings for Jan, Feb, March 2013…


Confidence on Stage

Live Music Photographer

...and in the boardroom

Hannah Mesquitta and her top pics from top gigs…

28 Writing Album Reviews Advice from music journalist, Rhys Milsom…

GET INVOLVED… Alt Mu Magazine (ALTMU) is created by a team of volunteer music and creative professionals based in Southsea, UK. We need contributors and ALT-MU reps throughout the globe to helps us grow the popularity of ALT-MU so that we can all continue to enjoy the coming issues. Contact us at:

36 Rich Fownes Exclusive Rich from Bad for Lazarus on rocking it DIY…

38 Finding Your Online Voice


with your area of interest if

The ‘Real’ Wedding Singer The musings of Steve Young, the Darren Hayes session guitarist…

Wise words from our marketing expert…



Record Label Manager ...


ALT-MU Interviews... Forward Slash Feature...




There was a time, an ancient time, when all anyone ever wanted to be was a steam engine driver... Steam engines were every young boy’s wet dream sixty or so years ago. Thunderous, clanking, vibrating behemoths, slick with oil, clad of steel and dark with mystery. You could at least partially apply that description to Lady Gaga now but then? They’d have pushed her aside, meaty coat and all, just to get a glimpse of the Mallard steaming through Grantham. The point of this tale is to emphasise that once, it really was possible to achieve your dream in life. If you wanted to be an engine driver, even if you thought it might be a nice career to perhaps take up, ‘give it a go’ sort of thing - then there’s every chance that someone would have taken you up on it and, within a year or so, you’d be stood upon a fiery footplate somewhere, life’s ambition achieved. Of course, as we lurch ever more deeply into the twenty-first century, no-one wants to be an engine driver anymore. We all now dream of a life in the arts, the public eye, the stage and the catwalk, our names on books, music albums, in lights somewhere. Never mind everyone supposedly having a novel in them. We all now believe we have a little stardust in us... As far as a career in Music is concerned, well…we can all pretend. Who hasn’t spent the latter part of their teenage years being in a band. Lofty ideals, low slung monochrome Fenders slung around the necks of angst-ridden young boys in baggy black sweaters and spray-on Wranglers. Come on, we’ve all been there. “I’m in a band” sounds good. It’s a pick-up line, a badge of honour. You’re a rebel, an art form, you’re angry. But, above all that, you’re a Musician.






Feature by Edward Couzens-Lake

Which is bloody cool. Or at least it would be if your efforts weren’t restricted to cacophonously bashing out Radiohead covers in your mate’s Dad’s garage, hoping upon hope that one day, the girl you fancy from the road just off the traffic lights might come along and have a listen, and might even bring her best mate along. Because that’d be a gig! The comedian Paul Whitehouse has a character who constantly interrupts whatever someone might happen to be doing by commenting that is the “...hardest game in the world. Done it myself, you see...” As far as spending your working life playing or writing music is concerned, his character is right. It is! The fact that we’ve all done it but so very few of us ever end up doing it, REALLY doing it, is the proof in the old pudding. It doesn’t help, of course, that most of the pap we see and hear today doesn’t have anything to do with music anyway - that just makes it a lot harder for everyone.

But don’t give up on the dream. Seriously. If you have music in your head and you want it to be your life, get out there and do it. Don’t be put off. Play and practise until your fingers bleed and you lose your voice. Play play play pay play! But find yourself a forward slash in the process. All the greats have one. (see grey box above)

It’s extremely doubtful that any of the above names will need to go back to their original trades. The mortgage has been paid off and the kids have gone through school. It’s likely they can probably mess around with the band for a few years yet. But they had that forward slash.

That ‘/’ which should be a badge of honour for any musician, or indeed, anyone who wants to make a living in the arts. Because it says this is what I do whilst I work at doing what I really want to do. It means you have the time and, essentially, the resources to carry on doing it. To keep practising, keep making the calls, keep learning - and oh yes, keep practising. It also means you’ll pay the bills. There are plenty of would-be musicians sleeping rough tonight because they couldn’t pay the bills. I know, I know. You don’t want to conform (man), you just want to play. Frost sharpened hair and sharing your doss with rats piss doesn’t care about that. So do yourself and the music loving public of tomorrow a favour. Keep doing what you are doing, keep that dream alive.

But make sure you always have that forward slash. ALT MU ISSUE 1


R e cM o rede tL at hb ee lTe Maam n a. g. . e r . . .

All the greats have one: Jack White - Upholsterer / Musician. Kurt Cobain - Caretaker / Musician. Ozzy Osborne - Trainee Plumber / Musician. Mick Jagger - Hospital Porter / Musician.

Meet the Team....

meet the team ALT-MU is a worldwide digital music careers magazine created by an ambitious team of volunteers based in Portsmouth and Southampton in the UK. All of the team members are professionals in their area of expertise and have a collective vision for a magazine that not only entertains its readers but also engages and educates them to develop sustainable careers in music or the creative industries. As it is our first issue, we thought it polite to introduce ourselves…



Ruby Rebelle is our funky little Deputy Editor; She is a tattooed obsessed, music loving, horror film watching, corset wearing Sideshow Performer and alternative model! She organises cabaret and variety shows under the name of ‘Rebelle Productions’ across Hampshire and whenever she finds some spare time she also teaches Burlesque with her company ER Burlesque. Did you know that there is also a comic book superhero based on Ruby? We suggest you go check out Super Ruby! Ruby’s favourite genre of music would be a mix between cabaret, rock and rockabilly! We guess that would explain her quirky dress sense!

Lee studied Music & Sound Technology recently at University and previously undertook a VCE in Art & Design at college. He has been mainly self-taught on the digital side with a natural talent for innovative design ideas. Lee is a devoted design editor and all round wonder-boy, his commitment to detail shines through in all his amazing and bespoke visuals; our very own go-to guy when there’s a challenge! His secret formula? Plenty of passion, with added graphic design, photo editing, web design, music, beer and sushi. Finely tuned aural apparatus, a love for the piano and an adoration for composing music make lee a master at his craft and a perfect fit for our ALT-MU family.

Deputy Editor


Design Editor

Founder & Editor

Jennifer grew up with illusions of becoming a musical theatre star but after training at Mountview Theatre School in London she later turned to rock and studied at the Academy of Contemporary Music. When she returned to her hometown of Portsmouth in 2005 when she formed original hard rock band, Life with Max. The band had regular gigs at their local venues in Portsmouth (UK) but sadly disbanded in 2008 shortly after winning runner up best band at a local competition and releasing their single, No Compromise. Jennifer has jumped careers and experimented with her talents like a rabbit on crack until eventually landing herself at university as a mature student where she is now approaching the end of her degree in creative and media writing. Jennifer came up with the concept for ALT-MU having noticed that most publications focused on ‘getting famous’ or promoting the famous rather than encouraging sustainable careers in music. Jennifer’s background in the entertainment and music industry as a dancer, singer and songwriter has afforded her the knowledge and experience to apply an intelligent and creative perspective in the review of music and culture. Accidental discovery of new artists and bands is another of Jennifers passions. Finding musicians that rock her world just by doing what they do best – making music and performing live. For her being a band or an artists comes with a responsibility to perform, entertain and influence. Jennifer hopes to get back to her own original music once she graduates and is very excited about the future for the magazine.





Music Writer

Scott Chalmers is a versatile photographer with a passion for all things rock and metal. He works in the fields of fashion, burlesque, music, vintage, pin-up, latex and cabaret photography. Originally trained in architecture, Scott has combined his love of the visual with his passion for music. His images appear regularly in numerous online and printed publications including Devolution Magazine, Metal Hammer, Kerrang and Bizarre to name but a few. ALT-MU are very pleased to have him on board to run the cover images and potential fashion shoots in the future. Watch this space!

Dan is drawn to print design, typography and branding so ALT-MU was an interesting project for him to get involved with. You will notice typographic influences that have been influenced by him. Dan studied Access Design, Art & Photography before he went on to study a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design, graduating last year. Dan is co-founder of Your Collective which is an online blog and music booking agents that provides regular news in Art, Design, Music, Fashion, Film and lifestyle. This is a fun and passionate part of his life that naturally led to an interest in joining the ALT-MU team.

Suzanne is a yummy mummy who designs greetings cards as her main job but also enjoys Belly Dancing in her spare time. She originally trained to be a professional dancer which led to dancing in an 80s and 90s road show, roles in musicals and a parade dancer in Disneyland Paris. Suzanne had to give up dancing due to injuries but continued to express her creativity back at University studying a degree in Illustration. Since then jobs have included; art technician, reprographics manager, and for the last 6 years, a designer for one of the biggest card companies in England, designing greetings cards, gift dressings and calendars.

Dan has been singing in rock bands and heavily into the arts, song writing and poetry since he was 16. He has studied film, television, radio and journalism as well as making a number of short films and music videos for a variety of Film Festivals. Dan has kept with his love of music and art as lead singer of the recently signed band Missing Citizen and producing works of art under the name of L.A.W.R. During daylight hours alongside writing features for ALT-MU Dan works as a rehabilitation counsellor for those suffering with addiction and mental health problems‌.A fine pillar of the community he is too!

Lead Photographer

Lead Designer


Josh is about to complete his third year as a BA (Hons) English Literature & Creative Writing student. He is keen to progress as a writer and editor and an avid rock and metal fan. Josh also writes for the magazine including the Famous ALT-MU feature in this issue!



Kofi is in his third year of a degree in Computer Science but enjoys photography on the side. He is part of the photo society at University and photo editor for the university magazine. Kofi is a fan of Indie Rock.

Charly Phillips is our pocket sized, rock chick Marketing Assistant. She is obsessed with rock and roll music and partial to a bit of blood curdling screamo. Her hair magically changes colour so that she is visible in crowds at gigs, which she reviews in her spare time. Charly likes unique, individualist things in life which is why she is involved with Alt-Mu!

Photo Editor

Marketing Assistant



Mister Joe Black...


ALT MU Interviews... Interviews... ALT-MU





ur cover star, Mister Joe Black, has entertained audiences all over the world with his sinister sound and fabulous shows. With an imaginative array of instruments, including his iconic Ukulele, a vintage accordion, a Victorian Child’s piano and the even more obscure Garden Saw, Joe Black is a true cabaret legend and definitive ALT-MU so we couldn’t wait to probe him with our questions…

If you were to describe yourself in one sentence to readers that haven’t had the pleasure of being introduced to the macabre world of Joe Black, what would it be? Bawdy? I’ll go with bawdy… Victorian music hall for the strangely inclined. As our featured ALT-MU for this issue, how would you describe your journey from someone who perhaps picked up your first instrument and simply enjoyed music or wrote songs, to the wildly entertaining dark comedic cabaret performer you are now? It has been rocky. I’ve changed my mind on lots of things... Musically I have evolved in so many ways from when I first began, unsure as to what to do with myself; to now having quite a clear idea of what I want to become and what I want to perform.



You are obviously a very multi-talented performer. Do you believe this is important to be successful in the Cabaret world? I think it’s important within any creative industry to have multiple skills. It’s hard work and if you can put your hand to multiple things, it’s likely that you’ll do the rounds more! Oooer. It is hard to find anyone that hasn’t heard of you in the Cabaret circuit and with a quick look at your website, we can see that you travel the world performing. What is your secret to being noticed worldwide? Hard work and networking. Making friends within the industry is very important. I don’t mean in a ‘scratch their back, they will scratch yours’ kinda way. I mean genuine friends helping each other out. It’s very important and feels great to pass the love on.



Was there ever a moment you considered being a straight laced musician? Or was it always Cabaret? I never had any intention of being a straight laced musician. I’ve never been a straight laced person. The thought had never actually occurred to me. It was never an option and never something I even gave a moment of thought to! Of all the choices in the art world, musically, aesthetically, why do you believe you chose this path? Is it because it’s so hard to define? No, I was just most attracted to this. I don’t care about definition in the slightest. People can box me however they like – I just do what I love. I think that should be the same with any creative work. I imagine as with any performer you have suffered knock backs and rejection. How have you learnt to overcome them? I don’t ignore it. It bothers me but ultimately you have to get through it. Otherwise what was the point of working up to whatever point you got to? If you feel you have done well, then what anyone else says shouldn’t make a difference. It will of course upset you but you have to think “what does that person or comment mean in the grand scheme of things?” Most likely it will mean nothing so just come out the other side with a massive grin on your face. As a Performer who has graced the stage hundreds of times, do you still get stage fright? Very rarely. Informal things make me nervous though. Theatre productions or big productions; I’m fine! Smaller things… I don’t know what it is about them? Though if I do get nerves that’s when! Having achieved so much at such a young age, what are your future ambitions? Are there any dreams you still wish to fulfil? Young age! It’s all in the power of tea tree toner, darling! Ha… But wait? What? Ok…yeah. I want to be a pantomime villain. Big ambition of mine! But I frighten children with my face, so probably best I don’t do it just yet. Interview by Ruby Rebelle

I don’t care about definition in the slightest. People can box me however they like – I just do what I love. I think that should be the same with any creative work.



A lRt e cr no ar dt i vL ea bJ eolb M s ai nn aMguesr i c. . .. . .

I want t Big am o be a pantom biti im childre on of mine! B e villain. n with ut I frig m hten y face, so best I d p ro on’t do it just y bably et.



Alternative Jobs...



Careers In Music...

The idea that any emerging artist can become the next multi-platinum recording artist is null and void. Save for very rare instances, there is just not the level of demand in music that creates the necessary environment for a superstar to develop, and those who do break through at that level either had the connections or the marketing team that was smart enough to mould the musician to look and sound exactly how the labels want them to. But this is nothing new.

1. Studio / Session Musician

There is always a demand for highly trained, highly qualified musicians to step in and add support on an album. This is not limited to any instrument or genre and can range from freelance work to working contractually for a major label. However, as the demand is high, so is the competition - in order to work as a studio/ session musician, you MUST be able to read music at a fluent rate and be able to adjust your playing to suit the needs of the client.

As the DIY Musician movement strengthens, musicians are continually gaining more 6. House Band / Residency understanding as to how they There are clubs, bars, theatres, restaurants, hotels, resorts and even can sustain a career in music cruises all over the world that look for without the need to sign to a groups or solo musicians willing to act as the resident band. These residencies record label and sell over can range from nightly to weekly to 1 million copies. monthly and offer a steady stream of There is a seemingly limitless way for musicians to use their knowledge of any and all aspects of music to create a sustainable career doing what they love: 14


2. Music Teacher

Teaching music can be done at quite a few different levels of understanding and pay-grade, ranging from private in-home lessons up to collegiate-level music study. While it is certainly an attainable goal to establish a few clients and teach out of your own home without having a degree in music, it is almost guaranteed that you will need to have a degree in music and possibly even teaching in order to teach in any sort of professional setting.


As it becomes more evident that the new music industry will in no way resemble the construct of the past, many musicians are left trying to figure out how they can create a sustainable or even lucrative career in music. Although album sales are on the decline, there is no decline in alternative jobs for musicians.

income while you take the time needed to write and establish a fan base.

7. Music Transcriber

There are plenty of musicians and singer-songwriters who lack the understanding of music theory to be able to transcribe their music. Many musicians have found freelance work by charging an hourly rate to sit down with other musicians who play back what they’ve written while it is all transcribed on sheet music. Not a bad gig if you enjoy listening to music at an extremely slowed-down rate‌

Feature by Jonathan Ostrow This can be done as either a part-time or full-time job, and depending on your level of specialisation, it can greatly range in pay-scale. Please note, however, that this is one of those jobs that typically requires some sort of apprenticeship before you are fully hired as a professional technician. If this is something you are considering, there are quite a few resources out there, such as NAPBIRT that provide a free exchange of information for instrument repair

Many musicians and artists have forged especially lucrative careers out of ghost songwriting for singers, performers and pop-stars. It is a fact that while Britney Spears was at the height of her fame, a woman named Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was writing the songs for her. More recently, Stefani has gone on to become one of the most successful pop stars of all time under the name Lady Gaga.

9. Freelance Music Journalism

10. Film / Video Game Scoring


Although most Broadway productions use classical music and orchestras, there are many off-Broadway productions that contain much more contemporary forms of music. National Shows like Cirque De Soleil and Blue Man Group, as well as many other smaller performances have scaled down from the orchestra to a smaller, Rock n’ Roll oriented music section.

4. Instrument Repair Technician 5. Ghost Songwriter

8. Music Production

Of course, with the DIY music movement becoming so contagious, many musicians have begun to take the many aspects of music production into their own hands. Ranging from recording to mixing to mastering, many musicians have created sustainable careers in the field of Music Production, allowing them to then later fund their own projects with their own money and experience.

There is no one with more potential to become a freelance music journalist than a musician. The understanding of music theory and the music industry as whole can be just the qualifications needed to write insightful reviews of albums or live performances or maybe even essays about the current trends or state of the music industry.

Similar to music licensing, there is a plethora of major and indie film and/or video game makers looking for musicians to score their work.

These are just a few of the many, many ways to use your love for music to establish a sustainable career. While not all of the possibilities are glamorous finding the right one for you could be the key to finding a job that is at least fuelled by what you love‌ Music. ALT MU ISSUE 1


Confidence Feature...

3. Pit Band for Off-Broadway Productions

Fighting Stage Fright...

CONFIDENCE On Stage & In the Boardroom Written by Louis Crowe

If you have ever stood on stage you know it can be pretty scary. In fact it can be downright terrifying. The same could be said for giving a presentation at work or going to a job interview. You can be teleported back to your four year old self at the school nativity play when you peed yourself centre stage in front of your whole school, because we all did that didn’t we? Didn’t you? Oh ... Well moving on, as we were saying it’s nasty stuff. Guitarist Louis Crowe is used to performing in front of audiences both at intimate, and in front of a large crowd at a festival, so he has shared some of his own tips and tricks for overcoming stage fright… Some people are lucky enough not to get nervous. Others need the nervous energy to help give them the edge. What I have always found in common with performers is that their passion for performing always outweighs their stage fright. Relating back to the office, your determination to impress your colleagues, win that contract or get that job will win out if you can channel your focus. My advice on tackling these nerves is simple and can work for anyone who suffers from the dreaded stage fright both on stage and in the office... 16


Being Nervous is Natural… Relax...

Rehearse Your Ass Off!

Whether it be a performance on stage, a presentation, or an interview, make sure you are rehearsed, polished and ready for an audience. There is nothing worse than being half way through performing when you realise you can’t remember what you’re supposed to do next – it’s not cool.

Try sitting in a quiet relaxed place before your due to go on stage or walk in to the meeting room. Meditation may sound like some hippy crap to some but breathing slowly and harnessing your focus in a quiet environment might just be the thing you need to tackle your nerves. A lot of people use booze to help them with their stage fright. While this may work for them, it’s actually increasing the risk of making mistakes and raising your blood pressure and heart rate so probably not a great idea when trying to overcome nerves. I knew a guy who would get absolutely trashed before going on stage and still did a great job. I on the other hand would completely f*@k it up!

Find Your Own Way…

I guess in essence what I’m trying to say is there is no right or wrong way to overcome your own stage fright. Chances Do you believe that your audiences expect more multi skilled performers on stage? Nowadays, I think burlesque and cabaret

F a m o u s A LT- M U s . . .

The most important thing to remember is that feeling nervous in these situations is a natural thing. I’ve had friends that always puke before gigs and others that drink whiskey; I suppose we all have our own ways of dealing with nerves. Myself, well I’m one of the lucky ones I guess. Quite often I’m just too busy to think about it. However, the worst gigs for nerves I’ve had are always the small ones with a couple of people sat right in front of you. There is just no avoiding them! Festivals are the easiest for me; there are so many people that you don’t feel it’s as personal.

We asked on Facebook: “What rituals do you have to calm your nerves before a performance?” Here are some of the answers... “I do warm-up exercises, run lines in my head and do focus/breathing exercises. And embrace the nerves as adrenalin. Without nerves you have no edge!” Miss Von Trapp “Watch the other acts. If they’re bad, you’ve got something to outdo and save the show, if they’re good; you’ve got something to compete against.” Nevs Coleman “I used to get so nervous I was nearly sick. On those occasions press ups would do the trick!” Luke Sargeant (Ribbon) “I can’t seem to tackle my stage nerves, even though I’ve been performing for over 3yrs now, so I just live with it. I will always have zero confidence and get really nervous about going on stage - but I just put two fingers up to my demons and just launch myself out there!” Miss Anticipation “Vocal warm-ups in the form of humming in different pitches as loud as I can along to whatever other noise is happening in the venue, has the added effect of chilling you out via focused breathing” Ben Harker “Dressing room mirror self psych up speech. Followed by vocal exercises and tongue twisters. Relaxed, ambient music, being confident with what I’m going to do on stage and just getting out there, no questions asked.” Mike Hallett ALT MU ISSUE 1


Famous ALT-MUs...


ALT-MUs Feature by Josh Humphrey

We define ALT-MU to mean a musician or music lover who has found an alternative way to be successful in music or the creative industries. The team scoured the internet for good examples of famous ALT-MUs who have kicked ass doing what they love. Proving that their talents know no bounds when it comes to creativity… 18


Dr. Dre

Gerard Way

While he may be known more for his headphones these days, Dr. Dre has overseen the likes of Snoop Dog, Eminem and 50 Cent and is the pinnacle ALTMU of Hip-Hop. Having been a member of World Class Wreckin’ Cru, influential gangsta rappers N.W.A and had a stint as a solo artist, Dre now spends his time split between his own established labels, Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics. Including his brief career in acting and owing to his perfectionist work ethic, the creator of G-funk, as of April 2012, has an estimated net worth of $260 million and is the third richest person in the American HipHop scene! Not bad for a man who hasn’t released an album in over ten years.

When Gerard Way isn’t directing videos or singing for Pop-Rock band My Chemical Romance, he is writing the Eisner Award winning comic book series, The Umbrella Academy. Despite the finalised copies being illustrated by cartoonist Gabriel Ba, Way’s first two instalments, Apocalypse Suite and Dallas, have both been successful. While twelve issues and three short stories have been released, Way has also collaborated with other artists Shaun Simon and Becky Cloonan, creating a new comic-book series entitled The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys to be released in 2013. In addition, he is working on another unnamed comicbook project with his brother and bassist of My Chemical Romance, Mikey.

the third richest person in the American Hip-Hop

...he is writing the Eisner Award winning comic book series.

Ronnie Wood Bruce Dickinson Ronnie Wood may be known best for I his guitar work with classic rock band The Rolling Stones but in true ALT-MU fashion, he has another output for his creativity. Ronnie is a well-known visual artist and studied at Ealing Art College, a college previously attended by Peter Townshend of The Who and Freddy Mercury of Queen. Several of his paintings are displayed at London’s Drury Lane Theatre and have been exhibited all over the world. Furthermore, Ronnie has released two books with his illustrations and co-owns the London art gallery, Scream.

Ronnie is a well-known visual artist and studied at Ealing Art College. a college previously attended by Peter Townshend of The Who and Freddy Mercury of Queen

Best known for singing with the British Heavy Metal band Iron Maiden, did you know that Bruce Dickinson also had a stint as a pilot? Dickinson holds an Airline Transport Pilot’s licence and regularly flew Boeing 757’s as a captain. Despite the company he worked for now being defunct, Dickinson launched Cardiff Aviation Ltd on 1 May 2012, an aircraft maintenance business based at the Twin Peaks Hangar in South Wales. Dickinson still regularly flies, piloting the “Ed Force One,” a Boeing 757 especially converted to hold Iron Maiden’s equipment between continents.

Dickinson holds an Airline Transport Pilot’s licence and regularly flew Boeing 757’s as a captain.

Dwight Yoakam While he may not be a household name for our younger readers, Yoakam arguably personifies the definitive ALT-MU. A pinnacle figure in pioneering country music, he has recorded twenty-one albums and compilations and charted more than thirty singles. As a result, Yoakam has sold more than twenty-five million records. In addition, Yoakam is also known for his work as an actor, including roles in films Terminator 2, Wedding Crashers and Crank. He has also put his hand towards directing, writing and producing his own film South of Heaven, West of Hell which was released in 2000 starring Vince Vaughn. Not ending there, Yoakman bizarrely enough also has his own food brand, Bakersfield Biscuits.

Yoakam is also known for his work as an actor... We want to hear about ALT-MUs that inspire you! Post your favourites on our Facebook at or tweet them to us at altmumagazine ALT MU ISSUE 1


Alternative Model ...

Dr. Dre has overseen the likes of Snoop Dog, Eminem and 50 Cent and is the pinnacle ALT-MU of Hip-Hop.

ALT MU Interviews... Interviews... ALT-MU


Imag e




by: Da vid d an ex



e take a moment to catch up with ALT-MU Nina Kate. She is an ex musician turned model, latex clothing designer, wife, magicians assistant and performer who describes herself as a shoe obsessed tattooed chick! Our own sexy vixen, Ruby Rebelle, grabbed a moment with Nina to find out more about her journey and what she’s up to now… Interview by Ruby Rebelle

You describe yourself as a performer, if we were to come and watch you, what style of performance should we expect? I’ve worked in several ways as a performer, mostly in a West End club as a general entertainer/dancer/circus freak. I had some great times there with lots of travelling and surreal experiences but ultimately it’s not for me really. Not least cause getting to bed at 5am every day makes running the other businesses much harder. At the moment I’m working on my new performing duet as Stolen Saints with the multi-talented Ayesha H. This will include more circus freak style shows and fire performances. You used to be an active musician,



however looking through your bios, there seems to be no mention of that part of your life, why is that? From the age of 14 I was in bands playing bass, and at 18 I joined one of my favourite bands, Sheep on Drugs. It wasn’t to last though, and after some dramatics which involved, amongst other things, a guitar being broken over my head live on stage, I decided that it was best to end there. I haven’t had any other band experiences since then, though I’ve dabbled in continuing with the bass, learning guitar and cello. I’d love to join a band again as I miss it so much! What is your favourite genre of music? Any favourite bands? I listen to a really random selection of music so usually have a couple of albums/artists on the go at one time. I’m Currently still in love with ‘A Godlike

Inferno’ by Ancient VVisdom - it’s what Satan listens to on his day off! Also when I’m travelling on the tube (which I hate) I always have to listen to Charles Aznavour ‘Hier Encore,’ it’s literally the best thing ever to have on to beat public transport rage. One of my all-time favourite albums is ‘Grace’ by Jeff Buckley. And if I’m in need something a bit more heavy, I love my husband’s album ‘Grave Times’ by The Defiled. Oh and I still break out ‘Floodland’ by Sisters of Mercy all the time too. Could you tell us more about your journey from musician to model and how your experiences have made you who you are today? I was actually modelling before I joined the band at 18; in fact I did a lot of work as a child model. I don’t really feel the two are connected at all really. I think

recently I just finished a custom outfit for Marilyn Manson which I can’t wait to see on him.

You seem very busy! If you had to explain what you do for a living to a complete stranger what would it be? Well, most of the time I tend to say “I make clothes,” as it’s much easier than explaining it all. Plus usually as soon as you mention the word ‘latex’ most ‘normal’ people get the wrong idea ha-ha!

Looking back at your images over your career, you have changed your appearance a lot. Do you feel that it has helped you to further yourself? Who knows, maybe? I don’t really give it much thought. People always say ‘I’m so lucky’ to work for myself and be able to get as many tattoos as I have and look however I want but I don’t really think

Having been on shoots myself, I know at times they can be hilarious, what has been your funniest experience on set? There have been many odd experiences on shoots, some pleasant and some not so much. Shooting in lingerie outside in the snow, rolling around on the cold concrete of a bridge vomiting up fake blood as the sun rises in November, riding a very large sweaty man in only underwear whilst an entire room of crew stand open mouthed…these all perhaps fall into the latter category but it’s all fun really. When you’ve been shooting a video for over 19 hours and get to have a 2 hour nap before walking into the sea in nothing but a tiny latex dress at 7am it is enough to make anyone go a bit mental. But then there are jobs where you’re booked abroad in a fancy hotel for three days with only half a day’s filming to do, though regrettably those are few and far between.

R eB cuor rl eds LqaubeeFl eMa at unraeg e. . r. . . .

You definitely fit the description of an ALT-MU perfectly, Do you believe that it is important to be multi-talented to gain success in the performing/Art’s world? I don’t know about that, I think that if you are incredibly good at, and have the desire to concentrate on one thing that doesn’t make your success any less. It just so happens that I’m able to go about doing lots of different things. Perhaps that’s because I’m very impatient or get easily distracted.

You have a very unique style, who have your influences been? Hrmm… I’m not sure really! I’m obsessed with shoes, and everything I own is black pretty much. Some of my favourite designers are Natacha Marro (who makes the most incredible shoes) Rachel Freire (who makes amazing leather creations) but I do most of my shopping at H&M ha-ha. I don’t get to go out in latex nearly enough.

and tears

What personal achievement over your career are you most proud of? It’s been so exciting having the freedom to be able to just go with whatever I fancy doing and working hard at my main business, Jane Doe. There have been many moments where you sometimes just step back and go “woah.” Recently I just finished a custom outfit for Marilyn Manson which I can’t wait to see on him. At the moment, I’m in the middle of planning a very big move which I hope will lead to many new things and is something I’ve been wanting to do for years but the time is right now.

its luck. There’s a lot of sacrifice and hard work that goes with it. I guess you have to earn it in a way. It’s a norm for me, especially as pretty much all my friends are the same, working for themselves in some way and not having to worry about the restraints of physical appearance in a ‘normal’ workplace.

Image by: Divas

I’ve always just had the attitude to give any opportunity that comes my way a go. Each endeavour you learn something new from so nothing is a loss really.

You can find out more about Nina Kate online at ALT MU ISSUE 1


ALT-MU Sexy withInterviews... Music...

Tips on Burlesque from‌ Mia Merode & Nara Taylor


Getting Sexy

with your Music

It’s hard to ignore the sudden surge in popularity for the art of Burlesque and Cabaret; with stars like Dita Von Teese and Frisky & Mannish creating a stir in the media, the Burlesque/Cabaret Revival is most certainly in full swing! Audiences have grown to expect more from performers and therefore Burlesque has become a great scene to showcase musical talent with more highly skilled performers gracing the stage. ALT-MU have joined forces with two sensational, very different performers, Mia Merode and Nara Taylor...


Check out

For more info on Mia check out


I THINK BURLESQUE AND CABARET AUDIENCES ARE MUCH MORE SAVVY. THEY EXPECT MUCH MORE BANG FOR THEIR BUCK. You consider yourself a Burlesque performer first and then a singer, could you tell us more about this? I am mostly known as a Burlesque performer. I didn’t push the singing aspect very much at first (remember I was only looking for something short-

Could you tell us more about your singing style? My singing style is heavily influenced by the classic Jazz singers, with a dash of modern sass, in the same way that my Burlesque style is influenced by classic showgirls with a contemporary twist! I look to the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Marilyn Monroe and Peggy Lee, alongside modern singers such as Caro Emerald, and iconic Broadway show tunes from ‘Chicago’, ‘Cabaret’ and ‘The Wild Party’.

ALONGSIDE BURLESQUE PERFORMING, I HAVE WORKED ON SEVERAL SINGING PROJECTS AS A COVER SIGNER AND AN ORIGINAL CAST RECORDING OF A SMALL MUSICAL. Do you believe that your audiences expect more multi-skilled performers on stage? Nowadays, I think Burlesque and Cabaret audiences are much more savvy. They expect much more bang for their buck and most of the shows I perform at these days will only have one or two Burlesque performers, alongside a cast of comedians, magicians, aerialists, contortionists, singers, etc. It’s also much more common for a host to also sing, which I love as the show feels like so much more of a production piece that way!



R eB cuor rl eds LqaubeeFl eMa at unraeg e. . r. . . .


term) so it’s been difficult to get more work as a singer. Alongside Burlesque performing, I have worked on several singing projects as a cover signer and Mia, Tell us, where did this all start? an original cast recording of a small I trained professionally in Musical Theatre; covering Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Acting, musical. I also work as a Marilyn Monroe Singing, Ballroom...etc. After graduation tribute act and sing as part of this. I do love singing and perform a variety of one of my first jobs was singing with a styles – the great thing about being touring corporate band; it was a twelve Musical Theatre trained is that it covers piece Soul band and we travelled all over the country – it was fabulous! I was most of the bases! – but I much prefer Classic Jazz: ‘Lady Is A Tramp’, ‘Fly Me drawn to Burlesque during this period in my life – I was with a very good agent To The Moon’ and ‘Face The Music And Dance’ are my favourites! I also cover who was getting me regular auditions more modern styles, but perform them and I was up for several exciting things. in a smoky, jazz-den style – songs such However, my agency broke up and I as ‘The A Team’ by Ed Sheeran and ‘Back was left very much in the lurch – with To Black’ by Amy Winehouse both work no job, no agent and no creative outlet. well in a Cabaret context and get a really Burlesque seemed to me the perfect good reaction from an audience who short-term solution: a chance for me may not be expecting it! to perform without any long-term commitment and a way of scratching my creative itch! I definitely didn’t expect to still be performing nearly five years later!

Nara, could you tell us how this all started for you? I have always been performing in theatre groups, choirs and that sort of thing. I had singing lessons since I was twelve and sang right through university where I did a degree in Music at The University of Surrey, specialising in performance. After university I bummed around for a while and went travelling. While I was in Australia, I couldn’t get a job so I started busking. I didn’t have any backing tracks and the only thing that seemed to work without them was classical stuff. So I started singing that and people seemed to like it! One of my old friends from the UK ran the events company Lost Vagueness, and I told her I had a wonderful operatic Cabaret show and would she like to hire me? It was a bit of a stretch of the truth, but she said yes and it all went from there. What came first, the music or the


How does your audience tend to react? It constantly surprises me how much people enjoy hearing opera live - for a very long time I worried before gigs that they would hate it. We’ve done gigs for lots of different kinds of audiences, from squat parties to festivals as well as Cabaret venues, and it has always gone down very well. This year, we even performed opera in Italy... I thought I might get lynched! However they loved it and

were even very complimentary about my Italian. What’s your proudest moment so far? I have been most proud of making a career out of my singing! So many people study music and don’t end up working. It’s wonderful to be able to say it’s my job! Oh, that and performing for Alice Cooper at his Britain’s Got Freaks event in The London Dungeon - he’s an idol of mine and he loved my singing saying I had a fantastic voice, and we appeared in Bizarre Magazine because of it.




Record Label Manager ...


performing? For me, the music came first. Adding the circus element to the act came from Peter. We had gone out a few years back, and I thought having fire and circus with music would make it more fun. I hadn’t realised that people actually like opera, and I thought it needed some stunts, so Peter and I made Riding the Valkyrie’s first act, Harmin’ Carmen. We’ve since created more acts using Peter’s weird and wonderful skills, such as whip cracking, sword swallowing, fire eating, glass walking and fire breathing. I mainly leave the dangerous stuff up to Peter, but the whip cracking act can be a bit dicey for me!

ALT-MU Interviews...

Interview with...

Martin Wake

from Coffee Jingle Records Interview by Ruby Rebelle

Tell us more about Martin the music lover? I’ve always had a huge passion for music, ever since I was a child; however I found that I spent far too much time perfecting the sound than learning new songs and techniques. Over time, I learnt how to record and mix, which then sparked me into attending a course in ‘Music Production’ at Highbury College, Portsmouth. Studying Music



Production through the college was a great help for me and taught me mixing and recording techniques and gave me industry advice and experience working with bands and artists.

I get to do what I love all the “ time.. Five years ago I would never have dreamt that I would have achieved so much.

At ALT-MU we like to keep our eyes peeled for up and coming talented professionals in the industry. Martin is currently a mature student at university and, with their support he has been running his record label, Coffee Jingle Records for nearly three years. We took a moment to find out more about Martin and his development from music lover to record label manager…

We understand you are studying Music Production at Southampton Solent University (UK), how supportive have they been? They have been very supportive of myself and my team, they have even given me a grant to get some equipment for my own studio in the future and a desk in their Solent Creatives building to help me manage my workload. They’ve even helped me learn the legal and financial aspects of managing my own label and have been a great support in advising me in the roots to own my own studio in the coming years to help me with the dream of owning a completely selfsufficient record label. What is it you like about running a label? As with every venture there of course have been high and low points. The amazing thing about running my own label is that I get to do what I love all the time. Five years ago I would never have dreamt that I would have achieved so much. I also get to meet some amazing musicians and bands whose passion for music makes me determined to do all I can to help them achieve what they want from a record label; I like being a stepping stone in their career I guess. I also

believe strongly in recording and working with musicians from all genres, and the bands and artists I have approached and vice versa seem pleased that a label is supporting all I genres. After all music is as broad as your ears allow it to be!

of collapsing, everyone involved has to keep running at 100% or standards will slip and the end result will suffer.

of a record “labelTheisstructure similar to a pyramid,

to be a “busyNextyearyearforisus;looking with up to ten

if one brick falls then the whole pyramid is in danger of collapsing...

releases being planned, which is very exciting

We noticed that you do a lot of charity releases... Yes, I have always felt passionate towards helping others and I am in a very privileged position to be able to work very closely with charities that are close to my heart to help educate and inform people though the medium of entertainment! How difficult is it to keep the label running? As with every high, there is always a low. The structure of a record label is similar to a pyramid, if one brick falls then the whole pyramid is in danger

How important is the local music scene to you in Southampton (UK)? Every town has its own music scene and it’s very important to support it. I always make sure that I keep putting the artist under the label into local venues to perform.

Is it difficult to keep up while you are studying? It can be a struggle to manage running your own label and entering the last year of university; despite how much I try to combine the two, keeping up with the demand can be hard at times, the fact that the demand is there in the first place means I’m doing something right! Plus, I am very lucky to be surrounded by people who support and help me as much as they can. This was put to the test when last year I fell ill and had to step back in my duties at CJR and concentrate on getting better.

What next for Coffee Jingle Records? Next year is looking to be a busy year for us; with up to ten releases being planned, which is very exciting. Timing is everything and I really feel I have timed this venture well, despite the fact I’ll be finishing university at thirty-one years of age! Marilyn Monroe famously said, “We should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets”. Luckily for me, I listened to her. For more information please go to



W rRiet icnogr da n L aAblebluM ma R n ea vg ieerw. . . .

From Music Lover to Record Label Manager...

Tips on Writing...

How to write...




Experienced music journalist and previous music editor for WhatCulture, Rhys Milsom, shares his top tips on writing music...iews…

I’d estimate that I’ve written close to 1000 reviews over the years and I believe writing can never be completely ‘finished’, however long you’ve been writing for and whether or not you’re an amateur or a professional. When it comes to reviewing an album it can be hard knowing where to start. There’s more to writing a music review than a simple statement of “this is good” or “I don’t like this” and with this article I’m going to try to explain a little more about writing an effective music review, give you some tips and hopefully help those of you who are struggling with knowing where to start.



Not everybody reading your review will have heard of the band/musician so remember to instantly let the reader know who they are and the genre the album lies in.

When reviewing tracks, I like to put across how strongly I feel the album has been constructed and for the most part tend to talk about the album as a whole rather than singling out tracks individually. If you’re writing about an album then describe in the best way possible the music that is on offer, giving the reader an overall feeling of what to expect.



An album review should give a strong overview of the album, a personal opinion of how well the music works and how strongly the music has been presented by the band in all areas (vocals, guitars, drums, samples, synth, brass etc). For example, if you feel each track bleeds into the next then you should say so or if you feel the last track is complete filler then you should say that too. Never be afraid of voicing your opinion and don’t let criticism affect your confidence.




I always try and pick out at least three or four tracks for closer analysis. With most artists, mentioning three or four tracks is generally enough; it gives people a good idea of what tracks to listen to and potentially which ones to avoid.

Support your opinion with intelligent reason and if you are reviewing an album that is outside of your usual taste, remember to consider its merit in the right circles. Consider if it stands strong as an album in the genre it is meant for.

Research the band/musician you are reviewing in-depth. For example, it may be appropriate to refer back to earlier work in order to draw comparisons. However, make sure the album you’re reviewing is kept as the focal point.







Personal or global events can impact hugely upon lyrics that are written and sometimes, it can be worth mentioning things you feel may have moulded the lyrics of particular tracks. Don’t make the review too much of a life story about the artist, but one important note is you should unquestionably not be afraid of suggesting where lyrical content inspiration may have come from.

It’s important to have fun. The first album I ever reviewed was a personal favourite (Around The Fur – Deftones) so I would advise any budding reviewers out there to make a start with your favourite artists first. Writing music reviews can be incredibly enjoyable and when it ceases to be, then you know that it’s time to take a break from writing them.

Read plenty of reviews and find a writing style that feels right for you. There are always certain rules to follow, so you will need to write in the style expected but always retain your personality. Also, don’t be afraid of using subjective terms, such as ‘I enjoyed the gig, because…’ as subjective terms often come across as more personal and closer-knit than non-subjective terms such as ‘We enjoyed the gig, because…’. It’s you writing the review, nobody else, and the ‘we’ just comes across as pedantic.



A lot of music journalism can sometimes be quite lifeless, inject energy into your style and really bring your words to l ife on the page. It could help you if you use the active voice within your writing as readers prefer a sentence structure of SVO (subject, verb, object). Here’s a SVO sentence for an example: Passive sentences bore people.

Overall, most of your writing should be your own unbiased opinion and facts should always be kept to a bare minimum but give a full-rounded overview of the band/ musician in question.If you’ve got a passion for music then my best advice is to get writing as soon as possible and show the world of music journalism exactly what it’s been missing and get in touch with websites, blogs, magazines and newspapers to find out if they’re interested in publishing your reviews. You never know where that might take you. Feature by Rhys Milsom If any of you need help or advice about reviews, or just want to get in touch you can find Rhys on ALT MU ISSUE 1


Record Label Manager ...



Latex Fashion Spread...



Record Label Manager ...





Model: Nina Kate Hair: Ceri Cushen Photography: Gavin Thorn Photography Studio: Adrian Pini Studios

R ich Fownes on DIY ...

DIY Music...



I have been in a lot of bands of totally different sounds and scales, flying between shows with 60,000-strong crowds to pub tours with 6 (on a good night). I’ve had some epiphanic moments at DIY shows, easily more than touring stadiums or festivals. Unfortunately I’ve also watched hundreds of the most uninspired, tedious, kill-me-before-I-kill-myself bands at the same shows. The beauty of the DIY scene has and will always be the same: no one is in the way. The other side of the coin is there is no filter. To find one Castrovalva you have to sit through a hundred Clockwork Snipers…and no one wants to be those guys... 36


Doc Foster Photography

Rich Fownes from Bad for Lazarus took some time out to share his wisdom on the DIY Scene in the Music Industry with our readers. Rich is a bass, guitar and synth player who also plays for With Scissors, UNKLE and formerly played for The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster before leaving to join Nine Inch Nails in 2008. Here are his top tips to getting DIY right…

Written by Rich Fownes


from Bad for Lazarus…

Keep an honest network around you. If you want to get better you need to ask for criticism and receive it well. Be excited to drop things that are not working for you and edit yourself, edit yourself loads! Most riffs, beats or lyrics you write will be really bad. Chances are none of us are geniuses, so we’re going to have to put the hours and efforts into making something spectacular. I’m not saying you should edit your vision at all but you need to focus it so that it is clearer. When I’m watching a band that is just OK, the good hooks aren’t impactful when sandwiched between two 20-minute slices of monotony.

You need to play whatever you can whenever you can. There is no studio in the world that can give you a proper rehearsal for a gig. You have to make all of your mistakes and find your weak spots on the job. When you perform, it is another avenue to express yourself and the atmospheres you are trying to create with your music. If staring at the floor is your thing, that is awesome, no one ever accused Jim Morrison of being a boring performer. But if you are immobilised by self consciousness, that will be more uncomfortable to watch than anything else you could be doing. Don’t take the gig or yourself too seriously because nobody will have a good time. Relax, enjoy the show and do whatever it is you feel like doing. Dress up or get naked. Scissor kick in the mosh pit or stand dead still but whatever it is; own it.

every angle. If your backline, your back drop, your lighting and your band look like they sound, there are so many more senses experiencing your ideas.

THINK BIG BUSINESS... Everyone wants to sign for millions. I don’t want to shit on your dreams, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find more than two or three companies left with anything like that amount of money. So look a little further down the ladder and aim for something more reasonable. In the post-apocalyptic wasteland of a music industry, smaller labels are redefining the term ‘skint’. When the say they have nothing they aren’t fucking around. They do have a rich heritage and contact roster, but bands are being signed for NO MONEY for as many as 5 albums. It’s a crazy time. It is more important than ever to do as much as you can with as little as possible.


Enthusiasm is the richest currency in this business. The main In my early travels across the UK with hardcore bands ,it was help expected from a label is PR, plugging and investment. interesting how deep their ethics were when it came to their This is nothing you can’t do yourself or find independently image. They were defiantly against it; image is bullshit right? from people who really understand you. My first release was a It’s all about the riffs maaaaaan. On the other hand, they would split EP with Hawk Eyes (formerly Chickenhawk). It was in the find people wearing stuff outside of their box (local band front of the Kerrang! reviews section and got 5/5. We didn’t T-shirt, blue jeans, trainers); outrageous. It never occurred to have a label working the cogs, they simply researched which them that their clothes WERE their uniform. Whether they journo might understand us and mailed it to him. They took would like to admit it or not, they had a look. Acknowledging the initiative in a big way and this year they’re headlining the or considering your band’s look doesn’t mean you care about introducing stage at Reading / Leeds. your music any less. It is another avenue for self-expression It goes without saying that there are no rules with music; and last time I checked it was pretty important to have great this is just a bunch of observations I’ve made. If anything artwork, so what makes the players less important than your sounds bullshit to you, great! That means you know your CD case? The aim of the game is always presenting people with personality and what you wanna do. Be strong. a strong sense of personality and occasion, so exploit every ALT MU ISSUE 1


r d uLraO bn e l iM FRi en cdoYo n ea nVaogi ceer . . .


ALT MU Interviews... Careers ... ALT-MU



ONLINE VOICE ALT-MU Online Marketing Expert, Jon Ostrow, has come up with four simple ways to help you discover your online voice. Follow these steps and you will be on the way to creating a strong, recognizable online presence for your business, band or project: Creating a strong presence online is essential for any business or artist that plans to build a fan base. Of course, this can be built through developing a recognizable brand and creating a proper content strategy to nurture its growth. What often gets overlooked here is the importance of finding your online voice - the voice from which all of your writing, tweeting, posting and commenting comes from. Without a consistent voice, you will have trouble becoming recognizable and may find yourself floating under the radar; trapped within the immense clutter that social media has created.











No matter how you naturally approach a topic through your writing, you should always put your passion on display. Without passion, your writing will indefinitely lack excitement and interest and if there is one thing you should never forget, it is that if you find your writing or content boring, your reader (or viewers) will too. Writing from a place of passion also goes back to determining your natural approach. As we speak or act on passions, a much more accurate version of ourselves is revealed. This will help you make your voice unique and distinguishable from others who may be writing about a similar topic.

Chances are you won’t find your voice right away. This is simply because it may require you to look back at all of your writing to see the common voice that sticks out… almost like reading in between the lines. By writing regularly on a topic you are passionate about, you are allowing yourself ample time and writing samples to be able to discover what your written voice actually sounds like. This same advice goes for writing lyrics too!

If you are comfortable with your writing style when you first begin, your voice will never fully develop and is likely to come across as lazy and indistinguishable. Similar to when you first started learning how to play an instrument, sing or write music, you want to push the boundaries of what you are comfortable writing in order to truly grow. By taking your efforts to the next level, you will begin to learn from all of your mistakes and the proper techniques will start to become second nature. When I first started writing, it would take me two days to put together an article no bigger than this. But now that I’ve found my voice, and pushed myself to grow with exercises including a recent endeavour to write a 53 page ebook on blogging within a 5 day period; I can write articles like this one in no more than an hour or so.

HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR VOICE? We want to hear about your own experiences. If you have some tips to share with our readers, please post them on our Facebook page at or tweet them @altmumagazine



DRaer kc oFrldo w L ae br se lI nMt ea n r vaigeewr .. .. ..

The first and most important part of finding your voice is understanding yourself and determining how you naturally approach different topics. The reason for this is that, like it or not, the internet is filled to the brim with sceptics. If the message you are trying to deliver doesn’t seem genuine and/or honest, you can be sure it won’t be read or received well. Your natural approach can be determined by simply testing the waters and seeing what fits you best. One way to do this is to take a few songs, products, movies, or anything along these lines that interest you, and try to review or even just discuss them. Do you find yourself approaching the topic sarcastically, optimistically, sceptically, intelligently, etc? The answer here should be used as the basis for your voice.

{ ALT MU Interviews... Interviews... ALT-MU


THE DARK FLOWERS When great musical artists slip out of the limelight it would be daft to think the need to create goes away too. Jim Kerr from Simple Minds, Peter Murphy from Bauhaus now solo, to name just two have come together with Paul Statham to produce the Dark Flowers and the beautiful album Radioland. Here’s what they had to say…

Interview by Daniel Bateman


Interview with… Jim Kerr & Paul Statham of…

There is a great mix of talent on the album, how do the songs get chosen? Paul: Well, I would have liked more from most artists on there!! It was a question of who had the most time to give. Jim, Kate and Peter do not live in the U.K so music was sent over the net and then (In Jims case he would come and visit every time he was in London, with Peter spending a lot of the last 20 years in Turkey and the U.S we have developed a great rapport for me sending him musical sketches then him returning them developed with a vocal on them (We have done this on his last 4 albums to varying degree’s) He has been playing live an awful lot promoting Ninth and so I could only get the one track! Helicopter Girl came in very early then disappeared off the scene so I was lucky to get that piece from her! Catherine AD is local so comes round to the studio so we were able to do relatively a lot of work, while Dot Allison is now a lovely mother and although we are doing more together could only find the time for the one track. Shelly and I have worked together loads and she always comes up with the goods!

The art and visual style of this project Why have these particular artists on seems very important to you. Did you board? control the whole aesthetic approach? Paul: It was a feeling that knowing them Paul: I had an idea that was all, it through their individual works I knew gathered substance as each vocalists they would make my simple sketches songs came back. Their take on the come alive and interprets it in the right music was very important to shaping the way. I was very lucky in that all the aesthetic of the album. people I asked to do it agreed! It hangs Jim: Paul had total clarity regarding really well as an album and it was very the vision of this project; he visualized interesting lining up the songs. I think it in his head before he made it musical each artist really compliments everyone even. The art and visual style followed on else on the album. naturally.

What was your approach to each artist when asking them to be part of The Dark Flowers? Paul: I think they should answer! Jim: Paul had worked with me on songs for my LOSTBOY AKA! Project. After that we then started writing songs for the fun of it and without any defined purpose initially. Gradually however he started to come up with ideas that seemed to fit within a certain style; that style became Dark Flowers. Do the Dark Flowers intend to continue with this line up or will things change? Paul: Now it has come to life it would seem wrong to kill it off, saying that, maybe it’s the natural end of the project? Jim: I have no idea, it is Paul’s decision. I am sure that we will continue to work on stuff though. I certainly intend to do more LOSTBOY music with Paul. More Dark Flowers would be a good thing I reckon. 



M Ri sesci o n rgd CLi at ibzeeln MI na tneargvei er w. .... .

Who exactly are the Dark Flowers? Paul: The idea came about while reading Sam Shepard’s book of Americana prose “The Motel Chronicles” while listening to a soundtrack album entitled “The Hired Hand” by Bruce Langhorne, staring Peter Fonda and used very sparse instrumentation, Fusing this musically with my love of Brian Eno’s seminal album “Another Green World” and a smattering of Bon Iver I thought could make a very interesting album if I could find the right musical partners to interpret various ideas inspired from Motel Chronicles and give them an accompanying instrumental piece of music. I have been lucky enough to have worked with every Dark Flowers vocalist on their own respective projects including 9 albums with Peter Murphy, I have worked on 2 albums with Helicopter Girl and the same with former Alisha’s Attic vocalist Shelly Poole. Kate Havnevik and I go back over 10 years when we worked together. Dot Allison and myself have worked on many different ideas in the past including her single “Close Your Eyes”. Jim Kerr has been on board right from the start after we co-wrote together for his ‘Lostboy’ solo project.

ALT-MU Interviews...




LT-MU are proud to introduce one half of the band Missing Citizen. Having recently been signed, Missing Citizen are set for UK domination in 2013 with their debut album from Coffee Jingle Records. We had a chat with a very busy Daniel Bateman (vocals) and Andy Glazebrook (Guitarist)… Who are Missing Citizen? Daniel: Missing Citizen are just four guys that walked away from the wreckage of other bands. We all shared a common purpose and value in music, got together and created a sound that we all liked. It’s a sound that we’ve built on and developed and have continued to like to this day. The band had a break a while ago. Do you think this was something needed to continue the passion? Andy: The passion has always been there, it has just been a little misguided in the past. I think when we got back together we were all a little older and wiser and had a clearer idea of what we wanted to get out of being in a band. Like most bands first time round, we were seduced by the idea of being a famous rock band and the possibility of earning a living from making music!  This time round we are more realistic. You’ve been together for quite a while but you’ve only just been signed, was this the first offer or have you waited to find the right label?  Andy: There is always a feeling as a band that someone will be out to exploit you so we have always been very cautious when people start offering to help you out of the blue.  In the past we have avoided people offering to produce songs for us and joining management groups, but when Martin Wake from Coffee Jingle Records contacted us and talked to us about his plans it seemed like a great thing to be involved in. Daniel, you also sell your own artwork, does your art inspire your lyrics and vice versa?  Daniel: My artwork is something that is all mine. It’s where I can express myself without the use of words and melody. When they say a picture paints a thousand words, they’re not



wrong. I find that if I am not creative I become stagnant and bored. My art is done more out of need rather than choice and it also covers areas of my life that are perhaps too personal, too raw and too singularly about me, to work on a commercial level with the band. Having said that, the lyrics that I write for the band are pretty close to the bone. It’s like two sides of the coin, there is the singer/songwriter side - the wordsmith, and there is the visual artistic side. Everything I do is autobiographical, the fact that people like and buy my art is an absolute bonus but the paintings are not aimed at a market place. It’s much the same with the songs, somebody liking a song is a plus but playing those songs satisfies us whether there is a crowd or not.   How do you juggle being in a band and maintaining all your other commitments? Andy: It can be hard, and from time to time we have missed out on a few gigs but the boring answer is we are very organised and dedicated.  Lots of emails and meetings so that we are all on the same page about what we can do.  Not very Rock and Roll but if you are going to be in a band and deal with life getting in the way you have to be organised.  We love making music and we do our best to make time for it as I think we all want to get as much out of this as possible. If you could give the ‘younger’ Missing Citizen any advice what would it be?  Andy: Just enjoy it. We said no to a lot of gigs in the past because we set our standards high on where we wanted to play and as a consequence we did not gig enough last time. Now I can see the value to playing a small gig at a pub as you can meet people and get a really genuine response, (good or bad) that will help you get better as a band. Just say yes to opportunities and eventually you will end up doing the gigs

ALT-MU Review

Thank you for talking to Alt Mu Magazine. Is there anything else you’d like to add? Daniel: Only this, with every year that goes by I hear the same moaning criticism about local music. Every artist you have ever loved and admired started at the bottom. Support your local scene.


Just say yes to opportunities and eventually you will end up doing the gigs and playing the venues that you really want. You’ve got to earn your stripes.

and playing the venues that you really want. You’ve got to earn your stripes.   Apart from being in a band have any of you had careers in any other role in the music industry? Daniel: I don’t know about career but since I was fifteen I’ve been in various bands too numerous to mention. Some have been pretty successful, some have been dog awful. I have worked in radio, which I loved, I have had a stab at production & song writing for others, but I am most happy where I am now.

uby checked out one of their gigs and this is what she had to say…

Unusually, the band begins with one of their more moody, darker songs from 2010, Clearer. Soulful and edgy with soaring vocals this is actually an awesome choice for a gig opening and seems to hypnotise the restless audience and put them under some weird musical spell. To follow are two classic Missing Citizen songs, Am I Dreaming merges into a stonking rendition of Gone to War, rumoured to be the first single from their debut album out this year. It’s only after this song finishes that lead singer Daniel Bateman lets us know that the band have no set list tonight, and thought that maybe it would be fun to play whichever song comes to mind…without the band arguing. Next to come is Higher Meaning a real sweeping ballad that reaches almost a gospel climax, followed by a shocking twist of the song Tolerance, which sees the band in full aggressive punk mode with intense guitar playing from Andy Glazebrook and super quick vocal delivery from Dan. To finish up they play Our Subterranean Everything, a bluesy rebel rouser with a hook chorus that’s so catchy you’ll be humming it all week and then finally the epic F.L.Y. - a real crowd favourite that leaves you literally blown away as the band goes into supersonic gear decrying the sadness and loss of wasted youth. With a cheeky Rage against the Machine ending it’s all over and a very sweaty Missing Citizen leave the stage to huge applause and cheers. It felt like they



Record Label Manager ...

Interview by Ruby Rebelle

FEBRUARY 2013 FRI 1 7.30pm £8/£6 FRI 1 11pm FREE! SAT 2 10pm £5.00 SUN 3 8pm £14.00 WED 6 sold out! THURS 7 8pm £13.00 FRI 8 8pm £8.00 SAT 9 8pm £7.00

SUN 10 8pm £12.50 MON 11 8pm £12.50 WED 13 8pm £10.50

FRI 15 7.30pm £8/£6 FRI 15 11pm FREE! SAT 16 8pm £9.00

SUN 17 8pm £12.00 MON 18 8pm £12.50 TUES 19 8pm £10.00

FRI 22 8pm £7.00 SAT 23 tbc

SUN 24 8pm £15.00 MON 25 SOLD OUT!

THURS 28 8pm £8.00



MARCH 2013 FRI 1 7.30pm £8/£6 FRI 1 11pm FREE! SAT 2 10pm £5.00

SUN 3 8pm £12.50 WED 6 8pm £12.50


FRI 1 10pm FREE SAT 2 8pm £4.00 SAT 2 AFTER 11pm WED 6 8pm £4.00 FRI 8 11pm FREE SAT 9 11pm £7.00 TUES 12 7.30pm £3 FRI 15 10pm FREE

SAT 16 8pm £9.00 WED 20 7.30pm £4 THURS 21 8pm £5.00 FRI 22 8pm £tbc FRI 22 11pm FREE SAT 23 8pm £3.00 SAT 23 AFTER 11pm


WEDGEWOOD ROOMS ALSO BOOKING MARCH 1 2 3 6 8 9 10 12 14 15 16 18 19 21 22 25 26 29 30


APRIL 5 6 11 12 15 17 18 22 25 26 29 30


MAY 1 3 9 11 15 16


Check website for availability of tickets for other events on sale through the venue Box Office. Please note these may be subject to a booking fee.

Music Fiction...

The Ghost of Glasvegas

A three-part story about a young music journalist who gets

more than she bargained for at her latest gig review…

PART 1: The Hooded Ghost Written by Jennifer Le Roux



am doing a full system data cleanse. Once I was even forced to wear the company mascot for our birthday party. Why ZAML Magazine has a Beaver for a mascot I will never know. Apparently it is ironic and funny. I was not laughing. It was hot, smelly and while everyone else sipped Champagne and mixed with special guests, I was being grabbed for photos and repeatedly being told “Nice beaver love”. Not my idea of fun and certainly not the glamorous lifestyle I had imagined when I applied for the job fresh out of university. If you think ‘hat hair’ is bad, ‘smelly beaver hair’ is a lot worse.

everyone else sipped “ while Champagne and mixed

it. The experience of discovering new bands and artists live. Transforming the sounds and experience into words and getting the opportunity to interview artists that have the guts to live their dreams. These things make the rest of it worth it. I used to have the guts. I lost them somewhere down the line when my punk band, Mass Panic, disbanded. I haven’t sung a note in public for three years now and I have no idea if I will again. This job allows me to live my dream through others. Absorb their story and imagine myself, realistically or not, as still being an important piece of that world.

Tonight I am reviewing Glasvegas. I only ever do a quick Google before a gig so I have no idea what to expect. I avoid with special guests, I was listening to their music and do being grabbed for photos my best to walk into the venue and repeatedly being told with a completely objective mind. Not only does this mean I “Nice beaver love” am more likely to do an honest Still, aside from the humiliation, review but it also makes the schizophrenic office identity, late experience more surprising. The nights and early mornings; I love only dinner options in the

The life of a music journalist always seemed glamorous. Free gig tickets, meeting your favourite bands, being the cool friend with the ‘plus one’. Unfortunately the reality is not so exciting. Once I get home, I have time for a quick bite to eat and a speedy change into a new bra and top before rushing off to whatever gig I have been obliged to attend that evening. Most of the time there is nowhere to sit and I can’t afford even one drink to take the edge off. I take notes on my phone, rush back to write up my first draft and then I am back in the office first thing to edit and publish my article on the magazine’s website. And so the cycle begins again. By day I am in the office taking on whatever role is lacking. I was hired as a Sub-Music Editor but when you work for an independent magazine your job title means nothing. Last week I was doing advertising sales, this week social media management and next week apparently I

On a mission for objectivity and music reviewing victory, I visually probe the room. The ‘pick n mix’ crowd of indie folk Scottish trance rocking fans are swaying and chanting along with the belted out yobbish vocals. All totally and selfishly absorbed in the music. There is a small clearing formed by a stumbling man. He is casually

R o c k n R o l l Te n n i s . . .

After pushing my way through a sold out crowd, I stand in the audience alongside the sweaty mob of eager fans around me. The raised stage begins to pound with light and smoke as the sounds of Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven throb causing the floor to vibrate. A I park up opposite the promising introduction for the venue and routinely sneak cock sure band that now grace a strong energy drink into my the stage and confidently ring out their guitars in distortion. bag closely followed by a The further into the set and the more I attempt to make sense of pack of Imodium. the clashing sounds and painful I guess you never know tones the sooner I realise that when you might meet a dark this review was not going to handsome stranger in the crowd be a good one. I hate writing and I could certainly do with one bad reviews and begin to have of them. I have been single for frustrating visions of me staring way to long. I park up opposite aimlessly at my laptop the venue and routinely sneak later tonight. a strong energy drink into my bag closely followed by a pack The raised stage begins to of Imodium. Without alcohol pound with light and smoke to keep me perky it really is my only option and energy drinks as the sounds of Moonlight tend to give me the shits. It’s a Sonata by Beethoven throb vicious circle I live with everyday. Maybe that’s why I’m still causing the floor to vibrate. single?

There is a small clearing “formed by a stumbling man.

He is casually dressed with his hoody up and his arms raised.

fridge tonight were dodgy ready meals so I am not in the best mood and still feeling a bit hungry. Smallest sweet and sour chicken ever! I actually had another shower tonight though and straightened my hair. Not sure why.

dressed with his hoody up and his arms raised. I know him. I begin to subtly move closer keenly searching my mind for the name. ‘Nick?’ As I say the name aloud I notice a lump in my throat. It couldn’t be him. Nick is dead…

To be continued in Issue 2 out April 2013! ALT MU ISSUE 1


ALT-MU Column... Interviews...



Flashing my AAA pass at security for the umpteenth time that day, I head back into the restricted area of this world famous venue to partake of the free food, sitting quietly away from the prying eyes of the public. I peel off the sweaty, designer jacket for the first time since I stepped out in front of the crowd an hour earlier, and wonder if the half dozen HD cameras had picked up the blob of mayonnaise on the lapel. Face stuffed and bag packed, I head out of the back doors towards my hotel, drawing the occasional interested glance, stopping to pose for a couple of photographs with smiling fans. Interestingly, a gorgeous Swedish lass gets considerably more reciprocated attention than the guy in the Muse T-Shirt with a dried noodle stuck to the front. Truth is, being a tennis umpire is actually a lot more interesting than I remember my music career being.

the epiphany that the umpires were being paid to be there! I realised that I’d been missing a big trick. I sat my exams that winter and within six months I was on court with top-ten players. Over the next year, I worked my arse off, achieving the necessary grades to work at the highest levels of the game, with the world’s top players, at the biggest tournaments. Strangely enough, it wasn’t all that different to working as a musician. You have to be a certain type of person; you have to enjoy travelling; you have to cope with being away from home for weeks at a time, living out of a holdall. The benefits are the same; you’re allowed into the places the punters aren’t, you always get the best seats in the house and they feed you. And you get chatted up by women who wouldn’t have even looked twice at you when you were a musician!

When I was 16, learning to play Charlatans B-Sides, I had no notion that I would end up making my living as a musician; I simply wanted to be in a band; and, if I am totally honest, I just thought that would help me pull a girl. Several, hopefully. Whilst I was at university, the band I was playing in started to gain a little traction and before long, I was touring full-time. It was an incredible feeling; I was a professional musician; I could legitimately declare it on my tax return; I would tell anyone who would listen, as often as I could. For a few years I was deliriously happy, travelling from gig to gig, being fed, getting chatted up by girls who wouldn’t have even looked twice at me when I was a shelf-stacker. I didn’t have to prove myself to anyone, I held the ultimate trump card at school reunions; it doesn’t matter how much money someone earns, you still have the coolest job in the room. It was everything I had fantasised about during my particularly unadventurous teenage years in Devon. Sadly, all the smug deliveries to old school friends, all the forms filled out in hugely bold lettering, didn’t stop me becoming jaded and retiring at 26. Over the next few years, I tried my hand at a series of random occupations, such as working in a theme park, or being a ranger, but suffered from a wanderlust that made me constantly look for something more. It was during a wet May afternoon that I enviously watched a gloriously sun-drenched tennis match in Spain or Italy or somewhere that wasn’t pissing it down like here, when I had ALT MU ISSUE 1


R eRc iobr bd oLna bR e lv iMe awneadg. .e. r . . .

Ex-Musician turned professional Tennis Umpire, Barry Malki, shares his journey with us …

ALT-MU ALT Reviews... MU Interviews...

The album covers a range of different styles all anchored by the exquisite piano playing of Michaela and the highly impressive drumming of Luke. There is Cabaret, power ballads, rock and heartbreaking tear jerking classics all given a nod here, and yet Ribbon keep a firm grip on their own ‘sound,’ not shying away from arty little segues and well used sound effects; clever and moving.

“A couple that work

beautifully together.

From the opening track Our Army to the finisher Sleep Tight, there is a real sense that the album is a true labour of love, created by two very talented musicians, Michaela Ryall and Luke Sargeant. A couple that work beautifully together.

The album works as a whole rather than reducing it down to market pleasing radio friendly singles. Therefore, selecting a stand out track is difficult but it’s not often this reviewer gets a lump in his throat when listening to music, yet by the time Long Day was over I was reaching for my hanky. It’s a song that would be well chosen to advertise the sheer epic quality and ambition of Ribbon’s debut and makes the listener highly eager to see these two guys live. And then, of course, there are Michaela’s

“ sheer epic quality

It is rare to find a new unsigned band or artist that blows you away not only with their pure originality but also with their beautiful composition and sheer craftsmanship. However, with the release of All End’s Eve, the first studio album by Ribbon, this is exactly what happened… and in a word, Wow!

vocals. Not only do you hear influence from Tori Amos and Kate Bush but you also get a real insight to the heart of an artist. She uses her vocal range with absolute bravery, great highs and lows, peaks and valleys of sweeping emotion, and that’s just in the opening verse of the song, How Low. Overall, All Ends Eve is a stunning debut, well deserving the Abbey Road mastering treatment that these two so lovingly funded for their baby. ALT-MU highly recommends this album and urges anyone who thought popular music was dying somewhere in a damp gutter, to grab a chance to see Ribbon live and breathe a huge sigh of relief that all is well with popular culture because bands like Ribbon exist… Phew! Written by Daniel Bateman

To find out more about Ribbon go to ALT MU ISSUE 1


o ruds iLca b L iRveec M P eh lo M t oagnr a gp ehry ......

“the album is a true labour of love”

Music Photography...


MUSIC PHOTOGRAPHER TOP PICS FROM TOP GIGS Hannah is an experienced music photographer and always grabbing photo pass opportunities for her favourite bands in her local town of Portsmouth in the UK. As a musician herself she has an appreciation for live photography and loves the drama and action that can be caught in a moment with live photography. At every gig Hannah hopes to capture high energy moments with good lighting but often with three song restrictions and flash photography bans, it is not always that easy! Hannah has shared some top pics from top gigs over the last few months and given them all a Live Music Photographer Experience (LPE) Rating ‌ Feature & Photography by Hannah Mesquitta




itt u q s e hM




TECH: This one was annoying. He moves around on stage a lot and we were not allowed to use flash. Luckily the lighting was good but I did miss some fantastic jumps due to the low light. LPE RATING: Despite my frustrations as a photographer, the gig was brilliant and the crowd loved it. My rating is 8/10.

8/10 LPE


9/10 LPE

JAKE BUGG TECH: No flash but I overcame the lowlight by putting my camera on a high ISO setting and it was still an easy gig to shoot because he pretty much stood still for the whole of the set. As per usual though, the lighting got better after I had shot the first 3 songs (which was all I was allowed). LPE RATING: 7/10 - It was a good gig but because he was so static, there weren’t many differences in my photos.



Record Label Manager ...

TECH: Although I wasn’t allowed a flash again, the lighting was fantastic so it didn’t really matter! They were constantly moving around on stage but I was close enough to get a reasonably good shot. I got great photos of all 4 bands. LPE RATING: I also went into the crowd and took photos of the lead singer crowd surfing, which you can use flash for - yippee! Rating 9/10.

ALT-MU Interviews...

ASKING ALEXANDRIA TECH: I was allowed to use a flash throughout the entire gig so there were no problems achieving several good shots. Only problem with this gig was there were so many photographers in the pit we were practically climbing on each other to get a good shot. LPE RATING: High energy gig and allowed to use my flash. All four bands were energetic and crowd pleasing too. I would rate this gig 9/10!

9/10 LPE



BILLY TALENT TECH: I was not allowed to use flash but did it anyway due to the fact the lighting was terrible for such an active band. I had to be careful though and only turned the flash on occasionally as I didn’t want to get kicked out! Again, a lot of photographers in the pit which made getting a good shot difficult. LPE RATING: Due to poor lighting and the no flash rule I didn’t get many good shots of the support bands and had to break the rules to get this shot! So my rating is 6 / 10.

R e a l W e d d i n g S i n g e r. . .

6/10 LPE

If you would like to share your own music photography in the next issue of ALT-MU, then please post your photos on our Facebook page or share them on Twitter with your LPE rating and we will feature the best ones in our next issue! F: T: To check out more of Hannah Mesquitta’s photography go to

HOUSEFIRES TECH: There was no barrier to this local Portsmouth gig at Southsea Fest 2012, so I was able to get right at the front of the crowd and have free reign of the venue. There were no rules and no restrictions! Only downside is with no barriers comes dodging out the way of crowd craziness, especially if someone decides to mosh in the direction of your particularly expensive camera! LPE RATING: Brilliant response from the audience which meant I was able to get crowd surfing shots. It was great to have some freedom, so I rate this gig 10/10 for live photography experience.

10/10 LPE



ALT-MU Column...

The ‘Real’

Wedding Singer Greetings… Your editor has come up with the crazy notion that I, Steve Young, after 20+ years of slogging it round the world with my guitar, might have something interesting to write about. Whether this is true I guess depends on you the reader, and how quickly or not you linger on this column. In 2012 I turned 40, got married and moved into a nice house 30 minutes outside of London. The difference between my neighbours and I is that every weekend (and occasionally sometimes for weeks at a time) I escape suburbia and strut the stage. I thought I would start this first article with something that I think about often – My job title. When asked at social occasions what I do for a living I have a choice from the following answers:


I play guitar for Darren Hayes, an Australian singer who fronted the 90’s super group Savage Garden, sold 26million albums, knocked Elton John’s ‘Candle In The Wind’ off the US Billboard Charts and currently holds the US all time record for most airplay for one song.


I am the Musical Director, Guitarist and Backing Vocalist for Ramin Karimloo – the world’s youngest ever stage actor to play The Phantom. He also played the part for the filming of the 25th Phantom Anniversary recorded live at The Albert Hall with all the previous Phantoms present. If that’s not enough, he also played the lead role in Les Miserables in London’s West End, signed a record deal and released an album in the UK, US, Canadaand Japan

C Wedding Singer D Pub Singer E Music Teacher F Studio Guitarist G Songwriter... 56


but a week later I wouldn’t get blinked at on the street

autographs the works but a week later I wouldn’t get blinked at on the street and it’s the same for a Ramin concert. These titles are subject to the whims of the artist. You have no real say in any decisions and your diary is at their beck and call. Option d) everyone and his best mates dog seem to be singing in pubs these days. e, f, and g we will discuss in future articles..

tear, dance move, comment of “ Everypraise, encore and every pound

in my pocket is mine.

So, I’m Steve Young, The ‘Real’ Wedding Singer. Weddings are positive, social events but carry a very heavy weight of responsibility.

If you want to be a rock star then “please try and give it your best shot.

I take weddings very seriously. There is good money to be made and if you do it well every wedding always leads to several others. It’s like the pyramid effect that doesn’t rip you off. In my future columns I will talk about the many different ways to make real cash from your talent, the pit falls and the reality. If you want to be a rock star then please try and give it your best shot. You may be the one destined for glory but if in a few years your stunning voice or exceptional guitar skills have landed you nowhere then don’t despair. There are livings to be made…….. Till next time Stevie Y

To find out more about Steve go to ALT MU ISSUE 1


Bitter Ruin Interview ...

At a Darren Hayes concert I get “ asked for photos, autographs the works

Most importantly it’s me, just me on my own doing my thing. Every tear, dance move, comment of praise, encore and every pound in my pocket is mine. No one can take that away from me.

My answer, before I even think, regardless of who asked is always the same! c) Wedding Singer. The question is I have no real idea why I do this but I have a theory. a & b look amazing on paper, sound fantastic, have taken me all round the world but reflected glory is only skin deep. At a Darren Hayes concert I get asked for photos,

ALT-MU Interviews...

Interview with...


Alt Mu Magazine were very excited to interview the sensational duo Bitter Ruin! Amazing vocals, first rate musicianship and the support of their co-manager Matt Lucas means that these two are tipped for the top. We caught up with Ben Richards and Georgia Train to find out what makes them tick…

You describe yourselves as ‘Contemporary Expressionism.’ Could you please explain to us what you mean by this? Ben: People find our music hard to pigeon hole as its sound and influences can change dramatically from one song to the next. After a lot of failed attempts by our fans and music critics to do so, we decided to do it ourselves and settled on Contemporary Expressionism. On first reflection the term seems a bit detached from the musical world but the more you think about it, the more it works. We write what we want to hear, play how we want to play, and express what we feel and there is no need for any restrictions. We use the term ‘contemporary,’ to distinguish between our ‘modern expressionism,’ and ‘expressionism,’ in classical sense.

We have the wonderfully “ talented and generous Matt Lucas co-managing us and we’re honoured to have his superior knowledge...



Interview by Ruby Rebelle

Expressionism is often used as a term used in the visual arts. When writing your material are you inspired by the visual as well as the emotional? Ben: Our live shows are definitely inspired by, and developed with a strong visual aesthetic. When people go to see a show they expect to SEE a show, not just listen to some music and stare at a wall! I think a lot of bands neglect this aspect of their live performances and in actual fact it probably isn’t something that comes naturally to a lot of musicians – after all, we are musicians and not actors or dancers for a reason! However, all it takes is a bit of thought, some research, or even some outside assistance from a professional to really liven up a stage show – Georgia is great at this as she has had training in the performing arts, I just do as I’m told! Your songs and performances often have a storytelling feel to them, are your lyrics taken from real life experiences? Ben: Yes. Everything we write about is inspired by life – whether that is our life, a close friend’s or somebody on the news, well that changes from song to song.

You both met at Music school. Were you both instantly drawn to each other? Ben: There was an instant click as soon as we started playing together. We both are extremely ‘in tune’ with each other, which helps create our tight vocal harmonies. You released your debut EP 6 months after your first gig together - that sure is quick! What were the benefits to releasing your music at that pace? Ben: It was very quick! I think we did this for two reasons: firstly, without a physical product for new fans to leave a show with you can’t solidify your relationship and holding on to your fans is especially important when first starting out. Secondly, we needed the money to keep gigging. With talent like yours you must have been offered numerous record deals, yet you remain unsigned. Has this been a conscious decision? Ben: Believe it or not, we’ve actually never been offered a recording contract. There have been several development and PR deals waved under our nose

Initially rather disturbing, but ultimately brilliant! Stephen Fry

We write what we want to “ hear, play how we want to

Finally where does the name Bitter Ruin come from? Ben: It’s a commonly used phrase in Greek mythology and simply means ‘the very end’ ...and in our case that’s usually a calamitous, cataclysmic, catastrophic end!

We’d love to sign a record Georgia, you have a tendency to go into the audience and sing with them. Is that play, and express what we feel something you feel able to do in large venues deal - but it has to be the perfect offer and until that arrives I and there is no need for any as well as small? Georgia: I’d like to but unfortunately it think we’re doing just fine restrictions... becomes almost impossible due to the as we are! separation between the stage and the audience. We tried it once at a gig in We hear that you have played at some incredible venues, without management Glasgow but Ben almost fell off the crowd barrier! It’s also unfair on those in the how have you managed to get noticed? Ben: That’s a hard question to answer. I audience who aren’t in a good position guess it’s part luck and part persistence. to see the action. I’ll just have to save it for the intimate gigs – it makes them feel We’re very good at putting ourselves special. in the right place at the right time and if you do that enough something good is bound to come of it! Up until Is Bitter Ruin your sole occupation or do you have ‘day jobs?’ very recently, we have been totally Ben: Since the start of 2012 we’ve been self-managed, which certainly isn’t something that we’ve let hold us back. lucky enough to call Bitter Ruin our day If you’ve got a good business sense and job but before that we both taught music privately; Georgia - vocals and myself understand the principles of how to For more information and to listen to their progress in the music industry then it’s piano and guitar. We still do it occasionally latest EP visit actually very easy to do so without any but our main focus is now on the band.



Wor k Exper ience Tips...


but nothing that ever really showed any assistance at all. Now however, we have promise. We’d love to sign a record deal the wonderfully talented and generous - what musician wouldn’t, but it has to be Matt Lucas co-managing us and we’re the perfect offer and until that arrives I honoured to have his superior knowledge and support to propel the Bitter Ruin even think we’re doing just fine as we are! I further.

How to get...


You’ve got to have it. You need it. You know it. But how can you get some of that good stuff onto your CV? The Medianation team have some tips and advice for you…

Work experience is vital if you are really serious about pursuing a career in the creative industries, and the music business is no exception. Trouble is, formal placements can be hard to track down and finding paid experience can be even tougher.

Why is Work Experience Important? Ask yourself if you were the head honcho of a label, would you be more likely to give a job to the person with the long list of previous experience – the track record – or to the person who spent a week in an office stuffing envelopes? It’s the depth and quality of the experience that’s important to employers, and to you.…

Paid Placements… Major companies like Universal and EMI offer paid placements across different divisions throughout the year. Organisations like the Music Publishers’ Association sometimes advertise for paid interns (for more details see the links opposite).…

Students… If you are studying, chances are there will be opportunities to get involved in student radio, newspapers, live music events clubs and societies. Do it while you can. It’s a great way to bolster your CV, acquire new skills, and to start making your industry contacts! If there’s nothing that fits the bill for you, consider setting up your own internet radio station or magazine. 60


Image by: Tom Blackwell

Getting Experience....

Your Community… Community TV and radio stations can be found in every corner of the UK and many always need volunteers. Some community platforms can offer bands and artists access to the airwaves for a small admin fee. Radio Free Brighton is one excellent example (see link below).

Working from Home… Many aspiring music industry professionals think that they need an actual physical placement. But we wonder increasingly if that is true, or even representative of the way many in the industries work these days or will be working in the future. Clearly some companies operating in the music industry have come to the same conclusion. For example, TRL Music offers industry experience working remotely from home (see link below).

DIY Opportunities…

Be Creative… Creative people interpret briefs all the time so try and see your CV and work experience as a brief you have to meet in a creative, unique and individual way. After all, you’d expect those wanting to make a name for themselves in the music business to be creative. Remember, fortune favours the brave! Universal Music has general music industry internships open. Closing date is 30 March 2013. See EMI currently have a tech internship open for applications now. See Music Publishers’ Association internships information can be found here: Radio Free Brighton TRL Music work experience

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Jobs in Music....

In some ways those that sort their work experience history DIY-style look more appealing to employers than those who had to go do some work experience for course credit. Those who DIY opportunities show passion, commitment, imagination. They manufactured opportunity for themselves. See this as your distinct advantage, you have freedom to be the architect of your own future here.

Custom Solutions in Print Custom printing and design for promotional products Great quality, great value, great service

JOBS IN MUSIC Find a placement in the MUSIC Industry… Sony Music UK (London, UK)

Major record label with acts like Alexandra Burke Leona Lewis and Paloma Faith on their books. Sony has set up two blogs in order to receive demo submissions. These can be found at and Set up a page on one of these blogs and upload your work. Sony Music also offer work experience and internships and have a searchable database for these as well as current jobs within the organisation see

Sony Music Entertainment (New York, USA)

One of the largest recorded music companies in the world with headquarters in New York, representing music from every genre. Will only consider candidates currently living in the United States and are authorised to work in the United States.

Film magazine with latest reviews and film news. Owned by Bauer Media and based in London. Empire do offer one week’s work experience. You don’t have to be a journalism student but the team do state that this helps. They will be looking for new work experience candidates from October 2011. Keep checking their site here / magazine/jobs.asp

Screenhouse Productions (Leeds, UK)

This Leeds based production and training company specialise in factual programming in science history and documentary. The company offer work experience through its links with various colleges but is also happy to consider other applicants. If interested they ask you to look very carefully at the kind of work they do. If you think you can make a contribution send your CV and a covering letter to Your cover letter you should explain the reasons you would like to do work experience with Screenhouse

New Moon (London, UK)

A London based production company specialising in advertising and brand communications. The company are pleased to hear from individuals wishing to work for New Moon. Send your CV and a letter explaining why you want to work for the company and what you think you can offer them to

Rebellion (Derby, UK)

Games developer based in Oxford with offices in Runcorn, and Derby. This company prefers to recruit from direct applications and ask interested individuals to get in touch with samples of their work see

Kerrang! Radio (London, UK)

Rock radio station and (Twisted?) sister of Kerrang! Magazine. Advertise their jobs through their parent group’s website http:// Can also apply to become one of their Kerrang! Roadies street team members. Currently full but you can still apply here for future vacancies.

Fremantle Media (London, UK / Germany / North America)

London based television production company with a global portfolio of programmes. The company have a careers page on their website see The page has a link to their jobs database with an option to click on ‘internship’ as well as paid opportunities. There are no options to select the UK so opportunities are available only in Germany and North America

For more information go to ALT MU ISSUE 1


Ve l ve t i n e I n te r v i e w. . .

Empire (London, UK)

ALT-MU Interviews...

Interview with...



Hailing from a country town in the south of England, these four boys have grown up with a healthy respect for the fine art that is foot to the floor Rock N’ Roll. One would think that they just haven’t had the years to have the kind of rock ‘sixth sense’ that they have, but with hair flying and guitars blazing Velvetine know how to tear up a stage! Who are Velvetine? Velvetine are a blare of retro Rock N’ Roll, hairspray and punk rock swagger, a four strong outfit based in Portsmouth, sporting drain pipe jeans, Low slung guitars and more makeup and eyeliner than your average group of men.

Who writes the songs? Aidan is our very own guitar hero, there’s no set formula but most of the riffs belong to him, When Joe joined the band we showed him vocalists like Matt Jones from The Treatment and Simon Cruz from Crashdiet and said ‘’One day you’ll have to try and sing like that!’’ A couple of weeks later he comes back to us and has the style completely mastered, having a vocalist with his range and ability plays a big part in shaping our sound and song writing. That’s really our song writing duo there! A lot of our live show has a big influence on our songs; you don’t get long to make an impression so playing something live is the true test of a good track!

February 7th: The Croft – Bristol March 2nd: Camden Barfly - London March 8th: The Edge of the Wedge – Portsmouth

March 24th :The Green Door Store – Brighton April 7th: Sticky Mikes Frog Bar – Brighton W/ Steve Conte (Ex – New York Dolls) ALT MU ISSUE 1


Interviews by Ruby Rebelle

Please give the readers information on upcoming singles and albums. How long have you been together and where have you played? We are working on our debut single ‘Inside For Thunder’ Aidan, Harry and I have been playing music together since we with producer Sveinn M. Jonsson and legendary mastering engineer Mika Jussila (Hanoi Rocks, HIM, Jettblack, Lordi) at were 12, my first show was Iron Maiden and it changed my life! You don’t witness something like that at such a young age Great Eastern Studios, Shoreditch in London. We’re excited to without it having a massive effect on you, the moment the last have such a great team of guys working on the song with us note stopped ringing out I knew exactly what it was I wanted to and the single is set for release in early spring this year. do with my life! What ambitions do you have as a band? We want to go all the way. There’s always been an unspoken What mixture of influences is there in Velvetine? Throw AC/DC, Guns ‘N’ Roses, The Sex Pistols and The Cult into word in this band that’s it’s all or nothing, even from a young age. We want it all and we’ll do anything to get there. We work a blender. Rock N’ Roll with a snotty nose, bratty attitude and extremely hard as a band to be the best we possibly can and balls. It seems people can’t simply label us and that’s a good our shows are starting to sell out which is proof of our hard thing - We have old school Rockers, Punks, Metal heads and work! Short term we’re looking to book shows all around the people with big hair and cowboy boots at our shows. We also UK in 2013 and once ‘Inside For Thunder’ is released we’ll be listen to a lot of newer bands too though and we’re all on the looking for management and an agency. same page musically which really helps.

U p c o m i n g To u r s . . .

Hot, new and very exciting hairstyles, Velvetine are a band ready for the big time and all that is required to do just that. We spoke to Bass Guitarist for the band, Tom Hewson, for his insight into their world.....







ALT-MU Magazine - Issue 1 (January 2013)