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Our Definition of an...

o h w r e v o l ic s u m r o n A m usic ia y a w e iv t a n r e t l a n a d n h a s fou r o ic s u m in l u f s s e c c u s to b e . s ie r t s u d in e iv t a e r C e th

I’m also a Graphic Designer / Tattooist / PR / Journalist / Carpenter Record Producer / A&R scout / Writer / Songwriter Photographer / Model / Tour Manager / Lighting DesigNer Fashion Designer / Make up Artist / Editor / Critic / Poet


Founder / Editor Jennifer Le Roux


Deputy Editor Ruby Rebelle

Design Editor

The Team...

Lee Anderson

Lead DESIGNER James Gold

Senior Designer Simon Potter

illustrator suzanne greenwood

Lead Photographer Scott Chalmers

Music Editor Daniel Bateman

Picture Editor Kofi Agyemang

Copy Editor Josh Humphrey

Music Writer Charly Phillips

Logo Design Sarah Bonnar

Photography Hannah Mesquitta

Welcome to our second issue! We have scoured the globe for more ALT-MUs to share their wisdom including our cover star and featured ALT-MU, Anna Krohnistic. A DJ / Photographer / Model / Mua / Stylist who described her day job as ‘knicker nerd’; we enjoyed getting to know her in our exclusive interview on page 10.

Contributing Designers

Claire Ellison, Joanne Norwood Sara-Beth Rowland, TONIE LAM

Contributing Writers Arran Shurvington, Daniel Bateman, Dennis Ng, Edward Couzens-Lake, Eris Eveiller, Hannah Mesquitta, Jennifer Le Roux, Jon Ostrow, Josh Humphrey, Pippa Moyle, Ruby Rebelle, Sam Lay, Steve Young

The Rich Fownes article was so popular in the last issue, we have Dennis Ng from rock/dubstep/rock band Subsource sharing his thoughts on the DIY scene on page 36. We also had a catch up with Laila from Sonic Boom Six to find out what it’s like being in the band and more about her future ambitions (p.22). Our marketing expert, Jon Ostrow, looks into the dreamer musician ‘if only’ syndrome (p.6) and Medianation gives our readers some great advice on CV writing which is essential to nabbing the right job. Our fashion shoot is as feisty as ever including the beautiful Makani Terror, also interviewed on page 29.


Cover Page Photo: Scott Chalmers Subject: Anna Krohnistic

Its been a busy year but I was very excited to win the Enterprise Award at The University of Portsmouth (UK) for the creation of ALT-MU ahead of my graduation and I look forward to announcing lots of exciting plans for the magazine in future issues now that I have more time to dedicate to the magazine. In the meantime, please check out our new website at Enjoy!

Jennifer Le Roux

Editor & Founder


Contents INTERVIEWS 8 Interview with TQ

Makani Terror


Tattooed Beauty from Germany



‘If Only’ Syndrome

‘The most Gangster singer I know’


Dreamer habits revealed...


ALT-MU chats

Featured ALT- MU:

with Subsource


Anna Krohnistic

Punk dubstep rockers...

10 Alternative


Careers in Music


More career ideas...

36 DIY Scene Dennis NG Exclusive Band Advice from Subsource…

40 22

Interview with Jim Jeffries

Sonic Boom Six Explosive 5-piece band...

26 Interview with Pearls & Swine Avant-Garde fashion designer...

Old school rocker/model/ singer/songwriter...


63 Get Involved Find out how you can contribute to ALT-MU...

Owen Stephens



CV Tips from Medianation

Currently on his US tour...

How to get that job!




The ‘Real’ Wedding

30 Metal Bands

The Magic is in the

Singer: Steve Young

from around the world…

Make-up: Eris Eveiller

Musings of a prof musician...

Top beauty tips...



5 Famous ALT-MUs: Josh Humphrey


multi-talented musos...

2013: Dawn of the Comeback


A look at this years revivals...

48 Review: David Bowie The Next Day...

50 Review: Joe Black Satan in a Sunday Hat...

Music Fiction: Jennifer Le Roux:


Part 2 of Ghost of Glasvegas

Gag Factor A look at music integrity...

30 Tattoo Inspired Fashion 2kool 2b True clothing…

54 Live Music Photographer: Hannah Mesquitta: Top pics from top gigs...


66 Upcoming Tours Summer tour listings for 2013...

Life After Drugs

Get Involved

When the drugs don’t work...

‘If Only’ Syndrome...


‘If only’

Syndrome For a long time, success in the music industry has been thought of as product of luck by millions of hopefuls trying to turn their art into a career.

“If only [enter wish come true here], I could be a huge success.” While it is true that there are the proud few who do find luck with a career as a musician, they are few and far between, and it is more than likely they put in an incredible amount of time into shaping their career before you had ever heard about them. A couple of recent musicians to ‘blow up’ in popular culture include Justin Bieber and Macklemore. Bieber’s ‘discovery’ was due to street busking (at the age of 12), recording and creating a series of Youtube Videos. Seattle-based rapper, Macklemore, is currently sitting on top of the world with a #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts (‘Thrift Shop’). What most people don’t know is that ‘The Heist’, Macklemore’s breakthrough album, actually came 7 years into his career after already building a global fan base through a constant social media presence, a successful kickstarter campaign, several incredibly high-quality music videos, and almost non-stop touring. We want to put an end to the idea of ‘if only’ for independent musicians. It is a deceptive concept that far more often than not, will lead you down the wrong path. Our music marketing expert, Jon Ostrow, is here with some wise words and a few instances of ‘if only’ that need to be put to rest: 6


“If only I had money, I could buy my way into a successful career.” I can’t tell you how many musicians I have seen pour thousands, even at times hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more!) into this ‘if only’, only to come up short.

“If only I could get my song played on radio, I could be discovered as the next big thing.” When was the last time you heard of an artist that was truly discovered, and made a career for themselves in the music industry, because of radio alone? This flat out doesn’t happen. It may have never happened. I’m not saying radio is a bad thing, but it can absolutely help to increase your visibility in a targeted way. It’s illustrious ‘discovery’ power, however, just simply doesn’t exist as an ‘if only’ scenario.

“If only I could get myself a record deal, I could make it in the music industry.”

“If only I had a booking agent, I could play shows all over the country!” Booking agents can be great, but they are not magicians. If you can’t put butts in seats without a booking agent, that won’t change if you do have one. In most cases, you’d have to be able to get booked on your own before a booking agent will really be all that interested in you. Booking agents are really a ‘chicken and egg’ scenario. They don’t want you until you don’t need them any more. There is nothing ‘if only’ about booking and the live music industry. So what do all of these scenarios have in common?

They are missing the fans! The biggest problem with ‘if onlys,’ is that they completely overlook the ONE thing that WILL lead to success. A loyal fan base. If you don’t have a fan base, there is no other ‘if only’ in the world that will actually pay off, except for one…

“If only I had fans, I could build my own career in the music industry.” This will remain true forever. If there is a demand for you, everyone will take notice. You can create your own opportunities on your own terms and cement your place in the music industry.

If only you had fans. Real, loyal, engaged fans. You’d never need an ‘if only’ again. If only… ALT MU ISSUE 2


TQ Interview...

This simply isn’t true. Artists are signed and dropped frequently because they lack the ability to make the label the proper money in return (through album sales, ticket sales, merchandise etc). No record deal is going to be the magic bullet to a sustainable career in the music industry without your own ability to show real returns.

TQ Interview...


We are honoured to be joined by critically acclaimed musician TQ, compared to Tupac and described as ‘The most Gangster singer I know’ by Lil Wayne! We’ve managed to tie him down long enough to answer some questions…


ello TQ, thank you for taking the time to talk to us here at ALT-MU Magazine. Lil Wayne has quoted you as ‘The most Gangsta singer I know’ Wow, that’s pretty big! Have you had many compliments from artists like him? A - I think most artists I work with, especially rappers, can appreciate the realness. I think most people’s view of an R&B singer is far from me.



Q - You’ve been compared to Tupac, is it daunting to live up to that comparison? A - Very. I wouldn’t dare try. Q - The single ‘Westside’ debuted in the Top Ten in several countries and in some countries at #1,

which must have been pretty amazing for you! What does it feel like to know so many of your fans bought your single? A - Amazing! I did the song for my coast. I felt it would work in Cali, Oregon, Washington and maybe a couple of other places. Little did I know...

I think most artists I work with, especially rappers, can appreciate the realness.

A - Just things that interest me really. It’s a side thing. It’s a new challenge. It’s definitely not at the level of music in my head, though it may be one day...

A - No. I’ve met enough of them to realise that they’re all just people. There are times though when the talent is so great that it strikes you... There are also times when it’s the other way around.

Q - You’re an incredible songwriter, where do you find your inspirations?

Q - I see you’ve just embarked on an acting career, how are you finding that? A - It’s just something that I’ve always wanted to try really. It’s fun! Q - With your acting are you selective about the roles you take?

A - Thanks! My life and experiences - it’s the most natural thing to write about I think. People can connect to something real because at some point they’ve probably experienced the same thing. Q - You chose to stay independent for your newest album ‘Legendary’, why?

have a pretty good fan base so I try to get the biggest dollar amount I can for my units and continue to play to my base. Hoping that my base will help me to gain new fans. If it hits... wow! As opposed to giving away merch, publishing, shows, my soul, etc. Q - Thank you so much TQ for taking the time to talk to us here at ALT-MU, do you have any advice for our budding musicians looking to get noticed? A - Thank you! Make sure you READ YOUR CONTRACTS!

A - Math really... I’m a conservative investor. I’m blessed to

There are times though when the talent is so great that it strikes you... There are also times when it’s the other way

Find out more about TQ at www. ALT MU ISSUE 2


Featured ALT-MU...

Q - You’ve collaborated with such stars as Lil Wayne, R.Kelly, Whitney Houston and The Game. Do you ever get star struck working with such amazing artists?

Featured ALT-MU...


LT-MU are honoured to present to you the multi-talented Anna Krohnistic! At the age of 24 she has enough forward slashes to build an entire team. Photographer / Model / DJ / Performer / Make-up artist / Stylist / Marketer / Blogger - Anna Krohnistic is most definitely a glorious example of an ALT-MU! Our deputy editor, Ruby Rebelle, took a moment to catch up with Anna to find out what came first… You seem very busy! If you had to explain what you do for a living to a complete stranger what would it be? From Monday to Friday I’m a knicker nerd! I shoot ‘look books’ and take care of the marketing for an independent lingerie brand. From photographing look books to writing blogs to making sure we have a strong social media presence, it’s a perfect mix for me. It’s difficult to be creative all the time, and I enjoy office-based work just as much as I do shooting in lavish locations. By night I am onehalf of a dandy DJ duo known as The Roustabouts and in my spare time I photograph the beautiful and damned and because that isn’t enough, I also co-host The Burning Beat, a debauched Saturday-night cabaret club in Islington.



What style of music do you DJ and do you play any instruments? The Roustabouts DJ a wide range of styles, everything from Balkan beats, Cabaret, Electro-swing and guiltypleasure mash-ups! Oh if only I did play an instrument. I dabble in the musical saw, but that’s about it! Who inspires you musically? I have some extremely varied tastes, but grew up listening to Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart and Prince. My parents have great taste, which was the foundation for my musical interests. Music is inspiring in so many different ways, for DJing, for photography, even for how I dress. I may relax to 1920s warbling, or dance to modern chart hits, and I particularly love music that surprises you - which is what mash-ups do!



I know it seems that I have a lot of things on my plate, but there are others I know that I look at and think “how on earth do you have the time to do all that?”, and I do find that inspiring. What came first the music or the modelling? Well, technically photography did, although I started out using myself as a model. At 16/17, I was the only model available who didn’t mind experimenting with makeup and bizarre looks. Of course, I’ve always loved music, but it was only when I teamed up with my partner, Markabre Charade, that I began to consider performance.

What personal achievement over your career are you most proud of? I’m very proud that after less than a year of forming The Roustabouts we had already teamed up with David Harris (formerly of The Boom Boom Club) to create The Burning Beat. Both Markabre and I enjoy having many strings to our bow, and running the weekly event is certainly a learning curve in itself!

Your website is very extensive with lots of tips on make-up or fashion, do you feel it’s important to share your knowledge and experience? I get asked quite a lot of questions about my style, and love sharing my tips. It is incredibly important to share knowledge, otherwise most of us wouldn’t learn anything! There are plenty of things that I’ve figured out on my own, or through trial and error, but I also make use of tricks I’ve read from others.

You have a very unique style, who do you take influence from? I’m mostly influenced by the 1920s and the birth of film. I also have a strong interest in Russia (my grandfather was from Ukraine) and have recently enjoyed the baroque and oxblood trends throughout the fashion world. And of course, spit-and-sawdust circus is another strong influence for me.

If you were to give advice to an inspiring DJ what would it be? Find your style and experiment with it. Understand the basics and the history, but don’t get too hung up on the tech you use. Have you had many any negative experiences working in the creative arts? Unfortunately there are negative experiences throughout life regardless of the career you choose. Working in the creative arts, specifically, means you are often unable to support yourself with the creative work. I’m lucky in that I enjoy my 9-5 job! Another issue I’ve found with creative work is the feeling of inadequacy and feeling unappreciated; sometimes it can be difficult to receive creative feedback for your work.

Interview by Ruby Rebelle Photography by Scott Chalmers



You definitely fit the description of an ALT-MU; do you believe that it is important to be multi- talented to gain success in the performing/ Entertainment world? I’d say that it is important to at least be able to manage and market yourself and your talent. Admin and networking are talents in themselves, and much-needed to kick off your career. These things may seem obvious and less impressive than being able to play 20 different instruments, but still important. It would also depend on what kind of person you are, whether you are comfortable just honing your main talent without diversion, or if you enjoy trying your hand at all manner of things. I know it seems that I have a lot of things on my plate, but there are others I know that I look at and think “how on earth do you have the time to do all that?”, and I do find that inspiring.


13 Alternative Careers...

Career Ideas...

TEN in music Alternative careers

A wise woman once said: “If you want to be in the music industry, be in the music industry.” She spoke frequently about the fact that “impossible” can also be interpreted as “I’m possible”. If the only thing in the world you think you can be is a musician, the careers listed here and in the last issue can help you get there. Let’s face it, everyone knows that there’s such a thing as the ‘right place at the right time’ and where’s a better place to work than for/with the musicians themselves?

Music Publisher

Creative Stylist

Music Promoter

Music Film-maker

Publicity for record labels

Music Lawyer

Band/Artist Manager

Web Designer

Music PR

Graphic Designer



Music PR

Tearing up the music industry is the ever-growing, ever-popular DIY trend. Lots of bands are creating their own record labels and through that some great indie labels, like Alcopop, are being created. How do these labels become great? Publicity and, of course, great music.

There are a lot of specifically music PR companies out there, many of whom work with major labels or bands with a strong following (and money behind them). If you think you can handle the press and have innovative ways of doing so, you should probably go into music PR.

Web designer for music labels

Creative stylist for musicians

Every musician has a website: Fact. With distribution re-shaping the way that we approach music, comes the desperate need for a web geek. If you don’t know anything about websites, don’t panic. Read a book, practice, get involved in forums; you’ll pick it up in no time.

Fashion and music go hand-in-hand. Both arts are as ruthless and terrifying as each other, and both require the players to look “the part”. Florence Welch and Paloma Faith treat their creative stylist like an additional band member. Arty people, this could be your calling!

Music publisher

Music film-maker

Whoever said there was no money in music has never worked in music publishing. Most musicians make their money out of sync music and the publishers are the people who make it happen. A good publisher quickly becomes a band’s best friend.

Music videos are one of the most successful forms of promotion for musicians. Creating music videos, working closely with music to make it look as incredible as it sounds, surely that’s the definition of a great alternative music career?

Music promoter

Band/artist manager

Nothing will ever beat live music, but what’s a great live show without a great promoter? We’ve all been to gigs where the line up has been completely wrong, the sound guy has been terrible and the whole charade has been one big unorganised mess. Someone’s got to do better, maybe you?

Every band needs an organised and innovative business-head to drive them forward by working with all those in the careers listed above (and more). A crucial job, and one that will always be around somewhere.

Music lawyer Wait, don’t skip this bit! Music law is not the total sell-out option you just rolled your eyes at. This is a career that allows you to argue about music all day! Are you that person who feels that sometimes the music industry is just outright unjust? You can make a difference with this career – and meet some pretty amazing characters on the way.

Graphic designer for bands Every band works with a graphic designer, so here’s another alternative career that you can do. Album artwork, gig posters, promotional pictures – you name it, you’ll do it, and more.

Feature by Pippa Moyle ALT MU ISSUE 2


Make-up Tips...

Publicity for record labels

The magic is in the make up Make-up Tips...

Stage make up is its own kind of sorcery. Without it you can find yourself turning invisible on stage, lost to the audience as a faceless sweating blob. Too much of the wrong kind and you’ll stand out for all the wrong reasons.

Eris Eveiller

Burlesque Performer / Costume Designer / Burlesque teacher



Photography by Scott Chalmers

How to shine as a star!

Too much isn’t quite enough! Remember, you’re applying make up for the audience who are going to be a lot further away than your make up mirror, so put aside any thoughts of subtlety and go for it. You need to exaggerate and highlight your natural features and good points while covering up any flaws. Ramp it up for the bigger venues with the large audiences and lighting rigs, and dial it down for the intimate gigs. Either way, once you’re sure you’re crossing into Drag Queen territory, you’re probably getting close to the perfect amount.

Addicted to Base. For long lasting and smooth coverage, you need to start with super clean skin. Where the backstage facilities resemble a small shoebox, you won’t be able to use the magic wand that is the Clarisonic, but Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Wipes (£3.25) are found in make-up artists bags for a reason. They get rid of even the heaviest make up and leave you ready to work your magic. Follow up with your moisturiser and leave for 10 minutes before proceeding with your primer. Using a primer will give you incredibly smooth, shine free skin and will help your foundation last through the stage lights and any panicked moments that might occur. Once your primer is on, apply your foundation with a clean foundation brush, blending down the neck.


Inspiring ALT-MUs...

Stage lighting washes you out, drains the colour from your skin and will make you sweat. From the audience’s point of view you’re a faceless sweaty performer...not a good look. Not only that, relying on your normal everyday look will still end up making you look ‘zombiefied’. You need to find a way to look like you on stage and that involves a little bit of cosmetic trickery. Something I’ll be talking you through in the coming issues.

Smashbox have an amazing range of primers suitable for a whole host of skin types and are amazing for everyday and photoshoots, but my favourite for stage make up has to be Kryolan Ultra Underbase £11.65

FABULOUS FOUNDATIONS Mac Face & Body Foundation are the long standing favourites at fashion shows and photoshoots and are wonderful at smaller venues. For really flawless skin onstage however, the theatrical brands are what you need. Cream foundation from Illamasqua, Mehron and Kryolan simply work wonders and will outlast the standard counter foundations.

“Once you’re sure you’re crossing into Drag Queen territory, you’re probably getting close to the perfect amount.” ALT MU ISSUE 2


Inspiring ALT-MUs...

Inspiring ALT-MUs 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. In each issue I plan to scour the internet for good examples of renowned ALT-MUs who have kicked ass doing what they love; proving that their talents know no bounds. Here are my top five for this issue. Column by Josh Humphrey



Juliette Lewis


Despite retiring from her modestly named rock band Juliette and the Licks in 2009, she is still seen frequently in her more prevailing career as an actress. Best known for her role in Martin Scorsese’s remake of Cape Fear, which led to both an Academy Award and Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actress, Juliette has appeared in over thirty movies since the age of 14. She has also had roles in many television shows, appeared in music videos and has even lent her voice to massive computer game franchise Grand Theft Auto.

One of the biggest names in R&B, Beyonce Knowles has not only been a member of 90s pop band Destiny’s Child and released four solo albums, all of which have propelled her to sell over 120 million albums worldwide with her solo material alone winning 17 Grammy awards along the way; the mother of one is also a fashion guru. When not recording new material or performing, she is working on fashion line House of Dereon, which she is a founding member of along with her mother. Furthermore, Beyonce is now the face of H&M for Summer 2013 with a clothing line leaning heavily to her personal style.

Juliette has appeared in over thirty movies since the age of 14

When not recording, Is working on fashion line House of Dereon

Despite the label of ‘Posh Spice’ being all but behind her, Mrs Beckham has actually managed to achieve a higher level of recognition as a style icon. Starting with catwalk modelling, Victoria has been involved with many well renowned fashion labels, including Dolce and Gabbana and Rock & Republic – the latter of which she designed a limited edition fashion line for. Releasing her ‘Intimately Beckham’ line of clothing, estimated in 2008 to have sold $200m internationally, Victoria has risen to become one of the world’s most influential designers, winning 2011’s “Designer of the Year” gong at the British Fashion Awards.

Victoria has risen to become one of the world’s most influential designers

Not only is Adam behind the strings of Massachusetts metalcore masters Killswitch Engage when they are on stage, he is also behind the technical side in the recording studio, producing every one of his bands albums (bar one). Described as shaping modern and melodic metalcore, Adam has produced many albums for bands under the metalcore genre, including Shadows Fall and All That Remains. Furthermore, Adam is also an engineer for Zing Recording Studios which, in turn, have produced work for numerous artists.

HAS HELPED ShapE modern and melodic metalcore

Although grunge icon Krist is wellrenown as the bassist and co-founder of the legendary band Nirvana, he is also an active politician who is particularly known for founding the Joint Artists and Musicians Political Action Committee. He has also returned to college, studying for a law degree emphasising his ambition for political affairs. Krist’s other political endeavours include a stint of writing a column for Seattle Weekly’s website and being board chair of the electoral reform organisation fair vote. We want to hear about ALT-MUs that inspire you! Post your favourites on our Facebook at: altmumagazine or tweet them to us at: altmumagazine




Victoria Beckham Adam Dutkiewicz Krist Novoselic


The Dawn of the

Comeback 20



s a massive David Bowie fan, I was ecstatic to see a notification on Facebook in January stating that the man himself had broken his ten year silence with a brand new single and a soon to be released new album. All of a sudden, the world had become Bowie mad again. I thought to myself, ‘What a comeback this is! Sneaking through the back door when everyone thought you were finished - you hit them in the face with your genius!’ In the coming weeks I noticed that although Bowie’s return was hogging the limelight, it was overshadowing a huge number of comebacks. 2013 has already seen the return of great rock legends cropping up everywhere and even more unusual in this fickle celebrity obsessed world, these comebacks were being praised and celebrated.

They Keep on Coming… In the blink of an eye Depeche Mode led the way before Suede and My Bloody Valentine were back again after nearly ten years. Fleetwood Mac were touring Rumours, Roger Water’s new show of The Wall was winning awards, Peter Hook was reinventing the Joy Division albums with his new band and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails announced they were returning with a new sound. Kate Bush was

back with a vengeance and even Justin Timberlake, Destiny’s Child and Steps were having another bash at it! And to cap it all off, The Rolling Stones won best live band over Muse at the NME Awards. Old is new and old is good it seems. As this writer sits typing away, the comeback list grows and hard edged journos and critiques alike are actually being kind about it. In fact, the sense you get from reading reviews from around the world is more than just kind words and positive reviewing but actual thanks and a faint sigh of relief. …was the pop scene really getting that bad? Yes, I think maybe it was.

State of Pop Culture… In a pop climate of brief careers and instant stardom, repetition and banality everywhere, it’s tough trying to find bands and singers that actually go the distance. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds have just released their fifteenth album and Cave has been quoted about reviving Grinderman for a third album, saying:

“A decent band might as well get on this comeback wagon.”

has come of age and finally recognises that the original creators of this crazy business are more than just old wrinklies who got lucky back in the day. These are the masters, without whom there would be no point of reference for any of us in popular culture. Paul Morley writes in The Guardian that Bowie is a human Google search and he’s right to make that comparison, as it’s the likes of Bowie, Lou Reed, Tom Waits etc that have been our teachers; overly generous in sharing their own inspirations and discoveries. These days, bands and singers single out the aforementioned as their muse and in many ways miss the point by not digging any deeper than that. We have few examples of longevity in the pop world, Radiohead, Pearl Jam, U2 maybe, but to me it seems that this unexpected explosion of comebacks is just what the scene needs to re-energise our creative juices. A long career in popular music reveals its own stories. Listen to Bad as Me by Tom Waits or Push The Sky Away by Nick Cave and make sure you make time for The Next Day by David Bowie.

It’s time to get your note books out and study a little harder. Feature by Daniel Bateman

Indeed, it seems popular music



SB6 Interview...

“It’s Nice to Go Away but It’s Better to Come Back”

Laila from SB6...


LAILA FROM Sonic Boom Six Sonic Boom Six are an explosive 5-piece band from Manchester who have reached global success over the past 6 years. They have toured the UK, Europe, the US and Japan while managing to record and release three albums on their own label Rebel Alliance Recordings past released on Random Hand and The Skints! Their latest album is being released by the mighty Xtra Mile Recordings! Ruby Rebelle our Deputy Editor is excited to present to you Laila from Sonic Boom Six...



I have read many reviews and quotes about SB6 that can’t seem to define you to a specific genre, what genre do you think best sums you up? That’s a hard question to answer. I see us as a rock band with elements of dance music and hip hop thrown in. Our roots lie in punk but as we’ve evolved our sound has gone more rock with ‘pop’ vocals. Who have been your influences, musically and aesthetically? Musically, it’s always been bands that progress and don’t stick to the norm – bands like The Clash, The Streets. Aesthetically, I’m not really sure. We kind of have our own style; we come from inner city Manchester so we’re normally rocking street wear with a hint of alternative thrown in there! Who is the main songwriter? With this new album the song writing dynamics changed a lot. Nick Horne and I started writing a lot more. Ideas come from all of us, whereas it used to be mainly Barney and our old guitarist Ben. Things were written a lot more organically, on acoustic guitars than they are now. Now, one of us will have an idea and stick it in the band Dropbox and then we’ll have a play around with it in rehearsals. Barney’s always written all the lyrics though. Your track ‘Sunny Side of the street’ received mixed feedback from fans (which we loved by the way) why do you think that was? I wasn’t aware that it did! If it had then I can imagine it was because it was slower and maybe a bit more pop but any fans of ours know that we’ve always done the reggae/ska thing on every album we’ve done and when we play acoustic so I’d be surprised if an existing fan would have been shocked by the sound of it. Whenever there’s a new release people always have an opinion, that’s just the way it works. Who gets to decide the overall look and sound of SB6? Me! Ha-ha! Looks wise, mainly me but the sound is all of us. Whilst you were starting out, did you have many rejections? How did that affect your confidence? We’re getting rejected on a daily basis even now, that never changes when you’re in a band. At first it was difficult to take ‘cause when you’re so close to something and you...



work so hard then it’s difficult/impossible not to take things personally and it often used to make me look at myself and make me doubt if what I was doing was good enough. But, then you get to a certain point and just think, whatever. I love what I do and I have complete faith in myself and the band so we keep doing what we do and get on with it and try and have as much fun in the process! Looking at your bio you had a very busy year in 2011 and 2012 headlining Sonisphere amongst other things, has 2013 been as busy for you? Yeah, 2013 started with a tour with The Blackout. We had a week off and then did a headline tour of the UK so that was Jan and Feb done. This month, personally, I’m very busy as I tutor at The Warren in Hull and there’s a big event on this week for young females to get involved. The workshop covers confidence building, writing songs, recording and I really love being part of it. I’ve never had any formal music training, no one ever told me I could do what I’m doing successfully and I had no guidance whatsoever when I was growing up. I fell into doing this but I was lucky. I want to be able to guide young women and make them feel like they can do anything regardless of their backgrounds and I feel I’ve been given this opportunity with being involved in the workshops at The Warren. Being so busy you must struggle to take time off, how do you relax whilst on tours and gigging? Exercise! Me, Barney and our tour manager, Toby, love to work out and we make sure we do this on a daily basis when we get to a venue. Even though you’d think it would have the opposite effect, it actually helps to chill me out and give a better performance than if I just sat backstage all night twiddling my thumbs. You’ve shared the stage with some of this generation’s greatest artists and bands; do you ever get star struck? YES, all the time! Barney makes fun of me because I go into giggly girl mode whenever I see anyone that 24


I respect or admire. When we met Serj from System of a Down, I nearly fainted! How do you cope to be constantly surrounded by men? Does it ever get tough for you? I’m lucky because the guys I’m surrounded by aren’t regular guys. They’re all really sensitive and completely get where I’m coming from most of the time. Also, both of our merch people are girls so it balances it out a lot.

I hope you’re not having any ideas of splitting but what would life be like without SB6, do you have any plans for life after SB6? Would you plan a solo career? Oh God, not at all! Sometimes I think, what I would do, if I wasn’t in the band but it depresses me so much I stop thinking about it! I’m not too sure, I’m not one that waits around for things to happen so I’m sure that I’d get stuck into something else. I’d like to try TV presenting. I’m trying to put some stuff together for a solo album – the stuff that I write is way too camp for SB6. Think Girls Aloud meets Kylie meets La Roux! What is next on the cards for SB6? We have a new video to record and then it’s festival time. This year we seem to be playing all our favourite festivals so I’m really looking forward to the summer.



Fashion Interview...

What are you listening to at the moment? Right now, I’m listening to Freaks Like Us by Straight Lines. Amazing band and I’ve completely fallen in love with the singer’s voice and lyrics. They remind me of Muse crossed with Stereophonics crossed with Crazy Arm.

Fashion Interview...

Pearls & Swine specialise in avant-garde, haute couture millinery: hats, half masks, fascinators and avant-garde hair accessories for people who really want to get noticed. The range is inspired by everything from vintage elegance to pop surreal madness, which sounded very ALT-MU to us, so we couldn’t wait to find out more. They have been established for four years and since founding the company have worked with some of the most cutting edge performers and photographers working today. We took a moment to ask Pearls & Swine’s Bink about starting her company, her creative process and the future of her fashion house…

When did you first begin creating bespoke accessories? Prior to 2005 I dabbled a bit with creating outfits for myself when I was clubbing in the London Goth scene. I love dressing up but I was holding out for a sensible career to reveal itself; I am a reluctant creative who was a carer for the disabled, elderly and terminally ill. I began by knitting a scarf while sitting next to a client who was dying of cancer and that was the trigger that started a chain of events which led me to this point. I guess I realised that life is short and I wasn’t living mine in the way I wanted. I was waiting for something that wasn’t really me.

Did you train in this field? If not, what did you train in or dream of doing? I have learnt my craft through just doing it. My business is now four years old and I work to a high standard. I feel I have benefited from teaching myself. Things I notice about those who have studied include the fact that there is no module for “how to market yourself as a creative”, so you leave your course with a piece of paper and the same skills as everyone else. You have been taught the ‘correct’ way to create but how do you make it as a creative? You are lumped with debt; so many creatives give up and get a ‘real’ job or become minions to big designers. For me, that wasn’t the way forward, I have learnt my way. I am a practical person, which is lucky. I research materials, I try things and I teach myself every day. I am not saying that the creative life is easy but I wouldn’t have it any other way.



How did you begin creating Pearls & Swine? Pearls & Swine began in about 2008. It took a while to figure out the right name for my business so I created and sold my work on Brick Lane in London for a time. I launched my business on Facebook and my website so I have grown my brand very slowly and organically. I am in a constant state of inspiration which is very fortunate, if not a little overwhelming, as I have to try to hold myself back from creating too much as I am a one person business. I try to limit the amount of accessories I sell on my site to being fewer than 200 products. I am not very good at holding back. I just want to make more, more, more!

How do you go about starting a new project? I stay true to myself and don’t hold back when I create. I am guided by my materials. Sometimes I will wait for years for an item to become the accessory that I am most happy with so I don’t rush my ideas but let them take shape in their own time. I never stop haberdashery shopping. I do a lot of research for items so if I get a crazy idea I will spend a lot of time looking for the right materials to make that idea a reality. I am a hard task master; I don’t have an off switch, which can be good as a designer and for business but not so good for having a personal life!

Interview with Bitter Ruin

Where do you get your inspiration for the pieces you create? It’s impossible to pin point a single source, I am a very visual person, generally I view everything from a millinery perspective, i.e.: “Can I put that on my head?” I have recurring themes in my work which frequently reference Schiaparelli, Dali, Frida Kahlo, Gods/Goddesses as well as food, insects, death, different cultures, flowers, bright colours, art, stories, movies etc. I am not a huge lover of fashion or celebrity culture, I am devoted to art. The idea of art not necessarily being something you have on a wall, a lifeless statue or a commodity revered for its financial value but to BE living art is what excites me. I am in love with the theatre of being, I surround myself with colour, and my home is my biggest ongoing art project.



What has been your favourite piece? My work needs a person to wear it to bring it to life and for this reason, once made, I am generally happy to see it go off to a life beyond my little studio, though some pieces I mail a bit more sadly than others. I am currently working on a more couture range which includes my Virgin Mary headdresses; these pieces are more art than practical so I am hanging onto them for the foreseeable future as I am “collecting� Virgin Marys by collaborating with photographers. I am not sure exactly what I will do with this, ideally I would love to do an art show, displaying the elaborate creations I am now working on as art.

What is next on the cards for Pearls & Swine? I am starting to collaborate with more creatives who are incorporating my work into their art, I like the idea of my art feeding into totally different art. I find rehashing the same idea over and over to be a bit soul destroying. I am hoping to get more involved in the styling side of my shoots as I want the images showing my work to be increasingly surreal, more editorial and arty. I feel very excited and positive about the future of Pearls & Swine, I feel like I am finally beginning to spread my wings and I have laid a good foundation for where I want to take my business. Interview by Arran Shurvinton. Photography by Charis Talbot Pearls and Swine can be found at:



Makani Interview...

Makani Terror is an international tattoo model from Hessia, Germany. With her picture perfect pin-up looks and her rollercoaster curves, Makani Terror has more than just a love for body art, she has a self confessed obsession and even runs her own tattoo studio Fallout Tattoo alongside her partner. Makani frequently resides on the front cover of major tattoo magazines, even appearing on one with Tommy Lee! Makani’s talents don’t stop there; her unique style is completly her own, even doing her own hair and make up fo shoots. With her portfolio of shoots from Fashion, Gore, to beauty and everything in between Makani isn’t just a one trick pony. / / / / / / / / / /

How has 2013 been for you so far?

It’s been a great year for me so far! I’ve been lucky enough to have already visited the NAMM Music Convention in Anaheim, USA. It was amazing!

Fashion Spread...

Makani Terror was born in a small town called Duderstadt. She started to study photography and philosophy but it just couldn’t hold her down and a desire for change hit her hard. In 2004 Makani developed a career out of one of her passions and started to train as a body piercer, it was also then when Makani discovered the other side of the camera. From photographer to tattoo model Makani Terror joins us today to answer some of our quick fire questions. Do you have any hidden talents?

I dont know, its always a problem for me to say that I am good at something. haha. I do love to sing but I dont know if I am good or just good in the shower!

When you were younger what did you want to be?

Have you ever done any acting before? I don‘t know, I never really had a plan. At first I wanted to be a Just some TV show stuff in Germany for TAFF, Punkt 12, photographer but I ended up on the other side of the lense! Frühstücksfernsehn. What inspirations do you have for your unique style?

I am a huge horror fan and I have always loved the dark and unusual! It’s just my style though! You own your own Tattoo studio, What made you open one?

My boyfriend is a tattoo artist and I am a body piercer so it was the perfect combination! You should check it out: www. What is it about tattoos that you love so much?

What's your favourite genre of music?

I love california punk rock! like NOFX, also I love Metal. If you were in a band what style would you want?

Punk rock like Distillers, I really love Brody Dale.

Have you ever dated a musician?

Too many! I only date musicians and tattoo artists Haha!

Tattoos tell a story, the past, the future. You can create your own version of being. I love having tattoos, I don’t know what If you were to describe yourself to a stranger what would you I’m going to do when I run out of space! say your character is? Favourite film genre? I am freaky, stressy always in a hurry, Psycho thriller and horror perfectionist and organised but very lovely haha!



Fashion Spread...

Welcome to our urban and tattooinfluenced fashion spread. 2k2BT were born on the sunny streets of Miami. Through their tattoo inspired designs and apparel, 2k2BT want to spread the vibrating culture in which they live.Impersonate the tattoo art that lives in peoples’ bodies and minds and impregnate it into their tattoo clothing and apparel to deliver badass, cool looking stuff to the world! Well we’re not complaining! Check it out… 30










Band Advice... ALT MU ISSUE 2


Band Advice...

‘s… So, you want to make money as a band? Statistically, the odds are stacked up against you. Record labels aren’t taking chances on unknown acts and it’s common in the industry to hear that majors have no idea what they’re doing at the moment. Over the past couple of years, the landscape has changed further with the economic downturn now having a serious effect on disposable incomes. I make no apologies for sounding like a pessimist – but if you’re preparing for a career as a musician, prepare to scrape by financially. If you break even, you’re in the minority – if you make a profit you can consider yourself lucky as shit that you’re making money out of your passion. Of course, as the axiom goes – you can always make yourself luckier by working harder! For me, my personal mantra is: ‘make sure you’re not shit!’ Remember this… there may be a quiz later in this article.

Dennis NG

Free Stuff Expect to give a lot of stuff away for free at first – but keep your costs down. Giving out free t-shirts and physical CDs is likely to be a big waste of valuable cash. We started gigging for next-to-nothing at first, but promoters frequently recommended us to others and we started becoming in demand. In addition to gigging, releasing digital content on the Internet is free and accessible to the whole world. YouTube is one of your best allies – we’ve been releasing remixes and mash-ups online and tracks that we put up years ago that are still earning us new subscribers today. The time spent preparing those vids was a hell of a lot more constructive than THAT gig to three people and a dog. We’ve all had that gig.



Good Content One caveat: If your content is good, the word will spread. If you’re wondering why nobody is accessing your content, you should make sure you’re not shit. Anything you put out should be relevant to your music or what your band is trying to say. Efficient content should always be aiming to engage new fans in some way – and remember that what works for the bigger acts won’t necessarily work for lesser known acts. Today I saw a video of Skrillex messing about Foreign Beggars with 20,000 hits in two days – it reminded me to check out some of Foreign Beggars’ new material, but I wouldn’t have watched it if I didn’t know who these guys were. A documentary was filmed about us dealing with hardships on the road last year which got distribution through TV-on-demand services and LoveFilm – this has been great for existing fans but not as efficient for picking up new fans as we’d hoped.

DO THE WORK … One of my favourite books about getting your band out there is called ‘Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead’ and I highly recommend checking it out. Those guys were pioneering marketing methods 40 years ago that people thought were insane back then but they worked, and today a lot of those principles are the backbone of business models. We take a lot of it for granted these days, but the information is still relevant, and it’s incredible that they nailed it in the 70s.

SO, WHAT NEXT? In my opinion, a successfully financial DIY band is 80% marketing and 20% music. At some point, if you’ve got it right, your gig fees will rise and your merch and online digital sales will increase. We’ve been diverse enough as producers to be able to bring additional income via remixes and synchronisation – we know other bands who fund themselves by managing other artists! So be diverse, open-minded and remember, if you can help it at all… don’t be shit!

Feature by Dennis Ng of Subsource

Subsource are always up for engaging with other artists, so whether any of this has been of interest to you or just borderline offensive, drop Dennis a message on their @subsource Twitter account. ALT MU ISSUE 2


The Interview... We took a moment to chat with our featured artist writer in this issue, Dennis Ng from electronic rock / dubstep / punk band, Subsource… 1. On Facebook you call yourself a Creative Research Engineer. Why is that? Ha, that’s me trying to say ‘musician’ but trying not to sound like I’m a bum. My Mum reads my Facebook and to avoid disappointing her, I’ve labelled myself a creative research engineer instead!

2. We hear your Dubumentary dvd is out. What has the response been like? I’ve been really chuffed to have heard from people who have got into the band from watching the Dubumentary. The highlight was when Big Cheese Mag gave us 4 stars on the same page as giving

‘Expendables 2’ only 3 stars. If Sly Stallone wanted to do some bizarre fucked-up action re-make of the Dubumentary, I’d probably let him though!

3. What jobs have you done over the years alongside your music? Stu was once paid to be a mascot in an animal suit, jumping around Woking town centre… I can’t beat that! However, these days we can get by solely with music - writing and teaching.

4. How did you all meet? Describe your journey as Subsource in one sentence… We all met around the Guildford area when bands that we were in previously fizzled out. We wanted to do something live and electronic and there weren’t many people about into that. Bear in mind this was years before Pendulum, Hadouken!, or any of that stuff. In the past few years, we’ve gotten darker and heavier. In one sentence: The Subsource journey has been a rollercoaster suicide mission into the pits of hell, where it turns out the devil is putting on a free warehouse party.



5. What next for Subsource? We’re currently working on the next album and UK/European tours are going to take place later this year.

6. What advice would you give to any aspiring musicians looking for alternative routes in music?

7. How important do you think it is to find sustainable careers in music? Can you just live the dream or does there need to be a sideline? It definitely helps having a sideline at first, provided that sideline is flexible and doesn’t suck up all your time and energy away from the music. Personally, Bruce Dickinson is my hero… airline pilot and successful rock star? Yes please! In fact I’m planning to start clocking up some flight hours next year myself…

8. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Work hard and be lucky! “We wanted to do something

live and electronic and there weren’t many people about into that.”

Interview by Jennifer Le Roux ALT MU ISSUE 2


Jim Jeffries Interview...

Expect to do a lot of stuff for free and because you love doing it. If you’re good enough and you’re professional enough, there’s money there.

Jim Jeffries Interview...

Jim Jeffries ALT-MU is honoured to have the tattooed and incredibly talented old school rocker/ model/singer and songwriter that is Jim Jefferies! He has played gigs all over the world from Germany to the Hollywood Boulevard in such bands as Rancho Delux, Whip Crackin’ Daddies and XX Cortez to name just a few. We’ve managed to track him down and peeled him away from his guitar for long enough to answer some of our questions…

When did you start to perform?

Why Rockabilly?

I was always singing and was totally into music and my dad’s records all of my life. After discovering Elvis I played each of my dad’s old country blues, rock n roll and folk records, getting an understanding of where music came from and how it developed. My first musical loves included people like Gene Vincent, Bert Jansch and early Bob Dylan. My first public performance was singing and playing guitar to House of the Risin’ Sun at school aged 11. I was a self-taught guitarist from aged 10, and developed my acoustic and electric styles over the years, including playing bluegrass and Irish banjo.

In the 70s, music was fresh and exciting and mostly based on guitar, and at the same time, there was a fresh neo rock n roll scene developing post the punk scene; and the seldom used 50s term “Rockabilly” became more prevalent amongst young rockin’ fans. It was there, I liked it, and I went with it.



What’s so unique about your band the Killers? After many years of playing in bands with Mark Richards or Lee Barnett on drums (Caravans, Rancho Deluxe, Mad Dog Cole, Whip Crackin’ Daddies etc) and often utilising German or other bass players, I decided to start a “local” band, utilising Mark at the back and Lee joining me at the front, on floor tom and percussion and dual vocals; with lads that were able to practise together, work together, and most importantly put on some fucking great shows! It has been remarked that the 2 guns in the 56 Killers logo are representative of the double frontman attack of Lee and I. We also wanted to produce music that people enjoyed listening to, watching live and getting up and dancing to. We have been described as sounding like a Voodoo Party Rockin’ Band, mixing “Wreckers & Strollers”….

Success, fame and fortune comes and goes does that bother you?

What does the future hold for Jim Jeffries? As long as people wanna hear and see my music on record or live, and if people wanna carry on taking photos of me, then I’ll keep busy! There are a few international gigs lined up for later this year, and 56 Killers are in the studio shortly with Darrel Higham and Imelda May guesting. I also plan to release my Wretched Souls album of Dark Americana and Celtic folk etc. Whip Crackin’ Daddies will be in the studio later this year. I am also in discussions about starting video online guitar tutorials. I am


Yes, it’s hard sometimes… I have worked with 2 female pop singers as songwriter and musical arranger, and was assured that they were gonna get big but they didn’t. Despite all my efforts, it is hard when you are in a big band as guitarist and then leave for one reason or many, and you have to get used to being lower down the pecking order again. With my own projects, I believe that the harder I work, the luckier I get but as per most artists and creative types, I get down when I feel like I’m pissing against the wind of internet and illegal downloads, and there are so many bands around now that you have to fight to stay up. also featured in another few cool magazines shortly, such as Tattoo (USA) and UK Rock n Roll Magazine. Last year was crazy, I got divorced, sold a business, got engaged to my lovely German lady, Lena (Promilla Presley), so this year can only be better! For more info go to and Interview by Daniel Bateman



Life After Drugs...

’ DRUGS DON T WORK It’s no coincidence that in the arts and perhaps popular music more than any other form of pop art, drug and alcohol abuse is rife. It takes a certain type of character trait, it could be argued, to adopt rock music for example as a chosen career and all the pressures that naturally associate itself with such choice. Just months before Jim Morrison’s death in 1971 he was quoted as saying ‘First Janice, now Jimi, you’re drinking with number three’. Clearly referring to the recent deaths by drink and drug overdose of Janice Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. Morrison’s plight was to battle rock stardom, creativity and full blown alcoholism while maintaining an adventurous drug habit and a general appetite for self destruction. Some may say he was born to be the Lizard King, the leather clad shaman etc, he was just that type of guy? But in reality he was an addict, untreated, uneducated, doomed to walk that fine line between life and death...dead at 27! Tragic and sad but sounds familiar doesn’t it?

We have a generation at large among us promoting sobriety and highlighting roads to recovery for those caught up by addiction and demonstrating that sober is actually sexy!

Dead rock gods and living legends

As any fan of rock and roll can tell you the history books are littered with stories of tragic booze and drugs casualties and very near misses, addicts in the limelight destined to burn brightly but briefly. Kurt Cobain, Syd Barratt, Keith Moon, Amy Winehouse, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, and the ones who just got away with it, Lou Reed, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Dave Gahan, Neil Young, George Michael to name a few but the list is as we all know is endless. But outside the arena of dead rock gods and living legends, in the back yards and grimy garages of the world there are countless millions rehearsing, working, toiling away hard on themselves desperate for their turn to be the next big thing and step happily into that ominous limelight. Are they aware of the warnings from the history books, the epitaphs of beautiful corpses sacrificed to the needle and the bottle? Are the generations that follow the last any wiser, more savvy and cautious about falling into the trap hedonism sets? Well, happily I think the answer might be yes. And more than that, we have a generation at large among us promoting sobriety and highlighting roads to recovery for those caught up by addiction and demonstrating that sober is actually sexy!



Life after death, a survivors tale... In fact, it’s those very same cautionary tales of death and the recounting of near misses by those who are still with us that have educated this new generation. From a personal perspective, my passion has always been music and song writing and from the age of 15 I have always been involved with rock bands, almost always as lead singer. The gang mentality, the bravado and of course the attention all lead perhaps inevitably to a life centred on alcohol and drugs. At a time during my early 20s it seemed nothing more than rights of passage, my own self discovery. Sadly that was not the case and the weight of reliance on various substances lead to a very dark place where my life was almost snuffed out.

30 Metal Bands...

The truth of being drunk or on drugs as a performer is far from romantic. No shaman like visions, no naked women joining you on stage, no great creative leaps and bounds. In fact it’s quite the reverse. I and those who joined me were invariably consistently unreliable, late or didn’t show up at all. I struggled to remember my own songs and was often unable to relate emotionally to what I’d written, not to mention relate to people around me and of course there was the embarrassing stumbles off the stage, collapsing in a sweaty mess at the feet of ashamed friends who just wanted to see you play a few songs. My lack of clarity and general poor health left me looking like the walking dead, not heroin chic...just dead. I was alienated, isolated and slowly falling apart under the mass delusion that I had something to contribute in an entertainment industry. Speed, vodka and a spliff before a performance was my diet and the music was dreadful, I was dreadful…life was dreadful. Naturally, bands broke up and friends began to disappear and my existence was little more than living in a dark room with the curtains drawn on day and night. I was dead creatively and my life was slowly ending, Rock ‘n’ Roll eh?!

Light at the end of the tunnel However, these days with years of sobriety under my belt aided by 12 Step Recovery programmes and help from friends and family, I count myself as a survivor from addiction. As well as that I continue to front a rock band and have recently been signed by a new label. Life it seems does exist after death. The really encouraging aspect of getting sober is that my creativity has never suffered as I feared it would. Not only that, but my life in general has entered a new realm of joy and satisfaction... nothing less than a miracle really. So these days active in local and nationwide music scenes, I make no secret of my years in addiction. I see generations behind mine all experiencing the same pressures and temptations and although I don’t discourage experimentation, I can at the very least provide hope and support safe in the knowledge you don’t have to become a victim. Written by Daniel Bateman ALT MU ISSUE 2


30 Metal Bands...



Music Fiction... ALT MU ISSUE 2


The Ghost of Gla

Music Fiction...

The second part of our three-part story about a young music journalist who gets more than she bargained for at her latest gig review…

PART 2: Nick the Nutter Written by Jennifer Le Roux

As I say the name aloud I notice a lump in my throat. It couldn’t be him. Nick is dead. He was only 23 when he committed suicide. He was part of an old group of friends from school. We used to meet up all the time, hang out, have a smoke and spend New Year’s together every year getting drunk on the beach.

one day he would come in with a machine gun and kill us all.

I remember one evening he was belting out an Oasis song in the middle of our mate Oli’s living room. He was completely absorbed in his own thoughts and euphoria until Oli’s girlfriend came running in screaming for him to shut up. That is my last memory of him. The next thing I heard was he had made his own gun We affectionately called him that and turned it on himself having ‘Nick the Nutter’ downed a bottle of vodka. It was the most bizarre funeral I had ever He was a character full of angst been too. Mike wrote a song about and a constant craving for escape, him and played it on his guitar.

“ We all used to joke that



I remember feeling guilty about the confusing emotions I felt as I watched him play. I always had a thing for Mike. One part of me was feeling numb and lost about Nick dying so young and the other was yearning to be close to Mike. To kiss his lips and feel his warm body against mine. To grab his long hair and nibble on his neck.

“ I was feeling horny at a funeral. Not good.


which none of us ever understood. Nonetheless we loved him. The ‘nutter’ part came from his obsession for guns.

There is a small clearing formed by a stumbling man. He is casually 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.

We almost kissed once. But every time he was single I would have a boyfriend and vice versa. Not meant to be I guess. A familiar song reactivates my present mind and I realise it’s the song played at his funeral, when they carried in his coffin. Nick must have liked Glasvegas. The dancing man in a hoody turns and seems to recognise me. ‘Nick?’

“ Shit. I just hugged a

complete stranger. I’m going mad!

I quickly find a spot far enough away to escape their glares and turn my attention back to the

stage. As I watch the lead singer reaching his arms into the air bellowing long drawn out tones, I realise that if Nick were here right now he would be in his element. Launching his voice into the air, like a missile for self-preservation – this would be his musical heaven and that was when it struck me. Just stop listening. I grabbed for my phone and began writing notes:

“Glasvegas make the kind

I close my eyes, letting go of any musical knowledge or thoughts. Memories of Nick singing at the top of his voice echo in my mind as I allow myself to free fall into the clashing sounds, letting each and every note pluck at my soul and release any preconceived ideas. I think about my old friends and how we had all lost touch after the funeral. Oli, Mike, Annie and Bishy. We went from being a family to being completely dispersed out into the world on our own individual journeys of self-discovery. Were we ever lost? Or have we all just found a new hiding place?

of music that is enjoyed in a euphoric spaced out state, in the late night of a festival, by a strobe junkie ‘raver’ in a club and from To be continued in Issue 3 anyone open and ready to out Aug 2013! be willingly absorbed into an alternative abyss of sound.

Time slows; the music becomes muffled, the clashing sounds distant and lurking in the background waiting to pounce. As I walk further towards him, he opens his arms as though beckoning for a hug. It was definitely him with his dilated pupils and friendly aura. With a sudden rush of confident certainty I rush forward for a hug. ‘What happened, I thought you were dead?!’ I say as I leap towards him. ‘Oi love, I ain’t dead!’ The man pushes me away and laughs with his mates. ‘Sorry, too much cider.’ My face flushes with embarrassment.

Live Photography by Hannah Mesquitta ALT MU ISSUE 2


Bowie Review...


David Bowie

Bowie Review...





ten years in a reclusive virtual retirement surrounded by speculation of bad health, his over demanding wife Iman and a full on fall out with the music world, it was like a bolt of rock god lightning to radio listeners in January, just before Bowie’s 66th birthday, when we heard the new single, Where Are We Now. It was a song sung by an artist reflecting on a time gone by: in this case Bowie’s time in Berlin recording Heroes, while trying to sober up with his mate Jim (Iggy Pop). To be honest, Bowie could sing a million songs reflecting on the past, I mean what a past to draw from! Great stories and even greater places in the world visited while being treated like some alien freak rock messiah is tempting you would think.


not in Bowie’s mind. The Next Day is a collection of 14 songs all of which have been worked on over the last two years. All of which have their fingers firmly gripped on today and yes, the next day. You Will Set the World on Fire and the second single The Stars are very strong indicators of how this album works. Hard, up beat tempo songs with lyrics telling stories that seem as if they have to be told. Bowie’s vocals once thought to be frail and weak these days have no signs of struggle and is possibly his best vocal performance on record in years. No need to say it’s the best album since Scary Monsters or Lets Dance, as critics and audiences alike are rethinking their views on Bowie’s last few releases Reality, Heathen, Hours etc and perhaps apologising for being rash in their reviews.


release on the 11 March saw it top the charts it already had on download, a first for Bowie since 1997’s Black Tie White Noise and rumours of future live performances, TV interviews etc will continue. Bowie will observe from afar the reaction and no doubt be pleased by it as he slips into the shadows again but in the meantime we may have the greatest comeback in rock history ever on our hands and only Bowie himself will know what to do next. There’s no point second guessing it, just enjoy it! ALT-MU Rating: 10/10

Review by Daniel Bateman

“Bowie’s vocals once thought to be frail and weak these days have no signs of struggle and is possibly his best vocal performance on record in years.”


Joe Black Review...


{ { “Bowie will observe from afar the reaction and no doubt be pleased by it as he slips into the shadows again...”



Photo by Scott Chalmers

Joe Black Review...




oven into the strange dark world of the devils radio, Joe Black’s latest recording commitment, Satan In A Sunday Hat, has a slight conceptual feel to it. Including a handful of recent live favourites, new songs and great choices of covers, it’s a triumph of dark cabaret meeting almost accessible pop. With guest appearances from the likes of Marcella Puppini, Ribbon and Dick Biglione, Satan in a Sunday Hat provides a wicked variety of styles and approaches that has come to be Joe Black’s real talent; individuality and originality. It’s hard to escape the influence of artists such as Tom Waits here, especially with the inclusion of a beautiful reading of Dirt In The Ground, giving Black a real space to spread his dark vocal wings. But the comparison to Waits merely acts here as references for those who haven’t heard Joe Black and who clearly soon will.

In all, it is an album of fun and something to have on your iPod as you enter the gates of hell. Satan in a Sunday Hat is to be played loud but also and most importantly listened to, as the lyric writing of Joe Black has become increasingly insightful, comedic and hugely offensive in the best ways possible. I wouldn’t be surprised to see our Mr Black singing a few of these songs on Later With Jools in the future. Expect great things from Joe Black, you won’t be disappointed. Daniel Bateman

Tracks such as the title track, The Hymn of the Hopeful Damned, If You Leave Me I’ll Kill You and Drink it Down are treated with sheer minimal expertise. Tinkling piano and slight twang of banjo and guitar all providing Black with the perfect stage from which to spit and snarl, laugh and cry. ALT MU ISSUE 2


Live Photography...

e o J

k c Bla

LIVE Live Photography...

Hawtho Heights

TECH: We could shoot as many s to, which is rare


RATING: The ba around alot but to use the flash good shot very e

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. 52


Feature & Photography by Hannah Mesquitta



d use flash and songs as wanted LPE

and moved being allowed made getting a easy.


Lucifers Gold TECH: This gig was a pain to photograph as the wedge decided not to put the barrier at the front back so i had to stand in the audience to get my shots, never ideal. LPE RATING: 6/10: I could use flash but really struggled to get near enough to get many good shots.



Charlie Simpson TECH: There was a no flash rule but the lighting was good to work with. I had to put the ISO on the settings quite high on the camera which can sometimes make a photo slightly grainy. LPE RATING: 9/10 - The fact that he stands quite still with his guitar also helped.

9/10 LPE



Funeral for a Friend TECH: I was allowed to use flash for the support bands but not for Funeral for a Friend. The lighting was pretty poor with a lot of red light used so it made it very tricky to get a good shot. Also with poor lighting and a lively band, it is so difficult to get a non-blurry shot. LPE RATING: I had to black and white one of the best shots as the photo had so much red light in it.

Real Wedding Singer...

7/10 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! altmumagazine

Such Gold ALT MU ISSUE 2


Wedding Singer...



NOT GIGGING? TEACH... READING back over my first article I felt it might have implied... ...the experiences and tours with Darren Hayes & Ramin Karimloo were not worth it. Let me clarify – they were and still are

the most amazing times of my life, I wouldn’t change a thing. If you have even the tiniest sniff of a chance to do this type of work, you should leap for it without hesitation. Indeed, the next article I write (#3) will be from the road, as in April and May, I’ll be on a 5-week tour of the USA.

My initial brief for this article is to write about alternative ways to make a living from music, the more practical and every day types of jobs. Even if you do get to travel the world, play on albums and write songs, you should still have a reliable back up for when you get home.

attending a Level 3 Rockschool® teacher training course - A five-day intensive course that comes with a shed load of coursework and plenty of brain ache. Most music diplomas offer teaching modules but they are not the same as a dedicated teaching qualification.

So…here is something I’ve heard a couple of times:

To put it into perspective; from 2015 the Government is bringing in a new law that states you will not be able to teach in any school or classroom without a recognised teaching qualification. Having a degree in music or twenty-years’ worth of touring experience will be irrelevant if you want to earn safe money teaching

“Music teachers are failed musicians…….” I am currently sat in a hotel room in Aldershot. I’m



There is a stigma that follows some musicians around like a black cloud – the proper job. This is a label society has invented to bully musicians into giving up doing what they love so that they fit into a nice neat little pigeonhole that everyone can live with… Rubbish! Maybe it is an age thing but as you get older, and particularly if you have children, the yearning to pass on information and knowledge grows within you. However, don’t be fooled, teaching is hard. When I hear a musician say “you’ll never catch me teaching,” I don’t think ‘cool’ or ‘you hero’, I

just think LAZY! Teaching is hard but it’s also rewarding, sometimes more rewarding than most of the gigs you do. More importantly it’s a job you can return to year after year regardless of your career on the live stage. To conclude – today at my training course, I learnt about different ways to teach music to children with Special Educational Needs (SENs). Children with ADHD, Dyslexia, Asperger’s Syndrome, Partial Blindness and many more. These children benefit hugely in so many ways from music therapy, it can change their lives and bring happiness and freedom from their respective conditions.

TOP TIP When attending a teaching interview or meeting a potential student, find out their views and policies on touring musicians and taking time off etc. Most privately run music establishments will recognise that to have a good music teacher you need to allow them the freedom to do their thing. I work for the Rock & Pop Foundation® who has approximately 40 tutors, who all work as gigging & touring musicians, teaching over 2800 pupils.

A failed musician? I think not! Till the next time Stevie Y



Owen Stephen...

what you do best. For me, teaching music is the most obvious and natural path to take when I’m not on the road. What else should I do with this wealth of knowledge I have built up?

Owen Stephen...

Owen Stephen Band… From being a session singer to playing guitar at Wembley Arena, Owen Stephens is now working on a new self-titled project ‘The Owen Stephen Band’. He joins us today at ALT-MU to tell us more…

You seem to have a following already, why do you think The Owen Stephen Band is popular? It is relatively early days yet but I have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback so far… A lot of people that know me are just really glad I’m finally doing my own thing, as I’ve been talking about it for a long time! I am also insanely lucky to have the band I have playing with me. They are all good friends of mine that I have met through playing over the years and they are all amazing musicians, I feel genuinely privileged every time we take to the stage together! What came first, the guitar or the singing? The guitar definitely came first! I’ve played in bands and for various artists as a session musician for the past 10 years or so, and I got a bit fed up of having to rely on other people to play a gig, so about 5 years ago I decided to push myself to sing so that I could play as much as I wanted, which ended up being pretty much every night! I still enjoy the session playing but it’s nice to be in control and do things my way.

“We supported Roxette at a sold out show at Wembley Arena which was the most surreal experience!”



What about your musical taste? Who is your idol and why? I’d say my idols are probably Bob Marley and Johnny Cash… the music they wrote was so simple and timeless, with the most amazing lyrics. I’d say it is rare that a day goes by that I wouldn’t listen to something by them… newer artists that I’ve liked recently include Ed Sheeran and the Gaslight Anthem. Tell us about your best gig? That is a real tough question as so many of the gigs I’ve done have been special for so many different reasons! A few highlights include a couple of Darren Hayes shows, we supported Roxette at a sold out show at Wembley Arena which was the most surreal experience! Another favourite was a show we did in Brisbane, Australia; it was the last date of the Australian leg of the tour and was just the most amazing atmosphere! It was a very different experience but I supported Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, at a show in my home town at the beginning of January. It was nice to be playing my own songs and it was lovely that it was so well received.

What does the future hold for Owen Stephen? The future feels like an exciting place at the moment. I’m really excited to finally play my own stuff and see where it takes me. I’m currently in the process of recording, hoping to put out an EP in April, with hopefully a full album in the summer. I’ve also just had something really exciting confirmed; I will be opening up for Ramin Karimloo on his US tour for 5 weeks kicking off in April! I’m excited about this, seeing as much of the world as possible is a long term ambition of mine and it is great to be able to do it with the guitar. We’re starting off in Hollywood and then heading down to Texas and making our way up through the country to New York, a real adventure! Is there anything else you’d like to tell us, we’re all ears? Thank you to Dave Evans, Steve Young, Aaron Clarke, Pete Hedley, Adrian Graham, Kenny Dickenson, Jordan Bradley, Shane Smith, Andrew Theakstone, John King and Tim Oliver… the most amazing and lovely musicians and humans you could ever wish to meet. Interview by Daniel Bateman

April 2013 Facebook Update: “Couldn’t announce any of this until now for various political and what not reasons, but I’m well excited to announce that I’m currently in Hollywood on the start of a 5 week tour of the US!! I’m opening act, promoting my new EP which I’m also pleased to announce should be available online next week, more details to follow!! 3 sold out shows in Hollywood this weekend then flying down to Texas, managed to play an impromptu show last night a couple of hours after landing, all is good :) xx”

Check out this video: ALT MU ISSUE 2


Gag Factor...

“We’re starting off in Hollywood and then heading down to Texas and making our way up through the country to New York, a real adventure!”

GagIntegrity... Factor... Music

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THE re atu e F

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Living the Dream...

Right! hands up those of you who, in a moment of weakness, have considered applying for a place on one of the myriad ‘talent’ shows that currently infect our television screens like a digital version of the Ebola virus? Yep, I thought so. And more of you than I thought to be honest. 60


Back in the day, it was traditional for aspiring bands to drag themselves around some of the grimmer parts of the UK in a Transit van; with musos, kit and roadies packed into their own sweaty little Universe. The sweet scent of Moroccan black mixed in with a potpourri of sweat and sick with the noxious fumes of an engine that was on its last legs, as daily commutes go, utter hell. Yet those involved with the day to day slog of playing live music for the sheer hell of it loved it; loved it like you would not believe and often did it for years for no other tangible reward than the sheer joy of the hell they were going through. Because they were living the dream and they were in a band. You could have been a portly little runt with skin that had attitude and nothing more in the world than the Motorhead T-Shirt that you had embalmed to your body, you could be obnoxiousness personified but if you were in the band, then every girl for miles around wanted to get your trousers off and do the love thing all night long with you. It was an artistic rite of passage.

These Days,,,

The Wisdom,,, Yes, you were doing the chicks (or lady musicians were doing the guys) of course you were, but you were also gaining the knowledge, which, day by week by month by year you accumulated. The nous, the wisdom, the songs, the whole package. Until, one day, at another seedy little club in yet another seedy little town someone noticed you. Someone whose job it was to trawl the halls and clubs of the land just in case lightning struck in a bottle and they came across a band who had that, well, special thing. A spark, a soul. Some talent.

Making History,,, Take U2 for example. In their earliest incarnation, one band member quit after the first practice. Another walked after just a few weeks of thrashing out cover versions in a garage. But they kept going, recruiting, playing, writing, doing the miles. Eventually in 1978, they won a provincial talent show. Part of the prize was studio time, a precious opportunity to record a demo which of course, is when the real challenge begins. How many A&R men do you think listen to the badly cobbled together tapes that aspiring young musicians put together? You’re right. Not many. But, by rare and magnificent chance, U2’s scruffy demo just happened to be heard by someone from CBS in Ireland. The rest, as they say...

Modern music impresarios have a list of virtues that they look for in any would be singer or band these days. Actual musical talent comes quite a long way down the list. First and foremost comes looks. Fresh is good, ravishing is even better. Vulnerable scores massively. Look at the current day infatuation with boy bands for example. What once used to be the Rolling Stones and The Doors; angry young men with an attitude, a snarl and character in abundance to go with their obvious musicianship, is now Bambi with guitars - awkward adolescents with big smiles and a longing for fame. Their appeal is that millions of gullible young things want to Mother rather than maul them. Stars are manufactured and a lot of people are becoming very wealthy at their expense-and certainly far more so than their prodigies-who they swiftly tire of. Modern day music impresarios are popular music succubi, bent on manipulating the industry to meet their own nefarious needs. They don’t have any integrity and will take away any that you might have, preferring to manipulate you for both ratings and their egos-not the place for someone with a song in their heart who just wants to play and be a musician. Its entertainment Bono. But not as we know it.Get out there and do the knowledge. Play, play, play and then play some more. Write, rewrite, practice, experiment, fight, make up. Do the miles. Portsmouth tonight, Norwich tomorrow, Mansfield the night after. Make the AA Roadmap of Britain your best friend. And, whatever else you do, steer clear of the circus that is TV Talent shows. They’ve got the clowns. Don’t become their performing lions. Because if you have ‘got it’ your time will come.

They’d done it the hard way. Hundreds of miles and back breaking nights on the frigid floor of the fetid van. But it got them the knowledge. Their place in contemporary music history.It’s different these days.


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CV Top Tips...

Ahh, the old curriculum vitae! You see a job you like, they want a CV, you ping it off. And then…silence. Sounds familiar? MediaNation gets hundreds of requests to check over tired CVs every year. We’ve put together our Top 5 Tips to help you create that stellar CV!

Get your story straight Before you do anything, put yourself in a position of power. Ok, you might need the job. But do you want it? How does it fit in with your own aspirations and dreams? A useful technique is to imagine you are writing a novel or a screenplay about your own life from some point in the future where you have all the things in life you ever wanted. Treat your job-hunt as a chapter in your story. It will help you to take a step back and see the opportunity for what it is. If you can’t convince yourself that it’s right for you right now, then you won’t convince a potential employer.

Introduce Yourself A good CV isn’t just a list of your qualifications and experience. It is a set of signposts telling prospective employers that you are The One. To help make them see you are right for them, kick things off with a short, sharp paragraph. It should look like it is merely an introduction. But it isn’t. It is a BIG flashing sign saying, ‘Here I am and I am exactly the person you’re looking for…and the rest of my CV will prove it!’ Underline key words from the person spec, words like: enthusiastic, passionate, organised, graduate. Work them into your introductory paragraph. It’s a mirroring technique designed to show the employer that you are thinking along the same lines. If they have to work hard to work you out, you won’t get the gig!



Check the Spec Go through the person specification and/or job description and make a list of all the skills and experience the successful candidate will need. Then add the relevant experience and qualifications you have next to each one you’ve listed from the spec. It’s a smart, economical way of making sure you cut to the chase and avoid waffle. CVs should not go over two or three pages so words are your weapons and waffle is your enemy. Defeat it by being systematic!

Be Selective

Tailor-made CV Off-The-Peg Our final tip is to tailor your CV to each new job. Don’t be tempted to send out a generic CV. Every job you apply for will be different. Employers will recognise a generic CV. It won’t be a perfect fit for each job you go for. It won’t be appropriate to the values of specific employers. In short, it’s akin to wearing beachwear to an interview.

Upcoming Tours...

You know that bit in CVs where you have to list your previous employment and your main duties? This is the part where CVs can get really flabby. Make it leaner by being meaner! Don’t include everything you ever did in each role. Make sure you include tasks that relate directly or indirectly to the job you are applying for.

Take time to show the employer that you have given your application your full attention. It will go a long way to bagging that interview and ultimately, the job.

Happy Hunting! Feature by Sam Lay, Founder & Editor of Medianation ALT MU ISSUE 2







ALT-MU Magazine - Issue 2 (May 2013)  

Welcome to our second issue! ALT-MU is a music careers magazine that will engage, entertain and educate musos with alternative careers and i...

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