We are finally back! It’s been a long two and a half months but we finally got our act together and brought you issue six// We are very pleased with the result of this issue and we hope you enjoy reading it. As Ozzy and Kelly Osbourne would say ‘we’re going through changes’ here at Beep! We now have two lovely people on board running the new fashion and art section of the magazine// We will be introducing fashion and art into our magazine more and more every issue, but don’t worry we will still be bringing you exclusive interviews and all music related happenings// Also if you wasn’t aware, this is out first anniversary issue of Beep! magazine. Yep that’s right we are one year old; we would like to thank everyone who has ever helped out with Beep1 magazine in anyway. So whether you are on the bus, at a gig, at home, or living on the street - sit back and have a read of Beep! magazine issue six. Get in touch with us; We have twitter and facebook just search Beep! magazine. firstname.lastname@example.org Beepmagazine.co.uk Myspace.com/beepmagazine
Thank you’s; Christian Sinclair. , Rosa Warren, Tess Connor, Minus Jack. Blue Roses. Little Comets. Little Boots. Master Shortie. Factory St. Studio. Best Vintage. Zone Imaging. Cypher Music. Jonny Clifford. Musicians Centre. Delius. Manville Arms. Love Apple. 1in12. Slum Hunnies. Hey Panda. Tapestry. EXP. Art Goes Pop. Louise Lynn. Sammy Kofler. Sophie Turner. The Marmozets. Musicians Centre. Louise Flynn. 1in12. Duke St. Live. Love Apple. Mannville Arms. Gasworks. Michael Dey. .
Cast your mind back to 2006, cue four boys, one with an indie haircut, one with a Flying V, one with a drum kit and the other with a metal style bass guitar. Minus Jack, Ben, Tom, Oscar and Jordan played their first gig as part of a school talent competition. Fast forward six months and Minus Jack are playing at their first ‘real’ gig supporting ‘Broadway’s Not Ready’ at their local 1in12 Club. Although the boys lacked experience it was clear to most people that these young un’s had talent. Bags of talent. After establishing a following, the band progressed to play venues all over West Yorkshire receiving rave reviews, getting great support and setting the bar for all young Bradford bands. I’m sure that most people from Bradford will still think of Minus Jack as those little kids with guitars. However you may not have realised, but these boys have grown up!.. Oh, and what little beauties they have become. Since they formed in 2006, Minus Jack have come a long, long way. Not only have they been featured on Radio 1 as Annie Mac’s house band, they have also supported ‘Pete And The Pirates’, ‘The Kabeedies’ and Indie legends ‘Ash’. With skuzzy-fuzzy guitars, perfect harmonies and solid driving drums thumping at your ears, Minus Jack are not your usual indie guitar pop band. Their lyrics can speak to anyone, anywhere, anytime and
the catchiness of the songs will drive you mad for months [in a good way!]. This summer, Minus Jack promise not to disappoint, and are already scheduled to play this years ‘Kendal Calling Festival’, which has held host to bands such as ‘Glasvegas’, ‘Mystery Jets’, ‘Dizzee Rascal’ and many more. Beep! met up with Ben, the lead singer of Minus Jack, to discuss their three years on the music scene, the high and low points of this time, and what they have in store for the future... Do you think that playing with older bands has made your music become more mature? “I think it‟s less the bands we‟ve actually played with, but more the bands we have seen on the scene. I‟d say maturity has come from being influenced by more bands, openness and experimentation with different ideas and constantly wanting to make each song better and more innovative than the last.”
What have you learnt from your time playing in the music scene? “Not all promoters are interested in the music, which is quite a surprise. This year I think we‟ve tried to stick to the promoters that we think are actually putting on good nights - which we much prefer. Also, I think it‟s very important to be nice to people, especially the good promoters, soundmen/women etc.” Why did you decide to start a band? “Girls, peer pressure, boredom, youthful enthusiasm and a tiny bit of love for music.” Are you from a musical background? “I played classical piano, but much more importantly recorder. I still think singing in the school choir has helped with harmonies and stuff. “ Did you ever feel intimidated by older bands and promoters? “In general, no. I think we‟d view them in the same way as bands and promoters our age. The most important thing is whether they‟re nice or not. The scariest people are just the bands and promoters we really want to impress.” Who are your main influences as a band? “Bands in the vein of Johnny Foreigner and Los Campesinos!. Big sounds: Annuals, Arcade Fire, Modest Mouse. More lo-fi bands: Pavement, Wonderswan. We‟re also influenced by heavier bands: Muse, Pulled Apart By Horses.” Do you have a favourite local band? “The think the best Bradford bands we‟ve played with are: Alt Track, The Frenetics, The MarmoZets, Monty Casino and Random Hand. I think we all think Spodni Pradlo are pretty special as well.” What has been the highlight of your time on the Bradford music scene? Playing alongside Ash at St George‟s Hall and then seeing that DJ Albert Freeman had commented a blog about it saying that we endeared ourselves to him. Hearing that Joel White said that he thought „Lies‟ was a really good song. Playing the Bollocks to Poverty all-dayer last year and nearly everyone coming to our stage.” If you could go on tour with any band, who would it be? “For me it would be Johnny Foreigner or Los Campesinos!, as I love their music and practically everything they are about - they‟d probably hate us though.”
How do you think you have changed since your earliest gigs? “We‟ve learnt how to play our instruments.” What can MJ fans expect from you in the future? “A lot of good stuff, depending on whether they like the newer songs. The sound has definitely changed a lot from Minus Jack 2007. I think we generally feel the sounds we‟re producing are much more innovative, mature and akin to the kind of music we would actually choose to listen to. We‟ve noticed that people who like the same music as us are starting to like us, which is definitely a positive thing.” Are you planning anything special for your latest CD release ? “It‟s our favourite CD so far, by far. It‟s not like we have a record label so it‟s just a CD with three tracks. We‟re decorating the cover ourselves and we‟re trying to make it as cheap as possible. If it works out we‟ll also be doing a “deal” where if you buy a copy, you get another one to give to a friend sharing is caring!” Do you believe your lyrics are one of the most recognisable elements of your music? “I do think our lyrics are important. I think so many bands have used the tag “observational” to get away with making lyrics that they can„t be bothered spending time on. I don‟t think my lyrics are works of poetry, but I have tried to make an attempt to have my own style, with more subtle elements. I love bands that write lyrics that the more you listen to, the more you discover what the lyricist is trying to say. Ultimately, if I could achieve this, it would be good” Minus Jack have just released their brand new D.I.Y. EP ‘Jumpers’ which will feature three tracks; ‘Circle’, ‘Impersonal Invite’, and ‘Private Joke’. You will be able to buy the EP from the boys at any of their gigs and it is also available from myspace.com/minusjack for only £1! Also for all those who like free things, and who doesn’t?, Beep! are offering you a free download of Minus Jack’s song ‘Too Embarrassed’ from http://cyphermusic.net/beep/free.html Illustrations by Sammy Kofler, Photograph by Zone Imagery
BBC sound of 2009, MTV Ones To Watch, iTunes Ones To Watch, The Big Issues Ones To Watch, E4 Ones To Watch..... we think we should be watching Master Shortie. From Brit School to Lion King, Master Shortie is now one of the few self made MySpace music artists from the U.K. After recently coming off tour with Basement Jaxx, Master Shortie is set to release his debut solo album; A.D.H.D this August. Beep! magazine got in touch with Master Shortie to ask him about his up bringing in music and why MySpace is an important tool in music. How do you think that being brought up in a musical family affected your career as an artist? I think it opened my ears to lots of different styles of music, not just what was being played on the radio or MTV as I was growing up. My dad owns a Jazz bar and that lead me to discover all sorts of artists I may not have come across so early otherwise. How did you feel when you were accepted at Brit School? It felt like a real achievement as I was probably a bit different to most of the applicants that get through the doors. Why did you decide to leave Brit School? It was a great environment, but I felt I learnt what I could from there fairly quickly and needed to experience more real life situations outside of the classroom. How was being in ’The Lion King’ theatre production? It was amazing, my first real break and something I will never forget. I saved the money from it to buy my first car! I also met one of my best friends Bluey Robinson there. Master Shortie has been making rap music off his own back since he was twelve years old, and now the self made nineteen year old has received over 52,000 downloads of his latest single, 700,000 views on YouTube and 8,000,000 impressions on Google all in two weeks Do you believe it is important for an artist to be self-made and not to rely on anyone else? Every artist is different, that is what makes it fun and interesting. The key is to have vision, belief, drive and determination in what you are doing; everybody needs a team of good people around them.
Do you think it is hard for a young rap artist to ‘make’ it in the music industry? Its hard for any artist to make it in the music industry. Rap music is more accepted in the USA than the UK but it seems to be getting better over here. Hopefully the current crop of UK rap stars can open even more doors for the next generation of talent. Where has your favourite gig been so far? KOKO was special as it was such a big crowd! Although I probably enjoyed the Roundhouse gigs in their Doctor Martin‟s Freedom Studios the best; the crowds were brilliant. Do you have a favourite venue in the U.K.? I haven‟t been to enough yet! But Id love to be able to play the O2 one day. I‟ve seen Coldplay and Kanye West there recently, those were both really impressive How does it feel to be compared to acts such as Prince, Mos Def, and Tracy Chapman? Those guys are my heroes! It feels amazing, but I have a lot to achieve before I can be up there with them. How does interacting with your online internet friends help you, and how has it affected your career ? It‟s massively important, especially early on. It‟s also key to keep people hooked in. It‟s a way of being able to communicate with your fans all the time; rather than just when you have a song or album coming out. Its more personal. Do you think it is possible to sum your music up into one genre? PopArt! Its hard, I incorporate so many styles! What can fans expect from your debut album? Its 11 songs about love, life, struggles, clothes, my life so far, girls, fashion, everything! Who do you class as your main musical influences? Prince for sure. Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin, Finley Quale, Kanye West and Mos Def Master Shortie’s 13-track album will be released in August 2009. However you can download six exclusive session tracks online for free at http://cyphermusic.net/beep/free.html , including his newest single ‘Dance Like a White Boy’.
This band have come a long way since their earlier songs. Yes, the band are still only very young but this EP screams attitude and confidence, with a great set of Pop-Punk-Rock songs. The lead singers powerful vocal fits perfectly with the music throughout the whole EP, often pushing the songs forward and making them the songs they may not of been without it. Back To The Start is the first song on the EP, and is perfect example about what The Marmozets are all about. Driving guitar hooks, dirty distorted sounds and a perfect executed vocal left feedbacking into the next track ,Cut The Pieces . Cut The Pieces has a powerful Jonny Foreigner stop and start intro, but instead of bursting into an energetic ‘in your face’ sort of song, the track seems to dwindle off into an EP filler. It is a shame that the recording has not captured the full potential of the song, that is often delivered live by the band. Like a breath of fresh air, I Don’t know is a great track with text book drumming. The drummer on this track is on fire throughout and luckily distracts the listener from the somewhat repetitive vocal. This song clearly has a carefully chosen chord and lead guitar sequence as the music clearly represents the lyrics and emotion put into this song. Thank the lord for Out Of My Control, if it wasn’t for this track I would reluctantly be putting this EP back on the pile and not picking it up again. Out Of My Control pushes the band out of the stereotypes of a pop punk band and puts them into a whole other genre. With the lead signer pouring her heart and soul into the song, the words ‘why oh why’ echo around your head hours after hearing the song. Young and Underrated is one of the bands early songs, sadly this shows through. I’m not sure if its because of the great track heard previously, or if the band have truely developed in the last few months. Despite this it still has a catchy chorus easily chantable live at gigs. This EP is the start of something new for the band, it sets the bar for their next set of songs. I look forward to hearing a development in lyrics, something I must point out is if this band get better at using their instruments by the time they are 20 they will be in a museum. 3.5 stars
MYSPACE.COM/SLUMHUNNIES I have seen the Slum Hunnies live many times and it is clear that they enjoy what they’re doing. Although full of energy and confidence on stage, sadly the four lads have never been able to capture this sound well enough on CD, but finally they have achieved it, and what a brilliant job they have done! Keeping things fairly simple seems to work perfectly for these guys. They don’t have a pedal board the size of France or a list of instruments you can’t even pronounce; lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar and drums is all these boys need to blow your mind. A lot of people may sum this band into the category of ‘annoying skinny jeans and stupid hair, indie band’ but, to be frank, you’re wrong, and after hearing this EP you will punch yourself for even thinking it. The first track of the EP ‘Pieces’ is British fuelled guitar pop at its best. Rammed full of giddy melody lines and gritty, smothered Fender sounding chord sequences, ‘Pieces’ is as bouncy as The Kooks, yet still manages to be as powerful and meaningful as The Smiths, overflowing with well-thought-out lyrics and structure. This track sets you up for a promising EP. Although it is not the best track on the EP, it still leaves you wanting more. Personally, ‘On Top Of The Word’ starts off a little too cheesy for me, I don’t think the added atmospheric keyboard sound brings anything to the band. Despite this, the track becomes a lovely ballad that would give any indie boy or girl butterflies, and make any metal head want to punch the band in the mouth, for me that spells; perfect indie, pop ballad. It’s not until I hear ‘Fifty Years’ that I am led to believe this band are in a world of their own, and manage to stand out from every other four piece guitar band in the country. The lead singer seems to pour more emotion into this song than Sinead O Connor expressed when she started beefing in the video for ‘Nothing Compares To You’. His voice is so powerful I was worried he might jump out of my speakers and sing my face off! The song flows from the softer, more melodic side of the band that I heard in the two previous tracks and ferociously turns into something as dirty and fist clenching as Dirty Pretty Things fighting Babyshambles. Overall, the Slum Hunnies combine excitable melodies, love-struck lyrics, and a clear set ambition of getting out of the city, chew them up and spit them out into three great indie tracks. 4 Stars
Random Hand - I,Human myspace.com/randomhand
JustDefy - Manipulated Myspace.com/justdefyuk
Bam Bam. Bam bam bam bam bam bam bam bam bam. BAM. Do do do da da da da bam bam. The opener to Random Hand's second album, 'Inhale/Exhale' starts punchy and aggressive as fuck, and sets the pace for the rest of the song and album. With a band like RH, it's daft and pointless to even bother commenting on production, performance, mint guitar and trombone riffs or their tightness as a band, because the quality of that is a given. Instead, lyrically, this song jumps out as a personal vendetta on the image-based fascination young people are being brought up with, with Robin's growling, filthy, blunt vocals duelling with Matt's ironic, clean-cut 'It's okay, 'cos we'll make you better' response. The picture of Michelangelo's Vitruvian man on their page implies that the song is about the fact that people are unique and pretty great, and don't need such amenities as surgery, money, clothes and other consumerist bullshit in order to be happy. The song and the album are both mint, I recommend you get a copy, whether or not you like Ska, Metal, or Keighley. 5 stars. Review by Michael Dey
JustDefy (fantastic name) seemingly appeared out of nowhere and have already made a decent impact on the Bradford music scene. "Manipulated", the track I've been asked to review, is a near-6 minute epic rap/rock fusion song, which aims to put across the idea that we, the people, are manipulated and can be free. There are some nice political observations that, while general, could be deemed inspiring to a nation which is largely suffering. Biz's vocal switches between rap and singing showing good versatility, the bassist Joe Dinsdale drives the music well and the overall vibe of the track is hard hitting and, I imagine, would be excellent live. Two of the band's self proclaimed influences are Rage Against the Machine and Linkin Park, and this is made quite apparent to the listener. While Just Defy provide their own flip on the rap/rock genre, they stay quite close to the musical structure laid down previously by the pioneers of this genre in the late 90s. As a hiphop artist and fan from Bradford, I find it extremely important that local rappers and bands inject more Yorkshire personality and dialect into their music and JustDefy, it could be argued, are a bit more generic in their lyrical and, to an extent, musical approach. All the same, Manipulated is a track well worth checking for fans missing their doses of Rage, Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit in 2009. 3 stars. Review by EXP
Fifteen Stories - Pressure Point myspace.com/fifteenstoriesmusic
Blue Roses - Doubtful Comforts myspace.com/musicofblueroses
Definitely for fans of Jimmy Eat World and Foo Fighters, 15 Stories aren't afraid to let their influences shine through their song writing. Lyrically, the song isn't the greatest, with each phrase the lead singer belts out seemingly having no congruence with the last or the next, and an entirely unnecessary expletive being yelped out half way through. Musically though, I think this song has achieved exactly what it aimed to do - it's unashamedly rock and it's unavoidably catchy. What it boils down to is what you are looking for from a local band. If you're looking for some punchy man-rock (that wouldn't sound out of place amongst the bands I've mentioned), then this track, and indeed this band are for you. 3 stars. Review By Johnny Clifford
With the change of name from just Laura Groves to Blue Roses, there came with it a change of sound as well. Whereas previously it was Groves’ singing with only a guitar or piano backing, the Blue Roses sound is definitely much richer. Her new single ‘Doubtful Comforts’ utilises something along the lines of a marimba though it’s hard to tell. This accompanied with mellow synth and the distinct vocals of Groves all combine to create something rather fragile, yet beautiful, that chills your spine and yet at the same time soothes it. If I’m being pedantic, the vocals are mainly harmonies and lack the substance that her work as Laura Groves did. In spite of this, the album is surely going to be one to look out for this year if ‘Doubtful Comforts’ is anything to go by. 4 stars Review by Christian Sinclair.
“Her much-hyped series of bedroom YouTube cover versions and inundation of remixes have made her the bloggers‟ wet dream, fuelling the tangible, human touch of the self-confessed synthgeek‟s endeavours.” Ok, so that is what I was told about Little Boots,. Naturally I as excited like a small child in a sweet shop and I wanted to know everything about her. I‟m sure that a lot of you have being hearing lots of stuff about Little Boots on the radio or the music channels. She had her single as iTunes single of the week, she also won BBC sound of 2009 and topped the chart of Radio 1‟s sound of 2009. Little Boots [Victoria Hesket], with the help of a hand picked team of elite helpers such as Joe Goddard [Hot Chip] and Greg Kurstin [Who worked with Kylie Minogue and Lilly Allen], creates pulse racing, electro-fused, dancepop. Victoria grew up in Blackpool, often being locked inside music rooms at school‟s break-times and following music theatre . At 18 years old Victoria then went to Leeds University, and it was here that she jumped on the indie -disco pop horse and rode it as far as she could with her band, Dead Disco. Victoria has clearly developed an addiction, not the bad kind that Pete Doherty or Amy Winehouse have, but an addiction to synth. She has now assembled an arsenal of synth toys, including her now trademark light-box Yamaha Tenorion. She began documenting her bedroom sets and tinkering on her laptop‟s webcam, airing a mixture of her own new creations and a unique selection of cover versions, from Wiley‟s „Wearing My Rolex‟ to Haddaway‟s „What Is Love?‟ Little did she know that within a few months her YouTube artist profile would be one of the UK‟s most subscribed. „Stuck on repeat‟ was the song that started it all for Little Boots, the song was instantly deemed a classic by all indie-disco hipsters. Since then Little Boots released her limited edition debut single „Meddle‟, which was a burst of indie-disco-pop goodness infused with the fierceness of R&B, and topped off perfectly with the soothing melodic vocal of Victoria herself. Victoria now has the coolest, hippest people on the music scene eating out of the palm of her hand and is at the driving reins of the recent wave of female fronted indie-electro-pop acts to hit the charts recently such as Ladyhawke and Lady GaGa. We got in touch with Victoria to see how things were going for her........
You‟ve had your single as single of the week on iTunes, you won BBC sound of 2009 and you recently topped Radio 1's artists of 2009 chart. How does it feel to have this massive wave of success?
It‟s kind of strange, most of the time it feels very distant but then I have little reality shocks. In general, I'm just really grateful so many people
voted for me, and were excited about the music enough to write about it. What is the story behind the name 'Little Boots' ?
It‟s taken from the Roman Emperor 'Calligula' which is Latin for Little Boots.
How was life growing up in Blackpool? Supposedly it‟s full of gambling issues in the younger generation?
Well, one of my younger brothers is studying to be a croupier... I'm not really aware of gambling issues, generally its an interesting place to grow up and it‟s a huge part of me.
Is "Little Boots' just yourself ,or are others involved in making the music?
It‟s just me, but I have a keyboard player and a drummer to help me live, and I work with different producers in the studio. Who do you think will be 'big' in 2009?
I think Lilly Allen's new album will do well. I'm also looking forward to the new Eminem album.
When did you get into music and performing?
I've been playing the Piano since I was about 5 years old. I studied classically through my childhood and first started performing at school con-
certs. Later at college I started joining different kind of bands and carried on from there.
You use an amazing array of instruments, what made you get into them all?
Moogs are just such classic synthesizers that if you make electronic music it‟s almost impossible not to get into them. As for the Tenori-on, I borrowed it from someone I was working with and got addicted... I now have three.
Since you use all these weird instruments, how do you go about song writing?
It varies, sometimes I just start at home with a piano, other times I send demos out to people or just start from scratch in the studio with a producer.
"Female is the future" or so it is said. What do you have in store for 2009?
My debut album release, plus touring in the UK and US, and hopefully festival appearances through the summer.
What music have you being listening to recently?
You are involved deeply with Hot-Chip's Joe Goddard, I also heard that you are planning on working with Dev from Lightspeed Champion, Who are your main influences musically? Are you from an electro background?
I listen to a real range of music, I certainly don't consider myself to be from an
electro background, although I do DJ electro quite a lot. I mainly listen to artists like Kate Bush, David Bowie and The Beatles.
Have you noticed a change in the music scene recently? Zavvi is now shutting down, where do you see the future of CD's?
It looks like CD sales will continue to decline and downloads continue to rise, although its unlikely they will recover the numbers of CD sales.
Do you believe it is easier for a band to 'make it' these days or harder?
I think itâ€&#x;s easier to do things yourself and get music out there via things like MySpace or self releases, but I think its more difficult to get signed and stay signed, as the industry has less money and an uncertain future.
Where has your favourite gig been so far? Favourite venue...etcâ€Ś?
Playing Fader Fort in New York at CMJ festival was a really special gig, as was playing Later with Jools Holland. We also sold out the ICA in London, which was a great venue to play.
This article is not going to be â€˜ten easy steps to get your band signedâ€™, neither after reading it are you going to know exactly how to get signed. This is more about preparing your band for the big bad world of the record labels and to give you a little information on how they think. The mind of the band and the mind of a record label are two different things...bands are from Mars, record labels are from Venus. We got in touch with Leeds based not-for-profit record label art/goes/pop, [myspace.com/artgoespop] we had a chat about what bands can do to attract people from a record label to their band, what a record label offers a band, and any tips they could offer bands. Art/goes/pop, so Iâ€™m told, receive hundreds of emails from bands a week, from these they are likely to find one act which excites them, we wanted to know what bands could do to be that one band. This is Illustration by what they had to say... Louise Flynn
“Look if I‟m honest, and I may sound harsh, but there is a saying that bands should really heed...it goes "Don't call us, we'll call you" , and I hate to burst any bubbles, but the idea that ANY and I mean ANY band has ever approached a label and got a deal from a press pack or an unsolicited "look at us we're great" email/call is pretty much a long outdated myth. Any label worth their salt will already know about you if you're any good. My honest advice to bands is to spend their time and precious money on first of all, getting a set of amazing songs together and recording them as best they can, then put them up on MySpace. The people you want to get in touch with are the good music blogs like „NOTHING BUT GREEN LIGHTS‟, „20 JAZZ FUNK GREATS‟, „MARATHON PACKS‟...etc... If you don't subscribe to a blog then find them out and see which one's suit you. There are amazing blogs for all types of music, and these blogs are (and you can really trust me on this one) read by the smallest tiniest DIY indie labels right up to the big massive multinational corporate ones. Blogs are on the whole things to be cherished, as they don't rely on advertising revenue to dictate the outcome of what they think, if they like something they like something. Their barometer of taste goes far beyond getting a gig packed out with your mates saying how good you are. They‟re generally neutral and if they like you, they'll evangelise to everyone about you. You can trust them by investing your time and getting to know their taste in music. So just get some great songs under your belt, save your money up and record them as best you can, whack them on MySpace and Last.fm...etc… and if you're happy, then get someone you know to send a few MP3's to the blogs you like.”
“If you ever get to the stage where loads of labels are wanting to "develop" you, then my advice is be
wary. It's absolutely vital (and common sense) to sign to a label that YOU like...Are there loads of bands you like on the label? If there are then contact the bands and see how they are treated by that label. Also think about the deal, I know more than a few bands who've signed to a pretty big indie for a development deal only to find that they get shelved for ages and sometimes don't even get a single out before they're dropped, and on top of that they're tied to the label so if they get frustrated by the lack of the labels support they can't record anything on any other label so effectively they're in limbo. Some labels are ruthless as they don't want to be the ones who turned down a chance to sign someone who could be the next big thing (we call it The Beatles syndrome...remember the poor sap who turned them down?)...So, as a rather rude strategy they sign anyone they think might have potential, just in case another label snaps them up...then they sit on them until hopefully their golden egg might hatch. Again, I stress the word research, you should have the tools and common sense to be able to find out the real deal....Be careful out there”
“Well, it can help with the actual logistics of it all, meeting face to face and ironing out problems or what needs to be done can be sometimes easier than emailing it out, but to be honest, it's about how pro-active the band/labels are when it comes to distance. We've had a mix of bands who we've never met from across great distances who are a breeze to work with and some closer to home who are practically uncontactable. It really has to work both ways. The only advantage I can see is that perhaps the label can help in putting on shows or even doing a merch stall at a gig. What's important is having a label that will be good for you, one that you can work with.”
“We go looking. We live and breathe it, from blogs, live shows, MySpace, good fanzines and even other bands who are on our label. Rarely do we bother checking out a band who uses the lines "You should check us out...we're the best thing ever..." or the "We wouldn't usually get in touch but"....Think about it from our point of view: we're a small indie label and we get ooohhhhh about 20 such emails a DAY!!! We also get about 50 MySpace friend requests a week, so it's pretty much impossible to check everyone and run a label in our spare time too. The other thing you should realise is that comparing the fact that you played loads of gigs in venues we've never heard of, or listing local press or blogs we might not have heard of that say you're the best thing since sliced bread will not really make us sit up and take note, but if you say Plan B like us, or perhaps a great music blog, or a top Radio DJ like Huw Stephens played our demo then you, my friend, have got our attention. Well, we'll click on your MySpace anyway....and like I say: we're just a teeny tiny indie label, think about what you have to do to impress the big boys....”
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OUT WITH THE NEW.....
IN WITH THE OLD.....
Gameboys and live music... Gameboys and live music... Gameboys and live music.. Gameboys and live music. Don’t worry it took us a while to get our heads round it too, and we still had to see it to believe it.. Superpowerless started off as a solo project for game-loving Oliver, and in some ways it still is, however live Oliver is joined by Steve to turn Superpowerless into a two piece button bashing , Gameboy loving duo. Superpowerless was started due to a combination of a love for video games and band members often letting Oliver down in his previous bands. Since his start in 2006 Oliver has being featured on many compilation CD’s and recently won a competition run by Vodafone and MTV. Vodaphone have now released Superpowerless’s debut sinlge ‘Wasted My Time’, accompanied by a music video which received plays on MTV. You may have read about Superpowerless in past issues of Beep! and indeed in our blog, but we managed to track Oliver down himself to give an exclusive interview to talk about how he makes this original style of music How did you get into chip tune music then? I think its something that gets passed down through family like a guitar would or violin...... “Ha, that's an awesome question, I wish my Dad had made it. In fact, he had a Commodore 64 that he made some programs for, and that got passed down to me, but then they sold it at a car boot sale . I always loved video game music and when I found some samples, I started putting them together to make some simple songs. and then I found out you could actually program your own music into them and I stopped using samples and started going in that direction” As a boy growing up, what was your favourite games console and video game? I think i spent the most time on Sega Megadrive and Playstation one, and games-wise Street Fighter, R-type and Megaman have stolen a lot of my time. A lot of people that also make chip tune don't like to be associated with video games, which is pretty silly, because that's where the sounds have come from. you might as well embrace it” So you have a single out, 'Wasted My Time', what’s the influence behind this song? “The idea for the song was just that, it was meant to be a bit ironic, as though I'd wasted the time playing video games, been brainwashed by the music from them and it's taking over the rest of my life. Also a bit like "... and all I got was this t-shirt" "I've wasted my life playing video games and all I got was this song" How do you go about writing your songs then? Do you write them on the Gameboys, or a guitar, piano...etc...? “Start off on guitar or keyboard, come up with the main melody bits and then i start to program some drums, I like layering songs as much as possible. I just keep adding to them until I can't put anything else on top” When did you decide to make Superpowerless a live project ? “I've always played in bands but they never seemed to work out, and i can be a bit bossy when it comes to writing music. It can be hard to find people that are as enthusiastic so I found it easier to write on my own, only problem with that is I didn't really fancy gigging on my own, so I had to get a backing band together.....think we played our first gig on the 4th May, and we've gigged every month since then, except September last year, when we went through some line up changes and bits and pieces. We try to gig as many times as possible.
Do you find people at gigs being slightly confused at the sight of two people on stage button bashing Gameboys? “There's 3 of us now, I've lost the guitar and we got someone else in just to play guitar. But yeah there's always a mixed reaction, we've started wearing matching hand-knitted jumpers that are red and white with teddies and sheep on and using a projector to display video game graphics. So there's always a lot to look at. People won't forget us, haha” Ha! When did this line up change take place? I only just became custom to two people with Gameboys dressed up as cyborg zombies... “About 5/6 gigs ago... we're always looking for new things to add I've started using a toy voice changing megaphone as well, which is fun. Looks like Beep! have fallen behind!... are all the people in the band old friends or have you met up via Superpowerless? “Well Steve booked us for a gig he put on, and we ended up being pretty good friends, he was coming to see us at another gig and everyone else dropped out so it would have been just me on stage, but he filled in and he's gigged with me every time since then I got fed up of playing guitar on stage and wanted in on the Gameboying too, so we got Michael to start playing it for us, he's on the same Uni course as me, and we hang around with the same group, so it's all good. When you've got a guitar you kind of hide behind it, using a Gameboy, you feel a lot more on display Have you always had a knack for performing then? “Not really, ha . I used to get really nervous about it, I'm really shy. But like, it's something I really wanted to do, so I just had to get past it. I'm doing alright now, it helps that I'm not just playing on my own, I tried that once and it wasn't fun, haha. If it's not fun, there's not much point. Lets talk MTV and Vodafone then....... what an achievement! How was working with a legendary video producer? “It was awesome. He was really funny and had some really cool ideas, talked me through all the different stages with the project and I'm really, really happy with the finished video, awesome times” You also made a DIY video with Colin Odd. Where did the idea for this come from? “Colin is a good friend, and he makes these really funny videos all the time, I‟m not sure why it didn't happen sooner, but working with him is really fun. we're going to try and get some more videos done, We've been talking a little bit about doing something over this 2 week holiday. We've got another video scheduled for the last weekend of April with a big local project So what’s in store for the future of Superpowerless, any festivals or anything planned for the summer? “I really wanted to try and play at a festival but didn't find any way of getting booked for any of them, which is really gutting, I've also not learnt to drive yet, so we can't really do a tour, I'm really upset about that too. Hopefully we'll get something sorted, either way I'll get a lot of recording done. I‟m working on my first album, I'm not sure what it'll be called, maybe just „Superpowerless‟”
using inopportune moments and a musical alphabet as deep as the sea, little comets are currently traversing a sextet of cities with nothing but shine in the apples of their eyes. somehow soon this combination of pockets, testing, melody and treason will stumble across your path and leave an indelible mark deeper than hue, fingerprint or membrane on your story. Neil Young - Harvest: ‘This is a lovely album and it has Linda Ronstadt on it. Mickey likes her voice and mark likes Neil Young's hair.‟ Simon and Garfunkel - Bookends: ‘Hmmm, this is special because it has mint songs and a beautiful theme... I‟d like to be sent out to sea in a Viking style funeral with the bookends theme on in the background.‟ U2 - Joshua Tree: „Mickey thinks this is a chingway start to an album: a triumvirate of tear swelling greenery.‟ The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead: ‘The drums make Matt feel like an expectant teenager before a night out not to the cinema.‟ Dr Dre - 2001: ‘Because it is the filthiest thing ever made. You could destroy towns while listening to it, which isn't a good thing, but you know anything that makes you feel slightly dangerous is nice, I think.‟ Rodrigo Guitar - Concerto: „Wow, the emotion conveyed in the second movement is beyond palatable.... Yeah man, deeeeeeep.‟ Architecture In Helsinki - People In Places: „When the world finally ends, this is what music will hopefully sound like: vocally unhinged and not even slightly inhibited.‟ David Bowie - Hunky Dory: „Because David Bowie is class and..... yeah. it is just a great album because it is full of wicked tunnnnes.‟ Miles Davis - A Kind of Blue: „We like driving along to this in the van because it prevents road rage and makes you float along the road boat-style, and it was all done in one take which is just stupid. „