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music&riots FREE | ISSUE 11 | MAY

ROYAL THUNDER

POWERFUL AND CONFIDENT, THEY’RE BREAKING THEIR OWN BOUNDARIES

SUSANNE SUNDFØR

LOVING, VIOLENT AND ROUSING! ALL WE NEED IS LOVE...

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ESKA THE DØ LITURGY AVA LUNA ENABLERS SATYRICON TURBOWOLF HANNAH COHEN THE MUSCADETTES OCEANS ATE ALASKA YOU, ME, AND EVERYONE WE KNOW

GALLOWS

BOLD, MENACING AND DARK... THE BEAUTY OF DESOLATION SOUNDS

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INTERPOL · RIDE ANTONY JOHNSONS THE REPLACEMENTS PATTI SMITH & BAND U N D E RWO R L D

perform

Horses

dubnobasswithmyheadman live

BELLE & SEBASTIAN · CARIBOU · DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE · DAMIEN RICE FKA TWIGS · RUN THE JEWELS · EINSTÜRZENDE NEUBAUTEN BANDA DO MAR · SPIRITUALIZED · MAC DEMARCO · JOSÉ GONZÁLEZ ARIEL PINK · FOXYGEN · THE THURSTON MOORE BAND MANEL CRUZ · THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS · ELECTRIC WIZARD JUNGLE · SUN KIL MOON · BABES IN TOYLAND · MIKAL CRONIN SHELLAC · DAN DEACON · BAXTER DURY · OUGHT · THE JUAN MACLEAN (LIVE) GIANT SAND · HEALTH · PALLBEARER · BRUNO PERNADAS · VIET CONG ROMAN FLÜGEL · EX HEX · MOVEMENT · YASMINE HAMDAN · KEVIN MORBY PHARMAKON · MARC PIÑOL · YOUNGHUSBAND · XYLOURIS WHITE · THE KVB · TWERPS

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FEATURES UPCOMING - CHELSEA WOLFE

14 Into the “Abyss”

INTRODUCING - HANNAH COHEN

16 Little chat with Hannah

ROUND UP - Senses Fail, Refused,

18 Gwenno, Deftones and much more... - AVA LUNA 20 RISING Interview with the UK’s arty band WELCOME BACK - ENABLERS

24 We caught with them in Lisbon NEU // VOL.11 - Blood Youth, Pale

26 Honey, The Jury And The Saints... INTERVIEWS 32 36 38 40 44 56 60 64 70 74

YOU, ME, AND EVERYONE WE KNOW THE MUSCADETTES THE DØ TURBOWOLF ROYAL THUNDER OCEANS ATE ALASKA LITURGY ESKA SUSANNE SUNDFØR SATYRICON

COVER STORY

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GALLOWS

Interview with Laurent ‘Lags’ Barnard

REVIEWS 80

ALBUMS REVIEWS Faith No More, All Time Low, Anti-Flag, Eska,

Father Murphy, Earl Sweatshirt, Metz, Joanna Gruesome, Ceremony, Best Coast, Du Blonde, Coal Chamber, Four Year Strong, Holly Miranda, Wire, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Holly Herndon, Jenny Hval, Prurient, Speedy Ortiz, Shana Cleveland & The Sandcastles, Torres, Steve Von Till, Wino & Conny Ochs and much more...

REPORT 106 LIVE Sleater-Kinney, Wovenhand, Marriages, Architects, Every Time I Die, Minsk, Putan Club...

114 CINEMA Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, Ex Machina, Lost River, The Wonders, Force Majeure

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“As you get older that teen angst kind of gets quieter and quieter, and eventually you’re asking yourself, “Why the fuck was I so angry about?” Laurent “Lags” Barnard - Gallows

WORDS FROM THE EDITOR “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.” - Wise words from Elie Wiesel. Issue 11 is out! This new issue is so rad!!! The mighty Gallows is on our cover story, Refused are not fucking dead and they’re back with a brand new album; Anti-Flag have a new album ready to set the world on fire; Algiers is ready to light the torch against this general apathy and indifference; Holly Herndon and Joanna Gruesome are here to level up the game and fight the power and Jenny Hval brings a sensual and incendiary take on politics and social awareness... So many reasons to think about a better world and to rise above against this general apathy and indifference. “What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - More wise words, now from the great Oscar Wilde. Your Editor, Fausto Casais

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LISTENING POST

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FREE | ISSUE 11 | MAY

GWENNO

Y DYDD OLAF Heavenly Recordings Available on 24.07.2015 CEO/EDITOR IN CHIEF

Fausto Casais (faustocasais@musicandriotsmagazine.com)

SENSES FAIL

Pull the Thorns From Your Heart Pure Noise Records Available on 30.06.2015

DEPUTY EDITOR

Andreia Alves (andreiaalves@musicandriotsmagazine.com) Tiago Moreira (tiago@musicandriotsmagazine.com)

ART EDITOR // DESIGNER Fausto Casais

SELF DEFENSE FAMILY Heaven Is Earth Deathwish Inc. Available on 30.06.2015

AUGUST BURNS RED

Founding In Far Away Pieces Fearless Records Available on 29.06.2015

FEATURES EDITOR Fausto Casais

CONTRIBUTORS // WRITERS

Nuno Babo, Nuno Teixeira, Ricardo Almeida, Sergio Kilmore, Dave Bowes, Mariana Silva, Rui Correia, Carlos Cardoso, Cláudio Aníbal, Myke C-Town, Euan Andrews, Ellery Twining, Luis Alves, Rita Limede, Ibrahima Brito, Stella Eliadou, Antigoni Pitta, Arnaud Diemer, Joe Doyle, Miljan Milekić

PHOTOGRAPHERS

Andreia Alves, Ricardo Almeida, Arnaud Diemer, Alex Woodward, Tamara Samardžić

COVER STORY PHOTO Derek Bremmer

GENERAL INQUIRIES

info@musicandriotsmagazine.com

SHANA CLEVELAND & THE SANDCASTLES

Oh Man! Cover The Ground Suicide Squeze Available on 26.05.2015

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ONLINE ADVERTISING

CEREMONY

The L-Shaped Man Matador Available on 18.05.2015

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Algiers Matador Available on 01.06.2015

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HUGE FUCKING THANKS

Mike Cubillos, Lauren Barley, Frank van Liempdt, Deathwish Inc, Head Up! Shows, Thrill Jockey, Neurot Recordings, PIAS, Sub Pop, Sargent House, Stephanie Marlow, Amplificasom, Epitaph, Earsplit, Matador, Spinefarm, Southern Lord, Tell All Your Friends, Riot Act Media, Team Clermont,Bloodshot Records, Roadrunner Records, Joan Hiller, Eros Pasi, Rude Records, Pure Noise Records, Nothing, Memorial Records, Biruta Records, Napalm Records, Mona Miluski, Venn Records, Rafael Cordeiro

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JENNY HVAL

Apocalypse Sacred Bones Available on 08.06.2015

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All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without our permission. The views expressed in MUSIC&RIOTS Magazine are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily shared by the magazine or its staff.


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BIG PICTURE

MARRIAGES

Dom Omladine BELGRADO 25.04.2015 Picture by: Tamara Samardžić

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UPCOMING // CHELSEA WOLFE

CHELSEA WOLFE Into the “Abyss”

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helsea Wolfe has unveiled new details of her new album Abyss, which will be out August 7th on Sargent House, along with the first single called “Iron Moon“.

Abyss is the follow-up of the 2013’s superb album Pain Is Beauty and since the release of that record, Wolfe has toured with Queens of the Stone Age, released a 50-minute film, Lone, and had a song, “Feral Love,” featured in trailers for the hit HBO series Game of Thrones. Now she is ready to release what it is probably her darkest, heaviest and most personal album yet. About the first single unveiled, Wolfe said to Rolling Stone: “‘Iron Moon’ was the last song written for the album. The music is co-written by our friend Karlos Ayala who wrote the song ‘Boyfriend‘ we covered a few years back. Lyrically, this song was inspired after reading the poetry of a Foxconn worker who took his own life – his frustration and desperation. There’s a blurry confusion throughout the lyrics on the album, as it sometimes is in dreams, like you’re new to the afterlife and things are slightly different, more hazy and fluid. I imagine the quiet parts of the song sung from a small, dorm-style room, and the loud parts as a scene out of a musical, where the worker sings and dances through the factory lines with total freedom and abandon. Such a great crew of musicians came together to bring these feelings and sounds to life.” The musicians who played on Abyss include Wolfe’s longtime collaborators multi-instrumentalist and co-writer Ben Chisholm and drummer Dylan Fujioka, as well as Ezra Buchla on viola and Russian Circles’ Mike Sullivan on guitar. The ensemble recorded the album in Dallas, Texas, with producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Swans).

Abyss arrives on August 7th via Sargent House musicandriotsmagazine.com

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H O C H A N N A H PLEASU N W O N K UN Words: Andreia Alves

Known as one of the muses to the New York’s art scene, Hannah Cohen is a model and a musician. Child Bride was her debut full-length, released in 2012, that showed her delicate and beautiful voice as well as her skills as a songwriter. But with her new album Pleasure Boy, she shows a much more emotional side. Cohen told us what this record represents to her and much more.

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c “Pleasure Boyom day to day. S o sense of humak heartbre


HERNE

U

Y

ou released your debut album Child Bride back in 2012. What have you been up to since then? Touring with other bands singing backing vocals; working on music; nannying; traveling; falling in love; trying to be gluten free and failing. What do you like the most about being able to make music and share it with everyone? Being able to travel with the music. Pleasure Boy is your second album and it’s a stunning and heartfelt effort. How was it like to work on this new record? It was pretty excruciating at times. Who’s “pleasure boy” and what does he represent to you? Pleasure Boy changes for me from day to day. Sometimes I can have a sense of humor about him. He is a heartbreaker and a prick. According to the press release, the new record was mainly inspired by a painful break-up and the anxieties that loss can

from e m r o f s e g n a h c a e v a h n a c I s e metim a s i e H . m i h t u o or ab ” ker and a prick.

INTRODUCING // HANNAH COHEN trigger and that’s really shown in these eight songs. What can you tell me about the lyric content? The lyrics on this record are pretty straight forward. Nothing is veiled really. You said that, “I wanted the music to hurt, to have a visceral effect,” and this new album seems very personal and emotional. Were the songs difficult to write and record for you? The songs were sort of therapeutic to write. I wasn’t able to say the things I really thought or felt in real life, so I wrote songs about it all instead. Musically and lyrically, what do youfeel are the biggest differences between Child Bride and Pleasure Boy? The songs on Child Bride were the first songs I ever wrote. They breathe in a different way than Pleasure Boy. What’s your favorite song from Pleasure Boy and why? “Keepsake”. I like that it gets claustrophobic. I like that it’s calling someone out on their bullshit. Like your debut album Child Bride, Pleasure Boy was produced by Thomas Bartlett, also known as Doveman. How it was like to work with him again and what did you approach differently? This time around it was way more of a collaborative process. I fought with Thomas on every sound. It was Thomas’ idea to take everything off of the guitar and move onto synths and keyboards. There is only guitar on one song which is “Baby”. Pleasure Boy is out now via Bella Union

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ROUND UP

NEWS 18

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Deftones frontman Chino Moreno said the release date for the band’s upcoming album will be September 25. About the new record, Moreno said, “The record as far as music has been all recorded and I am currently working on the vocals. I’ve been recording from my home studio here in Oregon. Slowly but surely getting it done. It’s coming out really good, it’s another Deftones record, I feel like us reaching a little bit, getting more into… The song structures, trying to

challenge ourselves a little bit you know what I mean? It’s sounding good, I think it’s gonna be a great record.” Hundredth have announced their brand new, upcoming album, FREE, which will be released June 16th via Hopeless Records. “Our goal with FREE was to combine all of the elements of Hundredth into one release without hindering progression,” states vocalist, Chad Johnson. “The outcome is by far our best release. We ventured out vocally, which truly elevated the sound of this record. These are some of the best songs we’ve ever written


SENSES FAIL New Album in June!

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enses Fail have announced that they will be releasing their highly anticipated sixth studio album titled Pull The Thorns From Your Heart on June 30th via Pure Noise Records. Frontman Buddy Nielsen has spent his entire life carving out his own path, both musically and personally. His devout dedication to Vipassana meditation and studies of Buddhist teachings have allowed him to find peace within himself, embrace his differences and eventually find comfort in his newfound identification as queer. Buddhism and being queer have direct roles in the creation of his band’s new album Pull The Thorns From Your Heart. “This record is the complete documentation of my transformative spiritual experience from the darkness to the light” says Nielsen. “It is the completion of a journey I have been on since I started making music when I was 17. I want this record to be more than just words and music but a blueprint for how through contemplative practice you can come to love, grow and blossom out of the muck of life and into the light. It is not intended to motivate in steps or exact teachings but empower. It is above all a personal story of struggle and realization.” His journey is told through an intense collection of 11 songs that are sonically a slight departure from Senses Fail’s earlier records while maintaining the passion and delivery that the band’s fans have come to love over the years. “I wanted the heaviness and anger of the record to not be matched with equal words of despair but words that show growth and change” he adds. “Most music that represents change and growth is calmer and less abrasive but I wanted to show that friction is what helps spur action. Without the friction, we wouldn’t want to change, we would be content. Out of darkness is ultimately the opposite, the light, but without opposition there would be no urge to change. Half the record represents the darkness and half the record represents the light, or the appearing of light, the flowering of what the experience is.” Pull The Thorns From Your Heart arrives on June 30 via Pure Noise Records

and this record is sonically superior to anything we’ve ever done.” Illusions of Dominance is the name of the upcoming new album from Bitter End. Produced by Terror drummer Nick Jett (Terror, Piece by Piece), this new effort takes on the subject of mankind’s fragility in the face of nature’s overwhelming and inescapable power. U.S. Girls, the moniker of Illinois-born artist Meg Remy, has signed with label 4AD and has released her debut material for the

label ahead of an album later this year. The Numero Group are finally wrapping up their comprehensive Unwound reissue campaign. The box set Empire is their final installement and has release date set on September 4, collecting Unwound’s 1998 album Challenge for a Civilized Society and 2001’s Leaves Turn Inside You features singles, B-sides, unreleased tracks, demos and a 15,000-word essay. Merge Records has just announced the signing of the punk/

indie rock band from Glen Rock, New Jersey, Titus Andronicus, and that will be releasing the band’s fourth studio album, entitled The Most Lamentable Tragedy, this summer. A rock opera in five acts. The central narrative of TMLT (“a work of fiction,” claims singer/ songwriter Patrick Stickles) concerns an unnamed protagonist whom we meet in deep despair. TMLT was produced by frequent collaborator Kevin McMahon and lead guitarist Adam Reich and it’s available on July 28 via Merge.

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AVA LUNA are a band that love to

explore and experiment. They combine all kinds of genres from art pop, to noise, to soul, to funk and so on and at their third full-length, Infinite House, the Brooklyn quintet are more assertive and precise about their sound. Bassist Ethan Bassford answered to our questions about their new effort and a lot more. Words: Andreia Alves // Picture: Emily Theobald

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ow has been the year for you guys so far? Exciting! It took a long time for Infinite House to get recorded and mixed and released, and this is the fun part when we get to take it on the road and live in it for a little while. You’re going to do a US tour in April, which starts with two album release shows in New York. What can people expect from this tour and what do you expect from it too? We just came back from a short tour to SXSW, for which we added several songs from Infinite House to the set. It’s been a fun challenge to recreate these songs live, and if you haven’t seen us since last year you can expect a bunch of new material. Also a few of us have gotten haircuts and Becca got a new hat. Last year, you released your second album Electric Balloon that was another great release from you guys and less than a year you announced a new album. 20

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When did you guys start working on the new material? By the time Electric Balloon came out in March of 2014, we had already finished a lot of the material that would become Infinite House. Some of the tracking was done in October of 2013, and some of it was done in early 2014 at the Gravesend Recordings studio back in Brooklyn.

distractions. There was nothing to walk to except woods and other houses, and we had to go into town to use the internet. Leaving all our instruments and mics set up in the living room made playing music the easiest thing to do; the path of least resistance. Being so far from all the stimuli of the city, if that’s what you’re used to, changes your instincts.

For this new record, you did a writing retreat in Benton, Mississippi. What can you tell us about the writing sessions and what did inspire you while there? Probably the biggest inspiration, if you can call it that, was just being so far away from all

According to the press release, you came across an abandoned house while on a walk through the woods in Benton. Was this house an inspiration for the album’s title Infinite House and the album itself? The album is informed by a sense


RISING // AVA LUNA

“... the biggest inspiration, if you can call it that, was just being so far away from all distractions...” mix, after which it was set in stone forever. This was stressful at times, but prevented us from overthinking the result. What Dave Fridmann does is sort of like what King Tubby does, performing as much as mixing. Tell us about the cover art of this new album. Who did it? Felicia did the art for Infinite House, as well as all our previous releases and several of our T-shirts. Felicia’s work often juxtaposes geometric forms with organic forms, and large expanses of monochromatic space with small patches of minute detail and striking, contrasting color. The cover of Infinite House incorporates these elements along with a sort of Escher-style impossible landscape in the background and jarringly unfilled outlines in the foreground. It’s a great visual evocation of what’s on the record, the lush and the sparse forced to reconcile in the listener/viewer’s mind.

of place, and the image of a particular house does show up on the album, but the album as a whole is less about Benton specifically than about Benton and Brooklyn together. The house is infinite because it spans the divide between the two places without fully encompassing either. Or something. Infinite House was self-recorded in Benton and at Gravesend Recordings and mixed by Dave Fridmann. How was the experience and process of recording the album this time around? On both Electric Balloon and Infinite House, Julian and Carlos alternated between playing the

songs and engineering the sessions, a pretty awesome feat of multitasking. We had some experience traveling and posting up in a house to record from the Electric Balloon sessions, so it was a productive trip, and a large percentage of those recordings ended up becoming songs. The Gravesend space where we recorded the Brooklyn tracks is where we rehearse, so we all felt comfortable there. Carlos and Julian have been using Dave Fridmann mixes as a reference for their own work for years, and it was a great honor to finally work with him. We were working on a tight schedule for mixing, so everyone had a very short time to weigh in on each

What’s next for you guys in 2015? Touring the US, and whichever other countries will have us. Writing and recording new songs. Revisiting our backlog of unfinished songs to see if any of them can be poked and prodded into complete form. And lastly, what has been on high rotation on your music player? We listened to Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly pretty much daily on our last tour. Also a lot of Fleetwood Mac.

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Infinite House is out now via Western Vinyl 21


ROUND UP

REFUSED ARE BACK WITH “FREEDOM”

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efused are fucking back! The band have announced the release of a new album and it’s their new material in 17 years. Titled Freedom, it will be out June 30 via Epitaph. The band originally broke up following the release of their excellent 1998’s album The Shape of Punk to Come. Then, after their 2012 reunion tour, they announced that it was decisively over, fortunately that didn’t happen.

Self Defense Family, one of the most prolific punk bands out there, has announced the release of a new studio album. The band’s forthcoming LP, Heaven Is Earth, was recorded at four classic indie/punk studios by a diverse group of engineers: Will Killingsworth at Dead Air Studios (Mind Eraser, etc), Kurt Ballou at God City Studios (Converge, etc), Mark Millar at Sone Lab (Dinosaur Jr, etc), and Jon Low at Miner Street Recordings (Kurt Vile, etc). Total Babes are set to release their sophomore album, Heydays, scheduled to be released on May 18th through

+ NEWS

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The album was produced by Nick Launay (Arcade Fire, Kate Bush, Nick Cave). “Elektra” and “366” were produced and co-written by Shellback, the Swedish pop superproducer who has worked on countless massive hits by Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Pink, and others. Freedom will get a limited edition CD release featuring a 28-page hardbound book with a poster and gold foil stamping on the album cover. Frontman Dennis Lyxzén said in a statement: “I could not have imagined this would have

May

happened. I’d have said it was impossible, and never in a million years would I do it. It was just something about the fact that Refused grew so much while we didn’t exist.” “It’s not a reunion anymore,” Lyxzen insists. “This is one of the most radical things we’ve ever done, both musically and lyrically.”

Freedom arrives on June 30 via Epitaph

Wichita Recordings worldwide. The album features lush synthesizers from Emeralds/Outer Space member and Spectrum Spools head John Elliott, bass from Nathan Ward of Smooth Brain and Cruelster and saxophone from Cloud Nothings’ Dylan Baldi on “Circling.” Tamaryn has announced the release of new album, Cranekiss, and it’s set to be released on August 28th via Mexican Summer. According to a press release, Cranekiss is her most personal collection of songs to date and it represents a long journey,


I

GWENNO DEBUT SOLO ALBUM IN JULY

n a period of governmental and cultural transition, former Pipettes frontwoman, Gwenno Saunders, releases a political concept album inspired by an obscure 1970s Welsh language sci-fi novel, subtly disguised as a blissful kraut-pop record. Taking its cue, and title, from Owain Owain’s 1976 novel about a dystopian future where the robots have taken over and are busily turning the human race into

clones through the use of medication. The album, which is sung entirely in Welsh, apart from one song in Cornish, is a political and feminist record, and a cultural document and celebration of what is unique about life in modern day Britain. Having recently supported Gruff Rhys on his much-celebrated ‘American Interior’ tour, Gwenno is about to embark on a busy summer of live appearances, beginning with a support slot with labelmates Stealing Sheep and taking in headline shows

and festival performances at Latitude, Port Eliot and Festival No. 6. Written by Gwenno and produced by Rhys Edwards, Y DYDD OLAF (The Last Day) will be released 24th July on Heavenly Recordings.

and a new phase in Tamaryn’s music unfolding before you, a blood-red kaleidoscope of desire and late night abandon. Chrome Over Brass is the one man instrumental band of Alex Garcia-Rivera, drummer of American Nightmare (Give Up The Ghost). A true DIY project, the debut album from Chrome Over Brass, available soon via Deathwish Inc., was recorded in a 100% analog process on 2’ tape at Alex Garcia-Rivera’s own Mystic Valley Studio, a fully analog studio he

built with his own hands. Each song is comprised of one complete drum performance on a simple 5 piece drum set (made by Alex himself), with no digital editing. Even guitar and bass tracks were recorded in singular takes. Evan Caminiti (Barn Owl) set to release his new solo album on June 15 via Thrill Jockey. Titled Meridian, this new effort was recorded and mixed in San Francisco and New York, between 2013 and 2015 and mastered by Andreas [LUPO] Lubich at Calyx in Berlin.

The album takes its name from the concept of energy flowing throughout the body along different paths called meridians. Caminiti expands upon the themes he began developing on two of his previous solo works (Dreamless Sleep and Night Dust) and with his other project, Barn Owl. The most recent Barn Owl album, V, incorporated more electronic textures and layers than their previous works, hinting at the direction that Caminiti has taken on Meridian.

Y DYDD OLAF (The Last Day) arrives on July 24 via Heavenly Recordings

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We got the chance to talk to one of those very singular bands that unfortunately doesn’t get as much praise as they deserve, The mighty

ENABLERS

.

As they release their fifth record, “The Rightful Pivot”, Enablers were kind enough to talk to us on the occasion of their first show in Lisbon. Words: Ricardo Almeida

D

o you still book your own shows and why? Kevin: Yes, I am the booker. I mean, I say I am the booker but I do it with a lot of help. I have a lot of help from a network of people that I now consider to be very close friends. Is that an option or you just ended up doing it that way? Kevin: It’s the way we like it. I don’t see any reason to pay somebody to do something that I can do. Your first two records were released on Neurot Recordings. Do you feel like you inherited your D.I.Y. approach from them? And how did that happen? Pete: When Enablers began we really weren’t a band, Joe happened to have a studio and we would go there and just make demos. At the time Joe was playing with Steve Von Till in his solo project. Steve listened to three or four songs that we’d done and encouraged us to keep going. A few months later we had a record.

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Collaborating with Neurot was great, they’re good guys. How do you feel about the label “spoken word-based music”, usually associated with Enablers? Kevin: It’s fine with us, I mean the vocalist is a spoken word performer. Do you think people might label you as “pretentious” or “elitist”? Pete: Maybe in the beginning, if they never heard us or seen a show. But once they’ve seen a show, I don’t think they’d think that anymore because we’re not! At least I hope we’re not. You’ve once said that that kind of music has a bad reputation in the USA, why? Pete: Because more often than that it’s just highly repetitive background music and the voice is right in the front. It’s all voice and the music is less than secondary, it’s almost pointless. Kevin: I would say that frequently

people go down the wrong path when they chose to go spoken word with music. We decided from the very beginning that if we were going to do this, we would integrate the vocals very precisely with what we were doing and it would be a very important part of the music itself. Pete: It’s another instrument. And the poems themselves become almost another instrument. With that said, did you ever fear that people might perceive the music in Enablers as something secondary? Pete: If there’s any sort of conscious decision in terms of how the songs get made is that the music and the voice, the poems, are always equal. It’s a full collaboration. Kevin: The poem should fit the music, and vice verse, the music should fit the poem. Frequently, we bend the poem or we bend the music to fit each other. Pete: Right. And that’s why I don’t really consider it spoken word,


WELCOME BACK // ENABLERS when to speak and when to shut up. I think it really matters; it’s a lot in the phrasing, a lot about when the voice is in and when it departs. Kevin: I listen to plenty of music where I don’t understand the words. I consider it to be just part of the music. I wish I could have the other level of understanding, because I think it enriches the experience, but I am still able to enjoy it. Pete: I love Serge Gainsbourg and I don’t speak much French whatsoever, but the way he puts these characters or the way his voice works with the music is very evocative and thrilling. Kevin: You can make up your own narrative sometimes, which is also fun. Pete: Even for those who understand English, you know... The only thing that really gets lost is the nuances of the language. There may be something I have written, or even in this discussion, you may not understand, but you can still get the gist of it, of whatever the contest may be. I think we’re all very aware of the fact that no one is a native English speaker; it’s just how you deliver the poem and how it comes across musically. It’s that symbiotic relationship you were talking about.

because the songs are written like “normal” songs. And I think increasingly as the records progressed it has become less “spoken”. Did you ever feel like your vocal approach could be a limitation of some sort? Pete: I actually battled with that a lot early on. Sometimes after a bad show I would think, “What the hell are these guys doing, fooling around with me?” But now, having all these shows under our belts, we’re so much more comfortable and intuitive that it doesn’t really cross my mind anymore. Some French guy said, “I don’t know what the hell they are saying, because I don’t speak English, but the music is beautiful”. Would you be interested in a band where the words weight so much if you didn’t understand the language? Pete: Something Kevin and Joe taught me, and continued to teach me throughout the years, is

The Rightful Pivot, the new record, seems to be slightly less abrasive than the previous ones and warmer when it comes to the production. Was that intentional? Kevin: I think it is just a natural product of how the songwriting evolves over time; it could very well become aggressive again on the next record. It highly depends on the state of mind people are in, it reflects that state of mind. Pete: And there are some aggressive songs on it. Kevin: We got lucky with the production because we had access to a really incredible studio this time. We had our good friend Desmond come and help with the engineering. Usually Joe has to do everything alone. We were aiming for something that was very three-dimensional that had depth and clarity. So, yes, I think warmth would be part of that. And the songs lend themselves, for instance a song like “Look” lends itself to be warm, it doesn’t want to be harsh in any way, if you recorded it poorly and it came across harsh then

you failed, you did injustice to the song. We always had the intention to make the very best recording we could under the circumstances that were given to us at that given time. We’ve never been purposely low-fi, we always tried to remain true. Would repeating yourselves be a failure? Kevin: I’m not interested on it. I don’t know if it would be a failure or it would just be boring. Certainly there is a common thread through everything because Joe and I are the same songwriters we’ve always been, we’ve been writing music for over 25 years, so we have a certain way of going around it. You were talking about the music being denser and more atmospheric. I am thinking about the last track, “Enopolis”. Kevin: Oh, that was very purposeful to be experimental, to see what happens a repetitious chord progression and letting things completely fall apart. There seems to be some synths on it, right? Kevin: There are some. Joe: We had this riff Kevin had been playing for a while. And then Sammy said, “Well, I wanna do something free”, because Sammy comes from a free jazz background. I processed some of the guitars, it’s not really synths, it’s actually highly processed guitars. It was fun. How do you feel about the fact that the name Slint always shows up in every Enablers review? Pete: Always! Joe: Somebody said it once and it just stayed. Kevin: It’s an easy reference point for people. Pete: I can understand the resemblance in the first two records, I can understand. But, I mean, in the last ten years? Come on! It’s getting silly. Do you get mad at it? Kevin: Annoyed maybe, after ten years of hearing it. Makes me feel like maybe someone is not hearing. Pete: It’s lazy.

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The Rightful Pivot is out now via Exile on Mainstream 25


NEU! BLOOD YOUTH PALE HONEY THE JURY AND THE SAINTS WESTKUST


NEU VOL.11

BLOOD YOUTH Where? Lincoln (UK) Who? Kaya Tarsus, Sam Bowden, Chris Pritchard, Max Dawson, Matt Powles For fans of: Polar, Heights, Modern Life Is War, Climates

B

lood Youth were born from the ashes of Climates, the Lincoln based melodic hardcore band. In October of 2014, Climates went through two major events: the release of their debut album Body Clocks after nearly a year of delay, and the departure of their vocalist and founding member Wes Thompson, due to creative differences. After going through those changes,

the members of Climates – Sam Bowden, Matt Powles, Chris Pritchard and Max Dawson – decided to carry on and start over with a new name and a new vocalist. They are now Blood Youth and Kaya Tarsus, a one-time former bandmate of Pritchard, stepped forward to fill the frontman place. Their melodic hardcore is more vivid and aggressive than ever. Blood Youth announced the release of the debut EP Inside My Head June 22nd via Rude Records. It was recorded between Bandit Studios in Tetbury, UK with Jonny Renshaw (Devil Sold His Soul, The Elijah) and Celestial Productions in Wrexham, UK with producer Seb Barlow (Neck Deep, Homebound, ROAM). The band has also revealed the first single, “Cold Sweat”.

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PALE HONEY Where? Gothenburg, Sweden Who? Tuva Lodmark and Nelly Daltrey For fans of: Sleater-Kinney, PJ Harvey, Vulkano

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here’s no doubt that more and more bands with only female members are ruling the music world. Not because of their genre, but because of their talent and creativity. So, let’s cut the crap and just say that these two girls have a promising future ahead of them. Previously known as The Tapes, Gothenburg’s Pale Honey have been (almost) always a duo. Tuva Lodmark

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takes over the guitar and vocals duties and Nelly Daltrey is in charge of the drums, and together they make a combination of minimalistic synth-pop with a surprising garage rock. The perfect example of that is their newest awesome single called “Youth”, a song that starts with simple synth rhythms that it seems the whole song it’s going to be a calm synthpop song, but then when the chorus hits, the intensity of the song turns into a more rock song. Last year, Pale Honey released the three-song Fiction EP and now they released their self-titled debut album via Bolero Records. This Swedish duo has a lot to offer and their “minimalistic rock” is something worth to listen to, trust us!


NEU VOL.11

THE JURY AND THE SAINTS Where? Auckland (New Zealand) Who? Jesse Smith, Ivan Beets, Marty Kroon, Rowan Crowe For fans of: New Found Glory, Foo Fighters, Rancid

T

he Jury and The Saints are one of those bands that are really hard working, but nonetheless they know how to have a good time doing what they love to do. Formed in 2009, The Jury and The Saints combine powerful and aggressive punk rock and hardcore tunes with fearless lyrics like New Found Glory and Rancid, but at the same time they blend a more melodic style just like Foo Fighters.

The band had reached a lot of attention with their first single “Brand New�, followed by a selfreleased EP, their debut album Daydreams, and then they were asked to support Paramore on their New Zealand/Australia tour. With all that said, the skies were the limit for the band. In 2011, they released a EP titled Revival which received a lot of great feedback. After that, the band was signed to SPV Records in Germany. While in Germany, The Jury and The Saints worked with renown local producer Alex Lysjakow to record a new full length album. The band released their self-titled second album via SPV this last March and it shows how awesome and impressive their music is.

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NEU VOL.11

WESTKUST Where? Gothenburg, Sweden Who? Philip, Rikard, Gustav, Julia, Hugo For fans of: Best Coast, The Cure, My Bloody Valentine

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othenburg is an enchanting and beautiful place and there are so many exciting new bands coming out from there showing their goods, Westkust are definitely one of them. They officially formed in 2010, but only in late 2011 the current line-up was solidified, which two of the members - Gustav Andersson and Hugo Randulv - are also from the other

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awesome Gothenburg’s band called Makthaverskan who are also labelmates on Luxury and Run For Cover Records. Having to split time with these two bands, Andersson and Randulv along with Julia Bjernelind, Philip Söderlind and Rikard Hjort create a dreamy shoegaze-meets-indie rock that recalls bands like The Cure and MBV. Andersson and Bjernelind sing in perfect harmony, sometimes together, sometimes separated, and it makes their songs more nostalgic and stunning. Westkust released a 12” Junk EP in the summer of 2012 followed by Summer 3D/Weekends 7” in 2013, both through Luxury. They have now released their debut full-length titled Last Forever, a breathtaking effort for sure.


Ben Liebsch is the man behind YOU, ME, AND EVERYONE WE KNOW

- a man who has been through some heavy experiences in his life. Regardless what may have happened to him, now he's back on his feet and making music. Dogged is the new EP with his new bandmates and it shows his inner and outer struggles that’ve affected Liebsch throughout his life. We had the pleasure to talk with him about this incredible new EP and the process behind it. Words: Andreia Alves

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hese last years you went through a really rough time and you had to struggle against it to be where you are now. So, how have you been Ben and how 2015 has been for you so far? The year is been really good. I took a lot of effort to be where I am at this point. It’s just feels nice to be back on the road and playing these new songs for people. I’m very grateful for the opportunity. Going through those ups and downs as a person and also as a musician, what does drive you the most to get up and make music? I would say probably just my own problems. Writing is very therapeutic for me and I’m always just looking for a relief within myself, you know what I mean? And if I’m able to achieve that, then I think I won something. 32

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Back in 2011, you saw your bandmates leaving the band and that must had a resounding impact on you as a musician, but last year you recruited new members. How did you deal with all that and how was the process to find these new guys to play with you? It was a difficult process. My drinking and mental issues got like out of control and I needed to get a step back from the touring band life to who I was as a person. I spent a year kind of being less than I thought I should be. Thankfully, I had a good kind of struck by a lightning moment where I realized I needed to change my path and since then it’s been a very organic process to find the right people that are in it for the right reasons. At times I wanted to move things along faster, but universe was really sturdy in telling me no, which at the end of the day I’m actually grateful for it. Talking now about the EP that was released this last March, it totally feels like there’s a whole heavy and cathartic process

behind it. What can you tell me about the writing process of these six new songs? It was very different from the past. I’ve been sort of living two different lives. One of them was working in a regular job where I’m kind of miserable [laughs] and the other one I’m trying to get the band off the ground. I showed up to record far less prepared than I should have been and that created a very stressful situation. But for me, I guess it was a kind of test to see if I could go down deep and find something that meant something for me, and at the end of the day my deadline and everything kind of forced me to just put it all out there. In the end, it was a good thing. Were there any records or other form of art that inspired you in the writing sessions of Dogged? I was just kind of very wrapped up on my own issues at the time. I’ve been kind of striving over the last few years to figure out what kind of sound the audience wants to hear and needs to hear out of the production value and how polished


INTERVIEW // YMAEWK

"I guess it was a kind of test to see if I could go down deep and find something that meant something for me, and at the end of the day my deadline and everything kind of forced me to just put it all out there."

everything is, versus what I’m just telling myself they wanna hear, so it was an interesting experiment, putting out a sort of more raw of a recording. I was just thinking a lot about the bands that I used to listen to in high school and how you don’t need your record to sound like it cost 20.000 dollars to excite people. There are two polarities on this EP, which are the two shorter songs. The first one is the opening track “Raise Them Bones” - an aggressive and frenetic song -, and then the last track, “A Pleasant Bummer” which is basically the opposite. Was that intentional? It was intentional in a way. With every emotional process in your life, I guess the realization that you can fought it. A kind of chaotic process throughout and then you have a more peaceful perspective on it and that’s kind of what occurred throughout this. “Raise Them Bones” is very much like a “What am I doing with myself?” kind of song and then you go through all that emotional

process of figuring that out and then the end just kind of have the control on the situation as much as it can be. One of the things that I like about your discography is the titles of the records. This EP only has one word: Dogged. Why that name? [Laughs] I think for me the word dogged pretty much describes the band as a whole throughout the career, through the emotional persistence that really stuck with me and for better and for worst it’s been the band thing that exists for the last nine years. It’s just sums up my life, which is strickling me because I’m usually a man of far worse. [laughs] Another thing pretty interesting about this EP is the artwork which is basically filled with images of plants in vases. Tell us about what those plants mean to you. Going along with that theme, persistence, I look towards the plant life in the desert and the last utterly appearing friendly

state of the world and sort of these things that have to work really hard to maintain their existence in terms of clawing or scratching their way through very harsh environments in order to survive. I’ve always liked the desert. People can not like it but I think the desert just doesn’t make a big deal about itself and the desert’s beauty is in its details. Did the desert inspire you in some way for this EP? Well, I just think that you’re gonna find life in the little things and not so much in the big stuff. It’s only when you get close to the ground that you start to see all the nooks and crannies and intricacies and that’s sort of the beauty of it and I think that inspired me. The response for this new EP has been great, were you expecting this amazing feedback? I’m really hard on myself as a writer. Whenever I start to write more stuff, I go back and listen to what I’ve already done to figure out what I can and can’t do again, you know what I mean? So, I never really just want to rehash the same idea or the same kind of record, that’s kind of an easy way of going about things. I just like myself too much to make it that easy [laughs] but I hoped that people would like it. You never know what to expect. I think once you walk into a situation that you’re like “overconfident about it” you tend to make some mistakes. Whenever I’m not sure, I take that as a good sign. Which records have been on heavy rotation on your music player? Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Weatherbox. We did a US tour with them and I’m a big fan of them. There’s this kind of weird psychedelic metal band called Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats and I’ve been listening to a lot of that. There’s another band from Orlando, Florida, they’re called Henrietta and they’re on Animal Style Records and they’re very good. I had the pleasure of having them opening up the tour a few days ago and they’re a real treat.

musicandriotsmagazine.com

Dogged EP is out now via Rude Records 33


a sunny love affair... Born in Silicon Valley and raised in Montreal, The Muscadettes are twin sisters Chantal and Kathleen Ambridge who have always been into music and then started this super awesome mix of 60s surf and 90s grunge band. Recently, they´ve put out their summery EP titled Side A and later this year they will put out the other EP, Side B. We chatted with Kathleen about how it is like to share the same band with her twin sister, the two new EPs and a lot more. Words: Andreia Alves // Pictures: Thomas Augustin

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THE MUSCADETTES

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L

et’s start with a cliché question. You girls are twin sisters in a band, so how is it like to make and play music together? We’ve always been making music together since we were young. We started playing other instruments, I started on the cello and my sister started on piano, and then when we were a bit older in high school that’s when I started playing bass and she started playing guitar. We’ve always been playing together. When and how did you figure out that you wanted to form a band together? I think we’ve always wanted to do music for sure. It’s always been a part of what we’ve been doing together ever since we were really young. We went to school through college studying music, like I studied bass and my sister studied guitar. Once we finished school, it was when we started the band and we started playing together and writing songs together. Do you remember what was the first record you girls ever bought? I remember liking the Beatles a lot when I was young and that was a big record for me, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. My mom got us that record and I remember playing that when I was coming back from school. When I was pretty young - like 7 or 8 - I really liked that record and I listened to that a lot. You were born in Silicon Valley, but you were raised in Montreal. Your music seems in a way much more connected to the 60’s beach pop music of LA though. What bands or records had a big impact on you while growing up? Yeah, I think it’s kind of funny because our music is really influenced by the West Coast. We were really into like the 60’s surf music and we would listen to a lot of Beach Boys. Later on, it was the Seattle grunge scene like Nirvana and every other band that came along after Nirvana and all the Riot Grrrl movement. Hole was a really big influence, especially the album Live Through This that was a major album for us growing up.

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How does work the dynamic between you two while writing a song? My sister usually comes up with a part of a song on the guitar. She will bring the guitar melody to me and then we’ll work on every part of the song together. And then we’ll bring the song to the guys in the band and we’ll get like a drum and keyboard arrangements and so that’s how the song comes along. How did the rest of the band come together? The core of the band is me and my sister because it’s our songs, but the more and more the guys get more important into arranging the songs. We just want them to have more ideas to incorporate them into the songs and that’s when the guys come in. We’re not just a duo for the live shows, we’re a fivepiece band. You’re about to release the first of two EPs, Side A, which is a five-song collection that showcases energetic and summery surf rock tunes. How was your approach regarding the writing process? For us, these songs have been around for a while because these are kind of the first songs we wrote together for this project, so the recording process was done in Montreal. We took a few days to record the drums at Breakglass Studio and then we just spent like the next six months recording guitars, vocals, keyboards and everything else in a home studio around Montreal. Once that was finished, we had it mixed in Los Angeles by Lewis Pesacov and then managements and label came into the picture. The EP has been ready for a while and we’re just really excited to put it out finally. The artwork for Side A was created by Melissa Di Menna and it kind of tangles with all the beachy and sunny vibe of the EP. Tell us a little bit about the artwork and what it was inspired by for the end result. We really love the artwork! It was done by our friend Melissa Di Menna from Montreal and she’s a visual artist and does a lot of serigraphy in Montreal and she also plays in a band. She’s really a creative person. She knows us and so she knows what we like. She listened to the album and she came up with this great concept for

“We were really into like the 60’s surf music and we would listen to a lot of Beach Boys. Later on, it was the Seattle grunge scene like Nirvana and every other band that came along after Nirvana and all the Riot Grrrl movement.”


INTERVIEW // THE MUSCADETTES

the cover. We really liked it. What can we expect for the other EP, Side B? It’s going to be released in the fall. I kind of feel like that the two EPs go hand to hand because they were recorded at the same time, but the second one is going to bring something different for sure. It has more moody songs, so it’s gonna be another side of our band. Are you planning on playing more live shows this Summer and play overseas, in Europe? Yeah, we would love to. Our management is in talks with a few booking agents, so hopefully we will get more shows and we would love to travel to Europe or

through the States. We’re gonna have a mini tour on the East Coast, like playing in Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Boston...

There are a million obviously. [laughs] I can’t think of more right now, but TOPS and Operators are really two bands that we love.

How is it like the Montreal music and cultural scene nowadays? Montreal has an amazing music scene. Every night there are live shows going on, there’s always great acts that come through Montreal and there’s always great Montreal bands playing here. People are really interested in music, I feel, and there’s a lot of different types of music also that come out from Montreal. I feel really lucky to be a musician in Montreal.

Lastly, what have you been listening to lately? I’ve been listening to Colleen Green’s new album. I’ve been listening to more electronic stuff like Perfume Genius, I’m into it right now, and I like a lot Ty Segall and Speedy Ortiz.

Is there any band from Montreal that you would recommend us? We love TOPS, we love Operators... musicandriotsmagazine.com

Side A EP is out now via Papercup Music 37


Olivia Merilahti and Dan Levy met a decade ago and two years after they were forming the Paris-based duo that we know as

The Dø

They have recently released their third full-length album, entitled Shake Shook Shaken, and we had the chance to talk with the singer Olivia about what’s probably their most ambitious, coherent, cohesive, and organic effort to date. Words: Tiago Moreira // Picture: Arthur Le Fol

H

ow did it go the show last night in London? It went well despite the fact that I had food poisoning and I was about to cancel, but I desperately wanted to do that. Twenty minutes before the show I wasn’t sure if I would make it, but I did my best and actually it came out as something quite special. It was really special, it was packed and people gave me so much love. I mentioned so they were with me even more. It was great.

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How it has been playing these new songs live? I mean, they probably require something different from you guys. Yeah, it was a challenge to find a way to play them in an organic way because we have a lot of synths and we have a laptop, but still we wanted to keep some moments where we could improvise, keep it warm somehow. But it took many months. We rehearsed and worked with the musicians for many months. It’s almost like rewriting the music, but still we decided to stick to the original songs as much as possible and add to them a little bit of a live sense. You’ve once said that you are a typically complimentary band in the sense of the differences being more important than the similarities. Which differences made possible this new era of the band? Well, I think we decided to spend

less time together because we had become the same person almost. We spent so much time on the road, and in our lives together, that we decided to split things a little bit and listen to different music, read different books, see different films...all these things... it’s almost like treasure hunting, you can’t keep hunting for the same treasure all the time. You have to take different roads and then meet the other person in the end, or midway, to see what we have come back with. That was a different thing that we did this time around, and we both came back with different treasures and new music. Dan was obsessed with electronic music, like club music, and I was obsessed with hip-hop, and so we mixed them into carefully crafted pop songs. I thought this was the most collaborative effort of yours, because it sounds the most


INTERVIEW // THE DØ most coherent work that you guys released so far? Absolutely! We wanted that, that’s actually something that we were consciously doing, because on the previous ones we were kind of willing to go in all directions without really thinking about cohesion, but on this one we definitely wanted a certain color, a certain mood.

“Dan was obsessed with electronic music, like club music,and I was obsessed with hip-hop,and so we mixed them into carefully crafted pop songs.” coherent work that you’ve released so far. Not really, because with the other ones there was more intimacy. There was more time together on the previous ones. I think this one was more... organized might not be the right term, but we kind of decided to work, to spent very short spans of time together but go straight to the point. So, we decided to work on a song... I mean, we would both work on our own studios, at first, and then when we had the songs we would get together in our studio in Normandy. I would drive there – because Dan more or less lives there – and we would spend two, three days together – not more than that – to capture the essence of the track. I think it was a kind of more concentrated process. It was really about being straighter to the point. But, do you agree that this is the

Lyrically speaking, what was the starting point for you? Overall, it seems to exist a certain duality on the album – “Nature Will Remain” is probably the best example of that duality. “Nature Will Remain”... I think I wrote that song quite at a late stage because we had worked a lot with these virtual instruments and “fake” (synthetic/digital) sounds, and I think I was just somehow reconciling with the basis, which is nature and what’s organic. That’s where we come from and that’s what I love the most. However, “Nature Will Remain” is still a... it would have been tempting to record it in a cathedral, or a small chapel with a real organ, but we decided to make it digital. I had this in mind when I was working on the album, like trying to reconcile the city and nature, and I was actually driving – that’s what I did for a whole year, drive from the city to the countryside back and forth – listening to demos and the things we’d recorded. I was basically testing the songs on the road, I wasn’t sure if I felt more comfortable in the city or in the countryside, in the middle of nature, but I definitely needed both. [pause] “Nature Will Remain” is kind of a very optimistic song about believing in nature and what it brings, and how much it feeds the soul – it’s very cliché to say this, but when you live in a very urban environment it makes so much sense, especially in Paris. Do you think that it would be different if it was recorded in the middle of Paris? I think so. Maybe messier and more chaotic. It could have been good though, but I think that there was so much material, emotional material... I wanted something clearer and I wanted to work on each sound very accurately, something that we never really did before, taking care of every single sound

and arranging them together. It wasn’t easy with these really new textures, we were not necessarily comfortable with these synth sounds, and they had to be treated in a certain way. You can’t treat them the same way you treat acoustic sounds. We’re really keen on textures and layers, and that’s maybe how we feel we own the material, we own the sound that we’re working it. It’s like taking some clay in our hands and trying to work the doe as much as we can. I didn’t want to sound heavy or too dense – but it still is – and I think that comes definitely an emotional purpose that was very strong. “Going Through Walls” is very dense. That was a difficult one. We loved the track, we knew that we had something, and it is a great one on stage, but it was difficult to build because we were very... we tried to work on the structures very carefully. I think we felt like architects for the first time and I think that for the other albums there was no sense of architecture, it was very spontaneous regarding the structures of the songs. We love that track but it took a little while to solve the enigma. What came first on that song, the melody or that gnarly, sick riff? I think the riff. I think it was an instrumental track that Dan sent me and so I worked on it and followed the riff with the vocals, and then I wrote the verses. I can’t really remember, but there was this sense of plain’s reactors working. That’s really the core of the track. From the outside it seems that more than ever the visual aspects are really important for the band. Would that be a fair assumption? Yeah, totally! I think we’ve worked with our ears for a very long time and now we have also opened our eyes. It’s fun. It takes double the time. We have so many images in our minds when we work on the music, especially me, I think, so I’m having lots, lots of fun with it, but it takes double the time. I’m glad people are sensitive to it.

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Shake Shook Shaken is out now via Siamese Squids 39


TURBOWO Turbowolf is perhaps one of the most exciting acts in the world right now and with a new album on the pocket we felt that were more than enough arguments for a relaxed conversation with frontman Chris Georgiadis. We talked about the musical industry in the UK and about a hidden world that we really don’t pay much attention nowadays. Words: Ana Carvalho

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T

ell us, how did Turbowolf’s project start in the first place? Well, we started about 2007 I’d say, myself and Andy, we met in Bristol. We’ve been playing in various bands together and also separately from about 2002, so we got together and we started to write some songs and having fun, although we have some other reasons to play now you know, it has become bigger than anything we could have thought in the first place. So, we met in 2000 and stayed in a bunch of bands until 2007. Since then we had other people playing with us, we had three different bass players, two different drummers and now we have the perfect mix of people, I think. Turbowolf’s sound has a lot of different elements, from electronics to heavy metal, but you release such a positive vibe. Like, most of all, you wanna have fun doing what you’re doing and not worrying about the mainstream industry and status quo. No, because we just formed the band wanting to play whatever music we wanted to play. We were not in it to become famous or anything like that. We just wanted to make something that we like doing. We are not in it for like a career, I think having that as starting point is always good. We were sort of like disgusted with the sort of what has been portrayed as rock music in the kind of normal media. I think it still is, nothing has really changed in that time, and it’s still pretty bad. Obviously there’s a lot of great stuff happening, but it’s not publicized as it should be. When we started our band we were kind of against that and it has always been hard, because obviously when you first start no one really wants to go near you because you don’t sound like any other band and they can’t understand who you are. So it takes time to get to know you and now we have our own identity, I think it’s a better place to be, to stand on your own and say “this is what we sound like”. It is not for everyone but at least it’s honest and it’s ours. 42

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Two Hands is more groovy and if I may say, the bass line distortion for example is more in evidence, but the frenetic rhythm and heavy riffs, characteristics of Turbowolf’s music are also present. Was the natural evolution for you after the success of your debut album? Yes, I think what we’ve tried to do was just expanding on everything; we just tried to expand all of the scenes of the first album, the way that everything works. We learned a lot of lessons making that first album in terms of songwriting and recording and the mixing. We tried to learn from those things and create something new. So, all of the sounds are an expansion from the first album. It’s noisier, quieter a bit, faster a bit... it kind of grown in all directions. That’s what we tried to do and at the same time obviously is still us writing the songs, myself and Andy. It’s gonna sound like Turbowolf because is just kind of who we are. We have also some new players on the album and they also bring a new sound to it. What has inspired you to make this new record? It’s hard to know when the line starts and stops in terms of inspiration. We are constantly inspired by everything we do, see, smell... It’s all kinds of mixed up. The way I like to think about was expanding the sound, learning from the things we did on the first album, looking at the world and the things we were interested in. The kind of general ideas we wanted to get across and the scenes we wanted to get across are quite wide in scale like they can touch in people’s lives and I think people can kind of understand parts we were talking about. The inspiration was just to create something really energetic and fun, enjoyable and also powerful, with a deeper meaning. You recorded Two Hands in the epic Rockfield Studios with co-producer Tom Dalgety. How it went, the composition process and the recording sessions? Well, me and Andy write all of the music and then we take it to the band and we basically just rehearse it. We try to turn it into a really instrumental, so we use that media instruments to make the drums, so once the song is made we take it to the other two people and we just jam it out,

and we expand some parts. Once that happens, when we finish all the tracks of the album we record some demos, with our own microphones, kind of demos to listen to and play to some people. We met with Tom when we were doing some demos with a different person and Tom was engineering on that session, we really liked him and we thought “Let’s do the album ourselves with a very good engineer” and that’s how Tom came in. We loved to work with him. We spent two weeks in Rockfield recording bass and drums and then six weeks in Tom’s studio, a really small studio, recording everything else, and going absolutely crazy because we were playing twelve hours a day in there. We were losing our minds. [laughs] Let’s talk about the mysticism that’s around the subjects you’ve approached since the beginning of your career. Why it fascinates you so much? We are just interested in learning about different things and different visions on the world. We are just open to different experiences and ideas. We’re not obsessed in mysticism, we are more just interested in everything. These things are kind of hidden, in a hidden world; we don’t hear and see much about it. We are kind of bombarded with mundane things like football, or politics. All these things make up our lives, but there is another realm I think of some other things that happen out there, that happen around us, that we don’t explore really and we became more closed to that part of our nature as people. Soit’s fun to explore, they are kind of unknown. The unknown is exciting. We love science stuff, like astronomy. We really enjoy learning that kind of knowledge. The lyrical concept in Two Hands is a lot around conspiracy theories like the MK Ultra group. What is really this program to you? [Laughs] Well, MK Ultra group was an American secret government program for mind reading; they did experiments back in the 50s to try to see if they could read people’s minds. I’m not sure, but maybe they’ve succeeded. [laughs] It seemed like a fitting title for the song, the kind of hidden world we talk in the album.


INTERVIEW // TURBOWOLF

“We were sort of like disgusted with the sort of what has been portrayed as rock music in the kind of normal media. I think it still is, nothing has really changed in that time, and it’s still pretty bad.” You have toured with Death from Above 1979 and you’re going to do it again now. Tell us how it was. That was great. We finished touring with them two weeks ago. We did UK and Europe with them; they are one of our favorite bands. To tour with them was fantastic, we get to watch them every single night and also play as well. It was a great honor. It was such a great tour! The mix of music was very good for the audience, we were similar enough to be accepted by their fans but at the same time we were different enough as well to not making like same music for two hours or whatever. They are really nice guys, we respect them hugely. It was just a dream to go on tour with them, and hang out and talk about really weird stuff they’ve done and to

find out all the answers to these questions we had for years about them and what they’ve been up to. It was great. The band has been acclaimed by the critics since your debut album, but now the success is more visible. How do you react to it? We just keep on going, do our thing and don’t listen to them. I think we’ve been doing it for quite a long time. Things come and go like that. People in the media will say that we are great and then say we are terrible. It really does not make a difference to us because people that do like our band are people that we care about, respect and also respect our own judgement and everything else. We let people write what they want and say what they want and we just get on with it, connect with our fans, have fun

and the rest is just a sort of fluff that hangs around, it’s not really real. Besides the tour that you will embark on, what are the plans for Turbowolf? The new album is out now. Then we go on tour in April, we play in the UK first, in a headline tour, then we go to Poland and do two shows with Red Fang. We’ll travel basically back through Europe going west on a headline tour playing in Germany, Czech Republic, Belgium, and then festivals.

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Two Hands is out now via Spinefarm Records 43


POWERFUL AND CONFIDENT, THEY’RE BREAKING THEIR OWN BOUNDARIE 44

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R ES

ROYAL THUNDER

In 2012, released their debut album CVI, where they blended the most enthralling parts of heavy classic rock. Mlny Parsonz added to the sound her remarkable and eloquent voice becoming a necessary piece of Royal Thunder's music. This year, they released Crooked Doors, a massive and impressive achievement by the Atlanta's quartet. In an in-depth chat, Parsonz talked to us about the importance of this new effort and how it totally differs from their previous record. Words: Andreia Alves

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do. I’m just really surprised... I’ve been working nine-to-five jobs, having jobs that aren’t boring but I’ve been working on real estate jobs and then touring in those jobs we need to come back... It’s just kind of funny now to think that how I might not come back. I want to because I like working, but it has taken me by surprise that people care what we’re doing.

S

ince you released your debut album CVI, you’ve been doing non-stop touring and also working on your sophomore album. How are things with you guys since the release of the debut? Things are going well! We’ve been touring pretty heavily and then after that I think in December was the last of the heavy touring, we went out for a little while. We’ve been home, being kind of normal just working and it’s been a while since that album [CVI] and now it’s like hurry up and wait for the next round. We started touring in March here and there. It’s been going really well and we’ve been pretty depressed and we want to get on the road so badly... I mean, it’s been good in that regard being able to hang out and go to shows and see your friends for the first time in a couple of years and we got so much in life to spend the time with our friends and family and we never got the year to do that. How does it feel for you to be a full-time musician and get to where you are now with the band? I’m really surprised by it, because I’ve been playing music since I was 13 and of course my parents would say “What are you going to do with your life?”, even though I was only 13, I said “I just want to be in a band” and it was always like “You have to think bigger than that” and that’s what all I really wanted to 46

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Touring is one of your favorite things as a band. What’s the best thing about being on the road for you? The best thing about it is just something that happens, I don’t know if it’s like the gypsy spirit or something, I don’t know what it is but I’ve always loved the road. I feel centered, I can speak for all of us, even our new guitar player, Will [Fiore], which has being touring for twenty plus years. We’re all used to it. It’s when I feel centered, I feel like sane, and it’s the time where I get to take the late night drives and see the desert for six hours and thinking about every process in life and meeting people and do and see new things... We all kind of live for that simulation of not being in the same lifestyle. We love to just experience. We don’t know what’s going to happen, we don’t even know for sure if the shows are going to go well, we don’t know where we’re gonna be... And it never fails every night and every day, is interesting. Tour is the hardest thing that I’ve ever done and I love it more than anything I’ve ever done. You recorded the new album throughout 2014, so when did you start to work on these new songs? I’ve been trying to think where some of the songs started, but we only went to the studio with three of them and it seemed kind of half way done. The album was really written as we were in the studio. “Ok, here’s some riffs,” and Josh [Weaver] would be in the corner and just fix them up and come back saying “It’s not right” and then we would go back and we would sit in the kitchen, drinking coffee and doing some shit for him, to be ready to “Look, this is it,” and he would come out like a mad scientist. He would just come out with crazy eyes like... Every piece of that album was just written as it went along and with the exception of a few songs. We’ve never done it like that before. We always had a list of raw tracks to go in, but

there were times when I was sitting in the vocal booth just... In the vocal booth at Aria Recording Studio, Joey [producer, Jones] has a vocal booth with a door and it has a window on it to communicate. We’ve just stared to each other like “What am I going to do?” I would be on the headphones like, “I have no idea what to sing dude” and he would be like, “Alright, I’m just gonna hit loop on this and it’s gonna keep going, the chorus, for an hour.” And I would be there just humming. It was a nightmare some days and I was like “I don’t think I’m good at this even at all.” I had pure frustration when it came out. In the end, I can’t say I wouldn’t do like that again, it was interesting for sure. After the great response of the debut album, did you feel any pressure or was it easy to go back to write new songs? I felt a lot of pressure. I really did and I spent many days and nights with Josh thinking, “I don’t know


INTERVIEW // ROYAL THUNDER

"My voice felt stronger and I guess I was trying to know better my voice, because when I was doing CVI I lost my voice a lot." if I can help you as far as creatively. I don’t know if I can do anymore of what I did on CVI.” I just felt pretty hopeless and I really beat up myself a lot through of what we were doing, like tracking vocals. I didn’t feel like a great singer because I had struggled for years. On CVI I had no idea but I found out later on the singing of my vocal range on that album that I was doing on tour like that. I had struggled a lot on the road to keep motivation in our off days. If I had two days off, I would be in complete silence, just drinking water and sleeping. I was in turmoil wondering if I would ever have a voice for the next show. When we were in Europe on tour with Baroness, I went out with Josh and Pete [Adams, Baroness’guitarist]. We were in Paris in this corner cafe and we were drinking these fruity beers. We were just talking and Pete was like “Mel, have you ever thought about tuning down and trying to sing from there?” and we were like “Oh! We’ve never thought about that!” So,

we tuned down for a second and it was just like “Oh my god, I’m relieved!” My voice was struggling by the time he told me that was fully tested, but all this album I had to sing in a completely different key that I wasn’t familiar with. The tones were a little different and I felt like I was coming from a different place and I was kind of like “People will think that I’m trying to do something like challenging”. Nobody knows you’re singing in a different key and I’m trying to relax a little bit if I want to do this for the rest of my life. [laughs] I was feeling like I wasn’t going to do that well with the vocals and as a bass player as well. I’m trying to be a better bass player, because our drummer is just amazing and he’s so good that I want to complement with what he’s doing. He’s just an amazing performer and he has pushed me and taught me how to follow the drums, because I come from an old school background like “Whatever man, let’s just play. Timing, reading music? What is that?” But

it’s been nice to learn more. With that said, your voice is an essential and strong part of your music and with this new record you sing more melodically. How was your approach in terms of the lyrics and voice melodies this time around? It was hard. My voice felt stronger and I guess I was trying to know better my voice, because when I was doing CVI I lost my voice a lot. On this album, I did not experience that at all - except for the parts that I yell over and over again - but I learned how to rest my voice. I wish I knew more about how to do it properly, that would save me a lot of trouble, but I’m still afraid of some questions because I don’t want to be it like tough in my head and in my heart, you know? I think I found that sweet spot. It was uncomfortable because I didn’t know the songs very well, but now that I know as I’m singing them I feel very comfortable. I’m always gonna struggle, but that’s

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something that you struggle and it’s like you can give up or you can keep pressing which it’s what I’ve always done when I didn’t even have a voice. I would press through, I didn’t care, but I’m gonna give what I got and that’s what always been my mindset. When things get harder, you just need to keep going. If you fight for it, you get it! In my honest opinion, Crooked Doors has a slightly sonority change compared to the previous album. It’s much more 70s bluesy and soulful rock than heavy and hard rock, but there’s still heaviness in different ways. What can you tell about the sonority of this record? Do you feel that it has changed or was something not intentional? It was definitely not intentional. First of all, we never talk about the songs, we never say “Play this or that.” It’s the strangest thing. After all these years, I realized “Wow! We never talk in band practice.” [laughs] We never talk about music or what we’re gonna do and we’ve certainly never sat down and talk about it... I think some people might sit down and say “Hey man, let’s start a band that sounds like this and this, but looks like this. Singing like this but playing like this. Let’s start a band that sounds like that.” We’ve never sat down and done that. We’ve never sat down and said “Let’s try a sad song or a futuristic song.” We’ve just never talked about it, it’s just genuinely what it is. I do noticed and I agree, it does sound different. Maybe it doesn’t sound like that to someone else, but it feels totally different to me than the way CVI felt. CVI was a dark time for us and it was a time where Josh and I were coming out of a christian cult that we ended entering a long time. We were going through some spiritual transitions and we were so angry with the church of just going through so much for that. There were all kinds of stuff going on, but I think that’s where the darkness and the heaviness came from. But on this new one, I think Evan [Diprima] changed the sound a lot. I know Josh has progressed, he rapidly progresses as a guitar player and I noticed it over the years. I remember when we put out the EP, he did not have a solo and now he can’t stop. It’s just like I’ve just watched him grow and he’s exploring his guitar playing. I’m really proud of how 48

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much he’s gone. Evan coming to the band, there’s just something about his playing and his musical influence. He has a lot of rock ‘n’ roll influences. It’s been all very much like that and he can hear his grooviness. He’s like 10 years younger than us. Whether if he plays with us or not in the next 20 years, he’s going to be a legend somewhere. I truly believe he will make great things and he’s very humble. The more I listen to the record, the more I get into it, especially the tracks “The Bear I” and “The Bear II” and they are the slowest tracks of the record. What can you tell me about the lyrical content of both songs? “The Bear I” was the first song that I’ve ever played upright bass and it was from the 30s or 40s, I can’t remember. It was a really old upright bass and I’ve never got to meet the guy who owns this beauty, but he apparently came to the studio, I hear that he came to studio to meet us, and the producer, Joey said “We can stay and be here, we know you like it and it’s your special upright bass. You can stay here and hang out” and I said “No it’s ok. I’ll be back to pick it up”, and when I played it, it was so old that it sounded like an Irish walking around on a ship, or something. So, “The Bear I” has this totally different stripped down vibe and that song is a song that I wrote to someone... It’s basically about breaking away, like realizing you’re living this life with stain and there’s something in your life that you’re doing and you realize “Wait a minute, this is not the right path for me.” “The Bear II” was supposed to be a tiny little intro that was going to lead into “The Bear I”, so the producer set everything up. I sat at the piano while he was setting up the mics. I was just kind of playing the piano and hanging out. “Let’s see what you can get out of it. Just go for it.” I said alright and the room got really quiet and he said “I’m gonna start with the piano, since this is like spontaneous and I just want to capture it, we never know what might pop up” and I said “Ok, whatever.” [laughs] I just sat there and froze and I didn’t have anything and I started playing. All the sudden I just closed my eyes and I thought “I’m just playing and I don’t know what this is, I’m just gonna let it come out.” I’ve always said that I’m not a songwriter. I’ve written a

million songs and I’m terrible, I’ve always told myself that, but in that second that just came out and I know that it was the person that I was singing to. I felt like I was channeling that whole idea of what they would say to me, so that’s why it came “The Bear I” and “The Bear II” because that was the bare response to my heart and in how I felt to them. It kind of lingers at the end because I didn’t know how to do it. I just remember I got playing and found a way to end it and it ends when the first note of “The Bear I” comes on. I remember turning around and looking in the window and Joey was looking at me like wide eye, “I don’t know what just happened” and he turned it off and he was like “Come in here. Sit down and listen to it.” To me I found some imperfections in it, but he was like “What you want to do?” and I was like “Nothing. Just keep it, that’s it. It is what it is. No backing vocals or anything fancy, just leave it alone.” That’s what we did. And then I got a cello player coming in and we all said “That’s really good.” I was inspired by the movie Legends of the Fall. It was inspired by that scene where Brad Pitt is leaving and he says “I got go”, like this is my spirit, my bear spirit and it has to be free, so it was inspired by that scene. Once again, the cover art of your record is an interesting and enigmatic piece of art and it was made by Orion Landau. Was the idea for the cover art a concept idea discussed between you guys or was all his idea? I think, if I’m not mistaken, he sent us some photos and so I think some of that was his photography and he added in different elements. But he had several different concepts that he created and I was like “Listen to the album, this is what I’m feeling”. He designed something and we were like “No, it’s not it” and then he was like “What do you guys think of this?”, “No, it’s not it.” All great ideas, but when he said this one, we were like “Ok, that feels more like the album.” There’s a lot of symbolism. He came up with the entire concept and we were able to find symbolism throughout the entire album because there’s white wolves that represent our friendship and our promise as a family, as a band, because the


INTERVIEW // ROYAL THUNDER

"I don’t know what it is but I’ve always loved the road. I feel centered, I can speak for all of us..."

"We’ve never sat down and said “Let’s try a sad song or a futuristic song.” We’ve just never talked about it, it’s just genuinely what it is." truth is that we don’t know where the hell we’re going or what we’re doing. And then in the center there’s an egg and I see that as something delicate and pure. It’s like new and fresh and it’s the center of what’s getting to you, like a precious thing, once you get there, just be careful with it and take care of it. That’s kind of what the egg represents. Not that Orion did any of this on purpose, but we found all that symbolism and being in nature I don’t think you can’t be grounded or centered unless you’re in nature and that’s like a cleansing and the birds flying and soaring over, being free and open. There’s just so

many little things in it. The inside of the artwork is my favorite part, because it’s pictures of Josh and I took while we were on tour that were on our Instagram. About the title of this record, does it have some connection with this cover art? Yeah! Crooked Doors came about when we were on tour and we were lost. We were leaving some coffee shop and we got lost and we were like “Do we turn right or left?” We were looking everywhere and it was like “Where the hell are we?” and then one of us said “Oh man, there are some crooked doors”. We all looked and there was this set of

big garage doors and they were totally... I don’t even know how they got away with this... that is weird. How could you mess it up like that? And then I remember we were like “We should name that for an album because that could actually mean a lot of things” and it ended up as the title of our album.

musicandriotsmagazine.com

Crooked Doors is out now via Relapse Records 49


GALL

BOLD, MENACIN THE BEAUTY OF DE

It has been ten years, ten fuckin’ years… Hard to believe that a decade went by so quickly, an an impact on the punk/hardcore scene, or better, in the rock scene in general. Whether with new one) one this is for sure: they’ve maintained a high-level of importance and actual relevanc their last offering, they add something that most bands have a hard time to find and everything around it that we’ve talked about with founding mem

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LOWS

NG AND DARK... ESOLATION SOUNDS

nd most important is staggering to look back and see that the lads from Watford made such h Frank Carter (Orchestra of Wolves and Grey Britain) or with Wade MacNeil (Gallows and this ce by always delivering thoughtful, provoking, heavy, and angry music. With Desolation Sounds, d to translate into their music: they’ve found maturity. It was about that Gallows, and mber and guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Laurent ‘Lags’ Barnard. Words: Tiago Moreira // Pictures: David Bremmer

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M

ore than two months to release the new album. It’s just a lot of work right now or too much nervousness as well? It’s basically... I think everyone got like a jobs and stuff, you know what I mean? So, people are just working. Right now I’m just packing up records for my record label, Venn Records. I think it’s just business as usual, really. We’re just looking forward to get the album out, not real tension, or nerves, or anything like that. We don’t have really anything to prove to anyone. We’re just making music and having fun. Essentially, that’s what it should be all about, in my opinion. In 2009 you’ve released Grey Britain, addressing some important issues going on in Britain. How do you see Britain now? It seems that those issues, those problems, have escalated since then. Yeah! When we did Grey Britain it was actually... when we wrote it, it was actually just before it kind go really fucking crazy, in 2009. So we wrote the album in 2008 and I just remember going into the studio and talking with the guys in the band about what we’ve been reading on the newspapers and seeing on the TV. It kind of inspired us to write Grey Britain and... yes, it’s going pretty wild and it almost comes to a point where there are not many bands that sing about politics that much anymore, like Rage Against the Machine. You don’t really dance anymore. You got your bands like Anti-Flag or smaller punk rock bands, but.... You’re right. Nowadays you don’t see as many “high-profile” bands talking about those issues as in the past. Sure, you have bands like letlive. that do it but it’s a very limited number. What’s your opinion about the music business regarding that specific aspect? I think that maybe music is taking a turn. People kind of use music as an escape as opposed to a method of projecting political views. Essentially all music is entertainment but some bands just lost that strive to reach out with political messages simply because people

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aren’t listening to that kind of music. For the most part people just stopped buying those kinds of records. It’s like kids nowadays rather listen to a band sing about going to the movies than a band singing about how fucked your country... it’s just the way the music is nowadays. I can’t think one single act selling out big venues that have any kind of political messages. Your turn the radio on and there’s nothing like that. In the 60s, 70s, and 80s, there were a lot of bands, a lot of punk bands that were on mainstream radio but they also carried a really strong message. Unfortunately, it’s not like that anymore. Music has changed and it kind of pisses me off a bit, but at the same time I think there are so many other ways that people are trying to get involved with political change and stuff like that. I went to an exhibition recently which was all about protests and it was really interesting... People seem to be getting involved by doing things that are outside of bands, putting on events, going to marches, just people aware of what’s going on. Social media... you can do your music but then you have this other platform where people can listen to your opinion. Even for Gallows, if I have something to say, if I have a strong point of view then I can just put it and share it on Facebook rather than wait and putting it on a song. Nowadays you have different ways to share your views, and you don’t have to wait. You don’t have to write a song, record it and then release it. You can just share it right away, instantly on the social media. But it’s not the same thing. I don’t believe that sharing your thoughts on social media has the same impact than releasing great music… I’m thinking about Public Enemy. Their music and message had a tremendous impact that I’m not sure if social media can ever reach. I agree, but people stop using music as a political platform – the majority of people anyway. I think people listening to bands nowadays just want to use music as an escape rather than a reality check. Going to a gig is a way to escaping how shit life is, as opposed to going to a gig and get reminded that the world is shit and we need to do something about it. I think it’s an all fear-pushing. You watch the news and it’s “be scared of terrorists, be scared of bombs,

be scared of these people coming to your house”, and so now people rather than fighting back they’re looking for ways out, and I think bands are kind of doing exactly the same. They’re not fighting back, they’re hiding from the issue. Would you say that it was the first time that you’ve worked with freedom on your hands? I mean, without any concerns other than create the music that you like and believe. I would say that’s very true but when Gallows first started we didn’t have a fan base that support us. So, you’re right, going into the studio for the first record it was like “Fuck it! Let’s just write some songs. Who cares?” I didn’t really focus in what kind of riffs worked the best way. There’s a verse, there’s a chorus... There was no real planning or craftsmanship with that album. Even when we did it Frank was in the band and then he left the band so it was just me, Stu, and Lee, just writing and auditioning singers... It’s a bit just stupid, really, looking back. In a way it’s lucky that the album even came out. You said that the self-titled album was the moment where musically Gallows reached the peak because there was no fat on the record; it was a very lean record. Do you see Desolation Sounds as a kind of different step or a different dynamic to that same mindset? I think that with the new record it’s a different dynamic, completely. With the self-titled album we worked really fuckin’ hard to make sure that every second of the album was pure kind of adrenaline, like impact the all way through. With the new record we kind of sat back and experiment with a few different ideas. We still did it in a really short amount of time but this time around we were not focusing on delivering something that was, from start to finish, like an attack. In this record there are loads of different moments, and it’s just the chance for the four of us to sit back and enjoy making music. I feel like other every album that we’ve ever made has been a very stressful... it was basically intense making a Gallows record, whereas this one it was just fun to try new ideas. We’re all so much older, we got jobs, got married, and there’s no reason in going mentally


INTERVIEW // GALLOWS

“I’ve always been forced to write fast, heavy, and aggressive music but it’s been such a huge, almost spiritual experience being able to write softer moments.” stressed to get an album done. We don’t even feel the need to tour that much because if you’re a band touring all the time you get tired, you miss your family, your miss your friends it’s just not worth it anymore. We just want to make music, play a few shows, and have fun. That’s how it was when we started this band, it was fun. There was never the concern, back in those first days, to go to all these countries to show the record to all these different people. We’ve done that so many times in the last ten years, almost, so it’s going to be fun to just play music, sit back a little bit, and just enjoy it. I’m in a different band, with different people... It’s just a good period of all of our lives. Listening to the new album was hard to keep the word maturity out of my head. Do you share the feeling? It seems it is the first

time that we hear a really matured Gallows. Yeah, definitely with this album... I don’t know, there are parts of me that are really excited because finally I get to do something like this. I’ve always been forced to write fast, heavy, and aggressive music but it’s been such a huge, almost spiritual experience being able to write softer moments. I feel like even those more introspective parts of the new record, they’re still super dark, it still has that Gallows vibe. It’s not straight up slow songs, they’re slow, slightly evil, and slightly menacing. You don’t have to play hard to be menacing, you just need to have that undertone and I think it’s definitely there on the record. Back in 2009, you said that JR Ewing were an influence for you, writing Grey Britain. Six years and two albums after, who and what would you say influenced

you? I’ve noticed some Motörhead on the title track and some gothic influences on “Bonfire Season”. Yeah. [laughs] That’s right, for me like a huge influence, strangely enough, was this kind of... music by Lana Del Rey, her new album. I just like how... it’s a really beautiful record, but it’s really a dark record as well. Same with Chelsea Wolfe. There’s an element of beauty and an element of sorrow. I felt like I wanted to put something of that into Gallows because I’ve always felt that has been a part of Gallows, even with Grey Britain where you have the string section that sounds beautiful, and then you have these songs that just sound fuckin’ heavy and nasty. I’ve had that battle between beauty and ugliness, that has been always a part of what Gallows is about and I kind of went and explore it more on this album, and definitely,

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when you mention “Bonfire Season”... yeah, I’ve been a huge fan of The Cure, for years, and Killing Joke, and bands like that. More kind of goth bands from the 80s. Why the fuck not experiment with that kind of music? That’s the reason why “Bonfire Season” became the single, it’s because everyone kind of heard it and it’s a catchy tune. It doesn’t mean that is a representation of the album. People will listen and see that it’s something different from Gallows, and I’ve much rather do that than just give people exact the same thing. I agree that “Bonfire Season” isn’t a representation of the entire album, but isn’t that specific track a statement regarding where the band is right now? “Burning like a bonfire until there’s nothing left. I’m losing my desire to be in love with death.” Yeah, with Gallows we keep people on their toes. Every time we release an album is something different, and that’s always been the case. In punk and hardcore it seems to be a scene where you just keep releasing the same record every time. Some of my favorite bands are NOFX and Bad Religion – love them to death and always listen to them – but essentially every time they release a new record is very similar to the last. There’s nothing wrong with that but I think with Gallows we enjoy trying to take the band to a new direction and make sure we continue to like forge our impasse. I always felt Gallows were a band that never were like comfortable in the punk scene, and never been comfortable in the hardcore scene, but that’s because we kept doing our own thing. We haven’t been sticking to trends that are out there. We just write music how we want to write it, and play it how we want to play it. That’s important for anyone to stay true to their art... We do it all the time. We have 100% belief in what we do, it’s not a situation where we put music out there and we think like “Oh my god, I hope people like this.” We fuckin’ love the new record. If people love it that’s awesome, and if they don’t... that’s cool as well. There’s so much other music out there. People just need to listen to whatever makes them happy. Did you know, when you were composing “Swan Song”, that it would close the album? Not really. “Swan Song” was one of 54

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“As you get older that teen angst ki eventually you’re asking yourself,“W the last tracks to be recorded. The main reason why we put it in the end is because I actually wrote the music to it years, and years ago – when Frank was in the band, really – and when we were in the studio our drummer Lee said that we should put out this song and definitely see what could happen, so we kind of put it together. I feel that we put it in the end simply because it was the outro and when it slows down to the atmospheric part, it was just like... I don’t know... I was asking because is, in my opinion, the perfect song to close the album. It makes

sense, you know? Yeah, for us it did as well. I think with every Gallows record we’ve worked hard to make sure that the final tracks is the best one there is. The bad vibes kind of fueled the music in the past. I know there was a shift in that regard. How that shift affected the band and music looking back? Yeah, I think that with the three records was always been like a real tension, and a real pressure on us to do something important... Maybe not so much the first record, but I think with the Grey Britain and the self-titled. Like I said, this album is... I can’t really explain it.


INTERVIEW // GALLOWS about?” I never thought to play music like this but it just sounds really cool, it just seems to be the natural thing to do. Have you ever figured it out? Why were you so angry? No, when I go on stage I still get fired up and pumped... I think that’s what Gallows is all about. The crowd gets pumped, you get pumped, and there’s just a lot of adrenaline in a Gallows show. I’m still angry but at the same time I’m happy with my life and with what I’ve created around me. It’s nice to sit back and look what Gallows have achieved and see how fucking cool it is. Why Desolation Sounds? Wade actually picked the name. It’s named after an expanse of water in Canada. I think he just saw the sign... It’s that simple. [laughs]

ind of gets quieter and quieter, and Why the fuck was I so angry about?" It’s just a really fun time to make music and to get pumped about it. We pretty much recorded all the songs live as well. We would write the music in the day and then we would recorded live – bass, drums and one guitar, and then lay the other guitars on it later. That’s a hard process to go through. Yeah, it’s funny because if you listen to “Chains”, for example, you can hear crazy tempo changes going on. Also on the opening track, “Mystic Death”, there are a lot of tempo changes. We tried to keep everything as live as possible. It’s like making a garage punk record,

you know what I mean? Just going there, write the music, record it, and in the last few days Wade would come in and do the vocals. Was it easy to create and record without that stress that you were used to? Yeah, I thought it was quite easy. Obviously there are times where we disagree on parts of songs and even tracks that never made the record, which is normal. It was just nice because I think everyone was just in the same place. As you get older that teen angst kind of gets quieter and quieter, and eventually you’re asking yourself, “Why the fuck was I so angry

How are things with Venn Records? Things are going well with Venn. Our latest release is by Milk Teeth which already is sold-out, before the release date. It’s cool, man. It’s really fun to work with so many young bands. We’ve worked with Marmozets and now they are on Roadrunner Records doing lots of big things. At the end of the day is not us making the label, is the bands that we work with. I basically have to thank just Baby Godzilla, Marmozets, Milk Teeth, Moose Blood... all these amazing bands that made Venn Records what it is now, and to keep me going to the post-office everyday shipping out t-shirts and vinyl. [laughs] It is really refreshing to me to be working with all these bands. What’s cool is that a lot of these bands kind of grew up listening to Gallows and so for us when we speak to them about making a record is really easy. It’s not like, “We have to convince them that Venn is the right label for them.” It’s really easy. We’re doing a show next week, our first Venn Records’ night in London, and that has sold out as well. I’m just really happy with the bands doing so well and that’s basically why we’re there for, to help them out the best way possible.

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Desolation Sounds is out now via Venn/ PIAS 55


T A S N A E C O W E H T G N I K A E BR

Founding inspiration for their name from the world’s largest recorded mega-tsunami - measuring at 1,700 feet high - that demolished Alaska’s coastline in 1958, Oceans Ate Alaska debut album is a crushing experience. Lost Isles is ambitious as fuck, these dudes offer a new take on what modern metalcore stands for nowadays. We caught up with frontman James Harrison about this impressive and groundbreaking debut album, their signing with Fearless Records and much more... Words: Tiago Moreira

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he name of the band is a reference to a natural disaster. I’m curious, why did you decide to kind of attach that imagery to the band? I know that it’s a reference to the world’s largest recorded mega-tsunami - measuring at 1,700 feet high - that demolished Alaska’s coastline in 1958. It’s pretty much just one whole big concept. We just saw the newspaper headline “Oceans Ate Alaska”, in some geography books that we were reading years ago, back in school, and the name just kind of really stood out to us. When we came around to name the band, we just basically brought, obviously, that back… “Why not calling the band Oceans Ate Alaska?” It has a really cool back-story, all these in-depth things about it. We musicandriotsmagazine.com

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also have this hashtag that’s running through the band, #432Crew, and that’s more to do with our tuning and in terms of instruments and things like that. Our tuning is slightly different from most of the bands out there. Basically that waveland 432 is exactly the same waveland and vibrations as the earthquakes, your heartbeat, and spinning on the exactly same space. A much more natural sounding vibration rather than 440... The whole concept of tuning, the name of the band, and how it came about from the earthquake, all ties in in one massive big concept, which we think it’s pretty cool to do rather than just name ourselves after just a word or something like that. [laughs] Sometimes fans want to read about it and I think it’s quite an interesting read. Every time people find out about this concept they say that it’s pretty cool. It just adds a little more depth to the band, I guess. Was the creative process a little bit exhausting? For what I’ve heard it was “trial and error” until everything was 100% fulfilling for every member of the band. Correct. You’re right in that aspect. To get this debut album it was really over a two-year period. The process was quite long. We didn’t go out with the aim of sounding like anyone. We all have vastly different influences, from different genres – just jazz, poppunk, post-hardcore, deathcore, tech metal, etc. – and we just try to fuse all of these aspects together, so yeah, it was a long and dragged on process in terms of writing the album. Once it was recorded – we actually did it ourselves... We went to Michigan, US, to record the album, and this was even before we’ve been in contact with Fearless Records. So, everything was a big gamble but once we got the final tracks back we just sent them out to Fearless and that, again, became a whole long process of sorting out contracts and having remastered it, and things like that. It was a very, very long process to get this album out. Was it easy to deal with that waiting process? It was tough. It was parts of it where we were like, “Oh, let’s just put it out ourselves,” but once Fearless came along there was no doubt that we wouldn’t turn that opportunity down. I mean, they’re 58

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“Music is constantly adapting and changing, and we didn’t want to bring something out that’s two years old. Thankfully the kind of music that we write as a band is slightly different from most metalcore.”

was, obviously, a thirteen-track album... It was very long days but very, very stressful. We would be up at 9am in the morning and we would work until 10/11pm. That was our schedule for approximately one month. Most of the writing was done prior to that so there was no chopping and changing in the studio – otherwise we wouldn’t have any time whatsoever. We knew well the parts that we were supposed to do, the lyrics, etc. You’re right, it does take a while to construct an album like that. Specially, it takes a while to the producer to adjust. But he did an amazing job editing and having it sound as good as it sounds.

a massive company. So, it was very, very frustrating and nerve-racking as well. Music is constantly adapting and changing, and we didn’t want to bring something out that’s two years old. Thankfully the kind of music that we write as a band is slightly different from most metalcore. Fortunately for the fans this is some kind of different music and they appreciate that fact, but... for us it’s old. [laughs]

If I’m not mistaken “Floorboards” was the first music to surface the net. It has definitely a positive message. Are the other twelve songs going through the same path? [pause] In terms of “Floorboards” you’re right, it is a very... It’s more of a pop-punky/post-hardcore side to Oceans Ate Alaska, it’s not as heavy as the death metal/tech metal songs that we have within the album. We wrote that song knowing that it would be a single. We had it in our heads that we needed to do it catchy but still within the range of what OAA is about. It really tries, with the music and everything, to uplift the listener with more major keys and notes rather than with the minor notes in most of the songs on the album.

There’s definitely a lot going on with Oceans Ate Alaska’s music. Was a more or less easy task to fit everything together? I mean, to put the songs together to create something that is cohesive. Yeah, I understand what you’re saying. For us, we could that... we could just write formulaic type of songs, but we’re not in a band for the money or anything like that. We’re purely in it to express us as people and we just write music that we get a kick out of rather than just writing something that we think the fans would like, so it is just an added bonus if they end up enjoying the music we write. So, for us when we’re writing in that process we come up with a piece that we like and then we find a crazy time signature, or polyrhythm that matches the song... or something else that get us excited. Basically we don’t do it on purpose or for a specific reason, we just do and we enjoy it. Was it hard to record the album? It sounds like it might been the case, and perhaps it was also a long process as well. We just had a standard four a bit weeks, just like any other band usually takes to record an album, and rather than be a ten-track album like most bands do

You’ve signed a deal with Fearless Records, which is a huge victory just for the fact that there aren’t many bands from the UK working with them. How it has been working with them? It’s a massive pleasure to be working with Fearless Records. There are, like you said, just a couple of UK bands on their roster. It’s a massive opportunity for us. We’re beyond excited and pleasured to be with them, working with them, because they’ve given us so many opportunities even within just the past three months of being on the label.

Lost Isles is out now via Fearless Records


INTERVIEW // OCEANS ATE ALASKA

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LITURGY

Th Any time a band breaks away from orthodoxy, the internet stands poised to deliver condemnation from upon high, and no-one has felt this more keenly than Liturgy. Several years after seemingly imploding under the controversy, the transcendental black metallers have struck back with The Ark Work, the clearest rendering of their unorthodox blueprint yet. Vocalist, guitarist and co-founder Hunter Hunt-Hendrix spoke to us about their most triumphant return. Words: Dave Bowes // Pictures: Erez Avissar 60

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o how are things in the Liturgy camp at the moment? They’re good. The new album just went up and that’s cool. Right now we’re putting together a new live setup to be able to reproduce the new songs without adding a new member to the band. I have a MIDI guitar pickup connected to a computer and we play as a band but there’s this virtual orchestra supplementing the music, which is a pretty unusual thing. It’s taken some tweaking but we’re pretty happy with it. We’re starting our US tour at the beginning of April so we’re doing our preparations for that just now. Can we take it that the logistics of playing a song live don’t really come into play when composing material? Yeah, they don’t, especially not on this album.


INTERVIEW // LITURGY

he Triumphant Return This is the first record that I’ve made these kinds of arrangements for - with the last two records, every song could be played by a rock band live because that’s what the music was written for, but this one is different. It has really weird arrangements and stuff that was all made on a computer before the band ever played any of the music. A big part of the process of writing this album was learning to use Ableton Live, sampling techniques and sample packs... just different ways to experiment with music on a computer. I had all this electronic stuff and this expanded production, and we then recorded the band on top of that for the record; the actual rock band was the last thing to go on the album. The live performance is the opposite, so it’s a matter of flipping that on its head. Is there any one unifying theme

or concept that was kept in mind as you composed? Conceptually, there’s a theme which is using a black metal record that continues the Wagnerian project of Gesamtkunstwerk and making something that uses music to transmit love and healing and divine power. That’s basically what The Ark Work is. Musically speaking, the rule is to have a black metal framework but use that as a space where lots of different styles of music can come together that don’t ordinarily belong or fit together – to make an album which isn’t a pastiche of a lot of different styles but uses black metal as a hub or node, a place where they can all resonate with black metal and then by extension resonate with each other; to have rap music on one hand and medieval chant on the other hand. It’s like building a house

of cards. I don’t know if I’m explaining it too well but that’s the compositional aim. In some senses, you are building upon concepts that have run through much of your music. What do you feel you managed to accomplish with The Ark Work that had eluded you in the past? A couple of things. The album isn’t out yet so I don’t know how people are going to react to it but I feel like this album has less of a danger of being mistaken for something that it’s not than previous albums. My experience was that previous albums reached an audience that were expecting and hoping for it to be a different kind of music or a different kind of project; a lot of the ideas that I wanted to express on those records, I didn’t actually express, or they were more implicit. With this, it’s very explicit, completely

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unhinged. I wanted to go all the way with the way that I hear this music playing in my head. Because of that, I have a sense that people will understand where the record is coming from a little bit better. It’s a weird album. It’s a more exhaustive realisation of the combination of influences that have always gone into the music. It’s an extremely vast album in its scope, particularly in the breadth of genres that it manages to touch upon. Do you place many limitations on yourself for your compositions, or is it the lack of limitations that makes Liturgy what it is? It’s a very severe process. With music like this, the big danger is being tasteless or being needlessly eclectic in putting together incoherent collage just for fun. With that danger in mind, I’ve tried to be very deliberate about combining elements in a way that is really synthetic; that makes sense on an intuitive level and is able to communicate this really powerful emotion that I want this music to convey. It’s really very emotional music and I think if you juxtapose elements that are too incompatible with each other you lose the ability to really communicate emotionally. It’s a high-stakes procedure to make authentic moving music but at the same time experiment in this way. I guess what I’m saying is that the limitation is that it has to sound good. The other thing is that at the end of the day, I’m only really able to write one kind of song. Every Liturgy song kind of sounds the same, no matter what. They all have this same, particular harmonic language, this yearning, sweeping thing and I can’t write music that doesn’t sound like that. It’s not Liturgy if it doesn’t have that quality. Is there something in the production or the musicianship that is key to bringing that particular sound to life? I think there’re a couple of elements to it. I love the way the band plays and we have a very strong, energetic feeling that we’ve developed over the course of a long time. At the end of the day, the main thing is that I can’t be happy making any other music than what sounds this way. One attribute that is strongly a ssociated with your sound, 62

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particularly here on The Ark Work, is light. It’s almost blindingly bright. Is this vision what you have in mind? Basically, what I have in mind is seeing God. William Blake talks about “opening the eternal eyes.” That’s the existential experience that I’m trying to foster with the music, whatever that exactly means. This is an ancient theme in music and the arts. It’s the reason I’m in the game. It’s what I get out of making the music. When you say God, what does that mean to you? Is it something tangible, a concept or perhaps an ideal? I don’t really know. I don’t have a good answer to that question but I know it when I see it, or feel it. One aspect which ties in closely with your music is symbolism, or rather symbology. How important is the visual aspects of this in order to achieve the effect you strive for musically? Is it purely aesthetic or a crucial part of the whole? It’s important. I’m actually very unhappy with the album cover for The Ark Work. I really wanted to use a different cover and there was a huge amount of pressure from the label to not use it because they thought it’d be too alienating. I ended up using the cover that I wanted for the first single, Quetzalcoatl - it’s two virtual CGI figures. I really regret giving into that demand to be honest. The visual aspect of the music is very important but it’s definitely secondary to the music itself and I would say it’s kind of tertiary. The ideas that go along with the music are more important than the visuals. There’s this kind of philosophical system that matters more than the album covers. I’ve noticed that album covers seem less and less important these days and that there’s plenty of great albums out there that have pretty mediocre album covers because the way that people listen to music has become so much more scattered. It’s easier to advance the ideas along with music and maybe the visuals don’t matter as much. I want to look more into that. I want to do more with music videos and music that goes with aparticular narrative – that’s something that I’m interested in exploring more after this album cycle is done. Put music together with drama, but in a rock music

context, with music videos. You’ve spoken in the past about the philosophical system you’re currently working on. Do you feel that understanding of such a system is necessary for full understanding of the music itself? I don’t think anyone needs to understand the system to understand the music. The music has its own set of rules that is not related to the system. I feel that the record is breaking new ground in a couple of different ways by just combining things that haven’t been combined before and you don’t need to know about the system to get into that. The system also doesn’t necessarily need the music either. They’re related to each other but it’s not up to me to tell an audience how deep to go in but I try to make it possible to go in deeper. The system also is unfinished – it’s a work in progress. It’s sort of this combination of post-structuralist psychoanalysis and hermetic Kabbalah mysticism. I’m trying to figure out the ways to weave the system and the music together on the internet but it’s a work in progress. I consider the album to be a whole of its own and it also connects to other things. Given that the development of the system is still ongoing, do you feel that it will always play a role in whatever you create from here on in? Yeah, as far as my process goes, these things are intimately connected and any audience or fan can latch onto one part of it and leave the rest but, for me, with each new release I’m working towards something closer to a total work of art that has a complete philosophical system and a complete drama and a complete musical style. I don’t feel it’s there at this point but I feel that this is the next installation that’s driving towards that aim, and we’ll see how far we get before I die. Maybe not very much further but that’s what drives me. I have this sense of pregnancy with something that’ll be more realised when I’m forty or fifty or something. Do you believe that there is such a thing as achieving perfection in art, though? I think that every real work of art is perfect, actually. Perfection


INTERVIEW // LITURGY

“I’ve definitely matured a lot. I was in my mid-20s when getting going with the band and I definitely had to do a lot of growing, personally, to be able to handle the amount of controversy that this band generates...” is a particular thing and even if it feels imperfect at first, it becomes perfect if it’s really a work of art. You describe your latest work as breaking new grounds in terms of the combinations of styles being utilised, making it a very pure form of musical expression in one sense in the same way that free jazz is a pure form of expression. Do you find many similarities between the music you create and genres outside the scope of metal? Sure. I listen to a ton of classical music and I don’t listen to that much jazz but I get when people compare the sound to jazz. I think that when you put together metal and the internet, there’s a lot of possibility, because you can make the songs as long as you want and you can make them as weird in terms of harmonic arrangements as you want. With black metal and death metal, many bands in both these genres make these huge, sprawling compositions and because cultures now are mediated by the internet and no-one has an identity that focuses on only one genre you can then branch out and pull all these other sounds and genres into metal and have it expand in a more qualitative way.

I guess you could call it jazz but I just call it ‘metal meets the internet’. The years between The Ark Work and Aesthetica were obviously a very trying time for you, and for the band as a whole. How do you feel you’ve changed as a result of the trials you all went through? I’ve definitely matured a lot. I was in my mid-20s when getting going with the band and I definitely had to do a lot of growing, personally, to be able to handle the amount of controversy that this band generates because I feel it and want to continue doing this despite it but it takes a lot of self-awareness and a lot of humility. I feel much more comfortable doing this now than I did five or eight years ago because back then I had this urge to do something like this but it seemed so crazy and now, it’s still a little bit crazy but it’s real and it’s happening. It’s not that complicated – I’m just going through the same process of maturity that everyone goes through in their late 20s.

aspects of your work? I really think it will be harder to misinterpret this album than previous albums, but I’m not really sure. I’ve already done some interviews with morons and assholes who are just trying to get to me and say mean things but I think those people were just too early in the album cycle to realise that doing that doesn’t make sense anymore. I really think the idea that Liturgy is this ridiculous thing that you should make fun of has, I imagine, been put to rest; that the people who really hate the band just won’t bother listening to it and it’ll find an audience that’ll appreciate it. Maybe it’s wishful thinking but that’s what I’m hoping for. I’m not less comfortable talking about anything, really. What would you ideally like listeners to get out of listening to The Ark Work? I want people to enjoy it if they like it and be inspired, if possible. It’s pretty straightforward.

You said earlier that a lot of the controversy with the band before was perhaps down to a degree of misinterpretation. Does that make you cagey now when discussing www.facebook.com/MUSICandRIOTS.Magazine

The Ark Work is out now via Thrill Jockey 63


ESKA Beautiful Soul It doesn’t take too much time to realize it: Eska Mtungwazi is a beautiful person with an unbelievable soul… and a brilliant sense of humor. It took her something like fifteen years to release her debut, self-titled, album – I guess it’s easy to get lost when you’re constantly working with people like Grace Jones, Ty, The Cinematic Orchestra, and Tony Allen – but it was worth the wait. The world can finally experience it. It’s not what she does, although it’s always refreshing to hear an eclectic (jazz, reggae, soul, blues, rock, experimental) mind, but rather how she does it. It was an amazing conversation with someone that has this kind of unsung background. Words: Tiago Moreira // Pictures: Jaroslav Moravek

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know that you work all the time but you’re about to release your album and already working on new stuff. [laughs] Of course. Are you kidding me? My next album is half-done. There’s no time to be stationary. I love to be working all the time, it allows me to try different things, to experiment with vocals, but this one is more a support thing, just backing vocals, just to lay some vocal lines in a couple of tracks. It’s the curious art, in vocal production, of not being heard, if that makes sense. [laughs] It does. Did you see that amazing documentary about backup singers, called Twenty Feet from Stardom? Yeah, I saw it. But I’m very studio-based. I don’t really do live backing vocals for people. I prefer the studio environment for that kind of thing. It’s a bit more interesting to me because I get to manipulate my voice. I can get to add crazy plugins. I guess being a producer I’m more interested in that, not how my voice sounds live but also what it can do, how you can extend it, and how you can manipulate it in the studio. It’s great when people send me an amazing track and say, “Eska, can you be on it? But don’t sound like you’re on it.” [laughs] I don’t know if that’s really good for them, but that’s definitely amazing for you. Like you said, you can experiment and learn new things about your instrument, about your voice. Exactly! You get to learn about your voice when you do things like that. Especially when you have time to get on the other side, you get to produce your own vocals. I think it would be very frustrating if I was doing backing vocals live... For me the exciting thing is asking more questions to myself. “What would happen if I did this? What about if I did that?” It’s orchestration in a way, I guess that’s what I really, really get excited by. Funny about you talking about raising questions. For me that’s the purpose of making music. The answers are not that important, it’s more about asking the right questions. Yes! Very true! I think it’s about the journey to somewhere, and the record is only a document of a moment in time – that’s one thing such a strong live

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background, my performer’s background, and what I love about that is that every day you can be a different person. It’s only the moment that people hear and they judge that moment, but with the record that’s it... People are going to judge you forever on a record, which seems a little bit crazy to me when actually all there is, is a document of what you were doing in a moment in time. It’s only documenting a process, and there’s a little shame about the way in which we continue to be because nowadays we don’t have that wonderful information that we used to get with vinyl, back in the day. Information about where it was recorded, who’s playing on it, who’s singing on it, who produced it, and all that information that’s all part of the process of that sound, where that sound came from. There are more people involved than more often we realize. It’s a document for all that time, all that effort, all that love, all the fighting, and all the bickering. [laughs] When we decided which formats we would have this record on, one of things that was really important to me was that the lyrics would be there, the liner notes would be there, for the people to have that information. That’s just magical for me. On top of that problem - of people, generally speaking, don’t having the access to the whole information that’s in that document - there’s also the problem that people don’t bother to listen to the entire document. It’s all about the singles. I think it’s the way the album has been marketed. It’s been mismanaged, I feel. The concept of the album, like you said, has been neglected. It has become more of an artistic endeavor and not a financial one, and that encourages people to don’t see what the artist does, their body of work. For me, if someone just took one track off of the album that I’ve made... I’m glad if they enjoy that one track but they really don’t going to understand it without the context of the other tracks I’ve put it with it. Honestly, they will not get it. I mean, we recorded nineteen tracks and I’ve put it down to ten in the end, and those ten were, from me, what came together, a coherent body of work. You know how our parents said to us, when we were kids, “Eat the vegetables because they’re good for you and you will be healthier.”? Well, it’s 66

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the same thing with records. Listen to the entire record and you will enjoy even more the experience of listening to music. Just listen to the all bloody thing. What’s wrong with saying that? [laughs] But then people say, “Oh, but that sounds so vain. How can you try to force people?” You know what I mean? Yeah, you are supposed to be proud of your work. It’s the natural way of it. If you’re releasing music then you should be proud of it. People get mad with Kanye West because he doesn’t have a problem saying that he thinks he’s the best there is, and he often says “Why the hell will I try to be humble about it when in all honesty I think I’m better than you?” [laughs] Yeah, I hear you. I’m still getting my head and my mouth around that, because the thing is that’s how I feel about my record, I genuinely do. I feel like, “Look, it’s a great record. Listen to the all thing.” This is ridiculous for me to have to play silly games. The other thing is when people try to say to me, “Oh, but you know, people haven’t got the attention span.” What are you talking about? Of course people have the attention span. When they want to have the attention span they have it. And there’s this other thing: people don’t see music as art. It’s just entertainment. James Brown was entertaining people, sure, but he was delivering something much bigger and deeper than that... art! Uau, that’s deep! James Brown was indeed making art, and that art had politics as well. The other thing is... The funny thing, Tiago, is that I don’t feel that’s just a record that I’m putting out because I feel very strong, it’s myself as well, and my opinions, and my views. I think to myself: it’s crazy in a democracy where people say stupid things like, “Music and politics shouldn’t mix.” That’s crazy! That’s ridiculous! Making art is political. Musicians should stand for something. If I do represent something, if I do have something to say... music can be political and a voice for change. So, with this record, I feel also that there’s a part of me that needs to step up. It’s art and therefore is politics too. The fact that people are so scared to say something and feel like they can represent something, is what’s making everybody so bored. James

Brown... just think how many can be that funky, that sexy, and that radically political. How hot is that? When someone is on fire like that, instead of just hot and sexy and that’s it, nothing else going on. You know what, for me this record is saying, “This is what it sounds like for me to be alive today! This is my document of my moment right now.” In that respect I hope it can resonate with people. How was it like for you growing up? How impactful were those early experiences to what you’re currently doing? I guess that, musically, my upbringing has had a huge effect on me just in terms of the music my dad played, the vinyl collection that my dad had, and also the great opportunity that we were given by going to music school, and getting opportunities to play instruments, and stuff like that. One of the best things was that my dad’s collections were so eclectic because that taught me that I could listeneverything and that there’s no such thing as band music just because it is from a certain genre, and something like that. That’s why now I have the urge to experiment, to try new things. You’ve collaborated with the one and only Grace Jones – not to mention others like Cinematic Orchestra, Bobby McFerrin, and Matthew Herbert. I would love to know how was it to work with one of most amazing, original, strong women in the business... and, highly underrated, if you ask me. Yeah, she is! It’s quite something the stir she makes when she enters in a room, or after a concert where you kind of realize the uber fans that you meet, but I have to say, growing up in the UK as a black woman, thinking to myself, “Who’s the female role model I can look up to?” To be honest she’s one of the very few I can think of, when I think about artists out there. That’s not necessarily to do with style, or even music... It was way more than that. Exactly! You know what I’m saying. [laughs] I remember watching an interview that Grace did with Johnny Carson and he was asking why didn’t she believed in the


INTERVIEW // ESKA

“It just got to the point where my mind, my thoughts, and my desire just became too big to just be sitting or standing beside someone else and I just got to that crisis point.” concept of marriage to what she replied, “Because I don’t believe in the concept of divorce.” The expression on Johnny Carson’s face was priceless. [laughs] That’s classic! That’s brilliant! Working with Grace... Just in terms of standards, she was someone that always had high standards. She didn’t pander to X or Y, she never did. I realize that I’m such a wuss. [laughs] I just want to get better and realize... again, it’s ok having an opinion, and you’re not trying to hurt anybody. You have to say what you feel and be honest. If I’m not mistaken, you started your career as a musician back in 1998, if I’m not mistaken. 15 years – from 98 to 2013 when you released your debut EP - is a

hell of a long road. [laughs] What you’re trying to say, Tiago? [laughs] I didn’t have plans to wait 15 years to release my first piece of music, in this case the Gatekeeper EP, but I can be honest and say that I wouldn’t have the confidence to be an artist until... well, now. You can get really comfortable being a musician because you can be involved in projects and when the reviews come, good or bad that doesn’t really bother you because it doesn’t affect your career that much. [laughs] You don’t have to take the responsibility that an artist has to take on, you do your job and you just walk away. It’s just comfortable, and I got into my comfort zone being a side player. Then it just became harder to me to get out of that comfort zone,

but the problem was that there were more ideas in my head, and my mouth was getting bigger [laughs] than sometimes a position of a side player can fill. You start to want to be more active, to put more ideas into other people’s projects and then suddenly you realize, “Eska, this is not your project!” [laughs] It just got to the point where my mind, my thoughts, and my desire just became too big to just be sitting or standing beside someone else and I just got to that crisis point where I was like, “Eska, either you’re going to be an artist and do this yourself, or you just shut up and just get on with the job in that way.” I knew I couldn’t because I was just getting to the point of being dissatisfied. It became very frustrating, so I had

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I t a h t d e z li a e r I d n a ”, r e g in s z z ja , a k s E e “ m r o e d l” a u o m s t f a o h T n . e t e s e n o h l e e “Eska, qu f ’t n id d It . t a h t e d m e e ll a iv c e c g r e in p e b o t e k le li p ’t o n e p r did o f g in o d s a w I t a h w t question abou in a certain, exclusive, way.” to take that jump, that leap of faith. I was scared just because there were doubts like, “Who’s going to listen to what I do? I don’t even know if I sound like an artist, I definitely don’t look like an artist, I don’t feel like an artist,” and all these things that made me doubt if the music business had space for someone like me. A bit like when we were talking earlier, I looked and I ask myself, “Who’s gone before me that I can follow. Who can be my kind of role model? Who can guide me, in a way?” I couldn’t see anyone ahead... not in the UK anyway, certainly. I couldn’t see anyone making away that I could identify with creatively, artistically, musically, as a woman, as a black woman... I just couldn’t see anyone there. What ends up happening to black female artists in this country is just tragic. A complete tragedy in the UK! It was just very, very scary. The industry isn’t very gracious to black women, older women, and women in general. 2015 and the vast majority of people expect female artists to sell their body, let’s be honest. Yeah! You gotta have that going on, to some extent. You have to show something. There’s got to be something that’s going to sell in that way. I remember one guy, in the music business, saying to me, “You got great legs. That’s fantastic!” How do you say that to a woman? How dare you that you can judge her like that? Your debut was the Gatekeeper EP, back in 2013. Looking back, would you say that it was a process of finding the right beat, and perhaps some of the focus? Yeah, big time. The thing is, I’ve 68

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been invited to a lot of different types of musical engagements, in a lot of different genres and with a lot of different artists, and you can’t help but being influenced by the people you work with. So, along the way I’ve questioned about myself. The basic, “Who am I? What do I do?” What happened when I started to read about myself it was “Eska, queen of soul” or “Eska, jazz singer”, and I realized that I didn’t like being called that. It didn’t feel honest. That made me question about what I was doing for people to perceive me in a certain, exclusive, way... when I know that I was brought up with classical music, folk music, jazz, reggae, gospel, and all these other things. How is this still just one thing? It’s not true, it’s not who I am, what I do, and what I feel about music. I had to go away and think it through, creatively, in terms of how I was going to write and in terms of the instrumentation I was going to use, and the way I was going to dress up my music, and the way I was going to deliver it vocally. I had to just keep questioning it. It was like, “Whatever comes out of the monitor, let it be who I do believe I am. Whatever people wanna call it after that... fine, but instead of being defined by having worked with such and such, now I’m going to be defined by the music I’ve created and that’s coming out of the monitors.” The album, when I listen to it now, I still hear loads of more questions, because it’s the first document for me and it does feel very much like someone who’s freaking out answers within themselves, and exploring, and experiment, and having fun. It’s unresolved and with God’s willing there will be another record that will kind of give a more of clarity to who I am artistically. I just pray

I have enough years left and make the effort to keep... great artists, to me, are people like Scott Walker. That’s how an artist keeps answering questions and making questions, in terms of his creative output and endeavor in life. The album goes through an array of different motions and dynamics. Was it easy to fit everything together and create something that’s as coherent and strong as your debut is? For me, it’s a record that makes sense. Do you think it makes sense? [laughs] It’s interesting because one of things was that I was expecting to people go like, “Oh... ok,” because it’s kind of genrehopping, which is ironic because it was probably a criticism of me when I was a side player... I’m all over the place, working with too many people. In the mix and stuff, working with Louis Hacket, we kept saying that is my voice that ties it together. That’s the thing. The same voice on every song, even if each of the songs has a different kind of feel. Hopefully makes it cohesive and pulls everything together. Ok, the song Dear Evelyn... that’s a fucked up song. It doesn’t make sense and at the same time it makes perfect sense. It’s offsetting and comforting at the same time. [laughs] Thank you! [laughs] That’s the thing with this album. If someone listens to Rock of Ages and then to Dear Evelyn... I wouldn’t be surprised if the reaction was something like, “What is this shit? A mixtape?” But if you “eat your vegetables”, if you listen to the entire album... it makes sense. [laughs] Thank you so much, Tiago! Listen, it’s so good because I feel that someone understands me. That’s amazing! Yeah, you have to listen to the whole thing and then it will make sense. About


INTERVIEW // ESKA Dear Evelyn, for me it’s like meditation, I wrote it with that feeling and that sense about it. I actually didn’t have a title for it and I ended dedicating the music to my big sister, and that’s why I called it Dear Evelyn. The funny thing is that I played the song to her, to Evelyn, and she turns out to me and says, “I didn’t hear you say my name in the all tune.” [laughs] “Boundaries” seems to me like a peace anthem in a way – like talking about how different and equal we are when all is said and done. I don’t know if I’m reading it right if that was your intention. Oh, wow. Ok! Yeah, it wasn’t my intention to create a “peace anthem”, like you said... if anything I would call it’s about love crusade, it was inspired about the way everybody loves, the capacity of each individual and how they express it to another person. Someone might not express love in the way that I do and that’s not to say they don’t love me, it’s just the way they do. It’s ok and we have to respect and embrace that, and our limitations of how we express our deficiencies in how we express love. In a way is like a battle cry where I’m praying out that I’m going to tear down these walls. There’s a reference to the Battle of Jericho. According to the Book of Joshua the walls of Jericho fell after Joshua’s Israelite army marched around the city blowing their trumpets. Now that we’re talking about it I’m thinking how this relates to how artists and musicians can have a political element, make a political statement and be the ones taking charge in a war. There’s something that musicians can say about their environments, the borders and difficulties within their environments. This album hosts production credits of people like Matthew Herbert (known for remixing Björk, R.E.M. and Yoko Ono), Louis Hackett and Dave Okumu of The Invisible. How was to work with those guys? It’s an opportunity to learn and an opportunity to become more confident in the production that suits myself because... you know, I’ve co-produced the album and in the process of doing that it was great that I managed to find people who would encourage me

in that role myself. It wasn’t a takeover, it was a collaboration. Really trying to distill what I do and help me become more musically articulated. The wonderful thing about working with Louis, in particular, was that he was always pushing to kind of help me to make things succinct, make things clearer. Some of those tracks were like seven and eight minutes long, and the musician in me was happy with them being that way, but you can become self-indulgent and so the challenge is to the say the same thing but in just three or four minutes, try to find the essence in what you’re trying to say. In other words, all three of them helped me make a record. I never made a record myself before. I have to say, coming from a

live performer background with a lot of improvisation kind of heritage I’m used to kind of going on forever, but when you make a record – or making this record – wasn’t that. It was very much an exercise of actually going like, “I have this song. Let me try and have the best bit while trying really hard to compress it and, at the same time, say what I want to say, and how I want to say it.” The truth is that I needed that editing.

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Eska is out now via Naim Edge Recordings 69


LOVING, VIOLENT AND ROUSING! ALL WE NEED IS LOVE...

Susanne Sundfør has been enjoying a considerable amount of success in her country for quite some time now, shedding a light of hope regarding the always odd relation between pop/ experimental/meaningful music and the mainstream. Her new album is the biggest cliché on paper – an album about love – but the way the Norwegian artist put it is far from being formulaic. It was about the heartfelt and violent Ten Love Songs that we talked with Susanne… among other things that have an undeniable impact on its end result. Words: Tiago Moreira

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his is your fourth album and you’ve always taken it a step further. Do you think it’s a step forward on a straight line or just forward in different directions? I always like to do different things on each album, and I’m always looking for new sounds. I guess that I’m always trying to find the sound that suits my music. You said, three years ago, that you had a song that was so positive that you didn’t know whether you should release it or not, because it was too positive. Do you still feel hesitant about releasing more positive songs? No, I think what I meant… I was talking about “Fade Away” actually, and I think what I was thinking about was if it did or didn’t fit into the concept of the album, or with the rest of the song. So, it’s not like I have anything against positive music. [laughs] It’s more about what would suit the album. Before starting the writing process for this album, you we were involved in an intensive period of collaborations - with Anthony Gonzalez on the song “Oblivion”, for the film of the same name, starring Tom Cruise; with Röyksopp, on last year’s “Running to the Sea” single, and covering Depeche Mode’s “Ice Machine” for the duo’s Late Night Tales compilation; remixing Maps’ single AMA; and, most recently producing The Urge Drums, the first album by the Canadian-Norwegian duo Bow to Each Other. Was it easy to kind of take a step back and center the creativity in your own self? I’ve always been doing my own stuff, even though I’ve worked with producers, if you want to call it a collaboration then the collaborations that I’ve done have been outside of my main work, which is my album. It wasn’t necessarily weird for me to do it on my own, in that context. It’s just a lot of work to do everything on your own, and this 72

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time I had a lot of ideas, and then I had a lot of clear ideas of how I wanted things to sound, how I wanted the songs to be arranged, what instruments I would want for those songs, etc. I felt like it would be pointless to hire a person to produce it when I could do it myself. That being said, during the process of making this new album I realized that I’m actually not that interesting [laughs], and I wanted someone to add their own world to it. During the process I asked different people to participate. I’m glad I did that because they really added so much beauty to it. It’s really curious that you’ve decided to open the album with “Darlings”. It’s not the most obvious view in a record that we know to be about love. Did you want to start – and then run with it - the album with a not obvious, kind of different pace type of song? Do you know what I mean? Uhh... maybe. [laughs] I think that... one of my favorite artists is Skeeter Davis, and the love songs that she writes are quite straightforward and everybody can relate to it. I wanted to add some new images and some new perspectives on relationships and love, with this album. I don’t think I was thinking about more than that. “Delirious” has this great line that says “I hope you got a safety net cause I’m gonna push you over the edge,” which can be used to describe the album to people that will listen it for the first time. Do you think that’s the effect that this record can have on people? Pushing them over the edge… [laughs] Oh, I don’t know. I don’t really know how people can be affected by songs that I’ve written myself, so it’s difficult for me to have that perspective. I just thought it was an interesting, and kind of funny, image of how you can push people a lot in relationships. Most records that talk about love tend to not be realistic, which it’s not the case with Ten Love Songs. Was that the kind of the anchor of the album, a sense of realism? Maybe, I don’t know. I don’t think there is a specific message with this album. It’s a mixture of my

own experiences and experiences of people I know. Stories that I hear and music that I listen to, and I’m just trying to put them into an album. But I do think that I prefer lyrics that are honest, without bullshit. That’s what I like myself, so you can see that on the album. Ten Love Songs is to me a violent album. Do you agree? Yeah, but I think that violence and love, they’re all strong feelings. So, I guess that you can say that the album is about strong feelings... Love tends to be violent one way or another. Yeah, I mean it can be violent physically, but it also can be quite violent physiologically. So yeah, you’re right. On “Memorial” you say “Cause you took off my dress and you never put it on again.” Being “Memorial” kind of the central piece of the album I found it curious to have that line in there, because that’s how it seems you end up after writing this album... kind of naked. You know what I mean? Yeah, I know what you mean. I guess that’s what that line means as well, I mean is all about being vulnerable in love. It’s sort of obvious in a way. I just thought it was an interesting image, maybe froma girl’s perspective because of the dress, but it can be for everyone. I mean, you undress for your loved ones. I guess you can it’s the main piece but to me it’s not necessarily the main piece, it’s just in the middle of the record and it’s quite long. All of the songs are just like these different aspects of love and passion. Maybe not the central/main piece, but for sure the most ambitious piece on the album. Yeah, that’s true. Absolutely! Writing and recording “Memorial” was as ambitious as it sounds? Sort of. It started just like as a piano ballad and I wanted to be quite big, and then I wanted to add the string piece. I wrote it and then I just kept going on and on. I couldn’t stop writing because it never felt like I could write the end of it, so it ended up being quite a long outro, or end piece, or whatyou would call it. And


INTERVIEW // SUSANNE SUNDFØR

“All of the songs are just like these different aspects of love and passion...”

then I asked Anthony Gonzalez to help me, to collaborate with me on the first part, so we added a lot of 80’s sounds there to make it even bigger. It was a gradual process but I’m happy that it has gotten as big as it did. How was the experience of selfproduce this album? It was intense. It was fun. I learned a lot from it. I think when you do a lot on your own you learn your own limits and also your own ability. It was a great experience and I might do it again, if I have the chance. Were you in any way hesitant of having such a direct approach lyrically? No, that was my intention. I

wanted to be quite direct. So, no I wasn’t hesitant. Do you think that in the end Ten Love Songs is uplifting? Uplifting is such a simple term. I mean, what does that even mean? I think one of the beats can be uplifting. So So Gay asked you “At what point do you think there is nothing else you can do to improve the record?” and you answered “I think when it is out. That’s when I say ‘oh shit, I can’t do anything else.” I find really curious, because most musicians are not 100% satisfied with their music, and if it was possible they would change it all the time. That never happens

with you? Always! Every time I listen to this album... there are always tones of stuff that I would want to change. That’s why I don’t really like to listen to the music I’ve released, because I can’t change it then. It’s too late. I love the remixes for “Fade Away” and “Delirious”. Do you consider to have the entire album remixed and then release it? I mean, why not? That would be fun. I didn’t really think it that way, but if it’s possible... why not?

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Ten Love Songs is out now via Sonnet Songs 73


One of black metal’s most continually innovative entities, and certainly one of the most commercially successful to emerge from Oslo’s second wave in the 90s, Satyricon have surprised as much with the scope of their vision as with their grimness. On the 8th of September, 2013, they took part in one of their most ambitious projects yet – a full show in Oslo at Den Norske Opera & Ballett with the National Norwegian Opera Chorus. With the full show now due for release for home perusal, drummer and co-founder Frost talked us through his memories of the night, and of the band’s black metal heritage. Words: Dave Bowes

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ow are things with the band at the moment? Things are very fine indeed because we really have a lot going on. First of all, there’s the release of the opera show album and DVD, which is a very fine and special happening for us. To actually experience that show as a viewer is something we can do for the first time now ourselves because watching it at home and being able to enjoy the show as a spectator is very different from actually being there and playing. We notice lots of details that we weren’t even aware of when we were over there so it’s a very cool happening to see the album and the DVD come out. It has been a lot of work as well. We have a tour coming which will be quite special and that we have started to prepare for. It will incorporate some jam sessions, which is something we have never done before which brings quite a new and dynamic element to the Satyricon live world. This is something which excites us. We are also working on two different albums in parallel we are doing a cover album for the first time in our history and we are preparingand jamming material for a new album, and it sounds very fresh and very different. All in all, there is really a lot going on in the band camp and we are feeling excited by these new tasks which we have taken upon us; there’s a lot of enthusiasm and good spirit. musicandriotsmagazine.com

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If we can start off with the opera show then – how long had the show been in the works? We actually had the opera choir in 2007 but that was only one song – “To The Mountains”. Doing something like this show was realising an idea that we had had for quite some time. It was something that we wanted Satyricon to undertake and there came an opportunity to visit it. After reviewing that particular one-off performance we were absolutely certain that we wanted to do a full show with the choir because it just sounded and felt so great. The choir people themselves were really into the co-operation and enjoyed taking part, so they were more than willing to consider a full show. Fromthat point on we were rethinking some planning processes and eventually agreeing to do a full live cooperation, setting a date for it and learning to work on arrangements. It was a lot of work for several years but also very challenging and an exciting project. Did much work have to be done with rescoring the songs for the choir? We didn’t really have to do much with that. The music fit choir arrangement very well as it is and we did pick those songs that we felt would benefit the most from having those arrangements, so we didn’t really do anything to those songs in order to adapt to a new kind of expression. All the arrangements were written by a guy called Kjetil Bjerkestrand who works at the opera. The good thing about it was that he understood Satyricon’s music and this project so well so he intuitively knew how to write the arrangements and understood the atmospheres in our music. He had no problems with the expression, he had no problems with the tempo changes or any such thing – he understood everything on a professional, and a musical, level. Kjetil also had a very good intuition when it came to making the arrangements and wanted to keep the music as it is. He wanted to add the choir arrangements as their own layer of music that would emphasise and uplift feelings and energies that were already present in the songs. I think that he did a very wonderful job with the arrangements and also the choir conductor did a fantastic job with the choir, and lastly the singers themselves were really motivated 76

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by this task, and each and every one of them did a fantastic job. Musically speaking, at least, this was a success story. Now that you’ve had a listen to the show yourselves, do you feel that these contributions have added anything to the songs that perhaps wasn’t present in the original versions? Yeah, truly so. We had rehearsals with the choir and then we did the show, and we had a pretty good idea of what was going on but actually watching the whole thing now on the screen makes it possible to hear lots of details that we weren’t actually aware of when the show happened. It sounds even better than how I remember it and the choir adds a lot to the songs. It gives it so much pathos, and so much depth – a very particular atmosphere. I hear some of the songs with the choir arrangements now and I feel like it was supposed to have been there in the first place. Do you have anything in mind for continuing collaborations of this sort in the future? We certainly don’t look away from it. No specific plans have been made but we have had talks with the choir conductor who would very much like to do something with us again, perhaps quite a different kind of co-operation. I know he’s up for it, and we as a band are up for anything that contributes to making the band more creative. Anything that can give us more inspiration is something we are open to do. Also, we do have those arrangements now. They were written for us and they belong to us now so we can use them again if we like to. It’s very possible that something more can come out of it even if we have no specific plans made at this point. You had a fantastic reception at the show, with people even travelling from Japan and Canada to attend. Did you have any idea how major an event this would be beforehand? You might say we had an idea but it probably surpassed expectations. What are your memories of performing the show, and how do they stack up against watching it? My main memory is it was that it was magical, something very

different and I will remember that night for the rest of my life, no doubt - just to experience the atmosphere and the vibe of the opera house, and to be there at the centre with the choir. Something very solemn, and very ceremonial and uplifting – that’s very special. Watching it now, I can get in touch with that feeling. I feel privileged to have had that chance to experience something like that. Approaching it from the other direction, how much influence does classical composition bear on Satyricon’s overall sound? I think that there has always been some of it. On different levels you can hear classical or orchestral elements in our music. I think for the future, we want to make the whole band more musical and possibly that could bring us in a more classic direction. That is something we are very deliberate about but when you operate with music that has so much drama and intensity, which is so huge and at times so epic and extreme, you will get in touch with those classical elements because they work so well when you want to make something that is dramatic. That will probably tie us to that sort of expression for the future. It’s a very natural evolution for the band, but the Norwegian scene was always very progressive in its development. With that in mind, do you find anything strange in modern bands clinging to the Second Wave sound that the bands themselves left behind? I always want to speak about ourselves in regards to our evolution and where we currently stand but it doesn’t feel right to speak on the behalf of any others. Black metal as a genre, and that includes Satyricon and many others, have to be allowed to grow and to develop, to mature. A lifeform that stagnates shows signs of death. To make something live on you have to make fresh blood circulate and that means evolution will have to go on constantly, or else you may as well just quit the whole thing. Satyricon has always been led by a force of innovation and creativity and we seek to learn from all the processes that we go through. We try to get better, we try to gather resources for the benefit of the band and


INTERVIEW // SATYRICON

“In many ways, Satyr and I are very different from each other, almost like opposites, and that creates a kind of tension or friction that perhaps benefits the band in the greater picture.” we try to enter new musical territories to try to inspire ourselves. I feel it’s quite natural that the band naturally becomes more dynamic and more musical as a result. You mentioned that you’ll be working on a covers collectionsoon. Any thoughts on what direction you’ll be taking that in? I don’t really want to reveal too much about it. I would like it to be a little surprise but we tried to pick songs that aren’t too obvious and that have meant something to us in our musical development. Perhaps that’s songs that have shaped us as fans or artists, or those that have meant something to our sound or inspired us. All the songs that are going to be there have some kind of significance but the type of significance may vary greatly from song to song. I won’t say anything else because I think it’s going to be a very varied collection and it will possibly be quite surprising to some but I am

sure it is going to be a very good album, and we learned a lot from doing it. One of the struggles with covers is not only capturing the feeling of the original, but also trying to pin down its style. Do you often look for these sorts of technical challenges? Definitely. There is supposed to be a learning project. The whole goal is that it will perhaps contribute to making some discoveries of a musical nature along the way, and to do something that perhaps feels a little less formal but is still important, and that can still learn a lot from. It’s also something different. Doing something that you haven’t done before is in itself something that can alter the band’s spirit. It adds something new and fresh and that can have a very positive impact on general creativity levels. There are many good reasons for us to do this and most of all, it just feels right for us to do it. It’s the right point in

time to do such a thing. If there seems to be one unifying concept in the band’s sound throughout its development, it’s that there seems to be a dualism – logic and structure on one hand, chaos and intensity of the other. How do you manage to balance and draw these together? It is hard, but I think that we have found that balance through natural means. Whenever we evaluate our own material, we consider the energy flow and intensity levels quite a lot. In most cases, we find the balance quite naturally; at other times, we find that working with material where it’s very difficult to find that balance and that flow, we might be stuck for very long periods of time. Very often, those songs don’t really happen naturally; they take forever to get finished but they have a tendency to be the best ones. From a certain standpoint, you and Satyr form the core of the

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INTERVIEW // SATYRICON

“Satyricon has always been led by a force of innovation and creativity and we seek to learn from all the processes that we go through...” band. What is it that allows you to gel so well, musically? It’s perhaps a good mix of almost opposite character traits while sharing common ground in other fields. In many ways, Satyr and I are very different from each other, almost like opposites, and that creates a kind of tension or friction that perhaps benefits the band in the greater picture. Also, we share a passion for music in general, and black metal especially. It’s extremely important for this kind of project and that’s what makes it important for us to still dedicate ourselves to it and function in the band. Also, we have found a model that works. I see Satyr as a genius composer and it would be very meaningless for me to interfere with his work as a composer; that would be like trying to interfere with the works of Mozart or Bach. You just don’t want to do that so what I would like to do in the band is to contribute to the compositions and add my own personal signature, and hopefully try to increase the force of the music and of the band. The fact that I can relate to him as a composer and that I don’t want to interfere with him in that way, and that I respect him as a leader – I think that’s really fundamental. 78

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The scene in which Satyricon developed was an extremely very fertile one. Looking back, can you think of anything which helped foster so much creativity from so many bands? That’s a good question, and almost impossible to answer too. It’s simple and complex at the same time. I guess when the black metal scene was revitalised by that wave of Norwegian bands in the early 90s, the scene was basically gone. You did have a pretty strong scene going on in the 80s, then it just kind of faded away, and that was really due to no bands keeping that means of expression alive. Then came a wave of bands that brought so much life into it again and added so much new to it. It was almost creating a totally new genre. I think that those first albums that were released in the early 90s were so incredibly strong and such a strong sense of individuality, they were all so different. If you think of A Blaze In The Northern Sky, for instance, with its extremely powerful expression and then the first Burzum albums, and then... Dom Sathanas and the early Immortal albums – it was all so innovative, and unique, and loaded with energy, ambience and had a sense of grimness and

rawness to it that was very particular. I think that those releases were so strong that it was bound to have a real impact on the musical world. Listening to a couple of those albums recently, I was struck by how strong those impressions are. If you listen to A Blaze In The Northern Sky today, there is this feeling that you are being hit by something when the music kicks off. It’s like it runs you over, it’s so forceful. That quality and strength of expression in the early album that defined that scene had a lot to say. Those albums were ones that had a lot of fantastic musical qualities and that meant a lot. Despite their disparities and individuality, though, they all fall under that banner of black metal. What does that term mean to you? I often say that I regard black metal in the same way as I regard blues or punk. It’s about a feeling, and about an attitude.

Live At The Opera is out now via Napalm Records


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1 REPULSIVE | 2 Pure shit | 3 terrible | 4 must avoid | 5 average | 6 good effort | 7 good | 8 very good | 9 EXCelLent | 10 pure c

8 18.05

FAITH NO MORE Sol Invictus

Reclamation Recordings/Ipecac (2015)

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s time went by after their initial split, the notion of having Faith No More reunite to record a batch of new songs seemed highly unlikely. If fate had determined it to be forever this way, that would only be more than natural, given all the countless other musical projects their members spawned or integrated at one point or another ever since the band’s demise in 1998. Hopes for this reunion were also systematically dismissed by all members of their last line-up for years, until their live reunion shows arrived in 2009. Then we started to believe again. But one had to wonder... Would that be a good idea? To follow in the footsteps of several other acts who, aside from very few exceptions, managed to tarnish their reputations over less than spectacular over-hyped reunion albums? The answer to that would be that, if they kept their creative premises intact, a new record could surely be worth it. Those premises deal with the common thread that was very much prevalent in all of their music: it never quite lived up exactly to anyone’s expectations or to what anyone thought they should sound like. Sure, they had 80

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some unmistakable elements that make them instantly recognizable, but their style wasn’t typically presented in that type of neatly little folded package for instant consumption. This is what made them so captivating all those years ago, so there was no reason to think that after all this time since their last record, Album Of The Year, this reunion would only be limited to the rehashing of songs styled around their most famous hits just out of necessity. The decision to self-release this material only confirmed this. Even if they might have had the opportunity to release it on a larger scale in a major record label, it was indeed a good indicator of the band’s need to further develop their ideas without the pressure to succeed commercially or to reassert themselves in front of major audiences. This only adds up to their ethos, which remained unchanged due to the freedom they’ve gotten used to with all the musical experiences the members went through over the years. So, now that their new record Sol Invictus is here and the circumstances around its creation were more than favorable, the only question that remains here is to check out if this new material is indeed as strong, better, different and reflective of a certain degree of musical evolution or adapted to any trends that might be more prevalent in nowadays musical culture, all of course in comparison to what they offered us back in the nineties.

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he record starts off with its title track “Sol Invictus” on an eerie note, with Mike Bordin setting up a marching pace to Roddy Bottum’s delightful piano nuances, while Patton’s viciously obscure vocals slowly unravel throughout a song that’s probably not what you would expect it to be. If you wanted a big, strong, “here we are again” with full force type of intro, Patton & Co. chose to tell us instead that this record isn’t exactly going to follow any preconceived order or notions of how it should be. 82

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“Superhero” sends you back to the Trey Spruance version of the band with cutting, tightly executed riffs and those ever so characteristic “Angel Dust” Bottum keyboard background ambiences, while “Separation Anxiety” sounds like something we could easily hear Patton do with Buzz Osbourne and Dave Lombardo on their Fantômas project, due to its obscure riffage and passionately angered vocal delivery. “Cone of Shame” is another of the Invictus heavier tracks, with grim sounding, obscure westernized guitar nuances, bursting forth with a strong furious middle section and closing up the record’s heaviest song trio. While the last three mentioned songs were all outlets for Faith No More’s more aggressive side, it’s in other tracks like “Sunny Side Up”, “Rise of the Fall” and “Black Friday” where you start to listen to the band sailing through uncharted waters by incorporating Argentiniansounding motifs with occasional instances of accordion and echoey acoustic, dark atmospheric passages, all intertwined with their usual blend of throbbing bass-lines, punchy guitar riffs, catchy choruses and Patton’s extensive range and vocal skills. However, the album’s most distinctive sequence starts with “Motherfucker”, which is probably one of the most outright middle fingers ever given to the music industry. Its open declaration of hate is supported by Bordin’s powerful and striking drum performance and ends up on a high note with one of Jon Hudson’s most memorable guitar licks in the entire album. “Matador”, the second most distinctive number, clocks up at six minutes and sets up an epic, gloomy atmosphere with Gould’s bass surreptitiously injecting an infectious groove upon which Hudson’s guitar flow keeps changing on a near constant basis. The last track, “From the Dead”, finally ends proceedings on a light manner, almost in the same kind of register as the record began. A “Jizzlobber” styled finish this isn’t, but just as Invictus started, it also rolls out with a catchy, simple number with no need to go out with a big bang.

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fter listening to it, one concludes that certain elements on Sol Invictus might inevitably take you back to 1992’s Angel Dust, 1995’s King for a Day… and also 1997’s Album of the Year, but as you could expect from them, they’re all intertwined in between varied stylistic turfs that make it sound unpredictable and also very much different from anything they’ve done so far. They’ve also kept things short, simple, catchy and entertaining without forcibly adapting to any new trends to whatever styles they’ve decided to blend in with their music. If Invictus might sound like a mixed bag of styles to some, well, either they don’t know this band that well, or they might not be aware that the involvement of members like Mike Patton in other projects such as Fantômas, the John Zorn band and Tomahawk would inevitably bring different influences to the table. Each and every one of these songs have their own distinctive identity, but at the same time they also bear that unmistakable Faith No More stamp, reflecting Patton, Gould, Bordin, Bottum and Hudson’s creative evolution and their maturity as musicians who have been cleverly able to pick up on the most diverse influences, and integrate them on their borderline-metal blend of semi-progressive hard rock in a seamless fashion. Ultimately, Invictus doesn’t sound forced or like the work of a band trying to prove by all means that they’re at the top of their game or that they could deliver the most incredible reunion album of all time, and the reason for this is that they’re way smarter than that. They’ve just written the next logical step in their discography in the most honest possible way, it’s just that simple. It only took eighteen years, but Invictus finally arrived and it came out to be not pretentiously incredible, but incredibly good.

LUÍS ALVES

Sol Invictus is available on May 18 via Reclamation Recordings/ Ipecac Recordings


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OUT NOW OUT NOW

7 A GRAVE WITH NO NAME Feathers Wet, Under The Moon

7 ACID KING Middle Of Nowhere, Centre Of Everywhere Svart Records (2015)

A Grave With No Name is the alter ego of London’s Alexander Shields, an impressive and delicate songwriter. Feathers Wet, Under The Moon is the follow-up of 2013’s Whirlpool and for this new effort Shields went into a recording studio instead of recording alone in his bedroom like on previous releases. This time around, he flew to Nashville to record with Mark Nevers and along with that the record features a number of Nashville players giving an extra depth to the songs. Musically, Feathers Wet, Under The Moon is slow but profound, with atypical song structures and personal lyrics. Feathers Wet, Under The Moon is delightful melancholy, a beautiful piece of music. You only need to close your eyes and feel the music.

If 99% percent of Stoner Rock bands are influenced by Sabbath and Pentagram then this is the one percent that takes their cues from Hawkwind. From the first chords of this record you have the almost uncontrollable urge to smoke a joint or even take some LSD. The vocals sound like something out of a cheesy science fiction movie, accompanied by a barrage of distorted guitars and pounding drums that generate a sound heavier than a ten ton hammer smashing through a pile of granite rocks. This album marks the return of the band after a ten year absence, so it’s always refreshing to see a stoner band that bases its sound on a different source and for that alone it deserves credit, and gives praise to Hawkwind a band that besides giving us Lemmy, also did plenty to tear down the constraints of musical genres to create a very unique body of work.

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ANDREIA ALVES

Echo Lake, Halls, Dignan Porch

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Black Sabbath, Hawkwind, Pentagram

25.05

7 AGNOSTIC FRONT The American Dream Died Nuclear Blast (2015)

Roses are red. Violets are blue. And our future is black. Or grey at best. At least that’s the case according to a legendary New York based hardcore icons. After all these years, Agnostic Front are still going strong. They scream, they shout, and they get you straight to the core of the problem. They are mad, they are angry, they are violent. And why shouldn’t they be? Police brutality, governments controlled by corporations, social injustice – you name it… Nothing can sum this album up better than George Carlin’s words, that band itself used on this record “The owners of this country know the truth. It’s called the American Dream... ‘cuz you have to be asleep to believe it.”

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Sick Of It All, Madball, Cro-Mags

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7 AH! KOSMOS Bastards

ALL TIME LOW Future Hearts

Hopeless Records (2015)

Sargent House (2015)

Coming with a misjudged title, which really doesn’t do justice to the silkysmooth electro-pop inside, Bastards is the debut album from Istanbul-based producer Basak Gunak. Admittedly, the Bastards might be in a biblical sense as these eight tracks float free from any maternal base like fatherless siblings. Gunak’s core template is an ever-shifting electronic pattern weave which is then applied to sturdier structures such as the torchsong lament of “Stay”, the glitch techno curves of “Always in Parentheses” or night drive moodiness on “Trace of Waterfalls”. Some ideas are swiftly discarded before proving their worth, while others are indulged and spoilt as favoured offspring, but there is still much future potential within all these bastard identities.

Pop punk is not dead. It’s very much alive and kickin’. We got everything – new bands, new energy, new kids, and a few bands who lead the way. All Time Low are one of them, and if there weren’t for legends like blink-182 and New Found Glory, they would be the ones to take the throne. Their sixth album has proved it once again. With smashing hits like “Something Gotta Give” and “Old Scars/ Future Hearts”, slower numbers like “Runaways” or “Missing You”, and thirty more minutes of pure pop punk, the four-piece will easily keep you on the edge of your seat. Add a guest appearance from blink-182’s Mark Hoppus and Good Charlotte’s Joel Madden, and you just got your summer soundtrack.

Heirs is the fourth album by Belfast’s ASIWYFA. At this point, it’s very likely to know what to expect from their music, and as the follow-up of 2013’s All Hail Bright Futures, this new effort feels similar to what has already been heard before. It can be something less good and it can saturate a bit, but the band tries to be refreshing on their songs. Guitarist Rory Friers said “Its central theme is about the inheritance of ideas. In that we’re all heirs to other peoples’ passion, which in turn inspires ourselves.” With that in mind, Heirs remains very true to And So I Watch You From Afar’s sound. There’s the blend of post-rock and math-rock with gang-vocals and cinematic soundscapes, showing their tremendous ability to make remarkable songs.

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Denovali (2015)

EUAN ANDREWS

Pullahs, East India Youth; Indian Wells

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AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR Heirs

MILJAN MILEKIC

Blink 182, Pierce The Veil, Green Day

ANDREIA ALVES

Maybeshewill, Russian Circles, Caspian


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ANTI-FLAG

9

American Spring

25.05

Spinefarm (2015)

Why the hell do we need AntiFlag in our lives? Because we need a lethal dose of reality to keep fighting, we can’t live like this anymore. “We live in a fabled world, where the poor and the weak are pons for profit’s sake”, in a world of apathy - the devotion of a gang of punks are still here to raise some awareness, a pure inspiration. American Spring is an empowering effort against the cynicism of this world “Walk away; It’s what you always do; Be the same as they want you to; There must be more to life than this”, strong words against commodity and the lack of resistance to liberate ourselves. Laced with

infectious gang vocals, full of dynamics and with that strong and classic lyrical approach, capable of making us think and try to understand the message and meaning of every single song on it. American Spring isn’t going to change anybody’s minds unfortunately, but will for sure encourage people to never give up, because we all know that music has the power to change our life and the way how we relate with people and society nowadays. From nihilism to the imperial catastrophe of militarism, from socialism to the use of drones, from Jack Kerouac and Patti Smith or Karl Marx to the apathy of this

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The Clash, Rise Against, Rancid

generation... American Spring is a statement, a chance of rebellion against all this corporate and moral corrupt world. “My generation’s apathy. I’m disgusted with it. I’m disgusted with my own apathy too, for being spineless and not always standing up against racism, sexism and all those other -isms the counterculture has been whining about for years,” Kurt Cobain stated this somewhere along his journey. A change is needed and being involved in that is being aware, becoming a more active part of some kind of resistance. American Spring might be the perfect antidote to challenge yourselves to change...

Walk Away, Fable World, Set Yourself On Fire

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12.05

8 BANDITOS Banditos

BEST COAST California Nights

8

Harvest (2015)

If there is a label where every single release is worth listen, that label is Bloodshot Records. Once again we’re going deep into what Americana has best. Banditos is what we may call a group of six 20-something... well, they are more like an incendiary rock n’ roll gang. Banditos is a road trip to the 60’s blues-fused rock, in a sort of ZZ Top meets Drive-By Truckers but with that garage punk touch/esque a la Burger Records. Overwhelming and radiant, this whisky-soaked rock n’ roll is full of soul and sounds like no one else out there. This self-titled debut is full of layers and dynamics, their songwritting is pure finesse and each vocalist have the right amount of spotlight. Spiritual and strong, this is Americana in its pure and raw state!

Best Coast always know how to write a catchy, summery song and on their third album they achieve that in almost every single song. Titled California Nights - not surprised with the name -, there’s a much positive vibe in the whole album compared to the previous ones, even though lyrically there is more than it meets the eye. Cosentino is always great at expressing her anxieties, doubts and insecurities on her songs, but at the same time she seems more confident and assertive of what she has to say even if it is a sappy love song or kind of repetitive lyrics. Cosentino’s voice is bolder, but it would be greater if she hadn’t so much backing vocals. The guitar riffs are more frantic and Bob’s solos are wonderful. California Nights shows that behind the bright sunny days and the mythical palm trees of LA there is a dark side of life.

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Bloodshot Records (2015)

FAUSTO CASAIS

ZZ Top, Drive-By Truckers, Lydia Loveless

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29.05

Bleached, La Sera, Alvvays

ANDREIA ALVES

BIG BUSINESS Battlefields Forever

Sola Flare Records (2015)

Big Business are back! Four years later we have another set of pure heaviness. They beat the crap out of their instruments! Jared Warren (KARP, Tight Bros From Way Back When, The Whip) and Coady Willis (Murder City Devils, Dead Low Tide) are the dudes who are once again bringing abrasive Melvins’ noise and high levels of tension into their own catchy melodicesque sound. Battlefields Forever is Big Business’ natural next step, it’s leaner and focused than its predecessor, somehow able of being unpredictable and full of greatness. These dudes totally level up their own game. They build their own path and they’re ready to conquer the shores of heaviness with this battlefield of epic proportions...

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Melvins, Corrosion of Conformity, Slayer


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18.05

OUT NOW

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9 Matador (2015)

Three years have passed since the genre-shaping III and Bosse-De-Nage’s split with Deafheaven, and we were starting to wonder when the Bay Area postblack metal outfit would reveal their new work. All Fours is a sign of maturity from one of the bands that helped shape the new wave of American Black Metal, and along with Deafheaven’s Sunbather, this record pushes the bar even higher. There is no satanic silliness, no winter frost and no corpse paint. Their sound invokes the grotesque madness portrayed in their lyrics through the dissonant guitars, the aggressive vocals and the unsettling feeling of an impending monstrosity ready to rip through our chests. All Fours is a sonic paranoia that slowly reveals its bizarre world by the minute.

There is a thin line between punk rock and that lyrical emphasis on the always hard questions that make our hearts suffer. Ceremony is no longer a punk-hardcore band, that doesn’t mean that they have slowed down, au contraire mon ami, they have leveled up their game. The last time the band released a full-length - 2012’s Zoo, we were already anticipating a change, the Ian Curtis-esque was here to stay. The L-Shaped Man is a cathartic masterpiece, singer Ross Farrar uses his recent breakup as a platform to explore loneliness and emotional weariness - nothing new here - but is their minimalist way of writing that gives Ceremony a new level of intensity, providing the listener a tremendous experience. Ceremony have changed their own path again, this time there was not a single feeling of surprise on that, but there are plenty of feelings of pleasure, you know, those Unknown Pleasures...

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BOSSE-DE-NAGE All Fours

Profound Lore (2015)

Deafheaven, Ash Borer, Woe

CARLOS CARDOSO

19.05

CEREMONY The L-Shaped Man

FAUSTO CASAIS

Joy Division, Interpol, Fucked Up

7 CHUNK! NO, CAPTAIN CHUNK!

Get Lost, Find Yourself Fearless Records (2015)

What the fuck is easycore? Well, this is quite easy to answer... When pop-punk blends with metal core we have something called Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! The french five piece is back with another set of killer mosh anthems, their bipolar sound is still outstanding. Get Lost, Find Yourself is full of huge breakdowns and that damn catchy pop-punk energy. We can’t help to feel sometimes lost in their own unique and muscular mix of genres. Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! are here to stay, these dudes seem stronger than ever, their sound is always evolving and this new chapter seems more fierce, full of excitement and energy. They’re on the right path to bring their own exquisite sound to another new level. Well done guys!

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Four Year Strong, Hit The Lights

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DØDHEIMSGARD

9

A Umbra Omega

OUT NOW

Peaceville (2015)

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hough the return of co-founder Aldrahn may have brought the Norwegian genrebenders back to square one in one sense, some evolutions cannot be stopped. A Umbra Omega is an opiated nightmare as fluid as it is perverse, a vortex of blastbeats, jazz segues and cacophonic shifts that dances

from one inexplicability to the next with demented grace. Where Supervillain Outcast focused its myriad variations in short bursts, Vicotnik’s compositions here return to the sprawling ambition of 666 International, their delirious shifts between states a scattered and sometimes ephemeral mimicry of mental anguish, which makes Aldrahn’s return not only welcome but necessary; his stream-of-consciousness lyricism, arcane howls and cryptic mutterings find a welcome home amongst such weighty oddities. Even when Vicotnik’s work is broken down, rather than taken as a whole, it’s

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Solefald, Watain, Godflesh, Mr.Bungle

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Aphelion Void, Architects Of Darkness

exceptional – The Haunting’s eerily lonesome finale; Aphelion Void’s blunt blastbeat onslaught; the stop-start groove of Architects Of Darkness; each component could stand as something memorable in their own right, but arranged in such intuitive and complex patterns, they become transcendent. DHG have never been a band capable of neat classification, and A Umbra Omega only blurs the lines further, a unique work that bears as much relation to Wagner as to Watain and again vindicates those who know the truth – there’s no-one quite like Dødheimsgard. DAVE BOWES


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29.05

7 CLOUD RAT Qliphoth

Halo of Flies (2015)

Blood, sweat and tears, not in that exact order, but do you guys know that time where music connects instantly, even if that process is fucking painful and emotionally hostile...? Well, Michigan’s Cloud Rat are here with a mission, delivering to the listener an incendiary cathartic reality check through their own powerful message. Qliphoth is violent heavy, ready to break any kind of boundaries, creating the perfect balance between their own sound and their own meaning. Qliphoth is a word rooted in the Hermetic Qabalah, its meaning ranges from a dark, even demonic realm within a philosophy that embraces mysticism and the occult. It’s not very often that we are beaten and bruisen in our own comfort zone...

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DU BLONDE

Welcome Back to Milk

Nails, Landmire Marathon, Baptists

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Mute Records (2015)

22.05

6 COAL CHAMBER Rivals

Napalm (2015)

9 18.05

Comebacks are always fully loaded with mixed feelings. This time around is Coal Chamber who’s raising a few eyebrows, and Rivals is their new and not so much anticipated album. Let’s start by saying that this new effort is much better than anyone was anticipating, not perfect and still full of clichés, Dez and the gang can be for sure proud of this achievement. Rivals could mark a rebirth, create a new path or be Coal Chamber final chapter. The infectious riffs are back, Dez classic spooky growls are still there. It’s good to see that their sinister groove is back in the game. Overall, Rivals is a good comeback, a pure nostalgia trip into the 90’s numetal classics. This might be their best album to date.

t’s highly probable to not hear the sound of a bell ringing with the name Du Blonde, but perhaps Beth Jeans Houghton will collect some enthusiasm. You probably know Houghton’s work with the Hooves of Destiny and their debut, and only album released Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose. Du Blonde is an alter-ego of an artist that felt a certain disenchant with previous efforts and decided to make a change, to start being completely true to herself. It’s with her debut album Welcome Back To Milk that Beth rehashes her own world in what could be described as an amalgamation of somehow discordant elements “that paint the pictures that hit, more like the murals that fit”. It’s a revolution of a human being that is more than happy to throw a left hook at each corner, and that’s the beauty of Du Blonde’s debut album. We never quite know what she will do in the next round, even if the album has a certain choreography attached to it, a certain pattern that gives away the intention of having as much pure energy as more thought out subtle movements of introspection. Houghton doesn’t deny the folk, but rather adds punk, garage rock, and psychedelic elements, to achieve cohesion on an overall dynamic, heavy, and unsettling album. The contagious energy of someone that refuses to stand still.

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Devildriver, Korn, American Head Charge

Beth Jeans Houghton, Stealing Sheep, Cate Le Bon

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OUT NOW

8 DRENGE Undertow

Infectious Music (2015)

A year and a half after their angst-ridden adrenaline rush of a debut album, Drenge are back with a less visceral, more layered sound and a determination to create something new. From the get-go, Undertow gets under your skin like a good horror movie, pulling you into the dark woods from where you emerge shaking. Bassist Rob Graham’s contribution to the album has added a sinister dimension to the duo’s signature sound, while the lyrics, ranging from anthemic (“The Woods”) to bone-chilling (“Standing In The Cold”), maintain a sense of dread that is persistent throughout. Borrowing some Stooges bravado, they send a clear message with lead single “We Can Do What We Want”. You know, in case you had any doubts.

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Royal Blood, The Wytches, Traams

ESKA

8

Eska

Naim Edge Records (2015)

I

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8 EARL SWEATSHIRT I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside

f you were lucky enough to cross paths with the magnificent 2013’s documentary Twenty Feet from Stardom then you have some kind of understanding on the importance of these unsung heroes that are the live backup singers. Eska Mtungwazi’s work has been more inside the studio - working for the likes of Matthew Herbert, Tony Allen, or even the genial Grace Jones, etc. – but it’s easy to establish similarities between the two worlds. Eska’s self-titled debut album is, to some extent, exactly what one could expect from someone that has been working in the business for more than a decade now. It’s the work of someone that had the opportunity of taking valuable lessons throughout the years. The other aspects, that could be considered not so obvious, are the wide range of influences – it’s soul, it’s reggae, it’s blues, it’s rock, it’s pop, it’s folk, it’s psychedelic, and it’s experimental – that are a translation of Eska’s own eclecticism and lack of respect for the boundaries (who needs that, really?) whilst finding a cohesion, and sometimes even incredibly coherent for what it uses, which is fueled by an always deeply emotional drive, a burning passion. “Eska is the most talked about, revered, internationally known singer you’ve never heard of!” – it’s easy to agree with such statement when you’re presented to such inspiring, thrilling and exciting piece of work.

Columbia (2015)

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Kate Bush, Erykah Badu, Joni Mitchell

90

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May

TIAGO MOREIRA

More self-aware, more paranoid at the same time. Earl equal to himself. A free spirit seeking to assert himself with the most punk attitude a rap artist can establish. However, forget genders. Earl is a poet of the streets, a real owl attentive to its environment. After Doris, the first official album, Earl shows the darker side, facing enlightenment. Agoraphobia runs throughout an album solidified by this fear. The production entirely on his own (except for the track “Off Top”), his lo-fi and depressive will with lyrics above average and genuineness of ideas, easily, makes Earl Sweatshirt one of the most interesting rappers of this new decade. Earl represents better than anyone the founding art. The true human feeling in the form of rap. RUI CORREIA

Odd Future, Ratking, Vince Staples


REVIEWS

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7 A HERO NAMED COWARD Choices EP This Is Core Records (2015)

Choices is the debut EP of Italian metalcore noise makers A Hero Named Coward. Massively heavy, their melodic dynamics are impressive, they take that classic A Day to Remember catchiness sound and blend with visceral and brutal sound of names like A Ghost Inside and I Killed the Prom Queen. Choices is well balanced and sounds fresh regarding the genre, if this is only their debut EP, we can’t wait for what would come next. Well done lads!

FAUSTO CASAIS

OUT NOW

6 THE BLACK RYDER The Door Behind the Door

The Anti Machine Machine (2015)

The Black Ryder is a band that sounds out of their time, and even if you think they sound great, we kept thinking that they could sound even greater if they could avoid all the clichés. The Door Behind the Door tests the patience of even the most tolerant listener, all of this because their particular combination of influences and genres, leaving the listener somehow lost in their own world. With the right mood for it, this might be an essential release.

FAUSTO CASAIS

7 EAST INDIA YOUTH Culture Of Volume XL (2015)

William Doyle, best known for East India Youth, is an English musician of 24 years old who wanders through electronic and synthpop, although is notorious the Indie influences. As a curiosity we have the fact of his artistic name said to be inspired by having written his previous work in the East London area. A life changing fact, according to him. Culture of Volume is therefore the second EIY original album and is characterized by an ethereal and environmental atmosphere with hot rhythms and limpid voice. It is clearly a pop album where the voice and the synthesizer dominate in an almost perfect symbiosis. The intimate ideas in the letters are faithfully translated by the gorgeous voice of William and the end result is an obvious interesting work.The various and unexpected sounds that come with each new track are the delight to hold.

8 DARIUS Grain

Hummus Records (2015)

Beware the massive attack of riffs coming from European neutral ground! From Switzerland to the world, Darius battled live for six years to come now with a beautiful record that captures the sound intensity of the band in full. The album is well digested and well measured: from weight mountains to hot valleys, the cleavages on the album result in a balanced work that came out at the right time.

RUI CORREIA

Flenser (2015)

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Emery never fails to impress! The South Carolina crew is back with their sixth full-length and a whole new found inspiration. Going full independent and also starting their own label, Bc Music, the sky seems to be the limit for these dudes. Creative as fuck they still know how to click with their own fans. You Were Never Alone is another perfect and balanced effort, featuring that classic screamoesque between clean melodic vocals and the screaming vocals blended with huge chorus. Catchy and massive radio friendly tunes, that totally steers their boat into some deeper and unconventional waters. Without losing their gap and beliefs, Emery are back with another set of mesmerizing songs, never failing to let us down.

ruly, Heaven and Hell lies within these grooves. Croce (or “Cross” in Italian) features the entwined vocals of Father Murphy’s Freddie Murphy and Chiara Lee as they wind and snake across each other through a series of songs or perhaps stations of the cross. The Italian duo presents their tableaux through eight vignettes split across two LP sides, the first of which depicts mortal suffering and spiritual Calvary while side two is designed to represent a heavenly afterlife of solace and holy clamour. Certainly, there are parts of Croce which feel like Father Murphy are determined to enforce purgatory upon the listener. The dark industrial pummels of “A Purpose” and the shrieked vocals and darkest days atmosphere of “So This Is Permanent” are redolent of weeping mothers at the base of a crucifixion, Lee repeating again and again, “Can you take it, can you take it…?”, while percussion clangs like huge rusty nails being hammered through bone and wood. Side two offers some spiritual uplift and relief while still sounding like damaged souls howling through an afterlife of metal and wind. Croce is a record for which you need to brace yourself with a stiff drink and a few Hail Marys while realising that the difference between Heaven and Hell is purely subjective.

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Inventions. Braids, All We Are

19.05

7 EMERY You Were Never Alone Rude Records (2015)

OUT NOW

FATHER MURPHY Croce

FAUSTO CASAIS

MCR, Taking Back Sunday, Underoath

EUAN ANDREWS

Sannhet, Eternal Tapestry

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9 OUT NOW

FOUR YEAR STRONG Four Year Strong

Pure Noise Records (2015)

9 GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress Constellation (2015)

The Godspeed comeback seemed the most unlikely of reunions. Their end-of-millennium proclamations carried sulphuric end-of-days tidings, perfect for the twilit final hours of one century and the tentative, unsteady first steps of another. Their records arrived with the minimum of explanation or illumination, wrapped in packaging garlanded with blurred snapshots and unnameable symbolism, given titles which could double as gnomic manifestos, but could just as easily be cut-up-and-paste text rambles. So it came as no surprise when they quietly disappeared in the early years of the 21st century. Perhaps the mission had been discontinued, the struggle lost and the Montreal shadow collective dispersed to pursue other projects and schemes. The industrial cogs of modern music and commerce continued to spin and GYBE’s inscrutable refusal to comply turned to silence. Their sudden re-emergence on the festival circuit in 2010 had them appear to sell out and shackle themselves to the alternative corporate dollar. The blistering performances which followed soon hushed any dissenting voices and 2012’s “Allejuah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!” continued this ferocious intensity onto their first new recording in a decade. Now, Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress arrives as their most concise yet effective statement to date. At a mere 40 minutes, this is an EP by GYBE standards. It’s derived from the multi-movement suite performed live in recent concerts and known to the fanbase as the “Behemoth”, stripped down and repurposed into an LP format and distilled essence of Godspeed. “Peasantry or Light! Inside of Light!” begins with drum beats like wooden mallets on unyielding doors demanding entrance before a sudden plunge into a furious massed chorus of strings howling for blood and demanding fair settlement. As ever with Godspeed’s finest work, there is the smell of a just war being fought here. This colossus of a fanfare yields to two extended drone pieces, “Lambs Breath” and “Asunder, Sweet”, in which guitars grumble and spit weary platitudes for tired debates as dark shadows spin low overhead like helicopter rotors through filthy smog. The finale of “Piss Crowns Are Trebled” veers into epic symphonic rock, a surging tidal crescendo of sound and fury which finally disperses leaving skinny ether trails of vibration fading into a heavenly sky. What peace may finally fall depends entirely on the actions of the victors.

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Godspeed You! Black Emperor...

92

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May

EUAN ANDREWS

After the damn good appetizer that was their 2014 EP Go Down In History, our thoughts and expectations were already set on the highly-anticipated and self-titled fourth album from punk heroes Four Year Strong. Produced by Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou (Every Time I Die, Code Orange Kids, High On Fire) at Godcity Studio in Salem, this new effort brings a new chapter into Four Year Strong own sound. There is more time to breathe between songs, their own sound seems more raw than ever and the songs sound bigger and bold. Four Year Strong made a record that is made for singing along and headbanging. Quite possibly one of the best contemporary punk records of this year and for sure their best release to date. Well done!

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Rancid, Pennywise, Ignite

OUT NOW

8 GOLDSMACK Wild Season EP

Self-Released (2015)

When Bette Davis’ Of Human Bondage (1934) is intertwined with singer Georgia Minelli’s firm words, “Even if nothing good can come from you, I will keep going to you,” a certain point of reference is summoned. Was this feeling lost in time? Who knows? Going back and emulate is one thing – we usually call it retro – but to carry the incendiary rock ‘n’ roll spirit without copying footsteps is a whole another thing. This Italian band thrives with Patti Smith’s revolutionary, untamed spirit, and the nastiness of protopunk. The voice is as haunting as taunting, and the guitar is finally howling again, desperate for blood. Goldsmack’s Wild Season is such a powerful statement that puts us craving and begging for more.

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Patti Smith, Velvet Underground, Love


REVIEWS

HOLLY HERNDON

8

Platform

19.05

4AD (2015)

American artist Holly Herndon is back with her third installment, now with a new home, 4AD, and a new take into her intoxicating and contemporary approach into the electronic pop world. Platform is a strange form of art, Herndon’s fearless way of experimenting is fascinating, giving electronic pop something different

and somehow revolutionary. Her fractured voice, deconstruction and absence of that classic sense of melody makes us travel into her singular and unique artistic statement. Tackling some very modern issues, Platform is also a political and a protest effort, where inequality, neo-feudalism and the

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ESSENTIAL TRACKS:

Gazelle Twin, The Knife, Jenny Hval

surveillance state that we live in are clearly invoked. Holly Herndon mechanized way of art is her own statement to where this world is going to. We can say that Platform brings some fantasy into our reality, but it’s obvious that even if the message is full of optimism there is always an appeal for progress and change.

Morning Sun, Lonely At The Top, Home

musicandriotsmagazine.com

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93


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09.06

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8

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HOT SUNDAY BLOOD Someone Left Behind

JENNY HVAL Apocalypse, girl

LILA ROSE WE.ANIMALS.

I do feel there’s actually a lack of bands in this genre called Grunge. After the peak in the 90s and the “death” of Nirvana or the half of Alice In Chains, the sympathy for this style declined. Hot Sunday Blood bring back that energy of the nineties grunge and in addition the braveness to include the groove or heaviness of some Queens Of the Stone Age or Mastodon rock riffs. Someone Left Behind is the debut for these Italians, in it we find many elements from the grunge and stoner rock deliberately directs to an old school feel, to heavy rock riffs, and sometimes brushing the distinct alternative rock instrumental ambient. The tracks “Blood Party” and “Running On My Own” are good examples of the freshness and polish intention of the band’s work.

Provocative and incendiary, Jenny Hval is once again exploring emotions to the limit. Showing tremendous maturity, her own way of “spoken noisy word” is the ultimate way of catharsis, even when tension blends with her unique way of approaching sexuality and fiction. Apocalypse, girl is breaking barriers and stereotypes, going from sexuality to politics and social awareness, giving an extra dimension to this hallucinatory narrative. There is also a huge level of intimacy, providing a very dreamy, free and visionary take into that Jenny Hval own fictional world. Let’s try to imagine a world that revolves around gospel choir girls and punks running the world with their auto-erotic impulses. Apocalypse, girl is a poetic and complex masterpiece.

It’s really hard to not think about Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” when listening to Lila Rose’s new album. “Earth Song” was the first time Jackson delivered a song that was dealing exclusively with the environment and animal welfare, and one of the most important songs of his career. Rose’s WE.ANIMALS. shares a lot of that frustration, awareness, profound love, and anger, displayed on “Earth Song”, the difference being that she does it for forty minutes. An incredible challenge that was surpassed with distinction by using more live instrumentation than its predecessor, Heart Machine, and by Rose’s wit on that an album like this one demanded incredible levels of depth and an astonishing complexity on its own identity. WE.ANIMALS. is quite simply pop/rock finesse.

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Mervilton Records (2015)

Sacred Bones (2015)

SÉRGIO KILMORE

Mastodon, QOTSA, Smashing Pumpkins

Self-Released (2015)

FAUSTO CASAIS

Swans, Ramona Lisa, Mariam The Believer

TIAGO MOREIRA

Björk, Lykke Li, Fiona Apple

OUT NOW

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8 MYLETS Arizona

METZ II

MY MORNING JACKET The Waterfall ATO Records (2015)

Sargent House (2015)

METZ took everyone by surprise when they released their first full-length. It was like a punch in the gut, a heavy slap on the face. The Toronto’s trio brutal sound and intense live shows are something really worth to experience and they more than anyone know how crazy and electric their music can be. After touring heavily everywhere, the guys slowed down a little bit and now are back with their sophomore record, II. As they said, they tried not to give in to the pressure of the expectations based on their latest effort, which they have proven not to. II is heavier, darker and noisier than their debut. Even when it seems that the songs are a bit alike, they manage to make them more interesting as frontman Alex Edkins shouts sorely every word.

7, from 1998 to the present. They could have been so many more the albums published by this band, but we believe that the perfect number does justice to the quality of the Kentucky quintet. The Waterfall, the brand new album from My Morning Jacket, does not clash with the sound already known in the prior acts. Again, the gender is a mix of styles and sounds united by a common element: the Rock. The smooth way they mix the various influences on The Waterfall makes this record an easy album to listen, releasing musical gems every new song. Perhaps the secret of this band is related for being a little brushed off the meteoritic fame that is usually associated with bands with this creative capacity. Continue praised and the path to distribute good quality music.

In the vast sea of layered music, the numbers mean little. It is rare to find a really catchy and amazing project. It turns out that a kid of 20 years, discovered at age 17 by Sargent House, just ... corroborate my premise. A faithful guy to himself can be more intense than four, five big disorganized guys and at this age I’m mentioning this as a real early epiphany. A sort of Trent Reznor taking a few laps back in time returning with more pedals, less machines, probably the same desire to break sound field. Mylets back-slaps Battles just because and even being technical, he knows how to build meaningful songs. I advise you to quit what you’re doing and embrace our new Rock’s wunderkind.

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Sub Pop (2015)

ANDREIA ALVES

Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Black Flag

94

music&riots

May

NUNO TEIXEIRA

Band of Horses, Monsters of Folk, Dr.Dog

RUI CORREIA

Tera Melos, Nine Inch Nails, Delta Sleep


REVIEWS

HOLLY MIRANDA

8

Holly Miranda

19.05

Dangerbird‫ ‏‬Records (2015)

Holly Miranda has spent half of her life on stage or in a recording studio or just singing - with her former rock band The Jealous Girlfriends and more recently as a solo musician - but the best is yet to come and Miranda is still exploring her skills as a songwriter and this new album is a proof of that. The creative process for this album was something really interesting. One day Miranda dreamed that she was going to rent a house in Joshua Tree and go write by herself for a month, and

that’s exactly what she did! Reconnecting with herself and nature, this self-titled album is like a self-examination of herself as musically she explores more electronic elements, though the piano and the guitar are always present in her songs. The first single unveiled “All I Want Is To Be Your Girl” is an upbeat love song where she sings distinctly “The days are shorter, but the nights are long. We could fuck in the sun and then dance till dawn” and it makes us dream of the wonderful and easy summer

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ESSENTIAL TRACKS:

Cat Power, Tegan and Sara

days where everything seems perfect. But that is not the only song that she expresses true fondness for someone. “Everlasting” is a quite heartbreaking song as the track “The Only One”. Throughout the whole album, Miranda’s graceful and soulful voice fits to each song, either is a slower one or a more cheerful one. She co-produced the album with Florent Barbier and the final result is a raw and honest effort. Miranda is what we may call a real and talented artist.

All I Want Is To Be Your Girl, Everlasting

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NADINE SHAH Fast Food

NAI HARVEST Hairball

Topshelf Records (2015)

Sinderlyn (2015)

Nadine Shah is an author who does not just make music. It does so with a need to deliver a strong message of support, using its own personal relationships as a starting point and anchor. Fast Food is the second album of the English girl and is the artistic statement of the singer who gets influenced by Jazz and claim textures to the Gothic. It’s a much more ambitious work than her debut album and is marked by a more open sound, with a characteristic melancholy rhythm. All this designed so that the melodic voice of Nadine is the real star element, along with the intense story that takes shape in every verse. Fast Food is an odd dose of reality that leaves us naked and even haunted in some moments.

Nai Harvest are best friends guitarist and vocalist Ben Thompson and drummer Lew Currie from Sheffield, UK. Listening to their music, it seems that they are more than two guys playing around. But no, it’s just the two of them and they make pretty messy and fuzzy indie/punk sound. It feels at times a mix between the punk riffs of Ramones with the sunny indie rock vibe of Wavves. Hairball is a frenetic record where they put all they like to play in there. Fuzzy hooks with feedback and reverb mixed with garage punk sound. Since they recorded this album with producer Bob Cooper (who worked with Sky Ferreira, Empire of The Sun, Citizen) over the course of one month, the duo has shown a lot of potential and a lot of great songs.

Novella were formed originally by friends Hollie Warren, Sophy Hollington and Suki Sou and since then their growth has been significant. The addition of drummer Iain Laws in 2011 and keyboardist Isabel Spurgeon in 2014 solidified the group and that’s something really shown on their debut album. Going from garage dream pop to a more psychedelic sound, Land is sort of a trip into the ’90s shoegaze and the ’60s psychedelic, and it’s easy to go along with the cosmic psychedelia vibe of every song of the album. Recorded by Jonas Verijnen (Moon Duo, Ballet School) and Joshua Third (The Horrors) in an abandoned clothing factory-turned-studio, Land combines the gloomy weather of London with its beautiful and melancholic landscapes.

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Apollo (2015)

NUNO TEIXEIRA

Lyla Foy, Mirel Wagner, Tiny Ruins

NOVELLA Land

ANDREIA ALVES

Wavves, Fidlar, Ramones

ANDREIA ALVES

September Girls, The Wytches, TOY

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OUT NOW

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8 THE PRODIDY The Day Is My Enemy

ØLTEN Mode

PALE HONEY Pale Honey

ØLTEN may be unknown for some, but soon for sure they will be on the mouth of everyone with this debut album. A Swiss trio band that play loud with instruments sounding like they’ve been tuned in a basement by the devil himself. Disillusioned by the mere existence of the human race, ØLTEN produce a basic instrumental post-rock sludge that wouldn’t put off the happy fellows of bands such as Cult of Luna, Neurosis, Russian Circles. Although they’ve only been formed in 2012 and be playing for a year, their music relies on its musicians experience to achieve its singular and heavy style, which could be described as a successful blend of depression and reverie sequences. Sometimes stuck in the suspense of the moment between aggression and clarity.

Pale Honey - Tuva Lodmark and Nelly Daltrey - deliver a self-described “minimalistic rock” sound, which is pivotal to not be interpreted as a simplistic and/or too-rudimentaryfor-its-own-good type of sound. The Sweden-based duo have perfected the bases exposed on last year’s Fiction EP. Their self-titled debut album is a clear product of hard labor which is displayed throughout the ten tracks of the album by offering, with pleasure, an obvious lack of stiffness in an album that relies mostly on laid back sounds. The album doesn’t hesitate to forget the laid back sounds to shift into something way more energized nor it refuses to crossover to other universes. Pale Honey’s self-titled debut is a beautiful and pleasurable alternative rock album.

Here there is no need to introduction. The Prodigy is one of the best bands of electronic music, especially in the big beat. The Day Is My Enemy is an excellent album. It is powerful and fully identified with the best sound that the band has ever produced. Aggressive and visceral, has the usual confusing sounds that always populated their songs. It’s danceable and awakens a violent energy that infects even the most peaceful of mortals. There are retro elements that remind us of The Prodigy of other times, but also so many new elements that project them to a more modern platform. After all, in 25 years a lot has changed and the electronic music is constantly evolving. Overall, it’s a great return of The Prodigy, with a carefree album, full of honesty and straightforwardness, in a way that only a band with nothing to prove can do. The Prodigy are that band.

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Hummus Records (2015)

Bolero Recordings (2015)

SÉRGIO KILMORE

Cult of Luna, Neurosis, Sunn O)))

96

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Take Me To The Hospital (2015)

May

TIAGO MOFREIRA

Beach House, Alvvays, PJ Harvey

NUNO TEIXEIRA

The Prodigy. The Prodigy and The Prodigy


REVIEWS

JOANNA GRUESOME

9

Peanut Butter

OUT NOW

Fortuna Pop (2015)

N

owadays, only a few bunch of bands are able to offer something really fresh and original, even if that freshness is full of past clichés, they will for sure challenge us somehow. Joanna Gruesome, Perfect Pussy, Priests, White Lung and even War on Women are some of the few

acts that are able to challenge the listener in both ways, musically and intellectually, bringing some excitement and reality into the same old boring-esque songs. Peanut Butter defy us in every way, their sound is direct but exquisite, their blend of hooks, noise, punk and hardcore with the most jangled melodic pop is bold and infectious. Radical and again political, this new effort goes from non-sense words and obtuse statements to radical politics, fancying people and espionage.

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ESSENTIAL TRACKS:

Perfect Pussy, The Ramones, Television

Songwriter Owen Williams really nailed it. Lyrically speaking, Peanut Butter is quite unique, it’s not very often that alarming lyrics meet dangerous issues and undermine some of the basic clichés that we all are fed up with. Joanna Gruesome are taking down sexism and setting their ground into one of the most revolutionary and smart acts of this generation, their goal is fully achieved with the power of strong words and their awesome art-punk display!

Crayon, There Is No Function Stacy

musicandriotsmagazine.com

FAUSTO CASAIS

97


PYRAMIDS A Northern Meadow Profound Lore (2015)

T

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Suicide Squeeze (2015)

Metal Blade (2015)

Shana Cleveland & The Sandcastles is the side project of La Luz’s frontwoman, more laid back, mellow and casual, Oh Man, Cover the Ground is a stirring and an honest expansive effort. Shana Cleveland is a gifted artist and over the obscure acoustic guitars layers she makes us travel into our own comfort zone, where nothing really matters there. Oh Man, Cover The Ground’s softly-stated melodies and breezy air operates on its own sense of time. Full of improvisations and some experimentation, Shana Cleveland & The Sandcastles goes deep into what intimate folk pastoral sound, even if somehow we are taking a wild card here trying to put some kind of label on this dreamy and timeless effort. Even if their acoustic full guitar drives us, her voice is an amazing natural instrument, browsing genres with a unique light touch.

Upon listening to the first seconds of Crypt of the Devil you might think “Is this a Cannibal Corpse record?”. Phil Hall’s songwriting definitely helped Chris Barnes’ Six Feet Under return to the sounds of the gnarling frontman’s earlier years, and it’s really not an understatement to say that songs like “Gruesome”, “Broken Bottle Rape”, or “Stab” end up showing you how the Corpse could sound with him nowadays. However, this doesn’t represent a full blown shift in direction, as tracks such as “The Night Bleeds” and “Compulsion to Brutalize” still bear those sick, vicious and venomous grooves that were ever so present in Unborn and Undead. In all fairness, Crypt of the Devil isn’t a game-changing album, but at times it brings Barnes back to the style he started with, and that is more than enough reason for any death metal fan to check this record.

here’s something to A Northern Meadow that brings to mind visions of H.R. Giger. It’s not to say that Pyramids have gone all technorotica on the black metal world but both share a sense of alien beauty, a twisting of shape, form and concept that bring cold detachment and fantastical wonderment together in a way that is nothing short of gorgeous. Having expanded their ranks significantly since their debut, the addition of Vindsval (Blut Aus Nord) and Colin Marston (Krallice) are more than just high-profile set-dressing as they lay their unique hands on the Texans’ longestablished blueprint. Yes, they’re still skirting the fringes of black metal while creating music that seems to melt into the æther but Vindsval’s stark and arrhythmic beats make each sound like the beating heart of a vast machine while Marston tilts and whirls in increasingly off-kilter patterns, his guitarwork a truly alien presence which sidles strangely alongside with the high emotionality of R. Loren’s voice. Whilst Loren’s tone has evoked many Radiohead comparisons in regards Pyramids’ work, it’s not actually a bad point of reference – it’s vast yet claustrophobic, uncomfortable and inviting, and in its efforts to be true only to itself, it sets itself as a genre-defying work of art.

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26.05

OUT NOW

8

7

SHANA CLEVELAND & THE SANDCASTLES Oh Man, Cover The Ground

FAUSTO CASAIS

Cat Power, Feist, Basia Bulat, La Luz

98

music&riots

May

SIX FEET UNDER Crypt of the Devil

LUIS ALVES

Gore, Horror Movies and Death Metal

Portal, Blut Aus Nord, Emperor

DAVE BOWES


REVIEWS

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8 JESSICA93 Rise

Musicfearsatan (2014)

A blast from the sounds of the past, Jessica93 is Geoffroy Laporte, the mastermind behind this masterpiece. Rise is a dark take on nostalgia, there is classic 80’s Bauhaus meets The Cure vibe on it, but it’s their beautifully pained 90’s Jesu meets Nirvana meets My Bloody Valentine revival that really spooks us. Jessica93 sounds like a post-everything of 80’s and 90’s nostalgia, that record that really makes us wonder what kind of questions we would ask to our younger self. FAUSTO CASAIS

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7 KINGS DESTROY Kings Destroy

War Crime Recordings (2015)

A band that bases their sound in a Sludge aesthetic, but with far more dynamics than your typical band of said persuasion. Their sound apart from Sludge has many Alternative and also Stoner influences thrown into the melting pot to create a work that is extremely heavy but also melodic and vital. At their third LP, the NY troup shows huge signs of maturity, sounding more interesting than ever. We’ll have to wait and see if they can sustain the momentum. NUNO BABO

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7 KLONE

Here Comes The Sun

Pelagic Records (2015)

12 years after their debut, Klone are back with their album number six. Here Comes The Sun brings back some of that heavy and ethereal melody that nowadays is somehow lost or doesn’t sound real and without any kind of soul. Klone are still one of the few bands that raise the bar regarding their own songwriting, but most importantly, their layered clash between modern and vintage sound. Competent, emotional and fresh, this is too good to be ignored!

FAUSTO CASAIS

PRURIENT

8

Southern Lord (2015)

OUT NOW

Frozen Niagara Falls

Dominic Fernow is a troubled man. His work documents the male psyche as it roams unhindered through a modern world of corporation envy and faked digital identification. Whether in his Vatican Shadow guise using sheened and buffed cybertechno to probe the swollen underbelly of global politicking or as Exploring Jezebel’s investigation into masculine energy cowering under domination and submission, Fernow’s musical aliases all seem to visualise as faceless men in off-the-peg suits moving purposefully towards fateful ends and cut-off points. Fernow’s dominant project has long been Prurient, in which power electronics are applied to vulnerable scar tissue and given voice, body and screaming flesh. Frozen Niagara Falls, Prurient’s first album release since 2011’s Bermuda Drain, is a massive declaration of intent. A 90-minute monument to a bruised and irreversibly damaged reality filled with a multiplicity of authorial voices all pleading for their stories to be heard. Waves of dark ambient spray are embedded with violently dismissive beats and blood-gargling vocals confessing the most terrible things which have been seen and heard and spoken and can never be forgotten. “I promise I will only fuck prostitutes”. “This job of mine is just depression and longing, I feel sick again”. “Time is destroying us”. Suicides, abortions and miscarriages haunt these songs. Lives extinguished at their very inception point, any optimism and healthy glow snuffed out by the continuous brutalism and jackhammer beats, always the beats, and dread atmosphere seeping poison as you’re forced to inhale. Sometimes there are reprieves, as with the skewed Depeche Mode electro-pop of “Every Relationship Earthrise” or “Greenpoint”’s droll guitar minstrel looping. Brief moments of fruitless humanity swiftly subsumed by juddering noise salvoes or plaintive vocals reduced to squealing gibberish cut from another host body. Finally, there is the sound of traffic passing by as somebody (Anybody? Just a nobody?) seeks solitary absolution while an uninterested world continues unheeding. The sleeve notes to Frozen Niagara Falls read that it is best listened to at night while snow falls silently under street lights. That makes it sound almost like a sweet dream, which it isn’t. This is a record for when you wake up, you’re alive and in this world and there are knives in your face.

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EUAN ANDREWS

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STEVE VON TILL A Life Unto Itself

OUT NOW

Neurot Recordings (2015)

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SPEEDY ORTIZ Foil Deer

STEALING SHEEP Not Real

Sadie Dupuis is probably one of the best lyricist around in rock music, standing out with her poetic side and a sharp tongue. Adding that to the melody-driven guitar style evoking the 90’s era in different ways, Speedy Ortiz is a a brave outlet where Dupuis delivers all of her frustrations and inquietude in the form of a song. Foil Deer is the follow-up to last year’s Real Hair EP and 2013’s debut album Major Arcana. It’s another ferocious album, but this time around we have a more polished sound and more pop sensibility due to more time in the studio. Along with Falcone’s solid drums, Ferm’s abrasive bass and McKnight’s guitar textural riffs complement Dupuis’ guitar melodies and her soft voice. It’s a clear and complex progress.

In 2012, Stealing Sheep released their debut album, Into the Diamond Sun, a really creative and groundbreaking effort where the trio created a style of their own and some even said that it was somewhat a ‘medieval-kraut-folk’ inspired sound. Not Real is the followup album and showcases the band more focused and more solid than ever. Writing, recording and producing the record all by themselves at their studio in Liverpool, they’ve drawn inspiration from 50’s exotica, electronic music and 80’s pop making bright and colorful beats, dreamy vocal harmonies and atmospheric instrumentation. As weird as it can get, it’s still a mesmerizing piece of work and Stealing Sheep really know how to captivate the listener with such peculiar tunes.

he themes of loss and redemption have stretched throughout Steve Von Till’s solo work for decades, and though his rich and grizzled timbre lends itself well to the darker side of that template, it’s his ear for composition, utilising the sparse and stirring tones of his American forefathers, which allows him to redress the balance. A Life Unto Itself finds a little problem with that partnership and yet it often makes room for a reversal of roles, a deft use of strings and drone stripping away the softness and leaving the listener floundering in the dark, only for the unwavering humanity in Von Till’s voice to guide them back to light and, eventually hope. This dalliance with both sides of the spectrum in all aspects, the warbling synths and the rising overdriven wail of guitar of Night Of The Moon on the positive and Chasing Ghosts’ haunting piano refrain on the flip side, makes Von Till’s fourth full-length his most turbulent yet, but it ultimately serves his aims well. Not only a heartfelt tribute to his folk and country roots but also to the lingering hope of the early 70s and Neurosis’ own droning experimentalism, this is as comprehensive a summary of the man’s spirit as has ever been put to record.

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8 Carpark Records (2015)

Heavenly Recordings‫( ‏‬2015)

ANDREIA ALVES

The Breeders, Amanda X, Dinosaur Jr.

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May

ANDREIA ALVES

Egyptian Hip Hop, Peggy Sue, Warpaint

DAVE BOWES

Neurosis, Steve Von Till, Neurosis...


REVIEWS

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19.05

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TAU CROSS Tau Cross

THE STORY SO FAR The Story So Far

Bent, angular, driven by dysfunction and anxiety, The Unlawful Trade of Greco-Roman Art is a huge kick in our emotional system. Not everyone is ready for such tension, where emotions are driven to the limit in this distortion-soaked liberating experience. So Stressed simplicity caught us by surprise, every single track is a pure statement of honesty, driven by emotional distress and anxiety. Everything sounds so immediate, there is no space for slowing down. So Stressed balance the emotionally riveting, angular posthardcore with no such thing as boundaries attached. The Unlawful Trade of Greco-Roman Art is a mindblowing effort, a stylistic and dynamic new form of post-hardcore. Amazing!

Fans of Amebix and Voivod should take notice of this new band, as among their ranks are none other than bassist/vocalist Rob “the Baron” Miller and drummer Michel “Away” Langevin, two legendary musicians who joined forces with guitarists Andy Lefton and John Misery to form the punk/metal crossover project Tau Cross. This selftitled debut is what you could only expect from this line-up, a straight up ferocious and grim sounding heavy metal record served up with that so much familiar Amebix crust punk feel. Tracks like “Lazarus”, “Fire in the Sky”, “Hangman’s Hyll” or “The Devil Knows His Own” with their blend of dirty, soaring riffs, along with Miller’s rageful vocals, form an intense, dark musical atmosphere that makes this Amebix-meets-Voivod-meets-Killing Joke debut definitely worth the listen.

The Story So Far are back with their third and much anticipated full-length effort. If you’re expecting solid hooks, good songwriting, soulful and honest punk record, this is for sure your next addiction. The Story So Far are the perfect example of a punk band continuing to evolve between their own sound and pedigree, showing courage to change and to show that creativity and punk-rock could coexist in total harmony. From the emotional anthem “Distate” to the infectious sing-a-long “Heavy Gloom”, along the way we stop in the post-grunge deviant and introspective “Phantom”... Well, this could have been their best record till date, but after several listenings, we can’t help to feel that they’re changing and this might be their reality check in order to find themselves and where to fit in.

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SO STRESSED The Unlawful Trade of Greco-Roman Art

Honor Press (2015)

FAUSTO CASAIS

Fucked Up, METZ, Modern Life is War

Relapse Records (2015)

Amebix, Voivod, Killing Joke

Pure Noise Records (2015)

LUIS ALVES

FAUSTO CASAIS

Neck Deep, Like Pacific, Knuckle Puck

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18.05

8 TORRES Sprinter

Partisan (2015)

Mackenzie Scott, better known as Torres, is darker and noisier on her second album, Sprinter. Scott is very open about her feelings on her songs and on this album there’s a much stripped-down yet ferocious version of herself. Addressing themes about religion, adoption and life in general, her songs express in a very raw way those mixed feelings and perspectives. Well-crafted songs with raging riffs versus soft melodies, Scott is artful and intense writing songs and that’s what makes her standout. Produced by Rob Ellis (known for his work with PJ Harvey), with a backing band featuring Portishead guitarist Adrian Utley and PJ Harvey’s bassist Ian Oliver, Sprinter was meant to be a profound self-examination of this young musician.

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ANDREIA ALVES

St. Vincent, Waxahatchee, Angel Olsen

OUT NOW

OUT NOW

15.05

6

8

8

WOLF COLONY Unmasked

UFOMAMMUT Ecate

VALKYRIE Shadows

Relapse Records (2015)

Self-Released (2015)

The primal brutality of Ufomammut is here again! This band makes me think of colossal earthquakes and massive eruptions. This is nature unveiling itself in all its power. This is the ancient gods’ anger! If you like your stoner genuinely dense, psychedelic and heavy to pre-historical proportions, this is it. Ufomammut crush! That’s what they do; they crush people with monumental riffs. Ecate, revisits Ufomammut’s most immersive facets. It’s as if there was just this one riff throughout the entire record, a titanic riff in continuous mutation. Ecate, is the same old Ufomammut polished and refined; not much of what’s happening here is exactly new, but they’re now one step closer towards a possible Magnum Opus of the genre.

In Norse mythology, a valkyrie (chooser of the slain) is one of a host of female figures who choose those who may die in battle and those who may live, bringing their chosen to the afterlife Valhalla. Based on that, initially the band constructs their verses and stories, and draws from pre-metal style to create a rich and earthy stoner metal sound, with spices of doom metal. Shadows is the third full-length and still in the same vein of their previous ones, establishing heaviness of Black Sabbath, Pentagram and even Spirit Caravan, but in a melodic stoner groove element type of feel without any of the apathy, that feeds your listening with energetic compositions and catchy riffs.

The NY-based duo is guilty of stretching beyond reason and getting lost in what is an unfortunate too long of an album for such scarce resources. On Wolf Colony’s debut Unmasked each of the 13 tracks that compose the album is a slight variation of its predecessor to the point of midway through listening to the album one is wondering if the repeat button was pressed by mistake. From the bombastic starting with “The One” to a route where the excitement is slightly, but surely, decreasing. Sometimes 13 tracks are just too much and not even the fact of having a singer with a great tonality can save people from one disappointing trip. Enjoyable emotional electropop, sure, but it could be way more than that.

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Neurot Recordings (2015)

RICARDO ALMEIDA

Yob, Acid King, Electric Wizard

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SÉRGIO KILMORE

Torche, Royal Thunder, The Sword

TIAGO MOREIRA

Piano Club, Sivu, Eliza And The Bear


REVIEWS

OUT NOW

5 PLAIN WHITE T’S American Nights MRI (2015)

You may remember Plain White T’s from their hit single “Hey There Delilah,” but that was a long time ago and the band have been through a lot over the last years. If you are looking for a poppy record with a bit of rock, country, acoustic stuff and with a bit of boy bands vibe to it, the seventh record by Plain White T’s is your pick. There isn’t a specific reason to not like such upbeat and chilly record, but there isn’t also specific reason to listen to this record.

ANDREIA ALVES

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9 SPEAK LOW IF YOU SPEAK LOVE Everything But What You Needed Pure Noise Records (2015)

While everyone is talking about this new emo revival, it seems that everyone is not paying attention to one of the best and cathartic efforts of this 2015. Speak Low If You Speak Love is State Champs bassist Ryan Scott Graham’s solo emo/indie/rock project. Everything But What You Needed is an honest and vulnarable culmination of ideas and feelings on relationships, an emotional effort that you could easily relate to and be passionate about!

FAUSTO CASAIS

OUT NOW

7 WEED Running Back Lefse (2015)

Vancouver, BC’s Weed are back with the sophomore album, Running Back. This effort shows precisely how the trio plays with their huge drivenguitar riffs into the post-punk, grunge and shoegaze sound. Drawing inspiration from bands like My Bloody Valentine, Dinosaur Jr and Sonic Youth, Weed created a unique yet gloomy album, where it feels like we’re under a big dark sky ready to rain, but still there’s the sun trying to shine through it.

ANDREIA ALVES

WIRE

8

Pink Flag (2015)

OUT NOW

Wire

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don’t know what defines a musical legend, if it’s the number of records or sales, their long career, the stylistic changes, their persistence and refusal to change, or even the influence that other artist say the musicians from a certain band had or have on them. When a band like Wire has groups from different quadrants such as REM, Henry Rollins (Black Flag, Rollins Band, solo artist) and Ladytron citing them as influences, their debut album Pink Flag from 1977 is considered by many to be one of the most important British Punk albums of all time and even now their releases are appreciated by fans and critics alike, I think it’s safe to say that these guys are legends. Nowadays their sound can be categorized as Alternative Post Punk with some experimental and electronic leniencies. They tackle each song with confidence and ease only achievable by seasoned players, but still there’s a natural almost transcendental beauty to their musical inventiveness which eludes many of their early day cohorts, that are still active today. If twenty something years after their formation they are releasing music of this calibre and quality, I only wish they keep doing it for a very long time.

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Gang of Four, The Fall, Magazine, The Pop Group

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NUNO BABO

103


ZU Cortar Todo

Ipecac (2015)

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OUT NOW

8

Shady Records/Interscope (2015)

Self-Released (2015)

In the time when almost every single hip hop artist and producer is trying to have a modern and innovative sound, somebody just had to hit the brakes. This time it was Alabama born rapper Yelawolf. Known for his southern rap roots, country and blues influences, and incredible energy, he delivered another record worth a listen. In eighteen tracks he brought more than hour of chilled, laidback hip hop music, with dominantly slow-paced beats and a lot of acoustic, or blues driven guitars. This time aggression is replaced with an emotion, and his vocals are the best proof. With his strongest weapon – lyrics, Michael Wayne Atha wears his heart on a sleeve, and he does it with honesty and passion. Worth three years of waiting.

Birmingham three-piece Youth Man are one of the most exciting new bands around. Hill of Knives is a straight-up protest effort, defying convention, perception and expectations, in a lot ways, the understatement that is underscoring the urgency to change. With songs about the main issues of our time, where tyranny, isolation and hypocrisy of the West are clearly invoked. Sounding like a bastard son between Savages and Minor Threat, Youth Man’s sound is expressive and dynamic, frontwoman Kaila Whyt is exhausting erratic and impressive. Hill of Knives makes us wonder what will come next, what will be their next step, because their intensity truly shake our nervous system, putting us in a constant state of emergency.

hen the end times arrive, it’s a generally accepted fact that they will be heralded by the blasts of trumpets from upon high. But baritone sax from Rome? The long-awaited (solo) return from Zu certainly makes it a feasible thought, with Cortar Todo’s monolithic stomps so leaden that they feel like the sky is coming down, and though the shift away from Carboniferous’ mind-melting workouts is certainly felt, the blunter statement of intent they make here is invariably an effective one. Paring back Luca Mai’s more frenetic sax exertions, the shifting of weight to Massimo Pupillo’s guttural punch completely reinvigorates proceedings, a less inviting yet physically irresistible force that stomps a path through Zorn (the screeching vortex of A Sky Burial), Tangerine Dream (Serpens Cauda’s droning respite, a cryptic hangover from last year’s collaboration with Eugene Robinson) and, more prevalently, the tribal crunch of Sepultura. They haven’t lost any of their old dexterity or intelligence – the stealth which they deliver the curveballs this time around says the opposite, actually – but it’s the sheer force, an anger and ferocity that only knows how to escalate, which is Cortar Todo’s calling card. A series of violent eruptions or just one, long shifting of earth – no matter how you look at it, this is Zu at their most devastating.

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8

8

YELAWOLF Love Story

YOUTH MAN Hill Of Knives EP

MILJAN MILEKIC

Savages, Bad Brains, Minor Threat

Eminem, D12, Obie Trice

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FAUSTO CASAIS

May

DAVE BOWES

Eugene Robinson, John Zorn, Black Engine


REVIEWS

REVIEWED NEXT ISSUE

GWENNO

GIRLPOOL

Y DYDD OLAF

Before The World Was Big

SENSES FAIL

SELF DEFENSE FAMILY

Pull The Thorns From Your Heart

Heaven Is Earth

WINO & CONNY OCHS Freedom Conspiracy

Exile On Mainstream (2015)

F

OUT NOW

7

irst of all a little context, Wino is a guitar player and singer known for his work with Stoner legends Saint Vitus and The Obsessed and Cornelius Ochs is the singer and guitar player in the German alternative rock band Baby Universal AKA Z-Joe and the Dustbowlers AKA Zombie Joe. Collaborations, many times, are nothing more than a competition between the musicians that form the project. Each trying to get their message and music through and if that worked briefly for Eno and Ferry, why wouldn’t it work here? Well, here we have a record that has little to do with Alternative Rock and even less to do with Stoner Rock. You won’t find heavier that life riffs and solos or even electronic explorations and deviations. The album is basically a laid back acoustic rock and Blues album that flows naturally and shows the collaborators complicity, as this is after all not their first record together. They have worked together before and if their personal relationship reflects their musical one, this will most definitely not be their last effort.

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Wino, Conny Ochs, Saint Vitus, Scott Kelly

AUGUST BURNS RED

Founding In A Far Away Pieces

ALGIERS

Algiers

DESAPARECIDOS NUNO BABO

Payola

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REFUSED

Freedom

PINS

Wild Nights

WOLF ALICE

My Love Is Cool 105


SLEATERKINNEY O2 ABC, Glasgow 25.03.2015 Words: Dave Bowes // Photos: Alex Woodward

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he Sleater-Kinney reunion really has been a breakneck one. Within half a year, the world had one of its most beloved and truly righteous bands back together, not just for a whistlestop tour of the usual haunts, but with a new album to boot and the fact that No Cities To Love was such a thrilling and vital addition to their catalogue is just another reason that tonight is something of a magical occasion for many. Packing as much into their allotted time as possible, they blast through a set which finds little distinction between fond favourites like Oh!, a doo-wopping crowd pleaser made all the more massive with the inclusion of Sky Larkin’s Katie Harkin to round out the hook-friendly sound, and the ferocious kick of “No Anthems”, Carrie Brownstein a jagged yet sinuous counterpart to Corin Tucker’s tremulous warble. What the band eschew in banter (barring a tribute to the justannounced departure of Zayn Malik from One Direction), they redouble in conviction. There’s an unstoppable sense of purpose in the trio, Brownstein and Tucker duelling guitars to the audience’s delight while Janet Weiss delivers a staggering turn, her sparsely expressive fills and rattles less a framework for her counterparts’ efforts than a guiding hand. If there was ever a recipe for the perfect show, Sleater-Kinney nail it tonight. It has the classics, the welcome surprises and the new-found favourites; they deliver the goods with an exhilarating blend of conviction and showmanship; most of all, they show the room what they’d been missing all these years. As they head into an encore of “Gimme Love”, Tucker delivers a searing cry for equality, exclaiming that while some things may have changed while they were away, they haven’t changed enough. Well, that’s why bands like this are needed, and we’re grateful that they have returned with such force.

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LIVE!

www.facebook.com/MUSICandRIOTS.Magazine

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WOVENHAND + MARRIAGES Dom omladine, Belgrade 25.04.2015

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Words: Miljan Milekić // Photos: Tamara Samardžić

here aren’t so many artists or bands that can attract crowd from a lot of different music backgrounds, but Wovenhand is most definitely one of them. David Eugene Edwards has so many different influences in every sound he creates, so all of this made sense. Punks, metalheads, indie kids, they were all present with their eyes wide open, and ears ready for everything. With Edwards on stage, ‘everything’ is exactly what you can expect. Wovenhand opened their set with “In the Temple”, and the preacher himself got on the stage. Wovenhand are not just a band, and Edwards is not just another frontman. Wovenhand are cult. Religion on their own, and we were all believers. Every song, every word, every note was just like another psalm, in a new Bible that the band and crowd wrote together that night. It didn’t matter if it was “Hiss”, “Closer”, “Maize”, “Masonic Youth”, “The Refractory“ or “Obdurate Obscura”, the crowd looked hypnotized while the band was there just to make sure they didn’t wake up. Until the big awakening with “Long Horn” and “Field of Hedon”. The encore gave “Salome”, and “Good Shepherd” followed by “Whistling Girl” played by Edwards on banjo alone. Grand closing came in with “Glistening Black”, and the show was definitely over. But, there was one more thing that made this show so special. The opening act, Marriages. In their little-over-thirtyminutes set, the trio gave everything they had. They gave their best and worst, and the most important, their heart on the sleeve. They started slowly, recalling the Kitsune era with the first few songs, but the real deal came a little bit later with the first sounds of “Southern Eye”. From that point on, Emma Ruth Rundle took over the stage, the room, the world. She screamed bloody murder, letting all of her frustrations away with “Skin” and especially “Salome”. Lyrics “I will break your body, I will tear you down” filled the room with senses of anger and emptiness, while Emma screamed her lungs out, almost on the verge of tears. Pure emotion. Passion. The truth. 108

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LIVE!

Wovenhand

Marriages musicandriotsmagazine.com

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ARCHITECTS

+ EVERY TIME I DIE + BLESSTHEFALL + COUNTERPARTS O2 ABC, Glasgow 11.03.2015 Words: Dave Bowes

Say what you will about the youth of today, they’re certainly enthusiastic. Even for Counterparts’ early appearance, there’s a sizeable turnout ready and waiting to watch the Canadians rip the stage up, which they proceed to do with reckless enthusiasm. With big enough hooks to catch to most fleeting of attention spans and enough murky breakdowns to keep the room on (and occasionally off) its feet, they’re a warm-up act in the best possible sense. Though Blessthefall might strike with the same force, there’s something tonight that sees them struggle to escape the trappings of familiarity. Frontman Beau Boken has a forthright charm that sees his antics rise above the usual metalcore clichés and the band have a tight sense of momentum that carries them through but after Counterparts’ good-time conviction, it rings a tad hollow. Every Time I Die don’t suffer from the same problem. In fact, there are no problems in sight, their side-winding energy and unstoppable metal-ness provoking nothing short of a riot. It’s the kind of performance that leaves nothing but breathlessness in its wake, Keith Buckley’s broken-glass roar adding a tinge of violence to the drunken madness of Decayin’ With The Boys and Floater’s scattered fury while brother Jordan marries dexterity and roller coaster kineticism to astonishing effect. Bruised and battered as everyone is, it’s a relief that Architects are a more sedate presence this evening. Only a little, mind. Their assault is, in one sense, a much more punishing one, a concerted deluge of downtuned fury masking grandiose aspirations and skewed melodicism - where most strive to separate the poles of their sound, Architects deliver a fluid progression that tilts and whirls from metronomic thuggery to soaring displays of emotion. What serves them best, though, is the intelligence with which they hit their marks, each cut structured more deceptively than the last and allowing for all the sweeping grandeur of their records while remaining an exhilaratingly powerful unit on stage. What every band achieved tonight, Architects manage on their lonesome, a band who only get more blistering with each passing show. 110

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Kayo Dot

KAYO DOT +

BOTANIST + ?ALOS + NOD NOD

Vila Štvanice, Prague 16.04.2015 Words and Photos: Arnaud Diemer

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et on an Island in the middle of Prague, the Vila Stvanice has been built in 1750. An exceptional frame for this rather odd line up. The evening started with the Czech from Nod Nod. A melting pot of stoner, sludge with an ambient touch. Pretty nice job that kept the assembly attentive the whole set. Then the Botanist planted their roots on stage for an avantgarde botanical black metal show with two zithers. A strange setup, but an excellent performance from what we could describe as a hippie version of Celeste with a green tomb. Between atmospherical double drumming layers of pure black metal came the threnodies from these rare instruments. The best performance of the evening, in fact, communicating a tremendous amount of energy through the deep fog present on stage. Who did come up after ? Alos, a one woman band from Italy focused on noise and drone. Another strange set up where cooking utensils served as instruments in an ambiance reminiscent of Shakespeare’s witches stories. Not the best way to introduce Kayo Dot but nevertheless a good show that kept the audience alive. To conclude the night, the long awaited Kayo Dot dropped on stage. No dark jazz ambiance tonight, the set was focused on the new compositions. We could refer to them as 80’s dismal ambient pop. But Peter Gabriel didn’t show up for a surprise feature. Anyway, with such great musician as Kayo Dot, it’s been an impressive journey and a good gig.


LIVE!

ONEIDA + PEOPLE OF THE NORTH Galeria Zé dos Bois, Lisbon 29.03.2015 Words and Photos: Ricardo Almeida

Were they a crazy jazz sextet and we could be before the possible incarnation of Bing Nathan’s band, in Paul Auster’s remarkable novel, Sunset Park. Yeah, they’re from Brooklyn and musical conformity is not their thing. As People of the North, Kid Millions and Bobby Matador, along with guest musician David Maranha, initiated the ceremony for that night’s purge. As abstract and minimalistic as it was - do not fool yourselves -, that noise trip wasn’t one to send the audience out on undefined contemplation of the darkest corners of their minds, it was a call to the here and now, a rite of initiation to prepare their bodies for what would come later on that night. Oneida are definitely one of the bands that best knows how to mix different languages without ever betraying their rock n’ roll heritage. With three totally ecstatic members and the other two rather catatonic, Oneida journeyed from noisy atmospheric soundscapes and jazzy ritualistic beat downs to pretty straight rock n’ roll anthems, pulling over for gas in every pscychellicville on their way. Oneida played as it if was the last show of the lives – well, it was the last of the tour. There’s absolutely no reason for these guys not being huge right now. Actually, there is: most people are too lazy to venture themselves on new ground and just prefer to see Arctic Monkeys play every summer, and still complain when they play their recent stuff. Oneida put on the same blood and sweat to their shows as a band like Metz does, and I’d recommend watching both bands play live to all those who enjoy intense and energetic live music. www.facebook.com/MUSICandRIOTS.Magazine

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Minsk

MINSK + FLOOR

@klub007, Prague 14.04.2015 // Words and Photo: Arnaud Diemer

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pening the night with their doomy power pop, Floor started quietly the evening in front of a crowd prompt for a nap. Then, all of a sudden the sound came. A massive distorted tsunami that just smashed the faces of the front row as elegantly as a sonic bukkake. Floor just remembered everybody why they’re here to stay in this bloody business. Drone at its finest, making the rib cages of everybody starting a Harlem Shake 112

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between two simple and gentle melodies. A great journey between simple and mantra shaped melodies as ridiculously simple as efficient. A great way to introduce Minsk, who just released a new LP on Relapse called The Crash And The Draw. Almost every song was introduced by synth layers that slowly turned everybody in trance, just enough to prepare them to some more psychedelic prog structures, with awesome tribal and more death metal drumming that just perfectly framed it to finish in a controlled chaos of hardcore and doom blended

between the screams and clear vocals from every stringed member. The public quickly embraced this massive atmosphere and the front row was packed, as much as the stage, where roughly no place was left as Minsk is composed of five guys as equipped as a AH-64 Apache during the Gulf war. The new album is more versed into post-hardcore, but it is well done and balanced and shaped for the live shows. The new drummer is also adding a way more brutal and groovy taste to the composition, which helped the audience shake their heads and booty while attending the metalheads’ nirvana.


LIVE!

PUTAN CLUB

Mercado Negro, Aveiro 23.02.2015

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Words: Carlos Cardoso // Photos: André São Marcos

ebruary 23 was a rare chance to see one of the most passionate bands nowadays, and to the 30 or 40 people that were there, this was one of the weirdest (and most exciting) shows they ever saw. Mercado Negro was, as always, the place to be when you want something truly different in Aveiro, the only place where a band like Putan Club would allow themselves to be seen, the only place where an audience of 30 members had Portuguese, Croatian, Chinese,

French (and one or two more nationalities) people watching a live show. It was the perfect setting for Putan Club to do their thing. To speak of tracks would be a disservice to the mad duo, mostly because they have this unusual ability to flow from one track to the other when playing live, from Francoise R. Cambuzat’s distorted guitar, drenched in his sweat, soaring through the air with the aid of numerous effects, to the pounding aggression of Gianna Greco’s bass guitar. Call it noise rock, avant-garde, experimental, call it what you will, what is important to remember is that every Putan Club show is an experiment in discomfort, from the maddening voice of Francoise, to the stalking that each person in the audience suffered at the hands and eyes of Gianna.

Every Putan Club gig is a kick in the face of modern music and its industry. They refuse to record albums, but they share their tracks on the internet (and shamelessly sell them in CDs to whoever wants to spend their money on them). They are defiant not because it’s cool to do so, but because that is what they are at their core: non-conformists who during this show gave everything they had, walking between the spectators, sometimes losing themselves in the middle of no more than 40 people while delivering some of the most savage riffs, weird electronic beats and infuriating screams anyone ever heard. Like all their gigs, this one will be remembered by every single one of the people there, because they too were a part of the insubordination that is Putan Club.

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KURT COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK

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DIRECTOR: Brett Morgen WRITER: Brett Morgen CAST: Don Cobain, Jenny Cobain, Kim Cobain, Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, Tracy Marander, Krist Novoselic, Wendy O’Connor USA 2015

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here to start or what to say after watching this super intimate documentary about the short but so significant life of Kurt Donald Cobain? It’s really hard because of its emotional depth, but well, I’m just going to put some Nirvana’s classics on and try to write why and how this film is so special, but at the same time tremendously overwhelming for any fan of this artist. Named after a sound collage mixtape Cobain made in 1986, this film features home movies recorded throughout his life, new interviews with friends and family, behind-the-scenes looks at some of the most important Nirvana moments - like MTV Unplugged and the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Heart Shaped Box” videos - concert footage, awkward TV interviews, animated audio recordings of Cobain, and page after page from his notebooks, also animated. Director and writer Brett Morgen had access to all the videos, notebooks, photos and authorization to display all of it in this film. From his early days in Aberdeen, Washington to his success and fall with his band Nirvana, this is for sure a roller coster of feelings and emotions never felt or seen before. It’s really fascinating how every detail and every passage of his life is stated, from the Super 8 footage from Cobain’s childhood to his home videos with his wife Courtney Love. Montage of Heck starts obviously with his childhood and it is a chronological story of Cobain’s life until his last days. Throughout the whole movie, there are interviews that are powerful as you may think. For the first time, Cobain’s mother, father, and stepmother are 114

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interviewed and they open up about how was he like and why his family was so important to him and how that affected him emotionally. Besides that, Tracy Marander, Cobain’s girlfriend during Nirvana’s early years, is also interviewed and tells her side of the story and how was it like to be with Cobain, as well Courtney Love that shows some honesty in what she had to say. Krist Novoselic, his long friend and bandmate on Nirvana, lend his perspective. Although these interviews unveil so much detail about Cobain, I guess some important figures on his life weren’t not once mentioned - such as members of Sonic Youth, Melvins, Kathleen Hanna, etc - not to mention that Nirvana’s drummer Dave Grohl was also left out - but it was explained later Grohl’s interview for the documentary took place too late to make it into the film’s current edit, so hold your horses, we’ll see his perspective too! With all of this said, we get to know a little bit more about this troubled and restless soul. These insights and perspectives show how Cobain touched each one of these lives and how he was always in a constant struggle to survive and to feel alive. Cobain’s daughter Frances Bean Cobain was one of the executive producers of this film and she asked Morgen to “Keep it real and make it honest” and that’s what it’s conveyed here: the hard, naked truth about Cobain’s life. All of these elements together make what it is the most intimate, raw documentary about a musician that left us too early and his art will be forever remembered for sure. Montage of Heck is weirdly beautiful and it’s really painful to watch such brilliant yet broken human being taking his life away. The film ends so intensely when it’s mentioned his death and nothing more is there to be seen and that makes anyone feel an emptiness that will never be filled. After watching this film, it feels like we saw the version of Cobain’s Boyhood - we see him grow, learn, live and fall. ANDREIA ALVES


CINEMA

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EX MACHINA

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DIRECTOR: Alex Garland WRITER: Alex Garland CAST: Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Corey Johnson, Sonoya Mizuno, Claire Selby, Symara A. Templeman, Gana Bayarsaikhan, Tiffany Pisani, Elina Alminas UK 2015

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lex Garland’s directorial debut is a great looking technological thriller that questions the nature of artificial intelligence, as well as the human intellect, blurring the line between human and machine. While this idea may be an old one (Her, Blade Runner, AI, etc.), it’s told and presented in a way that feels fresh, vibrant and interesting to sit though once again. Caleb (Domnhall Gleeson) is an IT worker who receives a message on his computer inviting him to his 116

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CEO’s (Oscar Issac) estate to partake in a test of his latest creation. This involves determining whether or not his humanoid robot, Ava (Alicia Vikander) can pass for human in Caleb’s mind despite the fact that her human face and hands are affixed to a cyborg, skeletal body that literally allows us to see through her humanity. is the film asking if Caleb will fall for Ava like Harrison Ford fell for Sean Young in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner? The key to this film is the performances and the plot. It fortunately relies more on ideas than effects. Caleb seems to be the polar opposite to Oscar Isaac’s Nathan but both their truer

characters come out when Ava enters the picture. Alicia Vikander’s performance brilliantly blurs the line between the words, mechanical and organic with her subtle, human body language being accompanied by the whisper of mechanical noise. It’s expected that Alex Garland’s directorial debut would feel this confident as he already juxtaposed human and something other than human in his 28 Days Later screenplay. With its sleek set design and almost Kubrick-like cinematography, Ex Machina is set to be one of the best films of the year so far. JOE DOYLE


CINEMA

FORCE MAJEURE

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8

THE WONDERS

DIRECTOR: Ruben Östlund WRITER: Ruben Östlund CAST: Johannes Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Clara Wettergren, Vincent Wettergren, Kristofer Hivju, Fanni Metelius, Karin Myrenberg, Brady Corbet, Jorge Lattof SWEDEN/FRANCE/NORWAY/DENMARK 2014

DIRECTOR: Alice Rohrwacher WRITER: Alice Rohrwacher CAST: Alba Rohrwacher, Maria Alexandra Lungu, Sam Louwyck, Sabine Timoteo, Agnese Graziani, Monica Bellucci, André Hennicke, Luis Huilca, Carlo Tarmati ITALY/SWITZERLAND/GERMANY 2015

Force Majeure is a brilliant take on modern masculinity, of traditional parenting roles, and also that classic and not so solid foundations of marriage itself. A Swedish family travels to the French Alps to enjoy a few days of skiing and spend some precious time with each other, but during a lunch at a mountainside restaurant, an avalanche turns everything upside down. With diners fleeing in all directions, mother Ebba calls for her husband Tomas as she tries to protect their children. Tomas, meanwhile, is running for his life. Force Majeure is a black comedy, strikingly original and full of that Haneke-esque tension. It’s quite outstanding to see how Östlund goes from the classic modern manhood, human frailty, sexism and the survival instinct effect.

Alice Rohrwacher’s sophomore feature centers on a family of beekeepers living in stark isolation in central Italy. The Wonders is a complex movie, where Rohrwacher’s contemporary take about life and the typical issues of a working class, but here there is no such thing as consumerism and even the approach goes from completely anarchy to exploitation, where money is overlooked and happiness is a strange feeling to begin with... The complexity of this movie is strong, the social content is huge, but it’s the way that the traditional standards of the family is portrayed that really shocks us. The Wonders is equally capable of love and destructiveness, happiness and despair, where hopes and dreams are there to stay.

FAUSTO CASAIS

FAUSTO CASAIS

REVIEWED NEXT ISSUE

LOST RIVER

5

DIRECTOR: Ryan Gosling WRITER: Ryan Gosling CAST: Christina Hendricks, Iain De Caestecker, Saoirse Ronan, Matt Smith, Ben Mendelsohn, Eva Mendes, Reda Kateb, Barbara Steele, Landyn Stewart, Rob Zabrecky, Shannon Plumb USA 2015 Lost River is the first film directed by Ryan Gosling. With a cast of great actors and experience in visuals gained through the years, it felt like nothing could go bad, but after the bad response on its Cannes Film Fesival premiere, the expectations weren’t that high. The film follows the life of a single mother and her teenage son where each one of them steps into different worlds, and as we watch the film it gets weirder and messier. The visual work may seem very familiar to Nicolas Winding Refn - director of Drive and Only God Forgives - and it feels that the film is more into the art than into the content. Besides that, Gosling gives a special highlight to the soundtrack for this movie, which all music was written by Johnny Jewel and Symmetry. It could have been much better. ANDREIA ALVES

JURASSIC WORLD

Directed by Colin Trevorrow

+

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

Directed by George Miller POLTERGEIST

Directed by Gil Kenan WHILE WE’RE YOUNG

Directed by Noah Baumbach TOMORROWLAND

Directed by Brad Bird musicandriotsmagazine.com

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MUSIC&RIOTS Magazine 11  

Featuring: Gallows, Liturgy, The Muscadettes, Turbowolf, Royal Thunder, Oceans Ate Alaska, Susanne Sundfør, Satyricon, Eska, Hannah Cohen, Y...

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