music&riots FREE | ISSUE 16 | DEC-JAN
Life’s Not Out To Get Them
A Masterful Orchestration
The World’s Best Kept Secret
Sharp & Heavy, Noisy & Grungy
An Avant-Industrial Monster
SEAWAY WILDHONEY BLESSTHEFALL BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME 2015: THE YEAR IN REVIEW ONES TO WATCH FOR 2016
BRING ME THE HORIZON Detailed, Complex & Breaking New Grounds
ROUND UP 10 // THE THERMALS - They’re back! New album arrives in March.... 14 // ROB ZOMBIE - Zombie announces new album, The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser. 15 // WILD NOTHING - Jack Tatum returns with Life Of Pause.
INTRODUCING 12 // WILDHONEY - We caught up with the band’s guitarist, Joe Trainor.
62 // 2015: THE YEAR IN REVIEW RIP 118 // DAVID BOWIE 120 // LEMMY KILMISTER
NEU // VOL.16 - ONES TO WATCH FOR 2016
HOT NEW ARTISTS 19 // THE BLACK QUEEN 20 // CREEPER 21 // MRCH 22 // MOVING PANORAMAS 23 // SO PITTED 24 // DOLORES HAZE 25 // BLACK HONEY 26 // INHEAVEN
16 // We are just sharing some of the things that we love, merch, brands, gifts or even silly and stupid things...
REVIEWS ALBUMS 86 // Baroness, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Shearwater, Arca, Bloodiest, Daughter, Grimes, Hinds, Sunn O))), Black Tusk, Jenny Lee, Lanterns Of The Lake, Money, Parquet Courts, Savages, Promise & The Monster, Tortoise, Ulver...
LIVE REPORTS 102 // And So I Watch You From Afar, Lonely the Brave, Mac McCaughan, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Fidlar, Bully, Being As An Ocean, Beach House...
CINEMA 112 // The Hateful Eight, The Revenant, Carol, The Big Short, Joy, Room, Spotlight, The Danish Girl, 99 Homes, Creed, Youth, Spectre. 4
28 // BLESSTHEFALL - Frontman Beau Bokan take on the band’s new record is way more personal and he told us all about the concept behind it, plus how they keep reinventing themselves as a band. 32 // SEAWAY - We talked with drummer Ken Taylor about their new album, Colour Blind, and the nostalgic 90’s punk trip that they take us into with their music. 36 // HOP ALONG - Frances Quinlan was kind enough to walk us through Hop Along’s history and help us make more of one of the most interesting releases of 2015. 42 // NECK DEEP - We caught up with Ben Barlow that was kind enough to give us a full insight of their latest effort and more. 46 // THE BEVERLEYS - We caught up with Steph to let us know about how they got together and much more.
50 // BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME - We talked with bassist Dan Briggs about the
new prog/rock opera, entitled Coma Ecliptic.
54 // WREKMEISTER HARMONIES We were lucky to talk with J.R. Robinson over the phone about his latest album Night of Your Ascension – that has a cast of 30 musicians.
58 // CORRECTIONS HOUSE - An avant-industrial monster, it builds on what came before and adds flesh and meat to the bones, and co-vocalist Mike IX Williams tells us what went in to its creation. 74 // BRING ME THE HORIZON -
Bassist Matt Kean shed some light about what’s arguably one of the most important moments in the career of one of the best bands in the contemporary music scene.
“It helped us develop a thick skin as a band and it made us stronger and always try new things because we know that we can’t take anything for granted.” Matt Kean - Bring Me The Horizon WORDS FROM THE EDITOR
It’s never easy to say goodbye to the ones who really meant something to you. I can’t say that I’ve been influenced by any kind of family values, religion or even my friends, everything I learned was by myself and the help of the ones that truly inspired me over the years, artists like David Bowie, Lemmy Kilmister and even Scott Weiland are a big part of that education, thank you guys for that. Losing Bowie and Lemmy will have a tremendous impact on our life, it’s overwhelming for me to see those figures like David Bowie and Lemmy Kilmister had and have this kind of amazing and somehow inspiring influence in so many people. Their work and art will stay forever. It’s with a heavy heart that I write these words, we’re not prepared to see our heroes go. In the meantime, 2015 was a great year for music in general, so many good comebacks and so many and talented new artists. We’re losing our heroes, they’re not going to be here forever, but it’s amazing to see a whole new generation of artists making a difference and standing for something. Happy 2016 for you all! Your Editor, Fausto Casais
music&riots magazine musicandriots.com
DEATH INDEX Death Index Deathwish Inc. Available on February 26
MONEY Suicide Songs Bella Union Available on January 29
AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED Arc Relapse Records Available on January 22
FREE | ISSUE 16 | DECEMBER/JANUARY
CEO/EDITOR IN CHIEF
Fausto Casais (email@example.com)
Andreia Alves (firstname.lastname@example.org) Tiago Moreira (email@example.com)
ART EDITOR // DESIGNER Fausto Casais
FEATURES EDITOR Fausto Casais
DAVID BOWIE Blackstar RCA Out Now
SUNFLOWER BEAN Human Ceremony Fat Possum Available on February 5
CONTRIBUTORS // WRITERS
Nuno Babo, Nuno Teixeira, Ricardo Almeida, Sergio Kilmore, Dave Bowes, Mariana Silva, Rob McCance, Rui Correia, Carlos Cardoso, Euan Andrews, Luis Alves, Ibrahima Brito, Stella Eliadou, Antigoni Pitta, Joe Doyle, Miljan MilekiÄ‡, Alyssa Daniele, Marty Hill, Andi James Chamberlain, Nuno Fangueiro
Andreia Alves, Nuno Fangueiro, Bruno Rodrigues, Fabio Filipe
BASIA BULAT Good Advice Secret City Available on February 12
Fausto Casais (firstname.lastname@example.org)
TEEN Love Yes Carpark Records Available on February 19
SAVAGES Adore Life Matador Available on January 22
HUGE FUCKING THANKS
Lauren Barley, Frank van Liempdt, Deathwish Inc, Thrill Jockey, Amelia Trask, Richard S.Jones, Brid Walpole, Sub Pop, Sargent House, Lucy Hurst, Stephanie Marlow, Amplificasom, Earsplit, Jessi Frick, UNFD, Matador, Spinefarm, Southern Lord, Teri Gender Bender, Riot Act Media, Team Clermont, Bloodshot Records, Joan Hiller, Eros Pasi, Rude Records, Walter Mazzeo, Pure Noise Records, Memorial Records, Hopeless Records, Nathan Walker, Bella Union, Napalm Records, Canvas Media, Sarah Maynard, Sony Music UK, Raw Power Management, Jaz Coleman, Bring Me The Horizon, Neck Deep, Kenneth Bachor, PopGun, Don Giovanni Records
SEND YOUR PROMOS TO:
SHEARWATER Jet Plane And Oxbow Sub Pop Available on January 22
DIIV Is This Is Are Captured Tracks Available on February 5
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.
The Forum - Kentish Town London Picture by Neelam Khan Vela
Soul singer Charles Bradley’s star has been on the rise since the release of his widely praised 2011 debut album No Time For Dreaming, and his ascent has continued long after the release of his triumphant second album, 2013’s Victim of Love. Dubbed “The Screaming Eagle of Soul,” the singer just announced his anticipated third album Changes, out April 1, 2016 on Daptone Records imprint Dunham Records. The album is named for his popular cover of the Black Sabbath
track. Previously only available as a Record Store Day 45, “Changes” will appear on the album and will be available for purchase digitally for the first time. “I think about the lyrics very closely when I sing ‘Changes’ and get emotional,” notes Bradley. “It makes me think of my mother and the changes in my life since she passed away.” mewithoutYou’s 2012 album Ten Stories is getting a European re-release via Big Scary Monsters on 22nd Jan 2016. The band’s fifth studio album, Ten Stories focuses
THE THERMALS THEY’RE BACK! NEW ALBUM ARRIVES IN MARCH
he Thermals have announced the release of a new album titled We Disappear. It follows 2013’s Desperate Ground and will be out March 25 via Saddle Creek. The new album was recorded in Portland at Kung Fu Bakery (The Shins, Tegan and Sara) and in Seattle, at The Hall of Justice (Nirvana, Mudhoney), and produced by Chris Walla (formerly of Death Cab For Cutie). Hutch Harris shared his thoughts about the album’s themes: “Technology, love and death are the three obsessions of the record. Our privacy used to be so important to us and now everything has changed—we freely offer once private information about relationships and reveal everything about our day-to-day lives. We’re trying to preserve our life digitally so when we’re gone people won’t forget us. We’re using technology to become immortal. You can even set up Facebook and Twitter accounts to continue updating after you die! We Disappear is about how humans fight the inevitable.” In the meantime, they’ve shared the first single, sounds big and feisty, meaning that this new effort could set again new rules regarding what indie rock should stand nowadays. Comedian Kurt Braunohler - a long time fan - stated in the press release: “It walks that fine line between truth and lies, between death and life, between depression and joy – all the while recognizing that one cannot exist without the other.” - history keeps repeating itself and with that said we just need to raise our hands again and say: Long Live The Thermals WE DISAPPEAR ARRIVES ON MARCH 25 VIA SADDLE CREEK RECORDS // Picture by Jason Quigley
on ten stories that make up the larger story of the whole album based around a traveling circus and the train crash it suffered in late 19th-century Montana. The inspiration comes from a book read in a class that lead singer and lyricist Aaron Weiss took while attending school during the band’s prior five year hiatus. Hayley Williams from Paramore provides guest vocals on “Fox’s Dream of the Log Flume” and album closer “All Circles“. Canada’s rising punk export Like Pacific will make their return
in 2016 with their breakout album Distant Like You Asked due out on February 19th via Pure Noise Records. Produced and engineered by Sam Guaiana at Room 21 Sound in Toronto, Distant Like You Asked is result of years of writing and development, “this record is like a culmination of all our previous releases” says Chris Thaung. “Sam really pushed us to our limits and because of that, he really brought out the best of us in this record. We’ve definitely grown a lot and I think Distant Like You Asked is a
perfect way of showcasing where we are currently (and where we’d like to go) as a band.” Hardly Art has just announced the release of Lost Time, the latest album from Seattle’s Tacocat, on April 1st. Tacocat’s third studio album, Lost Time (an X-Files reference, doy), is their first with producer Erik Blood. “I would describe him generally as a beautiful wizard,” vocalist Emily Nokes said, “who, in our opinion, took the album to the next level. Wizard level.”
Within one year, Baltimore's group WILDHONEY released 2 impressive efforts: the debut album, Sleep Through It, and the EP Your Face Sideways. Those two releases were more than enough reasons for us to catch up with the band and guitarist Joe Trainor was the one that told us all about that. Words by Andreia Alves
ildhoney was formed back in 2011. Tell us a little bit about Wildhoney’s story and how has been the journey for you as a musician. We started in 2011 and we had a handful of line up changes. The beginnings of the band seem less important at this point, but you know, Alan [bassist] and I had the desire to play loud guitar pop music. At the time our references were like Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine and stuff like that, and over time it has evolved, like stepping further and further from the initial shoegaze thing. It’s not interesting stuff at all at this point. Just because you have loud guitars and there’s a wall of sound, it doesn’t necessarily mean to be tag shoegaze, you know? It’s certainly important to form our songwriting, but not all of it. As one of the songwriters of the band, how would you describe the process of writing a Wildhoney’s song? Between the demo and our most recent EP, 9 times out of 10 it would be me writing all the songs, like writing all the guitar stuff on an acoustic guitar without pedals.
The pedals would come later when I brought to the rest of the band and then we plush out the music and fill it out, and then Lauren [vocalist] would put her vocals on top of the arrangements we made. Sometimes we change certain arrangements to fit around Lauren’s melodies and stuff like that, but most of the time it wasn’t really like that. With what we’re doing for the next record and the first couple of songs we’ve written for the new record, it’s been more than me sitting in a room with an acoustic guitar. We’re coming up with the melodies before doing any other arrangement.
Wild Honey is the name of the Beach Boys’ 1967 album. Was that choice for your band’s name inspired by that record? We did get it from the Beach Boys’ record for sure. We all love the Beach Boys. It’s one of Lauren’s obsessions, she can talk all day and all night about the Beach Boys. And also, we felt like the name kind of described our sound really good in terms of a mixture of the wild guitar stuff and the sweet melodies. One funny thing that happened recently was that a pressing plant mistakenly put your debut album on vinyl records labeled and
INTRODUCING // WILDHONEY know, I have no idea if she ever found out about it. It’s a pretty wild thing that has happened. [laughs] Early last year, you guys released your debut album Sleep Through It and now you release another EP. When did begin the writing for this EP? From the time we had finished writing and recording the LP, we hadn’t written anything in a month and so we were pretty hungry to start writing again. A lot of the songs came together pretty quickly. I really wanted to try some different things. Once again, from the shoegaze tag or just trying different things... Just having different influences shining through that never shined through before, which it was like early R.E.M. and stuff like that, like early mid-80’s kind of jangled guitar stuff. The idea was to have the A-side to be a pop record and then the B-side to be this kind of long and mostly instrumental avant-garde, showing the more experimental side of us.
packaged for Lana Del Rey’s the 2012 album Born to Die. Do you know how did that happen? [laughs] As far as I know, what happened was our record and her [Lana Del Rey] record were being re-pressed at the same time and for some reason our record got pressed in 10.000 copies of her record. They got sent out to stores and that’s what happened. People started to emailing us, sending us messages and tweeting at us like “Hey, I bought this record but it’s your record.” We’ve never heard anything from Lana Del Rey, despite us trying to tweet at her like “Hey, what’s up?” but you
On the record Sleep Through It, there’s the hypnotic instrumental track “FSA” and on this new EP there’s a continuation of it, “FSA II”, but this one is much longer. What was the idea behind these two songs? To get extremely nerdy about things, “FSA” stands for Flying Saucer Attack and for me, that’s a phenomenal influence on me as a guitar player and as a composer with productive ideas for production. The band Flying Saucer Attack is an amazing band and on their record they have these songs called “Popol Vuh 1”, “Popol Vuh 2” and “Popol Vuh 3” and I think they have five of them. Popol Vuh is like a 70’s kraut-rock band and so I wanted to do something similar to that on our record. The first one was my first attempt at doing something a little more far out, but when it came to the second one I really wanted to simply have a whole B-side of a 12”. I really wanted to try to explore what we could do sonically with the kind of normal instrumentation that we had. It was recorded and mixed over 2 days on a tape and it basically started off as a I showed
Zach [drummer] this drum beat that I really liked by this guy named Craig Leon. He is an ambient artist and Zach took that idea and made up a drum loop on a drum machine, and then we did go from top of that. It was all done live. There’s no loop pedal... The original recording of it was 50 minutes long and everyone played their part for 50 minutes without any loops or anything. We thought that the A-side would be something you would listen to and then the B-side would be something that you could put on when you’re about to get to bed, because it’s like a peaceful, ambient music. Ambient music is a deep part of what a lot of us like to do. You guys are going to begin to demo new songs for the next album. What can we expect from that? Yeah, we are demoing for LP 2. Our plan right now is to mainly record the next LP this time next year, but we never really had time, we feel like we bought some time to really work on it because we put out an LP and an EP in one year. We really want to take our time. We have pop iPhone demos of the first two new songs and our joke titles for them are like “Belle & Sebastian 1” and “R.E.M. 1”. The first two songs are definitely like we’re going on that kind of direction and like having strings and horns and stuff like that on the new record. What is your favorite record of 2015? There’s a group from Baltimore called Blacksage and they put out a tape called Basement Vows and that’s by far my favorite record of the year. It’s dark pop, they’re a duo, it’s electronic and it’s very sexual. The singer Josephine has the most intense and beautiful voice. Her lyrics are really... as she would describe them very porny. Their tape is just absolutely fantastic. In terms of a bigger act, I have to say the new Beach House record is really great. The new Björk is also fantastic, Blur’s new album is really good... This year has been a great year in music. YOUR FACE SIDEWAYS EP IS OUT NOW VIA TOPSHELF RECORDS
ROB ZOMBIE ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM
he Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser is Rob Zombie’s sixth solo studio album. Produced by Zeuss, it was recorded and mixed at Goathouse Studios. A full return to form by the rock icon, The Electric Warlock… features John 5 (Guitar), Piggy D (Bass) and Ginger Fish (Drums) and will be released on April 29th, 2016 via UMe/T-Boy Records. This album will mark Rob Zombie’s first solo studio album since 2013’s
Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor. In true Zombie fashion, the design of the record is just as provocative as the music it holds. Featuring art by Alex Horley, the album’s centerfold needs to be seen to be believed. Rob said of the new release, “I can easily say this is my favorite album yet… no joke. Yeah I know every fucking asshole says that. But it is seriously our heaviest most fucked up musical monster to date. One song entitled ‘Well, Everybody’s Fucking In a U.F.O.’ is sure to
Frameworks will release their new Time Spent EP on February 5th via Topshelf Records. Recorded at Glow In The Dark Studios with Matt McClellan, these two songs are the Gainesville band’s first new material since 2014’s Loom. The Word Alive have announced the release of a new album titled Dark Matter. Set to release March 18th via Fearless Records, this is the band’s fourth full-length. Lead singer Telle Smith explains, “Dark Matter is the result of our most in-depth writing and
be an instant Zombie classic! Not since Hellbilly Deluxe have I spent this long putting an album together. It was worth it.” Rob Zombie’s new film, the highly anticipated 31, will be making its world premiere this month at Sundance Film Festival. Last year he also released his first live album in over 8 years, Spookshow International Live, which is filled with nineteen tracks from the highlights of Rob’s critically acclaimed US tour of 2014. ROB ZOMBIE’S NEW ALBUM ARRIVES ON APRIL 29 VIA UME/T-BOY RECORDS
recording session we’ve done, and is something we consider to be our most dynamic and expansive album to date. This record completely defines and expresses who we are, and where we are going, taking the listener to the darkest and most honest places our band has dared to venture.” PJ Harvey returns this year with a new record documenting a unique artistic journey, which took her to Kosovo, Afghanistan and Washington, D.C. The album was recorded during her month long
WILD NOTHING RETURNS WITH LIFE OF PAUSE
hen Jack Tatum began work on Life of Pause, his third full-length LP, he had lofty ambitions: Don’t just write another album; create another world. One with enough detail and texture and dimension that a listener could step inside, explore, and inhabit it as they see fit. “I desperately wanted for this to be the kind of record that would displace me,” he says. “I’m terrified by the idea of being any one thing, or being of any
one genre. And whether or not I accomplish that, I know that my only hope of getting there is to constantly reinvent. That reinvention doesn’t need to be drastic, but every new record has to have its own identity, and it has to have a separate set of goals from what came before.” After a prolonged period of writing and experimentation, recording took place over several weeks in both Los Angeles and Stockholm, with producer Thom Monahan (Devendra Banhart, Beachwood Sparks) helping
residency at Somerset House, “Recording in Progress”, in which audiences were given the opportunity to see Harvey at work with her band and producers in a purposebuilt studio. Neurosis have confirmed that they got into Electrical Audio Studio again with Steve Albini to record a brand new album, their follow up to 2012’s Honor Found In Decay, which is already recorded. The band have revealed news of more live shows in 2016, this follows shortly after the recent
announcement regarding their very special 30 year anniversary performances at Roadburn Festival in The Netherlands, and in San Francisco. Bob Mould confirms the release of Patch The Sky out March 25th, 2016 via Merge Records. Once again featuring his stalwart band of Jason Narducy on bass and Jon Wurster on drums, Patch The Sky is a triumph of opposing forces and properties - as is to be expected from the master of balancing personal darkness with melodic brightness.
Tatum in his search for a more natural and organically textured sound. In Sweden, in a studio once owned by ABBA, they enlisted Peter, Bjorn and John drummer John Ericsson and fellow Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra veteran Pelle Jacobsson, to contribute drums and marimba. In California, at Monahan’s home, Tatum collaborated with Medicine guitarist Brad Laner and a crew of saxophonists. LIFE OF PAUSE ARRIVES ON FEBRUARY 19TH VIA BELLA UNION
Brooklyn’s hard rock legends
Life of Agony have signed a
worldwide record deal with Napalm Records. The famed River Runs Red line-up, of vocalist Mina Caputo, guitarist Joey Z, bassist Alan Robert and drummer Sal Abruscato were excited to take the stage together once again after a three-year hiatus. And now the band has come back to stay, as they are about to continue touring the world and release their 5th studio album, the first in over a decade, since 2005’s Broken Valley.
TIME TO SPLASH YOUR CASH
TERRENCE MALICK: REHEARSING THE UNEXPECTED bookdepository.com
FILMISH: A GRAPHIC JOURNEY THROUGH FILM selfmadehero.com
COURTNEY LOVE BY NASTY GAL DOLL PARTS SATIN BABYDOLL - BLACK nastygal.com
BRING ME THE HORIZON HORIZON SUPPLY BEANIE - SAND
WHILE SHE SLEEPS - BRAINSWASH RED whileshesleeps.com
PETER VENKMAN STATUE forbiddenplanet.com
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS BLU-RAY criterion.com
UNCHARTED 4: A THIEF’S END LIBERTALIA COLLECTOR’S EDITION PS4 unchartedthegame.com
NEU! THE ONES TO WATCH FOR 2016
THE BLACK QUEEN CREEPER MRCH MOVING PANORAMAS SO PITTED DOLORES HAZE BLACK HONEY INHEAVEN
THE ONES TO WATCH FOR 2016
THE BLACK QUEEN Where? Los Angels (USA) Who? Greg Puciato, Josh Eustis, Steven Alexander For Fans Of: Depeche Mode, Massive Attack, Crosses
hen Telefon Tel Aviv’s (and former Nine Inch Nails member) Josh Eustis join forces with Dillinger Escape Plan vocalist Greg Puciato and former NIN and DEP tech Steven Alexander what you got is The Black Queen. Puciato, which is highly regarded as one of the best and most intense singers in the heavier spectrum of music, has been long-rumored to be working on an electronic-based
based project (an old passion that was made public in multiple occasions) and with the arrival of The Black Queen’s first single, “The End Where We Start”, such rumors became an unmistakable reality. This month the work started back in 2011, when Puciato and Alexander started writing and recording, will come to fruition with the release of the band’s debut fulllength album, titled Fever Daydream. With four, out of ten, songs already unveiled we can definitely expect great things from this kind of power synth pop trio. The melody on Puciato vocals promise to drive the electronic-based sounds tinged black with dreamy vibes and an overall immensurable emotional weight.
CREEPER Where? Southampton (UK) Who? Dan Bratton, Oliver Burdett, Ian Miles, Will Gould, Sean Scott, Hannah Greenwood For Fans Of: My Chemical Romance, The Damned, Misfits
outhampton punk band Creeper started to make some waves back in 2014 when their debut self-titled EP saw the light of the day and they hit the road for their first full tour as guests to Funeral for a Friend. So much than one year later they landed on a deal with legendary Roadrunner Records. The band that has two former members of Our Time Down Here
(vocalist Will Gould and guitarist Ian Miles) has been crafting a sound that is rooted in the most theatrical spectrum of punk rock music with The Damned, Misfits, and My Chemical Romance coming to the forefront of influences. The sextet has announced the release of their sophomore EP, entitled The Stranger, and unveiled the video for first track “Lie Awake” - the first instalment of a two part story of life, love and obsession which will conclude later in the year – proving that they are here to raise the stakes and mesmerize fans worldwide, making a point that the early nineties are a thing of the past but hardly forgotten.
THE ONES TO WATCH FOR 2016
MRCH Where? Phoenix/Sacramento (USA) Who? Mickey Pangburn, Jesse Pangburn, Erin Beal For fans of: Chvrches, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Chromatics
RCH - pronounced “märch” - is this new exciting indie-electronic trio consisted of Mickey, Jesse and Erin. They’re based in two States - Arizona and California - and their writing approach is modern and interesting. They primarily write the songs through file sharing via Ableton Live and then occasionally they meet-up for rehearsals and gigs. They manage to just really work that way
and the results are quite impressive. Throughout 2015 they released three vibrant and addictive singles, starting with the great debut single “Validation”. They blend synth sounds with shimmering pop and a touch of fuzzy guitars. It feels sometimes like a mix between Chvrches and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Their latest single “Spin” is an upbeat synth song with restless beats. They also released a colorful video for the single, which was recorded entirely on an iPhone and is absolutely amazing. It’s still uncertain what 2016 holds for MRCH. In February they will hit the road for a handful of shows in the States, and let’s hope there’s an EP, LP or even more singles to be released soon.
MOVING PANORAMAS Where? Austin (USA) Who? Leslie Sisson, Rozie Castoe, Karen Skloss For fans of: Warpaint, Dum Dum Girls, Best Coast
oing through horrible and inexplicable events in our lives can turn out to be something weirdly positive. That’s the case for Moving Panoramas’ frontwoman Leslie Sisson who went through some crazy shit before forming this band. Being kidnapped at gunpoint with her boyfriend in her home in 2011, among other things, was more than enough for Leslie to suffer intense
post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and fear. But by that time she met bassist Rozie Castoe while teaching music at School of Rock in Austin, Texas, and she started writing a bunch of songs of her own. In the meantime, Leslie and drummer Karen Skloss were already in a band, but eventually joined forces in Moving Panoramas. The songs wrote at that time, ten of them are on One, their debut album that took two years to be completed. It was released last year on Modern Outsider and it’s straight-up dreamy indie pop record. “The songs are about my recent journey,” Leslie explains, adding that “time heals if you can tough it out”. It certainly does, and music is a great and cheap remedy.
THE ONES TO WATCH FOR 2016
SO PITTED Where? Seattle (USA) Who? Nathan Rodriguez, Liam Downey, Jeannine Koewler For fans of: Metz, Bully, Milk Teeth
e’re a band named after a YouTube video. I like that.” - says Nathan Rodriguez, Seattle’s So Pitted frontman. We were sold with
that statement. Along with Liam Downey and Jeannine Koewler, they experiment and diffuse all kinds of genres. Bands like Rage Against the Machine, Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, The Mars Volta and Cocteau Twins gave a
great input into their writings, but they easily create tunes that go beyond those references and it just sticks in your head. The trio does whatever they want and their dynamic as a group is just perfect. 2016 will be for sure an awesome year for the trio since they’re going to release their debut record, titled neo, via Sub Pop. neo was co-produced and mixed by So Pitted and Dylan Wall and recorded at The Old Fire House, Media Lab, Spruce Haus, the band’s practice space, and Tastefully Loud in Seattle. “There are lots of feelings of intense frustration and misunderstanding in them... I think those songs came out in a time where it was me experiencing frustration with that.” says Rodriguez about neo.
DOLORES HAZE Where? Stockholm (Sweden) Who? Groovy Nickz, Groovy Fuck, Lucky Lollo, Foxy Sagz For fans of: The Pixies, Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill
tockholm has definitely brought great acts in the last few years that go from punk to metal. There’s a massive variety of bands that make the buzz with their refreshing and charismatic first singles. The Swedish four-piece Dolores Haze bring all the feels of the 90’s era with their explosive and dynamic grungy punk with some pop sensibilities to the mix.
The girls got together in 2012 with the urge to form a band even though they didn’t know what to expect, but when they got together it just worked out perfectly. Taking their band name from Nabokov’s Lolita, their boldness to write such infectious and exciting music is captivating and once you listen to any of their songs you’ll understand what we mean. The Haze is Forever is their debut album and it was released in November of last year and it’s undoubtedly a mesmerizing and powerful effort, where shoegazemeets-punk-meets-grunge-meetsgoth. It’s daring and sexual, noisy and catchy. It has all the ingredients to be your favorite new band. We’re definitely going to see more of these girls in 2016.
THE ONES TO WATCH FOR 2016
BLACK HONEY Where? Brighton (UK) Who? Izzy Baxter, Chris Ostler, Tommy Taylor, Tom Dewhurst For fans of: Lush, The Wytches, Only You
ast year, Brighton four-piece Black Honey appeared on the radar of many folks and despite what frontwoman Izzy Baxter said “If it was my way we’d still be a secret band,” - it’s too late to go back and undo what they’ve amazingly already created. Their tunes are sweet as honey, but can also be dark as as a moonless night. This is our own way to dissect
their name while describing their spaghetti western-inspired music with some shoegaze noise riffs and addictive melodies. Although they describe themselves as “quintessentially a British rock band” there’s this appeal to American sound of the westerns and 60’s girlgroups. Izzy’s voice is basically one of the main attractions with this femme fatale vibe, earning comparisons to Nancy Sinatra, Debbie Harry and Lana Del Rey. For 2016, Black Honey have already a bunch of things planned out, like the release of an EP, the preparation of their first album, a bunch of live shows and festivals as one can play, and even a video directed by Dan Kendall (director of Swim Deep’s “Namaste” video”). It will be a busy year for them.
THE ONES TO WATCH FOR 2016
INHEAVEN Where? London (UK) Who? James Taylor, Chloe Little, Joe Lazarus, Jake Lucas For Fans Of: Jesus and Mary Chain, Echo and the Bunnymen
ulian Casablancas’ favourite newcomers come from the south-east London and captivated the attention of The Strokes’ vocalist with their single “Regeneration” and its respective video – the original version of the video was created by the band as an artistic barrage of images at one frame per second. It seems that it was enough for New York’s label Cult Records
(founded by Casablancas himself) to sign the shredding-soaked-infeedback guitar-based music of INHEAVEN who happily submit their post-punk through heavy doses of noise and dreamy pop sounds. The quartet later on released an alternative version of the “Regeneration” video and last month kept offering enthralling sounds with the “Bitter Town” 7”, this time around with more of a hard-hitting side to it. The band recorded their debut full-length album at the end of last year in rural Wales with Tom Dalgety (known for his work with Killing Joke, Royal Blood, Opeth, etc.) and 2016 will certainly be more enriched with its release. Serious contenders to grab a place in the “best newcomers of 2016” list.
N R U O J A NEW I T C E R I D W E N A music&riots
With a legion of fans all over the world and always releasing impressive records,
BLESSTHEFALL take another step forward with
their latest record, To Those Left Behind. Inspired by the period of time he was away from his family, frontman Beau Bokan take on the band's new record is way more personal and he told us all about the concept behind it, plus how they keep reinventing themselves as a band. Words by Andreia Alves // Pictures by Douglas Sonders
NEY, ION... 29
trying new things with every record, but we’re not giving you an album of a totally different band. [laughs] I think that’s the important part.
o Those Left Behind completely exceeded our expectations and by the fifth record you managed to deliver yet another rad album! How have been the reactions about it? Right now we’re playing four songs live in our set and usually when we put out a new record we play one or two just to kind of test the waters, but the feedback was so good for all the songs on the record and we’re like “Ok, so what will we play?” [laughs] It seems like everyone really enjoyed the album and I think it’s also an album where every song has something special to offer, so you can listen to the whole record and not just three or four songs. I think it will take a little bit to really grow on people and give them a chance to sit and listen to all the songs. So far, the response has been great and when we play the songs live, it’s so cool to see people singing the new songs. It’s just makes you feel like you’re accomplishing something. [laughs] As a band and as musicians, how do you keep reinventing yourselves and keep moving forward with each album released? It can be pretty difficult in every record to improve on your instrument, but I think that’s just what we try to do, just improve in our own instruments. I try to become a better singer with each record and Eric and Elliott better guitar players, and so on... I think with that we just push ourselves to improve and naturally you’re gonna write better songs if you push yourself as a musician, so that’s kind of what happens. There hasn’t been a big jump or change in our sound, you know? I think it’s just our sound is evolving slowly, which is awesome. We’re 30
Was easy the transition from Hollow Bodies to this new one, To Those Left Behind? With Hollow Bodies we kind of found a new sound, especially going with Joey Sturgis who kind of turned what we were doing and made our sound bigger, massive and strong. I think going back with Joey we wanted to continue with that and with this new record, I think we wanted to explore some of the more ambient and softer side of things as well and kind of balance the record. I think there’s a little bit more creativity as well on the new album. The title of the new album suggests that its theme is dedicated for some people in specific, so who are ‘those left behind’? It kind of describes the theme that’s going on throughout the album. I took from personal experience, like the things I went through. It stands from leaving for tour and leaving my family - my daughter and wife - and that anguish that I kind of went through. I was obviously able to talk with them on the phone, but I couldn’t be there for them so it kind of felt like I was a ghost. I wanted to write a story about something about someone who’s left this life and moved on to the next life, but hasn’t left completely. He’s trying to connect with the people that he still loves. It kind of gets a lot of metaphors and it’s pretty cool. It got pretty cool visuals and so that’s where that title came from. Like you were saying, being away from your family while on the band duties was something that inspired the lyrics for the new songs. What can you tell me more about the writing process for your lyrics? Like I said, I really wanted to kind of tell some cool stories, but keep it based on things I was going through in real life. I was also inspired by a lot of movies and TV shows like American Horror Story,
The Walking Dead, The Crown... All of my writing is based on things I’m inspired by and things that I love in life. [laughs] What’s great about this record is your ability to write dynamic, brutal songs. Tell us a little bit about how was your take on this new effort and what’s new this time around. We started writing a year ago. We spent months and months, we had all this time to write. [laughs] We had a bunch of ideas and then also we wanted to try something different. Basically between Blessthefall and my old band, I’ve written five albums worth of lyrics and melodies, so on this record we wanted to try to work with some cool writers, to bring someone in as like a sixth member of the band. There was one guy named Erik Ron from LA that we started working with and he’s just an amazing guy. He has some amazing melodies and ideas. He and I just got along really well and he was kind of my partner in there. He helped me writing and we came up with really awesome stuff. It was the first time we’ve ever done anything like that. You guys worked with producer Joey Sturgis - who has worked with bands like Asking Alexandria, The Devil Wears Prada, Of Mice & Men. What did he bring to the mix and how was it like to have him on board? Joey is a mixing master. He really can take something that’s very simple - like recording a guitar, some drums and stuff like that and he just has his way of mix it and produce it to make it sound huge and right in your face, you know? I think a lot of other producers try to copy him and emulate his sound because is so unique and so powerful, so I think going with him was a great idea. [laughs] “Walk On Water” is probably the heaviest song on the record and the music video for it, directed by Raul Gonzo, is beautifully chaotic. How was it like to shoot the video for such intense song? “Walk On Water” was one of the songs that we were really like “Ok, that has to be a single. This
INTERVIEW // BLESSTHEFALL
“...we wanted to explore some of the more ambient and softer side of things as well and kind of balance the record. I think there’s a little bit more creativity as well on the new album.” song is insane.” [laughs] We were on Warped Tour, we were playing “Up in Flames” already and so we were like “We need to do a video at some point.” It was very last minute and we picked Raul Gonzo to shoot the video because we had a day off in Northern California and he was there. He had about a week to prepare and he’s great with visuals and very artistic. We wanted a more artistic approach to this video in particular. As you know the other videos were a lot of performance, running around and doing crazy shit. He created something really awesome with what we had. Elliott is kind of yelling at the end, he’s very desperate. His ranging screams while under water are really powerful, especially with the lyrics and stuff. It came across awesome and it didn’t take very long actually. [laughs] It was really fun. What’s the song that stands out the most for you and why? Oh, that’s hard. [laughs] As far as just a song that stands out the most, I think “Keep What We Love & Burn the Rest” just stands out
because it sounds like a R&B song, you know? It sounds so different than anything we’ve ever done and I think that it was really fun exploring that side of music and that side of my vocals. It was actually pretty cool to just step outside the box with that song. I think it’s something that we might explore even further, maybe on a next record or maybe have a couple of songs like that. That song and “Dead Air” is actually one of my favorites and stands out too. It’s just a big, epic song and there’s no heavy breakdowns or anything like that. I think we always have a couple of songs like that on each record like “40 Days...”, “Hey Baby, Here’s That Song You Wanted” and “Bones Crew”. We listen to everything. We love metal, but we love pop songs, we love R&B and stuff like that... We want to really lead that influence on to give us more and on those two songs we show that. It’s really awesome that you guys explore and listen to other genres besides metal. What bands are you currently listening to? I really love Purity Ring, I listen to
them a lot. Just cool melodies and really amazing sounds. There’s another band called Broods that my wife showed me and it’s kind of a mix of Purity Ring because it has a female singer. It’s kind of digital, but not totally digital. It has some Ellie Golding kind of vibe. I’m pretty drawn to female singers, I don’t know why. [laughs] I just feel that the female voice and those melodies are so much more appealing to my hear I think and it’s very comfy to me. I get influence by that too. [laughs] Those two bands and a band called Pvris that we’ve toured with. We toured with them and I got to watch them live. Lyndsey is amazing and everyone in the band is amazing. What they’re doing is really cool, because every time when there’s a female in a rock band, everyone just immediately assumes that they are all Paramore and so they’ve kind of broken away from that mold and they have a really cool dark vibe to it. She has a different approach to her vocals, kind of bluesy and soulful. I think it’s awesome. TO THOSE LEFT BEHIND IS OUT NOW VIA FEARLESS RECORDS
It's safe to say now that 2015 was the year that pop punk was at the p we might say mainstream, but most importantly, the new pop punk band with drummer Ken Taylor about their new album, Colour Blind, and
S D I K 90â€™S C O L B E TH Words by Andreia Alves
peak of its importance. Many bands brought back this genre to the what ds are awesome and Canadians' SEAWAY are one of them. We talked d the nostalgic 90's punk trip that they take us into with their music.
ON CK // Pictures by Matthew Vincent
ou’re currently on tour with Knuckle Puck. How is it going? The tour is being great so far. It definitely exceeded any expectations and it’s just been really awesome. We did our first ever tour with Knuckle Puck and it’s been great. It’s been a success for sure. What was the weirdest thing that happened to you guys on tour? We definitely had a lot of strange encounters. [laughs] One that always comes up in mind to me is not necessarily the weirdest but definitely the weirdest as a Canadian, which was when we got pulled over by the secret services while we were trying to find the White House at 3am. We kept circling because our GPS kept just redirecting us and all the sudden we had about 5 police cars and 3 police motorcycles behind us checking our van for bombs. [laughs] That was definitely an interesting and weird experience, but to be honest, just driving around the US or even the other countries we have been to you will always run into some weird stuff and some interesting characters. It’s definitely a weird profession to get into.
Colour Blind is your second album, the follow-up to Hoser. Did you feel any pressure due to the high expectations? I don’t think we really felt too much pressure, especially from the label or the fans. We feel really close to our fans and we definitely felt pressure in that sense more like a personal pressure due to what we’ve done, because I think any band will say the same thing when you put out a record. We put out Hoser two years prior and when you’re touring on a record for that long you eventually start to get to a plan like “Ok, we know these songs so well and know what we like about them and what we don’t like about them.” It’s a lot easier when you’ve been going off with a record for that long. You know what you want to improve on and what you want to change on the upcoming record. We definitely felt a little pressure time wise because we were on the road so much prior to recording that we didn’t really have an extensive amount of time at home to write, demo and change things. In regards to pressure for writing a better record, I think we knew we were going to write a better record than Hoser. If we didn’t think it wasn’t better than Hoser, we wouldn’t have put it out. We would have delayed it and starting going back to the drawing books. The new record is clearly a nostalgic trip to the 90’s punk. What do you like the most about the 90’s era? It definitely holds a special place in our hearts because we’re all 90’s kids and a lot of the music that influenced us came from that period. We’ve actually gotten a lot of people saying that we kind of remind them of late 90’s/early 2000’s pop punk, which is definitely a great compliment for us because we love that music and it’s what we grew up on. There’s definitely been in the last few years this emerge of this kind of new breed of pop punk that is kind of hardcore influenced, rock influenced and emo influenced and we just want to write in the purest form of classic 90’s/ early 2000’s pop punk. That’s really 34
what we just want to go for. I think the thing that we get that keeps being brought up is that we’re American Pie pop punk. [laughs] I think we’re perfectly ok with that because those soundtracks were an important part of our development as musicians. Even the album’s artwork feels like something from the 90’s. Was that the idea behind that image? Yeah, we definitely wanted to go with something that represented the music, which we felt it kind of had an old feel to it. We also just like to keep things fun, light and powerful, just things that reflect us as people, as musicians and as a band. The colour ways and everything I think we actually told the graphic artist to just do something along the lines of Rugrats [laughs] which was a TV show that we grew up on. Just that kind of sticking around Rugrats vibe. I don’t quite remember how we came across the TV idea, but I do know that Nick’s girlfriend from Knuckle Puck shot the photo that we used for the cover art and I don’t know how she found that TV, because I have the exact same one in my basement in Canada [laughs]. We grew up playing video games like N64 on a TV like that everyday, so it’s really a throwback to the era that our music came from. Are there any records from the 90’s that really mean a lot to you guys? For me, the whole Epitaph, Hellcat, Fat Wreck era - the whole catalog from the 90’s - really speaks to me. We’re all big Third Eye Blind fans. There’s so many records that I can’t even think of one on top of my head [laughs] but while we were growing up MuchMusic was what everybody watched as they wanted to see new music. They had a lot of different music programmings and unfortunately now there’s no music on TV, but MuchMusic introduced us to a lot of great 90’s bands that we stuck with through the days and the Big Shiny Tunes compilations that MuchMusic put out. If you ever have a chance, check those out because they are stacked with great 90’s music. “Freak”, “Still Weird” and
“Airhead” are three songs that show how much you embrace yourselves as weirdos, freaks or even airheads, but for what’s worth, it’s a statement to remain true to yourself. What can you tell me more about that? When we were choosing the songs that we wanted to put out first, we know that most fans and even people familiar with our music probably heard “Sabrina, The Teenage Bitch” and “Shy Guys”, which are both very pure pop punk songs and I think what we just wanted to do was release one song and somewhat along the same lines, but a more polished version. The songs “Still Weird” and “Airhead” really show off a different side of the band. “Still Weird” is a really more light side, but it definitely still has a punch to it. “Airhead” is definitely the stand out song for us as a band because is the most straightforward rock and hard hitting song. When we were writing and even recording the record, we always knew that “Airhead” was one song that we really wanted to showcase for people who already check us before and think they got us pinpointed in the genre and kind of showed “Hey, we can do different things and we can convey different feelings to our music rather than just fast pace pop punk.” I read that one of you said that pop-punk keeps you young. Why’s that? Yeah, absolutely! I just think that it was personally for me the themes that we talk about and just the feel of the music. We even had a 40 year-old guys coming to us saying “Hey, when I listened to Colour Blind, I felt like I was back in college again, because of the stuff that you guys are talking about, guitar riffs... just the songs themselves, they just reminded me of a time when I was a lot younger.” We’re all 23/24 years-old and all of our friends they don’t listen to pop punk, but they like our band because it does remind them of what they listened to when they were young and I think it definitely keeps you young. I don’t have any problem with maturing your music taste and maybe that leads you into finding older artists or more bands that talk more about
INTERVIEW // SEAWAY
“We’re all 23/24 years-old and all of our friends they don’t listen to pop punk, but they like our band because it does remind them of what they listened to when they were young and I think it definitely keeps you young.” matured themes, but I think the pop punk or even pop rock definitely keeps you young because it’s not serious. It can be serious, but it’s still pretty layed in terms of music. I just think if you’re going to listen to a rap song or a Morrissey song or whatever band you wanna listen to, if you listen to our record I think that’s gonna have the most youthful impact on you. 2015 has been a great year for Pop Punk and your band contributed for that as well. What are your thoughts about it? Pop punk is bigger than it has been in a long time right now and to be honest as a pop punk fan, it’s difficult to even check out every band, because there’s so many options, there’s so many bands blowing up, but at the end of the day I think we certainly aren’t trying to do whatever The Story So Far did on the last record or if Title Fight would ever be considered pop punk but they
definitely had a root in it and now they’ve changed to a much more mellow rock. If anything, we’re the least serious band of pop punk, and I think what attracts a lot of the people is a lot of bands put out a record and they said “Ok, it’s time to write a serious record” or “It’s time to go a little darker, let’s go more emo” and I think we’re doing the opposite - we’re going poppier, we’re focused on melody rather than going angrier. We like to keep things light and we’re not the most serious people you’ll ever meet. We just joke around. I can’t help it. I was raised on Blink-182 and Sum 41 and I have definitely been influenced by them a lot. [laughs] Although, maybe one day I would like to start a band that would be more serious and maybe not a pop punk band. For now, we’re all very happy just being a stupid pop punk band that keep things fun and light.
That’s a tough question. [laughs] There’s been so many great records. I’m probably gonna get some hate with this one, but the new Justin Bieber’s record is just so good. [laughs] I know a lot of people would disagree with that, but the songwriting is just great. Our friends Light Years just dropped a really great record. Obviously Knuckle Puck’s record is really great. The new Chvrches’ record is fantastic. It’s so catchy and is so much better than the first one, which is already great. I really like the new Deafheaven record which is definitely different from anything we do, but I am a metalhead. [laughs] Actually, one record that we have on constant rotation lately is the new Petal record, which came out on Run For Cover and it’s a fantastic record of a fantastic band. We would love to play some shows or festivals with them in the future.
What’s your favorite record of 2015?
COLOUR BLIND IS OUT NOW VIA PURE NOISE RECORDS
The Worldâ€™s Best Kept Secret Words by Tiago Moreira // Pictures by Sharvin Lainez
Hop Alongâ€™s walk has been a slow one, always having the patience to take one step at a time. After almost eleven years of hard work they released their sophomore album, Painted Shut, and finally conquered the hearts of a good amount of people. Frances Quinlan (vocalist/lyricist/guitarist) was kind enough to walk us through Hop Alongâ€™s history and help us make more of one of the most interesting releases of 2015.
op Along started in 2004 as your solo freak-folk project and then evolved to what we now can hear in Get Disowned and Painted Shut. Are you able to feel today the effects of playing in a project that went through multiple lives? I guess it was almost in a way... [pause] So, at one point, when the band started to play together, I think we had considered changing our name. I don’t know, maybe we didn’t even consider that, maybe that just wasn’t even a thought to me because when the band started playing, we were playing songs that I had written as Hop Along, Queen Ansleis like a few years earlier when I was still in school, playing by myself, and so we have a demo of songs and I think I had written pretty much all of those while I was in school and then we adapted it to the band. So, we just hang on to the name and then shortened since technically those were still Hop Along songs. But I mean, honestly I think I’m just personally growing up, we’re all getting older and so the goal of that would be to evolve as a person and as an artist. There was never a point in time were we said, “We have to change.” We just all gradually learned how to write together. So, there would be moments were we’re playing and I just feel great that we have this relationship as bandmates and friends to been able to build a sound together. I mean, it took us years to build that sound. I think because it was so gradual I really didn’t feel the changes. I certainly sense a major change in my life just playing with a band. I wasn’t used to that, at all. I was very used to write by myself, playing by myself, so learning to work and collaborate with others was a challenge for me, but certainly a rewarding one. 38
And it seems that there was never too much pressure. I mean, your first album, 2012’s Get Disowned, was released eight years after the inception of Hop Along. The only pressure we feel, and I hope we continue to feel, is that the record should be good. We have an understanding with Saddle Creek [record label] that they know that we want to make a strong record... Obviously there’s a budget. [laughs] Now mostly, with this last record too, the pressure was to make a strong record in the time we had in the studio. But we had done weeks, months really, of demoing before that. Get Disowned was made piece by piece, over the course of two years, at Headroom Studios in North Philadelphia. It seems that the process of making Painted Shut was very different from Get Disowned. We didn’t make anything the way we make Get Disowned before, and we probably won’t ever again. It was almost a dreamlike two years, when I think about it now. I remember going to my job, taking the train, and then racing back on my bike to the warehouse to get working on the record because we had five days and then we’d have a month until we could get to work on it again. So, there was pressure there too, but it was these like little increments of pressure. I certainly probably went crazy at some point in those two years, but it had some magical moments. That way of working allows you to process well the information. Did you feel that you were able to process the information as well with this new album? I think so because Get Disowned there were songs that were written during the making of that record, in the place we were working on. I remember writing “Some Grace” at the kitchen table in the warehouse and I remember us jamming out the title track in the studio. We had so much time on our hands. We came in there I think with six songs that were halfway ready to go. I think it’s very different when you are writing in the studio. With Painted Shut our time was so limited and we had to be ready and we demoed
and demoed. We changed songs several times and finally brought them into the studio and they still needed more. Until you’re done there’s million things that you can do and/or change. We just knew that it had to be mixed until mid-December. I mean, at one point I wanted to go back in there and change some things, but I eventually was able to let go and let it be what it was. If I’m not mistaken, the creation of Painted Shut was done in a more collaborative process. Yeah, it’s the most open I’ve been to outside ideas of shifting songs in terms of their mood, maybe. “I Saw My Twin” was a really collaborative song, I would say, because I remember having kind of a core idea written and then just changing quite a bit... And a lot of them did [change]. A few of them kind of stayed the same as when they first were written down on the acoustic guitar, but most of them changed quite a bit along the way. Was it easy for you to deal with the fact that some of the songs changed a lot or a little bit? I have a hard time. The thing I have the hardest time doing... I would say it’s probably getting rid of all verses and stuff when people feel like a song is longer than it needs to be or a line that is unnecessary. I tend to get married to lines, sometimes, and I had to learn to let go of that with this record. Not too many things seem to be easy for me to do. [laughs] Is there a track that stands out in terms of how challenging it was to write and/or record? Recording wasn’t really that crazy, I guess, of a challenge... Once we went in it was the most realized I’d ever gone into the studio with songs. I think I always thought, without saying so, that it’s totally natural to just write in the studio. Maybe an entire song, or maybe the other half of a song. I would say that there were just a couple of songs that went through further changes once we got to the studio. We were pretty ready to go, I would say. Writing was a whole other... I mean, writing took a long
INTERVIEW // HOP ALONG
“I was very used to write by myself, playing by myself, so learning to work and collaborate with others was a challenge for me, but certainly a rewarding one.” time. That took two years. It’s funny because people talk about how Painted Shut was recorded a lot more quickly than Get Disowned was, but I think they were both written in about the same amount of time. I remember [for Get Disowned] of being very eager to get in the studio when I really wasn’t ready to, and so we went in the early stage of writing. It seems that the lyrics on Painted Shut are more self-explanatory than on Get Disowned. Was that a concern when you were writing them? I remember working on “Powerful Man” and it was the first time I was scared to have lyrics be put out into the world. I mean, I’ve been nervous about my work before, countless times, but
Painted Shut was the first time I was nervous for songs to come out because the content was very based in reality... a lot of those songs, almost all of them, really. Why were you so nervous putting out “Powerful Man”? Because it’s so personal. It’s an event that happened in my life that I’m not particularly proud in any sense. I don’t feel good recounting the events, but it was very true and I thought it was important to be said. I think that the fact that it was scary made it all the more important. Did writing about that particular situation made things easier for you, in terms of dealing with those emotions? No. [laughs] Kind of hoped it
would but no. I don’t think... There’s a really great line in my favorite TV show, The Wire, where one of the cops [Det. Lester Freamon played by Clarke Peters] says, “The job will not save you, Jimmy. It won’t make you whole (…)”. I mean, it doesn’t fixes it. It doesn’t change, it doesn’t resolve anything. That happened and it is still happening to people. I’m glad I wrote it, but I still feel bad about it. [laughs] I don’t think closure exists in some capacities. What was it that draw your attention to Buddy Bolden and Jackson C. Frank? Those were two different points in my life that I write about those two people. I read about Buddy Bolden because I was taking this class essentially on death in
college. Of course there’s a class on death when you’re in college. It was class about awareness of death and we were all writing papers and I found out about this cemetery in New Orleans called Holt Cemetery, which was essentially for poor people because it was one of the few cemeteries where people were just buried underground because that occurs so much there. I think I have this right, a lot of cemeteries people get buried above ground in like big cement tombs. Buddy Bolden was this monumental musician but there’s no recording of his music. The only indication that we have that he was a musician is other people verifying this, and a lot of those people have died now. It’s just sort of this memory of a memory, I guess. There’s just no evidence and that’s sad, that he wasn’t able to get his work recorded. And he was also plagued by mental illness, I think in his 30s. You think about how bad we are now regarding mental illness... I mean, there’s so many homeless people that are mentally ill on the street and we don’t have the solution for that. But imagine how it was 100 years ago for mentally ill people. We didn’t even know half of the diseases, I think. So, he died in a sanitarium or at an asylum and his sister was too poor to keep with the payments on his grave so what happened was, at some point they dug him up, dug the whole deeper, putting him back and then buried somebody on top of him. And they kept doing that until they lost total track of where he’s even buried. So, Buddy Bolden is this musician who didn’t have the chance of recording his work and nobody knows where his body is. Jackson C. Frank, I was painting a house, listening to Pandora and “Tumble In the Wind” came on and I was absolutely stunned by that song. It was the first time in a long time that I was touched by a song in that way because it was recorded later in his life, I think he had already been homeless. He had almost lost his voice by then, it was just this sad, grasp, really worn down voice. I just thought it was one of the beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. So, I read about him 40
and found out about his mental illness, and being homeless, and just all his bad luck going through life. Somebody shot his eye out by accident while he was sitting on a bench. Some kids were playing with a pellet gun and shot him in the eye. Reading his story was pretty wild and that stuck with me as well and... Finally I wrote songs about those people. Why did you want to talk about mental illness on this record? I mean, mental illness isn’t like death, which is sometimes romanticized and somewhat celebrated in a weird way. Mental illness seems to be a subject that people don’t want to talk about because it’s too uncomfortable. No, not at all. I mean, it’s terrifying to think that your mind will die. Talking a lot about death, and I think we’re mostly talking about the body dying we’re not talking about ourselves dying. Imagine your body walking around and be technically alive and you, yourself, are gone. You have no memories or your brain is being eaten away. There’s not just an ounce of glamour to that situation. I met someone that was mentally ill when I was about ten or twelve.
“I didn’t know how I felt about anything for a very long time. I still don’t know in regards to a lot of things: what I want, what I’m looking for, etc.”
My stepfather’s childhood friend suffered from schizophrenia and on the weekends he would hang in my parents’ house a lot, and sometimes during the week, because his family was gone and... [pause] I wish I hadn’t been so afraid of him because I was just a kid and I had no idea what to say to somebody that was talking to himself in the kitchen, you know? But I wrote a couple of songs about him later on, after he passed. It was very sad. He actually overheated in his bathtub and I think it was because of the medication he was taking. There’s some medication for people that I guess if you take it a possible side effect is that you won’t know when your body is getting hot. It was a summer day and I believe he turned his fan off because he was afraid that it was going to fall on him from the window, so he wouldn’t use his fan... It was a really hot summer that year and so he just died in his bathtub while trying to cooling his body. Is the song “Waitress” talking about a specific situation that occurred in your life? It’s one situation, one specific situation. When I try to explain it... I’m not very good at it and also it just sounds the most high school story you could ever hear. But it basically addresses the idea of a person being defined passively by certain events in their life that are not, at all, proud of. I guess it relates to “Powerful Man” in that sense, in a much lesser capacity. I mean, it wasn’t nearly as serious as the situation of “Powerful Man”. It’s hard to be at work and then you see somebody that you really don’t want to ran into and you’ve hoped to never ran into, but there they are and you just have to keep continuing to work and... be a professional. [laughs] What did you want to convey with the title Painted Shut? Well, there had been a few names floating around and Painted Shut came up. Obviously just saying it sounds like two different phrases. It can sound like “paint it shut” or the way it’s written. I like the idea of the past tense, having something that was painted close because in reality paint isn’t strong at all, it
INTERVIEW // HOP ALONG
comes right off with a blade or something. Something painted shut is easily turned open. And I like the idea of... When you go past an old house that is contained a hundred times, I’ve always like how those look, especially the windows that are painted shut. There’s a line in the song “Sister Cities” that didn’t use to be there, I had it when we were recording the version for the record that says “Red flowers against your painted shut window.” I just had that image in my mind for a long time. What compelled you to draw a big pile of giant fruit? Actually my brother Mark [Quinlan, drum] had reminded me about how I was really into these Spanish paintings from a long time ago. These bowls of fruit. You can tell... I mean, I think you can tell that it took the artist weeks or months to paint those paintings so you can imagine the fruit was rotten as it was being painted. I remember looking at these
paintings and I felt that I could see the food rotting, these brown not very fresh look to them. And I like the idea of being a bowl of food that nobody can have. There’s something tragic to that, right? Here’s plenty of food that no one can touch. I liked the idea of making a mountain of food and I’ve put the birds to kind of indicate the size. The accolades, signing with a record label, and the success of Hop Along is getting now in a more advanced and mature period of your life – you’re all around 30 years old. Did you ever stop to think how things would be if you were just 18 or 20? There’s just no way I could have written what I have written now if I was 18. It takes experience. I think what makes a good writer, usually and typically, is experience. Obviously there are great young writers out there but that’s a rarity. I certainly don’t mind being just about 30 and having a song that I can stand behind, you know?
When I was 18 or 19... I felt that I could stand behind those songs and I felt differently about a year later. [laughs] In my experience, I remember being 19 and then being 20 and just feeling worlds different. And that’s been a lot of a more gradual feeling over the years. Going from 18 to 22 was... things were changing daily, constantly, for me. I didn’t know how I felt about anything for a very long time. I still don’t know in regards to a lot of things: what I want, what I’m looking for, etc. But I certainly feel more grounded as a person because of all I’ve been through and I’m glad I was able to find a way to apply that directly in a song. I mean, maybe I won’t be so direct the next time around when I’m writing the lyrics, but I’m proud that was able some of that, some of those experiences. Especially and essentially the harder ones and the less admirable ones. PAINTED SHUT IS OUT NOW VIA SADDLE CREEK RECORDS
o N s â€™ e Lif t Ge
It didn't take long for Neck Deep get the praise they earned and at their second album, Life's Not Out to Get You, the band became one of the new pop punk bands to look forward. In the meantime the group went through some really heavy stuff with one of their members leaving the band, but now they're more than ready to move forward. We caught up with Ben Barlow that was kind enough to give us a full insight of their latest effort and more. Words by Andreia Alves // Pictures by Joshua Halling
o T t u ot O Them
really connect with us. People don’t need to be intimidated by us or afraid of us.
ince you guys formed this band that things have happened really quickly. Some of you quit your day jobs and you dropped out of university. Was it easy that transition for you to become such influential and important band in the pop punk scene? I’m really not sure, it kind of happened. We just did what we always do. We just wrote good songs that people really connected to and we’re a passionate band live. We try to keep it as energetic and passionate as possible. I think people saw that. There’s just something real about it, I think people
Last year was huge for you guys! You toured heavily around the world and developed your second album, Life’s Not Out To Get You. How did you approach creatively this album? I felt like just genuinely we were all feeling a lot more creative. I think we’re in a much better creative space. We’ve been demoing and writing songs for a long time before we actually went through recording the album. It wasn’t as rushed as it was with the first album. It was generally great. We went to an outside studio, for the first time we recorded in Wrexham with my brother. Even though we did a lot of the writing with my brother, we decided to record the album and have it produced by Jeremy McKinnon of A Day to Remember, Andrew Wade and Tom Denney in Florida. We flew to the States and it was just after we’ve been on tour for about two months and then we went to Florida for another two 43
months to record the album. It was insane and really cool. We recorded the album at Jeremy’s house and we were basically with Jeremy every single day. [laughs] We wrote in a little house that we lived in and so we just lived in Florida for two months, but it was really great. It was different from what we’re used to, so it’s good to be outside our comfort zone and try different formulas, and I think that really helped, because all three producers came up with some awesome ideas. In which way do you think the band’s sound has progressed from Wishful Thinking to Life’s Not Out to Get You? I think it’s just a more polished record. We didn’t try to do anything different, we didn’t want to change our sound and we didn’t want to experiment too much with this one, because that can induce to something that we didn’t want and what people want is just more of the same, you know? I think we just stepped up. I said to everyone before the record came out that it sounds like Neck Deep but just better than before. [laughs] I think it’s just the most polished and generally better all around. I think every element and every individual instrument are better. I felt on this record that my lyrics are way better. It had a message to it that really connected with people and I think people maybe needed that. Not necessarily negativity, but there’s a lot of music out there that doesn’t really lend to getting better, even though people find meanings in music through different ways. Sometimes a really sad song can make you feel better, but I just want to make happy music to make people feel better, you know? What does the title Life’s Not Out To Get You mean to you guys? It comes from the lyric in the song “Gold Steps”: “What you give is what you get / ... Life’s not out to get you.” It just means that you’re responsible for what you do, like you’re in some sort of way of control what’s happening to your life right now, do you know 44
“Life’s not out to get you, life is never going to respond to what you put out there. Whatever it is what you’re pouring out there... What you give is what you get so if you give the good stuff, you’re gonna get good stuff. If you give bad shit, you’re gonna get bad shit.” what I mean? Life’s not out to get you, life is never going to respond to what you put out there. Whatever it is what you’re pouring out there... What you give is what you get, so if you give the good stuff, you’re gonna get good stuff. If you give bad shit, you’re gonna get bad shit. It’s not like life’s out to get you for all the terrible stuff that happen to you. It’s what you kind of attract to yourself. “Can’t Kick Up The Roots” is such energetic song about what it was like to grow up in a small town like Wrexham. How much that town influenced you as a musician? I’m not really sure. I don’t know if it has influenced me as a musician or anything like that. I think it’s more like that kind of notion of being stuck in a small town and kind of yearning to get out... Yearning for bigger things, wanting to go to different places and bigger cities. I feel like it’s not like how I grew in my own town, it’s just I feel like I got to a certain point from a pretty young age - probably from about 13/14 years old - where I needed to get out of here and experience the world. It definitely gave me a basis, you know? All my thoughts are there and all my greatest childhood
friends are there. I still see them back at home. Home to me just reminds me of some normal things, just like normal life. I can go there now and I can escape. I can just be me and I can just be the me that I was before I was in the band. I can be with people who don’t care about if I’m in a band. For me is really now a place because I’ve managed to escape my own town. I’m not there anymore, but when I do go back it’s nice because it’s like an escape for me. I can kind of just hide away in the middle of nowhere and no one would ever have any reason to go there really. It’s just nice to hide away for a little bit. It definitely gave me an overall inspiration, but I think a lot of that it doesn’t necessarily the place so much but more the people, my friends and stuff. The track “December” breaks a bit the upbeat, fast pace of the album, but in a good way. How was the writing process for this one? “December” was pretty different. The idea for the song came from Jeremy. He came to the studio one night and he said “I woke up in the middle of the night last night and I took a picture of it and it was like this door opened and this little bit of light just came through the house.” He said “I want to write a song that feels like this. I want to write a song that captures this.” We collaborated on the chorus. Jeremy wrote most of the chorus and I shipped in and I wrote all the verses. We kind of shared that one pretty equally on the lyrics. We knew we wanted an acoustic song on the album and A Day To Remember are obviously known for that acoustic tracks. We just really wanted to focus on a nice, pretty acoustic song and give people the feels as people call it. [laughs] It’s definitely an emotional one and it was kind of written from past experiences. It’s a collaborative song, it has elements of both me and Jeremy. It’s one of my favorites from the album for sure and I know a lot of people connect with it. The album’s artwork is colorful and funny, which has a lot of little details on it and you also created a comic book based on
INTERVIEW // NECK DEEP
the artwork. Can you enlighten us about the meaning behind that artwork? We worked with a guy called Ricardo Cavolo. I wanted something kind of more hands drawings and more artistic, something with lots of little elements in it that we could use as an image for our band. I found Ricardo on Instagram. Everyone I follow on Instagram is an artist in general. I found Ricardo and I was instantly like “This guy needs to do our artwork because he’s incredible.” [laughs] He came back with the album artwork and it was almost like scary how spot on he got it. He managed to put things related to the lyrics without even hearing the album, so I think it was the perfect match. He really wanted to do and helped us to really achieve that. I think his vision was very much the same as ours and we just lend this thing on him and he just did good. The comic book was something that we decided to do as a little extra. Ricardo came up with the basic idea for the story and then I wrote the words, so it was kind of a
collaborative effort and it was more as something cool for fans and collectors to have. It kind of explains the whole story behind the artwork, which is the story of a guy and the whole story is about him trying to reach his paradise on the top of the mountain, but first he has to go through a lot of trials and tribulations. It’s basically the story of his life. You have to work and you have to go through some tough times before you can get to the things that you want the most. You have to go through those struggles and really push through. You kind of have to have a shit time to realize that things can get better and you can make it better. I think everyone has to go through this journey of life and the comic is just a cool metaphor for all that. 2015 has been a roller coaster of emotions for you guys. How do you see Neck Deep now and what are you aiming for the future? We’re really just aiming to tour as much as we possible can, carry on to be the best band we can and keep things interesting. Aside from just playing shows and put out new
music, we’re going be looking to do a bunch of cool stuff to keep people engaged and keep people interested. We’ll be releasing maybe some limited things, lots of new merch and there will be lots of cool openings along the way that people can get involved with. You don’t have to just go to a show to feel connected to us. For anyone that is a big fan of our band, there will be plenty of cool things coming along the way. But a lot of touring and a couple of new music videos in the future. What’s your favorite record of 2015 and why? I really like Knuckle Puck’s album, Copacetic. I think that’s my favorite of the year. There’s probably so many... If I really sat down and thought about it, I could probably have more, but I think Copacetic is a really strong record and that’s definitely the best stuff that they’ve put out yet. Everyone should check out Knuckle Puck’s new album. LIFE’S NOT OUT TO GET YOU IS OUT NOW VIA HOPELESS RECORDS
s y e l r e v e The B
NOISY JU L
et me begin by asking some cliché questions about yourselves. What did lead to form this band? It was kind of an accident actually. We were just hanging out and listening to records. Susan went over to Joanna and I and she was like 46
“Why won’t we just start a band?” and then the next week we bought some instruments and started to play. None of us knew how to play our set of instruments. We made some terrible noise for a while and then eventually some of it started to make sense. [laughs] People started to ask us to play shows and that’s how it went from there. What was the record or band that made you want to play music? Well, we all have very different
influences... Susan loves Nirvana, it’s her favorite band of all time and so she loves the heavy grunge stuff. I’m more of a Britpop and hip-hop kind of fan and Joanna loves all sorts of classic rock music, Britpop and shoegaze. It was just sort of all those things coming together and that’s just what made what you hear today. Nothing purposely influenced what we did. We didn’t intend to make any one kind of music. This is just what came out.
Three girls, three instruments and one hell of an awesome and brutal energy. That's how we describe in few words our new favorite Toronto's band, The Beverleys. They play fast, loud and with no bullshit. Brutal is their debut album and is literally how that word sounds. We caught up with Steph to let us know about how they got together and much more. Words by Andreia Alves
UNK PUNK That’s really interesting because your music is kind of noisy and fast, but there’s also some pop sensibilities. I guess that the pop elements come from pretty heavily influenced by The Beatles. Britpop is like so many little pop elements to the guitar tones and things like that. Any stuff that you hear on the radio, whether you wanna hear it or not, it’s played everywhere, right? It could unintentionally make its way into influencing the songs. 47
You describe yourselves as junk punk. What does that mean exactly? It started as a joke one day. It was something that just came out. We were all sitting and hanging around and it was maybe sort of a rough time in all of our lives, like jobs and relationships. It just came out when one of us was like “We’re just a bunch of junks, you know?” It’s funny that junk punk is stuck because we all try to categorize ourselves at the same time, but everybody needs a word to describe it, so that’s just sort of the thing that got stuck. Your songs are like discharge of energy and your debut album Brutal is a proof of that. How do you usually write a song for the band? It all starts very slowly with Joanna and Susan coming to practice with a riff and just sort of playing it over and over again and they start to find more details on the song. The drummer usually just keeps a beat for the first hours that you’re playing a song. It’s not until after a few practices and the beat starts to come in. The more we play it, the more details we find in it and the louder it gets. It always starts very quiet and then we all look at each other like “Ok, that’s enough of that.” Playing the music very slow we just find it very boring, so we just sort of turn more pedals on and hit the tone harder and it gets faster and faster. Even the songs that you hear on the record now, they won’t sound the same if we play them live because the more we practice them, the more little things we change about them. They’re constantly changing. From the beginning to end, your debut album is really “brutal”, is that why you named it with that word? We sort of thought that it would might take on more of a difference meaning if people didn’t like it, they could sort of describe it as brutal, but they seem to like it and so it took a different twist. It’s like if someone doesn’t like it, we can already make fun of ourselves, and so it would be easier for them to mock us for it. It’s not 48
meant to be like a harsh brutal, it’s just sort of like “That’s brutal”. Just more like a casual like “How did you hear that? That’s really brutal.” So, that’s where that came from. [laughs] “Stamp Glue” is the fastest and shortest track of the record. How was it like to write this one? We all have careers aside from the band. Susan works in an office in a University and she just fed up one day and she decided to write a song essentially about being stuck in an office, which is not what you would take from the song at all. I think she might have actually literally been linking stamps to mail out. “Stamp Glue” is literally about just being stuck in an office, being bored and being sick of your job. Lyrical wise, this record is pretty much like a cathartic process, like you’re driving out everything negative in your life. Was with that mindset that you wrote those lyrics? The songs were written over a three/four-year period, so they’re all from different points in our lives. I can’t speak directly, because Susan and Joanna write the lyrics for the songs. All I can say is that there are certain points in that where there were highs in their lives and there are some points that were lows in their lives. Just because it wasn’t written in a condensed time period, the subject matter is kind of all over the place.
“It just came out when one of us was like ‘We’re just a bunch of junks, you know?’ It’s funny that junk punk is stuck because we all try to categorize ourselves at the same time, but everybody needs a word to describe it, so that’s just sort of the thing that got stuck.”
The album’s artwork couldn’t be any better than that angry girl. She’s not angry, she’s just like... whatever. [laughs] How did you come up with the idea for the artwork and who’s the girl? We came up with that idea when we came up with the name. That face came along with the name and we all envision this girl’s face just making a little bit of a pissedoff look. The girl though, we don’t know her. We had a photographer to take the photo. He photographed a few girls and that’s the one we selected, but we didn’t want it to be anyone we knew because when you start to have other friends involved with things like that, you can have someone saying “Why didn’t you pick me? I could have done a good job on that.” We’ve actually never met or talked to the girl, but it’s perfect. How does it feel to play these songs live? I ask this because they’re so irreverent and ferocious that it must be a good exhausting experience in any possible way. Yeah, it is. [laughs] The record is quite polished compared to the live shows. There’s more energy on a live show and it’s heavier. There’s more different sounds going on... Visually to describe from a drummer perspective when you play a show, you’re running a mini marathon. Sometimes at the end of it, I feel like I wanna throw up [laughs] and other times I can keep going. But also you feed up your energy with the crowd, you know? With the crowd interaction is a much more intense and heavier show and it’s more enjoyable obviously. What’s your favorite song off the new record to play live? I think we all have different songs that we like to play live. Some of the songs that were written three or four years ago aren’t as enjoyable to play as the new ones. “Stamp Glue” is really fun to play. I really like playing “Visions”, that’s really fun because there’s so many high and lows in there. Those two are probably my favorite, but if you ask the other two they will say something totally different.
INTERVIEW // THE BEVERLEYS
Brutal was co-produced by Josh Korody and Shehzaad Jiwani of Greys, at Candle Studios. How was that experience to work with them? It was awesome! We actually recorded the single “Hoodwink” like a year prior to that and the two have been working together and we just thought that they work together so well and they understand the band, because they are actually friends of ours on a daily basis. We’ve known them for a long time. The two of them together just managed to capture and we did it in a short period of time, which is amazing, but it was because of the direction of them and they put the sound that we wanted. How would you describe the year of 2015 for the band? In December of 2014 was when we did the recording and it’s been exciting, but it’s been a long waiting process because once you finish your job, there’s the recording, then the mixing and the mastering, and then you have to take it to the label and the
label has to decide the best time to put it out... So, we haven’t played a ton of shows over the last year. Last fall we toured in Canada and the States and so since then we haven’t been playing too many shows, because we’ve been working on trying to get these songs really good to play live. I would describe the year as a waiting process essentially, but we’re super happy with the results and the response that we had. We have a show on Friday with our friends Dilly Dally, although it’s not our release show because we don’t have our physical record ready yet, they take a while, but we’re treating it as kind of the first big show since we released the record. We’re going to have a lot friends coming out and just have a really great time. With that said, what are the band’s goals for 2016? We’re not sure yet, I think we want to wait until we get the records. We don’t want to go anywhere if we don’t have anything to sell. We wanna wait until we get those and we’ll book some release shows in
Toronto, maybe Montreal and then take it from there, but we don’t have any definite plans yet. What’s your favorite record of 2015? That’s tough. Oh! It’s Taylor Swift’s 1989. [laughs] It’s such a good pop record, it’s really good. I listen to so many genres of music, but there’s always certain genres that you really feel it inside and it gives you like a good feeling and a good reaction. My favorite band of all time is Blur and it’s because Damon Albarn’s voice just serenades me. There’s something about it like I hear it and I’m immediately comfortable and I just want to hear more of it. I wouldn’t put Taylor Swift up on that level by any means, but it’s a fun record. I also like the new Blur album as well. It’s a more mature side of them and I prefer the early stuff, but I’m still super happy with it. I went to London with Joanna in June to see them playing in Hyde Park. I love them. BRUTAL IS OUT NOW VIA BUZZ RECORDS
THE SHA PROG TO 50
"It has begun! #rockopera," they said on September 8th of 2014. 10 months after we would have the chance to listen to it and to acknowledge, one more time, the brilliance in
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME. We talked with bassist Dan Briggs about the new prog/rock opera, entitled Coma Ecliptic, of North Carolina-based band. Words by Tiago Moreira // Pictures by Justin Reich
APE OF O COME 51
n September 8th, 2014, you guys posted a tweet where it could be read, “It has begun. #rockopera” Was that an intentional kind of warning regarding the shift that is evidentially in terms of sound? Yeah, we were just excited. We were in the middle of writing this album and we were stoked. For me personally, I was just trying to force myself in a different headspace the all time we were writing. It felt like we were writing something more than just a Between the Buried and Me album and it kind of felt like we were doing something that felt more theatrical, sort of, that it would kind of take on that kind of personality. And it did. It felt that way the all time we were writing. Writing the album and then recording it, did you feel that the band was writing a completely new and refreshing chapter in its history book? Yeah, it felt that way. We’ve always tried to write our music where nothing feels forced and it’s the most natural thing we can do. We kind of had a slow and progressive evolution over the history of the band, getting us to where we are now. It was really easy and fun to write. We worked three days out of the week, each week, and sometimes we would take a week off. Just do a song every week until we get to mid-November and we had it pretty much wrapped up. It was nice; we had a full month to prepare it on our own before we started in the studio, in January 2015. It was great. Does it feel that the evolution on 52
the band’s sound occurred faster with this album compared with the previous albums? I don’t think it was. I think that, especially in last few albums, it’s hinted that things... We couldn’t do the The Parallax III, no one wants to hear that we don’t want to do that. It’s not what the band is about. The band is about constantly moving forward... It’s the thing about progressive rock and progressive metal that is so exciting. It’s not quite knowing where it’s going to go and for us there was one new place to really go and that was really to explore the idea of playing with melody more and playing with our song structures even more... Just trying to write this kind of wild but cohesive record. Similar to the previous album, this new one is a concept album. Could you please explain the concept behind Coma Ecliptic? It’s basically about a guy who enters into a self-induced coma and throughout the course of that his reality is kind of challenged, I guess. He’s placed in all these different worlds, which seems strange but familiar, and then as the song ends he’s totally out of it and thrown into a new place. It’s basically about the struggle with determine what’s real and what isn’t, and accepting the life that he has, which is basically being stuck in this coma. And the record kind of ends with him dying alone. It’s a pretty sad ending. [laughs] But that’s good, I think if you’re going to write a kind of an epic kind of work it probably shouldn’t have a happy ending. What were the inspirations to write about this specifically? It was all Tommy’s [Rogers, vocals and keyboards] idea. He writes the lyrics and that’s his thing. But I know he was thinking about The Twilight Zone and The Truman Show... Just ideas where things are either normal, but it’s not what you think it is or situations that are really fucked up, bizarre, and weird, and that’s just a world that you have to come to terms with and accept it as reality. Coma Ecliptic is undeniably more
“It’s the thing about progressive rock and progressive metal that is so exciting. It’s not quite knowing where it’s going to go and for us there was one new place to really go and that was really to explore the idea of playing with melody more and playing with our song structures even more…” focused on melody and a crushing percentage of the record presents Tommy with clean vocals. Was this a thought that was lingering around for quite some time and that finally came to fruition? That element has always been in the music from day one and it just worked itself in that way. I think there was more [of that element] on The Parallax II [: Future Sequence] and it just go to that point. I just think that it’s more fun writing music with a melodic focus. Some parts naturally lend themselves to getting heavier and it happens, but instead that being the focus we decided to work a little bit more on the melodic parts. Tommy said, about the album, “I’m very proud to be a part of something that is extremely rewarding, as well as frightening.” Would you say that Coma Ecliptic was frightening for the band as whole? No, Tommy just has low self-confidence. We constantly have to be like, “You’re a great singer. You’re awesome. Don’t worry.” I think it was just the fact that he was trying something new and he was trying to find the singing voice that he really liked for him as well
INTERVIEW // BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME
as having to voice all this different characters in the songs. His voicing [on this new album] the main character, cannibals, crazy doctors, nurses, etc. His doing all sorts of different stuff while also trying to find his voice... We just gave him tons of encouragement and in the demoing process and then in the studio. I just think it helps a lot when he gets in the studio and he’s working with Jamie [King, producer], and Jamie is like, “That’s awesome. Maybe we could try this.” And I think when Tommy gets to hear the final thing back he’s like, “Ok, that worked out.” It’s a good sign to work with people that are not like super cocky, but it’s easier for us to just being to what we are writing musically. I understand why it’s hard for him, as a singer. The spotlight is constantly on him. Yeah, and that’s how just it has been. I remember in the old days he wouldn’t even let anyone else be in the studio with him. It would be just him and Jamie with him doing vocals. Now it’s a little
different. Now he’s more open and confident. Does writing an album like Coma Ecliptic helps you understand and process your past creative output? I mean, this new album is a new chapter, but it’s not like you’ve made a 180º turn. Yeah, it’s not like we made an electronic or bluegrass album. But oh man, it’s weird to listen to that, it feels like another life. It really does. We’ve been working on some stuff to plan this tour that kind of celebrates the 10th year anniversary of the Alaska record... Oh man, listening to that stuff... You know, me and Blake [Richardson, drums] were 20, Dustie [Waring, bass] was 19, Tommy and Paul [Waggoner, guitar] were in their mid-20s, and now we’re all in our 30s. Some of the guys are married, Tommy has a kid, I do a lot of work with other bands that I’m in, etc. We’ve just grown so much as people, as individuals, and as a band. It is fun to listen back to that stuff [laughs] but it feels like another life, it’s crazy. It was really cool to be writing this album during
all that and then be in the studio and remember being in Jamie’s shitty basement when we were demoing Alaska and stuff... It’s cool to see how far Jamie has come too. I mean, we’ve all kind of done it together. Are there any plans to record a live album of Coma Ecliptic? Yeah, definitely. We are going to be playing the album probably a year from now. But I think in the fall of next year  it’s when we are going try to do the actual Coma Ecliptic tour, play the record in full. That’s going to be a lot of fun. I think some time after that, after we’ve played a good chunk of times we’ll be able to figure out a way that we can present and film it for DVD and Bluray, and all that jazz. We like doing that and I feel that our fans like it. It’s always a fun way to kind of close the cycle and the chapter on that album. So, we’re a long way to finish... I mean, we’re just getting going really pushing this album. COMA ECLIPTIC IS OUT NOW VIA METAL BLADE
A MASTERFUL O
It often feels that Chicago-based make the case the fact of J.R. Robinson being a fascinating person and artist. We Your Ascension – that has a cast of 30 musicians, including people like Lee Bufo Marissa Nadler, Dylan O’Toole and Ron DeFries of Indian, Bruce Lamont, Sanfo life of Don Carlo Gesualdo were starting p
Words by Tiago Moreira //
want to start with what’s probably the beginning of Wrekmeister Harmonies. What was it with Béla Tarr’s Werckmeister Harmonies (2000 Hungarian film directed based on the 1989 novel The Melancholy of Resistance by László Krasznahorkai) that hit you so hard? I have to tell you that what struck me the most... I remember very 54
clearly, I was standing on a train platform, here in Chicago, and it was a very bitter, cold winter day, it was grey and the wind was blowing really hard. I was standing on a train platform waiting for a train and the night before I stayed up really, really late and watched Werckmeister Harmonies, which was suggested to me by a friend, and I can’t recall even been so deeply affected by a film. I’ve seen a lot of films, but for some reason that particular film at that particular moment in my life really resonated with me. That film at that moment in my life really, really had a tremendous impact on me, and I thought about it for days.
I went back and I re-watched it many times. There were so many questions I felt that Béla Tarr was asking that I feel I was also asking. That depth was why I chose the name, but I just kind of bastardized the title and changed it around a little bit. Up until that point I think I had, like everybody, this question in my head, “What’s the meaning of God? If there’s a God, what’s the point here?” That was the meaning I took out of it, that was the moment where that idea just kind of crystalized for me in my mind, and I started to examine it. Truly, truly examine it. Not just casually just go, “Yeah, why the fuck is that happening? That’s fucked up.”
ONIES is one of contemporary music’s best kept secrets. Certainly helps to
e were lucky to talk with Robinson over the phone about his latest album Night of ord and Chip King from The Body, Alexander Hacke (Einsturzende Neubauten), ord Parker (Twilight), etc. – in which the death of Father John Goeghan and the points for the two compositions on the album.
/ Pictures by Katie Hovland
Because at that point in my life I think I’d pretty much just gone along, not giving too much consideration. That film really and truly made me examine the idea. Was it that scene where János sees for the first time the whale? I mean, he kind of asks that question himself. Yeah, because János looks into the eyes of the whale and it’s just this decrepit, blowded thing. I mean, is it real? He’s staring at this enormous creature that’s so far removed from its natural environment. There are so many layers to that. That’s the beauty of that
scene, there are so many layers to the question. Watching Béla Tarr’s Wrekmeister Harmonies for this interview I couldn’t help but to be curious regarding the visualization that you have of Wrekmeister Harmonies’ music. Do you see it as black and white? No, I don’t see it as black and white. I mean, there are certain elements of the music that I see as black and white in the sense that the heavier, violent parts of the music are very direct and confrontational. There’s not a lot of room for color in that. Again, just like in that scene where János
is staring into the eye of the whale there are layers to the complexity of the heaviness, but I would see that as black and white. But I would say overall there are many... It’s definitely a color experience for me. You’ve been working with a big cast of musicians since Recordings Made In Public Spaces Volume One. You have probably get used to the process by now, but how does one manages to work with so many people and still have a clear sense of direction? That’s a very kind assessment of the process and which I could say
that it’s all very clear and very easy to negotiate when you’re creating something with so many people, but the truth is that is not. It’s difficult and it’s hard, and it makes you question whether what you’re doing is staying true to your original vision as you go along trying to create these things, and there were times I was wondering if I had just gone completely mad trying to accomplish this thing. It was a very difficult in trying and exhausting experience, but ultimately it was very, very rewarding. I was very happy and very pleased with the outcome. And I was happy that I was able to work with all these musicians, and different people, and bring them into my idea and get something very positive out of it... but it was very hard. I understand why most bands have like only four people. It’s a lot easier to create something with four people, or five people, and have four or five voices/opinions where you can come to a consensus than it is with thirty people. With thirty people you have thirty competing egos and individual personalities and still you have to try and guide all those personalities and egos towards a final goal, which they may or may not completely comprehend. Would it be fair to assume that faith is a big part of the process that guides you through all the doubts, all the problems, and all the headaches? I would say that faith doesn’t have any real consequence. I feel that I had an idea and I really had a desire, a true desire to communicate an idea. It was that, just a desire to see this thing through. Once I started the process I became consumed with the idea of finish it and I knew I was going to finish it. I didn’t put too much faith into it, I just simply allowed it that idea to exist within me and realized I was going to complete it in one way or another. Doubt definitely presented itself many times along the year that I was creating this. Doubt presented itself from the very first recording session. Because I recorded this in different places with different people under different 56
“All my life I’ve recognized this attraction to absorbing the darker impulses of human nature.” circumstances and there was always that idea of doubt of like, “Is this particular segment going to work? Are we going to be able to do it? Are my ideas sound? Are they good ideas? Am I able to communicate these ideas to these individuals?” I did doubt myself and I did stay up many nights working and wondering and worrying and I have just lost my mind and wasn’t existing in the real world at all. But I was able to transcend that through the perseverance of completing these pieces. What’s the role and importance of communication in a project like Wrekmeister Harmonies? For this particular project the communication was a large, very huge... I had to communicate for each segment of Night of Your Ascension... For the piece that deals with Carlo Gesualdo I had to explain the Gesualdo story multiple times to many people and communicate that. I had to get a hold of the original score and give it to the string section and say, “This is the original score. This is my idea of how to rearrange this piece of music to make it fit.” I had to say the same thing to the choir director to have that particular approach, and I deposited those things in the middle of the piece purposely. And then to communicate the more idealistic, peaceful, pleasant, and wonderful aspects of Gesualdo’s life prior to committing these horrendous crimes I had to explain to the musicians how I wanted that to sound. And then to explain the musicians for the heavier part I had to
explain the idea of communication jealousy and violence, and that was huge. You had to communicate that otherwise they would not understand what the fuck, at all, what I was trying to do. It would been just a pointless exercise to not be able to communicate what I wanted. Anyone can search about this two men and know their history. What struck a chord with you about these two men? Would you say that there’s a relation between these two? Yeah, I would say between the two men is that they both had... Both men were known for these pretty horrendous acts and they’re at almost opposite ends of the historical spectrum. Gesualdo was in the 16th century and Father John Geoghan is in modern times. The connection between them is this idea of spirituality and religion. Gesualso got away, he was sanctioned almost for these horrendous acts that he committed, by the church. He built the church, he was embraced by the church. Father John Geoghan committed horrible and horrendous acts, he was a monster but he was also sanctioned and protected by the church. That to me was the correlation and connection between the two. One thing that seems to connect the entire Wrekmeister Harmonies’ output is your interest towards human behavior and human nature. Was there someone that kind of pushed you in that direction – to take a deeper look? I think I’ve just been interested in exploring that people don’t necessarily want to take a look at. It’s not like I have this prurient interest macabre or dark people. I appreciate beauty and I appreciate good as much everybody else. But I’m interested in exploring some of the darker things that present themselves into the human condition, and I don’t know why that is. I can’t think of any one person that has maybe been influential for that. All my life I’ve recognized this attraction to absorbing the darker impulses of human nature. It’s something I feel that it’s just been with me my entire life. But I think that with your music
INTERVIEW // WREKMEISTER HARMONIES you don’t shy away from the light either. I mean, it seems to exist always a counterbalance to all your explorations of the darker side of things. Definitely! You’re absolutely correct. With the music I definitely try to present a balance of the human condition. You’re absolutely correct because there’s light, and beauty, and I do very, very much appreciate that and seek it out. Just like human does. But I also want to balance that with these darker traits that are also part of the human condition. I feel like a lot of times there’s focus on one or the other. There’s focus on beauty and light and a complete omission of the dark, or there’s a focus on complete darkness, misanthropy, and focus on that with no attention paid to the other side. So, it’s an act of absorbing the human condition and try to present that all in one thing, one piece. Even if you think of someone as horrendous as Adolf Hitler, who committed unspeakable atrocities... You can’t say he was 100% evil. I don’t even understand... What’s evil? In all casually say like that Hitler is evil, Robert Mugabe is evil, all these people that walked into a school and murdered a bunch of children. To me, that’s completely ignoring the fact that there is a physiologic component to this. Somebody that walks into a school loaded with weapons to murder innocent children... those persons are not well, are not healthy. There’s something wrong with them physically and mentally. There’s some chemical or something medical that’s having these incorrect impulses to do this act, right? That’s fucked up. Hitler? That’s just fucked. There was something that Adolf Hitler did that convinced a big part of the German population that that was ok. But evil... I don’t know. Good and evil automatically lends itself to a religious doctrine which I just don’t believe in. I don’t believe in this omnipotent God force that is existing and influencing human behavior to either be positive or negative. Like you have choose lightness or
darkness. I don’t get that. I never have. I never really got that. I was reading about Father John, and even with Pope Francis condemning these kind of acts... it seems that there’s never a concern to prevent these kind of situations. What about just trying to prevent it instead of trying to fix it? What about all the harm that the church does? What about all the wars? What about the Inquisition? What about the church selling out members of the Jewish faith during the Holocaust, the Vatican giving out names of people of Jewish descent who had converted to Catholicism? What about all the murders that have taken place in the name of religion, in the name of God? What about all of that? Father John Geoghan... yeah, that’s like a microcosm of a synthon of a greater ill. He was a horrendous person but again there was something chemically, biologically
missing, his emotional development was probably stunted at the age of eleven where his sexual impulses couldn’t fire over the emotional age of eleven. But he was still protected and harbored by the Catholic Church, move from one parish to another. Concealed, hidden, and dusted over, and allowed to continue to abuse the trust of these people who putted their faith into the church. That to me is mind-blowing. This whole concept of talking about Father John Geoghan and the fact that he molested 150 children... that really makes people uncomfortable. They don’t want to talk about that. And I get that, I understand that. Yeah, it’s not a pleasant subject, but if you examine an unpleasant subject maybe you can have some sort of understanding whereas before you were just like, “I don’t want to deal with it. That’s fucked up.” NIGHT OF YOUR ASCENSION IS OUT NOW VIA THRILL JOCKEY
For most, a few liste debut was enough to c and the pedigree, ther at work, and with How T has become fact. An builds on what came b meat to the bones, and tells us what we
ens to Corrections Houseâ€™s certify that beyond the hype re was something alchemical To Carry A Whip, that opinion avant-industrial monster, it before and adds flesh and d co-vocalist Mike IX Williams ent in to its creation.
ds by Dave Bowes
t’s good having you back. Did you always plan on a second album? Of course we knew there was going to be a second record. We’ve already got the basis for stuff for a third record too, we just have to get in the studio and do that. We plan on doing this band for as long as we can. What I’m trying to say is it’s not just a one-off, it’s a fulltime band and I think it’s really stupid of people that they immediately go, “It’s a supergroup!” and “It’s a project!” I don’t even know what makes a supergroup; just because someone’s been in another successful band and they get together with someone else in a successful band? We’ve always considered it a normal group. Had things changed much in how you approached the second album? Yeah, in a way, but then no. The first album was basically a culmination; we toured before we even had a record out together as four solo acts. That was the whole point. It wasn’t even called Corrections House. We were gonna do four solo sets – me, Bruce, Sanford and Scott doing our own little things, and then at the end we were all going to come out and do one big jam; a noise, improv type of thing. The first album is parts of that put together. Sanford was a big part of laying the basis, electronics and tapes for that. It came together once Sanford got in the band but with the second record, we toured Europe and America twice. We had been over to Europe, did Roadburn and a bunch of shows so we were more of a cohesive unit. The second record became more of an idea to have a band as opposed to pieces put together on a record. Is there still an improvisational aspect of your recorded material? Not really – it’s actually the 60
opposite, because we write everything in the studio. The first album, the parts were written but then they were put together in the studio; same with the second record. I wrote a lot of my lyrics in the studio, the day before and right around; a lot of spontaneous stuff. Then I learned the songs from that. How was it having Sanford resuming production duties? He’s worked with a lot of people, like Thurston Moore, and he’s a studio guy. That’s why, when he got into the band, he brought it all together. He had the knowledge of the technology and equipment to put the electronics together in a way that I couldn’t do for sure. I’m not all that educated on all that studio trickery so he can handle all that. Did you come from anywhere different as far as the lyrics were concerned? Nowhere specific. I’m not one of those singers that goes around preaching or trying to get this big thing across to people, some sort of agenda. I just write what I feel and it’s usually a lot of the same subjects, even with Eyehategod – depression, isolation, society and corruption; all these things; love and hate... There’s no one subject, just an overall feeling to me. There’s a real sense of dissatisfaction towards society on both records... I’ve never fit into society; even before I started doing music I never did. I didn’t fit in school or anywhere. Maybe listening to punk rock and growing up as an outcast, a runaway and a homeless kid and a juvenile delinquent, all these things, were just the things that brought me closer to other people like me. It’s all reality. I can’t fit in society; I do the best I can but it’s all a big joke to me. 99% of humanity are just completely ignorant; I don’t claim to be smart at all, but some people don’t even leave their block, or the city they’re in. They don’t have any urge to learn anything of other cultures, and I kind of despise that about society. After having spent decades touring the world, has your
perception of America changed at all? It hasn’t really changed my perception of America, it has solidified it even more. Society gets more ignorant every day. It’s ridiculous what goes on, from school shootings and racism to shitty politicians and people with money that have power. Being in tour on America solidifies that, in my mind. You definitely meet people here and there that somewhat agree with the exact same things that you’re saying; there are a lot of intelligent people out there, but they’re few and far between. Do you still keep a sense of hope, both yourself and in your lyrics? I think there’s always hope. In darkness, there’s always a glimmer of light, a spark of something positive that can be formed, but I doubt I’m going to see that in my lifetime. We’re only on this earth for 90 or 100 years at the most. People have those many years to do what they have to do or do what they want to do and try to change things, or they can just sit back and work a shitty job and not do anything. I choose to do art because that’s just what I’m good at. Music is art, writing is art. I don’t think I’ll see any changes in my lifetime but hopefully one day these poor kids that are born right now, the children of the world, will have a good future, but who knows. Where do you think things would have ended up if you didn’t have art? I don’t ever wonder that, but people ask me it all the time. I see people ask every band that, and most of the people in extreme or heavy music say “I’d probably be a serial killer.” That’s kind of a silly answer. Of course, it could be true, but I don’t think it’s that easy to be a serial killer. I think it would be a hard thing to pull off, but I don’t know what I’d be doing. I’m from North Carolina, which is a whole other state from where I live now. Where I live now, there’s a cultured city full of music in New Orleans so if I hadn’t moved here, or any other cultured city that had music or art, I’d probably still be in the same state that I grew up in for the first ten years of my life and
INTERVIEW // CORRECTIONS HOUSE I’d probably be miserable, working in a factory or something. You never know. There’s a heavier drive on this album towards the industrial side of your sound on this album, both in the electronics and in the percussion. Was there any reason for pushing in this direction? Basically, it’s the culmination of these four people, just like in any band. It’s the environment that you live in, the peoples’ personalities, but I think we did purposely go into it to make more of a ‘rock’ album. That’s a huge umbrella but I mean more like Skinny Puppy, Throbbing Gristle – not too abstract but more focused on songs this time around. Will you continue pushing more with this with the upcoming live shows, as opposed to the more improvisational direction in the past? Of course. I don’t know what we’re going to do live as we haven’t talked about it yet. Everybody’s busy and taking off for the holidays, but I’m sure we’ll get in a little bit of both. It depends. Did you feel more free in what you were creating with this second album or was it the other way around? There’s not more freedom
– Corrections House is 100% freedom. It’s 1000% freedom! We can do anything we want. We’re not tied down to any sort of genre, but me saying this is more of a rockbased album – it’s still a weird, electronic album, with a lot of weird things that people don’t get. I’ve had a lot of assholes ask me why I’m doing this band. Why don’t you do Eyehategod? It’s because I want to. I like this kind of music. I’m allowed to do whatever I want. With Corrections House, we’re allowed to do straight-up noise, we can do heavy rock, we can do slow or faster, Ministry-style stuff, acoustic... it’s all on the records, and in the live shows, especially. As far as doing stuff live, on a monthlong tour we can start with one set and then every single day we might drop something, add something or change a song, change the lyrics. We’ve done that before so it’s pretty easy with this band to improvise and be free with it. So do you feel a greater sense of freedom within Corrections House than in any of your other bands? I have another band called The Guilt Of... and that’s similar to Corrections House, but that’s just me and one other guy. We don’t do live shows, but we have around 8 or 9 records out in various formats
and that band’s even more different because it has black metal elements, if you can call it that – I just call it that because of the guitar sounds and some of the vocals. I’ve always been into bands like SPK and Throbbing Gristle, Test Department and Einstürzende Neubauten – bands that experiment and do different things. Do you have any plans for videos to accompany any of the new material? We were supposed to have a video done already, but some of the usual people we work with were busy or they flaked out. As of right now there is nothing but there will be. Where did the phrase How To Carry A Whip originate? I don’t even know, to be honest. There were lists of one-liners and titles and lyrics while we were in the studio and I think Sanford picked it for the record. I was actually wanting to call it something different, I forget what, but Sanford wanted to call it that so he did. To me, there’s not any deep meaning to it. HOW TO CARRY A WHIP IS OUT NOW VIA NEUROT RECORDINGS
“Maybe listening to punk rock and growing up as an outcast, a runaway and a homeless kid and a juvenile delinquent, all these things, were just the things that brought me closer to other people like me.” 61
is another proof of how healthy is the creative scene all around the world – although we are all aware that the music industry is crapping its pants as we speak. The year that has received with open arms the return of true legends like Faith No More, Joanna Newsom, Iron Maiden, Paradise Lost, Sleater-Kinney, Refused, and others, also found space and time to love newcomers like Algiers, Courtney Barnett, War On Women, Downtown Boys, Myrkur, etc. It was through all of that, and what stands in the middle, that we came up with this list of 60 albums that we believe to be the very best of what is another undeniably great year.
2015: THE YEAR IN REVIEW BEST ALBUMS OF THE YEAR
58 ALL DOGS Kicking Every Day Salinas Records
All Dogs fuzzed sound is huge, full of mind-blowing songs and awesome lyrics. Kicking Every Day is an emotional journey, kicks ass and it’s a cathartic experience all the way through.
60 JOANNA GRUESOME Peanut Butter
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME Coma Ecliptic
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!
Coma Ecliptic is a rediscovering of BTBAM for all their fans, a glimpse into the prog-metal giants that they are becoming. If this record is any indication, from now on we demand great things from them.
59 HEALTH Death Magic
CEREMONY The L-Shaped Man
An amazingly crafted pop album that can’t be possibility treated as a guilty pleasure since it has one foot on the experimental realm and isn’t at all detached from the band’s singularity.
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.
1. JOHN CARPENTER “LOST THEMES” 2. KEN MODE “SUCESS” 3. DODHEIMSGARD “A UMBRA OMEGA” 4. CAINA “SETTER OF UNSEEN SNARES” 5. SUNN O))) “KANNON”
1. FLORENCE + THE MACHINE “HOW BIG, HOW BLUE, HOW...” 2. SWIM DEEP “MOTHERS” 3. VIET CONG “VIET CONG” 4. THEE OH SEES “MUTILATOR DEFEATED AT LAST” 5. DRENGE “UNDERTOW”
1. KENDRICK LAMAR “TO PIMP A BUTTERFLY” 2. ALGIERS “ALGIERS” 3. TITUS ANDRONICUS “THE MOST LAMENTABLE TRAGEDY” 4. FATHER JOHN MISTY “I LOVE YOU, HONEYBEAR” 5. GRIMES “ART ANGELS”
2015: THE YEAR IN REVIEW
55 LANA DEL REY Honeymoon
Honeymoon’s fustigating nature is a challenge that has as a reward a dazzling, at times feisty, always daring, and mesmerizing album. Love her or hate her, but she’s here to stay...
There is a structure in every single song that brings to mind the controlled chaos in Fugazi’s sound, with bassist Lucy Hatter’s vocals cutting through the intensity of Cai Burns’ delivery to soften the blow at times.
49 Infection Music
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.
WAR ON WOMEN War On Women
TAME IMPALA Currents
TWENTY ONE PILOTS Blurryface
War On Women’s debut album is one of the most violent/relevant documents of these last few years. The demolisher and fierce sound is the soundtrack to a very realistic picture... Reality check!
From rock to dance, to distorted sounds that don’t even sound like music. This is the new sound of psychedelic music. An heartbreaking album that shows a completely new side to Tame Impala.
The record sounds schizophrenic, but yet, totally natural. Chaotic but logical. Weird but comfortable. Like everyone of us. Like Blurryface. He’s one of us. He’s all of us, and each one of us. Everybody and nobody.
Fueled By Ramen
CIRCUIT DES YEUX In Plain Speech
PARKWAY DRIVE Ire
THE BEVERLEYS Brutal
Haley Fohr’s aka Circuit Des Yeux unmatchable voice stands tall in an album that is abstract in nature and, at the same time, almost unbearable in its emotional weight.
Parkway Drive as group reach to that point of their career where they really needed to aim everything in this new release, plus they should be ambitious as fuck and push their own limits.
Sharp and heavy, noisy and grungy, with a pile of riffs upon riffs, Brutal, their debut album, is undeniable different, full of sonic explosions and screamy caustic noise.
1. STEVEN WILSON “HAND. CANNOT. ERASE” 2. IRON MAIDEN “BOOK OF SOULS” 3. NAPALM DEATH “ALEX PREDATOR - EASY MEAT” 4. AQUA NEBULA OSCILLATOR “FRIDAY THE 13TH” 5. TRIVIUM “SILENCE IN THE SNOW”
1. OUGHT “SUN COMING DOWN” 2. MBONGWANA STAR “FROM KINSHAWA” 3. MARCHING CHURCH “THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH” 4. JULIA HOLTER “HAVE YOU IN MY WILDERNESS” 5. KENDRICK LAMAR “TO PIMP A BUTTERFLY”
1. KENDRICK LAMAR “TO PIMP A BUTTERFLY” 2. ALGIERS “ALGIERS” 3. YOUNG FATHERS “WHITE MEN ARE BLACK MEN TOO” 4. JOANNA NEWSOM “DIVERS” 5. JOHN GRANT “GREY TICKLES, BLACK PRESSURE”
1. BRING ME THE HORIZON “THAT’S THE SPIRIT” 2. CHELSEA WOLFE “ABYSS” 3. MARRIAGES “SALOME” 4. NORTHLANE “NODE” 5. OH, ROSE “SEVEN”
DILLY DALLY Sore
DØDHEIMSGARD A Umbra Omega
Sore blends the best of pop and noise, Monks’ voice is just a roller coaster of vulnerability and bravery. Strong and empowering, the perfect debut album for a band that have a lot of potential.
A Umbra Omega is 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.
44 ROLO TOMASSI Grievances Holy Roar Records
Rolo Tomassi over the years have ignored all the genre trends, they have their own sound and led by Eva Spence menacing barks, we must say, Grievances is their most intense yet dark, but at the same time stunning noisy visceral experience for the listener.
1. IMAX “METANOIA” 2. TAME IMPALA “CURRENTS” 3. BJORK “VULNICURA” 4. BLUR “THE MAGIC WHIP” 5. HURTS “SURRENDER”
1. COURTNEY BARNETT “SOMETIMES I SIT AND THINK...” 2. FLORENCE + THE MACHINE “HOW BIG, HOW BLUE, HOW...” 3. FATHER JOHN MISTY “I LOVE YOU, HONEYBEAR” 4. SUFJAN STEVENS “CARRIE & LOWEL” 5. BEIRUT “NO NO NO”
1. DEATH ENGINE “MUD” 2. KEN MODE “SUCCESS” 3. CHELSEA WOLFE “ABYSS” 4. ENABLERS “THE RIGHTFUL PIVOT” 5. WIEGEDOOD “DO DODAN HEBBEN HET GOED”
1. BRING ME THE HORIZON “THAT’S THE SPIRIT” 2. SLEATER-KINNEY “NO CITIES TO LOVE” 3. GALLOWS “DESOLATION SOUNDS” 4. DESAPARECIDOS “PAYOLA” 5. ANTI-FLAG “AMERICAN SPRING”
2015: THE YEAR IN REVIEW
TOP 10 MOVIES OF THE YEAR
JOHN GRANT Grey Tickles, Black Pressure Bella Union
Grant is an astute motherfucker, his music can be as itchy as his thoughts and as profound/witty as his lyrics. Whether you like it or not, John Grant is one of the best, most crafty songwriters of this generation.
IT FOLLOWS By David Robert Mitchell
THE MARTIAN By Ridley Scott
It’s the most refreshing horror experience you can find today outside of little known indie flicks.
This is another brilliant and stirring film about astronauts and the outer space. Matt Damon really nailed it.
09 42 DEAFHEAVEN New Bermuda Anti-
New Bermuda is way heavier than its predecessor, the indieshoegaze-post-rock esque is still here, but it’s fair to say that New Bermuda is a passionate and sophisticated black metal album.
LOVE & MERCY By Bill Pohlad
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD By George Miller
It’s just a in-depth film of Brian Wilson’s life during and after the critical success that Beach Boys achieved.
Mad Max: Fury Road is a visual masterpiece, the best of the series, the best four-quel ever made.
YOUTH By Paolo Sorrentino
THE IMITATION GAME By Mortem Tyldum
Sincere, painfully melancholic, sublime, full of sharp dialogues and tremendous performances.
Cumberbatch is brilliant as Turning and it gave a dark yet confident lift to this heartfelt story.
UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA Multi-Love ATO Records
Multi-Love introduces some tropical sounds that accentuate the beauty of the work without distorting the quality or ability to captivate. Even when it’s calm, it embraces us with meaning and purpose.
STEVE JOBS By Danny Boyle
WHIPLASH By Damien Chazelle
This is not a standard biopic, Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin created a brave, smart, artful and elegant film.
Damien Chazelle has crafted a dynamic and very original film for its genre.
40 DOWNTOWN BOYS Full Communism
Don Giovanni Records
Full Communism represents a non-conformist activist punk manifesto, an artistic statement with the power to inspire, making us believe again in the power of words and music. A classic working class affair.
EX-MACHINA By Alex Garland
BIRDMAN By Alejandro González Iñárritu
With its sleek set design and almost Kubrick-like cinematography, what a tremendous debut for Alex Garland.
An esquisite experience inside this crazy layered and disturbing emotional experience. Masterpiece.
SCREAMING FEMALES Rose Mountain Don Giovanni
FOUR YEAR STRONG Four Year Strong Pure Noise Records
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!
Rose Mountain’s sound is more streamlined than anything the Screaming Females have put out before, and yet it retains the infectious quality and potential to trigger massive bouts of air-guitar that have always defined the band, demanding to be played loud.
37 OH, ROSE Seven
Seven is an astonishing record, every song has a certain intensity to it and all lyrics are passionate. Musically, they go further on mixing folk-rock with a much more fuzzy rock.
1. TWENTY ONE PILOTS “BLURRYFACE” 2. ANTI-FLAG “AMERICAN SPRING” 3. BRING ME THE HORIZON “THAT’S THE SPIRIT” 4. THE PRODIGY “THE DAY IS MY ENEMY” 5. RUDIMENTAL “WE THE GENERATION”
1. BRING ME THE HORIZON “THAT’S THE SPIRIT” 2. GHOST “MELIORA” 3. PARKWAY DRIVE “IRE” 4. CHELSEA WOLFE “ABYSS” 5. IAMX “METANOIA”
1. STEVEN WILSON “HAND. CANNOT. ERASE” 2. IRON MAIDEN “THE BOOK OF SOULS” 3. BEARDFISH “4626 COMFORT ZONE” 4. TRIVIUM “SILENCE IN THE SNOW” 5. PARADISE LOST “THE PLAGUE WITHIN”
1. FLYING SAUCER ATTACK “INSTRUMENTALS 2015” 2. KING MIDAS SOUND/FENNESZ “EDITION 1” 3. HIEROGLYPHIC BEING & JITU AHNSAHM-BULL - “WE ARE NOT THE FIRST” 4. BIOPSHERE/DEATHPROD “STATOR” 5. HELEN “THE ORIGINAL FACES”
2015: THE YEAR IN REVIEW
36 MYRKUR M
Myrkur, the solo project of Dane Amalie Bruun is adventurous and defiant, it might not always sound like black metal, but it captures its spirit in a way that has eluded many of the ‘trve’ for decades.
35 DESAPARECIDOS Payola Epitaph
Payola is way more melodic and raw than its predecessor, it’s a protest album, a punk record in its pure essence, a smart and direct statement that can raise some conscious awareness.
34 JENNY HVAL Apocalypse, girl Sacred Bones
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.
31 JULIA HOLTER Have You In My Wilderness
33 WREKMEISTER HARMONIES Night of Your Ascension
ENABLERS The Rightful Pivot
In the midst of portraying society’s violent, sick, and gruesome behavior, WH pens down a document that is frighteningly real and that refuses to deny the existence of light even in the darkest of times.
The Rightful Pivot is not trying to reinvent the wheel with its spokenword supported by what many would call post-rock, but simply just add another chapter in a great story.
Atypeek Music / Exile on Mainstream
The chameleon effect that runs through the entire album makes the listening experience not only pleasurable, but also puzzling and at times nerve-racking. There’s a disquiet present, nagging the brain and forcing you to keep digging. Its layers, dynamics, and atmospheric swings make it an incredibly intricate maze and an absurdly absorbing piece. It’s a herculean effort to avoid being in awe of it.
30 FALL OUT BOY American Beauty/American Psycho
SUNN O))) Kannon
Huge comeback! The punk meets pop titans are more sharp than ever. In their biggest and ambitious effort, Fall Out Boy bring all the guns into their own and funny way of portraying nowadays American Pop culture.
Sunn O)))’s textural abilities, part 3 hits that spiritual sweet spot that only they can reach – foreboding and inviting, frostflecked and healing, black and white.
REFUSED Freedom Epitaph
They have found a new way to spread their message, one that deals as much in hooks burrowing under the skin than in violent stabs in the dark, and it’s an effective one. The fact that it wasn’t the one we may have been looking for probably says more about us than them.
PARADISE LOST The Plague Within
JOANNA NEWSOM Divers
Node is a new confident and cohesive next step. Marcus Bridge took the lead so feriously well, the band wanted to do something a little more outside of the box and they succeed at it.
It’s a relentless effort that marks the rebirth of a band that by finally having accepted their roots again... And will certainly pave the way for great interesting experiments to come in the future.
It dreams and fantasies even when the fear insists on casting a shadow. If there’s ever a need to illustrate brilliance, then Divers will have to take a step forward and accept the strong spotlight.
2015: THE YEAR IN REVIEW
22 FATHER JOHN MISTY I Love You, Honeybear Sub Pop
24 ENTER SHIKARI The MIndsweep
WHILE SHE SLEEPS Brainwashed
Fearless and peerless, the St. Albans lads are continuing to improve, evolve and invoke change with each step, and it’s an ethos The Mindsweep embodies with gusto.
There is no such thing as a WSS formula, these dudes are the real deal, quite possibly the most exciting band in metal right now, you guys just have to deal with that! Game changing déjà-vu all over again...
Search And Destroy
There is classicism in instrumental composition that is contradicted entirely by its letters “anti-cliché” romantic, loving, creating an elegant provocation of these issues that shape a monument of modern times. Feels the age of the author fighting the ignorance of youth to the wither and subsequent resignation of the nation’s contradictions, culminating in a major milestone of J. Tillman as an artist.
OUGHT Sun Coming Down
THE WONDER YEARS No Closer To Heaven
Ought are making us think about the mundane day-to-day, where our life is sucked into the vacuum of social networks. The band displays a synergy that easily expresses the personal reality of its elements and many of us in society.
It’s records like No Closer To Heaven that makes bands reinvigorate themselves and go deeper into their feelings and emotions. It’s one of the best records of this year, just simple as that!
FAITH NO MORE Invictus 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.
IRON MAIDEN The Book Of Souls
SUFJAN STEVENS Carrie & Lowell
TITUS ANDRONICUS The Most Lamentable Tragedy
This is one of Maiden’s finest and most solid records. We can clearly say that this is the strongest record ever done by Maiden’s three-guitar line up in the 16 years ever since Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith returned to the band.
Raw and extremely personal, Carrie & Lowell is perhaps Sufjan Stevens strongest effort ever and also the most rich and diverse. Heartbreaking music that will make you emotional and nostalgic.
This is Titus Andronicus’ magnum opus and an essential rock album in this 21st century – proving the great value of the band. A magical and utterly amazing piece of art.
Asthmatic Kitty Records
2015: THE YEAR IN REVIEW
15 SWIM DEEP Mothers RCA
Mothers is a indie-pop-rock album, that goes deep into the crazy and wild world of psychedelia. From Krautrock to the classic brit pop anthems, nothing seems to get out of their control. Impressive!
14 ANTI-FLAG American Spring Spinefarm Records
American Spring is a statement, a chance of rebellion against all this corporate and moral corrupt world and it might be the perfect antidote to challenge yourselves to change...
13 YOUNG FATHERS White Men Are Black Men Too Big Dada
It could be different but it’s with huge choruses, some joy, and an original sound that Young Fathers write their name on the, unfortunately, small group of people that truly cares and is authentic.
12 KEN MODE Success
STEVEN WILSON Hand. Cannot. Erase.
Success proves KEN Mode have great observers and its lyrics reflect how much these guys mastered the arts of dark humor. Music and production wise, well, it’s probably their most mature record.
It’s really hard to come across records like these nowadays. Hand. Cannot. Erase. isn’t just an album. It’s a rich, detailed and stunningly engaging experience, and above all a gift from Wilson to the world.
Season Of Mist
10 SLEATER-KINNEY No Cities To Love Sub Pop
No Cities To Love puts them where they belong – on the front lines. Raucous, relevant and gifted with a career’s worth of single material in a series of short, sharp stabs to the heart, it shows that, even now, they’re still showing people how it should be done.
09 MARRIAGES Salome
FLORENCE + MACHINE How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Salome is a departure from what Kitsune was and it’s definitely a leap forward in Marriages’ sound. It’s powerful and ferocious; an experience really worth to go through.
How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful sounds big, is damn beautiful and it can make you feel blue from every listening. An easy record to digest, even with the heartbreaking, passionate lyrics and the intense melodies.
COURTNEY BARNETT Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit Mom + Pop
Just like her previous release, this album is invigorating and sharp with garage-pop tunes with a little bit of folk and punk. Her Sheryl Crow’s vocal style alike and her wicked sense of humor on such incisive lyrics takes Barnett to a whole new level. Well done!
2015: THE YEAR IN REVIEW
06 ALGIERS Algiers Matador
Algiers’ self-titled debut transcends any simple compartmentalization. Documents a struggle and it’s fearless not just because it wants to be fearless, but because it needs to be. Born out of necessity. A battle cry and one of the most important musical documents of the twenty first century. The perfect flow!
05 GRIMES Art Angels ESGN
Grimes plays a game of “give and take” with the listener, never allowing the dust to settle in the ground nor letting the sweetness often displayed belittle the rage and anger. The ravishing and profound nature of the self-produced Art Angels is enthusiastically received and perceived not only for what it is, but for what it represents.
02 KENDRICK LAMAR To Pimp A Butterfly Polydor
GALLOWS Desolation Sounds
CHELSEA WOLFE Abyss
Desolation Sounds achieves perfection, this might be their very own masterpiece, their statement into the punk and rock scene, providing a new chapter for them and for a whole new and old generation that is anxious to be challenged about it. An accomplished offering and a genre-defining modern classic.
There’s always something intriguing and fascinating about Chelsea Wolfe. Abyss is probably Chelsea Wolfe’s heaviest, darkest and even the most personal record. Her songwriting skills and organic way to express the beauty and ugliness of life gets better every time she releases something new. It’s definitely a memorable and superb record.
Venn / PIAS
To Pimp A Butterfly was born out of a man who, after being pushed against the wall and stopped at the crossroads, dared to open his eyes and drop his cape and chains. Kendrick Lamar stands courageously naked in an album that connects with the past to understand the present and tries to project a better future. The political and social features on TPAB’s face arise effortlessly, without an inch of pretension, because the importance given to every single individual is of the essence. An album where every single detail matters.
BRING ME THE HORIZON That’s The Spirit RCA
H T E M G BRDEITN B D N A X E L P M O C , D AILE
Sheffield-based quintet Bring Me The Horizon are in a very intense twelve-year r produced since the band’s inception, back in 2003. In their upward success spiral point of changing almost entirely their game, they’ve proudly maintained a work countermeasure you can think of. That’s The Spirit is probably the most accomplish that refused to give up until their vision was turned into an unshakable reality. Bas moments in the career of one of the best 74
Words by Ti
N O Z I R O H E TBH S D N U O R G W E N G N I K REA
run and what they’ve conquer is probably more important than the music they’ve they’ve increased significantly the quality of their music, they were daring to the king class ethos, and they refused to exchange their independence for whatever hed work of the band so far, the answer to years and years of search by a band ssist Matt Kean shed some light about what’s arguably one of the most important bands in the contemporary music scene.
ast December (2014) you played Wembley, which is the ultimate venue in the UK. I have to be honest, I thought it would take a few more years until BMTH would play in the Wembley Arena. No, we were kind in the same situation as well. Our management kind of suggested it and we were like, “No, you’re crazy. It’s going to be half-empty and no one is going to come. It’s going to be a disaster.” But he kind of convinced us and then we said yes... And it sold out. So, that was kind of crazy. We were all taken by surprise. How was the experience of playing in a venue like the Wembley Arena? It was kind of insane for us. Obviously everyone knows about Wembley and us, we’re English so it’s even a bigger deal to us, I guess, because we’ve grown up with that venue existing and being in everyone’s mind. Most of the people on the street don’t know the majority of the venues by name but if you mention Wembley Arena then everyone knows what I’m talking about. Just to tell my mom and dad... it was like crazy. “Drown” was released six weeks before the show in Wembley. It seemed that you were testing even further the waters. Does it feel, in retrospect, like a connection point between Sempiternal and That’s The Spirit? Yeah, that’s kind of what we originally wanted to do. We wrote that song while we were on tour in the States and it was a while after Sempiternal had been out and I think Oli [Sykes, vocalist] and Jordan [Fish, keyboards and backing vocals] had this idea and they had been working on it while we were on tour. The first time they played it to the rest of the band we were all like, “This is insane. The song is great. We 76
“We really wanted to sho do on our own. That de need to try and work on it more.” Eventually we released it and it definitely feels like that at that point was kind of like another step in the band’s history. “Drown” wasn’t supposed to be in this new album, at first, but it ended up being included an alternative version of the song on That’s The Spirit. We initially didn’t want to do it because we felt that people had already heard it, obviously, but then we wrote the new album and just lyrically Oli was like, “The lyrics in Drown really evolved with the lyrics I’ve been writing. They connect really well together.” And also, the music wasn’t like so crazy
either so we decided to just put it on it. At that point we already had the other ten songs. We normally write ten songs for an album but “Drown” fitted on that so there was no good reason to leave it behind. We re-recorded all the instruments to get more of the production of the new album, to be more in line with what we had, but the vocals are still the original ones. When did you start working on That’s The Spirit? We were supposed to start in February of 2015 but after Wembley... I think we played Wembley in the middle of December and then we had some time off for Christmas. I remember texting
INTERVIEW // BRING ME THE HORIZON on a new album they would want to book time in the studio and start planning things. We really just wanted to take it easy, writing in our own time, and keep it low overall. Oli said that for BMTH “it’s always about finding that first song that’s going to represent the album.” Did you find yourself going through the same process? Yes, kind of. But like I said, it was a little bit more relaxed this time around. We weren’t really under pressure. There was no “We’ve got to do this. We’ve got to do that.” We just let stuff flow. We had already in the first month about four or five different solid ideas that we would write them and then we got stuck at some point or something wasn’t working right we just saved it and then we would start working on a new one. We took it really relaxed.
ow people what we could efinitely came into it. “ Jordan in the first or second week of January asking his thoughts on when we were going to start working on the new album and he said, “I’ve been talking to Oli and I think we’re going to start this week.” My first thought was, “So soon?” I think that everyone after Wembley, because we were in such high point, wanted to get stuck into the next album. That was a really fast process. Usually you guys take a few months off before starting working on a new album, right? Yeah, especially because we tour a lot. When you tour so much in support of an album you just kind want to take a little brake and
recharge your batteries. But we had so many ideas for the next album that we literally couldn’t wait. I think it was the feeling that you get as kid waiting for Christmas. You just want it so badly, and so we got stuck into it as soon as we could. Was it the first time that you started working on an album without anyone outside of the band knowing it? Yeah, it was. Because we knew, obviously, that after Wembley there were big expectations for the next album. So, we wanted to write at our own pace. We knew that if we told our record label or our management that we were working
Did Sempiternal boosted your confidence in terms of taking the next step with That’s The Spirit? Yeah, definitely. I think that also having Jordan in the band it helps a lot as well because when we had written the albums previously we always wanted a more electronic-influenced sound. I mean, those influences were already present in [2008’s] Suicide Season and [2010’s] There Is a Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let’s Keep It a Secret, but when Jordan came along we were able to actually write the electronic side at the same time as the music. I think that definitely helps our confidence and helps us making music that we had been trying to for a while. We all play our instruments and we understood some of the electronic parts but we had a really difficulty creating them and they were always an afterthought in the music but then when Jordan came in we were able to even sometimes start with the electronic parts and add music to them, or add the electronic parts to the music as we wrote the songs. Basically Jordan helped us mold the sound that we wanted and it made the process of getting the sound a lot easier. Was it easy to adapt to that new approach in the writing process? It took some time getting used
â€œIt helped us develop a thick skin as a ba try new things because we know that
INTERVIEW // BRING ME THE HORIZON
and and it made us stronger and always we can’t take anything for granted.”
“I think a lot of people struggle with it in and you need a lot of patience with pe can be annoying some to it. Before Jordan came, we were writing in the practice room or in the studio, but with Jordan we were writing on a computer and that can be done outside of the practice room or the studio. It made everything a lot easier but, as you said, it was a little bit different to what we were used to. It also made possible, with Sempiternal and That’s The Spirit, going into the studio with a demo version of the entire album and so everyone knew where we were heading to. It definitely took some time getting used to it not being 80
all of us in the room at the same time but it made things a lot easier. And all of a sudden you have a lot of freedom to deal with. Yeah. Also, you can listen back to stuff. If you’re writing in the practice room as a guitarist or bass player or a drummer you want to make sure that you’ve everything right rather than concentrating on the song. You can record the demo and then getting right and then listen back to it and then just analyze the parts just to make sure that they’re good.
Who do you deal with the process of analyzing the songs? I mean, that can be a very stressful process sometimes. Yeah, it can be. I think especially when you’re writing as well you get into that mode and sometimes you listen to a song and you think, “Oh, this is terrible.” But then you can simply go away and check it again in the next day and have a little bit more of perspective and perhaps it isn’t that bad and you can work that idea a little more and change this or that. Jordan really focus on that aspect and sometimes he
INTERVIEW // BRING ME THE HORIZON How was the recording process overall and how long did you take to finish it? We did it over two months but we finished it earlier. We finished it a week and a half earlier. It was really relaxed. We had two live studio rooms set up. One with the vocals and Jordan’s electronic stuff and the other one with the drums, bass, and guitar. So, we could record two things at once. We kind of took it easy. Just one song at a time rather than an instrument at a time. Probably the more relaxed we’ve ever been in an album. Was the success of Sempiternal, which includes playing at the Wembley arena that made you want to go DIY on the production? Not really. It was more to do with past albums and our way to produce and focus. Like I said before, we always make demos before going in the studio and once we analyze a song so much and once we decide what ends up on that demo... We don’t really want to change it, and so it kind of makes the job of a producer kind of mute at that point. We just realized that we really didn’t need one and all we need was engineers to help us to get the sounds right (stuff like setting up the mics, the technical side of it).
n some aspect. It’s difficult eople like that as well. It etimes.” drives himself a little bit crazy with it, but we would take brakes as well. We were trying to write through the week and have the weekends off. So, when we came back the next week we would have a more clean and fresh mind to listen to everything and then decide if it was really good or really bad. The album was recorded in the Greek island of Santorini. What prompt you to go somewhere remote to record the new album?
We had good times before [recording in isolated places], and I think it’s definitely good to be isolated. We found this studio, which was a beautiful studio in this picturesque island. The thought behind our decision was a pretty simple one, “If we need to go away for two months, why not go away to such a beautiful place?” It was nice to wake up and being under the sun. On the island there’s really not that much to do but the setting was really nice. Being from the UK we cherish the kind of weather that Santorini has to offer. [laughs]
Would it be fair to assume that self-producing this album was not just about saving money but also a way to prove that the band is capable of doing it and that being signed to a major doesn’t mean that you’ll lose your identity? Definitely. We’ve always had people who like doubt of us a little bit. Even when Sempiternal came out people were saying, “Yeah, it is a good album but clearly that’s just because of Terry Date [producer]”. We really wanted to show people what we could do on our own. That definitely came into it. And then also yeah, even though we are in a major label [RCA], we keep calling the shots for ourselves. When they signed us they wanted us to keep our sound and they knew who we were when they signed us. We only signed with them because we knew they could help us with the marketing and reach a wider
audience, but also that they would not try to mess up with our identity. Those doubts regarding the capability of Bring Me The Horizon as a creative force has been present since day one. Would you say that it ends up being a positive thing, in retrospect? Absolutely! It helped us develop a thick skin as a band and it made us stronger and always try new things, because we know that we can’t take anything for granted. Some bands release their first album and it’s so well-received by everyone. Sometimes it makes them complacent. We are willing to work hard and that has been a constant during these twelve years as Bring Me The Horizon. We’re not going to just go away. We always try to improve and that’s what the band has been about since we started. Researching for this interview I found out that “Avalanche” is probably not just your favorite song from this album, but also your favorite song from the BMTH’s catalogue. What’s about that song that makes you love it so much? I just think is a good song, really. [laughs] I’m proud of every song we’ve written, but I just think that one has a really good potential in it and I can’t wait it to play it live because feels like it’s going to be a really good song live. I really like the drums on that one. I remember when Oli shared that one with us. My first thought was, “This is going to be awesome!” That song is about ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] and what Oli went through with it. How is it to live with a person that has ADHD and to see someone so close to you suffer from that disease? It’s difficult. I think Matt [Nicholls], our drummer, has it a little bit as well because be can never sit still... But I think that’s one of the reasons he plays the drums as well. It’s a way for him to expel that energy. I think a lot of people struggle with 82
“Basically Jordan helped u made the process o it in some aspect. It’s difficult and you need a lot of patience with people like that as well. It can be annoying sometimes. [laughs] Especially when we first started, we were in a very small van and you have people going crazy all the time in that tiny place. [laughs] It can be a hard struggle but obviously in the last few years he’s been to see a doctor and he takes medication now. It’s still tough to deal with it, but it has improved. Being in a band can be a great way
to learn how to deal with people, and it becomes easier to anticipate some situations. It seems that everybody has a different meaning for That’s The Spirit. I would like to know what do you, personally, make of it. When things are going against you there’s always a little bit of positivity that you can focus on, and that goes well with the umbrella, when it’s raining... A lot of people get a little bit down
INTERVIEW // BRING ME THE HORIZON
us mold the sound that we wanted and it of getting the sound a lot easier.” when it’s raining and the umbrella works as the shining light. You can use the umbrella and go out even when it’s raining. It’s all about focusing in the positive aspects of life, even if they are really small, and trying to forget or surpass the difficulties that life presents you daily. You’re signed to a major label. What made you want to make that move? They came to us and they had
seen how we had been doing, so they were interested in signing us. We just felt that the level we were at the labels we were working with at the time were already stretching themselves already, because they’re independent labels and so they’re trying their best. But we needed a little bit of a push because at that point we had demos for some songs of Sempiternal and we knew that it was going to be this big album and we needed something that could help us take
the next step. Someone that could put posters in the town and all around the world, make big shops take our albums, etc. We had a meeting with them and they were not even interested in the music. I know that a lot of people think, “When you get on these major labels they sat you down and they try to turn you mainstream,” but it was kind of the opposite. THAT’S THE SPIRIT IS OUT NOW VIA RCA RECORDS
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
Abraxan Hymns (2015)
hough previous circumstances may dampen the celebrations somewhat, Purple is arguably the introduction of Baroness mk.II. With a move from Relapse to their own Abraxan Hymns label, the addition of a new rhythm
section in bassist Nick Joss and ex-Trans Am drummer Sebastian Thomson following the amicable departure of Matt Maggioni and Allen Bickle and the recruitment of Dave Fridmann (Sleater-Kinney) on production duties, there are plenty of shifts behind the scenes at work in Purple, but for all that things have changed, this sounds exactly how a Baroness album should. It rocks, it rolls, it rumbles and it delivers hook after hook after hook, appropriately coming off as a combination of Redâ€™s muscular sludge and Blueâ€™s leaner, more up-tempo songwriting. The visceral punch of opener
“Morningstar” brings the more aggressive side of the band to the fore at an early juncture, a bold statement of intent that shows off the band’s renewed strength and enthusiasm while laying the groundwork for the hope and pain that serves as the album’s lyrical focal point, most notably on lead single “Chlorine & Wine”. “She cuts through my ribcage and pushes the pills deep in my eyes,” John Baizley bellows candidly before the mood gently swings upwards with “in spite of the winter there’s ways to keep warm” and an anthemic gang-vocal chorus leaves a warm fuzziness in place of the
despair. “The Iron Bell” brings an upbeat return to their punk roots, but lest an impression that it’s all old news be given, it’s the smooth insertion of Yellow & Green’s now-perfected melodicism into Baroness’ taut backbone that really defines Purple as a progression for the band; there are few moments that don’t merit repeated listens and mid-shower singalongs, but it eschews the simplicity of heavy-verse-catchy-chorus tropes for a shifting of weight through out the album. The loudest, most straight-up metal passages often prove the most accessible, and though the
sprawl of the album’s predecessor has been heavily curtailed, it offers a structural and emotional complexity that leaves it ripe for reinterpretation and selfprojection; even as they boil down on a distinctly earnest note, they refrain from maudlin gloom and over-literal sentimentality by backing it with some of the album’s most progressive composition. This may be a new phase for Baroness, but on the strength of Purple they’ve set out on the strongest possible foot.
9 AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED Arc EP
Relapse Records (2016)
“Stop hurting me! Why are you doing this to me?” - After a few minutes we’re totally in another reality, trapped in Kat’s thoughts - “Your mind, a prison. My last moments with you” - “Not A Daughter” is crushing emotional and sonic violent, we couldn’t ask for a better start than this. Agoraphobic Nosebleed can easily claim that they are one of the most extreme and inimitable metal instigators, from their grindcore 20 minute / 100 songs masterpiece Altered States Of America, to huge line-up changes, it’s fair to say Kat’s arriving really leveled up their game. Arc is the antithesis of their own legacy, these three new songs are huge, well-structured and goes from sludge to doom, not even a single sign of chaos of musical deconstruction. Expect 25 minutes of epic heaviness, Kat’s intense screaming and lyrics are the perfect match to Scott Hull’s heavy machine/feast of riffs. Impressive!
FOR FANS OF:
FOR FANS OF:
Crowbar, Eyehategod, Salome
This second album from Venezuelan producer and beats-maker-to-the-stars Alejandro Ghersi is truly a beautiful mutant of a creature, a glistening hybrid shiny with menace and love. It features stuttered hyperspace rhythms which seem to coalesce and shatter in the same instant, dark ominous rumblings dragged up from vast hollow chasms of sound, attempts at communication which are spat out and ripped open before any knowledge can be fully imparted and, crucially, a sense of gleeful joy and sparkling melodies reminiscent of early Aphex Twin. Mutant constantly seems to be teetering on the brink of total chaos, springboard rhythmic clusters and layered synthetic howls overloading the system to the point of collapse before semblances of order are harmoniously resolved. Arca is worth every penny. EUAN ANDREWS
Aphex Twin, Actress, Vessel
8 ASEPTIC WHITE AGE Reminiscence
Memorial Records (2015)
Aseptic White Age’s first full-length Reminiscence is an ambitious effort, atmospherically charged, full of dense and complex layers of pure experimentation and improvisation. A noisy journey into their chaotic jazz-post/ metal-progressive rock intense blend. Crossing the same path of bands like Animal As Leaders, Tool and Shining, Aseptic White Age is a true gem, the midpoint between heaviness and elegance brings a whole new level of structural dynamics and well-balanced melody. The way the saxophone speaks to us is quite outstanding, everything flows naturally, sounding masterfully well-crafted and tightened. This is Aseptic White Age debut album, but it’s a mature and strong effort, and demands your attention.
FOR FANS OF:
Tool, Animal As Leaders, Shining
BLACK TUSK Pillars Of Ash
Relapse Records (2016)
Savannah’s Black Tusk have faced unexpected tragedy, when in 2014 founding bassist/vocalist Jonathan Athon passed away after a motorcycle accident in his hometown. Pillars Of Ash is the perfect goodbye of Athon, his final recordings and somehow a testament of his profound and lasting legacy with his brothers, fans and family in Black Tusk. Recorded with Toxic Holocaust’s Joel Grind, Pillars Of Ash sounds heavy and angry as fuck, way more punkish than sludgy, an evil and diverse genre fusion blend, a creative statement and the perfect step forward from their previous releases. Somehow between Mastodon’s Blood Mountain heaviness and Municipal Waste endless and confrontational in your face attitude, Pillars Of Ash is the first heavy and essential listening for 2016. FAUSTO CASAIS
FOR FANS OF:
Municipal Waste, Baroness, Mastodon
7 CONAN Revengeance
Napalm Records (2016)
Relapse Records (2016)
Don’t confuse Bloodiest with a simple metal band. Although their sound flirts with the aggression and ambience of metal, their universe expands to a more experimental ground. Their avant-garde approach to heavy sounds creates a haunting, theatrical experience with a thick atmosphere that resembles Neurosis and Swans. The voices are aggressive and there are no growls, only a feeling of despair that increases with each passing minute. If one were to make the mistake of evaluating the record by just one track, “Broken Teeth” would be the only one capable of demonstrating just how epic and crushing this record can be. With this 2nd album, Bloodiest show us that they have just begun unveiling their potential for real masterpieces.
On their 3rd major release this band from Liverpool finds new ways to abuse us with their discharge of sonically disturbing sludge metal. Compared to Blood Eagle, their 2014 release, this is a different beast altogether made by the same band, but one that has learned some different tricks. The other main reason is that between the two albums Conan changed drummers, and though Rich Lewis does a commendable job Paul O’Neill was a more uncommon drum player that gave the band their edge. In sum a less distinctive, but still very laudable release by this band that manages to reinvent themselves with every subsequent release without compromising their core sound. For sludge infused doom metal you don’t need to look any further to quench your thirst of malefic down tuned aggression.
FOR FANS OF:
FOR FANS OF:
Neurosis, Swans, Anatomy Of Habit
Yob, Windhand, Cough
6 BLACKWULF Oblivion Cycle
Ripple Music (2016)
Another month goes by, and another batch of stoner bands release their respective albums, in this particular case by a recent Californian band. For all those stoner fanatics out there, this record sure floats their boat with heavier than humanly possible riffs, pounding and plodding drum patterns and lyrics about the occult abound. NUNO BABO
CHARLIE HILTON Palana
CULT OF LUNA & THE OLD WIND Råångest EP
Charlie Hilton is better known for her work in the band Blouse, now she steps into her own thing. Palana is her debut album and as said in a press release: “Palana‘s overarching theme can be summed up by a quote from Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf, a phrase Hilton cites as a personal mantra: “Man is not by any means of fixed and enduring form…he is much more an experiment and a transition…” With that in mind, it seems like Hilton wanted to express herself in another outlet and experiment with different sounds and moods. Much of Blouse’s music is regarded as being reminiscent of the 80’s, and Palana has that approach as well. Although it’s not that different from what she has done before, Palana is neat and catchy.
By this time it is safe to state that COL are among the greatest in Mount Olympus. But even a veteran band has to have some balls to cover their masters, for expectation is a bitch. While definitely an interesting reincarnation of Amebix’s “Last Will and Testament”, an evidence of Cult of Luna’s high sense of vision, for those familiarized with the band’s catalogue this isn’t exactly jaw-dropping material. Still, it is a great band paying humble tribute to those who came before, and that, my friends, we can only accept with respect and admiration. Quite reminiscent of Neurosis 90s stuff, the two The Old Wind tracks left us salivating for their long awaited second album. Not to diminish Cult of Luna’s work, really, but these The Old Wind tracks here just make the EP!
FOR FANS OF:
FOR FANS OF:
Pelagic Records (2016)
Captured Tracks (2016)
Blouse, Pure Bathing Culture, Gems
Cult Of Luna, The Old Wind
HABITATS Jungles EP
Decibel Collective (2016)
Habitats’ new EP is funky and catchy. The Hampshire-based quartet really know how to put together a great upbeat, danceable song. It feels like these four tracks were written in a sort of tropical jam between the guys in the middle of a hot day in the jungle. Weird description, but it makes sense while you listen to the EP. ANDREIA ALVES
6 LACEY I Don’t Owe The World A Thing EP Self-Released (2016)
I Don’t Owe The World A Thing is the follow-up to Lacey’s debut album, Under The Brightest Lights. All five songs that consist the EP have this kind of optimism in them, but sometimes it gets vapid and not that distinguished from previous efforts. The Nottingham four-piece have a lot to give, but these songs may work better live. ANDREIA ALVES
THE FIFTH ALLIANCE Death Poems
FREDDIE GIBBS Shadow Of A Doubt
Music in many different ways has the power to provide you emotions and transport you to another dimension or space. Death Poems has the ability to make you “cry”. Opening with “Your Abyss”, an eleven minute song with an instrumental intro along with clean vocals, evolving your mind to somewhere else until the screaming starts and you’re able to feel the frustration and inner rage spitting from Silvia’s lungs. The band uses the same ingredients in every song, it starts slow with heavy guitars and screaming female vocals, and ends up full of aggression, where emotion blends with hate and sadness. The Fifth Alliance docked their ship into a land of regret and melancholy, waving between a mix of doom, sludge and post-hardcore.
He comes hard and doesn’t let his guard down. The real nigga without #fakefames and smooth talk. Freddie Gibbs is a tireless rapper with a very expressive lyrical ability and still manages to sing without ever stop being a hustler (Drake will ever learn?). “Fuckin’ Up The Count” is the most revealing gangsta’s theme of 2015. We are brought on the trip of a hustler feeling the blood bustling by day-today account of the millionaire dream and easy conquest. The adventure of those who know where to get at, but do not know if they will survive (the American dream for many). In constant adrenaline, from mission to mission, Gibbs succeeds in presenting a draft Gangsta life without obvious shit. Winning all the time.
FOR FANS OF:
FOR FANS OF:
Consouling Sounds (2015)
Neurosis, Oathbreaker, Amenra
Scarface, Nate Dogg, DMX
Not To Disappear
t’s been nearly three years since the London-based trio of Elena Tonra, Igor Haefeli and Remi Aguilella who go by the name Daughter released their beautifully gloomy and hypnotic debut full-length, If You Leave. Daughter’s songs always feel like these melancholic lullabies that surround our hearts with tenderness,
but these new songs have more energetic elements and thus not making us have too much heavy heart feelings when listening to the songs, but Elena’s world seems more strenuous and sorrowful. Despite that, she is more confident exposing her demons and fears, and turning it into more straight-to-the-face lyrics (“No Care”), writing about delicate subjects (“Doing The Right Thing”), and loneliness and sadness are always mentioned (“Alone/ With You”). Sonically, this new album has its upbeat moments, but there’s
FOR FANS OF:
London Grammar, Lucy Rose, The xx
still this cold and dark soundscape that they are so good at crafting. The guitar work is more vibrant as the atmospheric textures created for each song. Not To Disappear is a record for people - especially for their fans - to connect with such vivid and common experiences that the band relates to or passed through. The sense of isolation, sadness and hope that they built everytime on their music is life in its pure form and that’s not easy to achieve when it’s so well portrayed.
Alone/With You, No Care, Made of Stone
7 THE GREAT TYRANT The Trouble With Being Born Relapse Records (2015)
Currently known as Pinkish Black, The Great Tyrant were formed by Beck, Teague and the deceased Tommy Atkins. Atkins died right after making this final record, and although some tracks were released, it’s only now that the record sees the light of day. It’s somewhat based on Emil Cioran’s book of the same name, and in it we can find the same unsettling dark humour. This is a twisted psychedelic art rock extravaganza that puts the listener through a sound journey of distorted guitars, electronic prog sound effects, hard hitting vocals that later turn to calm soothing voices. The Trouble With Being Born is a valuable insight into what The Great Tyrant could have been and that is reason enough to give it a go. FOR FANS OF:
Pinkish Black, Grave Pleasures
OUT NOW OUT NOW
GRIMES Art Angels
7 HAG Fear Of Man
DNAWOT Records( 2016)
Noise Rock is not everybody’s cup of tea, but these Londoners manage to create an appealing formula of the genre that will surely appeal to a broader audience. Quasi martial rhythms infused with as much noise and distortion the human ears can endure is what to expect when you listen to this band. These guys prove that you can have a noisy structure to your songs and still be audible and discernible for the common heavy music fan. Not commercial by any stance, but still a very enjoyable listening experience for someone on an entry level to the noise rock roster. The production values are superior to other band of the genre as you can hear every instrument with detail, and that shows the near telepathic chemistry between the musicians. FOR FANS OF:
Melvins, High On Fire, Harvey Milk
rimes’ new album wasn’t born out of comfort. More importantly, it seems that Art Angels arrives, among many other things, as a realization of sorts. For too long Claire Boucher has been playing a game of perceptions with the listener. She has grown weary of it. The earthshaking scream of Grimes on the track that features female Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes (“SCREAM”) is more representative of the entire album than maybe any other verse or even the entire song. “I don’t love write about love anymore,” she said in a tweet. It becomes really hard to buy into that premise since the conclusion is that Grimes wrote an
9 entire album centered in self-love. Don’t mistake it for self-pity or unconditional and blind idolization of the self. The self-induced pain that puts things in perspective and reaches some kind of hard hitting reality comes from the courage of taking a deep look in the mirror and use the intel to move forward. In one of the most daring pop albums in recent memory, Grimes plays a game of “give and take” with the listener, never allowing the dust to settle in the ground nor letting the sweetness often displayed belittle the rage and anger. The ravishing and profound nature of the self-produced Art Angels is enthusiastically received and perceived not only for what it is, but for what it represents. Hard to believe that this is Grimes’ creative pinnacle. The future couldn’t be more exciting. TIAGO MOREIRA
FOR FANS OF:
M.I.A., Björk, Santigold
HINDS Leave Me Alone
While We Still Have Light is Hanne Kolstø’s 5th album in five years. Her goal was to release five albums in five years of her life and as she explained, “Five years where the lyrics gradually have become more important, where I feel I’ve found out more about how I look upon life and people around me and myself in all this. Five years with many different emotions.” Mission accomplished Hanne. What’s even greater about these albums is how she keeps on reinventing herself. With a restless and inspiring spirit, the Norwegian musician is quite diverse and energetic on each song of this new album. Musically, it’s mainly pop including other genres like synth pop, folk pop or indie pop. It has a little bit of everything and it’s easily captivating. FOR FANS OF:
FOR FANS OF:
Jansen Plateproduksjon (2015)
Lykke Li, Radiohead, The Casket Girls
Mom & Pop (2016)
From starting off as an unknown duo to a phenomenally loved quartet across the world, this Madrid-based band are definitely a gem in the nowadays music industry. In 2011 Carlotta Cosials and Ana Perrote got together to form Deers (they were forced to change their name due to legal issues), released their first single in 2014, and then Ade Martin and Amber Grimbergen completed the lineup. Their debut album, Leave Me Alone, is full of their laid back attitude and party vibe. It’s chilly, contagious and fuzzy. Their lo-fi garage rock is subtle and neat, which sometimes feels like they could easily be mistaken from being from the sunny California. Despite all the excessive buzz around them, they manage to keep things simple and fun, and they’re a proof that you can do whatever you want and be true to yourselves. With Hinds, it’s all about having fun, drink a beer and play good music.
HANNE KOLSTØ While We Still Have Light
Chastity Belt, Colleen Green
JENNYLEE right on!
Rough Trade (2015)
The bassist of the indie pop outfit Warpaint delivers one of the most relaxed albums of 2015, with her debut right on! - perhaps too relaxed for its own good. Track after track we’re offered with an experience that’s constructed (almost exclusively) in an aesthetic and a handful of moods, creating an informality in songwriting terms that goes as far as denying its own existence. Even though it’s hard to bash jennylee’s debut – the production values and some of the ideas are definitely valid – the truth is that it sounds more a collection of unfinished ideas (it would be farfetched to call them songs) more appropriated for the background. right on! is a poor draft of what could be a good album. FOR FANS OF:
Warpaint, 2:54, Cat Power
LANTERNS OF THE LAKE Beings
LASER Night Driver
Peaceful and restless minds will always bring equations to the chaos. Beings is the third album from the Newcastle indie outfit Lanterns Of The Lake. The feeling of sadness is inherent to their world, as if we were harvested by depression and grief. With ten new songs reflecting a universe of chaos, framed by questions of injustice and rage, but there isn’t instants of aggression or destruction, but yes, a sense of beauty that tries to reveal hope and stillness to the hole at the bottom of the tunnel. Focusing, like all the album orchestration, in piano, strings and percussion along with Hazel Wilde’s sterling voice, bringing strong images, memories or feelings to our mind.
Toronto trio Laser is fronted by Lisa Lobsinger, formerly of Broken Social Scene. She is joined by Paul Pfisterer (The Beauties/Kat Rocket) and Martin Davis Kinack (Transistor Sound & Lighting Co./Sarah Harmer). Laser feels like Lisa’s solo project where she emerges as an artist with a beautiful approach to these steady and atmospheric sounds. Night Driver is remarkable on its way to express such warm and fulfilling emotions through synth pop. The layers of sound are exquisite and textural, and Lisa’s voice is smooth and gentle in such evolving tracks like “Leaving It Too Late”, “Disconnect” and “Maniacs”. For their first release, Laser do it in a very reasonable way, not pushing too much of what they may have to offer in the future.
FOR FANS OF:
FOR FANS OF:
Bella Union (2015)
Foreseen Entertainment (2016)
Gem Club, I Break Horses, Big Deal
Metric, Still Corners, Jenny Lewis
29.01 OUT NOW
MYSTERY JETS Curve Of The Earth
An extension or a prolongation of the doom metal genre funeral doom has gathered more and more aficionados over the years. Snail-like rhythms brewed together with cavernous and cryptic vocalizations and lyrical execration make this not recommend for the near suicidal. The musicians are astute enough not to keep everything monotonous as arrangement and tempo changes permeate the songs, so as to make them less exasperating. Being this their second full-length release, they still have a long way to mature their sound, but show enough promise and audacity to keep the fans longing for future releases, if they are capable of enduring and tolerating all the pain and suffering imbued on these songs.
On their fifth full-length album, London-based rockers Mystery Jets did shake things up recording in their own studio (an old button factory if you must know), self-producing, and, most importantly, try to take their biggest step forward yet. In the midst of their boldness (refusing stagnation and comfort to take a hold) they deliver their most epic and musically accomplished album yet. Although undeniable the influence of Britain masters Pink Floyd, Curve of the Earth stands tall by itself in its incursions through space rock with hints of folk and psychedelic sounds. Mystery Jets sort of revolutionized their sound and at the end of the day they revitalized their career, giving “epic rock” fans something to kvell over.
Relapse Records (2016)
FOR FANS OF:
Usnea, Dark Castle, Eagle Twin
Bella Union (2016)
Caroline International (2016)
FOR FANS OF:
MONEY Suicide Songs
Pink Floyd, His Name Is Alive, Spiritualized
MONEY have come a long way, or so it seems when their debut, The Shadow of Heaven, is immediately proceeded by the brand new Suicide Songs on the “turntable”. What at first was just a few brilliant musical (and lyrical) traits displayed in an often sparse instrumentation reaches with Suicide Songs a concretization of a vision that seemed to be lingering around from quite some time in the band’s collective mind. MONEY take a leap of faith and their initially music and lyrical manifesto is tightened and deepened enabling the creation of preposterous tracks like “Night Came” – where Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks influence is unbelievable precious and notorious. Suicide Songs is courageous and magnificently-crafted document of pain and hardly a celebration of it. It so happens to be ravishing and grandiose in nature as well. FOR FANS OF:
Van Morrison, Arcade Fire, The Cure
8 ONEIDA Positions EP
Rocket Recordings (2015)
There are bands that just make you feel better and forget all the bad shit. Oneida is one of those bands. These guys travel the whole spectrum of sonic “fuck this, let’s have a good time exploring sound”, and if I had to described them in one word that would be “enthusiasm”. If you ever start thinking “there’s not much to experimental rock music anymore”, just bang your head against the wall, punish your dumb self, and get your manicured girly hands on some Oneida records, you moron! This EP consists of two covers and an original, but if you don’t know that already just go for it as original material, listen to it and then Google the originals if you want to. FOR FANS OF:
Comets On Fire, Liars, Mogwai
PARQUET COURTS Monastic Living EP
PINKISH BLACK Bottom Of The Morning
ROOTS MANUVA Bleeds
Monastic Living is a mysterious animal and a sucker punch of a listen. Far from the skillful, unkempt thrills of its predecessors, it’s difficult to extract coherency or value from these 32 minutes of screeching garbling and feedback heavy tracks. The preamble to the air of defiance that appears to be the EP’s signature, opener “No, No, No!” is one of the few sonically structured moments, while the menacing undertones of “Prison Conversion” and “Vow of Silence” are specks of what the album could have been. However, it is not unlike the band to pursue their endeavors with levity, and they just might have managed to keep us at the edge of our seats out of sheer bafflement with this off-kilter release.
Bottom of the Morning may not be the greatest thing under the sun, nor the best thing since the wheel, but still a very entertaining ride and a good proposal as far as psychedelia goes. What makes Pinkish Black special is actually what makes me not love it (but who cares what I think), the tendency to fall into this kind of gothic territory and the sometimes-theatrical vocals. Their third album delivers a heavy, dense, and definitely dark approach to something caught between kraut and psychedelic doom rock. There is nothing wrong with this release, for me it’s only a matter of personal taste – a little less H.P. Lovecraft and it would totally make it for me. Still, even with the weird vocals, there are some great dusty and dim moments like “Burn My Body” worth checking out.
Rodney Smith aka Roots Manuva is one of the mythical figures of the British Rap. Moreover, it is ungrateful (I admit) to start the review by these words. Roots Manuva is one of the most important musical figures of the UK. His dark idiosyncrasy in writing, the black reverberation beats composed by heavyweights Four Tet and Adrian Sherwood spouting blood between musical styles, offer a fuller palette befitting with the environment of British culture. Bleeds is lively, exciting, probably the most focused work in his discography. A painting constructed in layers of generations and ethnicities in the sight of a man on a mission to link up in a dull’s world. Remembering that life is hard, always do well. Martyr a martyr, there will be blood.
FOR FANS OF:
FOR FANS OF:
FOR FANS OF:
Relapse Records (2015)
Fire Was Born Records (2015)
Television, Pavement, Big Ups
Big Dada (2015)
The Great Tyrant, Black Mare, Publicist UK
Young Fathers, Algiers, AF Diaphra
SAVAGES Adore Life
“If you don’t love me, you don’t love anybody (…) Love is the answer”. The starting point to Savages’ sophomore album doesn’t work lyrically by its own. What on paper could be construed as a cheap cliché takes whole new levels of profundity when the London-based quartet assaults the listener in such a startling and absolutely gnarly way. The doubts dissipate instantly and the answer is enforced almost violently. There are political and social contours that take form of an
affirmative action. There’s an entire incisive nature and approach to Adore Life that can’t be possibly overlooked or diminished. It’s a revolution that makes use of words and music, never allowing an unevenness, between the two, to occur. Almost in the middle of its way two of the most important questions emerge, “Is it human to ask for more? / Is it human to adore life?” (“Adore”), creating the most nauseating and revolting feeling. In the light of the social injustices that have been so openly displayed and
FOR FANS OF:
Protomartyr, The Smiths, Public Image Ltd
The Answer, Adore, T.I.W.Y.G.
constantly perpetrated, Adore Life reveals more concern in providing answers than to simply point the finger – even their questions sound like answers. And to achieve its purpose shakes, and sometimes breaks, emotionally the listener with a strong unwillingness to soften their hard hitting nature. Adore Life is an indispensable compass in this life clouded by fear, pain, and confusion, and Savages are probably the leanest and meanest band around these days. TIAGO MOREIRA
8 PROMISE AND THE MONSTER Feed The Fire Bella Union (2016)
“To feed the fire can be seen as both constructive and destructive. You keep the fire burning, the spark alive,” stated Billie Lindhal. Feed the Fire isn’t an easy album to digest and wrap your head around. Throughout its ten tracks the album challenges the patience and plays with perception in such witty way that doubts regarding the existence of its evolving nature often emerge. The constant repetition of patterns and lack of more harsh changes (“obvious climaxes”) deny a more instant pleasure, but it’s with accumulated listening experiences that one is allowed into the powerful spiritual journey offered. The mantra-like experience offered refutes the Stockholm Syndrome theory because there’s in fact more than Lindhal’s striking voice luring you into Promise & The Monster’s third album. FOR FANS OF:
Joanna Newsom, Julia Holter, Jenny Hval
SHEARWATER Jet Plane And Oxbow Sub Pop (2016)
Straight-forward, lush and powerful. Three simple words that help to define Shearwater’s most diverse and rich effort ever. Jet Plane and Oxbow, the band’s second full-length for Sub Pop, is an inventive and loud pop art-rock effort. Shearwater’s frontman Jonathan Meiburg said that this is a protest record, songs like “Quiet Americans” and “Only Child” are clearly a perfect example of that, everything sounds urgent and angry, there is a deep sense that something is breaking and we desperately need a change. Jet Plane and Oxbow sound is strong and well-crafted, everything sounds bigger and brighter, film composer and percussionist Brian Reitzell was the “secret weapon” into this whole depth and cinematic way of portraying both darkness and light, key elements that allow us to go deep into this Talking Heads meets Bowie classic esque disconcerting and structured effort. This is Shearwater’s finest album to date. FOR FANS OF:
David Bowie, Beck, Pavement
8 SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE Hexadic II Drag City (2015)
There is a whole story out there about how Chasny came up with an odd method where he uses a deck of cards to chose what tones, notes and other musical elements he will incorporate in his music. It’s a valid and interesting way of trying to part ways with the old predictability of guitar based music. But that’s out there on the Internet and we don’t have time for that right now. Hexadic part one was one offensively loud, noisy and overall aggressive son of a b, as if King Kong was trying to punish the entire world with a guitar. Don’t get me wrong; it is a hell of a great record. Hexadic part two is pretty much the acoustic sonic opposite and as good or even better than the first one. FOR FANS OF:
Espers, Barn Owl, Castanets
OUT NOW OUT NOW
SUNN O))) Kannon
6 SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE Early Risers Mexican Summer (2015)
Southern Lord (2015)
There were years of courtship between the founder of the eclectic Mexican Summer and the super-group of indie rock Soldiers of Fortune until finally the marriage was consummated on the delivery of various musicians while recording studio for the debut album, Ball Strenth (2011). Adding many elements (such as Brad Tuax of Interpol, ... you know what? Search. It only makes you a better person) considered bros could result on real rock ’n’ roll shit or result on cannon fodder. Second album, Early Risers, is a half term: it has some hard and cooled meat, some medium rare cooked and prominent meat and some vegetables. A chaotic mess that results in genuine rock without a shred of concern to what I’m writing.
ven if Julian Cope hadn’t espoused their virtues over a decade ago, it wouldn’t have taken long for the world to cotton on to the sonic supremacy of Messrs Anderson and O’Malley. Kannon marks their first solo effort in six years, but it expands upon the less-is-more brevity of Terrestrials and the ‘bright’ tonal language of Monoliths & Dimensions, utilising space as much as volume to weave an atmosphere of dreadserenity, a state of ritual calm and blackened malevolence. Presented as a drone-doom triptych, it opens with the guttural rumble of sub-bass and the subtle pierce of feedback, scraping itself along the
FOR FANS OF:
FOR FANS OF:
Bitchin Bajas, Pando, Fresh Air
9 speaker floor before imperceptibly rising as Attila Csihar’s whispered croaks coax every molecule of filth and impurity from the surrounding tones. As it ascends into discord and horror, part 2 acts as the suite’s cinematic fulcrum, veering between the shrieking feedback tones and squalls of synth that represent the album’s tonal peaks and the incantatory passages of Csihar and the crackling, buzzing force of O’Malley and Anderson’s guitars at the opposite end of the spectrum. While these two contributions thoroughly mine Sunn O)))’s textural abilities, part 3 hits that spiritual sweet spot that only they can reach – foreboding and inviting, frost-flecked and healing, black and white. It’s said that form does not differ from the void, nor the void from form, and Kannon’s limitless tones are the embodiment of these teachings. DAVE BOWES
Earth, Khanate, Boris, Ulver
7 THROWERS Loss
Golden Antenna Records (2015)
Throwers’ offerings on their first album are not, by any stretch of imagination, breaking an old mold or building a new platform of expression. Loss gains dimension and depth by how well this quartet makes use of old instruments of torment. The dark and unrestrained heaviness on their hardcore is abundantly fueled by an endless parade of razorblade-like riffs and a myriad of atmospheric transformations keeping the body sored and the mind excited for nearly thirty five minutes. The metallic taste on our mouths, by the end of it, isn’t easily washed off being that probably its biggest achievement. Throwers might have a long away ahead before they land on a more unique form of self-expression, but they’re definitely on the right path. FOR FANS OF:
Botch, KEN Mode, Old Man Gloom 22.01
Thrill Jockey (2015)
8 TINDERSTICKS The Waiting Room
City Slang/Popstock (2016)
Tindersticks are back with The Waiting Room, the first studio effort since the great 2012’s The Something Rain. We can even say that this might be their most ambitious album of their entire career. Full of noble guests, from Jehnny Beth of Savages to the late Lhasa De Sela, a dear and close friend of Stuart Staples, The Waiting Room is also an arty collaborative film project, where each track is accompanied by a short film, made by a diverse range of directors, Richard Dumas, Gabriel Sanna and Pierre Vinour to name a few... Confident, diverse, detailed and well-crafted, The Waiting Room is pushing forward Tindersticks own creativity to the limit, bringing their elegant and sophisticated poetic esque songs to a whole other level.
he opening title track from Tortoise’s first album in seven years begins with a fanfare akin to a global news corporation theme, a synthetic clarion ident which proclaims Wake Up World to a sleepy populace. But this is no angered state-of-the-west address as kicked off 2001’s Standards album, rather The Catastrophist finds Tortoise consolidating their brand identity while reinvigorating a global audience reach sharing common identifying factors. It also contains a hefty injection of squelchy electrofunk.
FOR FANS OF:
FOR FANS OF:
Nick Cave, Mercury Rev, Lambchop
Tortoise’s music always felt like the base elements of jazz and rock had been fed into a software program which then regurgitated the result in machine-like manner only to find a surprising amount of soul. Hence, the cover here of David Essex’s “Rock On” which on the surface cocks a hugely ironic eyebrow only to reveal itself as a melange of vintage glam given a systems update bringing to mind a 21st century Roxy Music. Elsewhere, “The Clearing Fills” portrays chiaroscuro cocktail bar muzak, “Gesceap” would perfectly fit a Terrahawks reboot, “Hot Coffee” funks away like Zapp with a hint of erectile dysfunction and “Yonder Blue”, sung by Yo La Tengo’s Georgia Hubley, aches of disconsolate late night rhythm & blues. It’s the perfect record for the paranoid procrastinator in your life, smooth and sheened on the surface, but underneath riddled with doubt and suspicion. EUAN ANDREWS
The Sea And The Cake, Trans Am, Slint
7 SONIC MEDUSA The Sunset Soundhouse Tapes EP Ripple Music (2015)
Featuring members of Goatsnake, The Obsessed, Hollywood Rose and Angus Khan, Sonic Medusa debut EP is another awesome and sleazy blast from the past, where names like Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy and Guns N’Roses are clearly invoked. Refined and distinct, the so-called old school values are still very fresh and here to stay. FAUSTO CASAIS
House Of Mythology (2016)
onstructed from a month’s worth of living, predominately improvised, material, ATGCLVLSSCAP could have been one of those rarities only of interest to Ulver obsessives (of which there are admittedly many) but then again, when have they ever allowed anything substandard to appear in their name? It is an explosion of creativity, 80 minutes of ecstatic jams that harness the power of a band locked in tight musical synchronicity and the energy of a live unit who are continuing to evolve. Consistently divergent, it’s in keeping with the band’s chameleonic ethos as it subtly shifts from Kraut
minimalism and thunderous metallic stomps to mystical flourishes and droning solemnity, not only bringing on board elements from Ulver’s recent endeavours (Shadows Of The Sun fans in particular will find plenty to celebrate about), but also those of its players in its subtle shades of Grumbling Fur and the even more free-floating Æthenor. This fluidity of styles and influences is something that few bands or albums could pull off with any real sense of cohesive intent, but ATGCLVLSSCAP’s amorphous nature not only works, but it defines the record as a whole. It’s a genuinely exciting record, creating an exciting and emotionally charged listening experience that captures the energy of their live output and the depth of their studio work. Even by Ulver’s high standards, this is an outstanding work of art. DAVE BOWES
FOR FANS OF:
Blut Aus Nord, Sunn O))), Agalloch
SWAHILI BLONDE And Only The Melody Was Real Neurotic Yell Records (2016)
And Only the Melody Was Real is Nicole Turley’s intensely personal and powerful self-study of a breakup. Experimental and full of dramatic sound twists, Swahili Blonde new album is full of electronic beats, melodically dark and painful honest lyrics. Undeniable cathartic and perfect balanced, this is Turley’s endless enchanting statement. FAUSTO CASAIS
8 WEEKENDER Floaty Feeling, Blue EP PaperCup Music (2016)
Derek Sheehan aka Weekender’s new EP Floaty Feeling, Blue is as psychedelic as you can get. Sheehan loves to mix these dreamy and noisy tunes into diverse textures of sounds. With a group of musicians on board - Jesse Petas, Steven Rosplock, Brendan McGeehan and Dan Mudd, - he created something really special. ANDREIA ALVES
REVIEWED IN OUR NEXT ISSUE OUT NOW
8 TRAAMS Modern Dancing Fat Cat (2015)
Three extremely tight friends, their chemistry is a rare thing that results in their composition, in them putting together their strength in one strong post-punk. Modern Dancing has its own and distinct sound, it’s brighter and more positive, shutting down from some obvious influences that were present in the last works. Traams pick up the pieces and writes an optimistic, moved on record, always looking for the next step and trying to put life back in order. Capturing the energy of live shows during the recording process is always something hard to do, but Traams did it, and is that energy that seems to really push forward this record, and that culminates with a sharp attack of drum beats and rough guitar rhythms. FOR FANS OF:
DAVID BOWIE Blackstar
ANIMAL COLLECTIVE Paiting With
THE THERMALS We Disappear
SUNFLOWER BEAN Human Ceremony
BASIA BULAT Good Advice
TEEN Love Yes
BASEMENT Promise Everything
RA RA RIOT Need Your Light
THE WORD ALIVE Dark Matter
Drenge, Girl Band, Roomrunner
7 TRUST FUND Seems Unfair
Caroline International (2015)
Trust Fund embodies a figure easily distracted. Equipped with a high-pitched voice and British outlines, Ellis Jones begins Seems Unfair to “Michal’s Plan” and goes on a whirlwind of senses on edge, emancipation of an artist wanting to give himself to the world. It’s an album that recalls the nostalgic 90’s and a healthy unconcern: honest songs that do not seek to hide influences, but rather embrace them. The indie rock songs well done in short tenses and beautifully intense of a musician (re) living the teenager’s silly season full of dreams and positivism. A good deal of ingenuity with genius, can work miracles (or not). Whatever the case, Trust Fund is a serious case to keep an eye on. FOR FANS OF:
Weezer, Swearin’, Waxahatchee
AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR Hard Club, Porto
Words by Rui Correia // Pictures by Nuno Fangueiro In an event that took place in a sold out room 2 at Hard Club, the audience waited eagerly for the thriving Irish band And So I Watch You From Afar, finding in the first part of the show, Homem em Catarse, solo project of Portuguese Afonso Dorido, a dreamy, intimate atmosphere. The artist presented his latest album Guarda-Rios, with songs that were able to relax the public to the true rhythmic gymnastics that would follow. Moments before the main act, I found myself reflecting that ASIWYFA are the international band that Iâ€™ve most seen in Portugal. Since its debut in Plano B (Porto, 2012) passing through Festival Paredes de Coura in 2013 and 102
now playing in Hard Club, again in Porto, they are a tireless band with an untouchable ethos. Between moments of climbing sounds that travel the best of their albums (the themes from Gangs, are the greatest assets), the intensity of its rapid rhythmic variations and genius of tears that break conventions of genre, ASIWYFA were gods, able to control movements of a public rendered from start to finish. There are things that really should not change and this latest concert proves it: delivery, humility and DIY, are values that allow the band to dream about worship and the love of a growing fan base in Portugal and in the rest of the world.
LONELY THE BRAVE + BLACK PEAKS Islington Assembly Hall, London
Words by Ibra Diakhaté // Picture by Bruno Rodrigues
hen an audience goes to a gig they are aware that there are some concerts that are good and there are also some concerts that are bad. However you have concerts that are just special. The difference between the first two and the later one is that people often tend to forget a concert that is just ‘good’ or just ‘bad’.But it is the ‘special’ concerts that stick in our head like glue. Last November Black Peaks and Lonely the Brave had one of those special type of concerts which engulfed the entire venue with an amazing atmosphere and showed us what progressive rock is all about. Black Peaks kicked off the night in style. The Brighton born quartet mixed hardcore and progressive rock in a potent cocktail shot that shook the audience to its core. The frontman’s powerful vocals despite being inaudible at times due to technical faults, delivered the intended message to the audience who was thrilled to hear it. They didn’t fail to deliver the performance that the audience paid for. One the other hand they also got the crowd fired up for the act that came after. Lonely the Brave did not surprise anyone. The feeling of watching them live was nothing short of spectacular. It most probably blew away any person new to the band. They got the audience on their feet singing their lyrics in unison, which is one of the greatest tributes of respect for any band. I could hear influences of Pearl Jam with a heavier hardcore base in the background very well balanced. The band looked great and very comfortable while performing. Despite the vocalists shyness and lack of movement, the band’s performance was rock solid and linked in with type of music they were playing. Overall, it was a great night with lots of good music and great atmosphere. Both bands connected with the audience and vibed with them. AWESOME. 104
MAC MCCAUGHN Passos Manuel, Porto
Words by Tiago Moreira // Picture by Andreia Alves
Lonely The Brave
It’s hard to write this one because it’s another testament of the lack of interest (knowledge?) that the public shows from time to time – more frequently that one cares to admit. Mac McCaughan – known from his highly influential work as guitarist and vocalist of one of the most recognized indie rock bands from the 90s, Superchunk, and as the founder of Merge Records (Arcade Fire, Neutral Milk Hotel, Destroyer, Spoon, The Magnetic Fields, etc.) – came to Porto to present his recent solo debut album, Non-Believers, and was received with less than 20 people in the audience in a cool Sunday in Porto city. Understandably disappointed, Mac McCaughan decided to do things his way and go for it with all the energy and rage that he has been known to carry around live. With songs from Non-Believers, Superchunk, and even his other musical project Portastatic, which actually began as his solo project. Just one man and his guitar on stage burning the fuckin’ stage to the ground. Sure his birth certificate tell us that he’s almost 50 years old, but the performance that he gave in Porto revealed a man with a spirit and energy of a teenager with no attention to speed limits and hungry to slit the throats of the members of the audience with his unapologetic punk rock. It could be a shitty experience for everyone involved, but we were in front of a guy raised with a different kind of ethos. www.facebook.com/MUSICandRIOTS.Magazine
UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA Hard Club, Porto
Words by Tiago Moreira // Pictures by Andreia Alves The sold out concert, the return of the Portland-based psychedelic/R&B/funk/pop outfit Unknown Mortal Orchestra to Portugal and their increase popularity were all factors that allowed to anticipate the madness that took place in that November night in Porto. The place that was kickstarted with “Like Acid Rain”, a track off of the band’s most recent full-length album Multi-Love, explained in detail the hunger of the public for UMC’s music and the frenetic behavior manifested when every single one of the songs included in that night’s playlist rolled over smoothly and almost effortlessly. The quartet has been able to extract smithereens of various music genres and most recently, as displayed countless times in their show, has successfully make astounding use of idiosyncrasies of some the genres presented and masterfully perfected by the African-American community – R&B, 106
funk, and soul. Little wonder to the hundreds of people dancing, singing along, and sweating throughout the show then. With a set centered in their most recent studio work, there was also enough space to recapture great works from past albums – the 2011’s self-titled debut album and 2013’s II - Ruban Nielson’s voice was an undeniable star with its elastic properties and incredible highs. To help UMC’s big performance was an incredible sound that from time to time the venue is able to deliver. The stars all seemed to be aligned in that November night. The opening slot was filled by Youthless, a Lisbon-based duo, that is, rightfully so, starting to make some waves with its indie rock tinged britpop. The small set was graced with a confident performance that reached its peak with the band’s latest single, “Golden Spoon”.
FIDLAR + BULLY
The Forum - Kentish Town, London
Words by Antigoni Pitta // Pictures by Neelam Khan Vela Even in the wake of events that took away the rock’n’roll show’s status as a safe space, the Forum is packed with fans waiting for FIDLAR to pick up where they left off at Heaven last June. This time the main support is Bully, and even though sonically they are different from the headliners, they have the same hard-hitting approach to live shows. Playing songs from their debut Feels Like, the Nashville band showcase the incredible energy that defines songs like “I Remember” and “Trash” and translates perfectly live, with Alicia Bognanno’s vocals occasionally echoing Bleach-era Kurt Cobain. Chaos ensues the moment FIDLAR walk on stage. “This goes out to Paris” announces frontman Zac Carper before the band launches into “Stoked and Broke”. Within minutes, cold and rainy Kentish Town turns into hot and sweaty California and it’s clear that nobody is fazed by the venue’s ban on crowdsurfing – by the time “Cheap Beer’’ distinct riff comes on, kids are already being pulled over the barrier by the venue’s security guards who look like they don’t know what hit them. Among beer-soaked anthems from the band’s self-titled debut, the setlist includes live favorite “Awkward”, a cover of Weezer’s “Undone -- The Sweater Song” and some equally well-received material from their new, ‘grown-up’ album Too. Pop-punky “40oz. On Repeat” is a heavy hitter and so is “Why Generation”, which sees everyone singing along to the totally relatable lyrics. “Cocaine” and the encore of “Wake Bake Skate” end the night on a high note, much needed to brave the rain outside. 108
Being As An Ocean
BEING AS AN OCEAN + BACKFLIP + THE VOYNICH CODE Hard Club, Porto
Words by Tiago Moreira // Picture by Nuno Fangueiro
fter four years and some changes of activity and three full-length albums the Alpine, California-based post-hardcore outfit Being As An Ocean graced Portugal with three performances. It was in the last of those three sets that the band led by Joel Quartuccio presented, in front of our own eyes, the extension of the emotional weight and involvement that has allowed the quartet gather some well-deserved recognition. Sure, the room was far from being
sold-out, but this was one of those precious shows where the intensity takes the space by its neck and shrinks into a comfortable and very familiar basement. If music’s most important property is the connectivity that’s made between who’s playing it and who’s listening to it, then Being As An Ocean already won the war because the levels of passion instigated by the ferocious, frustrated, loving, and hopeful sounds and message set down by the American band were fantastically embraced by the public. The sweat was dripping ceaselessly and the crowd surfing just from time to time stopped of being a constant, but the high point of the
passionate performance was, without question, the final moments where the stage is invaded by countless members of the audience who, together, sang along with Quartuccio. The opening of such heavy experience was delivered by Portuguese hardcore outfit Backflip and tech/modern metal outfit The Voynich Code. Although their performances were competent and somewhat well-received and engaged by the public (but far from reaching any kind of astounding level) one left wondering the suitability of their presence in a bill headlined by Being As An Ocean.
BEACH HOUSE + DUSTIN WONG Teatro Sá da Bandeira, Porto Words by Tiago Moreira Pictures by Andreia Alves
he drizzle and cold weather outside revealed themselves as weak arguments for the hundreds of people who were not even slightly interested in missing the opportunity of witnessing one of the most celebrated and exciting dream pop outfits in the entire music history. If outside the winter was playing peekaboo, in the inside there was a scalding atmosphere in the air. It’s special to see Beach House anywhere, but this time the place is worthy of mentioning. Teatro Sá da Bandeira is one of the most beautiful and emblematic Portuguese theaters – with a history that involves the screening of porn movies – the perfect setting to the dreamy music of the Baltimore-based band. With two new records under their sleeve – Depression Cherry and Thank You Lucky Stars, both released in 2015 – the band fronted by Victoria Legrand started the trip with the recent “Levitation” and from that moment on every song increased the intensity ending with the heavyweight that is “Irene”, from 2012’s Bloom album. In a truly magical show not even Victoria’s voice, which was showing undeniably signs of fatigue from the tour, presented itself as problem – we dare to say that it was a plus since it reminded us of Phoebe’s (from Friends) sexy voice when she was with a cold. To open the magical night that was November 24th Dustin Wong alone with his guitar and pedals, with a very unique musicality and compositions that indulged the melodic needs of the public and artist. The applauses at the end were an irrefutable proof of Wong’s great set, and why his presence was so ridiculously suitable. 110
THE HATEFUL EIGHT
DIRECTOR: Quentin Tarantino STARRING: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, James Parks, Dana Gourrier, Zoë Bell, Lee Horsley, Gene Jones USA 2015 Quentin Tarantino is once again pushing the boundaries regarding filmmaking. We look at Inglorious Bastards and Django Unchained and it can be easily read that The Hateful Eight is a well-crafted perverse and sadistic sequel of Django. Situated 6, 8 or 12 years after the Civil War, where North and South were still struggling with their own and well know differences. The Hateful Eight follows the spaghetti Westerns again, but this time around he goes deep into this insane Sam Pekinpah previous works meets John Carpenter’s The Thing claustrophobic esque. The Hateful Eight is set in a 112
Wyoming roadhouse, where seven bad men and feisty murder wanted woman. A bounty hunter (Kurt Russell), an ex-Union soldier still battling racial tensions nearly a decade after the Civil War (Samuel L. Jackson), a hangman (Tim Roth), a stranger (Michael Madsen), a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new sheriff (Walton Goggins), a Confederate General (Bruce Dern) and a murder wanted fugitive (Jennifer Jason Leigh). What a cast and also a bunch of villains. The plot, the dialogues, the differences between all the characters, all ingredients for the masterful storyteller that Tarantino is to pinpoint the American past
and present. Yes, we can say that there is a political agenda, because The Hateful Eight is not a movie about America’s bloody, paranoia and prejudice past, this is a movie about America’s present. Of course that will piss a lot of people, but who the fucking cares about being politically correct, we’re all a bit fed up of being comforted with false causes. Filmed in 70mm, in order to create a “gloriously” wide aspect ratio of 2.76:1. The Hateful Eight is a masterpiece, claustrophobic bloody, messy and yes it’s “The 8th film by Quentin Tarantino,” you guys have to deal with that. FAUSTO CASAIS
DIRECTOR: Alejandro González Iñárritu STARRING: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Domhnall Gleeson, Forrest Goodluck, Paul Anderson, Kristoffer Joner, Joshua Burge, Duane Howard, Melaw Nakehk’o, Fabrice Adde USA 2015 What makes cinema such an imposing and mighty experience? Well, that’s something we all can find while watching compelling stories, unforgettable characters, and breathtaking sceneries. Every little detail makes that experience even more riveting and more real. Alejandro González Iñárritu has given us those experiences. Last year’s Birdman was just superb and now he creates another masterpiece. Based in part on Michael Punke’s The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge, The Revenant is inspired by the experiences of frontiersman and explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), which is set in 1823 Montana and South Dakota. In an
expedition of the uncharted American wilderness, Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is brutally attacked by a bear, leaving him on a terrible condition that he can barely walk or talk. To avoid delaying his hunting team, some members stayed behind with him for his recovery. One of those men was John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), but then he just left Glass to die. Moved by his will to survive and the love for his family, Glass goes through a bitter winter in a relentless pursuit for live and redemption. Filming The Revenant wasn’t easy and for that reason its raw and realistic approach hits us harder. Iñárritu shot the film in sequence,
using only natural light. The climatic conditions where the film was shot weren’t too enjoyable as well. The cinematography was led by Emmanuel Lubezki who did a tremendous work, not to mention the brutal musical score composed by Japanese musician Ryuichi Sakamoto. For last but not the least, DiCaprio’s performance is just terrific, portraying this man’s desperation, grief and anger with an enormously remarkable depth. Just give him the damn Oscar. The Revenant is an immersive and striking cinematic experience of the power of the human spirit to survive.
DIRECTOR: Todd Haynes STARRING: Cate
Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Kyle Chandler, Jake Lacy, John Magaro, Cory Michael Smith, Kevin Crowley, Nik Pajic USA/UK 2015
Todd Haynes is a genius, a visionary in filmmaking. The way he portrays emotions are quite outstanding, we don’t even know what to expect, the level of engagement is high and the tension between the characters and the audience is so damn irresistible. Carol is an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s seminal novel The Price of Salt, and follows two women from very different backgrounds who find themselves in an unexpected love affair in 1950s New York. Carol Aird (Cate Blanchet) and Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) are remarkably different, but their connection is intense and charming, a story about love and loss. Carol is beautifully humane, full of details, we can even say that the whole movie direction, the exquisite cinematography along with soundtrack it really almost convinces you that you are in 1950s New York. If you’re looking for a romance, this should be your mandatory pick.
THE BIG SHORT
DIRECTOR: Adam McKay STARRING: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, John Magaro, Brad Pitt, Karen Gillan, Ilan Srulovicz, Ilan Srulovicz, Marisa Tomei, Rudy Eisenzopf USA 2015
Well, we all know that Wall Street bankers and government regulatory agencies love to ignore all kinds of evidences or facts when the subject is somehow related with credit or even the collapse of the economy. The Big Short goes direct to the root of the problem, big banks, media and governments, all in general... It’s a scary shit, but they always manage to avoid all this tick tack time bomb every single fucking time. From thousands of individual loans bundled into highly rated mortgage bonds, financial products who were loaded with delinquent home loans certain to default over the next few years to a financial instrument called the credit default swap in order to “short” the booming housing market. Detailed and a difficult movie to watch, it deserves your full attention. With a cast of stars on your side - Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling to name a few - Adam McKay directed and wrote with Charles Randolph (taken from Michael Lewis’ best-seller The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine) one of the funniest, intense and complex movies of this 2016. FAUSTO CASAIS
DIRECTOR: Lenny Abrahamson STARRING: Brie Larson, Jacob
Tremblay, Sean Bridgers, Wendy Crewson, Sandy McMaster, Matt Gordon, Amanda Brugel, Joe Pingue, Joan Allen, Zarrin Darnell-Martin, William H. Macy IRELAND/CANADA 2015
Based on the globally acclaimed bestseller by Emma Donoghue, Room is deeply emotional and a touching movie about the love between a mother and her child under the most harrowing and tragic of circumstances. Tackling themes like captivity, isolation and boundless love, both Jack and his Ma (Brie Larson) created their own world, where for 7 years Ma and little Jack (for 5 years) were trapped and confined to a windowless, 10-by-10-foot space. Room is one of the most powerful movies of the last few years, part fairy-tale and part-thriller, a challenging and heartbreaking movie, well detailed and full of psychological precision. Once again, Brie Larson performance goes direct into your heart and for Oscar!
DIRECTOR: David O. Russell STARRING: Jennifer Lawrence,
Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Édgar Ramírez, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Isabella Rossellini, Dascha Polanco, Elisabeth Röhm, Susan Lucci, Laura Wright, Maurice Benard USA 2015
The duo Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell have proven several times how great they work together. The chemistry and worship between the actress and the filmmaker is impressive. This time around, O. Russell approaches the story of Joy Mangano - a self-made millionaire who created her own business empire - creating this sort of semi-biographical film. Joy is played so admirably by Lawrence and the film shows how she invented the Miracle Mop, her overnight success and how she overcame all personal and professional obstacles that were on her way. With a cast of brilliant actors, Lawrence is the one that really shines on the whole film. Her spirit and audacity are just inspiring and empowering.
THE DANISH GIRL
DIRECTOR: Tom McCarthy STARRING: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Brian d’Arcy James, Stanley Tucci, Elena Wohl, Gene Amoroso, Doug Murray, Jamey Sheridan, Neal Huff USA 2015
DIRECTOR: Tom Hooper STARRING: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia
We miss those old glory days, when journalists were avid to find the truth and show the world what real and good journalism meant, tracing the steps to one of the biggest cover-ups in modern times. With a cast full of stars and exceptional performances from Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton and Liev Schreiber, Spotlight tells the true story of the Boston Globe investigation that would rock the city and cause a crisis in one of the world’s oldest and most trusted institutions, the Catholic Church. Tom McCarthy (UP) along with Josh Singer (The West Wing) delivered one of the most strong, rock solid and flawless movies of the year, huge contender for “several” Oscar nominees.
The Danish Girl is based on the lives of Danish artists Einar Wegener/Lili Elbe (Eddie Redmayne) and Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander). This film shows the marriage and the work of the couple as Einar goes through the process of becoming a woman, by the name Lili, which is remarkably a transgender pioneer. The plot is quite interesting and possibly inspiring for many, but there’s something missing. There isn’t the character depth, and instead there are these glimpses of situations that fall short. The scenarios are exquisite as well the costumes, but wasn’t enough to make it unforgettable. Redmayne has a tedious take on this film, unlike Vikander’s performance, which was brilliant.
Vikander, Amber Heard, Adrian Schiller, Ben Whishaw, Tusse Silberg, Emerald Fennell, Henry Pettigrew, Pip Torrens, Matthias Schoenaerts, Jake Graf UK/BELGIUM/USA 2015
DIRECTOR: Sam Mendes STARRING: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Monica Bellucci, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, Rory Kinnear, Jesper Christensen, Alessandro Cremona UK/USA 2015 Sam Mendes’ second Bond outing has divided opinions upon the Bond fan community like no other film in series since 1989’s Licence To Kill. Although Spectre is the reverse opposite, while fans were divided due to Timothy Dalton’s gritty, Fleming-esque portrayal of the 007 character, fans are now divided on the fact that for the first time in nearly a decade, Bond is having fun again. Spectre, while tonally similar to 2012’s Bond outing, the outstanding Skyfall in some areas, the film is a lot more lighthearted. While most Bond fans and critics found this to be majorly disappointing, I personally found it refreshing. I love the dark Craig and Dalton films, I prefer them to the campy movies of the Roger Moore 116
years, but this more fantastical approach to Spectre feels like a homage to the 60s Connery movies which 2002’s Die Another Day was trying to be back at Bond’s 40th anniversary but turned into a giant pastiche (at least the first half was pretty great). Spectre is one of the “formulaic” Bond movies, which again has had critics feeling let down, but it’s the best use of the classic formula since 1995’s Goldeneye. The Bond girl was the best since Eva Green in 2006’s Casino Royale and Christoph Waltz’ villain was fantastic, he certainly deserved more screen time. The rest of the supporting cast were excellent too, Ralph Fiennes was a suitable replacement for the great Dame Judi Dench, Ben Whishaw
is one the path to becoming the best “Q” since the late Desmond Llewelyn and Naomie Harris’ Monneypenny has great chemistry with Daniel Craig. The villain’s plot is a bit underwhelming, but he does cause more destruction and threat to Bond himself more than most classic Bond villains. The critics will have you believe Spectre is an uninspired nostalgia trip, personally I believe Spectre is one of the best Bond movies in recent years. It’s not as good as Skyfall or Casino Royale, but if you are an enthusiastic of the classic Bond adventures, you will be pleasantly surprised and entertained all the way though Spectre’s two and half hours of fantastic Bond fan service. JOE DOYLE
99 HOMES DIRECTOR: Ramin Bahrani STARRING: Andrew Garfield,
CREED DIRECTOR: Ryan Coogler STARRING: Michael B. Jordan,
Michael Shannon, Laura Dern, Clancy Brown, Tim Guinee, J.D. Evermore, Nicole Barré, Wayne Pére, Cullen Moss, Juan Gaspard, Yvonne Landry, Noah Lomax USA 2015
Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Andre Ward, Tony Bellew, Ritchie Coster, Jacob ‘Stitch’ Duran, Graham McTavish, Malik Bazille, Ricardo McGill USA 2015
Set in the general backdrop of the 2008 housing market catastrophe in the US, 99 Homes is a painful and devastating blend of documentary and filmmaking about the urgency, apathy and complacency of everyone of us regarding this ruthless lack of social responsibility. With powerful performances from Michael Shannon, the ruthless businessman Rick Carver making a killing by repossessing homes, and Andrew Garfield as Dennis Nash, an evicted and single father trying to care for his mother (Laura Dern), 99 Homes is a brutal and honest take that goes deep into the heart of an America’s housing crisis. Survival and despair go deeper into the morality of these actions and raises some very important questions.
Yes, we can say that Creed is a crowd pleaser, we might even say that with this movie Ryan Coogler could endure a bit more Horatio Alger story. Creed is like a post-modern sequel of Rocky’s franchise, if we can call Rocky a franchise. Michael B. Jordan (Adonis Johnson) strong performance and awesome chemistry with Stallone (Rocky Balboa) was the brighter surprise and adds something new to this old and heartfelt boxer saga. Creed brings a new direction to the Rocky legacy, while staying true to its classic predecessors’ roots. We can perfectly picture the importance of Rocky’s role in Adonis life, something similar as Mickey had in Rocky’s persona. Creed is well written and brave, a huge boost into Rocky’s saga. FAUSTO CASAIS
REVIEWED NEXT ISSUE
DIRECTOR: Paolo Sorrentino STARRING: Michael Caine, Har-
vey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano, Alex Macqueen, Ian Keir Attard, Adam Jackson-Smith, Loredana Cannata, Madalina Diana Ghenea ITALY/FRANCE/SWITZERLAND/UK 2015
Not everyone will enjoy Paolo Sorrentino latest masterpiece, Youth is not here to please the pseudo intellectuals. Youth is a fascinating and masterful film, an amazing ode to cinema as a form of art. Sincere and painfully melancholic, Youth’s sublime and unique sharp dialogues give a whole new dimension to this way of not having some sort of plot a new meaning , the characters are just a piece of puzzle of this dazzling and unfulfilling intoxicating little thing called life. Seinfeld was a comedy about nothing, plotless Youth is a painful look into the characters past, present and future. Harvey Keitel and Michael Caine are too damn good, Rachel Weizs trainwreck instability is priceless, and that Maradona character is gold. FAUSTO CASAIS
DEADPOOL By Tim Miller
ANOMALISA By Charlie Kaufman TRUMBO By Jay Roach KNIGHT OF CUPS By Terrence Malick HAIL, CAESER! By Joel & Ethan Coen
DAVID BOWIE 1947-2016 A EULOGY BY ANDI JAMES CHAMBERLAIN
friend pointed out to me this week we are living in a generation of dying icons. He added immediately after stating this; “I don’t like it. Not one bit.” It is a bold, but devastatingly true sentiment. We are living in world where attention spans are getting shorter, where millions of people are vying for their snapshot of fame – no longer fifteen minutes – but 6 seconds (VINE) or ten seconds (instagram) will do... Anything for that fleeting moment of “love” from an audience always looking for the next big thing, the next fad and trend, the next step on the devolution of mankind. Stepping stones to our inevitable backwards dance to the primordial goo we will no doubt one day all turn into, if we continue this lazy, lackadaisical waltz to irrelevance. Then... From nowhere – BOOM. We lose two absolutely irreplaceable and incomparable legends in the space of two weeks. And collectively, planet-wide, we shake off the malaise and the cobwebs of reality TV, of 140 Character addiction, of plastic Popstars performing forgettable advertisements for un-needed products we will never truly have use for and shall forget in two years time, and we hold our mouths in shock and we wonder how this can happen... How can these men be dead? How is it possible? And more terrifyingly, if they are gone, then – Jesus – they could all go. All of them. All of the Legends. The Waits, and the Pops, The Richards and the Jaggers. No one is immortal. Not in flesh and blood anyway. No matter how invincible we have built these heroes and icons to be in our lives. No matter how towering or significant or immeasurably important they may be in our hearts and minds... If Lemmy can die. If Bowie can die... We can all die. No one can live forever. This is not a new notion. Let’s not kid ourselves. When Freddie Mercury died we threw the biggest party on Earth to try and remember his memory. But, in the back of all our minds we were still dazed and confused how this timeless, unique voice could
be gone. It will happen again. We know it will, but... For now, right now – at this exact moment, we are allowed to forget this and simply dwell in memoriam for two of the most incredible humans to ever walk the Rockstar road. Two giants. Gone way before we were ready for them to board the train and start their next journey... Or, in Bowie’s case, get on his spaceship and return to his Home planet.
avid Bowie was a man who I had an incredible affinity too. A quiet hero worship went on behind closed doors between myself and my perception of the man. His many guises, his “chameleonic” nature (to use the well coined phrased.) His boundary bursting bravery, his spirit of adventure and his seemingly absolute lack of ego in interviews. A man who seemed genuinely born to be “everything to everyone” – every single person on this green Earth could find something to love about Bowie and his life. A character or a song, a smile or a nod, a wink or a whispered secret to Tina Turner (that’s my abiding memory... That Cheeky video of the two sharing a stage and a flirt, oblivious of the thousands of souls watching.) The man was iconic in fashion, life, love, gender and identity. An absolute trailblazer of human nature, music and art – and he lived amongst us – we shared time and oxygen and a world with this monolith of humanity?? How lucky we all are. His death, like his life, was enigmatic and played by his own rules and his own tune. Riddles hidden amongst the lyrics or his last two albums – THE NEXT DAY and BLACKSTAR will be poured over and analysed for years. I believe he knew around the time of the former that he was unwell – and he used every ounce of whatever he had left to create, release and enjoy the more than deserved success of the latter. Then... he lay down, with his family and nearest and dearest around him, and he... Went. Went about his way. Two-shoe shuffling into the great beyond, his white jacket with arms rolled up and his blonde hair
now grey with his 69 years on the planet catching the moonlight... As he danced his dance into the ether, recreating the end of “Dancing In The Street.” Laughing all the way into the forever after... Or maybe Ziggy finally boarded his ship, and left for his own world, a tearful look back on Earth. This time not to fall, but to soar into the unknown and the great beyond... Or... Maybe, just maybe, he allowed the human side to take him quietly, poignantly and gently. Holding the hand of his son, staring lovingly into his wife’s eyes, smiling as he slipped gently into the shadow of eternity. His mind and body gone. Not immortal, after all. But his songs, his legacy and his name – here forever. A burning beacon of unstoppable, unquenchable, eternal light for every artist, creator, musician and human to follow. That’s what I would like to believe. I am so very sad he is gone. We took him for granted whilst he was here. We never thought, not for a second, he would go. He couldn’t – he was Stardust. And stardust will fade, and it will dim, but soon it will coalesce into some new form, and shine as bright as it ever once did. His songs played on the radio and on TV, he smiled that smile, and those two beautiful eyes shone from posters and billboards. He was as much a part of our day as breathing and blinking... Somewhere in the world, one of his songs was always playing – somehow or someway. So we never once thought or dared to think he would go. And now he has. But – he left an album of some magnificent beauty and poignancy only days before his passing – an album that, even with the inevitable rose-tinted glasses on after his death – was a powerhouse of creativity and fire, of hunger and of genuine, total brilliance. He gave the fans and lovers a video that can be unlocked as his eulogy to himself and them in LAZARUS – and his legacy and catalogue and body of work is a treasure trove of some of the greatest songs ever written and performed, recorded or released. David Bowie. The Thin White Duke. Ziggy Stardust. The Man Who Fell to Earth... A legend. A hero. A man... A great, great man. My god he will be missed.
RAISE A GLASS, A TRIBUTE TO LEMMY - BY ANDI JAMES CHAMBERLAIN
he title of “LEGEND” gets banded around like a badge of honour to every Johnny Come Lately and his brother in this day and age... So quick are we to idolise and hoist up mediocrity to a level above all others... But we forget we live in an era where there is an entire generation of rockstars and movie-stars who are in the autumn years and we are watching icon after icon pass away from causes both natural and man-made. All of which are truly fitting of the title and the description given to wannabes and losers whose only skill is too oil up muscles and sleep with a tonne of idiots, or make utter fools of themselves in public... Never once committing any act that deserves our respect or our worship. Despite it all, the people who do deserve the attention, the idolatry and our unwavering love often are seen as bulletproof and immortal. There is always a feeling that some of these people we hold in such ridiculously high esteem will transcend biology and human condition, and live forever and ever in infamy and - despite the pompousness of the idea - real, genuine legend. Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister was one such person. An institute, an icon, a genuine figurehead for millions of people in a subculture that bled into every facet of modern fame, life and iconography. If you showed a 120
picture of him to one hundred people in the street - my bet is that 90% of them - OR MORE would know either his name, his He WAS heavy Metal, Hard Rock and Rock’N’Roll - he embodied it for 40 plus years - an unwavering, unmovable, unshakeable mountain of joy, passion and love for the art-form. Seeping into every corner of the zeitgeist. Lemmy was the king of rock for as long as I knew guitar based heavy rock. He was the king. One of the first songs I remember my dad ever playing for me, trying to excite me into a love of music, was “SILVER MACHINE” by Hawkwind. Alongside songs like “Parisienne Walkways” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” it was a mainstay on all my dads’ mixtapes, he would make onto tapes recorded off of vinyl records. We would sing it in the car on journeys, near or far. Screaming the lyrics loud and proud. As we would years later to “ACE OF SPADES” a song that is as culturally significant as any Beatles song, any Rolling Stones track... An inarguable fact. Lemmy was in my life from a very, very early age. And he has, and will remain in it for years... If not forever.
rom my ears ringing for two days after seeing Motorhead on the second stage at Download Festival, to the man himself showing up in rock films like Airheads through to Sci-fi classics like HARDWARE. He was a monolith, universally respected, universally loved and forever
speaking his mind devoid of any waffle or censorship. An absolute, unconditional, inarguable, genuine, immortal LEGEND. Hearing he has died, so suddenly after learning of his aggressive cancer. And, hearing how he died, in his own inimitable, brilliantly and wonderfully “Lemmy” way... In front of his favourite computer game console, from his favourite pub - it is exactly how you can imagine him leaving us. Probably with a whiskey by his side, and a bevvy of beautiful woman who idolised him all around. A singular man living life in his own singular and impenetrable and unique way. Yes, he has died. But he will never DIE. His body has faded and left us, but his spirit is intwined indivisible from the genre and the music that he helped create and that will never be able to exist without the massive spark he lent and imbibed in it. Lemmy was rock, is rock and will always be rock. And the genre will forever exist with his spirit and his spark deeply rooted into the heart and soul of it. I have never been able to drink Bourbon, but regardless, I will raise a JD and Coke to the sky on New Year’s eve proudly. I will say a silent word or two to his name and his memory and I will slug it back with ease, knowing his spirit and his brilliant energy will guide me... It is the very least I can do to this great, great man. This REAL legend. This Golden God. We should all raise a glass for Lemmy. Worthy of being mentioned in the same hushed and reverent tones as Lennon, Hendrix, Coltrane, Bach and Mozart. A man of such importance and such spirit, his absence will be felt for many, many years. Lemmy. The King of Rock’N’Roll. Rest In Peace man. Go on your way, continuing your journey in your Silver machine...
ULVER SUNFLOWER BEAN MILK TEETH BIG UPS TORTOISE BARONESS PALEHOUND BASIA BULAT 7 YEAR BITCH MUNCIE GIRLS THE THERMALS MERGE RECORDS MYSTERY JETS AND MUCH MORE...
AVAILABLE AND FREE! YOU CAN READ ONLINE, ON YOUR IPAD OR TABLET AND IN YOUR PHONE
JOIN OUR TEAM AND GET INVOLVED! musicandriots.com
follow us everywhere
Published on Jan 15, 2016
Featuring: Bring Me The Horizon, Blessthefall, Wrekmeister Harmonies, Wildhoney, Corrections House, Hop Along, The Beverleys, Neck Deep, Sea...