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music&riots FREE | Nº 07 | DECEMBER 2014

++ JOSÉ GONZÁLEZ

BONFIRE BEACH LARKIN POE SOEN ARABROT THE UNTHANKS SISKIYOU THE DECEMBERISTS

magazine

AT THE GATES

AT THEIR BEST AND BY THEIR OWN TERMS

CAVALERA CONSPIRACY

EACH DAY OLDER AND HEAVIER

DEERHOOF NEW FOUND GLORY BLACK VEIL BRIDES IN PURSUIT OF NEW GROUNDS AND NEW ADVENTURES THE COMEBACK HEROES! IT’S THEIR TIME AGAIN

THEY’RE RE-WRITING ROCK’S RULE BOOK

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KID WAVE SET IT OFF KEN MODE KNUCKLE PUCK SAINT SAVIOUR STATE CHAMPS MONSTER MAGNET THE TWILIGHT SAD 1


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FEATURES

68

COLLECTOR’S CORNER

08 Fugazi - First Demo 09 10 12 16 20

UPCOMING - SISKIYOU New album in January INTRODUCING - BONFIRE BEACH An interview with Dexy Valentine ROUND UP - Senses Fail, The Unthanks, The Decemberists... WELCOME BACK - THE TWILIGHT SAD An interview with James Graham NEU // VOL.7 - Pvris, Roam, Fvnerals and Deers

INTERVIEWS 26 LARKIN POE

30 34 38 42 46 50 56 60 64 82

ARABROT SAINT SAVIOUR KID WAVE STATE CHAMPS BLACK VEIL BRIDES

“My connection with heavier sounds has been growing for a few years by now and I think that the older I get, the heavier and more aggressive I get! I should do a record called ‘Each day older and heavier!’” Max Cavalera - Cavalera Conspiracy

NEW FOUND GLORY KNUCKLE PUCK AT THE GATES KEN MODE MONSTER MAGNET

86 SET IT OFF

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“Everyday I’m discovering why music might have value and why music might not have value.” Greg Saunier - Deerhoof

124 SOEN

COVER STORY 68 CAVALERA CONSPIRACY An interview with Max Cavalera

REVIEWS REVIEWS 94 ALBUMS Machine Head, At The Gates, Andy Burrows,

Deerhoof, Foo Fighters, Restorations, Saint Saviour, Black Veil Brides, Pharmakon, Desperate Journalist, Moose Blood, Pink Floyd, Pianos Become The Teeth, Little Big League, TV On The Radio, The Jazz June, Mallory Knox

REPORT 114 LIVE Antemasque, Le Butcherettes, HARK, The Coathangers, Pontiak, Bury Tomorrow...

120 CINEMA Interstellar, 20,000 Days On Earth, The Judge, The Babadook, The Two Faces Of January

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music&riots magazine musicandriotsmagazine.com

FREE | Nº 07 | DECEMBER

CEO/EDITOR IN CHIEF

Fausto Casais (faustocasais@musicandriotsmagazine.com)

DEPUTY EDITOR

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

ART EDITOR // DESIGNER Fausto Casais

FEATURES EDITOR Fausto Casais

CONTRIBUTORS // WRITERS

Nuno Babo, Nuno Teixeira, Sílvio Miranda, Ricardo Almeida, Sergio Kilmore, Dave Bowes, Mariana Silva, Fausto Mendes Ferreira, Rui Correia, Ana Filipa Carvalho, Daniel Ferreira, Carlos Cardoso,Cláudio Aníbal, Myke C-Town, Ellery Twining, Luis Alves, Rita Limede, Ibrahima de Brito

PHOTOGRAPHERS

Andreia Alves, Ricardo Almeida,

GENERAL INQUIRIES

info@musicandriotsmagazine.com

ADVERTISING

(faustocasais@musicandriotsmagazine.com)

FILM EDITOR

Fausto Casais (faustocasais@musicandriotsmagazine.com)

ONLINE ADVERTISING

(andreiaalves@musicandriotsmagazine.com)

HUGE FUCKING THANKS

Mike Cubillos, Lauren Barley, Frank van Liempdt, Deathwish Inc, Head Up! Shows, Thrill Jockey, Neurot Recordings, PIAS, Sub Pop, Sargent House, Stephanie Marlow, Amplificasom, Epitaph, Earsplit, Matador, Spinefarm, Southern Lord, Tell All Your Friends, Riot Act Media, Team Clermont,Bloodshot Records, Roadrunner Records, Joan Hiller, Eros Pasi, Rude Records, Pure Noise Records

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

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LISTENING POST THE BODY & THOU

From Love / You, Whom I Have Always Hated Thrill Jockey Available on 26.01.2015

WORDS FROM THE EDITOR...

DANKO JONES Fire Music

Bad Taste Available on 10.02.2015

PIANOS BECOME THE TEETH Keep You Epitaph Out Now

LORD DYING

Poisoned Altars

Relapse Records Available on 26.01.2015

TWIN RIVER

Should The Light Go Out Light Organ Records Available on 17.02.2015

RESTORATIONS LP3

Side One Dummy Out Now

COWARDS

Rise To Infamy

Throatruiner Records // Ruins Records, Available on 09.02.2015

LITTLE BIG LEAGUE Tropical Jinx Run For Cover Out Now

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t’s that time of the year again! That time where what matters are lists, more lists and even more lists... That said, I must confess that I find this matter quite stupid regarding that we’re still in November to release any kind of best of the year list. Well, with that said I must confess that doing something like a best of year list for this pseudo writer it will be hard as hell. The quality of releases has been impressive and week after week we are buffed with amazing releases from every single corner of the world. It’s amazing to see music and cultures pushing their own boundaries through art, providing to the listener, writer or whatever new found experiences that I must confess it’s kind of ungrateful for us to make any kind of best of the year list... About this new issue, we’re more than pleased to bring artists or bands like Cavalera Conspiracy, Black Veil Brides, At The Gates, Saint Saviour, New Found Glory, Deerhoof, Monster Magnet among others to you... I hope you guys enjoy this new issue and have fun reading it as much as we did making it. By the way, why the hell do you keep reading this? No one cares about what the editor says, so please follow my advice and skip this part, because this boring editorial is a waste of your precious time... We’re already working in awesome things for 2015, so expect big things... Be prepared! Your Editor, Fausto Casais

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COLLECTOR’S CORNER

FUGAZI First Demo ver this year, Dischord Records have announced the release of Fugazi’s First Demo. The reissue will have 10 tracks from the original demo cassette, including “In Defense Of Humans,” which was released on 1989’s State Of The Union compilation. There will also be one additional and unheard track, “Turn Off Your Guns”. In January 1988, after only ten shows, Fugazi decided to go into Inner Ear Studio to see what their music sounded like on tape. They tracked 11 songs, ten of which were ultimately dubbed to cassette tape and distributed free at shows, with the band encouraging people to share the recording. The only song from the session that has been formally released was “In Defense of Humans,” which appeared on the State of the Union compilation in 1989. Now, some 26 years later, Dischord is releasing the entire demo including the one song (“Turn Off Your Guns”) that wasn’t included on the original cassette. The record has been mastered by TJ Lipple and will be available on CD and LP+Mp3. This release will also coincide with the completion of the initial round of uploads to the Fugazi Live Series website. Launched in 2011, the site now includes information and details on all of Fugazi’s 1000+ live performances and makes available close to 900 concert recordings that were documented by the band and the public.

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First Demo is out now via Dischord Records 8

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UPCOMING // SISKIYOU

SISKIYOU RETURNS IN JANUARY WITH NERVOUS

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iskiyou returns now with Nervous, an album of carefully constructed art rock built around songwriter and lead singer Colin Huebert’s stacked acoustic guitars and intimate, whispery vocals. Following Siskiyou’s excellent sophomore release Keep Away The Dead in 2011, Huebert became afflicted with a serious inner ear condition that eluded conventional diagnosis. While honouring a previously scheduled songwriting residency in Dawson City, Yukon in winter 2012, Huebert found himself grappling with severe anxiety and an unwelcome interiority, engendered by hyperacusis and a house that felt utterly haunted. Intense chronic ear-ringing and panic attacks continued throughout the year, for which conventional medicine was unable to find any cause or effective treatment; Huebert began focusing on meditation, retreated to silence for a period, and then began rehearsing his new songs with the band at extremely low volumes. The songs on Nervous are shot through the entirety of this experience: the literal feeling of being trapped in one’s head and the physical-psychological feedback loop of debilitating anxiety; the lyrical themes are tense, whispered singing amidst tightlywrought compositions and arrangements. Working with producer/engineer Leon Taheny (Owen Pallett/Final Fantasy, Dusted, Austra), Nervous also includes contributions from guest musicians Colin Stetson, Owen Pallett, JP Carter, Ryan Driver and the St. James Music Academy Senior Choir, among others. The album features original artwork by Michael Drebert; the Deluxe LP edition includes a series of 12″x12″ prints of Drebert’s india ink drawings inspired by the album.

Nervous arrives on January 20 via Constellation Records www.facebook.com/MUSICandRIOTS.Magazine

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BONFIRE

BEACH

is the new and bold project of Dexy Valentine - the frontwoman of dreamy group Magic Wands. She released recently the debut Bonfire Beach album titled Lit and it's a for sure hypnotic and deliriously seductive album. We had a great chat with Dexy which we talked about her new project, L.A. as a muse and what's in store for her both bands in 2015. Words: Andreia Alves

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onfire Beach is a project that you have thought of even before Magic Wands were formed. What did motivate you to re-start this creative outlet of yours? I just needed to do something a little bit different, something less nice. [laughs] It doesn’t sound too dark, but it’s definitely a bit darker than what I’ve been doing. I had started this band before Magic Wands just to kind of walk away from it and so I went back to it. Last year, you released the first Bonfire Beach album Lit and now the new self-titled album, and also you’ve been working on the Magic Wands new album. How do you manage now to have time and energy for both bands? I have been sleeping for the last weeks. [laughs] It’s pretty tiring. I started to realize is kind of hard doing two bands, but it’s a challenge that I’m trying to live up to, you know? It’s kind of good for me to have two musical projects and I think it’s healthier, because I just spend less time stay out partying or other stuff. What can you tell me about your bandmates on Bonfire Beach and how did you meet? I started out in L.A. as a solo artist, I was doing some sort of acoustic music way back and I needed a drummer [Charlie Woodburn] and a producer I was working with. I called him in and then I met the bass player [Brandon Robert] through him a couple of years later. The guys are great and they’re like my brothers. We have the best chemistry I have ever had playing with anybody in my life. It’s really cool. Like you mentioned earlier, Bonfire Beach music is darker than Magic Wands. What inspired you for this band in particular? 10

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I play guitar in Magic Wands, but it’s mostly a lot of rhythm and in Bonfire Beach I play lead and rhythm guitar. Basically most of the songs on Bonfire Beach I wrote by myself and so I feel they are my babies, which in Magic Wands is more a collaboration between me and the guy who I started the band with. On this Bonfire Beach’s record, I pretty much wrote it from scratch and then I had a friend of mine who recorded it with me. Do the other bandmates collaborate with you on the songwriting process? Yeah, we’re collaborating on the new stuff as a group, but as far as this record [s/t] goes I pretty much wrote all those songs. Los Angeles is clearly a huge muse for you. What aspects of L.A. fascinates and inspires you? I think I connect more with old Hollywood. I like the churches here, I like L.A. night life, I like the citiness of Hollywood Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard, even West Hollywood - it’s kind of cheesy now but I can sort of connect to the time back in the 60’s and when it was cool. I try to tap into things here and tap into the creative energy.


INTRODUCING // BONFIRE BEACH And how was the recording process? It was pretty fast. I had a friend helping me and he would help me lay down the drums and the bass and I would play layered guitars. I think the most difficult part of that record was doing vocals, because I was doing them in my apartment. [laughs] The whole thing was literally recorded from my bed. [laughs]

“We went into a studio for three days and just played the songs live and then took them to another studio and just kind of overdubbed them. It was done pretty quickly.” that was here 40 or 50 years ago. Let’s talk about your new album. Each song is in a certain way hypnotic and deliriously seductive with dreamy edgy punk sound. Tell us a little bit of how was the whole creative process for this album. Basically, I was going through something that I just shut myself in the house for a while and started recording for like a couple of months. I was recording like morning, noon and night and didn’t sleep and I just was like “I have to make this record”. I feel like it was kind of more channeled and I didn’t plan it out or anything. It was very spontaneous. The songs were coming out really fast. At the end I was like “Oh, I just made a record.” [laughs]

The video for the single “Spit it Out” is freaking awesome. It has this 90’s vibe and it seems to have some kind of symbolism. What can you tell me about that? That video happened in one night in one hour and it wasn’t planned. [laughs] I just had a couple of friends over and I was like “You know what? Let’s just do together a video with what’s in my house” and there was a pentagram, a stone, cats... It’s tapping into a more esoteric vibe, but it’s not really meant to mean anything. You can kind of interpret it how you really want. I’m not practicing witchcraft or anything at the moment. [laughs] With that said, do you feel that everything you do on Bonfire Beach comes out more naturally than in Magic Wands? Yeah, it’s really organic. It’s just takes its own thing. Magic Wands has more structure and Bonfire Beach has no structure. [laughs] You were on tour with The Dandy Warhols. How did it go? That was great, it was a lot of fun! We played in 16 cities in 3 weeks. It was basically just the band and we had a tour manager. I didn’t think we were gonna actually make the whole tour with this band but we did. [laughs] The shows were really well intended and the audience was really nice to us. It was very cool. Any plans to come to Europe with Bonfire Beach? I was just talking about that yesterday... Hopefully yeah, in the new year. We’re starting to record a new record for Bonfire Beach. Any new elements that you’re going to approach on the new Bonfire Beach’s record that you can share with me? No drum machines on this one. [laughs] I’m getting away from using tracks and stuff... This new record is a lot of programming and

drum machines and the new stuff is just like all live and organic. Speaking of which, Magic Wands are going to release a new album titled Stranded on Earth. What can you tell us about that? That’s actually finished. It’s a very good friend from the previous record. There’s no really any electronic elements to it. There’s like a few keyboards but it’s mostly live. It’s like a live recording that we did and we just built around that. We went into a studio for three days and just played the songs live and then took them to another studio and just kind of overdubbed them. It was done pretty quickly. Actually it’s funny because a lot of people are saying that Magic Wands are starting to sound more like Bonfire Beach and Bonfire Beach are starting to sound more like Magic Wands. [laughs] So I’m on the same band now. [laughs] Do you have any date in mind for the release of these records? Both are coming out next year. Magic Wands’ record is coming out I think February and then Bonfire Beach’s record hopefully comes out in April. Do you recommend any new exciting LA bands that we should listen to? There are so many great bands here. One of my favorite bands now is this band called Gateway Drugs. They’re amazing and you have to really listen to them. What’s your favorite record 2014 so far? I haven’t bought a record in so long... I’ve been listening to so much older music. I don’t listen to much music. I go out to live shows, I see my friends’ bands and I don’t search bands on the Internet. I’m not really up what’s going on out in the world and it’s sad. [laughs] I mean, I wouldn’t even know what’s the best record of the year because I don’t think I even heard a full album all the way through. I haven’t even had time to sit down and listen to somebody’s record and I really need to. [laughs] You know what? I liked the new The Horrors album that came out this year.

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Bonfire Beach is out now via Cleopatra Records 11


ROUND UP

JOSÉ GONZÁLEZ RETURNS WITH VESTIGES & CLAWS IN FEBRUARY

osé González has announced new album entitled Vestiges & Claws to be released February 17th 2015. Since releasing In Our Nature in 2007, José has been steadily collecting riffs and ideas for new songs. About Vestiges & Claws, González has created a collection of songs that cohere just about perfectly. It travels from the glowering, riff-driven “Stories We Build, Stories We Tell” via the groovy “Leaf Off / The Cave” to the anthemic “Every Age”. For those familiar with José’s earlier work there is little doubt as to who is behind these recordings. “I started out thinking that I wanted to continue in the same minimalistic style as on my two previous records,” says José. “But once I started the actual recordings I soon realized that most of the songs turned out better with added guitars and a more beat-like percussion, and with more backing vocals. Personally, I think this made it a more interesting and varied album.” Vestiges & Claws is out February 17, 2015 via Mute (North America), Imperial (EU), Peace Frog (UK), and Shock (AU/NZ).

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Vestiges & Claws arrives in February 17 via Imperial 12

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Brainwashed is the title of

While She Sleeps’ new album

IN STUDIO

and it’s going to be released on March 23 via Search & Destroy/ Sony. The band have already revealed a video for lead track “New World Torture”. Loz Taylor and co say: “Everything we’ve been through these past years has become the main ingredient for the new record. If for once the saying good things come to those who wait was true, this is it. We have done our fans proud.” While She Sleeps have also


THE DECEMBERISTS NEW ALBUM IN JANUARY

he Decemberists will release their seventh studio album, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World, on January 19, 2015 on Rough Trade Records in the UK & Europe and January 20 on Capitol Records in the US. Produced by the band and long-time collaborator Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, Neko Case), it is The Decemberists’ first full-length studio album since 2011’s The King Is Dead. “Typically we book four or five weeks in the studio and bang out the whole record,” explains the lead singer and songwriter Colin Meloy. “This time, we started by just booking three days, and didn’t know what we would record. There was no direction or focus; we wanted to just see what would come out. We recorded ‘Lake Song’ on the first day, live, and then two more songs in those three days. And the spirit of that session informed everything that came after. The first songs were highly personal, a change from the strong narrative thrust that has characterized much of The Decemberists’ work. Having a family, having kids, having this career, getting older – all of these things have made me look more inward,” says Meloy. These reflections come to the foreground in “12/17/12,” a song he wrote after watching President Obama address the nation following the Newtown school shootings. “I was hit by a sense of helplessness, but also the message of ‘Hold your family close,’” recalls Meloy. This bewildering, conflicted feeling came out in a phrase near the end of the song – “what a terrible world, what a beautiful world”—that gave the album its title.

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What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World arrives on January 19 via Rough Trade Records

announced a six-date UK tour with Cancer Bats for April next year – and both bands will release new albums around the same time. Cancer Bats are also going to release their fifth album titled Searching For Zero on March 9 via Noise Church. The follow-up to 2012’s Dead Set On Living is described as “hookier, more savage, more vicious more powerful – the band at their pinnacle.” 36 Crazyfists have emerged from a four-year recording hibernation and have signed a worldwide

deal with Spinefarm Records. The Alaska-originated band is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The new album, Time and Trauma, is due out in February 2015. “We have found a new home at Spinefarm Records and although the label is new to us, some of the staff are old friends and we couldn’t be more grateful to unleash the beast that is Time and Trauma with their help,” said frontman Brock Lindow. “20 years in and it feels like Spinefarm is a

killer home to hang our hats. See you all on the road in 2015!” 36 Crazyfists will close out 2014 with a slew of US tour dates with Skinless, including a December anniversary show in their native state. Dustin Kensrue (frontman of the currently dead post-hardcore outfit Thrice) has announced that he will be releasing his sophomore solo album in the spring, via Staple Records/Vagrant Records. This new effort will follow up his 2007 solo debut, Please Come Home.

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ROUND UP

SENSES FAIL IN STUDIO

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enses Fail have released the title of their next album which will be called Pull The Thorns From Your Heart. The band has entered the studio to begin recording – an album that they believe will be by far their heaviest, most adventurous record to date. Shaun Lopez (Far,

+ NEWS

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Deftones, Crosses) will act as producer and engineer. Buddy Nielsen, vocalist of Senses Fail, had the following to say about Pull The Thorns From Your Heart: “This album is a continuation of the sound we established on Renacer and builds out of those soundscapes. Lyrically this record is about finding peace and love within yourself through the letting go of habitual patterns of emotional and physical self abuse, finding courage in vulnerability and

Leeds indie rock Menace Beach have announced that their debut album will be released in early 2015. It’s titled Ratworld and it’s the follow-up of their awesome EP Lowtalker released early 2014. Although Ryan Needham and Liza Violet are the creative duo of the band, they’re now joined by Matt Spalding, Nestor Matthews and Matthew ‘MJ’ Johnson. On the title, Ryan says “We’ve created our own grubby little Ratworld to inhabit. Everything is better when it’s a bit grubby and broken.” CJ Ramone signed to Fat Wreck Chords and is releasing a new album, December

surrendering to the idea that love is the path to liberation. We are so very lucky to be making music this far into our careers and we cannot wait to share it.” The news of Senses Fail’s next album comes shortly after the band announced their signing to Pure Noise Records and completed their successful nationwide Let It Enfold You 10th Anniversary Tour. Pull The Thorns From Your Heart is expected somewhere in Spring

Last Chance to Dance, on November 25 via Fat Wreck. The former Ramone (member from 1989-1996) backing band to pull it off - Adolescents members Dan Root and Steve Soto and Social Distortion member David Hidalgo Jr. Marilyn Manson will release his ninth studio album The Pale Emperor on January 19th via Cooking Vinyl. Lord Dying have completed recording their much anticipated sophomore album and are currently on a West Coast tour with stoner/sludge trio Castle. The new record, entitled


THE UNTHANKS ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM ount The Air is the new album by The Unthanks, and the title track is the first single from it – an arresting revision of the ten minute opening piece, that marks their return in audacious and scintillating style. Two years in the making and recorded in their Northumberland, the successor of the amazing Last (released in 2011) holds heavy doses of anticipation and

excitement for those who have patiently waited. Written by Unthanks pianist and producer, Adrian McNally, the single is based on the themes of a one-verse traditional ditty, found in a book of Dorset songs in Cecil Sharp House by Becky Unthank, who also co-wrote some of the new words alongside McNally. The video for the track was made by acclaimed animator Nick Murray Willis, whose work with the band on their previous single “Last”, earned him a place on the

BAFTA judging panel. Having turned down continued offers from majors, Mount The Air will be released on the band’s own label, RabbleRouser Music, on February 9th of 2015. We must add that this new upcoming year is already starting real good regarding new releases...

Poisoned Altars, was recorded with Toxic Holocaust’s Joel Grind at Audiosiege Studios in Portland and will be released on January 23 in GAS, Benelux and Finland and on January 26 in the rest of Europe via Relapse Records. Father John Misty, the former Fleet Foxes member Josh Tillman, has has announced the release of the anticipated follow-up to the amazing 2012’s Fear Fun. It’s called I Love You, Honeybear and it will be released on February 10th, 2015, via Sub Pop Records. The

album was produced by Tillman and Jonathan Wilson, mixed by Phil Ek, and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound. Stick To Your Guns have revealed the artwork and the tracklist for their upcoming fulllength album, Disobedient, which is due out on February 10 via Sumerian Records. Disobedient was produced by John Feldmann (the Used, We Came As Romans, Black Veil Brides) and features guest appearances from H2O frontman Toby Morse, Rotting Out vocalist

Walter Delgado and Terror vocalist Scott Vogel. Torche, the Florida/Georgiabased band the Village Voice dubbed “the legitimate sons of a union between Hüsker Dü and the Melvins,” release their Relapse Records’ debut, Restarter, on February 24. “Moving forward, leaning backwards, twisting sideways and loving every new release,” said singer/guitar player Steve Brooks. “Restarter is moody and still very much a Torche record.”

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Mount The Air arrives on February 9 via RabbleRouser Music

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Nobody Wants To Stay And Nobody Wants To Leave is the fourth and brand new record of the Scottish band The Twilight Sad. We talked to vocalist James Graham about this new record, the weather in Scotland and we got to know that they still don´t fit in the music industry business, how cool is that! Words: Ana Carvalho

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hat has inspired you to make this new The Twilight Sad’s record? I think we had a down time after our last record maybe a year, we ended up touring as much as we usually do. We had a lot time at home, we had some shows on the weekends but we had a lot of time at home and it was a chance to reflect on where the band was, what we’ve achieved, what we haven’t achieved and I was writing lyrics and be inspired by what we love and have that clean head space. We had gone through a voracious year previous, the things were not going so well for the band and we decided to start writing songs and see what would come out of that. It was more a relaxed kind of experience than before. We were trying to come out of that band thing and these songs helped us. For the past seven years we’ve been writing music and playing, we will always do that, but I think what inspired us to this record was a chance to reflect on where we were and what we wanted to achieve and what we wanted to see within our music. Your previous album, No One Can Ever Know, had industrial and electronic elements more than any album in your career before. This new effort seems a mix of everything you had done so far. Do you always feel the need to make things differently to be creatively alive? From day one we wanted to progress because we started this band for ourselves, we wanted to make music that excited us and try constantly to push ourselves forward and try new things. But with the previous record, we were more into electronic kind of music. We feel that this new record we opened that up and make a better sounding record. How was the composition process of Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave? I think… I don’t want to say it was easy, because the songs are very depressive [laughs] but at the same time the actual ratio process between myself and Andy was enjoyable, we were agreeing with each other, we were excited by the ideas we were passing on to each other. There was no point when we clashed and argued really about anything. Everything can happen very naturally, as each song came you could see the album building up and what we needed to do next, where we needed to 16

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go with another song next. We had a lot of time to do it so, we didn’t feel like we were rushing ourselves, we take a lot time between every record, to be honest. I just felt a very natural process and a very enjoyable as well. We were enjoying writing the songs, it was exciting as we were doing it, and as each song progressed more excited I got. When we went to the studio, we knew exactly what we wanted and it came out the way we wanted it to sound. The title-track “Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave” is an emotional paradox. What are you really trying to say? Yes definitely. The only thing I wound say about my lyrics is that I don’t tell anybody what they are about, because my favorite songs are the ones I don’t know exactly what they are about so I relate them back to my life, and maybe to a certain pain in my life. Like maybe look back and hear a song that reminds me of a good or a bad time in my life. Lyrically, the songs tie all the record together. But not even my band members know what my lyrics are about. [laughs] In live concerts, throughout the years, you have always used different instruments on stage. For you,


WELCOME BACK // THE TWILIGHT SAD I love it more than anything in the world. The band’s name was created from a poem by Wilfred Owen. Do you often get literary influences to compose your lyrics or in life and its issues? The lyrics are about people I know, relationships I had, my friends, my family, things that happened to us over the years, usually quite bad things [laughs], but I would say the literary influences are from books I like and Andy likes, and the song can maybe be related to that book. As far as the lyrics go, it’s from my head and from experiences in life.

playing live is the top of the tops about this erratic life of being a musician, right? For me yes, it’s the thing I like the most of being in a band. I love the process of writing songs and when you have a song that’s gonna be a good one and you have enjoyed the process of writing, that’s one of the highs as well but the main high is when you play in front of a big audience no matter how big it is: fifteen, a hundred people or even a thousand people it doesn’t matter. If you have a room full of people and can connect into that kind of level then that’s one of the biggest highs I think you can get. It can also go very wrong when you have a bad performance [laughs] but over the years is getting to be like a drug in a way. You have that great performance, the crowd is amazing and every time you go on stage you like to have that experience again.

Did the atmosphere in your country influence you somehow into the musical style you make besides the bands that were a reference to you back then? I think that’s where you write or where you live definitely have a really strong subconscious influence on you. It’s not something very conscious but if you are in that place when you write I think yes, where you are definitely influences your work. If we stayed in Hawaii or South America, I’m pretty sure we would sound a lot different. [laughs] I love where I’m from, I love Scotland. It is a very creative place, it’s melancholic but we like to focus on the bad things. I think you need to go through the bad things to get the good things. As a band when we play, within our music we can get that side of ourselves out, it’s a kind of therapy. After four records and many tours around Europe, do you still feel like you don’t fit in the whole music industry? I have no idea where we fit at all. I think we are more comfortable with ourselves than we’ve ever been. With our new record, we were very confident as a band and I think that we can go and play on any stage in front of anybody, and if perhaps they can like our band in a small way and the performance we give… we are very confident as a live band especially with this new record and new songs. I think we are in a position we’ve never been of gaining new listeners I suppose, but as far as fitting in... I have no idea. We never fitted in, I never wanted to make part of a scene, never wanted to be part of any kind of movement. We wanted to make

“... we wanted to make music that excited us and try constantly to push ourselves forward and try new things.” our own sound and people to recognize us as a band that makes this type of music. I think we are too weird [laughs] but very happy with ourselves. How is the musical scene in Glasgow? It’s always been very good and at the moment is very good as well. In the past couple of years, some big bands have done really well like Mogwai they are bigger than ever before, and they’ve got to deserve that because they are one of my favorite bands of all time. You got Chvrches; they are one of the popular bands in the world at the moment and then you got the independent labels like Chemical Underground Records. I think it’s very healthy; it always has been very healthy. We all kind of look after each other, we’re all very supportive of each other, and we try to get as many people to listen each other’s music, which is a very nice communion I suppose. What bands have you been l istening to lately that thrills you? I really like Angel Olsen record, Wild Beasts, War on Drugs, Future Islands, St. Vincent... Probably I listen to Mogwai a lot. I have going back a lot recently. I’ve been listening to records that made me start to make music like Arcade Fire’s Funeral and Joy Division... I always go back to those records, those are the records that influenced me over the years. I like Eagulls from Leeds, they are a good band... My mind went completely blank right now. [laughs]

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NEU // VOL.7

NEU! PVRIS ROAM FVNERALS DEERS


PVRIS Where? Massachusetts (USA) Who? Lynn Gunn, Alex Babinski, Brian MacDonald For fans of: Lights, Chvrches, Paramore

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ormed in 2012, PVRIS - originally under the name “Paris” but later changed it to “PVRIS” - are a band from Lowell, Massachusetts made up of Lyndsey Gunnulfsen (guitar/vocals/keys), Alex Babinski (guitar/keys), and Brian MacDonald (bass/keys). In beginnings they were a five piece, including former members Brad Griffin and Kyle Anthony, but in the meantime they left the band. What’s really interesting about PVRIS music is the genre-bending they do. We can say that it’s like a mix between Chvrches’ synth pop with Paramore’s rock vibe, adding to this Lynn’s intense and edgy vocals and the result is a blend of rock,

electronic and pop music. It’s a refreshing and unusual approach regarding to these genres mentioned. After releasing two EPs - Paris EP (2012) and Acoustic EP (2014) - and touring a lot with acts like Mayday Parade, Tonight Alive, Beautiful Bodies, Emarosa and among others, the trio signed this year to Rise Records and therefore released just recently their debut full-length. White Noise is quite catchy with dark synth pop melodies and chorus that will stick in your head. The singles “St. Patrick” and “My House” are perfect to show how energetic and dynamic this trio is. Their energy is contagious and they can really become everyone’s favorite new band.

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NEU // VOL.7

ROAM Where? Eastbourne (UK) Who? Alex Costello, Alex Adam, Sam Veness, Matt Roskilly, Charlie Pearson For fans of: State Champs, New Found Glory, Neck Deep, Me Vs Hero

here is a pop-punk revival, that’s a fact! There is also a close relationship with this genre with the today’s mainstream music, because it’s popular and we all know what names like Paramore, Fall Out Boy and New Found Glory represents nowadays. Well, this new revival, or new generation of pop punk is different from what people may think, because in their core they’re punk bands, the pop thing is just a fucking label to name them catchy and less heavy from other punk bands. Let’s talk about these dudes! They are one of the few names that are changing the UK’s pop-punk scene, quite possible 2015 could be the

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definitive turning point for this genre for those shores. Roam are a five piece pop punk band from Eastbourne, UK, who have been working hard since forming in November 2012 to solidify themselves as one of the most exciting bands in their genre. Along side with Neck Deep, State Champs, The Wonder Years, Modern Baseball, Knuckle Puck and many more... They’re the future of this genre, and this next year will be a crazy and massive year for this old (new) kind of genre. Roam have been in the studio with Drew Lawson (Bring Me The Horizon, While She Sleeps, Me Vs Hero) and Seb Barlow (Neck Deep) to record new material. Their new EP will be out in January 17 via their new found home, the good folks from Hopeless Records. Be prepared!


FVNERALS Where? Brighton (UK) Who? Tiffany, Syd, Antoine For fans of: Chelsea Wolfe, Earth, Marissa Nadler

here’s always a time in our lives that we fall in love with a band that we’ve never heard before and a simple song will do the trick. There’s something about FVNERALS that intrigued us from the very first listening and it came to our minds the great Chelsea Wolfe, but soon we realize that’s way more than that. Syd (guitar) and Antoine (drums) met Tiffany (vocals/synth) in the south coast town of Brighton in the beginning of 2013. They recorded and released their first EP, The Hours, in February, which was released in their label Eerie Echoes, and started gigging in May of the same year. In the beginning of 2014, Syd and Tiffany

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released an album and toured with their side project MYYTHS putting FVNERALS on hiatus for a few months. During the summer of 2014, the trio moved in together and started playing as a band again, working on new songs that led to the recording of their debut album, The Light. The album is every little bit that The Hours EP promised but… way more than what the EP promised. With elements of ambient music, post-rock, drone shoegaze, slowcore, and dark sounded with slow paced atmospheres, the band delivered a highly dramatic, highly emotional and highly passionate piece of art. They are probably not “trve” but there’s definitely some truth in their music.

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NEU // VOL.7

DEERS Where? Madrid (Spain) Who? Ana Garcia Perrote, Carlotta Cosials, Ade Martin, Amber Grimbergen For fans of: Vivian Girls, The Velvet Underground

na Garcia Perrote and Carlotta Cosials met through ex-boyfriends and friends and together they formed last year Deers. Based on Madrid, the girls decided to expand their lineup to include Ade Martin and Amber Grimbergen to create something more consistent. Drawing inspirations from Mac DeMarco, Ty Segall, Shannon and the Clams, Devendra Banhart, The Growlers, Black Lips, Thee Oh Sees and past relationships, their music is sort of lo-fi garage rock with a 60’s girl-group pop vibe creating an effortless and charming tunes. After releasing their Demo 7”, it began all the buzz around these

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Spanish girls and thus it became pretty clear that they have something really special in what they do. But what’s more impressive about Deers is their laidback and carefree attitude, because they just want to have fun playing music. This year, the girls have been playing a handful of shows everywhere and bringing to a lot of places their raw garage rock gems. Recently, they released a new 7” titled Barn that was recorded by Nicolas Mühe at a Rubber-Tracks studio in Berlin and mixed by Diego García (The Parrots). Barn comprises the first recordings that the group have laid down together as a four-piece and it features the tracks “Castigadas En El Granero” and “Between Cans”.


Larkin Poe is a band fr sisters Rebecca Lovell a Lovell, and as their ban suggests, Larkin Poe wa of the sisters' great-gre grandfather, who was cousin of Edgar Allan P ties are really meaningfu and even before they st band, they were on the b Sisters along with their e We caught up with the d about their debut album K it is like to be in a band own sister. Words: Andreia Alves

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ronted by and Megan nd's name as the name eat-greata distant Poe. Family ul for them, tarted this band Lovell eldest sister. duo to talk KIN and how d with their

k c o sy r at will h t s er d l r o w r u k yo musicandriotsmagazine.com

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of managed the band and I think it taught us a lot. She decided that she wanted to leave the band in late 2009/early 2010 and that’s when we became Larkin Poe. It was in 2010 that you girls regrouped as Larkin Poe and the band’s name has a very special meaning for you. Can you tell us a little bit about that? Rebecca: We picked the name Larkin Poe because it was the name of our great-great-greatgrandfather. His name was Larkin Poe and since we’re sisters we wanted to have a band name that was meaningful on a family level. Larkin Poe is also a distant cousin of the great poet Edgar Allan Poe and so we really like that connection as well.

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ou girls have a special connection between you two and that’s obvious in the way you sing and play together. How was it like growing up together and discover music in general? Rebecca: We feel very lucky to be sisters making music together. I think the connection that you can share through music with someone is very deep and very personal, but I think especially as sisters we’re able to write songs and play our instruments together in a way that is so freeing and it’s wonderful to have a very close partner to make music with. We grew up playing classical violin and piano as kids, and then we got into Americana music in our teen years. When we got into Americana music was when I think we both really started stretching into improvising and learning how to bounce off each other musically. Before there was Larkin Poe the band - you girls started your musical careers in 2005 with the Lovell Sisters, which your eldest sister, Jessica Lovell was also in the band. What did you take from that experience? Megan: Playing in a band with our eldest sister was amazing and she was very good organizing. She kind 28

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You girls have approached a lot of musical styles like blues, bluegrass, folk, rock, but overall, what are your main musical inspirations? Rebecca: For us, we were lucky to grow up in a family where music was very important. We were always listening to music like classical music. As kids, our mom would play us Handel’s “Messiah” at Christmas and all the famous classical pieces of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart. And then we got into the roots of Americana music and listening to artists like Allison Krauss, the Dixie Chicks and bands that were fronted by female singers which I think it was very, very inspirational for us. But the whole time, our dad was playing classic rock records like Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd and I think it’s still in us this kind of longing to play more rock’n’roll music and so being able to bond all of our inspirations together into what we call Roots Rock’n’Roll has been really cool. I think more and more genre blending is the way of the future and so for us to be able to be vocally influenced by Jeff Buckley, listen to riffs by the Arctic Monkeys and model yourself after Jackson Browne and Moments. The possibilities are limitless. You have a lot of YouTube videos where you cover some quite awesome songs, and you did recently a song of Arctic Monkeys. Are you planning on doing more? Megan: Yeah, we love to pick up other people’s songs and learn how they work to kind of tear

them apart and make it work for ourselves. That’s really important. Over the course of four years, you have released a bunch of great music and now you released your debut album that’s been described as a contender for album of the year, which it’s totally understandable. So how was the creative and the writing process for KIN? Megan: We started writing for this record I guess about a year ago and we ended up writing for four months. What was interesting about the writing process for us was that we’ve never written together as sisters before. We say it was simply rivalry that was keeping us from being able to work together really well [laughs] but we finally decided for this album that we just needed to buckle down and write, the two of us. Once we had made the promise to each other, it was really easy since we have grown up together and we spend so much time together. I think we actually haven’t been apart from each other for more than two or three weeks in our entire life. [laughs] We have so many shared experiences that was really easy to write together. I can just finish Rebecca’s thoughts without having to think about it. We wrote up until February of this year and that’s when we started recording. We went out to L.A. to do most of the recording. Like you said, this was the first time you wrote songs together. How was it like for you and how do you deal with each other creativity to make decisions? Rebecca: I think co-writing is challenging sometimes, because you’re taking very personal feelings to put them into a song and so the lucky part of us being sisters and writing together is that, as Megan said, since there is so much shared experiences and so much crossover between the two of us that is very effortless for us to make those decisions together. You have Robby Handley and Marlon Patton in the band. Were they part of the writing process or they just add their musicianship on the live shows? Rebecca: They just play on the live shows, but they’re incredible musicians.


INTERVIEW // LARKIN POE

“When we got into Americana music was when I think we both really started stretching into improvising and learning how to bounce off each other musically.”

The track “Stubborn Love” is a love song that you wrote to each other. What’s the best thing of doing music with your own sister? Rebecca: I guess the best thing is just having your best friend on the road and you get to share all the things together that you can’t really describe to anybody else. When you’re touring, it’s stressful and it’s hard, but it’s also indescribable and so to be able to have a sister that knows intimately what I’m going through and that we can share and we’re always doing together. That’s probably the best thing for me. Megan: That song “Stubborn Love” is kind of a love song to each other and it talks about what it is like to tour on the road with a sister like as this line “Every time we fight in a hotel room / Stubborn love keeps us pulling us on through” and that’s so true. It’s the stubbornness in our love and our love for music that really keeps us going. “Overachiever” is a stunning stripped-down ballad. What can you tell me more about this song in particular? Rebecca: “Overachiever” is one of

my favorite songs of the record, and not even so much as the recording or anything, but just because it feels like a special baby to me and it feels like a really important thing for me to have written. I guess I wrote it back in December of 2013 and it was a very therapeutic thing. A lot of things in that song I just needed to absorb and to have a song where it feels very personal to sing and it’s my favorite. Megan: When she was singing for this track in the studio, we turned off all the lights so it was pitch black and she sang one take through. Pretty much just the first time we recorded it, it was what went on the album and just felt so incredibly real that I started to cry a little bit. It was a very real experience. Very raw. So Megan, what’s your favorite song of this record? Megan: I have two favorites. One is “Elephant”, I just love how Southern that one came out sounding, because we’re from Georgia and all our family is from the South so we’re very Southern based. I think that one just came

out feeling very Southern rock, which I love, mixed with kind of urban which Atlanta is a very urban city, so I think that kind of came out in that song. I also love “Banks Of Allatoona”. It’s a song that we wrote about a lake in Georgia and it’s a very ugly lake, but I think that we made it prettier hopefully in this song. [laughs] And I love that track because when we’re playing it live, there’s a solo that I take and it’s extended and I can kind of jam. It’s really fun and it’s like a jam band song. For last, what’s your favorite record of 2014 so far? Rebecca: There’s a new record by Shakey Graves called And The War Came and that one would be one of my favorites, but another one would be that new Alt-J record, This Is All Yours. Both of those records for us are really inspiring.

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Kin is out now via Rh Music 29


ARABROT

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There were some moments where Årabrot’s future was definitely uncertain and that’s because of the awful health problems that Kjetil Nernes was suffering – he was diagnosed with throat cancer and had to fight it. Fortunately the Norwegian was able to recover and now the future of Årabrot seems brighter than ever. We talked with Kjeitel not only about his disease but also about his new EP, I Modi, and the plans for the future. Words: Tiago Moreira

ways unwritten... musicandriotsmagazine.com

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ou were diagnosed with throat cancer last May. What’s the current situation on that matter? I’m all fine again, actually. I was just at the hospital for the final check-up… I’m all good, I’m all fine now. I’m ready to move on and start working with Årabrot again. Great news! Did you feel that there was some sort of impact on you as artist after having to go through this experience? I’m probably a little bit different, in a way that some of the smaller issues in life… you kind of forget about them and you don’t really bother about them anymore. But maybe more it was some sort of brake, some sort of inconvenient brake. Maybe I’m even hungrier now, to keep on doing what I do and even more focused. Right now everything feels good and I feel absolutely up for moving on and just keep on going and creating stuff. We’re going to record a new full-length album in… hopefully around Christmas time, so I guess the impact on the lyrics and thematically will see what happens with the next album. Let’s see if the sickness somehow will find its way on our next record. It will be probably a little bit darker than this new EP. Talking about the new EP, there’s a pretty interesting story behind the title, I Modi. Can you talk a little bit about that? I’ve been interested in drawing artists for a long time, and I found this book – I Modi – just by coincidence and I thought the story was really interesting and fascinating. The drawings were really nice… it’s like Middle Age porn, really. Årabrot has been, for a long time, pretty erotic or carnal. It has been focusing on the body, basically, in different ways… if that would be desperation or anger or just sexual lust. So, I thought about doing an EP, or a mini-album, just focusing on the sexual side of Årabrot, just taking as far as I could in that side. It worked pretty well, I think, and I’m happy about the final result. 32

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This new EP was recorded in the abandoned chapel in Sweden that you have used to record the two previous albums? Yes! Actually we’ve done some recordings here on the last two albums, but on this one we decided to do the entire thing here. You can kind of hear the vibe of it, especially if you know the place. It’s a little bit different from the other ones because it was recorded here. It’s very far out on the Swedish woods, very beautiful, and a very inspiring place, so the feeling of the all things, the recording session and how the mixing was… I’m really happy about it. Talking about the production: it seems, to me, that the production on this new EP is different from the one presented on the last album. Were you aiming for something different? Yeah, I was looking for... I kind of get bored doing the same thing over and over again, and I feel that we still have a lot of things to do and to aim for. There are still a lot of new ways to do it, you know? It’s still the same in the sense that you can still hear Årabrot but different at the same time, and that was good to know because I’ve been using a few new musicians and it’s a new producer… It gives me a good idea on what to do on the next record, which will be a proper full-length. Last time we talked about how the self-titled album was filled with light. This time around it seems that you’re walking towards an opposite direction. I wouldn’t say total darkness but there’s definitely less light than the self-titled album. Yeah, there is and I do have a feeling that the material for the next album will be even darker. I think we’re heading for more… we’ve passed through the sexual thing and now that it’s done it’s going to – probably because of the sickness and some other things too… something inside of me that needs to come out and it seems that it’s more darker and thematically I’m thinking almost war-like, some pretty big anger of some sort. It seems that I need to get some shit out. It seems have a kind of cinematic feel attached to this new EP, wouldn’t you say? Especially the second part of the EP. Yeah, exactly! It’s spot on, actually.

I’m glad that you’ve said that. We’ve been working with film music for quite some time. We’ve done several shows, live shows, to old silent movies. The last year we did… I think in total we’ve done like four or five different movies, actually, in Norway, on pretty big festivals too. So, we’ve been working on that side quite a lot and I think for the next album I will try to include even more of that side because I feel there’s a lot to work on it. I feel it’s more the artsy side of Årabrot, less of the rock ‘n’ roll but more of the artsy side. Will see, but it’s very interesting for me to work on that different side, on the more spontaneous, more atmospheric, a more sonic side of Årabrot. I was talking about the second part being more atmospheric. It seems to me that the second part gives more freedom to the listener. I’m glad you think so. To be honest with you, it was a little bit by coincidence, really. I was just planning to do an EP so we recorded four, five, six songs and it just sounded better the way it turned out. We had more of that cinematic stuff just lying around, and I was listening to the material and I thought “Why not?”. It’s a little bit like David Bowie, the so-called Berlin Trilogy… Like I said, it was just by coincidence. To me it sounded better this way. That’s really interesting because in my mind the second part was something that you had planned out because there’s an evolution from track four to track six, like slowing evolving. Yeah, I know what you mean. Maybe subconsciously I knew that this was going to be the way because it was definitely… when I was writing the lyrics, I wrote this piece called “The Isis Pool” [the last track of the EP, an instrumental piece] and we made some music for that track and I made it as a spoken-word at first but then I came with the idea of maybe just not doing the vocal part. When you get the record you see that there are lyrics for that song, I mean you can read the lyrics for yourself out loud if you want, while listening to the song that is instrumental. But I’m really glad to hear your take on the second part because I was totally sure about the first part. It’s easy to tell, it’s Årabrot rock… it is going


INTERVIEW // ARABROT

"We've been working with film music for quite some time. (...) I will try to include even more of that side because I feel there's a lot to work on it." to work, but for the second part is very different. There are no drums on the second part of the album. The songs are long and they are kind of strange. I want to ask you about the last fifteen or twenty seconds of “Annul”… There’s someone doing vocals or it’s just a crazy-ass instrument? I can’t even remember that. [laughs] Let me hear the song. [Kjetil stops the interview to listen the song to be able to identify that exact part] Just like I thought, it’s Karin Park, my partner. She also played the piano and the pump organ. So, it’s actually vocals. She can do a fantastic range of vocals so what we did there was… she was doing really high pitched vocal parts, kind of random, and the guy who mixed it [Milton von Krogh] he just turned the knobs really. Now just sounds like… to me it was fantastic, there’s a fantastic atmosphere in the last part,

I think. It just fits the chapel, the church and the woods surrounding the church. It is almost like walking into the woods in winter time, with the birds and kind of mysterious and dark atmospheres. Do you consider the possibility of recording a live album in that church that you have been using, in Sweden? Maybe… [pause] That’s a very good idea. I never thought about that, actually. I thought about bringing people to do an album, definitely, but I never thought about doing it live. That’s actually a very good idea. The church room has very high ceiling and the sound there is actually very good. Some church rooms might be a little too dramatic but this one is just fine… Thank you, that is a really good idea.

there too. How much were you involved? Well, we made all the coffee, the lunches, the dinners, we provided the wine and we opened our doors to them, our home. [laughs] I did some small background singing and Karin did some vocal stuff for that very long song on side B [“Cosmic Wynter”]. So, both I and Karin were definitely involved kind of in the background, but it was many of the same… Milton also mixed this album. Many of the same people, same place and kind of the same atmosphere, I would say. I didn’t play anything but we were definitely there providing some sort of inspiration, hopefully… and definitely some coffee. [laughs]

Talking about the church, the amazing new Okkultokrati’s album, Night Jerks, was recorded www.facebook.com/MUSICandRIOTS.Magazine

I Modi EP is out now via Fysisk 33


SAINT SA HONEST DIRECT AND POETIC Becky Jones was previously lead singer with The RGBs, fronted and co-wrote the singles on Groove Armada’s Grammy nominated album Black Light before going alone as Saint Saviour. Her new album, In The Seams, is kind of a departure from her debut album, Union, where honesty, truth and some simplicity assume a more relevant position on the end result. Becky was nice enough to share some words with us about this new chapter of her career as an artist. Words: Tiago Moreira

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AVIOUR

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want to start to ask you about your artist name: Saint Saviour. What does it mean? In London, in the area where I live, there are a lot of different buildings called Saint Saviour – Saint Saviour’s House, Saint Saviour’s School, etc. So, I used to run an art illustration company and we did an exhibition and we set like a challenge for all the artists to like do a piece of work inspired by Bermondsey and one of the artists drew a beautiful picture of a lady and it was called Saint Saviour and I really fell in love with the picture and I had to buy it, because I couldn’t sell to anyone because I was in love with it. So, I brought it and it’s in my house, in my staircase, and that’s where I took my name from, from the drawing. Was it easy the transition from playing with The RGBs to flying solo? Well, after The RGBs I did Groove Armada as well. I think the most kind of important change was that my new solo music isn’t electronic. My history has been very much around electronic music and with what I’m doing now there’s no electronics, it’s just real instruments – guitars, pianos, strings, and that kind of thing. It’s a lot calmer, serene, graceful, etc. It’s not for dancing too. 35


Why did you feel the need to put the electronics aside? I love electronic music, and I still write electronic music with other projects… It’s some of my happiest times of being with my hands in the air, with a crowd at a nightclub or in a festival, but want I wanted to do with this new album was to allow songs and the words, and my singing voice to be the complete focus of the whole thing, because I want to tell stories. So, it was important to me to remove anything that was going to destruct from that sort… I wanted to remove the layers and layers of beats and synthesizers and stuff, and just allow my voice to sing the words so people can hear my words. About your singing voice… unlike the vast majority you have trained your voice to be able to evolve and to acquire a certain know-how. Can you talk about that process? I did my music degree about ten years ago and that was… I specialized in the voice for my musical degree so I received a lot of training and it kind of is still in me, a sense of discipline and respect for the instrument. It’s just part of my habit as a musician, to explore my technique and exercise my voice regularly and always try to improve. I used to focus on that a lot and in some cases, in the past, I feel that I focused on it too much and I began over-singing and trying too hard, so that’s something that I noticed in myself… I’ve been guilty of just singing too much, singing too high, too loud, and too emotional, etc. I made the conscious decision to just let my voice come more naturally and it feels way more comfortable. How that affected your creative process and awareness in that creative process? It’s an interesting question, actually. It’s a cliché to say that trained musicians have a barrier called training, but in some ways I feel maybe it is true and having the training that I had it meant that I saw that simplicity isn’t good enough, because in a way when I was doing training in my degree it’s like you strive to do something technically valuable and impressive, and it meant that for a long time perhaps I wasn’t allowing something to be. On the other hand I had absolute health with my instrument; I’ve never lost my voice and never had problems with 36

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my voice. I’ve been able to work seven days a week because I had my training. It made me very disciplined with my vocal health and if I hadn’t had that I would struggle a lot when I was younger. There are two sides to the coin. It seems to me that In The Seams, your new album, is way more vulnerable and revealing than Union. Was it easy to get rid of the number of layers that were present on Union? It’s good that you noticed the layers because that was one of the things that I wanted to remove… I think like in an earlier question when I was talking about allowing my lyrics to breathe and my voice to be the center of everything, I wanted my voice to sound like it was whispering the words into your ears in a really intimate way, so what happened was that the singing part of it is the most important and then we only put things around it when it is so much needed. That’s the way we approached in the recording studio. It’s all about the voice and the piano or the voice and the guitar, and then you put things around it when it is necessary and if it’s not necessary then you just leave it alone. That’s the kind of approach me and Bill [Ryder] used in the recording studio. Would you describe it as more vulnerable? Yeah, I think it’s more vulnerable because Union was very... almost like a siren song, it was very powerful. When I think of my character in Union was like a Simon on the rocks, like screaming into the heavens. [laughs] In The Seams is more like I’m inviting you into a secret where I’m telling you some intimate stories, and the main difference is that the stories on In The Seams are all true… anyway, it’s more vulnerable because I’m being honest. I’m telling you about my childhood, the things I’ve got up to when I was a teenager, my honest feelings about life and getting older and being in relationships... What’s in your opinion the weight of the arrangements on this new album? I think the arrangements really bring the feeling of pulling our heart strings kind of thing. One of my favorite songs on the album is this song called “James”, which isn’t the most immediate song so

we didn’t use as a single but it’s a story of a boy that I went to school with, who was bullied and I watch him being bullied and it’s a really big memory for me. I’ve never forgotten the look on his face and just a really keen moment from my childhood… The way the strings are a part of the song and the way the drums and bass come in, it just feels the arrangements are bringing all of the color to the story, like they are painting and illustrating the story. How important was your collaboration with Bill Ryder for this new album? Bill was very important. He, from the very beginning, was very supportive and I was looking for somebody who just liked my songs and just wanted to do something that was like a collaboration and not just “I’m paying you to do this job therefore you will do it.” If it wasn’t for Bill the album would be more like a kind of Elliot Smith type album where there’s no big arrangements, just me in my bedroom with my guitar and my piano, and the album would just be a much less cinematic, it would be a lot simpler. You start – “Intro (Sorry)” – the album by saying “I’ve made considerable mistakes. Tried to be someone else.” In which way that understanding affected the new music? That’s the most important line of the all album. It’s one of the first songs I wrote… I remember I was just feeling very in the kind of aftermath of my first solo album. Once I finished touring and I took a bit of time to think what I wanted to do next… I was actually going to quit music and I was going to train to be a nurse, because I felt a bit disoriented, a bit lost about a year. It wasn’t great, I felt really alone and I really didn’t know how was going to come back after Union and I didn’t know what I was going to do. I just sat at the piano and that just came out in like five minutes, the whole song. It was really easy, and the reason why I was apologizing… I was kind of apologizing to myself, really, because I just felt that I made a little bit of a mess of my art. I realized sometimes when I was making Union it was too rushed and I made a lot of mistakes… I kind of let down my songs because on Union I think there are some good songs – I love


INTERVIEW // SAINT SAVIOUR

“... the main difference is that the stories on In The Seams are all true… anyway, it’s more vulnerable because I’m being honest... my honest feelings about life and getting older and being in relationships...” the song “Fight”, for example – but I think I just ruined it with too many effects on my vocals, too much overproduction. For me it was just a real shame. That was what “Intro (Sorry)” is about. That made you question the honesty of your own music? Yeah! I was trying to write for the business people, and I got it so wrong. I got it so, so wrong, anyway. It taught me to not even try to please people because you’ll probably get it wrong anyway so just don’t try to do it. Just write songs that you like and write about you, what you know and don’t be pretentious and don’t try to second guess what people are going to like. That’s what I learned. Do you still find it uncomfortable, writing songs about yourself? I remember saying that in an interview but to be honest I had a complete change of position on that.

I’ve realized that actually writing about yourself, as long you’re humble about it and you’re honest… People actually are interested in it. The problem I had in the past was that I didn’t think I had anything to write about, really. I didn’t think I had an interesting story, but actually something… I was in a film called Sound It Out by Jeanie Finlay, it was a film about the last surviving vinyl record store in Teesside, in the North East of England. I remember that Jeanie said, in an interview, “It’s the small moments that make a big story.” It really resonated with me and I realized that’s actually true. That kind of gave me confidence to write about myself and actually I’ve got, since then, stories that are pretty exciting, so I just had to remember them and write them down. [laughs]

person that easily goes into depression. What’s music role on this constant fight against depression? Making music makes me feel deeply, deeply happy. It’s a feeling of cleansing almost. When you finish a song it’s a feeling you’ve gone around in a full circle and you’ve completed something. It feels like you reached a kind of nirvana, in a way, and it’s definitely something that helps me with my mood, in general. I’ve gone through periods where I’ve not been creative and it just makes me feel kind of dull and unfulfilled. Yeah, making music and performing live is definitely a very spiritual thing for me.

You said that you’re the kind of musicandriotsmagazine.com

In The Seams is out now via Surface Area Records 37


KID VE A W

S E D N A Y M A E R D

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mmery E a e L , n o d n o L but based in n e d e w ter moving S f A in . d n n r a b Bo k c o r to start a d e t make that n a o w t s y y it a n w u t al r o p p had the o . In to the UK, she t's how Kid Wave came to be d happen and tha ined by the rest of the ban er o h 2013, she was j arry and Mattias - and toget ra , H with a p o p ie d in members - Ser s u io infect they create an e. They were kind enough to y vib bit dreamy, summer stions and tell us a little e answer our qu e about their band. mor Words: Andreia Alves

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she thought about the name. She liked it and since then it’s Kid Wave. [laughs]

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ou guys were recently on tour with Childhood. How was it? Any funny story you wanna share? Lea: We’ve had an amazing time on the road with Childhood. They’re the nicest people ever, we had so much fun. Ben, the lead singer from Childhood, even joined us for a song on stage at our headline show at Birthdays in London. We did a Tom Petty cover. Something less fun was when Harry left his bass at the venue in London. We didn’t find out until the day after when we were about to hit the motorway to Southampton. It was rush hour and we had to drive back through London from east to west TWICE. Nuff said. Lea, you started this project when you moved to London from Sweden back in 2011. Tell us a little bit about what motivated you to do the change of scenery and to begin Kid Wave. Lea: I’m from a quite small town in Sweden and I just wanted to get out of there as soon as I finished school. I wanted to play in a band and write music, it’s been a dream since I discovered music as a teenager. I’m not from a musical family/background at all but I somehow had a clear vision of what I wanted to do and how to do it. I guess I thought moving to London was the right thing to do at the time. I lived in Iceland for a while before that, working with horses so I could have ended up anywhere really. 40

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What kind of inspiration did you get from moving to UK? Lea: I got some inspiration from moving to a new country but also from the time before the move. I’ve always been a dreamer, it kind of helps me to picture things. I guess it’s also a way to escape reality for a while. I’d put my headphones on and go for a walk and I’d be in my own world for most of the time. I think that’s something that does come through in the song writing – escapism and to always long for something else. I remembered being worried about not living in the present as a kid and teenager but I’ve kind of accepted it now. Everyone deals with things in their own way and if it puts my head to rest for a while, it’s ok. I’m more present now than I used to, I take it as a sign that I’m doing the right thing. What does inspire you when it comes to write a song, musically and lyrically? Lea: It’s hard to tell, it’s very different but in general I’m inspired by people and experiences, living in today’s society. Even if you write for yourself I feel like people can relate to a song in their own way. I’m a big fan of simplicity in music. I don’t like to complicate things just for the sake of it, it should always feel natural. Good solid melodies, riffs and lyrics. I like the songwriting of artists like Tom Petty and Ryan Adams for example, because it’s so direct. But I also like bands like Wilco with a bit more experimental approach because those elements enhance the vibe of the lyrics and the song, I think that’s what makes songwriting and arranging so interesting. How did the name Kid Wave come up? Lea: I was playing around with a few words. I wanted a short name with a good vibe, hinting about the kind of music we do. Me and my colleague had just been kicked out from work for not looking ”smart enough” and were just strolling around in Kentish Town killing time when I asked her what

In 2013, Serra Patale, Harry Deacon and Mattias Batt joined the band. How did you guys meet? Lea: Mattias and I are from the same town in Sweden and have known each other for years. He’s a great guitarist with a passion for effects and pedals and stuff, we complement each other very well in the band. He commuted to London for a while but moved to the UK this year to play music full time. I met Serra at a music school here in London. Serra is one of the best drummers I’ve met and she looks super cool on stage with her long black hair, she gets really into it as well. We were looking for a bass player when we met Harry through mutual friends, he’s one of the best musicians I’ve met. He can play pretty much any song on bass and also plays the double bass. We’re a really tight group of friends who always have fun together and hang out a lot. How does work the writing process between you guys? Lea: I write most of the songs and the lyrics. I usually record a demo at home and then we arrange the songs together in the rehearsal studio. But we’re all taking part in the creative process. Mattias has written some parts as well, for example he wrote the break in “Gloom”. I think it’s important to let everyone do their thing and add their style to it – that’s what makes up a band’s “sound”. We all have different roles in the band and we respect that. We have the same vision and know what kind of sound we’re going for anyway. The first singles released were “All I Want” and “Young Blood” and more recently the new single called “Gloom”, which all of them are featured on your upcoming 7”. How was the process of getting those songs done? Lea: We recorded the singles earlier this year. “All I Want” was the first song I wrote here in London so it’s fun and it’s also the first one to be released. I recorded the demos at home and then we went into the studio in May with Rory Attwell to record them. The studio, Lightship 95, is on a boat in the limehouse basin. We loved the whole boat thing.


INTERVIEW // KID WAVE

“I got some inspiration from moving to a new country but also from the time before the move. I’ve always been a dreamer, it kind of helps me to picture things. I guess it’s also a way to escape reality for a while.” When the tide came in around midday the boat would start to rock quite a bit. After a week in the studio we all had sea legs. The recording itself went really smoothly, usually we track drums and bass in a day or two and spend a bit more time on guitars and vocals and doing overdubs. I’m not sure people can notice the amount of backing vocals on the recordings, but there’s a lot of them on all our tracks in general. We all sing harmonies and backing vocals, I even got Rory to sing on the last chorus in “Gloom”. You guys are currently recording your debut album, which is due for release in early 2015. What can we expect from this LP? Lea: People can expect a very Kid Wave sounding LP. Expect more long hair, dreaminess, fuzziness but it also shows a heavier side of the band. We’re very happy with

how things are sounding so far and can’t wait for people to hear it. Besides music, what other stuff do you guys love to do? Lea: We like playing ping pong, watching Rick & Morty and funny animal videos on YouTube. We like wildlife, animals and nature (Mattias not so much), eating food (Serra enjoys cooking, Mattias not so much). We love anything that makes us laugh and usually it doesn’t take much. What have you been listening to lately? Serra: Lush, Madonna and early 80’s acid house music. Harry: Wilco, Alvvays and The Wytches, I love their new album. I’ve also been listening to a lot of world music. Mattias: I’ve been listening to The Bear Quartet and Cymbals Eat Guitar’s new album, it’s really

good. I also listen to Russian Circles quite a lot, it’s always on my playlist. Lea: I’ve been listening to Ryan Adams new album which I like. Also been listening to Jeff Buckley a lot. And Wilco, Tom Petty and ELO. What’s your favorite record of 2014? Serra: Warpaint - Warpaint. Harry: The Wytches - Anabel Dream Reader. Mattias: The War on Drugs – Lost In The Dream. Lea: Sharon Von Etten – Are We There / Class of Kill’em High – Class of Kill’em High.

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Gloom EP is out now via Heavenly Recordings 41


a h c e t a t s

State Champs are probably one of the best pop punk bands of now and since then they have been putting out some quality stuff. Last album, The Finer Things, that gave them a push to show how awes they released a new EP called The Acoustic Things and have being their headline shows on Pure Noise Records tour, we spoke to voca little bit of everything, like their latest EP and what’s Words: Andreia Alves

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ow has been 2014 for you guys so far? This year has been really, really busy. It’s seems like we haven’t really being at home at all. It’s been non-stop touring for us on this whole playing and album cycle of The Finer Things which is our first record. We’ve been in so many places that we hadn’t been yet which is awesome, and it’s still not even over yet which is insane. We’re still out on tour currently and we have one more tour after this overseas, but it’s been really fun and exciting.

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amps

wadays. They formed in 2010 year, they released their debut some their music is. Recently g on tour quite a lot. During alist Derek Discanio about a next for the band.

You were saying that you guys are currently on the Pure Noise Records tour with Handguns, Forever Came Calling, Front Porch Step, Heart To Heart, Brigades... How is it going? It’s been great! It’s our first Pure Noise Records tour and it’s also our first headline tour which is something we’re like really nervous about going into, just because we’ve done so many tours where we were opening up for other bands which all we know is how to open up for our friends and play for about a half hour. It’s the first time that we have our show and people that are coming to the show are coming to see us, so we figured we had a lot to show and that would be hard today like show how our show can actually be and so we got out there and started this tour. We prepared as much as we could for it and really like how things are coming out, especially with how crazy it turned out to have all the people coming up to see us. It’s been amazing and much more than we could ever expect. I’m kind of bummed that it’s almost over and we only have another week left. I wish it was longer, but then again it has been a long year like I said before so I’m kind of ready to head back home and see the family and relax for a little bit until it’s time to head back out again.

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Last year, you guys released your debut album The Finer Things, which received an amazing amount of praise from everyone. Looking back to that, how have been things for you guys as a band? I feel like basically before we put the album out and before we started this whole year of touring a lot of things were kind of up in the air for us, like worried how we were going to be received and how being a full time band and a full time touring band devoting our lives to the band was kind of like up in the air. It was like a ballpark thing for us but then I think how well everything keeps progressing, like the rich response of the album and all the people that keep coming to see us on tour and how the crowd keeps getting bigger and things like that. We’re definitely all in at this point, so it’s kind of a big devotion and commitment to us that we’re all here for the same reason and we’re just ready to get as far as we can go and to push ourselves to whenever as far as like this being our career now. It’s something that we want to do as long as we can and in the best way we possibly can. You guys have been described as the New Found Glory and Saves The Day of this generation. How do you feel about that? I think that’s awesome. I mean, if people wanna go ahead and put that kind of label on us, that’s amazing. We can only hope to fulfill that. It doesn’t put pressure on us, but when you do put a label on like that it’s expected to be filled. If doesn’t, people are waiting for you to fill it or mess something up and that’s when the Internet goes crazy. As far as the initial thing of that, I take it as the biggest compliment ever for us. They are some of our favorite bands and bands that we look up to and another reason we do what we do in the first place, so that’s amazing. You’ve released recently the EP The Acoustic Things, which includes re-worked versions of tracks from your album The Finer Things and two new songs. So what did lead you to do that? That’s where I come from as far as acoustic music goes, because I come from playing acoustic guitar in a room and that’s where even my inspiration for wanting to sing in a band comes from in the first place. But State Champs was the first band that I was in and involved in that I actually took seriously, 44

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so that was one thing that I wanted to incorporate since we started this band and even though we are a pop band and we are like a fast pace, energetic band there can be a whole new side to us when it just comes back to me just sitting in a room playing guitar. When it came to re-work some of the songs from The Finer Things like fast and in-your-face songs to a more like downtempo and a different production quality as far as that goes and just make an acoustic mellow song. It was really fun to do it and really fun to just sit down and say “How are we really gonna retell this with a more chilled vibe?” and I think we accomplished it really well. It was very stress-free as far as the recording process goes and we recorded it in New York where we’re from with a friend in his own studio that we know and we trust really well. It was really very stress-free and we just had as much fun as we could... And then on the top of the five The Finer Things tracks that we re-worked, I wrote two brand new songs that are just opposed to the songs that we write like a pop song or a fast and energetic song. This was me thinking “I want to write two acoustic songs however this may come out or whether this sounds like a State Champs song or not, we’re gonna do it on there and try to blend it there and make it sound as State Champs as it can be.” It was fun to do that to just go back to just me like I said and doing something very organic - just me writing a song with a guitar - and that was really fun to do as well. These two brand new songs that you wrote, were they written after your debut album was released? That’s actually a good question because there’s a good story about them. The first new track is called “Leave You In The Dark” and that was the first single released from it and that was a song that I wrote very recently, right before the recording of The Acoustic Things. It was something fresh and the idea of it was fresh for me and that was cool just to be able to write a new song. The second new track that we recorded, “If I’m Lucky” and we released that the day the album came out, it’s actually been received even better than “Leave You In The Dark” which is awesome, but the story behind

that one is actually the first song I’ve ever written. I wrote it when I was 15 and I’m 22 now, so it was 7 years ago. At the time, it was just kind of like the cheesy, corny love song that I wrote for an ex-girlfriend of mine. Basically we recorded “Leave You In The Dark” for The Acoustic Things and we kind of said “Ok, we’re gonna release just one new acoustic song” and our label basically chop that down and said “We need one more new song” and it was a very crunch time when we just had to get this done. That’s when I guess the recording process got a little bit stressful but then I said “What if we just do this song? I have this song that I wrote 7 years ago and we’ll try to re-work it and make it sound cool” but it didn’t even take that much of working. We just recorded it as the way it was and added some pieces into it to finalize it; we created the structure and that’s that. It’s still a little bit of a corny song that I wrote a long time ago, but people seem to really like it and connect with it, especially on this tour that we are doing right now. Are you guys currently working on new material? Yeah, for sure. Like I said, we’re on a headline tour and then we have one more tour after this, and then we have most of December and January off. We definitely always try to stay on our grind as far as having new songs, song ideas and things like that, but when we get home from this tour it’s time to really sit down and we’ll be in full writing mode up until the beginning of 2015, which is only planned to head into the studio and start pre-production and then ultimately the recording process for our next album which we are very excited about. Is there any new aspect that you want to approach on the new material? I think we’re kind of trying to reflect on how well the recording process went for The Acoustic Things and how much that compared to The Finer Things; being away from home as we were and how it was our first album, so we really didn’t know how to record a full-length album. Now that we have that under our belts we know what to expect going into a studio like a professional setting when we’re actually working and writing


INTERVIEW // STATE CHAMPS

“... when we get home from this tour it’s time to really sit down and we’ll be in full writing mode up until the beginning of 2015, which is only planned to head into the studio and start pre-production...” an album and we’re on a certain schedule, but we always know that we want to be as prepared as possible. This time we’re just gonna try to create that vibe that we had in The Acoustic Things, where everything is very stressfree and we’re just vibing with each other as much as we can. At the same time being aware of time and being on a nice schedule. Just kind of make everything work. We’re not panicking or anything, just keeping it as organic as possible while still having fun and just write cool songs in a room together, because that’s where we’ve come from and that’s what we want to keep doing with this band. We’re just looking forward to get back into the studio. When you guys are at home, do you have any other projects or outlets that you like to spend time with? Personally, I do a couple of other things besides singing in a band. I’ve recently started dabbling in the producing area, like trying to produce bands and things like that. That’s something that I really love to do. I always act like a producer role in my band whenever we go into the studio, but I know what it means to have like

a second set of eyes and ears in a room and helping write songs and that’s what I love to do. I’ve recently started to work with other bands and it’s going really well, so that’s something that I wanna keep doing. Everybody else has their own hobbies besides doing music. It’s cool that we also have other things that we can spend our time on while still keeping the band as our full priority. Do you recommend us any new bands? Let’s see. Today was a pretty good release day. There’s a lot of good music that came out actually today and one that I have to throw out is a band called PVRIS. They’re a new band that just signed to Rise Records and they put out a record called White Noise today and that’s probably one of my favorite new records of this year. It’s very different, but they can still tie into anybody that maybe even likes State Champs but then they can also tie into people that would like crazy, weird pop music like Lorde and things like that. There’s something very unique in them and I can see them blowing up and being everybody’s new favorite band very soon.

Besides that record, is there any other one that really stands out for you that was released this year? There is that new Taylor Swift record that just came out. [laughs] I don’t know if that counts for anything, but it is one my favorite records right now. I’m actually a closet pop music freak. I’m always listening to the radio and I’m all about Top 40 music and singing on top of music culture and things like that. I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a huge Taylor Swift fan. Do you recommend me to listen to her new record, 1989? I like it a lot. It’s actually her very first pop record. She kind of drops any sort of rock or country vibe. This is just a straight pop record, very catchy, everything sticks in your head and that’s what a lot of people look for in a song - at least I do in a broad spectrum. She definitely did that and she got everyone’s attention.

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The Acoustic Things EP is out now via Pure Noise Records 45


After releasing the conceptual album Wretched and right away working on a new album, and between go worked with the likes of Metallica and Mötley Crüe, tour, Andy Biersack had some time to talk with us

BLACK VE THEY’RE RE-WRITING ROCK’S RULE BOOK 46

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d Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones, the lads of Black Veil Brides started oing through a rough time and working with producer Bob Rock - who has - the result is impressive. The In the midst of the “The Black Mass 2014� s about this massive new album and how the band is growing stronger. Words: Andreia Alves

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Where did you draw inspiration for this new album? We drew inspiration from all over, but I think more than anything this is a record that was very honest about life and also about the things that we’ve been dealing with in our lives at the time. This new album is probably your heaviest effort yet. Would you agree with that? Absolutely.

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ou are currently on “The Black Mass 2014″ tour with Falling in Reverse, Set It Off, and Drama Club. How is it going so far? The tour is been excellent so far. We’re having a blast out here. It’s been almost a decade that Black Veil Brides were formed and you have struggled a lot to be where you are now. How do you feel with all that you’ve accomplished so far? I feel like we’re having an excellent time so far. I mean, we’re very lucky to get to the point where we can tour and play in larger places everywhere we go in the world. It’s a very lucky life to have. Fortunately we were able to put out a new record and people are so interested in listening to our music. It’s always wonderful to know that you’re able to continue on. You simply named this new album with the band’s name. Do you feel that this album represents where Black Veil Brides are right now? Absolutely! I feel like it’s the best representation of our music so far. Before you started writing this new album, you went through a rough time as a band. Did make this album made you stronger as a band? Yes, absolutely. I think this record really brought the band back together. Not saying that we were breaking up or anything, but turned into something that made the band feel much more solid as a band. 48

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With that said, what was it like going into the studio with a producer like Bob Rock? Bob Rock is just so amazing and such an inspirational person, not only just musically, but in life. He is someone that is just so kind and really taught me so much about music during the course of time working on the record.

“I think this record really brought the band back together. Not saying that we were breaking up or anything, but turned into something that made the band feel much more solid as a band.” How was the writing process for this record? The writing process was probably more extensive on this one than the previous records, because we really started writing probably 6 to 8 months before the record actually started with Bob working on pre-production. We spent more time on this one than on any previous record. The video for the songs “Heart of Fire” and “Goodbye Agony” sort of have a storyline between them. What can you tell me more about that? We wanted the two videos to correlate in a way and mostly more than anything ever we wanted “Goodbye Agony” to be something that would be really fun for the fans to watch and see all references and theme narratives that go back to all of the videos on our career. There’s a reference to

every video that we made within the context of that video and I think that’s really fun, especially for the fans. The album’s artwork was once again made by Richard Villa. How did he come up with that conceptual image this time around? We talked about concepts for the artwork pretty early on in the process of making the record. We went back and forth about different ideas and what we really landed for was something that Richard created. I have to give Richard full credit for that, because in many ways his vision was really what was realized there. Besides releasing this new record with Black Veil Brides, you released a song called “They Don’t Need To Understand” as Andy Black. Are you planning on release more music through this solo project of yours? Yeah, I plan to probably next year. I’m always working on this solo stuff but it’s in a certain way a hobby for me. I read that you are into acting. Are you planning on focusing more on that outlet? I love acting and I love the idea of being able to portray different characters, not only just on film, but also on stage and so that’s something I would love to do more in my life. Out of curiosity, I know you are a big fan of Batman, so what are your expectations for the new Zack Snyder’s film Batman v Superman? I’m really excited. I think that people are giving Ben Affleck a hard time and they don’t have any opinion yet. I remember of how people treated Heath Ledger going into The Dark Knight and obviously he was amazing on that. So I’m excited to see what Ben Affleck does. What’s your favorite record of 2014? I really enjoy our new record. [laughs]

Black Veil Brides is out now via Spinefarm Records


INTERVIEW // BLACK VEIL BRIDES

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__

Last year wasn't an ea one of the founding m good and the group ha that's something that s Cyrus Bolooki ab

g d n u o f w ne THE COMEBACK HEROES 50

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asy year for the guys of New Found Glory. They saw their band put to the test after members, Steve Klein, left the band. The reasons for his departure weren't any ad turned into a four piece. Resurrection is a brand new chapter for the group and stands out for their ability to overcome obstacles no matter what. We talked with bout how important this album is for them after going through a rough time. Words: Andreia Alves // Pictures: Lindsey Byrnes

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a lot of ways this is a resurrection for us and a way for us to continue and keep doing what we love to do.

C

ongratulations on the new album Resurrection, the feedback has been great and you have been on tour. So how have you guys been lately? Everything has been great. Thank you very much for the compliment on the record and we’re very proud of Resurrection. And yes, you are correct! We’ve been getting very good feedback from our fans, reviewers, critics... you know, everyone has a positive outlook on this record. We couldn’t be happier about that and it’s great for us to be back out. It’s been a little while since we’ve been on tour and honestly just the fact that we are back out on the road and the fact that we have released the record says a lot to us, because we have gone through a lot in the last eight or so months as a band and I think other bands may not have been able to navigate through what we’ve been through and actually come out ok on the other side. But we feel like we’re actually stronger than we’ve been in a long time and closer together. We’re in a very good place now in our band, so we’re just very happy to continue. After the harsh circumstances you went through, do you feel that Resurrection is a new chapter for New Found Glory? Yeah, definitely. The name resurrection obviously comes from the song titled the same. When we were writing the record that song “Resurrection” was one of the first songs we wrote and I feel like once we kind of wrote that song, we realized that Resurrection itself could really pick on a bigger meaning and it could become the representation of ourselves in our band... You know, what we have gone through and like you say, it is in a lot of ways a new beginning and a new chapter for our band. We’ve been able to kind of push through and rise up from going through some struggles. So yes, in 52

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I read that Chad had mentioned that this album was easier to record than others. Why’s that? Well, I think a lot of it has to do with the way that we approached the writing process of the record. In past years, no matter what we’ve always got together as a band and we tried to spend time together to write the songs, but this time the difference was that Chad, Jordan and myself all lived pretty close to each other and we would hang out once a week. Me and Jordan would drive off to Chad’s house and Chad would have little music ideas on guitar. I would record those music ideas on my computer and then I would actually go home and write little drum parts to it, bring them back to Chad’s house and we would start to write lyrics and we got into a little groove of kind of doing everything once a week. We actually started recording Jordan’s singing lyric ideas early on and before we entered the studio we actually had eleven out of the thirteen songs. We had them completely written and we had already recorded demo versions of them, so we pretty much had exactly what we needed to do already recorded. Going into the studio was really easy, because we just re-recorded all the demos that we had done. We didn’t have to worry about finishing this lyric or what it is this part going to be and all that stuff was already done for us, because we invested so much time ahead before we went into the studio. And the writing was easy as well. There wasn’t a lot of struggle with what we should write about. We had obviously a lot of things that we had gone through recently in our own lives that we could draw on the lyrics and music. That’s what was coming naturally to us at the time. It was very easy to write this record. What did you do differently this time around in regards to the whole making process of the album? The actual process wasn’t much different except for spending time at Chad’s house. It was very relaxing. It wasn’t like through any rehearsal studio or in a normal studio where you’re paying

by the hour or literally sitting around the table at your house. So it was very relaxing and there was no pressure. As far as the lyrics, it’s definitely different because in the past, most of our songs really just talked about relationships and maybe getting through bad break ups and things like that. But we really did dive into other topics and a lot about just life, the don’ts and dos, the struggles, how you really want to try to live your life... I think that made it different for sure but even easier, because we have been going through a lot out of ourselves in the recent months. We were just writing from our hearts, you know? Writing from what we had gone through... When you do things like that, you don’t have to force it because it’s natural and it’s a lot easier to write about. You’re not pretending or faking any of the lyrics. This is really what we’ve gone through and what we’ve seen other going through. In my opinion, when I listen to this record there are two words that come to my mind: rise above! Would you consider that this album has that kind of feeling? Yeah. Rise above or just continue on, you know what I mean? We actually talk about it right now. We’re on tour and most nights we try to stop for a minute and between songs tell the audience that if they look at our band as an example of what we’ve gone through in the last year and where we are now, the fact that we are in front of them playing concerts and we just released a record, that’s a good example of how any kind of struggle that you have in life you can move fast, you know? It’s just a small little thing in the grand picture of life and pretty much anything that you go through or any struggle you have you can move fast. If you really want to do it and you really want to set your mind to do it, if you really believe you can make it through, you will make it through. One of my favorite tracks of this album is the title-track “Resurrection,” which features Scott Vogel of Terror. How did he end up on that track? Not just Scott but all the other guys - Brendan Yates, and Anthony Raneri of Bayside, - all the guests that we had on this record, much


INTERVIEW // NEW FOUND GLORY

“... what we have gone through... it is in a lot of ways a new beginning and a new chapter for our band. We’ve been able to kind of push through and rise up from going through some struggles.” like a lot of our records in the past, they’re all friends of ours. When we were writing these songs and we decided that we wanted to have guests on certain songs, we had an idea of the exact person that we wanted. We knew that Scott’s voice would be perfect on that one [“Resurrection”], because he has this power on his voice and luckily for us, as far as the scheduling, he was home and I think he was leaving for tour the next day or something, but we got him into the studio right before he left for tour to record that part. We love being able to have our friends help us out on this record, and any of our records, but on top of that, someone who obviously their style or what they sound like really helps bring the song to another level. Which song of this album stands out as the best for you? It’s a very hard question to answer. I

think right now I’m actually gonna say the same as you. “Resurrection” is really fun. We play that every night live right now and I really enjoy playing that song. If I had to pick one other song, it would be “Ready and Willing”. I really like that song. I think the message of that song is really good for our band, because it really can describe what we as a band have gone through our entire career, which you have an idea of what you want to do, you have a dream, you have this passion and you start to do it and there are times in life when you make questions whether or not it’s the right choice and if that’s really what you want to do. But if you really believe in it and if you’re really willing to do it, you can push on and that’s what we have done. And that song is really challenging the listener of the song to kind of

look to their lives in the same way and make sure that they really wanna be doing what they’re doing... You know, make sure they’re doing the correct thing in their lives. The video for “Ready and Willing” is really funny. Who came up with the concept for the video? The idea mainly came because the video we released for “Selfless” about a month before and that video was us, you know, the band ... We were just playing the song and there was no real story. Coming into the “Ready and Willing” video, we wanted something completely different. We didn’t really want to worry about us and us playing, so what’s different in that? Well, let’s not have us at all and so that initial idea actually turned into something

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bigger, which was like “Why don’t we try to find people that look like us that are younger?”. Obviously because they’re younger, they’re probably better looking or whatever, and just have a whole another set of people to be our band and to play ourselves in the video. After we made it, we realized that it’s kind of a joke, but it’s funny that there’s some people out there who maybe don’t know who we are or maybe they know who our band is, but they don’t know what we look like and they might actually think that is us. There are people out there that were fooled into thinking that it was us. So there was a joke in it, but it was fun for us to make the video that had other people and just let people talking. Obviously, our fans - the people who know who we are - knew right away that’s not us and when you watch the video you see each one of us with a small part in it, but for the person who doesn’t know us is kind of a joke because that’s not us in the video and may think that is. There’s also a message video from Jordan and Chad - but not the real ones - and turned out really awesome. Yeah, exactly. It’s one of those things that as we were creating the video we realized “Hey, we should do some extra stuff like extra videos of the guys talking as if they were us.” I think we even did a video with them saying to come watch them on tour but of course that’s not them, that’s us. Do you think that this new album ranks as your best release to date? I think it’s tough to say that is the best, but I will tell you that this is one of the best that we’ve done. It definitely is. Not just the new music and the lyrics, but again given all the circumstances surrounding us, I think it can be as one of the classic New Found Glory records, because this is so defining for our career at a point where a lot of bands would have not continued or some bands would completely change. A lot of people I think it stuck with us who never sound the same again because we don’t have five people, we’re four now and stuff like that. Because all of this and the fact that we have a record that we all feel is definitely New Found Glory. It sounds like New Found Glory, even the lyrics are still very applicable and people can 54

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relate to the lyrics in all different ways. I think in a lot of ways this record is one of our best and it will in the end of the day stand out as one of the best releases we’ve ever done. Looking back to when you guys started your band in 1997, what are your thoughts about the current Punk scene? I think it has come a long way and it’s always changing. When we started, there was a very big DIY ethic. The Internet was still kind of small and you couldn’t really use it in the same way that you can now. There was no Facebook, no Twitter, no iTunes, you know, none of that stuff. When we first started, we were at the tail end of how the entire Punk scene started where people would go and make their own flyers, record their own records and go to parking lots to give them out... Things have obviously changed now, but I think the punk scene has also still stayed true to a lot of the original ideals, which it’s a community of people that are very passionate about what they do. A lot of it has to do with helping each other out and not really relying on the radio or the big TV. You just get out there and you play your music. That’s how you get your music out for the masses, so I think in that way Punk Rock hasn’t really changed. The music itself has obvioulsy been changing, but it always does. The Punk Rock in the 70’s doesn’t sound like the 80’s, doesn’t sound like the 90’s and so on and so forth. But I’m very happy that we’re a band that started in the late 90’s and it’s still around today. Most bands don’t last more than three or five years, so for us to be here 17 years is pretty amazing and a lot of that I think it has to do with how we are very… a lot of the importance was just going on tour, making records and getting out there and playing shows. If we don’t play shows, we know that we can’t continue our band. We just keep on going out there and touring for that people that enjoy seeing us. Are there any new bands that we should listen to? There’s really a lot of bands out there and it’s really hard to name in specific. I think one of the greatest ways to check out bands is if you go to concerts and see which bands are playing together

obviously with us. We try to play with bands that we are friends with and with bands that we like on tour. Right now there’s a band called Red City Radio that are opening up for us. They’re a small band but we all think they are really great. Fireworks are on the road with us as well and also We Are In The Crowd in the US. In Europe we have tons of bands coming with us. We have The Story So Far, State Champs, Candy Hearts... There’s so many bands to name that I don’t really wanna pick one or two. It’s really like you go find a band that you love, look if they’re gonna be on tour with because they’re probably bringing some pretty good bands with them, and then also look what other bands that are maybe on this thing like labels or the opener bands. This is what we did in the beginning, you know, this is how we learned about our scene. You would go to concerts and that’s how you learned about other bands. You see flyers from other bands or you go and buy a record and you look and see what other bands are on the same label. That’s really interesting that you say that, because sometimes when I go see a band live I don’t know the other bands that are going to play too, so it’s a great way to know them and their music. Yeah, and the opener will may play their own headline shows and maybe you will go to that and that’s how they gain fans and that’s how the scene continues. What’s your favorite record of 2014? Wow, that is a very tough one. [pause] The reason why I’m answering this is because I’m on tour with them right now so it makes easy, because I listen to the songs a lot. Fireworks, the band that we’re on tour right now, they have a record that they put out called Oh, Common Life and it came out this year. I think the record is awesome. They play a whole bunch of new songs on the tour we are right now and they’re a great band.

Resurrection is out now via Hopeless Records


INTERVIEW // NEW FOUND GLORY

“I think in a lot of ways this record is one of our best and it will in the end of the day stand out as one of the best releases we’ve ever done.”

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KNUCKL Starting out in 2011, Knuckle Puck are a group from Chicago that bring punk to another new level. Their emotion-driven is unique and gives a special flair to their music. The group has already released three EPs, including their most recently While I Stay Secluded, and they have heavily toured with a lot of bands, such as with Senses Fail on their "Let It Enfold You" 10th anniversary tour. We talked with Kevin Maida, one of the guitarist about the new EP, touring and what's next for them. Words: Andreia Alves // Pictures: Ally Newbold

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N O I T O EM


LE PUCK

K N U P N -DRIVE

F

irst of all, can you tells us a little bit of how Knuckle Puck came to be? Some of us knew each other from either going to school together or just meeting each other at local shows. We all kind of knew each other and we all knew the type of band we wanted to do, so we all just kind of got together to do something for fun on the weekends and when we weren’t working or working on the school. It kind of just developed from there, because at the time there wasn’t really a whole lot of bands in our area like playing the style of music that we wanted to play. It was also a band that we just wanted to hear

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from our local area at the time and so it just grew from there. 2014 has been a big year for you guys. You were on the Senses Fail “Let It Enfold You” 10th Anniversary tour with No Bragging Rights and To The Wind, and also released a split with Neck Deep, among other things. How do you feel about all that? It’s not surprising, but it’s been really cool to witness first hand just because when we started this band, we didn’t think we would tour. We really didn’t think we would do anything more than play like local shows and stuff like that. Everything we’ve been able to do, whether it’s been our first tour last summer to touring with bands like Man Overboard, Senses Fail and Modern Baseball, it’s just crazy to think that we’re able to do that stuff because those really weren’t our primary goals at all. Lately it’s been pretty nuts to witness and we’re very grateful for every kind of support we’ve gotten so far. “Let It Enfold You” 10th anniversary tour must have been a really fun time for you guys. How was it for you to be on that tour? One thing that I liked a lot was that we got to play to people who wouldn’t necessarily check out our band voluntarily I think, because we didn’t really sound like the rest of the bands, you know? Everyone knows how Senses Fail sound like and everyone knows how Let It Enfold You sounds and the other two bands, No Bragging Rights and To The Wind. They are kind of heavier bands and we’re not really a heavy band. I guess in some ways we were the odd band out which I kind of like being able to play to people who probably wouldn’t give our band a chance or anything. We had a lot of people on this tour coming up to us and say after our set “I’ve never heard of you guys before. I really liked what I was hearing.” That was pretty much the whole goal of the tour. I liked that a lot and it was also really cool being able to tour with a band like Senses Fail, because it seems like they’ve been around forever and it’s just cool to witness how they do things and how they go about touring and playing shows. That was really cool too. Talking a little about your music, one of the things that stands out the most is the emotional-driven 58

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that you guys put on your music. What are some things that you guys draw inspiration from to capture this sound? I don’t know. It just kind of happens naturally and I know that sounds cliché, but it’s like the kind of music that I guess we wanna hear from ourselves so we just have to naturally make it. I think some of our songs have aggressive elements to them somewhat and it’s music we want to be hearing at the time. If not from ourselves, from other bands. I think whenever we write a new song we try to convey that and we try to go for that sound naturally, because that’s naturally what we like to hear, and like I said, whether is from our band or any other band. Whenever we do start writing, we don’t really have any points of direct inspiration or anything like that, it just kind of naturally happens I guess. You’ve recently released your awesome new EP While I Stay Secluded. How was your approach in regard to the writing process? For the past releases I don’t think we were restrained by the genres that we’re fitting into, but we kind of followed it a little bit too closely and I think this release we kind of started branching out more and doing some different things with our songwriting. I feel like at times we do some things that we wouldn’t necessarily have done in the past or consider it... I feel with our songwriting, especially with this past release, we’re trying to push the boundaries a little bit more and have some really different parts where you wouldn’t expect us to do, but I think overall it feels a Knuckle Puck release. I don’t think it sounds too crazy from anything else we’ve done, but I think with this one that the more different ideas we had, the more open we were to actually use those ideas than we were in the past. Does the title While I Stay Secluded has a special meaning? It comes from a lyric in the last song, “Bedford Falls”. The EP doesn’t necessarily have a theme or anything like that, I just know that song is about acknowledging the people in your life that allow you to do what you love to do and support you till the end of day, who let you do whatever it is what you love. I think that line comes from a song about recognizing those people and thanking them eternally for supporting what you love. And in our

case is supporting us being in this band by our families and friends who understand what we do. You have someone on the cover art of this EP kind of fading away. Does that figure have a special meaning? We took some really different pictures and we just thought that one kind of fit the best, because in the song “But Why Would You Care?” there’s a line that says “I’m a ghost in foreign postal codes” that means that wherever you go, you kind of leave pieces of yourself, whether intentionally or not. I guess the cover is like a home - whether it’s your own personal home or not - with a faded out figure of a kid and it kind of represents that no matter where you are or what you do or whatever you go, you always leave a piece of yourself whether you know or not. I think more so, the cover has a lot to do with that song “But Why Would You Care?”. You recorded this EP with Seth Henderson in Crown Point, IN. How was it like the recording process this time around? First of all, we love Seth. This is the fourth release we had with him and it’s been really cool to be able to record with Seth. Real Friends also recorded there as well. It’s just been awesome, because when we first started recording there we didn’t really know him and he didn’t know us, and so the more we started going there the more we started working with him. It’s also more like we just became really good friends with him. Whenever we go there I just think it’s the best environment to record these songs and because it’s very relaxing. It’s just like going to your friend’s house and hanging out and just relax. It’s really awesome how Seth is. He’s brilliant in what he does, he’s a very good producer and a very good sound engineer. We thank him for that, because I know for a fact that our band wouldn’t be the same without him. He helped us so much with our songwriting and finishing our songs. I know I wouldn’t wanna go anywhere else to record but with Seth. He’s awesome! This fall/winter, you will start a new tour with Modern Baseball, Crying, Somos. What’s your favorite song of this EP to play live?


INTERVIEW // KNUCKLE PUCK

“Whenever we do start writing, we don’t really have any points of direct inspiration or anything like that, it just kind of naturally happens I guess.” The only new song of the new EP that we’ve been playing - which we played on the tour with Senses Fail - is “Oak Street”, the second track. I really like playing that song, but on this next tour I’m really looking forward to play “Bedford Falls” and “But Why Would You Care?”. I definitely think those are two of my favorite songs of the new EP and I feel like other people really enjoy as much as we do, so I think it will be really fun to play those two songs live and give them a nice raw element. I’m very excited for that. You guys have put out three great EPs and other releases, but do you have any plans for a full-length in the near future? Not in the near future, but it’s inevitable that it will happen for us. I just know that we like to do EPs, because being in a whole time touring band and actually committing yourself full time to this band that it’s been a very new thing just because through the whole development of our band we’ve either been working full time or going to school full time. It’s been a little difficult over the years to devote yourself completely to it and so I think that’s why we like to

do EPs. It’s an easier gap to fill as oppose to trying to tour a lot and write twelve songs. Another reason that we like to do EPs is so that we could put out new music sooner while it’s basically a fulllength. We will have new music coming out until at least 2015, so we like to do EPs because you can put out new music sooner, you can give people more new stuff from you to keep things fresh. It’s refreshing for us to put out new music often, but it’s inevitable that at some point we will do a full-length. I can’t say anytime soon, but it will happen. Do you recommend any new bands? There’s this band from Milwaukee called Cross Me. We know a couple of those guys and they’re a hardcore band. I think they’re awesome and they’re a really great band. They just put out new music too. They put out a new EP and it sounds so good. There are a few other bands that we were recently on tour with, No Bragging Rights and To The Wind. Those bands are awesome. Light Years just put out new music. I know that Have Mercy just put out some

new music and so did Better Off, those two bands are awesome too. Transit just put out a new fulllength too and it’s awesome. We love it and we think it’s great as so from Forever Came Calling and Man Overboard. All those bands are great. What’s your favorite record of 2014? That’s a great question. I’m really into Code Orange new record called I Am King and I think it’s great. It’s really heavy and I like it a lot. There’s another band called Praise and they put out a full-length called Lights Went Out and it’s really good. There’s this other band called True Love, they’re another hardcore band and they just put out a new song I think and they’re all really good. It’s like early 2000’s hardcore and it’s really cool. Those are pretty much the three main things that I’ve been really into as new releases of this year that I think that are just phenomenal.

While I Stay Secluded EP is out now via Rude Records

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A BY_ _ When Slaughter Of The Soul dropped way back in 1995, it was the swansong for a band who went on to be hailed as pioneers of a sound which has defined modern metal ever since. 19 years later, after a lengthy hiatus and a well-received reunion, At The Gates have returned with an album that represents everything the band have come to define, and stands as one of the finest moments in a career saturated with creative high-points. In the wake of its release, guitarist Anders Bjรถrler took some time to talk us through the birth of At War With Reality. Words: Dave Bowes // Pictures: Daniel Falk

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D N A T S E B R I E AT TH S _ M _ R E _ T N _ W _ O _ R I HE_ Y_T_

A

fter the band reformed, you stated that there were no plans to release any new material. What led you to change your mind? Well. A lot of positive things have happened in the last couple of years playing shows together. We found ourselves in a very creative and comfortable group dynamic. However, even though everything felt extremely good, and we had a lot of fun travelling the world playing shows, we felt that something was missing in the equation. We missed the creative side of us, writing and arranging songs together. And for me personally having left The Haunted and completing my solo album, At The Gates was an open landscape ready to be re-discovered.... Given that this is your first album in such a long period, was there any expectation as to how the album would be received? Have the reviews and the reactions of fans so far surprised you? Initially we worked very intimately, really just me, Tomas and Jonas exchanging ideas. We kept it that www.facebook.com/MUSICandRIOTS.Magazine

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way for a while, so there was no real expectation since the world didn’t know about our ‘little secret’. Now, a year and a half later, we are overwhelmed by all the positive feedback and response. We have been working extremely hard on this album, and it’s nice to get some recognition. What are the main themes that run through At War With Reality, and how much did these play a part in how the songs were written and structured? There’s an overall lyrical concept on the album based on magic realism, the literary genre coined in Latin America during the 1950s/60s. We built the songs around this whole theme, and also Costin Chioreanu, the guy who made all the artwork, was very important to complete the whole experience for the listener. Tomas found this style of writing pretty early on in the process, but I think he used my (and Jonas’) music as the landscape and the base for his writing, and also adapted some kind of filmic literary style. There’s a great mix of the melancholic, irregular melodies of your earlier albums and the more forthright aggression of Slaughter Of The Soul on the new material. Was there a conscious effort to strike a balance between these two sides of At The Gates? 62

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For me personally, I wanted to re-discover the old albums, not just Slaughter Of The Soul, but basically, I wanted this new album to be slightly more melodic than that was, but also darker in a sense. So yes, some of the more melancholic and dissonant structures and passages from before were in my mind, but in a sense I was not influenced by what we did in the past, but more like what served as influences for us back then. That could be classical, opera, ambient or experimental music. Despite this, there’s something that feels very fresh here, and new to the band, that I struggle to define. How would you describe the new elements that you have brought to your sound? I guess what sounds fresh in a way is the fact we have left nothing to chance. The material is meticulously worked through. Of course you can’t overlook the great work of mixer Jens Bogren. He made us sound fantastic this time. In the years that have passed, you all have served time with numerous bands, most notably for you in The Haunted. Do you think this has affected the outcome of how the new album sounds? Ever since we parted ways back in 1996, we have all been active in various musical projects which has made us better and more

comfortable playing our instruments. So, that’s maybe an answer to your previous question as well. Of course everyone you play with inspires you in a way, so maybe there are even some parts reminiscent of The Haunted in the new album as well, but maybe the more dark period, such as The Dead Eye. In comparison with your other albums, was their much difficulty in the writing of these songs? As soon as I had 2-3 songs done, and got positive response from the other guys, I felt really confident that we were onto something great. This notion actually triggered me into writing more songs. So the initial songs that were written actually triggered me to write more. Continuing the theme of ‘something old, something new’ you worked with Fredrik Nordström again with this album, as well as working with Jens Bogren for the first time. How did you find these experiences, and what do you feel the two of them bring to the album’s sound? Well. Some relationships were re-discovered for this album, but some were not (Kristian Wåhlin etc). Choosing Studio Fredman just came naturally as we wanted to record in Gothenburg, and Fredrik has one of the few good


INTERVIEW // AT THE GATES

“... I wanted to re-discover the old albums, not just Slaughter Of The Soul but basically, I wanted this new album to be slightly more melodic than that was, but also darker in a sense.” studios that still exists. But after doing some mix tests we decided on Jens Bogren to mix the album since he had an approach we really liked. Costin’s artwork feels quite stripped back in comparison with much of his other work, yet it seems a very good fit for the album. Was there much communication between yourself and him when composing the art? We wanted the cover really simple and icon-like. When you open up the booklet you’ll discover a whole new world; a sort of barren landscape to take the listener on a journey. We started working with Costin early on in the project, and we were very careful about getting all the details in place - music, lyrics, artwork, but also photo-sessions, music videos, and so on. Moving way back, you guys were teenagers when you started this band. What memories do you have of the band’s early years? Well. We were very young and ambitious. I think you can hear that youthful ambition shining through on the first 3 albums. We could hardly play our instruments, and we were also stressed for time (and budget) in the studios we used. It was fun times, and very important for the development of us as musicians later on. We weren’t really bound by any rules or framework. We tried all ideas, good or bad.

Is there any one song, or even an individual riff, that you feel the most attached to? I can’t really name a specific riff, there are a few that sticks out. I am personally very fond of some of Alf’s riffs. Really gloomy and melancholic. The sound that At The Gates helped create with Slaughter Of The Soul has arguably become one of the most influential in modern metal. What are your thoughts on the legacy that you left behind? Well. It wasn’t so much of a legacy when we quit. It grew into this kind of entity with the help of bands and people that helped spreading the word about At The Gates. It’s quite fun to watch it become what it is today. We were just bystanders on the sidelines all these years watching it become increasingly popular. How did you feel performing the first reunion shows with the band back in 2007? It was really overwhelming. That and the fact that we didn’t have time to play everywhere we wanted made us reunite once again in 2011. In a sense it felt like no time had passed when we started rehearsing again in 2008. Like I told you earlier, it was probably a big plus that we were all active in other projects in the

12 year gap, and not starting over from scratch. What have been the main changes in your attitude towards the band and in your skill, both technically and as a songwriter, since Slaughter Of The Soul? Basically, we are older and wiser. Many things on Slaughter... were very impulsive and played with a very youthful approach. It was very much a result and a comeback from a European tour with Seance that crashed and we ended up losing a lot of money. So a lot of frustration and anger went into that album. At War With Reality is more about finding a form of expression that works within the concept, and to paint a picture or tell a story for the listener. Do you have any long-term plans for the band, and do you think there will be any more material in the future? We are happy where we are at right now, and just are very careful to keep it on a relaxed and fun level for us personally. Where it takes us, it’s too early to say, but we are enjoying ourselves right now.

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There are only a handful of bands capable of melding wit, ferocity and complexity with any real cohesion, but Canadian noise-rock-meisters are

KEN mode

certainly amongst the best of the bunch. In the middle of a European tour with label-mates H A R K and comedian Garret Jamieson, guitarist and vocalist Jese Matthewson took a few minutes to update us on where they stand with theirWords: upcoming new album, Success. Dave Bowes

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o how are things moving along with Success? Do you have much work still to be done? Right now, no. There’s almost four weeks before we start recording so I think we’re going to try to do one more song. We already have 12 songs written but we’re probably only going to use 8 or 9 of those on the full-length, and then maybe do an EP or a 7”. We want to branch out. We’ve never really had any smaller pieces than a full-length so we thought that’d be kind of fun but, for all intents and purposes, the album is written. You’ve had Matt Bayles and Kurt Ballou on production duties in the past, so who will you be working with this time? For this one, we’re flying Steve Albini up to Winnipeg to record it so it should be very fun. I think the material suits the way he produces a record, because he doesn’t really produce a record. He makes you sound the way you sound, and if you don’t sound good, you aren’t going to sound good with him, and I think we sound pretty good. Plus, I’ve done a lot of pre-production so we’re ready. I think this is going to sound great.

I understand that there are schemes to offer financial aid for recording in Canada. How does this stack up against recording in the US? There can be, but it’s not really available for everyone. You have to treat it like a business venture. Once you reach a certain level, that’s when you can start getting funds - you need a certain level of notoriety. They’re trying to invest in bands that can, hopefully, make money off of their music / cultural exports. I know one of the bigger ones we get money from is sponsored by the radio broadcasters of Canada so they’re essentially trying to create hits, for lack of a better term, even though most of it’s not. They’re just trying to make it so that more Canadian acts can have a chance on the international stage. I know there’re programs like this in other countries - Norway, most of Scandinavia, I think France has some, and maybe Germany; a lot of different countries in Europe, though I don’t think the UK has one. It’s a lot like the States here – very competitive, and “fuck you” if you need help. Did the Juno win help you with that side of thing? I think it definitely helped us get funding, for sure. I felt it had a shelf-life, though. About six months after it happened was when we got some attention and then it went away, but it’s cool. www.facebook.com/MUSICandRIOTS.Magazine

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Has there not been any long-term fallout from it? Not really, apart from it being something people can name-drop with us now. The other interesting event with the band in the past year was the piece on you in Forbes Magazine. How did that come about? Yeah, that was funny, but I don’t know! Season Of Mist solicited them, somehow, and they bit. It became part of a larger piece on a school that was starting a program in California on music management, and it was talking about the importance of business in the music industry. Our focus was on bands who know business and can apply it in this industry but largely, artists are artists. They don’t think of the business side of things, they get someone else to do it. It was focused on the importance of bands needing to know this kind of stuff in this environment, where you can’t make money off of anything and everyone’s trying to bleed bands for resources. That’s the only way you can make any money – getting bands to pay you for doing something, and bands really shouldn’t be doing that because they’re not making any money! So both you and Shane are trained in finance, then? I have a Bachelor of Commerce; he also has a Bachelor of Commerce, but he’s also a chartered accountant. I did accounting for a number of years but I largely focused on marketing and small business management, so it’s kind of a great toolset for approaching something like a band which is, for all intents and purposes, a small business. Most people don’t like to treat it that way, nor do they like to treat us like we’re managing a small business. If we were managing a failing corner store we might be more respected than for what we’re doing now, but anyway, I might have some baggage. The piece said that your father also worked in this field… Both our mom and our dad, so we’ve kind of had this ingrained in us from birth. How did they feel about both of you going into music? Actually, they’re the ones who got us started in music. They forced to taking piano lessons when we were 66

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children. They were hesitant when we wanted to get into rock instruments in our teen years but they were encouraging and now this is all happening. When we started doing it as a full-time band for a living, they were actually very supportive, and they actually think that the things we’re learning, basically running our own small business here, are the most invaluable tools we could ever learn in business. Just doing it yourself, and dealing with people in the music industry, who are some of the most twisted people you could ever, ever experience in any other industry, mean if we ever want to apply any of this to anything else, it won’t faze us. It’s pretty wild. So can I take it that having these skills helps tours run a lot more smoothly? Personally, I think so. I think we’re a lot more prepared than most bands of our size. A lot of them end up hiring other people to do all these other things, like inventory management, tour management and stuff like that. We know the finances, basically, every day. Even bands who are hiring external tour managers often don’t know the state of the overall financial picture. We’re pretty nerdy like that. This tour, we’re overseeing all the cash for both us and H A R K - all the expenses, which is kind of cool. I kind of get off on that sort of stuff, which is really weird. You’ve always been very open in terms of your influences with each album. What have you been taking on board for Success? For this latest one, I’ve been listening to a lot of the Canadian noise-punk scene, for lack of a better term. I’ve been listening to a lot of bands like White Lung, and the new Death From Above is really cool, but for the most part we’ve been going back to our roots and the kind of stuff we were listening to when we started having a passion for doing music in the first place. Stuff like Nirvana, Jesus Lizard and Drive Like Jehu, which is something that’s always been somewhat prevalent in our music, but I think we’ve stripped a lot of things back and we’re focussing more on guitar, bass and drumsfocused rock songs - there’s not as much technical metal or metalcore in places. The last one was very innovative, 90s-2000s metalcore but this one, we’re fed up with

metal and hardcore and are totally stripping it out. Fuck that stuff. Getting more into post-punk and classic noise rock, though not like AmRep noise but more Seattle, Tilt-ish stuff. Some of the material tonight seemed quite soulful. Did you grow up with much soul music or was that accidental? Not really, I think that kind of accidentally happened. I’ve actually started taking voice lessons over the summer, just because I wanted to branch out, expand and do some different things. I’ve been finding it very difficult to apply what I’ve been learning to the classic structure of what we do, because I’ve been screaming and yelling over the top of music since I was 14, so trying to learn to sing, and apply that to what we do is not second nature at all. I think a lot of what’s coming out is the middle ground of how I’ve been trying to deal with that, so it’s not really singing but it’s definitely not the classic “Blleaaeaea!” It’s been fun, and I can’t wait to record the rest of the songs and have people hear them, because it’s different for us, and I hope people like it. Your lyrics always take on a very witty, satirical slant, and you’ve also brought Garrett on tour with you. Do you feel that humour is something that’s perhaps lacking in heavy music? I think a lot of people take themselves entirely too seriously. We like to straddle both sides of that. We do take ourselves seriously yet we also don’t take ourselves seriously at all. We’ve been having a lot of fun, more and more marrying the sides of comedy and music, and that’s one of the reasons we bring someone like Garrett out on tour with us too. We’d like to continue doing that and hopefully continue to blend the two as we grow as a band because we’re big fans of comedy, especially having Skot (Hamilton, bass) in the band with us now, because we all follow podcasts and a lot of different comedians. I like the blending of that with this weird style of noise rock. I think it fits. I felt all the lyrical content on our last record was very much black comedy-based, and this new one is taking that to a whole new level. There’s a lot of ridiculous, dark humour and inside jokes. I’ve taken a new lyric-writing style for


INTERVIEW // KEN MODE

“... Entrench was something different, going out in a couple of other areas, and now we’re going in another direction.”

these songs, where essentially I’ll be taking notes randomly, anywhere. When people say weird or funny things to me, I’ll just write down word sequences that are amusing to me and I’ll somehow tie them together into a unified theme that I hope other people will laugh at, because a lot of the concepts are ridiculous and that’s why we find them funny. That’s part of the reason we called the album Success. People keep saying, “Oh, you guys must be really proud of your success!” I don’t have a home, man! I guess you could say we’re successful in that we’re doing music for a living right now but we’re not making any money. I hear you’ve been doing a lot of muay thai and Brazilian jiu jitsu. How has the training been working out for you? I got to do a lot of it in the summer, which was kind of cool, but when we go out on tour, I get to do next to none of it. I guess it’s nice to get to train and get in shape but now I’m losing it all again. Losing all my muscle mass, forgetting how to throw punches… I’ll probably go back for the month before we record and just get the shit beat out of me. Given your similar interests, are you in touch with Eugene Robinson?

We are. We actually did an interview with him on our secondlast US tour for his Bloody Knuckle podcast, and he’s contributing vocals for our new album. His vocal parts for what he’s done on our new record are crazy. It’s awesome! Do you have any other guests brought in for the new album? The Full Of Hell guys are going to contribute some noise for one of the songs but other than that, not really, because it’s difficult to do that when you’re doing everything to tape, which Albini does. It’s a lot easier when you can just dump everything into a ProTools session, and we could have easily done that, but with tape I thought it’d be more pain than it’s worth. I had a whole bunch of grand plans that got scaled back when we decided that we’d rather do it with Albini. To do it with him, we’d have to make some sacrifices but at the same time I think it’s gonna be totally bad-ass. With Venerable, it felt like you took quite a large step forward, both in terms of technicality and in songwriting. Was there a catalyst for this? It was a natural progression. I don’t even know if it was so much to do with technicality, I think it’s just that we grew as a band. We got tighter. That was the first recorded

we ever recorded outside of Winnipeg. We went down to God City to do it with Kurt and really, the reason we recorded that album was that we wanted to try doing the band full-time, so we wanted to make the best record we’d ever made and the accumulation of everything we’d done up to that point. That’s what that record was, and Entrench was something different, going out in a couple of other areas, and now we’re going in another direction. Well, thanks a lot for the show and for taking the time out to talk to us. Any last things you’d like to add? I hope people continue to check out our stuff and that we see some people out at Temples fest next year, and hopefully we’ll be through here sooner rather than later because I know we’re going to be touring a lot here in the new year. We felt with Entrench that we were mishandled here in Europe we didn’t get enough booking and not enough people know who we are, so we’re going to change that. We are going to beat the crap out of this continent. UK and Europe, we’re coming for you!

Entrench is our now via Season Of Mist

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One of heavy music most recognized icons with a respected career in bands such as Sepultura, Nailbomb, Soulfly and Killer Be Killed is now back with Cavalera Conspiracy’s third record, Pandemonium. The one and only Max Cavalera took a few minutes to talk with us about Pandemonium, and besides that, we also had time to talk about family, playing live, things left to achieve and also about one of metal history’s most influential records, which is now on the verge of making its twentieth anniversary... Words: Luís Alves

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P

andemonium is already Cavalera Conspiracy’s third effort. How do you perceive this record in comparison with your first two releases Inflikted and Blunt Force Trauma? Well, I think it’s faster! The whole idea around Pandemonium was to do a more aggressive record with faster parts and when we entered the studio we had in mind to do a record with ten songs that would be in the same style of Arise from Sepultura. That was one of the ideas we had, but we also had an idea to do some stuff based on some of the more noisier stuff that we’ve been all listening to like Full of Hell, Noisem and Aborted. I took this stuff to the studio and showed it to Iggor and Marc as suggestions in terms of influences for this new record. I wrote the riffs for Pandemonium between November and December, we entered the studio in January and it took us only about a month to do it, but I think it came out great! We achieved the goal we had of doing a faster record and I’m pretty happy about how things turned out. All the songs sound pretty cool, the artwork for the record came out great as well, so, for me, I think we managed to do what we set out to do and I couldn’t be happier with Pandemonium. You’ve mentioned the writing process. Speaking of that, how was the writing dynamic for this third record? I know that you usually write most of the riffs throughout your projects, but did your brother Iggor and Marc contribute to the process this time as well? Our work system goes something like this… I do the riffs when I’m at my home and it takes me about one, one and a half months to write all these riffs. I pretty much keep playing and making riffs all day long and then I select the best ones which I eventually take to the studio. When we all arrive at the studio, I show these riffs to Marc and Igor and we start putting the songs together on top of all the riffs I’ve done at home and sometimes we take two or three riffs, put them together in one song and make those three riffs turn into one song by itself. There’s also other stuff I do at home that already 70

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comes into the studio with the choruses written like “Babylonian Pandemonium” which already had the chorus ready. When I wrote that riff, I had another riff for the chorus that kinda sounded like the theme from “Wizard of Oz”. There was some stuff that was already pre-arranged like that, but it’s really cool to work like this. We did the record live in the studio. The three of us usually played together in the studio and as soon as we thought a certain song was already good to go, we put the headphones on and just recorded the drums afterwards, so by doing this, Iggor’s drums really got that big live sound. We didn’t really use Pro-Tools that much or as much as other bands that use Pro-Tools a lot. We didn’t use it that much in the electronic parts and due to all of this, everything ended up having that kind of live feel with us playing together in the same room, which I think makes the sound warmer, really warm and really close. When you listen to Pandemonium with volume high on headphones, it sounds totally killer! Nate Newton from Converge has played bass on Pandemonium. How did he come to enter the band? We invited him to record the bass with us, but he didn’t enter on the songwriting process. If we worked with him again in the next record, I would like to invite him to write the songs with us and help us in the songwriting. He’s a great musician. He did some great stuff with Converge and Doomriders and surely he’s a very seasoned and experienced musician by himself, but unfortunately there wasn’t time, we already had all the material ready to go and it became just a matter of recording over here and sending him the songs for him to lay down his parts in Boston. He wasn’t here recording with us, he was in Boston,

“My con growin that t aggressiv


INTERVIEW // CAVALERA CONSPIRACY but he did his part and his work turned out to be really fucking good, with this twisted bass sound, really heavy. I invited him to sing one song on the record, “Crucible”, which was about the Salem Witches, and what’s really cool and I didn’t have a clue about, is that he was actually born in Salem, so I thought this was pretty crazy. When I invited him to sing on this song, without knowing anything about it, he just told me “I was born in Salem” and I told him “What? That’s crazy man!!”. I never understood this connection properly, but still, he sung on it and it came out awesome! His work all turned out to be very good and he wants to come down and tour with us next year. I think he’s gonna be able to tour with us in the European tour that starts next February and that’s really great.

nnection with heavier sounds has been ng for a few years by now and I think the older I get, the heavier and more ve I get! I should do a record called ‘Each day older and heavier!’” 71


You were now speaking about song themes… “Bonzai Kamikaze”, your first single, is about the famous kamikaze pilots that committed suicide in the second World War. What other themes inspired you to create the songs on this record? There’s a lot of different stuff actually, from the Salem Witches, up to the Japanese Kamikaze World War II pilots. There’s this song, “Cramunhão”, which is inspired in this Brazilian folklore about all the folks who live in Brazil’s backyards and summon out the devil to their own backyard. The devil then appears in front of them and he goes by the name of “Cramunhão”. I think this type of Brazilian folklore is pretty crazy, a really weird story and though I ended up doing the song in English, the chorus is sung in Portuguese! There’s also “I, Barbarian” which is all about barbarians, gladiators and humanity’s savagery and another one “Apex”, which is about the concept of the human being being the ultimate killing machine. I think that… from all the living beings in this world, the human being is really the worst one. He kills the most because he has the intelligence to think about ways to do that and he also knows that he’s killing. There are also other themes like in “Deus ExMachina”, which is a B-Side that’s coming out in the record’s special edition and it’s about the computer becoming god and people praying to it. Nowadays, computers and the Internet are really strong. You see all these people at the airport with their phones in their hands, always connected online and it almost looks like some sort of general brainwashing. Technology is taking over people, but this is only one of the ideas I thought was cool writing about, among others. The greatest thing in Pandemonium is that it doesn’t have only one theme, it has lots of them from Japanese pilots up to the Salem Witches and it’s pretty varied, it’s really open, all the themes are different from each other but they all have this connection with the Pandemonium name, which I thought was the perfect name for the record and it’s also the state in which our world is right now. We’re living in pandemonium nowadays. Pandemonium has a few songs 72

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like “Babylonian Pandemonium”, “Scum” and “Cramunhão” that sound incredibly heavy and even seem to incorporate some death metal elements at times. Comparing with Soulfly, which has always been more of an experimental band, do you feel that Cavalera Conspiracy is the main project to unleash your most extreme side? One of the ways for me to express my heavier side is in Cavalera Conspiracy. Personally, Cavalera Conspiracy’s idea, the whole motto of the band since we’ve started, was to do something totally metal, with no interference from other kinds of sounds. There’s no hip-hop, no electronic sounds, no dance, no reggae, nothing! It’s just really metal all the way! It’s the only thing permitted in Cavalera Conspiracy. My connection with heavier sounds has been growing for a few years by now and I think that… the older I get, the heavier and more aggressive I get! I should do a record called “Each day older and heavier!” It could be the name of the next one! Yeah, it could! [laughs] You’re in a pretty unique situation. Not everyone has two bands with family members in its ranks. On Souflly, it’s your son Zyon on the drums and in Cavalera there’s Iggor. Do you feel that this is the best moment in your career for being able to play with them? How did you feel the first time your son played on stage with you? Extremely proud, I imagine! It’s really nice! My family is really cool and I always liked their involvement with music and ever since Zyon was born, when he opened the Chaos A.D. CD with his heartbeat, he’s always been involved with me and now he’s already a 21 year old grown up man playing with me in Soulfly and he’s recording the next Soulfly album with me next year, which will be our tenth studio record. He’s already recorded Savages, his playing on the record was really good, he’s a good drummer and he’s playing well right now. Playing with him, my brother and seeing my kids in bands like Lody Kong and Incite is just awesome! I’m really happy and proud of the fact that my family is into metal, which has always been a dream of mine since I was a little boy.

I can keep doing what I do and now I can pass the torch to them. I could even retire today and they would keep doing music for me to listen to, but I’m not in a rush to retire myself… I still have a long road in front of me! So what are your plans for playing live now? Where are you gonna be and when can we hear a Cavalera Conspiracy live record? It would be interesting to have you guys play some stuff from Inflikted and Blunt Force Trauma as well as hearing you and Igor play some extra Sepultura stuff... There are no plans for a live album right now, I think we’re going to wait a little bit more, but the tour is going to start in February going through March and April and we’re also doing some summer festivals in Europe and let’s see how it goes! We’re gonna play a few dates here in the United States with Soulfly which is still actively touring to promote Savages. That tour has been huge so far and we’ll keep playing in the US for now. In January I’m going to be headed to Australia with Killer Be Killed and then in February we’ll go out on the road with Cavalera Conspiracy. I’m dedicating a little bit of time to each project and we’ll keep the ball rolling like that, but next year there’s going to be a lot of Cavalera Conspiracy activity because Pandemonium is the new record, in the process of getting out now, so there’s going to a be a lot of touring with Cavalera Conspiracy! Now that you’ve mentioned touring with Killer Be Killed, do you guys plan on putting out a second record in the future? Well, not yet! The first record just came out recently and it was very well received by a lot a of people who really enjoyed it. I was totally stoked because we’ve put so many things on that album, it was a really thought out and well prepared record and I’ve done it with these guys that I love so much like Troy from Mastodon and Greg from The Dillinger Escape Plan. I’m a big fan of their music in each of their respective bands and it’s great to play with them on that project. It was a pleasure working on that debut album, it was really well done and I love the sound of it, even being something more melodic and


INTERVIEW // CAVALERA CONSPIRACY

“Nowadays, computers and the Internet are really strong. You see all these people at the airport with their phones in their hands, always connected online and it almost looks like some sort of general brainwashing.”

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less heavier than what I usually do, but that’s what makes it cool, the fact that it’s different and we’re surely doing a second record, but we’re not working on it until a few years have gone by. It’s gonna take a while to work on that second record, but it will be done! I want to talk to you about one of your career landmarks, and an album that’s making 20 years, Roots. How do you look at that record from a distance of 20 years? What’s your opinion on the influence that album had in the following metal generations? I thought the record was super great and really, really heavy! When you listen to it and go through songs like “Cut-Throat”, “Spit”, “Straighthate” and “Dusted”, you’ll notice that it became heavy as fuck with the lower guitar tunings we used back then, and it was great working with that kind of down tuning. We made that iconic song which is “Roots Bloody Roots”, a song that everyone sings with a worldwide strong and recognizable chorus. Every time I play Roots, it’s definitely one of the strongest songs in the whole show! To me, it was super cool to do that record. It was based around this idea I had when I was drunk with wine at home, and I thought about going all the way to Brazil’s roots and make a metal record exploring those roots, mixing heavy metal with Brazil’s folklore and that’s when the idea of recording with the Xavantes Indian tribe came around, which was a totally awesome experience. It was transcendent… it was no longer music… it was more like a research expedition involving anthropologists and people like that. The experience with the Indians was really great. I loved it. I think [the record] was a great job, it came out at the right time and it surprised a whole lot of people. There were obviously some people who didn’t like it because logically there’s just no way you can please everybody, but I think most people understood what we tried to do. We wanted to do a new thing, especially after Chaos A.D. which was a very successful record for Sepultura and what’s really great about Roots is that it’s a totally different record from Chaos A.D. and it’s really great that we were able to do that because it’s really hard for a band to be able to do something like that. 74

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and of its artwork as well, which was taken from an extinct Brazilian dollar bill that’s no longer in circulation and that I’ve kept around with me in my wallet, and that’s where the idea to make that album cover came from. 20 years… fuck… it’s a long fucking time! Those songs have turned into classics and they really show the strength of that record! Last but not least… Max, you’re an accomplished musician with a career spanning many years. You’ve got three bands and you’ve probably made most of your dreams come true, but is there something else or any other goals you feel you might still want to achieve? Well, I would love to be able to play in big venues like football stadiums, but that kind of tour is something that only artists like Paul McCartney and others like him are able to pull off so… I still have to a wait a little bit longer to see if that’s still coming! [laughs] You have to work really hard, you have to do a lot do be able to do that, but in the meanwhile I want to keep playing in every place of the world and in any holes out there that might have metal fans so I can take my music to them, and that’s what makes me happy, which is really my job! My mission in life is to be able to play metal to the fans, that’s what I’m here for!

Pandemonivm is out now via Napalm Records


INTERVIEW // CAVALERA CONSPIRACY

“I’m really proud of the work done on Roots... 20 years...fuck... it’s a long fucking time! Those songs have turned into classics and they really show the strength of that record!” musicandriotsmagazine.com

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DEERHOOF ____

Deerhoof has been described as a weird band. Well, it’s a fair read but that weird element, which initially started with their crazy music, nowadays is way more than just some crazy music elements. The quartet from San Francisco is weird because they have been creating a certain type of music for twenty years and because they are relentless in their pursuit for new grounds and new adventures. We talked with Greg Saunier (drums) about all of this and more in a time they just released their 13th and new album, La Isla Bonita.

___ Words: Tiago Moreira // Pictures: Chad Kamenshine & Yasuhiro Ohara

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H

ey Greg! How are you, man? I’m good. I’m doing really good. The tour just started, we’ve played three shows so far, in New York, so it’s very exciting… the beginning of the adventure. They were any good, those three shows? They were any good? [laughs] They were really good. I’m just asking because it was probably the first time you presented the new songs. Exactly. It’s a very fair question because… we planned three shows in New York, in the same venue and then we realized that there’s this very small, DIY space in Brooklyn called Death by Audio that has to close quite soon because VICE magazine wants the building. Death by Audio has been there for a long time and now they have to move out, so for their final month they’ve decided to do a ton of really crazy shows. There’s a big art show and they’re bringing a lot of bands that normally would play places that are bigger than Death by Audio but because I’m good friend with those guys… when they asked if Deerhoof wanted to play there I said “Yes, but we have to keep it a secret,” [laughs] because we have these other shows booked and it’s against the rules to add another show in New York. So we did this secret show last Sunday. It was such a perfect timing for us because we can have this sort of this practice show for us. Because it was a small show we were very relaxed – there wasn’t any press, no journalists there – and I think we played really well. I mean, we did some mistakes on the new songs but we worked it out. On Tuesday was our really first show, the announced show, so in my mind I said “Oh well, Sunday night show was very relaxed and it felt easy and fun. I’m sure that tonight I will be very musicandriotsmagazine.com

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relaxed again.” [laughs] I get on stage and as soon as we start playing I start thinking “I’m really relaxed, right?” I realized that I wasn’t relaxed at all because I’m thinking if I’m relaxed or not all the time. [laughs] Actually I think we didn’t play as well on Tuesday and that’s probably because I was more nervous. After the show was over I was thinking about it all day, yesterday, what can I do to try to play better on yesterday’s show, Wednesday, and I thought that it’s very hard to tell yourself “Be relaxed! Don’t be nervous!” That’s kind of impossible… It’s fuckin’ worst. Exactly! [laughs] But the one thing I could do that I think often works is to say to myself “Try to feel the emotion of the music. Just listen the other guys and try to really get deep into the spirit of the music and don’t think about trying to be funny, or trying to be cruel, or how you look on stage. Just get into the heart of music.” Sometimes you just need to stop thinking that hard. Sometimes thinking too much will screw things over. Yeah, I completely agree. I was thinking about this exact problem last night, right before we started, because when you’re playing in a band and you’re going on your own this means that you’re meeting people every single night, new people every night from all over the place. We work at our merch table and we have people coming up and you want to talk to them, so when you’re talking that there are many areas of life where if you think too much it can be a problem… this is a perfect example. When I’m at the show and I’m trying to meet people, trying to be friendly and trying to be funny and talk with them, if I think too much, if I’m too much self-conscious, or if I’m nervous, then it’s no good. But last night I was thinking – it’s only a theory and I’m not sure if it’s actually true – that it is a little bit different between the music and talking to people, because I feel that as a man when I’m talking to people it often works better if I try not to have too much emotion, too much feeling, and I just try to be light, funny and not go very deep. If somebody says they really liked the show I’m not going to sit down with them for the next hour and cry about emotion it was in the 78

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music, you know? [laughs] It’s almost masculine and feminine ideas of how to act, so when I’m talking with somebody I feel that I have to remind myself to try to be more masculine, but when I’m playing, I found yesterday that what really helps me play is to try to be more feminine… It’s not really masculine and feminine; it’s sort of the stereotypical idea of masculine and feminine. I found that when I tell myself this while I’m playing, the music is actually much better. It’s funny because we’ve had this band for twenty years and still every single day is another challenge where we’re still trying to figure it out how do you do a band. [laughs] We don’t know. Nobody told us. [laughs] I guess that having a band is like having a “normal life”. You never know everything and sometimes… How many sixty years old men don’t know shit? [LAUGHS] Exactly! I think you’re absolutely right, and I think that the older you get the more danger there is of becoming too conservative and telling yourself “Well, I know what I like. I know who I am. I’m not changing anymore. This is it.” I mean, one of very beautiful things about Deerhoof actually is not really Deerhoof it’s more Deerhoof’s fans. One of the beautiful things about Deerhoof’s fans is that they expect us to change ALWAYS. They expect to us surprise them every year, every tour and every album. That’s good and it’s not normal. [laughs] Yeah, it’s not normal but we set up this kind of conversation or this relationship with the fans for many years now, so that we helped to create the expectation in the audience that we are going to do something surprising. It’s partly because of the music that we make and it’s partly because of the kind of person that likes to hear to Deerhoof, and likes a thrill, and likes a surprise. Those people, they put pressure on us to always be different and always be new. Even if we’re still playing when we are sixty years old we’re not going to ever be allowed to settle or to become predictable or conservative. If we do, our fans will be there to ask some questions. [laughs] I want to talk about the title of the new album, La Isla Bonita. It seems there’s a lot of sarcasm…

Yeah, absolutely! This new album is about this feeling of like… Sure, a human being is always going to be treated like they’re not important by a large corporation, for instance, but that human being can… Let me explain you this way: if you grow up in a world where that’s true, where you feel that way, that you have no choices and it’s inevitable, no matter what you do there’s always going to be The Man there controlling your life and making your life impossible. If you grow up feeling that way then what kind of art do you make, what kind of music do you make? What feeling is it going to have? It’s always going to have some kind of absurd sense of humor to it, I think. It’s the only way that you can survive in that situation. You’re fighting a battle that you think that you will lose… I don’t know. Something about that mood is what our new record is all about. How do you as a small and underground band, that is not mainstream or corporate, make a life for yourself? How do you refuse to participate in this fantasy of mainstream culture? I mean, at least in America. In America there is a fantasy, there’s a dream. The cover seems to be related to that. The way that we perceive the world or the way some people perceive the word. Yeah… or the way that power is trying to sell the world. They’re selling it as a beautiful fantasy and then the reality it’s an explosive volcano. [laughs] But yeah, it’s exactly what you said. Good to see that there are people like you, that are perceptive and understand what the record is really about. You were talking about the importance of fans. I would love to have you talking a little bit about Milk Man Ballet [a ballet by North Haven Community School around Deerhoof’s album, Milk Man]. How that happened and how was it that experience for you and the band? When we released Milk Man, I received an email from a stranger, called Courtney. She just wrote to the website and she said that she really loved our record and that she thinks that should be a ballet. [laughs] I was like “Cool! Thanks a lot for writing and listening to the record.” About two years later I get another email from her


INTERVIEW // DEERHOOF

“How do you as a small and underground band, that is not mainstream or corporate, make a life for yourself? How do you refuse to participate in this fantasy of mainstream culture? In America there is a fantasy, there’s a dream.” and she says “Ok, I’m ready to do the ballet now.” My reaction was “What? What are you talking about? You were serious?” [laughs] She had become a school teacher on a very small island off the coast of Maine, in the U.S… not many people living on this island [355 at the 2010 census]. Basically she had decided to turn Milk Man a children’s ballet. The musicians were her, her husband, the local bluegrass group, some of the children and like the church Father or something, that was playing trumpet or something. All very local – no music professionals, at all. The singing and dancing was all done by these school children. I offered to help with the arrangements and stuff like “If it’s difficult to understand some of these chords or something, I can send you the notes or whatever.” She said “No, it’s fine.” [laughs] I was so surprised. We went out there, like we were in the middle of a tour and we planned the tour around going to this island…

Did you believe that show would actually happen? Of course not, but what is so strange… it’s not only because it’s so random. Actually that record was meant, we wrote it as a kind of music theater. La Isla Bonita is very raw and very rough, it sounds like a live rock band playing in the basement, which is what it is. This Milk Man was meant to be the exact opposite, everything was very polished, perfect and kind of show-y, and exaggerated like it is in music theater... and of course, the album is about children too, so when she did this it was not surprising only because it was random and strange, it was surprising because she did the exact thing that was our real concept for the record. Sometimes it’s very hard to believe when you’re recording a record or you’re writing songs and you’re kind of isolated and you feel lonely in your head and you think these strange songs inside your head will never to connect with anybody…

and somebody gets it, and somebody understands it that deeply and wants to turn it into a live thing for a bunch of kids. The kids, now that is a part of their childhood. The funny thing is just in August Deerhoof did a tour in Maine and we went back for the first time (almost seven years after) to the same island and all those kids were in the show. They came this year and they were all grown up. [laughs] They remember doing this show, they remember being a kid on that stage and it’s… just incredible. It was really one of the most beautiful experiences that we’ve ever had in the band. We were very, very moved by it.That was an incredible story but sometimes just playing a show feels surreal. I can’t believe that the band continues, that the band is still going and that there’s still an audience that comes to see us. There should not be an audience for a band like us, and it’s not because our music is weird – that’s what many people say. The point is

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that we’re playing a style of music that is trendy. If we’re an indie rock band, that’s a very trendy field. Usually it’s very, very hard for a band to last. If this album does really well then ok, the next album is not so good and the very hip people change, like “I like this new band now. You guys are old.” [laughs] Somehow we have many listeners who stay with us, even as trends change we still manage to have an audience that’s very devoted and it always feel surreal to me. I never expected and I’m always surprised by it… and we also continue to reach new people who have never heard us before. It’s surreal. [laughs] I guess that’s the cool thing about Deerhoof. Twenty years later there’s still a feeling that we are listening to a bunch of kids that are just having fun and are curious to try new stuff all the time, refusing to go through the motions. We still don’t even know the motions. [laughs] There’s a really funny thing that happened: our new record just came out, two days ago, but what that means is that before two days ago was the end, was the very end of the Breakup Song (our last album) cycle. And then the new cycle started again two days ago, so at the end of the last album’s cycle there were very few shows so I haven’t been playing drums very much and I started to feel a little tired and my energy is low… I was happy and I was relaxed but I didn’t feel this big excitement all the time. So, as soon as my bandmates arrived in NY and we started rehearsing – about a week ago – for this tour and I started to play drums several hours per day, I just found that all my energy came back, and it’s strange too because I got sick, and I’m not sleeping enough and I have a soared throat and Satomi [Matsuzaki, vocals and bass] has a cold… but actually we feel more energetic, even sick, when we’re playing than we’re with perfect health but we’re not playing. I remember one interview where you said, “I’m always surprised that people make music. I just don’t know why they do it. I don’t know why I do it.” Did you manage to figure it out? No, definitely not. Taylor Swift took her music from Spotify and she wants to project – in this interview that she gave to a big magazine 80

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– a feeling of confidence that she knows that musicians have a right to be paid because she knows music has value, and she comes across very strongly. Now, it’s not I disagree with her. I don’t disagree with her, but I do not share that confidence. I’ve never had that confidence. I don’t know what actually the value of music is. [laughs] If the audience says that the music is worth nothing then I’m not going to be the person to say “Yes it does. Yes it is worth something.” I can’t argue against humanity the way Taylor Swift can… Everyday I’m discovering why music might have value and why music might not have value. For example, I just told you this great value that playing the drums has for me, on my own health. I know that has a value for me but I also think that’s because I’ve played the drums all my life, so if you take it away it just feels weird. If I would never play the drums when I was a kid maybe I wouldn’t miss it. I’m still very confused. I think that the real answer to that question is that the music does not have a purpose, it has many, many purposes, and throughout the human history music has had many different purposes – to express yourself, to play like a game, for religion reasons, just for physical training, to make money, to be funny and entertaining, just for dancing, etc. All these reasons are real and are all valid. What’s the value of Janet Jackson’s music for you? Why did you “fell in love” with her music? [Greg said that Janet Jackson’s music was an inspiration for this new record] [LAUGHS] It’s a very good question. I am a musician – I don’t mean a professional musician, I just mean someone that also is trying to make music like Janet Jackson is – but I’m also a consumer of music. For anyone that is kind musical – professional or really amateur -… that person knows that affects the way you hear music. So, if I was just a random music listener and I hear Janet Jackson I would not be interested in the sound of her music, but I’m in a band and we were trying to write new songs for a new record, and I knew that Satomi used to listen, as a kid, to Janet Jackson and do the dances and sing the songs in karaoke all the time. So, I thought that I

“Everyday I’m discovering why music might have value and why music might not have value. “ should go listen to Janet Jackson because this is what Satomi likes to sing. [laughs] I was very surprised… when you have this project in mind it changes how you hear it and suddenly Janet Jackson became very interesting to me. I listened to it on iTunes – as you know they have the previews, so I was listening to the previews of every song that she’d ever put out and I was kind of amazed by how I found that her music was very avant-garde, was very over-produced. The production on it is so crazy, that late 80s and early 90s Janet Jackson stuff… the drums don’t sound like drums and there are so many strange sounds all over the place. It’s very creative – it is obviously very expensive – and it is very decorated. It kind of made


INTERVIEW // DEERHOOF

me think like baroque or rococo kind of art style, where everything is overdone. Do you know what I mean? I think that’s the beauty of the 80s. For the most part they didn’t give a fuck and they didn’t have a problem of trying new things and make fools of themselves. Exactly! I totally agree with you and that was what I heard. It was funny to listen to it from now. Deerhoof started really at the end of the time of Nirvana, you know? Nirvana was the biggest band when Deerhoof started and at that time, in 1994, was when all of that feeling that is in Janet Jackson’s music, all that optimistic kind of “I don’t care what you think. I’m going to just over do it because it’s just fun”… In Utero

was the biggest record of that time, of that year. Of course, it was saying the exact opposite and young people at that time had become incredibly cynical, very negative, very pessimist and it was about doing everything cheap and sound like trash. [laughs] This was the era that we found as Deerhoof in that time so I thought it would be interesting… When I went back and heard Janet Jackson and Madonna (I was also listening to Madonna at the exact same time), I thought like I heard the end of a certain society in America, it was the very end of a certain mindset in America of… basically pretending that everything is wonderful. After the 90s nobody could pretend anymore that everything was

wonderful and now in America you come here and you talk to anybody, anywhere and everyone is cynical and nobody believes in our future, nobody believes in our government. It feels really negative right now. Basically listening to Janet Jackson was a way to hear that shiny sparkly lie, and it’s a lie that nobody believed a few years later. It just sounded like a joke and I thought it was interesting and it reminds me of a sort of historical turning point that I feel that we’re in right now.

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La Isla Bonita is out now via Altin Village & Mine 81


R E T S N O M MAGNET Monster Magnet. That name alone should be enough to rise the spirit of everyone that loves rock ‘n’ roll. For 25 years, the band led by Dave Wyndorf (vocals and guitar) has been releasing amazing rock albums and touring the world. Last year they released another great rock album, entitled Last Patrol. Now they return with an exciting new project: Milking the Stars: A Re-Imagining Of Last Patrol. It does exactly what it says on the tin and it was a pretty good reason to talk with the always nice Dave Wyndorf. Words: Tiago Moreira

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his idea of re-imagining your own music started when? I mean, in 2010 in an interview the journalist asked you if there was an album that you wish you had done it differently and you said “everyone one of them”, so this seems like a sort of an old dream of yours. Yeah, and this time I decided to actually do something about it before got too old, you know? I mean, before the masters of the record get lost and all this stuff. I was like, “Fuck it! I’m doing it.” So, do it just one year after was really important, right? That’s really a good question. It was important to me because I really wanted to do it… I don’t know why. The timing? I don’t know. Possibly this thing would have gone a lot better if I’d waited a couple of years. When I think about it… People are already saying “Re-imagining? What’s that? What do you mean?” and stuff like that. It’s just more music, that’s all it is. But the timing for me to do it was because it was still fresh in my head and I knew where all the tracks were. I knew where everything was. Opening old masters and www.facebook.com/MUSICandRIOTS.Magazine

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looking at 50 or 100 tracks of music… “What’s here? I forgot what I did,” but with this I remember exactly where to go. And it is easier to work under the same mindset. If you go back and re-work something that you did 20 years ago… It would be really hard to be in that same exact mindset. Yeah! There’s no reason to go back. I mean, if something is really, really wants to get done then you can go back anytime and do it, but for me there was no reason to wait because I was eager to do it. I was on the tour bus, the record had come out and we were touring the record… I think that had a lot to do it too. We actually went out and played, right after the record came out, the entirety of Last Patrol and I kept changing things live, you know? “This part could be done a little bit better. We could change this part.” I mean, we’re a band and because of that we can do that kind of stuff. It is one of the best things about being in a band… and sometimes it can get you in trouble, believe me. You can ruin things. But it was on my mind. So, I’m sitting on the tour bus taking like 16 hours rides between gigs going, “Oh man, it would be fucking cool if we did this.” By the end of the tour number one I called my manager and the record company and I asked, “Do you guys want to this? I really want to this.” They said, “Well, if you’re serious… We don’t know what you’re talking about.” The record company didn’t know what I was talking about. They thought it would like some fucking techno remix or something like that. I tried to explain to them but they didn’t really understand what it was until I delivered to them. They still really don’t know what it is. I’m not sure if I know either. [laughs] But it’s cool. You can listen to it all by itself… you don’t have to listen to Last Patrol because it’s not just a remix. It’s a re-imagination. Do you see Milking The Stars has a “not static”/ “always in mutation and motion” statement about music? I mean, people have this tendency of looking at songs/ albums as something definitive and static. That’s a really good question. [pause] No. I think the only people that make it definitive and static is the actual listener. If the listener decides to say “That’s 84

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the only version of the song that I want to hear,” then he or she makes it definitive, but I’m here to say that I’m the person who wrote it and please give me a chance to show you different versions. It’s like “Did you like yesterday’s breakfast? Well, I’m going to do the same breakfast today, EXCEPT today it’s going to be with croissants and there’s going to have bacon too. Maybe you will still like it.” Maybe you will like it even more… Exactly! Or – and this is the cynical man from New Jersey talking – they can look at me right in the face and say “What is this bullshit? Where’s the new album?” I couldn’t write a new album during this year. I wanted to have stuff out and I wanted to do stuff that was creatively adventurous and that didn’t take a lot of time. This was the perfect thing to do it. It didn’t take a lot of time. It just took the time necessary for me to re-imagine it, re-track some guitars… I didn’t re-track the drums. It’s not like I brought the all band back in the studio. I just cut drums. I wanted to cut different sections of drums and make parts, and then I would have a new song with the existing drum parts. Using loops, stitching… It was a really fuckin’ freaky thing. Change the drum section and then re-track over that some guitars and some mellotrons and organs. It kind of built itself in a very quick way. I would wake up in the morning and make something up and then I would run to my good friend and co-producer Phil’s house, which is right around the block and I would say “This is what we are going to do today. Just follow me.” It just happened. After all the hard and exhausting work of creating and building Last Patrol, working in this way – using some of the elements of that work – it allowed me to put together a quality re-imagination because I didn’t have to build it all the way from the ground up, I still had a lot of quality to begin with. And it’s also economic, meaning that all this stuff and all this work I’ve put into it, it’s not just for one project… it can be for two. This re-imagining can be looked as something filled with countless restrictions but something makes me believe that this process can be as challenging,

as exciting and as free as the process of creating something completely new, and that’s because I think this is in a way something completely new. What’s your take on this matter? I agree with you, completely. That’s exactly the way I felt. This is new. All music is just a series of notes, right? It’s math. You take notes and you put melodies on them. And it’s just variation of notes. These variations are just slightly different, vibrating in a slightly different universe with an attention paid to style… mood really. How can I make a sad song even sadder? How can I put in this song? It’s the vibe. Like I was saying, working on this song there was a true feeling of adventure because in my mind I was doing something new or was redemption going “This is a definitive version of that song.” That can be very dangerous. There are a lot of people going “This guy is going to ruin this fucking song,” and that I can understand completely because sometimes it does happen, you know? But to be honest I didn’t think so. I was confident. For me it was just opening my mind to all these exciting variations and fooling my mind into thinking that I’m starting again new, because… “Let The Circus Burn” for instances, that was just a loop that I took from Last Patrol, the song, and then I just loop the drums and I put it some cuts and stopped, put a quick track in these and I sat back listening to the loop (just the drums) and thinking “There’s something coming on. This is different.” I didn’t think about Last Patrol at all until the very end. It was so much fun. How did you manage to deal with the countless of opportunities? I mean, you can do a zillion versions of just one song. It must be freighting at some point. Yeah it is, but you know when it’s bad… and believe me, I’ve tried a lot of bad things. [laughs] You could imagine, it’s like “Oh, I will have a cup of coffee and I have this great idea to the remix thing,” and then as soon as I start doing it… “This really sucks. There’s no way on earth this will ever going to work.” The nightmare situation is when none of the ideas that I had worked… I don’t have any options, is all


INTERVIEW // MONSTER MAGNET

“Without writing, without creating I would probably just sit behind the computer screen looking at dirty pictures and going “Remember the old days? We had a good time.” That’s awful, it’s bullshit...” restrictions. The good thing about music, which has always been good to me, is that someway… music wins. It wants to get played, you know what I mean? There are songs that don’t want to get played but music always wants to get played. If I was excited about it then I knew that eventually it would work itself out quickly. If I’m not, or if it is a mistake… most of the times, not all the times of course, I know that it’s a mistake. Do you feel that in order to do something like you did the artist has to put his ego aside? I mean, the premise of this entire process seems to be, “What if I can do it differently and better? What if I can push it even further?” No I don’t think so… Well, [pause] maybe… [pause] Yes, you have to put your ego aside in favor of adventure. Hey man, adventure has paid off for me. As soon as I got out of ego, I had the most fun I’ve ever had in music. When I brought ego into it… and I didn’t really lose control of it but it definitely had a bigger role, that’s when I had the least fun making music. That’s because I didn’t follow the adventure. You follow the adventure and everything works out.

That’s something I discovered. Ego will always be there, you don’t have to play that motherfucking ego because it will always be there. [laughs] Please don’t take it the wrong way but I feel that you are now more excited, more enthusiastic and happier than you have ever been. That’s indeed the case? I am! Absolutely! For me it’s all about the music. It’s not about being a rockstar. I’m out of the big running. When I was younger I was on a major label, had a lot of competition out there to be not only myself but to compete in a world that was about radio, MTV, and shit like that. I really don’t think I’m built for that shit. I mean, I had some fun doing it and I loved being a rockstar with the leather pants and shit… That was fun, but I think my main focus was probably more on getting laid. [laughs] And now I made the switch and I’m getting older… This child-like thing about music came back to me. I really started paying attention to every little excruciating detail, stuff that people would laugh at me for, “You’re crazy. That doesn’t matter.” “Well, guess what, I’m the boss and I say it matters.”

They thought I was crazy but as it turned out the record sounds, it worked. Monster Magnet has been going on for 25 years now. I don’t want to ask you about the memories of the past; I want to ask you: are you ready to continue with the strength that you’ve been showing in these 25 years? Absolutely! It’s the only thing that makes me feel alive. It really makes me feel alive. It’s part of my DNA, creating stuff. It helps me enjoy life. It’s the only way I can put back into my life what I get out of my life, you know? Without writing, without creating I would probably just sit behind the computer screen looking at dirty pictures and going “Remember the old days? We had a good time.” That’s awful, it’s bullshit. There’s no fucking way on earth – unless I have half of my brain cut off or something – I’m going to stop. It’s not even a question. Like I said, it’s too much fun.

musicandriotsmagazine.com

Milking the Stars: Re-Imagining of Of Last Patrol is out now via Napalm Records 85


B , K R A D , Y P E E R C R A E H D N A C I T A M S DRA E O G K N U P WHERE They may be compared to 90's boy bands or even to those lame pop punk bands, but they don't give a shit. They just want to play what feels right to them. The Florida-based band Set It Off are here to set their own rules and make their own genre. Their genre-blending is bold and the result is a sort of orchestral pop punk with a lot of theatre and depth to it. Their latest album, Duality, is a roller coaster of sounds and themes. Cody Carson is the charismatic singer of the group, and in a really fun chat, we talked about everything that there is really to know about this enthralling band. Words: Andreia Alves // Pictures: Chris Martin

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SET IT OFF

, G N I K A T H T A E R S B E L A T G N I K A E R RTB Y A W E H T L L A P O S P

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ou guys are currently on tour with Black Veil Brides and Falling in Reverse, so how is it going so far? It’s going absolutely incredible. I can easily say this is our best US tour we have ever done for playing in giant rooms, making a lot of new friends and the crowd reaction is incredible. It’s just so cool to get really involved with the crowd interaction. We started in 2008 and we played shows for 10 kids and we’ve been working on ever since, so seeing how respectful everyone is and how kind everyone is. It’s probably the most fun I’ve ever had on tour, so it’s

going incredible. [laughs] Before you got into Set It Off, you studied clarinet performance at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio. Instead of persuding a job in an orchestra, you chose to persue a career in a rock band What did lead you to start this band? I started playing clarinet when I was on the second grade and so I was playing like 11 years already and then when I was in high school I was on my first rock band - well I was in a ska band. I fell in love with that and I played drums actually. Actually I was in three different bands in high school and I joined a band where actually our guitarist Dan [Clermont] played guitar and I played drums. Actually Dan was the only songwriter of that band and it

was called Broken Authority. The point with that is that I fell in love with playing rock shows. There’s a whole environment, it’s like a drug and it’s so incredible. I went back and practiced like three hours a day on clarinet working my ass off to go to a recital and then people would sit down all flat and I was like “I feel like the ends justify the means” you know? I decided that when I was in college I was missing being in a band, but I was doing covers on YouTube, specifically of the band All Time Low back in 2008 and Alex Gaskarth was commenting all my videos. I noticed that he was taking attention and so I sent him a video saying “Hey man! You guys are coming this town, I know you do Coffee Shop Soundtrack live and I would love to sing on stage too.”

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He responded yes and so I got to play, and I’ve never been just a frontman by the way, so I sang for the first time. I went to my practice room and practiced how it was gonna be. I sang on stage with him and it was a really big turning point of my life, a really big realization and so I called my parents that night and I was like “I can’t do clarinet. I need to do this.” They saw the YouTube video of me singing on stage with them and they called me and told me that they love the way that I was. I think I played clarinet for that long just to go to that college and just so I could start a band. Your music is an interesting mix of genres but overall it’s a theaterical pop-rock approach. What did mainly inspire you to shape your sound? I think to say what defines our sound I should go back to our album Cinematics (2012). When we were going to Cinematics, we were testing our sound before that to figure out what we wanted to be and we realized that we wanted to be this monarchy theory sounding orchestral based band with rock guitars. We went into the studio for a very specific song and sound, which was in my mind. Every night we wrote a song we tried to write a specific style. I think we did a good job with that and I’m very proud of that record, but with this record we had so many influences from all over like heavy metal to hip hop... I grew up with the 90’s R&B like I would listen to Usher, TLC, ‘N Sync, Destiny’s Child and all that stuff and we’ve never really kept in all those bands for because we’re afraid what people would think of us. What I’m also realizing is that people are more open minded about music today than they will ever be. As long as you write something that’s just a good song they’ll get behind it, so in this record we just came into with a mentality that we’re just gonna be ourselves - who we are, what we like, what we listen to - and through that we will try to expand over those different types of genres. It gave us some sort of bipolar duality that you hear on the record. I think it keeps it interesting, it keeps a lot of diversity and adds a lot of character to it. I know that Batman’s nemesis, the Joker, inspired you for your onstage persona. In which way you took aspects of the Joker into 88

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your performances? It kind of started to happen after one time when I saw the movie The Dark Knight and I kind of agree with some of the things he says like organization of chaos is freedom. It was something about him that I felt really draw to him and it’s not like I’m gonna be the Joker. People started comparing my voice and how I act like him and so I was like “Ok, if that’s the case...” One of my favorite songs to listen to before I go on stage while I sit down in a corner is “Why So Serious?” by Hans Zimmer - actually I did this last night in Portland - I plug my ears and listen to it. The song just switches your nerve, and so I just sit down, close my eyes and get into the zone and then I like to slap myself in the face, just to let everything out. [laughs] Batman and Joker are the perfect example of duality, which it’s the name of your new album. Can you tell me more about the decision of the album’s name? Basically for Duality, we started thinking about ourselves - just about who we are as a whole as Set If Off - and like I was just saying I go on stage and I will dress up in a three-piece suit, beat myself up, screaming and going crazy and then we go off stage and we’re all just having a good time and telling fart jokes.

[laughs] It’s like two completely different sides and flip over the switch, you know? That’s just one specific thing and then we have to deal with very deep, very serious out of nowhere, but also every single person has two different sides. I think that was something that I admit I had a realization as I was going through my life. I met people that were very confortable in their own skin and I met people that are bipolar, like there’s someone that will be very nice to your face but with a knife behind their back. I thought that was interesting, but also for me I had a complex where there were some things about myself or lifestyle choices that I’ve made that I was afraid other people would judge me for, so I would constantly censure myself. Once I realized that I don’t care what other people think about me, it was the moment that I started living free. I’m actually feeling liberated and I see myself more worry free and stress free. These songs are just very honest songs with the purpose of telling you both sides of every situation, including music. There’s music that showcases that duality. There’s dark minor verses that showcases Set It Off sound standards, very bright popcore within the context of the same song. That’s what I love about the whole idea of it is that duality is everywhere, you can’t escape it. Like you mentioned, the lyrics of


INTERVIEW // SET IT OFF this album are very honest, where you show your need to always be true about everything which is quite refreshing. How was the writing process for those lyrics? One thing that I truly believe in and I want to stick to for the rest of my life as I write songs is lyrically I like to write when passion strikes or in the heat of the moment. To give you an example, “The Haunting” is about a relationship that I had that I didn’t want to kept as a secret but I was, and I wrote the beginning of that when I was really bummed out about the situation and the chorus as well. The verses were still incomplete but I had the melody for that. So, I went out and I saw this person and this person pretended like I didn’t exist. It really hurt me and it really pissed me off. I went back and as soon as I got back, I was with our producer and we were like “We’re writing this song tonight. We’re finishing this one right now.” And then we wrote the verses and the bridge and that’s how it is. If I had any anger or anything at all, I didn’t have a healthy outlet really to let it out through. Now whenever I have anger or whenever I have sadness or any sort of human emotion, I let it out through songs. It’s my punching bag, the way I get out how I feel and it’s healthy for me. It helps me get all that stuff out of me and it feels incredible. That’s why there’s a lot of anger on the record, but there’s also the

optimism and there’s also “Why Worry” and “Tomorrow”. We want to take you on an emotional roller coaster, because that’s what life is. We’re talking about being human. You mentioned the song “Why Worry” and that’s probably one your best and catchiest songs of the record. How did that song come about? This song is actually the reason we ended up working with Brandon [Paddock, producer]. Actually we have that song the longest out of all of them and it was really hard to sit on it for so long that we were so happy with it. That song was written in Brandon’s friend living room and I think it’s so funny because first it was the first time we’ve ever written with him. Me and Dan head over to his place and we got there on time and we realized that his friend was running a little late. So he gets here and then we go to the door and the door was locked and we were locked out, and we were like “Oh my god, it’s going to be such a terrible writing session. I had this whole thing in my head.” We go, we get up, he comes back, we go inside and start writing with Brandon. I showed him a bunch of demos and he heard that part of the beginning of the song [sings] and that’s all we really had and he knew we wanted to produce this one. And his confidence, I love

“Once I realized that I don’t care what other people think about me, it was the moment that I started living free. I’m actually feeling liberated and I see myself more worry free and stress free.” that about him. As soon as we started writing we were like “Could you do this before... ?I And what about the melody... ?” He stood up and performed an idea and I was like “Holy crap! This guy is awesome.” He had such an energy to him that was infectious and it went back to me. It helped me a lot in the songwriting and it helped me to become a better writer. Me, Dan and Brandon, we were onto something that day; we listened to Michael Jackson, gospel music and show tunes just for inspiration and for the vibe of it. We mixed them all together and I think that’s what helps make the whole

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sound very wicked. It’s just a thousand of influences in one song. When it started to come together, we knew there was something different and usually when you try something different there’s a little bit of growing pain, but it was completely worth everything and honestly that was my favorite writing experience that I’ve ever had. You guys recently released the music video for that song that is really awesome! Who came up with the idea for it? We sort of think that we didn’t want like to push the whole idea of duality, but the song has the soulful vibe to it and so I started thinking that would be very cool to have it in this church. We had multiple ideas, but I think the one we solidified the most was we would always ended to do with this very elaborated storyline but we wanted to do something simple that just really sticks out to the whole point of the song. We have this side that represents the worry and we have this side that represents the carefree. There’s a good version of me and there’s a bad version of me and they’re constantly paddling with yourself. We wanted to do a simple but very powerful metaphor that we thought would portray equally and we would watch over and over again. We were able to find this church in New York City. Every single person in that video as a dream catcher is part of Set If Off family. We sent out an email with an overwhelming response. We shot that video within a day. It was such an incredible experience, just a great time and I’m really proud that came out. I’m really happy that you like it too. [laughs] Duality was recorded in Los Angeles with producer Brandon Paddock as you shared, but not only with him. You guys worked with producers Tommy English and Matt Appleton as well. How was exactly this recording process? Yeah, three producers, that was crazy because we were supposed to work with John Feldmann and then he had personal issues and he had to cancel last minute. We just finished the tour in New York and with our friend that drove us all way through New York City all the way to Los Angeles, we’re stuffed in an apartment and then we left three days before that it got canceled. It was a really stressful 90

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situation. But back to the experience that I’ve mentioned early with “Why Worry”, I remembered the great chemistry we had with Brandon and I was like “He’s a genius, he has to be our guy.” As soon as I got that email, I called my manager to let him know - which of course was very abrupt - and then I called Brandon. Within a matter of hours, he came back and said: “I’m going to be in your record.” By the way, he’s so busy all the time, like he worked with John Feldmann before, so they understand how the whole process works with Christina Perri to do some kind of record under his belt now. He does it well. He doesn’t have to take this time out of his day to do us this favor and he said “Yeah, I’m good at doing this.” He said that. We would have push our album back so much. He came back and said it could be me and Tommy - and we heard about Tommy before we actually worked with him. We did a song with John Feldmann and Tommy was there and since he left John, he was up to his own thing, such a talented producer. And then Brandon was like “Do you know Matt Appleton?” and I was like “Yeah, I met Matt once. We talked about which beer we like” and then Brandon said “He used to work for Feldmann. He taught me a lot of stuff that I know now” and I said “No way!” And so I called Matt. He plays on Reel Big Fish and he was in Connecticut doing some college shows and I said “Hey man, when will you be back in California? We’re doing a record and we would love you to be part of it.” and he said “Let me think about it.” And the next day he said yes and we settled the team. I’m so happy with how well they worked together and they all have worked a very similar way of doing things. Having Matt was really helpful and very conditioning for the writing process. This new album features guest vocalist Jason Lancaster (Go Radio) on “Tomorrow” and William Beckett (The Academy Is...) on “Wolf in Sheep’ Clothing”. How did they get into the mix and what was it like working with them? Absolutely incredible! William Beckett was on We Are The In Crowd Reunion Tour and I became very close to him on that tour. He’s like a brother to me now, he’s always giving advice and it’s such a talented guy and has such an

amazing voice. He had some really good points as far as the writing process, but he showed me a song that he had where he sings in a very angry tone and I never get to hear William sing in an angry tone and I thought that should not be hidden from the world. It’s such unique cool vibe to it the way he enunciate things, the way he projects his emotions. I knew I wanted to feature him on something because he is just so good and so I was like “Hey dude, I want you to sing this second verse of this song. It’s an angry song.” and as soon as he saw that it was an angry song, he got so excited and it was flawless. The Jason Lancaster situation was a very unique experience as well. We thought about his part at night, but we were going to write


INTERVIEW // SET IT OFF

“Touring is everything for a band. Touring is how you make any income... When we started in 2009, we committed to ourselves that we’re gonna be on the road as much as possible to make sure that we can continue to survive as a band.” the Horrible Kids EP and the sound that we had wouldn’t make sense in that record, so we had to hold that back. I remember thinking when I wrote that part, “No one should be singing this except for Jason Lancaster, all his voice should be on this.” At that point, we didn’t know him at all and so there was no chance to get him on it. Since that night, we made friends with him and his father. So I reached him out after this song was put together and I was like “Hey man, it would mean the world for us if you would be on this song.” He heard it and he got very excited about it and he brought it back, and I’m not gonna lie to you, there’s something being in the works for 2009 and I have noticed it’s very rare that things go exactly

as you planned to go and in this situation that happened. When I heard the mix for the first time, I shed a tear. I really did. It was an emotional experience to hear that and I was such a big fan of him, you know? We’re very honored to have two great talents on our record. All of these years as a band, you’ve been constantly on tour and that’s something that has shaped you as a band. What has touring brought to the band? Touring is everything for a band. Touring is how you make any income, touring is how you make any bands. When we started in 2009, we committed to ourselves that we’re gonna be on the road as much as possible to make sure

that we can continue to survive as a band. Before we got time in 2011, we’ve already done 20 solo tours, including a full US as well. We know that it was going to be hard work to become what we wanted to become and a lot of people think that touring is just a big party, but it’s not. There’s so much work that goes on making a tour successful. We’ve been touring, it means the world to us. I mean, I’m having the time of my life right now.

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

MACHINE HEAD

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Nuclear Blast (2014)

OUT NOW

Bloodstone & Diamonds

W

e all know by now that Machine Head’s last record Unto the Locust was good, but it wasn’t superb. More than anything, it prompted the following question: would Machine Head return to the glory of a career defining moments such as The Blackening and Ashes, and would new bassist Jared Anderson provide a new creative spark that could keep pushing the band forward? The answer arrived in Bloodstone & Diamonds, a record where Machine Head dutifully delivered. Bloodstone & Diamonds is a really solid album, with all those well known traits we came to love in Machine Head: viciously gripping groovy sections, clean sung melodic interludes and a fine assortment of their signature pinched harmonic stabs as tails to their riffs. But, if we cast aside some of the more regular Machine Head numbers such as “Killers and Kings”, ”Eyes of the Dead” or “Game Over”, one realizes that there’s so much more to this record than there ever was in the band’s past. From string sections to keyboards and piano, going through enormous vocal choir ensembles and different singing styles… Bloodstone & Diamonds is all about experimentation. Nothing comes out as predictable, and most of the times you never really know what’s gonna happen in each turn of the corner. Machine Head transcended themselves as songwriters as tracks like the memorable “Now We Die”, the gargantuan “Sail into the Black” or the symphonic “In Comes the Flood” clearly demonstrate among the rest. However, if one had to mention only one song, it would have to be “Damage Inside”. Though far from their main style, it’s undeniably one of Machine Head’s best songs ever. Irreprehensible. The melodies are just incredibly chilling and haunting. I would go as far as saying that whoever wrote this song must have been in a really miserable state to produce such a truly memorable and melancholic piece of art. Overall, Bloodstone & Diamonds is the best record the Head made since Ashes, the most multi-dimensional and by far the most musically diverse and interesting effort in their career. Jared Anderson really couldn’t have hoped for a better premiere with this band.

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Machine Fucking Head, Beers, big songs and more beers

ESSENTIAL TRACKS:

Killers and Kings, Now We Die, Eyes Of The Dead LUIS ALVES

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REVIEWS

classic

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OUT NOW

7 ... BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD IX Superball Music (2014)

And one of the bands with the biggest name ever are back with their ninth effort, if you’re new to Trail of Dead, this might be a good place to begin your research... IX shows a band at his own place, full of stability and more focused than ever. Masters in the mixing of punk rock with that 90’s Fugazi vibe, and giving their prog pedigree its own pop sensibility, these Texans rockers show that maturity and their own unique way of delivering their own art to the listener is more refined than ever. IX is once again what we can call an experimental post-apocalyptic rock effort, rich in dynamics and layers, introspective and thrilling. With 20 years into their career, these dudes seem to be at their best, stronger and more dynamic than ever.

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FAUSTO CASAIS

Sparta, Hope To States, Fugazi

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7

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11PARANOIAS Stealing Fire From Heaven

ANDY BURROWS Fall Together PIAS (2014)

Lava/Universal Republic (2014)

Apart from being an excellent title for a Ridley Scott movie, this is also the title of the new album by this British band. And although this is one of a myriad of bands that have an influence of Sludge Metal, they manage to sound fresh by incorporating psychedelic influences in their sound, and also some instrumentation not very frequent in this type of band, namely some saxophone flourishes scattered throughout. The music never accelerates beyond a snail’s pace but by combining Sludge, Psychedelic, Stoner and some gentle Progressive rock influences they manage to create a sound that’s at the same time punishing and fresh. It’s slow and heavy like an anvil but never dull. Let’s see what this band can do in the future.

Fall Together Again is the new solo album of the English musician Andy Burrows, increasing the chances of a more solid career. This 10-song collection, bathed with classical strings and solid pop songs, delivers a statement after Burrows’ departure from Razorlight back in 2009. It’s obvious to anyone that he is not interested in commercial success (as he once had it) but when you listen to his songs you realize he’s having a blast. In a mature way, Burrows is being the kid music industry needs him to be: turning melancholy into optimism and human emotions into some more organic state we all need to be reminded. Fall Together Again is, in fact, that european inter-rail we all needed when we turned 18.

You can say that you hate them, that you can’t stand them or you simply don’t give a fuck about them, but one thing is for sure, they don’t give a fuck about their haters too and they use that hate to make their music even better. That’s what Black Veil Brides have been doing since they were formed until nowadays, even though things are much better than in the beginning. After releasing last year their concept album, Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones, Black Veil Brides released now their fourth album that is probably their heaviest effort to date. Having Bob Rock on board, it gave an extra push to the group to approach even heavier riffs and also great melodies. It’s another intense and brave record.

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Ritual Productions (2014)

NUNO BABO

Serpenthine Path, Graves At Sea

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BLACK VEIL BRIDES Black Veil Brides

MARIANA SILVA

Smith & Burrows, We Are Scientists

ANDREIA ALVES

Avenged Sevenfold, Falling In Reverse


REVIEWS

AT THE GATES

9

Century Media (2014)

OUT NOW

At War With Reality

“Even half of what this album delivers would have been worth that long, agonising wait, but this? This feels like a band that never left.”

M

aybe the repeated avowals that there would be no new album helped to alleviate the hype; perhaps it was the time to spent away from the project giving fresh eyes and ears; maybe they just never lost it. No matter how you look at it, At The Gates first new material in 19 years is as peerless as anything they’ve ever released. It’s not

Slaughter Of The Soul their formative sound, yet you don’t have to go far to spot the nods to either period here, the gothic flourishes Soul v2.0, or a pointed return to of “Heroes And Tombs” a warm reminder of their early, epic sensibilities, while the immediacy of their later years abounds throughout, from the gut-punch riffing of “The Conspiracy Of The Blind” to the title track’s unstoppable momentum. The result is a tumultuous listen that flows seamlessly from doomy apocalypticism to a cathartic sense of post-millennial rage, Tomas Lindberg’s ominous spoken-

FOR FANS OF:

ESSENTIAL TRACKS:

In Flames, Amorphis, Killswitch Engage

word passages and rises to shrieks of condemnation mirroring the album’s tone in microcosm. While these vocal see-saws have always played a strong part in the band’s makeup, everything else shows the kind of improvement that only two decades can bring; the guitarwork is sharper and more memorable, Linberg’s lyrics take on more nuanced and esoteric forms and Adrian Erlandsson’s drumming is a staggering feat in and of itself. Even half of what this album delivers would have been worth that long, agonising wait, but this? This feels like a band that never left.

Dead and the Labyrinth, Heroes and Tombs

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DAVE BOWES

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OUT NOW

8 BLUENECK King Nine

Denovali (2014)

Blueneck is one of the UK’s best kept secrets. Their music is quite unique and it seems not have any boundaries to expand their sound even further. With four critically-acclaimed albums, King Nine is their fifth album and it’s probably the most accessible, diverse and vibrant album to date. Here we see the group refining their sound and adding more electronic elements. “Mutatis” is an example of how far they have come with their songs. Duncan Attwood shows how his melancholic voice settles so well into the heartfelt lyrics with the beautiful guitar, strings and piano’s work that goes deep into our soul. King Nine could be a soundtrack to a film and you need to be in the right mood to understand the majesty of this effort.

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ANDREIA ALVES

Mono, Mogwai, Explosions In The Sky OUT NOW

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9 DESPERATE JOURNALIST Desperate Journalist

Fierce Panda (2014)

CARNALITY Dystopia

CRIPPER Hyëna

Carnality is back with Dystopia, a conceptual work, set in a dystopic future in which society is not based on work anymore, where genetic modification and nanotechnology are the key element in how people relate. Dystopia is a bold record, where the listener is easy trapped in their own sonic apocalyptic and kind of oppressive atmosphere. It’s not very often that we listen to something that pushes their own boundaries regarding blending death metal with the certainty and stylistic use of melody. Dystopia is a straightforward modern and mature death metal effort, where the band really stands out with a well-honed mix of subtle melody and crushing brutality.

The first few seconds of this record took me back to the first chords of ...And Justice For All, and despite being a Thrash Metal obviously influenced by Metallica, their music veers towards the experimentalism of bands such as Testament. They are also compared to Arch Enemy but I’m guessing it’s because they are fronted by a gal, because even though they are technically proficient, they don’t achieve the same finesse of the aforementioned band. In their fourth album, they present us with a slab of brutally fast thrash metal that is at the same time revisionist and futuristic in approach. They are a solid band that has gained a lot of attention lately but still have to create the perfect formula, for separating themselves from the ravishing pack of Thrash Metal revivalists around.

Desperate Journalist, what a great name for a band! Two boys and two girls from London that are making quite fuzz over the UK. Last year Savages took us by storm and gave us one of the best art-post-punk efforts in years. One year later we have another encounter with another DIYfashion-modern-art-post-punk band from London, Desperate Journalist. Similarities aside, we must say that this Londoner four piece is a different breed, they sound like a heartache sound battle between The Cure, The Smiths and the missing link between Joy Division and Siouxsie. Deep and rich, Desperate Journalist’s debut is a pure, sometimes innocent and sometimes wild, but brutally honest and passionate effort. Swimming to a different tune, Desperate Journalist shows that alternative music still sounds different and original. Noisy and fierce, what a marvelous debut!

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FOR FANS OF:

Metal Blade (2014)

Memorial Records (2014)

FAUSTO CASAIS

Job For A Cowboy, Nile, Suffocation

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NUNO BABO

Nervosa, Arch Enemy, Testament

Savages, The Cure, The Smiths

FAUSTO CASAIS


REVIEWS

OUT NOW

OUT NOW

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7

DEERHOOF

FOO FIGHTERS

Altin Village & Mine (2014)

RCA (2014)

La Isla Bonita

Sonic Highways

Probably the most important question, which begs to be asked, is: how much sarcasm is there on La Isla Bonita? We know that is present on the title [check our interview with the band], but more important than that is the actual songs. The ten songs on Deerhoof’s 13th album are, at least for the most part, an endless source of joy and fun but there’s always something telling us that it’s not just fun and joy… there’s much more. On “Black Pitch” – the track where we can feel the actual behavior shift – Satomi Matsuzaki declares “We’re gonna want you 24/7. We will let you know. We are just fine without your promises. We neither had it all nor shall we.” A slight shift from the empowerment track that’s the opening song, “Paradise Girls”. One thing we know for sure: Satomi is a brilliant little angel, always ultra-mega sharp, killing it no matter what. She’s the center and the balance of this new album. No wonder the amount of respect and admiration that Greg Saunier has been showing for years now. Talking about Saunier… not only he knows how to play his instrument without fucking a song but he also is wonderful on the mic – “Mirror Monster”, “Big House Waltz”, etc. A 20-year career celebrated with a rather intelligent, smart and exciting album. We’re cool… Deerhoof is still around.

When we thought that they couldn’t surprise us, that’s when they prove us wrong and made something remarkable and exceptional. Sonic Highways - both album and Dave Grohl’s HBO series - is for sure an unique and innovative way of writing and recording an album. Grohl described the project as “a love letter to the history of American music” and that’s definitely what it is about. The whole concept of this album was to write and record each song in a different city - Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and New York, - delving into the local musical currents. The idea is excellent and the process is priceless - you can see all of that in the eight episodes of the series, - but just when we were waiting for something neat musically, Sonic Highways doesn’t go much further than that. Even though the band recorded in such amazing studios like Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio in Chicago, there’s a lack of some diversity and newness - although the track “Subterranean” took us by surprise, it’s not really a typical Foo Fighters’ song. Sonic Highways was made with love and with a great American music culture as a background, but it could go much further if we look back to their previous album, Wasting Light. It’s undoubtedly a classic Foo Fighters’ record, but it doesn’t mean it stands out among their other efforts.

FOR FANS OF:

FOR FANS OF:

ESSENTIAL TRACKS:

ESSENTIAL TRACKS:

Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen

Flaming Lips, Bikini Kill, Ponytail

Something From Nothing, I Am A River

Paradise Girls, Tiny Bubbles, Black Pitch

ANDREIA ALVES

TIAGO MOREIRA

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9

Topshelf Records (2014)

DEVIN TOWNSEND PRROJECT Z2

InsideOut Music (2014)

DIRTY BEACHES Stateless

To all the fuckers that say that rock is dead and that punk is dead... Fuck you all and go listen to this fucking record! Chicago’s Cut Teeth - featuring members of the Felix Culpa, Stay Ahead Of The Weather and Forstella Ford - debut album is a powerful and strong effort that impressively stands out in the current of indie-rock-punk scene. Night Years is full of unclean vocals and screams, infectious hooks and an awesome rhythm section, however is not a perfect album, there are too many songs that sound so damn similar, not that is a total flaw, but it’s something that really can be a bit boring for the listener after some hearings. Overall, Night Years is a fine debut and will for sure find its way in the hearts of many people.

Not every musician has had a genre coined to define his music, Devin Townsend has, Devin Metal. Also referred to as the Mad Genius, this Canadian has been concocting his mixture of metal and madness for more than twenty years. He has worked with Steve Vai and had an extreme metal projected dubbed SYL (Strapping Young Lad). With is solo work under the moniker Devin Townsend Project, he has proven that he can easily adapt to various styles from Pop music to Death Metal. This is the follow-up to his celebrated Ziltoid record and although it’s undeniably well written and executed, as you’ve come to expect, Devin’s music is starting to show signs of wear. His melodies don’t sound as fresh as they once did. Maybe this guy will surprise us next time, who can tell?

At the end of Dirty Beaches project, Stateless is the perfect mind-fuck album for its means. With the help of the Italian composer Vittorio Demarin, recorded in Lisbon and produced by Dean Hurley who worked with David Lynch, Stateless is a an atmospheric album about the cycles of life, points of no return or simply about the fact that everything in life has an end. Although the philosophic issues, Stateless is a magic nihilistic album. “Time Washes Away Everything”, the longest track of the record, fulfill us with a melancholic string dancing thorough the sad and psychedelic samplers. “Displaced”, the opening track, where the viola strings by its back and forward movements reminds us GY!BE, expresses a sense of confusion and misunderstanding. Stateless is an emotional masterpiece of sorrow and delusion.

FOR FANS OF:

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FOR FANS OF:

CUT TEETH Night Years

FAUSTO CASAIS

Plague Vendor, The Fall of Troy

Zoo Music (2014)

NUNO BABO

Strapping Young Lad, Devin Townsend

ANA CARVALHO

Suicide, David Lynch, Lust For Youth

OUT NOW

OUT NOW

01.12

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8

8 FVNERALS The Light

DOWNFALL OF GAIA Aeon Unveils The Thrones Of Decay

FULL OF HELL - MERZBOW S/T Profound Lore (2014)

Eerie Echoes & Throne Records (2014)

There has been a (largely successful) trend amongst the post-black metal fraternity to move further towards elegiac sounds, making this album all the more distinctive. A return to dualistic roots, to the coldness of black metal and to hardcore’s infernal savagery, the resulting pairing is a work as remarkable for its rawness as its power. With only one song clocking in at under 8 minutes, they take their time in constructing towers of concrete and steel, bookending furious percussive batteries with calm and with chaos, with their inclusion of dark ambient and sludge passages only reinforcing such epic narratives. Lacking the polish of its contemporaries and all the more effective for it, this is an imposing and monolithic statement.

Full Of Hell have never been an ordinary grind band, and Masami Akita has never been ordinary, making this unexpected meeting all the more deviant. The ferocious explosions of Gordian Knot and Shattered Knife leave little room for Akita’s dextrous scrapes and static, burying him under a deluge of nihilism, despair and concerted powerviolence, but when they let their rage fan out to cast a shadow of bleakness and horror over proceedings, he emerges with some of his most detailed, conceptually driven work. Operating at these equally desolate poles of sound, warmth and hope are cast out and rejected, but for those days when a complete abandonment to negativity is the only thing that’ll do, this record is absolute bliss.

FVNERALS, the power-trio from Brighton, UK, has been operating just for a couple of years but what they bring to the table is more than enough to put them with the best and most relevant new artists of this of this decade. They started with The Hours EP and now they dropped the bomb: The Light. Their debut album – a piece with eight tracks – burns extremely slow but burns both flesh and bone, sometimes reaching the soul. Tiffany’s vocals haunt and taunt, establishing an imposing dark environment that is followed by a sort of decay and almost shapeless fog that surround us and transcends. It would be fair to draw some comparisons with Chelsea Wolfe but the truth is that FVNERALS’ music cuts way deeper.

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Metak Blade (2014)

DAVE BOWES

Momentum, Amenra, Celeste

100

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December

Nails, Merzbow and Full of Hell

DAVE BOWES

TIAGO MOREIRA

Chelsea Wolfe, Marissa Nadler. Earth


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7

LITTLE BIG LEAGUE

MALLORY KNOX

Run For Cover (2014)

Search And Destroy (2014)

Asymmetry

Tropical Jinx

Philadelphia’s Little Big League have been kicking around for a few years. It was in the Fall of 2011 that Michelle Zauner and Kevin O’Halloran (previously of Post Post) along with Ian Dykstra and Deven Craige (Strand of Oaks) formed Little Big League. Later on they released their promising debut 7” and then their solid debut full-length, These Are Good People. All good things are what it’s expected from this band. Their music is an ode to the 90’s indie rock leaning to the punk with Michelle Zauner’s splendid vocal as a fundamental piece to the mix and finally with lyrics that deliver an emotional ride through the experiences and feelings of this band. Earlier this year, Little Big League released a split with Ovlov, and now they released their second album - and first for Run For Cover Records Tropical Jinx. Highly influenced by her parents marriage and her own relationship with her partner, Michelle brought to this new effort a very personal, very profound touch. Based on themes like infidelity, bad sex, and lost childhood, all the tracks are so well-crafted with that 90’s indie rock feeling, which makes us feel nostalgic and emotional over a few listenings. This record will get under your skin and it will make you shiver, because of its depth and joyful-yet-gloomy melodies.

Asymmetry is an alright album and for a band like Mallory Knox but they shouldn’t be making “alright” albums. The act from Canterbury that already made a name for themselves should be aiming bit higher than what they just presented to the public. Thinking outside the box and creating something new would be good for a change. They either ran out of ideas for this album or they couldn’t be asked and just played it safe like most of the bands in the 21th century. The album has some interesting tracks but the album itself is too long when 40 percent of it sounds the same. For this it’s to blame the production because it made it sound too mainstream and unoriginal. Their single “Ghost in a Mirror” which is by far the best track in this album sold the public a dream which they didn’t fulfil. It’s quite sad seeing these semi established bands falling into the trap of commercialization and just making music to sell to the masses instead of making music that they like. Originality sell but people are too afraid to embrace it so they rather make “alright” albums and play safe instead of letting their inner genius come out. These musicians are talented, all they have to do is up their game because their skills none can contest.

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ESSENTIAL TRACKS:

Lower Than Atlantis, Don Broco, Young Guns

Pity Sex, The Hotelier, Speedy Ortiz

Ghost In The Mirror, Getaway, Heart & Desire

Tropical Jinx, Miss AC, Take It To A Weird Sad Place ANDREIA ALVES

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6 GATES Bloom And Breath

Pure Noise Records (2014)

Bloom And Breath is not an extraordinary album. It is decent at the most. Their main issue is the lack of ideas and originality. The album’s structure and composition are alright but after the fifth song it becomes tedious and unpleasant. None of this 13 tracks bring anything new to the table. They sound like they were made just to sell and nothing else. Passion and determination to make good music is missing a lot in this album. The album is the successor of their debut album and I haven’t seen a great evolution. The talent among these musicians cannot be denied. However, it is noticeable that they are not showcasing their true skills to the public. If they are, then I take back what I just said and add that this album has its good sides but its a cheap attempt to make easy money. The lyrics and production are good but the content of the album itself brings it down.

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Prawn, Restorations, Athletics

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7

7

THE GHOST INSIDE Dear Youth

GREAT SALE DAY Wild And Chunky

Close To Home Records (2014)

Century Media (2014)

How many times we all feel the need to address a message or an advice to our younger self? So many, right? We can all admit that we imagined that tons of times. Dear Youth is somehow a nice try to answer to the question above, at least is what frontman Jonathan Vigil sets out to answer with The Ghost Inside’s new effort. Delorean’s, McFly and Doc Brown’s aside, the Los Angeles hardcore crew are back and with their most complete and strongest album of their career. Co-produced with the help of A Day To Remember’s Jeremy McKinnon and Andrew Wade, and with the always awesome Jason Butler as a guest, Dear Youth is what we can call an introspective look over issues like vulnerability, self-aware feelings, anger and hostility. Dear Youth is a genuine surprise and a remarkable effort. Well done!

Brighton-based band Great Sale Day is the new project by members of Basement, Your Demise, Unholy Majesty and Breaking Point. Quite awesome, right? But if you’re expecting something loud and fast, well, that’s not what you’re gonna get here. Great Sale Day was born when one day Andrew Fisher was listening to Weezer and the desire to start a new band striked him. Their debut album, Wild and Chunky, is a mix between Weezer’s fuzzy-pop, 90’s punk rock and even a glimpse of grunge, showing a carefree attitude throughout the whole record. It’s an easy and enjoyable listening, but there’s not much diversity. We can call it a grunge revival with all the good stuff of the 90’s punk that stucks in our head.

Heart in Hand are established and known to have a distinct sound in the hardcore scene and made it their fount. With this new effort, they have intentions of solidify and perfect what made them so different from others. Filling in with some powerful and wonderful guitar segments in songs that seems more structured, as if they were arranged and composed to elicit much of the emotion from the listening. Between well placed breakdowns and guitar melodies joining in with beautiful clean vocals or chorus group vocals, the particularity of it is that it doesn’t sound too frequent but used to emblaze the phrase of the song moment. A Beautiful White attempted to differentiate all the album with different pieces, providing ones faster and more aggressive and others slower and more emotional, but cold at the same time.

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Epitaph (2014)

FAUSTO CASAIS

Stick To Your Guns, Parkway Drive

102

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December

Weezer, Nada Surf, Pavement

HEART IN HAND A Beautiful White

ANDREIA ALVES

Heights, Hundredth, It Prevails

SERGIO KILMORE


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8

8

8 THE JAZZ JUNE After The Earthquake

HOLLANDS Restless Youth

HIS NAME IS ALIVE Tecuciztecatl

The London London Company (2014)

Self-Released (2014)

Topshelf Records (2014)

It only takes something like eighty seconds to be transported to another dimension with this new album from His Name Is Alive, the 14th full-length of a career that started back in 1986. Tecuciztecatl has been described as psychedelic rock opera - imagined vaguely in the shape of a 1969 Hammer horror film: bloody, British, gothic, and brimming with beguiling and attractive vampires – which is very easy to agree with since it is filled with bold compositions. The arrangements challenge, the melodies keep us excited all the way through and the ethereal atmosphere – most of the times because nothing here is completely static – provide the suitable ingredients to achieve an immensely satisfying meal for the heart, soul and ears. Warren Defever is a brilliant artist. Tecuciztecatl is just another proof.

The duo John-Paul Norpoth and Jannina Norpoth sound just like a kid that doesn’t have enough toys… they will never have enough toys, no matter what. Their debut full-length album, Restless Youth, is not just a rock and pop record but a rather rich blend of influences and elements that goes from the usage of weird sound effects to the freaky folk and even a mournful melody that remind us of Jim Morrison… sure, 15 seconds after is something that would sound cool on a Deerhoof’s record. It’s not easy to create good songs. It’s not easy to create an album that is filled with good songs and it is “eclectic” and challenging almost every 10 seconds. Apparently that’s not a big problem for the duo Hollands.

This is The Jazz June’s first album in 12 years! In a year where we were blessed with new records from Braid and American Football, we seriously couldn’t ask for more, but Christmas is arriving and the fat old guy perfectly read our minds and wishes, giving us a new album from indie/emo scene heroes The Jazz June. After The Earthquake is everything what we dreamed of, they once again show that they are over the top gifted visionaries, always pushing themselves to reinvent their own sound, giving their old fans some new tricks that don’t sound at all similar of what they’ve done in the past. Times change, they’re older and wiser but their pedigree is still quite unique and a true inspiration for the generations to come.

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TIAGO MOREIRA

The Who, Nirvana (UK), Flaming Lips

TIAGO MOREIRA

Flaming Lips, Deerhoof, Arcade Fire

FAUSTO CASAIS

Braid, American Football, Minerals

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7

7

KNUCKLE PUCK While I Stay Secluded EP

NOTS We Are Nots

LARKIN POE Kin

Rude Records (2014)

Rh Music (2014)

Goner Records (2014)

There is a new and exciting new wave of punk bands, where the likes of Neck Deep, Real Friends, The Wonder Years, State Champs, Joyce Manor, Seaway and Knuckle Puck are setting new trends and rising in the current punk rock scene. From Chicago, Knuckle Puck are still one of those few acts where the DIY spirit truly lives, their work ethic is gigantic and everything they achieved comes from perseverance and hard work. After their awesome split with Neck Deep, we already knew what to expect from these guys, even if we somehow raised the bar a bit... While I Stay Secluded is an honest, bold, loud and impressive effort, they could easily transcend their own genre. No worries about their fulllength, because these dudes know what they’re doing... Well done lads!

There’s no shortage of photogenic sisters in the folk realm, but be assured that Larking Poe are quite original. After a multitude of EPs, they leave behind their bluegrass roots and lay down their violins and mandolins in favor of dirtier electric guitars. Kin is more outlaw than melancholic: Rebecca’s guitar in “Jailbreak” gives off a bluesy sound that complements Megan’s now sexier voice, while “Crown of Fire” and “Overachiever” (this one a ballad) still maintain some of their folk roots. The only one that doesn’t seem to fit is “Elephant”, a track containing beats that could belong to some R&B act. Larkin Poe managed to create an interesting buzz with Kin solely on it being unexpected. A very good debut for the descendents of Edgar Allen Poe.

There is an increasing of new impressive garage punk-rock bands and it feels like there has been lately a big throwback of this specific genre. Memphis trio NOTS is one of those bands that create this impressive sort of sound, but they go further. The girls blend old-school punk with garage rock, adding synthesizers that fit perfectly with this raw approach. We Are Nots is their debut album and as soon as we listen to the opening track (“Insect Eyes”), their fierce energy takes us over altogether. There is no way to slow down that power. All eleven tracks are catchy as hell and the way they shout their words is electrifying. It’s their intensity and audacity that gives a special and exciting burst to it.

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Rise Against, Real Friends, Joyce Manor

Nikki Lane, The Black Keys

CARLOS CARDOSO

ANDREIA ALVES

Bikini Kill, Potty Mouth, Dark Times

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7 MOOSE BLOOD I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time To Time

No Sleep Records (2014)

I’ll Keep You In Mind, From Time To Time is a good debut album. Like any other debut album it has some beginners flaws. But that’s what makes or breaks an artist. If they can either bounce back and learn from their mistakes or succumb to these flaws and accept them. Out of the hundreds of bands that come out each year, this one actually has potential to make a decent name for themselves. But they definitely have to work on their production and sound itself. Do they want to copycat their favourite artist or do they want to use their music as inspiration to make something new creative and original? In this album I can hear a great influence from bands like Coldplay in the way he sings and the other music components are quite similar to Foo Fighters. They should avoid trying to be like them and be themselves. Despite their originality problems, the album’s theme size and lyrics are quite impressive. It’s easy to listen to and worth looking into. Hopefully they’ll try to make more challenging albums in the near future.

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IBRAHIMA BRITO

Nai Harvest, Foo Fighters, Dikembe

104

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8 PRIMORDIAL Where The Greater Men Have Fallen

OBITUARY Inked In Blood

Relapse Records (2014)

Metal Blade (2014)

Obituary return to the spotlight after 9 years, driven forward by the will of their own fans through Kickstarter. Inked In Blood is everything that they had hoped it would be when they contributed: a pure Obituary record. Always true to their identity, the Floridians keep Death Metal simple, but devastating. The album starts with “Century of Lies”, a death metal track with a thrashy tempo. “Visions in My Head” takes a different turn into slower but groovier realms, and “Back On Top” presents John screaming like a madman with his characteristic growl. Overall, Inked In Blood is simple, yet effective. Through different tempos, be it slower or faster, John’s vocals are always demonic and Donald’s drums are as precise and heavy as ever - a return to simpler death metal times.

Primordial continue to challenge the boundaries of cheery folk metal. That’s what makes them so interesting and why Where Greater Men Have Fallen is so great. This time they wrote dirtier riffs, in a more classical doom vibe - take “Ghosts Of The Charnel House”, with its unusual groove infused riffs. However, “Come The Flood” and the title track still have that epic vibe that we’ve come to appreciate from classic Primordial. One word of respect for Nemtheanga: he continues to set himself apart from all other frontmen in metal. His clean singing elevates Primordial above the bands with mediocre growls. WGMHF is Primordial without all the issues of the past, a record that showcases all the maturity they had been promising throughout the years.

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Morbid Angel, Death, Malevolent Creation

Sólstafir, Enslaved, Dordeduh

CARLOS CARDOSO


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PHARMAKON

9

Sacred Bones (2014)

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Bestial Burden

“The 34 minutes of Bestial Burden are tremendously tortuous... And more important: we can feel the honesty of it. Unbelievable!”

P

harmakon is the project of Margaret Chardiet and it has been running for five years now. The New Yorker has been operating in a world that can be described as power electronics meets death industrial and last year she released her Sacred Bones’ debut album (there were some stuff released before

Abandon) creating excitement for a shitload of people. It was as weird as awesome but nothing could really prepare for the beast that is Bestial Burden… probably not even Margaret was expecting to come up with this when she released her Sacred Bones’ debut. Influenced by three weeks bedridden and the entire experience, which resulted on the cancellation of her first European Tour, Margaret confessed, “I felt a widening divide between my physical and mental self. It was as though my body had betrayed me, acting as a separate entity from

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(old) Swans, Xiu Xiu

my consciousness.” Bestial Burden is an amazing, utterly disgusting, complicated and repulsive. Often times there’s this feeling that she recorded pain, literally speaking, and to take things to a whole new level she decided to come up with an even more raw production – easy to understand why Michael Gira took Pharmakon on tour. The 34 minutes of Bestial Burden are tremendously tortuous – her cover of Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang Bang” doesn’t make things “easier” as well – and more important: we can feel the honesty of it. Unbelievable!

Intent or Instinct, Body Betrays Itself

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TIAGO MOREIRA

105


PIANOS BECOME THE TEETH

9

Epitaph (2014)

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Keep You

“... an awesome and emotional experience of atmospheric heaviness and weight through raw and honest emotion instead of their aggression and distortion.”

S

ometimes pushing forward our own boundaries could be our best way to achieve that unexpected change that through time we keep delaying it... Ditching their emotional posthardcore roots, you can no longer expect any kind of breakdowns and screams, instead you guys find another kind of heaviness, where

Kevin Durfey’s clean vocals create an almost haunting and addictive atmosphere. Keep You deals with those random and familiar concepts like mortality and communication, all this in the most deep and intensely personal way. Musically, it’s quite intriguing, they achieve to find their own heaviness in their serenity, their blend of styles is so fucking impressive, we kind of fell for every single track of this record. After several listenings we find ourselves lost and exhausted, but we never give up at any time, because after Keep You beats in

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The Smiths, Nothing, Balance And Composure

106

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December

Late Lives, Ripple Water Shine, Old Jaw

in the heart we will need for sure for some kind of rehab, because this will work like an addiction in you. Keep You is also Durfey’s own playground regarding emotions, his personal reflections are intense and cathartic and it’s almost impossible not to break our own balanced emotional system. Pianos Become The Teeth turn the right page in their career, they just give us an awesome and emotional experience of atmospheric heaviness and weight through raw and honest emotion instead of their aggression and distortion. A classic within the genre. FAUSTO CASAIS


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9

PINK FLOYD

RESTORATIONS

Parlophone (2014)

Side One Dummy (2014)

The Endless River

LP3

T

he release of this record is one of those happenings that, alike so many other things in life, tends to be great when it takes you by surprise. After Rick Wright’s death, it’s safe to assume that nobody really expected for the Pink Floyd machine to rise again and deliver a new studio record. The Endless River isn’t your typical Floyd album, and anyone expecting another The Division Bell or A Momentary Lapse of Reason might not be in the right frame of mind to fully appreciate the experience this album has to offer. The Endless River encompasses a fitting mesh of all the band’s past different styles across its 18 movements, and although there are song title separations, The Endless River sounds much more like one single 53 minute brilliantly accomplished song from start to finish. Gilmour and Mason had the most remarkable ability to assemble what might have been bits and pieces spread throughout hours of material in a way that managed to create the most engaging and utterly mesmerizing musical voyage. We can’t put The Endless River next to any of the band’s better known efforts, but instead of just following the same old "verse, chorus, solo" formula, it’s precisely this “single song” profile that makes the album stand truly unique among Floyd’s discography. It’s the most fitting, emotional and touching goodbye that Rick Wright and the rest of Floyd could have given us. We thank them for that.

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n their third album, Philadelphia’s five piece brings nostalgia, big chorus and huge heartbreaking songs. The songs are the key word here, this is not a traditional rock record, this is not a punk record, not a hardcore or emo record and not even an indie record. LP3 sounds like a slow punk/hardcore version of Fugazi fronted by the alternative and wild Brian Fallon. Their palette of sounds is quite vast, their own influences gain life and any kind of subgenre of rock is somehow submitted to the listener in a whole different way. Quite complex right? These guys reinvented their own style inside their own influences and life experiences. LP3 is a well-crafted, experimental, dense and immersive piece of art-rock, made by gifted and visionary musicians.

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Pink Floyd, Pink Floyd and Pink Floyd...

The Gaslight Anthem, The National, Fugazi, Tom Waits

All... Everything sounds like a single song!

Separate Songs, Misprint, All My Home

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LUIS ALVES

FAUSTO CASAIS

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OUT NOW

7 PURPLE (409)

PIAS (2014)

There’s not much to say about Purple, the power-trio from Beaumont, Texas, and… that’s actually a good thing. They are essentially a punk rock band that’s playing because they just want to have a good time doing it. It’s cool when people can entertain themselves but what’s even cooler is when they’re able to entertain other people too. (409) is not pretentious but at the same time is really smart, sharp and that doesn’t overdo things to the point of saturation. The big problem with this album is that anytime you reach “Leche Loco” you can’t help yourself from laughing your ass off because you spent three minutes watching that fuckin’ video. It’s not the most groundbreaking debut album of the last decade but does the trick almost without sweating. TIAGO MOREIRA

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Pulled Apart By Horses, Big Ups, Dean’s

8 OUT NOW

ROYAL BLOOD Royal Blood

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Warner Bros (2014)

Somewhere along the year we heard their single called “St. Patrick”, we got intrigued enough by that and kept Pvris under our radar... Now, their debut album finally landed and via Rise Records, what a nice surprise we must say. Pvris is an innovative group and play what we can call a different kind of goth-punk-meets-electrocatchy-addictive-80’s-dark-haunted songs. White Noise is quite dark, but full of that synthetic pop clichés, indeed “St. Patrick” is an awesome pop track, but the whole deal is very different from their debut single and that could guide the listener to the darker side... Although the band crafts ridiculously catchy choruses and songs, that will stick in your head for days.

Royal Blood’s new album might be one of the biggest revelations in the UK music scene this year. The badass duo from Brighton has definitely made an impact on the UK music industry with their debut album. Albums like this and many others are keeping Rock alive and slapping the face of who says the contrary. With the same amount of members as great bands such as Death From Above 1979, White Stripes or Black Keys. Thankfully this duo didn’t fall in the same trap as many others and did not copy their musicality as well as their band line up. The album has a fresh and original sound to it. It’s short, snappy and easy to listen. Differently to some upcoming bands, the album’s structure is pretty neat but original in order to keep the album’s flow going. “Out of the Blacks” and “Little Monster” are the flagship songs with their awesome riffs and spot on melodies. For a first album it is pretty impressive. Hopefully they will do the same for the rest of their career.

At their second album, Set It Off show why they are a band that doesn’t mind to be totally honest about their musical inspirations and also about their lyric content. In this new record, the group is more confident than ever and that comes across in their songs. Duality is for sure a more elaborated theatrical pop-rock than their previous record, Cinematics, and the lyrics are based on the whole duality theme, which is just priceless. But what it’s even more interesting is that even the music has two sides sometimes it’s upbeat, sometimes it’s downbeat. Everything on this record is catchy, surprising and refreshing. Cody Carson brings all his heart and soul to every single track, creating a something bigger to this record.

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7 PVRIS White Noise

Rise Records (2014)

FAUSTO CASAIS

Lights, Shiny Toy Guns, Versa

108

music&riots

December

IBRAHIMA BRITO

QOTSA, Mastodon, Death From Above 1979

8 SET IT OFF Duality Rude Records (2014)

Panic At The Disco, All Time Low

ANDREIA ALVES


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RUN THE JEWELS Run The Jewels 2

Mass Appeal Records (2014)

SAINT SAVIOUR In The Seams

Surface Area Records (2014)

S

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The aggressive entry and acapella of Killer Mike on “Jeopardy” serves as a warning for what follows: sharp language and harsh productions, they do not intend to please anyone. And by the pace of joint efforts (from full production of El-P on R.A.P. Music of Killer Mike in 2012 and the RTJ’s debut album in 2013), in the next few years no one will be free of the punches of this unlikely duo. The first two tracks will mourn the pseudo-rappers and by the third theme, the monsters will fright boys underneath the bed. The cohesion between Killer Mike and El-P is able to scare of how well they work together. As rap is just like the foundation of his work, the conscious attacks brandished go meet other directions: the poignant story with the chorus of BOOTS on “Early”, describing the abuse of authority of the American police; “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)” in a resurgence of Zack de la Rocha, inciting revolution in the prisons by denouncing the continued abuse of power. But in a moment of self-reflection in “Crown”, Killer Mike teaches us confessing mistakes of the past, that to preach to the community it is necessary to reveal the humanity. It’s this balance of content that RTJ prove the wisdom gained and makes them a model to follow. Killer Mike and El-P serve us in an honest and unpretentious manner, 40 minutes of the best music, worthy to call itself “Rap” made in 2014.

aint Saviour’s 2012 debut album, Union, mixed a vast list of genres from electronica to indie, and showed us an artist quite preoccupied to be everywhere, feel everything, understand everyone. In The Seams is a more mature approach and we can even call it minimalist in a good way. Songs such as the opening track “Intro (Sorry)” begins with the lines “I’ve made considerable mistakes/tried to be/ someone else”, almost preventing the listener of the honesty level expected. The album organically comes to life without asking for permission, and Saint Saviour’s vocals can really make us stop whatever we are doing and simply pay attention to her music. Therefore, we can say that the magic of In The Seams lies in the details and most of the time we can relate to what she is singing. The album is a personal and intimate confession and it’s perfectly autumnal, with perfect nostalgic moments such as “Let it Go” and “Nobody Died”. Dark places such as the passage of time and solitude are visited with a rich lyricism and passionate orchestral sounds – strings played by the Manchester Camerata Orchestra – filling us with hopes and fears, reality and fantasy. With this album, Saint Saviour can actually be called a saviour: the music industry is richer and definitely so are we.

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ESSENTIAL TRACKS:

Kyla La Grange, Gazelle Twin, White Sea

EPMD, Ratking, UGK

Let It Go, Nobody Died

Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck), Crown RUI CORREIA

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7 AUTUMN SKY Scout EP

ACRE TARN Clasp & Shake EP

7 CLIMATES Body Clocks

Small Town Records (2014)

Tri-Tone (2014)

Self-Released (2014)

“We are a sum of two halves, founded by chance and brought together to realise our musical craft.” That’s how the UK duo Acre Tarn describe themselves and they create something that’s both gorgeous and smooth. This 4-track EP shows how their dynamics really work well on this experimental electronic pop atmosphere. The vocals are connected with the beats in a haunting way delivering a powerful and persistent sound. Clasp & Shake is a daydream and heartfelt EP.

Autumn Sky Hall delivers on this new EP gentle and invigorating 3-tracks that aren’t just enough to fill up our desire to listen to more music from this Sacramento band. Always impressively confident of her powerful yet tender voice, Autumn wants to connect with everyone through her music and with Scout she and her band are capable of that. Without being tedious indie pop music, Scout has a rock edge giving a new and appealing approach.

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They’re still a young band, their sound is quite fresh and dynamic, but it’s their cathartic and emotional approach that truly stands out the most. Body Clocks is an ambitious and bold effort, where hardcore blends with math-rock in perfection, giving them a new sense of heaviness in their own straight-up melody. Climates aim for something bigger and their future is still an open book, we must keep in mind that this is still their first fulllength. Impressive!

FAUSTO CASAIS

ANDREIA ALVES

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7

8

7

CHOIR VANDALS At Night

IMPERIAL LEISURE Razzle Dazzle EP

ERMO Amor Vezes Quatro EP

FITA Records / 6131 Records (2014)

Cobra Discos (2014)

FDX Records (2014)

A rather intriguing proposition, St. Louis, Missouri four piece Choir Vandals’ EP is quite defying and surprisingly inventive. Their alternative indie punk infused rock is dark and minimalist, where sparkly hooks blend perfectly with every single and carefully directional shifts within the songs, revealing more and more layers after several listenings... At Night is bloody good, filled with great songwriting and infectious catchiness.

The new EP from the alternative portuguese band is raw, incisive with a wave of darkness melancholy throughout the entire record. Lyrically beautiful, this is unquiet poetry. “O Amor”, a slap on your face, a five minute passionate monologue surrounded only by a classic piano chord and some drums. “Súcubo” is another monologue about masturbation, accompanied by surreal sounds of a mad libido. The melodies, voices are almost theatrical, gloomy and sarcastic (aka Recreio). This is pure love indeed.

Since the beginnings until nowadays that Londoners Imperial Leisure have been an alt-ska band, which hold the reputation for delivering fun and high energy live performances. This Razzle Dazzle EP is their new material since the 2012’s second album Death To The One Trick Pony. This is what you may call the ska for the 21st century: it’s danceable, catchy with a punked-up energy. It’s not for everyone’s taste. It’s as consistent and amusing as an EP can be.

FAUSTO CASAIS

ANA XARVALHO

ANDREIA ALVES

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Hummus Records (2014)

RHYTON Kykeon

Thrill Jockey (2014)

THE S’S Exploded View Of Love

Arpeggios floating in our ears and melodies that sparks into our hearts through some heavy guitar riffs. In the middle of the post-rock boast where bands playing the style are formed like mushrooms, Hello! Welcome So Far is a surprise… The songs “Part 1” and “Part 2” are fucking gorgeous. One only ears a very far away tremolo being played and rising till it explodes into a bittersweet rougher convulsion. Killbody Tuning is a band to keep an eye on.

The Rython is a project of David Shuford who has worked with some bands like NNCK. Kykeon means to mix and this work is exactly that: typical middle-east melodies, a grooving heavy bass and the result is a bizarre psychedelic. Six organic and intuitive music-jams, very visual ones into the sounds of the desert... Besides the fact the music’s being very visual, it leads into some kind of hypnotic trance (“Pannychis”). Kykeon is for your body and soul.

Los Angeles-based The S’s - aka JEF 700S - has released his debut concept album, Exploded View of Love, and it’s described as “an abstract soundtrack that fathoms a Post-Reality/PostEmpathy/Post-Human future” and we couldn’t agree more. JEF 700S is the voice, the beats and the noise, leading us into this claustrophobic atmosphere with futuristic feel where minimalism and experimental music prevail. It’s not an easy listening but it’s pushing its boundaries.

KILLBODY TUNING Hello! Welcome, So Far...

ANA CARVALHO

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Self-Released (2014)

ANA CARVALHO

ANDREIA ALVES


REVIEWS

OUT NOW

9 SAVAGES AND BO NINGEN Words To The Blind

Stolen Recordings / Pop Noire Records (2014)

Bo Ningen & Savages collaborative album is a freakish experience, there are so many layers and experimetalism that we get lost in their own sonic universe. Words To The Blind is an astonishing piece of work, a “simultaneous sonic poem” inspired by the Dadaist concept of the ‘Simultaneous Poem’, a movement created through the horror of World War One, it attempts to understand how society has reached such an illogical decision. A stunning stylistic and artistic effort. Bravo! FAUSTO CASAIS

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7 THE WANDS The Dawn

SEAWAY All In My Head EP

SHADOWSPHERE Dark Lands

Sphere Music Media (2014)

Fuzz Club Records (2014)

After last year releasing their debut LP The Hoser, Seaway are back and with a bold effort. All in My Head is different and goes from punk to emo, giving to their strong pop sensibility a new and catchy edge. This new EP brings heartfelt pop punk songs, something a bit unusual to what we are used to from the genre. All In My Head is a youthful and strong effort, showing that 2015 will be a huge year for these dudes, this is a hard working band that are aiming for big things.

Portuguese Melodic Death Metal Band that presents us with a revamped version of their 2004 album Dark Lands. A mixture of NWOSDT and some metalcore influences. A band that shows the maturity of their sound while interpreting these solid metal songs influenced by bands like At the Gates and In Flames. Even though the original record is ten years old, the songs sound fresh and vibrant with equal amounts of aggression and melody interspersed with snippets of the classic horror film Nosferatu.

Acid all over our ears is simply what brings to us this new Danish duo album. They are a psychedelic band, no one doubts about that, but The Dawn is damn hallucinogenic. The diabolic 70’s organ chords reminding us some The Doors’ grooves... somehow hypnotizing and taking us back to an huge era in the musical scene. Although it may sound a little repetitive, the album is consistent enough for one to be thrilled about it.

Pure Noise Records (2014)

FAUSTO CASAIS

NUNO BABO

ANA CARVALHO

OUT NOW

7 THEA & THE WILD Strangers And Lovers

Jansen Plateproduksjon (2014)

Thea Glenton Raknes started her solo project under the name Thea & The Wild in 2013 and she has gained a lot of experience as a songwriter, lyricist, frontwoman and as a producer in the Norwegian music industry. She put all of that experience into her debut album, Strangers and Lovers. With a retro-feel and catchy synth pop elements, this is a bold pop record with quite impressive melodies and rhythms. Thea’s voice is superb and adapts to each song. Let’s see what’s next for this talented musician.

ANDREIA ALVES

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SUMMER OF HOAXES Little Town, Great Stories

SICK OF IT ALL The Last Act Of Defiance

SUCH GOLD The New Sidewalk

Century Media (2014)

This Is Core Records (2014)

Razor & Tie (2014)

Twelve studio albums, twenty eight years of road and a major institution in the hardcore punk scene. Sick Of It All have built their life being one of those bands that no matter what they will not give up working for the fans and showing their roots. As we listen to The Last Act Of Defiance, they prove it and quarrell the early days and bands, that fancy tattoos and fancy wear styles is not what this scene means, but the strength and power within the political antitheses words. Opening with the fast and forward “Sound the Alarm” and “2061” managing to a pure old school chat along. Arriving at the mids of the record, it presents us the masterpiece of this set of songs. “Never Backing Down” could be the new zenith after “Step Down” or “Scratch the Surface”, a power and fighting song, and record.

Summer Of Hoaxes is a four piece pop-punk gang from Ferrara/Bologna. And the main question is: why should anyone pay more attention to the pop-punk/hardcore scene in Italy? Well, the answer is because they might be Europe’s best kept secret regarding this genre. The quality of their releases is over the top and if they were in the States they would be for sure more relevant, in the matter of speaking... Little Town, Great Stories is a really nice effort, their energy is relentless perfectly filled with solid rhythms, bouncing beats, delicious harmonies and full of catchier moments. Their sound bounces between that old school New Found Glory beats, Four Year Strong and The Story So Far. Well done!

Could a punk record nowadays be technically proficient? Fuck yeah and these dudes really take it to the next level. The New Sidewalk, perfectly produced by Bill Stevenson is a huge leap forward regarding Such Gold’s 2012 debut album, Misadventures. There are not many melodic hardcore records that truly lives to that genre, Such Gold are a perfect example of that, showing no sign of accommodation and lack of ideas, instead they innovate and forward-thinking as a punk-hardcore band. It’s easy to tag them along with this new trend pop-punk genre, but that’s pure narrow minded blindness. The New Sidewalk is heavy and unpredictable complex, melodic and punk as fuck. They’ve moved into adventurous territory, and again, it’ll be interesting to see what’s coming next.

FOR FANS OF:

FOR FANS OF:

FOR FANS OF:

SÉRGIO KILMORE

FAUSTO CASAIS

Set Your Goals, The Story So Far, Lifetime

New Found Glory, The Story So Far

Agnostic Front, Madball, Hatebreed

FAUSTO CASAIS

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THE TWILIGHT SAD Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody...

VANDERBUYST At The Crack Of Dawn

8 WREKMEISTER HARMONIES Then It All Came Down Thrill Jockey (2014)

Fatcat (2014)

Ván Records (2014)

The fourth album of the Scottish group is a balance between the typical postpunk they’ve been doing and some elements of electronic maybe more noticed on this work this time. Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave, created over a period of absence and meaning isolation, marks a period of the band when they no longer have to prove anything. And this can be stagnation for certain bands but in this case they reinvented themselves and created a very consistent work. The lyrics are deep and intense, aka “Pills I Swallow” and “Leave The House”, a gloomy downtempo rescued later on by the instrumental line. The album ends with “Sometimes I Wish I Could Fall Asleep,” a beautiful and a disarm confession and we wish this album never ended.

This Dutch band record starts off with a bass line straight out of Steve Harris playbook and a killer hard rock riff to boot. Influenced by late 70’s and early 80’s hard rock and heavy metal it’s easy to see that these guys have Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy, Saxon, ZZ Top and other classic bands as inspiration. A very cohesive trio of musicians that sing about important and responsible matters like David Lee Roth preaches, more specifically about Babes, Booze and Automobiles and play a very competent form of hard ‘n’ heavy music that celebrates a time that is long gone but never forgotten, a time when ignorance was bliss. Revivalists to the core especially when you appreciate the ambiguously creepy and sexy front cover of the record.

J.R. Robinson, the man behind Wrekmeister Harmonies, is definitely a man that you want to get familiar with. The first WK’s album was recorded at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio with the help of guys like Jef Whitehead, Sanford Parker, Bruce Lamont, etc., and before that he worked with guys like Ken Vandermark, David Yow and Jeff Parker in a little piece entitled Recordings Made in Public Spaces. Impressing stuff, right? His second album, Then It All Came Down, “is” a drone/doom album with Jef Whitehead as a special guest, on vocals, that succeeds on the difficult task of not being boring and that’s because of his approach and the composition values. Robinson delivers an album that swings back and forth achieving a running-esque effect with his drone/ doom. It’s a really thrilling experience this one-track album.

FOR FANS OF:

FOR FANS OF:

FOR FANS OF:

ANA CARVALHO

Editors, I Like Trains, Frightened Rabbit

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Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy, Saxon

NUNO BABO

Sunn O))), Earth, Nadja

TIAGO MOREIRA


REVIEWS

REVIEWED NEXT ISSUE OUT NOW

7

TV ON THE RADIO Seeds

Virgin Emi (2014)

CIRCA SURVIVE

GUERILLA TOSS

Descensus

HOOKWORMS

The Hum

After the catchy greatest hit “Wolf Like Me” and the success of the album Return of The Cookie Mountain, TV on the Radio remained on the top of the tops with Dear Science, acclaimed as one of the best albums of 2008. From that moment on, in their career, difficulties occurred, between the death by cancer of their bassist Gerard Smith and the decreasing of the band in terms of impact of their music in the public and in the media. They are back now with Seeds and as Tunde Adebimpe sings “thinking about the future.” Touché. The first impact of the record might be surprisingly good. “Quartz”, the opening track, is a cool grooving song (and by the way, Tunde’s voice is still amazing). Moving on to “Test Pilot”, a smoothie ballad with only some beats guiding us through Tunde’s delusional confession of love and friendship. The rhythm is there inviting you to dance all the time. Psych loops everywhere (“Careful You”) but the track seven “Ride”, the high-hoped song of the record is the cherry on the cake. It’s catchy, grooving and the drums are rough and syncopated. Lyrically resumes effectively the album and this moment to them. As a whole, Seeds is not the greatest album of TV the on Radio but it is vibrant enough for their comeback on the charts.

Smack The Brick

LITTLE BOOTS

Business Pleasure EP

SMASHING PUMPKINS

CRETIN

Monuments To An Elegy

FUGAZI

First Demo

Stranger

SOUNDGARDEN

Echo Of Miles: Scattered Tracks...

FOR FANS OF:

Spoon, Wolf Parade, The New Pornographers

ESSENTIAL TRACKS:

Ride, Test Pilot, Quartz ANA CARVALHO

GIRLPOOL

Girlpool EP

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KID WAVE

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FUTURE ISLANDS CELEBRATION Hard Club, Porto 24.10.2014

F Words: Rui Correia

ANTEMASQUE

LE BUTCHERETTES

D

Electric Ballroom, London 16.10.2014 Words: Ibrahima Brito

amn! What an amazing show. The bands have done exactly what they were supposed to do: entertain their audience. And you can be assured they were more than entertaining. The public couldn’t have asked for a tinnier bit more of energy from the acts because they gave everything they had. They would probably die of exhaustion if they gave it a little bit more. From climbing up the light post to jumping, running and dancing. The stage was their domain and they’ve done what they could and used every last inch of it. The expectations for Antemasque were already high to begin with. The show fulfilled those expectations; however Les Butcherettes were the biggest surprise of the night. They really know how to kick off a show and get the audience vibrating. The band started the performance by singing acapella, showing us that their frontwoman (Teri Gender Bender) is a capable singer in her own right. But what really got the audience going was Teri presence on stage. You could see she totally felt at home. She was fearless. She wasn't afraid to use every last bit of the venue and her body to express how she was feeling when she was singing. Most of the songs weren't understandable because they were either in Spanish or half English. But they understood the feeling that oozed out of the broken words. Singing, playing keyboard, dancing, jumping and playing guitar are some of the many skills that Teri has displayed in this show. She sang some old and new material but all of it was definitely worth listening to. Musically they were quite strong too. Their drummer really worked her kit and kept everything in check. Only the melodies of their songs could keep up with Teri’s insanity, which shows how well constructed they were. Antemasque was just so powerful it was almost scary. To think that Omar is almost 40 and he can still move like that is just unimaginable. The performance was flawless. The vocals were on point and the tracks were really well constructed. Antemasque might have the potential to surpass Mars Volta by a mile. Omar embodied what a true rock frontman should act like again. After 21 years of being in the game, he hasn't changed one bit. 114

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riday’s night at Hard Club had everything to be epic in the debut of Future Islands in Porto. A band that was followed almost in secret for thousands of people, just needed a stroke of genius to reach global proportions. This happened earlier this year, in the presentation of "Seasons (Waiting On You)" on the Late Show with David Letterman. A passionate performance of Samuel T. Herring (vocals) onstage made this the unlikely single of the year and catapulted them to us (thank you, Internet). The sold out concert of Future Islands was shared with the opening of Celebration, the band that has accompanied the European Tour. The similarities are up by theory: they have a similar history, released a new album this year, Albumin, and have matured their sound design. As for practice, show a very soulful voice with Katrina Ford, that is not no hurricane, but opened the appetite of an on-time abiding public. During the brief performance, bassist William Cashion of Future Islands joined the Celebration to play a song. Here comes the time for the main event. Eyes fixed on charismatic frontman of Future Islands. In large, the success of the band is due to the climactic performance of Sam: a singular and metronomic dance, theatrical pluck heart and a body that at any given moment of the concert drop emotional tears and gushing sweat, as if St. Peter decided to toast the audience with a divine rain coming from the stage. A reliable and simple way to comparison, someone used it in the past to describe the performance of the band: "Imagine David Thomas of Pere Ubu and New Order." It is this musical dose of a dreamy pop singer with an unusual howling, screams (hardcore boys pay attention to this gentleman’s guttural) and a voice above all beautiful, which, strangely, hypnotizes the audience. In a consistent set where the band presented almost the entire last album, Singles, mixing up with songs from a repertoire from the past (“Balance” from the album On The Water and “Tin Man” from In Evening Air), they were capable of diving well the moments, leaving the fans slowly absorb the environment. Lesson study and played. Future Islands are ready for long-haul flights and in the first presentation made here, there was a feeling in the air that the Portuguese public found a new love affair of long duration. You wait and see.


LIVE!

Bury Tomorrow

BURY TOMORROW + HANDS LIKE HOUSES + CLOSE YOUR EYES + LOCK & KEY + ASH IS A ROBOT Hard Club, Porto 28.10.2014

Words: Fausto Casais // Pictures: Andreia Alves

Hands Like Houses

Portugal is a strange place regarding their audience and their own concerts agenda. So we must thank Head Up! Shows for bringing something different to a city where their agenda lacks diversity or we get bored as hell with the same old boring bands all over the place week after week... Well about this night, unfortunately we arrived after Lock & Key and Ash Is A Robot... So our night started with Close Your Eyes, as expected they are enormous on stage, quite possibly the best concert of the night, their old school infused punk rock was contagious as hell. Next we had Hands Like Houses, they’re technically perfect, but that audience was not ready for that strange blend of styles, overall they’re just ok. Finally, Bury Tomorrow arrive, they were fine and their effort on stage was great, but after a few songs everything sounded like a broken record that repeats the same old song over and over again. musicandriotsmagazine.com

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MÃO MORTA

Maze Fest, Almada 01.11.2014

I

Words and Pictures: Ricardo Almeida

n Valter Hugo Mãe's words, Pelo Meu Relógio São Horas de Matar, the new album, defies passivity [Valter used the word lethargy]. Some have accused Mão Morta of taking advantage of the current economic and social crisis Europe is undergoing as an excuse to write an album that would generate a lot of buzz, or to incite violent acts, especially after the video premier for “Horas de Matar”. The band denies it; “It's a fictional work, which does not aim to incite rebellion.” One should remember that Mão Morta have always been razor-sharp, burying their hands in the dirt, with Adolfo Luxúria Canibal's visceral words as a trademark. Nelson Zagalo, lecturer at University of Minho, sees the video as “a cry of saturation against the lack of insurgency, against stagnation, against everyone.” Formed in the aftermath of a Swans concert, Mão Morta emerged in ‘85 as a post-punk-influenced act that, in their words, could barely play their instruments; they’ve dwelt in the alleys of the Portuguese underground, travelling through the frequencies of noise and avant-garde rock, for almost three decades now. Today, they’re perceived as this veteran band responsible for cult records such as Mutantes S.21 (1999), Primavera de Destroços (2001) or Nus (2004). Mão Morta's name can hardly be detached from that of their mentor, Adolfo Luxúria Canibal. His vocal delivery is highly visceral, sometimes grotesque, and mostly spoken word-based. It’s not hard to see how much his interest in drama and literature has influenced his style. Mão Morta's live act is the perfect marriage between underground rock and a theater play – please remember their astonishing interpretation and staging of Lautréamont's Maldoror (2008). Adolfo's “acting” skills and all the tension he generates are absolutely unparalleled. On stage his presence is incendiary, irreverent, in a constant flirt with the audience. Sound and composition wise, Mão Morta sounds like the band that has been around for almost thirty years that they are: pungent, experienced, solid. 116

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LIVE!

HARK + KEN MODE Audio, Glasgow 17.10.2014

I

Words: Dave Bowes

Mão Morta

f the Botch-with-a-clawhammer technicality of last year’s Entrench was enough to get people out for KEN mode tonight, their set is a much more direct affair, Jesse Matthewson attacking the barbed melodies of Counter Culture Complex with a single-minded aggression and piercing the audience with every venom-coated word. It’s a return to the physicality of their early years, heavy on the groove yet unremittingly harsh, and it only gets more so as they tease the room with cuts from their forthcoming album Success. The tarry undergroove of Skot Hamilton acts as a primer for Matthewson’s guttural melodies, splashing their Jesus Lizard grit over the room with undiluted aggression and caustic focus, and though they may have stripped themselves back to their solid concrete core, it’s still a kinetic and vicious effort from the trio. Sandwiched between the two, Toronto-based comedian Garrett Jamieson is an odd warm-up for H A R K’s blitzkrieg of groove, but the rapid-fire delivery helps to calm the nerves before Jimbob Isaac’s mob take stage and pummel the crowd once again. Much like their touring mates, H A R K’s MO is a case of brains meets brawn, though in this case the muscle is from those thick, infectious grooves. Isaacs delivers most of the killing blows, his bellicose roar a catalyst for riffs that attack like hornets, direct one moment and then buzzing in from all angles, but it’s that immovable rhythm section of Nikolai Ribnikov and Simon Bonwick that sustain them; they create that emphatic stomp as Scarlet Extremities hits its Zeppelin-worthy peak, or the jarring to-and-fro of Palendromeda, a sinuous reboot of classic rock tropes with added volume. There’s an intense synchronicity with these three tonight, and even those who showed up for their Canadian cohorts will have to admit that H A R K know what makes for great tunes and better shows.

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Pontiak

PONTIAK + TOULOUSE Maus Hábitos, Porto 01.11.2014

Words: Tiago Moreira // Pictures: Andreia Alves

A

lmost six months after visiting Portugal, Pontiak return to an Iberian tour. The band composed by three brothers – Lain, Vain and Jennings – released in January their new album, entitled Innocence, and apparently they are really fucking eager to show their work. It just so happens that people are eager to hear it… and it’s easy to understand. Ok, the sound of the venue was a little bit crappy, but the way these three brothers played… who fucking cares, really? With their stoner-based rock, the power-trio from Virginia just took the place by storm and left the entire audience crazy. At times an ugly and bad beast who clearly lost control, other times a beautiful creature filled with details and delicious little nuances, but always – and I mean always – a spectacular beast to watch, observe, take notes and… lost yourself in. Van Carney, the lead vocalist, has an amazing voice by the way. To open the night the Portuguese band Toulouse with their crappy version of surf rock music mixed with lo-fi pop and post-rock. Fortunately that night there was little to do in terms of destroying the vibe. Pontiak is just too much of a beast to allow that. 118

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LIVE!

THE COATHANGERS Broadcast, Glasgow 11.11.2014

D Words: Dave Bowes

espite an almost complete absence of promotion, The Coathangers have managed the impossible and drawn a sizeable crowd to Broadcast’s moodily-lit confines, and on a Tuesday night no less. The sets early moments are dominated by the staccato plunk of diminutive bassist Minnie Coathanger which often overpowers the excitable yelps and yeah’s of Crook Kid Coathanger and the punkier, more forthright vocals of Rusty Coathanger. Despite Rusty’s furious drumming, wild and loose yet with enough technical merit to showcase their evolution since the rough’n’ready days of their debut, it’s that punchiness which holds dominion. While something of a rough start, the problems prove short-lived as they dive more confidently into their Suck My Shirt material, “Springfield Cannonball” providing a moment of jangling surf anarchy as Crook Kid firmly grabs the room’s attention with her aggressively endearing delivery and shrieking, wildly tilting guitarwork. It also demonstrates their ever-spreading pool of influences as Zombie draws in 50’s girl-group chic and a hazy 90’s alt-rock shimmer to spectacular effect. There’s a sense of balance here, in their performance and in the overall sound, that showcases the trio’s attributes without ever sacrificing their punk roots. While that balance slips away as the night begins to draw to a close, this time around it’s only to illustrate that the party isn’t over just yet. Instruments are switched, all three take turns on the mic – Minnie shimmying excitedly as she melds with the crowd, Rusty roaring and whipping her hair as she clings desperately to the ceiling and Crook Kid simply dialling what she’s been doing all evening up to the next level – and the room is left with nothing to do but dance, bounce and cheer until the lights come up. They may be one woman down these days, but the effort they’re delivering is more than covers the gap.

POST-AMPLIFEST SESSIONS

TIM HECKER + ATILLA Hard Club, Porto 26.10.2014

Words: Tiago Moreira After the great experience that it was Amplifest’14, the promoter Amplificasom offered more three singular experiences to close another year. It started with Tim Hecker and it started with an almost complete, bleak and mesmerizing darkness. With almost no lights on stage, there was only Hecker’s shadow to see. No distractions whatsoever. The Canadian artist, that was presenting his latest studio effort, entitled Virgins, attacked the audience without a care in the world. Using and abusing from the highs and lows, the experience was beyond transcendental, giving us a cold, cutting-edge environment and, casually, giving us warmth… probably just to fuck with us. It was a brutal roller coaster of emotions in a trip that no one will soon forget. To open for Tim Hecker there was the Portuguese artist who answers to the name Atilla. This time with the help of a drummer, the musician from Porto provided 30 minutes of intensity with the drone, electronics and – mostly because of the drummer – an interesting groove. With a handful of records released (check his Bandcamp), live was the only piece missing from the puzzle. He proved, that night, that he’s one of the most exciting and thrilling artists of the Portuguese music scene.

KADAVAR + THE PICTUREBOOKS + JUSEPH Hard Club, Porto 29.10.2014

Words: Ana Carvalho The Post-Amplifest at the Hard Club brought to Porto the 70’s rocker band Kadavar who’s touring with The Picturebooks. The event started with Juseph, a Portuguese post-rock/metal and the spot was half composed. Juseph’s performance was intense… Even if the concert itself was a short one, it was cool enough for some hard headbangings. The next band, the blues-rock band The Picturebooks played some of the hits of their fresh new album (“PCH Diamond” for example) and other older songs of their career. Although, some apathy of the audience, the gig was really good. Starting from the heavy drum riffs performed by Philipp Mirtschink, raw single beats echoing all over the room or the powerful stage presence of the vocals Fynn Grabke, they gave everything on stage. The performance ended with their new hit “Your Kisses Burn Like Fire”. The headliners Kadavar needed no presentation. The room was crowded and anxious for the heavy 70’s psych rock of the band. And they did not disappoint. Technically they were impeccable, producing a kind of hypnotic effect on the crowd from the beginning to the end. The encore, required by the public, was “Come Back Life,” transforming the gig in a blast worth to be seen.

MAYBESHEWILL + FLOOD OF RED + MEMOIRS OF THE SECRET EMPIRE

Hard Club, Porto 06.11.2014

Words: Tiago Moreira After the mesmerizing performance by Tim Hecker and the rock ‘n’ roll in-your-face night with Kadavar, it was time to welcome the five boys from Leicester, UK: Maybeshewill. With a brand new album under their belts, Fair Yourth, the band played to an almost sold out venue. One can say that there’s nothing really thrilling about their sound but there’s another whole thing that adds up to the sum. From their brutal stage presence to the smartness in the way certain moments are created to give the band enough tools to grab the audience by neck and make their eyes twinkle. We know that’s more than enough to be successful in whatever level. To open the last night of concerts, in 2014, provided by Amplificasom there were Memoirs of A Secret Empire with their post-rock that reached a zenith in their fourth and last song, and Scotland’s rock/pop outfit Flood of Red which apparently were playing to a bunch of hardcore fans – even those who weren’t familiar with the band’s music seemed to be thrilled. The band, that at times sounds a little bit like U2, was able to magnify their songs – certain rawness added to it – live making the experience more interesting. A great night to close a great year for Amplificasom. We can’t wait for 2015. musicandriotsmagazine.com

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CINEMA

INTERSTELLAR 8 DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan WRITER: Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan CAST: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica

Chastain, Mackenzie Foy, John Lithgow, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck, Topher Grace, Matt Damon, Ellen Burstyn, Timothée Chalamet, Wes Bentley, David Gyasi, Bill Irwin, Josh Stewart, David Oyelowo, Collette Wolfe, Andrew Borba USA/UK 2014

Without question, Christopher Nolan is one of the finest directors of this century. He’s responsible for some of the best blockbusters and he doesn’t hold back to go further with his film career. Even though The Dark Knight Trilogy didn’t end marvelously well as it began in the first place - and his involvement on Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel hadn’t turned out quite fantastic, - there was a great curiosity to see his new flick and what he could bring to the whole space travel spectrum. When it comes to approach a theme about science and outer space, mixing up reality and fantasy is something inevitable. But Interstellar goes beyond that. Having theoretical physicist Kip Thorne on board as scientific consultant, there was a special care to use the right scientific terms to make this movie more realistic, but the fantasy had to come along to make it even more interesting. Interstellar is not just an astonishing space adventure, it’s also an impressive and heartfelt film about humanity, life and love. Interstellar tells the story of Cooper (McConaughey), a former NASA pilot that along with a team of astronauts travel through a wormhole in an attempt to find a potentially habitable planet that will sustain humanity. Having to leave his family behind to embark on this journey, his daughter Murphy (Foy) doesn’t accept his decision leaving her devastated. The father-daughter relationship is the key moment of love and hope that Nolan wanted to show. Between wormholes and the extraordinary circumstances that these humans are in, the space sequences are spectacular and all the cosmic visuals are beautifully breathtaking. At this point, we already forgot about Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity that doens’t even come close to the immensity of Interstellar. As usual, the cast of this film is fantastic. Michael Caine, Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway are perfect in their roles, and Matthew McConaughey is superb in the whole movie. With all this said, Nolan leaves something to be desired. The film’s development has its greatness, but it comes to a point that’s overstuffed with information that it’s not even explained or clarified. There are some loopholes in the narrative that makes us wonder what the hell just happened. But perhaps that was the whole Nolan’s idea: the final part of the movie should be interpreted differently by each one of us. Overall, this film may be an attempt of Nolan creating his own 2001: A Space Odyssey, but he doesn’t get that closer to Kubrick’s classic. Interstellar is not an epic film, but it’s another masterpiece created by Nolan.

ANDREIA ALVES

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20,000 DAYS ON EARTH

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DIRECTOR: Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard WRITER: Nick Cave, Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard CAST: Nick Cave, Susie Bick, Warren Ellis, Darian Leader, Ray Winstone, Kylie Minogue, Blixa Bargeld, Arthur Cave, Earl Cave, Thomas Wydler UK 2014 20,000 Days On Earth is a fictitious 24 hour flick in the life of Nick Cave. More than telling the amazing story of the artist that is Nick Cave, in the last forty plus years with Birthday Party and with the Bad Seeds, the ninety minute flick leans towards what goes beyond that, or what goes underneath that career. Of course there are amazing stories shared, mostly linked to the amazing Nick’s Museum of Important Shit (the Birthday Party savage gigs, the time Nick lived in Germany, etc.), but what surprises the most is the little glimpse shared of what’s behind Cave’s creative mind. Instead of creating artificial drama, the film delivers something honest, raw and surprisingly relatable. The tip of the iceberg that’s worth watching. TIAGO MOREIRA

THE JUDGE 6 DIRECTOR: David Dobkin WRITER: Nick Schenk, Bill Dubuque CAST: Robert Downey

Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, Leighton Meester, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard, Ken Howard, Emma Tremblay USA 2014

Directed by David Dobkin, The Judge stars mainly Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall in a family drama, focusing on the father-son relationship we all can relate to. After several years apart from his family, the big city lawyer (Robert Downey Jr.) comes back home to his mother’s funeral and is set to defend his father, the judge (Robert Duvall), on a murder trial. Filled with emotional and truthful moments, the movie fails on telling the story of every other supporting characters, leaving some very important details behind. Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton and Leighton Meester complete this very special cast, portraying a clichéd but fulfilling story about family relationships and our desperate need of acceptance. Never the less, it was good to see Mr Duvall back and Robert Downey Jr with a role that finally suits him.

MARIANA SILVA

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CINEMA

REVIEWED NEXT ISSUE

6

THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY DIRECTOR: Hossein Amini WRITER: Hossein Amini CAST: Viggo

Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, Oscar Isaac, Daisy Bevan, David Warshofsky, Yigit Özsener, Karayianni Margaux, Prometheus Aleifer, Nikos Mavrakis, Ozan Tas UK/FRANCE/USA 2014

JOHN WICK

By Chad Stahelski and David Leitch

Based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1964 novel, The Two Faces of January is a thriller directed by Hossein Amini – who wrote the screenplay, marking his directorial debut – and starring Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst. The story takes place in Athens and stars a couple (Mortensen and Dunst) who deceive a not so honest tour guide, and end up running away after one of them is caught up in the death of a private detective. With strong visuals, complex characters and some plot twists, The Two Faces of January is perfect for those who love an adventurous thriller seasoned with a bit of romance. The movie premiered in February 2014 in the 64th Berlin International Film Festival and it has received some positive remarks, but not even the main cast can save it from elitist dullness. MARIANA SILVA

NIGHTCRAWLER

By Dan Gilroy

THE BABADOOK

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DIRECTOR: Jennifer Kent WRITER: Jennifer Kent CAST: Essie Davis,

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1

By Francis Lawrence

Daniel Henshall, Noah Wiseman, Tim Purcell, Tiffany Lyndall-Knight, Cathy Adamek, Hayley McElhinney, Benjamin Winspear, Adam Morgan, Craig Behenna AUSTRALIA 2014

The Babadook is creepy, scary and mess with the viewer in every single way. The plot is pure and classic, mother is going crazy after the lost of her husband, his son is just playing a normal sometimes annoying kid, that dreams by a monster he believes is coming to kill them both. So, when a disturbing storybook called ‘The Babadook’ turns up at their house, Samuel is convinced that the Babadook is the creature he’s been dreaming about. His hallucinations spiral out of control, he becomes more unpredictable and his mother looses the grip completely, lost the sense of reality and beginning to oscilate between violence and lack of reality. Jennifer Kent was the mind behind all of this, and we must say that’s quite impressive because it’s her debut as director. Bravo! FAUSTO CASAIS

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES

By Peter Jackson

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IN PROG WE T After their acclaimed debut “Cognitive”, SOEN are now back with their sophomore release “Tellurian” and aim to make this new record a statement about getting rid of the “supergroup" tag and being now here to stay. On the occasion of it’s release, we took the time for a pleasant chat with the band’s singer Joel Ekelöf to talk about the making of this new musical masterpiece by the Swedish proggers. Words: Luís Alves

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I

would like to see your angle on this! I think that once your drummer Martin Lopez said that some of the guys in Soen play rock while others perceive it as metal, and he went as far as stating that you don’t like being labelled progressive metal, because that’s something Dream Theater would do. So, in account of this, what’s your take on what is the sound of Soen? How would you describe it? Oh… Now you put me in a difficult position [laughs], because, you know… what I usually think is that it is up to others to label us. If it’s progressive metal to you or anyone else, then I won’t protest against that. I don’t think that it’s that important. To me it’s not important to label us progressive metal or progressive


TRUST.. rock. How I feel about it? I know that we have progressive elements in our music because that’s how everyone of us sees it. You know, it’s a common [understanding], you know what you like and we’re all into dynamic music, we’re not afraid of making songs a bit longer if we feel for it and we do it quite much. How do you view Tellurian side by side with Cognitive? For me I think it’s an evenly balanced record, and much less metal focused, where you guys explored and expanded much more on your melodic side on songs like “Pluton”, “Koniskas” and “Void”. But what are the key differences for you, what do you

think has changed? Well, it’s more of us now. We’ve had the chance to work much more on this album and to really get to know each other more music wise, so in a way I think it has more of a mature sound […] and I think there are some solid songs on this one. I think the sound is really shaping now, the Soen sound, we’ve had more time to develop it during this album, and I’m really happy about it. In the debut album we were still trying to find our own sound a little bit, but on this one I think we got it! [laughs] What are the underlying themes and messages all throughout Tellurian? The

name represents someone who relates to Earth, it’s inhabitant, right? Yeah, exactly! We try to relate to that and it’s also a lot about reflecting about what you do. Reflection, in a sense that you have to reflect on what you do to yourself, on what you do to others and also what we are doing to the environment. It’s about taking a step back and reflecting upon it a bit. Is the album then environment centered, focusing mainly on the preoccupations we should have on our own planet? Sure! You know, it’s important to know that we share this Earth. We don’t rule it! We don’t own it and

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we can be crushed in a minute, you know? If nature doesn’t want us, “he or she” will get rid of us, and we have to be humble in front of that fact. It’s also a little bit about that, you know… not too deep into the philosophical aspects of it, but still, I think this is something we all agree on and we wanted to express that in the album and in the music. You’ve chosen “Tabula Rasa” as the song for your first promotional video from Tellurian. Why have you chosen that song and what’s the message behind the video? It’s really hard for us to choose songs, we love all the songs… so, actually, we usually leave it to others! [laughs] We ask other people what they think, because if you ask me to pick a favorite from this album, it’s gonna be a bit hard. But we asked around a bit what song people would like to hear as the first single and everyone seemed to like “Tabula Rasa”. What it is about, I think that it’s important what you want it to be when you listen to it and interpret it yourself but of course there’s some themes in it related to not taking the system for granted, not taking your current situation as it is. You know… you can change stuff, you can change things around you and it’s up to you. Don’t just accept what is happening to you or your current situation. You can always do something about it, and that’s also a little bit of the theme in the video. You usually sing in a clean style. Was this always the style you wanted to work with or have you tried any other techniques and styles before you consolidated your singing style in Soen? Well, I’ve always been more into clean singing. When we started this project we agreed that we wanted to go in that direction with the clean singing, because there was already so much aggressive music using growls, and we wanted to go the other way, to have more calm vocals and go the melodic way. We actually felt that was a fresher way to go because we felt the other path was already a little bit exploited. Can you tell us a little bit more about you? Your previous background before Soen? You might know that I’ve played in other band called Willowtree before. It was more a kind of rock 126

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oriented band and I’ve played some traditional progressive stuff as well. I’ve grown up with a lot of progressive stuff with my father, he was a hippie father playing all these kinds of 70’s stuff at home and probably the 70’s rock and 70’s progressive music has shaped me a lot. In Willowtree, things were going a bit in another direction at the end, and becoming more new rock oriented, a bit more like New York garage rock style stuff. Maybe that was one the reasons why I left, because I don’t play with them anymore, I don’t play that music anymore. I’ve always been a bit more into the more progressive side and also the melancholic side. It has always been warm to me, any kind of melancholic music... It always felt closer to me, no matter the genre actually. You were talking about all of those records you listened to with your father and one thing I wanted to talk with you was about influences. Of course a lot of people have stated that some elements of Tool’s sound might be found in your records. It’s really obvious that though your sound might draw some influences from them, its clearly not the only type of influence that can be heard all throughout your music. What other styles were an influence to you guys in the writing of your second record? That’s interesting, you know? We never talk about influences in that way, but for me, I love Genesis, Jethro Tull and that kind of music, that older sound. A little bit of King Crimson, Frank Zappa and stuff like that. Of course, I listen to other vocalists as well like Tim Buckley, Jeff Buckley and Alice in Chains. Layne Staley was a great vocalist I was influenced by. I think actually, [in Soen] there’s a huge mix of influences, like for example Martin [Lopez], he has a lot of influences from where he came from, in Uruguay, and he listens to a lot of the folk music coming from there. You can probably feel a bit of inspiration from there as well. But that, he maybe has to answer to it. [laughs] It’s not up to me, it’s just a speculation. The artwork of José Luis López Galván is simply stunning, and one that has all the trademarks of a cover to be remembered for the ages. How is the cover

related to the theme of the record and how did the idea for it came to fruition? We found this artist and his work and he was in the creation process in parallel to creating the album. When we saw his stuff we just felt it was great. I remember we were talking amongst the band that this was the illustration for the album that we doing. It felt really, really right at the time when we were doing it. This artwork, it has already been created and we contacted him and told him “You have made the illustration for our album!” [laughs] “Can we buy it? Can we use it?”. And it feels really great to have that artwork. That’s the story about the illustration. Tellurian was produced by your guitarist Kim Platbarzdis, but you’ve worked again with David Bottrill who did some mixes for Tool, Smashing Pumpkins, Muse and King Crimson. How was it working with him and why have you decided to collaborate with him again? In which ways do you think he impacted the final mix? I see him, mixing wise, as an artist! He works a lot with dynamics and he’s maybe a little bit old school. Instead of doing the loudness race, he wants to have much more air in the mix so that it’s solid and alive. Probably that was one of the reasons why we wanted to work with him and also because he was a true professional. When we worked with him on the Cognitive album, we just thought “Shit…this guy knows what he’s doing, we want to continue with him!” You guys had a line up change between the two records. Steve DiGiorgio left and Stefan Stenberg came into the the fold. Why has Steve left the band and why have you chosen Stefan to come and record Tellurian with Soen? Well, you know, I think the main thing was the geographical distance basically. He’s in the US, we are in Europe and it’s quite hard, harder than we thought maybe. You know, we were thinking that today’s modern technology makes it possible, and it did… we could work a lot that way, not necessarily having to travel all the time, we could solve a lot of problems with this technique, but still in the end, what you need is a lot of hours in the rehearsal room in order to create really good stuff. That was something that we had


INTERVIEW // SOEN

“We’ve had the chance to work much more on this album and to really get to know each other more music wise, so in a way I think it has more of a mature sound...” to do basically. We chose Stefan because he’s a fantastic bass player and you can probably feel that on the album, we really feel that he’s a really solid bass player with extremely good technique. Without saying anything about Steve, because Steve is who he is, also a fantastic bass player, Stefan is of course not as known, but we’re really proud of him. How did you guys get to know each other and started this project even before Cognitive? What was the reason that made you come together and start this project? As it was stated you guys started in 2004, but only came out officially in 2010. Martin [Lopez] had this idea already in 2004, he started sketching on it and working with the project. I started talking with Martin in 2009, maybe late 2008, something like that, and probably that’s when things started to take shape because then we had the vocals and the songs got more thicker. Before that it was mainly sketches and ideas. I remember they contacted me and just asked me if I wanted to lay down some tracks. In the beginning I was like… “Oh no, not another fucking band… I don’t wanna do it...” [laughs], but I remember Martin persuaded me by saying stuff like “Ok, but you can put some tracks on the demo, you

don’t have to [be full time]… just until we find another singer…” [laughs] And then of course I was on the hook, because that stuff was developing into something really good. Basically Soen, as an idea, started when Martin was still in Opeth. That was what he wanted to do while he was in that band, right? I think already back then he had the idea that at least he wanted to create something on his own. It didn’t necessarily had to do anything with Opeth, you know? He’s a very talented musician and not only on drums. He’s a creative person, so I’m not surprised that he wanted to find something where he could have a broader musical inspiration. Maybe he had a vision of something different he wanted to try, like what we have grown now. So, that was probably one of the reasons. From what I’ve known, a mere two years ago, you were a relatively unknown band and you’ve come to gradually build your audience since then. What has changed for the band since then, now that you’re starting to promote a sophomore release which consolidates your brand, music and style? I think people are starting to get

what Soen is in a new way because in the first album there was a lot of discussions about this Tool thing, and I think it was sort of a mental thing for people. People always have the need to place you somewhere, to feel that “Ok, but they are there!” or “They are there”. And I think people are more in the right direction now when we hear the comments about our album and “Tabula Rasa” and when we see the comments from our fans and hear what our fans are saying. It seems like they’re starting to get what we’re doing in a new way, and also one important thing is that people understand now that this is long term…They’re thinking “Oh shit, this band is gonna be here”. Soen is gonna be here for a long time. There’s gonna be tours, there’s gonna be more albums, because in the beginning people were a little bit nervous, they didn’t know… they were asking “Is this just a super project? Is this something that you do on your spare time?” but now people are starting to get that, “Ok, you’re a real band… you’re doing this…”. That’s a big difference and a great feeling as well.

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Tellurian is out now via Spinefarm Records 127


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