Issue 19 - December 2013
Sonic Shocks - Issue 19
presents KING PRAWN P 3: MONSTER MAGNET - Dave Wyndorf Interview by John Morgan and Cristina Massei Live photo Cristina Massei P. 5: DEADCUTS - Mark Keds Interview by Cristina Massei P. 7: KILLAFLAW Interview and photos by Nelly Loriaux P. 8: THE MISSION - Wayne Hussey Interview by David Lees P. 10: RHAPSODY OF FIRE - Alex Staropoli Interview by Matt Dawson P. 11: THE COMPUTERS - Aidan Sinn Interview and photos by Cristina Massei P. 13: THE GOLDEN AGE OF BURLESQUE by Sophia Disgrace P. 14: ARTILLERY - Michael Bastholm Dahl Interview by Matt Dawson P. 15: M.T. (Many Things) Interview by Cristina Massei P. 16: FRIZZI 2 FULCI - Fabio Frizzi Interview and photos by Cristina Massei P. 19: AT THE MOVIES By MatthewTilt KIll Your Darlings, The Hobbit Extended, Our Children
P. 20: BAD FOR LAZARUS - Rich Hawkins Interview by Nelly Loriaux P. 23: LIVE By Becki Kremer, John Morgan, Nelly Loriaux, Kristian Kotilainen, Matt Dawson
Alice in Chains, Vista Chino, Redbull Revolutions in Sound, Darkness Unbound European Crusade II, TRC, New Model Army, The Temperance Movement, Hildamay, Mallory Knox
P. 24: STEPHEN KING - DOCTOR SLEEP Review by Cristina Massei
Well after weeks of planning, TBFM Towers got to welcome Roger and Nik from the band to take over The Reverend Eddi’s Shock Treatment. A slight step sideways from the regular punk rock extravaganza for 2 hours, it was a chance for the guys to talk about the songs that helped shaped their music, to play some old tunes, but more importantly to air for the first time on TBFM the new double A side single, Done Days and Solemn Man. The show opened with Ennio Morricone’s Ecstasy of Gold before kicking off with an old King Prawn song. Nick had carefully chosen an interesting array of tracks, from the Special’s ‘Do Nothing’ to UK Apache & Shy ‘FX’. A brief philosophical discussion about Dub War entered the fray early on. What proved to be a defining moment in the show was when we discussed the boundaries of punk rock and The Rev happened to mention RHCP and RATM. This was latched onto by the guys and a setlist quickly amended. It was a cool moment, showing that the three of us will be able to create some great new shows into 2014. Yes! Nik and Roger have agreed to open Radio King Prawn, show name not yet announced, on TBFM. Once every 6 weeks Shock treatment will take a night off and the three of us shall create a new show basically covering whatever takes our fancy. It was also the first time I had heard the new material and I have to say I was bowled over by the difference in vibe from ten and more years ago! Genre definers would say that King Prawn have indulged us with a ‘campfireesque’ and ‘gypsy punk’ feel. What I have heard is a band exploring their music and really coming into their own. The songs simply blow previous material away and an album surely has to follow in the next few months. It really was the highlight of the show for me. Technical (mic) issues aside, we had a lot of fun. http://www.mixcloud.com/ReverendEddi/shock-treatment-king-prawn-specialwrap-up/ 1 The Ecstacy of Gold - Ennio Morricone 2 Smoke Some Shit - King Prawn 3 Do Nothing - The Specials 4 Words of Warning - Dubwar 5 One Armed Scissor - At The Drive In 6 Hurricane Of Fire - Paceshifter 7 Jealous Again - Black Flag 8 Not Good Enough - Back Alley Riot 9 Let Me Go - 21st Century Fugitives 10 Day In Day Out - King Prawn 11 Rock for light - Bad brains 12 A solemn Man - King Prawn 13 Lyrical Content - [Spunge] 14 Do it - Rollins Band 15 Incomplete - Bad Religion 16 Eyewitness - The Way They Run 17 Last Man Standing - 4ft fingers 18 Knock Me Down - Red Hot Chili Peppers 19 Renegades Of Funk - RATM 20 FX - UK Apache & Shy 21 Guerillas In The Mist - Consolidated feat. Paris 23 Satta Massagana - The Abyssinians 24 Not Your Punk - King Prawn 25 Holiday In Cambodia - Dead Kennedys 26 Done Days - King Prawn
PLEASE NOTE: We listen to everything but - in your own interest - we don’t always review it...
EDITORIAL TEAM: EDITOR IN CHIEF: Cristina Massei MUSIC EDITOR: Matt Dawson MOVIES & TV EDITOR: Matthew Tilt EVENTS & NIGHTLIFE: Nelly Loriaux UNSIGNED EDITOR: Dan Balchin US CORRESPONDENT: Denise Britt BURLESQUE: Sophia Disgrace
ON THIS ISSUE:
WRITERS: Cristina Massei, Matt Dawson, Nely Loriaux, Matthew Tilt, Sophia Disgrace, John Morgan, The Reverend Eddi, David Lees, Becki Kremer, Kristian Kotilainen
Email email@example.com for general enquiries and advertising@ sonicshocks.com if you need information on advertising with us.
PHOTOGRAPHERS: Cristina Massei, Nelly Loriaux, Andrew Cook
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Sonic Shocks - Issue 19
Three years after Mastermind, punctual as ever a new Monster Magnet record hits the stores - real and digital ones alike. ‘Last Patrol’ gives fans of stoner, psychedelic and good rock in general 11 new songs to dig (9 + 2 bonus tracks), and to us one more chance to talk to Dave Wyndorf, a conversation always as interesting as the music released by his legendary band. Let’s begin by talking about Last Patrol which has been produced by you and Phil Caivano back in New Jersey – Can you tell me a bit about the process? I try to make it comfortable and as part of our lives as possible. Phil and I live just about two blocks from each other and when we get to work we’re totally focused on what we have to do; then after 5 or 6 hours, break, go home, maybe just walk back to his house and continue, it’s a very intense thing. I like making records this way, I think it shows up with the attention that’s paid to detail and it was a lot of fun, it was almost like making a record in my own home. Are you happy with the outcome? Yeah I am. It’s pretty much what I intended – I’m never 100% happy with anything I do, I guess that’s just a weird personality flaw that I have, but I’m a lot more happy than I was the last couple of times so I must be doing something right. Many artists would tell me that this is ‘their best record to date’. Would you say that? I HOPE so. It feels like the best one to me, I’m not a very good judge of my own material though. How do you feel in your own opinion that it’s better? It may not be AS better but it’s more honest, it feels more like an extension of every person I am and the older I get the more I subscribe to the fact [and] to the notion of you have to put
all of yourself into your music if you want to be able to live with it. It feels very honest with me, it doesn’t feel like I’m posing or posturing and it’s a good feeling. Let’s talk about the lyrics, they’re particularly dark. Where do they come from? They come from my own observation of life. Over the years, listening to what other artists have had to say about writing – authors mostly, not songwriters – I learned that you should really write what you know. Don’t try to make too much stuff up, if you write from a standpoint of how you feel your stuff will have more resonance. I always believed that and wanted it to be true – I just go to what is the most vibrant emotion I have and write about that even if it’s unpleasant, it seems to help me [and] I always feel better after I do it, whatever that means. It’s like exorcising your demons or something… Like a release? Catharsis, yeah. Some sort of psychological catharsis so it’s like rattling the cage you know? Go inside yourself and write what’s real. If you don’t like what you see then you HAVE to write about it, you have to get rid of it, you have to muse so I try and write my lyrics as if I’m having a conversation with someone. I’ll think ‘Hey, what about blah blah blah?’ and I’ll switch subjects in the middle of a song, it has to feel like I’m having a natural conversation. About the cover, why did you pick Donovan’s Three King Fishers? Number 1: It’s a beautiful song. Number 2: I needed a type of song – I kept thinking I needed a different type of song on this album, the songs that I wrote were OK but it needed
something else. The more I thought about the type of song I was looking for, the more I kept hearing Donovan’s Three King Fishers in my head. That was the kind of song I want to write: nice and delicate, pretty, something I could turn into a monster after I started it, start off psychedelic then turn it up and get mean with it. So that was the type of song I wanted to write but I couldn’t get Donovan’s song out of my head and at some point I was like ‘Alright I give up! I will cover the Donovan song because that’s the one taking over all my concentration!’ When writing a new album do you normally listen to previous albums to get some sense of continuity or do you just go with how you feel at the time? From time to time I’ll listen to the stuff but it’s not like ‘Time to write a new album, let’s listen to the last one.’ I’ve already made those decisions in my head. Most of my decisions for Last Patrol were made while I was doing Mastermind. I kept thinking ‘Oh, this was a good part, I should have done this more. I’ll do that on the next record.’ Or ‘There’s one too many of this type of song on Mastermind, I have to make up for that, get a different vibe on the next one.’ It’s in my head already [and] I can’t get rid of it so I don’t have to listen to the old stuff it’s already there. Let’s talk about touring – you did a couple of UK dates in the summer which didn’t include London and then you have a couple in February including London yet the album’s out now, it’s a bit of a strange tour schedule! Is there any reason behind it? It may be strange to others but it’s completely normal for Monster Magnet – there hasn’t been many times when we HAVEN’T played in the last 5 years, it’s either the end of a summer festival season or the beginning of a new album cycle for us. The way I view touring is that we’re a band that plays live all the time or most of the time and we do records in-between the touring, rather than a band that makes records and tour the album; so we’re always out there,
it doesn’t really matter when. We were just hoping to see you here before Christmas really! Oh yeah? [laughs] There’s only so much time and I made an agreement to tour the USA so I’ll be going out there in 12 days and that’ll take us up to Christmas. You haven’t toured the States in quite some time. I haven’t toured the States in ten years! Touring the States is a pain in the ass, it’s too big, too expensive. People have very different ideas what a band like Monster Magnet is: we’re primarily a psychedelic rock band and psychedelic rock is not big in the United States, it never was – maybe in 1968 or 1972. It’s an uphill battle here for us and, man, I can get better work in other places, I have a really good time playing in Europe all the time. I just kept accepting tours for whoever would offer it to us at the best time, and more and more it came up Europe than the United States so I just made the decision ‘Screw this! I don’t care about the market, we can make potentially more money in the United States and blah blah blah.’ I’m out there, this is my LIFE, it’s not just a job so I just go where the heart is. Now it’s been 10 years and maybe it’s time to knock on the door again and see what’s going on in my own damn country. Your fan base is quite devoted so with not seeing you in so long I think it’ll be a good time for everyone involved. I hope it is because for one I’m excited about just travelling inside the States. I go to LA all the time and I live in New Jersey so I see New York and Albuquerque – I have family there – but it’s been so long since I’ve been to what they call the Heartland like Detroit and Chicago, places like that. I’m excited! As time goes by do you still find touring ‘romantic’ or has it become a bit heavy? It’s funny: touring is always romantic to me because it’s got all the elements of true romance: meeting people for the 1st time, having a limited amount of time to get to know each other whether that’d be an audience or whether that’d be more personal, travelling – riding a bus say over the Alps or flying in a plane to Australia, very romantic. What’s very unromantic is the business part. That’s the stuff that gets heavy: ANOTHER record company, ANOTHER promo. What’s heavy is the numbers: ‘Oh here
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they just revel in it: ‘I’m the Grandmaster, I’m making money!’ Dude, I don’t know how they do that. I come from a fan standpoint, I was a music fan when I was a kid, the business part was never romantic for me in the stories of Rock and Roll, it was always the studio, the creation of music, the imagination and I still feel that way. Glad to hear. I think if I was at a merchandise stand, I’d end up giving them all out for free! [Laughs] It’s a wacky world! It’s the 21st Century and it’s such an unromantic time because there’s so much information available that it’s hard to keep any mystery in anything anymore. How do you deal with the Internet Revolution? It’s fantastic. It is what it is – the way we live but there is a lot of adjusting that people have to do to it. When historians will look back, say the early 90’s to 2020, they’ll probably say ‘Well, this is where human beings lost their minds and started putting up their personal information for the world to share and they thought it was really cool… but maybe it wasn’t that cool!’. But the way I look at it – especially with the good parts of the Internet which is obvious – it’s like having a library in your house, what could be wrong about that? When I was a kid you had to go to a library, you had to get out and you could never answer all the questions you can answer now; you can be super smart and have a lot of information, the bad part is that the masses use it as some weird social tool like ‘I’ll make some friends’. No you’re not really making friends, you THINK you are but I think that comes from the way
mistake there’s a big interest in porn and stuff because it’s your basic instinct – ‘errgh, I HAVE TO LOOK!’. When the internet got big, when broadband got big I was like ‘The future’s here, let’s go!’ because I’d been reading about this for years, I’ve been around for a while – I’m ready man, give me my fucking computers, the new age is here! I never in a minute imagined people would get so bogged down in showing pictures of themselves – REALLY?! That’s what you’re going to do?? ‘oh check out my naked body, oh look at it again!’ You’re missing something here. You look at that for an hour a day or for 10 hours a day, but hey, human beings are human beings. You’ve been considered the prophets of Stoner Rock. Any new bands that you like? I like tons of new bands, some aren’t stoner rock – I really like Kadavar – they sound REAL like some sort of ancient music, really great. Them and Graveyard – I really like those guys a lot as far as ‘stoner rock’ but I also like The Knife – it sounds like a crazy, insane child playing! Do you think this album will get you a younger audience? I don’t know why people buy stuff anymore. It either scratches their itch as my mum used to say; either they like it they don’t and we’re a When historians will look back, say the early 90’s to 2020, they’ll probably say or bunch of crazy old men, it ‘Well, this is where human beings lost their minds and started putting up their may not be ‘metal’ enough, personal information for the world to share and they thought it was really cool… there’s a million reasons why they wouldn’t but there’s as good a chance are the numbers!’ I’m thinking there’s no rea- human beings were taught – western civiliza- as anything. If people would listen with their son for all this. I mean I know everybody wants tion especially in America. In the 20th Century hearts and are into pretty experimental music money and stuff [but] when it comes down to we taught people year after year to worship – which it doesn’t sound like it because there’s it the only reason I still do this is because creat- people that were on movie screens, records, no weird time signatures – but song oriented ing music is fun and playing live is REALLY fun magazines covers and on the radio. Technol- I think we have as good a chance as anybody. – happy people, human beings smiling at each ogy allows everyone to do that. One thing about when we play Europe espeother and rocking. Fucking irresistible. You have your own magazine, Facebook page, cially over the last 5 years is younger people I always felt that creative and business don’t Twitter, your way of promoting yourself, a show up to the shows all the time: parents really go together but then again if you don’t way of being yourself in modern media and are bringing kids or older brothers are bringput part of it into the business side of it you it seems natural that people would want that ing their younger brothers or something but because they’ve been trained to think they there’s never a lack of young people at the Euend up being played around. Oh yeah. It’s ruined a lot of people, it’s al- should be recognised in any possible way, ropean shows. ways been a constant struggle with me. The even if it’s just an image or a couple of words; Is there anything else you’d like to say to the greatest rock and roll stories are the story of ‘It’s ME, here I am, I count in the world!’ and fans? that struggle because it IS a commercial art I think that’s what people are going through Don’t play in traffic, don’t be an idiot and be as much as bands wouldn’t want to admit it; now, maybe to the point where they’re forget- nice to each other! they don’t operate in a vacuum, they have to ting the fact that you’re only super important Last Patrol is out now on Napalm Records. sell something – T-shirts, CD’s – something. I’m to the people around you physically. never truly happy with it, I’m totally aware of It’s like those 15 minutes of fame have be- Catch them liveth in February 2014, at London Koko on the 13 and Wolverhampton Wulfrun the fact that’s part of the game but I’ve never come 140 characters of fame these days. been good at the business side of it. Some That’s a very good way of putting it. It’s like a Hall on the 14th or, for our friends on the other bands love it – there are lessons to be learned laboratory experiment and we’re all like mice side of the pond, check out their US dates here: from people like Gene Simmons from KISS, – ‘OK let the little humans out there!’ It’s no http://www.zodiaclung.com/tour/
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me and a girl (BB Mets) which was unusual for the time – before The Kills were doing EXACTLY what we were doing. The Lams were another… They suffered from the fact I was struggling with my drug addiction at the time so we put out a posthumous EP – Anarchy or Death – but you know… Pete Doherty would offer us gigs outside of London and stuff – we’d just never be able to get our shit together and get there, that kind of thing. I’m glad you mentioned The Lams because I was passionate about that but unfortunately I could never keep my shit together for very long. So is there anything you’re doing with Deadcuts you felt you never got to do with The Lams? Oh yeah, we’ve already pressed up 2 7 inches, that’s the thing with The Lams, Jolt as well, we never made an album and with The Lams we never released a record! With Deadcuts we’ve done the two 7 inches and working on an album. I think that’s something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time – actually creatively release, finish an album and get it out. I don’t blame it on anything else but my own personal problems and addiction, nothing to do with any outside forces; I was my own worst enemy so now I just want to get the album out next year. What’s your relationship with drugs now? No relationship. So we’re definitely getting a Deadcuts album? I give you my word – 100%- if I’m living and breathing in 2014 there will be a Deadcuts full length LP.
live another year Well, thanks to the usual Chris McCormack and Carl Barat we just found our NYE party: Jubilee has got together the best night on both sides of the river and it’ll set you back just a tenner, good for our drinking budget! The place is The Barfly in Camden, the time 19.30 til 5am. You can say goodbye to 2013 and spend the early hours of 2014 downstairs boogieing to a mix of The Vaccines, AC/DC, Libertines, Queens Of The Stone Age, The Who, Pixies, Beatles, Clash, LCD Soundsystem, Muse, Elvis and God knows what else, and upstairs for some of the best live music the capital has to offer. What’s not to love? Headlining the festive shenanigans is one of this year’s revelations: Deadcuts created quite a hype on the live circuit with their blend of thought provoking poetry and powerful riffs. They supported Babyshambles on their last tour, and Pete Doherty often returns the favour appearing at their packed gigs. So, who are Deadcuts? We asked frontman Mark Keds. You probably heard that name before: Senseless Things, The Wildhearts, Jolt, The Lams are just some of the bands’ names coming up if you dare googling. Oh, and he wrote that Libertines song, ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’, and some more poetry and spoken words. A lot to talk about, but let’s start from the end… Any special surprises for the New Year’s Eve gig? We actually have a guest singer who’s going to be working with us from the end of the month – her name’s Beatrice Brown. She’s an actress and painter and she’s known for being the singer in an incredible band, they were called Beastellaveast. I’m very excited because we’ve been recording together and writing together, but she’s new to the Deadcuts live performance. That’s going to be her first night then – New Years Eve? Yeah, we’re also doing a Christmas party in East London Macbeth in Hoxton, very local to us all – in between our studio and where our drummer lives and me and the bass player live down here in Stepney. Let’s talk about Deadcuts. Quoting your Facebook, ‘an archetype that has been missing from the music world for some time’ – explain what you feel has been missing. Heart and passion. The four of us have all invested our lives in playing music – for better or worse, we’ve all come through quite rough shared experiences, up to this point where we found each other all connected and the music we play reflects that. I think Deadcuts is a very intense experience, especially live and when I go out… hip-hop I find is quite lyrically reflective, but with rock music I find any kind of realness is missing, there’s so much cabaret and recycling of old bands and ideas. I think there’s a tendency to water it down; most rock music happening in this country is very homogenised so that’s what we meant by that on the Deadcuts’ Facebook page, we’re not recycling anything, we’re certainly not watering anything down and we’re into being brutal with the beauty, there’s contrast. You were part of Senseless Things and you had so much going on between that and this – do you feel you’re bringing something from them to this or is it completely different? I bring my past with me, much as I try to leave it behind. As an artist I’ve always tried to move forward, I’m not likely to reform one of my bands from the past but I do think Deadcuts is a natural progression from the bands I was playing in before. I just think ‘Let’s move forward.’ [With] The Senseless Things I was a teenager and it was like a London version of The Ramones I guess, kind of reflects on how young we were. As it progressed I didn’t like the direction the rest of the band were taking, it was kind of boring to me, then I did Jolt and that was an arty band – quite anarchic, political. It was
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Your relationship with Pete Doherty – you wrote songs for The Libertines (Can’t Stand Me Now), you’ve played together. Will there be a possible collaboration at some point on a song writing level? I’d imagine so. Me and Pete are very old friends – he’d come round some mornings and I’d be in the middle of writing. I was working on this Deadcuts song called Speed Sisters – I wrote that in early January this year – and I was just about to start writing it, he’d pop round but was too busy to stop, sit down and write but when we’ve got the time… Right now I’m in a position where I’ve got very little commitment and just spend my time writing, I’m really fortunate so when Peter makes time I’ve definitely got time to do some more writing with him, I like the way he writes, fast and very quick witted. I think with both of you your song writing is about poetry and isn’t just the usual song writing you see. Yeah, Peter’s still got it and he’s a friend, which helps, but at the moment I’m writing with Jerome Alexandre and Beatrice Brown. Can you introduce me to the rest of the band? Sure. Bass player – Mark McCarthy. He’s a really old friend of mine, used to play in a band called RDF, he’s played with The Wonder Stuff and Queen Adreena. The drummer was in an old band I used to love called Minty – Leigh Bowery’s band. His name’s Trevor Sharpe. They’re a great rhythm section – Mark and Trevor. And of course Jerome Alexandre, formerly of indie punk band The Skuzzies and Esoteric/Spoken word project ‘A Warning To The Curious’. Any more gigs planned this month? We’ve got The Purple Turtle (December 4th), another secret gig (Dublin Castle on 13th Dec), the Christmas show and of course the one on New Year’s Eve for Chris McCormack – that’s quite a big show. Have you played Jubilee before? We’ve done it twice – there’s some great clips on Youtube, we played with Baby Godzilla and one where we headlined about a year ago, both shows were fantastic. I was really surprised, the sound’s very good in the Barfly. So where are you with this new album? At the moment we’re halfway through, we have a single released in about 2 weeks called ‘Caution Exorcists’.
to continue and make the album now. You seem very enthusiastic, there’s quite a hype before material is even out, did you expect that? I feel very differently with Deadcuts, I think it’s partly the state of mind; my health is better, my head is clearer, less stuff in the way, less distractions and I think the way the 4 of us work together – I’ve never found it so easy. In past bands there’s been either a personality or a musical clash where I’d have to argue for my songs, but in this group we work together so quick because I think we all like the same kind of stuff, we’re open minded, we’re not trying to be anyone else, we’re just trying to be Deadcuts. In the past you’ve done spoken word as well, will there be any of that? Quite possibly yeah, I haven’t written anything specific because I’ve been writing for Deadcuts. People have started shouting for poetry at the gigs, I love going to see spoken word, when it’s good it’s very powerful. 2014 – what’s your biggest wish for yourself, Deadcuts and the world? For myself and Deadcuts it’s the same – that no one dies. We’ve lost a lot of friends and family in the last few years. That’s my wish – that the 4 of us stay in it. For the world – I hope there’s a revolution in the country and the coalition gets forced out, they’re destroying lives in this country. I’d like to see the students get organised and other alternatives pop up – I don’t think the media notices how hard it is for people because they’re not writing newspapers and talking on television programs, all the MP’s are millionaires, Cameron didn’t know much a loaf of bread costs! They’re making decisions that are killing people. That’s my hope for 2014 – revolution. Anything else you’d like to plug? Come to the gig – you will enjoy and be moved!
They’re making decisions that are killing people. That’s my hope for 2014 – revolution. Self released or through a label? It’s coming out through Speedowax who have pressed all our vinyl – based in the midlands. The first single sold out, the EP we’re currently recording will turn into the LP because we’re recording it at home and I was a bit unsure whether it’d be good enough sonically and quality but the way we’ve got it sounding I think we’re just going
Keep your eyes peeled for a review of the upcoming Deadcuts gig coming soon on our website. On the next issue, more interviews with all involved in the Jubilee NYE Party, in the meanwhile get your tickets here: http://www. ticketweb.co.uk/event/PUA3112C A tenner. They won’t last. Book early to avoid disappointment. Quick!
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k c o r ’ ‘n e v a r
Benn (Helm): I wouldn’t necessarily agree with the Zeppelin comparison myself. I think it is a heavier aggressive sound we have, as you saymore Nirvana than Zep. I think the fact I sing in a rock/blues style draws that comparison with Zep, not that I›m complaining as they are my favourite band!! I understand that ‘Broken idol’ idea came from a comment from one of your friend: shattered illusions if and when meeting one’s idol. What drove you to choose Jimmy Savile as a ‘backdrop’ for your satirical lyrics? B: Well to be honest Jimmy Savile has nothing to do with the song, was never written with that vile man in mind at all. That was just more an idea that got bandied about for the Furball video really!! Broken idol is more about how life of unchecked Rock’n’Roll excess can ruin Let me introduce you to ‘scouse’ duo athe and career of your heroes and turn KILLAFLAW aka Benn Helm (guitars/vocals) themlives mere shadows of their former and Andy Paton (electronics), and no, I am not selves, into egotistical idiots who get completely a storm over there so who knows hopefully a talking about the meat stew eaten by sailors. immersed trip over the pond to break America! An Ibiza in their own hype. Recently signed to Mark Jones’ legendary Any ‘deeper’ meaning in choosing extrovert residency would be fantastic and dangerous… Wall Of Sound Records, in Jones’ own blood, I red and aloof blue fluffy furballs - that look A:That would be lovely ;) was fortunate to catch their EP launch at the like psychedelic ‘Alice In Wonderland’ bunny Any particular goal you wish to achieve? The Record Club and was pleasantly surprised. rabbits - as protagonists in your video? next step in your adventure? It is by all account a different sound to what I B: Again the Furball concept was just for the have been used to in Ibiza (The only close thing video and the brainchild of film maker Will B: A goal of mine is to just tour and play all would have to be the House South Brothers at Hutchinson. He gave us two video concepts the big major festivals around the world cause Space opening Fiesta), nonetheless I was very and that one sounded the best suited to the playing live is the most fantastic feeling ever impressed by their part rock/part rave cross- lyrics. It›s a great video and concept, but I do and should always be a priority for a band. over. ‘Broken Idol’ and ‘ Milk and Whiskey’ hope that it doesn›t overshadow the song and A: We always had the attitude that we demay not be your average dance track, yet we the Furballs become synonymous with the serve to be heard even when it›s been tough cannot ignore its catchy electronic beats in- band as it is just a video concept for one song and that›s always been our aim, for people to hear our music. We need to get more releases tertwined with raw Rock driven anthems. You after all. and our album out as soon as possible so we may be a bit disorientated at first, wondering if you should raise your hands to the sky, Your inspiration for ‘Milk and Whiskey’ came can hit the summer festivals with a bang. headbang or shake your booty BUT one thing after reading about old blues singers drinking How is the tour going so far? Any memorable milk and whiskey to line their stomach; can moment? Is Red Furball still making its imfor sure is you WILL feel compelled to dance. expect moonshine drinking Lead belly do- promptu appearance? The lads took time to answer a few questions we ing a ‘Got milk’ commercial with your track for Sonic Shocks, giving us an insight of how in the background? Just a thought that went B: Yeah going well even though I do have a they see their creation. bad chest and cough at the moment but through my mind really. you›ve just gotta get on with and give it all B: Yeah, I can’t even rememyou can! Ahh! Red Furball made an appearW o u l d ‘Wisdom from us? You ber where to find the article must be joking!‘ I read now, but I know I was ance on Thursday at The Record Club unforyou say that your in Ibiza at the time nursing tunately! sound has evolved into a more electro/ a hangover ha ha!! Hmmm A: Meeting Bez in Reading was hilarious. Top blues/rock since 2009? (Listening to your could be onto a winner there with that ha ha fella. earlier track ‘Revolution’, I would have be maybe we should pitch the idea about and see Any piece of ‘wisdom’ you’d like to share more inclined to draw comparison to an if anyone bites. with your fans? electro/grunge a la Nirvana) What did it feel like to have your Wall Of B: Ha! Wisdom from us? You must be joking! Andy (Paton): The Guitar hook in Revolution Sound contract ‘signed’ with Mark Jones own One thing I would say is follow your dreams is quite Nirvana sounding but we always just blood? (even if it was more a paper cut gone and live your own life, ‘cause it›s better to go with the flow and see what happens rather wild) have tried and failed than never tried at all!! than emulating an act or track. We do what B: Paper cut gone wild? It was a Satanic blood we do, on the electro side it has to translate ritual to bind our souls to Wall Of Sound for How did the remixing of your tracks by DPbut we always stick to what we do, and that eternity or at least our first album!! Well it just PLGNGRS (broken Idol) and FreQ Nasty (Milk gives us a lot of scope. We can go from elec- just a relief to finally sign to a recognised la- and whisky) came about? Your own choice or tro driven bounciness to more bluesy, acousti- bel so obviously felt good although less painful they approached you? A: The remixers were both acts we were all cally driven song bases. than it did for Mark and his paper cut. keen on, and Carl Benn (Helm): I think we›ve gone slightly more What is your dance/electro of late with less emphasis on vision for s...‘ guitar but that will soon be remedied ha ha your foresee- ‘An Ibiza residency would be fantastic and dangerou You have been compared (loosely) to ‘Led able future Zep meets Chemical Brothers’, do you feel now that you a r e Loben our manager had contact with so it was this is an accurate description? signed on Jones’ label? Any potential residen- straightforward and they did a great job. Andy (Paton): There are certain elements of cy in Ibiza? What do you think they brought into the rethe sound that can maybe draw similarities B: My vision is to take the music scene by mix? and it’s an honour to be compared to such storm and hopefully we›ll start getting the legendary acts. We’ve obviously got a long recognition I think we deserve as a band and A: The DPPLGNGRS mix is a good banger with way to go! The heavier rock vox and guitars start doing bigger and better gigs culminating nice drops and breakdown, very nicely promixed with big drums/breaks and meaty bass in UK/European tours. Maybe a number 1 al- duced and more club friendly than the origiare in there. bum? A lot of people have told us that Amer- nal. The Freq nasty Mix provides us with a peica would love our music and we›d go down culiar but huge trap/crunk smasher.
Sonic Shocks - Issue 19
bring their own personality in, it’s quite amazing how, because I don’t listen to our records, when on occasion when I have to, it’s amazing how those songs evolve with each member that came into the band and where they went, they went a very different place. One of the things that happened when I got back together with Simon and Craig was that we started playing the old songs and it was ‘Wow this is what it used to be like’ you know, it’s amazing how fast some things became, as well with some of the other line ups. Because you don’t listen to the records you forget what they were like, the tempo, and parts would go missing that you’d forgotten all about. The line-up changes just added different personality to the songs. How do you feel about how the music industry has changed recently with the internet and digital downloads? It seems easier for bands to find an audience these days but
From Resurrection to Revelation As The Mission get ready for one of the biggest tours for all fans of goth of 2013 by teaming up with Fields Of The Nephilim for the Revelations tour, David Lees talks to the legend that is Wayne Hussey. There has been a lot of excitement for this album, since it’s you Simon Hinkler and Craig Adams back together again, how did that come about and how was it working together again? Well it came about because we got back together in 2011 for the anniversary shows, and it became very apparent, very quickly that it was going to be a lot of fun. We went into rehearsals with a little bit of trepidation and a little bit of nervousness we had had our fallings-out over the years, but within five minutes we started to play and we were like ‘this feels good, this feels natural it sounds good’ and as I keep saying we do things in small chunks, so its not like we get bored of it or sick and tired of each other it’s two or three weeks at the most we do. It’s easy; we are all a lot older, a lot mellower and a lot more moderate in our social behaviors so it makes life a little easier. The new album feels like it has a more blues influence than your previous work where did that inspiration come from? I have been listening to a lot of old Southern Delta Blues in the last few years, you know, it’s one of those things a lot of modern music I am not terribly enamored with so you tend to go back, you know, I listen to the 60s and the 50s and even further than that. I think it’s a very rich heritage and so much rock music originates from that, I love the primal thing of one man and his guitar, a voice and guitar. Has your song writing process changed over the years? Certainly for this record we sat down and talked about how we wanted to record this record and, and one of the things we decided as a band is that the demos that I would do would be basically acoustic guitar and a voice, rather than band demos, in the past I have tended to do demos with drums and bass and guitar parts. It gave the musicians a starting point whereas now we just have a blank canvas with a bigger palette to choose from and I think hat that did was just to free me up to write. I hit a rich vain actually and wrote 25-30 songs in about a month. There is a bit of a running joke these days about bands doing repeated farewell tours, when you did yours in 2008 were you really convinced it was all over and what changed your mind? I think that was the third one of that… I was actually, at that point I was done with it and I seriously intended not to go back to it. A few years later I started to miss it, missing the camaraderie of being in a band. As I say I was playing the solo shows and whilst they are great and very enjoyable and different from playing in a band I did start to miss playing with the band. I like making that big old noise, as well as the acoustic stuff, I do like the old getting together with the guys in a room and making a racket, its great!
Is The Mission going to be your focus for the foreseeable future or will we be seeing some more solo stuff from you… what’s going on? I tend to go from one thing to the complete opposite, the next thing will probably be a very mellow acoustic solo record probably. The last record I did before this one was an album I made with a Swedish poet with was basically folk songs with him reciting his poetry and before that it was a techno glossy pop record. I tend to really go from one extreme to another. What do you think the reason is for your longevity as a band, you have managed to maintain a loyal following over the decades where as other bands have faded away? I don’t know, if we could pin point that knew that we would sell it as an idea. I would like to think its because there is an integrity to what we have done. I don’t know, I really don’t know. I think we have always been a really good live band, I think that’s helped certainly. We have not always made the best records; we have always made the best records we could at any point. Its easy to be wise in hindsight, there has certainly been records were I have thought ‘that really could have been better’. What’s the experience of touring and playing live like for you now in comparison to the old days of excess do you find it fulfilling in a different way? Absolutely! I always enjoyed the shows, but the shows were really a means to an end to party. We are a lot more consistent as a band… back in the day there used to be more extreme peaks and troughs, so we would be brilliant one night and absolutely diabolical the next. I think now we are more consistently doing good shows, which is nice too, it’s quite satisfying. I am 55 so I can’t live that lifestyle anymore, I really seriously can’t. My hangover lasts for three days now, the next day you have to get up and play again. You don’t want to have to get up and play with a hangover, a thick head… you know. You have had many line up changes over the years, how do different musicians effect how the songs are played live? Does every iteration of The Missions have its own unique flavor? I think so, I’d encourage people when they came into the band to listen to the records and
harder for them to make a living from it. That’s true I think, I mean obviously the access to people is very easy with the internet, anyone can make a record in their bedroom and get it out there. I am all for the internet I think it’s a great tool for a band to get information out there, to get their music out there. I think you have kind of lost a little bit of the mystery. When I was a kid growing up the only information you could get on a band was music papers or what you read on the record sleeves, so in that respect I think musicians have become more accessible. I am not necessarily a huge fan of that, you know, I don’t have Facebook I don’t do Twitter, the band does but I don’t. I get very uncomfortable when I meet fans. They tend to be quite intense, sometimes, and it’s alien really. I am just me and when I meet someone who’s really passionate about what I do it’s a bit bizarre sometimes. It’s not human nature, you write a song in your room or in the studio and all of a sudden its goes out all over the world and there are people all over the world listening to your record. That’s a great thing but at the same time it’s a bizarre thing when you meet these people on tour. I try to avoid it really, after our shows I go straight back to the hotel quickly. I don’t like meet and greets, there’s a lot of bands who do it, back in the day I would have done it because I might have got a shag from it. These days I tend to slink off after a show and hide away.
Sonic Shocks - Issue 19
Sonic Shocks - Issue 19
H T R I B E R Matt Dawson talks to Alex Staropoli about why Dark Wings Of Steel is NOT a concept album, what he expects from metal and the evolution of the band since Luca’s departure. How was the song writing process for Dark Wings Of Steel? Was there any difference from previous albums – regardless of the split with Luca? As producer it was my duty and a true mission to make “Dark Wings Of Steel” sound the best way possible. ‘DWOS’ was composed and arranged in the last few years, by me and my brother Manuel Staropoli. Manuel happens to be an incredible composer besides being an awesome Baroque Flute, Recorder concert player and bass player too, so we ended up combining our forces and passions to compose together. Same blood, same spirit. We are really demanding musicians. I spent all the time I could (and needed really) to evaluate every single note on the album and to be sure to be happy at the end of the production. That›s the only way I know to work.” “I wrote and arranged all the orchestral material as always as well. I asked a friend of mine, who is an orchestral director and arranger to finalize the actual scores and to direct the orchestra during the recordings, but I was directing all the proceedings. We used the Macedonian Radio Symphonic Orchestra F.A.M.E.›S Project - Skopje. It was a very emotional moment to hear the orchestral recording parts for a Rhapsody Of Fire album again.” “Working with Luca in the past, it›s always been exciting ‘cause we always had a lot in common, but on the other hand, after so many years, we just ended up having to go separate ways because we had to do things by ourselves. We could not avoid the split. This is another chapter for Rhapsody Of Fire, which continues to be my priority. I›m really excited to have the freedom to compose and produce new music the way I really want and feel is right for this band. I would describe this new album as powerful, passionate, dramatic, visionary, magic, intense…. It is just the beginning of a new era.” What is the concept behind the album’s story? “This is not a concept album nor a saga this time, so we had more freedom musically and lyrically.” “Fabio wrote all the lyrics. It was a demanding process, but Fabio is capable of writing very epic, poetic, magic, visionary lyrics…. It is a great advantage when your singer is also a great lyricist. It is clear that vocal performance and lyrics on ‘Dark Wings Of Steel’ are really on the same page. During the band’s career, I have usually never answered questions (in interviews, etc.) referring to lyrics, since I have always preferred to leave to that task to the lyricist, and I will continue doing so…... I believe it is better for me to not say anything about the lyrics and let the listener have the
pure freedom to discover the meanings and the messages, and shape them into their own minds and hearts the way they feel.” How has it been working with AFM Records for your first studio record with them? “Rhapsody Of Fire really did choose the label that was really interested in the band. AFM was the right label to start a working relationship for the future with. And, I am very happy so far. We released the ‘LIVE - From Chaos To Eternity’ double live album with them first, and all was cool. Looking forward to see the new album being released now.” What would you say is the most emotional song on the album for you? “It’s very hard to say. All the songs on this album were written in a very emotional period and the fact that the composition process was shared with my brother makes it even more dense and full of emotions. Can’t pick up a song; it is about the whole album.” How do you see the state of the Power/Symphonic Metal scene as we close out 2013? “Since I have not really listened to metal at all in the last few years I can’t tell you much about that sadly. I am not really reliable in this regard because I tend to be very demanding of bands and musicians (when I listen) and often I just don’t see any true talent but just a nice packaging.. I listen to a lot of old stuff very much, like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Led Zeppelin and many heavy metal bands from the 80’s and 90’s. There are some cool bands nowadays of course but not so many can make history…..” How has Roby settled into the band? “Well, Roby De Micheli is very important for this band. He wrote some fantastic guitar riffs and guitar solos. I am really happy to call him a friend and a stable member of our band. Not many people know that Roby was actually already in the band, right back when Luca and I started making music many years ago, so he is no stranger at all actually. I called him to offer him the spot and he accepted with great enthusiasm.” To digress and talk about 2011 – How did it feel being the main support for Immortal at Bloodstock? “It was really cool to discover that the audience in Bloodstock
were so supportive and excited to see ‘ROF’, especially when you consider we opened for Immortal. It’s cool when, on a festival, different genres are exploited like that so well. Wish to play there again in the future of course!!” How do you feel Rhapsody of Fire has evolved given it’s been 10 years since the original name change and 2 since the departure of Luca? Were you worried about the fans’ reaction? “Luca and I always worked on the saga theme, musically and visually. And it was a great period for sure. But after we decided not to work together anymore, suddenly it all became an exciting challenge for the both of us and especially for me, who’s never really released anything besides ‘ROF’. I am not worried about the fans reaction but really curious to see it. I did what I love to do with no regrets. I consider ‘From Chaos To Eternity’ a good album but too technical sometimes, which is cool; but I got a bit tired of it. That’s the reason why ‘Dark Wings Of Steel’ sounds more accessible and it is not really ‘overproduced’. I wanted to write actual songs and to avoid long suites or multiple instrumental parts.” What are the plans for gigs either in Europe or UK? “We are planning our live activity right now, and I think we will start touring at the beginning of next year, starting in Europe. I really want to come back to the UK of course. The promotional trip there was really cool, and I am sure we can do much better as far as touring in the UK, in 2014.” IF possible – what would you say are your favourite records of 2013? “Alter Bridge ‘Fortress’ and Black Sabbath ‘13’ are the only albums I have bought lately; very cool bands.”
Sonic Shocks - Issue 19
don’t be C.R.U.E.L.
It’s the last date of The Computers tour in support of The Heavy and even London weather seems to be in a good mood. Shepherds Bush Empire is still empty as I make my way inside to interview the band. They’re sound checking: good, I always like listening to a bit of the sound check, kind of getting a taste of the real soul behind the band. And there’s soul aplenty, rock’n’roll and good vibes as the music and laughter fill the deserted venue. As I wonder what can possibly expect me later, my thoughts are interrupted by Alex yelling ‘and you can tell Rolling Stone magazine my last words were… I’m on drugs!!’. They play rock’n’roll, they love Elvis AND they quote one of my favourite movies (Almost Famous)! I can’t wait to speak to Aidan, drummer and designated spokesperson for my new favourite band. We take a seat up in the balcony. In the background a soundtrack of 50s rock’n’soul gems and Motown classics warms up the auditorium, ready to welcome the first excited punters. So how’s the tour been going so far? So far, so good! This is the very last date of the tour but it’s been brilliant, we had 2 weeks in Europe and then 2 weeks over in the UK pretty much, there’s been some really good shows, nice cities [and] stories to tell. Favourite shows so far? Let me think…. There was a really unusual night in Norwich, it was really good fun, we weren’t expecting anything incredible from it but it turned out to be a really enjoyable show – it was a Sunday night in this old church, the sound’s really brilliant and the crowd were just up for it. There seems to be quite a growing scene in Norwich… There’s a big university there and a real good arts scene, where we were playing there were loads of art shops and lots of creative types wondering about so it seems like a real buzzing place right now, it was fun, maybe it’s not like that to live there but as a passerby it seems like a really good place.
So you’ve got a lot going on but before we talk about what is coming let’s take a step back. Your last album Love Triangles Hate Squares is quite different from the first two and I was quite surprised at the time – do you see it as change or development? Well I see it as the album that The Computers always wanted to make right from the get go. From the beginning of the band we wanted to sound like that but it just took a while to get there, because in order to play that style you’ve got to better at playing with your instrument. When we started the down stroke/easy sort of punk sound and hardcore screamy rock and roll thing, that was natural to us, so we had to develop ourselves into that sound that we created on Love Triangles Hate Squares, it was just a development really. In terms of music – yeah it was a change but I think for anyone who understood The Computers really they would see it as a quite natural progression, because even though many would brand us as a hardcore punk band back in the day we never really saw it as that at all; we see us as a weirdo garage, rock and roll band. There were always influences of blues and soul but they just weren’t quite crystal clear as they are on Love Triangles, it was a lot more masked by weird, intense screaming. So in order to capture our true identity I suppose as a band we thought ‘let’s strip it right down to exactly how we want it to sound’ and the album outcome was Love Triangles Hate Squares. When did you feel you were ready to write that album then? As we were recording it really! We were in Georgia with the producer Mark Neill and he said ‘let’s cut the crap – if you want to make a soul record, you make it, you want to be a soul band – be it. Don’t try and fool anybody by being half and half’. Because we felt a slight commitment to people who knew the Computers and liked the sound of what we had, we felt we didn’t want to alienate too many people but then we thought we just have got to do what we felt best about doing. The writing of the songs had a vision of soul in it and pop sensibilities, but it wasn’t until we actually came to record it that we committed to that idea and the outcome is what you hear. There wasn’t a day, it was just going to happen – it was
inevitable, it was just having the confidence to do it and I guess it came from the recording – let’s just be the band we want to be. I guess from the outside some would say you’re going for a more commercial sound but from watching it on stage – even from the sound check – the enthusiasm shows it’s you and really comes across as that. We’re never writing for anybody else, and in terms of commercial success we’re still yet to have a taste of that! We never would form or write a song in any way that wasn’t honest to ourselves and how we as a band want to perform. It was easy for people to observe us before and just see us doing what we did and it was new and exciting for a lot of them, but they forget that we had been doing that every night for about 4 or 5 years and the novelty wears off. In terms of enjoyment, playing that fast intense rock’n’roll that we were doing it’s fun and great but it’s got its place and it wasn’t challenging for us anymore. It’s quite cliché but we wanted to challenge ourselves; in order to keep ourselves focused on the band and music generally we had to make music that WE wanted to make, and it turns out a lot more people enjoy that too – I guess it’s less niche than our previous sound but in terms of easiness it’s not easy at all, it’s skilful playing and it’d be nice to have some commercial success. That’s a ladder we’ll keep climbing, but we’ll do it with as much integrity as we can – the scene we come from is very much a DIY /punk society and that’s in our blood, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
I think your EP of Elvis Vs. Elvis is a brilliant idea as well! We’re fans of both Presley and Costello and it just seemed like an obvious move, it was the idea of one of our managers and it was pretty much stress free and I hope people enjoy it, it’s been quite popular from the sounds of it. A version has been printed in 500 copies just for Record Store Day; will we still be able to find it if we missed out? There’s a possibility of perhaps a repressing but I don’t know. The beauty of it is it’s a one off sort of thing. There’ll be ways to hear it online I’m sure. You guys have an album planned for 2014 as well?
Sonic Shocks - Issue 19
was easy. As for the singing, it just seemed a shame not to have his voice be heard as I think he writes really good lyrics. In order to have that connection people need to understand what you’re saying. The intensity of screaming is one thing and you can connect in one way but if you want to have your thoughts, ideas and love of the world heard you’ve got to be able to have people understand that, you can get a feeling from screaming but it’s not comprehensive. It was just the right thing to do. Nice soundtrack in the background by the way… That’s our soundman – we keep him on a tight schedule of songs, just sets the vibe when people come in, gets people ready for the shape of things to come! It’s nice to get people to dance – an escape from life, work and any problems. You don’t want to be reminded of that while you’re out, you have to go back to that so the idea of a show for us is to entertain and have real good fun. So for a band that likes to evolve what can
‘Love songs don’t have to be slow OR sad, they can be fast and uplifting just as love can be’ That’s the plan! We like to move quick! There’s so much going on, a lot of talented bands, singers and the standard’s really high. There’s a lot of good indie bands coming out like The Vaccines, something like that. People are moving quick and delivering the goods and if you don’t you can get swallowed up pretty quick and forgotten. Today’s industry – you have to move quick. In the 50/60’s it was so competitive and because of that you had real good stuff of a high standard coming out and I think that’s coming back. As a lover of music you’re winning there because you’ll get a lot of good stuff, the idea is to keep it flowing. We’re in a band all the time and if you’re not recording and writing and everything else what are you doing? So we’ve got to keep busy. Who are the songwriters in the band? Alex – the singer – is the main songwriter. He comes up with the concepts, he writes every lyric, at times he’ll come with a finished song and we’ll just learn the parts, other times it’ll be just a small fragmented idea that we’ll all have a little input and develop it where it needs to be developed so it varies, but the general idea are his. There was a change in the vocals as well. Alex could sing before he could scream, it was just we got caught up in the whole thing, the screaming felt easy and natural to us; some may say it’s unnatural but with the scene that we’re from and our surroundings that
we expect from this next album? We’re still in the process – a handful of new songs, but we’ll probably be doing soul – pumping soul or Britbeat as I refer to it as. Uplifting, beat music with the excitement and intensity because that’s in our blood, it’s not going to be acoustic ballads but a lot more substance for the love songs. Love songs don’t have to be slow OR sad, they can be fast and uplifting just as love can be. That’s going to be more clear on the new record. If you like Love Triangles this’ll be for you, if you only like the first two releases then you might not be into it [laughs] Highlight of 2013? Meeting Mick Jones was a great thing for us. We’re massive Clash fans – not just musically but their whole ethos. I love their militant hard headedness of being a band and also they don’t live with any boundaries, they realised punk was coming to an end so they evolved and never
lived with the confinements of punk. Meeting Mick in the summer and for him to be a fan of us was just a great honour and he’s invited us twice to his studio and we did sessions and performed his songs for him. That’s one of those moments you look back and on say ‘if nothing else happens – THAT happened.’ Are you thinking of involving him in the next album? Possibly. You’ve got to use the tools at hand, we’ll do our best - if he’s the right man for the job, who knows? I’m not saying we will or are. As a band that’s a highlight. Another is when we got to play with Die Toten Hosen in Germany, not very well known in England but they’re as big as U2 in Germany, playing stadiums to 10,000 people and Madness were supporting. It’s really good to meet people you grew up listening to and knowing they’re really nice so that was a great thing. And one still to come, on the 19th December we’re playing in our hometown of Exeter at the Phoenix Club, the biggest we can playing our hometown, we sold it out last year so I’m expecting more of the same this year –there’ll be new songs and a few additions to the band so that’ll be a fun time. What else is 2014 going to bring? We have the recording of the new album, touring all over Europe because they love us over there and the UK, two support acts that I can’t say yet but the main thing is the new record. There are talks of an early September release but we’re hoping we can put it out before the summer for festival season. That’s the idea, when you’ve got a label and a manager things can take their time sometimes but if we work the way we like to, certainly a single for then. You played Reading for the 3rd time this year – any other festivals you enjoy playing? We love the ones in Europe – there’s 1 called Hurricane and Southside, the biggest ones to my knowledge – like the Reading And Leeds of Europe, we played last year so fingers crossed we go there next year! Any famous last words aside from I’m On Drugs? Just keep on keeping on, come to the shows, buy the records or start buying them if you haven’t before and if you ever see us at a show come say hi! And I’m definitely not on drugs...
Sonic Shocks - Issue 19
Burlesque! Welcome to your one stop drop for all the news on the best burlesque nights, in the capital and beyond! My name is Sophia Disgrace and I’ve performed at numerous events in the U.K and abroad, from festivals to the most exclusive clubs. I tend perform in a neo burlesque style and incorparate other elements, such as fire play, into my routines. Burlesque - or ‘the art of tease’ as it’s also known, first rose to prominence in the 1950’s; in recent years it’s enjoyed something of a revival, with stars such as Dita Von Teese helping to popularise the scene once again. Here are my pick of all things burlesque this month... BRUNCH AND ENTERTAINMENT @ Cabaret Supper Club, Belfast Sunday 1st December 2013 From midday Enjoy some Christmas sparkle a little early and join Cherry On Top and friends for a touch of brunch and alluring entertainment! The Cabaret Supper Club in Belfast is a deluxe 1920's style venue, located in the heart of central Belfast. It hosts a wide range of nights and offers a selection of food and drink as sumptuous as its setting. Fun fact: each seating booth has a bell which is linked to your very own butler for the night! Tickets start from £24.95 and are available via 02890 249009 THE MARTINI LOUNGE @ Epstein Theatre, Liverpool Saturday 7th December 2013 Evening event until late late late!
By Sophia Disgrace
Sophia’s photo by
This month’s velvet curtain reveals... Burlesque Spotlight!
SMOKIN’ GIRLS OF BURLESQUE 2014 CALENDAR
The Martini Lounge loves the festive season and this year this well established burlesque show is back once again, hosted by compere Fred Bare and burlesque star Millie Dollar. The line up still hasn’t been fully announced, but if past performers are anything to go by - Anna Fur Laxis and Bijou Noir to name but two – it’s gonna be good! For further information on tickets/booking please email firstname.lastname@example.org CLUB PARADIS @ The Chapel Arts Centre, Bath Saturday 21st December 2013 From 7.30pm-11.00pm This festive event is hosted by exotically named Countess Arseuppi , the headline act is international burlesque performer Domino Barbeau. Raven Noir, song bird trio with a satirical twist The Belle Fleurs and Dulcie Demure are amongst the wealth of talent also on offer at this sure to be spectacular event. Hosted at Bath's no.1 alternative arts venue. Tickets from £16.00 please contact 01225 920256 for further info.
Start the 2014 as you mean to go on with a calendar full of burly hotties! The theme of the calendar is burlesque gals posing with smoking pipes-novel, sassy and sexy! The calendar was shot by Dave Stagner, known for his love of the pin up and burlesque genre. Grab yours now before they run out! The calendar is available online via http:// www.smokingirlsofburlesque.com and is from $24.95
Sonic Shocks - Issue 19
For We Are Many As Artillery get ready to unleash more of
their thrash across the world Matt Dawson talks to vocalist Michael Bastholm Dahl about recording in Medley Studios in Copenhagen, performing on a cruise ship and why he considers Airbourne among others as an album of 2013. What was the mindset going into the recording sessions? Well, I guess the mindset was to make a very defining album. We wanted to make it sum up a lot about Artillery and at the same time give it a few new vibes as well. But we did it all quickly, so the whole atmosphere was like being inside a creative tornado. You wrote, recorded and moved on really fast, so it all felt fresh and alive all the way through. How did it feel working with Soren Andersen? Really great! Soren kept the whole process in check and made sure, that we all delivered at our outmost. He is a very positive guy and for us it works like a charm. We don’t need someone to yell at us to do better, that would have the opposite effect, so Soren is the right guy for us. At the same time, he has a lot of ideas that gives you a lot of feedback and something to work with, so we were never stuck creatively. What would you say is your favourite and
the most personal song/s to you on Legions? To me ”Global Flatline” and “Enslaved to the Nether” are the most personal and also favourite songs. They are a bit unusual for Artillery, but it all comes together great and it shows a different side of the band, which I like. The songs, to me, are also quite captivating, since they are atmospheric and have a story to tell. How did you find the studio environment? Nice, relaxed and comfortable. It’s the old Medley studios, where a lot of great albums have been recorded. It’s in the centre of Copenhagen, but it lies a bit isolated, so you become relaxed as soon as you enter the studio. And like I said earlier, Soren kept the whole vibe really positive, so it was a nice place to be. How do you see the state of metal in 2013? We are at the last chapter of some of the great old pioneers of metal and others struggling forwards. So it’s with a bit of bittersweet happiness when I see bands like Motörhead, Judas Priest, Slayer etc. whom I just love, who are, at least, at a turning point in their career. I have been impressed every time they defied expectations and have churned out great albums and kept on touring, but now it seems we have reached the finish line, at least as how things have
been. And by that I mean regarding a lot of old bands, not just the ones I mentioned above. Sad times, but at the same time, there is this incredible dedication and positivity in the scene, that are returning now, which is just awesome. Fans are getting younger and are into old as well as new music and they aren’t just simply buying what they are told, they dare to be individuals and at the same time allow themselves to have a good time with metal, which is what it is all about. A lot of new bands are coming out as well who have a real interest in being good bands with a knowledge of the past and an intention of the future. What are the plans when it comes to the UK and Europe? We hope to visit the UK next year, which would be so great! We toured some parts of Europe last year, but if it becomes a possibility, we would gladly tour Europe again! How was performing on the Barge To Hell cruise? The most surreal awesome experience of my life! Standing on the pool deck, with a clear blue sky and the ocean in the background with a bit worry about the waves and the rocking of the boat. Just had break feast next to Sepultura and some of the guys from Napalm Death – keeping to myself of course. Seeing Warrel Dane take a walk in the deck and feeling my nerves jerk from the whole experience. Finishing the gig with just my whole body trembling and then you’ll hit the Caribbean next day. Just surreal, but just simply awesome! – I would love to do that again! What would you say were your favourite records of 2013? Uh, hard question, but most definitely Motörhead with “Aftershock”. Ghost with “Infestissumam, Satyricon “Satyricon” and Airbourne with “Black Dog Barking” where among some of my favourites. I just might think of a bunch of other records in a minute and blame myself for not mentioning them here, but what can I do? [laughs] Any final message to the fans? A huge thank you for all your support and enthusiasm! You keep the train rolling and we can’t wait to see you guys out on the road! You are awesome! Stay healthy, strong, metal and hard rockin’!
As we go to press, M.T. (Many Things) have just had to postpone their Alpha Romeo launch party back to January – some venue issues – which means you’re all still on time to catch them live. Single Alfa Romeo was produced by Dan Grech (Vaccines, Lana Del Ray) and is a pop anthem of seismic proportions, complete with hook-laden melodies and an unshakeable rhythm section. The accompanying bside, ‘77’ produced by Charlie Huggall (Florence and The Machine, Swim Deep) continues in the same vein with massive pop hooks and thunderous synths. I can hardly get any information on the internet: their website shows the video for Alpha Romeo and a form to join the mailing list; the ‘about’ section of their Facebook page tells me they’re from London. Under genre, ‘all of them’. There are however links to their YouTube and Soundcloud, and man, they can let the music do the talking… I’m hooked – and you will be too. Time to find out more with a little Q&A… First of all, congratulations for Alpha Romeo, one of the most memorable and addictive melodies I heard in a while; who’s the songwriter and how did that come out? Thank you very much for the kind words! My name’s Michael & I guess if anyone wrote it it’s me. I was at the piano and not in a very good way at the time. I just started to play and it came out ‘I’m tired of lying when people ask me if I’m alright...’. I feel like these things come out through you and it’s a gift, so as I’m saying thanks to you I’m giving thanks to wherever all this comes from. That deserves the most acknowledgment. It was produced by Dan Grech, and the bside ‘77’ by Charlie Huggall; how did they get involved and how was working with them? They both came down to different shows where we met them. As a band we love their work and personalities we’re thrilled the single came out the way it has. We feel honoured and lucky to have worked with them. The video looks like a 100% genuine party moment, how did that come out? It’s real. Would you mind explaining your choice of name and what the logo represents? Well explaining the name is easy, MT stands for Many Things. Everyone has a different interpretation of what the logo means and we’d prefer to keep it like that... suffice to stay that it stands for Many Things! Your website doesn’t give much away; is it a conscious decision to let the music do the talking, or are you hiding something? The former: Yes, it’s about being straightforward. As you will discover we are a band of per-
Many Things, mostly music Sonic Shocks - Issue 19
sonalities, but our focus will always be the music. The latter: Yes, we’re actually a bunch of middle aged women from Stoke. So, are you going to tell us at least one of your secrets today? Your names maybe? Or something even bigger? Oh you can know our names! They are Macks Faulkron, Gabi Woo, Frederik Tyson-Brown & Michael Tomlinson. One secret we can reveal today is that Macks was a defender of the Red Squirrels. Scrolling your Facebook page, it’s evident however that you’ve been on the live circuit for a while. Would you say MT are predominantly a live band? I would say that we take pride in being a great live band. It’s very important to us when we play its completely live, there’s an energy that comes from people playing together for which there is no substitute. That being said, I do think we’re more than just a live band. I think as we head into the studio more people are going to realise this. I hear your gigs are often unannounced, guerrilla affairs; what’s the best way to be kept in the loop? Facebook, Twitter, word of mouth, some bar where you usually hang out? Twitter, Ridley Road Market Bar or just ask Gabi. The word I read the most to describe your shows is ‘euphoric’; how would you describe them and what kind of crowd do you usually attract the most? At this early stage the crowds vary. But the important thing is that we connect with our audiences no matter. It is a great feeling for us, as a band what you want is to reach a connection with your fans and to know you are being understood. What’s your relationship with your fans, are you the type of band who just hang out with the crowd after the show? Are you any less secretive with them? Haha! I don’t know why you think we’re being so secretive! This project is all about authenticity, we hope to be nothing more or less
than ourselves in all situations. Even without revealing much about the band, you got some important Festival slots and an incredible amount of exposure over the past few weeks, how did that happen? We’ve been very lucky! We hope that our songs continue to be enjoyed by as many people as possible. Where can we find more of your music and what you suggest we should listen to? Go to www.MTManyThings.com and follow the links to our blog. We’ve got all types of rarities and such up there as well. Perhaps even some footage of Fred dry humping an antique Spanish seige weapon... Is there a plan for a full length album in the near future? Yes, we’ve been working towards this, the process is ever ongoing. We’ve just recorded a new single with Dan Grech which we’re excited for you to hear! Once Alpha Romeo has been officially launched, what’s the next move? Well the party won’t be until January now right? We’re just focused on making the show even better! What’s your biggest wish for 2014 (as a band)? To be happy. If any artist should cover ‘Alpha Romeo’ in a live show, who would you want them to be? The Muppets So, really, who are MT, what do they do and where are they going? MT are Freddie, Macks, Gabi & Michael. They play music & hope to be doing it for a very long time. Any last wise words for our readers? Michael: Hope not defeat Macks: Porridge in the morning & if you can’t stand it anymore put some honey in it Fred: Never do tomorrow what you can do today Gabi: A dog is for life not just Christmas
Sonic Shocks - Issue 19
Italian legendary score composer Fabio Frizzi pays tribute to the unforgotten master of vintage gore We meet Fabio in an aptly chosen old graveyard near Old Street on a surprisingly balmy winter day, as he prepares for tonight’s extraordinary Halloween event: F2F – short for Frizzi To Fulci - sees the Maestro of horror scores bring to London some of the magic created by the union of two undisputed prime talents. The place is Islington Union Chapel, sold out months in advance; the iconic Director Frizzi pays tribute to is Lucio Fulci, an icon recently rediscovered by horror fans worldwide. Zombie Flesh Eaters, City of The Living Dead, The Psychic (Sette Note in Nero), The Beyond are just a few of the celebrated titles where composer Fabio Frizzi helped Fulci bring his nightmares to life. There’s more to Frizzi than Fulci and more to Fulci than horror, but the relationship between the two and their work together take center stage our little Halloween chat. We discover the truth on the ‘shark vs zombie’ scene, a collaboration with Tarantino that never worked out, the secret to a good soundtrack, but first we get talking about the perils of art in Italy these days… ‘Italy has cut the funds for culture and art; I was never a big fan of public funding, I always liked the idea of private initiative being rewarded by people’s response and becoming a reality, a production, a trend even. It’s kind of what we’re trying to achieve with our show tonight. But in Italy its different, opera is a great resource and as much as public funding might have been a bit dominating in some cases was the way to go. I played two shows near Rome as a warm up to this and we encountered way too many logistic difficulties, although the response from the public was highly rewarding. And there’s something else… ‘
true, it’s easier sometimes getting recognition outside your own country; this is the case for Fulci. He was a true friend, a very important man in my life, he kind of shaped my way to work because he was great at what he did but also because he loved music as much as he loved cinema – he was a bit of a jazzman, played trumpet as well – he was a complete art & entertainment man and a guide to me. However, all his movies including those we are celebrating tonight did just ok in Italy, loved by a minority but never mainstream. The horrors, the strong giallos and the visceral westerns, they always had an idea, a story, fans of the genre writing even from Japan and South America, but not so much in Italy.’ Arrow has been rereleasing plenty of his old work over here… ‘Yes, and it’s so strange for me, like an unexpected inheritance. When I saw him last time – back in the days of ‘Cat In The Brain’- I could have never imagined. I always worked a lot and hard, with cinema, television, orchestra, fiction, ballet, but I never thought such popularity would come for such a niche of my work. Crazy.’ What I always found amazing about you is how you can write scores for horror or comedy likewise and still do it so good that the music is enough to scare you or make you smile… Soundtracks are a strange thing… I’m quite a sensitive person, even fragile at times – as we all are. I think this attitude of mine applied to films is the secret to a good score, and you either have it or you don’t. I always compare it to a session with your analyst: two people ‘‘What do you want to tell your viewers? are working on your If as a musician you can play this little head, your issue, it’s game, a bit wicked but also beautiful, team work and at then you can make the music that Direc- some point the heads one, the anator would have wanted to write himself,, become lyst becomes you and you’re really sharing a thought. Lucio That something else brings us straight to and I were always finding a way to Fulci – ‘We have a saying that ‘you’re never as really share our thoughts. What do much of a prophet in your own home’ and it’s you want to tell your viewers? If as
a musician you can play this little game, a bit wicked but also beautiful, then you can make the music that Director would have wanted to write himself. It’s not easy finding that kind of relationship and some days are harder than others, but I think my winning point so far has always been that: becoming an interpreter and making music that like an actor can play with the others. Rewriting most of the material this year and rediscovering this young version of me, I realized that I already was on the path of what I really wanted to do, now I’m just a bit further ahead. How was having a piece from ‘Sette Note In Nero’ (The Psychic) selected by Quentin Tarantino for Kill Bill Vol I?
It was one of the elements gathering interest around my work, particularly this segment. The piece in question was the music playing on the main character’s watch. When my editor Bixio told me about the request, I knew Tarantino was a big fan of Fulci and that era, to the point that often he seems to follow the footsteps… Anyway, it was a huge emotion. It was a few years ago, when I still didn’t know if this project would actually come to light. They did a projection in Rome with him as well. It was a great pleasure for me and my team (Frizzi-Bixio-Tempera), but I was mostly happy for Lucio himself. He makes me think of Bach sometimes – I adore Bach – and when he died many had a great opinion of him but no one had any idea of what he was going to be. When Fulci left us he was probably angry about something (‘he always was’, adds Fabio with an affectious laugh), nervous, he had a strong personality. But I bet he had no idea he could reach this success after death. When I prepare for a show, many of the messages I get end with ‘Fulci Lives’, and he deserves it for what he gave. A great man and a great artist.’ Have you discussed the possibility of any future collaboration with Tarantino? Look, Tarantino and his friends – Eli Roth to name one – have a strange habit… They’ll let you know through common friends and circles they admire your work, but they seem to have some difficulties with direct contact. There was a second episode with Tarantino, a request from his staff, but nothing came out of it. It was about the Zombie Flesh Eaters theme, that Tarantino wanted to use in ‘Inglorious Basterds’. For a start, they asked for a version that wasn’t mine, an apocryphal, and I can’t authorize an apocryphal, besides the original was much better. This had two different notes (crafty people are not only in Italy…) and again, was nowhere as good as the original. They also requested a second piece, and also in that case they asked for an apocryphal; it was a percussion piece and someone in America did a version with fake percussions, while in Zombie I use real ones. Secondly, they made an offer that I found offensive, really they should have been ashamed. So I got back to them saying “Well, first of all here are the original versions, if you want to use them will have to be these ones, which besides are much better. As for your proposal, we’ll have to rediscuss as I feel it’s
Sonic Shocks - Issue 19
inadequate”. I never heard from them again. See, there are two ways to ask for something: you can ask for free as a friend, or if something is worth 10 you can offer 7 or 8, but I wouldn’t go to someone saying ‘Hey, your guitar is worth 10 but I think you should give it to me for 1 because I’m Fabio Frizzi’. It’s simply disrespectful, especially considering that we were not talking about an indie movie made on a $ 1,000 budget. It’s the principle. I’d be totally happy if Tarantino would call me tomorrow, maybe in person – my English is much better these days! – and I would happily give him what he wants for free, but not for an insulting offer. Shame because I really loved the movie, was excellent. Talking about imitations, did you hear that hip hop version of Sette Note in Nero on YouTube? (Laughing) So American! London rules but so does LA… That version made me smile, it was kind of a contamination with this extreme rap and I didn’t get a word, too much slang for me, could have said anything really. But it didn’t bother me, it made me see how what you put out there can become someone else’s. I was talking to one of my musicians about how when you deliver a piece – for a movie, a record, anything – then you find him again 10 years later sometimes you just
technology has changed composition? It’s a question I get often from younger people… Everything and nothing. All ‘‘It was about the Zombie Flesh Eaters that we got helped us with work, theme, that Tarantino wanted to use in but they’re just instruments, like pen and paper. If you use them in ‘Inglorious Basterds’,, this optic and avoid the mechanic automatisms these instruments algo ‘wow, did I really write this?’. You go from low, your work will still have plenty of charcreative mode to receptive mode. acter and personality. Radiohead for example And in receptive mode, is there anything you are great at that, but many of those following find in your earlier material you’re no longer in their footsteps tend to use these instrutoo happy with, anything you would have ments in a way that is quite impersonal. But if you take your notes on a bit of paper and use done differently? to bring YOUR sound to life, then your Sure, and we won’t mention titles. Luckily I them is just as good as in the 50s or the 30s have plenty of self-irony and even work the worst piece can put a smile even and you’re much more independent. on my face because I think of that There’s a software I use, Sibelius, named after young Fabio trying to get work… I’m a great north European composer. You write mainly thinking of some low profile music like you would on a piece of paper, but Italian comedy, where both for bud- the advantage is you can hear if you’re writget and timing reasons wasn’t al- ing the wrong note and correct it. At the end, ways possible to do things the way it prints all the parts perfectly like no copyist I wanted. For example, there was a could ever do, and that means as well huge drum machine in the 80s called Linn savings on recording times. You can still call and it was great because it was the the copyist as a consultant if you don’t want first to reproduce the sound of real to cut him off, but he doesn’t have to physidrums, but still was mechanical and cally write the notes for you. not the sound of a real drummer. Talking about horror movies, I find they were It was cheaper than calling a real a lot scarier back then without all the buddrummer though, so when the pro- gets and special effects we have now. In the duction wasn’t too generous we’d new ones it feels like something is missing. Is go with that. Listening to those hor- it a case of less is more? rible sounds now, I tell to myself One word: craftsmanship. That’s what’s miss‘Fabiooo!!!’… I guess if I had 3x24 ing. hours per day I’d like to get some of the nice ones I’ve written then I’ve been breathing cinema since I was 3 -4 and reorchestrate them to see how years old, it’s pretty much in my DNA. In the 60s, even Fellini would always allow some they’d sound! How much do you think modern improvisation. The time of the final mix-
ing, when you would think the job is done, was the most important for Lucio Fulci. He would do it himself and if there was a sight, a rant missing where he wanted it, he would call back the actors and the voiceovers. Craftsmanship is creating something that will never be 100% perfect – if the ship had to be all ready it would never sail – but it’s really YOUR product, an expression of your deepest personality, and I think that’s what is missing today. Look at the last 007, Craig e fantastic and entertaining, but in the end even redundance gets boring. The lack of means forced us to be creative. During Inglorious Basterds, a friend tells me Tarantino and the troupe – including Brad Pitt – were having dinner and talking about Fulci; they were wondering in particular how the scene with the shark and the zombie (‘Zombie Flesh Eaters’) was filmed. Well, here’s how it happened… Fulci used to surround himself with craftmen, from myself to the photography director and so on. For that scene, they painted a few meters large tub in blue to give a sense of the ocean, filled it with water and, as an actor simulated a fight with a toy shark, a cameraman was filming from below with an underwater videocamera. The scene was attached to the rest of the filming done in the Caribbean and job done, something that looks impossible was actually the game of an afternoon! Is there any Director these days that you would like to work with, someone who maybe could fill the void left by Fulci? Lucio definitely left a void because the old movies are different, but he has plenty of sons around the world… Not the kind you’re thinking of, I mean artistic sons! There’s plenty of new blood, thousands from 18 to 50 of age, who love that work and try to recreate it. I worked with three of them so far, due Americans and a couple of French Directors; beginners at the very start of their careers who asked me if I was available to write and I did. Was a lot of fun, because I felt like I found that magic again. I think the real Fulci heirs will come from these young followers, with time some will emerge. Are you working on anything else besides Frizzi 2 Fulci at the moment? In Italy there should be a new TV fiction next year, I like working on TV and I’m doing this with Vittorio Silloni, who’s a bit of a new Lucio for me in terms of personal friendship; we’ve been working together for 10 years. That aside, the unexpected success of F2F will probably take most of my time: first of all, as we get back from London we have a couple of recordings planned with the new arrangements. Then we’re planning a DVD where hopefully we can include this concert, the path that brought to this and some of the mad, enthusiastic people we found along the way. Finally I have a couple more projects with young American directors who seem very eager to involve me, one in particular that should be ready within a month or so, will look into it as soon as I get back to Rome. Where else are you taking F2F? We have plenty of requests but nothing still confirmed. I can tell you that there’s another big group in France – including personal friends – who has been contacting me again
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after last night saying I have to go, but we need to find the right people there. We have a request for an important Festival in Poland and a strong interest from the US, where I have plenty of personal and pen friends, for 2014. Finally, and I must confess I’d love this, we had interest from a continent that is so different to ours in culture, Japan. If I have the stamina! I hear you hope to come back to London, and considered the success of tonight it seems quite likely… Would it be the same show
from a royalties point of view, but there’s a positive side: we consume music like bread and butter, especially young people. Death Waltz did a great job, and London is the right place, I’ve seen already a great resurgence of vinyl here. That resurgence means two things: we’re not denying our roots, which is always a good thing, and we’re starting to recreate a niche market - but not too niche, as I saw some pretty big vinyl stores around. If you want your unique item, you can still get it. CDs are the half way, they were also penalized by digital but labels are putting some nice products out there, and even if they will never sell millions of copies again the market is partially recovering, and it’s nice for us to know that someone, somewhere, has that object at home – maybe autographed – and treasures it. What’s the area in London that you find more inspiring? Despite being passionate about the English culture, I only discovered London at 51, 11 years ago, and I was shocked. I used to be in love with Paris but London won me, its charme, when I’m in London I feel like I’m in Rome. It’s the way people are, the way nothing really seems to upset them, the Tube, the multi-ethnic crowd, and the Thames…
‘‘they painted a few meters large tub in blue to give a sense of the ocean, filled it with water and, as an actor simulated a fight with a toy shark, a cameraman was filming from below with an underwater videocamera,, or are we going to hear more of your repertoire? It would be hard to put together anything more complete. I’m a very generous person artistically speaking, and while I can’t say that tonight’s repertoire is exhaustive – there’s always more you can do – it is a very rich one. However, Lucio is a great segment of my work, but there’s more about me and maybe would be nice to add something else to the show. Would be nice if some of those crazy fans I made across the globe would rediscover my first movie for example, a comedy filmed in the Seychelles, or some work I did for the Italian TV. There’s a lot of me in there too. You’re working with Death Waltz Recordings which has been re-releasing some amazing collector’s editions of your work in vinyl; where do you stand in the vinyl/CD/MP3 debate? It’s a great topic… I was born with vinyl, the old 78 one even, the noisiest ever yet so pleasant. When I lost my mother I had to get rid of a lot of stuff, but I never threw a single vinyl including Caruso and more. I think the big internet revolution gave us a lot but also took a lot away from us. It forced musicians and creatives in general to reinvent their profession. The whole filesharing issue has penalized many
If you walk along the Thames at night when the lights come up is like being in a marvellous movie, must be the same for you living here when you go past that. There’s one place however I’m particularly affectionate to: Covent Garden, which my daughter Feedy – who has been living in London 8 years – calls ‘dad’s living room’. Partly I guess it’s for the strong musical tradition, theatre, live venues, and part maybe because the first time I went there was my dad – cinematographer Fulvio Frizzi – was staying at the Savoy, so it feels familiar already. I know it’s considered a tourist area, but there’s more to it. I go there for a walk and the street performers and musicians never fail to impress me. When I can I like to take a walk in Covent Garden with my wife, the companion of all my adventures, and it’s different but the same every time.
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By Matthew Tilt
KILL YOUR DARLINGS Director: John Krokidas Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Ben Foster The Works Few actors have shrugged off a role like Harry Potter with the seeming ease of Daniel Radcliffe and now, after a long, bumpy production, this role of Allen Ginsberg sees him hanging that role up. Alongside a near perfect cast Radcliffe fronts this powerful character study directed by John Krokidas. Quickly throwing us into Ginsberg’s life we are just rapidly thrown onto the campus of Columbia University where Dane DeHaan’s Lucien Carr offers an enigmatic alternative to the stuffy, old fashioned teachings. Krokidas shows a vibrant period of time as the Beat Generation comes together. Joined by Foster’s William Burroughs and Huston’s Jack Kerouac it’s often a laugh out loud journey incorporating jazz, petty crime and massive creativity. That said everything is underpinned by a darkness, from Ginsberg’s family life – a mentally ill mother and a too-practical father – to Carr’s relationship with David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall) which provides the backbone to this story. Hall lurks around the fringes, in each characters peripheral vision, but Krokidas avoids the usual trope of portraying Kammerer as a predator. DeHaan’s Carr is just as forceful, occasionally playing between Kammerer and Ginsberg; sharing chemistry with each actor DeHaan manages to twist and turn the story at his will so the audience remain unsure of the circumstances. There’s as wonderful brevity to this film, flittering as much as the Beat works did as it moves seamlessly from comedy to tragedy and doing this often but capturing that life affirming feel through the music, the colour, the freedom. Nationals have focused on the ‘Potter goes Gay’ aspects but it is never out of context from the story, instead helping build on the emotional turmoil that rocks Ginsberg.
The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition - Blu-ray Director: Peter Jackson Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Andy Serkiss At the tail end of last year I reviewed the theatrical edition of The Hobbit – Peter Jackson’s wonderful re-entry into Middle-Earth – where I expressed fears about expanding a short novel into three films when An Unexpected Journey had, at times, dragged. Now, one year later, the extended edition makes its way onto Blu-ray, containing an inimitable level of extra content. The problem is that there are few worthwhile moments added to film. The prologue is extended to further explain the bad blood between the elves and dwarfs, and there is a rather homely, gentle scene as Bilbo visits a market in Bagend but the rest feel unnecessary, needlessly expanding an already long film. Worst of a bad bunch is the song by the Goblin King (Barry Humphries) which is neither entertaining nor particularly useful, instead only further suggesting that Jackson may struggle to squeeze three good films out of the source material when he clearly has so little extra to give here. Luckily the performances still stand up the second time around; Freeman is perfect as the everyman Bilbo, and his late scenes with Gollum remain a highlight, while the motley crew of dwarfs all feel rounded with room for further expansion across the next two films. Add the always reliable Ian McKellen and a formidable level one baddie in Azog and there is still a hugely enjoyable film experience here. As well as the beautiful transfer what’s on offer is a fully comprehensive array of extras, breaking down the making of The Hobbit from start to finish and carrying on from the extras of The Lord of the Rings. There are technical talks about the building of the sets, the make-up and the production side of the film, while fans of the cast can witness the fun and goodwill shared by all on set and even the audition tapes from the main cast. Jackson really offers something for everyone across two discs, just about making up for a weaker extended edition than we’ve come to expect.
OUR CHILDREN (“À perdre la raison”) Director: Joachim Lafosse Starring: Niels Arestrup, Tahar Rahim, Émilie Dequenne Based on the true story of Genevieve Lhermitte, Our Children is a truly harrowing experience; a film that utterly captivates from the opening scenes thanks to a heartfelt, honest performance from Émilie Dequenne. Starting with Murielle (Dequenne) hospitalised and begging for her children to be buried in Morocco, director Joachim Lafosse moves back to the burgeoning relationship between her and Mounir (Rahim). The chemistry between the leads leans from tenderness to lust and their romance is a whirlwind but it’s marred by the presence of Dr. Pinget (Arestrup). Pinget’s relationship to Mounir puts pressure on the young couple, not least because they remain financially dependent on him, and as they begin to have the children the tension builds slowly, creating a stifling atmosphere that grips the viewer. As things worsen between the couple Dequenne gives a wonderful performance, never letting her character fall into melodrama; instead her desperate glances and increasingly muted delivery offers damning hints at the damage her situation is doing. Arestrup also gives an excellent performance, becoming bolder with his insults as the weak willed Mounir fails to stand up and create a separate life for him and his wife. Lafosse gives no break to the growing tension; the final days up until the murders are emotionally wrought – a particularly upsetting scene sees Murielle breaking down to a song in her car – while the final death scenes are subtly handled, making them all the more upsetting as each child wanders off screen never to be heard from again. This slow burn drama works thanks to the sympathetic, non-judgmental approach which builds a trinity of believable characters while telling a difficult story where sensitivity is the key.
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& wish you an early merry Christmas! Christmas starts early in Camden: the awesome people at Jubilee are throwing a party on Friday 13th – must be good, right? – and it’s only £4. You get 4 lives band - 1 a pound basically - plus they’re throwing in dance floor animated by resident and guest DJs. Headliners for the night are Bad For Lazarus, so we had a quick chat with Rich Fawnes to introduce you the band…
you that he wrote a poem, any thoughts on his creative lyrics? The man’s a friggin genius. I don’t know why he’s wasting his time with us. He’s too nice for his own good Might his poem makes its way into a future song? That›s a good idea...
You have been described as a ‘bold outfit with attitudinal and aural sucker punch’, do you relate to that description? Hello there. It sounds like the description of a coffee. I like it. How would YOU describe yourselves? I usually call us idiots. You are nothing short of super group (Eighties Matchbox B-line Disaster,Nine Inch Nails,UNKLE), does any ego surfaces when composing your music? Yeah totally. When we argue over riffs it comes down to who sold most records. Nobody ever wins because nobody sold any records. Chris Goss was so taken working with
When can we expect a full length, is there any material ready? April-ish. Yeah all done! You’ll be playing at Chris Mc Cormack›s Jubilee Xmas Party on December 13th, what ‹crackers› have you got in store for us? Before the show we’re going to a cracker den to hang out with the cracker whores, and we’ll just take it from there. Will Santa make an appearance and join in the frivolities? Is Will Santa like a new Will Smith movie or something? I don’t know if Will Smith is coming, Chris might know? What’s in your letter to Santa this year? To liberate the repressed underclasses the world over. To eviscerate the shadow Governments that gleefully plan our extinction. A playstation 4. To unite every man, woman and child with a plea for intellectualism, so we can fulfil our utopic potential as a single, beautiful race of love and harmony, What’s the best place to find out everything about Bad For Lazarus? My brain 2014: any plans, wishes, hopes you’d like to tell us about? I always wanted to be a pretty dancer.
For those of you with no direct access to Rich’s brain (at least you’ll be safe from that pretty dancer image, some things can never be unseen…) we found a few links: https://www.facebook.com/BadforLazarus http://badforlazarus.bandcamp.com/ http://badforlazarus.wordpress.com/ www.youtube.com/user/badforlazarus Tickets for Jubilee’s Xmas party can be found here: https://w w w.fatsoma.com/jubilee1/93792?r=1681821139 They’re less than a fiver, book early to avoid disappointment! Oh, and... Merry Christmas from us too...!
ALICE IN CHAINS
+ Ghost & Walking Papers Alexandra Palace, London 9th November
By Becki Kremer
In the icy grip of a November night, a pilgrimage to Ally Pally,
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riddled with service-disruptionridden tube rides and clanking bus treks, was hardly the way I planned on spending my evening, but as short bursts of local backyard fireworks painted the sky I excitedly weaved through the sweaty, grungey fans bundling into the massive venue, eagerly awaiting a night that boasted an interesting lineup. First to hit the stage were the Walking Papers, and if there’s one word to describe these blues-soaked Seattle natives it’s “swagger”. Deeply rooted in grunge-royalty these boys did not disappoint, consistently flinging out bangers like Red Envelopes and The Butcher. Taking the lead, Jeff Angell crawled amongst the audience to croon to the people at the front, whilst Duff McKagan soloed the crowd to fuck and the keyboardist looked as if he were being possessed by a jazzy demon. Killer licks, ace melodies and impressive mic swinging techniques all round – what a way to start the show. Ghost were up next, and they seemed hell-bent (mind the pun) on reminding me why they ultimately suck. It turns out that it’s mostly the lead singer that ruins it for me. Floating across the stage, making absurd arm gestures and greeting the crowd in a puny voice unmatched to his “sinister” persona was only the start, as his sub-standard vocals settled over a tirade of underwhelming riffs and tedious stage performance. Four entire songs in and I bailed. I’m all up
for bands that do gimmicks so long as they’re humorous, but Ghost just seem like they’ve lost themselves a little too much in keeping up the pantomime, and I’m not buying it.
Waiting for the main attraction, and back from my “hiding-fromGhost” cigarette, it was easy to get sucked into the electric atmosphere as many pushed their way forward to welcome onstage some of the Godfathers of grunge. Giant LCD screens flickered on and lights blared down on frenzied onlookers as the foursome crashed into the opening shrieks of Them Bones, and the crowd erupted into blissful chaos. It seemed that all the classics (new and old) were on full display as everyone jumped, fist-pumped and wailed along to Check My Brain, Would? and We Die Young, with Mike Inez beaming in gratitude as usual, Sean Kinney battering the hell out of his kit and Jerry Cantrell controlling the heaving room with his messiah-like presence. William Duvall was on form as expected, with a slim hint of the late Layne Staley in his vocals,
but still carving his own path as a powerful and commanding front man in his own right. Most would’ve used the opportunity to showcase their flashy new album, but after counting only two tracks off their latest release it was nice to see that this band were more interested in raining down fan favourites, and even threw in a few oldies such as Got Me Wrong and It Ain’t Like That. AIC are one of the very rare bands still out there that have been through a lot of shit in their long career, but have somehow managed to come out on top of their game and can still pull off a breathtaking, tear-jerking show like it’s 1992. Grunge may very well be dead, but AIC have got a hell of a lot of life left in them, and it’s fucking beautiful.
Camden Roundhouse 3rd November By John Morgan Call them Vista Chino, Kyuss, Kyuss Lives or one of the cornerstones of the stoner rock movement of the 90s... Tonight was a night for fans who like their music on the heavy side. After months of legal ranglings with former band members, the band formally known as Kyuss return to London with a live performance that shows the sell out crowd exactly what all the hype is all about, and the crowd does not go wanting. With tracks like Dargona Dargona and Adara from the new album Peace moulding with classics like One Inch Man the band showcase the depths of a career that will carve the band’s name into history as one of the mainstays of the scene forever, whatever they prefer to be called these days. Jon Garcia’s voice is on full form and despite having to recruit Corrosion Of Conformity main man Mike Dean on bass for these shows, the band are as tight as a ducks arse, and that’s water tight… Thanks for a great night of great music lads, here’s to the next time!
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REDBULL REVOLUTIONS IN SOUND
30 legendary Clubs - One Landmark - One night Only The London Eye – 14th November By Nelly Loriaux - Photos Cristina Massei/Nelly Loriaux
Darkness Unbound European Crusade II Hailstone, Spasmodic, October Tide & Demonical K17, Berlin, 27th October By Kristian Kotilainen – Photos Andrew Cook Under the banner Darkness Unbound European Crusade II, four brutal bands were lined up for attack on this rainy Sunday at Berlin’s K17. All of them coming from Sweden except the first act, Austrian Hailstone, who managed to heat up the venue with their straight forward death metal. I, on the other hand, was there to cover my hometown heroes in Spasmodic. The band with vocalist Alexander Högbom up front, emerged on stage wearing all black with ropes around their necks. With the words “We are Spasmodic from Ludvika, Sweden“, the most crushing part of the evening broke loose. Spasmodic are taking good old gore brutality to new extremes. It sounds modern with a crystal sharp intensity but without the sterile feeling that a lot of similar bands end up with. “Domestic Entertainers”, “Eject” and “Trendy Mexico” from their latest album “Mondo Illustrated”, were just a few of the songs the band played and they are tight, both visually and musically. They ooze professionalism and competence and the result is just pure grinding awesomeness that you’d happily pay to damage your neck to. With Högbom also being the new singer in October Tide, there’s just a swift change of musicians on stage before the show continued in a more different format. Backed up by their latest album “Tunnel Of No Light” and being born in 1995 as the result of a Katatonia side project, it was an experienced gang we saw in front of us. October Tide’s down tempo metal touches your imaginary center but it was a bit obvious that the change of mood showed on the audience. Bearing in mind it was a Sunday, as well as the band’s last date of the tour, it’s understandable that everybody was a bit sleepy. The duty of wrapping up the event fell on the heavy Demonical who delivered their powerful man metal with a “take no prisoners” attitude. It had been an intense and brutal night so what could have been better than ending it with free backstage gin & tonics. I left the venue with the feeling that the Monday hangover would totally be worth it and that I’m proud of being from a country that spawned so many amazing musicians.
How do you cram 30 UK club nights into one ‘Venue’? Is that even possible? I guess if Red Bull can give your wings, nothing is impossible. Taking over the EDF energy London Eye for one night, Red Bull’s ‘Revolutions In sound’ brought a memorable night celebrating an array of all time favourite of the Club scene. To the despair of many ‘raving’ Londoners, the tickets for the pods sold out quicker than the ‘fastest gun’ draw from the Old West. Talk about a ‘the quick and the dead’ moment! Luckily, all was not dead for everyone, a few still managed to party on, looking like Marcel Marceau, gyrating away under the bewildered eyes of passing pedestrians. The silent disco gave dancing punters as near as a live experience as you can get, via some rather funky flashing mickey-mouse ears looking headset. And for the rest of us, Channel 4 and YouTube ensure that everyone joined in the fun, broadcasting the World’s first simultaneous Live stream of its 30 ‘stages’. I could waffle on and on about who performed in each pod but with so many talented artists it would be unfair to just pick a few. So if you missed out on this amazing fiesta, just check the link below and be prepared to have your mind blown away. http://www.redbullrevolutionsinsound.com/ And if I were you, I would keep an eye open for Red Bull ‘sweet 16 birthday’, who knows what it will think of for its ‘coming of age’ party.
TRC + The Catharsis/ Goldwaite/Of Legions
Stoke Underground 31st October By Matt Dawson
Ah Halloween – the night where you can see people dressed up as Juggalos for a laugh and one where Of Legions decide to what most of the crowd assumes have a joke of their own. Being an opener is tough – particularly a local one – but when the music of the band can’t decide whether it’s veering towards sludge/doom or breakdowns in a hardcore style for 2 guys to spin kick to it leads to a very confused crowd. Goldwaite however bring things back to a level playing field – their post-hardcore style resembles a Stoke equivalent of Touche Amore and other bands of that nature – music that can soothe the soul and pack a bit of a punch along the way but without letting the shouting vocal tone smother the music entirely. It’ll be interesting to see how bigger Goldwaite get – let’s hope they get a main support slot in the future. Riding on the wave of supporting Heights recently The Catharsis get the crowd’s energy going with a slice of hardcore that proves why – even this late in 2013 - they can be considered one of the breakout UK bands with a set that has all the essentials – vo-
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NEW MODEL ARMY Kentish Town Forum – 23rd November
By John Morgan Having been very impressed with the band’s latest album Between Dog And Wolf, this was an end of year NMA gig that I was really looking forward to. With the record taking a very different approach from the bands previous material, I was keen to see how things would work out in a live environment. Unfortunately it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. With new bass player Ceri Monger adopting the stage presence of a young Jason Newstead and the band replacing old set list classics with sub standard album tracks from recent years, I couldn’t help thinking that some of the magic of a NMA gig had been lost. Yes, Justin’s between song commentary is as engaging as ever, and the excessive recent spell of touring has made the band a very technically tight unit. But the way the band have always managed to fuse foot stomping heaviness with acoustic brilliance appears to have been replaced with, dare I say it, a standard rock show... There seems to be a trend in guitar bands going for that perfect ‘Queens Of The Stone Age’ type of rock sound these days. But, if QOTSA can’t even pull that off at the moment, then that should say it all. As Clint Eastwood would say “a man must know his limitations”: the same goes for rock bands. STOKE LIVE SPECIAL By Matt Dawson In a town that two greats of metal made their name in Slash and Lemmy and a town where even the likes of Iron Maiden, Neurosis and even Daft Punk did a DJ set way back in 1997, Stoke On Trent is a place that has two major venues which showcase throughout the year some of the brightest new bands around from metal to rock alongside established names – in this special we showcase 3 nights that had people embracing music to its fullest extent. Hildamay/Steak Number Eight/ The Hiding Place Stoke Underground 8th November The last time we saw The Hiding Place was when they were a very impressive support band to the highly energetic Letlive a long time ago, since then the group have gone on to the stage where they’re preparing to record their debut album to be released some time in 2014. In a live environment their charisma still remains as strong as ever, Dominic Webber’s vocals still remind us of a cross between Simon Neil – when there’s a screamed vocal opportunity- and Davey Havok from AFI, with cals from Morgan Tedd that make you pay attention, guitar riffs that crunch at just the right pace and a crowd that feel like they’ve watched a headline set calibre act. TRC however – while keeping the energy going and having songs like Team UK that get the crowd grabbing the mic to do their own interpretations – something that Chris Robson smiles and jokes about throughout – don’t fully pack the punch that has been talked about by many over the years. Whether it’s due to the stand in members or the special club night the venue put on it sadly feels far too short – not even 10,000 hours gets played – the energy leaving the room far too soon however it has to be said despite this the songs from Nation are the strongest and as they close with London (renamed Stoke’s) Greatest Love Story people are ready to carry on partying into the witching hour.
their influences ranging from Jane’s Addiction all the way to Napalm Death (as indicated by Jonny Wood’s t-shirt) we’re reminded of what we said before as it still rings true now: more people should have this band on their radar, it’s that simple. In a sense the same can be said for Steak Number Eight – the majority of the crowd seem bemused as what to make of it at first as they start their set with the pace of ‘Black Fall’ but the band tonight having something unique – they’re the closest we’ll get to a combination of sludge/hardcore this night and even with punk on tracks like ‘Dickhead’ and ‘Pyromaniac’ the crowd warm up to the act gaining a few people being converted along the way. Hildamay however while good seem like a bit of a comedown following the previous set – while there is some energy in the room for songs like Changing The Key are played and they put on a very appreciative set it becomes clear that Steak Number Eight stole the night in the hearts of the fans. The Temperance Movement Stoke Sugarmill 15th November Riding high off winning an award in the Classic Rock Roll Of Honour the night prior and being quite possibly one of the biggest acts on Earache in recent years – a label that’s showing more tendencies towards the classic rock spectrum these days leads to a big crowd heading into the Sugarmill venue on this night. Tonight is all about the power of music more than anything else – there’s going to be no mosh pits or ‘crowd killing’ at this event – this show is about a band who don’t need to entice a crowd into a frenzy in that sense but one of applause through the great music on offer. Phil Campbell’s voice sends chills up people’s spines with the power it brings along – one particular moment to remember is the band’s decision to start ‘Chinese Lanterns’ acapella with no microphones (even if a couple of people had to be told to shut up due to talking loudly and trying to ruin the moment). In that moment any remaining doubt that any sceptic may have had about catching them was washed away. As the gig continues with guitar mastery from
Paul Sayer and Luke Potashnick and the whole crowd singing the chorus to ‘Only Friend’ the smiles and joy that can be seen on people’s faces is profound – this is a show everyone will be mentioning to their friends while recommending The Temperance Movement. All in all this was the strongest gig of the year (with Carcass being second) for two reasons – it showcased the true power of music and showed us a band that will be going to bigger places very soon. Mallory Knox/ Blitz Kids Stoke Sugarmill 20th November On a day that had seen the weather struggle to keep itself in check the crowd gathered from outside the venue to the end of the street and around the next corner as another sold out show hit The Sugarmill as two of the UK’s rising alternative rock bands appear on this night. Blitz Kids start their set with the catchy ‘Run For Cover’ and have the energy of their crowd focused on their hook-laden songs with many warming up to new tracks such as ‘Roll The Dice’ but there’s still time yet for the lads to grow – with this tour however the next step can be achieved. Mallory Knox’s last appearance in Stoke was with Reckless Love in a show that, while playing towards a more glam based crowd than usual, showcased how strong they are live and in a sense proved that they can keep up with bands of different genres. Tonight – 3 years after their first Stoke show in a tiny pub venue – they make Stoke become the nosiest crowd they’ve had. With songs like ‘Death Rattle’, ‘Wake Up’ and even songs off the Pilot EP the crowd are singing along to every word – hell, the crowd even sang along to tracks by Paramore and Fall Out Boy before the show – this was a crowd pumped up and ready to give all the energy they had, for which they were rewarded with a brand new song! On this cold night Mallory Knox warmed the crowd’s hearts and it’ll be a shock not to see them supporting bands such as Biffy Clyro in arenas while this momentum is very high.
DOCTOR SLEEP Ever been wondering what happened to the kid in ‘The Shining’? Most of Stephen King’s fans - and the master of horror fiction himself - definitely have. If you’ve only been watching the Kubrick’s movie, however, you might need the whole information about the ill fated Torrence family and the real horrors that plagued their history: make sure you read the original book first to properly appreciate ‘Doctor Sleep’.
We had a chance to check out the much awaited sequel on audiobook, a fast rising media format allowing to experience the full content as conceived by the author without actually reading, which means you don’t have to put your book down when you reach your designated underground stop; brilliant idea, available on an easy-to-use smartphone app for all operating systems - including Windows. Sure my cringing face and widened eyes commuting between Piccadilly and Victoria Line must have raised a few eyebrows... King’s AA recovery makes a huge mark on ‘Doctor Sleep’, with the ugliest and truest
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scene being the lowdown of yet another hangover: the most gruesome morningafter downs on a Danny Torrance following in his father’s footsteps. My guts haven’t felt that twisted even by my own excesses, and the “I’ll never drink again” voice was never so real...just like the other voice eager to ensure where the next drink is going to come from. One day at a time Doc, one day at a time. Alcohol-fuelled nightmares aside, Danny gradually stops fighting back his special gift and embraces it instead; is still not something he likes to share, but he finds his call working with terminal patients and earns the nickname ‘Doctor Sleep’. Slowly but surely he starts connecting with fellow shining people, some of which are up to no good. In this parallel world of special beings, his main partner in crime is exceptionally bright teenager Abra, whose unparalleled shine make her a premium target for a tribe of Winnebago travelers calling themselves the ‘True Knot’; they hunt shining kids across the US to feed on their ‘steam’ and live forever. Stephen King’s imagination is fervid as ever in this breathtaking novel. At first ‘Doctor Sleep’ might require some concentration as the lives of Dan Torrance, Abra Stone and The True Knot separately unravel; once the characters slowly start crossing paths and the story becomes one, however, it will be hard to concentrate on anything else and the reader will be inexorably sucked in the compelling tale like Alice down a daunting Rabbit Hole. The eternal battle between good and evil, although a work of the finest fantasy, is made exquisitely real by a whole range of grey areas between the two: a hero hiding a lowlife villain, a child with a taste for revenge, a smile as innocent as it is wicked. The scumbag in all of us is eventually unearthed and exposed, the malice accepted, the guilt faced and defied. The intense narrating performance is courtesy of actor Will Patton, who lent his voice to most James Lee Burke audiobooks; a complete ‘soothing to dramatic’ spectrum which serves the novel well. Still, Stephen King’s
final notes made me want to check out one of the audiobooks read by the author himself – ‘Bag of Bones’ is ready to play in my Audible collection - followed by ‘Carrie’, read by Sissy Spacek, to recover from the upcoming remake… Doctor Sleep’, 18 hours and 32 minutes of pure Stephen King, is available now through audible.co.uk. If little Dan Torrance’s unknown destiny keeps you awake at night, get it now: you won’t sleep any better at all, but your curiosity will finally be satisfied. Get yours from Audible here: http://www.audible.co.uk/search/ref=a_hp_ tseft?advsearchKeywords=doctor+sleep&filt erby=field-keywords&x=-1117&y=-106 Artwork samples from the DeLuxe Edition released on Cemetery Dance Publications currently sold out