Issue 22 - March 2014
FLOODING A VENUE NEAR YOU
iN THE KITCHEN WITH
back in t ROCK’N’R ime with OLL MUS EUM LESPARK
From Paris with style
***A STORY OR SO - By Pete Doherty***
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I’m proud to announce that Sonic Shocks got a bit bigger this month – and hopefully a bit better too, I’ll leave that for you all to judge… I would like to say a huge thank you and welcome to all our new contributors for making this possible and also to those who offered to contribute in the future you will hopefully meet them all on the next issue. A special thanks goes to friend, artist and contributor Paul Roundhill for the words, images, scouting and encouragement. Check out his brand new feature ‘Rock’n’Roll Museum’, we can’t wait to hear more of his stories from the good old days and see more of those vintage black & whites (by the way, there’s a lot more where those came from, contact him for more info…). Paul also gave us a nice piece of writing and some exclusive shots of Mr Doherty to celebrate his upcoming art exhibition in Geneva and the Roundhouse show on the 10th. As usual there’s plenty of interviews, many of which with young bands we feel the world deserve to listen to, so give them all a go and don’t forget to check out your local venue for new talents and next big things. And also to keep them alive, speaking of which make sure you sign the Save Camden petition on the last page! And then we have the usual reviews, live, movies and our traditional burlesque column with our mischievous writer and performer Sophia Disgrace. Remember that Sonic Shocks is always happy to welcome new voluntary contributors. We don’t discriminate between genres or limit our coverage to music; if you have anything to offer, anything you’d like the world to hear, please come forward. Maybe we can help each other. In closing, a big thank you to those who helped us get here and in particular Matt, Nelly and Denise – most excited about the progress with our US team! Hope you all like the result. If you don’t, please pretend you do, it was a long month and I’ve just been watching ‘Falling Down’ again… Thanks! Cristina
P 3: THE FAMILY RAIN Interview & photos by Cristina Massei P. 6: ROCK’N’ROLL MUSEUM Article & photos by Paul Roundhill P. 8: MOURNING BIRDS Interview & live photos by Cristina Massei P. 10: TBFM ONLINE: SICK ON THE BUS By The Reverend Eddi P. 11: CJ WILDHEART Interview by Cristina Massei Page 13: THE GOLDEN AGE OF BURLESQUE by Sophia Disgrace P. 14: LE SPARK Interview C. Massei - main photo P.Roundhill P. 17: DESTRAGE Interview by Matt Dawson P. 19: LARRY TEE By Sophia Disgrace P. 20: POP EVIL by Steve ‘Sin’ Sinatra - photos B. Heseman P. 22: SIX INCH by Nelly Loriaux P. 23: SLEEPY SUN by Cristina Massei P. 25: CONAN by Matt Dawson P. 27: AT THE MOVIES by Cristina Massei P. 23: A STORY OR SO by Peter Doherty - photos P. Roundhill P. 24: ALBUM REVIEWS P. 24: SINGLE AND EP REVIEWS P. 24: LIVE REVIEWS P. 24: SAVE CAMDEN CAMPAIGN
CONTACT US EDITOR IN CHIEF & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: Cristina Massei email@example.com ASSOCIATE EDITORS: Matt Dawson - firstname.lastname@example.org Nelly Loriaux - email@example.com US CORRESPONDENT: Denise Britt - firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributors on this issue WRITERS: Paul Roundhill, The Reverend Eddi, Sophia Disgrace,, Steve ‘Sin’ Sinatra, Peter Doherty, David Joseph Brady, Laura Tillson, Irene Paranoia, Becki Kremer, John ‘Hank’ Layland PHOTOGRAPHERS: Cristina Massei, Paul Roundhill, David Lees, Bethany Heseman,
General enquiries, review requests and unsolicited material: email@example.com Advertising enquiries and info: firstname.lastname@example.org PLEASE NOTE: We listen to everything but - often in your own interest - we don’t always review it...
The Family Rain: not a random name for these hot newcomers. Three brothers – explains The Family – from Bath, UK – that’ll do for Rain. But there’s a lot more you need to find out about them: listen to the music, buy it, get tickets to the next show; for once because their only alternative to stardom is rather overexploited nowadays, but most of all because they’re fucking amazing. Live AND on record. Playing music or even just answering our questions, as we share a cold one backstage at Islington’s Garage... Welcome to the Garage! Have you played here before? O: Never played, we’ve heard good things! T: Never seen a show here either! We’ll begin by letting you introduce yourselves… O: I’m Ollie, the oldest brother and I play guitar. T: I’m Tim, the youngest brother and I play the drums. W: I’m Will, Tim’s twin brother, and I do the vocals and play bass guitar. So 3 brothers… do you have arguments? O: Oh all the time! We argue about everything – what did we argue about today?
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T : Wetherspoons. O: Where we’re going to eat, everything. It’s how we communicate. [laughs] W: Survive! Does that ever influence you on stage? O: I’ve seen them give me a couple of dirty looks now and then. [laughs] W: On stage it’s more a massive instinct of eye movement so if Ollie raises his eyebrows I know exactly what he means, nobody else will spot it. We’re all telepathically connected on stage. So there’s none of the beating up, smashing guitars… O: We save it for the hotel room! Very rock and roll! [laughs] Aside from fighting though there must be a good side of playing with the people you’ve known all your life? All: Yeah!
What’s the advantage? T: We’d like to think it’s the honesty factor, we can just be brutally honest with each other. There’s nothing fake around the writing process. W: There are no egos. O: As soon as one of us starts acting the big man, the other two are like ‘Shut the fuck up!’. You’re the oldest one so what if you decided to act the big man? O: Well I’ve got two against me and I’m the shortest one! [laughs] So when did you all get into music? O: In terms of loving music and not playing it was real young, our dad was always playing vinyl and our earliest memory was him putting on the ‘White Album’ and when ‘Back In The U.S.S.R’ started up we’d all pretend to be jumbo jets around the living room! In terms of playing an instrument I was the first one and picked up a guitar at 15. My mates all picked up guitars as well so I wanted to start a band but I didn’t have anyone else that didn’t play guitar so I got these two involved really. T: We were into skateboarding at the time, the first songs we learnt together were songs off skateboarding vid-
eos and games so that’s how we fell into the kind of music we liked at the time simply through other influences. How did he convince you two? W: He just said you can earn loads of money for minimal work and it’s good hours! [all laugh] When did you find out that was a lie? O – Shhh! Don’t tell them! [all laugh again] How did you decide which instruments to take on? T: He told us! O: He [T] had the temper so I told him to go behind the drums. W: I was the smooth mover so that’s why I’m bass. O: I didn’t want to sing either so that’s why I got him [W] to sing. He may be the shortest but he’s still the older brother so he makes the decisions! T/W: Yeah. So you haven’t actually played as a band for long… O: As the 3 of us – only 2 years maybe. You’re getting a lot of attention, with a label interested in you after just one single. How did you get this and what do you think it’s down to? O: We just stuck to our game plan. We knew exactly what we wanted to do which I think is the hardest thing sometimes for bands. We all had the same vision. T: We all knew the type of music we wanted to create and the kind of video and artwork that went along with it. We had quite a strong vision and we were basically going to put it out no matter what happened because we enjoy doing it. I think that came
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across because people like seeing a band that are enjoying themselves. Are you happy with the album, is it what you wanted to put out or is there something you’d do differently? O: Yeah we’re pretty happy because we’ve been quite lucky: we’ve been involved with a label and things you hear people say that you lose a bit of the control, but in terms of how the record sounds and how it looks we’ve had complete say. If there was something in the final mix that we wanted to change then we’d do it. We’re extremely pleased with it. That’s quite unusual with a major label! Do you think it was due to the label in general or the people you work with? T: I think we’ve got a really good team. O: We like to think it’s the people because when we started off and got interest from labels the way we chose the people we wanted to work with was on a personal level. It wasn’t about who could get the most money or the better deal ,it was ‘who would be the people we’d get on well with?’ Luckily I think that kind of helped. How did they get in touch with you? T: We put up a video online then it got blogged and in about a week we just got contacted by managers and labels. O : We met with a few managers and it spiralled upwards! So with all that’s out there on the internet you must have been good! Were you surprised at the immediate buzz? T: We had been up to that point writing and recording and putting the music out under various things for about 10 years, it was a sigh of relief more than anything. W: More to the point when we started writing as a 3 piece two years ago we made a conscious effort to write stuff that we our-
selves would listen to regardless of what people thought of it. We wanted to make videos that we were really proud of so for people to turn around and say what you’re doing is really good it was like a pat on the back. O: It’s nice to know people agreed with what we believed in. So you’re at the beginning of the road to stardom. If that wasn’t working out what would be the day job? W: Masturbating. [all laugh] O: We have no idea, there’s not a plan B. Let’s talk about the album and make sure everyone buys it! For those that don’t know you – what can they expect? W: Somebody said on Twitter earlier said it sounded like Beatles, White Stripes and the Arctic Monkeys which we were happy to take, we like to think there’s something English about with some American in there as well, we just want to create something exciting and fresh and as long as people keep thinking it is then we’ll keep doing it. O: We’re a 3 piece rock and roll band essentially. T: One that is pushing it to the absolute limits. Do you feel that despite the influences you have your own personal mark? O: We’d like to think so yeah, we’d like to think that from now on it’d
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to start writing again. O: There will be little bits and pieces, say we’re at a soundcheck one of us will do something and record it on a phone but we’ll put it away until we get off tour. What are your lyrics about? O: Just true life, man! Autobiographical, we never just write gobbledygook, we wait for something to happen then if we have a song without lyrics we’ll write them, we just make sure it’s SOMETHING that’s happened or someone because then you have an idea of the emotion you’re trying to get across in the song. It always helps it be a much more personal thing. Favourite song on the album? O: Don’t Waste Your Time On Me because it’s slightly different as we tried things – real heavy at the end, guitar solo. become more apparent the more we write and release, the more people T: On My Back - best bit of drumming will recognise it as our sound. Our I have EVER done. influences are quite wide ranging so W: Binocular. I’m a pop man and it’s a hopefully we can make our own. real poppy belter. It’s quite a unique How does the song writing process song. work with you guys? Where would be the ideal situation T: It’s like a jamming thing, we’ll just to have the album on in the backbe in a rehearsal room and it’ll just ground? start with like a riff or a drumbeat so O – Prison! [laugh] we usually just work it out that way and sometimes I’ll come up with the T: Masturbating! lyrics/chorus/verse and work back- Masturbating IN prison! wards, but more than anything we W: I like to think if it was a house try and enjoy it and not force it too party or a shit summer BBQ – not much, if it’s flowing then we let it enough meat, the beer’s warm, it’ll happen but we don’t spend days go- cheer everyone up! ing ‘what is that verse and what does If it WAS to be used for an ad what it have to be?’ If we’re not enjoying it would it be? we won’t do it. O: Anything that pays us a lot of monIs there anything in particular that ey! inspires you? [All laugh] T: I think it’s just listening to other music. After a heavy session of not T: A classic car – E type Jag. We’d like writing and listening to loads of other a Bond theme. So what can we expect from the live music then it tends to come easier. O: I don’t seem to get into the whole shows? W: Masturbating! ‘writing on tour’ thing. W: It takes a couple of weeks off tour T: We’ve watched so many bands this
year that we like to think we put the extra mile in giving it some, we’ll never hold back. W: 50 mins of us pushing ourselves as far as we can go. O: No backing tracks. W: No nonsense. You supported some legendary acts, what was your favourite so far and what have you learned from them? O: I think you learn a different thing from every different person you play with. The Stones was a highlight for us as we’re huge fans and they’re huge themselves, also we had a good time in Ibiza with Biffy Clyro. T: That was the biggest eye opener for us, they’ve suddenly become mainstream and people slate them for that but live they go as heavy and light as they want and that’s what we took away – we can do that. That was a big moment of clarity. W: They’re the best live band we’ve supported. Next album – Will you be worried more about what people think? O: We try not to. The thing is we’re still at home and in the same place that we wrote the 1st one. We just try to go back inside ourselves. T: With this album we wanted to impress and show ourselves that we can push ourselves to new levels in terms of our playing and the next album will be the same – how we can go heavier/lighter, pushing everything to the extremes because we want to keep ourselves interested as well as the fans! What’s the best way to show appreciation at your shows? (aside from masturbating!) O: After shows we’ll just go and hang out with the crowd. T: Our merch is very reasonably priced… and also available online at www.thefamilyrain.com When shall we see you live again? O: We shall be trying another tour in the summer, if you live in Shanghai we’ll see you next month! It’ll be an experience. W: Hopefully we can go back to Reading/Leeds. They’re some of the only real festivals left in England and more about the music, no gimmicks. It’s more about the music I agree, I discovered a lot of new bands there as well. Anything else you’d like to say? W: Peace out, keep it real!
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rock’n’roll museum By Paul Roundhill “THE ROCK AND ROLL MUSEUM” IS A REGISTERED TRADENAME SINCE 1990. This is the debut module of a regular feature in Sonic Shocks magazine. All modules are available for syndication - all rights reserved.
The museum and muse concerns itself with “pure” rock and roll and its allied associated musical and cultural forms.It is an outlaw music too energetic and too urgent to repress, To conservative traditional values it is transgressive and dangerous. It has power though to generate joy, new life and the possibility of wealth and abundance. Its roots stretch wide and deep, fed by folk traditions from the haunted Gaelic ballads of Western Europe, Ireland to the vocal village traditions of West Africa and keening of embittered slaves across plantations in the Caribbean to Virginia, from the blues of the cotton fields down the Missisippi delta to the Soul of the industrial urban north. Woodie Guthrie, Mose Allison, it found its apotheosis in the heartlands of 1950s America and resonates across to the performances of Link Wray, Jimmy Hendrix, MC5, G.G.Allin, the Sex Pistols, The Beastie Boys and much more.
Rock’n’Roll is what was born in the wake of the 2nd world war, when the powers-that-
be took their eyes off the ball for a nano-second and, through that careless lapse of power, the strength and purity of the Blues synced in with the energy and wild abandon of white relatively affluent teenagers; both groups overlooked and considered powerless, created a joyful surge of music and culture that shook a necrotic establishment to the core, generating shock waves of deep sentiment and playing a significant role in challenging the desperate power bases behind such monstrous horrors as America’s war in Indo China and segregation and oppression of the non-white races.
Rock and Roll has a fairly standard structure yet infinitely variable musical format that 60 years from its inception can still shock, amaze and invigorate. It is a rare portal through which ordinary lives can be radically transformed, dramatically and permanently. It can be an elevator upon which a poor boy or girl from Hicksville in the Boondocks from a place with no future can ride on their guitar or vocal style to the stars. A dimension where an awkward adolescent kid can be transformed from aping their idols mouthing at the back of a hairbrush into the wardrobe mirror one day then be singer or musician in a band touring the globe and with the world at his or her feet some time later.
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I recall a story my mate Douglas Hart told me of how he feeling nauseous with a few of his skinny Glasgow mates in torn black jeans and leather jackets each clutching in his hand a can of some super-strength beer sat hunched in a bunch all together on hard wooden boards then raised up his eyes to realise they were in an outrigger canoe riding the surf, flower garlands around their necks as huge Samoans dipped their oars into a transparent cerulean blue sea towards a South Sea Island beach of pure white sand fringed by waving coconut palms. He had joined local band the Jesus and Mary Chain in his home town and they were now on the Pacific leg of a world tour. Such utter magical shifts may happen only to one in ten thousand, or one in a million but all can reach out to touch the hem of the garment, we can all be swept up and away by a band at a local concert or by a song on a jukebox, radio or iPod. In three or four chords of a rock and roll song we can all feel our pulses quicken with the beat, Hell! we can even play them! our spirits can soar with the melody. When I was 14 my sister held her 18th birthday party in an old barn near our house in Surrey I sat with her friends all clutching paper cups of cider and party-seven ale as a scrawny kid with long hair and an acoustic guitar ran through the canon of popular folk-rock and protest songs from Woody Guthries “My Land”, Bob Dylan’s “Blowing in The Wind” through Buddy Holly’s “Peggy Sue” through the canon of protest songs to a stirring version of The Beatles’ “You’ve got to hide your love away” I can still recall the thrill and emotion shared around that barn and I still love all of the songs. Five years later that scrawny kid was calling himself Joe Strummer and was lead singer with The Clash. To be continued…
All photography original by Paul Roundhill. Copyright protected, all right reserved. For any enquiry about buying or exhibiting Mr Roundhilll’s work, please contact us or the man himself by email at email@example.com
Lured by that irresistible piece of music that is ‘Oh Yeh!!’ then won over by a tsunami of raw energy flooding The Good Mixer, I had to find out more about Mourning Birds: for a start, I’m still getting over the shock at realizing they only ever played a total of 15 gigs together! Jimmy Gilder (guitar, vocals), Bill Williams (bass guitar) and Sam Mitchell (drums, vocals) began 2014 back in the studio with Rhys Downing (Pete Doherty, The Subways) recording new songs to follow their debut single. The next one is ‘Eve Of The Isle’, officially out on March 24th on download and limited CD on ‘The Preservation Society Presents’ label (but you can click to listen on Soundcloud in the meanwhile). Mourning Birds will be playing Jubilee at Camden Barfly on 28th March, with more gigs to be announced. Read what they had to say about their music, future plans and stamp collections and catch them soon at a sweaty venue near you… You guys formed the band just one
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year ago, what do you remember of that day? It was Christmas Eve 2012, Jimmy and Sam already knew each other from the same hangouts and were toying around with an idea for a band. The ideas were very similar, Bill stumbled into the fold a few days later. The first time we got together with our instruments was in a dingy room in Rochester. Ideas of riffs and drum beats all sort of fell into songs and we decided, pretty much within ten minutes of throwing our instruments and insults at each other, this was to be “Mourning Birds”.
success, especially for an unknown band. How did that song come out? There’s no hiding it , “Oh Yeh!!” isn’t the most complex song in the world haha, but as a group it’s a song that has a lot of energy and is exciting! People seem to like the fact that we’re not trying to break boundaries with our stuff but we really try and put a lot of effort and enthusiasm in the songs to get people out of their chairs. It’s loud, it’s short but most of all it fucking works and there’s not much about at the moment that we feel does that!
So far, do you feel you achieved more or less than you expected in such a How was working with Rhys Downing? Rhys saw us at “Buffalo Bar” in Lonshort time? don, it was a chaotic, more than tight, The reaction we got from our first few set - but Rhys understood what we local gigs was astonishing, musicians were trying to do, loved the raw enand bands that we watch locally were ergy of it and wanted to work with telling us how excited they were to see us straight away. In the studio Rhys is and hear more of us, and were more amazing, he really is, he knows exactly than willing to spread “the bird word” what he wants, and more importantly around. We picked up a manager af- knows exactly what WE want. He puts ter a few gigs and as for the first single a LOT of work into getting our sound (Oh Yeh!!) we thought we’d put it out right and came to a few rehearsals to on our own, no PR and hardly any get a feel for the new tracks, his CV of promotion (other than us 3 pestering artists speaks for itself and we’re rebloggers and local DJ’s) and the reac- ally happy to have him on board. tion and coverage we got from that was far beyond expectation; NME put What can you tell us about future a buzz piece about us in the magazine, singles? and BBC Introducing played it several We’ve recently finished recording two times before handing it over to Huw new singles which we’ll be releasing Stephens, who played it twice in a over spring. One of them is a song row, which we were thrilled about. we’ve had for a while called ‘Eve Of That first single ‘Oh Yeh!!’ was a great The Isle’ which follows on from ‘Oh
Yeh!!’ with how it is quite short and basically serves the purpose of ‘ ‘avin it’; the other is a much newer song written a couple of months ago called ‘Breathe’ which is slightly more mature in song writing and much heavier. ‘Breathe’ has big Nirvana influences and is the biggest song we have, we’re fucking excited about releasing both.
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I think what your fans would most at a time, the industry is so spontalike to know is, when are we going to neous and unpredictable that you can’t really plan too far ahead... get a full length album from you?
Of course our aim after these next two releases is to release an album, we’re at an early stage at the moment, but as we said we’re meeting some really cool people and playing good gigs, so if we can get someone beHow would you describe your sound hind us it may come sooner than we to those who never heard your mu- expected, it’s written that’s for sure! sic? UK Festivals are already getting their We’ve been likened to a load of art- bills together, if you could be invited ists this year, I suppose you would to only one of them which one would say it’s a raw garagey, blues mess? that be? … It’s loud without being too heavy and relies heavily on energy! Glastonbury or Reading would be the obvious choice but we all need a bit If you could pick a big name to sup- of Sun so Coachella would be fucking port, whose audience do you think ace! It would be great to get on the would be more likely to fall in love festival circuit, anything with a chance to get our stuff to new people suits us. with Mourning Birds?
Where can we find out more about you? The usual suspects: www.facebook. com/mourningbirds or Tweet @ MourningBirds - better still you can come to one of our shows and talk to us, we›ll tell you everything you ever wanted to know from Jimmy›s favourite breakfast, to Sam›s least favourite day of the week, to Bill›s top 7 stamps! What’s your goal with Mourning Birds, where would you like to take this venture?
Ultimately, the goal is for Mourning Birds to become a fully fledged touring band performing music with passion and energy, we think there’s a lack of raw riotous stuff For trying to build a fan base we think Are you planning on touring more of around at the minute, and everyQOTSA and White Stripes would be the UK this year? thing seems to be “too” polished, the ideal gig to open for, although and if we can get the same reception for energy and fun the crowds at The We’re focused on London for the we’ve been getting recently but on Hives or The Cribs gigs would be a riot. spring, as it’s the biggest city that’s a larger scale, that would be grand. close to us. We know all about LivWhen it comes to influences, do you erpool / Manchester / Leeds / Is there anything else you would like all have similar ones or more like a Bristol and Scotland and would to tell your present and future folhealthy mix? love to hit them up soon so for lowers? the rest of the year who knows... Ha ha, sore point, it’s an unhealthy If you’re already a fan, thanks so mix which leads to endless rows, What else can we expect from much and we appreciate you all combut that’s a lot more fun right? Mourning Birds in 2014? ing out to gigs, and the comments we receive. Also, stick with us!!!... We’re Two new singles and perhaps some putting all our energy into these new Let’s talk about your live shows: how more releases? We’re looking to songs and can’t wait to get them out many more or less have you played get on a few festivals this year and there and playing more shows further so far and what was your biggest au- hopefully stumble into a big sup- afield, if you’re new to us KEEP UP, dience? port slot somewhere along the line WHERE’VE YOU BEEN!!!! but we’re approaching it one step We’ve literally only played about 15 gigs, but we’ve been getting a good reception from them and have started playing cool club nights especially for “Rocklands”, the UNIQULTURE nights are looking really fun!!... Do Mourning Birds work best in a small or bigger venue in your opinion? I suppose the answer to that is “we don’t know”, our style of music is normally suited to crowded sweaty rooms, could the energy we put in transfer to a “bigger” stage ? Hopefully we’ll find out. What’s the best compliment someone has ever paid to you so far? It has to be Huw Stephens on Radio 1: - “Mourning Birds- Oh Yeh!!!! So good I’m playing it twice”
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i d d E Rev s t e e m Only the brave would undertake the task of inviting Sick On The Bus into TBFM towers for an interview. Armed with two bag loads of beer to fuel them through the Shock Treatment, insults and sarcasm, Biff, (Handsome) Tony, Brian and Skumbo (wearing clean undies mum!) took the listeners through a history of their career and sharing stories behind songs from their youth.
In true SOTB fashion, The Rev’s SOTB t-shirt saying ‘Everything’s Shit’ was said to full effect whenever a non-SOTB song choice was aired, Biff over the mic playing the role of a music judge. The guy clearly should be on a TV talent show.
Coming from a band whose set lasted 4 songs in their first gig, venue floods a n d police arriving, The Rev did wonder if the show would go as planned. Opening up with a classic from the Sex Pistols, the show kicked into top gear. What was clear was that SOTB were influenced by classic UK punk rock. Tracks by the UK Subs, Eddie and The Hot Rods were soon followed by Stiff Little Fingers, The Ruts and English Dogs.
Apart from the humour, what was awesome to hear was the stories from the lads, especially Skumbo and Tony’s stories of bands growing up, trips to record stores and what certain songs meant to them. A SOTB sentimental side showed, well until the insults took over again…….
Any semblance of cleanliness was shattered by ’40 Watt C***’ , ‘It Won’t Suck Itself’ from the outset. Biff clearly stating that the latter was pretty obvious when goaded into explaining the songs meaning. ‘We Are Sick On The Bus’ also a clear statement to all listening, ie this is us take it and leave or basically f*** off!
‘Don’t Care’ and finally ‘Go To Hell’ meant that the entire SOTB career had been covered.
h tt p : / / w w w. mixcloud.com/ ReverendEddi/ shock-treatments i c k- o n - t h e - b u s special-31stjanuary-2014-partone/ http://www. mixcloud.com/ ReverendEddi/shockt re at m e nt- s i c k- o n the-bus-special-31stjanuary-2014-part-two/ Shock Treatment goes out every Friday at 7pm UK time on the world’s No. 1 online rock station TBFM, tbfmonline.co.uk
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DEVIL’S SUCKERPUNCH der! It’s not even 2 weeks yet so I’m really happy! Did you expect such a good response? Honestly I thought it was going to take about a month to get to 100% so when we got to it on the first day it was a really good feeling, I’m not the biggest artist in the world but there’s a few hundred people that love what I do. How do you find Pledge? Do you feel any pressure given fans are paying for it before hearing it? If I was a new artist maybe there might be because no one knows your sound, but I’ve been working on this album for 6 months prior to the Pledge since June last year. I hope they like it, it’s sounding really good. I hadn’t writCJ is a busy man these days. While ten an album in 6/7 years so this one you certainly know him as the guitar- means a lot to me. ist of the legendary Wildhearts, and if We know it’s called Mable, now tell you’re a fan you probably remember us, how is going to sound? some of his other musical ventures like Honeycrack, the Jellys and CJ & The The few people that have heard the Satellites, you might not be aware of demos said they didn’t expect it to his ‘other’ passion; well, when he’s not sound like this. I’ve taken everything in a studio our hero can’t think of a I love about guitar music and put it better place to spend his time than his in one album, there’s a lot of pop because I love pop and harmony, a little kitchen! of punk, metal and I even rap porAs CJ joins the Pledge brigade quick- bit as well because I love hip-hop. All ly exceeding his target, we find out tions sorts of stuff. I just think it’s mature for there’s not only a brand new album me because not a kid anymore and ready to be unleashed, but a fiery own you can hearI’m it when compared to my brand sauce - likely to be remember all previous efforts. the way to the following day... While recording new music and following Sounds like a really good mix! You’re Paul Newman’s footsteps, CJ will also also doing a couple of ‘An Evening be busy touring with the Wildhearts in With CJ’ dates… April. The guy is definitely on fire. They’re going to be in June, 6th and 7th, London and Leeds. Basically my How are you, busy man? manager said I should do this; I really I’m good, knee deep in recording my do NOT like doing acoustic shows, I’m solo album at the moment, I’m doing a stringent believer that if you make guitars right now so it’s nice to have a electric music it should be represented break! that way live and if you write acoustic I went onto the pledge page this then you can sit around a campfire and morning and you’ve reached 216% of be a hippie you know? Well I’m not! your goal so congratulations are in or-
[laughs] I like my music to be represented the way I recorded it but to be honest with you I haven’t had time to get a band together so he suggested I go out of my comfort zone for once, I feel uncomfortable doing acoustic shows BUT I am going to go ahead and try it, hopefully I will enjoy it but not too much as I want to go out with a band at some point. So you hope to tour this album with a band maybe later... I MIGHT tour with a band, we’ll see. I believe that with touring unless you play to a lot of people you start losing money and if I do I’ll be playing small sized venues; bands that play those will get a couple of 100 people per night, sleep off people’s floors, travel around in crappy vans and I can’t do that anymore, I’m just too old for that – If I can’t afford a hotel I shouldn’t be touring! Things change with age – sleeping on floors has its charm when you’re in your 20s! Oh yeah! I loved it! [laughs] It was part of growing up and made me the musician I am today but you hit a certain age and standard of doing things that you have to keep. As I said I’ve spent 6 months working on this album and I’ve made sure everything’s correct and right. I’m not going to mess up that sort of process by going out and doing a punk rock tour because let’s face it – punk rockers aren’t very glamorous! I see that tickets are part of the Pledge package for the album, now for those who haven’t pledged will there be tickets via normal outlets? No, they’re exclusive to pledgers. They’re not normal shows. Will there be a version of the album that’ll be released commercially? I really want to do one after the Pledge, I’m discussing that with my manager. Of course I’m bringing out the chilli sauce as well so I’m kind of split in two camps now – I’ve been passionate about music for many years but my new baby is my chilli sauce.
Is it true that the sauce has a mixture of all your loves in there like beer and such? Yeah it’s a mix of beer, BBQ and chilli, handmade, jalapeno powder for the smoke BBQ flavour plus ale to give it a hot, insane taste. I’ve loved chilli all my life and my Mum makes her own so I thought, since people were asking, this seemed like the perfect time. Are you thinking of doing a whole line of sauces? I am, yes! I’ve hooked up with a local company based in Hull called Chilli Devil because in order to bring one out you can’t just make it in the kitchen, it’s got to go through government tests/ standards. This is the first of 4 I plan to bring out over the next year and the next one will be a more extreme version of this sauce which is called ‘Devil’s Spit’, the logo being a spit-roasted devil, Satan’s cooking juices are what’s in the bottle! So with your love for all things spicy, if you had to be on let’s say Come Dine With Me would you make a milder version or give everyone the proper evil one? [laughs] Well I am bringing out the milder version AFTER the extreme, I’m a real chillihead myself so if it was too mild I wouldn’t want it so it’d be terrible of me to bring out hot sauce that I wouldn’t want, but I know a lot can’t have really hot stuff so I’ve made one in the middle – hot enough for people that love it. Favourite dish? Curry! I’d have it every day but the wife stops me from doing it! Spicy one obviously! Yeah! [laughs] Where can we get the sauce? It’s coming out with the album plus it’ll be sold at the Wildhearts shows as well in April and then various websites and shops – including my own website dedicated to the chilli – there’s several things I can do at the moment but I need the time to do them, sometimes I get so excited about the sauce I forget I’m also working on an album! When is the album going to be shipped from Pledge? We arranged to have everything by May so mid May/beginning of June, I’m sure the download version will be in May. Maybe then some festival slots? If I can get a band together, yeah! The way things are going I’ll be playing on an acoustic guitar around a camp fire… If the album goes well I’ll maybe do festivals next year. Another deal with the Pledge includes a reissue of the last album, which has
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been out of print for 6/7 years. Why release it again now? No one bought it the first time round! When it first came out hardly anyone knew and music’s kind of changed so I thought it’d be a really good idea as last time it sold around 3 copies! [laughs] I’ve already doubled my profit this time! Industry has changed as you say, do you think it’s for better or worse? One thing I love right now is the speed of progress and change, I embrace change and I think you can’t be stuck in the past, people that moan about how ‘things were better back then’ aren’t getting it, you’ve got to live for now and the moment, if you can’t embrace the moment then you’re not living. All aspects of life have changed – that’s progress and moving forward. Everything changes, that’s life.
Another thing of course is the Wildhearts tour in April, looking forward to it? Yeah, me and Ginger formed the band 25 years ago in 1989 and I can’t believe I still work with him! We’re one of those bands that can take time off and come back with fans so loyal that come to see us. Whenever we do a gig it’s not just that anymore, it’s like a massive event/party! All our past dramas have been laid to rest, we get together and do a show, have a few beers . It’s nice to see Scott [Sorry] on this tour, we had Jon [Poole] on the last one, the band kind of changes but not – nothing changes but the shoes! Of course there is one original member not included and it’s fine if you don’t want to talk about it, BUT… have you spoken to Danny at all in recent years? To be honest I haven’t seen or talked to him since 2005 so I have no idea, it’s not something we’ve talked about. I can confirm he’s alive as he did a couple of shows last year.
That’s nice to hear! I find myself out of touch with people because I’m quite introvert, I’m not one of those people that spends a lot of time online, I’ve opened a Facebook page and Twitter account for the first time but if I wasn’t in a band I wouldn’t have one. Another thing I like about the Wildhearts’ fanbase is how they accept enthusiastically everything that comes out – no matter how different it was from the last one, they’re not expecting the old stuff. What’s the setlist going to be like? We’re getting the setlist together now – which we have to do quite in advance because of everyone being so busy but I know there’ll be more from Chutzpah since Scott’s in the band, I know Ginger gets bored of playing the same songs over and over so we’ll have songs we’ve not played in a while in the main set while the second half will be the old favourites because everyone wants to hear ‘I Wanna go Where The People go’ and ‘Headfuck’ and stuff like that – there’s nothing than seeing your favourite band and they all play obscure tracks – you get weirded out! You want to hear your favourite songs mixed up with rare ones, that’s the ideal set. You mentioned earlier that you were surprised at how long you’ve been working with Ginger – is he hard to work with as people say? Generally musicians are because you have to be intently focused, same with any artist and it does make it difficult, I don’t think it’s just Ginger whose had his moments, I’ve had them as well. Personality can be arrogant, obtuse, selfish in all musicians. When you’ve known someone that long you know how to tolerate and love them at the same time. On the other side being with someone as creative as Ginger, does that inspire you? I admire his output of songs but I don’t get inspired by fellow musicians, cooks do! Cooking’s my number 1 love. So you’d be better as a Masterchef judge than a X-Factor one? Without a doubt, yeah! The guys on Masterchef are such poncey cooks, I’d tell them to cook something from the soul like curry! They come up with tiny things that look good but not much else there! That’s not food, that’s something you feed a hamster! If I’m going to eat I want a table of people ripping through it with their hands and getting dirty! Anything else to say to our readers? Come and see The Wildhearts in April, bring someone new along – for a bunch of oldies we make a great sound!
Sonic Shocks - Issue 22
By Sophia Disgrace - Photo Mendoza
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 as we soldier on through the very British weather of late, tassles n’ all!
All aboard The HMS President! On The Thames, London Saturday 15th March 10pm-4am Torture Garden needs no introduction. This world renowned fetish extravaganza has gained a well deserved infamy for their one of a kind, hugely popular events. The acts for this particular night are still to be confirmed, but you can rest assured they will be well worth the wait! Dance the night away to a sensual mash up of electro swing, dirty electro and cabaret rock’n’roll, bought to you by MR David TG himself et al. This unique nautical setting provides the perfect backdrop for some super sexy playtime avec the below deck dungeon. Make sure you adhere to the strict dress code though or you will be sent home - dress to impress bitches! Tickets from £28.00 available via TG Office Info Tel: + 44 (0)20 7613 4733
@ Proud Cabaret, Camden Sunday 16th March 2pm-5pm I actually posed for one of these sessions at the beginning of the year and enjoyed it so much! It’s a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, sat in the decadent surroundings of Camden’s Proud Cabaret whilst drawing burlesque beauties! All drawing materials can be purchased prior to the session and drinks and food are also available via Proud’s very capable menu and staff. In the break the performer also showcases an individual act, then it’s back to the very serious art of posing! Tickets are £15.00, available on the day at the venue
The House of Burlesque Presents... Burlesque Idol!
@ Madame Jo-Jo’s, London Friday 28th March 6.3pm-10.00pm This hugely popular event is held on the last Friday of every month and has been running for some four years and counting! This is the show were your vote counts. Upon entry you are handed a ballot and you get to vote for your favourite performer of the night. Considered the ideal platform for new and upcoming burlesque starlets, expect a carefully selected cast of comedians, burlesque honeys and of course, your resident Compere with bite, Barnaby Slater. Prizes for the best dressed audience member so don’t forget your glad rags! Tickets from £10.00 available via Skiddle.com This month’s velvet curtain reveals... Burlesque Spotlight!
The Go-Go Cage! Liverpool
This super cool club is the place for vintage loving gals’n’guys. The Go-Go Cage plays host to a variety of events, with an emphasis on burlesque, garage rock and hiptastic cool cats. Definitely worth a shout out or three in this column! They describe themselves as-’THE GO-GO CAGE! IS A MONTHLY RAUCOUS 60’S STYLE DANCE AND SHOW, A WILD ROCK’N’SOUL, BURLESQUE SHAKEDOWN STOMP FEST!!!’ Couldn’t have said it better myself!
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When Paris meets Albion
be released in February, followed by an EP in April then the album. Why did you do an English language album before doing one in French? All the music we liked was in English so at first it came more natural to sing in English. I’m old school though, I like to write poetry in French so we thought to try French on this one because it would sound nicer and it is our mother tongue lan-
some great rock and roll/blues songs but more slow and emotional because with French lyrics the atmosphere’s quite different. The lyrics are more important this time so the music has to be softer, that way people can then really listen to the lyrics. Do you think non-French people will be able to follow them? Last time we played Blues Kitchen in London we played French and English songs; I asked people what they preferred: they said French. I think we can mix both and English people will still like the French songs, I can’t understand all the English songs but it’s important that you can understand the music even without knowing all of the lyrics. Are you already playing songs from the new album in your live shows? Yeah, we play from both. Where can we find your first (selftitled) album? Itunes, Spotify, all the internet things. You’ve played London a few times – how did you find the audience? I think the English audience is more interested IN the music, they know more about it than the French and appreciate it more, even if they don’t like it they’ll make you feel good. What’s the scene in France like at the moment? Do you feel you have more opportunities over here in the UK? The first step is to be famous in France – we think it’ll be easier because it’s
guage. After their blues-rock infused debut of- So this second album will be more fering in English, up & coming French about the poetry than the first one? four piece LeSpark are about to take No, personally I think music and poetry an unusual step by going back to their are two different arts. I always wanted original language for their sophomore to put some poetry into music, but I album. Captivated by their warm discovered that music involved more sound and charming accent, as they technique, the form has to be worked visit London for some promo and a to be including the sound. I think it’s spot of vintage shopping we meet a mix between stylish frontman Thomas Baigneres to the sense of talk about music, fashion and a pecu- poetry and the liar encounter with monsieur Doherty. form music inHow did you guys first get together? I volves. believe it started in 2009… How will the Yeah, we actually met at school, we next album be were friends in college and started to different musiplay music together then Julia (bass- cally? ist) joined one year ago. The first one is more You’ve so far released one album… We have an English lyric version of the r o c k ’ n ’ r o l l ; album out now and we’re preparing some tracks are the second one which is going to be blues, even psyFrench and is going to be produced by chedelic. With Louis Bertignac, lead guitarist of the the new album band Telephone. The first single will there are still LeSpark with Peter Doherty
our home country. We play a lot in Paris but not as much in other cities. Of course we’d love to play London more but I think once we get bigger in France the UK will follow. You guys have also played with Pete Doherty – is it just a professional deal or is more of a personal friendship? He’s a good friend, we actually met him at a coffee and he was taking pictures of us! When we asked why, he sayd that we looked like a band. We said we were, gave him some of our music to listen to and he said he had a gig at Le Tigre and wanted us to play with him to which we said OK of course, although in my mind I didn’t think it was going to happen! Well it did, and that show was followed by more shows together in Paris, which we felt very lucky to do with him. We talked about doing a song together for the next album so maybe we’ll try and get that together. I’m not surprised he spotted you in that coffee, you have a very distinct image – is there any designer that particularly reflects the way you dress? For myself it’s all about a vintage 60/70’s vibe, we also have our friend Quentin Veron who helps dress the band, particularly on stage, and we’ve played concerts for the The Kooples together with Pete who designed a collection for them. Is there a vintage shop you go to regularly in London?
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band to create their own sound. It’s good because you having so many inspirations but at the same time it’s hard to create something new. How far would you like to go with this band ideally? We all like to play on stage so the dream would be to tour around the world and play more and more concerts. Any plans for more gigs in the UK soon? Hopefully once the album is out we’ll be doing some concerts over there. Any Festivals you would like to play? Glastonbury – they have the stage for new bands [The John Peel stage] so that would be cool. If you had to describe your sound what would it be? A mix between vintage and modern sums it up. How about the live shows? I go to a vintage shop in Camden mar- We like the magic and there’s moket called ‘A Dandy In Aspic’ and in ments we can’t control, the sparks Brick Lane called Mendoza, it’s new that are on stage when there’s comclothes but with a real 60s vibe. plete communication between the Talking about the 60’s who is your band and the public – people go out musical idol from that time? of their mind, that’s what I like on The Rolling Stones did fantastic con- stage. certs and we supported Mick Taylor Is it still as magic now as when you so I’d have to say them. started? I had a feeling that some of your im- Yeah, in the beginning it was really age is based on Mick Jagger… magic because you discover new Yeah, we are all fans but sometimes things, now there’s still magic but it’s people say we look like them so we not AS often. try to have a personal sound, of course we are inspired by others. Do you feel the new album will bring you closer to that pers o n a l sound? It’s definitely going to be more personal , I think it’s a long way to Thomas wit become h Quentin Veron one because with so much good music it’s very difficult for a new
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Sonic Shocks - Issue 22
SERIOUSLY! As Destrage prepare to release ‘Are You Kidding Me? No’, Matt Dawson speaks to Paolo Colavolpe (vocalist) about signing to Metal Blade, the Italian metal scene and Studio Ghibli. To begin – what was the mindset of the band when going into the studio to record ‘Are You Kidding Me? No.’? It’s really a big mixture of feelings, emotions and thoughts. After a long period of composition and pre-production, everybody was really focused and motivated to give his best. Somebody was excited, but still worried about some parts here and there, because we didn’t have that much time to rehears every song properly, so the trickiest parts were kind of scary. Obviously everybody wanted to have fun as well, so jokes and funny moments happened all the time; that’s the way we like doing things together. Every time we enter the studio we realize how much we love making records, and how stressful it is at the same time. Everyone wants the record to be “perfect”, so sometimes somebody loses his mind or goes crazy. Fortunately we have five very different personalities, and we know each other very well, so everything usually sorts out very quickly. How does it feel to be signed to Metal Blade? Being signed to such a great label is a dream come true for all of us. We have been listening to their records since we were young kids, and now being part of it is just unbelievable. This is also a great recognition for the hard work we’ve been putting
together during the last years, and it also encourages us to never stop following our dreams and keep on growing and doing the best we can. Right now the only expectation we have is to release the album and tour as much as we can to promote it, we can’t wait to be on the road again! What would you say is your favourite track on the album? Wow, this is like asking a father which is his favourite son! By the way we would probably say “Are You Kidding Me? No.” for two main reasons: Its origin and its content. The song was born randomly, as Mat sang what became the trumpet melody while going around on his red Vespa. So, in the beginning we only expanded what comes after the trumpet, all that gypsy-sounding part. We wanted to make it a bonus track and leave it as it was. Then with no reason or precise plan, we wrote all the rest around it, putting no limits and setting no borders, following the lyric concept “Everybody does all kind of shit, I’m sorry that I’m sorry, I had to do this”. The content came along in exceptional short time, and surprisingly our mindless creation gave birth to some of the most cerebral and psychotic parts of the whole album. What would you say was the toughest track to write/record? Probably “-(Obedience)”. We kept on struggling to get a nice flowing structure, because it was still sounding a little bit like a “collage” of riffs to us. Plus we could find the right melodic line of the first chorus only
two days before entering the studio. After the vocals were recorded, the song sounded way smoother; Paolo did a great job on that song. Recording it was a nightmare too, especially for drums and guitars; technically and rhythmically it’s the most difficult song of the whole album. How did the actual title for the track/album occur? “Are You Kidding Me? No.” is the key to understanding our attitude, our music, our lyrics. Purania’s chorus says “I like Spice Girls, so what?”. Probably the first reaction to words like these would be “Are they f****g kidding me?” and our answer would simply be “No.”. We usually hide serious concepts under jokes, so the pill goes down. Then it’s up to the listener to stay on the surface or dig under it. Anyway we try to make both experiences enjoyable. No master concept unifies them all. Our lyrics are structured on different layers and moods. You can easily find funny, ironic or provocative parts as well as serious contents as well. Since we take inspiration from everything around us it’s almost impossible, in my opinion, to deliver always the same mood. How was it working with Bumblefoot? We all are big fans. When we finished the track “Are You Kidding Me? No.”, we felt something was missing in the end. In fact, a Bumblefoot solo was missing. Since we had no connection with him, Mat emailed Mattias “Ia” Eklundh, who played on
Jade’s Place (in our previous record “The King Is Fat’N’Old”) and became our friend (he’s such a cool guy!). He asked him for an address, a number, some contact to get in touch with Ron. Mattias as usual answered very politely, bud didn’t give Mat what he wanted (he’s a very respectful person). So Mat was left with no choice other than going on Bumblefoot’s website and write to the general mail address. And surprise, Ron answered immediately telling us the song was super good and he’d do the collaboration. He told Mat he was touring with Guns’n’Roses at the moment, so we should wait for a month or so. We thought it was his way to refuse. Instead he really wrote back when the tour was over, asking what we wanted exactly, and we answered “we want you to do whatever you want for 32 bars”. Few funny private messages followed and we got our perfect solo in 3 days. Smooth. The song seemed to be made for him, as he also said later in an interview. So, good experiment, and when we got to meet the guy in person we liked him even more. Ron is rad. The band contributed to 2 Prin-
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cess Ghibli split albums – what is your favourite Ghibli film and what is your favourite animated movie overall? We are not really into doing cartoon covers because sometimes the results can turn out to be disappointing, but as we decided to do this we totally focused and tried to give our best, no matter what. I’m glad you enjoyed the arrangements! To come out with something that could resemble the original song and, at the same time, reveal the Destrage personal touch, was a really hard bone to chew. Ponyo puzzle was really hard to solve! It is such a simple, beautiful and naive song with not much to play around... But that means we were given a lot of freedom too. I remember we started choosing the tonality, then we broke down the original chord structure and started arranging the parts that needed to follow those chords as a cradle for the main vocal melody, adding our touch without destroying the harmonic structure… Then, as we hate to merely deliver just an harder, unimaginative version of the same song, we created from zero some sections, like the chorus riffing, the solo and other instrumental parts, and went crazy with them. In the end the compromise is very enjoyable and we are really happy to have tried our chances with something like this. Aside from bands such as Fleshgod Apocalypse and Hour Of Penance who would you recommend from the metal/roc
scene in Italy and how do you feel that particular culture is doing in 2014? Italian Metal scene here is growing so fast: Tasters, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Upon This Dawning, Hour Of Penance, Modern Age Slavery, all of them are huge Italian bands signed to great international labels. This is definitely a great moment for our Metal scene. Maybe it’s a sort of revolution for us and the most important thing is to continue moving. Ready Set Fall (Lifeforce Record) and Upon this Dawning (Artery Recordings) will release their album in the next months so be sure to check these bands out! Are there any plans regarding UK dates at the moment? Absolutely Yes! Everything is “work in progress”, Our goal is bring this tracks live, touring as much as we can, bringing our music everywhere...we’ll see what will happen! We can’t wait to be on the road! What albums have been capturing your attention in the past 12 months? There are a lot of records we were digging recently… I’ll just name a few: Alice In Chains “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here”, Queens Of The Stone Age “…Like Clockwork”, Kvelertak “Meir”, and then artists like Justice, Susanne Sundfør, Venetian Snares, Daft Punk, Maxwell, Jose James, Protest The Hero, Steven Wilson and many more…
Larry Tee - Larger than life with beats to make your mind implode! https://www.facebook.com/larryteedj Larry, you are currently based in London - Shoreditch I believe to be precise - how does the U.K party scene differ from the U.S ? Uk party scene? Both scenes are really different it seems to me. In London they love new music and new parties. In NYC it seems to be longrunning promoters and older house music and lounge hop pop. But the same acts tour through both cities regularly and there are more similarities than differences. Your work and style is very eclectic - urban yet chic, outlandish yet inherently catchy and danceable; what would you say your key influences are musically or otherwise? I get inspira- tion from both electronic music and culture at large. I have never known why the language and subjects of the street aren’t included more in dance music. I think it makes the soundtrack to the clubs more relevant. That stuff is kind of my turf so I’m not complaining. You›ve worked with some truly great artists: Peaches, Santigold, Scissor Sisters to name but a few. Who would be your ultimate artist to collaborate with -past or present - and why? I could see myself collaborating with Lana Del Rey, Nicki Minaj and I think Lady Gaga needs me, lolz. But also what about Kim Ann Foxman, Azealia Banks and Rufus Wainwrught singing a disco song?
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like Brazil, Australia and the Spanish island helps me keep my head on straight. When I get some down time, I chill out by designing new clothes for my clothing brand TZUJI. It’s my dream side gig that’s getting big fast. Having been an integral part of the NY club scene, do you feel there is still that level of creativity, innovation and craziness in clubs you frequent today, or has that infamous period been relegated to urban legend now? New York doesn’t seem to be on fire as it did when “Paris is Burning” burned and the ‘Paradise Garage” ruled or Disco 2000 partied the city into the ground. There is no after-
hours like Sound Factory or a late night scene at all it seems. I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing because there is a lot of talented people making cool music now that the clubs are not happening so much. As someone who parties hard for a When they were ‘fierce’, no one was living, how do you chill out on the rare making music. occasion you get some down time? Well, I haven’t drank or done drugs for 16 years thanks to the help of You mentioned your own fashion laNA and AA but I still need to party. A bel, Tzuji .Could you tell us a little more couple yearly trips to exotics places about your ethos behind this please?
Well, since I run clubs here in London that caters to the cool fashion students and hipsters, I needed better swag to hit the clubs with. And I couldn’t be caught dead in something that everyone already knew. So I started making t-shirts first and everybody wanted them...so I decided to make ALL the clothes I needed since I felt there was a little room in the market foe what I wanted myself. It is totally a way for me to have the hottest threads in town...and TZUJI means fabulous and is pronounced (ZHoo-Zhee) FYI. The New York Press credited you as being ‘a hipster before there were hips t e r s ’. . . a s someone inherently one step ahead of the masses who are you predicting for big things in 2014,musically ? Well, I am thinking an update of classic house as we’ve been seeing and some breakbeat garagey future music will be making the rounds as well. I haven’t heard a new trend that has made my ears pop in a while but must admit I like me a little moombathon/bass in my mix. Larry,to close can you sound out to all those crazy clubkids out there.... Sound out? Ok, bitches bitches bitches, this is Super Electric Party Machine, Feel free to take off your pants.
Sin sat down with Matt DiRito, bass player for Pop Evil and interrupted his Texas barbecue experience, including fine chamber music from Motley Crϋe’s “Too Fast for Love” (sorry Matt). Here’s what he had to say before his sold out show in support of Stone Sour at Backstage Live, San Antonio, Texas: Matt DiRito: (just pulled some kind of meat off the grill) You hungry? Sin: No, no thanks man, I appreciate it though. (He also asks my camera operator Bethany, she declines) MD: Don’t say I didn’t offer. Sin: I’d NEVER say that. Ha ha! I gotta say congratulations on your success. It’s been a helluva run for you guys. Trenches and Deal with the Devil have both hit number one on the U.S. active rock radio charts. Tell me a little about those. MD: 2013 was a crazy year for us. We went into the studio at the beginning of the year, pumped up about the new album and with that the success of two number one singles packed into one year, we’re just over the moon about that. We’ve come close to an number one single before, but never quite hit that on any of our other albums, so we’re kind of seeing what our new single is gonna do. We’re working that and working the road, y’know. Sin: Torn to Pieces is the new single and I heard it on SiriusXM. I love that
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tune. As a matter of fact, when I first heard Onyx, I thinking that this has gotta be a single at some point. It’s just really a phenomenal tune! MD: It’s a very dark, personal song. You know, a lot of times you find that those are the songs that people connect with and you never know who’s gonna come up to you after the show and say, “this got me through a really hard point in my life. I just lost someone close to me and this song really helped me through it.” To take our experiences, put them in a song and be able to help other people going through the same thing is a pretty powerful thing. Sin: How does it make you feel inside? MD: Great! I mean, that’s the reason why we do this. Obviously not in it for the money otherwise I’d be doing something else, but to be able to have that reach and that power to help people (is amazing). Music has been my therapy my whole life. Different periods in my life, I can go back to different artists and different bands. You can hear a song today and immediately put yourself right back where you were when you first heard it. So to be one of those people now, influencing other people and helping other people is just amazing. It’s the best gift I could ask for. Sin: Nice. So you talked about a couple of bands that have influenced you and you kind of have that connection with on the same level that people connect with you today. MD: High school, as it probably was for everybody, was a super tough time for me and my ma-
jor influences were Pantera, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson and all that good stuff. Still, to this day, I’m a diehard fan of all of those. For whatever reason, I just connected with where I was at that point in my life. Sin: How long have you been on the road this time? MD: Not too long. After this we’re headed home for a week, then off to shoot a music video in Canada and then fly over to Europe to do one with Five Finger Death Punch. Sin: I noticed that on the schedule coming up, you’ve got Rock on the Range. MD: YES (as pumps his fist in the air)! Sin: This’ll be your fourth time playing there and what I’ve noticed is that on every official poster, Pop Evil climbs higher to the top and your name is a bigger font size! MD: Yeah, we’re really happy about that. You know, this past year, we finally made the jump from the second stage to the main stage. But as you graduate, it’s like you’re freshmen and open up the main stage. This year, we’ve got a good time slot that’s not at eleven o’clock in the morning. I think we’re on at three in the afternoon and it’s good to see that our peers and people in the industry are giving us a little nod and acknowledging the hard work that we’ve put in and the success that we’ve had. Sin: Yeah, it’s definitely got to be difficult to get to where you are and then
you look back. What do you see when you look back? MD: (chuckles) I try not to! No, dude, it’s funny you should mention that. I was looking on line and someone posted a ton of really, really old pictures of us from way back and I kept thinking to myself, did I really look like that? Did I really do that? I feel like we’ve come such a long way, especially with this new record, but you know, our live show has developed quite a bit too. You know, get in, kick ‘em in the jaw and get out.
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Sin: You feed off that, huh? MD: Yeah, exactly. Myself and our drummer Chachi try to stay active during the days too. You know, we’ll go find a local crossfit gym or even a parking lot somewhere. We try to stay active that way and once we get on stage, that’s a breeze. It should be the least hard part of our day. Sin: Do you have a family? MD: Yeah, no wife and kids, but my mom and dad are back home. Sin: You BETTER call your mother! MD: I KNOW DUDE, I thought about that yesterday! My friends say, “Did you get the package I sent you?” Then I’ll say, “Did you send it to my mom’s house? I don’t know, I haven’t talked to my mom.” Then they’ll yell at me, “It’s Valentine’s Day, you should call your mom!” Sin: And to close some quick hits… Dumb and Dumber or Godfather? MD: Dumb and Dumber. If I’m watching a movie, it’s usually because I need to decompress. Godfather is one of those movies where you have to pay attention. Sin: Family Guy or… MD: (interrupts) Family Guy. It’s my favorite show. I have Netflix just so I can watch Family Guy. Sin: Denim or Leather? MD: Are we talking about on someone else or for me? Sin: Whatever you want? MD: A chick in leather pants is hard to beat. Stick with that. Sin: Kate Upton or Pam Anderson? MD: Pam. Sin: (surprised) Really? MD: Yeah, you know, early 90’s Pam. Sin: Before Tommy Lee ruined her?
Sin: What’s the one song you wish you wrote? MD: Oh man, that’s a great question. Tuesday’s Gone by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Sin: Chess or checkers? MD: Checkers. Less brain power. Sin: Old school disco or old school country? MD: Old school country by far! I just got into these old dirty country songs. Larry Pierce. He writes these dirty, dirty songs. Here are some of the titles: Good Hard Screwin’, Girls Were Made to Screw, She’s a Nymphomaniac, Screw Your Brains Out, Shriveled Up, good stuff like that – quality music. And there’s one called Slurp and one called Yeast Infection. Sin: To wrap it up, what’s something that people don’t know about you that you wouldn’t mind sharing? MD: Well, I’m super-duper into firearms and cigars. I’m also currently starting to work on a non-profit organization to help kids with cancer. Take some of the attention…what little attention we get and deflect it somewhere it’s really needed. Sin: I think you’re underestimating your attention thing, my friend. MD: Hopefully it’s growing and we can feel that, y’know? Sin: One of your videos has 1.2 million hits for God’s sake! You’re getting some attention somewhere! MD: That’s pretty cool. I figure I’d try to use that and channel it for good. It’s in the works. Sin: Is there anything you want to tell anyone out there? Sonic Shocks is a worldwide magazine, so… MD: Yeah. There are a lot of places in the country and the world where we don’t get to as often as we do on the East Coast, West Coast and the Midwest, so keep your eye on our Facebook page and www.popevil.com. Once we get tour dates we always post them up on there and usually before I even know where we’re going.
‘A chick in leather pants is hard to beat. Stick with that., Sin: Your on-stage energy is amazing. Where do you get it from? MD: Thank you. Dude, honestly, even if I’m sick or something, it doesn’t even matter once you get on stage. It’s just whatever I feel like when I’m playing the music, it just kinda comes out. If my neck’s sore, I can try not to headbang and take it easy, but as soon as I hear people fucking singing along to the songs and stuff, I can’t help it and jump right in.
MD: Yes. Sin: Guilty pleasure? MD: Chocolate covered coffee beans. I hate coffee, I don’t drink coffee, but for some reason they taste really good when you’re just munchin’ them raw. Not quite paleo, but I try to stick to this paleo diet. Sin: Do you? Does it help with the crossfit and keep you in shape? MD: Oh absolutely! Ties in together.
Special thanks to Bethany Heseman for the camera work. Sin is the vocalist for the San Antonio, Texas, southern metal band, Destruction Evolution. For info on Destruction Evolution, go to www.destructionevolution.com or write to Sin directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Nestori Lönngrén, keyboard player for Six Inch, answers Nelly’s questions for Sonic Shocks. Most of all, the one about the name… First of all, can you give our readers a quick intro about yourselves and what you play in the band. Hi, I’m Nestori Lönngrén. I’m one of the freaks in the band and I play keyboards. I’m a vampire romantic lunatic so I fit in quite well… Is it true the name you chose for the band refers to the average size of a Finnish man penis? (incidentally it is also the length of a one dollar bill) There’s many things that are 6 inches in some dimension but as far as I know this Six Inch is actually an average penis size of a Finnish man. This all can just be my naassssty imagination and it really means something else but I can’t be sure! You are referred as a dark rock band but I find your style more as a Gothic ‹Metal› with a touch of romanticism, so how would you describe your sound to people that have never heard any of your songs? I’m not by any means a fan of putting everything into these genre lockers. Take a listen and if you like what you hear then be happy about it. But if I must come up with something I would say that we’re definitely dark, mysterious, romantic, rock, metal, well, pretty much everything that makes a great mix hah! I’ve always said that we’re like Tim Burton’s best fantasy movies turned into this psycho/ gothic/dark music and that’s in my opinion one of the best description of Six Inch I’ve heard. But we’re really going to dig into a different music styles with next albums and you will be surprised. But take a listen… after few songs you just might have an idea. Listening to your album, I can feel a story behind each song, with different ‹themes›. Can you tell us a bit more about them, what they mean to you, what inspired you to write them. Of course themes are important for us. We’ve tried to
have some cinematic feel to our songs and I think those themes really come out quite well. I don’t wanna open those stories too much as I like everyone’s creating their own stories around the music. Not only do you have powerful lyrics but your videos are certainly gripping as well. What I like the most is, even if a person does not speak the language, they can grasp the context within them. The emotional turmoil and desperation in the ‘Wound torn Bride’ torn between 2 irreconcilable worlds or the oppression of humanistic principle by use of psychoactive drugs in ‘Whore Of Medical Science’. But that’s my psyche speaking, what does yours say about
them? I really like our first videos and I need to give huge props for Mr Arttu Talvitie for directing ”Wound Torn Bride” and ”Whore of the Medical Science”. With our limited budget I think we did a great job: Stories work, all the actresses did a great job and our talented make-up artist made even us to look good! I have to agree about getting the context even without the text. Whore of the Medical Science was kind of our shout for all the medical companies and our society. We eat too much pills which doesn’t cure the disease but makes the symptoms go away and those companies are happy about that as far as they get the profit. Wound Torn Bride is from the other end of the scale - our romantic side. Girl is so torn apart by love that she decides to dig her heart from her chest to be unable to feel again. So her heart won’t be broken again. Even if the video gets a bit shocking I think it’s still beautiful in our way. They also have a ‘Hammer’ films a la Tim Burton feel to them. Is that intentional? was that the band input or the director’s vision? I think many of us are big fans of Tim Burton (at least I am!) and there’s something about his work that has inspired our music and therefore also the videos. I think it’s the band’s musical input that our talented director captured. He really understood our thing and came up with great ideas together with us. What made you decide to add a violinist to the band? It certainly gives it an unusual dark, sad and eerie sound… It was pretty much Andy’s vision. Back then Six Inch was a four members ”basic” rock group. Andy came with his vision of dark, mysterious and cinematic rock music and that’s when me myself and Pinja joined the band to play keyboards and the violin. I think that really fulfilled the sound of Six Inch and especially the violin really makes us stand from the all the time growing group of bands in Finland. The violin and the deep keyboards makes a huge difference. But musically speaking there really isn’t
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a mix like ours and I feel like it’s already quite unique and will get even more unique in upcoming albums. And also we’re very energetic live band with a strong and handsome frontman! Where have you been touring so far? Any gig that exceeded all of your expectations? We’ve mainly done clubs and festivals in Finland so far. We had a small tour in Spain a year ago and it was great to get a taste of touring outside Finland. For me one of the best experiences with this band was to open up for Swedish band Fatal Smile in legendary rock club Nosturi last year. But really when you love playing every gig is special. Which venue would you most like to play at? And which support band would you pick? Somehow I see ourselves hitting the North America so I’d probably pick some legendary US venues. The Roxy, Whiskey a Go Go, MSG… there are so many of those places I can’t even name one and after all it’s not about the venue. It’s all about music and interacting with fans. Hmm, support bands… how about Korn and some great symphonic orchestra playing Danny Elfman’s famous pieces? What›s in store for 2014? We’re not gonna tour too much this year. Few festivals and few clubs but that’s probably about it. We’re going to concentrate for the second album which is going to be important and we wanna make it as good as possible. Hopefully we’ll release at least one more music video before the second album also.
As Sleepy Sun get ready for the official release of new album ‘Maui Tears’ on March 17th, guitarist Matt Holliman and lead vocalist Bret Constantino take a little time off to answer our questions… You’re quite a prolific band, with ‘Maui Tears’ being your 4th album since your debut ‘Embrace’ in 2009. Is there a conscious effort to keep releasing album at such a constant pace, or is it just the natural flow of your creativity? Each of the 5 of us are on our own creative paths, but to continue to the creative path of Sleepy Sun, it’s required of us to set goals for the band whether it be to write an album, record demo songs ourselves, or rehearse for live performance. Especially as we grow older and take on more responsibilities outside this project, it becomes more important to plan our creative endeavours in advance. You formed as ‘Mania’ in 2005 with a more garage rock oriented sound, can you tell me about the evolution process that brought you to your current sound? Mania was a band some of us played in together during the college days, mostly for our own entertainment. I think it was after we began recording and listening back to our music that we realized how much more ground we could cover, in terms of style and composition. Mania was a rock’n’roll house party band, but after our third trip to the studio, in 2007 we decided together to make a record with more space and variety. What are the bands you mostly inspire yourselves to? Spiritualized, Black Sabbath, Beach Boys, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Iggy and the Stooges Where does the title ‘Maui Tears’ come from? That’s probably a better decision left to the listener. There are some connections that we’ve made for the title, but no need to give the full story away. For now.
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How do you feel you have evolved from 2012 ‘Spine What can we expect from your live show? Hits’? It really depends on much you’re willing to let go of your I should hope so. There are certain aspects of recording inhibitions. Hopefully at the very least you may expect to Spine Hits that we carried over to Maui Tears. One would be entertained. always hope that at least a modicum of growth exists beWhat else is in the pipeline for 2014? tween albums. Tell me in one sentence why I need ‘Maui Tears’ in my Lots of travelling, hoping to visit some new places and turn some new heads. record collection. We’re not here to sell you on anything. Give it a listen Where can you see Sleepy Sun going in, let’s say, 10 years from now? and decide on your own. What’s the best situation to play ‘Maui Tears’ in the Only time will tell. I hope to continue making records, background (i.e. driving, relaxing alone with a drink, on and maybe 10 years from now the music industry model will better support the artists. a date…)? Driving isn’t a bad deal. Maybe crack it open on the If you were invited to play only one song at the next Superbowl (or World Cup opening ceremony, desert sands. Or an urban sprawl. Olympics, whatever you prefer), which Is songwriting a collective one would you choose? process in Sleepy Sun, Martyrs Mantra, or maybe or if not who’s the When the Levee Breaks? main songwriter in the band? Where can we find out more about Sleepy It’s a collaboraSun? tive process. Even if some In our records. of us write parts on Do you handle our own, your fan corultimately re s p o n d e n c e , they pass social networks through and such perthe shared sonally? s p a c e We handle our where we twitter account, collectively and try to answer decide on all the letters sent what stays and to our email. what needs to more moulding. Is there anything else you would like to tell our Where do you find inreaders? spiration for your music and lyrics? Thank you for reading this, now go listen to the music! The lyrical inspiration almost always comes from the music. The music is inspired by the culmination of 5 different musical perspectives each unique to the individual. And if you like it, catch them live in April: You’ve been touring with some quite diverse acts in- UK Dates: cluding Arctic Monkeys and UNKLE; which one so far do you feel was a better match, also judging from the 4/14/2014 Brighton, The Hope crowd’s reaction? 4/15/2014 London, Corsica Studios The best reactions seem to come from the younger audiences, although I’m always happy to see the older folks 4/16/2014 Manchester, Deaf Institute nodding the back row. 4/17/2014 Glasgow, Broadcast Are you going to follow the album release with a tour? 4/18/2014 Sheffield, Detestival Yeah we’re grinding right now. 6 weeks touring in North America, then 3 weeks in Europe in April. Psych fest, Canadian Music week in Toronto, and more to come.
More to be announced, keep an eye on facebook.com/ SleepySun and SleepySun.net
As Liverpudlian trio Conan gets ready to release ‘Blood Eagle’ onto the world Matt Dawson talks to guitarist/vocalist Jon Davis about the creation of Skyhammer Studios, doom in 2014 and more… Let’s begin by talking about the signing to Napalm Records – what led to the decision and how have they been while recording Blood Eagle? Napalm records approached us out of the blue when we played with one of their other bands (AHAB) in Feb 2013. At that point in time we had a couple of tracks that we were working on for the new album and had outline plans to start recording at the end of 2013. We were working with Burning World Records (who released Monnos) and we had no plans to change. Out of nowhere I got a message from Seb and we started talking, and it quickly became obvious that this was the label for us. Their professional no nonsense approach, and their ability to do things when they promise to do them, is a huge thing for me as it can quickly become a pain when you have to keep chasing people for answers or information. Working with a label such as Napalm is pretty new to us. Because of this new formality, and Napalm’s considerable distribution network and press contacts, the whole process has been really cool and I’m looking forward to working together moving forwards. The album was recorded in Skyhammer studios – what led
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to creating your own studio, how do you feel the recording turned out and how did it feel to work with Chris Fielding? Skyhammer Studios was finished in August 2013 and we have been pretty much solidly booked since then. Back in 2012 my wife and I were looking for houses in the countryside near to where we lived at that time (near Chester / Ellesmere Port in the North West). As we were considering this property I mentioned that it would have been great to get somewhere with extra buildings so we could build a practice room for Conan. We moved into the house in Feb 2013 and by then we had decided to convert this big old coach house into a practice room. One evening in Feb I got a call off Chris and he explained that he might be looking for a new recording studio to work in. We discussed how it would work and quickly agreed that Chris would come and work as the full time producer in the studio. The months flew past and the studio started taking bookings and by the time we opened in August we had lots of bands booked in. We (Conan) booked sometime in late October / early November and aside from the new location it was business as usual. This time around we spent 9 or 10 days in the studio and I believe that because of this the overall ‘finish’ of the album is pretty impressive. The final mixes of the album were sounding really good and so when we sent them to
James Plotkin we knew he would do a great job with them. We LOVE Foel Studio, just down the road in mid-Wales and our previous setting for recording, but having Skyhammer literally in my back garden is just awesome and of course, being able to record with Chris who understands what we are all about, and isn’t afraid to say ‘no’ when we have a shit idea, is just perfect for us. What led to the creation of the great artwork by Tony Roberts? Tony has been our artist of choice right through every release so far, aside from the split with Slomatics. Like usual we give Tony the heads up a few months earlier so he can work us into his schedule. We will normally start by giving him some demo tracks to give him a flavour of the new material and from these he will work on sketches when he gets ideas through. The idea of the beheaded royalty and the main image of the Sentinel himself was something that came up pretty early in our chats. Tony’s work really captures the vibe of the album for me, you look at this artwork and you know what the album is going to sound like - heavy, bruising riffs, no frills, just beautiful tone and heavy tracks and killing people, battles, hammers, giants, mythology and swords. Conan have a reputation for some excellent live gigs – including a personal favourite in the first time you played Damna-
tion – for those that haven’t been lucky to catch the experience yet describe what they could expect from a Conan live show… Cheers, this is nice to know because playing live is really where we enjoy ourselves the most. Recording material is fun, but it’s over in two weeks and the first thing you want to do with new stuff is to polish it in a live environment. If people haven’t been to a Conan show before they will possibly consider us to be too loud. We play through some pretty tasty amplifiers and cabinets - I am just in the process of having a 6x12 cab and a 4x15 cab made by some guys in Wales called Soundune and these should be with me mid March. A Conan show is always pretty intense, more so in the smaller venues where the volume is all from our rigs rather than controlled through a PA by a sound engineer. We are really loud like I say but one aspect to our sound is the low end we employ. We tune really low, so that is a good start, but we use some great old valve amplifiers (on guitar) and old crusty Peavey solid state gear (on bass) to really push this out and of course Paul hits pretty hard and all this means that we will have great tone, HIGH volume and because of the style of music we play it can all sound pretty exciting. We basically play the sort of stuff that we find exciting ourselves, we don’t try and sound like a particular trend so you get a real honesty with us - we do what we mean to do, no frills or bullshit. In 2014 what are your thoughts on how the doom metal scene is thriving? Well it seems that things are doing really great currently. Lots of bands are reforming to live past glories, so obviously something is going on. But if you look at the real indicator of how healthy the scene is you should think about the bands who work hard on a day to day basis to keep the scene fresh with new material and new ideas (like Bast, Slomatics, War Wolf, Bong Cauldron, Spider Kitten, Throne, Space Witch, Bastard of The Skies, Monoloth Cult, Limb, Ageless Oblivion, Coltsblood, Black Magician, Gonga, Wizard Fight, Undersmile, Nomad etc - the list goes on and on and
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on and on and I’m sorry if I missed anyone out), here you will see the true heart of the scene. Those bands aren’t there just to milk the big pay days at festivals, putting on DIY shows in pub basements for no profit, releasing limited runs of reasonably priced cd’s and vinyl and generally providing the whole basis of the scene itself, creating excitement and networking to talk about the bands that excite them in the underground itself. We started out with no friends, no ideas, no contacts, and as soon as Horseback Battle Hammer came out we were
sorrow, Jucifer and Winterfylleth. Which albums were your preferred listening choice over the last year, classic OR current? Got to be Rainbow Rising (such a moving collection of songs), Gonga’s self titled debut album (one of the reasons why I started playing this stuff), Hate Songs in E Minor by Fudge Tunnel, a total classic for me and still sounds current, I also love In Utero by Nirvana. I started playing guitar by listening to Nirvana and I still love them now.
Blood Eagle is out on 3rd March via Napalm. Catch Conan on tour:
embraced by this amazing collection of people, putting us on at shows and buying our merch. Before we knew it we were part of this amazing scene and really enjoy the friendships and contacts we have made during this process. When we play the bigger shows we believe that we are representing the underground scene, as we don’t consider us to be any better than any of the bands I mentioned earlier - we just got lucky, that is all.
15.03.14 Bournemouth, UK, The Anvil
How does it feel to be on the inaugural Temples lineup? Who are you hoping to catch?
19.03.14 Manchester, UK, Kraak Gallery w/ Corrupt Moral Altar & Bastard Of The Skies
It feels great actually. I know it is a new festival, but just look at that fucking line up…. We play the same day at Neurosis, and we are all looking forward to witnessing them live. Aside from them we will try and see as many as we can - Doom will be a given and Wolf Brigade too. If we get there on the Friday we will of course watch Electric Wizard, Witch-
20.03.14 Cardiff, UK, The Full Moon
14.03.14 Nottingham, UK, Stuck On A Name Studios 16.03.14 Birmingham, UK, Asylum 2 17.03.14 Glasgow, UK, Audio 18.03.14 Aberdeen, UK, Downstairs
21.03.14 Brighton, UK, The Prince Albert w/ Sea Bastard 22.03.14 London, UK, Electrowerkz w/ Indian & Dead Existence 23.03.14 Basingstoke, UK, Mousetrap
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Action/Drama Out Now
Horror - Metrodome 4th April (7th on DVD)
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra Starring: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore
Director: Elliot Goldner Starring: Gordon Kennedy, Aidan McArdle, Patrick Godfrey
A shaky camera focuses on an unshaven, fidgety Liam Neeson, an unlikely air marshal with an alcohol problem and a phobia of flying. As the plane takes off and the mysterious text message threats begin, we’re in the expected claustrophobic environment, suspended mid air high over the Atlantic, with 150 strangers and an uncertain future. One person will die every 20 minutes unless 150 million dollars are deposited on a bank account, which - funny enough - is on the name of air marshal and disgraced ex cop Bill/Neeson. While the movie’s manifesto promises 150 suspects, they’re too early reduced to a handful, which partly spoils the fun. Still, the action, pace and performances keep the interest constant and the thrill pulsing through a plot which per se hits a few too many clichés to justify any claim to originality. It becomes increasingly clear that the psycho’s priority is probably not money after all, which leads the viewer to hope in a movie-saving twist; still the moment of truth is too weak a revelation to send you out raving about it to your mates. It’s not easy to carry on a 106 minutes story in such a restricted space - Speed being one of the few to raise to the challenge. Non-Stop, although enjoyable, gets nowhere close to that thrill. Entertaining, yes; action packed, definitely; well directed/ acted, of course; fully watchable, sure; unmissable...sorry Liam, that’s a box I’ll have to leave unticked this time.
Director: BJ McDonnell Starring: Danielle Harris, Kane Hodder, Zach Galligan
Horror -Metrodome 31st March on DVD
Character creator Adam Green is off the Director’s chair for this third – and possibly final – instalment of the gory shenanigans of Victor Crawley, undead ex teenage monster leaving a trail of blood and body parts across the Honey Island swamp. Marybeth is still determined to end the creature’s reign of terror after discovering her father and brother’s remains; more action, butchery and a few chuckles ensue. Despite the change of direction, Hatchet stays faithful to
I’ve never been a fan of the ‘homemade footage’ horror trend following The Blair Witch Project in 1999. Reading the plot of ‘The Borderlands’ in particular, where a Vatican man is sent to a church in the English countryside to investigate on a series of inexplicable events, I wasn’t expecting too much in terms of originality at least. As casual attired priest Deacon meets his non-believer cameraman companion and local clergyman and whistleblower Father Crellick, the plot slowly builds up, with the two men crew seemingly trying to prove – or at least rule out – that Crellick’s claim to fame is nothing else than a made up fantasy. As they try to discredit every given sign of supernatural, it becomes clearer not only that something is most definitely wrong, but that what they are investigating is unlikely to be a benign miracle as initially believed. And so far, nothing really unexpected. The movie proceeds at average pace and thrill, until it suddenly earns momentum and before you know your guts are twisted like the narrow tunnels where our heroes film their final scenes. Out of the whole 89 minutes, you’ll probably spend between 45 and 60 thinking it’s an ‘ok’ horror flick, to find yourself somewhere around maybe 15 minutes to the end fully awake with accelerated heartbeat, and by the credits ready to spill your guts in horror and desperation for that poor cameraman who never thought his hefty bonus would come at such a price. Taking an audience’s stomach by surprise is a long forgotten skill in the art of horror movies. Catch this and watch religiously until the very end. its old school style when it curse that originated Victor comes to special effects, with Crawley and caused his bea sharp nod of approval from haviour, in the hope to find a the franchise’s fan base. The way to reverse it and destroy enormous effort and tribula- the monster for good. Well, tions the cast and crew had there’s always a way to bring to endure in Louisiana’s true him back if there’s enough humidity (this was the first people asking for it of course, movie of the series actually but Hatchet was conceived as shot in New Orleans, the first a trilogy, so chapter III aims two were shot in LA) earn the to an apt conclusion to the cast more brownie points and story. add more realism than the For a sequel, Hatchet III carlatest 3D technology. A shout ries on the high standards of out in particular goes to Kane the first. A must for fan of the Hodder (Crawley) wearing 50 series – I’m sure they’ll want pounds of silicone and make to know the end anyway – up on his body. No wonder but also for the many horror enthusiasts missing good old he looked rather pissed off. As in the best horror tradition Jason and some traditional, the focal point is the quest non digital gruesomeness. to discover the origin of the
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A story or so
by Peter Doherty
Brady flinched as he caught a sidelong glance at his reflection in the smudged and rainy pane of the high street phone box. Outside in the neon, oily puddles, the rippling eternity of light dodged the splashing boot heels of the breathless kids pouring out of the rock and roll venue beneath the Noose and Gather pub. ‘I’m vile’ he thought, ‘vile…but with style’. He stubbed out the skaggy remains of his roll up on the anti-drugs poster, and gently, keeping a steady beat, banged his forehead against the glass. Is she there? Even the thought of her having thoughts of second thoughts crippled him in those last vital seconds in the phone box. The vital connection was to be made… now or so. The phone rang. ‘Yes bruv’ Brady’s voice was hollow. Scottish and hollow ‘You there now?’ Bangla vowels, urgent and quick ‘Yeah’ ‘Ok, I’m there’ He turned up the bitty collar of his old navy Harrington and with a reassuring pat of the bulge in his inside pocket. Winter escorted him up an alley, and around the back of the hospital. He lent up against a metal fence and checked his watch. This was his one affectation, or it had long since stopped: it had been a present from his old nan, and like in the song, hadn’t ticked or tocked since the day she died. A dark car pulled up and he got in the back. An Asian youth sat at the wheel, and a boney white girl beside him in the passenger seat. Quicker than I could hope to type, steel flashed and blonde hair whipped thin cold air and a driver slumped. Bodies switched places and the radio came to life as the car sped off away from hospital. ‘Ah, I like this one’ ‘Yeah, best thing she’s done I reckon’ Brady replied, tapping the wheel with his gloved hand. They pulled up at a zebra crossing, and watched through the wiper hypnotized windscreen as a swarm of hooded youths crossed the road. A few seemed to be in slow motion as they peddled oversized mountain bikes. One, close to the car, pulled down his mask-like scarf and spat a long streak of blue pop through his teeth. ‘Uh… kids. Dangerous these days you know. So violent as well’ Brady scratched a spot of blood off the dashboard. ‘Aye’ He replied. ‘s’ the parents. I wouldnae a been caught out this late when I was their age… a fuckit, will ya not just die pal?’ he turned around and hammered at the whining shadow in the back seat several times on the skull with the hard clump of his fist. The girl laughed and rubbed her hands together. ‘Put the heating on Brady’ ‘Aye. Is a bit King Billy no?’ He turned to face her. She looked at him confused. ‘Chilly babes – chilly’ ‘Oh right’ Sarah smiled ‘Never heard that one.’ She rubbed a spyhole in the glass and hummed to herself. ‘I just can’t get you out of my head’. They turned onto the M11 and sped north. Cars raced about the grid of urban motorway – in their metal shells folks and families and lone fellas journeyed in and out of London, in and out of view, queuing and swerving and slowing and pulling away. Above the corrugated fence that sides with the road, all towers and factories are waiting in the present, so bored of the blinking routines. Concrete veins, directionless like spaghetti, are the lanes that time conspired with against nature – and somewhere, between the gravel and the low city skies, town planners are singing along to car radios like so many killers. Peter Doherty/ Dec 03. E1 - Written for Ian Allison’s ‘fanzine’ “Full Moon Empty Sportsbag” although it may be supplanted by later copy if Time and the Muse permit… FLAGS FROM THE OLD REGIME, an exposition of Peter Doherty’s art, will open in Geneva’s ‘Le Rural’ on March 7th - preview on 6th - until March 22nd. Email email@example.com for more info. BABYSHAMBLES will be playing MARCH 10th at London’s ROUNDHOUSE. As we go to print, tickets are sold out at most retailers. Contact the venue for more info.
Sonic Shocks - Issue 22
BLOOD RED SHOES Blood Red Shoes Jazz Life – 3rd March
Crippled black Phoenix White Light Generator Cool Green – 17 March th
Recorded by the band in a studio in Berlin with - in their own words - “No producer, no engineer, no A&R people, just us two in a big concrete room in Kreuzberg, jamming and recording our songs whenever we wanted, how we wanted with nobody to answer to except ourselves. It came out as our rawest, heaviest, sexiest and most confident sounding record so far”. And it is. It’s raw, garage rock that you can dance to. When opening track “Welcome Home”, an instrumental piece, kicks in - all jangling guitars, tight drums and hints of synth - you know you’re in for a treat and the day has just got a hell of a lot better. And that’s just the start. Track “An Animal” is all manic energy that gets you tapping and singing along to the chorus like a deranged loon. It’s a track that demands your attention and your participation. Frankly the whole album is like that. Laura Mary Carter’s vocals are darkly seductive and balance well with Steve Ansell’s pitch perfect angst (none more so than on the track “The Perfect Mess”) while the guitars are layered and the drums a heavy electro pop base line. “Just for a While” is the stand out track for me all dual layered guitars and a Britishness that just sounds, well, right. Bands that produce their own records can get it wrong a lot of time, mainly because there is no outside voice listening in to strike a balance between ego and creativity. Not with Blood Red Shoes. They know what they wanted and they’ve succeeded. Hats off with bells on.
Following a good performance at Damnation Festival, it’s time for the next slice of prog goodness for Crippled Black Phoenix and just in time too, as the milestone of a decade approaches. Beginning in a way that cleverly defies expectations of a heavy start with the ballad ‘Sweeter than You’ , what follows is the ‘Black light’ side - a series of tracks not only heavier in music but bringing moments of progressive, rock and post-punk, especially in new vocalist Daniel Anghede’s voice on tracks like ‘Let’s have an apocalypse now’ and the spoken ‘_______’. Let’s remember however that this is the band that gracefully covered a Journey song that wasn’t so DAMN OBVIOUS on their ‘I,Vigilante’ album with ‘Of A Lifetime’, from Journey’s PROG ERA: everything’s not going to be so black and white.Never more so with the ‘White Side’ – a side that portrays a more upbeat side of life but in the case of CBP it brings out an even rawer vibe. Justin Greaves mentioned how he wanted to make songs that were ‘more about feeling than musical prowess’ and it must be agreed that he succeeded. In fact songs like ‘Wake me Up When It’s Time To Sleep’ bring to mind the works of peers such as Steven Wilson – dark yet more melodic and less grandiose.An album that uses the progressive and alt worlds without being too bloated, ‘White Light Generator’ is another triumph for Crippled Black Phoenix.
By David Joseph Brady
By Matt Dawson
Marla Mase Half Life True Groove Records Out Now
The most recent offering from Marla Mase presents a nice mix of tracks. While it’s doubtful they will hit the mainstream top 40 anytime soon, it’s a great album with a lot of strong political and social commentary in. For example, ‘Things That Scare Me’ and ‘Bitch In Heat’ are rocky yet cerebral numbers which seem to express a certain anger towards a particular type of female and about society’s need to label and diagnose. If you were expecting eight tracks of heavy drums and guitars, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the mellow, title track. Rather than being a strong political statement, it’s an endearing love letter type song. There’s a great range of melodies - all too often so many LPs are the same song over and over - not this one! While some of the guitar riffs border on rock and even folk at times, the vocals are somewhere between Sheryl Crow and Lana Del Rey, making for interesting, varied listening. Score 7/10 Favourite track: Half Life. By Laura Tillson
J. RODDY WALSTON & THE BUSINESS Essential Tremors ATO Records – 10th March
Given that I had never heard of these guys before, I can state I am clearly not impressed: with myself, mainly, for missing out on some great talent. Where were they hiding??? Guilt trip aside, this record is the quintessential soundtrack for an afternoon in the park, drinking cold beer with friends and enjoying the warmth and sunshine. Or, given that the UK is currently not blessed with either of the aforementioned, let's call it a dinner party (the beer is still served cold). The album kickstarts the good vibes flow with the powerful and almost hypnotic “Heavy Bells”, and mantains the upbeat mood with “Take It As It Comes” and “Hard Times”. Even the allegedly slow tracks, such as “Nobody Knows” and “Boys Can Never Tell”, are more intimate and introspective rather than soppy and forlorn. By now, I have a feeling these guys almost took it upon themselves not to ruin my party, saving my guests from watering down their soup with their own tears. In a melting pot of different influences , all carefully blended to perfection, songs like “Marigold”, “Same Days”, “Tear Jerk” and “Black Light” evoke echoes of shimmering skintight bodysuits over skyscraping heels, frantically running for the last pot of glittery eye-shadow at Kensington Market. The piano, however, sounds more Southern gospel gone aggro than Top Of The Pops: the scratchy, almost bluesy vocals and the assertive, angst ridden riffs bring us straight back to the modern age, “Sweat Shock” being a clear example. Icing on the cake is “Midnight Cry”, served to end this beautiful record like a mouthful of sweet dessert, leaving the ears full and satisfied. By Irene Paranoia
Sonic Shocks - Issue 22
singles/ep REVIEWS LOST IN WONDERLAND Breaking The Silence (single) Out Now
It’s always so refreshing to hear a band who have a firm grasp of song composition skills, and Lost in Wonderland have it down. Their latest single Breaking The Silence is a decent display of musical prowess and anthemic lyrical abilities, and if they’re as good live as they are on record then I’m sold. There tends to be quite a repetitive nature when it comes to music lately, and it’s so tough to find something a bit different yet interesting, but with this new single Lost In Wonderland have separated themselves from the typical pretentious, overcooked rock and metal that litters the music industry these days. Filled to the brim with punchy guitar melodies, aggressive but not overbearing vocals, and strong, sweepingly catchy chorus lines, they make it incredibly difficult to not fall for their style of writing and riffing. Coupled with their previous catalogue of heavy and dynamic tunes, this single has the power to catapult this band into a solid fan base and a great career, and they may very well now be one of my new favourite upcoming bands. Give them a listen, they may be yours too. By Becki Kremer
Set To Break Redemption EP
Giving in to Ghosts
ALEXIS KINGS Keep It Sexy
Out March 31st
Out 10th March
When a band puts down their personal interests simply put as ‘Breakdowns’ it’s clear what kind of EP this is going to be from the boys of Bridgend: one that shows their influences very well. Inspired by bands like August Burns Red, Parkway Drive and of course the biggest one in metalcore these days in Bring Me The Horizon, what we get from ‘Redemption’s’ is a band that will gain other like minded fans. ‘Lost’, an intro that is not exactly tinged with prog as claimed, sets the scene for ‘Made To Suffer’ and the standard that runs throughout the EP: good riffs, vocals that show power yet don’t sound like he’s been gargling glass before they hit ‘record’ at the studio and a brief moment of gang vocals. As we get to the end with ‘Khan’ and ‘Bermuda’ things do switch slightly backto the all too brief intro at the start of the EP mixed in with what has gone before; a few quick changes in pace on ‘Bermuda’ also shows they’re willing to experiment a little bit more. While hardly groundbreaking, Set To Break do have a shot at gaining fans off the metalcore scene with an EP that will tick all the right boxes. By Matt Dawson
In less than a year together, the post-hardcore quartet from Cardiff have already made a name for themselves, touring with the likes of ACODA and Falling With Style, and ready to step up and take the UK by force with their debut E.P. Recorded in the depths of South Wales with the help of former Skindred drummer Martyn ‘Ginge’ Ford, Chasing Waves promises listeners a taster of the explosive performances that have propelled the young four piece into the limelight, but does it deliver? In a word, yes. Opening track Rapture has already racked up over 9k hits on YouTube with a sound somewhere between old school stalwarts of the genre, Thrice and more modern post-hardcore acts (Stick To Your Guns, A Day To Remember). Its barrage of edgy riffs, melodic chorus lines and very tasteful lead licks from axe man Julian Thomas is a perfect sample of what the band is all about. Sirens showcases their songwriting ability perhaps even more. It’s easy to overplay your hand when writing heavy music but sometimes it’s the instruments that aren’t there that can make a song even better: holding back from time to time and letting Alex Bargh’s drumming do the talking really serves the song and shows a maturity often lacking in artists with much more experience. The itle track goes even further, stripping away the high gain guitar sound for the verses, making every anthemic chorus all the more effective when it drops, before giving way to one final onslaught with To The Sun, a brutal affair hook after hook leaving us with no doubt at all that Giving In To Ghosts could well be a force to be reckoned with over the coming year. By John ‘Hank’ Layland
After building an enthusiastic following with sell out shows at the likes of Barfly and Nambucca and earning prestigious support slots with The Happy Mondays and Futureproof, alternative rockers Alexis Kings unleash another tiny little taster of what’s to come with a two songs EP, ‘Keep It Sexy’, which reunites previous single ‘1972’ with their latest, incendiary ‘Brothers’. Despite having enough material for a live show on their belt, the St Albans’ outfit seems determined to release their music in tiny golden pills for the moment, already showcasing from one song to another a maturity other bands still lack after several albums. Taking inspiration from Led Zeppelin as much as Arctic Monkeys or the Rolling Stones, Alexis Kings bring back the bluesy warmth of ‘1972’ with en extra dose of evil riffage on ‘Brothers’ and leave us wondering what the future could reserve for these interesting, talented newcomers. For now, all you can do – after several repeats of ‘Keep It Sexy’ – is trail YouTube for more live material and hopefully catch them soon at a venue near you. Stay in touch through www. facebook.com/AlexisKingsMusic for upcoming dates and details on how to get your copy of the EP on March 10th. By Cristina Massei
LIVE! Sonic Shocks - Issue 22
Stone Sour Backstage Live, San Antonio TX 15th February Rating: 5 Hairy Tacos out of 5 Backstage Live in San Antonio, Texas was packed to the gills for Corey Taylor, Josh Rand and company for the final stop on the U.S. leg of Stone Sour’s House of Gold & Bones tour. House of Gold & Bones I and II were recorded at the same time, but are actually two separate albums, released six months apart in 2012 and 2013, respectively. The albums even spawned a comic bo…I mean “graphic novel”, written by Taylor, which was released on 3 December 2013. After a phenomenal set by Pop Evil, accordion/55-gallon drum-laden Stolen Babies and Dallas’ high energy, Drayter (made up of four “yoots”), the temperature reached “Africa hot” inside the venue as the houselights dimmed for the headliner. Sweat poured off the sold out crowd as chants of “Co-rey, Co-rey, Co-rey” erupted in anticipation. Stone Sour hit the stage with enormous energy and fervor and busted right into the title track off House of Gold & Bones, RU 486 (both off House of Gold & Bones I), and Say You’ll Haunt Me from the album Audio Se-
crecy. In unison, twelve hundred people sang the chorus “forever, forever, we’ll be together…” at the top of their lungs, prompting the “o-face” from Señor Taylor. Stone Sour rolled through the set flawlessly with performances of Inhale, Mission Statement, and Tired. While the rest of the band took a break, Taylor emerged with his acoustic guitar and let the crowd take over the vocals on Through Glass. After Gravesend and one of my personal favorites, 30-30/150, Taylor again appeared on stage alone, mentioned that it was so hot inside the venue that he could, “smell his own balls” and strummed the opening notes to Alice in Chains’ Nutshell, to huge applause. He then smoothly transitioned into Bother. This time the crowd damn near outsang the PA system and led him through the entire song, including backing vocals in precisely the right spots. The crowd damn near outsang the PA system! After the band performed Do Me a Favor, Taylor jumped up on his frontman riser, hunched over and in his best James Hetfield impersonation, launched the band into Metallica’s Creeping Death. Stone Sour returned to the stage for their encore and performed Gone Sovereign and Absolute Zero from House of Gold & Bones I, leaving the audience extremely satisfied as they filed out from the Backstage Live sauna and into the streets of the Alamo City. This was truly a phenomenal show! In my opinion, Corey Taylor is to today what Bob Dylan was to the 1960’s; the songwriter of a generation. Setlist: House of Gold &Bones, RU 486, Say You’ll Haunt Me, Black John, Inhale, Scars, Mission Statement, Traveler’s Part 1/Tired, Through Glass, Gravesend, 30 30/150, Bother, Blue Smoke/Do Me a Favor, Creeping Death, and the encores, Gone Sovereign and Absolute Zero.
Review & photos by Steve “Sin” Sinatra
THE FAMILY RAIN + DARLIA + LSA The Garage, London – 11th February
Tonight’s do at the Garage is one of those introducing potential ‘next big things’ in the build up to the NME Awards at the end of February. And, while I found myself disagreeing with most of the winners (aside from Breaking Bad), I must say the old NME still has a nose for up & coming talent: headliners The Family Rain are just a third of tonight’s journey of musical discovery. Opener LSA are fronted by Will White of The Maccabes fame, confidently taking on the role of lead singer. They propose an interesting and popular guitar rock that you can see progress to stadium size with some more work and experience. Tonight’s crowd palate, however, is already intrigued. Next is tonight’s biggest surprise: I’ve never heard of Darlia. I’ve never heard their music either, but as it breaks out of the PA it’s like Nirvana are back from the dead, frontman’s Natan vague resemblance with Cobain completing an eerie, emotional experience. Don’t believe me? Their ‘Knock Knock’ EP is available now on iTunes, and more UK dates are being announced on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/DarliaOnline . Get the full experience. DON’T load up on guns but definitely bring your friends… Finally The Family Rain take over, their energetic brand of Strokes-tinged indie rock keeping the energy high throughout the whole set. The chemistry between the three siblings instantly transfers to the audience, in a whirlwind of enthusiasm and singalongs I haven’t seen in a while for such a young band. It ends with fans on stage and Will sharing the mic during ‘Trust Me I’m a Genius’, until security pulls the improvised co-vocalist back down in the crowd. I could watch this all over again. Hopefully next year, NME, we’ll see these names in your winners’ list somewhere. For now, thanks for the introduction. Review& photos by Cristina Massei
Faderhead/Aesthetic Perfection + Terrolokaust The Classic Grand, Glasgow February 16th Over the last few years The Classic Grand in Glasgow has built a reputation for being the home of industrial music in Scotland and 2014 has started strong with the Scottish leg of the Faderhead/Aesthetic Perfection European joint tour. For many one of the draws of this show must have been the chance to see Spanish industrial act Terrolokaust who, as support, delivered a performance you wouldn’t have been disappointed seeing as a headline show. Combining strong danceable tunes with a theatrical stage presence and manic energy, they finished off with an excellent cover of Korn’s Falling Away From Me. Faderhead were next up and Sami Yahya’s set was filled with banter between him and his bandmates and him and the crowd, often during songs as well as between them, while he was happy to shower the crowd with vodka from the bottle he slugged from on stage. He gives the impression of someone who just really enjoys being on stage and it’s a level of enthusiasm that’s infectious. It was a crowd-pleasing set of the hits you’d expect, backed up with some impressive stage lighting and a video screen that flashed up lyrics as well as displaying the awesome 16-bit fighting game inspired video for Fistful of Fuck You. With Faderhead’s lighting rig gone, and touring bandmates Elliot Berlin and Tim Van Horn shoved right to the back, the stage felt awfully big and empty for Aesthetic Perfection’s set. However it was soon filled with Daniel Graves’ presence. A consummate showman, he was always on the move, always pulling poses, always engaging. Unlike Sami from Faderhead the audience interaction was at a minimum and Aesthetic Perfection contented themselves to fire through a solid, high energy set including many tracks from the new album ‘Til Death. For me it was the highlight of the evening and judging by the crowd’s reaction they agreed. With live tours getting harder to fund and having their thunder stolen by an increasing number of festivals it’s great to be able to see a line-up of this quality live. It’s a shame it fell on a Sunday night as this inevitably led to a lower turnout than might usually be expected. Anyone who gave it a miss for that reason should be kicking themselves right now. Review & photos by David Lees
Sonic Shocks - Issue 22
Why is this important? Camden is a vital contributor to the UK’s economic success, contributing 1% of its GDP. It is home to hundreds of small businesses and the world famous Camden market, which is As we go to print, the SAVE CAMDEN petition to revise one of London’s most visited tourist attractions. Yet the curplans for the HS1-2 through Camden and save the area, rent plans for HS2 will rip Camden apart for no real national its businesses and heritage, has reached 43,492 out of benefit. 45,000 necessary signatures. We hope that all of you reading will take the time to add yours and share with The reason is two-fold. friends and family. Maybe you live or work in Camden; 1. HS2 Ltd is planning to link the existing HS1 service at King’s maybe you go for the venues, the shopping, the cheap Cross St Pancras to the new noodles or just the general vibe; maybe you’ve been HS2 interchange at Old here as a tourist or maybe you’ve heard about Camden Oak Common. It has choand hope to go and see it yourself someday. Help keep it sen to do this by rebuilding the North London line bealive, it only takes a minute. tween the two points and Here is the petition and an explanation of the current installing two new lines. plan and the consequences, shall that go ahead. You can Although 6.3 km will be tunnelled, 2.3km will run sign the petition here: straight through the heart http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-camden of Camden, unnecessarily causing devastating loss and damage. 7 bridges will be demolished or rebuilt; homes and shops will be demolished; 1 national freight line lost; 13 new construction compounds, 2 major engineering head houses and numerous material stockpiles will be built. Camden Lock Market, one of the UK’s top tourist destinations, will be lost or ruined. Losses to Camden’s famous creative industries are estimated to be in excess of £600 million, plus 9000 jobs. The scale of construction is gigantic. There will be significant road closures and traffic construction fanning out from Camden to Bloomsbury and Swiss Cottage for over a decade, plus an extra 600 lorry movements per day. Residents’ health is at risk: there are no plans to protect them from adverse air quality, dust, vibration and noise levels. But it does not have to be this way. Tunnelling the link under Camden would either negate or massively reduce all the other impacts and cost the government only £170 million. 2. The problems in Camden will be compounded by the rebuilding of TO: THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR TRANSPORT Euston station, and surrounding arDear Mr McLoughlin eas, to accommodate HS2 trains. This work will also be on a massive scale. Please would you: Whilst we support redevelopment in this area, the plans currently pro• Revise your proposed plans for the HS1-2 link through posed by HS2 Ltd are the most deCamden, which will cause devastating loss and damage structive under consideration, and to a wide area if they go ahead. If the link cannot be will cause massive damage to the surrounding area includabandoned, it should be tunnelled instead. ing the demolition of 250 homes and the probable bank• Avoid the gratuitous destruction that will be wreaked ruptcy of the much loved Bangladeshi restaurants in DrumStreet. Traffic will be gridlocked over a wide area. on Euston by adopting an alternative solution – such as mond will be up to an additional 1000 lorries on the roads Double Deck – which would cause a fraction of the dam- There every day. We urge the government to adopt an alternative age and create a world class station to be proud of. scheme - such as Double Deck - which would cause a fraction of the damage and create a world class station that the UK can be proud of. Overall, direct losses to Camden from HS2 construction work will amount to £1.01 billion. Indirect losses have not been calculated. Over ten years, the gross domestic output (GVA) affected by HS2’s current plans is estimated to be £49.8 billion, which will have a significant impact not only on Camden, but on the wider UK economy.