SUMMER FESTIVAL SPECIAL!
Issue 16 - September 2013
READING LOOKS TO THE FUTURE
The last UK summer Festival showcases an unprecedented amount of young talent for all tastes next to classic Green Day, Eminem and NIN
spirit lives despuitse sH’om me’s bullyin g
THE RETURNED’ Matila Malliarakis on new movie BEYOND THE WALLS
A tidal wave of Evil
NOTES FROM THE EDITOR
(yes, it’s mainly about Reading again...!) It wouldn’t be fair for a festival photographer writing a review; all we manage to catch is 3 songs at the most then it’s time to run to another stage, not enough really for an informed opinion. Yet this year at Reading I stumbled across some shockingly good (and some shockingly bad) acts I need to share, as keeping them to myself would be just selfish. Some of them were so awesome I even decided to forfeit some shootings and stay for the whole performance; these revelations and personal saviours of music kind were in chronological order The Strypes, Pure Love and Spector. The Strypes (see front cover) are these amazing Irish kids between the age of 15 and 17 who play some incendiary rock’n’roll to make Buddy Holly shed a tear or two. Not only they’re phenomenal musicians, but they have the attitude of grown up men with that enthusiasm only teenagers don’t need to fake. If I had seen a video rather than seeing them live I would have dismissed them as a fabrication just because they’re too good to be true. Their first full length ‘Snapshot’ is out September 9th and we both need a copy. Pure Love is the most fun you can have with your clothes on and of course the music is great too, anyway it’s ex Gallows Frank Carter, he’s loving it and so will you. The songs are somewhere between indie and pop punk but with 100 times the energy, energy so contagious that I found myself at the end of a long weekend following Carter in an inflatable circling around the tent carried by fans, in the most amazing case of crowdsurfing ever witnessed. Finally, not a discovery but a welcome reminder of a band I first came across last year at Camden Crawl, Spector, indie-pop with that vintage – Weezer-ish element but better. Their debut album ‘Enjoy it while it lasts’ has been out a while and if you missed it now it’s time to make up for it. Lead singer Fred McPherson, usually quite humorous in his between-songs banter, tonight seems moved by the crowd filling the Republic tent and the fact he’s headlining said tent. He thanks us, we thank him, and you should thank your luck and get tickets if you get Spector playing at a venue near you at some point. Don’t forget your dancing shoes and be ready to fall in love. Other acts that impressed me were Peace, Kate Nash, Alex Clare, The Living End, The Computers, Frankie & The Heartstrings, Mike Patton’s project – one of many - Tomahawk, good old Johnny Marr with his rendition of The Smiths ‘Stop Me If…’, The Bronx, Imagine Dragons and obviously Green Day. I truly suffered having to endure Bring Me The Horizon until I got out of the main stage range and hid in a tent, and I struggled to survive 3 songs of Jake Bugg and Bastille. Trent Reznor should really stop moaning about production, it starts sounding like he’s making excuses in advance. And finally a question: is Azealea Banks related to Tyra Banks? They really look alike… To close, I’d like to thank the folks at Reading for having us this year and introducing me to such talented bands. This was my first time and I’m amazed at the quality of the acts and how many different genres are available. For someone like me who’s not fussed between metal, indie, metalcore, pop, pop rock, post punk and what else, but only between good and bad music, Reading is the Festival to do. To many more to come, cheers Reading, way to end the summer! Best things really come to those who wait… With renewed optimism, we can now look forward to some brilliant September releases to take us through the winter blues. The Strypes, The Graveltones, The Temperance Movement, Babyshambles, Johnny Cola, Vista Chino/Kyuss and more dropping new beauties this month, things are looking up in Music Land. Check out our reviews page and keep an eye on the website for these and more albums coming soon. And don’t steal, these are worth paying for!
EDITOR IN CHIEF: Cristina Massei MUSIC EDITOR: Matt Dawson MOVIES & TV EDITOR: Matthew Tilt EVENTS & NIGHTLIFE: Nelly Loriaux UNSIGNED EDITOR: Dan Balchin US CORRESPONDENT: Denise Britt BURLESQUE: Sophia Disgrace WRITERS: Matthew Higgs, Ashley Naismith, John Morgan, John ‘Hank’ Layland, Gavin Delaney, Maggie Smith
PHOTOGRAPHERS: Cristina Massei, Matthew Higgs, Nelly Loriaux, David Lees, Denise Britt, Dan Balchin SPECIAL THANKS; The Zeitgeist Agency, DuffPress, The Noise Cartel, Andy Turner, Alison Bateman, Cosa Nostra and all artists, PR, collaborators, friends and strangers who helped make this possible - you know who you are. You Rock!
CONTACTS: Email firstname.lastname@example.org for general enquiries and advertising@ sonicshocks.com if you need information on advertising with us. Please refer to the contacts page on our website www.sonicshocks.com before sending any unsolicited material and make sure you’re directing it to the right person, thanks! PLEASE NOTE: We listen to everything but - in your own interest - we don’t always review it...
DAY 1 90,000 people taking to a field to watch over 200 bands during 3 days of music and madness, it could only be one place, Reading 2013. Where to start a review then... Florida’s New Found Glory wasted no time getting the main stage crowd jumping with their classic pop punk summer anthems. ‘My Friends Over You’ proving the band’s backdrop proclaiming ‘Pop Punk’s Not Dead!’ more than true as security got their first real test of the day with more than a few crowd surfers piling over the barrier. Playing the bands now ten year album ‘Sticks and Stones’ almost in full during their 40 minute set New Found Glory managed to squeeze in fan favourite ‘All Downhill From Here’ as they ended their set in style and to rapturous applause. Bring Me The Horizon were next to take to the main stage and their fans took to the pits as they showed why they are at the forefront of not only the national but international metalcore scene, with their blend of bludgeoning breakdowns and throat shredding vocals. ‘Shadow Moses’ in particular pulled in those with the urge to mosh with all the energy of the Large Hadron Collider before ‘Can You Feel My Heart’ received its live debut on one of the world’s largest stages. Turning the tempo down a few notches and arriving on stage in a wheelchair (a nod to Nirvana’s famous Reading performance and the fact his doctor advised him not to play after a back injury) festival favourite Frank Turner opened on his set with ‘Four Simple Ways’. Stripped of his acoustic guitar which was played by Fighting With Wire’s Cahir O’Doherty, Turner was able to freely move about the stage as he played a twelve track set that included ‘The Way I Tend To Be’ and ‘I Still Believe’. Comfortable in his role as the nations folk punk poet laureate Turner helped lead his sizable crowd in unison to sing set finisher ‘Photosynthesis’. In the NME/Radio 1 tent Frightened Rabbit pulled in all of those with a penchant for the Scottish accent and indie folk. ‘Living In Colour’, ‘The Modern Leper’ and ‘My Backwards Walk’ were given well received outings before vocalist Scott Hutchinson thanked the crowd and explained that yes they were Scottish for any that hadn’t managed to gather that fact yet. Personal and intense lyrics form the foundation of Frightened Rabbit, and there are clearly those in the crowd to whom the band’s songs hold a real weight. As the band close their festival set for 2013 on ‘The Loneliness And The Scream’, it would not be at all surprising to see
By Matthew Higgs them return further up the bill in twelve months time. With Deftones, Bastille and RX Bandits all taking to different stages at a similar time Sonic Shocks did it’s best to try to take in some of each band’s set. On the main stage Deftones paid an emotional tribute to late bassist Chi Cheng dedicating ‘Change (In The House Of Flies)’ to him while ‘Diamond Eyes’ and ‘My Own Summer’ showcased the Sacramento Alt Metalers at their finest. Bastille made a convincing jump from the Festival Republic stage which they played last year to the NME/Radio 1 stage, as thousands of fans gave them the kind of support usually reserved for boy bands by fevered teens. ‘Pompeii’ and ‘Things We Lost In The Fire’ particularly left the crowd baying for more as standing space in the tent was left at a
premium. RX Bandits then lead a mixed and loyal following on the Lock Up stage through their career spanning set on the tenth year anniversary of their most acclaimed album ‘The Resignation’. When the band announced in April 2011 that they would no longer tour in the summer many UK fans were left wondering if they would ever get to see the Californians again; these fans made sure their return at Reading was notably well received.
As Matt Skiba, Dan Andriano and Derek Grant made their way onto the stage for the Lock Up’s closing set Alkaline Trio were given a raucous welcome. Newer songs from this year’s release ‘My Shame Is True’ proved the band is as loved as ever, before older tracks ‘Private Eye’ and ‘Sadie’ formed set highlights. Ending on fan favourite ‘Radio’, which saw its chorus of ‘I’ve got a big fat fucking bone to pick, with you my darling’ screamed back with a tents worth of angst and vigour, Alkaline Trio left the stage after their set smashed out the park. The closing of Day 1 was the role of Punk Rock veterans GreenDay, who treated the Reading faithful to a huge 31 song set including classic album Dookie in its entirety. With the large part of the festivals 90,000 fans present singing and dancing from the off the band burst into ‘99 Revolutions’. Dragging a startled and shocked member of the audience up to sing part of ‘Know Your Enemy’, a youthful looking Billie Joe Armstrong then encouraged the boy to stage dive back into the crowd. ‘Holiday’, ‘Boulevard Of Broken Dreams’ and ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ kept the bands set at breakneck pace before they launched into 1994’s Dookie. ‘When I Come Around’ and ‘Basket Case’ formed the predictable highlights of this section of the set as hundreds of fans swam across the heads of their peers and over the barrier towards the band. With Armstrong, Dirnt and Cool all clearly enjoying the performance the band unleashed 27 years of classic punk on the audience.
‘St Jimmy’ continued the band’s set before - during ‘Waiting’ - Armstrong smashed his guitar to the floor to the crowd’s applause. After ‘Minority’ Green Day drew their set to a close only to quickly return for an encore of ‘American Idiot’, Jesus of Suburbia’ and ‘Brutal Love. With the crowd still baying for more a 2nd encore of ‘Good Riddance (time of your life)’ finished the day on a high as Green Day sincerely thanked the crowd leaving System Of A Down made their Reading return on Reading’s main stage victoriously conquered. the main stage with some of the best sound of the whole festival and with classic tracks like ‘Prison Song’, ‘Needles’ and ‘B.Y.O.B’ ready to lead the amassed audience in some of the best sing alongs of the weekend. During ‘Chop Suey!’ in particular it was hard to spot a single Reading goer not at least joining in on the chorus. After headlining Download in 2011 it maybe comes as no surprise that SOAD took to such a large audience like a duck to water, but as the band smashed their 75 minute set they left the crowd eating out of their hands. Returning to the Lock Up stage pre Alkaline Trio I caught one of my best discoveries of the weekend, Australian Psychobillys The Living End. Pulling a sizable crowd obviously more clued in then myself, it took only a couple of their fast paced, hard rocking, double bass climbing tracks to win me around as a new fan. With more than a little cross over in sound with the nights headliners Green Day it maybe came as no surprise they were so well received, but the energy present in their performance did feel surprisingly refreshing given the static nature of many bands on the Reading bill.
DAY 2 If there’s one thing to shake off the last of those hangover festival morning blues it’s some good old skanking, something King Prawn happen to be the perfect soundtrack to with their Ska Punk crackers. Having reformed in 2012 after nine years apart the band had obviously lost none of their appeal, as the Lock Up stage crowd jumped and sang to every track. Neither had they let standards slip, sounding as tight as ever bouncing through their 45 minute set.
I had always thought The Bronx to be reasonably heavy and they kind of were, but what I had underestimated was their melodic side. As vocalist Matt Caughthran stomped about the stage egging the crowd on to start pits and crowd surf, the band held much more melody than is instantly apparent on record. Picking up and putting on a Hawaiian print bucket hat that had been thrown onto the stage, Caughthran regularly climbed onto the stage barrier in order to further incite his audience. Ballsy yet catchy The Bronx put on a stellar set for old and new fans alike. With 27 touring years in the bag Sick Of It All have rightly earned their place as one of hardcore’s legends. While the years on the road have certainly helped make the band the tight musical outfit they are, it hasn’t at all taken its toll on their energy; the band ran across the stage with all the passion of any fledgling punk act. Guitarist Pete Koller leapt and whirled about like some deranged dervish never missing a note, while brother and frontman Lou Koller attacked his vocals with all the aggression and self assurance of any young combatant. Nine albums worth of material were drawn upon on in their brutal
set which included ‘Step Down’ and ‘Take The Night Off ’, opening up the day’s best pits filled with old school punks and young Reading goers alike. It would be fair to say Sick Of It All ripped i n g ’s the Lock Up tent a new one and put some of To close Readthe young pups playing across the festival to middle day was the artist maybe most anticipated at the festival, Eminem. Opening on shame. new song, ‘Survival’, taken from his forthMike Patton led supergroup coming ‘Marshall Mathers LP2’, the rapper Tomahawk brought their wasted no time getting the crowd moving. blend of experimental rock/ With plenty of singles slipped into the set metal to Reading to close the list there was no doubting Mathers’ ability Lock Up Stage for the second to write and produce a good track, however day. Featuring members of the one thing that was lacking was charisma. The Jesus Lizard and Helmet, While admittedly I have never been the hugthe band certainly has a ped- est of hip hop fans, a fair few of Eminem’s igree of talent in its midst, songs did find a way into my personal playeven if many of the young list while growing up. Over the last few years Reading crowd, not tuned my tastes have broadened and I have started into its members past, may to purchase albums by artists like Jay Z and have avoided the stage won- Soul Khan. Sure there was the backing band, dering who this band they and a pretty impressive light show going on, but for me as Mathers continually walked h a d up and down the never stage like a caged heard lion the show lacked of was. the performance, instead seeming like Through 14 tracks of a recital. ‘Airplanes, noise, prog, samples, Part II’ encouraged native American inthe crowd to sing fluences and Patton’s along before Dido distinctive vocals, the joined the rapper on band lead the audistage for his smash hit ence on a sound‘Stan’ to the audiences scape journey that screams. ‘Toy Soldiers’ few others at this and ‘Love The Way year’s Reading could You Lie’ continued provide. Opening to show Eminem in on ‘Mayday’ before his prime before ‘My going into the title Name Is/The Real Slim track of new alShady’ brought the set bum ‘Oddfellows’, to the crescendo of ‘Not Tomahawk worked Afraid’. While there their audience were clearly those in the into a frenzy. ‘God crowd who had waited Hates A Coward’ a long time to see their received maybe hero, personally I was a the bands best little disappointed with reception before the set. Returning for ‘Rape This Day’ an encore of the classic and ‘Southpaw’ ‘Lose Yourself ’ the rapboth continued per continued to prove the bands sonic journey. he more than had the tracks Before ‘Point and Click’ Patton told the audi- that ence to enjoy the white rapper that was on to justify his headline position, even if not later to which the crowd booed, maybe the performance. suggesting that the boo was their words not his, Patton then motioned blowing out his brains as the band continued their set. Finishing on ‘Laredo’ Tomahawk left to the cheers of the crowd as the woman next to me proceeded to tell me how Patton was “Easily the best frontman of the last twenty years and nothing short of a genius”.
DAY 3 Don Broco continue their skywards trajectory as they do ‘The Walk’ to opener ‘Priorities’ on Reading’s main stage. With plenty of younger fans sporting banners and t shirts the Bedford four piece have a captive audience as ‘Hold On’ and ‘Beautiful Morning’ see the band bounce about the stage to their alt rock songs. The intermittent showers don’t deter the amassed as new song ‘You Wanna Know’, ‘Whole Truth’ and ‘Fancy Dress’ continue the Reading party before the band leave to the screams of their young audience. Japan’s Crossfaith are another band on the up and as they take to the Lock Up stage fans are still struggling to squeeze into the tent to see their heroes. Opening on ‘Monolith’ Crossfaith prove that they are worthy of the hype attributed to them as their cocktail of metal and electronica whips the audience into a dance filled mosh whirlwind. ‘Jagerbomb’ and ‘Eclipse’ continue the band’s high tempo mash up of styles before a brilliant cover of the Prodigy’s ‘Omen’ turns the excitement levels of their crowd to 11. Finishing on ‘Leviathan’ Crossfaith draw their fast paced set to a close, look out for the bands 3rd album ‘Apocalyze’ dropping the 9th September, it may well be the one that breaks them into the mainstream. Pulling a smaller crowd in the Festival Republic tent Frankie & The Heartstrings entice a varied audience to watch their thirty minute set of upbeat indie. It’s all very nice and frontman Frankie Francis is a likable enough character as he minces about the stage to the band’s single ‘Ungrateful’, the set however just fails to be anything special. After one of the band’s self stated “Worst show(s) ever” at Leeds, Filter were to set the record straight at Reading even if they still seemed slightly jaded. Opening on ‘Can’t You Trip Like I Do’ the band clearly brought with them a loyal following as lyrics were recited back to frontman Richard Patrick verbatim. Latest single ‘What Do You Say’ and ‘Take A Picture’ were given well received airings before Filter closed on set stealer ‘Hey Man, Nice Shot’. While Fall Out Boy made their return to the Reading main stage in front of one of the weekends largest audiences, Dallas Green showed just why he is hailed as one of music’s best voices as City & Colour packed out the NME/Radio 1 tent. The ex Alexisonfire guitarist was always a respected melodic vocalist in the post hardcore band, but since focusing on his solo material Green has found huge success with his folk and blues filled acoustic rock. Having supported the day’s headliners Biffy Clyro on their arena tour and having sold out the Royal Albert Hall single handedly, Green may have become used to playing large shows, the audience however
are clearly not used to hearing such a beautiful and distinctive voice live as they stand, sway and applause with heartfelt admiration. Not stopping between the songs that include ‘The Grand Optimist’ and ‘Fragile Bird’ Green lets his singing do the talking as he captivates his audience from first note to final word. ing the band, although was eager to point out when his name was chanted that “A band is more As Jim Carroll and a bearded Frank Carter calm- than just one person, I was fucking honored to ly opened Pure Love’s set on ‘She (Makes The join this band”. ‘In The Belly Of The Shark’ was Devil Run Through Me)’ so began one of Read- screamed back by the crowd with vigour before ing’s most memorable performances. As giant Carter joined his old band to a hero’s reception inflatable balls were pushed out into the crowd, to share the love on closer ‘Orchestra Of Wolves’. Carter got riding an inflatable dingy out into his audience for ‘Beach Of Diamonds’ before Carroll Opening on ‘Different People’ Biffy Clyro genjoined on a even larger blow up Dragon. tly began their domination of the Reading Main What ensued was a stage, before pyros lit up the August sky for ‘The break neck paced Golden Rule’. Veterans of the festival, the band set as the two rode have played on many of the event’s stages through across the crowd, the years, few however could argue that after the who themselves success of the bands last few albums they belong attempted to clam- anywhere else now than in their headline position ber onto any avail- on the main stage. With a twenty one song set that able inflatables. not only contained the band’s hits but older fan ‘Bury My Bones’ favourites to keep the purists happy, the Ayrshire highlighted the trio capitalised on their largest ever audience to band’s ability to put on show that would not soon be forgotten. write some of the catchiest rock be- ‘Sounds Like Balloons’ and ‘Biblical’ are smashed fore ‘Handsome through as Simon Neil thanks the crowd saying Devils Club’ de- “It’s a pleasure to close your evening, in fact, it’s scended into an a fucking honour”. Following the dancey ‘Gliti n s t r u m e nt a l ter and Trauma’ the tempo was brought down a with Carter left notch for the delicate ‘Folding Stars’, ‘Questions surfing his way and Answers’ and ‘Machines’, leaving the audiwithout his mic ence swaying and singing along as Simon took for the entire center stage, acoustic in hand. The band then contrack. Drag- tinued all guns a blazing for ‘Living Is A Problem’, ging at various ‘57’ and under a barrage of streamers ‘Many Of points his dad, Horror’. It’s this ability to switch between heartfelt girlfriend and sincerity and aggression - both between and even brother out onto the stage, the charismat- IN songs - that helps the band stand out from the ic Carter was clearly enjoying the performance, slew of over rock bands. All three members were with a contagious sense of camaraderie running rarely without a grin, as song after song the crowd through the crowd totally in love with the band. cheered for the band like their lives depended on At his suggestion Frank then managed to assem- it. ble enough people to carry him on his raft like some kind of punk captain around the entirety ‘The Captain’ once more saw the band in their of Festival Republic Stage, never being dropped prime before Neil then proceeded to set his guitar once. As Pure Love pulled their set to a close with on fire with a flare, much to the cheers of the fes‘Scared To Death’ and ‘Riot Song’, tival audience before leaving the stage. Returnended what was truly one of the ing for ‘Skylight’, ‘Stinging Belle’ and the huge weekend’s special performances. hit ‘Mountains’ as fireworks explode overhead, Biffy bring Reading 2013 to the spectacular end Back in the Lock Up tent Carter’s it deserves. old band Gallows, now fronted by Ex Alexisonfire Wade MacNeil, were getting the pits started with their hardcore belters ‘Abandon Ship’ and ‘Last June’. Calling for the biggest circle pit of the weekend the band powered through their set while dust filled the air from the swirling mass of bodies crushed the tent. Strapping on a guitar for ‘Austere’ Wade looked more than comfortable head-
BLOODSTOCK OPEN AIR CATTON PARK, DERBYSHIRE, UK AUGUST 7 - 10 Raise your battle axes to the sky and fill your viking drinking horns with ale, Bloodstock is back and ready to fill the country air of Derbyshire with the sound of some of the world’s finest metal bands! The festival is already well and truly underway by the time we’ve set up our tents, with the classic signs of a night’s hard drinking already evident on the faces on almost every fellow camper we pass on the way to the arena for our first band of the day, M u nicipal Waste. I was lucky enough to catch them at Hevy Fest last year where they put in a stunning performance. Here at Catton Hall though they seem even tighter, meaner and in lead singer Tony Foresta’s case, a little leaner too as they thrash their way through a fantastic set. The real highlight of their show comes though when, rather than opting for their trademark wall of death during “Fatal Feast”, Foresta instigates a “crowd surf of death”. In the four minutes that follow, just over six hundred eager crowd surfers make their way over the barriers into the waiting arms of security staff. However, none make quite the same impression as the valiant crowd surfer in a wheelchair, hoisted down to the front by hundreds of pairs of eager hands. It’s a spectacle that makes even the band themselves stop and pay attention and receives a highly deserved round of applause before they finish things off with the aptly titled “Born To Party”. After a quick break for some lunch during which Voivod’s set falls on mostly deaf ears, it’s up to Accept to show everyone in front of the Ronnie James Dio stage that the old ways can still be the best. Re-energised in recent years by ex-TT Quick vocalist Mark Tornillo, there’s a real old school metal vibe about them and they turn things up to eleven straight away, opening with a double salvo of “Hung, Drawn and Quartered” and “Stalingrad” from their latest album, then falling back on more familiar fare like “Restless and Wild” and “Balls To The Wall”, before finishing up their speed metal masterclass with “Fast as a Shark”. It’s been a long time since King Diamond toured the UK, nearly a decade in fact. So anticipation for tonight's headline set is understandably high and with the other stages now closed for business, all eyes are now on the mysterious black curtain obscuring the main stage. After a suitably creepy backing track builds tension in the crowd to near breaking point the curtain drops, revealing a blood red pentagram, the world’s largest set of cemetery gates and of course, the King himself. The band thunder straight into “The Candle”, with Diamond’s trademark falsetto war cry rising high above the pounding bass, drums and guitars. He might be closing in on sixty but you’d never know it to watch him work the stage, especially when the bands would-be mascot Grandma (think Eddie from Iron Maiden, but more terrifying) joins them for “Welcome Home” and things take a turn to the theatrical in a fashion very reminiscent of Alice Cooper’s live shows. Unfortunately, apart from fantastic renditions of “Come to the Sabbath” and fan favourite “Evil” there’s very little Mercyful Fate material in the band’s set which is a real shame, but the heavy metal pantomime playing out on stage and the sheer quality of the performance is what really shines through above eve-
by John ‘Hank’ Layland rything. There really aren’t many bands around that can pull off a stage show like theirs with the perfect level of irony and self awareness, yet still deliver musically. However, by the time the dust has settled after a double encore of “The Family Ghost” and “Black Horsemen” it’s certainly not hard to see why everyone from Metallica to Marilyn Manson cite King Diamond as a major influence. After a night of hard partying it’s up to 3 Inches of Blood’s brand of battle metal to blow away the Saturday morning cobwebs. The slightly dungeons and dragons like lyrical content might not be everyone’s cup of tea but musically they’re up to the job, Shane Clark and Justin Hadberg trade licks on their guitars at breakneck speed and they manage to hammer through nearly a dozen songs in their early morning slot. They even find time to include a perfectly crafted metal version of Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” for good measure which goes down an absolute storm and once they finish things up with “The Goatriders Horde” there’s definitely not a bleary eye left in the audience. XII Boar, or Twelve Boar if you prefer, are a completely different kettle of fish over on the New Blood stage. After the earlier onslaught of 3 Inches of Blood, their style of stripped down, back to basics rock and roll makes for a refreshing change. They might not have the visual flare of Hell over on the main stage, whose fire cannons and pyro are still making quite an impression even though we’re half way across the site, but there are welcome hints of Orange Goblin and Motorhead to their sound, especially on tracks like “Smokin’ Bones”. Couple that with enough whiskey soaked swagger to put Viking Skull out of business and everyone that ventured away from the main stage to catch them had a real treat. It’s not until we make our way over to see Kataklysm that it becomes really obvious what a respite from all things brutal XII Boar represented as the Canadian death metal four piece are already pulverising the front row with the relentless blast beats and triplet picking of “Like Angels Weeping”. Music as heavy as theirs can often lose the nuances that make it great in a live setting, but that’s not the case here. Thanks largely to drummer, Max Duhamel who works his drum kit like a perfectly synchronised machine, binding perfectly with guitarist Jean-Francois Dagenais’s savage riffs and bass player Stephane Barbe’s rumbling low end, especially during “Iron Will”, the sheer viciousness
of which has everyone in the crowd throwing their horns to the end and rightfully so.
the sky by
but with so many backing singers and the host of acclaimed session musicians that make up the backing band for Tobias Sammet’s rock and roll opera, such a powerful sound Gojira - having lost most of their drum kit and all of is almost a given. Despite the pitch perfect nature of their guitars to a luggage mix up before they even arrived their performance there’s a little too much pomp and at Catton Hall - haven’t been having a great Bloodstock circumstance about it all too. Tobias might be a houseso far. Luckily they’ve got plenty of friends amongst the hold name in Germany, having sold well over three million bands on today's line-up and with a couple of loaner axes records but they aren’t quite as well known in the UK and courtesy of Lamb of God and some begged, borrowed and the huge, nearly Bon Jovi-esque stage show feels almost at stolen cymbals they set out to prove that the show must go odds with the smaller audience of diehard fans. Not that it on, regardless of what gets in their way. They stick mostly phases him in the least though as he bounds around with to material from their latest album L'Enfant Sauvage, but an enormous grin on his face, sharing the mic with cohorts there’s a few older songs like “Oroborus” thrown in for good Michael Kiske and Bob Catley and seemingly loving every measure and even a surprise visit from Randy Blythe who helps provide minute of it. Whatever your opinion might be of the music itself, they vocals for “Backbone”, much to everyone in the audiences delight. Despite execute every track with flawless precision and it’s a shame that most of the all the gear related issues they sound fantastic too, from the raked harmonics crowd don’t share Tobias’s enthusiasm on the mic until they’re ending the set of “Explosia” all the way through to the double kick drum driven assault of with a version of “Sign of the Cross” that morphs perfectly into an impromptu “Wisdom Comes” their set puts even the most seasoned headbangers sense cover of Black Sabbath's “Heaven and Hell”, finally granting them the kind of of rhythm to the test. When they finish things off with the offbeat onslaught applause their efforts deserve. of “Toxic Garbage Island” there’s a real sense of triumph, Gojira haven’t simply overcome Lamb of God are a band that should need no introduction. Having moved far the odds and beyond their original pigeon hole as simply another part of the “new wave of delivered a American metal” and with every album they release garnering more critical great show acclaim they’ve more than earned their headline slot here at Bloodstock. They in spite of the warm up the crowd quickly with “Desolation” and “Ghost Walking” but just as issues behind they’re really gaining momentum during “Walk With Me In Hell” the barrier at the scenes, the front of the stage collapses inward under the weight of the audience. Conthey’ve inad- cerned with the crowd’s safety and probably still mindful of the bands recent vertently set legal troubles, frontman Randy Blythe asks everyone to remain patient while the bar for security do their best to fix the problem. However, it only holds long enough every band for them to play one more track before it collapses yet again when the audience that has to surge forward for “Ruin”. Thankfully, after yet another lengthy wait, the secufollow them rity staff manage to get the barrier fixed properly and both band and crowd can on the Ron- breathe a little easier for the remainder of the show. Finally given the opportunie James nity to get going properly, Blythe prowls the stage like a man possessed, spitting Dio stage. venom into the microphone on every verse and coaxing more and more from the crowd when he holds out the mic for every anthemic chorus. Watching the With every brothers Adler at work is a pleasure too and almost evocative of the late Dimesong based bag Darrell and his brother Vinnie Paul in their prime. The sheer tightness on a real military battle and an on stage uniform of aviator shades of the staccato guitar and arctic camouflage, anyone that hasn’t seen Sabaton live would be forgiven for thinking they’re a pretty serious bunch of chaps. Nothing could be further from the truth though, a fact that becomes clear when issues with the drum kit bring “Ghost Division” to an untimely halt and lead singer Joakim Brodén kills a few minutes by telling the crowd how he’s been asked not to swear between songs out of respect for visitors to a nearby war memorial. Something he accidentally manages to do several times before he’s even finished his explanation, leading to some genuine comedy as he hands out cans of lager to a few lucky people on the barrier by way of an apology. The combination of light hearted humour and the infectious stomp of tracks like “Swedish Pagans” makes them a real treat to watch, and it’s smiles all around as the audience shout back the choruses to “40:1” and “Carolus Rex”. There’s even a heartwarming moment when Joakim makes a young fans day by offering to trade a few cans of beer for their steel plated vest so he can wear it for the rest of the set, having recently lost his own to airport customs. Which he dutifully returns as the rest of the band take a well deserved bow after “Metal Crüe”. Having never seen them before they were something of a wildcard in my eyes, but they definitely turned out to be one of the highlights of the festival for me and looking at the grinning faces in the rest of the crowd I know I’m not alone. After such a great set from Sabaton and with Lamb of God waiting in the wings, the recently reformed Avantasia seem like an odd fit on todays lineup. They sound absolutely huge as they rock their way through “Spectres” and “Invoke the Ma c h i n e”
riffs and pounding drums lock together and mesh with Mark Morton's own unique lead style with metronome like precision. So much so that there’s not one missed beat or choked note for the entire ninety minute set. They actually go a little over their allotted time, due to the issues with the barrier early on, but nobody protests when the band come back for what turns out to be an epic encore. The deceptively soft acoustic melodies of “The Passing/In Your Words” set the fuse in the audience before a triple bill of “Laid To Rest”, “Redneck” and then finally “Black Label” light the charge, producing a circle pit that spreads almost the entire width of the stage and leaves quite a few fans with a bloody lip and a few new war stories to tell when they get home! After a night spent nursing sunburn and swapping tales from the mosh pit, everyone turns out bright and early on Sunday morning to see Knoxville Tennessee's finest deathcore export - Whitechapel ply their trade on the Ronnie James Dio stage. The gentle piano introduction of “Make it Bleed” quickly gives way to the polyrhythmic punishment of “Section 8” and downtuned malevolence of “I, Dementia” and, even though Ben Savage and Alex Wade
tune their seven string guitars so low that it would make think twice, every breakdown still comes across as a crystal clear assault on the senses, each one more savage than the last. Vocalist Phil Bozeman means business too, putting his heart and soul into every vicious growl, only pausing long enough to catch his breath and issue more orders to the audience members trapped in a wall of death that eventually becomes a maelstrom of tangled limbs and churning circle pits by the time they’re giving us one final dose of carnage with “This is Exile”.
Who Wander Are Lost” that the vocal and guitar levels find their rightful place in the mix. Not that you’d know to watch the band, who push on with laudable professionalism in spite of the issues behind the sound desk. Where lesser bands might trip and stumble DevilDriver plough ever onwards, mixing the perfect ratio of new material from “Winter Kills” in amongst the primal hooks of “Before The Hangmans Noose” and “I Could Care Less” from their earlier albums, creating a perfect storm of setlist. They’ve got one last trick up their sleeves before it’s time to go too. The band’s already known for their epic world record circle pit attempts at Download Festivals gone by, so the crowd’s well aware of exactly what’s expected of them when Dez bellows at them to “Open up that pit even wider!” for their last song “Meet The Wretched”, leading to what can only be described as Derby’s largest meat grinder!
Northampton natives Sacred Mother Tongue are said to be one of the most convincing young british metal bands to emerge in recent years. However, despite the four pieces top quality musicianship - especially in the case of guitarist Andy James whose work for Lick Library has helped teach thousands of budding artists their favourite fret burning solo note for note - there seems to be something missing from their performance today. It’s all just a little too business as usual and with- Now on the two hundredth date of their “Worst of Music Tour” and some thirout a second guitar in the mix to fill the void left by overdubbing, all of the ty years after Scott Ian first scoured a biology to pick out a name for his band, Anthrax are back in the UK once again. punch of their better material such as “Seven” Re-invigorated in recent years by the return and “Demons” is almost completely lost in of vocalist Joey Belladonna and 2011’s “Big a live setting, leading to a slightly lacklustre Four” tour with thrash metal stablemates performance. Megadeth, Slayer and Metallica, the band are on absolutely top form here at Catton Having initially gained a great deal of attenHall. Getting straight into it with a couple tion for being the brainchild of professional of old favourites that have everyone in the wrestler Chris Jericho and Stuck Mojo axeaudience “Caught in a Mosh” then slipping man Rich Ward, Fozzy have gone on to blaze in an under the radar cover of Joe Jackson's a trail all their own. It’s easy to see why as soon “Got The Time”. It’s at that point that two as they start playing too, as Jericho - used to new backdrops unfurl at the back of the playing to bigger crowds than this on a slow stage to reveal the likenesses of Dimebag day in his previous career - exudes attitude Darrell and Ronnie James Dio, resulting from every pore while Ward skillfully leads in a huge round of applause that continues the band into the salacious groove of “Spiders well into tribute song “In The End”. With in my Mouth”. Phil Campbell joins them a few Belladonna back on the mic and Scott Ian’s songs later as well to add a little dash of Mogod like right hand keeping the rhythm torhead to “She’s my Addiction”, really getting section tight as a drum, the band really the crowd up off its feet. Most of the setlist is are a joy to watch, going from strength to based around their most recent release “Sin and Bones” but they find time to slot in older numbers “God Pounds His strength as they up the pace again with “Deathriders” and the zombie apocaNails” and “Enemy” for which Jericho scales the lighting rig to keep the sing- lypse inspired “Fight ‘em ‘til You Can’t”, even throwing in a cover of AC/DC’s along going in true rock and roll style before blood drenched fire dancers “T.N.T” for good measure. Unfortunately though all good things must come to join the band on stage to heat things up for their final song “Blood Happens”. an end and with time quickly running out there’s just chance to squeeze in “I am The Law”; during which Belladonna rides piggyback on his own personal Metal legends Exodus are perhaps best known because of their association Megacity Judge to great effect and then the ever faithful Trust cover “Antisowith founding member Kirk Hammett but they’re far from a novelty act, cial” before it’s time for them to clear the stage. already making heads bang around the world when thrash was in its infancy and Metallica were still but a twinkling in Lars Ulrich’s eye. Sadly, they’re Though highly respected in the metal community, Slayer have been dealt a missing their much loved lead guitarist Gary Holt, as he has the not so envi- very tough hand lately. With the departure of Dave Lombardo on drums and able task of filling Jeff Hanneman's shoes later tonight for Slayer, but singer the untimely death of Jeff Hanneman earlier this year, the band have lost two of Rob Dukes does his best to make up for it, leading the band with a huge their founding members in as many years, leading to a large amount of specupresence on stage as crowd surfers fly over the barrier to the relentless at- lation in the press as to their future in the industry. That said, when the stage tack of “The Ballad of Leonard and Charles” and “A Lesson in Violence”. The lights go up and the all out aural assault of “World Painted Blood” kicks in, madness continues as the already breakneck pace increases with “War is my there’s very little room for any speculation at all. Exodus guitarist Gary Holt Shepherd”, pushing the stage security’s ability to deal with the onslaught of and former Testament drummer Paul Bostaph fill their respective roles perbodies to the absolute limit and whipping the crowd into a frenzy before the fectly and while Tom Araya’s stage banter might be lacking a little of its usual band bring the tempo back down a little to pay fitting tribute to Paul Baloff dark humour, taking on a slightly more subdued tone than usual, musically, and Jeff Hanneman by dedicating “Bonded by Blood” to the late titans of they’re firing on all cylinders; they reach further into their back catalogue for thrash metal, then finally closing their monster of a set with the old school “Disciple” and the whiplash inducing “War Ensemble” - leaving nobody in the audience with any doubt that Slayer can still hang with the best of them. Their favourite “Strike of the Beast”. previous stage showpieces of raining blood and inverted crosses built from Marshall amplifiers have been consigned to the wareEx-Coal Chamhouse for this tour, leaving them without the visual flare of ber frontman Dez say, King Diamond or even Hell earlier in the weekend but Fafara was labelled that’s not what Slayer are really about and Kerry King still cuts many things durquite an intimidating silhouette across the stage as his guitar ing the earlier days screams and wails with every deft pull on the whammy bar of his career but I during “Postmortem”. Newer songs like “Hate Worldwide” doubt many peoalso serve as a reminder that stage shows can come and go, ple would even atbut as far as all out aggression goes Slayer haven’t changed the tempt to level the formula in twenty years. Unlike certain other bands that rose same criticisms to fame out of the Bay Area music scene in the mid-eighties at him as Devilthat shall remain nameless! They don’t play the rock and roll Driver take to the encore card either, with the final echoes “Reign in Blood” still stage to the openfading out around the site they retreat just long enough for a ing barrage of huge Jeff Hannemann banner to drop down behind them - to “End of the Line”. huge cheers of approval from the crowd - before finishing off The band have their set with two of his most famous compositions, the slow, to battle a few menacing “South of Heaven” and the always controversial “Ansound problems gel of Death”. Personally, I can’t think of a better tribute to the in the early golate Jeff Hanneman or a finer way to round out a fantastic weeking and sadly it’s end of heavy metal! not until they’re ripping their way through “Not All
By Gavin Delaney
Frank Turner and pushing them onto becoming the stars they are today, and with the intimacy and friendliness the festival encourages with activities including a huge ‘Mr T Vs. McFly’ water fight in front of main stage and the yearly fancy dress contest, the atmosphere was better than ever, massively helped by the hottest weekend of the year to date. Frank himself graced the headline slot on the opening Friday, in front of a huge crowd grown accustomed to seeing him at 2000 trees over the years as well as those who have become acquainted with his Folk/ Indie ballads. The past year for Turner has included highs as great as playing at the London Olympics opening ceremony, in front of a television audience estimated at 900 million. Having now amassed a great experience of festivals and how to work their crowds, played an intimate set with Now many reviews about 2000 Trees over Frank having everyone sitting its seven year tenure will undoubtedly con- involved and standing up upon the tain the name of Frank Turner- His self de- down of his now classics such as I scribed ‘home’ as well as his ‘favourite festi- whims Believe, Long Live The Queen, val’ according to his Twitter clamour during Still and Photosynthesis. Frank was the the build up to the festival itself. star of this year’s festi2000 Trees has often been graced with the undoubted val, and he even a few cameos plaudit of having discovered such acts as here and there, made playing harmonica for Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun, as well as headlining The Cave stage on the Thursday for all those lucky early entrants. Frank plays such a large part in this festival as a whole, working closely with the organisers helping to bring fresh new bands there to play each year, and starring there for now the fifth time during the festivals seven year life that it would be easy to get carried away and turn the festival into beWith the growing interest in UK festivals over the last two decades, and the soaring ticket prices, it comes as a relief that one can still find a niche event that takes things back to the original festival roots. 2000 trees is just that: only selling a total of 4000 tickets, for prices at a third of what some UK festivals now charge, with only the best of UK established and up and coming acts, it was a given that we had to get our tents packed and make sure we were there to see what Upcote Farm had to offer.
ing just about him, so we will stop there and move onto what the rest of 2000 trees had to offer. Fridays Main stage was graced with acts such as King Charles, a Folk/Pop songwriter with ‘enough sunshine-infused, danceable beats and catchy riffs to blow the roof off any venue’. Not our words, however his songs were catchy and evocative, ideally suited to a crowd now well down alcohol avenue, having taken a huge overdose of sunshine and ice-cream. Fitting would be the word. InMe were playing just their second show of the year in The Cave, having taken some time off to pursue other interests, most notably frontman Dave’s own 365 campaign, during which he writes a song each day for those who have bought the rights to listen to them on his pledgemusic campaign. Having headlined the inaugural 2000 Trees, it was refreshing to see them making a re-appearance with an hour long set which included a lot of music off their last album The Pride, as well as mixing in all the classics like Faster The Chase and 7 weeks, for all of the diehard fans clamouring for a taste of the few morsels provided by the band this year.
Funeral For A Friend played in front of a mixed crowd - some dragging themselves to join in the circle pits, others raising eyebrows amidst thoughts of ‘maybe it’s time to go to the bar, or get something to eat’. They played a good set nonetheless, and were happy to serenade their fans with classics such as Streetcar amongst a shower of songs from their most recent album Conduit. However, although sound issues were a problem on main stage this year, FFAF can have no excuses for the lack of energy they seemed to
portray towards the end of the set, and Matt Davies’ vocals were quite poor throughout. Mystery Jets were Saturday’s headline act, playing in front of a heat worn, alcohol torn, sleep deprivation scorned crowd, however they were the fitting choice to seal off a festival many left describing as the best of their lives. The band themselves welcomed the crowd to sit down and relax whilst they played through some of their greatest songs to date including our favourites Young Love, and Two Doors Down. Saturday’s main stage was once more riddled with technical faults, and it seems the worst to be affected were Fighting with Wire, a fantastic three piece from Derry, Ireland, with a sound reminiscent of Biffy Clyro and early Ash, mixed in with a little of the Foo’s maybe. Technical faults aside, the band took everything in their stride and played an utterly fantastic set including favourites such as Everybody Needs a Nemesis and Long Distance; a breath of fresh air in the 32 degrees of heat. A shame the band is splitting up, however you can still catch them once more at their farewell show in hometown Derry, and we would implore you all to get there by whatever means possible. We Are The Ocean pulled in a hefty crowd considering their stage time clashed horrifically with Gnarwolves. We must admit they are a completely different band following the departure of Dan Brown as their aggressive vocalist. Some energy seems to be lost, now that Liam has taken on the role of frontman, and their set seemed a little static due to fact he is also playing guitar at the same time. Something the band need to address possibly in the future. They seemed to keep the crowd happy in any respect, with songs including Machine and Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow from the latest album. Amidst many other big bands which include Stornoway, Nine Black Alps, Dry The River, Adebesi Shank, and The Crimea also playing their second to last ever show, were some great little acts on The Greenhouse stage, the most notable of which are Beans On Toast, Fighting Fiction, and the fantastic Oxygen Thief. With a focus on underground British artists it’s no surprise that there were also new bands that we would personally tip for greatness in the shapes of Midland rockers Bovine and the acoustic punk soundings of Jim Lockey and The Solemn Sun who put in their own festival stealing sets. The busking stages were also a great idea which other festivals need to take note of. We managed to catch Gazz Marlow from InMe play a secret set with Oxygen Thief playing before him, and The Harlequin Dynamite Marching Band busked outside of the main stage to those heading back to their tents after seeing The Mystery Jets. These few acts were just a slice of everything else we were unlucky enough to miss... If next year’s 2000 trees is anything like this year’s, and we are sure it will
Austin, Texas August 2, 2013
By Denise Britt
A few words about this new venue. Circuit Of The Americas is a multi-purpose facility that will host the most prestigious racing events in the world, including the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix. It is the first purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the U.S. Austin 360 Amphitheater is inside the track. It is an amazing setting for a concert....in December. For those of you that have not been to Austin or anywhere in Texas for that matter in August, it is like stepping into a giant steam oven with a zillion watt UV bulb overhead. And of course it is a metal event so everyone is dressed in black. Paramedics were busy. I suppose it was kind of fitting for the type of bands that were playing...it certainly felt like we were standing at the mouth of hell itself. I saw the 4 big acts of the festival. First up were death metal rockers Amon Amarth from Tumba, Sweden. They had an elaborate stage set with a giant Viking ship with the drummer perched up on it. Even if you can't stand death metal everyone loves Viking ships right? They performed a lot better than I could have in 105 degree Texas heat, facing the sun. Lead screamer Johan Hegg did have a Viking drinking horn hanging from his belt. Hope he had some Gatorade in there. Next up was Mastodon. I was surprised to find out that I kind of liked Mastodon. They weren't as hard as Amon Amarth. Bill Kelliher, the guitarist kept me thoroughly entertained. Enter the obligatory drunk guy with a point and shoot in the photo pit. He is hollering and pointing his little silver camera all in Bills space and Bill looks right at him and gives him the middle finger salute then looks at me, smiles and shakes his head like, “I showed him”. Of course that just encourages drunk guy. This Georgia band has got it going on! More heavy metal in the hot sun. Finally the sun is going down just in time for Five Finger Death Punch to take the stage. And take it they did. With a vengeance. Silver gargoyles lined the stage like guardians. The music was explosive and then...the inevitable showing of the ass, rock star moment all festivals have. At some point during the set Ivan Moody had all the young kids come up on stage while he f-bombed and what not for a bit then pretty much had them sport a middle finger salute. Real classy dude. I just don't get some folks. He did decide to class it up a bit by telling a story about a soldier who was killed and the song playing on his IPOD was 5FDP. He then dedicated 'Bad Company' to all of our service men and women which was kind. But then he showed his ass once again by pointing up to the media hospitality area which happened to be very nice and having the entire crowd give us all a big “fuck you” because we were the rich folks in the fancy tent. Really? I am out there giving you free publicity in 105 degree heat and I get a “fuck you”? Kiss my ass Moody. Texas heat is not for wimps, get a cool rag for your hot head and pipe down. They really are a great band and did put on a good show. Just be nice dude. The journalist is your friend. Finally, finalllllly it is time for Rob Zombie. I have seen them before at Rocklahoma in 2012 and knew that I was in for a theatrical treat. Seeing Zombie live is like being inside a horror film. Smoke, fire, giant projection screens showing all types of horrors and atrocities, giant robots, giant devils, skeletons and the likes. Then you have John5, Piggy D, Ginger Fish, and Zombie in full masks in the middle of it all. After the first song (from the new album, Teenage Nostrafarus Pussy) the masks came off and all that was left was the nightmarish make-up on the faces of these freaks. I say that lovingly, they are some of the nicest dudes I've met in the business. The set list that followed was something like this. 'Superbeast', 'Super Charger Heaven', 'Living Dead Girl', my new favorite, 'Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De La Gaga Raga', 'More Human Than Human', 'Sick Bubblegum', 'Theme For An Angry Red Planet', 'Mars Needs Women', 'House of 1000 Corpses', 'Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown', another favorite, 'Thunderkiss 1965....yeah' (with a hellacious guitar solo by the phenomenal John5) and to finish up a hair raising set, 'Dragula'. This festival started at 1 in the afternoon with bands playing solid in the hellish heat. I saw or heard of zero fights, altercations or injuries (other than heat related). I must say that the metal heads were well behaved at this event. The mosh pits were pretty tame, probably due to the heat. Lots of smiles and high fives happening in mid mosh. The security team were helpful and super friendly. The grounds were architecturally beautiful. Well done, Austin and Rockstar Energy Drink, well done. 2 horns up.
By Cristina Massei & John Morgan It’s been a hell of a year for ex Kyuss – and Kyuss Lives – Brant Bjork and John Garcia. Finally ready to unleash new material, last Kyuss album was in 1995 so you’ve acquired a youngthey had to undergo the customary lawsuit for the band’s name, The but thankfully - rather than throwing the toys out of the pram - er audience – what do you feel they’ll find in this album? they got back as Vista Chino and got that record out. Whatever For me it’s about going backwards and moving forwards simulyou want to call them, however, when you’ll listen to ‘Peace’ will taneously, I love records of the past just the same as the kids and be crystal clear who’s behind one of the best releases of 2013. we can take that love and transfer it to music in the present. I it’s going to be exciting for the new generation to get hold We had a chat with Brant Bjork to find out more about the band’s think this record and really hear and feel the spirit of Kyuss, because feelings on the album, the difficulties and joys of getting it done, of to me it wasn’t just songs and sound, it was just as much a feeling the future and… Josh Homme. and a spirit. I think that was always important and it’s definitely An album called ‘Peace’ after the year you’ve gone through here in Vista Chino and the new music, we’re moving forward – I guess you feel quite relieved that there’s an album of new and I think what we’ve got going on right now is super rad and the kids are going to respond to it accordingly. material and that you’re going back to the music. Of course, absolutely. It was a pretty poetic adventure, a lot of Since we last saw you in the UK you’ve had a change in the emotions intertwined, but to start the creative process of your line-up and now with Mike Dean from Corrosion Of Connew record and be slapped with a federal lawsuit is a pretty in- formity joining in… teresting place to be. Anyway we got through it and it actually Yes, we’re really excited about that. Mike’s always been one of my added to our inspiration and our desire to just move forward favourite bass players . Nick [Olivieri] came in to do the record bit; it really was a stressful element to something we’d really en- and we were planning on him touring with the band, but his joy which is being creative and making music. In the end we just personal life can get complicated from time to time and at that wanted to call the record ‘Peace’ as it’s a name you can meditate particular point we weren’t able to go to Australia with him; we on or just give some positive energy to help us deal with the had to quickly shift gears and that’s when we called Mike – he’s mental stress of the conflict, and also express to people that John been with us ever since. It’s a situation of ‘if it isn’t broke don’t and I were not interested in conflicts or battles; we’re interested fix it’ and it’s doing quite well with Mike, but he has his own in making music so that’s what we did. awesome band in Corrosion and we don’t want to detour that. You’ve been playing some European dates already. How’s it At this point the schedules are fine but at some point Mike will been going so far and how has the reception been for the new have to return to COC and I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of Nick. I see Nick all the time, we’ll always be brothers and I know material? he wants to be in the band and perform with us at some point The reception’s been great, the crowds have been fantastic, we’ve so I’m sure there’s a good chance that’ll happen. Mike’s going to already incorporated four new songs into the set and we plan be doing the year with us, we anticipate supporting this record to move a couple more in and even more when the record’s out to the end of the year with him. in September, but right now it’s just about getting over here to Europe, getting the fans excited and letting people know what Tell me about the moment when you decided to make a new album rather than just playing we’re doing; so far it’s been fanthe old songs. tastic! Obviously the reaction is im- “John asked me specifically to get back to- In 2010 John [Garcia] called me portant since the new record gether with him and Kyuss, that’s what we’ve and basically said ‘let’s get Kyuss together’, I was like ‘Wow, isn’t out yet. done. Along the way we’ve had to change back okay. ’ He said ‘I want to get Nick.’ Yeah and it’s fun for us because the name, but if that’s the price to pay to get I said ‘Fantastic’ and I said what that was the spirit of things that spirit and music back plus moving for- about guitar because Josh [Homwhen we were growing up; we ward with it, then that’s the price,, me] has proudly boasted that he’d were always playing music that never get Kyuss back together; so no one had heard and part of he suggested we’d get Bruno Fethe excitement was to expose very and I had seen him play with Garcia Plays Kyuss. I was them – virgin ears if you will – to our music and experience impressed by his ability to play Kyuss songs but I didn’t know their reaction, knowing that they’ve not heard it before. We’re him as an individual guitar player, I agreed based on his ability experiencing that right now and it’s beautiful to have that feeling to play the material. again, of course we’ll graduate to a time when people will have heard the music and have an additional response but right now The first day we had rehearsal in Los Angeles I sat at my drums and quickly started jamming because I was curious and started it’s just really cool.
I don’t, every day it changes! [laughs] to jam with Bruno. I’ve been a musician my whole life, it’s all I’ve ever done and jammed with quite a few people before; it was immediately apparent that Bruno was an exceptional gui- That’s the thing with good albums, you think you can pick tar player and I knew that day we were going to have to pursue one… material , we talked about it that day. After our tour with Kyuss There’s a lot of emotion on this record: beauty, fear, anger and Lives we were just chomping at the bit to get in there and for me victory. It’s a beautiful record and I think it captured what all to develop a writing chemistry with Bruno, and we did. great records do. I’m proud of all the songs. You’ve been handling the production on this album. Did that How is working with Napalm? makes things more straight forward? They’re fine, I haven’t developed a close relationship with them I was very forward in asking if I could produce the record, but our management have no bad words to say, we anticipate a which John and Bruno were totally into. I bright future with them. built the studio in the desert from scratch, Kyuss have always been a brilall analogue and we were jamming , writing and building a studio simultaneously , “I think Josh Homme’s need to con- liant live act so what can we that’s how the album was recorded and it trol, be a winner and be number one is expect from this tour? was really exciting, a lot of work but we had what killed the band in the first place We’re excited to perform the a lot of energy [laughs], a lot of fire and a lot new record and writing anothof drive. It was the most awesome musical and it’s a shame he had that kind of er new record then put THAT experience I’ve ever had so this record and motive in mind, he’s a bully and an into the live set as well! It’ll be these songs mean a lot. unhappy person; Scott Reeder’s a interesting to see what happens but for right now it’s important Does it feel more ‘yours’ when you handle coward and I feel sorry for them,, to play some Kyuss classics, it’s your own production? why we’re here, they’ve stood I couldn’t think of anybody else – at least the test of time. I think we’ll with this first record back – who would be more appropriate always play them, we’re not able to use the name but we’re the to fully understand what the sonic vision was and I wanted to ones to bring the music to the people so we will. make sure we got an honest organic sounding record. The majority of the drum tracks are 2 microphones only on the drums, How did you pick the new name? I really went for an old blues/jazz sounding recording with a Vista Chino’s a name of a street, no real significant attachment heavy rock vibe and I think we accomplished that. but it reminds us of home and our roots, it was also going to be What are your ambitions with this album and where would the name of the Kyuss Lives record and when we had to change you like it to bring Vista Chino? A new legacy for Kyuss or a we just used that title. new chapter? Do you feel it’s taking time for people to realize Vista Chino For me it’s both – John didn’t call me to ask if I wanted to start a is actually Kyuss? new band , I wouldn’t have been interested in that, I’ve got solo I’m really surprised how people have understood the transition work that I do. John asked me specifically to get back together of the name; there’s of course – and we expected it – the inwith him and Kyuss, that’s what we’ve done. Along the way we’ve stances when people didn’t know but the majority are fans and had to change the name, but if that’s the price to pay to get that saw what happened and understood it. Now we can spirit and music back get back to what we all love which is the music, it’s plus moving forward a shame but things happen: alright, Vista Chino with it, then that’s the that’s it, where’s the rock? Let’s go! price. John and I see You’re probably fed up of talking about the the new generation of whole lawsuit issue, but before I let you go I’d kids that have enjoyed like to give you a chance to set the record straight Kyuss and we expect if you feel like it. and hope they’ll enjoy the new music and we There’s probably not enough time today to set the have an audience now record straight [both laugh] but I think we have that we’re very gratewith the record we just made – pun intended. I ful to have. We’re just think Josh Homme’s need to control, be a winner doing what we do and and be number one is what killed the band in the hope they appreciate it first place and it’s a shame he had that kind of moas much as we appreci- © Cristina Massei tive in mind, he’s a bully and an unhappy person; ate them. Scott Reeder’s a coward and I feel sorry for them, I hope they change their lives and get back to a posiSo you see this going tive place. I’m grateful they’re gone and out of my world, I can for the long term. make music with my brothers and do what I love and this band Yeah man, we’re musicians, it’s what we do! [laughs] I don’t have represents that. a plan B, it’s my life and career. I can’t help but congratulate Brant before ending our conversation, Was there any particular reason behind the two taster tracks? for a record that is not only brilliant but first and foremost true, (Dragon Dragona and Barcelonian) filled with real emotions and that spirit that – lawsuit or not – No, not at all. I think people listen to the album and they choose. surely does no longer belong to Josh Homme o Scott Reeder. This is a body of work and we had a lot of songs that we were ‘Peace’ is out on Napalm on September 3rd. Vista Chino will bring working on, some will be listed as bonus tracks and we thought old and new Kyuss to the UK starting October 31st, visiting Birthese 10 songs [on the album] flowed together, complimented mingham, Bristol, London, Glasgow, Nottingham and Newcastle. one another. Kyuss and now Vista Chino was non-commercial Tickets available now on Ticketmaster. so there’s no song we feel is a ‘hit’, it’s just our music and record. Personal favourite?
By Cristina Massei I meet Watain’ main man Erik Danielsson in a London hotel. Without make-up and props he’s not as scary, almost kind of petite in fact. As soon as he starts talking however, you can’t help but being taken by his charisma, self confidence and some kind of sense of authority his person exudes. So let’s talk about ‘The Wild Hunt’ – your first release on Century Media. How has it been working with them? Great. It’s the last thing on my mind really, they’re helping us with getting out this strange big thing that we have been working on for a long time, I’m glad that we have someone that can take over and do the important things because we are exhausted! I bet! You’ve been recording in 4 different studios. Any particular reason for this? There’s a particular reason with most thing in Watain. We decided that we wanted to be in the studio for 4 months because we knew from the beginning that this was going to be an album that would take a lot of focus and energy, a lot of everything really. Four months seemed to be a good timeframe and when we decided that we knew that there was no way it could be in one place, we would kill each other after a very short time; so we decided that we would move from studio to studio. We picked places that were far outside of cities out in the wilderness, which also corresponded well with the concept of the album and our mindset at the time so it was a good move. The Wild Hunt is a very diverse al-
the concept behind it? The concept of The Wild Hunt – I think we understood pretty early that it would be a retrospective album , not necessarily musically but in the sense that we took the time to look back on the past 15 years of which we’ve been doing this band. The Wild Hunt is really a concept revolving around our journey and the strange places that we have been travelling through – not in a geographical or biographical sense but it is still a divine concept to me, something close to spirituality rather than a physical journey. With all that being said, having the past 15 years in mind and the experiences with everything that we have gone through we knew that it would be quite a diverse album, we didn’t want to cover selective parts of the journey , we wanted to cover the whole thing which is also why it ranges from like a hammer blow to calmer and melancholic songs like ‘They Rode On’. It was a very challenging and at the same time extremely inspiring concept to work around; it’s not like we came up with it first then went ‘OK let’s write a few different songs’, it was something that I think we realised during the process of writing the songs that it was becoming something that all relates back to this one thing – the journey of Watain.
“The common world of Man has been something we’ve been striving to get away from and with creating Watain we created an environment and an universe in which we could reside with more liberated spirits,, bum – there’s something about ‘All That May Bleed’ that is classic Watain but also stuff that is quite new for you, such as melodic parts and clean vocals – what were you trying to achieve with
So in this retrospective how did you find the band has matured from ‘Rabid Death’s Curse’ to now? Watain has always been a way of building our own world within one that we
don’t want to be a part of. The common world of Man has been something we’ve been striving to get away from and with creating Watain we created an environment and an universe in which we could reside with more liberated spirits. That led to a progress that was very dependent on ourselves and where we wanted to go, it always remained unaffected to what people wanted from us – what the outside world expected was never something we considered much. Looking at it retrospectively it also became a process of really questioning and getting to know ourselves to a great extent which made The Wild Hunt into a very personal album. It’s really a lot about us for the first time, which is hard and heavy but good. And how did you find that you have changed as a person? We were 16 years old when we formed this band and now we’re in our 30’s and 30 is still very young but there’s a different way of looking at things. When you’re 16 you do it with a kind of juvenile aggression, it’s all about a very youthful kind of passion, a warrior that goes into battle and kills everything in front of him; when you’re older and have been at war for 15 years you grow old quite fast and you become very aware of your scars, of your strife and you have to remember why you’re doing this because otherwise exhaustion would get the better of us. We have gone deeper and deeper into ourselves, become more knowledgeable and more aware that this thing we had started 16 years ago had become more profound. I think it’s more important to us now than it ever was. Lawless Darkness was the album that
genre that in every possible way is an enit redefines every aspect of reality. put Watain and to a degree Sweden on emy of society and the world as we know the black metal map; were you temptA very personal song then… it. With that being said, trying to put an ed by what other people thought once you got to that point and did you feel Yes, every song on the album is but it’s ideology such as National Socialism in pressure with this album? a very special subject to me and to all there is quite ironic to me; Black Metal is about the downfall of society, the upNo. By the time that we got to the state of us. heaval of law and order, when worlds - so to speak – collapse into chaos and that we started in turn liberation and “it’s about the diabolic, destructive, the terrible and very dark things that this to take note freedom while National of that kind movement is built on, not bright and shiny ideas about an Aryan society. I don’t Socialism is the antithunderstand how you can get those two things to combine,, of success, we esis of that. Black metal had been doshould be extreme, ining this too tolerant and uncompromising on every long for external influences to have any You’re going to be launching this al- level – not in a Christian sense, National impact on the way we worked with this bum in your home town of Uppsala – Socialist or political sense whatsoever; band; by that time we had started to get what can we expect there? it’s about the diabolic, destructive, the opportunities to let other people kind of terrible and very dark things that this steer their way into our success and we It’ll just be a really special Watain show, movement is built on, not bright and performing in our home town and writtook great pride in turning them down. shiny ideas about an Aryan society. I I’m really glad we were able to prevail ing a very retrospective album gives us don’t understand how you can get those a lot of ties to that place where we were where so many others in that position two things to combine. fail. Once you’ve made those kind of 16 years old and met for the first time; that’s the place where we all grew up and Is there anything else you’d like to say decisions one time, based on integrity and your own artistic vision rather than then spread out in different parts of Swe- about the album? someone’s expectations, it gives you a den but for this album we’ve all moved It’s coming out on the 19th August, I’m healthy kind of pride that is really en- back. It’s a very special thing to do the very much looking forward to having it opening show there because of that, it’s couraging you to stay to that idea and maintain that mindset. We’re defending really about our roots. We also have the out, we have interesting times ahead not our doors with weapons that are pretty great privilege of other bands from that only in regards to Watain but music and fucking heavy , quite an impenetrable town who I find to be the most interest- culture in general. The presence of the fortress in a sense as we want our world ing in the metal scene right now, such as devil in rock and roll is becoming more In Solitude, so they’re going to be playing obvious to people and we’re standing in to remain what it always was. with us and it’s going to be this magical, a tidal wave that I think Watain will be a Do you feel that’s partly what makes perfect ceremony. I can’t wait actually. very big part of. you unique to your fans? What’s going to be happening in re- And with that, Erik is off to a photo shoot Yeah, I suppose so to a great extent be- gards to the UK and elsewhere? cause it is unfortunately quite an unWe are currently in the process of finishcommon way of looking at it. ing all the bookings so there’s nothing The album closes with ‘Holocaust officially confirmed but we plan to do Dawn’ – can you tell us more about Europe in December/January, we’re dothis track and why it was chosen to ing the USA first for some reason but by close the album? the time we get back to Europe we’ll be Musically it’s a song where everyone pretty much into it which I like the idea had an equal amount of input in, the of. one point where everyone focused and You’ve also collaborated with Niklas worked together and it became very from Shining recently… special because of that reason. The lyrical side of it is very heavy – the last few He’s great, he’s an old friend. years of this band after Lawless Dark- Have you got any more collaborations ness have been extremely turbulent and lined up? filled with trial and tribulation to a point where very bad things have happened – No, not really. There’s no space for anyI don’t want to get into detail, that’s all thing, our guitarist contributed to the people need to know. When you’re go- new In Solitude album which is coming ing through that phase in life, it’s one al- out in October, I seriously think it’ll be chemists call Nigredo or the long, dark one of the albums that people will talk night of the soul and we were very de- about for years to come, it’s one of a termined to come out of that place. The kind. Other than that we don’t have any song is about the dawn that precedes others planned. Usually these kind of that winter and the one that you always things I like to keep quite casual – ‘oh know is on the horizon but is very far we’re recording an album, we need your away, it’s one that you don’t know what voice, can you come over, yeah sure’. So it will bring, you just know that you we’ll see! have to reach it, the sooner the better. You stated years ago your thoughts on featuring an impressive amount of magYou fight, you’re knee deep in snow and NSBM bands – how do you feel these gots, which I find out have been sitting next to me in a plastic bag the whole time. everything is bleeding from the stones days towards politics in Black Metal? That thin line between diabolic and stomon your back that you’re carrying but you have to get there. ‘Holocaust Dawn’ I support Extreme Black Metal 110%; ach churning. is the one that changes everything and putting the extreme in front of it is kind ‘The Wild Hunt’ is out now on Century puts an end to the world as we know it, of unnecessary I think , it is the music Media; squishy crawlers not included.
You mentioned the tour with Finntroll and Skamold coming up – how does it feel to be touring with them?
How was it working with Liv Kristine on the aforementioned ‘The Lay Of Our Love’? By Matt Dawson As a lover of Norse mythology it was to be expected that Tyr’s new album would be an interesting subject to talk about - as they embark on a tour with Finntroll and Skalmold we talk to Heri Joensen about concepts, working with George from Nile and what he enjoys most about touring with the Finnish. How did it feel to sign to Metal Blade?
It was very easy, she recorded it at her home studio so we made a rough mix, sent it to her along with the melody on a different file and the lyrics; it was very easy and straight forward. How was it working with Jacob Hansen? It’s always a pleasure, so easy and we know each other so well by now that it’s great to work together, we know what the other wants. He also makes progress which is why we keep going back there, it’s not the same old, same old every time.
I’ve never toured with Finntroll before, I’ve seen them at festivals so this’ll be the first time but I’ve been on many tours with Finns on them and I like them very much, they’re nice people, I like to have them around to study language a bit. I also haven’t been on tour with an Icelandic band either so it’ll be nice to brush up on my Icelandic as well. It’s a nice composition, I hope it’ll be as strong as it suggests. That’s what I like to do in my spare time on tour, trying to pick up languages. What are your thoughts on metal in general this year? I wouldn’t be the right person to ask as I don’t keep up on trends, the only time I hear new music is on tour. I know the latest when it comes to bands I tour with a lot – Wintersun for example, I was extremely impressed with their album and I’m looking forward very much to Time II. Apart from that I feel that if this kind of metal gains ground then I think we’re all better off and I think that’s a good development personally. When I’m at home though I find myself listening to music which I find interesting – most of it isn’t metal at all – Scandinavian folk music!
The two bonus tracks on Valkyrja are covers of It was good to get a new label, we knew after we We’ve talked about your favourite and what you Iron Maiden’s ‘Where Eagles Dare’ and Pantera’s released our second to last album on Napalm (2009’s By The Light Of The North- “People are still buying LP’s , metal fans are extremely loyal and will buy huge collections so ern Star) that we weren’t go- I don’t think the CD is going anywhere, I think we’re in a safe zone, much more than the pop ing to stay there. We had a industry where downloads and illegal ones in particular have had a huge impact,, lot of contact with different labels and to finally get one was quite relieving actually! Anything can happen think is the strongest song on the album, what ‘Cemetery Gates’ – why those two bands and and you might not even get a deal, so we were very would you say was the most difficult to create? tracks in particular? pleased going to Metal Blade. a very direct explanation for that: a long ‘Mare Of My Night’. I had this basic melody There’s What was the decision that led to the particular I–think time ago we were on tour in Europe driving a small what I usually do is make variations of it through concept for Valkyrja? just talking; I suddenly got the idea to ask the the same chord progression and I made tons of van, others ‘What’s your favourite song ever?’ On our them. I had so many I couldn’t figure out which It’s something I’ve been thinking about ever since I last album [The Lay Of Thrym] we had covers of ‘I’ did my side project Heljareyga – women and their ones to use, I had never made so many variations of by Black Sabbath and ‘Stargazer’ by Rainbow and one song then it comes closer to the time where you relations with man, of course it’s set in the mythothey were our previous drummer Kari and I’s falogical universe and so it’s epic but… I can’t say have to pick something and usually I have a feeling vourite songs ever, Gunnar [H/Thomsen – bassist]’s that ‘this is not so good’ , but I had so many that I’m precisely what made me decide to do this, personal favourite is Where Eagles Dare and Terji [Skibenæs experience or maybe a collection of songs that we not still sure if I made the best possible song which – guitarist]’s is Cemetery Gates so we thought let’s is not a very nice feeling, so that one took the most had ready, just seemed fitting for this kind of concover our favourite songs ever. Both Dio songs we work of all the songs. cept. decided to do before we heard he was ill but it became a tribute. You recruited George Kollias from Nile to do the Any future concepts you would like to tackle? drums on this record; how did it feel to work with What are your feelings on crowd funding and inI have some in mind, quite a few yes. I’d rather not him and what are the plans when it comes to live centives for physical copies? mention them because I may never do it at all or shows? I may think up something completely different, All these modern trends are very good and more ideas tend to change a lot from my original ones to Working with him was also very easy; he’s ex- things have been made possible since the invention/ tremely good technically, very professional and to the finished product, so I’d rather not say anything of them, I’m all for it; I just don’t see top it all off he has very tasteful drumming, what he popularisation when I have nothing to show for it. easy way for a band like us to do that transition can do than what is required for our music is very an so for now we’re stuck in old school mode so to That’s perfectly understandable. What would different. He can play ten times faster than what speak, but I do think it’ll be good for the artist in is needed, he captured it at a tasteful level and has you say are your favourite and strongest songs and the music consumers. People are still a great musical understanding. He did the whole general on Valkyrja? LP’s , metal fans are extremely loyal and thing in a few days – 2 and a half – which is very buying will buy huge collections so I don’t think the CD is My favourite is the ballad – ‘The Lay Of Our Love’, fast , he didn’t have much time to prepare either and going anywhere, I think we’re in a safe zone, much he’s a nice fellow so no difficulty of any kind. We’ve I think it turned out very good with the vocalising more than the pop industry where downloads and with Liv Kristine, the harmonies and the melody’s played 2 shows – one in Germany and in France illegal ones in particular have had a huge impact. with a Finnish stand in who’s very good technically progression. Jacob [Hansen] did a lot with the deThe loyalty – I feel the metal one is more so while tails in that song and got the best out of it, I find it but very inexperienced; for the show in the Faroes pop is more fickle…If a fan has an album they like coming up we have Amon Djurhuus who people a pleasure to listen to at least. The strongest song, they’ll buy the next without thinking because they Valkyrja, is epic, pompous and I think has a very may know from when our previous drummer [Kari want the collection and support a band they like Streymoy] had a back injury in 2008; when we go strong melody. I hope at least it’ll leave a big imas Blind Guardian – if there’s a new one I’ll on tour with Finntroll in September we’re still not such pression. buy it. sure who’s going to be the drummer.
singer. Your debut album, The King & The Bishop, has received high praise from the likes of Classic Interview with Save by Maggie Smith – Rock, Prog & Metal Hammer, you must Photo by Justin P. Brown be delighted? London based prog metallers Deadly Cir- Yes, of course we are. It’s always nice recus Fire create dark, ferocious musical ceive compliments and appreciation for the landscapes, with monstrous vocals erupt- we’ve work done, even more if those are ing over raging guitars, outstanding bass coming from such prestigious magazines. lines and powerful and compelling drums - snarling with every discordant twist and It certainly feels like a very accomturn – and some might say, reminiscent of plished debut album - what was the Tool. Their debut album, The King & The writing and recording process like? Did it take a long time - would you call the Bishop has enjoyed critical acclaim... album a labour of love? What bands have influenced Deadly We loved every single moment of the writCircus Fire? ing process, although it was quite long and DCF have very different influences as sometimes tiring. But if you are a musician everyone of us comes from a different that’s the best part, where all your freedom musical background. But our common and creativity comes together and you just ground is Prog metal bands such as Tool, feel alive. At least this is how it works for Deftones, Mastodon. us. The recording of an album it’s a very different process. It’s where the technical stuff comes into play, “(the songwriting process) is the best but still a very enjoypart, where all your freedom and creativity able experience. One of the album comes together and you just feel alive,, tracks also appears on a forthcoming horror How did DCF come together? movie - how did this happen and do the Guitarist Save Addario, moved over to band enjoy horror films? the UK from Italy. Shortly after he met Yes. “The Light Within” will be featured in Drummer Paul Igoe who just moved a British horror movie called Crying Wolf, from Ireland, the two instantly sparked directed by Tony Jopia, which is due to be up a friendship. The two wanted to cre- released very soon worldwide. We are very ate a band that was both against the grain pleased with that and with this opportunity. of the traditional and mainstream but also The chance arose as the movie director got accessible and inspiring. They searched in touch with Adam’s father (Gary Martin for almost a year the right bassist which (Grant), well known British voice over artIt turned out to be Mike Enort who lived ist) and after find out about DCF he fell in 10 miles away from Save’s home in Italy. love with the music and he asked us if we After some choice words, he left every- would like to use our track in his movie. thing behind him and joined the duo in London. Then they began hunting for a I have heard DCF put on a superb live singer. Auditions commenced, rappers, show - tell us about it. country n’ western singers, choir girls It would be quite hard to explain. I and hundreds more tried out but nothing guess you have to witness it, to fully worked. Eventually they stumbled up on understand it. We just walk on stage a Kerrang! advert posted by a guy called and we do what we always did. But Adam Grant. An audition was organised it’s the kind of vibe that surrounds and within seconds from their start ev- us and the interaction with the crowd eryone knew that DCF had found their
that makes our shows very interesting. DCF wear make-up/face paint - how important is image to you and how did this image evolve? First thing we have nothing to do with Kiss. Wearing make up its something complimentary for us. We represent clowns they have escaped the Deadly Circus Fire (which is a real tragedy that happened in 1944 in Connecticut) and it’s all about wanting to give something more to our fans coming to see us at our live shows. Wearing make-up shouldn’t be misinterpreted as a distraction technique from our music. Unfortunately people have preconceptions on this matter sometimes, and we are wrongly judged before we are listened to. Going to our gigs it’s a fully immersive experience. What band/s would DCF most like to tour with? Touring with Tool will be just a dream coming true. But there are loads of bands that we would love and be delighted to share the stage with. Karnivool is one of those. Right now the album is digital only do you have any plans for a physical release? Yes, the album is out worldwide, available on digital downloads on all the major online outlets. Also Metal Hammer is releasing a physical copy of it on the 20th of August with their magazine issue. About 4000 physical copies and they will be available at airports, train stations, WH Smith etc. Also it’s possible to purchase a physical copy on our live shows and in near future it will be short runs of vinyl too. What are your plans for the future of Deadly Circus Fire? Our plan is to tour as much as we can around the UK, Europe and possibly the world. That’s all down to finding the right way to do it and the right people to work with. The music industry is changing every day even more and live shows are the only things left for bands to survive. We are also writing our second album which we will probably record by the end of the year and release it in 2014.
By Nelly Loriaux August Bank Holiday invariably brings 2 things: Notting Hill Carnival and RAIN. Every year the streets of West London come alive to the sounds and smells of Europe's biggest street festival and although I do enjoy the steel bands, Calypso music and the tantalising aromas of Caribbean food, I needed some Ibicenco vibes. And I found them at The Roof Gardens. The private members club opened up their doors Ibiza style for their One Day event. Sponsored by Tanqueray and Red Bull, we all got down to the beats courtesy of Djs Benny Blanco, ELP, James Levey, Kate Elsworth and Doug Marshall, with some live performances from Grand Master Ash and Chris 'Sax' Sharp.Whilst we may argue that this is neither Ibiza nor the Superclubs of the white isle, the atmosphere was nonetheless very much electrifying and even managed to remind me of the few opening parties I attended back in June. Launched alongside the Gardens' 75th Anniversary and fresh from its sell out events in May, ONE DAY returned to the delight of day time clubbers, rounding up the Bank Holiday weekend with style and pizazz. Arriving just before 3PM, I caught the end of Dj Benny Blanco Deep/ Funky/Soulful set laced with a few club classics thrown in for good measure. Renowned for bringing a live element to his sets, Grand Master Ash was on 'hand and mouth' playing alongside on his drums and trumpet. I wish I could have heard more but by the look of it, they certainly got the party going. With the crowd expertly warmed up by the' Chameleon' (Benny & Ash), DJ ELP swiftly took over the decks. Not a lot can be found about him on the web; when prompted, he simply replied ' I am the man of mystery who plays big tunes'. And that he did, right up to track of the summer 'Get Lucky' bringing up Kate Elsworth's turn at the turntable. An established vocalist and songwriter, Kate got the dance 'bug' back in 2007, taking Europe by storm headlining in venues such as Amnesia and Blue Marlin. Her set brought back vivid memories of sunset sessions on the shores of Ibiza, deep grooves deftly accompanied by saxophonist Chris Sharp .Closing my eyes, I half expected the thumping beats of the ' Drum Warrior' to join in. That felt good. So after Ibiza, what did she think of London? ''It was great playing here for 'ONE DAY. it's always a fun party with great people and I can play what I love.' By 5.30PM,a spot of rain reared its ugly head ( one of those invariable I mentioned earlier) but thankfully didn't deter the crowd from enjoying James Levey. As true Londoners, the crowd took it in his stride, umbrellas at the ready, unwilling to let a few drops spoil their party. Another regular on the Ibiza scene with none other than Space under his belt, James kept the momentum firmly in place, playing a more commercial set than his usual Ibicenco Deep House trademark. Doug Marshall finally closed the day; unfortunately it was time for me to make my exit, leaving the club to a remix of Nirvana. ONE DAY is growing stronger and stronger and gathering a faithful following at The Roof Gardens...all rejoicing that ONE DAY is bringing Ibiza's vibes to London's famous gardens with the view.
By Sophia Disgrace Burlesque! Welcome to your one stop drop for all the news on the best burlesque nights, in the capital and beyond! My name is Sophia Disgrace and I’ve performed at numerous events in the U.K and abroad, from festivals to the most exclusive clubs. I tend perform in a neo burlesque style and o en 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... THE CUCKOO CLUB 22nd September 2013 @ Wow Bar & Club, Cardiff 4pm - late. This weekly event hits at just the right day of the week: a Sunday, day of rest and also the day when most of us are crying in disbelief over how we spent waaay over our limit at the bar the night before. Well, dry those tears as this one is a freebie. That’s right the best things in life really are free and here’s the proof! Dj's Pixie Perez and Craig promise to round your week off with a slice of upbeat pop and RnB, plus burlesque hostess Miss Kitty will provide the moves with a striking addition of cabaret baby! Tickets: This event is FREE! Call for further information- 029 2066 6247 CONFUSION IS SEX @ The Bongo Club, Edinburgh 27th September 2013 11pm-3.00am Ok so this one isn’t strictly burlesque in it’s classic form, but sometimes different is good and this one’s certainly out of its box... The theme for this event is Eurotrash - yes that’s right, as in the cult TV show! So that gives you a pretty wide berth for creativity outfit wise, in fact those in costume are offered a discount on tickets if purchased at the door. Thrills and spills on the night include belly dancers, hot DJ's spinning underground rarities, circus acts and the burlesque troupe with a difference Confusion is Sex. Confused? You will be, in fact I’d say its part of the course... Don’t question it just welcome the bizarre.More adult ahem… activities like spanking - also permitted at this event. See, told you different is good! Tickets- From £5 before midnight or in costume, maximum price £7. For further information please call 0131 558 8844 SPOTLIGHT @ Manbar - Soho, London 1st - 29th October 2013 10pm - Late This forthcoming event is another budget friendly effort for all those of you - like moi - who are watching those ever evasive pennies! Proof that you can have a good night out in the capital, even if you are devoid of the old wonga! The setting for this event is one of Soho's liveliest gay bars, every one’s welcome and show wise they are promising a wide range of artists, from fire eaters to west end singers, all compered by a Mr Duncan Day - loving the 'D's!' You can’t say fairer than that - held every Tuesday it’s the perfect excuse for an early week night knees up burly style! Tickets: another frickin’ freebie! Viva la recession! Call 020 7434 2567 for further information
This months velvet curtain reveals...
Burlesque Spotlight! WWW.BEDTIMEFLIRT.COM Stockings. Lovely stockings! Gorgeous to wear and even more gorgeous to behold! Stockings have been a burlesque staple since well, forever. I’ve been having a little gander online of late and I have to say this site comes highly recommended for all your stocking must haves. From raunchy fishnets to luxury seamed to lavish lace it’s all here in alluring abundance. Prices start from under a tenner. Expect fair quality (I had to get me a pair - well truly for research purposes right?!) and pleasant customer service.
ing energy, great technical skills and heart to the songs. Bjorn is also a great sound engineer and he made possible the recording of HYA. Let’s talk a bit more about this album. What influences can we find in there? Influences vary depending on the songs and the emotions: Soundgarden, Muse, PJ Harvey, Smashing Pumpkins, Jeff Buckley, Placebo. Take us through the recording process, I know you worked with Pedro Caparros from Breed 77… Yeah, working with Pedro was an absolute bonus! He’s a great guy and he has an incredible ear for parts, harmonies and structures in the songs. We learned a lot from him and it was lot of fun too. He helped us with the arrangement / preproduction of most songs (10 out of the 13 songs on the album). Having previously listened to mp3s we sent him he would show up at the session with his notes and would ask us to play a specific song and suggest changes of different kind. He would turn the song completely inside out and put various ideas there for us to try out. Then we would work on it by ourselves and a bit later we would decide what suited or didn’t suit the song, according to our taste. So the final decision was always ours. As for the actual recording process, that was made possible by Bjorn (bass) who’s also an accomplished sound engineer. After building most of the portable studio, he did a trial recording of drums, and that sounded really good so we decided to give it a go and record the album ourselves. We did it all together, like bands used to do back in the days before the use of digital, with most of my vocals being recorded live with the band. There’s some footage on Youtube and our Website (under Videos) where you can get a real taste of how we did it; it’s called “Recording process – part 2”. Who’s the main songwriter?
By Cristina Massei - Photo Imelda Michalczyk With a new rhythm section to compliment their eclectic sound and energetic live shows, Grace Solero are back for sophomore release ‘Hundred Years Apart’ and a UK tour not to be missed. Grace found the time to answer our questions as she prepares for a very busy autumn… You’ve been quite colourfully described as ‘the lesbian child of Skunk Anansie and Alanis Morissette’ and ‘a modern day Toyah Wilcox on steroids’. How would you describe yourselves and your music? It’s always hard to describe music with words, as music triggers different emotions and thoughts in different listeners and shouldn’t be described, really. As musicians we’re true to ourselves. We all come from different backgrounds and musical experiences and have played all sorts of music genres. As a singer/songwriter I’ve always liked to challenge myself and embraced different projects. Our music is passionate, raw and intense and it’s built around a full spectrum of emotions from highly energetic, hard hitting and grungy to delicate, dreamy, dark and moody. There’s a US vibe to our sound (one of the reasons being that Dan Beaulaurier-guitarist- is from California) with light/dark dynamics. Our songs can be fast and furious or slow and epic, and that’s because we’re quite eclectic and we like to express ourselves in unreconstructed ways. ‘Hundred Years Apart’, out September 30th, is your sec- No one needs anyone until there is a connection... ond full length release; how do you like what we play then you will look for us. you feel the band has matured from your debut? We developed a musicianship. Hundred Years Dan (guitar) and I are the main songwriters. We Apart is the result of the 4 of us growing together, usually co-write together the music and I write all rehearsing and gigging constantly for the past 4 the lyrics. In Hundred Years Apart there are also 3 years, sharing great moments and very difficult songs which I wrote by myself and 1 song that Dan ones too. The debut album was mainly Dan and wrote by himself. me taking care of everything as at the time of reMariangela Demurtas (Tristania) contributed cording we didn’t have a steady rhythm section. backing vocals to your first single ‘Electro’, out You added two more elements to the line up September 23rd. How did that come about? in drummer Maurizio Liberato and bassist Bjorn Zetterlund, how did they compliment Mariangela and I are good friends and we have huge musical and personal admiration for each your already eclectic sound? other. We met through a common musician friend Having a steady drummer and bassist helped us a few years ago and we hit it off immediately. So shape up our current sound. We can have creative one evening she was staying at mine visiting and discussions on patterns and bass lines. It can be asked me to play her the new tracks we were refun but we can also get quite heated up when we cording; when she listened to “Electro” she burst disagree on something. In the end we always try out: ”hey that’s a cool track! Can I record some to do what’s good for the songs. Both Maurizio backing vocals for it?” By the way the video for and Bjorn enhanced our original sound add-
“Electro” is going to be released in the next few days! I’ve heard great things about your live shows, what should our readers expect when going to see Grace Solero? They can expect an intense show, visually captivating, an emotional musical journey with energy and positive vibes. Food for thoughts. Grace, you have an extraordinary agility and presence on stage, what’s your fitness routine? Do you practice any sports in particular? I take a weekly NIA class, a holistic discipline that incorporates contemporary dance, yoga and martial arts. I also take power walks and love swimming when I can! I’m a former gymnast and dancer, so my body structure and stamina come from training at a very early age. Singing and performing in themselves are both very physical and it’s like practicing a sport. The release of ‘Hundred Years Apart’ will be marked by a special gig at Water Rats on September 26th; what can we expect? It’s our night and we’re taking over the Water Rats. We have a specially selected support band, AFFA David. We’ll play a full electric set and in addition to that we’ll be playing a late acoustic set, very intimate. We’ll be projecting images from our videos. We’ll be there to meet and greet fans, friends and press and will give away gadgets. For those who missed it, will we be able to grab a copy of your debut while there, and where else can we find it? Of course you’ll find both our albums available on the night. Our debut album “New Moon” is available through our website www.gracesolero. com and also on iTunes and Amazon and many more internet sites. I hear there will be a UK tour to follow... Thurs 26th Sept - LONDON Water Rats Sat 28th Sept - READING Face Bar Thurs 24th Oct - NEATH The Duke Fri 25th Oct - CRUMLIN The Patriot Sat 26th Oct - ILFRACOMBE Chill Bar Thurs 31st Oct - WAKEFIELD Snooty Fox Fri 1st Nov - NUNEATON Queens Hall Sat 2nd Nov - SHEFFIELD Dove & Rainbow Sun 3rd Nov - BOLTON Railway More TBA In the internet era, with an overcrowded music scene, why does the world need Grace Solero? No one needs anyone until there is a connection; on an emotional level we’re drawn If towards people and places we like and feel connected to. It’s the same with music and bands. If you like what we play then you will look for us. If you couldn’t do this for a living, what would you do? Music is everyone’s passion in the band; I still give singing lessons and run voice workshops; we all do music related jobs apart from being in Grace Solero. What is the best ever thing a fan said to you? “Can I play for you?” That was Bjorn who’s now our bassist! Any final words of wisdom, message to your fans etc? We look forward to meeting you on tour… that would be awesome! Meanwhile sign up to our mailing list on our website, connect to our official Facebook page and keep in touch! www.gracesolero.com
By Matthew Tilt DERANGED (1974) Directors: Jeff Gillen, Alan Ormsby Starring: Roberts Blossom, Cosette Lee, Leslie Carlson Out Now on Arrow
YOU’RE NEXT Director: Adam Wingard Starring: Sharni Vinson, Joe Swanberg, AJ Bowen Lionsgate - Out Now You’re Next doesn’t totally turn the world of horror on its head like The Cabin in the Woods did, nor does it always succeed in celebrating its slasher influences in the way co-star Ti West has with his various love stories to classic, slow build horror. Still this is one of the best horrors to be released in the last few years thanks to a black streak of humour and a brilliantly modern twist. Maybe twist is the wrong word, the final reveal is hardly the biggest shock of our time, but it’s highly affective and pulls this retro-minded horror into the 21st century with a cold reasoning akin to the end of Scream. Unlike Scream this is a truly bloodthirsty event from start to finish. Simon Barrett’s script cleverly portrays the Davison family as a believably content unit. There is only the slightest hint of cliché about them, each one derived from someone we have all had experience with and appearing to be fully rounded because of this even when they only last five minutes. Once the home invasion begins you can feel Wingard occasionally lose his grip on the plot, especially after killing a raft of characters in quick succession, and the film begins to feel a little flabby as he desperately tries to steer the film towards the climax. It’s lucky that he has such a game cast who essentially fill dead air as the plot is finally unravelled for the audience. Despite the flaws there is no denying that Wingard and Barrett have remembered what so many directors and writers have forgotten when it comes to the slasher: it has to be simple, it has to be bloody and it needs a nurtured streak of gallows humour; three things which You’re Next delivers in spades.
Ed Gein is one of those bizarre pop culture ghouls that has had a consistent influence on cinema, more so than killers whose victims outnumbered his own. One of the wonderful things about the extras included on this genuine cult classic is that the interviewees really look into this; working above and beyond the usual ‘Making Of…’ and trailer – though these are included – what we have here are interesting, informative documentary–style interviews. The film itself holds up today thanks to the wonderful remastering and the timeless FX work of Tom Savini, at this point only on his second film. There is also the performance of Robert Blossom which isn’t overplayed but done with a firm grip on reality, showing both sides of Gein (here named Ezra Cobb) as he continues to socialise within the community despite his activities. There’s plenty of grotesque humour to be had. Staying faithful to the oddball persona that the real live Gein had, Cobb admits his crimes on several occasions only to be laughed at by the people around him, while his interaction with lusty widow Maureen Shelby is one of the most bizarre, darkly funny scenes from the era, until he kills her, obviously. Some parts haven’t aged well; Les Carlson’s journalist, who narrates the tale and creates the feeling of a re-enactment, feels a little cheesy now and the whole style of the film puts a time date on it, without a doubt feeling like a seventies slasher. Look beyond this though and you have a disturbingly faithful account of one of America’s most notorious criminals; the fact that it has being overlooked – possibly due to the release of the other media baiting Gein story that year: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – is a crime thankfully rectified by this grisly package.
Director: Jules Bishop Starring: Theo Barklem-Biggs, Phil Davis, Warren James Out 13th September That Warren James doesn’t completely steal the show with his hilarious performance as the Bruce Lee loving, imaginative threat making, Scouse gangster Nigel is a testament to the wonderful story Jules Bishop has created in his debut film. The story revolves around Kevin, wonderfully underplayed by Theo Barklem-Biggs, a young guy trying to rebuild a relationship with his sister who finds himself in over his head when he’s scammed by Nigel. Out of desperation he attempts to burgle the house of an embittered, lonely pensioner, a mishap which leads to the main relationship of the story. Phil Davis is brilliant as the would-be victim. A foul mouthed, Dirty Harry quoting tour-de-force who is gradually revealed to be more vulnerable and unhappy than he shows. He begrudgingly takes Kevin under his wing and from here Bishop gently allows the characters to naturally grow, finding com-
mon ground and creating something that carries some real weight. You quickly forget how slight the story is and begin to relate to the characters, especially Kevin whose attempts to make a past mistake right only lands him in deeper trouble. It’s a position we’ve all been in and his relationship with Phil is one we’ve all experienced, finding common ground be-
tween ourselves and an unexpected friend. It’s these realistic groundings that make this film; the surreal touches that Nigel brings to proceedings and laugh out loud potty mouth antics of Phil are icings to a particularly delicious brand of cinema. Taking a step away from the dour, unrelenting bleakness that has dominated British film of late Borrowed Time manages to be socially relevant, sensitive, funny and completely worthy of the support it has received.
INSEPARABLE Director: Dayyan Eng Starring: Kevin Spacey, Daniel Wu, Beibi Gong Matchbox Films - Out Now Inseparable is a film that plays the ultimate risk; it only briefly fulfils the rather clichéd wannabe superhero premise and instead attempts to create a drama about our lead’s stress related mental illness. It’s a brave but ultimately unsuccessful move because while Daniel Wu plays the troubled Li with sensitivity, the script throws so many twists and turns at you that it grows tiresome, you stop caring because no matter what you thought about these characters a second ago it’ll more than likely change. Kevin Spacey manages a couple of laughs as Chuck but honestly, he’s wasted here, residing in a comedy sidekick role that predictably becomes part of the reveal. Like the film itself, Spacey is at his best in the opening scene, deadpanning his way through an attempt to stop Li from hanging himself. Unfortunately, while the characters live on the film rarely manages a heartbeat from here. Not even a cameo from Peter Stormare can resuscitate Inseparable; his role is quickly built up to provide a decent villain to the piece but his quick dispatch only lends more disappointment. A good performance from Beibi Gong quickly becomes confused by the spiralling story. It’s rather surreal to think that a segment that has our two protagonists dressed up as superheroes attempting to fight crime is the most realistic part of this film; as it becomes more weighed down by twists it’s clear that the makers desperately wanted to make something original. What we’d have preferred was a good quality rip-off.
PAIN AND GAIN
Director: Michael Bay Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie
Paramount Pictures - 30th August Only Michael Bay, purveyor of robot porn and explosions, could call this a small film. Pain and Gain is the same sort of lurid, big budgeted, macho contraption he has been making for years only this is based on a true story and that somehow makes it even weirder. Bay hit’s all the right notes early with a kinetic chase sequence which ends in Mark Wahlberg’s all American boy Daniel Lugo getting hit by a car in bone crunching style, then we jump back to a petty crime conviction, a new job at a gym and a desire to take what he feels is owed to him. Wahlberg is well cast as Lugo, chewing up his dialogue with gusto – especially when paired up with Ken Jeong for a hilarious self-help cameo – and literally filling the screen with an impressive physique. Just when you think this film couldn’t be a more sickening celebration of manliness Bay deftly switches it around with the introduction of Tony Shalhoub, who plays a complete shit and quickly becomes the focus of Wahlberg’s can-do attitude. The plan is to extort the rich customers of the gym, with Shalhoub’s particularly disagreeable businessman first in line. It’s the perfect scheme for Lugo, who feels disillusioned and unappreciated in his role to bring abs to the wasted and tone to the abs of the beautiful. Joining Wahlberg is Anthony Mackie as an equally money hungry trainer with an affiliation for the larger ladies – which brings in the always wonderful Rebel Wilson – and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson who is so funny as the blubbering, born again, steroid induced man-child that he could have easily held this film on his own. From here Bay piles on the most ridiculous set pieces imaginable while always reminding you that this is a true story with some clever winks and nods. Everything on offer here is so heightened that you will either fall completely under its bizarre, completely glamourized spell, wallowing in the ridiculousness of it all, or you will hate this from the start. From this corner this is the best film Bay has made since Bad Boys, equal parts hilarious, stupid and audience savvy, then completely coloured in with primary colours.
Director: Antonio Campos Starring: Brady Corbet, Mati Diop, Lila Salet, Constance Rousseau Eureka Entertainment/Masters of Cinema (Out Now) Without Brady Corbet, who also helped write the script, Simon Killer could have ended up as a nasty, exploitative piece of teenage narcissism but the focussed, subtle moments of Corbet’s performance completely lift this film, bringing life to the minimal, awkward screenplay and creating a disturbingly relatable, totally unreliable character in Simon. Escaping to Paris after the breakdown of a five year relationship Simon quickly integrates himself into the life of prostitute Marianne (Constance Rousseau) and begins a relationship with her which gradually begins to reveal his true nature. Writer/director Antonio Campos’ greatest strength is the level of misdirection he places within the story, only ever revealing some parts and leaving us unsure of Simon’s motives or feelings. Various events, most notably an assault outside of a train station, change as the focus moves from Simon to the affect he has on the people around him. Campos’ direction is as sparse as his friend Sean Durkin’s. Surrounding a sharp Simon with a warm soft focus the film repeatedly becomes dreamlike, the scene fades becoming kaleidoscopic as varying levels of red and pink fill the screen. Corbet’s voice over only adds to the feeling of disorientation. As an audience we are thrown into this character’s life with very little background and then we have to decipher the truth from his experiences. Like Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene this is filmed in such a calm way that tension builds because you know that something has to snap, something only heightened by the cold performance from Corbet. By the end you only become aware of how much you’ve invested in this film when the façade falls away, it’s a shocking weight that is suddenly lifted and ensures that Simon Killer remains in your mind for weeks after. Eureka have done a wonderful job bringing this to Blu-ray but the best extra is Campos’ short The Last 15 which watches the disintegration of a family unit over one uncomfortable dinner. It’s epilogue may feel unnecessary but it’s a wonderful document of a growing talent.
ALBUM REVIEWS BABYSHAMBLES Sequel To The Prequel Parlophone – 2 Sept
RECKLESS LOVE Spirit Spinefarm – 2 Sept
SATYRICON Self Titled Roadrunner - 9 Sept
The world of extreme black metal has been going through a new chapter in recent years, less about burning churches (although the anti religious sentiment is still felt), more focusing on the darkness of the world with the nexus being pinpointed at a place in Sweden called Uppsala. The two bands that lead the charge are Watain and In Solitude so it comes to no surprise that not long after the release of the former that the latter would put something out as equally powerful giving the listener feelings of Mercyful Fate and Swans in between. Following the calm, atmospheric intro of ‘He Comes’ the riffs that’ll get stuck in your head created by Niklas Lindstrom kick in on ‘Death Knows Where’ while vocalist Pelle Ahman brings to mind not only the obvious Danzig comparison but surprisingly Nick Cave as he resides into the darkness he has created. Sister is an album that thrives on the darkness within, a journey that makes the listener listen intently while thinking about what resides in the dark corners of their mind and soul – the instrumentation at the end of ‘A Buried Sun’ comes to mind. The intensity hits a crescendo as we reach the closing 2 tracks: ‘Horses In The Ground with Jarboe guesting and Inmost Nigredo featuring Pelle Forsberg from their peers in Watain gives it a fitting end as also like ‘The Wild Hunt’ it deals with finding the light during difficult times . In Solitude give us the darkness we crave but also make it powerful enough to makes us smile: smile at how two of the strongest black metal records this year BOTH come from Uppsala – what other wonders are in store?
Compared to badly underrated classic ‘Down in Albion’, ‘Shotter’s Nation’ was a bit of a disappointment. Not a bad record but seemed to lack that magic, those addictive hooks that make you press play over and over again and thank you God for making the world a better place through music. Then comes ‘Sequel to the Prequel’ and that prequel must be the Babyshambles’ unforgotten debut, as the new album takes that flow of emotions to a whole new level. From happy punky opener ‘Fireman’ with a lively Libertines taste, ‘Sequel to the Prequel’ is love at first listen. The languid swagger of ‘Nothing Comes to Nothing’ immediately shows a passionate and inspired songwriting; Pete and his chums sound pretty tight – how much of that is due to Stephen Street’s faultless production no one can tell – and a Parisian influence, like a sprinkle of fairy dust, brings extra enchantment to Doherty’s splendid poetry. All is finished with a good dose of humour and exceptional variety, yet each and every track is immediately recognizable as the work of the damned, charismatic anti-hero that is Peter Doherty. There’s that something in songs like ‘Maybelline’ or ‘Picture Me in a Hospital’ that goes straight to your stomach and drags you with him to hell and back, charmed like a sailor at a mermaid’s call. The brilliant title track is an invite to take your hat off and try on Fred Astaire’s dancing shoes, while ‘Doctor No’ is almost a Parisian ‘Kilimangiro’ and ‘Penguins’ has a surprising 70s swagger to it and a captivating change of pace. Diverse and all equally brilliant, ‘Sequel to the Prequel’ marks a long awaited comeback for Babyshambles, and what a way to come back. Love him or hate him, Doherty might not always show up but his muse definitely has – once again – for one of the most inspired, charismatic albums of 2013.
Oh good God. A song called ‘I love Heavy Metal’ that starts a bit like Unskinny Bop, quotes Cherry Pie, Nothing But A Good Time, Rocket Queen and Pour Some Sugar On Me and finally mentions the likes of Def Leppard, Poison and Kiss? This is likely to piss off those into the real heavy stuff, you know, the unwashed and Satan-hailing Slayer fans out there… I’m bloody loving it. A bit on the Steel Panther side of things, but hey, Eat’em and Smile, as Diamond Dave would say. Aside from its ‘poster song’, the ‘Spirit’ in Reckless Love’s newest offering seems to be that of their well received debut; you only need to read the track list to tell, but feel free to have a blast of opener Night On Fire, Sex, Drugs & Reckless Love or So Happy I Could Die to get the real feel. This is the album we were hoping for from the Finnish hairspray dolls, the one we want to dance to while Olli Herman takes off his shirt and sweats those abs off on stage. There are a few weak spots, like Dying To Live or Runaway Love - unless you like your ‘lighter/mobile in the air’ moment; most of ‘Spirit’ however is fast paced, good time rock’n’roll, with hints of comedy – be that on purpose or not – like the chorus in Metal Ass, a bit Jack Black singing ‘Step Off ’ in School of Rock. They even manage to finally pull a good power ballad out of the hat at the end with ‘Hot Rain’ (did I hear a ‘subtle’ Purple Rain reference in the intro here…). Thanks to the special relationship between Reckless Love and the UK, we get a sweet bonus track in ‘Die Hard’ – manly enough to serenade the Bruce Willis franchise, in case you’re wondering – and then it’s time to press play again and give our verdict. Granted that I would never call this heavy metal – but I doubt any Maiden fan will be deceived by the colourful front cover – fans of the genre, whatever you want to call it, will not be disappointed. While with Animal Attraction Reckless Love seemed to have taken Def Leppard Avenue towards Whitesnake Junction - with the odd stops into unfamiliar pop/ dance territory – Spirit sees the band back to what they do better: offering the best soundtrack to a good, fuckin’ time. And sometimes you’re looking for nothing but that.
I actually kept ‘Satyricon’ for a few days before giving it a listen, and I’ll tell you why: ‘Now Diabolical’ was pretty much perfect, but ‘The Age of Nero’ was just a little bit shit. And I think the band know it: on The Age of Nero World Tour 2011, only four songs were from the album, and none were showstoppers. But there’s something else too, it’s the self-titled album, it’s the only one in just over a decade that Satyr and Frost have deemed worthy of the name. If it’s anything less than that, it would seem that the band are limping arthritically into old age, their best days behind them. So the thought playing at my mind was “by all things Unholy, please let this album be good!” Short answer: Thank fuck for that! The Norwegian group have gone right back to basics, bringing heavy-as-hell riffage, produced perfectly. It’s a far cry from the “recorded on rusty toasters” sound of the ‘90s, but it doesn’t feel sterile at all. The album starts with ‘Voice of Shadows’. Imagine the melody of “Oh When The Saints”, but played at Alistair Crowley’s funeral: hauntingly dark, powering forward. The intro track sets a trend, the subtle introduction of black doom into the staple Satyricon sound. About half of the album is slowed right down, depressive, misanthropic. Tracks like ‘Phoenix’ embody this in full, although I never warmed to the clean vocals. However, tracks like ‘Walker Upon the Wind’ bring the listener out of the doom induced reverie, assaulting them with the Satyricon sound they crave. They work well together, the mood rising and falling, track by track. My favourite song of the album has to be ‘Nekrohaven’. It’s a bit black’n’roll, massively catchy and bridges the two styles of the album brilliantly. ‘Satyricon’ is a masterpiece, bringing out the best of the band while bravely injecting something new. Demonstrably worthy of the name, marred only by the clean vocals. It’s hitting the shelves on the 9th September 2013 via Roadrunner Records in Europe, make sure it ends up on yours.
By Matt Dawson
By Cristina Massei
By Cristina Massei
IN SOLITUDE Sister Metal Blade- 30 Sept
By Ashley Naismith
CLANG BOOM STEAM Self Titled Cargo - September
TYR Valkyrja Metal Blade - 16 Sept
MINISTRY From Beer To Eternity AFM Records – 9 Sept
Those who pledged to create Clang Boom Steam’ self titled debut have put their money on a good horse. Heavily influenced by QOTSA in their heavy bass lines, with the raw edge of Iggy’s Stooges and at times - the sexual innuendo of early INXS, the young Liverpudian outfit offers a personal take on stoner rock which breathes new life into the alternative genre. Somewhere between desert and psychelic, between Kyuss and Monster Magnet, Clang Boom Steam pack a credible first album, with ‘I Look Better In This Light’ being the most immediate track closely followed by ‘Bawl/Bark/ Butcher’. Occasionally bordering Americana with a slight ethnic edge,- particularly in ‘Weird Bint’, ‘Dirty Face’ and the opener ‘Clan’s intro - CBS are not afraid to mesh genres and they manage to do it without clashes, even when ‘The Good Ship’ steers a bit too much towards the repetitive pop indie ballad kind. The choice of Tarantino-esque ‘Fort St Gabriel’ as a single is daring yet effective in showcasing the band’s versatility. With very few weak points and a couple of highlights to give Mr Homme a run for his money, I suggest you keep an eye and both ears on Clang Boom Steam; Cargo in the UK and Teenarena Records in the US have smelled something good in there already and took this bold record under their wing to distribute it on the markets. One of the most promising debuts this year, available to everyone – pledgers and not – in September.
With the mythology of the Vikings still coursing through their veins Tyr are back with their latest entry – their first for Metal Blade. The majority of the tracks on Valkyrja capture a sense of feeling ready to go into battle as opener ‘Blood Of Heroes’ starts with a Judas Priest style introduction before proclaiming about warriors while throwing in a slight 300 reference of ‘Tonight we dine in hell!’; this is followed by a continuation on the theme in ‘Mare of my night’ (a song that was the most difficult to create according to vocalist/guitarist Heri Joensen) and the incredibly catchy chorus of ‘Hel have no fury’. When it comes to Tyr themselves the strong work ethic remains true; even recruiting Nile’s George Kollias on drums (replacing Kari Streymoy) and considering his usual pace with Nile, his technical proficiency to fit into the Tyr way is remarkable. The only weakness on the record itself however is Lay Of Our Love as, while it succeeds in giving a sense of calm, Liv Kristine falls into the trap of trying to force out too much emotion to the listener, making it a lot less powerful than it could be – ballads should build up emotion rather than thrusting it towards you quickly. In the end though Valkyrja is a fun return for Tyr – the folk metal fans will love it and given the bonus tracks containing covers of Iron Maiden and Pantera this may encourage others to finally give the band a try. This is a group that now feels even stronger under the eye of the War God.
Following so soon after the tragic and untimely death of guitarist/songwriter Mike Scaccia, like many Ministry fans I was more than a little surprised to see a new Ministry studio album hit the streets this year. From Beer To Eternity has been quoted as being the last Ministry album in a career that began way back in 1981. However, this is a statement that has been used to describe the band’s last few albums and maybe shouldn’t be taken at face value. The album does feature some of Mike final riffs and melodies on it which followers of the band will easily recognise. The rest sees Uncle Al plundering former material for those catchy riffs and industrial hooks that made Ministry one of the most pioneering bands of their generation. Trouble is, it’s all been heard before. There are way too many filler tracks on this album that would be lucky to make a Bsides collection in the band’s heyday. Being one of my favourite bands ever, I had always hoped that the band would go out on a high, but if this does prove to be the "final" episode in the legacy of Ministry, then as my teachers at school would say… could have done better! My advice would be to wait until the much anticipated movie about the band comes out later this year. 6/10
A close brush with the Grim Reaper and the sudden realization that – guess what – we’re really all gonna die: a life changing experience that for Jonny Cola could have meant the end of a still unripe career. Instead our hero summoned his A-Grades and put all his struggles and renewed will to live in a second, brilliant album. ‘Spitfire’ brings us a mature Jonny Cola ready to aim for stardom. From the T-Rex influenced glam rock of opener ‘In The Woods’ to the intense, melancholic glam end in ‘Out Of The Woods’, the A-Grades take us on a journey through a forest of intricate, diverse and wild emotions. Surf-pop hooks laden ‘Tropical Beach’ sits comfortably next to the languid 70s chorus ‘hold it together boy’ in ‘Straight To Video’, and the sexy glittery swagger of ‘Blow Up’ fits unexpectedly well next to almost indie-pop ‘Going Over’. Kinks and Bowie influences are also widely present throughout the album – Bowie particularly in Wronghead. With a good dose of 70s glitter and a continuous ‘in your face’ sexual innuendo, ‘Spitfire’ is album born to entertain and stimulate your senses. If you expected an introspective meditation on the meaning of life, well, clearly there was a quick one somewhere which brought to a fitting conclusion: the meaning of life is to enjoy it. Music and sex are two excellent ways to do so.
By Cristina Massei
By Matt Dawson
By John Morgan
By Cristina Massei
of the genre and music in general another album of classics to be, and if you can stand still during ‘Know For Sure’ or ‘Midnight Black’ there’s something terribly wrong either with your ears or your legs, believe me. With Phil Campbell’s vocals putting Rod Stewart to shame, the excellent Luke Potashnick on guitar and an outstanding rhythm section (drummer Damon Wilson played with Ray Davies amongst others), TTM have the musicianship, the songs and the passion to make it happen, and if you had a chance to see them live you’ll
know that already. I can’t single out a highlight here: ‘The Temperance Movement’ needs to be absorbed in its entirety in your bloodstream, from the opening swagger of ‘Only Friend’ and ‘Ain’t No Telling’ to the mellow intensity of closer ‘Smouldering’, through the rockier episodes in the middle like ‘Morning Riders’. Don’t be afraid of winter, here’s one album that will keep you warm for more than a few months to come.
THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT Self Titled Earache – 16 Sept Ah, the blues. Those warm notes and full bodied guitar licks, the slightly raucous voice rubbed in Cuban cigars that unexpectedly turns to velvet for the best ballad to drive to at sunset. The blues. Sorely missed friend of many whiskeys and bonfire nights and road trips. So glad to have you back. After the rise of Rival Sons, The Temperance Movement give fans
JONNY COLA & THE A-GRADES Spitfire Scratchy Records – 9 Sept
By Cristina Massei
BEYOND THE RETURNED What was it about the character Paulo that appealed to you? As an actor I have two possibilities, either I get close to the text, or I make the text get closer to me. There is not a right decision. I had a lot of pleasure during filming choosing either one or the other. There is an anecdote which I like; it happened during the shooting of « Marathon Man » by John Schlesinger. Dustin Hoffman was getting his heart rate up so he could be out of breath for the scene with Laurence Olivier who was waiting to shoot whilst smoking a cigarette. When Dustin Hoffman asked Laurence how he sets about being out of breath during the take, without having done the slightest physical exercise beforehand, Laurence replies: “I act”. I do not know if this anecdote is true but that doesn’t matter I think, I like the idea that that was once said by two great actors. There is not one method for acting. And as I am not the same person one hour before and one hour after, the more techniques I know the more I am able to do what is required of an actor. I love working on almost inaudible mumbling, like someone who isn’t at ease with his speech, or who talks more to himself
that he does to others. We thought about costumes, haircuts and glasses in the same way. Disappearance, voluntary servitude, love the Peter Pan complex; these are subjects that I often wondered about. Between different elements, there are people who asked me a lot of questions during the making of the film, these things are the childish nature of Paulo. They move me and they make me laugh and make me angry. I don’t believe that Paulo wanted to hurt the people around him but nevertheless he did. How?... Paulo questions his sexuality at the beginning of the film, was this a struggle to portray and could you relate to this in any way? I don’t think that Paulo thinks about his sexual orientation. I think that the relationship between Anka and him is a beautiful and grand love story. A real one. They have real plans together as a couple. However at the beginning of the film only one has any love for the other. Paulo doesn’t see this situation (or he can’t see). He doesn’t have any desire for her anymore (as is often the case in many couples). They aren’t lovers any more, they are friends. Paulo isn’t aware of it, but he enjoys the position of a young man supported by a good financial situation, and in some way maternal. At the beginning of the film, he seems to have to a lazy attitude with regards to life. And then suddenly he meets Ilie, which provokes physical desire in him that disrupts his daily routine. I wasn’t looking to label Paulo’s sexuality. Paulo gradually learns that he is a submissive; do you think this is brought on by guilt as he pursues another relationship while Ilir is in prison? Yes in a certain way. He crumbles in the face of events of which he is unable to fully grasp the ins and outs. We don’t really know what prison is unless we have been in one. That being said I don’t think that only one person can be calm whilst maintaining a relationship of lies with someone else, or he believes his lies and so looks the other way on purpose. What was David Lambert like to work with? As this
was his first feature length did he have any misgivings? Did you find him more open to ideas from the cast? David was successful in always being one step ahead of everyone else, he prepared himself in case people refused to do certain things, and so he had many other alternative solutions in case he needed them. Yes, David was full of doubts, however he never let it show. How could he do it otherwise? However he knew how to use his doubts wisely in the fulfilment of his project. “The only certainty that I have is to have doubts.” Pierre Desproges. If Samuel Beckett hadn’t written this quote he must have agreed with it. The film was chosen to screen at Cannes; did you ever expect this sort of critical reaction during the filming? No never. Doing the film we all hoped, at one time or another, I think, that people would like the film, however this becomes very quickly unconscious. As Cézanne said, “If I think while I paint, everything goes”. The Cannes Festival has opened new possibilities for film distribution. Greater visibility. It’s a great reward for all the people who have worked on this film. I sincerely hope that the film will be a great success. Do you think your role in The Returned will help bring attention to this film? I have no idea. I hope.