Issue 24 - May 2014
4 pages special
ARTHUR BROWN: ‘As long as I can keep dancing’
Sonic Shocks - Issue 24
We’re thrilled here at Sonic Shocks as Festival season gets closer. But before we get our tents and wellies out of storage, it’s time to explore North London with the 2014 edition of Camden Rocks. Some exciting names, some established some to watch closely, Chris McCormack did it again and we had a chat with the man himself and some of our favourite acts on the bill. Mark mets the legendary God of Fire Arthur Brown up close and came back unscathed with a killer interview and some brilliant shots. Paul goes back to the Brighton days remembering the band who impressed him the most – the Piranhas – in the latest instalment of Rock’n’Roll Museum. Nelly gets ready for the opening of Party Season in Ibiza and shares a detailed calendar with our readers. Amongst this month’s interviews, Stacy Jones chooses London to bring back American Hi Fi while touring with Miley Cyrus; Sebastian Bach has a new album out and couldn’t wait to share the news with our Denise; we talk toppings and crusts with Macaulay Culkin’ new band The Pizza Underground. Keep an eye on our website www.sonicshocks.com and our social networks, we’re launching a competition for a pair of free camping tickets for ALT-FEST in August! Don’t miss a chance to catch Killing Joke, Marilyn Manson, The Damned, The Cult, Arch Enemy, Field of The Nephilim, Paradise Lost, Sabaton, Alien Sex Fiend, The Defiled, Amen, Gary Numan and more old and new names on the alternative music scene – including our friends Stereo Juggernaut, interviewed in this issue. Discover a lot more content as we keep growing – 44 pages this month! We’re already working on the next issue; in the meanwhile enjoy, share, give us feedback and remember that you can order Sonic Shocks on print in a glossy magazine format through www. magcloud.com. Cristina
P 3: ARTHUR BROWN Interview & photos by Mark Fletcher P. 6: AMERICAN HI FI - Stacy Jones Interview by Cristina Massei P. 9: THE PIZZA UNDERGROUND Interview by Matt Dawson & Cristina Massei P. 10: ROCK’N’ROLL MUSEUM - The Piranhas Interview & photos by Paul Roundhill P. 12: CHRYSTA BELL IntervIew & live photos by Cristina Massei P. 14: THE BERMONDSEY JOYRIDERS Interview & live photos by Cristina Massei P. 16: TBFM GOES A.W.O.D. By The Reverend Eddi & Guido McFister P. 17: THE GOLDEN AGE OF BURLESQUE By Sophia Disgrace P. 18 : LIFECYCLE Interview & live photo by Mark Fletcher P. 20: LIT - A. Jay Popoff Interview & live photos by Cristina Massei P. 22: NINE BLACK ALPS - Sam Forrest Interview by Cristina Massei P. 24: WHITECHAPEL Interview by Matt Dawson P. 27: PORTRAIT Interview by Matt Dawson P. 28: SEBASTIAN BACH Interview by Denise Britt P. 30: PET THE PREACHER Interview by Matt Dawson P. 31: VIGO THIEVES Interview & live photo by Mark Fletcher P. 32: THE FRANKLYS IntervIew & live photos by Cristina Massei P. 22: STEREO JUGGERNAUT - Ben Main Interview by Cristina Massei P. 23: CAMDEN ROCKS SPECIAL Interviews by Matt Dawson & Cristina Massei P. 39: AT THE MOVIES By Cristina Massei P. 40: IBIZA OPENING PARTIES GUIDE By Nelly Loriaux P. 42: ALBUM REVIEWS P. 44: LIVE
Cover photo credit Mark Fletcher EDITOR IN CHIEF & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: Cristina Massei firstname.lastname@example.org ASSOCIATE EDITORS: Matt Dawson - email@example.com Nelly Loriaux - firstname.lastname@example.org US CORRESPONDENT: Denise Britt - email@example.com
Contributors on this issue
WRITERS: Paul Roundhill, The Reverend Eddi, Sophia Disgrace, Steve ‘Sin’ Sinatra, John Morgan, Guido McFister, Mark Fletcher, Bonnie Archer PHOTOGRAPHERS: Cristina Massei, Paul Roundhill, Mark Fletcher
General enquiries, review requests and unsolicited material: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising enquiries and info: email@example.com PLEASE NOTE: We listen to everything but - often in your own interest - we don’t always review it...
Sonic Shocks - Issue 24
Article and photos by Mark Fletcher The Robin 2, April 17th 2014. In the heart of the country where artists like Led Zeppelin, Roy Wood, Slade, Ozzy Osbourne and many others have emerged, the Crazy World of Arthur Brown descends on Wolverhampton. The God of Hellfire is in tour to promote forthcoming album Zim Zam Zim available in July. At a grand age of 71, Arthur has produced a new record and is touring with a new line up of the Crazy World featuring Sam Walker on drums, Nina Gromniac on guitar, Jevon Beaumont on bass, Matthew Gest on keys and Angel Flame with supporting dancers. In front of an eager crowd spreading generations, the energy emanating from the set was reminiscent of the 60s with the power and clarity we’ve all come to expect from a professional live performance today. Monophonic tracks relayed in a digital era by the originator of the art were truly mesmerising as well as fulfilling. Each generation represented appeared to be satisfied with classics like ‘I Put a Spell on You’ and ‘Fire’ and covers like ‘Kites’ from Simon Dupree and Peter Green’s classic ‘Green Manalishi’, as well as new tracks from the forthcoming release including single ‘The Unknown’. The young band of extremely talented musicians were a close match for Arthur’s vocal power, as he delivered song after song interspersed with dance routines that men half his age would struggle to match. The overall show was an excellent display of music, dance, theatrical rock, as well as a trip though time. If you get the chance to see this show, don’t miss it! Before the show we got the opportunity to talk to the man himself. As many of our readers will not be of an age to remember the crazy world of
Arthur Brown, we thought we’d spend Modern Jazz Quartet and he taught a little time setting some background… me how to strap my fingers because they weren’t hard enough and then me where to put them. So I You studied Philosophy and Law in showed bluffed my through, and the next London and Reading in the early six- thing I knewway I was playing bass. Modties before taking to the music scene. ern jazz was popular formed my What turned you from Philosophy own jazz quartet; I hadsoa Igreat guitarand Law to music? ist from America and we did all of the Going to a live concert in London that Charlie Mingaz and that stuff. While was open air and it was in the days I was doing that I joined a local Trad when Trad Jazz was really popular. I Band who played from Reading Called think it was Mike Cotton or Ken Coly- Mike Morgans Trad Band and one er’s band were playing and they played time he said ‘do you want to do a bit this song called Maryland or Red Flag of singing?’, so I did some singing and depending what you want to call it, it went down really well and he said and at a certain point it goes into the he wanted me to do more. I thought improvisation part… I just left all of my I didn’t have a good voice because I normal ways of thinking and the pre- hadn’t done enough singing, so I went occupations with bullshit and stuff that and took classical singing lessons for goes through your mind all of the time a year and a half. Then my band were and there I was, in this completely playing gigs through final exams, clear place; when I came back to my which I managed to scrape through, other mind then I thought ‘if that’s and I joined a mod band from Fulham what music does, then I’ll do music’. and I played a few gigs with them, but Of course I loved music anyway but I they kicked me out because I wasn’t a wasn’t really performing it. mod and I wasn’t wild enough. Then I ended up in Paris where I learned to very wild and it went on from there So how did you get into becoming a be really. performer? Well earlier on when Elvis was big we had a primitive recording device And then of course you went on to in a suitcase and we recorded about become an icon of the sixties, which seven of us singing our favourite must have been almost enigmatic. songs. I did an Elvis Presley song and Has that helped or hindered you capeople said that was pretty good. But reer in music? I hadn’t done anything as a perform- Well I would say it’s really helped beer, just singing some duets of folky cause ‘Fire’ itself was really a stylistic type things with my brother. Then on adventure and got a lot of recognition the radio came Alexis Corners series with the psychedelic people and the ‘Kings of the Blues’, which was all the prog rock people, so in that regard it old guys - Speckled Red, Sleepy John was very valuable. The TV, the make Estes - and they just blew me away, so up and helmet and everything like I went and got me a guitar and when that tided the origins of theatre rock I got to Reading University they had a so it became my calling card and about Jazz festival and I saw the Trad Band on fifteen years ago it was discovered the back of a truck. Three weeks later again; even one of my nephews put it I was in the bar and I heard someone on at home and all of his friends said say ‘Such a pity about that Trad Band’s ‘what is that!?’ and he said ‘it’s my bass player being sent down’, so I went uncle’! It became really popular with out and bought a bass and I turned up all young people as it filtered through and said ‘I’m your new bass player but and of course Prodigy did their version I need someone to show me where to of it which had my voice on it. That put my fingers’. So they sent me to a took me to a new audience. But if you guy who was the bass player of the mean was it a millstone, I always do it.
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more innovation up your sleeves? It’s all around what I’m interested in actually. I’m fascinated by new ideas and new ways of doing music. Of course managers don’t like changes and keep trying to steer back to some consistent path but hey!
But in terms of how big it was back then, was it a hard act to follow? Well we did have two more songs, one that Kit Lambert was going to send to the top but he went down the heroin route, so that was the end of that, and the other one that Clive Davis did (who went on to do Whitney Houston and the like) and I actually turned down two thirds of a million pounds back in 1969. When ‘Fire’ was a big hit in America there was the newly arrived dope and acid and spiritual stuff and ‘Fire’ wasn’t about screwing or cars, it was about something else and I had people start coming to me and asking what was the meaning of life? And what was the meaning of death? I pontificated for a while, but after thinking ‘now I’m someone big, I’m a guru’, I sat down one day and thought ‘I don’t know anything about this if I’m honest, so what I’ll do is go and find out’. That started me on a different kind of tangent and I wasn’t really focused on the rock music or success and if you look at the statistics of it, every person that was up there the same time as I was became a top ten act and fantastically rich like, Fleetwood Mac, Cream, and all the others. But it wasn’t what I wanted to do, so I would go into places, learn something, come back and form a band and play for a bit like the second band ‘Kingdom Come’ was back into a new underground so the old audience didn’t really follow it. It wasn’t so much that it was a hard act to follow, the tune came from the fact that I wanted to do an album about an inward journey because my family were pretty screwed up by the war, with houses obliterated and people killed and all that; when I was young my Father said ‘I know this family is difficult for you, I’ve brought this guy home who is going to teach
you to empty your mind’ and so it was quite a young age when I started doing all of that. When it came to me doing my first album I didn’t want to do what was usual, I wanted to do an inner journey and ‘Fire’ was part of that and my journey after that is what brought out the different albums, because it was about what I was doing at any particular time. Musically you have had a few changes in direction and you have been such an influence to some big characters along the way such as Alice Cooper, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne, and Prodigy amongst significant others. You’ve helped their careers along the way, musically. What has been your influence throughout your journey? Lots of different things actually. In the fifties there was a tune ‘Tom Hark’ which was played by ‘Elias and his Zig Zag Jive Flutes’, a tribal piece of music that came in the top ten suddenly and I heard that and thought it was really interesting music. There was Blues guys, ‘Lightnin Hopkins’ was one of my favourites, ‘Sonny Boy Williamson’ and all the modern jazz guys ‘Lingus Coltrane’, ‘Miles Davies’, ‘Dave Brubeck’ and those sort of people. And of course some of the rock and roll that came in and on the other side there was music hall. There were a lot of kinds of music out there and I sang in a Welsh choir, skiffle music, Lonnie Donegan’, Trad Jazz and folk music. In 1973 you replaced your drummer with a drum machine and became the first artist to release an album with this concept. Now you have your fans pledging cash to help you create your latest album. How do you remain that innovative? And do you have any
There are not many gaps in activity throughout your career and 71 is a good age to be still making albums and touring. What’s the secret to sustaining such a drive to perform? When I play with this band, they are quite young and we insisted on a danceable art, so I have to dance which keeps me quite fit and in between gigs we have a club in Lewis and I dance all night there, and I do a lot of stretching and stuff. Some people come to a conclusion that they need to fit in a box but I’ve never done that and it keeps things kind of fresh. Turning more to what you are doing now, your latest album Zim Zam Zim has some great tracks and your band is a talented bunch. Explain the story behind the album. About four years ago I was in Portugal studying a particular meditation and it all came to an end. I decided that I’m still alive, I have some time, what am I going to do with it? And I also need to make some money to survive so lets do some music properly. The first thing I did was get a website together, got an agent, formed a band and worked for two years to get things sounding good and then we decided to put out some new material. We looked at Johnny Cash, at the stuff he did
on this last album and the producers took him back to his early material and we decided we would go back to the Crazy World and bring it up to date. So we set about writing, and Sam said if I am to be involved in writing what I want is for you to send me texts every morning about what’s on your mind. Of course what he didn’t know was that he would be getting seventeen novels of stuff pouring in each day. The album is about a world that’s in crisis and whether there is an ecological solution, but also there’s a nutty adventure in there as well as the technology with bubbles that people can travel in, which is where the Konshusphere idea comes from, where music starts up from your own brain and the web is projected onto the sphere and there is a dance area too. It all came from dreams in 1968 and there are press reviews where I talk of these ideas back then.
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the act. How have you ended up with Arthur? Many different routes mainly from being around Brighton, playing together, and we have a revolving rhythm section that changes from time to time. There is another keyboard player and another bass player. We all have to keep busy so we play in various different bands and sessions and its great when we all come together. Were you all involved in the album? No, it was mainly Sam, Arthur and Jim with help from others. But we came in and did little bits when needed. There is a bigger community of musicians that came in and played elements like clarinet, tuba and strings arrangements from a band called the Moulettes as well.
You seem to play well together as a unit, have you ever played together before? As a wider community, we have all played in different bands that cross over from time to time and some of us have known each other for about fifteen years. Have you got similar influences? Jevon: I like all music. There are the odd genres where I think that’s not for me but generally I like everything. But if you are playing something, you have to start loving it. And the more you play it the quicker you get to love it. It’s like a massive affair. What’s it like as part of the Crazy World? It can be a crazy world at times, it’s a
Technology has moved on considerably since the sixties, and social media features heavily with many things today. Do you use social media for your music and fans? Social media is a mirror. And if you look at quantum science, they say what underlies matter is consciousness and twenty years ago we were saying consciousness comes out of matter. From their point of view everything is linked and in certain states of mind we separate ourselves, but social media is a link to us all just as the quantum science defines and I think it will go further over the next twenty years if we don’t mess each other up! What music are you listening to at the moment? I like to listen to buskers when I walk down the street, I like music from different cultures, and I like some early I was talking to Arthur earlier and he blues, some classical. talked a lot about energy. Who keeps who energised? What are we going to see from Ar- We did a few shows before Christmas in Sweden and all of our flights were thur Brown in the future? As long as I can keep dancing… A lot leaving before five in the morning and will depend on how many people we had just done two or three flights want to see us. A lot of things take like this and we were all sat in the airmoney with the new technology. But port and Arthur was playing on the esthere is a bit of theatre, the band like calator coming down going ‘Weeee…’ to interact too. And we’re getting a bit and then running back up to do it more popular with younger audiences again. So the man’s energy is phenomenal. because they like the energy. He is very inspiring. His general attitude energy is just amazing. We don’t And finally we met The Crazy World and have any choice playing with a guy like (Arthur Brown’s Band)… that and when he starts on stage you just have to keep up. But he looks after So we have Sam Walker on drums, himself, he has never stopped singing Matthew Gest on keys, Jevon Beau- and he lives in the now and has a sense mont on bass, Nina Gromniac on of fun. guitar and Angel Falon the dancer of
lot of fun most of the time. There is a lot of laughing and there is not much taking you seriously going on except for Sam with his tour manager’s head on. Angel: Matt’s a bit of a soldier. On the last tour toward the end of October we were driving somewhere and sometimes someone will say ‘Look at that!’ and we’ll stop, get out and have a look and soak up the beauty. On this occasion, Matt slips on this grass and it ends up he’s broken his leg. And it was his birthday. We went to hospital, Arthur wheeled him into A&E, got his leg plastered and we carried him on stage and got on with the tour. Sam: We have a great time and Arthur is a young energy and we match him on stage, and that cross generation and levels of energy makes it really rich.
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an interview with Stacy Jones Remember ‘Flavour of the Weak’? Of course you do. American Hi Fi put out 4 albums with alternate fortune, however over the past 8 years frontman Stacy Jones has been mostly busy with his ‘day job’: Music Director – and drummer - for Miley Cyrus. When the Bangerz Tour schedule presented Stacy and guitarist Jamie Arentzen with a 3 days stop in London, they thought ‘Hey, let’s see if the UK remember us!’. They obviously do, as the first American Hi Fi gig in years is now sold out. As they get ready for a glorious comeback at London’s legendary 100 Club, we talk to a very excited Stacy Jones… To start off, you’re coming to London in May… Yeah I’m looking forward to it, London in spring is always good for me! This one-off London show – how did it come up? We made a new album last year so we always planned on doing some shows and things to support the record. I’m coming over to Europe with Miley Cyrus, Jamie [Arentzen, guitar] and I play in her band, going on 8 years now – we started out with her when she was 13! So we’re going to be there already and we saw in our schedule that we had 3 days off after the Miley’s show in London, we figured we’d book a gig for Hi-Fi and fly Drew and Brian over. For us it was a real opportunity to sort of test the waters – the UK was a really great market for us, we’ve always had great tours there, we’ve loved the crowds, it was one of our favourite places to play so we thought - let’s take this opportunity to book a show in London and see if anybody shows up, see if anyone cares! See if anyone remembers after all this time! Exactly and I told the guys: ‘Look, well book it in a small club and if it sells out – great, that gives a reason to do more shows and an indication that there’s still interest in our band.’ If 40/50 people show up, we’ll have a fun gig and call it a day knowing there’s no point doing anything with Hi-Fi moving forward. We’re really excited, the show has sold out! That’s something we did not expect
and we’re encouraged by that. This album never got released from what I gather… We never put it out, we started talking to a label here in the States then that plan fell through, we then started thinking about doing something through Pledge Music. A lot of our friends have put out records through Pledge and so we started talking to them and we realised that while Pledge is a great platform it wasn’t the right fit for us at the time. I was actually on tour last summer, doing drums with Matchbox 20 while Miley was recording her new album, and I got a call from Rude Records which is based in Italy, they’re like the European liaisons for Hopeless Records/ Fearless – a lot of our friend’s bands such as the Mighty Mighty Bosstones are with them directly. They said they were in the process of signing bands directly to their label for worldwide deals, so I talked to some of my buddies and did a little research; everyone had great things to say and I enjoyed speaking to the guys at the company, we decided to do a deal with Rude and they’re going to put our album out this year. Wonderful! Any idea of when? We’re finalising a plan as we speak so I don’t know exactly when the street date’s going to be but it will absolutely, positively be this year! We’ll probably start getting music out there
very soon. What direction can we expect? Well American Hi-Fi has always been a rock band, we play guitars and write rock/pop songs, we’ve experimented with different styles over the years, some were more successful than others! [laughs]. As I was looking back at our catalogue while working on the set-list for this show there are some songs that I’m embarrassed now by listening to them – ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe I wrote that and we recorded it that way!’ That’s typical – if you’re an artist and are creative… we’ve made 4 records - there’s one that we put out a few years ago that was very ill-fated, we tried to release it ourselves, we didn’t have a proper label, basically we could have sold more copies if I had driven around LA in a van and sold it out of the back of it. Honestly it was a complete disaster but at this point if you’ve made 5 records there’s going to be stuff that you don’t like and it’s just the way it goes, every band/artist will tell you that. Sometimes you go for something that doesn’t quite work. This album is definitely a return to big guitars and drums, lots of riffs and more of our aggressive rock style. I’m actually really proud of this record, it sounds great. We recorded it at my studio in LA and as we’ve done on a lot of our records we tracked it live which is a great base for a rock album – it has a real live energy that’s miss-
ing in a lot of music. Do you plan to play more shows once the album is released? Absolutely. We definitely want to come back – like I said this was a real litmus test for us and seeing that the 100 Club is sold out the promoter wanted to move it to a bigger venue, but we said ‘look, let’s keep it at the 100 Club’; we wanted to play there because of the history of the club and nothing makes me happier than a packed, sweaty rock show so we will come back especially to the UK. I don’t think we’ll ever get to the point where we’re touring the world like we did before, playing 250 shows a year but we’ll take it as far as we can – if that means playing more cities in the UK than that’s definitely on our radar. One of the most memorable gigs that we ever had was playing Reading Festival in 2001, it’s just one of those gigs that sticks in your brain, I remember the feeling of that gig like it was yesterday, it was just a really special moment for us to be able to play a show like that and have a reaction like that from a crowd so we’d love to try and play Reading again in a side tent. That’s where we played in 2001 and it was one of the best gigs ever, hopefully e can do something like that again. Probably going to be in 2015… I doubt it’ll be this year! [laughs] There’s a single due out as well – is it going to be representative of the album? Definitely, this record is going to be very cohesive from start to finish, where some of our records – particularly our 3rd – was all over the map
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style wise, this record is one thought from beginning to end. I don’t know the full plan but we’re going to release two singles from this album and we’re trying to figure out what those are going to be. We’re excited for people to hear music, we posted a couple of songs on our website, we just threw them out there and it was really fun to get instant feedback on the songs especially for a band like us who’ve been off the map for a long time, it gave us a lot of encouragement – we were in the studio working on the mix at the time – throw something up there and 20 minutes later look at the comments and see you’ve got 200 – that’s pretty fun to get feedback from the fans. It’s changed a lot since 2001! Oh yeah, big time! That was another thing – this London show, seeing people writing on our comments: ‘Wow! It’s great to hear them as a rock band again!’, ‘Great to hear the big guitars!’… There aren’t that many that play that style of music anymore, we got sort of lumped in with the poppunk movement but I don’t see us as one so to speak – I’ve always thought of us as a rock and roll band. This is like a big guitar rock record which are few and far between these days. You’ve been producing other bands, playing with Miley Cyrus and Matchbox 20. How has that changed/influenced your music? I think every experience you have influences you in one way or another, I couldn’t say that one band has directly influenced the music but as a whole I think I’ve got better as a song writer and as a guitar player. I’m a drummer by trade and I play very minimal guitar but I’ve been practic-
ing a lot these last few years when on tour with Miley – sit in the back lounge and play guitar. I’ve finally found a good range for my vocals – it took me 5 albums – I’m singing a little lower register, less whiny and annoying than I used to [laughs], I feel comfortable with my lower range and I think it suits me and the music. Is there anything else in music you’d like to try? I feel very lucky to be able to say that I’ve gotten to do so many things in the music industry – I would like to do a film score one day, that’d be fun. I’ve done some music for TV commercials and for Apple where you create music to picture, that’s something really fun and very challenging. At the risk of sounding like a pompous asshole – it’s not like I’m a mad creative Danny Elfman/John Williams genius guy but it’s really fun to create soundscapes and music to picture. When I write a song for Hi-Fi or another artist it’s usually sitting down strumming a guitar, humming a little melody and seeing where you go, it’s cool to be given a task ‘Here’s a minute and a half of picture, just take what you will from it.’ It’s fun to have that image on the screen as something to inspire you musically. When writing a song for Hi-Fi I might be watching a TV at the same time, there’s nothing totally driving it and sometimes I’ll remember something and it’ll give me an idea for a song. The song that I think will be the lead single was inspired by Intervention – a show that follows the lives of people that have drug or alcohol problems, they’ll focus on one person and chronicle their families fight to get them sober and live more of a normal life – I got inspired by one girl’s struggle on there and that’s what the first single is about. Any director in particular? Any that will have me! You’re a drummer by trade but also a lead singer – two very different roles. What’s your favourite? They’re not very different, I mean one of the things I love about playing drums for Miley is I can, at the end of the show, hit the last downbeat and I can walk out from the front of the stage right to the back of the venue without anyone stopping me, maybe ONE person will say ‘Hey, you’re the drummer!’ and I’ll just wave and walk on by so that autonomy is really nuts! You don’t carry the pressure of being the front guy, dealing with all of the stuff that comes with that; luckily HiFi is at a place now where we’re all older and a lot wiser, we’re not trying to be big giant rock stars like we were in our 20’s so I don’t feel the pressure
like I did back then. Hi-Fi was started just as a lark and for fun, by the time Flavour Of The Weak came out and we had a hit and were viewed as a commodity by the industry. That sort of pressure on a young man is hard to describe, you carry the weight of ‘I have to deliver again for the record company and all these people are counting on me, including the 3 others in my band and their families, my family!’ That’s a LOT of pressure. Stepping into that front guy role now is less pressure filled because we’re doing it for the love of the music and we have low expectations for American Hi-Fi, honestly we are thrilled that 3oo bought tickets to our London show – that’s amazing – and we just want to share that night with people that like our music, that is what it’s all about, hopefully we can continue on our own terms. What does a Music Director for Miley Cyrus actually do? I get asked that a lot because even I didn’t know when I was hired for the job - this was before Hannah Montana really exploded, it was on the air but I didn’t know about the show and no one knew who Miley was - so when her manager called me, and asked if I wanted to be musical director I learned quickly about what the job is. My first job was to put a band together and kudos to Jason Morey – her manager at the time – he said ‘I want you to put a band together that will be her band for the next 15/20 years, great musicians but more importantly I want them to be great people just around her because she’s a great person’, and he was right about that – I met her in New York, she was 13 and I heard her sing, right away she was breaking balls and making fun of me – I heard her sing and she was the real deal.
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The 5 guys that I put together to be her first band are still there today! Does it make you proud at how far she’s gone, knowing you’ve been part of it? Absolutely! I care about her show, her performance – anything that encompasses her live show as part of my job as musical director so any time she’s doing a live show – TV, arena – the music and the show is my job. When you’re talking about putting a tour together it’s my job to help pick the set-list, rehearse the songs, get the live arrangements together because they can be very different from the album arrangement, I have to co-ordinate with the choreographer, show director, lighting, sound, management – there’s a whole bunch of people that come together to do a giant pop show. When Miley steps on stage every night it might as well be my show, that’s how much I care about it and want it to be great, obviously I’m not taking any credit for her success, not at all, but I give it 150% because it might as well be an American Hi-Fi show, that’s how much I care and so to see her have grown into a real true artist, someone who cares about her craft, her show and the music it’s incredible to me. Putting this tour together was such a different experience to what we’ve done in the past because she really took charge; she’s 21 now, she knows what the fuck she wants and it was great to see her take that role and that position – staying until 3am programming lights with the LD, being at every rehearsal and be in charge, that’s something I think people miss. If you’re just reading the tabloid shit said about her, people miss she’s a real artist and works really fucking hard for it, I have a LOT of respect for her. How do you feel about the controversy around her? Some think it’s
planned out… It’s not planned at all, it’s coming from her 100%, her sitting around , having an idea and calling somebody saying hey let’s do this then we do it. So many people have said to me ‘Wow, Miley’s management and PR team are amazing!’ and it’s like yes, they are and they’re doing a great job, but they’re not the ones that created this, she did. She’s way smart, more fucking smart than people give her credit for and I think she’s done a terrific job! I don’t even know who to compare her to – she’s so talented and eclectic in what she likes. During the show right now we’re on the main stage playing giant pop songs with enormous video walls, cars, dancers, pyro and all kinds of shit happening, then we go down to the acoustic stage playing Bob Dylan songs. Her audience know that we do that and check her out on Youtube and you have 15,000 18 to 25 year old girls singing along to Bob Dylan [You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go] , it’s pretty fucking cool and really important that someone is flying the flag like Miley for real music. It’s not something you see at every pop show. Any more you want to say to your fans everywhere? We’re really excited about this record and we’re going to do everything we can to go out there and play shows – who wants to see us and where? We’ll reach out to those people, if we can get enough we’ll get together and play. I’m at the studio right now getting ready to rehearse with Jamie, we’re sitting on the couch and going through the set for London. We hope people like this new record, if you like the debut you’ll like this one! AMERICAN HI FI are playing the 100 Club in London on May 7th. If you don’t have a ticket, sorry, you’re too late… If you do, enjoy the show! Stacy and Jamie Arentzen are also playing with Miley Cyrus at London’s O2 Arena on May 6th.
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After seeing the above delicacies, are you worried about finding decent pizza in the UK during your upcoming tour? That depends. What’s your antacid scene like there? Would you ever consider a free gig in Naples just to feast for a few days on the real thing? We can suggest a couple of good pizza joints if that’s the case. We might consider it, indeed So, while I plan a visit to Michele at the homonymous Napolitan pizzeria to talk business, I’d like to remind you where and when you can catch The Pizza Underground in the UK (unfortunately they don’t come for delivery just yet…) Sure their most famous member Macaulay Culkin and his kazoo play a part in the success of recent music comedy phenomenon The Pizza Underground. But hey, these guys love pizza and The Velvet Underground, enough to officially declare them Super Cool and be enticed to buy a ticket to see them on their upcoming UK tour. With a song list including ‘I’m Waiting For Delivery Man’, ‘Cheese Days’, ‘I’m Beginning To Eat The Slice’, ‘All The Pizza Parties’ and ‘Take A Bite of the Wild Slice’ we wanted to make sure they knew what they were talking about, so we asked band member Anchovy Warhol a few pizza related questions: he passed the test brilliantly, by giving us the only sensible answer to the stuffed crusts question... Pizza chain TwoBoots named a pizza slice after you: have you tried it yet, and did it get your approval? Here is an exclusive for Sonic Shocks: The Pizza Underground’s party platform lists JOE’S as their New York joint. But for me it’s always been Two Boots. The things I like most are their spice, their sauce, their look, their colors, their boots, and all the bits of ephemera encased in their countertops. I’m an absolute sucker for things named after other things – cocktails, pets, and Two Boots slices, to name three. Up until a month ago, all my slices had meats on them, but the Two Boots Pizza Underground slice is just that good. Can you make your own pizza from scratch? Yes we can all make our own pizza. Deep pan or thin crust? The consensus is: Thin Crust What toppings would you use for a Velvet Underground pizza? A very good-looking banana When it comes to takeaways do you go for Dominos, Papa Johns or Pizza Hut? To paraphrase a friend misquoting another: I don’t takeaway. I am taken away. Pick one of the stuffed crusts below for your pizza… Cadbury Creme Egg
Bacon Cheeseburger Breaded Chicken
May 21 - Concrete, London May 26 - Hare and Hounds, Birmingham May 28 - O2 Academy, Leicester May 29 - The Sugarmill, Stoke-on-Trent May 30 - The Harley, Sheffield June 1 - The New Adelphi Club, Hull June 2 - The Duchess, York June 4 - Guildhall, Gloucester June 5 - The Joiners Arms, Southampton June 7 - Esquires, Bedford
THE PIZZA UNDERGROUND are Matt Colbourn- guitar Phoebe Kreutz- glockenspiel Deenah Vollmer- pizza box Austin Kilham- tambourine Macaulay Culkin- kazoo Photo Credit (for the band shot, not the pizzas’): lippemfg.org
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By Paul Roundhill “THE ROCK AND ROLL MUSEUM” IS A REGISTERED TRADENAME SINCE 1990. This is a regular feature in Sonic Shocks magazine. All modules are available for syndication - all rights reserved.
The Piranhas even got to tour with the Jam and a picture here shows music mogul Pete Waterman backstage with song-smith “Boring” Bob Grover at the Demontford Hall; if I remember correctly THE DOLLY MIXTURES, a three girl outfit, were also on the bill that night. Apart from Tom Hark the song that stands out in my memory was “I don’t like my body …. it looks like an advert on an Oxfam poster, sex is its hobby, drop it in the slot like bread in a toaster …. “ or something like that.
If you lived in Brighton or Hove in the late 70s when Punk and New Wave was the only visible and vibrant example of “culture” around, then you couldn’t miss THE PIRANHAS. They rehearsed as did most local bands in the basement of The Resources Centre (known as The Crypt) and they played all the local pubs in the area. They were the Brighton band most likely to succeed and did in fact break into the charts with ska song TOM HARK. Reggae and Ska were a major influence on the town’s music scene at the time while Punk was hitting all the headlines.
I guess that Boring Bob must have been the quiet genius behind the lyrics although it IS only a guess, and Johnny Helmer stood out as a perfectly effective and sweet faced front-man. The two characters in this gang who stood out for me as personalities were Dick the irrepressible drummer and Reg the bass player who along with Johnny, actually had a bit of time to say hello and have a giggle. All of the band were of course local heroes for a good length of time and were I know thoroughly nice chaps. They didn’t become Brighton’s answer to the Beatles or even the Sex Pistols, but you couldn’t ask for a more entertaining bunch of musicians to discover in some wind-swept sea-front pub and I hope that they are still out there knocking out ska tunes and some of their own idiosyncratic songs. Heres’s to you all guys! You cheered up the 70s for me.
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All photography original by Paul Roundhill. Copyright protected, all rights reserved. For any enquiry about buying or exhibiting Mr Roundhilllâ€™s work, please contact us or the man himself by email at
Sonic Shocks - Issue 24
photo by David Lynch
David Lynch’s latest muse Chrysta Bell has the same dark aesthetics and enticing feel of irresistible danger as his screen work: a siren of mystery, challenging the listener - and indeed her live audience - to close their eyes and trust her voice to guide them to a surreal underworld. With the figure of a top model and the charms of a vintage movie star, Chrysta reveals to be however a girl like many, as we take a seat in her dressing room at Hackney’s Oslo and get talking about shoes. Footwear aside, there’s a lot to find out about this exquisite lady, who took a whole 10 years to put together an album with the legendary director. Was it all worth it, and how do you top making music with Mr Lynch? What’s next for our dark siren? Your album has been released in the US but only now has it been geared towards the UK, an album that took 10 years to put together – was that due purely to a geographical issue? It was an unusual beginning that we had. We got together that first day and it was magic, we wrote a song and we were relieved. I knew I was ready for the next evolution from the music I had been doing. When the opportunity came to meet David [Lynch], it worked out so beautifully the way we could make music together as we discovered on the day we met, but I was already signed to a major record deal so I was unable to proceed at that particular moment. Was like a big tease! It was ‘oh my god, you’re amazing but we can’t move forward in a fruitful way’ because we didn’t know if anything we did would be able to be released. The loveliness of making the music, knowing that there’s someone you have such a connection with which it’s a rare thing for a musician, someone like David, finding these connections in your life
where you enjoy being around a person, there’s an ease of communication and musically you’re very compatible with is very precious, so it was frustrating not being able to do anything. Must be like meeting your soul mate when you’re already married to someone else. A little bit! I was ready to move on from the contract but that was impossible so a couple of years went by, then the same person who introduced us initially said he was at a party and David asked if I was available at this point to make music, in beautiful timing as I had just got out of the contract with RCA/BMG so we started making music again. I was living in Texas and he was in LA so as you said geographical issues, then there was friction with a third person in our writing situation, there was some hiccups and then David was working on countless artistic endeavours whether it’s film, exhibitions or a gala for the David Lynch foundation, so we were finding pockets of time to do sessions. There’d be 2 songs there or at times we’d just chat and hang out or do photos. So much of it was being around this extraordinary person and how he moves through life in his environment and that was enough, the fact we were making music on top was an amazing thing but after we’d made 8/9 songs we thought
we had to do something. There was now a beautiful body of work emerging and maybe we could push on the gas to make a full album, even if it would take another 2/3 years. With these things you can’t just do it, for me also it was about life experiences and these were very sophisticated and mature songs. The content was real life and when I met him I was 18 years old, the music had its own destiny and I had to live a bit more before I was worthy to really be expressing the types of feelings that we were getting at. The truth is, you could have 10 years go by and have no record with David Lynch or have them go by and have one! [laughs] Yes it was a long time but ultimately I look back and it was worth it, even knowing that it might have never been released - even the process of surrender and openness was there because there’s no point fighting it. It is what it is. The creative process with David Lynch must be out of this world. Describe in your own words how it was – maybe on one particular song..? There’s such a purity in David’s art, I think it’s why he’s had a distinctive style, so much that it’s an adjective – you can say something’s Lynchian. We have all these filters/conditions in our lives that helps us create art but they get in the way too and somehow David has a direct communication, there’s less stuff he has to negotiate in order to get to that place. I believe it’s due to his 30+ years of meditation. The process of clearing the cobwebs and having a more accurate vision, no BS, no filler and if you’re not there with it there’s no other option, you fulfil the vision of the art. It was beautiful to work with someone that had a direct line. It’s either ‘That works or that doesn’t’,
let’s stay on this path until we get more of what’s working. Sometimes I wanted my voice to be big, voluptuous and intune and David wanted my voice to be utterly appropriate to what the art was requiring – all about emotion and the integrity of working towards this vision, that was astounding to me as I had never done it like that. Over the years I was able to understand his perspective in this aspect of purity; if you’re in the zone you shouldn’t just put something in there because you think something should be, you’re serving the purpose of the mood not your ego. Don’t disturb it, once you’ve got it be with it. One of the most profound moments was watching someone so connected with purity – not putting stuff in to show off, or what you think sounds/ looks good… Or sell! [laughs] That is true! That’s not even on the radar! Is this something that you feel you got from him and you’ll keep sticking to? Certainly that can’t be removed to some degree but I don’t think I may have the direct line like David does. It’s not that you can’t make relevant art without it, it’s just part of what he is, he’s an unusual creature and it’s great being able to witness that. It’s also practice, sometimes you don’t know whether you’re serving the mood or just making it sound good. It’s also because there’s reverence to the art itself. I want to continue to travel the world so I do have to think what might sell records, but you can find this lovely thing in-between. What is music/art for you? The stirring of passion. If something – music in particular – can get me utterly involved, I’m not thinking about anything and I know this is cliché but the escape... You are in a different place,
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the chemicals being released... When that hits, it’s so powerful I’m transported to another level. Might be on the van on tour and I just need to not be thinking for a moment, and art can get me to another dimension that’s pleasing to me. Chemical makes it sound scientific but it’s more metaphysical. You can break it down to biology on some level, but art is such a wide spectrum. This floor is artful, gave me a bit of an optical illusion coming in, that can be art to me. I’ve got a massively broad idea of what art is so I don’t have too many boxes. Art is supposed to invoke emotions, do you feel that in sellable music the world is afraid of their emotions these days? A lot of pop music is vastly not what I consider significant or relevant but there are some that are like [singing] ‘Now you’re just somebody that I used to know’ - that Gotye song was a massive hit but every time I heard it, it got me. Sometimes one of those songs is a massive hit. Today for the first time I heard ‘Common People’, that’s another example, sometimes these things collide – massive marketability and getting you. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive but I’m coming from a position of a musician in an industry that is so flailing and is looking for something to hold on to so the ship doesn’t sink in some awful way. I’m not jaded at this point but it would be lovely to have music that sells. I want to be artful, moving and also sell in order to be comfortable and have a liveable amount of money but so many are struggling. Let’s be positive – tell us more about the album and the emotions it’ll bring. It’s about foundational emotions, not
the talking about circumstance, sweet little flirtation. It’s existential, a giant metaphor for life and existence, acceptance of infinity cradled in a very simple stroke, a soothing, sensual vocal in a Lynchian atmosphere. You’ll get a familiar ground of that atmosphere with large life themes, eroticism, acceptance – all of it is there and it’s not assuming anything, it’s all thee to envelop you – a type of music that’s best at night with a glass of wine. Now to end – your passion for Lynch started with Twin Peaks – one of my favourite TV shoes ever – favourite character? Mine was the music – I watched it when I was very young and I waited for the theme song, it was so moving to me and I didn’t understand a lot of the show’s concepts, it created feelings in me I didn’t recognise but the music was so significant and created a kind of foundation for this other worldly experience that would happen through the duration of the show. I remember movements and a lot of feminine essences but I couldn’t take one character and say that’s what got me; it was the feeling I had from the show and the music and atmosphere, was something I never had before, that was what was arresting and compelling to me. Anything else you’d like to add? There’s a new record and we’re meeting someone that’s collaborated with David before, we are writing together but I need another record before 10 years! [laughs] We’ll continue our journey together and there will be no pressure as to when it comes to completion.
Punk? Rock’n’Roll? Great music for sure is what’s going on at The Black Heart tonight, where Healthy Junkies, Bubblegum Screw and Bermondsey Joyriders entertain a party-loving crowd with a total of 21 explosive raw tunes. There’s a lot happening these days at the Joyriders’ camp: a double A side tribute to two of their heroes – Johnny Thunders and Brian Jones – and finally the follow up to Noise and Revolution, the much anticipated full length Flamboyant Thugs. Time for a chat with Mr Gary Lammin, which happens in a corner between the stairs and the gentlemen toilets, pleasantly interrupted by a long series of hi’ fives and enthusiastic feedback on tonight’s performance. Great performance tonight – can you explain the concept of the event: 7 songs/3 bands? Of course! What the situation tonight was – a 7 inch single promotion for Brian Jones: The Real True Leader
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Of The Rolling With Terry Rawlings - Photo Zig Criscuolo Stones which was a double A Side with Johnny Thunders Was A Human Being and because this was our first 7 inch single we thought it would be a nice idea if 3 bands all played 7 songs each, 3 bands doing 7 songs – 777 is also quite a lucky number! band put together and I think Keith The new single – it’s not a coinci- Richards and Mick Jagger at some dence I think that it’s the anniversary point thought ‘we’ve got to try and…’ of Johnny Thunders’ death as well What I’d like to know is how do you this month. explain this? People say he was an arThat’s true and Chris Musto our drum- sehole and so paranoid but my undermer he played for Johnny’s band The standing is this: first he had his girlOddballs; I had a conversa- friend stolen from him then his band. tion with Chris about how I think anybody’s got the right to be a much of an influence the little bit paranoid and not only that – Rolling Stones was on John- if anybody stole my girlfriends I think ny – he loved Brian Jones as they’d be an arsehole and if somewell and after I had read the body stole my band I’d call THEM the book that Terry Rawlings had arsehole. wrote I came up with those Now coming to the album – the title songs, round about the same Flamboyant Thugs is a reference to time but we recorded them Mick Jagger. at different times and decid- Without the Rolling Stones’ influence ed they should go together as to me rock and roll wouldn’t be what a double A side, as a primer it is today, when Brian was in the band towards our new album. they were truly magical. The title How much of an influence Flamboyant thugs is a reference to the are the two artists to you? film Performance where the gangster Very much. Without the Roll- while running from his gang in South ing Stones I would know London has to find somewhere differnothing about black music, ent to hide and he ends up living in a without the New York Dolls bohemian squat if you like with Jagger I wouldn’t have realised that who’s playing the part of Turner. anybody can play rock and What I found interesting about that roll as long as you have a true film was the way the two characters passionate love for it. merged – at first the gangster is supBrian Jones – the real true pressing something and we think leader of the Rolling Stones? Turner’s sort of ‘with it’ but we find I think he was. He formed out he’s suppressing something, a the band, came up with the rather vicious streak and I think that’s name, he used to get more where they connect – you have the fan mail than the rest of the flamboyancy from Jagger and the
thug Chas played by James Fox. Does the setting of South London contribute to your interest of the movie? We’re from there originally, the culture’s interesting because it was predominantly working class but there was a real artistic awareness with the people of Bermondsey, in fact on the crest of the area, the Borough of Bermondsey, the crest, in Latin is sort of ‘people’s art’ so that says quite a lot. So the album’s out in May, single in April? How important was it to replicate the success of Noise and Revolution? In terms of sales it’s something we hope to supersede as Noise and Revolution sold out very quickly so we’re hoping to have the same success, this was a much easier recording because it was done in a shorter timeframe. With Noise and Revolution we were working with John Sinclair who lives between Detroit and Amsterdam, we couldn’t afford to fly him over from Detroit but we did a couple of times
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from Amsterdam. In studio time it didn’t take as long to record but the duration between each session was a long time because we had to wait for John Sinclair to come back to London. John’s also on this album as well. He has a small narrative part just to bring him back in as it was a real gas working with him, as soon as he walks into a studio it’s a cool vibe. When listening to Flamboyant thugs I find the title track represents the band very well, was that the intention? It’s a little bit tongue in cheek if you know the expression. What else can you tell us about the album? My favourite song is Black God Daddy – a white STAX song, STAX being a harder edge of Motown and the MC5 were influenced by that, just my appreciation of black music. It was produced by Tony Barber who was the bassist and producer for the Buzzcocks for 17 years and it was recorded at Existential studios which is owned by the Crass organisation and you can only record there by invite so we were honoured to go down there. Musically speaking how do you find your sound has evolved – if any-
thing – from Noise to Flamboyant? I think this album is more rock and roll. Noise and Revolution was a rock and roll album with pop sensibility, although it had a hard edge and was more aggressively played, a lot of the songs were pop in structure where as Flamboyant is more rock and roll. Any more dates this summer? We’re hoping to get some festivals, we haven’t had much success in the UK but people in Germany and France seem to like us more. The thing about music in the UK is it’s genre specific: unless you wear leather jackets and bondage trousers you’re not a punk band and when they see us dressed as a bit glam, they don’t get it. We’ve toured the USA 3 times – last time we played nearly every single State. Photo Nikki Qureshi
There’s been quite a rock and roll revival – do you think that’s helped at all? What I think is happening now is more people are coming to see us in the clubs like the Black Heart and sooner or later someone is going to have to say ‘let’s have them at a festival’. We HAVE played festivals but in the past they wanted us to play early on for money that doesn’t cover the costs, so we decided to play to people in Germany and France. Europe’s more hip than London, London’s very genre specific, has to be punk or rock or rock and roll and no one can see it’s one whole thing with different elements. It’s like making soup with just carrots, you have to add lentils and onions! Anything else you would like to add? Thanks for coming down to The Black Heart, thanks to healthy Junkies and to Bubblegum Screw for joining us and making it a rocking evening!
Day 1 Kicking off this year’s event in fine style are the reformed Part 1. After just over 30 years since they originally split up Part 1 can and do still give it some attitude with their brand of Anarcho/Post Punk reminiscent of the likes of Pil, Zounds and Amebix. Crackin start! Something very different next with 22 Chillies, part of the Dirty Dubska Productions Crew. Well one member at least spinning, mixing and MCing/Toasting an eclectic mix of electro/dub/ska/ drum’n’bass. This was my first experience of what 22 Chillies offer and got to say I loved it. I was really looking forward to Dogshite being an old Back To The Planet fan (half the band are ex BTHP) and they didn’t disappoint. Mixing up psychobilly grooves with Crassy anarcho shoutyness and a healthy dose of skank, certainly got me dancing along with everyone else in the Boston. Next on the bill were Lost Cherrees, featuring AWOD organiser Steve Battershill. A well known name on the anarcho scene back in the day, the Cherrees still pack a Conflicty punk as fuck punch that really got this first night crowd goin ape! Back in about 93 I played at my first ever squat party alongside Radical Dance Faction and I’ve got to say they helped expand my musical mind. RDF do dub/ska/ punk that gets almost everyone in the Boston dancing, with others like myself swaying, with their deep grooves over which Chris’ scathing spoken vocal attack has you hanging on every word. Unfortunately the last train to Essex is fast approaching which means I have to leave mid-set, but my head was nodding all the way home! Day 2 Day 2 saw the TBFM team arrive a little later than doors opening, but we had time to chat to Matt (16 Guns) who was running one of the best merch stands I’ve ever seen and with AWOD T-shirts selling for £5, what a f*****g bargain. So far the only 16 Gun not to have done an interview for TBFM and ‘Shock Treatment’, plans were made for him to do so and soon or be kidnapped! Sick On The Bus were the first act we got to see and opening up with their signature tune ‘We Are Sick On The Bus’, they got proceedings moving along with their humourous, if not sarcastic, look at the world around them. ‘Everything’s Shit’ simply continuing the theme. Biff is clearly having a whale of a time on stage and SOTB are a band that really do crank it up live. The Guitar Slingers were the ‘alternative’ side of the event on Day 2. Though having slight punk leanings, they play a hard-edged brand of rockabilly that really
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Guido Mc Fister & The Reverend Eddi report from the Boston Arms Music Room for the 2014 edition of Another Winter of Discontent Festival stood out. Entertaining the crowd with Hate Your Government” in just the way songs such as ‘Trash City’, ‘Geraldine’ that punks should! and ‘Hang ‘Em high’ one can only think of Paranoid Vision are, as Demob would what if Elvis had been born into the punk say, better late than never. It really does era. Doyley, having been playing for over seem that this is a band a lot of people 20 years fronting bands, knows how to have come to see, judging the amount of work a crowd. This is a band to put near phones and cameras being held aloft. And the top of your bucket list of bands to see they don’t disappoint with their quite obthis year. vious Crass and Conflict influences delivLast up were headliners The Filaments. ered with the power and aggression you’d Old school Brit punk with horns, they expect. Loved every minute of them. were a fitting band to follow on from The Dirt Box Disco are a very young band Guitar Slingers. Easily the band to get the compared to most of AWODs line-up and floor pumping, one cannot help but enjoy one that I was really looking forward to their place in the punk rock / AWOD festi- seeing. Madder than a box of frogs on val line up. ‘Punk Unity’ is self explanatory acid they certainly bring something a bit and following that, The Filaments took us different to the night. There’s no politics all through their back catalogue, playing a here, just five nut jobs in wigs, makeup greatest hits’ set that stands well amongst and - in Spunk Volcano’s case - a one anything this reviewer had seen all 2014 eyed balaclava, blastin’ out good time so far. punk’n’roll including a sweet Boney M medley. I am seriously in love this band... ok maybe the amount of cider is starting to have an effect! AWOD organiser Steve Battershill said in a recent interview with Rev. Eddi on TBFM “No AWOD would be complete without a Dick Lucas band” and this year we were treated to the reformed, original ska punks Culture Shock. I’d seen the lads play a storming set at T Chances not so long ago and tonight they again gave us a cracker. Like most there I simply danced and bounced along to all the skankin’ classics along with the couple of new songs....you simply can’t help yourself ffs!! Like a lot of those there I popped outside in-between bands to visit the shop across the road for a sneaky tinny, which is where I was happily chatting away while the Restarts were on stage, so apologies for missing them I’m afraid. Once again the last train home is looming but I do have time to catch a bit of P.A.I.N. (Propaganda And Information Network). Formed from ex members of RDF and AOS3, P.A.I.N. play a similar mix of skanky dub but their punk has a much harder edge to it and are plying an absolute blinder as I dance out the door to the tube station. Day 3 I arrive just in time to see Eastfield take the stage - thanks to C2C trains - and de- Day 4 liver their 3chord, old school singalong UK Alas due to illness and other commitSubsy punk in a ‘we’re just here to have ments, TBFM could not cover this day, fun like everyone else’ style. You wouldn’t but special mention has to go to: The have noticed that they were using a stand Duel, with one of the festivals only fein bassist for the night as he and the drum- male fronted bands, who deliver another mer pulled off some nice harmonies to- unique take on the punk genre; 16 Guns, gether. Aggressive yet rhythmic start to who gave Steve (bass player) the chance the night. to work off all his festival tension, and A couple of Paranoid Visions are still The Partisans, who were playing their first on a train from Birmingham so in their show over in the UK since 2006. place Demob jump in and grab the stage This was our first AWOD and all we can by the horns. Their self styled urban rail say is roll on next year when TBFM hopes trainspotting punk starts to get a few bod- to be able to attend all four days. Steve ies moving and has a good proportion of Battershill (16 Guns) knows how to put on the crowd shouting “Love Your Country a great event.
Burlesque! Welcome to your one stop drop for all the news on the best burlesque nights, in the capital and beyond! My name is Sophia Disgrace and I’ve performed at numerous events in the U.K and abroad, from festivals to the most exclusive clubs. I tend perform in a neo burlesque style and incorparate other elements, such as fire play, into my routines. Burlesque - or ‘the art of tease’ as it’s also known, first rose to prominence in the 1950’s; in recent years it’s enjoyed something of a revival, with stars such as Dita Von Teese helping to popularise the scene once again. Here are my pick of all things burlesque this month.. . London Wonderground Festival @ the Southbank Centre, London 7th May - 28th September Back for a third year running, look no further for your fix of all things cabaret, circus and sideshow this summer! This one of a kind festival will be hosting a huuuge selection of events and shows, including performances by the deliciously perverse Tiger Lillies and scintillating renditions of the smash circus show LIMBO. Other highlights include Dr Sketchy Anti Art School sessions and shows featuring the post, post, post (!) modern showgirl Meow Meow, plus loads more! Tickets http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/ Cabaret Burlesque! @ The Brunswick, Brighton 22nd-23rd May - 8.00pm ‘til late These very special nights are part of the Brighton Fringe, which soon may be giving Edinburgh a run for its money, thanks to its eclectic and creative programme. This particular addition has a distinctly French flavour, with all the performers hailing from France. Yes Le Burlesque Kub will be in the house, as Valentina Del Pearls and friends promise plenty of ‘glitter, glamour and humour’. I’ve actually performed along Valentina and she’s a wonderful artist, so go check it out!
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By Sophia Disgrace This month’s velvet curtain reveals... Burlesque Spotlight! The spotlight falls on...
It’s Something Hell’s! Vintage Hairdressers Carnaby Street, London
His and her duo Mister Ducktail and Miss Betty offer up a plethora of vintage hair style expertise at their one of a kind salon, just off London’s esteemed Carnaby Street. Settle yourself down amidst the retro-tastic leopard print and velveteen decor and let them transform you into the vintage honey of your dreams! Definitely worth a visit - and guys watch yourself...Mister Ducktail is known for his switchblade haircuts, which have earned him the namesake The Rock’n’Roll MotherKutter! For information on opening times and for bookings please call 07896 153491
Tickets from £8, http://www.thebrunswick.net/ sample-page/ for booking info. Burlesque Night @ The Arlington Function Suite & Ballroom, Brighton 31st May 2014 - 7pm to 11pm Another offering from everybody’s favourite seaside resort... sit back and prepare yourself for a night of lavish decadence! This burly night has been curated by the one and only Miss Tempest Rose who as a performer herself is no stranger to the sparkles and allure of the burlesque scene. Expect a high class affair in a sumptuous venue. Tickets £15 via http://www.thearlingtonballroom. co.uk/
Photo by Terry Mendoza @ www.retrophotostudio.co.uk
We talk to up & coming ‘alternative tribal’ outfit Lifecycle at the Robin 2 in Wolverhampton before their supporting slot to the legendary Arthur Brown. Tell me a little about Lifecycle. There are three of us now: Letitia on Subbass, Nicholas on the Tom Toms and I’m Geoff on the laptop and guitar. We used to do dance music records putting out twelve inches in the Noughties and we wanted to take the sound to something we could do live on stage and so it’s developed into a weird fusion of styles and a band sound now, but we still have an undercurrent of dance sound. Your genre is labelled as alternative tribal. What does that mean, where does it come from? Partly that there’s a drum thing in there which is literally a tribal sort of sound, with all the percussive stuff that Geoff programmes in as well as the actual drums that are played, giving a very rhythmic feel to it along with the rolling bass which also has a tribal feel. We try and avoid using any terms that might pigeonhole us so we tend to use something that is pretty vague. What are the bands influences? When I listen to your music I hear some seventies things like Yes, Pink Floyd and classic Genesis… We were all into some psychedelic rock and got into the rave scene in the Nineties and that has kind of thrown things up in the air a bit. The energy of the dance culture in the Nineties was so fresh we are trying to channel back into that psychedelic sound which makes it a bit of a mongrel sound. What does your fan base consist of? I used to do a radio show on the internet for a while and we got a lot of people through that who come from the break beat scene who we would do twelve inches for at the time. So a lot of the people are ones that used to listen to a lot of psychedelic rock music who got involved with dance music and have come back wanting something with a bit more depth, not just something they can party to. A lot of our fans come from the Electronica side of things looking for a new edge to the music they listen to.
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So what are you listening to at the moment Geoff? Not a lot, my tinnitus is pretty bad these days so I try not to go to quiet places to listen to music. I keep upgrading my earplugs and I think I’m on a 38 now which I think is for people operating pneumatic drills but it’s probably too late. But I would listen to obscure Hip Hop from Williamsburg or something that no one would have ever heard of, also a lot of old stuff, a lot of classic stuff, some of the new fresh Electronica sounds from the UK like London and Glasgow and a bit out of New York. How about you Nick? Well I’m not quite as hip as Geoff, I guess retro in comparison but I listen to music while I’m washing up so I’ll stick on nice oldies stuff like old Alton Ellis, soul stuff like Otis Mayfield and stuff like that but I’m still into things like the Prodigy and all that kind of stuff. And you Letitia? I mainly get my music from other friends and get inspired by what they’re listening to. I mostly go back to what I listened to when I was younger, listening to rocky axe stuff from the early Nineties, but I like music from across the ages. I will normally put on something random from Spotify or Youtube and soak it all up, so I’m not really genre specific. So as a Bass player, who is your inspiration? Any particular artist? No, it can be any bass line or hook or groove or something that I just tune into and think is awesome, so it’s quite hard to pick any one person or style and different styles of music require different levels of complexity or simplicity, like dance music: you can hear some of it is quite intricate like the newer Electronica stuff, whereas some of the older stuff is really driving and deep, so I take elements from all of that to use in the throbbing side of Lifecycle. Geoff: It’s been great since we got Tish on board actually, we met when we were fifteen or something when we were doing music technology and she was the first one that got into dance music; we were all a bit scared at the time as she went off into this other world, but she has come back and the groovy side of the bass has
really taken off and given a dance groove element to what is going on. ‘Dissolve’ is quite an appealing track potentially bordering mainstream do you think? Well that’s very kind of you to say. It’s not challenging, it’s meant to be more of a hypnotic track but the hooks are there for people to get the instant pleasure. It is all woven into this sort of repetitive texture of chorus and verse which we try not to have too obvious. So is this going to lead onto an album? Yes. We’ve been in the Strongroom studios in Shoreditch which is really cool because it’s been done out by the artist who did the Sex Pistols covers and it is serious hardcore psychedelic walls. We are trying to do this fully independent so we maintain control and we are just looking for a way to get it out there this summer. Any name for the album? Yes. Lino Cosmos out in July. On CD and MP3 and maybe a twelve inch later. What are the plans for Lifecycle in the next twelve months? Well if we get the van finished, we will be touring as much as possible and getting the album to as many people as possible. We have already written the second album so we will be also looking to recording that in the studio in the autumn. Single ‘Dissolve’ out now. Album ‘Lino Cosmos’ out in July. Check them out at www.thelifecycle.es and www.facebook.com/thelifecycles
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After a thrilling performance at last year’s Download Festival, Lit get ready to take over Europe and the UK once again to celebrate the 15th anniversary of their landmark album ‘A Place in The Sun’. We gave frontman A. Jay Popoff a quick call to find out more. We hear that they still enjoy life on the road and can’t wait to be back here, and they wouldn’t mind another visit to Donington to hang out with their buddies in Offspring. But there’s also time to talk about family life and A. Jay’s haircutting skills… You didn’t see that one coming, did you? You’re touring in May celebrating the 15th anniversary of A Place In The Sun – How does it feel 15 years later? It doesn’t feel like that at all! On one hand it feels like a lifetime ago, on the other hand it feels like I’ve just got off the road. I guess it’s just one of those things where time flies when you’re having fun and I think ever since that record came out we’ve pretty much been having fun! [laughs] 15 years in the grand scheme of things is a small window in a lifetime. Would you say that A Place In The Sun has been a highlight in your career so far? In the sense that it opened up a whole lot of new doors us and definitely changed our lives allowing us to tour the world, but as far as pretty much what we do that’s something we’d been doing for ten years prior. The guys in this band have always hung out together, written music and performed, something that remains the same to this day. I guess on the scale of things there was a larger magnitude when that record came out. What’s the dearest memory you have in these 15 years?
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anything you would change anywhere? From the moment we walked out of the recording studio I already heard things I would change – I guess that’s part of being an artist/musician, sometimes you over think/overdo things and you see things that aren’t broken and try to fix them. Over the years some of the things I’ve learned is – whether it’s live or on record – to embrace some of the flaws; whereas before I’d want to fix them, in this day and age everything’s becoming so perfected and digital there’s no room for error and I think it’s missing a lot of life nowadays. As far as changing anything now I leave things as they There are so many of those, that’s the are and appreciate the flaws. question that comes up quite often It must feel strange celebrating this and it’s so hard to put in a nutshell! without Allen (Shellenberger who One of the things I’ll never forget sadly passed away in 2009)… was going over to the UK and playing Reading festival – being in a country I It was such a hard thing for us. As a had never been to before but always band we had the opportunity to go wanted to go and playing in front of through it all together, even when Al70,000 people, people that knew our len was sick, to come together and music was such a breathtaking experi- be there for each other through such ence. Another big one was appearing a difficult time. Once we had a lot of on the radio for the first time which healing time, we found ourselves at was surreal – my brother and I grew up that place where we felt we could play listening to our dad who was a radio music again we’ve stayed very optiDJ, we’ve always been such a musical mistic, remember the good things and and radio family that the 1st time we found that place where it’s still excitgot to hear our own song on the radio ing to play music. Instead of feeling sad that Allen’s not with us we just celwas pretty intense. ebrate the record now and the good That’s a lovely story! Do you feel the times we had. same way getting on stage after all A Place In The Sun and Atomic were this time? both on RCA – how much difference It’s crazy, the time leading up to show does it make being backed by a major time has changed a lot - the way my label to going your own way? mind prepares for a show is different I think the biggest difference is that than it used to be, a different kind of nerve but the moment we go on stage and the first chord hits is the same, there’s so much adrenaline and energy that we feel. I think as soon as that goes away it’s probably when I’ll stop playing music – which I don’t anticipate! Good to hear! How do you feel today about the songs on the album - is there
we got to experience a time in music where it was thriving and still a healthy industry before the internet, downloads and all that kind of stuff. Now it’s different in general, not just major vs. indie, some artists are doing really well e.g. Macklemore, so many YouTube artists that have blown up that way. It’s just a whole different game now altogether. Your last album was in 2012 – how is work coming on the follow up? We were always writing [but] we haven’t started working on a new record as of yet, we’ve shifted more focus towards touring and stuff like that, we’ve got so much material and a lot will definitely be a curveball for people, it’s just a matter of which direction we want to go with it because we still have songs that are more of a follow up to The View From The Bottom and then we have a whole new direction that we could take it, and I think it’s just a matter of when the time feels right to show that side of us. Aside from this tour what are the festival plans in the UK? You were at Download last year…
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and go through all the ups and downs. Our tour bus is like a man cave! I always wondered – given your brother is in the band – how you can put up with him for that long. I couldn’t do it with mine! [laughs] We’ve had our moments, when you’re together 24/7 over the course of a tour you’re going to be at each other’s throats at one point or another, but I really think that the best answer as far as my brother and I is we’re the happiest when we’re on tour, it’s when we’re off the road and dealing with more logistics that we butt heads but once we step away from distractions and some of the stress of reality and we climb into our musical… cloud [laughs] it’s all fun at that point. What do you like to do when you’re not playing music? I’m a family man when I’m home, I have a daughter who’s 11 now, I love being a dad and I’ve always had other interests – this may surprise people but I love cutting hair and I love anything artistic. I plan to open a gentleman’s salon, aside from that I appreciate the smaller things in life, it doesn’t take a whole lot to keep me happy. Get Scared did a cover of My Own Worst Enemy – what are your thoughts? Download was amazing, I’d love to I thought they did a great job – I was come back and do more of the festi- very impressed and I’ve heard so many vals, if we’re invited we definitely will slaughtered versions of that song that come back! when I heard theirs I thought it was reI would have loved to have seen you freshing, the subtle changes that they guys on the Offspring day! made, so much that I suggested we try That would have been amazing to play some of them! They added their own with those guys again! flavour and gave it a fresh new sound Speaking of touring you always men- but stayed true to how we wrote the tioned how fun it was being on the song as well. road. Has that changed over time? If you wanted to record a song for the No, that’s kept us young for sure, we’d third volume of Punk Goes 90’s what think at some point given how long would you pick? we’ve been doing this we’d grow up I actually miss the early 90’s, I was a big and act like adults but we keep each fan of obviously Nirvana, Stone Temple other young , the humour’s still there, Pilots, Soundgarden and those bands not a lot’s changed! We party together so I’d be down to cover one of those.
What can we expect from these upcoming shows? Will you be playing A Place In The Sun in full? Yeah, we’ve only done it once so far in our hometown and that was the first time ever; when you have a record collection and listen to them all front to back you get used not just to the songs but how the playlist goes and that becomes a hook in itself I think, so to get to do it live is cool and different. A few years ago I heard about bands doing it and I wasn’t really a fan and thought I’d never do that, but it was a lot of fun. It’s a way of being taken back to a time when things were less stressful – memories of summertime, parties and Las Vegas! If your fans want to keep up to date on you guys where’s the best place? Our Facebook page or our Instagram rather than our website! Any other things you’d like to say? We’re all excited to be touring the UK again rather than just one show then fly home so we get to hang out with people we haven’t seen in years! Catch Lit live in Europe and the UK on the following dates: MAY 09 - Alte Seilerei, Mannheim, Germany 10 - De Helling, Utrecht, Netherlands 11 - Luxor, Cologne, Germany 13 - Cathouse, Glasgow, UK 14 - Club Academy, Manchester, UK 15 - Electric Ballroom, London, UK 16 - Button Factory, Dublin, UK 17 - The Institute Library, Birmingham, UK 18 - The Fleece, Bristol, UK 19 - Sub 89, Reading, UK
10 years ago, yet another band was ingurgitated and later quickly regurgitated by a greedy music industry only interested in immediate mass profits. So much so that today that industry makes up their own disposable stars and the ‘one hit wonder’ is no longer an exception but a sad rule. The genuine ones however survive and get stronger, developing an identity, a sound, creating albums that might not get the publicity of Lady Gaga but, given a chance, are there to stay. ‘Candy for The Clowns’ is the new offering from mancunian outfit Nine Black Alps, one that some critics hailed as a possible second coming. If that depended on the quality of the music alone, that would probably be the case. The record was released on April 21st with a tour to follow, and for those who missed out there’s another chance to catch them live on May 31st at Camden Rocks (more on Camden Rocks on this issue). After listening to what is likely to be on our 2014 Favourite Albums list, we discuss Nine Black Alps’ past, present and future with frontman Sam Forrest.
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cording the music in a way that was consistently great, both musically and lyrically so we really tried to focus on getting everything working well to create something rich and enjoyable for 36 minutes. I don’t know if we’re maturing that much in the sound of the band, as we’re still drawing from the same inspirations and ideas that we had when we started ten years ago, but maybe we’re getting closer to actualising the sounds in our heads.
While ‘Sirens’ was a totally homemade effort, ‘Candy for the Clowns’ is mixed and engineered by Mark be rising but it’s hard to say. When- Winterburn at Edge Recording Stuever we’ve finished an album I always dios; what difference did that make? feel kind of sad because my favourite It made it a bit easier practically to part of the whole process is the writ- have somebody else pressing the reing of a record, so I never know what cord button so we could focus more to do with myself. But as a band we’re on the parts that we were playing all getting on well and I think we know and stand back and listen to what that we’ve just made a great album, so things sounded like from a distance. that’s all I really want. And I have no I think it also gave us a bit of a kick idea where the rollercoaster is head- to try and be better than when we ing, as long as nobody dies I don’t were recording ourselves, and also really think that we can go down. helped in making decisions whereas to our own devices we can ofYour 5th album ‘Candy for the Clowns’ left ten get bogged down in the details. You recently celebrated 10 years to- is out this month. What inspired the gether as a band, years that have title? You enjoyed rave reviews in the early been a bit of a rollercoaster… What The title was taken from a line in a phase of your career but later Nine do you remember as the highest and song I wrote that didn’t get used for Black Alps kind of fell off the radar; this record. For some reason there’s when and how do you think that hapthe lowest point in your career? The high points for the band were lots of mentions of things like ‘candy’ pened and does it matter to you? probably our first ever show where in the lyrics, something to do with we realised that we actually sounded sweetness and decay, and ‘clowns’ pretty cool and that we weren’t rub- too, probably because I was just bish, along with getting to tour in looking for something to rhyme places like Japan and USA which is and again it had a sweet and way more than we ever considered slightly creepy feel. Above all, it doing when we started the band. Get- just sounded like a cool album title ting to record our first album with and it amused me temporarily beRob Schnapf was pretty mind-blowing cause I thought it sounded a little too as he’d recorded some of my fa- like ‘Appetite For Destruction’. vourite albums like ‘Mellow Gold’ by Beck and ‘Figure 8’ by Elliott Smith. Already from the first two singles Low points were probably after the ‘Novokaine’ and ‘Supermarket release of our third album feeling Clothes’ we can hear a more dilike we’d made something great but verse range of influences in your it had been pretty much ignored or sound compared to some of previdismissed by the media and getting ous work, would you agree? How back home after a gruelling tour and do you feel your sound has mabeing horribly skint and depressed. tured throughout these 5 albums? I think with this album I was more Where do you feel you are now on conscious of what makes an album sound great as a whole, rather than said rollercoaster? I feel like we’ve been up and down, just a bunch of songs. And that was and are now on a plateau that might more to do with writing and re-
I think there are hundreds of reasons why we fell off the radar. A lot of it has to do with the natural life-cycle of a new band in the UK music industry, in that you usually get two or three years where the spotlight is put upon you and unless you quickly reach the level of playing arenas you can be quickly discarded. This kind of happened to us as we received a ridiculous amount of attention very early on by the industry and the press and in many ways were given a target that we were very unlikely to reach, so when our first couple of albums failed to sell millions, we were quickly dropped by the record label and then our management and then started to get much less press and radio play. And when this happens, there is much less momentum to keep things going and then the money quickly runs out and it becomes much harder to keep going. However, we are still going as music is something we all enjoy and it’s a big part of who we are, so although the lack of attention and exposure that we get can be incredibly frustrating at times, it’s not really going to stop us creating music. Some already said this is the album that could catapult Nine Black Alps back into the spotlight; is that the intention? How big are you aiming with ‘Candy for the Clowns’? With every album a part of me always thinks that it’s going to be ‘the one’ but I guess that is just human nature. But when we started making this record there was quite a lot of enthusiasm within the band to create something great and lasting. And we were aiming pretty big with the writing and recording of the album, I guess we just wanted to make a big, flawless rock record that would kind of sound ‘classic’ whatever that means, in a way that wouldn’t be limited to a year, a location or a scene.
L e t ’ s find new ways to describe this album: what would it be if it was… - An animal? Probably one of those mythical beasts
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with the front half of a lion and the back half of a fish or something... - A drink? Dr Pepper because it’s misunderstood and makes your teeth rot. - A place? Probably the south Manchester ring road at three in the morning, driving back late at night. - A drug? Caffeine, large amounts were used in the making of the album and pretty much nothing else.
four of us in the practice room, trying to aim for anything else beyond that usually doesn’t really work for us.
You’re currently on a UK tour ending with your appearance at Camden Rocks on May 31st: where and when can we catch your performance? Are you going to hang around Camden with the punters for the rest of the day, are you looking to catch any of Is there a particular song on ‘Candy the other acts? for the Clowns’ that you feel especial- I think we’re playing Dingwalls. And yeah ly encases the essence of Nine Black not too sure who else is playing, we’ll Alps today? probably spend most of the day trying For some reason ‘Patti’ stands out for to figure out where to park the van. me as a song that sums us up at the moment, as it’s big and simple and What’s the plan for summer? Any has a kick without trying to much. more tours – headline or support – or festival slots? Having experienced a deal with Island Currently we have no plans for the Records at the beginning of your ca- summer, we don’t have any manreer, how do you feel a major label agement so there is no real ‘grand can influence the success of a band or plan’, we just want to keep it sponan album - in good and bad? taneous and fun. If something cool To me a major label is just marketing comes up that doesn’t financialpower. They have the money neces- ly cripple us, we’ll probably do it. sary to pay for the adverts. Am not too sure what else major labels can offer Do you still feel the same emotions as they seem to be just a big bank that getting on stage now as you did 10 can throw money around, and mon- years ago? ey attracts press and press attracts Yeah I think so, it’s all about the people. There’s nothing like having no physical thing of the noise that we money to make you easy to be ignored. make that I still really enjoy. It should fun and instinctive and defiant, To the opposite, how do you feel free- be it’s all a protest against normal life. dom influenced your music since leaving Island? Any message for your fans, present Weirdly enough it’s made us more past and future? skilled in lots of other areas like making Just thanks for liking us or ever videos and doing artwork and produc- having liked us, and sorry that tion. We’re a lot more self-sustained we don’t tour more, if we could now which makes it easier to create ourselves we’d happily art that reflects what we do better. In clone terms of the actual music itself, I think come and play in your living room. we’ve always had some kind of unspo- And finally, make a wish for 2014… ken goal in creating visceral and interesting rock music that isn’t dependent Just large amounts of stress-free monon the outside pressures of labels and ey would be really nice. And a guitar so on. What it comes down to is the string sponsorship as it’s so boring noise that we make when it’s just the buying guitar strings. - A movie? Just an endless sequence of bad YouTube clips of bad musicians playing rubbish songs, again, what kept us going through the making of the record.
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Matt Dawson speaks to Zach Householder about Whitechapel’s evolution, his love of tech-metal and his thoughts on the sad passing of Dave Brockie As we approach Whitechapel’s fifth release how do you feel the band has evolved from the beginning to this point? As most bands tend to do, we’ve grown and changed tremendously over the years. Sometimes for the best, sometimes for the worst. The fact is, no album we’ve ever done has been the exact same. We all put 110% into every album we do but sometimes no
matter how hard you try, you can’t catch lightning in a bottle. I think “A New Era of Corruption” and “Whitechapel” we’re both stepping stones to get where we are with the new album. There were so many factors in the shaping and formation of why I feel like our last two albums before “Our Endless War” simply had the right idea, but weren’t quite there. “The Somatic Defilement” and “This Is Exile” were albums when we were still discovering ourselves and according to a lot of our fans, we’ll never be as good as those first two albums. We are always rushed and given a bullshit time restraint to write and record new albums. With this one we finally put our foot down and had an adequate amount of time. The end result definitely shows because I think we had time to digest the songs more before finalizing them. Instead of writing what we felt was expected of us we just did whatever the hell we wanted. As a musician one would think it would be easy to write for yourself and to do whatever you want but the demands of metal and its fans play with your creativity more than one can imagine. I think it took 5 albums to REALLY sit back and not give a shit about what everyone thinks.
Photo by Adam Elmakias
How was it working once again with Mark Lewis? It’s always a pleasure working with Mark. This is the third time we’ve worked with him and the second time his completely engineered and produced our album. We’ve known him so long now that he’s literally one of the family. It makes the whole process a lot easier when you work with someone you know and there’s no awkward tension. He knows exactly what we want and we know exactly what he expects of us. He›s a smart engineer and a good musician so every time we work with him I learn something new. What led to the choice for Mono and The Saw Is The Law to be the taster tracks? Honestly, no matter what my input usually is on the singles to be released I usually don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes time to decide. If I had to guess why those songs were chosen, I would only assume it was because they’re two totally different songs as far as the vibe goes. Plus, they’re not the best songs on the album so you at least get an idea and a taste of what’s to come without giving everything away all at once. It was hard to pick singles to begin with anyways because every song on this album has a different flavor in its own unique way. What would you say is your favourite track and the most personal to you? That’s tough to say. It’s been a long time since we’ve had an album we’re I’m not totally burnt out on it after writing and record-
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though we try to take as LITTLE equipment as possible, there’s still a certain amount of it we NEED to do our show properly. Whitechapel is our living and a lot of the times when we come to Europe, we do good just to break even. I hate to say it, but we have to eat and have a place to live. We just can’t afford coming there as much as we used to and would like to. Airplane tickets and the cost of taking all our extra equipment comes straight from our pockets. Hopefully, we’ll be coming to the UK in the fall but I can’t make any promises.
ing it. With this album, I still enjoy listening to every song. As I said before every song has its own unique flavour and I suppose it depends on whatever I’m in the mood for. “Let Me Burn” is a constant because Phil brings that song to life and the lyrics are catchy as hell. “Worship The Digital Age” has a touch of the classic Whitechapel to it but done with a more down-to-earth feel, song structure, and lots of hooks. The most personal one to me I suppose would have to be “Blacked Out.” During the time we were writing for the album I had put some new pick-ups in a 6 string of mine that was tuned to drop D flat. I love this tuning and was excited to try out the new pickups so I literally just sat down and started writing that song. It’s a very different vibe for Whitechapel and I had no idea it would turn out the way it did. I suppose I’m a little proud of it, at least. How was it touring with GWAR? First, I’d like give my condolences to all of GWAR, their fans, and close friends and family of the band for the passing of Dave. I was shocked to discover he had left us. Knowing Dave, thou he wouldn›t want us all mourning and butt hurt about it but instead, he would enjoy if we made some really tasteless jokes, hell that’s just how Dave was. I grew up knowing about GWAR every since
Beavis and Butthead were on TV& I was in 5th grade I believe. It was amazing to finally tour with the legends and what was even better was finding out how down to earth they all were. Dave would get hammered, come stumbling on our bus, and just shoot the shit and chat for awhile. He was larger than life and he really did bring the character of Oderus alive every night on stage. It seemed his mind and imagination were always going 100 mph all the time. Needless to say, I’m glad I got to witness the titan that is GWAR and share the stage with living legends. What are the plans in regards to the UK? Well HOPEFULLY we’ll be returning at some point. The last time we were in Europe was last summer for festivals and that was it. A club tour in Europe is long overdue. The hard part about taking our act anywhere else in the world is the cost. Even
What are your favourite 3 albums of the moment – current or classic? I recently was going through my library of music to find something to listen to while I was doing taxes yesterday. I came across Sikth’s Death of a Dead Day album and threw it on because I hadn’t heard it in awhile. I forgot how much I love that band. Other than that, I still find myself coming back to Gojira’s L’Enfant Sauvage and no matter what, that album never gets old to me. They’re hands down one of my favourite bands and that album is fantastic. Lastly, Meshuggah’s Koloss album. Need I say more on the subject of that band? Every album of theirs has something to offer and it’s always absolutely crushing.
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Guitarist Christian Lindell speaks to Matt Dawson about how lineup changes have made Portrait stronger and helps us discover some interesting new blood in the underground Swedish metal scene… What was the mindset for the band going in to record Crossroads? We were a bit more relaxed than before, at least to start with. We have had a good feeling about the songs on Crossroads all the way and we knew instinctively that things would fall into place. However, we had some setbacks and had to postpone the recordings a bit. The first thing was that our drummer Anders hurt his back and could not record of course, and when the drums were finally done and it was time for guitars and bass, a storm hit Sweden and of course made trees fall upon the chosen studio, knocking out all electricity and postponing things again. And when it was time for the vocals our singer Per had some illness in his throat. But we managed before our deadlines anyway and the most important thing is that it was worth the struggle as we are very satisfied with the result. Given the line up changes in 2012 – do you feel Portrait are stronger
What are your plans regarding summer festivals and possible UK tour? We have some festivals confirmed and so far they are Metalheadz Open Air in Germany, Metal Magic in Denmark and Til Dovre Faller in Norway. Unfortunately we have no shows booked in the UK for now but we are of course interested if someone would give us a decent offer.
and better for it in 2014? Yes, definitely. We had some troublesome times leading up to that line-up change, forcing us to focus on stupid things instead of what is actually important. I have a very hard time seeing that something like that will happen again, and everyone in the band is now more dedicated than ever.
Give us a few underground Swedish bands we should
check out… If you haven’t heard Ram yet you should definitely check them out.
How did it feel to work with Tore Stjerna once more? It felt great and he is very professional. He has a lot of visions about the final outcome and managed to create a very fitting production, with a lot of atmosphere but yet pretty clear without losing power. He understands our music perfectly and we are very pleased with his work with everything. What would you say is your favourite track on the album and the most personal? I would say Lily because I have a very personal relation to the writing process and the lyrics. It is also quite different from what we have done before and that song kinda “proofs” that there are areas yet to explore for us, without cutting off our roots so to speak.
I also like Void Moon and Dagger a lot. What are your favourite 3 albums at the moment – current or classic? For the moment I listen a lot to The Rods ‘Vengeance’, David “Rock” Feinstein ‘Clash of Armor’ and Wishbone Ash ‘Argus’.
Sebastian Bach has been one of my favorites since 1989. To be honest I’m not sure if it is his amazing talent or his amazing looks. Sad, I know, but the man has always been just TOO pretty. To be able to speak with him not once but twice has been a dream to me. This second time was like talking to an old friend after a few minutes of awkwardness. We laughed, talked a little shit about Nikki Sixx. Good time. All in all SB is a pretty down to earth dude, a little full of himself but you would be too if you looked and sounded like Sebastian Bach now wouldn’t you? Guess there are not many female interviewers calling Sebastian Bach. I call, he answers with a Yessss Sir! Um, Hey Sebastian, I’m not a sir, its Denise Britt from Sonic Shocks, how’s it going? Alright, nice to talk to you. What’s been happening in the past 3 years since I’ve talked to you? Got a new album called Give Em Hell, new video called Temptation, new video called Taking Back Tomorrow, I have Duff McKagan on the bass, John5, Steve Stevens, and Kevin Bronson on guitars. Bobby on drums and I am very happy with this CD.
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I’m pretty happy with that CD too, it’s really good. Awesome In preparing for this interview I found out that you have quit drinking. Congrats on that…I mean, I guess congrats on that. I guess, she says. Laughing. What do you mean I guess? Well, I enjoy my cocktail once in a while, and I know you love wine. I know it’s not easy. (laughing)…It is not easy, definitely not easy. Yeah, this album is the first I’ve done sober, I don’t know if that’s why it sounds so good. Who knows? Everybody keeps telling me how great it sounds. That is the one different thing than my other albums. I attribute it to age. Your voice is aging in a good way. Lots of singers, ok, not lots but some singers sound really, really good as they get older. Like Tony Bennet, Frank Sinatra, Steven Tyler, even James Brown. When he died I had a ticket to a show that he was going to do and he died like 2 days before I
was supposed to see him. Ozzy, like on Black Sabbath 13, he sounds just like Ozzy always has and he’s an old dude. He IS an old dude. We saw them here in Austin last year and they all sounded great. You sound great too, kudos to you. Thank you, thank you. So I read about this new TV show coming out May 31st on ABC. Sing Your Face Off. Sounds kind of different. Well, this is the first prime time TV network that I’ve ever been involved with. The Gilmore Girls was a huge TV show but it was on the CW Network. (Me in the background… LOVED GG) This is on ABC and it’s a major audience that will see me. It’s 8 episodes. It is a series. I am pretty excited. I had to crack up when I read the list of judges and saw that Richard Simmons would be judging you. That was the icing on that cake right there. (laughing) …He’s a funny guy man. I’m just going to mention this because I happened to read it last night. Nikki Sixx was pretty much talking shit about you, about you using the moniker Skid Row with your name for the TV show. Came out on Sixx AM What does that mean? Guess what?
Guess what?? Denise are you ready for this? I’m ready. Are you ready??? I’m going to give you the worldwide exclusive of what Nikki Sixx said Sebastian Bach should do ok. That’s important to me when another person tells me what I should do, that’s really what I look for because what would I do without him in my life. Right now I’m going to do what he says I should do. I’m going to drop the tag of Skid Row. Are you ready Denise? 1, 2, 3! I’M DROPPING THE TAG, I’VE DROPPED IT, I JUST DID IT. I DROPPED THE TAG I WAS USING. Who the hell is Nikki Sixx to give advice anyway? Do you realize how important this is??? Probably not very Sebastian. I did what Nikki Sixx said I should do. (I’m dying laughing….)
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I feel so much better, don’t you? I do. I’m thinking of writing him for advice myself. He probably should be writing his own advice column really. Isn’t it great? Now I’m a cool guy. Ok, so hey I was looking at the lyric video for taking back tomorrow. That’s genius. The little comic bubbles above your head. Was that your idea? Yeah, I’m a comic collector. They told me I should do a lyric video and I didn’t even know what that is. They explained it to me and I thought well that is really silly. Let me just stand there and let me sing it. Wow. Yeah, you looked kind of uncomfortable there a time or two. You were like ok; I’m just standing here… They didn’t really even want me in it, they were like a lyric video is just lyrics. It came out funny so I made it like a comic book. We have another video coming out. All my Friends Are Dead, it’s a lot heavier. It’s with Duff. That’s a heavy song. Are you going out on tour with this new album? Yeah I’ve got like 50-60 dates. I hope I can get to Texas finally. That would be great. I hope you can to, it’s been awhile. Yeah. Bobby is from SA and I saw that’s where you are calling from. That would be very cool. I actually live in Austin and we are big Stevie Ray Vaughn fans over here. Oh wow. Do you ever listen to that type of music? SRV? Hendrix? Blues? Oh yeah, I listen to tons of Hendrix. I love SRV. Unfortunately my most vivid SRV memory involves his untimely passing. Skid Row played Alpine Valley a week or two before he was killed there. The reason I mention this is because I took the same helicopter ride
from the hotel to the gig. Exactly the same he took with the same pilots and guess what? They were being crazy in the air. Like trying to impress me, the rock star. NO way! YES! This is not anything I’m making up. I remember taking that ride and they were treating it like it was an amusement park ride. I remember getting out and going damn, let’s go rock. Then I remember being in my car driving around NYC and the radio announced that SRV died in a helicopter crash in Alpine Valley and
I pulled the car over thinking, you’ve got to be kidding me, I can’t believe what I’m hearing. There’s my SRV story. It could have been Skid Row. That is crazy. Wow. Who would you say your all-time favorite vocalist is? Mine is Stevie Nicks. I love Steve Perry and Rob Halford, Phoebe Snow, Jeff Buckley, and I love the harmonies of the Eagles, Steely Dan. A lot of the 70’s singers before computers it was more of a talent to do it right back then. Yeah I’ve got a station on my Pandora named the Climax Blues Band and it plays all that old 70’s stuff. It’s great. Aww yeah, that’s great stuff. One more question. I hear a lot about Pay to Play these days - Smaller and actually sometimes even bigger bands PAYING to go on tour or open for bigger bands just to get exposure. Is this something that was happening even back in the 80s? Nooooo, I’ve always been paid to play. You are asking the wrong guy about that! If it don’t make dollars it don’t make sense! I appreciate you taking the time to talk with me. Thanks Denise!
Matt Dawson talks to vocalist Christian Hede Madsen about Stoner rock, Napalm and Facebook’s so-called evolution… How does it feel to be releasing your first album with Napalm Records? It is an honour actually. Napalm is a label with some power and a history with a lot of great rock and metal bands. This is not a sleeping pillow for us, but a motivation to work even harder to achieve our artistic goals on record and as a live band. Up till now Napalm has only been great to us, and seems to both understand and respect the music that we are all about. What are your thoughts on getting new fans with this record, was that one of the initial goals towards firstly going into the studio and secondly signing with Napalm? We hope to get a lot of new listeners with this record, simply because it is our best effort by far. We have grown as songwriters, musicians and have some experience in playing and writing together. It is a very dynamic album, that is made for vinyl and ”A to Z- listening”. It is all about the travel from the first song to the last. But I also think that the individual tracks are strong enough to stand on their own. Even though they are very different. From groovy blues on ”Remains” to full on doomy darkness on ”What Now”. But that is one of our trademarks I guess: the dynamics, the full range of sounds and emotions. But we don´t write this music to get fans or to please anybody. We have a vision with this shit, and it is really important to us. I hope, and believe, that people can feel that and that it is why they like, or understand, the band. We are aware of the business and I think you have to be in this day and age, but my good advice is: leave it out of your songwriting and rehearsal space. Stoner rock has gone through quite the revival in recent years – Vista Chino doing records, the Desertfest festivals in London and Berlin, what are your thoughts?
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My thoughts on the whole stoner-rock thing is basically that it is great. It is helping a lot of bands to find their audience and since the radio is not playing real, human music anymore, it helps people remember that screaming guitars are the fucking shit. But there is also a major generalization going on, because what people refer to as ”stoner-rock” is a wide spectrum of very, very different and unique bands. That is the important task of all the listeners out there: to navigate towards the best music out there. There is gold and there is shit, like in any other music genre. The bands I believe in and love, all have a strong identity and sound that goes way beyond the ”retro-rock”, ”fuzz-rock” or ”doom” labels. You know when you listen to a band like YOB that they are not in it, because of a trend. It is an un-spoiled love for heavy sounds and that comes through. The same goes for Windhand, Elder, Acid King, Pentagram and so on. But I can even feel it in a band like Pearl Jam. In my mind it is all rock. You have Chuck Berry, Led Zeppelin, Deafheaven, Behemoth and THOU that are all very different, but in essence it is all just rock’n’roll. It is all tied together in a weird, beautiful way. I think the state of heavy rock and metal is really good at the moment and because there are so many bands out there, you have to set the bar really high to be heard. You have to fight for your art. What drew Pet The Preacher towards the stoner blues side of rock/metal? We play what we play, because it resonates with who we are as people. The ”roar” and the power that big riffs have, are intoxicating. And we are all about the riff, and how to twist and turn what we already know and love from Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and many others, into something fresh and modern. We are not interested in being a retro band. We want to have our own sound and a reason to keep doing this. And when it runs in your blood, well you don´t really have a choice. We are born to do this kind of thing. The ”scene”: Heavy rock, stoner, doom, blues rock or whatever, has a great combination of mind and heart. These people care about artwork, song-titles, composition and good work-ethic above hit-singles or chartpositions. Hits and good chart-positions are great, but not the main goal, and that is attractive to us as well. We come from very different backgrounds musically, but a love for the blues and groovy, classic rock is common for all of us. But it is important to keep exploring and progress, and we are trying our best to do that with every song.
What would you pick as either your favourite or personal track on the album? My favourites are ”Let Your Dragon Fly” and ”The Web” (the bonus track, so buy the vinyl). They are both very powerful, and very different. We play those tracks really well on the record. But I might prefer some other songs if you ask me tomorrow haha. What are your thoughts regarding the social aspects of the industry in 2014? I think the social media have a great effect on the music industry, whether we like it or not. We live in a world where you expect everything to be available, not in a second, but now. We want to ”follow” our bands minute by minute and we want news, progress and videos every hour of the day. The bands (or the small bands at least) they need to fight for our attention, because there is an ocean of bands out there. If you want your music to spread, you have to get a hold of the people that might be interested and make sure they keep getting back to your pages and share your news with their network. It is reality and something you have to think about if you want a bigger audience. It is a lot of work and can be really tiring, but my experience is that it pays off. I like the direct contact with the fans and the people who are just ”stopping” by, but it only matters if they buy the concert ticket or the albums. I see social media as a network to make real life events better. Social media is useless on its own, but as a tool to spread your word, I think it is an essential part of being a smaller band in 2014. But I hope that the near future will see a big social network that is controlled by the users, entirely. Facebook is going in a direction where we have to pay for people to see what we write, while ads fill more and more. That is just people who wants to earn money, and that is pure shit. But the idea of social medias in general, and the ”fast” contact to other peers, I like. Any UK dates planned? Yes we have. In June. And they will be announced very soon, so keep an eye on our pages. What are your favourite 3 albums at the moment – can be current or classic? I´ll pick some current albums. Right now I am listening to these, but there is too much music to have favourites: THOU - Heathen Behemoth - The Satanist Beast Milk - Climax
1 April 2014 Sebright Arms, London. Vigo (vee-go) Thieves of Glasgow bring their latest tour to England. Promoting their latest single ‘This Love’ catch it at vigothieves.com Speaking with Stevie Jukes, lead singer and guitarist after their sound check over a beer… st
Tell me how the Vigo Thieves came about, who started the band, where are you all from? We’re all best friends from back home in Glasgow and have been together for four years now and first played London last year. Who is the writer in the band? Myself, I write all the songs. I’ve not had any musical schooling, I am completely self-taught. It is like many bands that start up with a passion for making music with their mates, you just start jamming away starting off being quite rubbish and then you get better and better. What are your influences? We’ve all got varying influences throughout the band but we all agree on wanting to sound like Brice Springsteen and early U2, simple minds and similar bands that have that stadium type rock sound. I read somewhere that you’ve turned down the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin Texas for London, this must be really important to you. What it was, last year we were offered the chance to go and play but we felt it wasn’t right, we weren’t ready. We wanted to get bigger here first and we will make that jump when we’re ready. It’s not to say we don’t want to go of course we want to go but last year just wasn’t the right time for us. What are you hoping to achieve in London? We’ve got a few people coming to see us to check us out the same as why
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most bands playing London, but is also to get us known outside of Glasgow and Scotland to get the name about, to let people know who we are and what we’re all about. Given the invite to Texas do you have an international following? We’re working on it, we have a couple of guys in America that we are speaking to as well which is good and then we’re off to Berlin in July and then in August to Thailand to play the Sonic Bang festival. One of the guys running it is a fan and asked us to play. And we’re going to L.A. next month as well. So we are jet setting about which is quite cool. I also read that you will be sitting down with Paul Lennon is that right? What’s that all about? Yeah, Paul’s our lawyer and has been with us for about a year now and is doing a good job for us. When you get to a level there are people who want to talk to you, Labels, Publishers, and Management so we’re just talking to people at the moment there’s nothing firm just yet. But we want to make money at this and do it for a living, so we’re working hard to get to our goal. You have released two EPs and one single; when will we see an album? There is yes, we will be in the studio next month to re-do some stuff and work on recording some songs. The album will hopefully be out at the end of the year or the beginning of next year. The video for This Love has quite a harsh side to it, what was the point of that? The whole emphasis was to show the different sides to love, a soft kind side and a dark side. That was what the video was used for. I was watching the film Drive and loved the film and the guy that does all of our videos is Stuart Breadner said what do you want to do and I said I want to do Drive. He went away and came back and that was it. Have you got a following in London? There are a
few people who come back to see us but we’ve only played a few times and for now, its about getting the name and our music out there for people. What message would you like to get to readers of Sonic Shocks? Go and check us out at vigothieves. com all information is on there, videos, tour dates and merchandise and you can stream songs too. If you like what you see, come and see us and buy our music. Tell me about your use of social media. How does this help you as a band? Social media is massive and we use it a lot. It gives us a platform to be able to do a lot of things ourselves like make videos, distribute songs and engage and interact with fans and we find it vitally important and make it one of our priorities in promoting the band. Please explain Vigo Daft. If you’re Scottish and you like something or are mad about something you are said to be daft such as football daft. There was a guy who kept coming to our shows and someone spotted him and said ‘there’s that bloke again, he’s Vigo Daft’ and it just stuck. So we put it on t-shirts and they have been flying out of the door like crazy. So that would a good name for your fan club? Absolutely. What are we going to see from Vigo Thieves in the next year and beyond? The album is going to be the main focal point but we want to work on building our fan base and hopefully getting to play some good festivals but the aim is get as big as we can be and take it as far as we can. Hopefully we can then talk to the right people who can help us get to the next level. So we are looking for a supporting role on a tour and festivals. Anything to get us known.
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How long have you girls been playing together? Fanny: Two and a half years. You’ve got an EP already out which is independent and now a single with Electric Wood Records – how is it working with them? F: They’re very agreeable, great label… (pause)… It’s our own label! [all laugh] Ha! Bet they’re great! More material’s on the way? Jen: Definitely. Zoe: Around September/October we’re looking to release another The Franklys: a band the universe has single, so we’re working on that at been trying to tell me to listen to. the moment, hopefully some more In a short time I met one of them in material after that. We’re just writan evening raid at Primark, one in a ing all the time trying to get tracks drunken post-gig haze at The Good ready for the album which is hopeMixer, yet I had never seen them fully soon. playing. Their EP was promising, a So what’s the big plan, world domitaste of raw energy bound to set a nation? stage on fire. So here I am, on a love- Z: Yeah! World domination! We just ly Sunday afternoon, sipping beer got played on a radio station in Mexiin a courtyard in Islington after the co the other night so we’re spreading girls rocked my socks off as expected out that way, we’ve been to America, at Yard Life Festival. Time to find a Sweden to play… World domination quiet corner for a chat, if we can stop ain’t that far away! [laughs] laughing(!) Ok, let’s get serious girls. How did it go in the US? Nicole: Awesome. America is such a Let the interview begin... great place, every town, every state is almost like a different country so you get so many different types of people… You are American! [laughs] I walked right into that one! It was great, Americans are the BEST! Do you plan to go there again? Z: Hopefully, West Coast would be amazing – Los Angeles, San Francisco. [Turns to Nicole] You’ve played west coast? N: We’d do fantastic if we played LA, Santa Rosa, Santa Barbara, Las Vegas – not the strip but there’s so many cool punk venues - Portland, Oregon… but at the moment we want to focus on the UK, getting more outside of London and going over to Europe, Germany, where it’s a bit easier and more accessible at the moment for us than America because that would take a lot of planning in the Photo by Erica Pinto
West Coast without support. You’ve got some UK gigs and Festivals lined up – Camden and the Old Blue Last in May. Any more being planned? N: Our plan is to go into a studio outside London end of May to end of June so we’re basically booking no gigs at the moment because we’ll be staying there if it all works out – somewhere I’ve always wanted to record. We’re recording completely new material that we’ve never played live. I’m really excited about it but can’t say more at this point. F: We’ll still play a little bit but 2 times a month instead of 6 so we can focus on practicing and writing new material, we will still play but not as much for this period of time. But we have Strawberry Fields which is a big opportunity for us to play to a lot of people. Z: That’s in August, there’s some great upcoming bands on there like Catfish And The Bottlemen along with Reverend And The Makers. J: It’s our first festival too except for today so it’s the best one! [laughs] N: Our first in a tent for a few days, we’re thinking of getting a 6 man now, a porch, a hot tub! [laughs] Z: You are! [all laugh] So what’s the best way to find out about any last minute gigs? F: Website, Facebook is always there as well. N: The website’s the most current with the gigs and stuff. Let’s talk about the single – you worked with Brian Lucey who’s worked with Arctic Monkeys… Z: He also mastered our EP as well – we have a really nice working relationship with him, he’s quick, professional and always does the job. I find that the new single really portrays what you are as a band with the more Ramones based part on the A side and a darker one on the B side – what are your main influences/inspirations? J: It changes quite a lot, right now it’s Led Zeppelin, this weekend I’ve just been obsessed! N: I love everything from 60s original obscure but then again I love Zeppelin, The Who and I’m getting into Prog rock more which is good for the band. Z: I listen to a lot of shoegaze, indie, but also the heavier stuff, my mother’s a big Rolling Stones fan and my Dad likes the Eagles so I grew up on that.
Beatles or Rolling Stones? J: Rolling Stones – don’t kill me! [laughs] F: I like current stuff like Queens Of The Stone Age’s new album, Jack White, mostly 80’s stuff like Depeche Mode, a friend got me into Spotify so I’ve been getting into all that stuff again, I grew up on it so I love it. It’s nice that we have quite similar but very different influences because when we write together it’s sort of like a mish-mash of everything. Quite an eclectic background there! Let’s talk about your video for Puppet, so very 60s – what is your inspiration image wise and is it an indication of where you’re going to go? N: No, not at all. I don’t think so, I just had an idea and I love that period, I was thinking of a way to make a cool video but also use the kinds of clothes and things that we all have and love, it just came together and my boyfriend just looks like the actor from Blow Up and I sort of got inspiration from that. The song is bubbly and fun but then the new stuff will be a surprise. The song is very happy, very poppy, 60s vibe so it made sense to have it quite uplifting, fun and colourful. Did you pick the outfits? We all did! I did lot of it but we all did, and my girlfriend helped me make sure we were looking perfect… I had all these pictures compiled for MONTHS of poses that are in the video, it wouldn’t have come across right if we all had the exact same poses, and it was a lot of fun making it! Where do you normally shop for clothes? I know where Fanny shops… (all laugh) J: I barely buy anything new so I rarely go into River Island, mainly vintage. I rarely spend more than 5 pounds for anything. F: I like jackets, I buy them but I always go back to the same one – I’ve had this one [points to jacket she’s wearing] for 8 years, so basically I’ve been looking the same for 8 years! (laughs) So – being really honest – pros and cons of being a girl band? J: Pro – you stand out – there’s only 3 female artists today out of 40 other bands so people go ‘wow’. Maybe it shouldn’t be so much of a selling point but it kind of is I guess. Cons – I think we all know it ‘You play really well FOR GIRLS’. That kind of comment. Have you heard that comment and given a bad reaction back? N: Before I got on stage today, this
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girl’s like ‘I’m going to like you even though you’re going to be shit, it doesn’t matter if you’re gonna be shit! I’m still gonna love you if you’re shit, doesn’t matter if you can’t play’ [all laugh]. I was like ‘Excuse me?’’ Z: I think she was wasted though. Did she come back at the end? N: She was like all drunk going ‘I LOVE YOU!’ I’m sure a lot more happens behind our backs that we don’t know about, it’s stupid that it still is an issue or still is even a topic, it sucks. Nicole, you also wrote, directed and starred in your own horror movie – Camp Crystal – are there plans for any more? I would love to but with the band I don’t have time, I thought about it a year ago because I have beautiful band mates and cool friends but the videos took over instead and music so I’ve just been busy. At the time I was really fortunate because my parents had bought these two Victorian cottages in Connecticut and they were demolishing them to build 1 big house, I just thought I HAD to make a movie and I can do whatever because they were going to knock them down, at the time I was really good friends with a lot of pseudo celebrities and people that wanted to do stuff for free so I had lights, cameras and everyone came to Connecticut and we shot it. Could it be an idea for a video? Like a short film? Yeah, definitely. If someone said they would shoot it I would write it, ask these guys! (laugh) I already have the next video in my head. What song is it for? The one you’ve never heard before, that we’re recording! [All go Ahhh!] So close! [laughs] We MIGHT play it on the 12th May at Old Blue Last… Damn! I’m away! I’ll get someone to record it! [laugh] Is there anything else we need to know about The Franklys? J: We love food, a lot of it! Basically America was just about food. What should I bring back from Italy then? Z: Pizza. N: Mozzarella . Z: Any kind of cheese and wine, and pasta! I’ll cook you all dinner then, get you drunk and get you to play that new song! [Group] Woo!
Another up & coming band Sonic Shocks is proud to have spotted in its early days is Stereo Juggernaut. With some significant changes in the line up and a heavier sound, Juggernaut 2.0 get ready for world domination playing two of our favourite Festivals: Camden Rocks and Alt-Fest. Ben Main can’t wait to tell us more… Hey Ben! It’s been a while… I hear you guys have been busy! Yes we have! Lots to talk about! First of all, since we last spoke there’s been a big change in your line up and wasn’t only about people, you are minus keyboard and plus guitars right? We have two new additions to Stereo Juggernaut, Phil Roadkill has joined us on Guitar and Dominic Winchester on Bass. How would you define your sound at the present? Sure it must have evolved with all these changes.
Everything has just got heavier, darker and more Guitar driven. The electronics/samples are still a big part of it all but we’ve always wanted a second guitar player and since Phil joined us it just felt natural to get heavier. I hear there’s something being recorded, what more can you tell us? Yes we are currently recording a new EP; all drum, bass and guitar tracking is now completed and we have just started tracking the vocals. Mixing begins in May and so far it is sounding massive! You just made your international live debut… What countries have you been visiting and how was the reception? Did they ask you back? We played a really cool place in Stockholm, Sweden called KGB bar, the show was great and we made quite an impression. We will definitely be going back for sure, the crowd were great and we definitely got a load of new fans out of it plus lots of contacts for future shows in Sweden, Hamburg and Holland. Next, Stereo Juggernaut are playing a couple of pretty awesome Festivals… Let’s start talking about Camden Rocks! Time and place, how excited are you, what are you going to play us and what other acts are you looking forward to catch? Details on venues/times are still being finalised but we are really look-
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ing forward to this one as Camden Rocks Festival is an event we’ve always wanted to play. Lots of our mates bands are also on the bill so it’s guaranteed to get messy! Really looking forward to Orange Goblin, Turbowolf and of course the mighty Ginger Wildheart. And later in summer you’ve been invited to the first edition of Alt Fest, I mean you guys are on the same bill as Marilyn Manson, Killing Joke, Gary Numan, The Damned… How does that feel, and how did you get the gig? Madness! Cant even begin to describe how stoked we are for this! I sent out a press pack and a link to our first album “DiscoSmack” to Dom and Missy at Antichrist/ALTFEST, They loved it and offered us a slot on the S.O.P.H.I.E stage. To be honest I didn’t even expect a reply so was pretty gobsmacked when they offered us the show. On top of this, are we going to see any more of Stereo Juggernaut live this summer – single shows, tours, Festivals…? Hell yes! We will be touring and promoting the hell out of the new record so watch this space… I noticed some cool t-shirts on your Facebook, are you going to have merchandise on sale at the shows and where can we get it otherwise? Yes all merch will be on sale at our shows and you can also buy from our online store http://stereojuggernaut.bigcartel.com What else is on the cards for Stereo Juggernaut in 2014 and when is World Domination planned for? World Domination is always on the cards! New record, new video, UK tour and more international shows so stay tuned!
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Like most of London it’s not what it used to be; but if you know where to look, Camden is still THE place in the Capital when it comes to rock music. Between franchises and trashy stalls, fans and nostalgics can breathe history walking past timeless landmarks: the venue of the very first Clash gig, graffiti tributes to tragic Amy Winehouse, infamous Britpop stars’ hangouts, iconic places portrayed in songs and images dear to so many generations. While on your trip to memory lane, take the time to visit some of the many live venues and you might just bump into your new favourite band or even the next big thing; and if you want to get them all at once, nothing can beat Camden Rocks. No need to pack your tent, as ex 3 Colours Red and current Jubilee Club boss Chris McCormack brings you a top selection of artists and tunes right in the middle of Camden on 31st May; we’re hoping for sunshine – it goes well with beer – but whatever the weather, Camden Rocks takes place across 18 top venues, and you can get access to all of them with a £25 wristband! The music on offer covers a rather wide spectrum going from The Subways to Hacktivist to Nine Black Alps, with consumed acts like Reverend & The Makers performing next to promising newbies trying out tracks from their still unrecorded debut. Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Ok then, YOU pick! Head to http://po.st/CamdenRocksBandSubmit by 4pm on Sunday 4th May to enter the name of the band you would like to see at Camden Rocks; the 50 top mentioned bands will make it to the second round, where you’ll be able to vote your favourite until May 11th. Find out what’s special about Camden Rocks as we talk to the Festival’s curator Chris Mc Cormack and a few of our favourite acts on the bill.
Hi Chris! Camden Rocks is back with a vengeance, I take it last year went very well? Yeah really well, I loved last year’s event. The atmosphere was electric on the streets and outside the bars too. Really enjoyed walking around all the venues and bumping into people I hadn’t seen in ages. It’s such a fun day out. Is there anything new from last year that we should know about? I’ve added more of the larger venues, The Electric Ballroom, Proud, The Underworld and Dingwalls have all got involved so there’s a lot more people this time around. There’s also going to be some signings at the Vans store on the day. Anything more we shouldn’t know about yet? Possible secret gigs? Working on things… I see once again you’ve put together a very diverse bill; how did you go about picking your bands this time? I work with all the new bands all year round, so I know who’ll be on the earlier part of the day and then I see who’s available from my hit list I create throughout the year.
Have you had a chance to personally catch each of them live? There’s not may I haven’t seen live at the club nights. I haven’t seen The Virginmarys but seen loads of footage and they look unreal. I’ve got a cool little plan for them. They’ll do an early afternoon acoustic set then Dingwalls full band and then they’ll play the aftershow at the Underworld. Is there any of them you’re personally keen on that we should watch? Dead Sea Skulls are a great new band, definitely catch them. I saw Broken Hands at SXSW and they were great. The Graveltones… they’re all great! You’ve organized a series of weekly club nights this year to introduce some of the artists on the bill; Is it going to continue after the Festival? Yeah, they’ll carry on throughout the year, they’re fun to do and it keep me on top of all the new music that’s coming through which is vital to making the festival work. The launch party at the Underworld on the 17th sees Frank Turner on the decks; what else do you have planned for that night? I’m working on that but I’d love Dead Sea Skulls to play, The singer / drummer has something else he does called
Grandmaster Ash which looks great fun. He’s so talented. And finally… Is there an after party, what do you have in store to keep us all going and will we find YOU there until the very end? Yeah, there’s a couple this year to spread things out. The Underworld for Camden Rocks club night and Proud. I’d imagine it’ll be a bit of a squeeze in both!
M s i r h C
k c a m r o C c
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CAMDEN ROCKS SPECIAL
So guys, you’re gonna join the madness that is Camden Rocks once again… Where are you playing and when? Closing the antics at The Enterprise 11pm. I hear you blew up your van twice, will the venue be safe? We’re not terrorists, just musicians with bad mechanical luck. Your new album ‘The Faith & Patience’ is out just the following Monday, are you gonna treat us to a preview? Without a doubt. How good is this album on a scale from 1 to 10 and how would you define it in one sentence? We’re happy letting everyone else decide what it should be rated at…. One sentence - A balance of integral songwriting and poignant lyrics that are immersed in melody, fronted by a strong vocal and covered in big guitar parts that work around solid beats, doused in an organic blend of soul, punk, and rock - performed with a raw live energy captured in a great studio
by a great producer. Will we be able to buy an early copy at the show? Turn up and find out! After your slot, are going to stay where you are and enjoy the beer, go to the market for noodles, wander around checking out other bands or go home? We were actually planning on topping up the windscreen wash in our van, going to ASDA to look at the reduced section, and mow someone’s lawn after the gig. What’s your favourite boozer in Camden? It’s gotta be a tie between the Underworld or The Black Heart. Is there any band in particular on this
year’s bill you’d like to buy a drink to? Colt 45. Conveniently, they’re playing before us - so we can’t back out of the gesture now.
Speaking of insane live shows these guys have had a bit of a reputation – anyone that went to Crossfire will know that the show nearly got shut down due to the boat being SET ON FIRE… A group not afraid to take risks and one of 2014’s band to watch Earlier in the year you supported Limp Bizkit – how did the tour go? That tour was the most ridiculous experience for us. We grew up imagining playing these venues. Watching bands of Limp Bizkit’s calibre take the stage and to be involved in those gigs was just absolutely mind blowing. It was brilliant for us and hopefully the crowds that were unlucky enough to show up early for us had a blast too. How does it feel to be at Camden Rocks? Where can we catch you and at what
time? We missed the boat for Camden Rocks last year, and what a line up it was - so we’re pretty fucking stoked to be involved this time around. We are playing at The Monarch and on stage at 7pm. Who else are you looking forward to seeing or hanging out with? There are way too many bands to name but we’ll be looking forward to Ginger Wildheart, Wounds, Turbowolf, Palm Reader, Hacktivist, and Exit International. It’s an incredible line up so we can’t wait to watch some of these fuck nuts live! What was the reaction when you got the confirmation to Download Festival? We’ve grown up seeing countless
amazing bands play over the road at Donington so we’re incredibly excited that Download let their standards slip and asked us to be part of it! Craziest gig experience with the band – aside from the boat – AND as a fan? Playing Brixton Academy was completely surreal and exciting for us, but when we played Takedown Fest in Southampton this year, the crowd were fucking nutters! Add to the equation that we’d been there all day and were chomping at the bit to play, and the result was one radical explosion. We had a real blast! I’m pretty sure we all nearly passed out at some point!
Energy truly abounds from this tech/ rap crossover group, as seen last year at Donington. These past 12 months have been amazing for the band: releasing the debut EP twice(!), a crazy performance at Download and next Camden Rocks. How does it feel to be picked to play this year’s event? Ben M: Camden has always held an important significance to me, taking trips down to the market as a teen, to watching my favourite bands at one of the many amazing venues. We’re all very excited to be a part of this year’s Camden rocks bill, alongside a lot of our good friends- and within walking distance of some BANG BANG CHICKEN!! Who are you looking forward to catching up with at the event?
It’s going to be impossible to catch up with everyone, but we’re hoping to catch our buddies in Baby Godzilla, Wounds, SonicBoomSix, The Hype Theory, and Attention Thieves. I usually find that the best plan is to go in plan-less, then just follow your ears to something new. Which venue will you be playing and when? We’re playing Camden Underworld. Not sure of stage time yet but we know The Blackout are on the bill with us too, so it’ll be good to see those guys again.
jor UK festivals last year, we were worried that people wouldn’t want us back two years in a row. To find ourselves as openers of the main stage is such a huge compliment and sign of faith, it has given the confidence to go in and smash it. It definitely took a few days to properly sink in. How are plans going with the album? Between an aggressive touring schedule, and keeping a roof over our heads, album writing has been a very stop-start process. After taking some time to dedicate ourselves to the studio, the album is now shaping up nicely, although it’s always hard to tell how long it will take to get from our desktop, to the shelves of record stores.
You’re also playing Reading and Leeds’ MAIN STAGE this summer – what was your reaction to getting THAT news? After playing so many of the ma-
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very sociable type and will no doubt be wanting to take my beautiful girlfriend home and ....haha, but who knows? There may be a band that blows my mind. Praying that’s going to be the case, what’s your favourite drink for a sunny day?
Following an excellent debut like Black Junk isn’t easy, but the Welsh boys’ Our Science Is Golden is one not to miss as the ‘Glory Horn’ rings true. Vocalist Scott Lee Andrews answers Matt’s questions Last year you released your 2nd album via Pledge – how did that go? It was awesome - a really life-affirming experience - It’s powered by
the fans and the fact they really turned out and made it happen was incredible. It was at times a total fucking nightmare - We’re not experts in the business-side of things, and made a few scary errors of judgement - but it worked How does it feel to be at Camden Rocks? Where will you be playing and at what time? We loved our show last year - There was a killer turn out and had a great vibe. Chris (McCormack) is a total legend - Growing up as a 3 Colours Red fan and now finding him a fan of my band is a great feeling. The Camden Rocks team are great - too many amazing bands to check out. This year we are playing the Purple Turtle....the time escapes me - It’s early afternoon. Perfect faceripping time.
J: I love Southern comfort and coke and Cherryade mixed with Malibu is to die for, although I generally don’t drink that much anymore. Still hoping the weather is favourable, have you considered an impromptu jam at the market as a rehearsal substitute? J: I have no desire to sound like an anti capitalist, but the market is the last place I’d want to play as it represents everything as I stand against as an artist: overpriced Beatle posters , tacky cheaply made goth clothing and nice boys with acoustic guitars and trust funds singing about lost love. It certainly isn’t the Camden I once knew... I think there are some good people left in Camden; Suze Martin who runs The Torriano is a lovely person who believes in Art/ Creativity/Expression etc 100 per cent, The dude who runs the Hawley Arms and of course Chris who runs Jubillee at the Barfly. Watching Death in June’s first performance at The Underworld in over five years was a great memory, as was being chased out by the bouncers when the Mc5 played over an embarrassing incident in which a girl ripped open my trousers after I asked her to kiss my pet snake which she took the wrong way... If you could steal one venue from Camden and take it to Hackney, which one would it be? J: The Electric Ballroom without a shadow of a doubt, it has exactly the right kind of size and layout in which to do a wonderful night. I’ve not actually been there for a while and was gutted when Prince played as we were in the studio that night.
CAMDEN ROCKS SPECIAL
East London’s top band to watch is trekking up North to celebrate Camden and give us a taste of their upcoming debut album. Often compared to Joy Division and Jesus & Mary Chain and occasionally joined on stage by friend and fan Peter Doherty, the boys can’t wait to unleash their first full length effort – and the second. Mark Keds and Jerome Alexandre answer our questions. So, where and when can we catch Dead Cuts on the day? M: We’re playing the Hawley Arms at 6.30 I hear your debut album is pretty much ready, are we going to hear any of the new stuff? M: Of course! The new album is called ‘Dark Is The Night’, will be available on lp/cd/download and we’re thrilled about it. It’s 13 new tracks, some of which are being previewed on www.soundcloud. com/mk47. The artwork by upcoming London artist Sophie McDonald is amazing and 3 of the tracks feature singer/artist/actress th Beatrice Brown. It’s released on 16 June on Speedowax and distributed by Cargo and we’ll be touring the UK as well in June. There’s more to come – split singles, videos – and we’re already half way through the writing of album n.2 (tentatively titled ‘Summon the Witches’) which we hope to release by the end of 2014… More details coming soon, stay tuned! Once you get paid, are you going to stick around and check out some of the bands or head back to your favourite East London boozer? J: I very much doubt it, I’m not a
Who are you looking forward to seeing/hanging out with? So so so many friends of ours - Mr Ginger Wildheart who has been amazing to us, would be awesome catching up with him again. The last time E_I and Ginger spent time together was in Japan! Then there Baby Godzilla, God Damn, Straight Lines, To The Bones, The Dogbones, The Blackout....all friends/touring/ gigging buddies at some point. I’m personally looking forward to seeing all of the above as well as catching Deadcuts, Turbowolf, Eureka Machines... Any other festivals planned? Nothing planned except a UK Tour in July - We are working on our 3rd album so that’s taken the front seat for us. Describe a memorable night out in Camden… There’s been too many - and they’ve all involved the kinda antics that would get someone in REAL trouble.....of what I do remember anyhoo.
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CAMDEN ROCKS SPECIAL
Veterans of the stoner/psych rock circuit Orange Goblin are going to make sure Camden has a good time – with songs as great as ‘Red Tide Rising’ new fans will realise why they shouldn’t have waited THAT long to catch them – great Summer tunes too. Ben Ward talks to our Matt How are you looking forward to be performing at Camden Rocks this year? It’s great! It’s always fun to be a part of a musical event that’s happening in your home town and this is no different. I also think that doing Camden Rocks gives us the chance to play to a crowd that may not have heard Orange Goblin in the past so there’s an opportunity to win over some new fans. Do you know what stage you’ll be on and at what time? We’re playing at The Barfly but I have no idea what time we’re due on stage. There’s a band called ‘Hang The Bastard’ that are supporting us so I hope people will get there early to check them out too as they’re a killer band! Does any of the band have a regu-
lar pub in Camden for after shows? Not really a regular pub but we all frequent places like The Black Heart and The World’s End whenever we’re playing or attending shows in Camden. We used to hang out at The Dev and The Elephants Head too for a while a few years back. Camden is always lively and there’s always a chance that you’ll bump into people you know so it’s a cool for just hanging out. Who else are you looking forward to at the event? As stated, I’m looking forward to Hang The Bastard and I wanna try and get to see Sons Of Icarus as they’re good lads and friends of ours too. I guess on days like that we’ll be busy doing press and stuff like that so you don’t get to see as much as you’d like. I know we have a signing session at the Vans store at some point! How are plans for a follow up to A Eulogy For The Damned coming along? It’s going great. We started recording last Wednesday and we already have the bass and drums down for 11 songs and 2 instrumental parts. It’s sounding great too. We decided
We caught these guys live recently at the Hawley Arms and we were rather impressed. The look a bit like the Ramones, sound a bit like The Stooges and know how to work a crowd. Check out single ‘3 Times More’ and its super catchy b-side ‘Fell In Love (With the Back of my Hand)’ and read what Marc Hayward had to say… First of all, where and when can we catch The Dash at Camden Rocks? The Lockside Lounge - 7pm Most importantly, WHY should we absolutely catch The Dash at Camden Rocks? If you like your guitars loud, your hair messy and want to throw yourself into the clutches of the unwritten night then we’re your band. Are you planning on checking out any other bands after your slot or take your beer and run? I haven’t seen the running orders yet but we’ll definitely be there until the end regardless. Looking forward to catching up with Deadcuts and there are going to be some great sets I’m sure from The Talks, The Petals,
Dumbjaw, and Fur Cough. We supported Babyshambles with The Din in Exeter at the end of last year so I’ll try and grab their gig. Do you do guys ever shop in the area? Any place we should check out? Camden’s just a great place to wander around and get lost in. You’ll always bump into someone or something that way. Did you ever get food poisoning at one of the famous local noodles stalls? Not that I’m aware of and I guess you would be pretty aware if you had! What’s the most amusing memory – or lack of – you have of a night in Camden? The Dash was born in my old flat on Camden Road so there have loads and loads of nights that have made me laugh, cry and howl at a yellow moon. I’ve got a great story but I think it’s too incriminating so
to record at the same studio that we did ‘Eulogy...’ and we’re using the same engineer as he did such a great job. The songs are very rocking and there’s a real ‘Sabbath’ vibe to everything. I’m excited about this one and it’ll great to play the new material live at some point! Describe a memorable night out in Camden… Too many to mention!! Drunken fights, bad trips and every sort of debauchery you can imagine at some point! How does it feel to finally be at Download this June? It’s a great honour. This will be the first time we’ve been back to Download since we played in 2007 and it’s kind of like the Mecca of Heavy Metal and Rock ever since the early ‘Monsters of Rock’ shows in the early 80’s. It’ll be great to get to share a stage with the likes of Monster Magnet. Twisted Sister and the mighty Quo! I’m a huge Quo fan and although I’m disappointed that this won’t be the legendary ‘Frantic Four’ line-up, it’ll still be great to rock out to some classics after we’ve played!
for that you’ll just have to come to the show. How are The Dash getting ready for world domination these days? We have just finished up some new recordings with Brian O’Shaughnessy who worked with Primal Scream and My Bloody Valentine which I’m very proud of. We’re looking to release the next single ‘Love Will Always Be The End’ in the near future there’s something ticking under the surface which could be very interesting...
POMPEII (105 minutes)
Sonic Shocks - Issue 24
“Probably the most spectacular disaster of the ancient world”, says director Paul W.S. Anderson about the Vesuvio eruption that erased Pompeii; probably, I’d say, one of the most spectacular disasters ever, as not only it brought with him a powerful earthquake and a tsunami as side effects, but its force was unknown and totally unexpected. Walking around the remains today, you’ll find it hard to believe that those statues so perfectly sculpted by Mother Nature are actually real people, frozen in fear and surprise as a picture reminding us of her inescapable force. With the help of the most advanced 3D technology, Anderson managed to bring that macabre display of power back to life. The plot of ‘Pompeii’ is indeed a cross between Gladiator and Titanic, interpreted by a cast that doesn’t quite make
justice to the magnificence of the movie. Still, while the fictional character are all inspired to some of the figures casted in ashes still there today, the real protagonist of Pompeii is the mountain, the indomitable force of Nature. Intrepid Milo, brave Cassia, fearless Atticus and villain Corvus are only a mean to an end: showing there’s something bigger than us, something we can control; a magnificent yet unmerciful power that can literally leave us with nowhere left to run. And when that power decides to unleash itself, we can only watch in awe and terror. Anderson’s latest controversial blockbuster took 6 years to get together. Its generous budget meant it could count on the knowledge of historians, volcano experts, aerial photos and real volcano footage to make ‘Pompeii’ as close as possible to reality. Born from the director’s own obsession with the ancient disaster and the Roman civilization, coupled with a good dose of human curios-
THEATRE OF BLOOD (104 minutes)
Comedy/Horror – Arrow Video, 19th May
Action/Adventure/Drama – Out Now Director: Paul W.S. Anderson Starring: Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Kiefer Sutherland, Adewale AkinnuoveAgbaje
Director: Douglas Hickox Starring: Vincent Price, Ian Hendry, Diana Rigg, Diana Dors, Carol Browne, Harry Andrews, Milo O’Shea Of course he was madly overacting as usual, but you must admit he did know how to make an exit. Ian Hendry closing line sums up the character of Edward Lionheart, a theatre actor with a grudge especially tailored for Vincent Price. One-dimensional Lionheart, who will not play anything but Shakespeare, doesn’t take kindly being denied the annual Critics Award in favour of a younger contender due to his lack of originality. What develops is a vintage blend of gory horror and dark humour often leaving you undecided between laughing and throwing up – I wonder what the Health & Safety brigade would say. The scorned actor jumps off a building in a river, only to be rescued by a tribe of homeless misfits. With their hilarious contribution, Lionheart plans his revenge: one by one the critics fall victims of gruesome Shakespeare’s re-
ity generated by the figures he saw himself while visiting Pompeii, it encases passion and knowledge fused together by the wonders of modern technology. It’s compulsory to watch this movie on a big screen with your 3D glasses. As the firing giant overshadows the modest background plot, take your hat off and bow to the daunting grandness of our planet. Learn to respect it and be grateful, as the day it decides to wipe us all off no king or hero will be spared.
enactments, ending in a series of rather creative deaths. Theatre of Blood is generally predictable and often overacted, however it packs in some hysterical comedy moments: in Lionheart’s Cymbeline’s reconstruction, you can’t help but burst laughing at the reaction of the waitress discovering the dead body of his surrogate Cloten, in bed next to his wife. Choking alert follows as the wife, awakened by the screams, shakes the body. And if you think you couldn’t possibly laugh any harder, wait for the head to land on the bedroom floor. Not to mention Coral Browne ill-fated perm with a Joan D’arc twist... If you don’t like laughing alone, there’s a fine audio commentary from The League of Gentleman in the Special Features section; while they keep hinting at a possible remake however, I would seriously consider a serial killer spoof meshing Theatre of Blood with Seven and Hannibal. At the end of the movie, I was kind of scared to write a review, then I realized Vincent Price is dead… or is he? Better be nice I guess, for peace of mind. I will need a hairdresser again at some point.
Sonic Shocks - Issue 24
Opening Parties Guide ES PARADIS
24th Opening 31st Ants
17th Es Paradis opening 18th Glow Neon Paint th 20 Fiesta Del Agua 80’s & 90’s Special edition rd 23 Fiesta Del Agua
24th I Am Hardwell 26th Armin Van Buuren presents A state Of Trance th 30 David Guetta opening
IMS returns for the 7th year, kicking off on 21st May with a bold move to brand new HARD ROCK HOTEL. The theme, ‘Filtering The Future’, will focus on the curatorial opportunities for the genre (in a world of overload, how do things manage to cut through) with the event being hosted once again by BBC Radio 1’s Pete Tong MBE. The ‘satellite’ events will now take place at Playa D’en Bossa. The iconic Grand Finale Festival remains at Dalt Vila. Boasting a ‘to die for’ view in the heart of Ibiza Town, thousand of music lovers will witness some of the best electronic music under the ibicenco stars. 22nd May- STEVE ANGELLO/PETE TONG/ANNIE MAC/PRETTY LIGHTS (LIVE) AND MANU GONZALES 23rd May- JAMIE JONES/SETH TROXLER/ EATS EVERYTHING/GEORGE FITZGERALD/BOB MOSES (LIVE) AND MARINO CANAL As is the custom each year, IMS Legends dinner will return to present the Legends award to none other than musical genius Nile Rodgers. Of course Ibiza’s Clubs will also open their doors for their unforgettable OPENING PARTIES to welcome ravers from all four corners of the planet for another summer of madness…
Quite possibly the most beautiful club on the island with its unique decor, spectacular pyramid roof, Hed Kandi and famous water parties
July 20th AVICII Opening
04th Ibiza Rocks After Party 07th Hed Kandi
The temple of electronic music located right under the flight path of planes landing at Ibiza’s airport
The oldest and most well known club, famous for its cherries and playground to the rich and famous
25th Opening Fiesta
23rd Insane 24th Pure Pacha 25th Solomun +1 th 26 Ibiza Rocks House th 27 Pacha 41st Anniversary 28th Aoki’s Playhouse 29th F**k Me I’m Famous
June 3rd Flower Power
07th Kehakuma/Elrow Ibiza 08th We Love 16th Cafe Ole 18th Ibiza Calling th 20 Clandestin presents FULL ON Ibiza hosted by Ferry Corsten 24th Carl Cox- Music Is Revolution July 3rd ENTER.
USHUAIA The new shining star of Playa D’en Bossa since 2011 famous for its outdoor daytime clubbing experience
OCEAN BEACH IBIZA The latest addition (since June 2012)
Sonic Shocks - Issue 24
to the growing numbers of Beach Clubs on the island
Rave heaven for the lovers of underground dance music
28th The Zoo Project Ibiza presents Gala Night
21st Opening Part 1: Tribal Sessions 22nd Opening Part 2 rd 23 Ibiza United & IMS Grand Finale After Party presents MINDSHAKE RECORDS 27th Fuse
07th Zoo Project opening
23rd Opening 30 Ocean Pool Party Opening 31st Soul Heaven th
June 01st Sin Sundays 02 Hed Kandi beach House Pool Party 10th Ibiza Sensations 11th Pull The Plug Acoustic Sessions nd
AMNESIA The quintessential clubbing experience with 2 massive rooms, famous for its ice cannons that can strike at anytime May 31st Opening June 2nd Cocoon Ibiza 10th Together 12th Cream Ibiza 14th Matinee PRIVILEGE The world’s biggest club with a main room like an aircraft hangar May 30th Opening June 06th SuperMartXe 19th Mass Bass 28th The Pharm
June 01 Viva Warriors 05th Cuff 07th Magna Carta ADELANTE 30th Duke Dumont presents Blase Boys Club
IBIZA ROCKS Famous for its open air rock stage and the impromptu dip in the pool from bands and crowd alike May
July 11th Flying Circus DC-10 Famous for its afterhours parties May 26th Circo Loco GATE CRASHER IBIZA ( Ex- EDEN) San Antonio’s second superclub May 29th Opening June 04 Bedlam 10th Creche Ibiza th
GALA NIGHT Home to the Zoo Project parties
04th Opening Party with HAIM/ BRETON 06th W.A.R! OPENING With ZANE LOWE/GORGON CITY/JAVEON/ DOORLY HARD ROCK HOTEL The new kid on the block May 13th This Is Hard Rock Hotel Opening with CHIC ft Nile Rodgers BOOOM! IBIZA A late comer in 2013 but proving to be an exciting addition to Ibiza Nightlife May 20th Defected In The House DESTINO Famous for one-off parties and breathtaking view over Ibiza Town and Formentera May 30th Opening Party
Sonic Shocks - Issue 24
KILLING JOKE – In Dub
IMELDA MAY – Tribal
Killing Joke Records
It’s been well over a year in the making, but finally the vision of Youth (Killing Joke’s bass player and acclaimed music producer) has become reality: a collection of Killing joke material remixed and reborn in the medium known simply as Dub.
Ireland’s own Queen of Rockabilly is back with an exquisite follow up to 2010 Mayhem. Easily identifiable from the early notes of the opener, title track ‘Tribal’, Imelda May once again brings a niche revival to the masses with these 12 catchy numbers.
Killing Joke have always been one of the pioneering bands to play with their own songs, and many of these tracks can be found on the B sides of the countless 12”singles and EPs that have defined the band over their 35 years and counting, but this is the first time that they have been made them all available in one place at one time. Spread over 3 disks, this compilation covers material from the first album to the last and all places in between. The medium of Dub is often described as bass heavy mood music; add to that the haunting guitar sound of Geordie and an array of vocal stylings and you will get a sense of what makes this a uniquely disturbing gem of an album. A must hear for all Killing Joke fans and a superb introduction to a great style of music all too often overlooked by rock fans. Another victory for the perennial underdogs of our time. 8.5/10 By John Morgan
‘It’s Good To Be Alive’ is quite simply the best way to start your day if Wanda Jackson is your mood enhancer of choice; ‘Gypsy In Me’ brings out a more sultry, intense side for the charismatic songstress, then Imelda goes for a delicate all-fifties ballad ‘Little Pixie’ to dance cheek to cheek with her prom King before launching again into good old rock’n’roll. ‘Five Good Men’ was made to boogie, ‘Wicked Way’ to seduce, ‘Round the Bend’ to sing-along and beat the blues.
ABORTED The Necrotic Manifesto Century Media Following 2012’s excellent Global Flatline, the Belgian masters of death metal return with an album that continues the great momentum started 2 years ago by even going back to the past. Opening with their love of horror samples on ‘Six Feet of Foreplay’ the following track ‘The Extirpation Agenda’ decides to be as brutal as possible, with a great mixture of slam and groove provided by guitarists Danny Tunker and Mendel bij de Leij – something that’s more towards the foreground this time around.
In fact The Necrotic Manifesto is Aborted’s strongest work yet; a far cry away from Strychnine.213, an album that even Sven De Caluwe has stated wasn’t true to Aborted itself. As expected, a feel-good album that And speaking of Sven, his vocals won’t leave your feet unaffected, are another high point with tracks a warm and joyous summer back- like Cenobites really describing the ground, a must-buy for any rockabilly torture in explicit detail - Hellraiser fan and even more of a must-buy for fans will appreciate it a lot. those who still have not been conquered by the growing 50s fever. She An album that’s wonderfully brutal wanna dance and she won’t take a – the musical equivalent to a Grindno for an answer. Better get those house horror film – Aborted are back and will tear your soul apart. boogie shoes ready. By Cristina Massei
By Matt Dawson
Sonic Shocks - Issue 24
BREATHE CAROLINA - Savages Fearless Records
The Roz Bruce Infusion You Deserve to be Here
DEVIL YOU KNOW The Beauty Of Destruction
We’d all been anxiously waiting for Breathe Carolina’s new album, primarily to see where the band would go artistically after long time vocalist/co-songwriter founding member Kyle Even left for fatherhood. Over the years, their sound has always evolved, moving more and more towards the dance music. Is it a bad thing? Dance Music following is going stronger by the minute, Ibiza is still striving on it and ‘Electronic’ festivals are sprouting all over Europe. So all things considered, it’s only a bad thing if you love to hate it to start with. The album has actually enough variety to keep you on edge. From the upbeat ‘dubstepish’ of ‘Savages’ to the fast paced Electro-Pop of ‘Bang It Out’ (ft Karmin) and ‘Collide’ and even the Electro Metal of ‘Sellouts’ pairing the rough unclean screams of Danny Worsnop with Schmitt’s smooth, clean vocals. ‘Chasing Hearts’ with its strong clean vocals from Tyler Carter and David Schmitt and its distinctive R&B feel seems like the odd one out. All in all, there are enough catchy choruses to keep you singing along and upbeat tracks to have you dancing until you drop. Will ‘Savages’ please its seasoned fans? The core of Breathe Carolina is still there, the band has just matured into a more polished Electronic vibe to fit the new line-up so they may lose some but could definitely gain twice as much with the Ibiza Dance beats lovers. Maybe it is time for Breathe Carolina to broaden their horizon and head for la isla blanca.
Threesome The Roz Bruce Infusion released their debut album ‘You Deserve to be Here’ on 2nd April. They hail from the Midlands and consist of Roz Bruce on vocals and guitar, Gaf Evans on bass, and Dominic Dillon on drums. Claiming the genre ‘alternative rock’, ‘You Deserve To Be Here’ delivers an array of well written tracks that vary enough to keep you interested throughout. Reminiscent of 70’s psychedelic rock with vocal hints of Chrissie Hynde, Siouxsie Sioux, Janis Joplin and the bollocks (and guitar) of Jimi Hendrix, they make for an interesting listen. Opener ‘I Sentence you to Life’ is a steady track with a Midlands twang in the vocals and not really drawing you into the rest of the album. But then you get ‘Lady’ with its dark beat and lyrics, with a real drive and whetting the appetite. The following tracks start to give the impression that these Guys (and Gal) are offering something different in each of their songs, which is a breath of fresh air. The quality of guitar has been compared to that of Hendrix but I think Roz is her own guitarist and that is how she should be seen and not as any particular reincarnation. There are hints of other sounds and influences, however the band are producing their own unique material in a genre where there have been some significant artists. My favourite track is ‘Stamping’ because of its raw story line, cutting guitar and also because it breaks the mould. Instead of singing about love, sex, politics, or the weather, this song features wanking over a corpse!
Many have wondered what Howard Jones was going to after his departure from metalcore stalwarts Killswitch Engage and the answer to the question was given when he announced his new group, containing members of All Shall Perish and Devolved, late last year. As first impressions went it felt like a heavier and slightly darker version of what had came before – the clean singing had been cut down and where the lyrics were more positive comes something more introspective. This continues as ‘A New Beginning’ opens the album; the use of the gang chorus and talking about not stopping the fight until there’s no more opposition is rather than a shot at his old band, more likely about Howard’s own battles with bipolar something he revealed he was diagnosed with after leaving KSE in recent interviews. In fact overcoming personal demons is a common theme throughout and for those that enjoy his clean vocals, tracks like ‘My Own’ will satisfy that itch. It also must be noted that John Sankey and Francesco Artusato’s work throughout The Beauty Of Destruction is excellent, the guitar and drums mix technical with power well – the solo on ‘Embracing the torture’ comes to mind. With the Beauty Of Destruction we get the next chapter in a career, one that will please fans on both sides of the commercial/heavy spectrum and the emergence of a new group making an impact on the metalcore scene.
By Nelly Loriaux
By Mark Fletcher
By Matt Dawson
LIVE! Sonic Shocks - Issue 24
ALTER BRIDGE Sells Out the Fortress April 15, 2014, Houston, Texas by Steve “Sin” Sinatra
First off, Happy 10th Anniversary to Alter Bridge (AB)! I absolutely cannot believe it’s been that long since the band formed from the remnants of Creed; now on to the show review. What can I say? I’m totally speechless at the incredible show Alter Bridge put on at the House of Blues in Houston, Texas, but I guess I’ll find some words to complete this article. Supporting their September 2013 release Fortress, the show was the third stop on the tour and they were in the pocket the entire night. The crowd was in great spirits having a great time even though they were crammed into the sold out venue and paying $9 for each can of brew. AB led off the evening with the hit single off their latest album, “Addicted to Pain”. That set the tone for the night as they busted into “Find the Real” and “Come to Life”, off the albums One Day Remains and Blackbird, respectively. Next up was the lead track off Fortress which also happened to be the “too bad, so sad” memo that was posted on signs outside of the sold out venue, “Cry of Achilles”. A few songs later, vocalist/ rhythm guitarist Myles Kennedy handed off the vocal duties to lead guitarist Mark Tremonti on “Waters Rising”. He was a bit difficult to hear in the venue, but kudos to him for busting out the lead vocals. If you’ve heard his solo album, All I Was, you’d know the dude has an excellent voice with a very unique tone. Kennedy resumed vocal duties and masterfully provided a studio quality range that mere mortals can only achieve when someone is squeezing our scrote sacs or teats. Kennedy teased the crowd with, “We’ll stop the US Tour right here and play for you every night, ok? So you better show up!” After holding his hand up to his earpiece, he mocked, “What’s that? Myles, you’re fired?” The crowd laughed, screamed and cheered in appreciation and acknowledged that if he was serious, they would, in fact be there every night! The song of the night was “Blackbird” which happens to be my personal favorite AB tune. Apparently it’s many other peoples’ favorite as well. Numerous people in the crowd sported
their blackbird tattoos and sang every word to the song I consider our generation’s “Stairway to Heaven”. If rock radio would appreciate music as we do, instead of being greedy, “Blackbird” would receive almost as much airplay as Stairway, I’m sure. Alter Bridge finished the night with a guitar battle between Kennedy and Tremonti. Tremonti pulverized Kennedy (sorry Myles), who busted out a jovial version of “Camptown Races” and they finished the show with “Rise Today”. The entire night, Mark “Three Mountains” brought the metal edge by perfectly placing “pinch harmonic” squeals throughout. Brian Marshall was a beast on the bass, rattling our teeth with a raucous low end, nary taking a break except for leaning into his cabinets for what seemed to be a sonic massage. Scott Phillips pounded the skins with nipple piercing precision and rocked a short drum solo. My only issue with the show was they didn’t play the title track off Fortress which is my personal fave on the album. The tune is cut from the same cloth as the song “Blackbird” and I’m sure they’ll debut it on the European leg of the tour where they already have an enormous following. With several sold out shows already, one can honestly say that finally, Alter Bridge is getting their just due in the United States. 5 out of 5 rockin’ tacos! Go see them if you can get a ticket. Set list – Addicted to Pain, Find the Real, Come to Life, Cry of Achilles, Brand New Start, Ghosts of Days Gone By, Ties that Bind, Waters Rising, Isolation, Broken Wings, Farther Than The Sun, White Knuckles, Metalingus, Blackbird, Watch Over You, Open Your Eyes, Calm the Fire, Rise Today
The Masquerade - Atlanta, GA April 23rd, 2014 By Bonnie Archer
One thing was immediately apparent as Swedish metallers Sabaton opened their set with “Ghost Division” of their 2008 release The Art of War – these guys were having way too much fun. Uniformly clad in black shirts and urban camouflage cargo pants, singer Joakim Broden, bassist Par Sundstrom, guitarists Chris Rorland and Thobbe Englund and Drummer Hannes Van Dahl exuded an exuberance and joy that were happily returned by a packed crowd on a Wednesday night in Atlanta. Launching into “Gott Mit Uns” and “Carolus Rex” off the album of the same name, Broden leaped around the stage paused between songs to chat with the crowd. He commended the audience for being there on a night when they have “school or work” the next day and stopped to snap a picture of the crowd halfway in the middle of “Swedish Pagans.” Clearly pleased with the abundance of fans who knew the words to their songs, he shared that earlier that day the band got to partake in some local BBQ and shoot automatic rifles, something they “don’t get to do in their native Sweden.” Needless to say, this met with appreciative roars. When he asked the audience to jump with him to the strains of “Primo Victoria”, feet left the ground immediately. Despite significant recent lineup changes (only Broden and Sundstorm remain from the original lineup) and the use of digital recordings of their keyboards until a replacement for keyboardist Daniel Myhr is found, the band’s performance was flawless. Every member demonstrated superb musicianship and an unshakeable delight at performing for their fans. The band premiered a song from their upcoming album, Heroes (out May 16th) called “To Hell and Back”, a tribute to American combat hero Audie Murphy. Spotting a young boy in the crowd, Broden asked him his age and whether this was his first metal show. The boy replied that he was 11 and this was his 3rd show. Tickled, Broden gave the lad his signature sunglasses on the spot. Taking a large bow, Sabaton exited the stage to sound of the crowd chanting their name. They needn’t worry what day of the week they hit Atlanta on their next visit – the fans will be there.
Published on May 2, 2014
Issue 24 of music and entertainment magazine Sonic Shocks, with interviews to Arthur Brown, American Hi Fi, Lit, The Franklys, Whitechapel,...