Interview with Ben Jolliffe
“They’ve just played Reading/Leeds and now they’re about to tour the UK promoting their new album ‘All Our Kings Are Dead’ the future sure looks bright for Young Guns” Band Members Gustav Wood- Vocals.John Taylor- Guitar.Fraser Taylor- Guitar.Simon Mitchell- Bass Guitar.Ben Jolliffe- Drums.
How excited are you for your UK headline tour ? Not an hour goes by when we don’t think about it. We’re so excited. The venues and cities are all amazing and we can’t wait to play cities we’ve never been to. Going over to Ireland to play our first headline shows is super exciting.
What can you tell us about the album 'All Our Kings Are Dead' ? All Our Kings Are Dead is our debut album. We released our first E.P July last year and we were so surprised how far it took us. When writing this album we wanted to make sure we kept the magic we feel the E.P had, but we wanted to test our limits. We feel AOKAD isn’t a normal debut album, it has texture and I think we’ve definitely raised the bar with the songs and production for this record.
You had a slot at the mighty Download Festival this year, what was that like ?
Itwas incredible. Download is an amazing festival and to be playing the same festival as the likes of AC/DC, Rage and Aerosmith is an honour. We played late on the Sunday so we had to spend the first part of the weekend trying not to party….Unsuccessful. It was amazing to see so many people watching us. Definitely one of the highlights of the year.
How excited are you to be opening the main stage at the massive Reading Festival? Speechless. I still don’t think its real. We found out on April fools day and it took our booking agent about an hour to convince us it was true. I go to bed every night with the image of that stage imbedded in my head. I’ve never been so excited/anxious/nervous about anything before in my life. It’s truly a dream come true.
What was it like to be on the front cover of the Huge! kerrang magazine ? Just like Reading Festival I still don’t believe it’s true. I’ve been reading Kerrangsince I first learnt to read, and it was always an impossible goal to be on the front cover. I would always look at the bands on the front cover and see them as super famous rock stars, making millions. If only it were true, half of us live at my mums house! Ha. But seriously it’s incredible. It makes me feel really proud of my best friends and me. After years of hard work it’s an achievement I’ll be never forget.
You supported one of the biggest bands in the world 'Bon Jovi' how was that ? It was ok I guess… No seriously it was insane. Playing the O2 Arena with Bonjovi, is something I could never have imagined us doing. It was such an honour.That whole day we we’re floating around like it was some dream, was so hard to take in. It was completely different to any gig we’ve ever played. It wasn’t until after we played and we we’re drinking champagne in a box with our managers watching ‘Livin on a Prayer’ that it hit me. Maybe the best night of my life.
What advice can you give to bands that wish to make it in the music world? The one thing I always stress to new bands is to put a 100% in and never give up. You can never expect to start a band then be playing to hundreds of people the next week. It can take years. We were playing to like 5 people a night for over two years. But that’s what needs to be done. You need to gig and gig and gradually more people start showing up and the more you tour, the more effort you put in, the more it pays off. You have to put everything into being in a band. I’m not saying quit school/work etc but every spare moment you have you need to be active. It’s a hard business but if you get there it’s the most rewarding.
“We try n o far ahea t to look to d or you ’ll just lose sight on what’s g oing on n ow But certa inly we a . r going to be tourin e g everywh ere poss ible for as lon g as possible ” What can fans expect who are heading to your show in Gloucester ? Every show we ever play we put in as much energy possible. We are always getting the crowd involved. We like to think we play a really energetic and exciting show. We also try and make sure we meet everyone that comes to our show. So expect a lot of sweat, great support bands and most of all, a lot of fun!!
Finally, What does the future hold for Young Guns ? We try not to look to far ahead or you’ll just lose sight on what’s going on now. But certainly we are going to be touring everywhere possible for as long as possible. We’re forever writing new material so hopefully it won’t be too long till we think about the second album. Ben.
MAYDAY PARADE â€œGood friends with You Me At Six and over 350,000 fans on facebook! as well as that Mayday Parade are back in the UKâ€? Interview with Jake Bundrick
Band Members My name is Jake Bundrick and I play drums and sing in Mayday Parade
This isn't the first time you have hit the UK what is it you love so much about playing here ? On top of it being such a nice place with lots of culture, the kids are great in the UK. Everyone here is amazing.
You guys have over 325,000 fans on facebook, how does it feel to have that many people into your music ? It's
so surreal to think we started this band a 5 years ago because we too loved the music we were creating. We never thought things would happen the way they have but it's an incredible feeling.
As a band, how do you guys think you have evolved since you started out ? We've just become better friends and musicians while touring together for so long. We have a better perspective on life now.
Best memory as a band so far ? Making it through 4 Warped Tours in the USA. Hottest tour ever created but we did it and it has done nothing but good for our band.
What is it like being on the brilliant Atlantic Records ? It's
pretty insane knowing you have over 200 people pushing and working for your band over at Atlantic. We're lucky to have gotten this far and it's nice knowing you have a label that backs and loves your music.
What can you tell readers about your latest album 'Anywhere But Here' ? There's
a lot to say about it. It's a little different from "A Lesson" but we're super proud of it. We love the songs on there and they mean a lot to us. Some of my favorites are The End, I Swear This Time I Mean It and Still Breathing.
What can fans expect heading out to your show in Cardiff ? Expect a damn good time! We love The Maine and they're tagging along with us. Just expect to not have a voice the next day afterwords. :)
Any last words ? Check out our website www.maydayparade.com. We post tons of pictures from tour all the time. Also, follow us on twitter. ;) Oh...and Josh Franceschi is a sexy bitch! (He better read this haha)
â€œIt's so surreal to think we started this band 5 years ago because we too loved the music we were creating. We never thought things would happen the way they have but it's an incredible feeling.â€?
RANDOM HAND Interview with Robin Letich
“One of the UKs hardest working ska/punk rock bands Random Hand are heading out on a headline tour in the next couple of months, Stencil Mag catch up with them just before the fun begins...” Band Members We consist of Matt crosher on guitar and vox, Joe Tilston on bass and vox, Sean Howe on drums and samples and Robin Leitch on trombone and vox
How did you get the name 'Random Hand' ? We formed the band when we were 17 and didn't have a clue what to do for a band name. When we used to mess around wrestling and pretending we knew kung fu we had a move called a “random hand” which was literally waving your hand frantically in front of the other persons face, we wish we had a better story behind the name!
Fav song to play live ? It probably differs depending on who you talk to in the band. I think rather than whole songs there's key bits where we can jump about or that we think sound good but I don't think we could pin it to specific songs. Some tunes are a bit more well known and its great when a crowd starts singing along, its probably moments like that we like best.
you guys played the lock up stage at Reading once, what was that like ? It was a very memorable experience and a highlight of the shows we've done. We all watched bands at the lock up in Leeds when we were younger and it was very exciting when we founded out we'd be playing on that stage. The reading show was amazing, we couldn't have asked for better. Plus we got some free tea and cake out of it.
What can you tell us about the single 'Anger Management' ? We thought it'd be cool to release a single and make a video for because its something we hadn't done before. Making the video was a lot of fun although there was a few hairy moments. There's a bit where the crowd come running on to the set and totally trash it, it wasn't supposed to happen in that take so we're glad the camera caught it !
Fav band you guys have played with ? That'd be impossible to answer. Every band has their own dynamic and set of in-jokes etc. and once you get into the swing of a tour its great to have this cameradre going on. Its a shame because its usually just as your getting to be best mates with a band that the tour comes to an end.
What can you guys tell us about your last album 'Inhale/Exhale' ? Recording it was great because it was just like having a little holiday. We were in this amazing house in Devon and the whole process seemed to be so relaxed and smooth compared to what we were used to. We all agreed it's an improvement on the first one. We're currently going through it all again (except up north this time) finishing off our third album “Seething Is Believing”
What can fans expect who are heading to your show in Cardiff ? Hopefully we won't be a shambles and people will have a good time. We don't like going through the motions when we do gigs so we try and have a bit of a laugh with crowd and get people involved.
Finally, what does the future hold for Random Hand ? Well as we mentioned “Seething is Believing” is almost finished, this is actually been written as we lay down the final vocals! We're hoping to release this in October. We've also just been confirmed for Reading and Leeds this year which is really exciting and also been booked to play some shows in Russia in November which is also amazing news. I think that is a taste of the plan for the next year, to just get out and play more shows where ever we can to whoever we can!
“When we used to mess around wrestling and pretending we knew kung fu we had a move called a “random hand” which was literally waving your hand frantically in front of the other persons face, we wish we had a better story behind the name!”
LESS THAN JA Band Members JR, Chris, Vinnie, Roger and
You guys have toured the UK a number of times, what is it you love so much about playing here ? The fans are amazing. The loyalty they have shown us in the UK is unlike no where else in the world. We would actually move to the UK but Chris suffers from a rare testicle disease where his balls swell up to the size of cantaloupes. He has to have them drained by a professional ball drainer back here in Gainesville. It's complicated.
What can you tell us about the last record you released 'GNV FLA' ? It was recorded in Chicago, IL in March 2008 and it was fuckin cold. I slept in the coldest room in the house and caught mild pneumonia while living there. Buddy and I went to the Chicago river on St. Patricks day and saw how they dye the river green. Contrary to popular belief, they do NOT like it when you pee in said green river.
I'm sure you guys get fans coming up to you at shows all the time, how does it feel to have so many people inspired by your music ? It's very humbling. It's also very intimidating to think something we did inspired someone to create something in their life. What did Yoda say? With great power comes great...big...bottles of whiskey? Something like that.
Interview with JR
â€œOne of the biggest Ska bands in the world are here to share with us their stories of gigging and recordingâ€?
What is the craziest thing you've ever seen happen at a show ? Probably at the Leeds Fest in...uh...2002. Yeah. There was a circle pit around the front of house tower during our set. I never use the word epic to describe something because it's totally over used and never quite justifies what the word embodies. But, to witness 10,000 people running around the tower in a circle and having fun: THAT was fucking epic.
what is like to have your own record label ? 'Sleep it Off Records' It's better than the alternative!
What can fans expect from your show in Bristol ? It's easier to tell you what NOT to expect. We promise that this time there will be no sodomy, drug use or good jokes.
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â€œAll the way from New Zealand and the Reggae heroes Fat Freddys D here in the UK...and to top this they have another live album in the wo
Band Members There are a fair few Freddys - Jetlag Johnson, Dobie Blaze, DJ Fitchie in the rhythm section. Hopepa, Chopper Reedz and Tony Chang on the horns. Joe Dukie on vocals.
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Interview with Tony Chang Can you describe to readers that might be unfamiliar with your band, just excactly what Fat Freddy's Drop sounds like ? Fat Freddy's Drop makes hybrid music. Some call it 'hi tek soul reggae'. Some call it 'country techno'. Our music is the sum total of everything we've picked up over the years. There are monumental basslines. There are hectic beats. There are crazy dubs and echoes. All of the good stuff.
What can you tell us about the album Dr Boondigga and the Big BW ? This was our second excursion into the studio and it lasted two years! It was a tricky process bringing a bunch of tunes from the live stage into the sound booth and finding ways to turn up the vibe meter. We wanted to make a record for all of the people who have been supporting us for years, so we had to get it sounding nice. You can really turn this thing up loud, in fact I suggest that you do.
Your guys next album is a live album (Your first since 2001), how did this idea come about ? After spending a lot of time in the studio we decided to do the opposite and release another live album, something that really reflects the live Freddy's experience with all of the extra thrills and spills included! The sound quality is good, but we reckon that's less important with live recordings.
What song, or songs do you love playing the most live and why ? We've got a song called Flashback, from our earlier album 'Based On A True Story'. We have been enjoying that one lately. The song has taken on a whole new flavour and ends up going into the darnedest places. We've done versions that lapse into robotic soundscapes and versions that go Igor Stravinsky on it. Last week in Australia we did a version that was a bit like the original and that seemed even weirder still!
Drop are playing academy sized shows over orksâ€?
dy incredible o travel your und the world rm in far flung . We really ate all of the ho have been g us over the only thanks to t we've been get this far. â€œ
You guys come from New Zealand, can you recommend any cool bands from there to listen to ? There are plenty of great groups down this way. Check out Electric Wire Hustle, Ladi 6, Eru Dangerspiel, Kora, Celebration Minstrels, Lord Echo . . .
Also what does it feel like to travel all this way and have so many people coming out to your shows ? It's bloody incredible getting to travel your music around the world and perform in far flung places. We really appreciate all of the people who have been supporting us over the years. It's only thanks to them that we've been able to get this far.
What can fans expect heading to your show in Bristol ? At the moment we are definitely showcasing our latest album 'Dr Boondigga' so expect to hear some of those tunes specially rerubbed for the summertime. A few new unreleased tunes are sneaking their way into the set, so don't be surprised if you hear some extra fresh stuff too.
Finally, What does the future hold for Fat Freddy's Drop ? Tour through The UK and Europe is the finale to a big year of travelling for us. We've been writing new songs on the road, so hopefully we can get back into the studio before too long and keep things rolling.
Adam Perry/ drums Jason Perry/ Vocals Giles Perry/ keys, vocals Daniel P Carter/ Bass Mark Chapman/ Guitar
Interview with Adam Perry
“one of the most inspiring UK rock bands of the past ten years ‘A’ are back on top form and they are just about to head out on tour with pop punkers Bowling For Soup read on to discover some awesome stories”
How did you get the name 'A' ? We couldn't think of a name, names just seemed stupid. Obviously this was pre internet (showing our age here!0, so we thought, lets just pick a letter!, that way we'll be first in the record racks....turns out, there are no record racks anymore, ad Google goes into meltdown if you search for A....Old and stupid, thats us.
After the release of 'Hi-Fi Serious' you guys won the Kerrang! award for Best British band, what was it like to win such an important award ? It was great until we lost it!, you only get one, and I think one of our old crew has it somewhere. Theres also a curse that goes with that award, we thought we 'd be the first band to break the spell, but we didn't, we got dropped on the next album as virtually every other winner of Best British Band has .
What's it like coming back after a long hiatus and still have such a massive following ? Amazing, our following are older wiser, richer (we sold of of merch on the last tour!) but they rock and they are super loyal. We had no idea we could still sell out shows, and without any label, press, radio, Tv and marketing, we did...Truly blessed.
What do you think of your band mates (Daniel P Carter) band 'Hexes' ? I like em, wouldn't want to meet em in a dark alley!, but I like em..Dans very prolific, he writes constantly, always did, and he needs tons of outlets. Above all though he just loves music, he's a proper rock geek, he plays it, writes it, and talks about it for a living. We love Hexes
What's it like to drum and tour with The Bloodhound Gang ? Mental!!!, Ive had a blast doing it, its been 5 years now and we've played arenas, stadiums, and clubs all over the worlds, truly amazing. Playing sound wave festival tour last year with NINs was amazing. the band are huge virtually everywhere, so we've got to see some places you would never go to. too many silly stories though, and Ive seen things you couldn't make up. Bloodhound Gang is an amazing book waiting to happen!
How excited are you for your upcoming tour with Bowling For Soup ? yeah cant wait, think it will be sold out everywhere, so should be a lot of fun. Bloodhound Gang did the Get Happy tour with BFS 3 years ago, so we know them well
You've sold out venues, played all over the world, as well as playing with some of the biggest bands on the planet, what do you feel has been your biggest achievement as a band ? As corny as it sounds, always doing what we wanted to do, and just about getting away with it!. "A" were "A", we could do what ever we wanted musically and could change whenever we felt like it...Thats hard these days, plus we genuinely enjoyed and savoured every minute, who wouldn't?, its the best job ever when it goes right and a great challenge when it dosnt
“We couldn't think of a name, names just seemed stupid. Obviously this was pre internet (showing our age here!, so we thought, lets just pick a letter!, that way we'll be first in the record racks....turns out, there are no record racks anymore, ad Google goes into meltdown if you search for A....Old and stupid, thats us”
As well as being busy in your bands, you are also working on a new project entitled 'BandApp' what can you tell readers about this ? BandApp launches on 24th September will hopefully change the way unsigned bands the world over, markets their band and sell their music. Go to www.bandapp.com and for £19.99 we will build you the worlds first instant iphone/ipad/android app for your band, plus give you instant access to sell music on our store and 10 tracks through iTunes. BandApp will be everything your band needs, your band in your pocket and free to your fans......www.bandapp.com
What does the future hold for 'A' ? Who knows?, where taking it one day at a time, as we are all silly busy, but Id like to think we will start writing and put another record out before we get any older
Finally, what can fans expect heading down to the show in Bristol ? Same as the night before, but a little tighter?...Cant wait, Bristol has always rocked for us!
Attack! Att “Stencil Mag catches up with Attack! Attack! one of the best bands in the South Wales scene, they’ve recently had one of their tracks on Guitar Hero and if that is not enough for you they have a new album coming out September 27th entitled ‘The Latest Fashion’ read on to discover some extremely awesome talent”
Band Members Neil Starr , Ryan Day, Will Davies, Mike Griffiths
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Some people won't know that Neil was in a band called Dopamine, Ryan and Mike were in a band called Petes Sake, and Will was in Adequate Seven, so saying this, how did you guys get together to form this band ? Ryan joined dopamine for a while and thats how i got to know him. We both talked about doing a 2nd band during some downtime , so in January 2007 Ryan called Mike (his cousin) and asked him if he fancied jamming , a friend of mine Romesh Dodangoda (who has just produced the 2nd album funnily enough) mentioned to me that AD7 had just split up so i got Wills number and called him . We had a couple of jams , wrote a few songs and went to demo them in a studio in Reading
How excited are you for your UK headline tour ?
It is SUPER excited! We have been touring on the back of the first album for what seems like forever and we can't ha wait for the chance to play the new songs live. Now we have more songs it means we can play longer sets toow :D
What can you tell us about your single 'Not Afraid' ?
W Will our bassist wrote the music and played it to me and pretty much straight away the melody ideas came . to The song basically is about not being scared , facing up to whatever challenges are in front of you. The video th for the song uses bullying as the focus of the challenge.
How is the work on the album going ? Its
finished It's called "The Latest Fashion" , and is due for release on Hassle Records on September 27th . re You can actually already pre order it from hasslerecords.com and you get a free tshirt . We recorded it in su Cardiff at Longwave studio with Romesh Dodangoda in June this year and we are over the moon with how it sounds. It's a real progression from album 1
with Neil Starr
What do you think of the current music scene in South Wales ?
hriving is an understatement! It blows my mind how talented the people of South Wales are. Tiger Please nd Straight lines are my fav 2 bands at the moment but there are so many great bands !
How did you guys manage to get on the awesome guitar hero 5 ?
We were picked by the makers of the game, Activition, to be on there . We were as surprised as everyone lse but they said they really loved the track and wanted it on the game It's help expose us on a worldwide evel and we are so grateful for the opportunity. It's mad cos friends and family all play it and i think they tarted taking the band seriously when that happened haha
As a band, what do you think has been your biggest achievement ?
think just managing to keep things together over the last 3 years is a great achievement. What i mean by that the music industry is struggling financially, they don't hand out ÂŁ2,000,000 advances anymore :( so bands ave to work extra hard to earn enough money to keep doing the band fulltime . We have been lucky and I wake up everyday with a smile on my face knowing i am doing my dream job
What can fans expect from your show in Cardiff ?
Well it's our biggest ever headline show anywhere, 1000 people. It's going to be an amazing night , we want it o kick off in a big way! Circle pits , crazy jumping , mass sing a longs we want it all! Its also the last date of he UK tour so we might have something up our sleeves ;)
inally, whats next for
elease album 2 , tour the UK , Ireland and mainland Europe until Christmas, play tonnes of festivals in the ummer . Hopefully hit Japan and Australia in 2011 too
“Stencil catches up with one of the busieset bands on the planet right now for ten quick questions!”
Interview with Liam Cormier
TUBELORD Interview with David Catmur
“Stencil Mag discovers the awesomeness that is Tubelord!”
Band Members? Joseph Prendergast David Catmur James Elliot Field Tom Coulson-Smith What can you tell us about the album Our First American Friends? The packaging is unsatisfactory.
Favourite song to play live of this album? We really enjoy playing the acoustic versions of the same songs, although your bed is kind of frightening still feels quite fresh.
What bands would you guys love to tour with and why? Shoes And Socks Off, Aimee B, Tall Ships, Tangled Hair and &U&I because we love them. It would be more suitable to take on tour an exhibition of some sort perhaps?
Favourite venue to play? The Arts Institute in Cardiff…right? Either that or the African café we performed ‘cows…’ in in Manchester http://www.manchesterscenewipe.co.uk/2010/05/24/tubelord/
How is the second album coming along, Over In Brooklyn? It’s weird seeing it typed not by someone in the band. It’s almost complete and ready to begin recording after the tour.
What does the future hold for you guys? To move away from all this whilst maintaining a dabble of that
What can fans expect heading down to your show Cardiff? Not a repeat of the last time we were there that’s for sure…
STRAIGH Interview with James Pugh Band Members Tom Jenkins - vocals/guitar James pugh - guitar Dane campbell - drums Todd campbell - bass
“Hot of their show at the massive Download Festival Straight Lines are set to take over the touring circuit with their friends in Attack! Attack! don’t miss out on one of the best tours of the year!” How did Straight Lines get together ? Tom, dane and james have all been in education or a band with eachother at some point in the past. Todd and Dane are brothers and have played in bands together. After we all slogged it out for years in previous bands Tom and Dane wrote an album and the line up came together quickly after that with james on guitar and todd playing bass.
How excited are you for your upcoming tour with Attack! Attack! Very excited, we are good friends with the boys in attack!attack! And shows with them are always good fun so it'll be great to hangout/drink/party/share a stage with them for 10 days.
What can you tell us about your your album 'Persistence in this game' ? The album was written by tom and dane before we even had a band name or played a show together. It got to the point where the songs were finished and all that was left was to record them. We surfaced from the studio 3 weeks later with a rock album that we are very happy with and proud of.
You played the huge Download Festival this year, what was that like ? In a word. Increadible! We didn't know what to expect because we played early on the sunday morning and thought most people would be nursing 3 days of hangovers in their tents but we had a great audience, we seemed to go down great too. We had great fun on stage and really enjoyed the whole thing. Loved it.
T LINES â€œIt's realy exciting to flick open the magazine and see a full page about your band. It also makes you feel that all your efforts are actually getting you somewhere.â€? What is it like being on the awesome 'Xtra Mile Recordings' ? It's
great. Xtra Mile have a lot of the bands/artists that we admire too, such as The Xcerts, reuben, Frank Turner and Million Dead.
As a welsh home grown band, can you recommend any welsh bands to listen to ? Tiger Please, Cuba Cuba
Biggest achievement as a band so far ? Playing Download, Sonisphere and going to Texas to play South by south west festival.
You guys made it into Kerrang! magazine recently, what was it like to feature in such a huge magazine ? It's
brilliant. It's realy exciting to flick open the magazine and see a full page about your band. It also makes you feel that all your efforts are actually getting you somewhere.
What does the future hold for 'Straight Lines' ? More shows, more tours and a new album.
Band Members The band members are Dean Lanza (Caleb), Mark Eyden (Matthew), Dan Eyden (Jared) and Ant Wheeler (Nathan).
Why did you decide to make a Kings of Leon cover band ? Myself (Mark) and Dean had been playing Kings Of Leon songs in an indie covers band for years; pretty much since the release of Youth and Young Manhood in 2003. Deans voice always bore an uncanny resemblance to Caleb. He seemed to instinctively sing in a southern American accent without enunciating his words properly. It drove me to distraction when we were trying to write and record our own music! Ant joined the band 5 years ago. He'd been drumming in bands since an equally early age and was the kind of drummer we'd been lacking but we struggled to find common ground musically. He had roots very firmly in rock and metal. Over the next few years it was apparent the the Kings Of Leon was one of the few bands we shared a passion for. As muscians we inherently shared characteristics with KOL even beyond Deans vocal similarities; with Ants bold Bonham drumming and my love of the blues. We played our favourite Kings of Leon song in our set but often with a tepid response from the audience. In 2008 with the release of Only by the Night sending the Kings of Leon into the mainstream it gave us the opportunity to play ALL the songs we'd grown to love. We recruted my brother Dan to complete the line up and add some of the missing brotherly connection! The Kings Ov Leon were formed officially and our first gig was around 18 months ago.
Favourite Kings of Leon album ? Personally I love 'Because of the Times'. I think as a guitarist Matthew was playing some of the most innovative stuff on that album. He took old blues rock guitar ideals and forged them into something completely different. Ant is definately the earlier the better! He's into Holy Roller Novocaine and Youth and Young Manhood. On the other hand Dean is a huge fan of Only by the Night. He loves the heavier production that some people criticise it for and says vocally it's outstanding. Cold Desert was actually a guide vocal that made the final cut. Increadible.
Which song do you guys love playing the most live and why ? Rocking out big time to Wasted Time and Four Kicks is always a highlight of the set for me, and the thrill of watching everyone go off their tits for Sex on fire is pretty undeniable, but there's something about playing Cold Desert towards the end of the set that never fails to get the hairs on the back of your neck! I think we all agree that's one of the songs we like playing the most. As a covers band you havent always got the luxury of playing something so slow. It's got intimacy, scale, space and grandeur. Really amazing song.
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Interview with Mark Eyden What do you love the most about Kings of Leon ? What do we love about the Kings Of Leon?! Man, where to start. They take you places musically that you didn't know existed but do it with humility. I mean listen to Milk or Manhattan. They don't let musical egos get in the way of playing exactly what the song needs. They're a no nonsense, imaginative, contemporary and relevant rock and roll band that put the music first. I think that's getting quite rare these days where bands sell themselves with gimmicks so shamelessly. They seem to avoid unnecessary contact with the media and concentrate on what they do best. They've got endearing old school sensibilities with their attiutude towards both the industry and the recording process. Most of all they write songs that make peoples worlds go round! We all want to be able to do that!
how excited are you for your headline tour ? We've had the chance to play in some absolutely fantastic venues and share some of the stages that a few years ago the KOL played themselves. Headlining some of the festivals in a few weeks is going to be immense, and of course headlining at the Barfly! It's been an amazing year so far and there's plenty more to come, we're all very excited.
What does the future hold for Kings ov Leon ? We've already started learning some of the new KOL tracks off live footage. There's more songs from the new album surfacing all the time and we're dying to hear the new album in its entirety. It's definately going to be a busy few weeks learning the new material as soon as it comes out and that's certainly something to look forward to. We've also been recreating some of the old songs for youtube that should be finished in the near fututre so keep an eye out for those. On top of that we're always striving to be better and invest a lot of time and effort in recreating details to give people the best and most exciting KOL experience. We're going to carry on refining what we do, carry on refining the gear we use, and hopefully carry on rocking out to our favourite songs.
usical egos get in g exactly what the needs.â€? Finally, What can fans expect heading to your show in Cardiff ? At Cardiff fans can expect everything they'd expect from a KOL gig! You'll get pushed and pulled between Holy Roller Novocaine and Only by the Night with everything in between and probably more ...except you won't be 500 yards away! You'll get an accurate and class performance off all of your favourite KOL songs delivered with all the emotion and gusto that they were intended.
Interview with Dan Brown
WE ARE THE OCEAN
“2010 has for ‘We Are not showin rest as the out on ano
Dan (singer) Liam (guitarist/singer) Alfie (guitarist/singer) Jack (bassist) Tom (drummer)
How excited are you for your UK tour? We can't wait! I love headlining in the UK, our fans are awesome! And this is actually the first headline tour since our album came out in February! It’s going to be awesome.
What is it like being on the brilliant Hassle Records? Amazing, we have so much love for the label. Everyone involved with it are great and have a real passion for the music, that’s what it’s all about! It’s such a down to earth label. I love being in London and just being able to go hang at the office for a few hours.
What can you tell us about your latest single Lucky Ones? Firstly it’s a brand new track. Our album is being re-released on October 4th with a bonus disc and this is one of the songs that come on it. It’s about 'making it' and being one of the few bands that is fortunate enough to make a career from touring and making music. Hopefully that will be us!
What bands inspire you? Truthfully, all bands. Any genuine band that is writing their own material and working hard and doing things for the love of the music and fans is an inspiration to us.
been a busy year so far e The Ocean’ and they are ng any signs of taking a ey are just about to head other UK headline tour!”
“Any genuine band that is writing their own material and working hard and doing things for the love of the music and fans is an inspiration to us.” What do you think of the current music scene in the UK? There are a lot of fantastic bands, and people are slowly starting to recognise this. To name a few Twin Atlantic, Deaf Havana, Canterbury and Young Guns are some of my favourite UK bands at the moment. I also recently found out about this band called Kyte, who I believe are from Leicester. They're amazing.
What can you tell us about the album Cutting Our Teeth? Well its our debut album! We recorded it with Brian Macternan in Baltimore, USA in April '09 and then we released it on Hassle Records in February '10. We're really happy with all the feedback it’s been given, it’s great to hear that people love something that you've worked so hard on.
You guys played the huge Taste of Chaos, how was that? Wow that was ages ago now! We played it back in 2008 I think. It’s still the biggest show we've ever played! Alfie was only 15 at the time as well.
Why should people listen to your music? The same reason they should listen to all music, because music is awesome! Well most of it anyway... we like to think that we're awesome haha.
What can fans expect from your show in Cardiff? They can expect to see a lot of Welsh people there? It’s quite early on in the tour so we'll still be fresh and actually play well haha.
Interview with Rick Chapple Band Members Ed Gibbs- Vocals Rick Chapple - Guitar Jonny Renshaw - Guitar Paul Kitney - Samples Iain Trotter - Bass Leks Wood - Drums
“Devil Sold His Soul are having an amazing year, they’ve just played the huge Hevy Fest and now they’re back on the road touring with Architects, check them out!”
How did Devil Sold His Soul form ? We formed in 2004. Me, Jonny and Paul were previously in a band together called Mahumodo. That band called it a day and we decided to audition for a permanent vocalist and bassist. We soon found Ed and Iain through extensive auditioning and Leks Wood was later added as permanent drummer in 2007.
Where did the name Devil Sold His Soul come from ? It
came from the phrase 'Sell your soul to the Devil'. We wanted to make people think about a certain situation and how the outcome of that situation would affect everyone else. Dont ask us what the answer is, we're still trying to figure that out.
How excited are you for your UK tour with the Architects ? Extremely excited. We havent played shows with those guys for about a year or so and we cant wait to share a stage again. Playing with Norma Jean is also going to be a huge honour for us. Its a massive tour - we hope loads of people come down to check it out - they are gonna miss out on the tour of the year if they dont!
What can you tell us about your second full length album 'Blessed & Cursed' ? It's bigger, heavier, more epic and more beautiful than anything we've done before. It's about our experiences whilst being in the band. Dealing with all the bad luck and sacrifices you have to encounter on your way to 'living the dream'. We are extremely proud of this record and it means so much to us. We've really poured our heart and soul into it. We can't wait to play it live and get people singing along to the tracks. It's gonna be awesome.
Andrew Neufeld from Comeback Kid sings on 'The Disappointment' of your new album, how did this idea come about ? We really respect him as a vocalist and musician - we loved the Sights&Sounds album that came out last year and Ed just thought he would be perfect for the part. He emailed him through our booking agent and he was really up for doing it. We're so glad he did it, as he did a great job. He even came and sang it live at our recent Hevy Festival slot in Folkestone. The crowd couldnt believe it, it was crazy!
What is it like being on 'Century Media Records' ? Great to have a big label in your corner, giving you support and helping to get the music out to as many people as possible. They really gave us free reign on this album, so its really great to be able to keep doing what we love best, writing the music we love.
What can fans expect heading down to your show in Bristol ? A BIG show! We're so pumped to be playing the new songs - we just want people to have fun and sing along with us. Its gonna be hot and sweaty, but one hell of a party - with plenty of strobes and atmosphere. It will be an experience.
Finally, what does the future hold for Devil Sold His Soul ? Tours, tours and more tours. We want to play this record to as many different people in as many different countries as possible. If you book us, we will come.
â€œTours, tours and more tours. We want to play this record to as many different people in as many different countries as possible. If you book us, we will come.â€?
â€œStencil Mag introduces you to some fine new talent from Newportâ€?
Interview with Benji Squibbs
THE CALLING CARD
Benj Squibbs :Vocals (24) Simon Strickland : Guitar (23) Scott Edwards : Guitar (22) Lewys Hobdon (Hobnob) : Drums (21) (Currently looking for Bass Player!) How did The Calling Card form ?
The Calling Card was a name that I (Benj) had been using for my acoustic music for a couple of months so when i started recruting for band members to start this band the name just kind of stuck. Better than being called "Sonic Death Monkey" I suppose! Me and Simon had been friends for years having grown up in the same street as kids and met Hobnob in college and remembered how amazing he was on drums and just kind of asked them both. Because we'd been mates before eveything just kind of clicked andreally worked out for us! We had an old bass player but the magic was never there so that parted and we got scott in. so yeh all in all was pretty easy!
As a Welsh band, what do you guys think of the current music scene here in Wales ? I've been saying for years that the South Wales music scene is the best scene in Brittan and I cant see how anyone can argue with that. You just have to look at the bands around here and theres at least ten unsigned bands right now that could be huge! Every 5 years a handful get picked up with the likes of The Blackout and KIGH becoming huge but there are so many brilliant bands around here its so impressive! The South wales music scene could definatly rival the "madchester Scene" or the "Seattle Scene" if given a real chance.
Why should people listen to The Calling Card ? Good Question. With the influx of bands of myspace and youtube its kind of harder for bands to stand out more these days but i generally believe we offer something that other bands dont. We are not an emo band. We are not a pop/punk band. We are not an indie band. We just write good honest music with messages and hidden depths. Theres not many bands around at the moment (especially our age) that sing songs about the west memphis three, or quote Friedrich Nietzche. I wouldnt say we were overally political. We arnt trying to be the manics but we definatly dont sing songs about girls!
What can you tell fans about the track 'Lets Stay Young' ? Well lets stay young actually started life as an acoustic song that i used to sing while doing solo shows, then after getting about four songs ready with the band i remembered this one and decided to try and turn it into a full band song and its now my favourite bar none. The lyrics came pretty easily too. it was all based on my love and frustration of living in newport. Over the last five years newport has changed so much and in some ways its quite sad. I know its happening all over the country but newport is really losing its identity and the song is basically about wanting to stay young and remeber things the way they were. Kind of looking back at things with Rose tinted glasses i suppose. Its definatly a song of unrequited love but instead of one with a girl its with the city we once knew.
You guys played with the brilliant Zebrahead, what was that like ? To date its our biggest show and possibly our best. We just seemed to be on our game that night. To be asked to support a band like that we were so honered. They have been giving it large for years now so to let a little known band opening from them was amazing. I think that was the moment that we thought "you know what? maybe we can take this a lot further!" how excited are you to be supporting the awesome Dopamine this December ? Dopamine were one of my first loves in the South Wales music scene. When i started going to local gigs there were Dopamine, Midasuno, Covergirl, When Reason Sleeps, Pete's Sake, the Next Nine years and tons more. It was amazing! But Dopamine always had something special about them. They have always been amazing to be honest. Neil Starr is one of the best songwriters to come out of this country if you ask me. and their debut album rivals anyone else's thats come out of the country. They should be massive! So yes to be playing with them is a personal dream of mine as it was watching them that made me believe local people can be in amazing bands. And for an Xmas gig what a way to finish the year!
What does the future hold for The Calling Card ? Well hopefully we can keep building and be as big as possible! I mean most people wouldnt grumble at playing withthe likes of Ian Watkins, Zebrahead, Mike Fantastic, Twenty Twenty, Attack! Attack! but by being inbetween bassist i think maybe we havent done as much as we possibly could have. But now in Aug we have a headline show in Lepub (newport), and we are playing with Alkaline Trio and Deaf Havana! two other bands that we love! Hopefully by the end of the year we will have an ep out and then next year we want to support even more bands and bigger bands if possible! If we can keep building year by year then we should be fine! We also have music vids in the pipeline, talking about doing an iphone app. We just want to try and do as many things as possible really! Expect the unexpected!
Any final words ? Well if your looking for good poppy catchy songs with a strong message then we are definatly the band for you! Hopefully will see you all at a gig real soon!
CRAZY AR Interview with Darren Johns
“So far 2010 has been an amazing year for ‘Crazy Arm’ they have played festival slots at 2000 Trees as well as opening the lock up stage at the massive Reading Festival, things just keep staying awesome though as they prep for their tour with American legends Against Me!” Band members? Darren Johns – lead voice, guitar, words Jon Dailey – guitar, voice Simon Marsh – drums Tim Rowing-Parker – bass, voice
How did Crazy Arm form? Out of a need to do something different from the two bands that myself, Jon and Simon were in and to have some back-to-basics fun. I was in The Once Over Twice, they were in NoComply. Both our ‘main’ bands split up a year later and that’s when we started taking Crazy Arm more seriously. How did you get the name Crazy Arm?
From the song ‘Crazy Arms’ by Ray Price – an old country and western singer with a fine taste in shirts. We lost the ‘s’ so it would sound more art-rock. That didn’t work.
RM Can you describe to readers who might be unfamiliar with your band, what you sound like? A mess of old and new influences: punk, hardcore, protest, country, bluegrass, ‘70s rock. If you like Crass and Joni Mitchell you might like us. If you don’t, you’re not welcome to like us!
What can you tell readers about your latest album 'Born to Ruin' which has received some amazing feedback in both Kerrang! and Rock Sound (oh and also Stencil loves it!!) Thanks! Well, it’s a year old now but I guess it’s a slow-builder which means it’ll still be new to a lot of people for a while yet. We’re very proud of it. It took a few false starts to get right, due to us out-growing the songs all the time, but we feel that, as debut albums go, it captures the spirit and the politics of the band well.
What is it like being on the awesome Xtra Mile Recordings? It’s great. They gave us a leg-up just when we needed it, and when we thought no-one was ever going to. So we’re very grateful for that. I don’t think the big tour with Frank Turner and Chuck Ragan would have happened without them. I just hope they like our new stuff that we’re about to send them. It has a few more twists and turns which may or may not be to everyone’s liking! And while we’re here, a big shout to labelmates The Xcerts, Straight Lines and Big Frank, the Gay Lion.
How excited are you for your tour with Against Me!? Well, what can I say? It’s a dream come true. Fucked Up on the bill too. It doesn’t get much better, unless Springsteen was my guitar tech for the tour. We feel a common bond with Against Me!, musically and politically, so it feels like the perfect tour. Although that could all change when reality steps in! The jury’s still out on Japanese Voyeurs, mind you.
What can fans expect heading to your show in Bristol? Queues? Ha. Lots of volume, ranting, bum notes, stinking sweat and pure rock’n’roll. Just as it should be.
What does the future hold for Crazy Arm? I don’t really like to answer this question; tempting fate is never wise. But after the Against Me! UK tour we’re doing two long weeks in Europe with them, which will probably signal the death knell for our poor little van. We’ll hopefully be releasing a brand new single, ‘Ambertown’, before the tour and there’s talk of an acoustic split with AM! for the tour too – but that all needs to be done quickly if it’s gonna happen at all. In December we’re doing a headline UK tour. And all this time we’re writing and preparing for album number two which we want to release early next year. Or, on the other hand, we may just tragically implode due to too many drunken band arguments. Either way, it’s all good.
Interview with Ed Dutton
“They keep getting bigger and bigger every day but they’re still so young, Rolo Tomassi are indeed set for World domination!” Ed Dutton- Drums, Joseph Nicholson- Guitar, Eva Spence- Vocals, James Spence- Keys and vocals, Joseph Thorpe- Bass
How did you get the name? It's from the film LA Confidential, starring Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce. The meaning behind it in the film doesn't really have much to do with it for us. We just thought it sounded cool.
To our readers who may be unfamiliar with Rolo Tomassi, can you tell us what you sound like? We're a heavy band. We like to mess about with time signatures, tempos and dynamics, a lot of screaming vocals, some sweeter singing vocals. You might say we're a hardcore band, a metal band, a prog band or even a punk band. I couldn't really put my finger on one word to describe how we sound.
What bands inspire your music? The Mars Volta, Mew, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge. There have been too many to mention over the last 5 years.
What was it like to be on the front cover of the massive Rock Sound magazine? It was cool! Weird! We had friends texting us for a month saying "Hey i saw Eva in WH Smiths today."
Who have you guys really loved touring with? Most recently Trash Talk and Throats! We had a blast for those 3 weeks around Europe and the UK. Then we toured with Biffy Clyro for a week, and they were the nicest guys, them and their whole crew really looked after us in those big venues.
You guys have played festivals all over the world, which ones have stood out the most? Last Feb. we played Soundwave Festival in Australia. It was a touring festival that lasted for 5 dates. It was pretty much a holiday for us! The weather was great and there were so many other great bands playing.
What can you tell us about your latest album Cosmology? Compared to our first album, Hysterics, we all feel it's a much more complete record. We wanted to keep playing varied styles of music but make it fit together more musically and naturally.
What advice can you give to bands that wish to make it in the music industry? Just stick to your guns and play how you want to play. Then tour and tour harder and play like you want to play! And don't compromise for anyone else.
You guys have achieved so much in a short amount of time, what's next?
World domination! Then universal domination.
“Some more fresh new talent coming out of the South Wales area” Band Members Vox – Jackson Downs Bass - Moggsy Drums – Leah Davies Guitar – Chris Hampson As a underground welsh band, how hard or easy is it to make it in the South Wales music world these days ?
( Jackson) - i'd say the recent huge explosion in interest in welsh music is a great asset in getting to play shows and meeting new bands but at the same time there is so much more competition in getting noticed and in landing great slots. ( Chris ) - the alternative music scene here in wales is starting to grow again which is really great to see and also is working well for us as a band
Main Influences ?
( Jackson ) - i can't speak for the other guys but i feel a lot of nineties alternative rock when playing with the group. Feeder, Muse and the like but at the same time i know we're influenced by the current hardcore scene thats really strong at the moment. Cancer Bats and Ghost of a Thousand all the way :D
( Chris ) - Personally bands like Finch , Million Dead , Silverchair and Fightstar have shaped my way of playin alot
What do you guys think of the music scene here in Wales ? ( Chris ) - The Scene is turning into something very promising like we've said things have been abit too mainstream for our liking but its great to see some really great alternative bands working the circuit ( Jackson ) - It's such a great scene to be a part of. It's social, friendly and great fun and all eyes seem to be on us taffs lately.
Who would you guys really love to play a gig with, and why ? ( Jackson ) - Muse accompanied with robotic space dragons. But on a more realistic scale: Cancer Bats. They're everything right with music right now and such a friendly group of people.
How do you guys go about putting together a song ? (Jackson) - Chris H will normally write the song then bring the rest of us in to converge on it like hungry piranhas. Though i usually stay clear and let my lyrics work in to a finished piece of music rather than when the piece is still in its basic stage. Things are less messy and more fun that way. ( Chris ) - Yeah its normally a basic guitar song and then we just build and build on it.
Why should we get off facebook and come to one of your shows ? ( Jackson ) - I say don't. Stay at home surfing facebook and dream what might of been. Then when your friends get home from a night of carnal lust and sweaty fun they can laugh at you. and phone us up on the special numbers that we gave them so that we could laugh at you. Do you really want that to happen? DO YOU?
Best gig so far ? ( Chris ) - Our best gig so far is defiantly our battle of the bands gig we just did, the crowd was amazing and really up for a good night all the bands were wicked to play alongside too
What is next for The Alpha Theory ? ( Jackson ) - We're going to DISNEY LAND!? That seems to be an industry standard response... ( Chris ) - We have a lot going on for us as a band our next gig is the battle of the bands final we will be playing against some great bands which will be good for us , we have some more gigs lined up for autumn, we are also in the studio at the moment working on an E.P which we will be promoting as soon as its ready
Any last words ( Chris ) - Check us out we are on all the big sites. say hi we'd love to hear from new people also come down on the 21st of august at battle turfs battle of the bands and watch us live, its where the magic happens. ( Jackson ) - Yeah and bring more drinking money to the shows. Pits are ten times funnier that way.
http://www.myspace.com/thealphatheory http://www.facebook.com/thealphatheoryofficial http://www.twitter.com/thealphatheory
They Walk A Could you provide details of band members? Richard Proctor - Vocals, Lead & Rhythm Guitar, Laptop David Beasley - Bass Guitar Rob Young - Drums
For readers unfamiliar with your music, can you explain to them what you sound like? We've been getting a lot of press lately describing our music as " hiding an underlying dark humour", "Dark, Offbeat and darkly Comedic", "Big Guitars with Killer Choruses" "Quirky" "Their music is anthemic indie but it is the surreal humour that gives them that certain difference"... I tend to agree, especially with this album. I wrote the album from a dark place but always seemed to keep a wry smile.
As a Welsh band, what do you think of the music scene here in South Wales? The Welsh music scene has always been good. A lot of my friends are great musicians in great bands. I think a lot of high profile music is still yet to come out of Wales.
What can you tell us about the song Tell Me A Secret? Tell Me a Secret is about knowing everyone has a secret, however big or small. It's the musical equivalent of "I know you know I know you know...I know.
What can you tell us about your latest album? I re-housed my home studio into our rehearsal studio (The infamous Musicbox, Daisy Street, Cardiff) for 2 weeks and recorded the vocals, guitars, bass and keyboards. We then re-amped everything in Buffalo Sound Recorder, Fairwater, Cardiff. A process of running pre-recorded guitar tracks through amps to get the big sound. A great way to work as you don't have to worry about the pressure of getting your take right in the studio and wasting time and money. The content of the album itself, to some extent, was the result of a cathartic process I went through having ended a 10 year relationship which didn't end well to say the least. I think it was a way of saying "enough" and songs like "Full Stop" and "Hate Mail"
Among Us What was it like to work with the producer Richard Jackson? Rich and I have been friends for years and he worked on our first album Mathematics, Art in Progress. Before becoming friends I'd always heard the name Richard Jackson as a great producer from other bands and in the music industry in general. I listened to a recording he had done with a band called Big Leaves and upon hearing it I'd made up my mind on who I wanted to work with. I was speaking with a few fellow musicians just the other day and we got talking about producers. There are only a handful who have the respect and reputation of musicians in Wales, Rich is definitely one. The good thing also is I've gained a very good friend, it doesn't matter whether we are in the studio or in the pub, the relationship transfers.
Which bands influence your music? Always a hard question to answer. Although I admire a lot of bands and musicians and enjoy their music I find myself too preoccupied with my own writing so have never really considered any particular band to be an influence on the music I write. I always shied away from bands like The Beatles, The Stones, Led Zeppelin etc as I think I got to hear a million bands trying to emulate their heroes first so sort of got a watered down version of the real thing. I think that is what put me off following a band to closely.
Whatâ€™s your biggest achievement so far? I would say our 3 month tour of the US promoting Mathematics, Art in Progress. We played 36 cities, across 26 states. That's more of America than most Americans will see in their lifetime. All self funded with financial awards from The Princes Trust, Wales Trade International and The Arts Council Wales. Pulling that off was a bit of an achievement.
What does the future hold for They Walk Among Us? Although we've just released Monkey in a Chicken Pen we are already playing 4 or 5 brand new tracks in our live set which will probably end up on our 4th album. We have been confirmed for festivals in Europe for next year and have been invited back to the US so the plan is to keep plugging in and keep plugging away.
Interview with Nic Offer Could you provide details of current band members? Mario Andreoni-guitar mostly, per diem dispenser Daniel Gorman-keyboards and what have you, walking talking ice cream social Allan Wilson-keyboards, saxophone, tough cookie, has spent a lot of time on the internet Shannon Funchess-vocals, has an outfit or two Paul Quattrone-drums, drumming and drum programming, still hasn't learned his lesson Nic Offer-vocals, interviewee, yet to shut it, still thinks he's right Rafael Cohen-bass, indie Johnny-come-lately extraordinaire.
“Th wit an an we
How did you guys form? Same
way most bands form, “Hey Mario, you wanna jam on Tuesday?” “Yeah man, I'll swing by”.
How did you get the band name? Very, very intense brainstorming session
You guys are based in one of the most influential cities in the world, New York; can you recommend to us any other New York bands to listen to? Hard to say really, if you're any good you kinda get picked up really fast here. You may know more good New York bands than I do. But you may not have heard of Berg Sans Nipple yet. You will, they have an album coming out in the fall.
You guys have played with a lot of massive bands including Red Hot Chili Peppers; who else have you enjoyed sharing the stage with? Gang Starr, OutHud, Sleep
What can you tell us about your latest album Strange Weather, Isn't it? It's a wild ride, we didn't know where we were gonna end up with it, but that's how a record should be. You should end up with something you never could have conceived of.
This isn't the first time you have played the UK; what is it you love so much, if anything, about playing here? Seeing our friends there, bubble and squeak, we're chuffed about top blokes, full fry-ups, being asked if I'm alright all the time, sorting it and describing things as brilliant
What can fans expect from your show? Jazz hands, lights off action
What does the future hold for !!!? Only the shadow knows
Anything else you would like to add? Cheers!
!!! (CHK CHK CHK)
hey’ve toured the UK before th the massive Red Hot Chilli Peppers d now they’re back armed with new album as ell as a headline tour!”
â€œAs well as owning his own recording studio his done acoustic sessions for bands like Nizlopi, Chris Maguire is indeed a man of many talents! read on to discover some brillant stories!â€? Introduce yourself
Hi I am Chris "MUG5" Maguire. I am a Welsh Media Futurist which in a nutshell means I work across all media. I am a Record Producer, Graphic Designer, Photographer, Film Maker and Writer. I am also the owne and founder of the very popular and highly respected music website Altsounds.com. Music is my life and I wouldn't have it any other way.
What would a day in the studio involve ? Completely varies on a day to day basis. One day I might be producing a Death Metal song, the next I might be doing a CD cover or Myspace design, the next shooting a music video and the day after that I might be chatting with someone like Corey Taylor about himself for Altsounds.com. The only constant in my day is my work on Altsounds.com and even after a day of full time work I still will spend 2-4 hours a day on Altsounds.com to make sure all the cogs keep turning and plates keep spinning.
You did some photography work for the huge Set Your Goals, how did this come about ? A while back and after we had the pleasure of welcoming the Set Your Goals boys into our studios for an Altsounds.com video interview feature (which actually featured on their DVD) we were working on a new Header image for the bands Myspace and we did some art photography / colorization for them which in a nutshell involved me making the photo into more of a fantasy world with ridiculously impossible colours etc
You have interviewed bands like Dashboard Confessional and Four Year Strong can yo tell us a bit about these experiences ?
Yeah sure thing. Dashboard was an awesome interview as we conducted it in his dressing room and actually chatted about all sorts, got him to jam and actually got to see his tattoo sleeves and ask questions about them - basically they are identical except one is colour and one is black and white which is supposed to represent different sides to his personality. As far as Four Year Strong goes we spent an hour hanging with the lads, watched their soundcheck and had a good chat in their van. The gods were against us that day but we made it work and got there in the end! We have also interviewed all sorts of other cool people like Jared Leto, Zak Wylde, Yoko Ono and a plethora of other artists of all genres. They are all up on Altsounds.com so get reading!
As well as interviewing these bands you also did an interview with Set Your Goals for their DVD, how did this come about ?
Again this was an Altsounds.com thing. We did an interview with the lads which ended up being quite legendary due to the bass player choosing to go to Stone Henge instead of coming to the interview and our studio puppet becoming the bassist for the interviews. Ended up being pretty funny and the Set Your Goals guys were pretty awesome. We had a spot of Thai food with them before following them to Newport TJ's and filming their set. The craziest thing for me that night was how amazingly crazy their fans were, with people stage diving within about 2 seconds from the band starting. It was raucous.
CHRIS MAGUIR Out of all the talents you have, what do you love getting involved with the most ? My two favourite things that I do would probably be Record Production and Graphic Design / Art and for two totally different reasons. I love the Record Production side of things because I love working with different people every day and having to build rapports with people quickly. I enjoy really working people hard to get the absolute best out of them and I love producing something that makes the band up their game and continually grow as a band. I don't confine my production to any genre either which helps to keep it fresh as one minute I might be doing a grindcore band the next Pop-Punk and I even do Welsh language pop music! I also enjoy producing my own material (http://www.bleedelectric.com) which is a soul healer and emotional release for me. I haven't had time to do a Bleed Electric session in a month and I am seriously having withdrawls! I love my Design and Artwork for the opposite reason. It is usually solitary work and I get to work alone and enjoy my own company and really pull creativity from deep inside me with no outside influence. Design and Art are things you have to continually push yourself because there are usually no collaborators and I find my best work comes out in the small hours (3-6 am). I have been doing a lot of original artwork lately too which I am going to put into a collection and sell at various galleries across the country hopefully. The artwork I do is always inspired by an album which I have on loop for however many hours or days each particular piece takes me to do. But really the biggest piece of my heart goes to Altsounds.com because it is a huge site, with a huge vision and has some truly amazing people working on it. Working on that and nurturing it really gives a sense of achievement for everyone involved and with a new TV section, Magazine and Music section, 2010 is a pioneering year for Altsounds.com. Also, don't get me wrong I love all the other stuff I do otherwise I wouldn't do it, but if I went into anymore detail here, there would be no more magazine space left!
You have done a ton of acoustic sessions for bands like 'The Wonder Years' 'Cage The Elephant' Nizlopi' what do you love so much about these sessions ? Its just awesome to get bands out of their element to see what they can do as a really stripped down band, some perform amazingly and others not so well. The best performance for me was Fiction Plane, which was a truly amazing experience and showcased the sheer talent Sting must have in the flesh if his children are so talented. The Cage The Elephant one was awesome because we broadcast it over the internet live and then recorded an acoustic song that they only wrote the day before. This was scheduled to be a Bside on one of their singles but was pulled at the last second which is a bit gutting. I also did their 2008 Camden Crawl art exhibition where I designed a looping video that was about 40 seconds long that played in a shop window on about 20 TVs for all the music fans to see. Sadly I never got to see it in action but the video was good fun to do. The Wonder Years seems to have been the most popular with that still getting all sorts of interest and commentary all the time, with people asking for the full version of those tracks. Who knows, maybe we will release an Altsounds sessions CD and/or DVD package in the future? Other cool acoustic sessions we have done include Farewell, Stone Gods, Nizlopi, The Outline, Ben's Brother, Dawn Kinnard and Sarabeth Tucek.
E You are also the owner of the massive altsounds.com can you tell us a bit about this website ? Altsounds.com is a musical opinions website that is "For the People, By The People." Everyone that works on the site does so out of their passion for music and wanting to make something that has never been seen in the music industry before. We are tastemakers and "scour the sonic noisescape highlighting the best and worst music" so you the listener doesn't have to and let me tell you, our approach is stirring things up...A LOT. If you trust our opinions (which millions do) you can easily find a cool new band or even a new band to laugh at due to how bad they are. We do not kiss asses and we are not doing this to make friends, we are providing truthful, unbiased musical opinions to help other people choose what to spend time listening too. It is the perfect timesaver. We are blessed with a very talented team of writers and photographers and if anyone reading fancies writing or shooting for us then please use the contact page on Altsounds.com and get in touch, we are always on the lookout for new, like-minded talent to join the fun. We also offer free hosting for bands, have our own TV section with Altsounds exclusives and are launching a new Music section where we will be selling music and offering distro and Issue 1 of the Altsounds magazine will be available in September on PDF and print on demand. Just go to Altsounds.com and check it all out for yourselves!
What does the future hold for you ? At the end of the year I am relocating to New York City so the future looks fresh, bright and interesting. Can't freaking wait.
Anything else you would like to add ? (website links etc.) Heres a bunch of links relating to me you can check out:>>>>
01 - Lily Bagshaw (Model)
Introduce Yourself Hey I'm Vicki and I'm a fashion / live music photographer based in Newport, South Wales. I love photography and over the past couple of years have been so lucky with what I have achieved.
What does photography mean to you ? Photography means so much to me, not only is it what I do, it's what I love. I love being able to capture a moment and make it last forever because thats what a picture does - it defines a moment.
Who would you really love to do photos for, and why ? Fashion-wise I'd love to do a campaign for either Louis Vuitton or Juicy Couture as I think that their photographs always stand out from the others that I see in magazines. Musically I would love to have the opportunity to do a shoot with Lostprophets as they have influenced me so much over the last 6 years.
What Photographers influence your work ? My work is heavily influenced by the likes of Patrick Demarcheiler, Richard Avedon, Rankin, Kevin Cummins and Tom Barnes.
What projects have you enjoyed the most so far ? So far my favourite project has been my on-going work with The Calling Card. I do live photographs at all of their gigs and they are such a pleasure to work with. They also know how they want the photos to look and together we work really well.
What does the future hold ? Currently I am building up my portfolio in Los Angeles so this is a huge step for me but in the future I'd like to be able to do shoots in other places around the world and build up a strong client base as well as learning about the cultures and showing this is my photographs.
02 - Inga Garriock (Model)
03 - Danni Alder (Model)
Introduce yourself ?
My name is Jodie Cunningham, I am 20 and I live in Stafford, UK!
What does photography mean to you ?
Photography means everything to me. It's something I've been interested in since I was a kid, my older brother did photography at college and uni when he was my age so thats what got me interested in it. I did a 2 year course with it at college and finished about a year ago. Band photography is something I've wanted to do for a really long time, but I only started doing it around Jan/Feb time this year! My first gig was the Kerrang tour, and after that I started getting gigs a lot easier. I've been really lucky with it, it's not always easy getting photo passes when you don't work for a publication or anything, so I'm really thankful to the people who have given me all these chances!
What other photographers influence you ? guess you could say one of the photographers who have influenced me is one of my friends, Andy, who I have met through doing music photography. We photograph a lot of the same gigs, so we always share photos and give each other tips! I really like Joey Lawrence's style of photography too, he's got some pretty cool portraits. He influenced me with a lot of my work when I was in college. I
You've taken pictures of a lot of great bands, who's been your favourite to photograph and why ?
AFI for sure! They have been my favorite band for years and years, so to be able to photograph these guys was amazing! It took me ages to get a photo pass for them, I don't think I've ever worked so hard for anything in my life! I was told I needed a publication to be able to photograph them, so I was constantly emailing people, making phone calls to magazines etc just so I could get it sorted. I was starting to think I wasn't going to get the chance this year because it was getting pretty close to the date of the gig and I had heard nothing, but then thanks to an online review site called 'Front This Scene' something happened, and I got my chance to shoot my favorite band in the world. Also, a band from the USA called Orange were great fun to photograph. I've got to know them all really well and I love photographing them because they're all just really nice guys and fun to be around, so we had good times taking photos.
How easy or hard is it to take photos of big bands ? With live photography it kind of depends on the lighting, because most of the time you're not aloud to use flash, so if the lighting is really bad then it can be a little annoying. I photographed Kill Hannah recently, and throughout the whole set there was smoke and awful lighting, so it was kinda hard to get a clear photo. When it comes to taking portraits of bands I'm pretty confident I think, I can be quite shy sometimes but if I meet a band I really like after a gig and want to take a few photos I'll ask them. I met Pete Koller from Sick of it All in Birmingham when I saw AFI, and he was really cool and let me take some, that was a good night!
What bands would you really love to take pictures of, and why ? I'd
love to photograph AFI again, and Blaqk Audio would be really good! Not just because it's Davey and Jade from AFI, but it will be completely different to most bands I've photographed and I can see it being a lot of fun. Bands such as slipknot, misfits etc would be amazing, because of all the masks/makeup... would be some very interesting photos!
What do you intend to do with photography in the future ? I'd love to work for a big magazine such as Kerrang or Rocksound. I'm already doing what I want to do but I'm not getting payed to do it. I'd love to just carry on going to gigs all the time knowing my photos will be published in a magazine, that would be the best!
AFI @ o2 Academy Birmingham ÂŠ2010 Jodie Cunningham
Developer. Blizzard Platform(s). PC, MAC UK Release date: out now RATED: 16 REVIEW BY ROB KNAPPER The long awaited sequel to the legendary Real Time Strategy Starcraft, Blizzard have certainly taken their sweet time for us to see the return of the Zerg rush, Giant mecs and epic bases. It has been 10years! The RTS king is finally back but does it deserve the hype? For a game that will no doubt draw the ultra competitive power players Blizzard has not ignored its narrative obsessed fans, with a 26 mission, story-packed, campaign mode. Wings of Liberty is the first of three campaigns, Protoss and Zerg are yet to be announced. The first instalment follows Jim Raynor, the Terran rebel leader and familiar character to fans of the first game, on his quest to seek revenge on Arcturus Mengsk leader of the Dominion and to bring an end to Sarah Kerrigan the ‘Queen of Blades’ Zerg swarm. The story has beautiful twists and turns, with a number of moral decisions and pathways to take through the story. You have a chance to put a bit of yourself into Raynor and keep your cantina full of the more ‘interesting characters’. One notably enjoyable ‘twist’ in the story allows us a taste of the Protoss, these side-quests make for a refreshing break from the brute force of the Terrans, not to mention they flesh out the story and culminate in an epic finale. For complete novices Blizzard have included some nice tutorials that are quick to complete and demonstrate the core mechanics perfectly, to further develop your skills the campaign itself introduces techniques and equipment throughout. Only in the latter stages will you be free to use all units to destroy your foe. On top of that you can use your mission ‘Credits’ to upgrade your forces, as well as explore the Protoss and Zerg research trees to further enhance your army. Towards the end of the game you will feel like a true master of battle. Not only can you feel like a master, you can show people you are. That’s right Blizzard fans, achievements have come to Starcraft! Enter the world of the ‘hardcore gamer’ if you dare. As with all top titles sound is important, thankfully Starcraft II has an awesome array of ambient music to accompany every mission which adds to the intensity and mood of the battle. My only worry is that some people may find the repetitive unit banter irritating. I have to admit I was concentrating so hard I barely noticed until my second play through. The voice acting throughout is second to none, creating some memorable characters. Blizzard has really out done themselves with powerful cut scenes to drive the story forward, turning highly tactical missions into ‘meaningful’ victories. The visuals are as good as your computer will allow. The ‘ultra’ settings will blow your mind, however the key is to find the settings that run the smoothest, after all who wants stunning graphics if your screen is all jerky making it impossible to play. Although you may be mad and enjoy witnessing the stunning visuals as your base is destroyed. However even on the low settings the game is very easy on the eyes, one word of warning, just because you have an expensive computer doesn’t mean it will game well (check the specs).
So we reach the point where we look at how Starcraft II plays online, this is crunch time! It’s not that the 26 missions in campaign mode weren’t amazing but Starcraft is renowned for its devoted online community. Quite simply, this community has been waiting for an upgrade for 10 years, so it had better be worth the wait. Playing Starcraft II you cannot help but feel like you’re playing the most refined RTS in existence, everything about it just works. From grand scale battles to single unit stealth missions, all are perfectly balanced meaning you have to think tactically from the get go, the key word is ‘multitasking’ and hot keying units immediately. Although the campaign focuses on the Terrans, the Zerg and Protoss are available to play online, though I recommend practicing in skirmish mode with them first. Important to note: you would’ve probably spent your first few hours in Starcraft II beating the computer with relative ease, however this can build up a sense that you might be good at the game. A word of warning there are some very good players online so don’t be shocked when you get destroyed in the first 5minutes. This being said Blizzard have set up a league system, which should mean as time goes on the good players will be off rushing each other, leaving the rest of us will be in the lower leagues having fun. The online play has no monthly cost, that’s right ZERO! However it does require you to set up a Real ID using Blizzards Battle.net. This doesn’t take a lot of effort and allows you to talk to your friends who might also be playing Blizzard titles. That’s right folks, you will be able to tell your friend who you haven’t spoken to in ages to get off World of Warcraft and come kill some aliens.
It is the refined mechanics and perfectly balanced gameplay that make this game good, but it is the story that makes this game great. As mentioned earlier the powerful cutscenes turn the tactical missions into ‘meaningful’ victories. The Starcraft world is very involving, my advice would be not to rush through the campaign, take your time, talk to people in the cantina, do every side mission and upgrade your army adapting it to your play style. Sit back in awe at missions like ‘Gates of hell’, relish in every victory and learn from every defeat. In terms of a single player experience it has surpassed its predecessor, only time will tell whether it will grow to be as much of a phenomenon. We are already seeing a bustling online community, so what are you waiting for? Get involved and play this strong competitor for game of the year.
“the most refined RTS in existence”
Published on Sep 19, 2010