VULTUREHOUND MARCH 2016 ISSUE 10
We speak to
DEAD N L O C N I L W E R D AN
NOTHING BOWLING FOR SOUP
AND QU AR M SS RO Z/ IT DL CU EL HA IC M T/ IT M ER CD JOSH // a Mtribute to rowdy roddy piper //
playing …and out come the wolves
Me First & the Gimme Gimmes FRANK TURNER AND THE SLEEPING SOULS Sick Of It All © Less Than Jake Four Year Strong Dillinger Four 30 years anniversary
excl. mainland eu
Biohazard © Dag Nasty © The Movielife © Emmure © Letlive Saosin (with Anthony Green) © Juliette & The Licks © No Fun At All Youth Of Today © BlessTheFall © The Aggrolites © burn Modern Baseball © Venerea © Flatcat © Success © Night Birds Rozwell Kid © Siberian Meat Grinder © Bad Cop Bad Cop © Pears
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EDITORIAL David Garlick Editor / Design firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Dickinson Online + Film Editor elcome to issue 10! We’ve finally made it. But I have to say be very careful in this issue, there could be walkers at any corner as we got to sit down with some of the cast from Walking Dead, including cover star Andrew Lincoln.
He made it in our 2015 Albums of the Year and now we’ve finally had the chance to chat with the man himself; Frank Carter. As well as Frank you can also read our chats with Bowling for Soup and up and coming band The Bottom Line.
Jaclyn O’Connell Music Editor email@example.com
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Shane Bayliss Co-Live Editor email@example.com Kimberley Bayliss Co-Live Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
To discuss advertising please contact email@example.com Cover photo: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC
Craig Taylor-Broad is a writer for VH, but he is also a musician who has severe anxiety about what he loves. He candidly shares what it’s like to suffer with anxiety.
To celebrate the launch of our new
This month’s guest playlist comes from Domenic Palermo from the band Nothing. I hope you enjoy.
wresltling section on our website. We;ll be giving away some WWE DVDs courtesy of WWE Videos.
Follow our Twiiter a chance to win in the coming days.
David Garlick (@davidgarlick)
36 Copyright 2016 VultureHound Magazine. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of VultureHound. Requests for permission should be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEWS ONES TO WATCH
CREEPER It’s been a while since a band like Creeper has entered the music scene. Dressed in matching leather jackets and black skinny jeans, these Goth punk rockers champion the misfits and the outsiders. Their live shows are something of a beehive for all kinds of nonconformists, many wearing jackets emblazoned with the band’s own biker gang-style badge. Although yet to release a full-length album, they have already amassed an army of fans through supporting slots with the likes of Funeral for a Friend, Lower Than Atlantis, Bury Tomorrow and more. Yet, Creeper are more than just their aesthetic styling and cult-like following. Their sound is rooted in the AFI and Alkaline Trio type of punk rock, with lyrics that are just as beautiful and arresting as they are miserable. The dramatic ‘Novena’, while somewhat reminiscent of My Chemical Romance, asks: ‘Would you have lived differently if you had known this life was on loan?’. Meanwhile tracks such as ‘Gloom’ and ‘VCR’ deal with love and loss in a way which is irresistibly poetic - and as the band say themselves, misery never goes out of style. Creeper’s latest EP The Stranger is out now. Words: Emily Mee
04 VULTUREHOUND MARCH 2016
Richard Ashcroft made an almighty return. One of the most recognisable faces of Northern music, and undoubtedly part of one of the most important outfits of the 90s. The Verve man returning with some new solo material was a long time coming. His first preview of new music, ‘This Is How It Feels’ was something mega, it took some of the best parts of his previous work and came along with a new identity for the lad from Wigan.
ONES TO WATCH
ROLLING STONES ANNOUNCE GROUNDBREAKING CONCERT You’d think a band now in their 70s would seriously be debating whether it was time to slow down. It’s genuinely admirable though that the Stones are still so intent on doing things no other British group has done, this time being the first to play an open air concert in Cuba. The show will be free and is in aid of a new musician-to-musician initiative where much needed musical instruments are being donated to Cuban artists.
reading and leeds line up shaping up W
It’s never been doubted the twin festivals have often been at the forefront at experimenting with lineups, mixing genres and putting on a ridiculously varied weekend. Maybe never more so than this year. Giving Foals and Disclosure their first shot at co headlining along with Biffy and a seriously unexpected co headlining Fall Out Boy. The final slot was already taken by rock royalty in the shape of Red Hot Chilli Peppers, one that can’t really be argued with.
Kanye got weird again Fresh off headlining Glastonbury last year a brand new album just dropped (only on Tidal but that’s a whole other annoying issue) you’d think Yeezus would be sitting pretty cushy. Apparently not. In what will go down in the catalogue of questionable Kanye moments, he took to Twitter to announce he was $53 million dollar in debt and simultaneously turn to Mark Zuckerburg to ask for his help in funding his new projects. Yeah we don’t know either.
Squeeze announced 3 special UK shows Off the back of their critically acclaimed 2015 album ‘Cradle To The Grave’ and a string of festival appearances, the ‘Cool For Cats’ icons will be heading indoors for three shows in September at Warrington Parr Hall, Northampton Derngate and Hull City Hall.
You could say that it was fate for Beautiful Bodies to come about - their first few tracks were actually recorded while the band’s members were living in different countries, after a chance meeting between singer Alicia Solombrino and guitarist Thomas Becker. Although they were seemingly thrown together, the two blended perfectly, and the same could be said of their music. Taking inspiration from punk, soul and pop, the group pride themselves on their high energy and hook-driven sound. While being unapologetically catchy, their debut album ‘Battles’ also offers up some politicallycharged tracks. For example, ‘September 1973’ concerns the overthrowing of the Chilean democratic government by dictator Agusto Pinochet - as you can see, Beautiful Bodies is not your typical band! However, the most striking track from their debut album Battles is the single ‘Capture and Release’, which boasts an insanely addictive chorus and a perfect sprinkling of electronics. What’s more, the band know just how to put on a live show. Having toured with Mayday Parade and My Chemical Romance, as well as bagging a slot at Warped Tour, they have already proved themselves to be an exciting and high-octane band on the live stage - and certainly one to watch.
Words: Jack Edwards
COMICS Netflix has been kicking ass over the last year with an array of cracking original series. The undeniable highlights, however, have been the Marvel Cinematic Universe entries Daredevil and Jessica Jones.
06 VULTUREHOUND MARCH 2016
WHO NEED THE NETFLIX
’m currently about halfway through Marvel’s Jessica Jones. It’s quite good. Daredevil was also quite good. I may be playing down my altogether unprofessional squealing devotion; they’re both fantastic and have received outstanding critical acclaim. This, in addition to the upcoming Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Defenders and recently announced Punisher Netflix series’, Marvel’s shared Cinematic Universe is about to get a little more crowded. But now we’ve seen two of the types of characters they’re putting out there, I thought it was time to weigh in on which characters from the vast, vast (and then some more vast) ocean of Marvel’s 70+ year old comic universe could be used for future forays into the Netflix format. Here are my picks.
GHOST RIDER WHO ARE THEY? Now I’m something of a Ghost Rider fan, I was always interested in the character so I took a chance and ordered some volumes of the Marvel’s excellent Essential graphic novel line (I’ll expect my cheque in the mail, True Believers) which dedicates itself to reprinting- in black and white –the original stories from way back when characters were conceived. Marvel recently received the film (and we can assume television) rights back
scaring the hell out of moustachioed
to this character and now seeks the
70’s biker gangs.
prime time to utilise them. We will not mention any previous iterations
WHAT CAN THEY DO?
of the character on screen. The Ghost Rider (or the original one, who we’ll
The Ghost Rider, using Johnny Blaze
use for the purposes of this article)
as a medium, can do a variety of
is a ‘Spirit of Vengeance’, a very
hellish things; for one, it can throw
powerful entity/demon/spirit borne
forth streams of ice cold soul-searing
out of hell with only the purpose of
hellfire (or ‘soulfire’ as its amusingly
reaping retribution on those whom
changed to sometime in the first
have wronged their fellow man (or
few years; the series made several
woman, mutant or anthropomorphic
changes to distance itself from devil
duck, as it may be around Marvel’s
worship) from its mouth or hands.
neck of the woods).
Johnny is a former stunt man and
Johnny Blaze is the host of this
a petrolhead who goes bananas
malevolent creature, in the original
for motorcycles- as such, he’s
story making a satanic pact with the
able to pull off some pretty sharp
Devil himself to save his adoptive
manoeuvres, further enhanced by his
father’s life by selling his soul in
alter ego’s supernatural powers. The
return for servitude to Satan when
Spirit of Vengeance is extraordinarily
his old man croaks. Lo and behold,
resilient to knives and gunfire, making
the Devil tricks Johnny (you know,
it a flaming calcium-based tank in a
because he’s the fucking Devil) and
attempts to overtake his body, heart
Most importantly of all and one of
and soul with the power of the Ghost
his coolest powers, the Ghost Rider
Rider. Through several stories, Johnny
can make eye contact (without eyes,
escapes Lucifer’s control and ends up
don’t ask me) with any villainous
roaming the US, righting wrongs and
ne’er-do-well or being to perform the Penance Stare, forcing them to feel
MARCH 2016 VULTUREHOUND 07
MARVEL all the pain, suffering and sin they’ve
of alley-grade thugs. It’s a nice mix.
done upon others in their pitiful time.
WHAT CAN THEY DO?
Results vary from leaving the victim as a blubbering, gibbering mess to instant cardiac arrest and shock.
Marc Spector was a US Marine and a heavy weight boxer as well as a
HOW WOULD IT LOOK AND WHY DOES IT NEED THE NETFLIX TREATMENT?
martial artist; this may need toning down for the small screen but in the source material, Spector is a power house even before he’s bestowed the
As Marvel has shown from Jessica
supernatural powers of Khonshu.
Jones and Daredevil, a character
Kind of cheesy and not necessarily an
driven drama with superheroes can
element to use, Moon Knight receives
really work, especially in the Netflix
different degrees of superhuman
format— Ghost Rider, being a solitary
strength, reflexes and agility
character, would be a chance for
depending on the phase of the lunar
Marvel to really open the throttle on
cycle, though some writers suggest
intense focus with a single character’s
this is purely due to Spector’s own
struggle and also leave tonnes of
mad self-hypnosis caused by his
room for new locations, plots and
fractured mind, making him believe
situations given the character’s
WHO ARE THEY?
tendency to wander; JJ and DD are
he is stronger, faster, more agile than he actually is and to a degree
pretty heavily New York based, which
The Moon Knight is another character
creating an induced placebo effect.
is intentional but given a hypothetical
with their first footsteps in the
Over the years, Moon Knight has
“Phase 2” for Netflix it would be nice
70’s (it was a good time for weird,
adopted semi-Batman levels of
to see them open up their horizons
tortured characters with religious/
modus operandi; he uses several
a bit; dust bowls of the Mojave, the
mythological trappings) – he’s a
gadgets in combination with his
mesas of Arizona and pictures of dry,
vigilante who, for the most part,
‘supernatural’ abilities as well as
backwater small town America.
operates out of New York (links here
weaponry. The primary differences
The only issue here is the budget—
with Marvel’s other Netflix outings)
are in their characters and in Moon
the wandering can be a push if they
and primarily is known for being
Knight’s willingness to take lives.
were to shoot on location and the
totally off his bloody rocker. ‘Marc
character in itself would require no
Spector’ is the gentleman’s real
doubt a significant special effects
name– or Jake Lockley– or Steven
quota put aside just for animating a
Grant, depending on whom you ask.
flaming skull for two or three scenes
Yes, you see, Moon Knight has split
an episode; but there are ways
personality disorder. Or created cover
Moon Knight’s danger is in coming
around all these and to see Marvel’s
identities which he then accidentally
close to Daredevil in terms of set-
Satanic Avenger tearing up asphalt
assimilated into his psyche? I’m not
Spector is a street-level hero who
on the small screen would be a true
entirely sure, he’s weird; let’s leave it
takes on criminals on their own
level. Again, this kind of level of
Aside from constantly playing
action is present in Jessica Jones,
psychological Twister, Spector/
though less heavily. Where Moon
Lockley/Grant believes himself to
Knight would really shine would be
be an avatar of the Egyptian god
in its exploration of Marc Spector’s
Khonshu, a god of Vengeance. This
fractured psyche; we saw some
brings a supernatural element
fantastic (And at times altogether
to the character, meaning Moon
too realistic) explorations of PTSD
Knight can deal with the likes of
in JJ but to explore split personality
Werewolves, bugmen and cults while
disorder, schizophrenia and moral
simultaneously bashing in the heads
culpability in relation to those two
MOON KNIGHT 08 VULTUREHOUND MARCH 2016
HOW WOULD IT LOOK AND WHY DOES IT NEED THE NETFLIX TREATMENT?
conditions would be a great well
(seriously, the area is like what,
Compared to the others, Ms. Marvel
to draw from- netflix as a platform
20 blocks big and none of these
would be a very different kind of
allows us to explore this idea in a
people have run into each other
animal to the others I have suggested
slow, spreading manner over 13
yet?). Kamala is an Inhuman, which
here. Somewhat lighter, this could
episodes, giving the subject matter
if you’ve been watching Agents of
be treated as a high school drama,
the time and attention it deserves.
S.H.I.E.L.D is a pretty big deal. She’s
focusing on Kamala’s issues in
a teenager in high school struggling
average teenage life; which is not to
with grades, boys, her pushy parents,
say we lose any depth here, we’ve
her feelings about her religion
been shown time and time again
and oh—the fact she’s a freaking
that these stories can be some of
superhero. Move over, Peter Parker.
the most moving and best mediums
Kamala is a bright, thoughtful
to touch on very relevant narratives.
young woman and has been lauded
Kamala is a triptych of the coming-of-
the internet over (and in several
age character; she’s a young sixteen
meatspace establishments also)
year old at high school who doesn’t fit
for being a well-fleshed out, non-
in; she’s also a burgeoning superhero,
sexualised female character. Not only
her powers are something she is very
Kamala Khan is a recent addition
this, she and her creators have been
new to; she’s a raised Muslim who
to the Marvel Universe- it will be
praised for her presentation as a
is coming to the age where she’s
her 2 year anniversary with us this
Pakistani American and as a Muslim
beginning to question her faith. With
month –and has quickly become a
as well. Arbitrary ‘PC’ elements
those three points, we have the basis
fan favourite. Kamala is the latest
added to a character or production
of several hours’ worth of engaging,
iteration of the ‘Ms. Marvel’ character
can often be tacky and jarring, but
heartfelt television. And through
after Carol Danvers; Kamala is a
from what I have seen and read) it
Marvel and Netflix, we can be sure
big fan of the original Ms. Marvel
feels like a welcome, important part
the series would receive the budget,
and takes the mantle up in honour.
of this young Ms. Marvel’s character
the casting and the direction it would
Kamala is a 16-year old girl from
yet without dominating it for the
deserve to tell an excellent, honest,
Jersey City, meaning any adaptations
sake of inclusion. She’s a geek, she’s
could push the boat out a little in
awkward, she’s popular with fans–
So there are my thoughts- 3
getting away from Hell’s Kitchen
she’s all the above and more and
characters who demand screen
she’s ripe for casting on the screen.
coverage, whether they’ve been
MS MARVEL (KAMALA KHAN) WHO ARE THEY?
rolled out before only to faceplant
WHAT CAN THEY DO?
in metaphorical gravel (I’m looking at you, Nicholas Cage) or whether
Kamala is an Inhuman which- for
they’re new additions, this trio are
those of you in the audience without
ripe for a small screen appearance.
ironic T-shirts and less than 20/20
But don’t take my word for it, feel
vision –means she was a normal
free to shout at me over the internet,
every day human with latent genes
throw things at me in the street, burn
which when activated by special
my house down; let me know which
mists, cause miraculous abilities to
obscure 2-issue Mutant I missed
manifest. Kamala’s manifested in the
out on who definitely needs their big
form of shapeshifting abilities- she
break, or how the only thing it’s worth
is able to change her appearance,
Marvel making is that epic foreign
elongate her limbs to comic (ha!)
language piece focusing intensely on
proportions or shrink or increase her
the childhood and formative years of
Doctor Doom. Sound off with your thoughts below/above/generally at
HOW WOULD IT LOOK AND WHY DOES IT NEED THE NETFLIX TREATMENT?
MARCH 2016 VULTUREHOUND 09
Words: Shane Bayliss
2015 WAS A MASSIVE YEAR FOR FRANK CARTER. The former Gallows front-man exploded back onto the scene with a new project, scoring a top 20 album and playing some of the most exciting shows of the year. In 2016 heâ€™s starting where he left off; taking a spot on the Kerrang! Tour alongside Sum 41 and ROAM. We caught up with Frank just before he headed out on the road.
06 VULTUREHOUND MARCH 10 JANUARY 2016 2016
Photos: Kimberley Bayliss
K N A R F
R E T R A C
hen this interview comes out, you’ll have just come off the Kerrang! Tour, are you looking forward to playing with those bands and in those venues?
I can’t wait, I’m super excited, Sum 41 are legendary in their own right, I’m looking forward to trying to steal as much of their thunder and fans as possible. Yeah, I’m going to go out there and play with everything I’ve got and hopefully upstage them.
The venues you’ve been playing for the last year, have been a lot smaller. I feel that’s down to personal choice, and not that you couldn’t book them but because you like a smaller and more intimate venue. Is it going to be different and a bit of a challenge in that environment? Nah, not at all, not at all. I’ve been doing this for 10 years now, I know how to work any size of venue. For me the reason we’ve been playing smaller venues is just because it was a new band, and I wanted to start it off like a new band. I wanted to play from the ground up, and build those fans slowly, when you are playing to 100 people it’s a lot easier to go out and talk to them all afterwards, than it is when you are playing to 1500 to 2000. It’s nice because the people who really wanted to be at those shows were there, and now there are going to be a lot of kids at these shows that have never heard of me, they’ve probably never even heard of Gallows or Pure Love. For me I’m going to use this as an opportunity to go out there and show them what I do and hopefully win some new fans. That’s the plan anyway.
The shows I’ve seen you at (apart from festivals) have all been no barrier, and not that it stops you- but do you have to go about things a different way, or are you getting in to the crowd regardless?! The thing is right: people think there are a lot of mountains to climb, but actually every time I play a show I go
MARCH 2016 VULTUREHOUND 11
I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO TRYING TO STEAL AS MUCH OF THEIR THUNDER AND FANS AS POSSIBLE and talk to whoever the head of security is and I explain “this is the score, I’m going to get in the crowd, nobody is going to get hurt, everyone is going to have a great time, you’re going to love it and I’m going to make your job really easy” and normally they respond really well to that. Everybody thinks that security is there to ruin your night- they just want to work, they want to have a good time as well, they’re just doing their job. If you make their job easy, they make my job easy and they aren’t the kind of people you want to piss off. So I try and make sure they know what is happening beforehand, so there aren’t any surprises. I’ve got a really good relationship with most security firms up and down the country, because they work multiple things, you know, sometimes they’ll be working a club show and then the next time you see them they’ll be working at a festival, so I’m really lucky that I know a lot of them by name and I’ve become quite good friends
12 VULTUREHOUND MARCH 2016
with them. So yeah, I’m getting in the crowd no matter what!
The Kerrang! Tour serves to give emerging bands a platform, whilst also having a more well known band playing too. If you were to be booking the show, is there anyone you’d have liked to put on the bill with you? You took Creeper out last year, and 2016 is going to be huge for those guys. It is for sure, I love Creeper. I really love Blackhole, that’s my younger brother’s band they’ve reformed and they are writing an amazing album at the minute. I really love this band called God Damn, they are unbelievable; this two piece big rock band and they fucking absolutely crush it- they sound like Led Zeppelin, I love it. We’re actually playing a show, bringing them out to Stoke and hopefully we’ll be able to play a bit more with them for the rest of the year because they’re a fantastic band.
They make so much noise for a two-piece. They do, they’re like one of the loudest bands out there, I love it.
What was it like taking those guys out on the Blossom tour, and presenting them to an audience that might have missed them the first time around? It was great, it was just nice for me to see my brother so happy. He’s been waiting for that chance for a long time to bring that band back, and it took a lot of work for him to convince those boys because they have another project going on and they were taking their time with that. It was the right time for them to do it, and I think they all feel happy about it, and for them its got a new level of excitement in it and they’ve got a new passion for it, it was just great to see them and it was great to be on tour with my family, you know. It’s always nice when you are away from home to have friendly faces about.
I’ve seen you twice now, first time was Leeds festival and the second in Birmingham on the Blossom tour. Both times you’ve raised the bar in terms of performance. Do you ever get off stage and think “fuck, how am I going to top that”? No, never, never! I’m always excited, it’s rare, very rare that I have a show where I feel like I didn’t do enough. I make a point of going out there and leaving every single thing I have on the stage, because; it sounds cliché, but you don’t know if you are going to make it to the next one, you just never ever know. I want every show I’ve ever played to feel spontaneous, I want it to feel full of adrenaline and exciting, I want it to change people’s lives because that’s how it felt when I went to see bands, when I saw Deftones or when I saw System of a Down for the first time, when I saw Slipknot for the first time. Those bands changed the way I felt about life, about music and made me want to go and play more. I want to be that for other people!
In terms of Leeds and the reception you got there, that set was phenomenal and what I felt was a ‘Leeds moment’, Nirvana had that ‘Leeds moment’ and Green Day had that ‘Leeds moment’. Thank you man, thank you very much, that really means a lot to me because I’ve seen bands at those festivals, I saw At The Drive-In play a tent at Reading in the year 2000, that was an intense,
intense performance and so I know what you are talking about so that means a lot.
How was it to get that reception, because the album had been out like a week? Yet the crowd was massive and were proper fucking into it and knew every word. It must be an intense feeling for you to have a new band coming out and have fans that are into it? It was, it is and it was one of the best years of my life, last year. 2014 was one of the hardest years I’ve had, and 2015 felt like something was building and it still feels like that way now, 2016 there are a lot of exciting things coming from us, and it definitely felt like people were on board, getting the word out to more and more people, making sure they like it, and that’s what’s happening. What we are seeing now is more and more people joining the party and saying “I’ve just discovered this band, they’re fucking great” so that’s all you can do, get out there, hit the road and tour as much as possible and hope you start converting people in a big way. You hope that the fans out there talk to their friends, because the other thing is there are a lot of stories about me, everybody has got an opinion on me, so what you want is that your fans go out there and say “I’ve seen them play, they are fucking amazing, forget what you’ve heard, he’s a different person” and that’s what all this is about for me, just a brand new start with Rattlesnakes and trying to be the best artist and musician I can be.
The whole project itself feels incredibly DIY and low-key, especially the new video. Is that DIY aesthetic something you’ve always set out to achieve with this project, or have you been incredibly lucky in that you’ve been allowed to get on with and do it how you want? Because there is a record label involved, but they just helped with distribution is that right? Yeah, what it’s called is a label service company, so what they do is they basically provide all the services a record label would, but you’re in control and call all the shots. To me that was the perfect thing at the start of this band, because I was very specific in what I wanted to happen and the way I wanted to roll it out and the moves we wanted to make. I knew exactly the way they were all > JANUARY MARCH 2016 VULTUREHOUND 13 09
FRANK CARTER going to be, and maybe that will change in the future but right now I’m keeping a very firm grip on it because I’ve always kept a very DIY ethic and think if you want something doing properly you do it yourself, obviously there are things I can’t do myself and that’s where I will get other people involved, but I will always make sure they are the right people and the right people to be involved. I’ve been really lucky man, I feel really lucky that it’s going the way it is, this year feels like it’s going to be a good one, I’ve got a good feeling about this year.
Later in the year, you are heading to Download, not to pressure you for too much information- but do you know what stage you are playing and what position on the bill you are yet? I do, but I can’t remember off the top of my head, we have been told but I’m useless with that kind of stuff. I think we are the third stage, I can’t really remember but we are one of the tents which is where I wanted to be. I haven’t played there for years, Gallows played once maybe twice and it’s been a long long time since I’ve been there so I can’t fucking wait man, I’m very excited about that one it’s going to be wild.
The album came out in August, and when it did come out it did incredibly, incredibly well. You must have been surprised by that? I was, I was completely gob-smacked to be honest, none of us expected it to do that well. I thought that it wouldn’t even make the charts, I thought maybe if we were lucky we’d make the top 100 somewhere. It’s a prime example of how like, I have a core fanbase that are just dedicated to what I do and like me as a person and are willing to give everything I do a shot. With Rattlesnakes it felt like they got on board with the EP, they listened to it and they were like “okay, this is what we’ve been waiting for.” I keep saying it’s exciting, but it is for me! There was some thought that went into Blossom but most of it was an outpouring and spontaneous combustion moment, we had all of this ammunition and it just detonated at the same time. With the second record, Dean and I sat down and we’ve had a lot of conversations, and a 14 VULTUREHOUND MARCH 2016
lot of thought has gone into the process, and the direction as well. I always want to push myself, I never want to write the same record twice, I always want to be changing and constantly making better work, and being a better artist and musician. I’m looking forward to getting this one out, because it has got some really bold moves on it from me and I hope people like it and it’s the record that they want basically. It’s the record I want, I write these records for me, I just hope other people like them as much as I do.
A lot of people clearly liked Blossom! In terms of the vinyl release, that went to number one. Do you get a trophy or anything like that? No, I fucking wish! I don’t even have a fucking silver disk from any of my bands, so I was really looking forward to one of them, but no you don’t. I might just put one up in my house, but I feel like
know. Sometimes it can be quite a nice thing to be singing about, and that sounds horrible; I’m still devastated that he’s gone, but time does heal- and anybody that is suffering, an end to that suffering is all you want.
I understand what you mean, one day is about missing them, and the other it’s about celebrating then.
THE ONLY PEOPLE I GOT A PAT ON THE BACK FROM THIS TIME WAS MY MUM AND MY WIFE you should get it. If you are ever a number one in any chart you should get a pat on the back from someone, the only people I got a pat on the back from this time was my Mum and my wife, they were like “well done babe, good job!”
In terms of the album, one song that stands out to me is ‘Beautiful Death’ which at the Birmingham show you asked the crowd to be a bit quiet and respectful for. Was there ever a point, when you wrote that song, where you said to yourself “I don’t know if I can play this song live?” Yeah, multiple times it was really hard work, it almost
didn’t even make the album because I had quite a hard time singing it early on. The first ten times we played it, I don’t think I finished the song, because it is very personal not just to me, but my family and wife especially. I’m a very emotional person, I’m a very sensitive lad and I don’t know if that comes across, but I had a lot of trouble with that because the words were written at a time of very high emotion, so every time I speak them or think about them I’m transported right back there and sometimes it can be quite difficult, and other times it can be really uplifting and celebratory, you
It’s a release, and every time we play that song it can go one of two ways and I never know which way it is going to go until we’ve starting playing it, and that’s just how it is and I’m never going to over think, I’m just going to go and play the song. If I finish the song, I finish the song, and if I don’t I don’t, and frankly neither is better than the other- each is just an honest performance of a song about losing someone you love dearly, and that’s all it is.
The sound of the Rattlesnakes is quite different to Pure Love, the last project. Were any of the songs written during those days, and you just though “I can’t put this on a Pure Love record, I’m going to > JANUARY MARCH 2016 VULTUREHOUND 15 09
Frank did eventually win the staring contest with the crowd.
store it away for a later date” or was Rattlesnakes the specific focus? The thing with me, I always have books of lyrics, I write all the time, so I’ve always got stuff to pull from. But with Rattlesnakes, I got in 2014 and a lot of stuff happened very quickly that made me want to write again so in doing that all of the songs on Blossom are very new and there is nothing really on there from the old books, and in fact, going in to write our second album, I kind of just did the same thing and scrapped the old stuff and started looking at new stuff. I kind of think if something has been in the book for a long time, and you go back to it and never find a place; maybe it doesn’t have a place, maybe the best thing for it is to just be forgotten and not keep staring you in the
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face. Every time I open the book there are songs that have been in there for years that are just like “please, put me in a fucking album” and I’m like “no, it’s not your fucking time, get back in the book.”
Perhaps there is scope to release it as a poetry book? Maybe, or maybe I just burn them all in a bin in my back garden one day! Who knows!
You’ve spoken about a second album, what other plans have you got for 2016? Album and more touring, I presume? Yeah, more touring but the biggest news is that we are going to have a new album out at some point. I don’t know when exactly, but it’s in the process now. We won’t be
playing any new songs on the Kerrang! Tour that’s for sure but hopefully by summer we’ll have a couple of new songs to jam out, so it’s exciting man, going to be a good year.
And that’s a full album, as opposed to an EP? Oh yeah, fuck fucking EP’s! I get why people release EP’s but I’ve never been a huge fan, I love a body of work, I think with an EP you can’t really get enough out of a band from that. It’s such a small amount of songs, this record is a story and it’ll be a full album. If you have yet to listen to début album Blossom do it now, go watch The Rattlesnakes live, and then wait patiently for the new album. Massive thanks to Frank for the time!
ANXIETY Photo: Chris Trevena
Y T E I X N A AND
N A I C I MUS
WORDS: CRAIG TAYLOR-BROAD 18 VULTUREHOUND MARCH 2016
T he last ebb of the audience slunk out of the venue followed by the final anti-climactic ring of the night’s playlist droning out into nothingness. What follows is a silence that can only come after a 3-hour barrage of sound. This nothingness is respite for the ears, but for me comes with a great sense of sadness and loss. Everything I have worked up to until this point is over, done. What has just occurred is by no means unusual in any sense. Just another gig. You see them advertised in your local paper all the time, a band you've never heard of in a pub renowned for how grotesque it is. You may have played a whole bunch of gigs in venues like these, too (I know I have). For some, these venues are the background for favourite and treasured memories. But for me, a creative person with mental health issues, this is a period of time that can literally only be compared to the metaphorical cliché of a rollercoaster. Now, before I'm accused of it, I'm not complaining. I'm not signed, or making money from music, so when I create, and when I play, it is out of choice. I don't have a record
company breathing down my neck, and music isn't my income. No one has a gun to my head. I do it because I want to, because I like to, but sometimes, playing gigs can be hell. As someone who suffers with anxiety, I don't really have to tell you that the hard bit isn't the creating, but the performing. If you asked someone for a list of the most frightening things they’ve done in public, you’ll most likely gather the same answer; school or work presentations. Playing live music in front of people, to me at least, is the musical equivalent of a school presentation. Only instead of proving intellect, you are trying to prove talent. And, instead of hiding emotion, you are showcasing it to a room full of strangers. Just writing this now, I can see why I'm absolutely petrified by my favourite hobby. It's just not something an anxious person should choose to do. But most people look back at the hard things they’ve accomplished with a smile, a sense of pride and achievement. It's something that I do too, not all the time, but one out of ten postgig buzzes are worth it, even if the other nine send me cascading towards pure depression. So, why do nine out of ten gigs fill me with dread and leave me unwilling to pick up a guitar, and often unable to leave the bed? The reason for it is simple. It's the voices I hear. My own voice, telling myself negative things. And I write this with confidence because I know that anyone reading this will instantly go, “Oh yeah, I
MARCH 2016 VULTUREHOUND 19
Photo: Craig Taylor-Broad
ONE OUT OF TEN POST-GIG BUZZES ARE WORTH IT, EVEN IF THE OTHER NINE SEND ME CASCADING TOWARDS PURE DEPRESSION have that sometimes, too.” This isn't something born out of pure madness, but more so out of being human. Initially it's in the lead up to playing a gig with the majority of my time being spent on trying to convince myself that I'm not going to completely fall apart on the night. Rehearsals are filled with mistakes which my partner will supportively tell me is “what rehearsals are for.” Forgetting words, whole sections of songs, it happens to the best of us, but when you suffer from anxiety and depression, this only fuels those particular negative thoughts. I'm going to mess up aren't I? I'm not good enough to be playing in front of people am I? Then finally, no one is going to show up, are they? And, then there's the phantom illness I get the week before a gig, without fail. It starts with a nagging tickle in my throat. Not enough to cause a cough, but enough to say “I think I'm getting ill.” A day or so after it turns into a snot-filled nose, congestion across my head, and this dull tiredness that fills my whole body. A friend believes this is my mind’s way of self-sabotaging
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me and initially I thought he was just trying to be clever, but looking back on my experiences of this, I have to agree. I can't even begin to tell you how many opportunities I've missed out on because of phantom illnesses, that disappear the moment I've cancelled and the pressure is off. I'm lucky with music though, I'm able to battle through. I don't know how or why. Though finally, (and this is the big thing for me) it's the expectation. It doesn't matter if I play a show to a hundred people or five people, the performance itself is always anti-climatic in comparison to the anxiety that’s drowned me for weeks leading up to the gig and my own ambition. More often than not, the turnout isn't good enough, or I haven't played as well as I can, or I've noticed the sound guy on his phone the whole time I've been playing. It's the small details that I know shouldn’t weigh on me after all these years of playing live gigs, but weeks after the show I still think “ah, I messed up that second verse section, and I forgot the lyrics here, and my voice cracked here.” I’m basically tormenting myself, continuously allowing the anxiety
win. I promised myself when I started writing this that I wouldn't be that whiney person moping about. That this wouldn't be diary fodder. Something I could share and not be ashamed of. The truth of it is, getting on a stage is tough for anyone, and most of the time the payoff is, if anything, small. Though, this crippling anxiety doesn't seem to affect everyone. You’re probably wondering “would I ever give it up?” I think about it all the time, probably more often than I actually perform. It would be so easy to just be one of those artists who records music, puts it on SoundCloud and then starts recording again. It's real tempting, too. Then a one-out-of-ten moment occurs and someone comes up to me after a gigs, mentioning how my performance really resonated with them. Or they visit the merch table to pick up a cd or t-shirt, and for a brief moment, all those horrible little voices dissipate. It's in those moments that I realise what playing music is for me, those tiny segments of silence where the chaos in my mind is still.
Words: Rhian Wilkinson
S L E B JEZA
et me disclose from the outset that I am a Jezabels fan, and I’m an Australian, so I am guilty of being patriotic in this case. I’ve been a fan since the She’s So Hard EP in 2010, so when the opportunity came up to hear the upcoming album Synthia before its release on February 12th, 2016, I jumped at the chance. If you’re an old school Jezabels fan like I am, this album may not be what you are expecting, their sound has grown up. It is dark and cinematic, the haunting vocals on ‘Come Alive’ will pull you in and under an ocean of sound that is undeniably powerful. In press for the album the Jezabels are stating that this is their address to “the rock world’s simplistic perception of the synthetic feminine versus the authentic male.” In Australian rock there tends to be a lack of powerful female voices, Hayley Mary is certainly changing that perception.
presence of exceptional guitar work. ‘Smile’ is an outright challenge to the constant sexism women face in every day life. Which I love. But more than that, it is a beautifully composed song. The line “don’t tell me to smile, don’t ask why I frown” will resonate with women across the world. Hayley’s vocals on this track are exquisite, and her trademark falsetto is impeccable. One of my favourite festival memories is being on someone’s shoulders, front and centre during ‘Mace Spray’, with Hayley Mary standing on the amps singing straight to me. Her stage presence has always been incredible, and as a woman in the Australian rock scene she has always exemplified strength and garnered respect.
The album is long and cinematic, it creates huge moments that swell and rise only to crash over you like waves onto a galaxy of beaches. Yes, there is a touch of space-pop, but there is also just a crazy glowing
Having been a female powerhouse in Australian music for quite a time now, how have you seen perception of women in rock change since you started The Jezabels?
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I was lucky enough to have the chance to speak with Hayley about the creation of Synthia, and how it reflects her attitude towards women in the current socio-political climate.
Yes, the last couple of years saw feminism and women rise dramatically in western culture and rock. But the old guard is ever present to remind us that diversity won’t be easy. People are very connected to their sense of taste, and taste is very political. I think there are still a lot of subconscious prejudices we still have as a culture in terms of what makes ‘good music’ that need to break down before we get any sense of lasting diversity. You’ve said that SYNTHIA is partly motivated by the discussion around about how it feels to be a woman, and the honesty that is developing in that field, how does ‘Smile’ relate to that? I meant that statement in a personal way. And that’s the same way I mean the lyrics in the song. I don’t pretend to speak on behalf of others on how it feels to be a woman, just on how I feel. And that song was basically addressing something that has bothered me for some time; the tendency of men who I don’t know to tell me to smile when I am walking down the street. This really does happen frequently (despite what it may sound like I don’t always frown in public, but if I did, the notion that my face is thought of as something which exists too look pretty for strangers bothers me.) Personally, I have absolutely no qualms with people including men expressing sexual desire (within respectful reason), whistling, asking me on a date or telling me dirty things they want to do, but I tend to draw the line when they start to tell me how to feel or what choices to make. How they feel is their territory. How I feel is mine. Of course I am fully aware that the line is different for everyone. A lot of my friends find
whistling intolerable. This is their prerogative. I just don’t like people telling me to smile. This album sounds bigger and more cinematic than the last, has that been an organic progression in the recording process or was it an intentional movement?
you can find a pier, that’s good. [Editors note: I was sitting on my bed in my pajamas. I guess I’ll have to go find a pier!] What are you most excited for people to hear on the record?
I don’t see the two as mutually exclusive, personally. Organically developed intention perhaps. Our individual opinions rarely coincide enough to ever describe what we do as completely intentional, but I think we have been writing and playing together such a long time that our individual intentions occasionally organically synch up. This was one of those moments I suppose.
All of it, honestly. I think it’s pretty well-rounded. Like most things we do, it’s not an instantly great piece of work, but I think if it’s up your alley at all, it’s worth investing in as a whole.
Can you tell me your favourite parts of the album to record, and which are your favourites to listen back to?
I was quite into Scott Walker and the album he did with metal band Sun O))). I was reading a little bit about the idea that some metal subgenres draw on a kind of mimesis of the trauma/magic/catharsis of child birth, a process which our contemporary society doesn’t have a very honest or appreciative relationship with. It sounds really specific and odd, but it had quite a meaningful impact on how I approached the record I think. I was also listening to a lot of Brit rock and revisiting Shirley Temple. This culminated in a minor fascination with groupie culture, which fed into the record a bit. Somehow, in my mind all of these things were very clearly connected at the time, but it all sounds a wee bit odd when you put it into words, doesn’t it?
I think my favourite parts were doing ‘Pleasure Drive’ and the opening track ‘Stand and Deliver’, but to be honest my ‘favourites’ change all the time. I was just great to be writing and recording again. Not to say there weren’t challenges, but in retrospect I enjoyed almost all of it. When you imagine people hearing this record for the first time, what do you imagine them doing? Should I have been in a bath/driving/ waking up when I listened to it for the first time? I had a pretty nice moment listening to the record when it was just mastered while I walked along Brighton pier, early one morning in the rain. Maybe it’s a nice earlymorning walk-in-the-rain record. If
And finally, what albums were you listening to when you recorded SYNTHIA? Can you pinpoint ways they may have influenced you?
MARCH 2016 VULTUREHOUND 23
G N I K L WA WALKING DEAD
Words: Grae Westgate
D A E D s drama runs high in Alexandria, The Walking Dead stars Josh McDermitt, Michael Cudlitz and Ross Marquand took some well-earned time out to talk with us about surviving the zombie apocalypse…
TELL US ABOUT THE FILMING OF THE MIDSEASON JOSH: We’re still getting over it! It’s interesting because it feels like every episode there’s a couple of people who say “oh my gosh, that was the hardest episode I ever shot”, but this episode was the one that everyone said that, and it was great to have everyone included and to have everyone working as a team. As I was going through the scripts for the first half of the season and knowing kind of where it was headed; we were gonna have to deal with these walkers and that sort of thing, and to see Daryl, Sasha and Abe outside the walls thinking that they wouldn’t be a part of this, but then in the script that we get, suddenly they turn up
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and they’re right there helping too. It was just so great to have everybody included and everybody exhausted at the same time. We shot that over night, but before we wrapped the season we kept adding more moments to that scene. It was a real beast! ROSS: I think everyone wanted that episode to be strong because it ends on such a cliffhanger. When we were backed up against that wall and the herd breaks through, when Daryl launches the RPG into the pond and the tables turn, I remember looking down the line and there’s about twenty of us at the gate covered in blood. We’d been shooting, like Josh said, all night, and it was such a great feeling. It was my birthday too, and we were all together, covered in blood, doing this thing exhausted. My muscles hurt for days after. When you do the same action over and over again, when you’re dropping walkers - and remember a lot of stuff gets cut for time - for maybe twelve hours a day, it takes a toll on your body and I think all of us were exhausted but also very proud of that episode. MICHAEL: We’re all also big fans of
We spoke to Walking Dead stars Josh McDermitt, Michael Cudlitz, Ross Marquand, and Andrew Lincoln.
the show as well, so when we read these scripts, we see our heroes in peril, and we know what the audience is thinking. We’ve proven already that we’ll kill ya! So it’s not like another show when you see somebody against the wall and you know they’re all gonna get out. In your mind you’re asking who is gonna die? The stakes are that high and that risk is there. We know that the audience is thinking that someone’s gonna die this week, it’s so clear, and then it doesn’t happen; the group comes together and there’s a huge moment where the audience goes “yes!”. Then you get the satisfaction of seeing what you hoped would happen, and everyone, for this week anyway, is safe! HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE THAT LACK OF JOB SECURITY? MICHAEL: I think it’s worse for the original five, because they started out with the show. You can say on paper that people are gonna die, but when you’ve been with a show from the beginning it’s not really real to you, even though you see people
Photos: Gene Page/AMC
coming and going. When we came onto the show, we were fans of the show. We’ve seen people die. When we signed on we knew we were gonna die at some point. I think it intensifies the work. I think every day is your best day because it might be close to your last. There’s no complacency, there’s no laying back and thinking “yeah, I’m on the number one show in the world, I’ll ride this out and then I’ll retire”. You may be dead in two scripts. That’s the very staunch reality of it. For me, it keeps everything sharper. I can’t worry about it. I honestly think a lot of us will be sad when it’s our time to go, but I don’t think it’s something we think about.
YOU MAY BE DEAD IN TWO SCRIPTS. THAT’S THE REALITY OF IT. MICHAEL CUDLITZ moment. We always talk about being a family, and the close friendships that we’ve formed, and I wouldn’t be able to focus on that if I was so worried about when I was gonna leave. So I think just about everybody is that way. We’re just trying to enjoy the ride and have as much fun as we can.
ARE YOU GIVEN MUCH WARNING
WHAT WAS IT LIKE JOINING THE
WHEN YOUR CHARACTER’S GOING
CAST WHEN THEY HAD ALREADY
ESTABLISHED THEIR OWN CORE GROUP?
MICHAEL: (laughs) Two episodes. JOSH: But we don’t focus on our impending doom. If we do that, we’re gonna let this great thing pass us by and we’re not gonna enjoy the
ROSS: I remember when I first got to the set, and the first person I met was Andy (Lincoln). It turned out we had a mutual friend in London,
which was very strange. I met these two second. It was a very hot day in Georgia, and we were at this barn which was gonna be in this scene, which was one of the most difficult and smelliest places I’ve ever shot… MICHAEL: It was last season, when we were in the barn and the storm was raging outside and we were all up at the door… ROSS: …and they’d been shooting a few days already before the walker tornado came. Both of them came up very affectionate, very “nice to meet you”, and they said “if you need anything at all, anything, please do not hesitate to contact Andy.” It was very clear that these guys were smart asses and that they
> MARCH 2016 VULTUREHOUND 25
SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE I’M A CARTOON JOSH MCDERMITT were gonna become my two best friends. And they have. You sons of bitches! JOSH: It’s one of those things, stepping into the number one show in the world; we were all fans of it and it was intimidating. But it starts with Andrew Lincoln. He met us our first day. He wasn’t even in the episode, but he drove an hour south of Atlanta to where we were shooting to come out and meet us. That sets a tone right away. He had nothing to do but say hi to us. And we try to carry that same hospitality to everyone else who comes in, because we know what it feels like to step into this world where everything’s set, and everybody’s got their cliques and friendships already. We try to be as inclusive as possible, ‘cause fact is,
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it’s a very grueling show to shoot, and we have that bond and that doesn’t go away. MICHAEL: And most of us are far away from home. There’s only a couple of people on the show who are close to the area. I think Wes (Snipes) and Chandler (Riggs) are the only ones who are local. Everyone else is from England or various parts of the States, so we are removed from our family and friends. This is our family now, and these are the people we go to when we’re in need in any way. KEEPING THE FAMILY THEME IN MIND, IF THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE ACTUALLY HAPPENED, WHICH THREE MEMBERS OF THE CAST
WOULD YOU WANT ON YOUR SURVIVAL TEAM? MICHAEL: (whispers to McDermitt): He thinks the zombie apocalypse is gonna happen! Maybe we should keep this guy around… ROSS: Andy. It’s tough… I mean, everyone makes a strong case… Andy’s proven himself as not only a great actor, but also physically agile. Most of us are pretty agile, but Andy would be pretty formidable. JOSH: He’s easy on the eyes too. MICHAEL: And he’s great in the sack. ROSS: So obviously I’d take Josh for comic relief. JOSH: Thank you. ROSS: And Michael’s the brawn. So there we go. (To the others) You guys
don’t have to choose me, but just remember that I chose you. JOSH: There’s something about Melissa McBride that just cracks me up. She’d be the first to go in our group, but man we will laugh until she dies! And I think having these guys with me would be really fun, ‘cause I love to laugh, and when the zombie apocalypse does happen, it’s gonna be a dark time. We’re gonna need to laugh. MICHAEL: Well I would not have Judith (Grimes) with me, ‘cause that’s just a liability. I wouldn’t leave her if that was a choice… I’m just sayin’… Erm… I’m gonna go with these guys just ‘cause they’re my drinking buddies for the rest of the trip. And I’m gonna add Chad (Coleman), because Chad is strangely and wonderfully unpredictable. Yeah… ARE YOU GUYS ALL UP TO DATE ON THE COMICS? ROSS: I only read the comics for character inspiration, because I wanted to draw a lot of stuff from that. I think Kirkman has drawn a really great blueprint for all of these characters. I read up to a certain point though and some things were being spoilt for me and I can’t do it anymore, I had to stop. Even if it deviates from that, I don’t want to be too aware of what’s gonna happen to the group. JOSH: I read the comics, but mostly because they’re just very entertaining and so well-written. I think it came very early on, there was this one difference in something that Scott Gimple told me about Eugene on the show as opposed to something in the comics – I’ll keep that to myself – but it made me realize that they are different. You have to make a believable character. That’s not to say that the comic book version of Eugene isn’t believable, but sometimes I feel like I’m a cartoon. We’re literally ripped from the comic book so sometimes it feels a bit cartoonish. Not in a bad way, but on TV it’s living and moving and talking, so you have to tweak some things. So I see them as two different characters, but I have a lot of respect for the comic book Eugene. I like the TV version better though ‘cause I’m tied to him! MICHAEL: But we’ve also found some awesome moments in the comics that we’ve fought hard to keep. That’s great because the comic audience gets to enjoy that as well, and if you find something that’s really great and worth fighting for, your ammunition is “well, it’s in the comic… It’s pretty important in the bible here!”. It’s pretty hard to deny that! JOSH: There’s moments that they’ve wanted to change on set as we’ve been shooting because something isn’t working right, like we have to face this way or do it that way and not everyone necessarily knows that it’s
because that’s how it was in the comics. There was one scene we shot where I had my backpack on this shoulder rather than this shoulder, and they told me to change it. But if it’s a shot that’s in the comics, then it’s gotta be accurate to the original panel. The fans notice that stuff. There’s lines in the show all the time… I don’t know if Scott Gimple even writes anything to be honest; he just pulls stuff from the comics… But the lines in the midseason where Eugene says “no-one gets to clock out today” and “this is a story people are gonna tell”, those are lines straight from the comics. Just being able to read that and knowing that that’s where it’s from, that’s exciting ‘cause the fans know, and you’re able to have that connection with them. MICHAEL: If you look at the circulation of the comic and the number of viewers of the show, it’s vastly different. Fifteen million people don’t buy the comic when it comes out. But that is the first audience, that is the most loyal audience, and for them to have this special gift on top of the script, you get this feeling that it’s just for you. So I think that helps foster that relationship even though we are deviating from the comics. It’s cool. ROSS: But they do deviate. I mean, Andrea’s still alive in the comics, and she died back in season three. MICHAEL: And some people who have already passed in the comic are still alive in the show. Abraham and Tyreese never existed in the same world together, but they did on the show, so there’s a lot of crossover. At this point, for the most part, the comic is more of a geographical blueprint than anything. We’re going to the same places… ish… and the same sort of global events are happening. Or renamed and happening in a different way. JOSH: They definitely give characters other characters’ moments from the comics, just to help along the storyline in the show. The character of Bob was eaten by the cannibals, but that’s not how he died in the comics. That’s how Dale died in the comics, but it just worked out that that would be perfect for his character arc. And they do that all the time. Unless it’s a biiiiiig giant thing… I woulda been mad if Ross had turned up on the scene and been like “I’m a scientist, I’ve got the cure” or whatever, ‘cause that’s my thing!
THE WALKING DEAD, MONDAYS AT 9PM ON FOX
MARCH JANUARY 2016 2016 VULTUREHOUND VULTUREHOUND 27 43
Words: Michael Dickinson CUARON DEAD WALKING
40 VULTUREHOUND JANUARY 2016
Photo: Gene Page/AMC
ollowing the success of the Walker Stalker event, in which almost 20,000 The Walking Dead fans herded into the Olympia Grand in London, Vulture Hound was lucky enough to catch Andrew Lincoln and producer/director Greg Nicotero for an uncharacteristically civilized chat over coffee and cupcakes.
WHAT FIRST ATTRACTED YOU TO THE ROLE OF RICK? ANDREW: One of the greatest attractions to me was that we have this physical embodiment of law and order. This family man with a moral compass, and then as he inhabits this world, the environment changes him continually. So he develops this new moral code. It’s interesting to look back on Rick in season two when he was still very much anchored to the “now”, to the old world, whereas Shane had already had a couple of formative experiences that made him reevaluate and say “no, this is where we need to be.” Since season four or five, however, he’s positioned himself more extreme than Shane. And now there’s a recalibration in leadership again. For an actor to get the opportunity to keep modifying and exploring different parts of this guy is a huge privilege. I’ve never lived playing a character for six years before, and the reason why this one has been so satisfying is because of the writers and the team behind it. And the source material. Maybe that’s why there’s this enduring strength of longevity; it keeps rising like the phoenix from the flames in a new landscape, or with new characters coming, or
I GET TO WEAR COWBOY BOOTS S E I B M O Z Y A L S D N A O H W ! G N I V I L A R FO ! T I E V O L T ’ N D L U O W everybody changing as the group dynamic changes. I love it man! I get to wear cowboy boots and slay zombies for a living! Who wouldn’t love it! I see old buddies from drama school and they ask me how I got this! I remember Frank Darabont; I was under the tank in that first episode and he leaned under the tank and he said “You’re classically trained right?” I nodded and he just started to cackle. It’s a hoot, and the wonderful thing is that it’s not a procedural drama. Every day is different on this show. That’s why I think everybody is so enthusiastic and loves doing it so much, because we could be doing a courtroom drama instead. When we’re doing a seventeen hour day and there’s three thousand zombies. It’s carnage. But it’s fun!
and the ones I should watch. So I did a little bit of research, because I don’t think we have that same sort of horror culture here. We’re more Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker. Doing this job though is sort of an education in itself really. I mean, I read around things, but I think the genre… When people say this is a genre show I think it’s a western. If there’s anything we’re akin to, it’s that genre. Yeah, it’s scary, but the way we shoot it, it’s a western. It’s never really been a zombie show, it’s always been about survival. WHY DO YOU THINK WE HAVE SUCH A FASCINATION WITH THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE? THERE HAVE BEEN SO MANY FILMS MADE ABOUT THE UNDEAD, AND YET THEY JUST KEEP COMING BACK
DID YOU HAVE TO BECOME A ZOMBIE EXPERT TO PREPARE FOR THE ROLE? ANDREW: I told Frank Darabont to give me an education in the undead, so he gave me a hit-list of the movies that I definitely should avoid,
FOR MORE… GREG: It’s the same as nuclear war. There’s always this number one idea of something that’s unknown. Like how would you survive? We can sit around and say “You’d make it, you’d make it, you no…” So, at least
MARCH 2016 VULTUREHOUND 29
CUARON WALKING DEAD
in America, everybody thinks they’d make it. Everybody’s absolutely convinced it wouldn’t happen to them, it’d happen to somebody else. So you put yourself in a situation where actually you probably wouldn’t make it. I’ve had so many people ask me what I’d do in the zombie apocalypse? Where would I go? And I say, well, you’re supposed to traditionally go to the place where no-one else would ever go because that way there wouldn’t ever be any zombies. So, you gotta go to the dentist’s office! Nobody ever wants to go to the dentist’s office. You can live forever there! So there is a fascination I think with the whole idea of someone that you love – and as you get older and you create this bond with your children – the idea that that person becomes something
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else. The sort of Body Snatchers aspect of looking right at someone you love and they’re gone. How does your brain process the fact that it’s not someone you love. As a father, that would be the most terrifying thing in the world; to look at my children and have them not be who they are, even though in the exterior that’s what we’re seeing. I think about that a lot. When we did season two Frank sent me the outlines for the episodes up to the Sofia moment in the barn, and I read them in two hours. For the rest of the weekend I was getting my earthquake kit and all my shit together in case something horrible happened. I had to protect my family!
THE KIDS’ DEATHS IN THE SHOW HAVE DEFINITELY HAD SOME OF THE BIGGEST IMPACTS; YOU MENTION SOFIA, BUT THEN WE ALSO HAD SCENES LIKE CAROL’S “LOOK AT THE FLOWERS”. IN THE COMICS, THERE ARE SCENES, ESPECIALLY WITH KIDS, THAT ARE EVEN MORE HARROWING. HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHICH SCENES GO IN THE SHOW, AND WHICH ARE JUST TOO DARK FOR TV? GREG: You mean like Hershel’s daughters? I think it’s really a matter of picking and choosing. In the comic book, Lori is shot at the prison carrying the baby. I remember reading the comic book before the show was even picked
up and there were these moments… The panel of Lori being shot I remember vividly. The panel of Carl being shot in the eye. There are those moments that are such a haunting visual. I was sitting next to Steven (Yeun) at Comic Con a few years ago when issue 100 came out with Glenn and Negan, and I hadn’t read it yet. I was just angry! I was like “how could you do that to Steven??” ANDREW: Robert (Kirkman) told me actually at the premiere of the first season that in issue 100 he was going to take out Glenn, and that it was going to be horrendous. He told me that then. He had planned it something like two years before the issue came out. He had it as an end game even back then. Sick man… GREG: So I don’t think you can do all of them. And I think there are some things, like decapitation a couple of little girls, or killing Judith, those are things that would’ve pushed us into a different place that we may not have recovered from. We’re relatively dark, but it’s still dark in a fantasy way. Killing walkers, that’s different. ANDREW: We’re moving into an area that’s pretty ambiguous though. GREG: Yeah, Traditionally, most of the violence has been against walkers, but we did have Terminus. We pushed the envelope last year; the episode with the trough. That was something I pitched to Scott. I wanted these guys that were handsome and good-looking and had charisma, but they’re doing this horrible thing. So we came up with the idea of the trough, and seeing them bleeding people out. The juxtaposition of that with the everyday work… ANDREW: The real banality of the violence. I was really shocked that we got away with that. I remember shooting it and being physically bound up. I looked down the line of everyone kneeling over and I couldn’t see the rig. It looked unbelievably real. It was really awful that scene. I was sure we would never get away with it! GREG: And the guy’s behind Glenn with the baseball bat… ANDREW: Which is shadowing the comics… GREG: Which I did on purpose because I wanted people to think that maybe we were modifying the comic book. We did that all on purpose. The reactions are real though, because none of the actors were expecting what they were expecting. So when Veronica Cartwright gets sprayed with blood, that look is sheer terror. So when these guys were all tied up, I wanted them to see the blood coming and react!
THE SOCIAL SIDE OF THE SHOW IS HUGE; PHONING YOUR FRIEND AFTER SAYING “OH MY GOD, SO AND SO HAS DIED!” REALLY IS A BIG PART OF THE THE WALKING DEAD EXPERIENCE. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE HAD SUCH AN IMPACT? GREG: The fans are so dedicated to the show. ANDREW: They really watch it man, and they have their own theories. I suppose it’s been interesting, this show, because it feels like social media has grown up with the show, and it’s probably fueled it to a degree that creates a sort of tribal nature to the fans. They all have their favourite character and follow them, and even live and die with them. They have so many theories it’s crazy sometimes. GREG: The scene we shot with Rick kneeling next to Carl, and he’s holding his hand doing the “there’s a new world out there” speech, there was a little heart-shaped blood splatter on your sleeve. So somebody took a picture of it and said “did you put that on there because it aired on Valentines Day??” ANDREW: And what did you say? GREG: I said of “of course!” (laughs) If it’d been Halloween there’da been a little pumpkin-shaped bloodstain! ANDREW: Or a bat… GREG: I don’t feel fan pressure though. I just feel the pressure to make the show great. If we felt the fan pressure, nobody would ever die. Everybody would miraculously come back to life. Everybody would be fine. It’s a communal experience though. It’s like going to a bar and there’s hundreds of people who watch the show together. No-one wants to sit in their living room alone; they wanna watch it with their friends. We shot the stuff that’s going out now back in August and we can’t talk about it! To me, that’s the really hard part. Especially once a show comes on the air, like the whole thing with Glenn and everyone’s like “I can’t believe you guys did this!”, we can’t tell them to relax, that it’ll be fine, just wait a couple of weeks. It’s hard, because I know everything that’s happening in the rest of the season, and I’m excited to get there, but not being able to talk about it, and having that excitement… It drives me crazy! The Walking Dead, Mondays at 9pm on FOX
MARCH 2016 VULTUREHOUND 31
Words: Jaclyn O’Connell
s g n i h Not
T S I L Y A L P T GUES
O M R E L A P C DOMENI aving just announced a new album, Tired of Tomorrow, and released a new single, ‘Vertigo Flowers‘, Philly’s Nothing are having a pretty solid couple of weeks, and we’re definitely benefiting from all of it. 2014’s Guilty of Everything left us breathing in the cool air of songs like ‘Dig’, ‘Get Well’, and ‘Beat Around the Bush’ while simultaneously hitting the repeat button, a haunting reminder of this band’s talent. And, lucky for us, the shoegaze four-piece’s lead singer, Domenic Palermo, was kind enough to curate a playlist for VultureHound, as well as offer a few words on his selected tracks.
Around 3 am, I was at a bar in Brooklyn drinking with Brandon [Setta]. The bartender was playing The National’s ‘Alligator’, and Brandon ran into
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a girl he knew, so I stuck around to hear ‘All The Wine’ and left without saying goodbye. Walking down Broadway to catch the train, I switched to Robert Lester Folsom because ‘Written in Your Hair’ is a great song for a stroll. The weather was unexpectedly warm for a February night, and I was drunk, so this all felt pretty good. I hopped on the J and started listening to The Internet; Syd is one of my favorite vocalists at the moment. ‘Special Affair’ played on repeat as the train moved underground and I began to lose service. I had some Chris Owens and The Brian Jonestown Massacre saved offline, so that got me through until we resurfaced. Kim Jung Mi album was queued up, and I started to rock ‘It’s Raining’ as we pulled into Manhattan.
PLAYLIST All the Wine by The National Written In Your Hair by Robert Lester Folsom Special Affair by The Internet It’s Raining by Kim Jung Mi Here We Go by Christopher Formed in 2011, Nothing are
a shoegaze four-piece from Philadelphia, PA consisting of (L to R) Kyle Kimball, Domenic Palermo, Brandon
Jennifer by The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Setta and Nick Bassett.
Please Don’t Bother Me Anymore by Golden Grapes
I’ve been listening to a lot of 70s Korean Psych-Folk spawned by Shin Joong Hyun and Golden Grapes. As I head up the subway steps, most of the bars are closing, and whoever managed to last until 4 am on a Sunday night began to exit. A perfectly fitting moment for the track ‘Please Don’t Bother Me Anymore’. After taking a left on Clinton Street to avoid assholes, I start listening to some Half Japanese and this Redline Graffiti EP, which I really love. I cut through Tompkins Park to try and bum a cigarette, but no one was there. I think I was listening to The Pastels. I got back home and drank some tequila until I blacked out. I woke up and wrote this, but I don’t really remember much else. The end of the playlist is what was in my history, though, and it’s all sad. Enjoy!
Too Much Adrenalin by Half Japanese Mayfair by Redline Graffiti Sometimes I Think About You by The Pastels Call Across Rooms by Grouper El Solo by Sun City Girls Night Song by The Red Krayola I’m Sick by Pissed Jeans
MARCH 2016 VULTUREHOUND 33
BOTTOM INTRODUCING LINE
Words: Emily Mee
D N U O H E R U T . VUL . . G N I C U D O R INT
O B THE
E N I L M T TO
outh Coast band The Bottom Line are an exciting new addition to the UK pop-punk scene, bringing a unique blend of nostalgia and modern sounds. We caught up with them to find out exactly why they’re ones to watch...
As some people might be new to your band, how would you describe yourselves to anyone who hasn’t listened to you before? Fun. We’re quite a throwback band: energetic, jumpy, catchy, old-school pop-punk.
I can definitely hear a blink-182 type vibe...do you think that pop-punk is making a bit of a comeback now there’s bands like Neck Deep and The Story So Far, and obviously yourselves, on the scene? We’re trying to make it a comeback! *laughs* There’s a lot of nostalgia bands coming back this year, which is really helping the old-school pop-punk scene. Sum 41 are releasing a new album, blink-182 are releasing a new album, and Good Charlotte...there’s loads of household names bringing new albums out.
Is that the kind of thing that you listened to growing up? Yeah, all of us just listened to bands like Green Day, blink-182, Sum 41, all that kind of stuff. We live and breathe
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that sort of music.
You just released your new single ‘Insecure’ and you’ve got your next album on the way. What would you say the vibe’s been like in the studio while you’ve been recording? It’s been a lot of fun recording it. It’s nice to have the energy in the studio, and we just want to crack on and start recording the album. We’ve got a couple of things laid down so far. We practice every Sunday and one of us will bring an idea and then we’ll work on that for the whole day. I usually write the structures of the songs, which brings it all together, and then we work with each other to fine-tune it.
So, what can people expect from the new album? It’s definitely more fun than the other albums. I think that the new album is more about defining ‘us’ because we do get the blink-182 comparison a lot, particularly because we’re a three-piece band, and we want to be The Bottom Line, not blink-182. I think we’ll still take a big influence from it because it is the kind of stuff we love, but we want to be more defined in ourselves. We want to bring in a modern twist on more old-school sounds. We’re doing that more, so this album is going to be a lot bigger.
It does seem like you’ve come quite a long way
already - I heard that your first EP was recorded in your college… Oh blimey, yeah! We did it all selfrecorded, so it wasn’t great really. We had it remastered and it was just terrible! Ever since then we’ve recorded with the same guy, which has been much better.
Well, you’ve gone from that to having your single ‘Insecure’ played on Kerrang! radio! Yeah, it’s been doing really well actually! We’re so happy. Emma Scott has been doing our radio press and she’s done a really, really good job. She’s got us on so many radio stations. We’ve never really had any radio play before this, so it’s very cool to hear ourselves being played. It’s such a step for us because we’ve never really done it before. It’s all very new. We were driving to an interview the other day and our song was playing on the radio - it was so surreal!
You’ve also got a European tour coming up with Simple Plan and Ghost Town. This must be a pretty big deal for you, so are you feeling prepared for it? Yeah, it’s pretty scary! The first show of the tour is one of the biggest, it’s about 5,000 people, which is quite terrifying. We’re just playing our set constantly, trying to be as polished as we can. I think
this is the most we’ve prepared for a tour. Simple Plan are kind of a big deal! We’re opening the whole tour, so we just want to go and smash it.
Do you have anything that you do before shows to pump yourselves up? Drink! *laughs* We made a deal that on this tour we’re going to do a disgusting shot before we go on stage. As for pre-show rituals though... I don’t know, I listen to music sometimes. That’s about it really, because when you’re opening you don’t get much time. You literally sound-check, you chill out for about half an hour and then you’re on stage. It goes quite quick.
Playing to such a massive audience on your upcoming tour must be a little daunting... Although big crowds can be quite a daunting prospect, as soon as we’re about to go on stage, I personally never get nerves. It’s always just good fun. You go out there and whatever happens, happens! We’ve had nose-bleeds on stage, broken guitars...and when you have stuff like that, you just think - what else could happen?!
Have you got any songs that you’re really looking forward to playing on tour? We’ve got a song from our new album called ‘Pull Me Out’. It’s a really fast, old-school, punk-rock song, and we’re going to be filming a music video for it on the tour. It’s very high energy, so we think it will go down well with the crowd. There’s another new song which we haven’t even named yet, and that’s going to have a big sound. Record Player, from our debut album, is always a good one to play especially in front of a big crowd. We feel comfortable to mess around even more with that one. I’m just looking
forward to playing the whole set to be honest!
Looking forward to the future, is there anyone that you’d really love to play with or collaborate with? We’d love to collaborate with lots of people! We had a lot of fun when we played shows with Patent Pending, and they put on the most ridiculous live show. It’s always good to have a bit of competitive spirit, thinking ‘we’re gonna kill it’ and then they smash their set, and we’re like ‘damn it, we need to work harder!’. But it was always good fun with them. We collaborated with Joe Ragosta (vocalist for Patent Pending) for our cover of Taylor Swift’s ‘We Are Never Getting Back Together’. We’re hoping to get a few household names on the new album as well and see if we can convince some people to sing on it for us!
Any clues as to who that might be? We’re not too sure yet! I’d love to have some big names, such as Mark Hoppus. There’s so many good artists that we said we’d love to do shows with. We’ll see how it goes... In terms of collaborating on songs, I think it’s about finding the right song for them to sing on.
So, where do you see your band heading, say in 5 years’ time? We’re trying to keep touring, really. We’re a live band. We love to do live shows. Touring is what we live and breathe. We want to be at a point where we can just tour anywhere without breaking the bank, I think! s out now.
BOWLING FOR SOUP
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BOWLING FOR SOUP
Words: Shane Bayliss
BOWLING FOR SOUP here would be a lot of people in the UK, even the subject of this interview; who would never have expected these guys to be back in this position, back on the road in the back of a tour bus, and playing shows across the UK. Like the prodigal Phoenix, Bowling for Soup have risen again and we were lucky enough to sit down with bassist Erik on the 'How About Another Round Tour'.
YOU'RE BACK IN THE UK, IT'S BEEN A WHILE? Yes it has been!
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HAPPY TO BE BACK? Absolutely happy to be back, when we did our Farewell Tour it was a really strange time in the band because we didn't know if Bowling for Soup was going to be around for much longer at that point. So to work though that time period, there was never a rift between the band; several people had things outside the band that were potentially effecting our ability to do this, without getting too personal. So we got that all worked through, and we're all still here! About a year ago we were like “it's time to start thinking about going back to the UK” and hope nobody was too angry with us for saying we were never coming
back, and then deciding to come back. AT THE POINT THAT YOU ACTUALLY STOPPED, YOU WERE COMING OVER HERE EVERY YEAR AND THEN TOURING IN AMERICA. SO NOBODY CAN BLAME YOU WANTING TO TAKE A BREAK... Yeah, and it gets to a point sometimes, like for instance there was a point in time where we were coming over here three times a year and we would be here for a month at a time. Touring out of the country, with everyone having families, and the settled home life, being away for a month on tour sucks anyway, being away on tour for a month a thousand
Photos: Kimberley Bayliss
miles away really, really fucking sucks. So we've condensed it down a little bit, but I think we did a really nice job, in the past we'd be here for twenty-five or twenty-six nights, and played a show every night. Now we've knocked it down to fifteen, but we've spaced them properly so that everyone who wants to come to a show, has a show that isn't too terribly far to travel to. Our manger a few days ago was like “do you think we could get it down to seven” and I was like “dude, that's starting to get a little crazy talk there”.
THAT WAS THE FIRST TIME THAT WE EVER PUBLICLY WENT IN FRONT OF PEOPLE AND SAID
“DO NOT BUY OUR ALBUM ” when I was 16 and at that point it was no big deal, that's what you did; you drove to Dallas three times a month to go see bands play. IT'S JUST SOMETHING IN THIS COUNTRY?
ROUTINELY TO SEE A BAND. BUT IT IS SOMETHING YOU COULD GET AWAY WITH IN THIS COUNTRY THOUGH. I THINK BRITISH MUSIC FANS ARE A LITTLE BIT LAZY IN THAT A TWO HOUR JOURNEY IS TOO FAR FOR THEM, WHERE AS I'VE SPOKEN TO AMERICAN BANDS WHERE YOU'VE GOT TO TRAVEL THREE OR FOUR HOURS
I was sixteen years old driving three hours any time at all that I wanted to see a band. I wasn't born in Dallas, I got there as quickly as I could, but when I was a kid that was the place you would go to see shows. I took myself to my first show, one week after I got my drivers licence
Yeah, and it's funny people will complain over here “ergh, you are playing in such and such and not such and such” it's thirty minutes away and it's a four buck train rideand we are off stage by eleven to make sure anyone who's got a train in can get the last train out to get home. We planned this strategically with fans in mind, but it's like “you are so rude playing thirty minutes away and not playing here the next night” it doesn't make sense to me. I think people are also very, you guys are very local centric, you don't accidentally say the wrong name of the town that you're in, because people get really, really upset about that stuff! When we were over here the first time, I think we were in >
MARCH 2016 VULTUREHOUND 37
BOWLING FOR SOUP Glasgow and Jaret on stage said something to the effect of “it's great to be in England” and it was like “oh shit, no, no, no.” IN TERMS OF WHEN YOU GUYS WENT ON HIATUS, THE LAST ALBUM WAS THE RE-RECORDINGS OF WHAT IS ESSENTIALLY YOUR GREATEST HITS AS YOU WANTED IT. HOW IMPORTANT WAS IT TO GET THAT ALBUM OUT, AS I READ THERE WAS A GREATEST HITS THAT WAS RELEASED BY THE LABEL THAT YOU WEREN'T HAPPY WITH, OR HAS THAT BEEN TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT? What happened with that, when we left the label they put out a record which they called our Greatest Hits, with no input from us at all and
ourselves and do it the right way” so it was a very cool project rerecording all these things, because the ones we picked are band favourites and we had input from fans as well, songs that they wanted to see. Which was great because it lined-up that the ones people wanted us to do, we wanted to do as well. It was cool to redo them because the technology twenty-two years in is much better. I WAS LISTENING TO IT EARLIER, AND IT REALLY SOUNDS GREAT. We were able to take these songs and give them the treatment we always wanted to, but for one reason or another weren't able to at that point, due to a lack of technology or our lack of experience in the studio
GETTING PLAYED ALMOST DAILY ON THE LIKES OF SCUZZ AND KERRANG TV. WHAT IS IT ABOUT THOSE SONGS THAT HAS SEEN THEM STAND THE TEST OF TIME? I have no fucking idea, not that I think they are bad, but it blows my mind that we had in the past and still continue to get the response we do from people, and people playing our videos and songs on the radio and stuff, shit that we did years ago seems to still be as viable as when it came out. I don't know what to think!
that was the first time that we ever publicly went in front of people and said “do not buy our album, do not buy this because it's a bad compilation made by people who saw only dollar signs. Give us a little bit of time, and we'll do one
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whatever it may be we were able to give them life and say “this is what they were meant to sound like.” SOME OF THE SONGS ARE TEN OR FIFTEEN YEARS OLD, YET OVER HERE AT LEAST THEY ARE STILL
THERE WAS NEVER A SENSE OF IMPENDING HITS WHEN YOU WERE RECORDING THEM? You know, not necessarily that we did something and were like “this is going to go straight to the top of the charts” type thing, but when you're
intimidating?” no because you're playing at Download infront of seventy or eighty thousand people but you can still only see the first two rows, that's where your attention is going anyway and two days later you see a picture someone took from behind you and you are able to actually look at everything that is going on and see the number of people that are there and it's like “oh shit, I didn't realise that was what we were doing at the time.” YOU CAN LOSE YOURSELF AS WELL, BECAUSE I KNOW WE SAW REEL BIG FISH AT SONISPHERE PLAYING TO SEVENTY THOUSAND PEOPLE AND THE SOUND WENT OUT, BUT BECAUSE OF ALL THE MONITORS YOU CAN STILL HEAR EVERYTHING. Oh yeah, you don't have any clue.
OUR CREW IS SUCH A MACHINE AND TO WATCH THEM WORK, IT’S AN ART FORM IN ITSELF in the studio and you are working on a particular song sometimes there is a sense of “this is special” not necessarily that it is going to be a hit and go straight to radio or whatever, but this feels really, really good and we've just done something extremely cool here and I can't wait for people to be able to hear it. It's less of an idea that we are going to profit from something, and more of a we just created a piece of art and I can't wait to share this with someone. THOSE SONGS, ARE SONGS THAT WHEN THEY CAME OUT IN THE
UK (AT LEAST) EVERYBODY KNEW THEM. THAT MUST BE NICE THAT THEY TRANSCENDED GENRES SO TO SPEAK? Our entire career- it's kind of humbling to talk about it. Being right in the middle of it, you don't see it all as it's happening, and then you reflect on it and it's like “oh, well shit, that was pretty cool and that was what was going on at the time and we didn't realise because we were too busy working to see the real picture”. Best analogy I can give; people ask about playing festivals and stuff “is that
BUT CAN YOU REALLY GAUGE THE SENSE OF THINGS AND HOW YOU ARE BEING RECEIVED? With us in a situation like that we use in-ear monitors so we really for the most part can't hear anything other than what we've specifically chosen to hear individually, we do have microphones that are up in the room to get a little bit of ambient noise but I don't use any of that so if somebody isn't speaking into a microphone I have no idea what they are saying. People get pissed all the time because they are yelling at us while we are on stage inbetween songs, I have no way to hear what you are saying to me right now, it is impossible please stop wasting your time and energy on this because I've got nothing and I'm sorry! YOU MENTIONED HOW HUMBLING IT WAS, YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN AWAY FOR EFFECTIVELY THREE >
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BOWLING FOR SOUP ONE LAST QUESTION, BEFORE WE ARE EJECTED FROM THE TOUR BUS. NEW MUSIC, I KNOW YOU ARE TRYING TO PUT SOMETHING OUT VIA PLEDGEMUSIC. NOW IS YOUR TIME TO VOICE IT BECAUSE THERE ISN'T A LOT OF TIME LEFT IS THERE?
YEARS NOW. YOU'VE ANNOUNCED A TOUR AND COME BACK OVER AND YOU ARE SELLING OUT PRETTY MUCH EVERY SHOW, THE INDUSTRY AT THE MOMENT SEEMS SO CUT-THROAT, AND BANDS NEED TO STAY CURRENT. YET YOU CAN GO ON HIATUS AND STILL SELL A TOUR OUT THREE YEARS LATER... We're all very very grateful that this is still happening in the capacity that it is, especially since we've been gone for a while and haven't been forgotten about. When we announced the tour it was kind of a “cross your fingers boys were putting the word out tomorrow, lets see how this goes” and it was just awesome, the cry of joy that we heard from people that we were coming back. We are very very happy to be here, and extremely acutely aware that it's only because we have amazing amazing fans in this country that still after all these years are still coming back for more abuse. So we appreciate them very much!
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YOU DON'T PARTICULARLY ENJOY TOURING, BUT THE TRAVELLING AND LIFE ON THE ROAD IS WORTH IT FOR THE SHOWS... RIGHT?! The shows are absolutely worth it, that's the thing, that's why we do what we do. During the day to look at us in our dressing room, you would think that everybody in there is ready to shoot someone, and then for an hour and a half every night, everybody; band and crew, switch flips and everybody is fucking right in their element and doing an amazingly great job. Our crew is such a machine and to watch them work, it's an art form in itself. Show time happens, everyone is in their element and loving life, shows only an hour and a half but the adrenaline buzz lasts three or four hours and it takes that long to kind of wind down. A lot of people are like “why do you guys stay up all night?” because you can't fucking go to sleep, it takes a while to wind down after all that.
Oh no, it's extended again! I pushed back the release because we aren't ready, it's not done so we pushed it back. Since we've been over here doing this tour, I've been seriously working the crowd every night, I'm going out every night as soon as we've finished, I'm the first one out of the dressing room trying to catch as many people before they leave, handing out flyers. I feel like I'm seventeen again going to the mall “come see my band, come see my band”. For some reason when people haven't heard about the pledge that I'm doing, and we've just figured out how to get round the Facebook algorithm that wont let it be seen. When you do an external link from Facebook, it wont show it to every person who's liked your page because Facebook doesn't want you to leave Facebook, so they want you to pay five bucks, ten bucks to boost that; but we just figured out, MC Lars-man, that smart mother-fucker he’s like “take a screen shot of your page, so that it's got the address on it but it isn't in a link so they have to physically type it in to go there, but then it will go to everybody”. FINALLY HE'S PUT THAT COLLEGE EDUCATION TO GOOD USE! You can find out more about Erik's Pledgemusic campaign here: http:// www.pledgemusic.com/projects/
Words: Jaclyn O’Connell
n elementary school art classes in the States, we learn the colours of the rainbow by memorising a swift, little acronym: ROY G BIV. But it’s only if you end up going to art school and taking a colour theory class that you begin to explore the correlation between music and colour.
In 1704, Sir Isaac Newton believed there was “a real analogy between elementary colours and the notes of the musical scale.” Of course, this was after he cleverly developed the colour wheel and corresponding acronym, ROY G BIV. This scale of colour and music grew significantly over time, as did the ideal of the relationship between the two. Believing in this same school of thought, I feel strongly that Stroud-hailing Milk
Teeth have touched upon every edge of the colour-to-music scale with this visceral follow-up to their Sad Sack EP, thus delivering the widest spectrum of sound that I’ve had the pleasure of hearing in quite some time. From the fiery red-orange tracks like ‘Brickwork’ and ‘Get A Clue’ to the chilled bluishpurple tones of ‘Burger Drop’ and ‘Swear Jar (again)’, the album pulls you into a swirling haze of anxious-yetunconcerned teenage states of emotion. Bassist/vocalist Becky Blomfield’s relaxed and cool lyrics drip with disdain, and seethe anti-romantic sentiments in ‘Burger Drop’, carefully encapsulated between soft intro/outro guitar feedback. Passing right into the newest single, ‘Brain Food’ breathes in the grey, musty air of discontent typically associated with feeling directionless and unproductive.‘Crows Feet’ offers a yellow-green, vibrant flavor and a humworthy chorus that hangs with you even after the three-minute track concludes,
fittingly guiding you into the drowsier, unapologetic ‘Leona’. Cunning bass lines and slurred guitar riffs matched with precise drumming, courtesy of Chris Webb, Oli Holbrook and recently departed band member Josh Bannister, paint a landscape that is bright, talented and increasingly necessary to an otherwise dull music scene. Honest and unpretentious, these 20-somethings have a lot to say—and I dare you not to listen. Appropriately named, Vile Child speaks heavily to the restless, artistic adolescent I still harbor to this day, conveying a great sense of relatability and comfort. This reason and many others are why Vile Child has already reached my list of notable albums of the year—and, yes, I’m aware it’s only March, so that should tell you something.
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ell isn’t this the main contender for biggest disappointment of the year? The answer is yes it is.
Let’s be frank, Zoolander 2 is not a very good film, in fact it’s worse than not good. It’s bad. It’s lazy. It’s not funny. But hey that’s one guy’s opinion. Sadly though I’ve been a long-time Zoolander fan since the film first arrived on DVD back in 2001. It felt playful, a loving satire with a bit of spike that revelled in whimsical one liners and a ridiculous Manchurian Candidate style plot. At the time I had no idea who Will Ferrell was, his maniacal fashion designer Mugatu was a stroke of brilliance. Ben Stiller had created a lovably goof who had some heart to him.
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All of this seems to be missing with Zoolander 2. The opening scene showing the death of Justin Bieber feels as though Stiller and the writers wrote that scene out of sheer macabre pleasure and then thought “okay now how can we tie a film around this”. You know because we all hate Justin Bieber and the site of him being gun-downed is hiiiiiiiilllllaaarrrious. It would be funnier if he wasn’t in on the joke. And that’s the main problem with this belated sequel. Everyone seems in on the joke this time. The support cast is littered with cameos from Kiefer Sutherland to Ariana Grande, Susan Sarandon to Katy Perry to Neil deGrasse Tyson. Sting arrives to fill in the rock star quota filled by Blessed Bowie in the first film. Yes the first film had a whole bunch of cameos but their appearances aided the sense of a ridiculously decadent world they lived in and wanted to pay a knowing wink. This time it just seems like Stiller’s friends called him and said they really wanted to mug and do their own Blue Steel on camera. When the likes of Tommy Hilfiger,
Words: Michael Dickinson
by getting a cheap laugh from him saying “Really? You want to know why I killed Justin Bieber”, that’s right it’s actually supposed to be a mystery for a bit. It’s one of those classics. The sequel needs to have bigger and stupider plot lines that are so silly it’s just lame. Laughs are attempted to be mined from showing a cabal of fashion designers chanting in cloaks (which does give a nice nod to Ernest Borgnine in The Devil’s Rain) but by then you won’t care. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why but the sparkle has gone from Zoolander this time round. Stiller plays him pretty much the same but seems to take the characters years of self imposed exile to heart. There’s a lifeless quality to the performance. Owen Wilson is back as Hansel of course. Owen Wilson still does a lot of whispering which personally I find massively irritating, so I always liked the first in spite of him. This time though my annoyance was allowed to flow. Penelope Cruz is just your standard, clichéd beautiful woman who is there for scenery. Whatever nonsense there is in the press about her being a great foil for the pair is instantly swept away as she’s shown to be bad as an Interpol agent and only able to bring anything to the table when she strips down to her underwear. Will Ferrell, once more, proves to be the film’s saving grace. Mugatu is still one of his funniest big screen creations and after the recent spate of average movies it’s good to see him sink his teeth into a good character again. Kristin Wiig is the only notable new character worth a smirk. Her grotesquely over the top fashion designer is a perverted delight despite it’s broadness. So yeah two good things there. Elsewhere old jokes from the first film a rehashed. Several new jokes are continuously rehashed in the film itself like Hansel and his wife called “Orgy” which is in fact a “funnily” disparate group of stereotypes and Kiefer Sutherland.
Marc Jacobs and Valentino turn up playing themselves it is horrendously clear that their not in the same room with anyone else, squeezing 30 mins filming time into their schedule. The pause between their lines is so pronounced you can practically hear Stiller feeding them lines off camera. Some people in the audience I saw it with thought it was hilarious every time Ferrell spoke to them using their full name “shut up Marc Jacobs”, “silence Tommy Hilfiger”. These folk seem easily pleased. I wish I could be one of them. Then there’s the plot. Again, the first films was hugely silly with Zoolander being brainwashed in order to kill the Malaysian Prime Minister because of his stance on slave labour forcing up the prices of manufacture. This time the plot involves some DaVinci Code-esque nonsense about “a chosen one” that Will Ferrell’s Mugatu seems intent on destroying. Technically that’s a spoiler but the TV ads are quite happy to give that away
Stiller and co attempt to show how old hat Zoolander and Hansel are in today’s fashion world, resplendent in long beards, baggy pastel shirts and Instagram but if anything it dates the film itself. Old jokes about the size of mobiles and people using dialogue that the middle aged men who wrote this thinks sounds modern (i.e.. stupid sounding). Since the first film came out and this wonderful internet thing popped up, people are much more in step with the constant changes in the fashion world, the jokes on show here already feel dated as hell. There’s even a Susan Boyle cameo, because you know she’s forever in the public conscious!!. Forgive the slightly ranty nature of this review but like Garry Shandling sat at the runway in the first Zoolander, both my thumbs were up and wanting to wish the film well. Instead a fifteen year wait has produced a tired and uninspired mess of a movie. It’s not often that I want to leave a screening but if I didn’t know the end was in sight I could have skipped the final ten minutes.
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Words: Michael Dickinson
e thought it might never happen. But after years of speculation, endless interview quotes stating “maybe one day” and a Godawful attempt to bring him to the screen (see X-Men Origins: Wolverine) Deadpool proper is here.
Starring and producing, this has very much been a labour of love for Ryan Reynolds. You can see why too “the Merc with the mouth” seems like the perfect fit for Reynolds motormouthed skills which he has spent a career perfecting seemingly in waiting for this moment. He certainly doesn’t skimp on that mouth. You only need to look at the wide stretching marketing campaign to see that he’s having a ball playing the character and that fun definitely comes through in the film. To those unfamiliar with the character; Deadpool is one of Marvel Comic’s more R-Rated characters. A killer for money he’s also blessed with an acidic wit and penchant for breaking the fourth wall. The story here, written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, shows his origins (of course it does). Wade Wilson is a mercenary who falls deeply in love with a prostitute called Vanessa (Morena Baccarin). Bonding through gallows humour developed through a lifetime of misery they finally seem to have found ambrosia until Wade is struck with terminal cancer. Accepting a creepy offer to be cured whilst at the same time becoming a superhero (weirdly in the film this offer is dealt with quite seriously whereas typing it out sounds ludicrous, but I guess it is a storyworld where the X-Men exist). In comes Ajax, or as we find out later Francis (Ed Skrien) a British Baddie of a doctor who manages to cure Wade’s illness by unlocking his mutant potential, unfortunately through a horrendous regime of torment and physical torture which leaves Wade horrifically scarred. Oh and his mutant powers are the same as Wolverines, rejuvenation and all that. Now Wade’s better but figures his bride-to-be is a fickle cad and won’t want anything to do with his mush. His only recourse is clear; kill Francis and all that stand in his way. So, yeah, Deadpool boils down to a revenge plot based around a man’s looks being ruined. But these are the looks of Ryan
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Reynolds, a man once voted “Sexiest Man Alive” a fact we’re reminded of in the opening credits as a copy of People magazine appears in slow-mo. Accompanying that image are some of the most truthful credits in living memory. Instead of the production teams names we’re told the film stars “A Gratuitous Cameo”, “Standard British Villain”. All part of the films meta humour and “meta” is very much the word of the day here. Much like the comic itself Deadpool relishes in constantly addressing the audience. The Marvel universe comes under fire as well with quips about McAvoy/Stewart Professor Xs and exactly why Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead are the only two X-Men around. For the most part these asides are very funny and welcome change of pace to over earnest superhero movies. It must be said though that after an hour and half the joke does start to wear a little bit. Some critics have taken exception to the films joyful tone when dealing with Saw-like levels of gore, casual views on sex and one joke that could be viewed as massively homophobic. It’s true that Deadpool is very much a movie of surface pleasures. The action scenes are choreographed stunningly, the jokes are fast and funny as is the editing. It is entertainment in the truest sense of the word and one that clearly doesn’t want you to take it too seriously. Perhaps some writers who have delved into the chest-beating, ultra masculine approach to the film have taken umbrage with an issue they seem to have constructed. Deadpool is a mercenary after all and by default will be an unpleasant character. And yes there is gratuitous nudity but there’s no real swing in balance between either sex. If the film has one major fault it would be Ed Skrien’s villainous Francis. He’s just a bit beige. Looking and sounding like a Gross brother, he feels more like a henchman whose recently been promoted. He doesn’t exactly strike fear into proceedings. Plus the fact that Deadpool is immortal slightly removes jeopardy. A hugely enjoyable action film with some genuinely funny one-liners and sporting one of Ryan Reynolds very best performances, the news today that a sequel is in the works is very welcome news indeed.
arising across the UK (well at least in the Midlands, I don’t know about the rest of the UK). As a Live Music Co-Editor, I attend a substantial amount of gigs and shows every month and I am noticing a very worrying trend, due to understandable increased security measures people are finding themselves queuing outside venues rather than being inside watching support acts, whose development and existence relies on fans being able to gain access to the venue whilst they play.
ear Music Venues,
I write you this letter (in the form of my regular column) to ask many of you to assess the current situation which is
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Two occasions that spring to mind in the last month are Neck Deep and All Time Low’s Birmingham shows, one at the O2 Institute and one at the Barclay Card Arena. At both of those shows fans were left queuing for over an hour after the doors opened to get into the venue. This meant that in the case of Neck Deep, the night’s support Light Yearswho were scheduled to play fifteen minutes after doors opening- were left playing to about sixty people, a number which did grow during the set, but that’s not the point. Finding and gaining new fans is the lifeblood of support bands and
emerging talent, and if those bands have nobody to play to how on earth are they supposed to do that? Now I’m not suggesting that venues change their security measures, but at least use common sense when it comes to planning timings. If you’ve sold out a fifteen hundred capacity venue, allow yourself enough time to allow all those wanting to see the opening acts to actually get into the venue. If that means opening your doors an hour early, then so be it, there are certain venues that do that and at the end of the day it means people are in the venue for an hour longer so there is the potential to sell more booze and such. If this trend continues it is going to make it much harder for bands to get their names out there, and as such we are going to end up with a much weaker music industry which isn’t good for anyone, because for every Justin Bieber we need a Creeper or a Milk Teeth or a ZOAX opening shows and keeping the music industry bubbling away and giving fans something to look forward to in the future. It’s just a thought. Sincerely, Shane Bayliss