VULTUREHOUND JANUARY 2017 ISSUE 15
2 0 1 7 'S M U S T H E A R M U S IC The Toxic Avenger
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RACHEL KELLER ASSASIN'S CREED DIRECTOR
N A G R O M S ' D A E T H E WA L K I N G D
S E M A J E I N N LE WHY HIP HOP HAS US EXCITED FOR 2017
WHAT WE WANT FROM WALKING DEAD SEASON 7B
WELCOME FROM EDITOR
Photo: Netflix’s A Series of unfortunate Events
ere we go again! Another year and another great cover star interview. Lennie James; Morgan from the Walking Dead discusses the upcoming season and more. The music team have put together a list of the MUST HEAR artists for you to look out for. As well as taking a little look at what we’re excited for in hip hop. We’ve also double director chat as we spoke with ‘Assasin’s Creed’ director Justin Kurzel and Legendary Toxic Avengers directer Lloyd Kaufman who spoke about his latest project ‘Essex Spacebin’. We’ve more reviews, interviews and columns from your favourite section editors and Michael Dickinson.
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To discuss advertising please contact advertising@ vulturehound.com Cover photo: Gene Page/AMC
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THE WALKING DEAD
PHOTOS: GENE PAGE/AMC
COVER STAR: THE WALKING DEAD’S ‘MORGAN’ LENNIE JAMES he Walking Dead is lurking towards the second half of season seven and Lennie James joins us to answer our burning questions, including clashing with Rick, missing the opportunity to work with Michael Cudlitz and the inevitable war on the Saviours.
And I think that’s part of the enduring quality of our show: (A) people die and (B) new people come in, with a new energy. Khary had a difficult job coming in; I don’t think he’d mind me saying this. All of the focus was on the arrival of Negan, the big baddie guy, and Khary had to come in and introduce this risky, complex character with a tiger! And he’s a king! And he kind of speaks in Ye Olde English and is slightly heightened and he’s a good guy! It’s a difficult thing to pull off, but he just landed it. Negan is no less theatrical than King Ezekiel. He does all this strutting around with his baseball bat wrapped in the barbed wire going, “Lucille wants some blood!” He’s a strange man, right? But he’s a baddie, so he can get away with it. Jeffrey’s very much playing him like he’s not a baddie... but Khary’s had to come in and introduce this character who’s a good guy and a good king and he has to make you understand why he’s there and why his people need him to behave like that. He’s there, he’s family, and yet he’s been there a minute and a half. That’s a testament to his acting. They’ve brought in a lot of fun.
What can you tell us about the rest of the season? Will there be a battle? I think it’s pretty clear that the lines have been drawn right from the start of this season! There are lines drawn between the people of Alexandria and the Kingdom and the Saviours and Negan. There are some other worlds that you’ll be introduced to – I think there is at least one that has yet to appear that will appear in the final episodes of the season. It’s the march towards war, I suppose! And that’s all I can say! All of the questions will be variations on that. [Laughs]
Speaking of the Kingdom, how has it been working with Ezekiel and his menagerie? It’s brilliant, actually. I have to say, Khary has come in and done an amazing job. We’re into season eight when we go back, and it’s going to be his first full season.
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How do you handle people asking you about something that you just can’t talk about? It depends, really. They say that the
best way to tell a lie is to tell it as close to the truth as possible. So I suppose the big one was at the end of last season, coming into this season: who dies? Because they actually filmed, on that last episode, a lot of people dying – they didn’t just shoot Cudlitz and Steven, they shot everybody who was there. They got a version of their death shot. That meant I could literally say, “Everybody dies!” as my answer to the question and I wasn’t lying – and that felt good, particularly when my kids were involved!
You’ve been in this since the very beginning and it’s gone on to become a phenomenon. How does it feel to be in one of the biggest TV shows in the world? Well, in all honesty I pay absolutely no attention to it because it means nothing to me. It can’t mean anything to me because I was working before this gig and I will be working after this gig. But I’m having a whale of a time while I’m doing it. And all I can focus on is the part in this show that I play, just like in any other gig. It was easier when I just came in to do the odd episode. The tricky thing, since I came back through seasons five and six, has been how much you become aware of the show as a phenomenon. When you’re there for
N A G R O
LENNIE JAMES WORDS: SCOTT OAKES
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THE WALKING DEAD the seven months of the year, it’s unavoidable! This behemoth that’s out in the world. And navigating that, keeping that at a distance, at least while shooting the product... Because once it goes out into the world it doesn’t belong to us, it belongs to the fans and how they take it and how they take ownership of it. But those moments when we are contributing to whatever it turns out to be, we have to protect that, and fight as hard as possible to keep the sense of what the show is in the world away from me as I’m trying to play this fella who is trying to decide whether to kill people or not.
How scared are you, given that your character dies in the comics... Did he? Wow, guys, you could have put a spoiler alert on that one!
How scared are you about dying on the show? Would they tell you beforehand? How cruel are they? I know they’ll tell me beforehand. You’ll do this thing at the beginning of the season where Scott Gimple will give you a phone call and ask, “Would you like to have breakfast?” We go out and meet Scott somewhere in Studio City for breakfast and he outlines the whole journey for your character for the season... and you listen to none of it, because all the way through, all you’re thinking is: “Am I dead? Am I dead? Am I dead?” And then you get to the end and think, “He hasn’t said I’m dead, so I must be alive!” And you go, “Scott, could you say all of that again because I wasn’t listening.” And everybody
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goes through it. You find out at that breakfast whether or not you live or die. It doesn’t come as a surprise to you, but it does come as a surprise to the rest of the cast, because you’re told not to tell them. And then before the episode where you pop off, they all get telephone calls from Scott saying, “We’re losing such and such.” But that’s the gig. There are a few people who can buy a house in Atlanta and feel they’re a bit untouchable, but they’re few and far between.
Do you prefer intense emotional scenes or the kickass action stuff? It depends. One of the things that I love about Morgan is that he gets to do them both. And again, Scott Gimple has taken real ownership of Morgan as a character. So all of his peak moments, such as the “Here’s Not Here” episode with the sexy goat, the one where Morgan first comes back and he’s slightly lost his mind, both were written by Scott, and that’s lovely. He’s a fantastic writer and it’s an actor’s gift. And then they gave me a stick and someone to teach me how to swing it, and I’m like, “That’s great!” On one level, when my job is at its best, it feels as though you’re in the back garden with your mates and your brothers and you’re just making it up as you go along. And when I get to swing the stick and there’s stuntpeople and I’m allowed to hit them... I just get giddy! I would do that all day! And then when they put me on a horse and say, “You will be riding a horse as well,” I’m like, “Fuck this, this is about as good as it gets, and they’re paying me!” I get to do them both, and for different reasons I enjoy them.
So how many fighting sticks have you broken? I’ve broken two so far, that’s not many! But they’ve really made them harder now, because before they were made from mahogany, and that’s not good for a fighting stick; it snaps. But because it had been established as a fighting stick made of mahogany, now they’re made of ash or almond or something like that, but they have to paint it mahogany. So that’s kind of annoying.
Have you broken them on anybody? No, although I did start to get a bit of a reputation for not being able to pull my punches with the stick. In my defence, they were all on the stuntmen, and the stuntmen were asking me to hit them! “No, you can actually hit me, just touch me a bit, it’ll help.” So I did!
Have you borrowed Lucille at all? Naw, I want nothing to do with Lucille! Speaking of when you open a script to find out if you are dead, any time I open a script and it’s a scene with Negan, I’m like, “I’ll never survive in this scene. There’s no way! Why am I in a scene with him unless he’s killing me?” As much as I love Jeffrey, I don’t want to be in any scenes with him because someone always dies!
Has Morgan come to the conclusion that he needs to fight?
"Carol is either going to be Morgan's salvation or Morgan's damnation". There’s still eight episodes to go, there’s still bound to be some twists and turns before there’s a conclusion to that. I think Morgan’s journey, and again it’s the smart thing about the show that it’s been going for so long that it can still feel fresh... the conversation that Morgan is introducing is that anybody who we meet now in the show has figured out how to survive. I can’t even tell you the time in the show – I think it’s two or three years or something like that, since the virus was released – in that time, the people that we’re now meeting know how to survive. Whether they put on a meat suit, whether they move a little faster than the slow-walking walkers, whether they know how to stab them in the head – they’ve figured it out. And the next question is, how do you live? And that’s the question that Morgan is introducing. Are we going to meet everybody as if they’re enemies and kill them first and ask questions after, or are we gonna go open-hand? It’s a kind of conversation that our show needs to have. I think it’s brave that
they’re having it. I spend a lot of time in New Zealand, it’s the place I run away to, to get away, and it’s a very Maori state of mind... When they meet you there or do greetings, they either touch noses and breathe you in and say “If you meet me with peace I will meet you with peace.” The other one is the Haka, which is “If you don’t meet us in peace, we will kick the shit out of you!” That’s pretty much where Morgan is. I’m enjoying the fan reaction as well. I’ve had more than a few fans come up to me and say, “I really hate you now!” I’m like, “It’s alright, it’s a relationship; you’re allowed to hate me for a minute!”
We’ve seen Rick and Morgan clash a lot over the seasons. Will that affect his decision to remain at the Kingdom? Yes, is the long and the short answer, but I’m not going to tell you how. [Laughs] One of the things just me, Lennie, is enjoying on the show, is that we’ve got a
big cast. We’ve got 18, maybe 20 regular characters. And I’ve probably done scenes with three of them! So I’ve got so many people to play with and explore. And at the moment there’s exploration going on with my character and Khary [Payton] who’s playing King Ezekiel, and Melissa, who plays Carol, and I’m really enjoying those. In a weird way, Morgan and Rick haven’t really come together yet in the season, or in any significant way. For example, I had my first proper scenes with Norman this season, and give or take, we’ve been in and around each other for four or five years. Outside of saving him in season five in the car, we haven’t done a scene together! Not talking to each other. We’ve got a couple coming up and it was lovely because it was the first time I’ve got to work with this guy that I’ve known forever and hung out with and we’d never done a scene! [Laughs] The thing that really annoys me is when they kill people before I get to work with them. Me and Cudlitz were like, “They just don’t want us to work together!”
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THE WALKING DEAD
You talked about Morgan and Carol... their relationship is interesting; there’s mutual respect. You can tell that Morgan cares about her. How will that relationship develop over the rest of the season? Again I can’t really say, but I think it’s fair to say that Carol is either going to be Morgan’s salvation or Morgan’s damnation. Whatever decision he makes, Carol’s going to be a part of it. Whether that’s for good or not for good remains to be seen, but because this is The Walking Dead it’s going to be a little bit of both, I should imagine. But yeah, I think what passes between them hasn’t really started and certainly hasn’t finished yet. Could I be more cryptic?
You said you only worked with a few actors in this big cast – do you speak with the writers about forging relationships with other characters?
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I’m always shouting: “When am I going to work with such and such and when can I do that?” I’ve barely had any scenes with Danai as Michonne, I’ve barely had any scenes with Sonequa as Sasha... there’s so many people! I didn’t have any scenes with Steven and then they killed him! I’m pissed every day I go on set about that! So there’s loads of people. I don’t really give the writers a hard time as they’ve got enough to get on with, and they’re fragile people. [Laughs] Working with Norman this season and actually getting to do scenes with two of them in a room has been a revelation about their characters. And also partly because of where they are this season, the stuff that Norman’s character has gone through this season. I don’t think either him or Rick have been challenged the way they’ve been this season. And the work Andy and Norman have done has been staggering.
How was it filming Blade Runner? Did it impact on The Walking Dead?
I’ve finished on it. It did a bit. Blade Runner was just a stroke of beautiful luck, really. They decided they wanted me for it, and when it first came in I said, “That’s lovely, but it’s typical that it’s a job I really want to do and I can’t do it because I’m doing something else.” And they made it work in the schedules. We have a hiatus of two weeks in the middle of our shoot and they needed three weeks with me. Both producers spoke to each other and they gave me a bit of time at the beginning and a bit of time at the end so I didn’t miss anything. We filmed in Budapest. I left the set in Atlanta, got on the plane, flew to Budapest, went into costume and make-up, came out the other side and shot until I got on a plane to fly back to Atlanta, to get off the plane, to go to sleep, to wake up, to go to set to shoot! It was a gift. I don’t think I’m giving too much away when I say that up to a certain point with Ryan Gosling’s character, it’s a road movie, and he meets people along the way that lead him to the quest he’s on, and myself, Robin Wright and a few other people are people along that road. For the first part of the film, it’s very selfcontained. Someone was flying out as I was flying in and they had done their two-and-a-half weeks as I was about to do my two-anda-half weeks. And working with Denis... he was the dog’s bollocks, as they say where I’m from! He’s the real McCoy. It was an utter and complete pleasure and I’m staggered that I got away with it!
The Walking Dead returns 13th February on FOX.
WORDS: GRAE WESTGATE
016 sucked. That’s something we can all agree on. Yet sadly, amidst the crumbling world, fans of The Walking Dead were more disappointed in the most recent season than Hillary supporters were at the results of the presidential election. That’s not to say it was completely terrible; we’ve had some of the most brilliantly brutal deaths in the history of the show, and Christian Serratos has been acting her pretty little socks off. However, if fans are gonna stay loyal, the second half of season seven needs to up its game. Here’s five things we want to see from TWD 7B...
JEFFREY DEAN MORGAN NEEDS TO CALM THE FUCK DOWN Negan’s arrival is probably the most anticipated event in TWD history. And the finale of season six may have polarised fans with its sneaky cliffhanger, but one thing it did perfectly was introduce us to the bleak humour of the zombie apocalypse’s most psychotic villain. Since then though, JDM has been
hamming it up something rotten, and after a great intro, the internet is now screaming for a swift departure. With Negan, less is more, so let’s tone it down a little shall we Jeff?
MAGGIE AND DARYL SHOWDOWN No matter what the followers of the Cult of Reedus will whine, Daryl is responsible for Glen’s death, and retribution needs to be had. Sure, Rosita is kind of to blame for Olivia, but who really cares about Olivia? Daryl killed Glen. Fact. (sort of...) And Maggie needs to kick his arse. Baby Hershel (spoiler...?) ain’t got no daddy now, and words need to be had.
WHERE THE HELL IS HEATH? Okay, so Heath hasn’t exactly been the most thrilling character in the show so far (a shame, since his comic book counterpart is great), and the Tara standalone episode did little more than paint him as a bit of a sulky coward, but his disappearance at the end of said episode needs to be resolved. Is he alive? Probably. More importantly
5 THINGS WE WANT FROM THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 7B though, what is “PPP”?
EZEKIEL The arrival of King Ezekiel was one of the big sells of season seven. And we’ve seen him once. ONCE. Sure, we get it, every scene that Shiva the tiger is in eats up 20% of the season’s budget, but seriously? One episode? Which brings us to...
NO MORE BOTTLE EPISODES The cast of TWD get paid per episode they appear in apparently. As such, bottle episodes save on budget. Whether this is true or not doesn’t excuse the amount of one-shot episodes this half. No one asked for a Tara episode. NO ONE! The best episodes this season have been those which follow various stories, and keep the gang together. In the lead-up to All Out War, we need to rally the troops. Bring back Carol and Morgan. Get Ezekiel involved. Basically guys, stop fucking about. We want war. And we want it now. The Walking Dead returns Monday 13th February on FOX
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WORDS: LEE HAZEL / PHOTOS: WWE
t would be incredibly arrogant of us to say how the musical trends of 2017 will develop – so let us be cynical instead.
It’ll probably go along the lines of; something something something Drake, blah blah blah Taylor Swift, vomit vomit vomit Father John Misty. We would love to say it wont be like that - but it most probably will.
Brand new post-rockers blanket hope to create an audio-visual soundscape with their work. They’ve proved that they’re more than capable with singles ‘Acacia’ and ‘Starlight Filled Our Minds’ accompanied by two staggeringly beautiful music videos. Their debut mini-album Our Brief Encounters is on its way very soon (Feb 10th) and will take you on possibly one of your most ambient journeys yet. PIGEON HOLE: Spacey post-rock TRACKS: ‘Starlight Filled Our Minds’, ‘Acacia’ WHERE: @blanketsounds facebook.com/blanketsounds blanketsounds.bandcamp.com
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However, we’re giving you the opportunity to escape the monotony of a new Foo Fighters album, to expertly ignore the un-surprising ‘surprise’ of a new Kanye project and, most of all, avoid the tedious hyperbolic certainty of Ed Sheeran doing a live lounge cover of a current hip-hop mega tune. All you need to do is spend 2017 listening to these 17 new and emerging artists instead – picked by the VultureHound Music team, especially for you.
Andy Oliveri and the Mountaineers
With folk sensibilities transferred into a fuzzy shoegaze sound there is a feeling of metamorphosis to this Cheltenham five-piece. Every track gently transitions into waves of noise, with vocals easing their way in and out as fuzz and feedback tear walls of sound apart only to be rebuilt. Debut album Call Them Brothers (out March 3rd) will be an essential Q1 listen. PIGEON HOLE: Sun-drenched-shoecum-surfgaze TRACKS: ‘Where The Wild Flowers Grow Fondly’ WHERE: @andy_oliveri fb.com/andyoliveriandthemountaineers andyoliverimusic on Bandcamp
Classic trip-hop beats, darkly gothic electronica and an utterly compelling vocal delivery; it’s a combination that saw Claudia Kane produce three exceptional EPs in just over a year. We’ve seen many an established artist attempt the ‘dark-pop anthem’, but none do it as well as her. A debut fulllength album should propel Kane into the pop stratosphere, or at least secure her the rights to the next James Bond song. PIDGEON HOLE: KaneForBond25xCore TRACKS: ‘The Silence’, ‘Einstein’, ‘Darling Is Not My Name’ WHERE: @ClaudiaKaneUK fb.com/ClaudiaKaneOfficial soundcloud.com/Claudia-kane-music
WORDS: PHOEBE MESSENGER, CAYLE HOTENE, BEN ADSET, ANTON JACKSON & DAN WITHEY.
London 5 piece, delivering track after track of devastatingly catchy sobrock. Lyrical themes of loneliness and isolation are delivered with the naïve optimism that “everything will be okay” (except it won’t). It’s completely self deprecating and totally relatable. You’ll never have so much fun discovering how much of a loser you are. PIGEON HOLE: Sob Rock For Self Medicators TRACKS: ‘I’ll Wait’, ‘All Dressed Up’, ‘So Far So Deep’ WHERE: @hunckband fb.com/HUNCKband soundcloud.com/hunck
Icy, interdimensional darkwave is the best way to describe Drab Majesty - a perfect fit for Dais Records brooding, gothic roster. New album, The Demonstration, is one of the coolest darkwave records to come out of the US in a few years. Time to embrace the darkness. PIGEON HOLE: Interdimensional Darkwave TRACKS: ‘Too Soon To Tell’, ’39 By Design’, ‘Cold Souls’ WHERE: @DrabMajesty fb.com/drabmajesty drabmajesty.bandcamp.com
2016 saw London’s Wovoka Gentle release the third of their ‘primary colour’ EPs; Wovoka Gentle Red. It was their best yet. Although labelled with the rather tedious term ‘experimental folk’, you shouldn’t let that put you off. Their experimental and complex approach to structure finds an accessible ‘pop edge’ due to the band’s expert understanding of melody. PIDEGON HOLE: Experimental Folk (But Don’t Let That Put You Off) TRACK: ‘You Have Saved Our Lives’ WHERE: @wovokagentle | fb.com/ wovokagentle | soundcloud.com/ wovokagentle
PIEGON HOLE: Dischord Records Influenced Noise Rock TRACKS: ‘Radio’, ‘Shattered Fruit’, ‘Axe’ WHERE: @consuumer fb.com/youarejustaconsuumer soundcloud.com/consumer
PIGEON HOLE: Neon Indie vs Sad Synth TRACKS: ‘Runaway’, ‘Night School’, ‘3am’ WHERE: @badwavemusic fb.com/badwavemusic soundcloud.com/bad-wave
PIGEON HOLE: Super D.I.Y TRACKS: ‘Anxious Type’, ‘Shit Talk’, ‘Sick of Me’. WHERE: @shitpresent fb.com/shitpresent
Brighton 2 piece who pull in the staple sounds of late 80’s/early 90’s east coast punk and grunge. Their debut EP Shattered Fruit is a dischordant triumph, managing to push past a pure nostalgia for Nirvana, Fugazi, Black Flag and The Melvins. It’s noise rock as it should be; expressionistic and all consuming.
What Bad Wave don’t know about a synth-based hook isn’t worth knowing. 2016 saw them release a steady stream of sleeper hits, each one a neon drenched, head-spinningly addictive, synthpop gem. The music is pure LA Summer nights with an underbelly of Bret Easton Ellis. Clay could definitely get in to this.
Made up of ex-members of Gnarwolves, OK Pilot, The Computers, The Smith Street Band and Great Cynic, Shit Present are a DIY punk super group. Grunge and distortion match perfectly with emotive vocals and frank, honest lyrics creating something truly wonderful. With two solid EPs released in 2016, we’re keeping fingers crossed for a full length in 2017.
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PIGEON HOLE: Vogue chill-pop TRACKS: ‘Better’, ‘Money’, ‘Claws’ WHERE: @itsmevox fb.com/itsmevox soundcloud.com/itsmevox
PIGEON HOLE: Reflective hard/sadcore TRACKS: ‘Full Circle’,Everything Ends’, WHERE: @ToyMountains facebook.com/ToyMountains toymountains.bandcamp.com
PIGEON HOLE: Psych-o-Yorkshire TRACKS: ‘Haze’, ‘Thrill Killer’ WHERE: @BroodersBand fb.com/BroodersOfficial soundcloud.com/BroodersBand
PIGEON HOLE: Crack-pop (it’s moreish) TRACKS: ‘ One Way Glass’ on repeat for 3 hours. WHERE: @innerspaceorch fb.com/innerspaceorchestra
PIGEON HOLE: Melodic hardcore/ Emotional shizz TRACKS: ‘Dream Of Me’, ‘Permanent’ WHERE: @HoldingAbsence facebook.com/holdingabsence holdingabsence.bandcamp.commx
2017 begins and still we continue to wait for a full release from LA-based artist vōx (pronounced “wokes”). However, the wait may not be too much longer, with an EP expected later this year. A slow trickle of original material has appeased us over the last 2 years, including the dark chills of ‘Better’ and the bass heavy ‘Money’ – both showcasing her hauntingly stylish approach to music.
Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot aim to define the rising Atlantan rap scene. There’s an urgency to the way they rap, and a sound that is eminently unique: Johnny rhymes like a demon possessed by a bigger, badder demon and Dot jumps from booty worship to observing the KKK dress in blue nowadays. Glover gave props to the wrong collective. PIGEON HOLE: Neo-Southern TRACKS: ‘Liquor Store’, ‘Voodoo’, ‘Willow Tree Elite’. WHERE: @EarthGang fb.com/earthganghbt soundcloud.com/earthganghbt
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It’s hard to ignore when a band’s said influences feature Deftones, Glassjaw and Reuben. Toy Mountains’ second EP I Swore I’d Never Speak Of This Again certainly impresses with mathy hardcore infusions and personal themes resonating through the lyricism. If you fancy getting sad, look no further. Let’s hope we hear a full length from this talented Glaswegian quintet in the near future.
Can you really get behind a band based on just one solitary track? Yes you can. Ignore the fact the band has impressive pedigree (The Pipettes, The Horrors and Fanfarlo), their one and only track to date, ‘One Way Glass’ is 3 and a half minutes of spine tingling, shimmering, shoegaze-pop that demands a follow-up. We want more.
Leeds 3 piece, who produced one of our favourite videos of 2016. ‘Haze’ featured Hanna Barbera cartoons and a bunch of killer clowns – the perfect visual for their energetic brand of psych-grunge. There’s a hint of early Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, but with a vicious Yorkshire bite. They could be our go-to cathartic outlet in 2017. New mini-LP comes out in February, and not a moment too soon.
You may have noticed a lot of fuss over the Cardiff newcomers recently, and rightly so. The quintet merge ambience, emotionally charged melodic hardcore and elements of post-hardcore into their impressive mix. With music videos for singles ‘Dream Of Me’ and ‘Permanent’ gaining phenomenal interest on YouTube, we’re itching to see where this promising young band will head.
itoldyouiwouldeatyou Whilst their name is quite the mouthful (ha…) the seven piece had quite the year in 2016. Releasing their second EP I Am Not Your Fault last September followed by two tours has seen them cemented as firm favourites in the ever growing alternative emo revival in the UK. Trumpets, keyboards, twinkly guitar work and honest, impassioned vocals (and that’s not even everything) all play a part in this rising band’s meticulously layered sound. PIGEON HOLE: Indie-punk TRACKS: ‘Off Brand’, ‘Less Now’, ‘Get Out Of Bed’ WHERE: @ityiwtweetyou facebook.com/itoldyouiwouldeatyou itoldyouiwouldeatyou.bandcamp.com
Italian born trio who turned heads when they dropped their debut track in 2016. ‘Dead’ was a rumbling, raw and funky take on the indie-rock standard. Chuck in an art-rock/DIY aesthetic, and Husky Loops look like the complete package. It’s probably why they’ve been signed up by Alcopop! Records – a marriage made in a very sludgy sounding heaven. Debut EP coming in April. PIGEON HOLE: Rock’s Not Morto. TRACKS: ‘Dead’, ‘Fighting Myself’ WHERE: @HuskyLoops fb.com/huskyloops soundcloud.com/husky-loops
here’s nothing like a 20 year anniversary to make you contemplate your own mortality. Here’s a few things I’ll have to get my head around over the course of 2017: It’s been 20 years since Mansun released Attack Of The Grey Lantern, It’s been 20 years since Radiohead released OK Computer, It’s been 20 years since Faith No More released Album of the Year, It’s been 20 years since Manic Street Preachers won their first Brit Award Double (Best British Album (Design For Life)/Best British Group), It’s been 20 years since I had to suffer my then best friend talking about The Prodigy, all day, everyday, It’s been 20 years since I cried at school because I got 1 out of 10 in a spelling test, resulting in my teacher telling me to “sit down and stop being such a silly little boy”.
Some moments never leave you (apart from the last one – I’m over it). But rather than stand, confused at the certainty of the passing of time, I should instead be looking at what the music of 2017 could mean to me in 2037. In 20 years time, will I have this same response to the significant music events of 2017? Or am
I currently suffering form new music overload, unable to establish those same emotional connections in a sea of digital promos and Spotify playlists? I don’t know. So to ensure my 2037 self gets some kind of nostalgic buzzcum-mortality salience as I’m experiencing right now, I need to do these 3 things in 2017… 1) Buy more physical releases – association with an object is a much better way of stimulating memory. 2) Don’t rely on playlists – they’re a good tool for discovering new music, but over reliance may lead to confusion. My playlist dependency in 2016 means that I can no longer listen to ‘Valentine’ by Creeper without expecting to hear the rhythmic synth of ‘A Hundred Ropes’ by Minor Victories immediately after it. 3) Listen to full albums in the bath – baths are great! I think my 1997 self only ever listened to OK Computer and Urban Hymns in the bath. I swear I can smell Turtles branded bubble bath every time I hear ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’. That’s some good association. So basically, spend more money, cancel my Spotify premium subscription move to a flat that has a bath instead of a shower. I’ll be making memories.
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WORDS: KATIE HOGAN |NETFLIX PHOTO: NETFLIX WORDS: GRAE WESTGATE | PHOTOS: UNFORTUNATE EVENTS
! T N U O C E IT’S TH ! T N U O C E IT’S TH NETFLIX’S ‘A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS’ ith the release of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix, the question that all fans who read the books all those years ago want to know is; will this be like the 2004 film or different? Daniel Handler’s marvelously morbid children’s series about the unlucky Baudelaire orphans who are pursued by the villainous Count Olaf who is after their fortune was a very different kind of beast to the Harry Potters of the world. The series is dark, depressing and, at times, frustrating but with an array of such fantastic characters that feel realistic and amusingly exaggerated at the same time. Handler created something else that children needed; the realisation that not all stories can have a happy ending. The unusual characters and story obviously attracted Hollywood, who came knocking before all the books were released. Adapting the first three booked into what was hoped to be the first film in a franchise, the film was served as an intro to the Baudelaire’s story as well as establishing certain characters. Jim Carrey was cast as Count Olaf, taking centre stage, domineering the screen in various on purpose terrible disguises while trying to steal the orphan’s fortune. He was praised at the time for his performance and he did
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seem like the perfect choice to embody the ridiculous villain, showing of his comedic talents as well as being very sinister. But the film wasn’t as successful as hoped and no further films went into development. After years of silence, Netflix announced in 2014 that they planned to adapt the books into a series with creator Daniel Handler as executive producer and working with the writing team. This seemed promising and continued to be as casting was announced. Neil Patrick Harris was to step into Count Olaf’s shoes as well as being a producer on the show. With teasers leaked a while later, the hype and excitement grew until the series was released last week to glowing reviews all round, including from VultureHound. With a second season already commissioned and the glimpse of a third, the show is well underway to being complete. As expected, there are comparisons between the 2004 film and the current TV show on Netflix, with reviewers and bloggers looking back at the story and at Jim Carey’s performance (or should it be performances?). The film was not a failure when it came to design, costume, or casting; in fact these areas were delightfully well thought out. A pseudo Victorian look was given to the film, similar to how the books themselves. Everything looked as if Brett Helquist’s illustrations had come to life. But the story
was told askew, with the first book in the series book ending the film. Overall, however, the film was loyal to the fans and brought something dark and marvelous to the big screen. Count Olaf, taking centre stage of the story as the villain, not only terrorizes the children, continuously after their fortune, is also part of the mystery of the Baudelaire parents’ death and connected to a secret organization. He is a self-absorbed, arrogant, evil person and a terrible actor. So who better to portray him than comedic chameleon Jim Carrey? Carrey himself has said how much fun he had with all of Olaf’s disguises and mannerisms and had hoped to continue to play the Count but never got the call. Whilst creating each character Olaf plays, he isn’t over the top, maintaining the subtle note that he is playing a bad actor trying to disguise himself. He also brings out the sinister side of
the character even in the funniest of moments, but throughout the film, we know its Carrey. His zany expressions break through the Olaf mold. His turn as Olaf was rightly praised, but with the TV show able to go into more detail, including a possibly deeper analysis of Olaf’s character, Carrey’s interpretation will likely be seen as second best. With the arrival of the TV adaptation of the books, there were going to be some changes. Thankfully however, these have been minor, having a big impact but not really changing the story. The frequent and obvious input from Lemony Snicket himself, played to perfection by Patrick Warburton, breaking the fourth wall throughout the show feels exactly like the books and serves as much more than an omniscient view from the future. A constant in the story is the villain Olaf, played by Neil Patrick Harris literally losing
himself in the role. His theatrical flare and oblivious manner to the fact other people exist in the world is darkly amusing and has some of the best throw away lines. He plays Olaf as mischievous and cruel; it’s instantly believable that this sometimes silly, idiotic man could be flouncing around his house singing one minute and murdering someone without a care the next. Unlike Jim Carrey, Neil Patrick Harris is given room and freedom to take the character of Count Olaf to new, ridiculous height, not to mention dress up in weird disguise a few more times. Although there are similarities shared between the 2004 film and the current TV series, when it comes to Count Olaf, Neil Patrick Harris has the advantage, and thanks to long-format television, you can enjoy the revelries from the comfort of your own home.
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PHOTO: JONNY DAVIES
fter sitting on their debut release Nothing Gives for almost a year, there is a sense of “time to move on” for the grunge punk trio, Slowcoaches. But despite taking over a year for the record to get a release, the wait was well worth it. Released at the end of last year, the album featuring in Vulture Hound’s Top 30 Albums of 2016. Full of moody, melodic punk Nothing Gives has one foot in 70s garage and the other in modern crunchy post-punk. Lyrical content tackles everything from break-ups, breakdowns, a pre-mid life crisis, a drug induced mental illness and falling out with friends – Nothing Gives touches all bases. We caught up with vocalist and bassist Heather Perkins.
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How was the tour promoting the album? We pretty much played the whole album while we were away, plus a couple of new songs which we have written and a couple of B Sides. It was a really good tour and it was really interesting for us because it was the first tour that we have done that I didn’t book myself. So we worked with a booking agent and it was interesting to see what a difference it made - but not necessarily in a positive way. Usually I book all the shows and we work with people we have worked with before, or who we know put on good shows, but this time around we were playing with new bands that we didn’t necessarily know. But because I am a bit of a control freak it was odd arriving at a venue not really knowing who the promoter was. But on the whole it was a really good tour - it was overwhelming to see the amount of people coming to
WORDS: TIM BIRBECK
the shows, some of them travelling quite a distance to see the shows as well. And now the album’s out, people know the songs and were singing along which was really great.
You finished the tour with an album release show in London, how did that go down? It was so overwhelming that I could have cried. Me and Matt have been playing together for almost four years now, and we have played some big support slots in London, but to have a show at the Lexington and have people buy tickets in advance really blew my mind. The venue was just full of people we didn’t know and it was just a bit mad for us. It’s just great that people want to come out to see us, and that the album is starting to get out there now - I mean we wrote it well over a year before the actual release date.
Playing the songs so long after you wrote them, does it feel like you are going over old ground a little bit?
Do you think the openness in which you talk about these subjects is what draws people to the band?
We have been playing the set we did on the tour for the best part of the year, but as we don’t play super regularly it doesn’t get boring. Also, I think we just love playing live so that adds to the enjoyment of it. I think we are a little bit over that record now and we want to move on, so this tour was quite cathartic. The fact the album hadn’t come out was almost holding us back from writing new stuff, but now that tour is done we can get to doing new stuff.
I really hope so. I think that is why I was really keen to have the lyrics in-sleeve for the record as it adds another dimension. I think if you have any experience that you can talk about openly, whatever it is, I think that is going to help people identify with you as a human being.
You speak openly about your troubles with anxiety - was this something you wanted to portray in the record? I actually don’t write very much about my anxiety, it is usually other things that occur which cause my anxiety which I take inspiration from. I talk about it a lot more than I write about it because I do think it is an important thing to talk about, especially when you have a platform where you can discuss it - no matter how small that platform may be. I think the link between music and mental health is a good one to make and one that a lot of people can relate to, but it can be quite scary to be honest and put these things out there. In terms of the actual writing, there was a lot of things going on and, as I said, it was done over a year ago, so the end result is a good mix of things which we still feel is relevant now. A lot of the record was written at a time when both me and Matt were feeling a little bit lost and a bit disillusioned with things going on around us, and there is a lot of negative themes on there. But musically it is quite an upbeat record.
Although, it was quite strange because we saw this review that quoted one of the lyrics and said “Slowcoaches does what it says on the tin, you can’t mix up their lyrics” and then quoted this line, which to me has four different meanings to me, but they just took it at face value which was really interesting to me.
With the landscape of punk changing, especially over the last year, have you found that people perceive you differently because you are a woman in a punk band or do they just see the musician and that’s it? I think from my experience, and from when Slowcoaches started out, we always sought to destroy the idea of a woman musician as a novelty – we never ever describe ourselves as a female fronted band. We have never really discussed it - we just take it as we are as a band. Gender doesn’t come into it. I find that the community we work within is incredibly gender diverse and made up of people this different sexual orientations and genders etc. So in playing music I actually feel more comfortable than I do in day-to-day life.
As you previously said you are used to having control, but with this album you went
down the record label route of releasing a few singles before the record came out. Was it strange doing it in this way? It was really frustrating! It was the one thing that caused a bit of friction between us as a band. I mean, it is so frustrating as a band sitting on something for that long and just wanting to put it out there. The thing I have found is the more people get involved - booking agents and press teams etc the more people you have to respond to, and I nearly drove myself crazy keeping on top of the amount of e-mails I was getting. But it has been really beneficial for us as more people are probably aware of our music now.
So have you started the writing process for any future releases? We have a little bit. We have always worked on economy so it’s what we can do within the space and time that we have. But I think that has worked to our advantage because when we do have the time to write we make the most of it. I mean, we all work very hard outside of the band so when we do come together we jam out as much as we can.
What’s the plan for Slowcoaches in 2017? January is going to be a time for us to recharge our batteries, but there will be another single off the album coming out. But we are just focusing on getting some more shows booked, hopefully going over to Europe and getting booked on some festivals. The dream would be to put out an EP some time in the summer -but we will just have to see if we have the time. But who knows? We might just milk the album as much as we can! Nothing Gives is out now on Leisure & District.
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PHOTOS: 20TH CENTURY FOX
JUSTIN KURZEL WORDS: LEE HAZELL
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ustin Kurzel first came on the scene with his astonishing debut, Snowtown, set in his native South Australia. Since then, he’s earned the admiration and respect of many artists in Hollywood, such as Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. So, once Fassbender was brought on board to produce and star in Assassin’s Creed, the movie based on the videogame, his first choice to direct was Kurzel, who directed him in last year’s stirring adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. He talks to us about turning the videogame into reality.
So what convinced you to adapt the videogame Assassin’s Creed into a film? It was Michael [Fassbender]. I was editing Macbeth at the time and he took me to a café and said, “I’m doing this film. It’s based on Assassin’s Creed. Would you be interested in doing it?” I was pretty shocked because I hadn’t considered my third film being a film of this scale, but he just started talking passionately about genetic memory and the notion that you’re made up of the experiences of your ancestors. Then there was the assassins, Templars, free will and control; there was a whole lot of ideas there so I asked, “What is this thing?” He said it’s a videogame. I was kind of shocked really that a game would be so complex. I instantly thought it was a fantastic world to make a film about.
So you weren’t a fan of the videogames in the past then? It’s not that I wasn’t a fan. I knew the posters, I knew the imagery, I knew the brand, but I hadn’t sat down and played it. After I came on board, Ubisoft took me through an Assassin’s Creed boot camp and I sat down with a gamer for two days and went through all the games and was blown away by how much games had evolved since I’d played them as a kid.
‘Ubisoft Assassin’s Creed Boot Camp’. Did that involve taking you to the top of a tall building
and pushing you off into a bale of hay? Uh, no [laughs]. No, it did not.
Did the battle sequences of Macbeth prepare you at all to make an action blockbuster like this? I was nervous about it because the scenes in Macbeth were smaller to the ambitions of this film. I guess what was encouraging was that Michael said he wanted to do a lot of the action himself, so then we started discussing shooting in real locations and attempt a lot of the skills the assassins had for real, that started to make me feel really excited and comfortable. I love the idea of working with real stunt guys and actors and real locations. I was a little worried at first that the approach was going to be all green screen, CGI, actors on wires, and as soon as everyone got behind the idea of doing it all for real, I felt a lot more comfortable with that because that’s the world I come from.
In the game series, the split between modern day and historical sequences is usually heavily in favour of the historical side. What made you do the opposite? It was something that Ubisoft really encouraged. They were developing their ideas with Michael so when I got the script it was based on a contemporary story about a contemporary man who evolves throughout the film and understands that he’s actually an assassin that comes from a tribe of assassins. That kind of revelation was something that was very important to the film. It was a concept; an idea that I thought was so unique and different. The great thing about being an assassin in the game in those real time periods is that the gameplay is what it’s all about, being a real assassin in > that time and in those locations and cities is really at the core of it; but on top of that is this amazing filmic and narrative concept of what if someone had access to their ancestors’ memories and didn’t know about them? I think if you went to any studio and started talking
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about that initial concept they would grab it as a great film narrative idea. We’ve tried to balance it and we’ve definitely tried to make history be something that informs and overlaps in the present day. But forget the game, just this idea for the film seemed really rich and exciting.
So you wanted people who had no knowledge of the game to be able to experience this fresh? Yeah. I thought that was a great bridging point. If you’d set it all in the past and it was about a brotherhood and you were just following them taking out historical figures; I didn’t see that as being broader and more original as a film than a film about a guy in the modern day who gets to interpret his history and that history having a greater context than what is happening to him. That was something I thought would not only
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be a surprising and original point of difference from the game, but also would really attract those who are not familiar with the game, because then the film could exist as its own thing and not have to be a copy or an appropriation of one of the games.
The world of Assassin’s Creed is very interesting because the Hashashin, whom the Assassin’s Creed is based on, are an Islamic organisation and The Templars are Catholic. In the current political climate do you have to work around that to not offend anybody? It was very simple for us. It was based on the ideologies of Assassins vs Templars based within the game. What the Assassins were fighting for wasn’t based on the teachings of any particular religion or political ideal. What they were
actually fighting for was something very human and basic which was ‘free will’. That wonderful line of, “Nothing is true, everything is permitted,” I felt was the key to what was virtuous about them. This notion and idea of challenging everything, of not blindly following, and coming to your own selfrealisation, one that wasn’t tied to any one organisation, but was more about just what it is to be human. That sense of them being freedom fighters and asking human beings to interrogate their authorities and not just blindly follow them I thought was, number one, really contemporary and interesting and, number two, something that was just greater than good or bad. Same with the Templars. Obviously, Templar history is really strong, but I thought that what the game focussed on, which was really strong, was about how they believed that humanity could evolve through having an elitist society who could lead them and that all humanity was corrupt and needed to follow
"Michael is always approaching producing through story and through point of view". a philosophical way, I thought was those two kinds of ideologies were really powerful. I think what Assassin’s Creed does very well is take real moments of history and you couldn’t get one more volatile than the Spanish Inquisition, in terms of religious persecution, and effortlessly weave in this Assassin/ Templar war into that. I think that’s why the game is so popular. This war is not fantasy. It does connect with real moments of history, and organisations that we are all familiar with.
Do you think that free will is important in a time when corporations control our culture? Yeah, I think we live in a time where we are being told what to eat, what to watch, what to wear, who to elect. More so now than at any other time, we must ask questions and we must interrogate. I think what the assassins are really good at is highlighting how blind we can become. There’s that great line that Jeremy [Irons] says ‘We’ve been controlling through religion, politics and consumerism, isn’t it time we gave science a try?’ I think he’s kind of right [laughs]. That’s what’s really interesting about that line, ‘Nothing is true,
everything is permitted’. It’s a real raw and back-to-basics concept of challenging absolutely everything and then discovering something for yourself.
You have a long-time partnership with your cinematographer Adam Arkapaw. One thing I noticed about this and Macbeth is that you guys love having a sense of texture in the air, whether it be dust kicking up in the Mexican desert or frost gripping the Spanish hills. Could you take us through the process of that? I think we are really interested in texture. The first film we did, we did on 16ml, and in preparation of this film and Macbeth we were watching a lot of old films, Lawrence of Arabia and Sergio Leone Spaghetti Westerns, Apocalypse Now; really big widescreen kind of films that naturally, when they are shot on film have a particular texture. That’s there with Macbeth with the mist and the frost, we obviously used a lot of smoke and ash for the fire at the end. There’s a depth
that you get with that atmosphere, which, especially for period, almost provides that layer of grain that’s missing when you shoot digitally. I think there is a conscious effort to try and get that sense of depth, to not make it too harsh and flat and close, to make it feel as though you can really feel, smell and breath the atmosphere in the air. The same thing happened with Assassin’s Creed. It was about getting that fire and ash and dust for the audience to breath in, to get that atmosphere and make it a character in the film.
My favourite scene in the film is when Michael Fassbender’s character Cal has a conversation with his father, played by Brendan Gleeson, that’s when the dagger is really stuck in the heart of the audience. When creating a sequence like that, Brendan Gleeson is the kind of actor you really want to bring on. What made you want him for the role? Exactly that. He is the one that tells Cal the truth. You’re looking for someone who’s going to be the father figure to Michael Fassbender, so you need an actor with some pretty strong gravitas. We were very lucky. I know that Michael had worked with Brendan on Trespass Against Us and he was instrumental in getting Brendan to come in and do that scene. It was amazing for me because I’ve always been a huge fan of his. There’s an effortless sense of
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power and gravitas that Brendan brings and it never feels worked.
What was it like reacquainting yourself with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard? Well, with Michael it was a different relationship because he’s also producing the film. I already had my familiar relationship with him directing him as an actor although he was doing much more physical work in this film, so that was slightly different from Macbeth; but then you’re also sitting there talking about schedule, and having enough money, and how we’re all going to get through all this, and casting, and, especially, script. That made the relationship on this more allencompassing. With Marion, we were just very lucky. It was interesting. We were writing Sophia and she was evolving into Marion. I’m sure that came from the relationship we had with her on Macbeth. She had a very difficult role in that
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she was the communicating some pretty complex ideas in the film and some of the more heightened ideas. She had to give off this information in a way that – again – was effortless and you had to feel like it wasn’t just being told to you. Marion’s very good at that. She’s very good at making you believe what she believes.
What did Michael bring to the role of producer? You get a very different perspective because you’ve got the actor that is in every single scene having a really powerful and strong say about how the production is put together. That can be really fantastic because Michael is always approaching producing through story and through point of view. It’s wonderful to have that kind of creative influence that is always backing and supporting the director. He’s also really good at having the point of view where he knows what all the connections are story-wise and he can only have that because as an actor he’s been part of developing the story. It’s a blessing to have someone bring
that different perspective to the producer’s table.
What challenges did the action sequences present? I think doing them for real, pulling off those sort of jumps, doing a real leap of faith, slacklining, and martial arts in an environment like Malta, which was really fucking hot, made it really difficult. It’s dangerous, it takes double the time, it’s uncomfortable, and it’s always more expensive. You desperately try and pull the stunts off because they’re never going to look beautiful or perfect, so you’re trying to make them look as good as they can and capture what is original and extraordinary about them because they are doing them for real. At the same time, you’re just trying to get through it and make sure it hits the schedule. It’s always harder doing stuff for real; it’s always more challenging, but I’m really glad we did because hopefully, the sequences will seduce those who are familiar with the game into believing that it could all be real.
HIP HOP CHILDISH GAMBINO AND CHANCE THE RAPPER TBA / MAYBE 2017, MAYBE NEVER
ARTISTS, ALBUMS, COLLABORATIONS – WHY HIP HOP HAS US EXCITED FOR 2017 or all its indiscriminate icon massacring, heart-warming nazi-resurgence and the election of a highly insecure, openly racist, T-rex-handed world leader, 2016 wasn’t all bad. In music anyway - we had stellar releases from some of the biggest names in hip hop, from Kendrick to Tribe and also saw the emergence of artists that rightfully drew our attention. Is it too much to hope that 2017 will have all of that and be a half-way decent year for the human race? Probably, but we’ve got you covered for the former regardless.
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Well this would be a doozy, wouldn’t it? Should probably be filed in the the same folder as the joint project between J Cole and Kendrick or Watch The Throne 2, but their recent rumour-baiting Instagram post can give even the most cynical heart a burst of hope. There hasn’t been a better time for it, really - Childish is coming off what is by far his most all-round successful album and Chance has been lighting a match in a dark world with his life-affirming performances. Questions still remain: Does Childish want to be pigeonholed when he seems so determined to forge a new sonic identity? Can Chance ever break away from that ridiculously cute bundle of joy to put the time in? Time will tell. But as long as they keep stoking the flames (and Chance keeps proving he’s open to a collaborative mixtape - Lil B, Jeremih…) the fans will dream. #roscoeswetsuit
TRAVIS SCOTT ASTROWORLD / TBA 2017 After perfecting his sound, dropping a contender for best album of 2016 and unloading THE anthem of the year (“I get those goosebumps every time”) Travis Scott is taking a well deserved brea- oh no, wait... he’s dropping again next year, he’s focusing on making more beats (song-building being probably his greatest strength) and he’ll be doing another tour. See, good things do happen! Expect meticulous, explorative production, pitch-perfect features from some of the best artists in the game, and expect it all a bit closer to summertime. Which is no bad thing: Travis albums are built for sleazy summer nights with good friends and lots of liquor
WORDS: CAYLE HOTENE | PHOTO: IBRA AKE
CTRL / EARLY-TO-MID 2017
NO ALBUM ANNOUNCED / TBA
UNTITLED / TBA
Things we know about SZA’s new album: 1. It’s called CTRL 2. It’s ‘definitely’ next on the TDE roster. 3. She’s working with some of the most revered names around, from Rick Rubin to James Fauntleroy, and was at least affected by a meeting with Frank Ocean. 4. The album will centre around control and honesty, which is in part influenced by the fact she’s had to bury too many bodies recently. 5. After working with Rihanna, being compared to Erykah Badu and, well, her incredible first album, we should be very, very excited. Things we don’t know? 1. When ‘definitely’ next means. 2. Whether or not there will be a ‘next’ after this. There is something very laboured in the way SZA describes her place in the music world. She has expressed a desire to move into the visual, away from the music, and while we should obviously wish for SZA whatever makes her happiest, it would be a huge loss were she to hang up her pipes and pen after this one.
Russ has been ‘one to watch’ for a while now - and ever since his debut single, ‘What They Want’ went gold, that tag has outlived its usefulness. One of those multi-talented super-freaks that has to do it all himself; he produced, mixed, mastered, engineered and wrote the entirety of his gold-selling single; Russ comes off as precocious, aware of his brilliance. And why should that be a bad thing? Better to recognise the excellence within yourself than bury it. From the angelic oath-driven ‘Fallin’ (“If you fall I’m fallin’ tooooo”) to the lip-curling in-your-bag anthem ‘For The Stunt’, the rapper’s content is as flexible as his voice. As so very common now Russ can rap as well as sing - but not many do it as well as this. Check his Soundcloud and download the singles for now, and considering that longbuilding buzz has seemingly come of age, the album can’t be that far around the corner.
It’s been three and a bit years since Jay Z’s last album, and that’s his longest hiatus in an utterly incomparable career. Cause for concern? Jay Z doesn’t tend to observe the normal working laws of our universe, so it’s unwise to jump to conclusions - plus veritable breadcrumbs have been dropped by everyone from Jermaine Dupri to Zaytoven - and yet there’s still that nagging sense that Jay might just be winding down. Is a totally-forrealsies-this-time Black Album that out of the question this year? The only counterpoint to that is Jay can still rap as well as anyone (if you find yourself in the tiresome position of having to prove this point, slap on ‘Drug Dealers Anonymous’ and get your best I-toldyou-motherfucker face at the ready). An enigma, but not much has changed. Feel midway confident that it’s coming this year, then - hip hop needs Jay, and he knows that better than anyone.
METRO BOOMIN & NAV
MORE LIFE / EARLY 2017
GROWN ADOLESCENCE (ISAIAH G. & AARON DEUX)
UNTITLED / TBA 2017
Blurring the line between rapper and poet as most of the greats tend to do, Deem Spencer performs deadpan and still manages to illicit a sense of pain and despair that just can’t be playacted. Labyrinthine rhyme schemes with a subdued delivery reveals an ear very familiar to Earl Sweatshirt - passages like: “If I cared about some money I would be in college wasting it / hate itself is sin and I hate sinning” suggest that there is the substance of a poet there, too. It’s easy to jump conclusions in the practice of trying to spot the next big thing - but sometimes you just know. The visual for his best offering yet (‘Soap’, above) is as good as this type of thing gets.
At this point you might as well put a one-to-watch tag on anything Metro Boomin chooses to bless his sound with - at 23 years old, there isn’t a more influential / sought after beat-maker in the industry. A touch of genius then to pair him with the latest Toronto enigma Nav - probably signed to XO, he emerged fully formed, now with hundreds of thousands of likes on a Soundcloud and a scene-stealing feature on Travis’s ‘Biebs In The Trap’. It’s an open secret that Metro will make your record a hit, but with the commercial promise of a new artist ready to blow up in a nuclear way, you wonder if the two young artists can somehow still confound expectations.
UNTITLED / TBA 2017 Isaiah G and Aaron Deux have been making music since grade school, and it shows. While the ability and understanding of what makes a great track has seemingly always been there, there was a feeling that they needed a statement to really ‘arrive’. The 27th December gave them / us that - ‘YES’, a heater to close out the year. Chancefavourite Saba does his thing with characteristic passion and verve, but the real stars are the pair of Grown Adolescence themselves. Isaiah rinses the first verse and the chorus, Aaron comes through with the second as well as handling the vibrant production both snap indubitably. The two have a similar cadence and feed off each other’s energy - it’s reminiscent of early Chance and Vic, and it speaks to the amount of time spent in each other’s
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SCHOOLBOY Q company. No official word on a mixtape or album of yet, but keep an eye on any announcements by following on Twitter and / or Soundcloud.
side of Schoolboy Q we see this year is irrelevant; we will feel blessed either way.
DARINGER GOAT (PRODUCTION) / EARLY 2017
UNTITLED / TBA, 2017 Schoolboy Q; album; sometime this year; what more do you really need to know? Over the past few years Q had carved himself a nice little position profitable, popular - less concerned with the politics of the rap game, and instead, just doing him. Q the party rapper has always been excellent humans that don’t vibe to his choice cuts when played at a party are a rare breed and should be shunned - but on last year’s Blank Face LP he chose to explore the more nuanced side of his artistry. We know Schoolboy can get real (you won’t find a more heartfelt song than ‘Blessed’ in anyone’s catalogue) and we know he can get his story on, to great effect. Whichever
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Daringer holds one of the best positions in rap right now - he’s the go to man behind the boards for one of it’s fastest rising collectives. It’s fairly obvious to say that he’s not there by chance; Daringer has managed to carve out a completely unique sound by, ironically, revisiting what makes old-New York production so infectious and iconic - his beats are dusty, aged and cinematic. He’s the perfect foil to Conway - as attested to by the 2015’s Reject 2 - which bodes well for the upcoming GOAT, or the next chapter in the illustrious relationship between this Buffalo producer and GxFR.
CONWAY & WESTSIDE GUNN GOAT, PROJECT WITH JUST BLAZE, HITLER ON STEROIDS / THROUGHOUT 2017 It seems churlish to get vexed by Buffalo’s finest Conway the Machine delaying his output - he’s dropped more consistently than anyone this year (not just in frequency - each verse tends to be as good as the last) - but that’s the position he’s put us in. That his brother and labelmate Westside Gunn also blessed us with two of the most underrated heaters of the year (FLYGOD and There’s God And There’s FLYGOD, Praise Both) only adds to the building momentum of GxFr. It’s hard to think of two more exciting, ready-made artists, and while the collaboration between the brothers and patent legend Just Blaze gets the salivary glands pumping, it’s Conway’s GOAT that we think will be the crystallisation moment.
PHOTO: RENATA RAKSHA
verall, 2016 was a bit of a mixed bag in the world of TV; on the plus side, Ramsay Bolton’s dogs finally got fed and Hodor held the door, Westworld and Stranger Things kicked ratings and critical arse, and that lizard from Planet Earth II was winning more than Charlie freakin Sheen. Indeed, the highlights have been pretty damn high.
But for every Atlanta, there has been an Uncle Buck.
GORILLAZ Untitled / TBA 2017 The above is either an album announcement or long overdue confirmation that the Gorillaz are sentient - and that Damon Albarn is actually at the mercy of 2D, Murdoc, Noodle and Hobbs - either way it’s a win.
QUASIMOTO (MADLIB), ERIC B & RAKIM UNTITLED ALBUM & TOUR / TBA 2017 There’s rap royalty, and then there’s rap’s divine leaders - Eric B and Rakim live in the latter, and so does Madlib, which makes the prospect of their union positively dangerous. This will be their first release since 1992, and Madlib, masquerading as his producing alterego, will be touring with the two legends as well.
Oh yes, in case you missed it, there was an Uncle Buck TV series. Swept somewhere under the carpet, you’ll have to search Putlocker to find this steamer. I miss John Candy. And this is where the marmite of 2016’s existence was established (not with Uncle Buck...); in a year of some of the most heated political debates of our times, debates which have torn countries apart, whether it be on the topic of immigration, of a man’s right to lust after his own daughter, or, most importantly, the width of the spaces between Toblerone peaks, television has likewise divided its viewers. The Walking Dead fans were up in arms as many complained the show had gone too far in its uber-violent whacking of Abe and Glenn. Luke Cage was perhaps the most divisive MCU outing to date. Indeed, one of the few things that everyone seems to have agreed on this year is that
the Gilmore Girls comeback was great. So where do we go from here? How do we, to coin a phrase, make television great again? What can the twenty first century do in order to redeem itself for the steaming quagmire that was 2016? Well, to be fair, so far it’s not doing too badly (we can discount last week’s inauguration; that was a tragic domino effect of the crumbling precipice of 2016). The giants are still lumbering along, with GoT, TWD and TBBT still owning the airwaves, but we’re almost a month into the new year now, and we’ve had no major celebrity casualties (a huge relief), and Netflix have already knocked out a stellar contender for this year’s best new TV show in the shape of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Add to this a rag-tag collection of very promising new shows on the horizon, including the X-men universe’s Legion, NBC’s sumptuous Wizard of Oz reimagining, Emerald City, and the long-awaited return of 24, and we have a recipe for success. In these early days, 2017 is shaping up to be a very interesting years for new shows, and indeed, amidst the insanity of the world around us, TV is looking to be our unlikely salvation. Just a shame we won’t be getting season two of Uncle Buck.
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PHOTOS: FX NETWORKS
RACHEL KELLER WORDS: SCOTT OAKES
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egion, inspired by the Marvel comic book series of the same name tells the story of David Haller (Dan Stevens), a troubled man who has spent his time in and out of psychiatric hospitals. Haller is introduced to a new psychiatric patient Syd Barrett (Rachel Keller) and together they explore the likelihood that there is more to the two of them than mental illness.
Is it okay to be totally confused after episode one? Yes. For me it’s cool to start a story and say the things you think are going to be the most important, aren’t actually going to be that. It’s a cool starting point for Legion.
How would you describe Legion? It’s a surrealist drama centered around young people and their self-empowerment. I feel like Noah (Hawley), the creator is interested in the story and lifting the superhero genre to see if there is a foundation compelling enough to still bring people in. What we are given then with the genre is a beautiful prism to look at in a magical way, you’re given these powers and abilities but it’s a series that doesn’t take itself too seriously with that.
What can you tell us about your character Syd Barrett? We begin the series with Syd in a hospital, diagnosed with an antisocial anxiety disorder. Maybe. She
believes something about herself, there is a part of herself that is questioning that she can’t just be sick. When she meets David, there is a spark, a connection, and they can go on that journey together. That self-work can be really challenging, awkward, messy layered and sometimes really magical.
Was there any pressure with Marvel's involvement? At the end of the day, all the producers on set with us were incredibly supportive, encouraging and supportive of Noah. This is a group of people who admire the Marvel universe, in particular the X-Men world. What we are asking with Legion is, ‘What is down that corridor?’ Marvel were game so I didn’t feel pressure from them; I feel pressure from myself!
What are you most looking forward to about the Legion premiere episode? I’m excited to share it. It was a very subjective and individualist experience; I’m really looking forward to talking to my family about it. We throw paint to the wall and give as much material as we can to the hands of masterful editors and composers and because we’re doing this series with a Stanley Kubrick/Wes > Anderson vibe kind of vibe, it’s a collage.
Was it frustrating not being able to talk about Legion while filming?
I’m lucky because I can’t handle social media; I get frustrated and I start crying. It’s bad. So the people I talk to are friends and family, people you can be totally open with and say this is wild but mostly it was about sharing the experience.
What was it like to work with Noah Hawley and Jean Smart again, all having previously worked on Fargo together? Well Jean is a magician; she is a true class act, a gorgeously focused and elegant actress. I’m willing to do it again if she is. I’ll be her granddaughter, mentee, I’ll be her daughter, her mother... I’ll do it! Noah is one of the most creative and intelligent people I know but also one of the most calm. You have this innate trust in this man who speaks slowly and economically. He’s like ‘let’s have a Bollywood sequence in there’. It’s a joy.
Will there be more musical numbers in the series? Yes. They change a little bit though. I sang a Talking Heads song at one point, ‘Road to Nowhere’ and they distorted my voice a little bit. This story talks a lot about celebrating individuality and uniqueness, it’s an appealing message. I think I learnt how accurate that statement was when we went to Comic Con. You sort of know these people might feel a little different and I left there with an understanding of who we are making this series for. I feel like it extends further than people
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"When you have powers; people can use that to their advantage" who go to comic conventions, young women in particular who feel like there wasn’t a space for them to be expressive. For me, this is that character; she’s bold, a fierce independent and a hopeless romantic working hard at expressing herself.
Speaking of uniqueness, have you always celebrated yours? That is something I work on every day. There has been times in my life where I’ve left more confident but there are times you need reminding of it. That is why I’ve chosen to be a storyteller because that way I feel like I can express myself.
There is another famous ‘Syd’ Barrett, was that intentional? 30 VULTUREHOUND JANUARY 2017
Yes, what a lovely Easter egg for me. I wasn’t really familiar with Pink Floyd but I know the soundtrack Dark Side of The Moon was a big inspiration for Noah (Hawley). Doing research on Syd Barrett, understanding how young, troubled and talented he was, was almost as helpful as research on the Legion comic books. It felt like a way in to knowing who this character was from Noah’s brain.
Did you read all of the comic books?
It was awesome; there is an imminent threat to these characters because when you have powers; people can use that to their advantage. It’s a cool sequence and we had to wear these like water shoes so we didn’t slip as we were running.
Briefly but for me it was about the pictures, we weren’t following the narrative. I would keep coming back to the illustrations of the Legion comic book with the colours, the emotion and intensity of it and that was a nice way to tap in to the distorted reality.
Your character has a no touching rule and we see her kiss David through a windshield, will there be other creative ways in which these characters physically
Yes and in ways that you would never imagine. Syd has a strict boundary and it’s a unique relationship we explore, you will see more.
What was it like to film the action sequence at the end of the first episode?
Who are your favourite Marvel characters? I like Wolverine; he’s a really cool character. Mystique and Rogue too, I love the first X-Men movie, it’s my favourite one.
Legion premieres 9th February on FOX.
wrestling magazine from vh - Steelchairmag.com
DEAF HAVANA – ALL THESE COUNTLESS NIGHTS WORDS: KELLY RONALDSON
ver three years since the release of the remarkably successful Old Souls, British rock mainstays, Deaf Havana, have returned with their long-awaited fourth studio album, All These Countless Nights.
sees Veck-Gilodi examine the significant impact of his anxiety and drinking habits, particularly on his closest relationships. Despite its gut-wrenching undertones, it’s a track ultimately fuelled by hope.
The record sees frontman James Veck-Gilodi laying to rest his old self and embarking on a journey of self-discovery. Best known for their brutally honest lyrical approach and ‘stupidly good hooks’, All These Countless Nights presents twelve impressive tracks that highlight the undeniable talents of the now fivepiece band. Despite management issues, line-up changes and the near-end of Deaf Havana, the band are back on top form.
Recent single ‘Fever’ comes next; boasting traditional Deaf Havana sounds that have been amplified to the next level, providing an anthemic and motivating track that stands out effortlessly, while ‘Like A Ghost’ incorporates electro-pop synths into an upbeat rock song. ‘Feeling Low’ marks that self-pitying track that we’ve come to expect on a Deaf Havana album, but of course, it’s a relatable heart-warmer nonetheless, whereas the angsty ‘England’ expresses a not-so-subtle distaste for that band’s home country.
‘Ashes, Ashes’ begins with an acoustic melody that bursts into a series of pounding drum beats and an incredibly infectious chorus, forming an upbeat yet cynical-as-ever opening track. There’s a new-found confidence in Veck-Gilodi’s voice that takes centrestage on ‘Trigger’, before the seductive atmosphere of ‘L.O.V.E’ takes over as he recalls a lustful and guilt-ridden encounter, accompanied by one of the band’s best guitar riffs yet. However, ‘Happiness’ quickly changes the tone with a beautiful acoustic effort reminiscent of ‘Coffee’. Undoubtedly one of the band’s most honest tracks to date, ‘Happiness’
Fans who joined Veck-Gilodi and multi-instrumentalist band mate Max Britton on their solo tour two years ago will recognise the refined and perfected ‘Seattle’, taking the form of a lonely track that portrays James’ love for ‘London Town’, written during a miserable period of the band’s 2014 US tour. ‘St. Paul’s’ is another tear-jerker as Veck-Gilodi reflects on a past relationship before turning the track into an emotional, and frankly quite beautiful love song to his girlfriend Maria. There’s always an undertone of negativity in the frontman’s writing, but this song identifies a turning point for the singer that presents a new-found outlook
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CONSUUMER Q&A amie Rueben, one half of noise rock duo, consuumer - one of VultureHound’s Must Hear Bands of 2017 answers our questions. (Questions by Hannah Golightly)
How did you two meet? We both used to work at a pub in Hereford called the Barrels and that’s where we officially met but we were both doing different things musically around Hereford so we bumped into each other a lot before.
Who or what inspired you to start playing music? on life. Lead single ‘Sing’ comes next, regrettably referred to as the heaviest Deaf Havana track yet (have we forgotten the early years already?) but boasting an outstanding riff and inspiring lyrical theme that sees the five musicians working at their best. Finally, ‘Pensacola, 2013’ draws the album to a close in an intense and reflective effort that marks one of the band’s greatest tracks of their career. Deaf Havana have mentioned in recent interviews that this is their best work yet, and they couldn’t be more accurate. The record improves with every listen, and on behalf of fans who have followed the band from the very beginning, we couldn’t be more proud.
‘All These Countless Nights’ is out on January 27th via SO Recordings.
I think that at the time we were both feeling like we were stagnating musically and we decided to jam one night and that was it - it was like losing your keys on a night out and then finding them on the way home. I don’t think many people ever find someone that they can work with and bounce ideas off so easily so I feel pretty lucky.
Who influenced your original sound? I don’t think there were any specific artists, we are both huge music listeners and we just started playing whatever we felt like and it ended up sounding like this.
Lyrically, what subjects inspired you on debut EP Shattered Fruit? It’s just about being young and dumb.
You describe yourselves as Noise Rock, who are you other favourite bands in the genre
'Shattered Fruit ' EP out now
right now? I guess Brighton is killing it at the minute. Tigercub, Fuoco and Gang all just released killer records. We played with a couple of bands for our EP release that were amazing, we were really lucky to get to pick the line up and we got our buddies Splurge to open, then Wizard Sleeve, who if you haven’t heard of them, do, now, they’re amazing, and Clever Thing who are also super badass.
What guitar pedals and gear do you use to create your sound? Ah man, there’s too many, I always end up using different pedals every other week, I’m quite lucky to know enough guitarists that I can steal/ borrow pedals off.
Creatively, what’s the inspiration fueling your live shows? We just wanna see people dance, if we look up and everyone is just stood there, it sucks so we just try and get as rowdy as possible.
What are your plans for the rest of 2017? Any plans to tour the UK this year? We had planned on touring at the start of February but we had some setbacks so we’ve just got our show at The Victoria in Dalston on the 1st of Feb and then we’re gunna organise something for later in the year. We’ve got a ton of un-recorded songs so it’d be good to record again, the EP we just released was recorded about a year ago so it’ll be nice to release something that shows the evolution y’know?
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LLOYD KAUFMAN WORDS: LEE HAZELL
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PHOTOS FROM ‘ESSEX SPACEBIN’
or 40 years now, Troma has been tormenting film goers with buckets of blood, truckloads of gore and more naked breasts than the Colonel’s freezer. Now its founder, the legendary Lloyd Kaufman spends a lot of his time generously lending a hand to other similarly minded filmmakers to help get their films on the map. Here he speaks to VultureHound about Essex Space Bin; a riotous, weird and completely unique story here to twist and subvert your mind.
You’ve been a filmmaker that has found a rabid mega-cult following for your sense of OTT humour. Well we don’t take ourselves too seriously but we take our movies very seriously. Speaking of which, we take Essex Space Bin very, very seriously. So seriously that I am coming over to London to on the 8th and the 9th, and the 15th to the 19th at the Prince Charles Cinema, trying to see if we can raise its profile. It’s made, as you know, by two very interesting new filmmakers who have created the Chelmsford Film Society.
How did you get involved with those guys? Well, David Hollinshead and Philip Thompson came to me over to talk to me at the Groucho Club. What interested me when I met them was that they took the time to shoot this movie on beautiful 35mm and it knocked me for a loop. It’s a wonderful film. A hilarious, sci-fi, one-of-a-kind movie. The hero is a mentally ill, fat, old woman with no
"The hero is a mentally ill, fat, old woman with no teeth. What could be better than that?" teeth. What could be better than that? Have you seen Arrival? Essex Space bin is so much better than that on every level. Every level.
Why do you think that? Can you expand upon that thought? They weren’t trying to be politically correct The Essex Space Bin people. They made a movie from the heart. You can see that Arrival had about 15 producers all saying, “Oh, we better not put that in or do anything to insult anybody on the moon.” So, as a result, they end up with baby food, and boring baby food, may I say.
What does Troma, your now legendary low-budget movie studio do differently to the mainstream? Troma has existed for 40 years and I don’t believe that any other independent film studio has lasted > long. We believe in movies that that have come from our heart and soul. We also believe in the movies made by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, like Cannibal! The Musical, or James Gunn, and, in this case, David Hollinshead and Philip Thompson. Essex Space Bin is hot, hilarious
and galactic. It wasn’t made to be politically correct or satisfy the social justice warriors. It wasn’t even made to necessarily make money. It should make money, because it’s a damn good movie. In the fullness of time it will make money, but we can’t brainwash the fourteen year olds like the Star Wars crap. At least your government is helping some film makers. Don’t you have lottery money? The government of the United States helps nobody apart from those who want to make documentaries about lefthanded mattress workers. They don’t do much for independent art. I’m hoping that the next film the Chelmsford Film Society wants to do they’ll have an open door to the lottery.
What’s the most trouble you’ve ever gotten in while promoting a film? I don’t think we’ve ever really gotten into trouble. We’ve gotten kicked out of some places but that happens to everybody. You always have to have a Plan-B. I’ve written six books about making movies and how mistakes can be made. Oh, we made a movie called Terror
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Essex Spacebin out from Feb 18th with Q&A and The Prince Charles Cinema
Firmer – I would say is our craziest, our maddest movie – It’s a fictitious making of a Troma movie. We had to have a fat kid with a very small penis run butt naked across Time Square, the crossroads of the world, and the production manager, who was not well organized, when he was applying for the permits didn’t put on the permit that fat boy with small penis runs buck naked across time square. He failed to mention that. He just said man walks across Time Square. So, when it came time to shoot that famous iconic shot the police came and took our permits away and we lost a day of filming. I got into serious trouble with my wife who was the New York State film commissioner for twenty years. She was very angry with me because twenty years ago fat people with small penises were not allowed to run across time square. But now Congress passed the Fat Boys With Small Penises Act which has liberated fat boys with small penises, now they can run across Time Square any time they want. But now the social justice warriors are very upset because there have been no black boys with small penises who have run across time square and the law doesn’t allow fat women with very small vaginas to do the same thing. The act doesn’t speak to that issue.
What was the most trouble you ever got into after a film’s release? Trey Parker, Matt Stone and I went to Sundance with Cannibal! The Musical and out of that horrible experience we decided to create a festival of our own called
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TromaDance Film Festival which for ten years we put on in the same town as Sundance and the fascists arrested two of our volunteers and put them in jail. It’s in its 18th year now, the TromaDance Film Festival. It does not have Troma Movies. You can go to http://www.tromadance. com/. It’s all truly independent movies that come from the heart. You can submit your movies for free, you can see the movies for free and we have a no VIP policy.
What's the angriest reaction anyone had to one of your films? Well, The Washington Post reviewed Poultrygeist, and even though it got a very good review in the New York Times and was invited to many American Film Festivals, the critic form the Washington Post gave it a very bad review and to give an example of dialogue, he quoted the tagline on the poster. It wasn’t even in the move. He never even saw it! That certainly got me very angry and The Washington Post had to make amends. I believe they killed that critic.
Is there anything you have coming up in the future? Oscar winning producer Akiva
Goldsman is leading the charge on the kajillion dollar remake of The Toxic Avenger. It’s being directed by none other than Mr. Conrad Vernon director of Sausage Party. He’s a huge Troma fan. He’s seen Terror Firmer. He loves it and he loves Troma. I think he will do a great job at transferring Troma’s over the top humour and philosophy to an R Rated mainstream accidence. It’s going to be Conrad Vernon’s first live action movie. Your readers might also be very interested in the hot new streaming service Troma Now. Every two months you get a world premier movie plus world premiere short films. I also personally curate at least ten excellent, excellent moves from the world famous library of a thousand Troma movies, both short films and features. You can find it at watch.troma.com and start a free trial, after that it’s $4.99. You can see Essex Space Bin on it! But perhaps even more interesting is that to thank our fans for over 40 years of support we have TromaMovies on YouTube where you get to see about 300 of Troma’s classic movies for free as well as a multitude of short films we’ve made over the years as well as a plethora of my ‘Make Your Own Damn Movie’ lessons and interviews with people like Trey Parker, Mao Zedong and James Gunn.
WORDS: SAMANTHA FISHER
ARTIST OF THE MONTH
DECLAN MCKENNA ach month VultureHound picks a new artist you should definitely be checking out. This week, Samantha explains why Declan McKenna deserves your attention.
At eighteen years old and an alt-pop sound in tow, Declan McKenna is set to be every teenager’s dream, but he’s so much more than that. McKenna’s activist brain means that as accessible as his songs are, each one comes with a portrayal of the
world. While his young age may mean that he doesn’t necessarily have the answer to change, he’s definitely using his voice to open our eyes, to ponder the power of politics and to cast more thought to the world we live in. Take new single ‘The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home’ for example. > Initially inspired by a series of events in 2015, it wasn’t until McKenna was in Paris during the attack on November 13th, that the meaning of the track really came together. A track that was first intended to relay
McKenna’s mere frustrations of his generation’s voice not being heard, developed into a portrayal of this real sense of fear surrounding the feeling of powerlessness as a young person in today’s world. Someone who can only watch what’s going on, forced to go along with whatever is thrown at them. Being in Paris at the time of the attacks drove this song to hold so much more meaning, McKenna feeling the effects of the attack on those around him, feeling helpless and pained that this kind of occurrence is far too common
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these days. The song is the sign of a kid wise beyond his years, someone who can take a difficult topic and put it into a catchy pop song without any means of exploitation. McKenna recently released the official video for ‘The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home’ complete with statements from fellow young adults on the state of the world they are forced to live in. Watch, below.
The political pop path didn’t start here though. McKenna made himself known with his single ‘Brazil’ last year, critiquing FIFA’s world of money, power and fame, all while leaving us singing his song over and over. From the
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moment he put himself out there, he’s presented himself to be more than a music lover. The special thing about McKenna isn’t necessarily his sound, though we do absolutely love it, it’s his approach to utilising two passions in order to make himself heard, creatively painting his view on politics to a world that otherwise wouldn’t listen.
persistent energy that reaches an all time high, as McKenna jumps from his spot and quite literally forces himself into the foreground, demanding attention as he reveals a statement t-shirt that reads ‘Give 17 Year Olds The Vote’. At this point it almost seems certain that with every song from McKenna, we can expect there to be a purpose beyond fun to listen to.
An appearance on Later…With Jools Holland, saw a glittery McKenna perform with the support of a band, allowing him to express himself more actively, where before his solo performances may have been somewhat reclusive. His altpop sound glimmers with psychedelic grooves, while vocals fluctuate between melancholy tones and delicate howls. This all comes with a
Though his songs may tackle the drone of world politics, he manages to create something inherently enjoyable, never leaving us to drown in the doom and gloom of society. Instead, McKenna pushes motivation for change, while providing a kicky little jam to keep us going. Declan McKenna is on tour now. Debut album is due for release this Spring.
MICHAEL DICKINSON ome bad shits gone down recently, hasn’t it? You know what I’m talking about. I don’t need to mention it you know it. No I’m not going to say something pithy like “yeah Pot Noodles Beef & Tomato flavour are being discontinued” hahaha what a card am I!
No bad juju is going on over there in them United States. The news feeds, certainly on my self aggrandising, agreeable social media feeds declares this the beginning of a terrifying alternative Sci-Fi universe as we know it. And I don’t disagree. But you can read about that in so many other places. Did you know I have a podcast? I do. It’s pretty DIY. It’s me and friend of mine talking about David Bowie’s albums. Bet you weren’t expecting that segue. I mention this because right now because… well the bad shits coming from us at all angles. Not an hour goes by where another headline pops up with someone in a position of unfathomable power says something highly alarming about the LGBT community, minorities, the impoverished and how things are about to get a whole lot worse. Not to mention the unspeakable terrors supposedly civilised governments have been meeting out to countries that don’t speak English much (so it’s not as bad that they face daily violence). It’s right we shouldn’t turn away from it completely or ignore but holy Jebus you need a break now and then. Podcasts are the modern day sea of tranquility in an ocean of shit.
FINAL WORD PODCASTS ARE THE MODERN DAY SEA OF TRANQUILITY IN AN OCEAN OF SHIT. If you’re yet to come around to the idea it’s glorious. Stand anywhere in the real world, the traffic of life passing you by and you can be transported to a small studio somewhere where one person, a couple or maybe a whole group of folks are holding discussion over some wonderfully trivial but no less fascinating topic. You love movies? There’s a show for that. Like Hip Hop? You’re covered. Love agricultural reforms in 18th century Spain? Um… sure, I’m pretty sure you’re golden. Podcasts to me are becoming the ages finest form of escapism. More so than films and music. No matter where I am in the world I can plug one in and I’m that room. Sat around the table, learning new things, heck maybe enjoying a laugh or two. It’s also community building. The family nature of the podcast is a real thing. Like a member of a special club where all are welcome all for the price of sparing a few moments whilst you at a loose end. It’s a safe world, a gratifying and far less troubling than the real one around you. If only for a few moments you can escape from it all. So don’t bother with the drugs or the booze if current matters are brining you down to much stick on your headphones and listen to some pointless chatter! And if you think reading the last paragraph was a waste of time I bet you weren’t thinking about Donald Trump were you?
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