Draw Me Stories Interview/Review

DMS - 2

*yawns* Wake up everyone. A nice cuppa and some refreshing music are the best fix for the hump day of the week. If you allow me to choose your morning soundtrack, I’d suggest you try the groovy-rock of Draw Me Stories with their Cocoon Machina, out on Glasstone Records. This album of so-called “second reinvention” mixes electric vibe, Animal Collective-like tribal percussions (and bass guitar) and not-so-subtle electro-beat – just have a go with the introduction of Birdsongs, absolutely brilliant. When asked to describe it in 5 words, Draw Me Stories choseMinimalist, expansive, rhythmic, percussive, lyrical.

Cocoon Machina merges in an ultra-fine contrast between the synthy bases and traditional instruments (Kaleidoscope), creating an uplifting lyrical atmosphere, also thanks to Carl’s vocals (which sometimes remind me of early Elbows, but it may just be my inner love for them). Although the electro-twist was already experimented with in the remixes of the earlier Double A Side by You Love Her Cos She’s Dead and Tex Taiwan, synths and pads simply became a tool to enrich what was already hinted at in the music: “it was a natural progression for us as we’ve always admired the extra depth and atmosphere electronic instruments can add to more traditional guitar/drum based music.” The electro-hints swing into the mystical acid rock a là Doors in songs such as Animals and A Place Behind Locked Doors adding keyboards, finger picking and shamanic percussions. Moreover, the producer Charlie Francis gave a sensible contribution to make the album the aforementioned “second reinvention”: “He’s a very honest gentleman and had some great ideas and contributions to add to the record. Double-tracking the drums on Birdsong was one of his ideas which gave the song exactly the sort of tribal-ness we wanted it to portray. He also added some instrumentation, for example the organ breakdown on We Saw Things (Without Our Faces) and the piano at the end of Black Water Cave pt2.”

Cover Album
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Similar Artist: Honeybird and the Birdies, King of the Opera
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Tracklist
01. Birdsong
02. Animals
03. Our Whole Bodies
04. IIII
05. Black Water Cave pt.1
06. Black Water Cave pt.2
07. Human Machine
08. Entracte
09. A Place Behind Locked Doors/Refined Nostalgic Fool
10. Kaleidoscope
11. We Saw Things (Without Our Faces)
12. Blood Follows Grain, Grain Follows BloodThe album is the hybrid child of traditional rock and breakthrough synth-rock, being quite attentive in never becoming too electronic. Now it’s time to go a bit more in depth with the interview.

Cocoon Machina: where does the name come from?

The album title is really a meeting of two concepts. The ‘cocoon’ aspect refers to the fact that this is a rebirth, or reinvention, of our musical approach. ‘Machina’ is the latin for machine, so, as a whole, the title loosely translates as ‘the machine of creation’, or something like that. There is also something inherent in the words that seems to suit the sounds and colours of the album.

How did the band evolve from being a trio in 2008, to the introduction of Joanne in the line-up later on?

Having recorded the album as a trio we realised – after adding a certain amount of synth/percussive/vocal layers on top of what we’d been performing during the writing process – that we weren’t going to be able to completely reproduce this sound on stage. We therefore decided that a fourth member would be beneficial to our live shows, and drafted in a friend; Jo.

How much had it shifted since the folk-driven EP The Sky and the Mirror (2009)?

In terms of our sound, we’ve become much more rhythm orientated, with our songs having an underlying atmosphere created by synth and samples. The way we wrote the songs on Cocoon Machina was a much more holistic approach, with the three of us creating the tracks together from scratch. Certain songs on The Sky and The Mirror hint at the sound on Cocoon Machina; i.e. very lyrical, rhythmic undertones, percussive, expansive…

Was the Double A Side release a way to experiment before Cocoon Machina?

In a sense it was, but I think more so it was just part of the process of finding the sound we wanted for an album that we knew we wanted to create further down the line. I think we perhaps shifted a little too far to the experimental/trip-hop end of the spectrum, but I think this was useful for us in order to ‘rein it in’ and find the right balance of folk/lyricism, and expansive/experimentalism.

Carl said that the record borrows “more from a film soundtrack than the traditional indie album”. Are there any films you can think of as an example?

I think this is a symbolic thing really. In a film soundtrack you might have a bunch of songs (or pieces) that sound quite dissimilar but are held together by the fact that they play a part in the whole, or in telling the story.  I feel that a lot of albums stay within a defined sound space (which is important for creating something consistent etc) but I think we wanted songs to move around more.  As an example, I guess something like ‘The Graduate’ by Simon & Garfunkel, or compiled soundtracks in the vain of Tarantino and Danny Boyle.

Is there any film that you think would fit with the new album?

Good question! To be honest, I’m not sure. I think there is something raw and energising about the music on the album, so I think the film would have to be quite raw and emotive too – maybe violent? Maybe epic? I’ll let you decide 🙂

Playing around Europe supporting bands as Born Ruffians, Alessi’s Ark, Eric Chenaux. How was the experience? Did you learn anything by playing with these bands?

It was a fantastic experience. I’m not sure we can claim to have played ‘around Europe’, but we did a mini-tour of France, which was great fun. Playing with those bands mentioned was a pleasure too. They were all lovely people and it’s a real learning curve performing amongst such established acts – it really makes you focus in on your own performance.

You also played some gigs with Bath-based Port Erin (I am currently living in Bath, and I am a keen customer of Rueben at Raves From The Grave). How was it sharing the stage with them?

Port Erin have been good friends of ours for many years now. We’ve done quite a number of gigs with them and we’re big fans of their sound – they’re gifted musicians and its apparent in their music, which is refreshing to see in a band these days. Lovely chaps too, great hair, great beards.

Which would be in your opinion the main difference between the French and the UK live scene?

I think the main difference is that Brits are really into music. You can tell by the number of bands and live venues in UK. But there are still some amazing bands from France like Phoenix, Air, Daft Punk…however the French music scene respects artists more.  In the UK you are made to feel lucky just for playing certain venues (and you don’t get paid for playing original material until you reach a certain level).

Is there any other country you’d like to play in the future?

We’d hope we’d be well received anywhere in Europe – we have a sound that we’d imagine would go down well over there. Places like Germany or Belgium, or Sweden or Denmark for example would be great to play.

The apocalypse is coming and you have to put one track into a time capsule to preserve for future generations, what would it be?

4th Time Around – Bob Dylan.

Which are the main appointments in your agenda for the this 2013?

Album launch party – 15th March, Cardiff.

Playing around the UK in support of the album release.

Hopefully getting on to some festival bills.

Generally hyping the album as much as possible.

Having a baby.

Interview with Reuben from Port Erin

port erin

Hello, hello! The introduction to this post is quite simple. There is a pretty awesome band, called Port Erin, which I am desperately trying export in the Italian boot, so I decided to start with doing what I usually do best: writing about it! So, here we are, with the original English interview with Reuben, the manager, singer and guitarist of the band. As UK-imported columnist for Goldsoundz webzine, I always try to find la creme de la creme (Italian Version CLICK). And here we go.

F: You actually started in 2007. How did it start, how did you meet the others?

R: Well we all grew up together, Cerys the drummer, we’re all from a small village, and the year before that [2006], Port Erin with a different lineup including my brother and myself, did a tour. We asked a band called Coaster to come and support us for the tour, and their drummer was Cerys. We were in Cambridge early, we’d set up for an afternoon, and all three of us just had a jam. And then after the tour we just got together. But we did go to primary/secondary school together, so there’s a lot of history. There’s videos of Jacob and Cerys jamming when they’re, like, 10.

F: Is it online?
R: No, no it’s not unfortunately it wasn’t still the time (laughs).

F: I guess it wasn’t the time [technologically] to put everything online.  But still, it seems music was in the family. As I wrote in the review, the album has so many different references and layers, so I was wondering, do you share the same influences or similar music tastes? Or is it a combination of different tastes?

R: I’d say we all recognize when a good song’s a good song. If we know a tune, then collectively we love it, but we do have quite different tastes. Cerys is the “beats man”, obviously being the drummer, so he’s into hip-hop, drum n’ bass, anything rhythm-based. Jacob’s the “jazz man”, he plays in quite a few other bands in town, he does lots of session work as a bassist. And I guess I’m coming from the “singer/songwriter” and “band band” kind of place.

F: Well, that makes sense, as it’s a difficult album to label. Moving to discussing your début album, which came out a while ago, from “I’ll Be on The Common” to “Wheel Inside A Wheel”, did your sound change or evolve in a way, either you as a band grew up or even the sound itself?

R: Definitely, I think leading up to I’ll be on The Common, we’d just kind of survived on the youthful exuberance and you don’t really give yourself a second thought, you’re just doing it. After the album we just hit a strange place where we doubted ourselves as a band musically, because we’d done so many live shows, and you don’t really know what you’re doing in a live show unless you record it. So although we’d built up quite a good reputation as a live band, I think it was finally after that album that we decided to question ourselves rather than listen to what everybody else was saying. So that got us to that point, and then to get out of that point, we started jamming properly. As a regime, we’d jam two nights a week and record everything, and from that we started piecing together a new set. That took us 2 1/2 – 3 years to get us to the final point. So yeah, we knew that whatever way about it, the second album was going to be hard. The 3 years leading up to it, definitely changed, we went through so many different styles, just trying to find what kind of band we are. We still don’t really know! But I think we got a bit more to the point on this album than the one before. If you think this one’s weird, you don’t want to hear the first one!

F: Well I wouldn’t call that a bad thing, because you can get that there is something, like a trend in this album even if I wouldn’t call it a concept. If there is, I didn’t get it, and it’s my fault. You can get a trend, but then there are lots of bits inside it to try and find the one that sounds best. And also I mean labels sometimes are really too tight about what is “folk” or “rock”. And there are some bands, like this Italian band with the genre-tag as “Mexican pirate porn-rock”, creating their own genre. So it doesn’t really matter so long as it works for you.

R: Yeah. I think in the long-term, it’s probably a good thing. Even Radiohead, when they were into their 7th year, were still a band that people didn’t understand. The audience liked it, but they didn’t rave and cheer, they just stood there song after song, going “what the hell was all that about?”. But yeah, getting that kind of reaction is as good to me from an artistic point of view, completely stunning somebody or make them not understand what’s going on.

F: Well I think, because you’ve played so often, both onstage and in radio stations, and I read about Glastonbury as well, you’ve been playing a lot. And I think that there’s something attractive about your style. Is there an aspect that you like about playing live?
R: The instant reaction to all this. You just know that people like you, so you know that in that moment, half an hour onstage, is right and people are enjoying it. And just the spontaneity of it. Every gig is a little bit different with us, we’ve tried to keep to the record but we’re not like that, just somehow something has to happen.

F: Also if there are different sets and venues etc., given I know you also played in London, which has a very different mentality from Salisbury or Frome. How did you end up in Glastonbury then?
R: Well we played there first time in 2010, and that was just done up via e-mail. I think it was a friend, who was booked to play, recommended us, so we just followed up via e-mail. The following year, we were asked to play. Unless you’re playing one of the big stages, it’s not much like any other gig. I think the most people we had was 250-300 people, which is not loads of people, we’ve done that kind of crowd before.

F: But I suppose it’s more the festival set.

R: Yeah, just being there, and seeing your name in the program, even if it is page 400, size 6 font. We did it! So that side of things is always very cool.

F: You’ve also played as support for other bands, what’s that like instead of headlining?

R: Well we always like supporting bands, especially main support because you get the crowd, and you get a chance to show people what you’re about, and they’re not expecting us.

F: Given that you brought it up, the topic of being independent. Which are the pros and cons of being completely independent?

R: I’d say obviously the cons of not being signed is that you don’t have the support behind you, in terms of radio play and tour agent booking, all that kind of stuff. The pros at the moment, considering that not many bands are getting record deals, or that most bands given deals are expected to break on their first album. It used to be that the band would get a 4- or 5-album deal, and the label wouldn’t put so much pressure on the first album, you’d wait and it would be the 3rd or 4th where you’d start getting somewhere. I dunno, in a way it’s kind of helpful with the recent BBC6 plays, it was kind of highlighted that sonically we sound as good as a signed band, but we’re not. So that’s cooler for us, and obviously we got a heck of a lot more money in returns from album sales, we keep the whole £10, whereas Mumford & Sons probably get 50p between them. But at the same time it’s hard to manage as well, there’s all the admin, royalties to collect. And some people don’t take you seriously, because you’re not signed.

F: You just said about how it was being on BBC6 Mixtape, how was it?

R: It was great! We first got played on BBC6 in 2009, but this time round we got played on the Mixtape, which is 20 unsigned bands, and then Tom Robinson picks two or three of them to play on his live show. And we didn’t even know he was going to play it. So yeah, to get a play at 10 o’clock on a Saturday night on national radio for us felt like a job done. Obvious we’re going to continue selling it and sell more copies, but in terms of profile we’re well happy! We were listed alongside Elbow and The Sex Pistols! Rather than being in an unsigned show, we were on an official show. Therefore an unsigned band can do everything a signed one can do, on a small degree.

F: One step at a time, just getting the word out, on the Internet etc. And also I think you decided to work with somebody outside of the band, engineer Marco Migliari. How was working with him?

R: The whole process was a massive eye-opener. I mean, before we’d recorded with some locally fairly respected guys, but going through the whole process of demoing songs, pre-producing, recording them, then doing everything afterwards…and I think Marco was the backbone of the record. His emotions didn’t change once, he was just upbeat and happy, and throughout that whole year we went through so many vibes as a band, it’s mad to think one guy was there the whole way to just plough on. I think that comes through on the record as well, that’s what helped bring the whole sound together. Working with him was amazing!

F: And how is the reception of the album going at the moment? It came out in October, didn’t it?

R: Good, so far! It’s slowly building. We didn’t have any money to a promotional campaign because we spent all the money making the record. So considering that we just did a local launch and toured a bit, good stuff’s come from it. But I think in the band, when we get the right sort of exposure will be when we feel right as a band. And we’ve come a long way, we know it is essentially about writing good songs. So if we get a good review, it’s great, even with the radio play, it’s great, but that song to us wasn’t that great. It was alright, but it wasn’t the best song on the album, and we know we can write better.

F: Do you have a favorite one?
R: Probably the third one, “Let It Go”. It was such an interesting way to record a song, the hardest song to record. We’d only written it two weeks before we started recording, it just came out of nowhere with the groove and the vibe, and I couldn’t find lyrics or a melody and the violin came in, it took on lots of different forms. It was the last thing that was recorded vocally, and singing backing vocals down a cardboard tube at 3 in the morning was quite cool. It’s got all these little bits, like the guitar overdubs. It was probably the most produced song, to get it where it had to be. We didn’t know where it was going.

F: You just “let it go”!

R: Wahey! Yeah, definitely. And lyrically, it was killing me trying to write the second verse in that song. And then on the last night, literally just before I had to sing, Marco’s like “OK, getting ready then?” and I’m like “Ehhhhh almost…maybe…”. It was the only time he complimented me on my lyrics or anything else throughout recording, he was good as a producer with not getting our hopes up. Just kept it simple, not let your emotions take over.

F: So how is the writing process for you guys?

R: Completely differs. The songs I write on guitar with the lyrics are done just like that, and I have them in my head pretty much how it needs to be. And the other guys don’t like those kind of songs, so I try not to do that too often. But there are songs that are natural, they need that drum beat and that bass line and it’s going to be a nice song. And the jams, we’ll be going around an idea for 1/2hr, and in that 1/2 hr 30 seconds of it will be good, so we pick that up and jam that to create something else. Jacob has written bass lines like “Hold On”, the track that got played on the radio, that was J’s bass line and I wrote the riff over the top, and it slowly came together. There’s no order, whenever, wherever. The lyrics aren’t “floaty” however, every song has its own little story.

F: And where do the stories come from? Other music, literature, personal experience…

R: Mainly from personal experience but not too intense. The ones I don’t like are the ones which are ten tracks of “she left me!”. Everybody has that emotion, there’s no depth to that.

F: Another topic to ask about because I’m nosy. Is there any artist, band or record that made you think “that’s what I’d like to do for the rest of my life”.

R: Yes. After the first album, when we didn’t have a clue what we were doing, there were serious talks of quitting the band because we’d done around 200 shows, and the album etc. So it was Talking Heads – “Stop Making Sense” live DVD, I watched that, and I know others have said it before, but that night my life changed and I was like “I have to do this”, and since then looking on that night, that keeps me sane. And that’s why the album is called “Wheel Inside A Wheel”, it’s taken from a Talking Heads lyric. So it’s kind of based on that, but also we’re just many musicians within a group of musicians and lots of songs within songs. That lyric, I don’t know what it means when he sings it! It just seemed the right thing, we didn’t know what we were going to call it until the very minute, the final mixdown. We liked it, it’s a nod to other musicians. Sounds a bit hippie-ish, doesn’t it?

F: So, final question, what is the thing you’re most proud of with regards to Port Erin the last 12 months?

R: I’d say I’m most proud of us now, this month, because we had to come up with a lot of money. Most of all, I’m proud that we’ve demo’d 24 tracks and we’re getting ready to start recording album number 3.

Beat Mark Interview/Review

Band Picture

Fuzz-y and sing-along-y, the lo-fi juicy pop of Beat Mark is a quite pleasant surprise. This, using their own words, “drive-to-the-beach-in-a-noisy-car type of sound” is extremely catchy, and yet not so simple to explain: “first we clearly had a solar beach boys-esque sound, with songs to listen to while driving to the ocean side. A “drive to the beach” kind of sound. But there’s also a strong noisy dimension to our music, and probably more now than when we started.” Despite its fairly random composition, the band’s catchy non-so-Brit-pop is actually appealing.

The new EP Beat Mark…Move On! comes out on February 15th via Soft Power records in an edition of 100 hand dubbed, hand numbered tapes: “It is both cheap and fast to record a cassette. The cassette also takes us back to the art of tape mixing of our teenage years, when we worked on the perfect ones to give to lovers and friends and then spent ages drawing covers, or when we used to tape songs in a trance at night straight from the radio. Moreover, the cassette sound is great, the object endearing, and its resistance to the damage of time excellent.” The general pop-gaze aura is even more enhanced by the use of different vocal styles (and voices), creating a kaleidoscope of refrains (Boxes), alongside with the general guitar-fuzz, even stronger by the end of the EP (Move On, Decolorize). This is one of those times in which, surprisingly, the adjective simple has not such a bad acceptation: the falsetto choruses of The Way and its blissful lo-fi indie pop just get stuck in your head.

As they are abut to release a new EP, their debut LP Howls of Joy is also getting a re-release on UK label Ample Play: “We are happy to have a British label that’s interested in our music and wanted to re-issue the LP, of course. It’s pleasant to realise the songs are now played and listened to in the UK, they’re supposed to hate French bands over there, so we are quite proud to be appreciated by them funny sarcastic curled up-nosed people with posh accents!” To have a listen to the EP, just click on the Bandcamp page on the band, but not before having read the whole interview below!

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Similar Artist: Two Bitz Desperados, Lava Lava Love

When and where did “Beat Mark project” start? Where does the name come from? It’s such a pain to google it. 

We started this project at the end of summer 2009. We chose this name in reference to the Beat Generation and to a William S. Burroughs quote that says “hustlers of the world, there is one Mark you cannot beat : the Mark inside.” «Beat Mark» was supposed to make you think of something like «the mark of the beat», or even «the mark of the beast». But nothing like «you should beat Mark», we like Marks.

Would you like to tell me something more about the genesis of your new EP “Beat Mark move on…Cassette”?

We just wanted to record some new songs. We just played together at our practice space for a while, then Julien has got some sort of a home studio, so basically, we just hung out at his home with beers, we put texts and melodies together and recorded what needed to be recorded where we could and the way we could. It took a few months and was a bit chaotic but we did it!

How did you get in touch with Soft Power records?

Our drummer Chloé was hanging on a Paris girl’s blog one day and found out about a mix compilation Soft Power had put together, and it happened that there was a Beat Mark song along with tons of other bands she liked. So she decided to write the guys from the label just to say thanks for the featuring. They almost immediately replied and asked if Beat Mark would be willing to put out something with them, and we said yes!

“Beat Mark…Move On” is all over the Net right now. How has the reaction been like to your music overall, especially to the new single, both at home and abroad?

In France, nobody really gives a shit apart from a few hardcore supporters who have been with us since the beginning. Other than that, we are amazed at how good the reactions are abroad at the moment, because it’s been a little more than 3 years now that we’ve been playing in France, and even though people generally show up at gigs, we haven’t had a lot of press, blog reports or even record sales lately! It makes us feel both stunned and stoked, and also maybe a bit more self-confident.

Let’s talk a bit more about your influences: which are the bands you grew up with? How much did they influence your music?

The Cure, The Velvet Underground, Depeche Mode, The Beatles, Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Pavement, Stereolab, My Bloody Valentine, Joy Division, Spacemen 3, The Swell Maps, Nico, Love, The Beach Boys… not too exotic.

Basically, you loved a band as a kid, it comes back to you, or rather it has never left you, and then at some point you want to make a song that sounds the same, it fails, and in the end you get something of your own.

How important are live performances in the current music scene, especially for indie breakthrough acts?

It is one of the most important things that keep any scene alive, especially the so-called “indie” one. A band exists when it plays, or it dies. We don’t really play shows as much as we wish for we all have jobs now, but we’re hoping to be able to find the time to quite soon.

Any shows or extra-curricular activities that were particularly memorable so far?

Shows we attended? White Fence at Point FMR last December in Paris was definitely one of the best live acts in ages. The best memories we have with Beat Mark are related to when we spent some time in Italy/Sardinia. Lots of sun, swimming, nice people, the best food and very cool gigs.

By the end of the interview, I always like getting a bit nosy: what’s been keeping your iPod or CD player warm recently?

With the 4 of us, it’d be Jamaican oldies compilations, Can the Lost Tapes, Mac de Marco, Béla Bartok, Personal Space an electronic soul compilation, Amanaz, Tame Impala, Burt Bacharach, Lou Reed Street Hassle, Your Victorian Breasts compilation on three four records. Etc.

Which posters were hanging on your bedroom wall as teenagers? 

Chloé had pictures of Zach from Saved by the Bell on her bedroom walls when she was 12, then she saved some space to have psychedelic images of the Pink Floyd around. Gaëtan enjoyed sleeping under posters of Queen then turned to Nirvana, and Julien still has a couple of awful framed posters of Roy Lichtenstein’s stuff at his parents’. (laughs)

What’s planned for the rest of 2013? Any date we should take note of?

We want to go on tour ! We might come to the UK, actually. It would be pretty cool, wouldn’t it?

Review and Interview: Hangmen

hangmen

As most of you may know, despite my broad musical mind-catalogue, my root are blues and rock & roll, in all of their forms. Therefore, when one of the most awaited releases of 2013 happens to be the instrumental-garage-surf debut of the Swansea-based Hangmen, I have to lay my hands on it. Talking with the lead guitarist Alastair Jenkins, the first thing I realise is that we share a not-so-secret love for a certain band, as he confesses that the album of his youth is L.A. Woman by The Doors: “I love it and have copies of it on pretty much every format I can find!” When among the people you’d love to hang out with there are “Jim Morrison, Elvis, Hendrix, Dylan Thomas, Dennis Wilson and Joe Meek”, what possibly can go wrong?

Digging a bit more into this passion, I soon get that this general 50s-60s aura is not just a wink, but a proper guiding light for the band: “I’m borderline obsessed with the era (the 60s), I fill my house with stuff from it. The 50’s plays a huge part in it for us all too, along with taking a newer more garage edge with it! We love Elvis: if it wasn’t for him, I don’t think music would be what it is right now. Films like The Trip and Psych out I really dig and some of the early rock ‘n roll movies like don’t knock the rock, I also love a lot of the 50’s and 60’s sci-fi B-movies too. Guilty pleasures!

The debut Singapore Slingers goes from the Leonard Cohen-y dusty blues, with dynamic bass-lines and a general Mississippi nostalgia (Black Mamba Blues) to a perfect Tarantino-esque Western anthem (Maria). The surf-y touch, with upbeat drum patterns and burning keyboard solos (Singapore Slingers) make the atmosphere even more explosive, making quite clear which artists have been source of inspiration: “ initially it started with the surf thing, so Dick Dale, Beach Boys, Link Wray, and then moved onto more 60’s style groups like The Doors, The Animals, The Sonics and then some 60’s garage revival bands such as the Fuzztones, Chesterfield Kings, the list could go on! Oh yeah and most Tarantino Soundtracks too!

Despite lacking vocals, the sound is full and rich, a bit Kinks-esque (The Graveyard Shakedown), sometimes led by rockabilly riffs (The Headhunter), sometimes taking part in Beach Boys’s legacy, leaving the spotlight to the keyboards (Zombie Surf Party, my absolute favourite): “I think instrumental music can be really interesting, I think you as the listener can make up your own mind as to what the song is about, there’s no pre-conceptions(apart from a song title). Sometimes with lyrics it can take the mystery away to what a song is about (not that it’s a bad thing but to me mystery is fun). That kinda drew us to doing it, and I just really like being able to express yourself through your instrument – it is a just a nice vibe too, for the record. I love bands with singing in too, and I play in a few other bands which are vocal groups. It’s just something we thought we’d try and all really enjoy it!” 

The album has its own storyline, which ends with the more Elvis-y ballad The End, proving that sometimes words are not needed, and the music itself can make you clap and dance around (try Zombie Surf Party out loud, it’ll prove you that I’d never lie to you, dear reader).

Cover Album
The Singapore Slingers
Similar Artist: Dan Sartain, The Animals, Beach Boys

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I am really interested in knowing how did a bunch of guys with a passion for surf and rock and roll meet up in Swansea and decide to play music together.

Well, it all started a few years back, I’d played in a bunch of bands with Iwan the drummer for many years, playing different styles of music, I’d always loved instrumental music/surf and rock n roll music from a young age, My dad always played me Beach boys, Dick dale, Eddie Cochran, Shadows, The Doors etc. when I was growing up, and just thought it’d be a cool, different thing and most importantly a fun thing to do, so we got together with the other boys Rob and Tom who were close friends from Swansea and started Hangmen and here we are!

Let’s be a bit nosy now: where does the name Hangmen come from?

The name Hangmen is just something we came up with one evening, It incorporated the surf terminology (Hanging Ten..and we’re men..Clever hey 😉 ) Along with a darker image and sound of the Hangman (one of the last hangmen in the Uk was operating in Swansea in 1958 I believe).

Where does the idea come from to name your songs after Tiki drinks : “Singapore Slingers” “Shrunken Skull Stomp”, “Zombie Surf Party”)? (Ed. Boat drinks are also known as umbrella drinks but are more commonly referred to as tiki drinks or exotic cocktails.)

Well, being in love with that era i stumbled across the Tiki scene almost by accident, but it just had such a huge impact on me, I even built a home Tiki bar in my back garden, We all love cocktails and the imagery which comes with it and just found it fit with the vibe of the songs. It just stuck really!

I swear it will be our little secret: in “The Headhunter” I got a subtle wink at Pulp Fiction theme (Misirlou by Dick Dale and His Deltones). Was it just me?

You are completely right on that! That song blew our minds when we heard it, so it’s our subtle wink to the master with our spin on it!

For the release of The Singapore Slingers you worked with Todd Campbell and recorded the album in 3 days. How did you manage to do it?

Todd is a old friend of ours and has recorded our bands in the past (his dad plays in Motörhead too!) Todd is the best dude and such an absolute pleasure to work with, He’s great at what he does and is super accommodating. Obviously if money had allowed we would have spent maybe an extra day there, but on the other hand, I really like working to a small deadline, If you spend months in a studio in my opinion you have so much time, you run the risk of over thinking and putting a million different parts on a song which leaves it unrecognisable when being played live! 10 songs in 3 days is quite a lot to do, So basically we just made sure we were well rehearsed and drank A LOT of coffee and energy drinks, which seemed to help Rob and I!

How is an average recording session for you guys? Is it more jamming or is there a specific creative process?

With recording it’s a bit of both for us, Some parts were finalised in the studio, specifically the organ parts. But the majority of everything was created in the rehearsal room and finalised before getting to the studio, so we could just blast through the majority of stuff, Saying that, some of my favourite parts of the record were made up on the spot in the studio!

How did you get in contact with YouDig?Records? Are you also going to be in their mid-2013 compilation?

YouDig? Records are a south Wales indie label who have recently been born. They deal with Surf/instrumental and garage rock n roll, more out of necessity than anything I think, as there aren’t a great deal of indie labels in the UK specialising in that, Hangmen are on the compilation which is being released in 2013, along with bands from the USA, Mexico, UK and Europe and Australia! It’s just nice to see the word being spread about these bands which otherwise it may be difficult to come across! You can check out youdig? Records here.. https://www.facebook.com/YouDigRecords?

How was it being part of the soundtrack for Jono Atkinson’ documentary (Over Ply Wood, about the Welsh skate scene)? Have you had the chance to see the final product yet?

Jono is a top guy, we were on the soundtrack to one of his early films which was awesome, This new film he has coming out looks amazing, we’ve not seen the final product yet, but from the trailer it looks a real interesting watch!

Hangmen – Black Mamba Blues from suessmichael on Vimeo.

How was is playing on the South Sea DIY stage at south sea fest? Any other bands you

were looking forward to see there?
Southsea was a blast! Our friends band Two wounded birds (RIP) played there, they were great, we saw Great Cynics another friends band who were wonderful and caught a few other new bands one group called F.U.R.S who were pretty good too, then the rest of it was a bit of a blur due to the free beer, but it’s an amazing atmosphere and so many cool bands play there, the whole of the town turns into music venues and everyone is hanging out and partying, it’s definitely recommended!

How was the Pulp Fiction party in Bristol instead? I mean, the atmosphere wasprobably explosive!

The Pulp Fiction party was far out, We had such a good night, They looked after us so well, We had so much free pizza and beers and a room to stay for the night, which makes such a big difference, the show itself was wild, There was a screening of Pulp Fiction outside in the garden whilst a BBQ was going on, then bowling and cocktails inside, when we played everyone was up for dancing and just having a great time! It was a great atmosphere and hope it happens again!

You play quite a specific genre, which has for sure a lot of keen aficionados. How isyour average audience? Is it made of hardcore old-school listeners or quite variated?

Our average audience is pretty varied, from people who like punk rock, 60’s stuff, Surf, Garage, blues etc! Sometimes people don’t really get the no singing thing, which has come up once or twice, but hopefully after a few listens they may get it, if not, who cares!


Don’t miss out your chance to grab a copy of Singapore Slingers, and take your chance to see them live, as the band seems to have a quite busy schedule for this year “…2013 holds as many gigs as we can possibly do. Hopefully we will be releasing a split 7inch with a band from the US and possibly another EP and hopefully a trip to Europe for some shows…ultimately have as much fun as possible!” Adding to a bullet-proof formula a touch of originality, Hangmen move away from the pop side of independent music, popping (pun!) with a vibrant brand new shade, the one that only some evergreen rock ‘n’ roll can have.

 

Hangmen – Singapore Slingers from suessmichael on Vimeo.

Interview with Spiders: 60s nostalgia and volcanic blues rock

Spiders-3

Today we are going to have a chat with the lovely Swedish band Spiders, discovered by chance during the Graveyard gig a couple of weeks ago. Lots of influences, tumbling music and a bit of 60s nostalgia will lead you to one of the most explosive blues bands in the current underground scene.

Hi guys, thank you so much for taking some time to answer my questions. Why don’t you introduce yourself and state your onstage weapon of choice?

Spiders are John Hoyles – choice of weapon: Guitar, Ann-Sofie Hoyles on screaming Vocals and bluesy Harmonica, Matteo Gambacorta on frantic Bass and Ricard Harryson on volcanic Drums.  Spiders are from Gothenburg Sweden and have been  rocking since 2010.

You are touring at the moment: England (loved your show in Bristol), Austria, Netherlands…How is the road treating you?

Thanks, glad you liked the show. We have been over whelmed with the positive response we have got at the shows. Most people haven’t heard us before but they seem to be liking us. We are supporting Graveyard and they have been great hosts looking after us on the road. We are having a blast!

 I bet a lot of things are going on at the moment; do you have any interesting/embarrassing anecdote about a gig to share with us?

We’ve dodged all the bullets so far…

 You were born in 2010, released EPs and singles around the world, the line-up changed (the previous drummer is Axel Sjöberg from Graveyard) and you came back to the Studios to record the new album. How do you think you’ve grown as a band so far?

We have become tighter as a band playing after playing over 100 gigs and also we have found our own sound and stage presence. We have all played in other bands before, and it always takes awhile before one gets to know each other musically and we all feel that Spiders is the best band we have played in.

 Could you tell us something more about your new release, Flash Point? How has the reaction been like to the album so far?

We had loads of songs and decided to record in our home town gothenburg at Welfare studios.  We wanted our debut album to be raw and have a live feel to it, with out to many overdubs. We were looking for a kind of warm, clean and basic sound, with out sounding to retro. Letting the songs speak for themselves. We are overwhelmed and very happy that the album was so well received, both by reviewers, listeners and music lovers – the people who matters the most.

 The 70s and 60s influence is all over the full length, making it quite explosive bluesy rock. Which is the aspect you prefer about this genre? Which is the key feature that you must have, as a band?

We all listen to a lot of different music from a broad period of time – both new and old stuff, but the music that first stuck was from the 60s and 70s and has been our main influence and has just come to us naturally. One main feature as a band is powerful riffs, good vocals also a stable rhythm section.

Question for Ann-Sofie: any female vocalist that influenced you as an artist? The 60s and 70s saw a lot of strong characters rising in the music scene.

Tina Turner is my favorite female singer. She has an incredible voice and a great stage presence, she’s terrific!

The first album what made you think: “Oh yeah, that’s what I want to do for the rest of my life”?

Ricard: The Jam – In the City

Matteo: Motorpsycho – demon Box

John: Black Sabbath – S/T

Ann-Sofie: Stooges – Raw Power

Let’s dream a bit: if you could support any band in any era, who would it be?

50s: Little Richard

60s: Shocking Blue

70s: MC5

80s: Guns’n’Roses

90: Bellrays

00s: The Jim Jones Revue

Are there any appointments in your agenda for beginning of 2013?

Working on new songs for our upcoming album. Play as much as we can, hopefully some festivals. We’re touring Europe this spring, which will be a blast!

Interview with Natalie Zed: from supervillain to superwoman

NYCBack again, with some proper journo-investigation. As a Christmas gift, for all of you, aspiring hacks of the world, a long, long chat with the inspiring NatalieZedAs a music writer, journalist, promoter and copywriter, she represents the best combination of a supervillain and a superwoman. It is a long, and yet precious source of tips, hints and information for al of you out there – on the plus side, you cannot really act surprised – what could you expect from a writer? “Chatty” is our second name on the birth certificate.

Merry Christmas to everyone by the way!

Which was your dream job as a child, apart from super villain? Were you already thinking of being a writer?

I have always been a writer. Before I could form coherent sentences I would practice writing letters, and make “books” by stapling pieces of construction paper together and making word-art in them. I have always written as a way to process and deal with my experience. I started writing poems when I was about ten, and have kept diaries and blogs all my life. Before I formed my own narratives I also wrote fan fiction.

As for knowing I wanted to be a writer when I grew up: it was always something that I was, and the concept of a career as a “writer” in my head was that of a novelist, which is something that I am not (yet). I thought it was always something that I did or would do, but a natural part of me, like eating or breathing. If asked, I would have answered that I wanted to be a medical doctor (and bodies are still a subject of consuming fascination for me).

In high school I started to get the idea that being a professional writer was something that could mean many things, and be a career as well as a mode of being. I started to plan to make it a career around them; I suppose I was about fifteen when I knew for certain this was what I wanted to do.

What subject did you study for your undergraduate degree? What topics did you particularly like studying? And what did you do beyond your course? (For instance, did you work on a student newspaper?)

I did my undergraduate degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. I adored it; my undergrad was a brilliant time for me. I always love studying contemporary poetry the best, especially experimental literature and books written by women. I had the opportunity to study with some amazing writers, who produced their own work in addition to being teachers, like Susan Holbrook, Darryl Whetter and Di Brandt.

I am the queen of extracurricular activities. During my undergrad I was the undergraduate representative on most of the departmental committees. I was a research assistant and TA as well, doing everything from endless photocopying to teaching classes and proctoring exams. I also founded the English Undergraduate Students society, and which included a reading series and a quarterly ‘zine.

What did you find most challenging when you started out in journalism?

The greatest challenge for me has always been formatting. I didn’t go to J-School and don’t have any formal journalistic training; everything I know has been learned by experience, by making mistakes and correcting them, and by taking the guidance and instruction of my editors. This is something I still struggle with occasionally.

Also, the vocabulary of journalism is something I am very much learning. Sometimes I will still come across an acronym or term I don’t know and have to look up, or someone will use a phrase that makes me draw a blank. I am blessed with very patient editors who are  happy to explain things to me when need be, but who also respect my intelligence.

You are juggling between being an editor, a copywriter, a journalist and a full-time writer. What does your daily routine look like?

BAHAHAHAHAHA. “Routine.” Ha! Ha ha. Heh. Hoo.

It is absolutely impossible to have any kind of a routine with the lifestyle I lead. Between frequent travelling, assignments that can take place at odd hours, interviews that often happen across time zones, nights filled with show to review and more in-person interviews to conduct, and always an absurd amount of copy to write, I don’t really have any set thing that resembles a schedule. This is al compounded by the fact that my partner is the Managing Editor of a national magazine as well as the frontman for a metal band (who keep up a rigorous rehearsal schedule and tour regularly), so I have two insane schedules to navigate at any time if I ever feel like seeing the person who usually sleeps next to me.

In place of a routine, I have rules. Because I have to structure my time differently every day, I try and apply some of the same principles to the way I go about that.

  • Get productive early. Depending on whether I am nocturnal or not at the moment, “early” can mean very different things. Generally speaking, within an hour of waking up something resembling work needs to be happening.
  • Make a to-do list a plan a method of attack. I love lists. I have daily, weekly and monthly schedules to keep me on track and make sure I don’t miss obligations or end up with conflicts. They still happen occasionally, but far less often this way.
  • Schedule breaks. I am getting to the point in my life that I have to force myself to take a walk or get a coffee or play with the kitten for half an hour, but here we are. Not resting enough leads to burn out.
  • Find new work every day. Pick up a story, respond to a PR email, pitch something to an editor, contact a satisfied client to see if they have more work.
  • Eat food at reasonable intervals.
  • Respect but limit social media time. Participate in important conversations, post any work that goes live, and promote upcoming events, but also avoid getting sucked into the Tumblr void for hours.
  • Make the time to consume the art that I love. This means reading and listening for pleasure and not just work, going to a play or film I don’t have to review. Even simply reading a short article for pleasure can be a great recharge.
  • Stay engaged with colleagues’ work. Read other reviews and stories, especially those relevant to any work I’m doing.
  • Check email in a few big blocks throughout the day, rather than checking it constantly, so my whole day does not become email.
  • For at least one solid block of time (usually 2-4 hours), turn off outside distractions like chat and social media, and just write hard. I like to use apps like Antisocial and Freedom to prevent me from wandering off and Internetting during this time.

What happens when you mix feminism and aggressive music? 

Lots of interesting things! Aggressive music has the potential to be a deeply feminist forms of expression, as it has traditionally allowed for a place in which traditional gender roles can be subverted (men with long hair, riot grrrls).  Since heavy metal’s inception, there have been women playing this music. For example, way back in 1980, Motörhead and Girlschool (entirely composed of women) put out a split 7” called St Valentine’s Day Massacre. There have always been women serving as powerful peers and influences in the genre, so it is not exactly something new that is happening.

However, because the values in heavy metal (aggression, power, violence, dramatic imagery, etc.) are things that are traditionally viewed as male, the genre does tend to attract more male fans. Metal shows can become highly masculinized spaces, and music is often written for a very specific (young, male, white, straight) audience in mind. Even though metal can be a subversive genre, it is also constantly battling a deep inner conservatism.

What I find so interesting and useful about applying feminism to heavy metal is that it serve to remind the world that there are a lot of metal fans who don’t ascribe to the traditional image of the long-haired boy. It reminds fans that many of their heroes in the genre are women, and women have always been there. It highlights the contribution of women the the heavy music industry. And, it helps metal get back in touch with its subversive roots. All of these things are valuable.

Could you tell me something more about your column “Girl Don’t Like Metal”? Were you already managing editor of Canada Arts Connect at the time? 

I had been writing for Canada Arts Connect for a little while as an occasional contributor, when I applied for the position of Managing Editor and got the job. One of my first tasks was to overhaul the magazine portion of the site and come up with a new content strategy, which involved hiring new writers, coming up with a formal schedule, an working with the writers to develop columns. When I was coming up with a template for the new writers to use, I invested Girls Don’t Like Metal as a sample to demonstrate what I was looking for.

I immediately liked the idea so much that I asked out Artistic Director Desiree Ossandon if I could write it as well as edit, and she was totally on board.

I named the column after the article “Public Service Announcement: Girls Do Not Like Metal,” which appeared on Metalsucks in October of 2011. While the piece is ostensibly intended to be satirical, it’s also mean-spirited, ill-aimed and I think reveals a lot about some very real barriers that women who are metal fans face. Any kind of “feminine” expression (fashion, certain sub-genres) is looked down on, women are constantly questions about the depth and trueness of their fandom, and most of all, the spectre of “you’re just doing this for male attention” is raised to effectively dismiss any woman’s interest in the genre. They only allow that the very rare woman is actually a real fan (whatever that means) but they are few and far between. And probably hopelessly awkward and unattractive. Because lord knows, it would be IMPOSSIBLE for an engaged, knowledgeable, AND good-looking metal fan to exist. It paints women into a corner.

I started Girls Don’t Like Metal in the hopes of creating a positive antidote to this attitude. I wanted to create a space where women could talk about their careers, share their contribution to the metal scene in whatever form that took on, from musicians to sound techs and label reps to journalists. I wanted to showcase how important women are to the genre and how deep their love for metal goes. I also wanted to give them the opportunity to discuss the challenges they face as women in metal.

What has been one of the highlights so far, in your career, both as a writer and a journalist?

Unquestionably it has been the opportunity to serve on the jury for the Polaris Prize. It is an annual prize in Canada that seems to recognize the single best Canadian record released in the past year, regardless of genre or label support. It has been an incredible experience that has given me access to a vast network of professional colleagues and exposed me to a ton of fantastic new music that I may never have heard of otherwise.

This is a tricky one: but what does it take to be good at music writing?

Hoo boy.

I don’t think there is any one thing that defines whether or not someone will be a good music writer. My parter (and editor) would disagree, and in his opinion a good music writer just needs to do “everything better and more on time.”

The most important thing is to have something to say, to have an angle or an approach that is yours. Everyone has their own voice, sure, but I think to be truly great you need to bring something to the practice of music criticism that is your own. Whether that be a style of criticism, a socio-cultural lens, or the structure of the writing itself, great writers always grab me because they are doing something in a way no one else could do the same way.

Aside from that: write all the damn time. All the time, all the time. Think critically. Listen to music from many genres and sub-genres. Listen in different places and under a variety of circumstances. Do a ton of research. Be open minded. Balance generosity and sharpness. And write. So much writing.

Do you think aspiring journalists would find it difficult to break into journalism these days? What sorts of skills and experiences do you think they should be looking to develop if they want to be a journalist?

In terms of difficulty getting started: yes and no. Like any industry, writing for a living even as an abstract concept is changing rapidly. There is a lot of uncertainty in music journalism, to be sure, but there is also a new fluidity, and the potential to change things drastically, to come up with entirely new models of content production. Those looking for safety and security won’t find it, but those willing to carve a place for themselves will find a more malleable environment that ever before. Write lots, write well, and make solid professional contacts, and making a career is still entirely possible.

As for skills and experiences: ALL OF THEM. Seriously, everything that you do, every skill that you have, every obscure bit of knowledge, will be useful in your writing somehow.

The trick, I think, is to become an anthropologist in your own life. Develop your skills of observation. Notice things. Become fascinated by the world. The more curious you are, and the more open to actively, constantly learning, the better a journalist you will be.

Also, write everything all of the time.

When you are not busy writing, editing and copywriting, how do you like to relax?

Is that even a thing that happens anymore?

Kidding; I do make a conscious effort not to completely burn myself out. I love to cook and bake, both of which I find incredibly relaxing, so when I need to think or wind down a pie will often appear. I love to real speculative fiction and short stories, as well as good long-form journalism. I am also a huge fan of comic books (Warren Ellis, Mike Carey, Sam Keith, Gail Simone, Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick are favourites). I play a lot of video games as well.

I’m also a fan of getting my nails did, going for long walks with my headphones on, biking around the city, and getting drinks with my ladies.

Given that this is still a music blog: what’s been warming your iPod or CD player recently?

I’ve been playing a ton of Dragged into Sunlight – Widowmaker, Witch Mountain — Cauldron of the Wild, Gaza — No Absolutes in Human Suffering, Pallbearer — Sorrow and Extinction, Enslaved — RIITIIR, Mares of Thrace — The Pilgrimage, Oak Pantheon — From a Whisper, Gojira — L’Enfant Sauvage, and the new Neurosis and Converge records.

This is also the time of year that I take other people up on their excellent recommendations, which means have also been spinning Mgla – With Hearts Towards None and Derketa – In Death We Meet.

What does the future look like for you?

Exciting! I’m adding new projects all of the time. I’ve started work on what will become my third book, and I have recently signed on to new publications. I am particularly interested in expanding the scope of things I write about. While I will always write a ton about music, but I am reaching out more and more to write more about literature, comic books, and video games. I will also do more traditional journalism.

Long term? There’s always the possibility that I will eventually settle down for a few years to do my PhD.

Algernon Doll interview: waking up in the morning with Napalm Death

Algernon Doll - Promo 1

Algernon Doll, moniker of Ewan Grant, just released the début Camomile, a cathartic journey through a difficult year dealing with the mentally debilitating toils of extreme anxiety disorder and bipolar. A really emotive and gloomy release, that grabbed me so much. Therefore, I needed to know more. And so, nosy time with Fab and Algernon Doll.

You went from punk, hardcore scene to a more melancholic and lo-fi experience. Was this change of direction a natural evolution, or more a sudden and conscious twist?

To say it was an evolution is a little disrespectful to punk and hardcore. I was kind of forced to change my musical style as every time I would get excited and throw about my guitar like an idiot on stage I would feel on the edge of a panic attack. It’s maybe more difficult to portray as vast a range of emotions with hardcore as it’s inherently an aggressive style of music. When I lost a few of my close friends I was far too depressed to be just solely angry at what happened so it’s a bit like painting the shades of grey and adding different stylistic tints rather than just using black and white. Youth is very black and white, when you lose your innocence you need more to work with to explain things to yourself.

Always talking about your musical background – have you played in some bands before landing to your solo project? what do think you’ve learnt from your past musical experiences?

I’ve played in a bunch of pretty terrible hardcore bands, done some ambient collaborations too. I’ve learnt that if you’re playing with as much passion as you felt when you wrote the song, it’s difficult for the crowd not to take something from you. I’ve also learnt that killing your emotions and nerves with alcohol before a performance may make it easier but it definitely doesn’t make you play better..

I imagine you have been surrounded by music since you were a small child, as you come from a family of musicians and composers. Music must have been a big part of your life so far. Have your family determined somehow your current music influences?

I’m sure they have although the only thing that really comes to mind, that I share a love for with my parents, are the Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel. My mum and I both love John Lennon’s Double Fantasy album and it has a special place in my heart for that. It’s pretty hard not to take something from the Beatles though.

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Let’s talk a bit about Camomile, which I really appreciated for its emotional impact and power. Anxiety and bipolar disorders are really strong themes, especially when they come from your own experience. Could we say that music has been a medium to face these demons?

Thank you, I appreciate that. The thing is that when you suffer from these disorders they control your life. It would have been impossible to write an album that didn’t have those themes. It definitely helps me understand them and vent. I’ve always appreciated honesty in music so I don’t leave much out.

As a song-writer, you have covered the instrumental aspect as well as the lyrical one. Was the instrumental side of Camomile reflecting and emphasising the themes you covered?

Yeah, I think when you listen back to it there’s almost always an underlying drone in the background like a creeping anxiety that’s getting the better of you. The crescendos are also intended to feel like breaking points where you’ve reached your limit of suffering and helplessness. There were times that I used to feel like accepting my body shutting down as it was easier than living with these problems ever day.

I was listening to a lot of Grouper and Fugazi at the time…I don’t really know what to make of that combo.

Is there an established framework or formula to the songwriting process? Or will you let anything fly at first?

I try to let anything fly and not discriminate or else I’d probably ignore a lot of worthy ideas then I structure it pretty classically. Sometimes I used a few Roy Orbison type structures.

You have supported Franz Nicolay (Against Me), Chris T-T, Esperi and Willis Earl Beal. What’s the most memorable live performance so far?

I think every time I play at Book Yer Ane Fest in Dundee it’s the most special to me as it’s for Safe-Tay, a charity really close to my heart, and I’m very proud to be able to help raise funds so that people don’t have to lose friends the way my friends and I did. My album launch was also really special, it still baffles me that people want to hear me play my music and it makes me ecstatic that I get to do that for them.

Nosy time. Could you unveil us your musical guilty pleasures?

I love Toto! They are brilliant, the key changes n aw. THEY DON’T HAVE A BAD SONG! Also, I really like that first Panic At The Disco record. I think it was unfortunately lumped in with a scene of posery kids but when you give it a listen it’s incredibly well written and executed!

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In your opinion, which is the best song to wake up to in the morning?

“Lovin’ You” by Minnie Ripperton as it has lovely birds chirping which is pleasant or “Dead” by Napalm Death….because it’s so short and I can go back to sleep for a bit.

Which are the main appointments in your agenda for the rest of 2012?

I’m just giving my next album a listen through, mastering and doing some art for it. I have a couple of secret Xmas gigs too. Apart from that I have to work hard to afford to buy people presents this year.