BLACK WATER CHEMISTRY

Black Water Chemistry band photo 2

BLACK WATER CHEMISTRY (from l-r): Dan May (drums), Murphy “Murph” Lee (rhythm guitar/vocals), Matt Saunders (lead vocals), Gareth “Gizz” Stacey (bass/vocals), Chris Saunders (lead guitar/vocals)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

From South Wales, Black Water Chemistry are a five-piece that specialise in an energetic yet aggressive style of metalcore that utilises both retro and modern techniques.

Since forming in 2014, the band have been working very hard, and succeeding, at perfecting this, which has enabled them to make a real impact on the British underground metal scene, with many favourably comparing the quintet to such outfits as Soundgarden, Mastodon, and Parkway Drive.

However, the Newport collective are not content with just this, as they now aim to make bigger waves with the release this August of a follow-up to their well-received 2016 debut EP, ‘A Thousand Tides’.

Having just brought out the title track to that, which has already had a positive response, the band recently told me what else their rapidly-growing fan base can expect from the upcoming offering, and more.

How did the band form?

We’ve known each other for a while, some members longer than others, we’ve also got brothers in the band, Matt and Chris. The organic bit was between Matt and Chris having an idea to change musical conversations into real music, we auditioned “Gizz“, who we’ve known forever, Dan was added, then “Murph“, who was previously in rock outfit GoX. And now here we are!

From where did the name Black Water Chemistry originate?

Black water is waste, chemistry is the analysis of compounds, it’s about missing the bigger picture of what something is by always focusing on the micro rather than the macro.

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

It’s all about feel and context, usually Chris has a riff or an idea, which we then run with lyrically, we see where that ends up, then the guys add their own flavour to it, something may start as a riff, but may end up as a piece of music that doesn’t contain the same riff anymore.

Before finalising everything, we will usually talk about theme and structure, and look at where we’re going with something, then we will let it sit for a while before we revisit it to see if we can improve upon it, we always ask “Are we pushing ourselves enough?” about pretty much everything we do, but the process is very organic and natural.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Personal experiences, we try to not be vicarious in our lyrical approach, trying to imagine someone’s experience is kind of intrinsically impossible, so it’s always going to be our take on things for the sake of honesty.

Any struggle, rising above clichés, and the need to progress are things we admire in any society or person, so these are the themes that reoccur, that and the cyclic nature of all things.

We like the fact that things have a beginning and an end, or at least a transformation.

Recently, you brought out a new single, ‘Return To Ashes’. How has the reaction been to that so far?

It’s early days yet, but we think it’s made a few people sit up and take notice of where we are headed, we’re not the type of band that will sit on the same formula forever, things have to progress and move on, you look at a band like Pearl Jam and every single album has been a progression on the last, that’s the kind of artistic integrity we aspire to, we move on naturally in our sound, so people will notice this record isn’t as clean, has a harder edge, and a different message, and ‘Return To Ashes’ kind of embodies that change. So far, so good, we’d say.

The track was taken from an upcoming EP of the same name that the band will be releasing this August. How has the recording process been?

Incredibly natural, as we just sort of ended up writing the album and then recorded it over the period of about nine months on and off. The themes came together, the music came together, and it was a very collaborative effort all around.

We layered things up, but didn’t want a too overproduced sound, as a lot of bands in our genre use samples extensively and we kind of wanted to move away from that a bit, we’re not saying it’s analogue or anything, it’s just not over-embellished, Chris, our guitarist, produced it and poured a good two months into that including the mixing, Phil Smith from One Louder helped with the process and mastering, he produced our last record, and he has a really good ear.

Jo Sheehy, our friend and drummer from Salt Bath and formerly of Venom Prison, was hanging around the studio, and came up with this huge reverb that we ended up using. It was a good process, very natural, compared to our last EP.

And how will it differ from your 2016 debut, ‘A Thousand Tides’?
Massively, it’s more where we want to be, it’s the right dynamic, we’re very proud of ‘A Thousand Tides’, but we think that it was kind of a stepping stone for us, we set out sort of saying, “How can we reimagine our sound and better that record“, and we think we’ve done that, whereas our debut EP was more like a concept album, ‘Return To Ashes’ has a theme too, but each song has its own message now too.

We can’t listen back to our music after checking out the final mixes, as we just find it very masturbatory, so we’ll let everyone else make the final judgment.

How is the experience, for the band, of playing live?

It’s our pinnacle, we think, as we just love playing live, the buzz never goes away, and we’re blessed now with good crowds of good people who want to listen to what we are doing.

Our stage performances are almost cathartic, we give everything, it’s a very cleansing and tiring experience, but it’s 100% worth it, as when we stand in front of a few hundred people, and they are really enjoying the show and the sound, it can’t be beaten.

And finally, what else do you have lined up over the next couple of months?

We’re in The EVI with the guys from the Rock and Roll Circus radio show, which will be awesome, then we head to Bristol to the Fleece, then Manchester to the Grand Central, so that’s the next few months sorted show-wise.

We, of course, have the EP release, then a video coming out for the lead single off the EP, and then it will be a winter tour, which will be announced over the next few months, so it’s going to be fairly busy for us up until December, when we will retreat back into the studio again for a few months with no set agenda other than making some music.

As they say, watch this space!

Black Water Chemistry EP Cover

‘RETURN TO ASHES’, THE SOPHOMORE EP FROM BLACK WATER CHEMISTRY, WILL BE RELEASED ON AUGUST 31.

FURTHER INFO ON THIS, AND THE BAND, CAN BE FOUND HERE.

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JOHN AND JOE

John And Joe band photo

JOHN AND JOE (from l-r): Joe Kashas, John Doyle

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Nashville has for many years been renowned as a place in which talented bands and artists can flourish, giving them a platform on which to build towards achieving worldwide success.

An outfit hopeful that one day they can emulate the likes of Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, and the Kings of Leon are duo John and Joe.

Having been best friends since childhood, they moved out to Tennessee from their native state of Washington to make a real impact with a sound heavily influenced by the sounds of the 1980’s, and what can best be described as “retro-alternative“.

The two-piece have just unveiled a new single, entitled ‘Honeyman’, ahead of the release of their debut EP, ‘Pink’, at the start of next month, and I found out more about the guys when I chatted with John recently.

How did the two of you get together?

We go way back. We’ve known each other since elementary school, but it wasn’t until middle school that we got into playing music. I had been playing guitar for a couple of years, just jamming with friends, and Joe’s dad was always in bands, so he had a lot of musical instruments around the house.

Joe asked me one day if we needed a bassist. Initially, I needed a drummer more, but once we found someone to play drums and needed a bassist, Joe grabbed one of his dad’s bass guitars, and we started playing.

Jump forward about ten years of playing in many projects together, now we’re in Nashville as a duo.

How would you describe your sound?

The sound we go for now is to try to be unique, yet accessible to all. We want people who love guitar and bass-driven music to like us, people who love catchy vocals and lyrics to like us, people who don’t know a lot about music to like us. You get it, we just want to be a band for everyone to enjoy.

What are your main musical influences?

We grew up on pop-punk, but right now, we’re very influenced by the music of the 80’s, such as The Cure, Duran Duran, The Pretenders. Lots of bands that have guitar and bass hooks, as well as vocal ones.

We work really hard to make music that includes the same traits, guitar and bass that draw people in, and vocal melodies and lyrics that keep them hooked.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

We both have different styles to our approach, but we find it works best when we work together, we knock it out, and have the basic idea done before we even attempt to record it.

A lot of our ideas start the same, with a bassline or a guitar part, and we jam it out until we’re satisfied.  We love collaborating together and very rarely will we write songs separately.

Including each other in our ideas is our way of bringing our strengths out for every song we have.

What inspires you both lyrically?

Everyday life. We sing about personal experiences because it’s relatable. We’re both really comfortable about that, which helps because music is more interesting to us when you get to see life from somebody else’s eyes.

We want to be relatable because everyone has these experiences and being able to connect with that is a special thing.

You’ve just brought out a new single, ‘Honeyman’. For those who have yet to listen to it, what can be expected? 

We’re really excited for everyone to hear it! We feel, for us, that it’s something totally new. We were listening to a lot of The Pretenders at the time we wrote it. We used their original guitarist’s name, “Honeyman“, as a temporary title, and when it the time came to work towards releasing the song, the name just stuck.

Expect a danceable song with a hint of Nashville influencing the sound.

And will the new track lead to an EP or album release at some point in the future?

We have our first EP coming out on July 1, which will be available to find on Spotify, iTunes, and all the other streaming sites. We’re also constantly working on new music, and plan on releasing a stream of singles after the EP to keep the excitement going.

How is the experience, for both of you, of playing live?

We both love being on stage, as it’s the ultimate payoff for us. Just being able to showcase how hard we work and how much we rehearse feels so good, especially when a show goes well.

One thing I think that we both agree on is that being on stage has a sort of indescribable feeling, as you’re so nervous beforehand, but then you get up there and it’s all a blur, it goes by so fast. You wish it could last longer because it’s never long enough.

We played a show the other night at The Basement in Nashville. We had a great time and the whole thing seems like a blur now.

Aside from the forthcoming EP, what are your plans over the next couple of months?

Keep writing songs, keep playing shows, and network with anyone we can. We’ll be promoting the heck out of the single and the EP on all our social media as well.

And finally, what is your long-term aim?

Our dream has always been to play music for a living. Right now, we’re still both working day jobs and playing music every free moment that we have. We try to always stay positive and focused on both our short-term and long-term goals.

John And Joe Single Cover

‘HONEYMAN’, THE NEW SINGLE FROM JOHN AND JOE, IS NOW AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD OR PURCHASE FROM SPOTIFY, iTunes, APPLE MUSIC, BANDCAMP, SOUNDCLOUD, AND THEIR OFFICIAL WEBSITE www.johnandjoe.com

JOHN AND JOE’S DEBUT EP, ‘PINK’, WILL BE RELEASED ON JULY 1, AND MORE INFO ON THE DUO CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/johnandjoemusic

TWITTER: twitter.com/johnandjoemusic

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/johnandjoemusic

 

OXFORD MATHCORE TRIO MASIRO ANNOUNCE SOPHOMORE EP

Masiro band photo

Oxford mathcore trio Masiro have been captivating listeners with their own blend of math-prog metal since the tail end of 2011.

Originally formed with Chris Pethers on drums and Mike Bannard on guitar, they soon wanted to push the envelope, and consequently hooked up with Chris Hutchinson-Mogg (ex-50ft Panda) to help fulfil their unique vision of producing a sound that is not only interesting and off-kilter, but hypnotic and alluring.

Although influenced by everyone from Meshuggah and Primus, through to the Mars Volta, Masiro bear their own markings, evidenced in the shape of their brand new EP, ‘Geodesics’, which is out on Friday 7th September.

Masiro spent their formative years shaping their set and focusing on their art. By 2016, the three-piece created their first EP, ‘Technocologist Unknown’, which caught the ears of Louder Than War, Alt Dialogue, Can This Even Be Called Music, The Punk Archive, and many others.

Shows with Poly-Math, Core of iO, Iran Iran, and Kusanagi have also only furthered the band’s reputation, and so too did last year’s appearance at Oxford’s renowned Audioscope Festival.

By 2017, the band were ready to lay down ideas for their sophomore EP. After many months of work, the trio put the final touches to the record this spring.

Entitled ‘Geodesics’, the EP features Charlie Cruickshank on saxophone for the song, ‘K-Ursa’, and long-time friend and collaborator, Lee Riley, supplying drone material for the track, ‘Intermission: Graveyard Orbit’.

‘Geodesics’ is a record that displays the breadth of MASIRO’s ability across six distinct cuts, panning from subtle introspection to ferocious catharsis.

Inventive and expansive, the band have amalgamated a sound that is imaginative and ambitious. The prog-math trio are announcing key shows throughout this summer, so stay glued for social media announcements, and watch them soar.

Masiro EP Cover

‘GEODESICS’, THE SELF-RELEASED SOPHOMORE EP FROM MASIRO, WILL BE RELEASED ON SEPTEMBER 7.

FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/masiromusic

TWITTER: twitter.com/masiroband

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/masiro_band

BANDCAMP: masiro.bandcamp.com

 

 

CIRCLE OF CROWS

Circle Of Crows band photo

CIRCLE OF CROWS (from l-r): Josh Smith (bass), Kyle Gormley (vocals/guitar), Steve Sudlow (drums)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Influenced by such outfits as Alter Bridge, Biffy Clyro, Audioslave, and Metallica, Cornish hard rock trio Circle Of Crows have made quite an impact on their local music scene this past year, with a distinct sound combining remarkable rhythms, imposing riffs, and towering vocals, as well as live shows that contain much energy and passion.

Now, the collective are eager to present themselves to a much wider audience, starting with the release of their debut EP, ‘Everything Comes After Zero’, this August.

To tell me more about that, and lots of other band-related stuff, was their frontman, Kyle Gormley.

How did the band form?

The band formed after I bumped into Steve one night and decided to have a jam. We’d known each other for years, having played gigs together in various separate bands.

Josh played with me in an earlier incarnation of Circle Of Crows, and he’d just moved back to Cornwall from Brighton, so it made sense to get him back on board.

How did the name Circle Of Crows come about?

Circle Of Crows is a name that Josh came up with when the old line-up wanted to change from our previous name, which was Breathe. We spent a few weeks tossing ideas back and forth, and when Josh said that name, it was just something we all instantly loved.

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

Our songwriting process seems to differ with each song. Josh or I usually bring in the beginnings of a song, maybe a verse riff or a chord progression, and from there, we just throw ideas around until it comes together. We never worry about a certain sound or keeping within a genre limit, if something sounds good, it’s fine with us.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Most of the songs deal with personal themes – loss, anxiety, love, family. I just try to be honest. I write all the lyrics myself, so it’s a very internal process, but I try to make the songs as hopeful as possible, and therefore, a bit more universal.

You recently brought out a single, entitled ‘How To Wait For Nothing’. How has the reaction been to that so far?

The reaction to the lead single has been great. We think it sums our sound up quite well, from the opening in-your-face riff to the grooving verse and a big chorus. I’m excited for people to hear the rest of the EP.

And that was taken from the band’s EP, ‘Everything Comes After Zero’, coming out this August. How has the recording process been for that?

The recording process was the most enjoyable I’ve ever been a part of. It was a painless five days in a little secluded studio in Cornwall. We had time to try some new things with each song, and there was no pressure at all, so each track came out as good as we could have hoped.

And what can be expected of it?

We think the EP is a really good summation of our band’s sound. There are some real hard-rocking, heavy tracks on there, but also a ballad in ‘Into The Sun’ and a (for want of a better word) epic in the seven-minute closer, ‘Open Doors’. We tried to include songs from every aspect of our sound, and I think we have achieved that.

Since forming early last year, the band have made a name for themselves on their local music scene with highly-energetic, passionate live shows. How is performing on stage as an experience for you all?

Performing live is our favourite part of being in a band. It’s hard to explain the feeling of working hard for months in a practice room on a set, and then getting the opportunity to play that on stage to a room full of people and feel their energy.

It’s so rewarding as a songwriter to know that people like what you have to say and we never forget that, every time we go on stage.

What are your plans once the EP has come out?

After the EP is released, we want to look at making our first music video, and sorting out a tour of some sort. We’d love to play anywhere and everywhere, so we’re hoping to get out of Cornwall and play the rest of the country.

And finally, what is the band’s long-term aim?

Our long-term aim is to be able to play our music to as many people as possible. To be able to earn a living doing something we love would be an absolute dream, so hopefully, this EP is the first step in getting our name out there.

Circle Of Crows EP Cover

‘EVERYTHING COMES AFTER ZERO’, THE DEBUT EP FROM CIRCLE OF CROWS, WILL BE RELEASED ON AUGUST 17.

FURTHER INFO ON THIS, AND THE BAND, CAN BE FOUND HERE.

 

TORONTO BLESSINGS

Toronto Blessings band photo

TORONTO BLESSINGS (from l-r): Dale Evans (guitar/vocals), Rik Whitehead (vocals/bass), Richard Murray (drums/vocals)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

How did the band get together?

We used to be in a band called Cavorts, but our old singer left to move to Germany, so we were vocal-less. We still carried on writing and rehearsing, and during one rehearsal, Rik decided to pick up the mic, and we were blown away.

We then wrote an album, but it sounded too much like Cavorts, so we fucked it off and wrote another album that was less metal / hardcore. (If anyone is reading who wants an album worth of tunes that sound like Cursed / Cancer Bats, then give us a shout, we can sort you out)

How did the band name come about?

My uncle is a vicar, and he came to see us perform in our previous band. He said we looked like we were receiving a Toronto Blessing. When I asked him what it meant, he told me about the church in Toronto where people get blessed and go fucking nuts with the power of Jesus.

I’m not a fan of religion, so I thought it would be a nice “fuck you” to all that nonsense.

To someone who has yet to listen to your music, how would you describe it to them?

We’re quite noisy. In amongst the obnoxious volume are plenty of hooks and catchy earworms to feast on. Our sound is like the lovechild from a terrible coked-up three-way between Hot Snakes, Gary Numan, and Saxon.

What are the band’s musical influences?

Pixies for me. Black Francis, aka Frank Black, aka Charles Thompson III is an all-time great songwriter. Everything about Pixies shouldn’t work but does, they’re such an oddball collection of goofs, and I’m thoroughly in love with Kim Deal, always have been.

Sonic Youth are also heroes, as they make songs that are super catchy and cool, and then throw in the big swathes of pure noise. If you don’t know about Sonic Youth, then watch 1991 – The Year That Punk Broke. There’s also Nirvana and Dinosaur Jr on there.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

We all contribute to the process. One of us will bring in an idea, and we will then just jam it out. Lots of the time, the process is really quick, and we have the majority of a song there and then.

What we like to do is to trim away as much of the fat as possible, so the songs are lean and taut, avoiding unnecessary length to keep things moving. What we always do is have recording facilities on hand at practice, and Rik’s phone is great at recording loud noise.

That way, we can all go away and keep what we’ve just done in our minds. If anyone has a structural idea, we can all reference it easily.

What inspires the band lyrically?

The world is in a crazy place, the downfall of Western civilisation is in full swing, and we all have the pleasure of bearing witness to it.

If it’s all going to shit, you might as well have fun, so we sing about making sense of it all, taking positive action to guard yourself from being broken down by the constant tirade of fear from the media, and being nice to each other.

Bill and Ted had a good point, even though they were thick as fuck.

Last month, you released your second single, ‘Give Nothing’. How has the reaction been to that so far?

The reaction has been great so far from the people that have heard it. It marked a shift change for us, in terms of our sound and direction. There’s a healthy dose of synth on there, which is new for us.

All we need is for more people to listen to it, so if you like it, then give it a share. Much appreciated, pilgrims.

How is the experience, for the band, of playing live?

Sheer volume, some arse-loosening sub-bass, sexual arousal, and the overwhelming urge to dance. It’s like being raped by an angel.

What have you got lined up in the near future?

We’re playing live over the summer a little bit. We’ve been concentrating on writing the most since forming, but we’re at The Parish in Huddersfield on the 14th June, the Barnsley Live festival on the 16th June, and the Coalfields Festival on the 14th July.

Then later on in the year, we’re hoping to put together a tour.

And finally, what is the band’s long-term aim?

To have fun, because I can’t stand fucking goal setters. I remember once having a conversation with a mate who runs a label, and a band had come to see him with a business plan.

They’d mapped out where they’d be in a year, then five years, and it was laughable because they were good at planning, but not so good at writing songs, so they didn’t achieve any of their objectives, because they were fucking balls.

That being said, there are no plans as such. We’re just going write and release music, and play gigs, and have fun doing so.

Toronto Blessings Single Cover

‘GIVE NOTHING’, THE LATEST SINGLE FROM TORONTO BLESSINGS, IS NOW AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD, OR PURCHASE FROM SPOTIFY AND BANDCAMP.

FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/TorontoBlessings

TWITTER: twitter.com/Getblessed666

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

 

 

PERSONA

Persona band photo

PERSONA (from l-r): Costas Themistocleous (lead guitar), CJ Kostaras (drums), Tom Spartinos (vocals/guitar), Sam Trestman (bass)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Over the past couple of years, New York quartet Persona have had to cope with some unfortunate events, including one member being involved in a near-fatal car accident, and the lead guitarist’s home, and the band’s recording studio, literally going up in flames.

However, rather than be defeated by all that negativity, they have picked themselves up, dusted themselves down, and got to work on creating a layered sound that shifts easily between uplifting pop-rock and more progressive indie-rock, which has effectively shown how the four members have developed as a strong cohesive unit.

Having recently unveiled a new single, entitled ‘Indie Cowboy’, the American outfit spoke to me about that, their journey so far, and what they hope to achieve in the future.

How did the band get together?

Tom and Sam have played in numerous bands over the course of 15 years. In the summer of 2007, Sam went to college, and Costas took over on bass.

However, in the winter of 2009, Sam was tragically hit by a car in Binghamton, New York, which almost took his life. “It was such a life-changing experience for us, and a slap in the face at the same time” explains Tom.

Following the accident, the band started to connect on a deeper level, and formed a sacred bond. Upon Sam’s departure from college, and after a long period of healing, the trio began to jam, and Persona was officially born in the summer of 2011.

After a short period of playing as a three-piece, Will Suraci joined as bassist, and Costas moved over to lead guitar. Now a quartet, they spent the next few years releasing two EPs, touring, and opening up for acts such as Third Eye Blind and Twenty One Pilots.

However, in the spring of 2014, after releasing ‘Mayday, We Crashed’, Persona went stagnant, with a number of personal issues resulting in the band laying low, but throughout this time, Tom and Costas were still writing and demoing new songs and ideas.

In the spring of 2017, Will departed the band and was replaced by drummer CJ Kostaras, formerly of Giants at Large, resulting in Sam returning to bass.

How did the name Persona come about?

The name was inspired by our sound, which we like to describe as “bi-polar“, and having split personalities, as we believe that each song is different and relates you to a certain emotion or feeling. Some songs are edgy and very progressive, others have a bright and happy pop-rock feel to them.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

Any of us can bring a song to the table, which is a great thing. We typically come up with riffs and ideas, present them to each other, and if we are all feeling the idea, then we get to work on it collectively.

Typically, it’s always a riff or piece of music that comes first, as the feel of the music usually inspires the emotion and where we will bring the song lyrically.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Costas has always been somewhat of a poet, and has partaken in several poetry slams and creative writing bits. Him and Tom will sit down and start playing ad-libs to Tom’s melodies.

Lyrics are inspired by how the music makes us feel, and whatever emotion these chords or riffs touch the most, which will then be expanded upon to make the finalised lyrics.

In late 2012, you brought out your debut EP, ‘Take Me To The Moon’. How was the reaction to that?

For a starting band, we got a really good reaction. We had our debut release show opening for Dave Melilo (formerly of Cute Is What We Aim For), and we generated a nice little buzz, which brought enough attraction in for us to be able to open for Third Eye Blind, Twenty One Pilots, and a whole bunch of other established acts.

That also propelled us to take the next step forward, and record our sophomore EP with Gary Cioffi at Maximum Sound Studios (Transit & Four Year Strong).

The band have had their fair share of misfortune in recent years, what with Sam being involved in a near-fatal car accident, and Costas’s home, and the band’s recording studio, burning down. How did you cope with all that?

We definitely have had our share of dark and gloomy clouds lingering over us, but we truly believe that made us much stronger human beings and brought us closer together.

We were recording ‘Take Me To The Moon’ at Costas’s house when it burned down, and for a while, we thought we had lost all of our session files, but fortunately, the computer they were on was salvaged and nothing was lost.

Even though it could have been very easy to go off track and get lost in the lingering darkness, we prospered, both as individuals and as a band, and now, after a rough couple of years, we are happy to say that things have settled down.

We truly believe that those situations did not define us, rather, they helped to shape us as the individuals that we are today.

You’ve just released a new single, ‘Indie Cowboy’. How was the recording process for that?

The writing process was rather smooth and natural. The initial riff in the song was written by Tom prior to the band’s formation, and was revisited in 2014 during a dark and gloomy time, but it transitioned seamlessly between us into what you hear today, as due to situations and circumstances in our lives that we have mentioned, we took a step back, became isolated, and we think that the anger and hurt we felt at the time is reflected within the song.

And how will it differ from ‘Take Me To The Moon’?

‘Take Me To The Moon’, we think, paved the way for us to grow a multi-dimensional, multi-genre sound. Since we released that in 2012, we have gone through a lot individually and collectively, and we believe that with ‘Indie Cowboy’ and the two other singles that we will be releasing over this summer, you can hear our growth, as there are something a bit more grown-up and mature, and we think that we have found a better way to write out our emotions, therefore making it more relatable from a listener perspective.

The band have played gigs across their home state, including supporting the likes of Twenty One Pilots and Patent Pending. How is the experience, for you all, of playing live?

Playing live is such a rush. There is literally no better feeling in the world then being on a stage, and sharing your blood, sweat, and tears with people who appreciate and love music just as much as you do. We love seeing kids go wild, as when we watch the crowd’s energy, it drives us to give them everything we have for that moment.

Playing that show with Patent Pending was incredible, as they are such great dudes. Their frontman, Joe Ragosta, actually had a real deep talk with us for 30 or so minutes before the show started, and it was such a mind-opening experience, so we’re truly thankful for that conversation.

When we play shows with bigger acts, and they take the time out to come and talk or hang with us, it’s truly a blessing. We appreciate it so much! However, we have had shows where bands (large and small) will not even recognise your presence, and pretend like you are not even there, which is lame.

We appreciate bands of all sizes taking the time to speak with the other bands on the bill and speak with the fans. We hang around the show and try and get to know whoever we can!

And finally, what else have you got planned over the next couple of months?

We are kicking the summer off at Revolution Music Hall in Amityville, New York, with Belmont, Rarity, and Stickup Kid, and we will also being doing a small north-east US run next month.

Following that, we will be releasing two more singles accompanied by music videos, but we are taking the month of August off to go on vacation and travel with our friends and families.

Then this November, we will be hitting the studio in to start production on what will be our third EP, and we are currently scouting a booking agent so we can start heavy touring come December.

Persona Single Cover

‘INDIE COWBOY’, THE LATEST SINGLE FROM PERSONA, IS NOW AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD, OR PURCHASE FROM SPOTIFY, iTunes, APPLE MUSIC, BANDCAMP, SOUNDCLOUD, AND THE BAND’S OFFICIAL WEBSITE personaofficial.com

FURTHER INFO ON PERSONA CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/personaofficial

TWITTER: twitter.com/personaofficial

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/personaofficial

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com/user/Personalongisland

 

 

IN THE CARDS

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IN THE CARDS (from l-r): Nathan Petherick (bass), Danny Jones (guitar/vocals), Amy Colclough (vocals), Conor Chambers (drums)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Having all been childhood friends in their home city of Stoke-on-Trent, bonding over a mutual love of emotional, alternative, and progressive rock music, four-piece In The Cards have spent the past few years honing a captivating combination of delicate melodies, soaring vocals, and hard-hitting heaviness.

The band have also spent this time perfecting an atmospheric, powerful live set, which has seen them share the stage with such rock juggernauts as Mallory Knox, Arcane Roots, and Funeral For A Friend.

With a new, eagerly-anticipated EP coming out in just under a fortnight, entitled ‘Eyes Beyond Reflection’, the Potteries quartet gave me an insight into the recording process, what can be expected from it, and much more.

How did the band form?

We have been playing music together since high school, where we were friends before, and over the years, steadily evolved into what you see and hear today.

Somehow, we aren’t sick of each other yet.

From where did the name In The Cards originate?

Our name was the result of us searching the world “future” in an urban dictionary, and we thought it was appropriate for our name to release directly what music is to us and where it may take us in life.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

Usually, our songs grow from one idea that is brought to the band by one of the members that is then developed and added to, and eventually a song is formed!

What inspires the band lyrically?

We take inspiration from many aspects of life – personal experiences, emotions, observations etc…

Later this month, you will be bringing out a new EP, entitled ‘Eyes Beyond Reflection’. How was the recording process for that?

We recorded with EP with Romesh Dodangoda at Longwave Studios, and it was one of the best experiences that we have had as a band.

The tracks were recorded over five or six days, they were fully written by the time we arrived at the studio, but a few parts were tweaked and adapted during the recording process.

And how was the experience of working with Romesh?

Working with Romesh was our first time working with a producer of that calibre, and what he brought to our music elevated it to a new level, as he gave us the sound and production that we were striving for, something that we will always be grateful for.

How will the upcoming release differ from the work that you’ve put out up to now?

This will be our first official release with the best songs we have ever written all in one place. Lots of work has gone into this, and it is the biggest thing we will have done as a band.

We are beyond excited for the EP to be released, and we feel that it is a perfect opportunity for people to get a much more solid idea of what kind of band we are.

How is it, for the band, playing live?

We love playing live and we strive to recreate the sound of our recordings as accurately as possible on stage. Connecting with our audience during and after shows is always something that we get a buzz from.

And you’ve also played alongside such outfits as Mallory Knox, Arcane Roots, and Funeral For A Friend. How were they as experiences?

Playing alongside some of the UK’s biggest ambassadors for alternative music has been a really humbling experience for us. Every time we get to play with someone of that calibre, we learn something that we can and use as an influence in our own world.

And finally, what are the band’s plans once ‘Eyes Beyond Reflection’ has come out?

We aim to get back into the studio to begin our next musical endeavour!

In The Cards EP Cover

 

‘EYES BEYOND REFLECTION’, THE DEBUT EP FROM IN THE CARDS, WILL BE AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD, OR PURCHASE FROM JUNE 22, FROM SPOTIFY, iTunes, APPLE MUSIC, GOOGLE PLAY, AND AMAZON MUSIC.

FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/InTheCardsOfficial

TWITTER: twitter.com/InTheCardsBand

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com