WOODHAWK

Woodhawk band photo

WOODHAWK (from l-r): Mike Badmington (bass), Turner Midzain (vocals/guitar), Kevin Nelson (drums)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Woodhawk are a hard rock three-piece from the Canadian city of Calgary.

The band pride themselves on creating a sound that is energetic, anthemic, and has substantial guitar riffery at its very core.

Having recently been hard at work putting together the finishing touches to their forthcoming debut full-length album ‘Beyond The Sun’, I chatted to vocalist/guitarist Turner Midzain about this and more.

How did the band get together initially?

Woodhawk was founded by Mike and myself. We had a previous band that ended, and we were looking to do something new. We had a few fill-in/temporary drummers to get us going, but we really didn’t get rolling until Kevin joined the band.

How did the name Woodhawk come about?

The name Woodhawk actually derives from Mike’s and my love for craft beer and breweries. One of our favourites is Wychwood from the UK. We talked about calling the band Witchwood or Wychwood. But there is already a lot of “Witch” bands, so we somehow landed on Woodhawk and it just stuck.

In your own words, how would you describe your sound?

Though we are frequently described as a stoner rock band, we like to believe we are just a hard rock band. We fill our songs with big riffs and smooth melodies. There is a lot of energy in our music, but also a lot of heart. 

What are the band’s musical influences?

Our roots are very much engrained in the 70’s, but we also really love a lot of the modern bands out there these days. We’re lucky to be around in a time that we feel has some amazing artists. No particular band influences us, just whatever our flavour of the week is.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

It all starts with the riffs, then we build the music around that. We continue writing and arranging until we’re happy with where it’s sitting, and then we add lyrics. Sometimes we’ll change the music because of the vocals, but it usually stays the same. For ‘Beyond The Sun’, we really had the pleasure of having two years to write it. We filtered through about 15 songs to get to the nine we chose.

Whilst we’re on the subject of ‘Beyond The Sun’, how has recording your debut full-length album been?

Recording this album was different than any other record any of us individually had done. We had the amazing experience of working with Jesse Gander from Rain City Recorders, and he was very much involved in the process from the beginning. We would send him demos months in advance and work on those parts and songs, so when we finally got to Rain City to start recording, we were able to do all the instruments at the same time, with the end result being that all the bed tracks were just the three of us playing in the same room at the same time. That’s something we feel is very much reflected on the record.

And what can listeners expect from it?

‘Beyond The Sun’ shows more than just our full out, balls-to-the-wall riff songs. We really focused on the songwriting to make a good album as a whole. There are big, anthemic rock songs, but also some laid back tracks that show a different side to us.

The album’s lyrics take from the idea of escaping the place you know as home and venturing off into the unknown, but in the end, home is not a physical place, it’s where your heart is. It’s what you take from it.

How has the reaction been to your latest single, ‘The High Priest’?

The reaction was amazing. That was an older song, so we had been playing it live for a while and it was always well-received. It felt like a no brainer to release that one first, as it kind of picks up nicely where the EP left off, but with a nice transition into where the rest of the album will sit.

How is it for the band playing live and touring?

We love playing live, it’s the reason we all started playing music. We’re a loud, high energy band, and we feel we put on a pretty fun show.
Touring for us is a lot of fun. We’re all very disciplined people, so we take it very seriously. We typically have a good schedule for who’s driving, who’s in charge of what and staying as organized as possible. People pay money to come, so we always try to make sure we give them everything we’ve got.
What is your long-term aim?
We try not to look too far in the future and take ourselves too seriously, so for now, we will continue to tour this record as far as it will take us. If we get the opportunity to make another album, we’ll do that. We like to make sure we’re enjoying every moment of this and not get ahead of ourselves.
‘BEYOND THE SUN’, THE DEBUT FULL-LENGTH ALBUM FROM WOODHAWK, WILL BE RELEASED ON APRIL 7TH.

 

 

 

 

 

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WITTERQUICK

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WITTERQUICK (from l-r): Ollie Chanter (bass), Sean Davey (guitar), Will Alford (vocals), Andy Lewis (drums), Ben Chanter (guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Devon alternative rock five-piece Witterquick have enjoyed a rapid ascent in the last year.

They made quite an impact with their debut EP, ‘Beneath The Spinning Lights’, which, with its well-crafted and powerful sound, earned the band an overwhelmingly positive reaction from their growing fan base and the music press.

With this, and a recent successful UK tour supporting Altered Sky, the Exeter outfit are already well on their way to placing themselves firmly at the forefront of the British alternative rock scene.

Following the release last week of their new single ‘Hiding Place’, taken from their eagerly-awaited follow-up, out this summer, I chatted with bassist Ollie Chanter, and this is what he had to say:

How did the band get together initially?

We all used to be in different bands in our local area that broke up around the same time. I asked Will if he wanted to sing on some songs I’d been writing, and he had been working on a lot of material himself too, so we got together from there.

How did the name Witterquick come about?

We used to watch an 80’s cartoon called Visionaries, it’s a character from that show. We threw a load of names around and Witterquick was one that we weren’t sure on at first, but we grew to love. Someone once told us that the name was awful, and that settled it for us, the name stayed.

In your own words, how would you describe your sound?

It’s a fresh, powerful, but friendly sound. We set out to make sure we let everything happen organically, so we have a unique feel to our songs. You can hear influences of genres and flavours that we like, but you couldn’t say that we sound like another band.

What are the band’s musical influences?

Almost anything. Between us, we listen to a massively varied collection of genres, from jazz and blues, to classical, pop, metal, and disco.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

Most of the songs start as demos Will writes, either very raw or almost entirely finished. Ollie and Will develop those ideas into songs and tagteam the lyrics, then the whole band work on them.

Your debut EP, last year’s ‘Beneath The Spinning Lights’, was a success, both with critics and fans. Did you expect the reaction it got?

Not at all. We knew the songs were good, we chose our favourites of the catalogue we had at the time, but the reaction was much better than we expected. We’re still hearing from new people, almost daily, that have either just discovered the EP or are still loving it. It was a huge turning point for us.

The band have just released a new single, ‘Hiding Place’. How has the reaction been to that so far?

Again, much better than we expected. It’s a great track, but we think it’s the weakest from the group of songs we’re about to put out, so seeing people going nuts over it is pretty exciting.

Your eagerly-anticipated follow-up will be out this summer. How has the recording process been up to now?

Really great. We’ve worked with Romesh Dodangoda a few times now, so we’re in a very comfortable environment with him. Hearing the finished songs for the first time is always a huge moment.

And if you can, what can listeners expect from it?

It’s lyrically more raw, musically too perhaps. In the last year, we have had huge highs and very low lows, so we’ve had a lot of things to work out in these songs.

What is the band’s experience of playing live and touring?

Incredible fun. The laughs never stop, it’s nice to see fans picking up on our in-jokes too. We can’t keep up with the live demand just yet, but we’ve got a lot lined up for the next year.

What is your long-term aim?

To be honest, we’re passionate about doing our own thing, regardless of what that means for us. Witterquick will be its own thing for as long as it exists. If fans continue to love it, then that’s amazing. Anyone who sets out to sound like another band or jump on a soundwagon are cheating themselves.

‘HIDING PLACE’, THE NEW SINGLE FROM WITTERQUICK, IS NOW AVAILABLE TO BUY OR STREAM FROM ALL PLATFORMS.

THE BAND’S SECOND RELEASE WILL BE OUT THIS SUMMER.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HALFLIVES UNVEIL VIDEO FOR NEW SINGLE ‘ECHO’, WITH UK TOUR AND DEBUT ALBUM ON THE WAY

Halflives band photo

Italian five piece Halflives have had a great start to 2017. A pledge campaign, which saw the band almost double their original target in just a month, led to the announcement of their debut album ‘Empty Rooms’. The previous single from their forthcoming release, ‘Burn’, has had widespread radio airplay, and has been beaming onto television sets across the UK courtesy of Scuzz.

Now, it is the time for another dose of the band’s pop rock perfection with the release of their brand new single ‘Echo’.

With one of the most infectious choruses of 2017 so far, once you have heard ‘Echo’, you won’t be forgetting it, or Halflives, anytime soon. The video for the track was filmed on location in France, with the impressive setting for the video matching the song’s huge appeal. You can now see and enjoy it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Peyls33-2eM&feature=youtu.be

To learn more about their new track, here are the thoughts of Halflives frontwoman Linda Battilani:

Echo’’s one of the very first songs that we wrote for our debut album ‘Empty Rooms’ together with ‘Lone Wolf’. I guess that this was the song that made us realize how different this album was going to sound, compared to every other work we did in the past, and this single set our goals for this album even higher, since we truly wanted it to be the very best of our essence, and ‘Echo’ is part of it.

The song is about finding no place in this world where to feel at peace but slowly accepting how life’s going to be after a hard breakup.

YOU CAN NOW BUY OR STREAM THE SINGLE AT THE FOLLOWING PLACES:

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/album/id1219371618

SPOTIFY: http://spoti.fi/2nvzAGc

BANDCAMP: https://wehavehalflives.bandcamp.com/

Halflives Cover

The release of ‘Echo’ comes before the release on April 14th of the quintet’s debut album ‘Empty Rooms’, which is now available to pre-order in a variety of bundles and formats from the band’s official online store http://wehavehalflives.bigcartel.com/

Halflives tour poster

The UK will soon get the chance to experience Halflives in person, as they will be appearing as special guests to Canadian alternative rock trio Courage My Love at five shows at the end of May and start of June this year. These dates will include an appearance by both ensembles at London’s annual Camden Rocks Festival (exact venue and time for both bands to be confirmed).

These five shows form part of a larger European tour for the outfits, the full list of shows can be seen on the tour poster above.

With all of these exciting things happening, 2017 looks set to continue what 2016 started in the world of Halflives. The band invite you to get onboard for the ride now, as there’s plenty you won’t want to miss.

FOR FURTHER INFO, CHECK OUT THESE SITES:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/wehavehalflives

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/wehavehalflives

INSTAGRAM: https://twitter.com/wehavehalflives

 

 

 

 

 

THE RALLIES

The Rallies band photo

THE RALLIES (clockwise, from upper left): Steve Davis (vocals/acoustic guitar), Lee Brown (drums), Rick Jones (bass), Jeff Weideman (electric guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

From the north-west of the U.S., pop/rock quartet The Rallies have a sound that can best be described as rather melodic and upbeat, taken from a spectrum of retro and contemporary musical influences.

Having just released ‘Serve’, an album that is already getting much positive feedback, the outfit are now setting their sights on getting their music out to a wider audience, with American college students being next on their hit list.

I chatted to the band’s vocalist/guitarist Steve Davis about their current success and more.

How did the band get together initially?

I founded the group a number of years ago, and the band has gone through many membership changes since. Lee Brown came on board a few years ago drumming in the second version, Rallies 2.0, as he was a good friend of the guitarist at that time. Then, Rick Jones joined The Rallies 3.0 as a bassist who had played in another band with the guitarist at that time. And finally, Jeff Weideman joined the band’s current 4.0 version not even a year ago, answering a Craigslist ad in which he replied: “Trying to find a quality band, and you are IMHO that.”

How did the name The Rallies come about?

I am a big fan of the sport of tennis, I love to watch and play the game. And initially, I came up with the name for its reference to tennis, and that the word (rally) had so many other meanings and uses. Little did I know though back then, just how relevant a word it would become in the world today. 🙂

In your own words, how would you describe your sound?

I’ll leave describing our sound up to the listeners, like yourselves — would dig hearing your thoughts on that. I can tell you that when I’m writing songs, I try to write something that has a positive vibe, that feels true & honest, and hopefully it’s something that others can relate to and connect with from their own experiences.

What are the band’s musical influences?

I dig so many groups and artists that range all the way back to the 50’s through to today — pretty much any group or artist that writes melodic driven music, power pop rock. On our band site, we list some groups that I’ve heard people reference that they hear in our music. All-time favorite though would have to be The Beatles, for sure!

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

For me, it’s just something that comes out of noodling around on the guitar, a kind of bi-product that shows itself sometimes when I’m playing. I never know when it’ll happen, but when it does, it’s a very cool feeling.

You have recently released an album, ‘Serve’. How was the process of recording it?

We started recording the album in the springtime last year as just a three-piece. We didn’t have an electric guitar player at that time, just a Craigslist ad titled “Guitar Player Wanted”, and it had an important requirement: “No showboating solos, no metal, no covers.” Jeff joined the band about midway through the recording process, after we had tracked about half the songs, and because of that, it took us around half a year just to track the entire album. It definitely wasn’t the ideal way to do it, but in the end, we were all pleased with how it turned out.

How has the reaction been to the album so far?

We’ve really been pleasantly surprised by the positive responses, and people have reached out to us from all over the U.S., Canada, and Europe. We’ve been using the social networks to get some attention, and that’s helped us find an audience that we didn’t even know existed or was possible.

How is it for you playing live?

The band hasn’t had much time to play out recently because we’ve been busy working on the album. We hope to start playing out soon though and would really like to do a tour of some kind this year, so look for that coming. By the way, the next live performance will be a first for our new guitarist Jeff, who I know is really looking forward to it.

What are the band’s opinion concerning the current state of the American music industry?

There’s really good music out there, though sometimes it’s hard to find through the normal “industry” channels. I find college radio to be one of the best places to find good new and interesting music, that’s been my go-to source for music and it’s never let me down.

What have you got planned for the rest of this year?

Well, we definitely want to get out and start performing our new album, so that’s in the near term plan. As well as touring this year, we just need to figure out where and when. Also, we have a college radio campaign that’s starting right now, and we hope to get our music heard over the airwaves across the U.S. colleges in the next few months.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

We all want to keep making music, so more recording and new albums will definitely be in our future, and we all want to keep performing our music live, so look for us out and about playing somewhere sometime soon. Cheers!

‘SERVE’, THE NEW ALBUM FROM THE RALLIES, IS NOW AVAILABLE FROM ALL GOOD MUSICAL OUTLETS.

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH THE BAND AT THESE SITES:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/TheRallies/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/The_Rallies

REVERBNATION: https://www.reverbnation.com/TheRallies

BANDCAMP: https://therallies.bandcamp.com/releases

SOUNDCLOUD: https://soundcloud.com/TheRallies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CANADIAN RIFF ROCKERS WOODHAWK ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM, TOUR AND VIDEO

Woodhawk band photo

Slathered in rock and roll riffs and dealing with a case of wanderlust, rock revival heroes Woodhawk, from the Canadian city of Calgary, set out to unleash their debut full-length album ‘Beyond The Sun’ paired with dates across western Canada.

The riff wizards have also just released a video for their single ‘The High Priest’, which showcases their lyricism and fanaticism for musical perfection. Lyrically, the song questions individual power and how people can either use it for good or evil. You can watch the video now at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5g5jTKtEfM

The album is produced by the band with Jesse Gander (Bison, Japandroids) and is slated for release on April 7th. A pre-order of vinyl, CD or digital with an instant download of the first single The High Priest is now available via their Bandcamp at https://woodhawk.bandcamp.com.

This album has been years in the making and really shows the evolution of the band. We focused hard on not just making good riffs, but good songs. Doing this album, and with Jesse Gander, no less, was a bucket list goal for us. So to be in Vancouver and recording with someone who we truly admire, was something that we feel is reflected in the album.” says vocalist/guitarist Turner Midzain.

After opening for Truckfighters, Yawning Man and We Hunt Buffalo in Calgary, Woodhawk will be hitting the road for their tour of western Canada to quell their hunger for playing shows.

SHOW DATES:

April 7 – Edmonton, AB – Sewing Machine Factory (CD Release Show)
April 8 – Calgary, AB – The Palomino (CD Release show)

VAGABONDS OF THE WESTERN GIG TOUR:

May 4 – Vancouver, BC – The Cobalt
May 5 – Nanaimo, BC – The Queens
May 6 – Victoria, BC – Logan’s Pub
May 7 – Kelowna, BC – Doc Willoughby’s
May 8 – Edmonton, AB – Rendezvous Pub
May 9 – Saskatoon, SK – Vangelis Tavern
May 10 – Winnipeg, MB – The Handsome Daughter
May 11 – Regina, SK – The German Club
May 12 – Calgary, AB – Palomino
May 13 – Fernie, BC – Northern Bar
Woodhawk Cover
‘BEYOND THE SUN’, WOODHAWK’S DEBUT FULL-LENGTH ALBUM, WILL BE RELEASED ON APRIL 7TH.
FOR FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND, CHECK OUT THESE SITES: