The Carriers logo


The currently thriving Stoke-on-Trent music scene was dealt a blow recently when popular local four-piece The Carriers announced that after playing the Underground in Hanley on June 16, they were going to go their separate ways, in order to pursue other projects.

The band may have only been together for two years, but in that time, they made quite an impact in their home city with a mainly punk sound, full of high energy, distorted riffs and rapid drum beats, supplemented with elements of funk and ska.

However, despite the sad news, the quartet are set to go out on a high, with one final album planned for release to accompany their farewell gig.

The band’s frontman Ben Murray spoke to me recently, in what will be one of their last interviews.

How did The Carriers come into being?

Our guitarist Jack Duggan and drummer Ryan Dawkins have been mates since school. They put an ad out on the Stoke Music Scene Facebook page for a singer / rhythm guitarist. I’d only just moved to Stoke and was looking for a band, so I answered the ad, met up with the guys, and we seemed to gel really well from the get go. Our bassist Sam Johnson, who knew Ryan from college, joined after we’d kicked the first one out a couple of months after I joined.

How did you come up with the band name?

It was something either Ryan or Jack had already thought of, it was a working title for a while and we tried to think of something else, just spit balling ideas for a bit, but none of them stuck as much as The Carriers.

What are the key influences on your sound?

All of us bring loads of different influences to the table. Ryan is a big punk/pop punk/metal and ska fan, Jack has similar tastes, but also enjoys funk and more old school punk like NOFX, Sam listens to literally anything and everything from like Bossonova to Primeus, and I’m more into emotional post-punk, so bands like Joyce Manor and Bloc Party, but also for fun and games, MSI and others like them influence me.

How does the band put their songs together?

Usually, we arrive at practice and someone will have a riff or progression they have been working on. We’ll then work on it and jam with it for a bit, make it a song, sort out the structure and composition of it and then at the next practice, I will bring some lyrics that I’ve worked on and by then, the track is pretty much finished. We’ll then just practice the hell out of it, and if there was anything we got bored of while playing, it gets cut.

What subjects do you like to explore with the lyrical content?

A few are stories of people getting drunk or finding inspiration, some are more politically charged making comments on immigration, Brexit and the education system. There’s also a song about celebrity culture, one with Pokémon references, and I tend to talk a lot about money, work, mental health, relationships, music and my dad.

How well do you think your music has been received? 

It’s been good, we’re definitely a live band over a studio band, so it’s a much different experience listening to our tracks to seeing us in the flesh, so the immediate reaction to our sets has always been very positive and anyone who likes us will then usually buy one of our CD’s or find us on Spotify.

Stoke-on-Trent, where you are all based currently, has a thriving music scene at the moment. Would you agree?

Yeah, the scene is great right now. Every weekend, there’s a local band playing somewhere in Hanley and the venues do a great job of making these people sound and look awesome.

Also, with stuff like Your City being free to come and watch for the public just showcases how awesome the talent is in Stoke currently, and what’s more is that it doesn’t just focus on one style of music, there’s plenty of diversity in the types of acts you can go and see.

The band announced recently that they were calling it a day. Can you tell me what the reasons behind this decision are?

I’m moving away in July or August to Liverpool, so we thought it would be better to end on a massive high rather than to just fizzle out into obscurity and not play again. Each of us is such an integral part of the sound and presence of The Carriers as a live band, so we couldn’t really draft anyone else in to play the live shows.

We’ve all put a lot of work into this band over the past year and a half, and we’re proud and happy with what we’ve all got out of it. Also, we’re all going off to do our own projects now, Sam is fronting Misovia, Ryan is drumming in Undercurrent, Jack is looking to put together a funk band and once I move to Liverpool, I’m going to put together a band called Just.

Could The Carriers return one day in some form or another?

Unlikely. We’ve all learned a lot writing and performing with each other, and we’ve all improved in songwriting and stage presence and production, but now, I think we just want to take what we’ve learned and put it to use in our own projects.

Finally, are you looking forward to putting on a big finale then on June 16?

Definitely, it is not to be missed! Also, around that time, we’ll be releasing an album containing every song we have written, so for anyone who has really liked our work, they can continue to enjoy it. 











As December Falls band photo

AS DECEMBER FALLS (from l-r): Will ‘Bambi’ Brown (rhythm guitar), Ande Hunter (lead guitar), Bethany Curtis (vocals), Lukas James (drums)


A female-fronted four-piece from Nottingham, As December Falls are an outfit currently on the verge of making a huge breakthrough.

Priding themselves on delivering a powerful fusion of pop and rock, led by the melodic vocals of frontwoman Bethany Curtis, the quartet have recently been taking themselves across the UK, impressing the crowds at each of the venues they have played.

It is little wonder then that the music press are tipping them for much success in the near future.

On the warm late spring evening they returned to play a headliner in their home city, I spoke to them and this is what they had to say:

How did the band come about?

BETHANY CURTIS (vocals): I got approached by one of our old members on Facebook, he called me in, he knew Ande from other bands, when they used to play together, and then maybe that’s how he knew Luke as well, who is our drummer, but he’s not here right now.

Then, we played for a bit, and we got Will in, we call him ‘Bambi’, when we were on tour last year, because we needed another guitarist, but then there were sad times as two members left us, but we got through that and everything’s alright now.

Will, you don’t mind me asking, but why do you have the nickname ‘Bambi’?

(All laugh)

WILL ‘BAMBI’ BROWN (rhythm guitar): It’s a reference from ‘Scrubs‘.

ANDE HUNTER (lead guitar): Yeah, it came from when we did our third band practice with Will, and someone said something mean to him, and another person reacted by saying: “Be nice to Bambi!“, and it’s kind of stuck from there. (to ‘BAMBI’) You’ve got a forest tattoo to go with it, haven’t you?

‘BAMBI’: Yeah.

ANDE: Okay.

From where did the name As December Falls originate?

ANDE: We were literally in the studio recording our first EP, and we had yet to come up with a name for the band. We were just throwing ideas around, and as everything had come together for us in December, it made sense, like that was the month when the first songs were written and when our line-up had fully formed, so yeah, the name came together like that.

What would you describe your sound as?

BETHANY: Pop rock?

‘BAMBI’: Yeah, pop rock. It’s pretty loud. (BETHANY laughs)

Which bands/artists serve as inspiration for you?

ANDE: I think we all have different bands/artists that influence us. (to ‘BAMBI’) What would you say?

‘BAMBI’: I would like to say Dance, Gavin, Dance.

ANDE: No, not happening. For me, it’s anyone really that takes my fancy at the time, The Story So Far…

BETHANY: You like Twenty One Pilots, don’t you?

ANDE: Yeah, but I’m not going to write anything like Twenty One Pilots. My guitar playing is very much influenced by old classic rock guitarists, a lot of Slash, a lot of those old school blues players.

BETHANY: I’m very much into female-fronted rock bands, so for me, it’s Marmozets, Paramore, Against The Current, all those kinds of bands. Obviously, I love Hayley Williams.

What do you think to Paramore’s new stuff?

BETHANY: I really like it, I think it’s really funky. Me and Bambi have constantly been singing their new songs in the van on the way to our gigs.

ANDE: I won’t pass comment. (BETHANY and ‘BAMBI’ laugh)

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

BETHANY: By the way we’ve written our last few songs, I write a few lines of vocals, then I give it to Ande, who sorts it out, because it’s pretty shit. (laughs)

ANDE: I work my guitar around her vocal lines, see what works, and then when the vocals have been put down onto paper, we’ll take it to Bambi, who will add something with the rhythm guitars, and Luke, who will do the same with the drums, so it may seem like we all do it in one room, but we don’t. The process is vocals, guitar, rhythm guitar, drums.

BETHANY: And normally all of our songs will start off acoustically.

How well do you think the band’s music has been received up to now?

ANDE: So far, so good. Considering we’re completely independent, we’re not signed at the moment, we have no management, no backing, I think we’ve done alright. We get a lot of plays, a lot of streams, about 13, 14,000 on Spotify every month. We’re also doing alright on YouTube, we’ve been played on both Kerrang! and Scuzz, Planet Rock, Q. Yeah, we’re doing alright.

You are currently on tour. How has that been so far?

BETHANY: It’s been really good, like we played Swansea last week, and that was really incredible, everyone was nice and friendly. We gained a few new fans from that one, because they came up to us after the gig, and then we played in London as well, that was sick, and our producer came down and watched us, so that was really good.

Was that your first gig in London?

BETHANY: We’ve played Camden twice, once at Camden Rocks and another one at a festival there about a month ago.

ANDE: It was kind of Camden Rocks again. Our gig in London as part of the current tour was the first one we’d done that we were actually involved in promoting etc…

BETHANY: It was our first time headlining a venue in London.

ANDE: Yeah.

The band are playing in their home city this evening. How is it playing live in front of a home crowd?

ANDE: It’s definitely the best. Our home town shows are always really incredible, we haven’t really had a bad one yet. It’s a really cool experience. We played the Rescue Rooms back in January, and I’ve seen so many bands play there that I loved growing up, so to be performing on the same stage that they have is just mind blowing.

What is your personal opinion of the current Nottingham music scene?

ANDE: It’s amazing to be honest. There’s so much stuff going on. My favourite thing about it is that there are so many different bands playing different genres, it’s not as if just one genre is breaking through, like metal, rock or acoustic, there are literally bands of every genre coming through.

‘BAMBI’: There’s quite a good underground emo scene here as well.


‘BAMBI’: A lot of DIY stuff.

ANDE: It’s a great scene to be playing music in.

What’s lined up for you once the tour’s finished?

BETHANY: We’ll be releasing a single, we’re not quite sure when the release date will be yet, but we recently recorded the video to it, so hopefully that will be really cool.
Other than that, we’re playing Macmillan Fest in September, we’ve got Lowde Fest as well, so that should be amazing.

ANDE: It’s in Hampshire, and we’ll be playing with the likes of Doctor and the Medics and ABC.

BETHANY: Lowde Fest is kind of Hampshire’s version of Splendour. Then, after all that, we’ll be heading back into the studio.

ANDE: At the moment, we’re very much planning whether we want to do another EP, or maybe getting an album together. We’ll see where we’re going before making the decision. It’s in the early planning stages, but currently, we’re just writing more than anything, and when we’ve finished that, we’ll see what we want to do with the songs.

What is the band’s long-term aim? Where do you see yourselves five, ten years from now?

‘BAMBI’: Warped Tour. (BETHANY laughs)

ANDE: Then Wembley! (BETHANY and ‘BAMBI’ laugh) Honestly, to get signed to a major label, release a couple of records.

You don’t mind me asking, but are you close to being signed up at the moment?

ANDE: Well, we’ve been approached by several small labels, unfortunately, someone hasn’t come along yet who has really taken our fancy. We’re not approaching anyone ourselves at the moment, we’re just concentrating on building our own sound and fan base, and we’ll wait and see if someone big wants to come and approach us.




















Filth interview photo


As 2016 was drawing to a close, I chatted to Stoke-on-Trent psychedelic rock four-piece Filth, whom, in the relatively short time they had been together, had already made quite a mark on their local music scene.

Since then, the band have been hard at work putting together their debut offering, ‘Play That Filthy Music’, which has recently been released.

Speaking to me once again, the outfit’s guitarist Lewis Fernyhough went into further detail about the new EP, from initial idea to completion.

How did the idea for the EP come about?

The idea for the EP came from that we had some songs that we wanted people to hear, so we recorded and released them.
From where did the title ‘Play That Filthy Music’ originate?
We stole the title from a Seventies disco track and changed ‘Funky’ to ‘Filthy’.
How was the recording process?
It was sick. We had a great time recording the EP.
How would you describe the EP, both musically and lyrically?
 Filthy riffs with funky beats, with lyrics from filthy times.
What do you hope to get from your debut release?
Just to get as many people to listen to it as possible and share it with their pals.
What can your fans hope to get from it?
Some good tunes that they’ve heard before if they’ve been to one of our gigs.
Will the band be playing a few live shows to accompany the EP?
Yeah, we’re supporting Solar Asylum at The Underground in Hanley tomorrow night, and then we’ll be headlining the same venue on August 18th.
What is your aim from now on? Another EP, maybe even a full album?
Play some more gigs, get a bigger fan base, and maybe some more tunes to follow.
Filth band logo



The Weight Of Atlas band photo


The Weight Of Atlas are a metalcore/post-hardcore quintet from Scotland, comprising of vocalist Aaron Corrigan, guitarists Gavin Duncan and Lewis Brodie, bassist Ryan Dair and drummer Andrew Cairns.

In recent years, the talented, close-knit outfit have been working hard on making a name for themselves, winning acclaim for their diversely influenced sound and their intense live sets, which has also enabled them to build a loyal and ever-growing fan base.

With the five-piece are currently putting together their eagerly awaited debut album, the follow-up to well-received debut EP ‘Reflections’, I chatted to them about their journey so far and what lies ahead in the future.

How did the band form initially?

The Weight Of Atlas initially was a high school band, a bunch of friends playing music together, trying to emulate those they looked up to and have fun doing so.

Over time, the members changed and throughout this process, the band became a lot more focused about what we do. We’ve certainly come a long way!

From where did the name The Weight Of Atlas originate?

The name actually came from an original member and friend, no longer making music with us. The name stuck as it gives imagery to the tone of our music.

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

Honestly, we’d like to think our music is a raw version of ourselves. Although as emo as that sounds, we’d also like to think our music was fun and catchy, at least for a heavier band.

What are the band’s musical influences?

We all have different and similar interests, we were all raised on different music and now loosely have similar tastes. We’re all big fans of The Devil Wears Prada, Underoath and Pvris. Nothing to narrow.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

Each song has a different idea to spark the flame, we usually set out what we want to achieve musically first, or lyrically and then tackle it from that angle. It is always a genuine experience writing.

How well do you think the reaction has been to your music up to now?

Overwhelming. Honestly, we’re just us, a bunch of friends trying hard to create something we’re personally proud of, and people are into it. That, to us, is unreal.

Every time someone buys a top, downloads a song or sends us a message, we’re like: “Wow! We’re doing something that people are into“. There’s no other feeling like it.

The band will be releasing their debut album later this year. How has the recording process been?

Exciting. Each song we record has surpassed expectations. We can’t personally wait to stop sitting on this and show people what we’re capable of. Hopefully, they will dig it.

And what can listeners expect from it?

It’s catchier, heavier and more energetic than anything we’ve ever done before. It’s definitely honest, and it’s something we are proud to put our name to.

How, for you, is the experience of playing live and touring?

Unmeasurable, in that we’ve been given these life experiences and opportunities to meet new people and make friends and have fun doing so. We’ve made unforgettable memories and we hope to continue doing so.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

To create something we’re proud of, honestly represent ourselves musically, and to make friends and memories that will last a lifetime.









SEASONAL – ‘Bloom’ (3/5)


Seasonal Cover


‘Bloom’ is the debut EP from Surrey pop-rock quartet Seasonal.

Prior to this new release, the emerging outfit had given everyone a taster of what to expect with the unveiling of opening track ‘Certainty’, which impressed many with its heartfelt sound and frank lyrics dealing with past experiences, and it is these, as well as the raw and emotional vocal delivery of frontman Matt Truseler, that form the key elements providing the foundations on which the band build upon throughout the five tracks.

However, they make sure that no song sounds exactly the same, as each track does have something different about it, whether it’s the fun, upbeat ‘Headphones’, heavy, technical ‘These Games’, energetic ‘Ranger’, or gentle, melodic closer ‘Homeward’.

The versatile mix of music shows that, even at such an early stage of their existence, the four-piece have little interest in putting together a basic, generic offering and instead have decided to use it as an opportunity to show off just how diverse they can be in the ways that the instruments they play are utilised.

In conclusion, ‘Bloom’ isn’t the greatest debut ever, but crucially for Seasonal’s future as a band, it is a solid collection of tracks which I’m sure will be improved on with their next release.

TOP TRACK: ‘Certainty’















Maypine band photo

Merging highly infectious refrains and upbeat punk-rock rhythms, ascending UK pop-punks MAYPINE are to set loose their eagerly awaited new EP, ‘In The Back Of My Mind’, on Friday 4th August through Disconnect Disconnect Records.

Before then, the lively quintet premiere their video single for ‘A Little Sooner’ with New Noise Magazine – which you can view at

The band will also be hitting the road this summer in support of the release.

By taking inspiration from a variety of different artists, the aspiring tunesters have been encouraged by State Champs, Neck Deep, ROAM and Blink-182. Through digesting the fundamentals of these key influences, they have formed their own sounds, creating premium cuts that are both accessible and instantly engaging.

Hailing from Brighton, and formed in mid-2016, the band spent the summer months crafting their set and refining their live show in anticipation for their first UK tour last winter. The shows were highly successful, leading the pop-punks to being touted as ‘one of the most exciting new pop-punk bands in the UK‘.

The five-piece have recently completed their debut EP, working with producer Ian Sadler, who has worked with outfits such as ROAM and Homebound. This impressive release is bursting with catchy hooks, emotive vocal lines and driving guitar parts.

With the release of ‘In The Back Of My Mind’ slated for this August, alongside a UK tour with much revered Brit pop-punks Better Than Never and Coast To Coast, this year is panning out to be a very eventful one.

Before the band fully take flight, catch MAYPINE live this August, at the below intimate venues:


Friday 04 – Hope & Ruin, Brighton*; Saturday 05 – Mulberry Tavern, Sheffield; Sunday 06 – Creepy Wee Pub, Dunfermline (Acoustic/afternoon set); Sunday 06 – The Attic/The Garage, Glasgow***; Tuesday 08 – Retro Bar, Manchester***; Thursday 10 – The Shed, Leicester**; Friday 11 – The Thunderbolt, Bristol**; Saturday 12 – The Attic, Torquay**; Sunday 13 – The Joiners, Southampton**; Monday 14 – The Black Heart, Camden**; Tuesday 15 – The Attic, Ashford**; Wednesday 16 – TJ’s, Eastbourne*.

*MAYPINE | **w/ Better Than Never  | *** w/ Coast To Coast










The Weight Of Atlas band photo

Scottish metalcore combo The Weight Of Atlas have returned with a formidable new
video single, entitled ‘The Art Of Letting Go’.

The Weight Of Atlas are a talented post-hardcore quintet who deliver monstrous riffs, contagious refrains, and ambient interludes that are framed with orchestral nuances.

The inventive riff slingers, offering a unique and diverse take on the metalcore label, tower over the pack, possessing an astute ability to adeptly fuse and combine genres.

The band extract influence from a host of areas, from the ferocity of Devil Wears Prada and the shimmering atmospherics and potency of Deftones, through to the guile of Underoath.

In 2015, American label We Are Triumphant snapped up the band and released their
debut EP, ‘Reflections’. The release announced their arrival and garnered much
critical praise, as well as shaping a hugely active fan base that genuinely supports and interacts with the band.

The five-piece have worked tirelessly to support the EP on the road, where crowds have consistently been blown away by their sheer intensity and raw power.

Now, they have unveiled their new video single, which is taken from their forthcoming debut album, which will be released later this year. ‘The Art Of Letting Go’ is a powerful statement and charts the outfit’s maturity and growth.

With touring in the UK and Europe planned for the latter part of the year, 2017 will be the band’s breakout year.