CRYPITUS

Crypitus band photo

CRYPITUS (from l-r): Pete Snee (rhythm guitar), Doug Friend (vocals/guitar), Zach Patch (drums)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

From the American state of Vermont, three-piece Crypitus are a band currently enjoying a growing reputation.

For the last couple of years, the outfit have been making a big impact on their local rock scene, wowing crowds by taking in elements of all the sub-genres of metal to create a heavy and cohesive sound.

With a busy summer ahead, which will see them bring out a new release, as well as showcasing their music to a wider audience, the trio went into more detail about all this and more.

How did you all first get together?

DOUG FRIEND (vocals/guitar): The three of us started playing together after me and Pete became roommates and he picked up on a few of the riffs I had jammed on with my old drummer. We soon realized that we needed a drummer to join forces with. We found Zach online and here we are!

ZACH PATCH (drums): I’ve been trying to find a motivated group of fellas to play music with for a long time. After several failed attempts, I started posting online looking for someone to jam with. Pete was the first to respond, with Dougles in tow. The rest is history.

How did Crypitus come about as the band name?

DOUG: The band’s name actually came from my wilderness first aid training. My teacher came up to me all excited and exclaimed “Do you know what would be a sick metal band name?!? Crepitus! It’s the sound of bones breaking.” I was sold immediately.

How would you describe your sound to any new fans?

DOUG: It’s Vermont homegrown thrashy blackened death metal!

ZACH: Psychedelic thrash. Brutality. Clowns.

PETE: Thrashy, groovy metal.

Which other bands/artists influence you musically?

DOUG: My main musical influences come from bands like Death, Megadeth and Gojira, but I have to say old school thrash metal really moulded my musical character.

ZACH: My influences are very progressive. Between The Buried And Me is my all time favourite. I also love Frank Zappa, especially with Terry Bozzio, and I would also have to list the late great Jerry Garcia as a constant inspiration.

PETE: I’m influenced by a lot of different genres. I’ve been listening to metal since I discovered Maiden when I was a kid. Pink Floyd, Mastodon, Zeppelin, all gave me influences on guitar.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

DOUG: The band’s approach to songwriting has mostly been catch-up work with an arsenal of songs I wrote before we started. But when Pete and Zach hear the riffs, the production of the finished product is organic.

ZACH: Dougles had a lot of songs finished already when I joined. Since then, we just start jamming on something new and before I know it, we have another finished song.

PETE: Most of our current songs Doug wrote when he was younger and we’ve put our own spin on it. When we’re writing a new song, Doug usually comes up with a riff and the rest of us build on it with jinx.

What are the inspirations behind the band’s lyrics?

DOUG: I pull a lot of my lyrical inspiration from worldly turmoil. Death, mental confusion, natural destruction etc. It’s my warning to the world, I could say.

You have an EP/album coming out soon. How has the recording process of that been?

DOUG: So far we have only heard the unmastered version and it already sounds so good! I never considered having a piece of studio material, so I didn’t really know what to expect, but Doug Norford, who recorded us, was a big help in keeping us in line! I cannot wait for everyone to hear it, so keep your eyes peeled for ‘Exhibit 1: Prelude to the Dead World’!

ZACH: It was way smoother than I expected. We had our material finished and well rehearsed before we started recording too. I was astonished how many we were able to get down in one take. We can’t freakin’ wait to unleash this on the world! Doug and Zach Norford have done an awesome job on our music. A big thanks to you guys!

PETE: The demo we have coming out is three songs we’ve been playing since the start. One of Doug’s friend’s dad recorded us over the course of a couple of months between his house and our practice space at Zach’s house.

How is it for the band playing live?

DOUG: Playing music live is one of the greatest things I’ve experienced. New places to travel, new people to meet and new stages to rock! It’s a fucking thrill ride!

ZACH: Playing live has been nothing short of incredible. It seems like every show we play, there’s one or several bands that completely blow me away, and these bands become part of our influence too. We try to soak up every bit of inspiration available. There’s no rush like being able to hear folks screaming your band’s name so loud I can hear it over the music.

PETE: Playing live is always a blast. Sometimes we’ve played for an audience of the other bands playing that night but when we get an audience who never stops cheering while we’re playing, that’s the best feeling ever.

Aside from your forthcoming release, what do you have lined up in the near future?

DOUG: Well right now, we have a concreted summer booked full. We are playing in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and Connecticut. It August, we have an established mini-tour with our metal brothers from MA, An Unction in Braille; we have five dates together thoughout the month. Also joining us on the last two days are Stillborn Condition from Maine, so we are pretty damn excited about that.

ZACH: We have a lot of shows lined up. Also a small tour all over New England. We’re playing with Psychostick at the end of the month, in Manchester, NH. I never thought we’d play a show like that.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

DOUG: Long-term aim? I mean in my eyes, it’s every artists goal, we want to influence as many people with our music as possible!

ZACH: First we conquer America on tour, then we take over the world! We’re not going to stop until the whole world knows Crypitus! We’ll have 25 full length albums when we retire in 50 years.

PETE: Long-term, I’d love this band to last my whole life. I want to be 50 years old and still be in Crypitus.

Crypitus cover

‘EXHIBIT 1: PRELUDE TO THE DEAD WORLD’ WILL BE RELEASED SOON.

FOR FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND, CHECK OUT THESE SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/crypitus

BANDCAMP: crypitus.bandcamp.com

SOUNDCLOUD: soundcloud.com/crypitus

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CREJUVENT

Crejuvent logo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Currently based in Liverpool, Crejuvent is a solo project firmly steeped in metal.

The musician behind it is as passionate about his sound as much as any true artist, however, as will become apparent as you read this, he is not afraid to show off a humorous side.

I spoke to him about his about to be released EP and other things.

How did you start Crejuvent?

Through years and years of being an emotionally repressed individual.

How did the name come about?

It’s just a word I made up. I thought it perfectly encapsulated the juvenile humour and sentiment behind the project. Seriously, what a fucking stupid name…

To somebody discovering your sound, how would you describe it to them?

Like a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s got the aggression and brutality that fans of everything heavy have come to know and love, underlined with sweet melodies and ear-caressing chord progressions. All of which is slightly overshadowed by blatant potty humour.

What influences you musically?

Mainly Strapping Young Lad, Cynic, Obscura, Gojira, the usual stuff. But the main influence is a “fuck you too” attitude and a burning desire to prove everyone wrong.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

It’ll usually start with a main riff/musical idea, and through development, a song is born. I usually outline the whole song on my guitar, then add other instruments separately and that changes the course and feel of the song to become a final product.

It’s a relatively methodical approach, especially compared to how some other people write, but I find it works for me. I tend to come up with parts that are more cohesive as a song that way as opposed to just sticking a few riffs together in the same tempo and calling it a song.

Where does the inspiration come from for your lyrics?

Pft, could be anything. Could be a Simpsons quote, could be the crushing despair that consumes everyone, could be a woman (insert joke about how the last two are the same. I’d think of something myself but I’m feeling particularly lazy right now). It’s usually rooted in whatever form my existential crisis takes at the moment of writing. Sometimes that includes bizarre meta-writing that ultimately is deciphered as just noise because, you know, it’s death metal. Let’s just say it can get weird.

You have an EP ‘Time’ coming out very shortly. How was the process of recording it, from initial idea to completion?

I’ve been writing the songs for this release on and off for about a year or two. I wanted the whole recording process to be much more cohesive than how I’ve previously recorded my home releases. I wrote the demos over the course of about a year, and once I had ALL the musical elements meticulously planned in the demos, I got to re-recording everything properly.

I spent about two weeks recording all the instruments every day after work, making sure that everything was sounding tight as fuck, and vocals I had to do on and off over the following week or two. I added a few bits here and there while mixing, which didn’t take anywhere near as long as I thought it would’ve. I was going to pay a mastering engineer to take care of the EP, but in the end I managed to work it out on my own, which saved me a few hundred £££’s.

I worked long and hard on this EP, probably more than I should have, but at least now I can say I did something entirely on my own that I feel vague feelings of pride towards.

What is your experience of playing live?

It’s great. I fucking LOOOOOVE playing live, especially for this project because I do my live shows on my own playing bass and singing to backing tracks and it just looks so fucking dumb, but people love it!

It’s like the most vulnerable I ever feel is when I’m alone on stage, which results in a cathartic release, and the crowd usually doesn’t know how to react. It becomes a tiny sea (or rather, a puddle) of confused metalheads unsure of whether to mosh or to nod in disapproval. It’s amazing.

Aside from the forthcoming EP, what do you have planned for the near future?

There’s gonna be a lyric video and shit, and in the meantime I’m trying to find the time to start writing new stuff. Hopefully I’ll be hitting the stage again sometime soon. But mainly, THE NEW EP WHICH EVERYONE SHOULD BUY RIGHT NOW GO GO GO GO GO GO GO!

What is your long-term aim?

I think I’ll quit as soon as I get laid from this. There’ll be nowhere to go but down from there, so I’d rather end on a high note, which means I’ll probably be doing this forever.

Crejuvent band photo

‘TIME’, THE NEW EP FROM CREJUVENT, WILL BE RELEASED ON JULY 1.

FOR FURTHER INFO, CHECK OUT www.facebook.com/Crejuvent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PUPPET REBELLION

Puppet Rebellion band photo

PUPPET REBELLION (from l-r): Henry Rogers (drums), Dave Christian (guitar), Oliver Davies (vocals), Craig Gibson (guitar), James Halliwell (bass)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Puppet Rebellion are an alternative five-piece based in Manchester.

Since forming in 2013, the band have gained much acclaim and a legion of followers with an edgy and upbeat sound, which some have compared to outfits such as Bloc Party and Interpol, heartfelt lyrics and a powerful live presence.

The hard-working quintet have also had their music played on Dermot O’Leary’s BBC Radio 2 show and have supported the likes of Catfish and the Bottlemen and Reverend and the Makers.

I chatted to them before their recent headline gig in Stoke-on-Trent, from where two of the group’s members hail.

How did the band originally get together?

CRAIG GIBSON (guitar): We’ve had quite a few line-up changes since we formed the band. Our original singer Simon put an ad out on a website which I responded to, we started writing some songs together, we recruited more members and over the last four years, we’ve had a few line-up changes, with Ollie joining us a couple of years after.

From where did the name Puppet Rebellion originate?

CRAIG: When we first formed, we put forward some names, of which Puppet Rebellion was one. The name was Simon’s idea, which was in reference to a band he was previously in where their management had been overbearing.

What would you describe your sound as?

CRAIG: Well, I would guess that it was kind of post-punk, but I think it has kind of evolved over the last three years, so I guess now it would be within the alternative umbrella. We’ve got lots of different styles going on, so it’s hard to piegon-hole it.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

JAMES HALLIWELL (bass): It’s sort of Noughties indie, Kasabian, The Strokes, that sort of big indie boom that was going on back then.

The band are Manchester-based, so I would presume that there are bands/artists from the city that have been influential to you. Would I be right in saying that?

JAMES: Manchester has a rich music history, so take your pick.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

OLIVER DAVIES (vocals): It usually starts with one of us doing a verse or a chorus, and then the rest of us will listen to it. If we, I mean Craig, like it, then we’ll carry on. (laughs)

DAVE CHRISTIAN (guitar): We just get a bunch of ideas together, we’ll play some basic melodies and stuff, we’ll choose the best ones out of them, we’ll flesh them out, turn them into a tune and then we’ll refine it.

OLIVER: We also tend to record a lot of stuff as well, because we found sometimes when we’ve written a song in rehearsal, we thought “This is a banger!“, but when we’ve heard it back, we found it wasn’t so good.

CRAIG: We do a lot of pre-production, we have our own recording facilities. We spend quite a lot of time refining a song before we go in and record it. It’s quite a long process, so probably from when we had the initial idea, it may take as long as six months until it’s properly finished.

The band’s music has been subject to much acclaim. Did you expect all the positive reaction at all?

JAMES: Yeah, because from day one, we have worked as hard as we can to get everything right. We always aim with a new record to make it better than the last one.

CRAIG: We’re confident of what we release, because we are our own worst critics. We will spend a lot of time actually going through this process where by the time we’ve recorded something, we’re really confident of the songs ourselves.

OLIVER: There’s a constant flow of ideas.

JAMES: A very small percentage of which actually makes it to release, so we know that what we put out is the cream.

You played London recently. How did that go?

CRAIG: It went really well, thanks for asking. We played a venue in Dalston called Birthdays. We were really well received by the audience, and we think we made some friends there. It’s one of the places in London we’ve played quite a bit, and we always seem to get a good reaction. Aside from here and Manchester, London is a place we very much always look forward to playing.

For two of you, tonight’s gig is a homecoming. What is your opinion of the current music scene in Stoke-on-Trent?

OLIVER: I think it’s good, but the problem is that there aren’t many venues.

CRAIG: What are you going to do about it, then?

OLIVER: I’m going to go around Burslem town square naked, with the words “WE NEED MORE VENUES” written on my body!

CRAIG: Good idea.

JAMES: We get the benefits of coming from both Stoke and Manchester. We’ve played BBC Introducing in both areas, a few times now.

What’s planned for the near future then?

CRAIG: Our last couple of singles will be on an album which we’ll be releasing in November, we’ve already recorded half of it with Gavin Monaghan at Magic Garden Studios in Wolverhampton.

We’ll also have another single out in September, which we’re going to be performing tonight, and then yeah, we’ll be pushing the album, doing a lot of promotional stuff for it, so that’s what we have planned for the rest of this year.

Will you be playing any festivals over the summer?

CRAIG: We’re playing the Tramlines Festival in Sheffield in July and we’re also playing the Blackthorn Festival in Stockport, on the same day actually, so that’s going to be interesting.

JAMES: Basically, we’ve had to ask for a early slot at Blackthorn, so we can load our stuff and get off to Sheffield in time for our set there.

CRAIG: It’s going to be fun.

JAMES: It’s going to be just like Phil Collins at Live Aid!

Where does the band see themselves in the long-term?

JAMES: One of us will be dead, one of us will have started a family…

DAVE: Our aim is to carry on for as long as we can with our music, getting all the tunes out.

CRAIG: I think we will continue to assess things as we go along anyway. We kind of work in cycles, so we’ll probably be doing what we’re doing now in a few years, except we’ll hopefully have a more substantial fan base.

JAMES: We know where we want to be, it’s just turning it into a game plan.

THE NEW ALBUM FROM PUPPET REBELLION WILL BE RELEASED THIS NOVEMBER.

FOR FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND, CHECK OUT THESE SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.puppetrebellion.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/PuppetRebellion

TWITTER: twitter.com/PuppetRebellion

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/puppetrebellion

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com/user/puppetrebellion

SOUNDCLOUD: soundcloud.com/puppetrebellion

 

 

 

 

 

ASCENDING ALT-ROCK COMBO AIR DRAWN DAGGER RELEASE NEW VIDEO SINGLE

Air Drawn Dagger band photo

Unstoppable alternative crew Air Drawn Dagger have just released their spanking new single, ‘Gods VS Peasants’, as a free download, via Alya Records.

Sparking glowing comparisons to everyone from Foo Fighters and Paramore to Donnas, Air Drawn Dagger hit you with engaging vocals, powerful guitars, and earnest emotion.

Formed in 2014, and featuring the impressive collective talents of Maisie Manterfield (vocals), Sam Wagner (lead guitar), Lewis Budden (bass) and Ross Dore (drums), the Sheffield band are already making waves throughout the scene and are picking up a plethora of new fans on a daily basis.

The band’s current EP, ‘Ours For The Taking…Theirs For The Breaking’, racked up strong support from BBC Introducing and throughout the underground. The quartet followed the release with their video single, ‘The Banshee’, which was also greatly lauded by many, as well as being premiered by Punktastic.

You literally can’t keep this band down. Air Drawn Dagger continue their rise with the release of their engulfing new single, ‘Gods VS Peasants’, out now. The single is available as a FREE download and it’s also backed with a video – which you can now view at youtube.com. As ever, the lively foursome have a slew of tour dates in the pipeline, so be sure to stay tapped into their socials for impending tour announcements.

AIR DRAWN DAGGER WILL BE PLAYING AT TRAMLINES FESTIVAL IN SHEFFIELD ON JULY 23 AND THE GARAGE IN GLASGOW ON AUGUST 5.

FIND MORE INFO ON THE BAND AT THESE SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/airdrawndaggerband

TWITTER: twitter.com/AirDrawnDagger

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com/channel/UCFv8tIxQt-wKoMYwMMiCQ7Q

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

 

WE ARE THE CATALYST TO RELEASE NEW SINGLE & VIDEO

We Are The Catalyst band photo

Hugely engaging heavy rock crew We Are The Catalyst continue their surge with the release of their new video single, ‘One More Day’, to be released on 23rd June.

Formed in November of 2012, the Swedish outfit have been described as many things, from alternative metal and emotional rock, to electronic rock, or even pop metal. Members Cat Fey, Kenny Boufadene, Joni Kaartinen and Håkan Strind spent years together touring with their former band, One Without, providing the group a bedrock and steady foundation. Utilising their skills and experience garnered from their previous incarnation, the band hit the ground with real purpose and released their debut album, ‘Monuments’, in the autumn of 2014.

Released worldwide by Ferocity Records, it eclipsed all expectations; the record hit harder, soared higher, and cut deeper than anticipated. The band played their debut show the following March and the alt-metallers embarked on a ten-day tour of China. WATC were specially invited to perform at the prestigious Sound of the Xity in Beijing, also, they played some stand-alone shows, including a set at China’s biggest music festival, Strawberry Festival, in Shanghai, where the band headlined the Planet Stage.

In June 2015, the four-piece won first prize in a competition organised by Metal Hammer, Bloodstock and the Dutch symphonic metal band Delain; the prize was to perform at Bloodstock Open Air, alongside bands such as Trivium, Sabaton, Within Temptation and more, as well as opening for Delain at their Birmingham show on their UK tour. This all coincided with WATC undertaking their first UK headline tour of thirteen shows throughout October and November. Due to the success of these dates, the four-piece returned to the UK for the third time that year, now headlining the second stage at the festival Planet Rockstock, sharing the stage with bands such as The Darkness, FM and Rival Sons.

With a growing and dedicated fan base in tow, the rising metal crew started work on their sophomore album last year. Entitled ‘Elevation’, the band released the record last September to much acclaim. The album marked a darker, heavier and more emotional direction while still maintaining WATC’s trademark melodically modern sound.

Having just surpassed one million plays on Spotify, with a new album in the works, and a new video single set to drop, We Are The Catalyst are without doubt set to grow and take the world by storm!

‘ONE MORE DAY’, THE NEW SINGLE FROM WE ARE THE CATALYST, WILL BE RELEASED ON JUNE 23.

FOR FURTHER INFO, CHECK OUT THE BAND ONLINE AT:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.wearethecatalystofficial.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/WATCofficial

TWITTER: twitter.com/officialwatc

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/wearethecatalyst

 

 

 

 

 

 

DREAM AWAKE TO RELEASE SOPHOMORE EP AND TOUR IRELAND THIS SUMMER

Dream Awake band photo

Formidable melodic metalcore outfit Dream Awake are to release their stunning
sophomore EP ‘Don’t Hold Your Breath’, on Friday 18th August. The hotly-tipped quintet have also just premiered their new single ‘Mind’s Eye’ with New Noise Magazine.

Tugging from the layered intensity of In Hearts Wake, and the heaviness and atmospherics of The Amity Affliction and Northlane, Dream Awake pull from their predecessors and have refined their own compelling sound that is fierce, dynamic, forceful, and utterly engaging.

Formed in 2014 and hailing from Belfast, the band wanted to create a sound
that brought together the heavy and technical qualities of the genre, but also offered the listener something fresh that they could more tangibly feel and access.

After reshaping their initial set and drafting in additional members, the Northern Irish five-piece have more than fulfilled their early manifesto. The melodic metalcorers dropped their debut single, ‘Burdens’, at the end of 2014, before going on to release their first EP, ‘Pathfinder’. The release helped the band to pick up press recognition, key support slots and prominent festival appearances.

To date, Dream Awake have shared stages with Napoleon and Carcer City, as well as playing prestigious festivals such as Download and Sunflowerfest.

For their upcoming EP, Dream Awake went to work with highly regarded producer, Daniel Kerr of Avenue Studios (Our Hollow Our Home, Create To Inspire, Shields). The release, entitled ‘Don’t Hold Your Breath’, features five engrossing cuts and a guest appearance from Wes Thompson/Napoleon. The record is jam packed with juggernaut guitars, dual-attacking vocals and blast-beat rhythms that will pummel the listener into submission from the get-go.

With this and a forthcoming Irish tour lined up, Dream Awake are poised to transcend from the underground.

FOR FURTHER DATES AND TOUR ANNOUNCEMENTS, CHECK OUT THESE SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.dreamawake.co.uk

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/dreamawakeofficial

TWITTER: twitter.com/dreamawakeni

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/dreamawakeofficial

 

 

CROW COUNTRY OUTLAW

Crow Country Outlaw band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Crow Country Outlaw are a hard rock band from southern Sweden.

Since forming in 2013, the four-piece have become crowd favourites in their native country with a sound they have described as “a mash-up of rock n’ roll, punk, country and blues, giving it a raw vibe with both deep emotion and groove.”

In the last year, the quartet have been expanding their reach further afield, embarking on a successful tour of eastern Europe and getting recognition in the UK.

With a new album planned for release later in the year, I spoke to the band about all the things their fan base want to know.

How was Crow Country Outlaw formed?

We got together around the end of the summer of 2013. Sebastian had just moved back to Jönköping, where we are from, and rounded up Mattias, Adam and Poods shortly after that.

Can you tell me where the band name comes from at all?

Sebastian took a stroll through the woods and came back with the name.

Which bands/artists would you say were your influences?

A lot and a little more!  But we try to narrow it to our foundational inspirations such as Kiss, Backyard Babies, Guns N Roses and Nirvana.

Where does the inspiration come from for the band’s lyrics?

From a wide span of things. We have some lyrics covering political views, some personal experiences and some about the people who have caused a great impact on our lives, both good and bad.

What is the band’s approach to songwriting?

There are two approaches: 1. Sebastian writes a song and we rehearse it later on.  2. We jam together and find something that sounds interesting and start working with it until we have a finished song.

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

We love playing live if that’s what you mean. We have had, just like most bands, both great and really bad shows, but we have always made the best of every situation. Our experiences have been that, even if a venue doesn’t get more than five people one night, you deliver those five fantastic fans a show to die for!

What has the band got planned for the near future?

A new record is currently in the making and with that some minor tours. We are dead set on making this year our most productive to date.

And finally, what is your long-term aim? What do you see yourselves doing in the next couple of years?

Major record deal, full-time (paid) musicianship and to keep on having the best time of our lives.

MORE INFO ON CROW COUNTRY OUTLAW CAN BE FOUND AT:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: crowcountryoutlaw.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/crowcountryoutlawOFFICIAL

TWITTER: twitter.com/OutlawCrow

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/outlawcrow

YOU CAN ALSO HEAR THEIR MUSIC ON SPOTIFY AND iTunes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE BLACK BULLETS

The Black Bullets band photo

THE BLACK BULLETS (from l-r): Lance Skybaby (guitar), Carl D (drums), Billy T(vocals/harmonica), Alice E. Atkinson (bass), Skinn Klick (guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Since forming in 2012, Hampshire quintet The Black Bullets have been winning over rock fans across the UK and Europe with a powerful, vibrant and gritty sound, raw vocals, and live sets that are unique and entertaining.

The reaction to their recently released single ‘Mockingbird’ has so far been positive, with both the track and accompanying video getting much exposure on social media.

Telling me about the band’s beginnings, influences, aims and more was their guitarist Lance Skybaby.

How did The Black Bullets come about?

The band was formed by our drummer Carl, after various line-up changes, myself and Skinny Pete joined forces with Billy and Carl about three years ago. The three of us had previously played together in another local band called Junction 13 a few years ago.

Our new bassist Alice, who we knew from her previous band The Featherz, only joined the ranks at the beginning of this year after our previous bass player decided to walk out on us just before a big gig in Paris, Hard Rock Hell Festival (with the likes of LA Guns, Love/Hate and Lita Ford) and a two-week Spanish tour! Nothing like last minute changes to keep everything lively!

From where did the band name originate?

Ah, the name! Well, I believe as the rock n’ roll legends of old would have it, we are actually named after a ‘Female Pleasure Device’ of the same name. To find the truth now would be impossible though, it’s an enigma wrapped in a mystery!

What would you say were your main musical influences?

I’m sure that each member of the band would say something different on this, but the main influences that come through for me are: Guns n’ Roses, Chuck Berry, Dogs D’amour, Sex Pistols, Ramones, Motley Crue, AC/DC, The Wildhearts…….all the good stuff!

How does the band typically put songs together?

Well we normally hold a very formal shirt and tie meeting, plan strategies, present pie charts, take minutes etc……..Ha, ha! Nah, we prefer the old-school rock method of plug in n’ play! It nearly always starts with someone coming up with a spontaneous riff at a rehearsal, followed by someone saying “What’s that? It sounds cool“, then everybody getting involved.

Normally, the band gets the song sounding sweet and in what we think is a working order, then we hand it over to our singer Billy to work his evil magic!

You recently released a new single ‘Mockingbird’. How have you found the reaction to that so far?

Very encouraging, we received over 10,000 hits on the video in one week on YouTube with about 100 people sharing it of their own backs on Facebook, which blew us all away!

We’ve had lots of good responses to both the song and the video from radio stations and the public. It’s such a good feeling to have people dig it as much as we do, that’s what it’s all about, from the point when the band finishes the song in rehearsals and you know you’ve done something really good and you just want everyone to hear it.

How, for the band, is it playing live and touring?

Awesome, it’s real and gritty you know? Just being out there, playing in different towns and even countries, meeting new people, being part of a unique gang that’s working together to make something powerful. It can be hectic, funny, stressful, rewarding.….you never really knows what’s going to happen, it keeps you on your toes! It’s always entertaining.

Our recent Spanish tour was a real eye opener, a county where no-one knew us and from the first gig, people were singing along to the songs that we have videos out for, quite overwhelming, in a good way of course!

What have you got lined up in the near future?

We’ve got a new single ‘Drag the Damned Down’ and video in the making as we speak, with hopefully several more to follow throughout the year. Various gigs already booked (some as far as Christmas) with more being added all the time, including an appearance on the main stage at this year’s very popular Basingstoke Live free festival.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

To keep building this thing up and take it as far as we possibly can. Write bigger and better songs. Get our music and the live shows out to bigger audiences and get this monster really charged up! Once you’ve had a taste, it’s hard to stop.

FOR MORE INFO ON THE BLACK BULLETS, CHECK OUT THESE SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/TheBlackBulletsUK

TWITTER: twitter.com/BlackBulletsUK

REVERBNATION: www.reverbnation.com/theblackbullets

 

 

SEASONAL

Seasonal band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Seasonal are a four-piece from Surrey, comprising of vocalist/bassist Matt Truseler, guitarists Alex Coombes and Max O’Neill, and drummer Alex Tickner.

Having formed early last year, the band have spent that time honing their sound, primarily pop-rock with elements of pop-punk, emo, pop and hard rock thrown in, the results of which can be heard in their recently released debut EP ‘Bloom’.

With this currently getting positive reviews and having recently supported Canadian emo/pop-punk quintet Seaway in London, there are very little reasons for the Guildford quartet not to be optimistic about their future.

Here’s what they had to say when I spoke to them:

How did the band first get together?

Three of us (Matt, Tickner and Max) were playing in bands together previously and we always jammed and wrote music regardless of band or no band. Max played Alex a demo that we had recorded, and pretty much the next week we started jamming and writing as a four-piece. This was around February/March last year.

How did you come up with the name Seasonal?

The name really just came from the change in the way we were approaching the project, like a change in the seasons. We just decided what we wanted to do.

Which other bands/artists do you take inspiration from?

We’re influenced by a lot of older bands like Jimmy Eat World, Taking Back Sunday and Brand New. We’re also really into more current bands like Transit, A Will Away and Have Mercy, to name a few.

What is the band’s approach to songwriting?

We practice as a full band every week and usually we will start jamming around with some ideas there. We then take this over to Matt’s house and demo the ideas in Logic so we can chop and change and play with them a bit.

After a few weeks, we’ll have several versions of the same track but we’ll have settled on the final one. Matt will usually come to practice with a vocal hook and decide the idea of the song and that’s that. I guess we take quite a logical approach!

You recently released ‘Bloom’, your debut EP. How was the recording process?

We loved recording ‘Bloom’. It was a lot of fun. We had some good times down in Folkestone at Hidden Track Studios with Oz. We did the whole thing over two long weekends, so it was broken up a bit which I think definitely helps with the cabin fever that usually ensues in a studio!

How well do you think it has gone down with critics, fans, etc?

We’ve had some really positive feedback across the board for the record so far. Dare I say no-one has said they dislike it yet! We’ve been really pleased with all of the comments, especially with it being our debut.

How is the band’s experience playing live?

A lot of fun! Our songs vary in ‘pace’ from each other so there’s highs and lows but we have loved all the shows we’ve played. We are really looking to develop our live profile currently, so keep an eye on our social media if you like what you hear, as we may be coming to a town near you later this year.

Now you have released your debut EP, what have you got lined up for the near future?

We’ve got a few one-off shows which you can find on our socials, and we are currently booking a weekender for the summer and further shows and possible tour later in the year. We’ve also just released a new video, so keep an eye out for that!

What is the long-term aim for the band? Where do you see yourselves in the next couple of years?

I don’t think we had a long-term aspiration for this band when we started really. We just enjoy writing, recording and playing live music, so we really just want to continue doing that for as long as possible. We all have those bucket list venues we would like to play, so fingers crossed for the future!

SEASONAL’S DEBUT EP ‘BLOOM’ IS AVAILABLE TO STREAM AND DOWNLOAD NOW FROM SPOTIFY, iTunes AND BANDCAMP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAYPINE

Maypine band photo

MAYPINE (from l-r): Dan Jarvis (guitar), Jason ‘Jase’ Payne (vocals), Tommy Roberts (bass), Becky East (guitar), James Holdsworth (drums)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Despite having only formed just over a year ago, Brighton quintet MAYPINE have made rapid progress to become one of the most exciting emerging bands on the British pop-punk scene.

They have already built a strong reputation with their sound, which sees them put their own spin on the pop-punk genre and is influenced by a range of both heavy and melodic outfits.

This, as well as their high energy live shows, has won them a following that will surely grow as they ascend further.

With a busy summer ahead, which will see the five-piece release their debut EP and embark on a nationwide tour, they recently spoke to me about what has been an incredible twelve months for them.

How did MAYPINE start out?

JASON ‘JASE’ PAYNE (vocals): My last band had broken up and I’d kinda given up on making music or being in a band. I thought that for the first time in ages, I’d just have a go at making music for myself, stuff that I enjoyed and wanted to make. I’d always loved pop-punk, but had never considered myself good enough to make music like it. I decided to challenge myself and make some demos and then, out of the blue, Dan messaged me…

DAN JARVIS (guitar): My old band had ended a little while before and I wanted to be in a new band. I knew Jase from our local scene and messaged him about jamming. He showed me the demos and I loved them. We met up and wrote a song together in our first session. Then he went to Florida for like three weeks and left me hanging…. but yeah, it all worked out well and here we are!

How did the band name come about?

BECKY EAST (guitar): My girlfriend and I were putting different words we liked together – once we found MAYPINE, we ran it past the guys and they liked it!

To anybody who is reading this, but have yet to listen to your music, how would you describe it to them?

BECKY: I’d describe it as fun and upbeat, it makes you want to tap your feet and air drum!

JASE: Fun, melodic and energetic!

TOMMY ROBERTS (bass): A middle ground between pop-punk and alt-rock. Basically, it’s pop-punk minus the generic thrasher element.

DAN: Unique. I don’t think anyone really sounds like us at the moment. Our influences are obvious but I think our sound is different!

And what are the band’s main influences?

JASE: It sounds cliché, but we all have different influences. I like pop-punk, but I also like metal! Architects are a massive influence on me.

DAN: I’m a massive Blink-182 fan and I’d say that comes across in our music.

TOMMY: Always the Red Hot Chilli Peppers for me. I’m currently trying to convince the guys to let me record the next record solely in slap. So far, I think it’s a resounding “no“.

BECKY: I have loads! However, in terms of guitar and writing lead parts, Lower Than Atlantis and Paramore are big influences.

JAMES HOLDSWORTH (drums): For me, I’d say Green Day, Biffy Clyro and Avenged Sevenfold. They were definitely my main three influences growing up, and the drummers that have influenced me a lot recently are Dani from Neck Deep and Eddy Thrower from LTA.

Both manage to come up with so many interesting parts that are so fun to play whilst still serving the song so well. That’s what I try to do anyway (laughs). Whether I do or not, that’s up to the audience. They should buy the EP and let me know.

How would you typically put the majority of your tracks together?

JASE: Dan and I tend to do most of the writing together. I’ll go away and make demos based on stuff we’ve come up with. We’ll then jam out the songs as a band until we’ve got something we’re all happy with!

DAN: I start with a melody and lyrics personally, then we work together on the songs.

The band have recently completed their debut EP, which will be released in August. How was the experience of recording it?

JASE: I think we all really enjoyed working with Ian Sadler, who has worked with bands such as ROAM and Homebound. He really brought the best out of all of us! We also ate a bucketload of hummus!

BECKY: We had an amazing time at Emeline Studios in Kent with Ian, he’s great to work with. We also became closer as a band and I felt like I became a better guitarist whilst recording there.

TOMMY: Recording with Ian was a delight. He was so chilled and down to earth. He seemed to know the exact sound we were going for before we even stepped in the studio! He also taught me that hummus goes well with everything!

DAN: I enjoyed it, but I got a bit of cabin fever being cooped up in the control room for nine days…

What can be expected of the EP when it’s released?

JASE: I like to think that they can expect a fun experience. We all worked really hard on these songs, both from a songwriting and performance perspective, and I think as Becky alluded to earlier, the songs are fun and upbeat and hopefully people will enjoy listening to them.

You’re also going on tour this summer. How, for all of you, is it doing that and playing live?

BECKY: For me, playing live is the most important part of what we do. I love engaging with people who come to our shows and getting to share our music with them. I also love how much it unites us as a band.

JASE: I agree, it’s such a buzz. As a frontman, I love interacting with the crowd, and if I can get them to sing with me, or dance or pit, then it’s been a good day!

TOMMY: Touring is the best part about being in a band, especially with these guys!

DAN: I find touring tiring, especially as I do most of the driving, but playing the shows is ultimately rewarding and makes all the tiredness worth it. The buzz of performing wakes me up for sure!

JAMES: Playing live is the best part about being in a band for me. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. And touring is even better because it normally means I get to share a small bed with Dan…

Where does the band see themselves in the long-term?

BECKY: I think ultimately, we all want to be doing this band as much as possible for as long as possible. I’d love it if our music took us all over the world.

JASE: They say that if you work a job you love, you never work a day in your life. We all love being in this band, playing shows etc. I’d say that I keep my goals small, and then each time we achieve something, I make the goal just a little bit bigger.

DAN: I’d love to play shows around the world and make a difference to people with our music.

JAMES: To be successful whilst staying true to who we are as people and as musicians. Headlining Reading Festival would be a dream come true though.

Maypine Cover

‘IN THE BACK OF MY MIND’, THE DEBUT EP FROM MAYPINE, WILL BE RELEASED ON AUGUST 4.

FOR MORE INFO, CHECK OUT OUR RECENT NEWS ARTICLE ON THEM.