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)


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.









Seasonal band photo


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!












Maypine band photo

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


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












Scribble Victory band logo


Having been gigging and recording constantly since forming in late 2013, it has got to be said that Derby two-piece Scribble Victory have one of the strongest work ethics of anybody I know.

This, along with a unique, diversely influenced sound, centred around two vocalists, an acoustic guitar and a drum kit, has resulted in the duo getting praise from other bands, their growing fan base, and music critics, with Louder Than War magazine placing them amongst the fifty bands they think will make a substantial impact in the near future.

With a new EP planned for release later in the year, and having played a set in Nottingham supporting As December Falls, I caught up with them and they gave me a frank account of their story so far.

How did the two of you form Scribble Victory?

TOM WARD (drums/vocals): I’ll let you explain this one, Jamie.

JAMIE THOMPSON (vocals/guitar): The band started out as a project I was doing in my final year at Derby University, and then I decided to sort of do it live. We had a bass player, and Tom was the only drummer I really knew.

Then, I decided we didn’t need a bassist, I think he left actually, and yeah, that’s how it sort of came about.

From where did the band name originate?

JAMIE: I used to be in another band, and we wrote a song which I called ‘Scribble Victory’. The rest of the band didn’t really like the song title, so I had to change it.

For the university project I was doing, and because at the beginning, I only had myself to answer to, I thought: “Sod everyone else, I’m going to use it for the name of the project.” Where it came from before, I have no idea.

TOM: Usually, Jamie will say it’s a secret.

Which bands/artists do you both take inspiration from?

TOM: We’re influenced a lot by bands such as American Football, Jimmy Eat World, Blink-182, just old Nineties emo/pop-punk.

JAMIE: More recent influences have been Modern Baseball, The Hotelier, Pinegrove, that sort of stuff.

What is the band’s approach to songwriting?

JAMIE: In the early days, it would basically come from me messing around, writing a song and asking Tom: “I’m rubbish on drums, would you write something for this?“. He would then put some harmonies over the top of it, but nowadays, we sort of jam a lot.

TOM: Yeah, that’s right, but Jamie will be the one who writes the lyrics and comes up with the main concepts. We’ll jam with the guitars, and usually something entirely different will come out.

Last October, you released your latest EP ‘Expectations’. How was the reaction to that?

JAMIE: It was really positive actually, yeah. We had an EP release show, but just before, Tom put his back out, so I ended up having to do it by myself, but it was a good gig, and in terms of sales, it’s done well.

How did you put your back out, Tom?

TOM: I’ve always had problems with it, and one day, literally while we were shopping, I realised I’d left my keys in the car. I went to go and grab them, I bent down and my back literally went. It took me at least a week to get over it, I couldn’t walk, and the feeling of not being able to do anything at all was horrible, but at least I had Jamie, who lives a few floors up from me with his girlfriend in a block of flats, to wait on me, hand and foot.

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

TOM: For us, it’s what we love to do. We play a lot of gigs throughout the year, we aim for at least a hundred, 120 in that time. That, for us, is what being a musician is all about, just playing live and interacting with as many people as we can.

Don’t get us wrong, we love the recording side of things, but live is the absolute pinnacle.

JAMIE: Yeah, I would say we do prioritise playing live over recording. We’ve just played our 48th gig already this year, and we’re well on the track to reaching triple figures.

What’s the plan for the near future?

JAMIE: We’ve got another EP planned, we’re recording it at the moment actually, and some of the tracks off it we’ve played tonight. It’s one of those things, we’ve been playing those songs for over a year now, we haven’t released them yet, and people have been getting on our case about it, so we need to do it as soon as possible, really.

TOM: The idea is after that, we would love to tour Europe, because we’ve never really been on a proper tour before, and it would be nice to experience how we would go down over there.

What is the long-term aim for the band?

JAMIE: Actually, me and Tom were just talking about this. Probably to get a Nando’s black card!

(Both laugh)

TOM: That would be brilliant.

JAMIE: It’s crazy, the Nando’s black card is like membership to a secret society. Yeah, and that’s about it.

TOM: Honestly, to just continue what we’re doing now, playing to new audiences, meeting new people and releasing stuff as much as we can, that would be the end goal, and also to have fun doing it as well.

I think that’s it. Any final words at all?

TOM: Yeah. Keep your eyes peeled for our new EP, which should be out sometime later on this year, probably around late August.