VANITY

VANITY band photo

VANITY (from l-r): Luke Jervis (guitar), Ryan Stevens (vocals), Charles Jones (bass), Elliot Stephens (drums), Kerrie Alexander (vocals), Elliot Ball (guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

VANITY (formerly known as Vanity Draws Blood) are a metal six-piece from London.

Over the last five years, the band have been building a good reputation on both the British and European metal scenes, impressing many with a eclectically-sourced sound that they personally describe as “A wave of emotion and truth, personified by heavy riffs and softening melodies“, as well as wowing audiences everywhere with their electric live performances.

With a new EP set for release this autumn, part of a series entitled ‘Perspective’, I recently chatted to the sextet about this and much more.

How did the band form initially?

The band initially formed with a couple of the founding members Kerrie and Luke and other close friends with the intention of having a bit of fun and playing shows. We had no previous experience and things finally started seeing progress in 2012 when Elliot, Charles and Ryan joined. This is when we started to visualise the band as more than just a hobby.

We’ve seen our fair share of changes, but we have never felt stronger as a unit when Elliot joined to complete our line-up in 2014. We have since been developing our sound, leading to the band you see today.

You have shortened the band name. What were the reasons behind this?

We have a lot of fans questioning why we changed our name and we appreciate that to a lot of people it may seem a drastic change. However, for us, we have struggled with the name for a while as a band and individually, we have come so far and no longer feel that the name reflected us or our music anymore.

We will always look back on our time as Vanity Draws Blood with fondness, but we now cannot wait to usher in the era of VANITY as we feel confident that it’s time we started taking risks and creating music we feel expresses our emotions and personalities.

How would you describe your sound?

VANITY’s sound is a wave of emotion and truth, personified by heavy riffs and softening melodies.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

We have an extremely broad musical taste as a band which inspire and influence us, some larger than others, for example it ranges from deathcore to grime and hip hop to classical. Each influence is reflected on in the way we write, whether it’s through our lyrics and vocal delivery or in sound effects used to accompany synth, adding to the atmosphere of a track.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

The approach we take to writing is never structured. We always jam different ideas within smaller groups and get together at practices to brainstorm ideas. Lyrically, we tend to write very differently, but coming together to put pen to paper always feels very natural. The way we approach each song is very different which we hope comes through when listening to our music and our development as a band.

The band has an EP coming out in September. How has the recording process been?

We always find recording much less stressful than the writing process and can put a lot of this down to working with a long-time friend, Dan Kerr at Avenue Studios in Surrey. We have been working alongside him for such a long time now, he knows how to get the best out of us, but we also know what we can push out of him to ensure we are happy with the overall result.

What can be expected from the EP?

We have made some real changes to our sound and the direction of our music. This is part of an ongoing process in which we hope to develop as individuals and collectively as a band. You can expect a more varied sound, continued heaviness with a more melodic feel throughout. We hope that it will be well reciprocated by the audience.

You have a few gigs coming up over the next month. How is it for the band playing live?

Playing live is the lifeblood of this band. It is what we are all here for. Since the first day this band came together, all we wanted to do was get our music out in an intimate way.

We are thankful that it has taken us to parts of the world we would never have dreamed of, but we will always want to make sure we are improving with every show to give our audience the experience they deserve!

What is planned for after the EP’s release?

We will be planning to hit the road and tour our new music as much as possible, but will also be getting back to the drawing board to begin writing for the third EP in the ‘Perspective’ series.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

I guess we never really think that far ahead. Of course we would love to tour the world and play music to huge audiences for a living. But realistically, we just want to continue writing music as brothers and continue performing to anyone that will give us the time to listen. Music is the blood that runs through each of us and we will continue to do so for as long as we are able.

VANITY Cover

‘PERSPECTIVE // EMPATHY’ WILL BE RELEASED ON SEPTEMBER 22. MORE INFO ON THIS CAN BE FOUND HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NEVER FOUND TO DELIVER EXPLOSIVE NEW EP IN OCTOBER

Never Found band photo

Never Found are a hybrid band hailing from both the metal breeding grounds of the Welsh valleys and the notoriously elegant city of Oxford. Formed in the winter of 2014 and comprising of Daniel Barnes (vocals/guitar), Sam Redmayne (lead guitar), James Sweeten (bass), and Kieran Ivey (drums), the quartet possess a collective range of influences that are diverse and expansive, with them drawing from the energy and dynamism of A Day To Remember and Funeral For A Friend, through to the cinematic appeal of Aiden and My Chemical Romance.

Quickly off the mark, the four-piece dropped their debut EP ‘Sorrow & Cyanide’ in 2015, with the release pushing them towards a stronger connection with their fans and the diligent pursuit of their musical aspirations. The EP was diligently supported with two UK headline tours, one of which featured the band’s childhood heroes, Aiden. Sharing stages with Fearless Vampire Killers, William Control and Annisokay, and clocking a recent run of shows on their successful ‘Come To My Grave Tour’, which included a sellout show in London, has only increased NEVER FOUND’s stock and prepared them for the release of their next record.

The band are now set to launch their sophomore EP ‘The Human Condition’. The
industrious combo dug deep for the record, and in doing so, have created a release that has gargantuan hooks, hard-hitting riffs, and is brimming with emotion.

Their forthcoming single ‘Come To Me’ is indicative of the EP, flaunting a colossal refrain and supercharged riffs with an impassioned delivery. The record is loaded with singles, so expect further videos, a new line of merchandise and further shows to compliment this stunning release.

Never Found Cover

‘THE HUMAN CONDITION’, THE SOPHOMORE EP FROM NEVER FOUND, WILL BE RELEASED ON OCTOBER 6.

KEEP UPDATED WITH THE BAND ON THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/weareneverfound

TWITTER: twitter.com/weareneverfound

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/weareneverfound

 

 

 

LIVERPOOL ROCK N’ ROLLERS BLACK CAT BONES ANNOUNCE NEW EP AND EMBARK ON UK TOUR

Black Cat Bones band photo

Featuring the vocal prowess of Jonnie Hodson, the impressive guitar work of Alan Rimmer, aided and abetted by Adam Kerbache on rhythm guitar, and Ash Janes and Jamie Hayward handling the drums and bass, respectively, powerful quintet Black Cat Bones take no prisoners.

Formed in 2013 and coming at you from Liverpool, the exciting rockers wasted no time in playing the city’s renowned Cavern Club and O2 Academy, while penning tracks for their debut EP ‘False Promises & Wasted Time’. The release secured strong support and
gained notable praise from Bumblefoot (ex Guns n’ Roses), The Answer, and Paul Guerin from The Quireboys.

Throughout 2016, the band continued to widen their reach playing shows with The Quireboys, Warrior Soul and Tygers of Pan Tang. This year, Black Cat Bones have already toured with Marco Mendoza (The Dead Daises / Thin Lizzy) and supported The Answer and Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown, and now the five-piece have headed out on the road with Massive and Tequila Mockingbird.

Alongside a hefty live schedule, the Merseyside outfit will officially release their second EP ‘Down To The River’. Unleashing five slabs of burly rock n’ roll, their first track, ‘Seen Better Days’, starts the EP in blazing fashion, serving up huge riffs and Jonnie Hodson’s impressive vocal aerobics. The swagger and alluring groove of ‘Lust’ is next up, before ‘Give You The World’ washes over with a flurry of riffery despatched by Rimmer’s nimble fingers. ‘Devil You Know’ only reaffirms the band’s quality with a blistering attack of juggernaut rhythms. The closer, ‘The River’, caps off the record in fitting style, and is sure to be earmarked as a future single.

Black Cat Bones Cover

‘DOWN TO THE RIVER’, THE NEW EP FROM BLACK CAT BONES, WILL BE RELEASED ON SEPTEMBER 29.

Black Cat Bones tour poster

CATCH THE BAND ON TOUR THROUGHOUT THIS MONTH.

MORE DETAILS ON BLACK CAT BONES CAN BE FOUND AT THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/BlackCatBonesUK

 

 

 

SURREY ROCKERS ORESTEA ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM

Orestea band photo

Pulling from many areas of rock and alt-metal, stemming from Stone Sour, Coheed and Cambria, through to Don Broco and Paramore, ORESTEA are making all the right noises and are marching forward full steam ahead. With a potent rhythm section, infectious and soaring vocals and imaginative guitar work, the band will break out to the masses this year.

Formed in Guildford, ORESTEA have ploughed their way through a plethora of venues throughout the country with a series of blistering performances playing alongside Ashestoangels, Forever Never, ESO and Wednesday 13. Impressive sets at prestigious festivals such as Bloodstock, Download and Guildfest have also further enhanced their formable live reputation.

The rock outfit’s recording output has been notable; their last EP, ‘This is An Overture’, gained a slew of support from many media outlets, as well as helping to build a dedicated fan base.

After the gains of ‘This Is An Overture’, the Surrey ensemble decided to take some time out in order to create a new record that would be expansive, diverse and engulfing, but would still adhere to their trademark sound. The band have certainly fulfilled their manifesto with their new album, ‘Elements’.

Self-written, produced and recorded, and oozing ten killer cuts that command your attention, the new record captures the group’s continued progression and development.

The opener ‘Welcome To Surviville’ stamps its authority on the album with its soaring vocals and thoughtful soundscapes that ideally compliment the ensuing clashing guitars.

Their current single, and title track, is destined for the airwaves as it cleverly binds melodic riffs and vocals to supreme effect, while the gloriously tuneful ‘Alive Or Just Existing’ (which you can see the video to at www.youtube.com) will be impossible to remove from your senses once it sticks, with the monstrously anthemic ‘Got Your Back’ portraying the band’s energy and infectious guile in equal measures.

With show announcements on the horizon, there’s nothing stopping ORESTEA.

Orestea Cover

‘ELEMENTS’, THE NEW ALBUM FROM ORESTEA, WILL BE RELEASED ON SEPTEMBER 22. PRE-ORDER IT AT shop.orestea.com

DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THE BAND ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/oresteaband

TWITTER: twitter.com/orestea

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/orestea

 

 

RISING POP-PUNKERS ALL TIED UP TO RELEASE EP IN SEPTEMBER

All Tied Up band photo

UK nu-wave pop-punk outfit All Tied Up dispatch thumping power-pop thrusts and melodic hooks that conjure up comparisons to All Time Low and A Day To Remember, as well as heavyweight luminaries such as blink-182 and Green Day.

The band, hailing from the concrete city of Milton Keynes, are comprised of Dave Palfreyman (vocals/guitar), Billy Norman (lead/rhythm guitars), Nick Freeman (drums/percussion), and Leebo (bass guitar).

The quartet have widely played throughout the UK, and in turn, have racked up notable supports with The Ataris, [SPUNGE], Kenneths, Big D and the Kids Table, Whitmore and Sonic Boom Six.

Although they draw from American influences, the four-piece have a distinctly British sound, and this is consciously reflected in both the production and with Palfreyman’s “heart on sleeve” northern vocal delivery.

To date, the rising pop-punkers have released an album and two EPs, all of which have assisted with the band’s growth and reach. After recently being snapped up by new indie label, Stack-in-a-box Records, the outfit are now primed for national attention with the release of their new EP ‘Breaking Silence’, which arrives this September.

Recorded by up-and-coming Welsh producer, Andy Davies, and part mastered by Grammy award-winning engineer Joe LaPorta (David Bowie, Foo Fighters, Mallory Knox) and Katie Tavini (Sonic Boom Six), the record is loaded with engaging guitar lines and melody drenched choruses that are utterly contagious.

From the mesmerising new single ‘So Enthusiastic’, to the enormously tuneful ‘Better Day’, All Tied Up have crafted a record awash with killer hooks and buoyant vigor.

The band will be hitting the road to support the record; so stay glued to their social sites for announcements.

All Tied Up Cover

‘BREAKING SILENCE’, THE NEW EP FROM ALL TIED UP, WILL BE RELEASED ON SEPTEMBER 22.

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH THE BAND AT THESE SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/alltiedupband

TWITTER: twitter.com/alltiedupband

YOUTUBE: youtube.com/atumk

THE HIDING PLACE

The Hiding Place band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Stoke-on-Trent five-piece The Hiding Place are known for a sound that, in a positive way, is difficult to define, as they draw from a comprehensive range of genres to create something that leaves a lasting impression on anyone who listens.

The success of the band’s 2014 debut EP ‘So This is Home’ enabled them to get out on the road, supporting the likes of We Are The Ocean and Funeral For A Friend and winning over many with energetic live performances.

Just before their headline gig at The Underground venue in Hanley, run by vocalist Dominic Webber, I chatted with the quintet about their journey so far, and what they have planned next.

How did the band get together?

DOMINIC WEBBER (vocals): We’ve been a band for around six, seven years. Myself, Joe and another guy, Jonny, were the founder members. We kind of only got serious with the band about three years ago, when Phil Ward, our other guitarist, joined.

We wrote and recorded an EP named ‘So This is Home’, and released it with a video called ‘Guts’. For the next couple of years, we toured off the back of the EP, covering a few line-up changes along the way.

Ant has recently joined us on bass, and tonight will be his first proper gig with the band.

ANT HUME (bass): First ever interview, as well.

How did The Hiding Place come about as the band’s name?

DOMINIC: Basically, we were kind of spitballing for ideas for a name, and it kind of came from, when I was younger, I really enjoyed ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’ by William Blake.

What I loved about that was the two different sets of poems and how they reflected both the innocence and the darker side, so what I wanted to try and come up with was a name that I thought could seem both innocent and sinister, and The Hiding Place seemed quite fitting.

JOE BARBER (drums): The name also seemed different for a band like us. We didn’t want to do the same thing that everyone else does.

How would you describe your sound?

DOMINIC: We always kind of find it hard. Without sounding cliched, we don’t like to pigeon-hole ourselves. We have kind of changed a lot over the years. Other people have called us post-hardcore, which I’m not opposed to. Some think we show more of a punk side, others pick up on the British indie side, but as long as people like what they hear, we don’t mind too much.

I would say our newer material is a bit more on the melodic/atmospheric side.

JOE: Yeah, definitely. I think when you’re younger and stuff, you tend to write more aggressive music, it kind of just comes out, you know. We’ve become more interested in harmony, melody and things like that.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

DOMINIC: How long have you got? (laughs) We do all have kind of like different influences, it’s quite diverse in terms of what comes together for us. I know the ones that we all really like are Circus Of Five, Thrice, He Is Legend, there are a few like them we all really like and take influence from, but at the same time, we do bring in our own sides. I know Joe likes a lot of more technical metal stuff, whereas I, as a vocalist, pull in things from… (JONNY enters) That’s Jonny, our guitarist, who has just entered. He doesn’t want to be left out. As a vocalist, I love singers like Morrissey, Glenn Danzig from Misfits, so yeah, it’s quite a mixed bag.

JONNY WOOD (guitar): I’m influenced by so much. Everything, really. I was brought up listening to stuff like Black Sabbath and I took my own influences from them, and same as Dom really, I like The Cure, The Smiths, as well as a lot of the newer stuff. When I say newer stuff, I mean early Nineties rock. That’s what I listen to the majority of the time, anyway.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

JOE: We always do it together. I don’t know if that’s unusual, because I’ve only heard from some other bands, but it is always a group thing, it’s never somebody walking in with a song and telling everyone else to build around it, it’s usually someone has an idea, and we kind of…

DOMINIC: It’s collaboration, isn’t it?

JOE: Yeah, we kind of work together to build it. Sometimes, it flows really easily and we can end up writing two songs in two months, or we can get stuck on one song for six months. You know, it either flows or it doesn’t.

DOMINIC: We will get in a room together and ideas will start flowing, but everybody has at least some input to what is being written. I can’t play a guitar to save my life, but if something on it isn’t fitting right, I will say to Jonny: “Can you mix it up a bit? Could you make this section longer?” I will then start throwing ideas around, vocal melodies to begin with, the lyrics often following later.

Dominic, you are a key figure on the Stoke music scene, what with the band and running The Underground venue. What is your opinion of its current state?

DOMINIC: I think there’s a lot of great talent around here. I really want to see more of the bands harnessing their talents, breaking out of Stoke and going around the country getting their music heard, because I think a lot of people sometimes enjoy being a big fish in a small pond, and it’s great to see bands pushing themselves, an example being Black Coast.

That’s what I want to see happen with the Stoke music scene, more bands pushing themselves and getting nationally, maybe even internationally, recognised.

The band recently played with Mallory Knox at Keele University. How was that for you all?

DOMINIC: We actually did some of our first gigs with Mallory Knox, and they’ve obviously become massive in the last couple of years, so it was really fun to see them all again.

We used to bump into them all the time at festivals, so it was quite nice to get to play on a big stage, not so big for them. It was their crowd, so we got to play to a lot of people who hadn’t seen us before, and we got to hang out and have some beers with them afterwards.

What have you got lined up in the near future?

JOE: Everything!

DOMINIC: (laughs) Yeah. We’ve got a new single which we’ll be dropping soon. We’ve had a video shot for that and everything. Hopefully, we’ll be able to share some more info on that in the next few weeks. We’re also going back into the studio and record the rest of the EP at the end of this month.

When will the EP be released?

DOMINIC: By the time the EP’s finished and we’ve got things in place, it will probably be towards the end of this year. We’re also touring at the end of this month with Dream State, and we’ve got some things in the works for September and October. We’re trying to keep as busy as we can.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

DOMINIC: None of us are starry-eyed kids, expecting to become the biggest band in the world. It would be nice, but it’s just as important for us to enjoy what we do. We want to tour as much as possible, because we love the experience of doing it. We would really like to get out of the UK and get into Europe.

I would say, in terms of long-term aims, just getting to do it as long as we can, as long as we enjoy what we’re doing, as long as we’re relevant, you know what I mean?

JONNY: Yeah, I definitely agree.

JOE: You know, if you love doing it, you just carry on and that’s all we want to do, tour, work hard, play, record and release more music.

DOMINIC: It’s kind of hard to imagine a time where we wouldn’t be doing this, so I guess that’s really where we’re at with it. We want to keep on going.

FURTHER INFO ON THE HIDING PLACE CAN FOUND AT THESE SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: thehidingplace.bigcartel.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/thehidingplace

TWITTER: twitter.com/wearethp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BRITISH METALLERS VANITY TO RELEASE EP IN AUTUMN

VANITY band photo

Ever since their birth in 2012, South Londoners VANITY (formerly known as Vanity Draws Blood) have been etching a name for themselves within the UK and European metal fraternity. Expressing an amalgamation of brutal breakdowns, haunting soundscapes, and fiercely low-tuned instrumentation, the six-piece, fronted by two vocalists, strive and achieve to create something potently unique.

With an unbridled reputation for delivering brooding and submerging atmospheric metal, the British metalcorers received notable acclaim for 2014’s debut EP, ‘I Witness’, which firmly cemented the band’s impending trajectory. After a period of reflection, the diligent metal crew decided to focus on creating a series of works under the title ‘Perspective’; the first of which was released last year and entitled ‘Perspective // Dread’. The highly regarded EP also contained the single ‘Anxiety’, featuring CJ McMahon of Thy Art Is Murder.

VANITY now set loose ‘Perspective // Empathy’, and it’s a true marker in the sand. It is everything you should expect from a band that have exemplary output. The record opens with the strikingly poignant and magnificently evocative ‘Empathy’, which is swiftly followed by the guttural attack of their current single ‘Tranquil’, highlighting
the six-piece’s songwriting prowess and dexterous musicianship.

‘Sorrow’ is a hefty slice of concise metalcore that viciously attacks your senses and ‘Extrovert’ sees VANITY push the envelope of sound even further, incorporating intense duelling vocals, formidable riffery and melodic phrasing of the highest order.

The magnetic and all-consuming ‘Affinity’ rounds off the EP and only further outlines why VANITY are of the most exciting and original bands at the vanguard of the UK scene.

VANITY Cover

‘PERSPECTIVE // EMPATHY’ WILL BE RELEASED ON SEPTEMBER 22. PRE-ORDER IT NOW AT https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/vanity-draws-blood/id807504648

VANITY PLAY:

22/07/17  The Star & Garter, Manchester

05/08/17  Smash Fest 2017 @ T. Chances – London

26/08/17  The Fighting Cocks, Kingston

FOR FURTHER INFO, CHECK OUT THESE SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.vanitydrawsblood.co.uk

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/VANITYUK

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com/vanitydrawsblood