INSCRIPTIONS

Inscriptions band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Hailing from Stoke-on-Trent, Inscriptions are a metalcore five-piece, comprising of vocalist Steve Clowes, guitarists Kane Redfern and Josh Eardley, bassist Andy Johnson and drummer Tyler Dutton-Green.

In the four years since the band formed, they have gone from strength to strength on their local music scene, impressing many with a heavy, robust sound, taken from a wide range of influences.

The quintet took some time out from preparing for their recent headliner in Hanley to speak to me, and here is what they had to say:

How did the band form?

STEVE CLOWES (vocals): It was from a previous band called Lifelines.

KANE REDFERN (guitar): Two previous bands, actually.

STEVE: We formed in 2013, so it’s been about four years now.

From where did the name Inscriptions originate?

STEVE: It was a literally random word. There is no meaning behind it whatsoever. It’s just a name that rolls off the tongue, and is also easy to remember.

How would you describe your sound?

STEVE: It’s an infusion of metalcore and djent. There’s definitely a hardcore vibe in there as well.

KANE: It’s kind of difficult to pinpoint it exactly.

JOSH EARDLEY (guitar): As long as it sounds good.

STEVE: It’s quite a different sound, isn’t it?

KANE: Yeah, definitely.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

STEVE: There are loads.

KANE: I’m into bands such as Killswitch Engage, Northlane, While She Sleeps…

STEVE: We like Architects as well.

JOSH: Bring Me The Horizon, they’re another one we like.

STEVE: Personally, I’m into deathcore, Whitechapel and all that. I also like spoken word stuff, the more abstract rock bands out there, and vocalists that really utilise their voices, from melodic vocals to screaming.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

STEVE: Mainly, the drums and one of the guitars form the basis, and then we plan out the rhythm section. We now record straight into a computer as well, recording and writing at the same time, so we can monitor everything, it’s a lot easier.

What serves as inspiration for the band’s lyrics?

STEVE: It depends obviously on the song we’re writing at the same time. Our last EP, ‘Grief’, was a concept EP which dealt with a guy who has lost his missus, and him battling through the five stages of grief.

Coming from Stoke-on-Trent, what is your opinion of the city’s music scene currently?

KANE: I guess it depends on the music you listen to.

STEVE: There is a really strong indie and alt-rock scene. The metal scene itself isn’t what it was a few years back, if I’m being entirely honest, but at the same time, the venues like The Sugarmill and The Underground are moving things forward, so it is heading in the right direction, and hopefully, bands like us can do our part to draw more crowds in.

You’re headlining The Sugarmill this evening. How is the experience of playing live for you all?

STEVE: We love it.

KANE: Yeah, it’s kind of standard procedure for us now. When we first started, I used to get really nervous, but I think it’s a case of the more gigs you do, the more comfortable you feel when you’re on stage.

One thing I will say about it, though, is that it’s red hot! It won’t be as bad tonight, because we will have two fans on stage keeping us cool.

STEVE: I think the smoke machines will take away from that, though!

What’s planned for the near future?

STEVE: At the moment, we’re likely to be recording a new EP. We’ve got a couple of songs already written, so hopefully, the sound is going to be different to what we have been doing, more clearer, more melodic, more technical, less like your typical metal, because we want to try and get away from that a little bit.

When are you thinking of getting the EP out by?

STEVE: We haven’t set a date yet. I would love, personally, to have it out by Christmas…

KANE: I think it’s just a case of when it’s done, really.

STEVE: When we’ve been putting together EPs in the past, we’ve set a date to have them released by, it was good in that it enabled you to really concentrate, but with the new EP, we’re going to try a different approach, just to see if it makes the end product any better.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

KANE: Just to play as many shows as we can, I guess.

STEVE: If it gets to the point where we have released a few EPs and albums, and to be able to watch a video and say “I did that!“, I would be very happy. For me, that’s a very basic level.

If we can get to a point where we can live off playing our music, that would be even better, but for now, if we’ve got something that we did that we’re happy with, I can’t moan at that.

‘GRIEF’, THE LATEST EP FROM INSCRIPTIONS, IS AVAILABLE TO STREAM AND DOWNLOAD FROM iTunes, SPOTIFY & GOOGLE MUSIC.

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH THE BAND AT THESE SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/Inscriptionsuk

TWITTER: twitter.com/Inscriptions_UK

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com/InscriptionsUK

 

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ENERGETIC ALT ROCK TRIO SALTLAKE TO RELEASE NEW EP THIS AUTUMN

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Hailing from the Sussex countryside and the London suburbs, and born in 2013, Saltlake are a trio with their roots firmly embedded in modern alternative rock. Their hard hitting, high octane live shows may resemble classic rock giants, however, their sound is fresh and all together immersing.

The band’s thunderous rhythm section is made up of John Godly (drums) and Liam Quinn (bass) who lay down a solid rock groove for the weighty guitars and ultra-hooky vocals, played and sung by Henry Gottelier (vocals/guitar).

Blending those elements with gargantuan electronic soundscapes, the outcome is something heavy and anthemic that conveys passion and dedication to the craft.

With a legion of active followers and recent shows with The Alchemy and Stone Broken, nothing will stand in the three-piece’s way.

They unveil their new EP, ‘Medicate Me’, this November, and it unleashes a barrage of punchy riffs and monstrous refrains complimented by electronic synths that bring an interesting twist to their take on modern alternative rock. Soak it up, Saltlake have arrived.

Saltlake Cover

‘MEDICATE ME’, THE NEW EP FROM SALTLAKE, WILL BE RELEASED ON NOVEMBER 10.

Saltlake tour poster

THE BAND WILL ALSO BE GOING ON TOUR NEXT MONTH.

YOU CAN FIND FURTHER INFO ON SALTLAKE AT THESE SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.saltlakeuk.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/SaltlakeUK

TWITTER: twitter.com/saltlakeuk

HARD ROCK CREW PUPPET KINGS RELEASE NEW VIDEO

Puppet Kings band photo

Hard-hitting, groove-filled three-piece Puppet Kings matriculate from the vibrant cornucopia of Brighton’s ever-expanding music scene. The rock n’ roll newcomers hurl out gigantic rock, soaked with adrenaline fuelled riffery and huge choruses.

The band unveil their new EP, ‘Very Cool & Groovy’, through all platforms on Friday 1st September. However, before then, the rock crew have just dropped a video.

Born in 2012, the trio wasted no time in carefully crafting a set that would ignite the rock fraternity. Since their inception, the Puppet Kings have wooed audiences from Southampton to Liverpool, racking up supports with Black Peaks, HECK, Skindred, Therapy, Kobra & The Lotus, Sons Of Icarus and We Are The Ocean, to name just a few.

With a plethora of influences ranging from Metallica and Megadeth, to Guns N’ Roses and the Foo Fighters, the band possess the accessibility of rock merged with the power of metal.

The British riff slingers have just revealed their new video, ‘Other Side’, and it’s a blissfully ballsy slab of hard rock. Stay tuned to the band’s socials for show announcements, as the southern rockers will be bringing their freight train of rock to venues this summer and beyond.

YOU CAN NOW WATCH THE VIDEO FOR ‘OTHER SIDE’ AT www.youtube.com

Puppet Kings Cover

‘VERY COOL & GROOVY’, THE NEW EP FROM PUPPET KINGS, WILL BE RELEASED ON SEPTEMBER 1.

CHECK OUT THE BAND’S SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES AT:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.puppetkings.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/puppetkings

TWITTER: twitter.com/puppetkings

 

 

 

 

DECRYPTED

Decrypted band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

PHOTO by DAN NEWMAN

Comprising of two Poles, a Portuguese, a Frenchman and an Englishman, London tech metalcore five-piece Decrypted are a truly multi-cultural outfit, using their diverse background to create a sound that they describe as “an explosive and emotive flurry of technical riffs, stout breakdowns and melodic, yet aggressive, vocal lines.”

With this, as well as their highly charged live shows, the band have gained a following that is rapidly growing and will surely increase when their new single, ‘Equinox Of Eternal Embers’ is released next month.

The rising quintet went into more detail about all of this and other things when they chatted with me recently.

How did the band form initially?

The band started as a project, originally called Slies, dreamt up in Poland by Martin with a vocalist friend.

A few years after moving to London (and a handful of scrapped music projects later), he decided to take action and started looking through musician classified-type ads to find his own line-up. That’s essentially how we all came to meet – through online ads (Bandmix, Gumtree, etc).

In the early days (2013), it was basically just Martin and Ed (former drummer), jamming in Ed’s small East London flat. When you move away from where you were raised, you essentially lose all of your social connections. And with no school friends, family friends or even friends of friends, it was definitely quite the challenge to find musicians that fit the profile; creatively but, specially, character-wise too. Perhaps that struggle in itself is part of what makes our bond so strong.

How did Decrypted come about as your name?

We live in an age where most of what we see and hear is behind a digital screen. Feelings are, now more than ever, masked – encrypted behind computer code. Another day, another social media post, another misleading news article…

While we should embrace technology, sometimes it’s important to take a step back, hence the need to Decrypt, go back to our roots and stay true to ourselves. We think our sound reflects that, combining modern sounds with the origins of metalcore.

 

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

MARTIN LUCZYNSKI (guitar): With ‘Equinox of Eternal Embers’ specifically, it started with the intro, which Ric came up with at a practice one day. I took that home and thought about what sort of rhythm could go with it, tried some riffs and tempos. When I established that, I started thinking about the main structure of the song and what mood it should take the listener into. When that was done, I brought it back to rehearsal. Over time, it changed and evolved a little, but it’s actually one of the few songs which didn’t change much since day one.

Generally speaking, most of the songs start in my head and then it’s just trial and error. If I like it after a few days, it means it’s not too bad and has potential. If anyone else brings an idea to what I have in mind, I try to incorporate that idea and blend it into the song.

What serves as inspiration lyrically?

STEVE KERR (vocals): I’d say life’s struggles. I think it’s important to write from your heart, to be sincere and honest about your troubles and triumphs. The EP, for example, explores my flaws in an attempt to recognise my growth. To be self-aware of what makes me a positive human, but also negative.

All the songs have helped me face personal problems, finding strength in remembering that it’s “okay, to not be okay.” It’s a reminder to stay humble in defeat and victory, and to recognise amongst all humans that pain and suffering is relative; that there is an inherent comfort in accepting who you are, for better or for worse.

The band has a new single out next month, and an EP coming out some time after that. How has the recording process been up to now?

STEVE: We’re very fortunate in having many talented musicians in the band, so before I joined the band, there was already a large body of work to pick from. Once I was comfortable with the songs’ structures, we jumped in at the deep end and started gigging to see what worked and what didn’t. We then came back to practice and play around. I would try new verses and choruses at each show to begin with, until it felt “right”.

Once we were confident with a 20/30/40 min set, we looked at what songs would best express us as Decrypted in the 20 mins set, but have a balance of styles and themes.

From there, we chose five songs for the EP. We recorded all the instruments in house at Martin’s home studio. The guys have been extremely committed spending weekends and evenings recording, scrapping, and then recording again. All the vocals have been recorded at Flood Gate Studios, later mixed and mastered by Martin.

When are you aiming to release the EP by?

Spring next year.

What can be expected of both the single and EP?

The single itself (Equinox of Eternal Embers) is melancholic and catchy. It’s raw, fierce and sincere. We wanted to arrive with a bang, but also set the tone for what to expect from us. It’s the first track on the EP, so felt like the most natural and organic path to introduce ourselves.

With the EP, which is going to be called ‘The Solitude of Self Awareness’, we as a collective have laid out our vulnerability to bare, but guard its integrity with passion, honesty and reason. The themes are dark, compelling and real, we aim to leave the listener feeling empowered by releasing our burdens and charging at them in full force.

How is the experience of playing live for the band?

We love playing live. It makes all of this worthwhile. We love meeting new people, sharing the experience and the joys live music/the community has to offer. Playing regular shows keeps us grounded, lets us see what works and what doesn’t, but ultimately it lets us stand tall, uninterrupted and release all the stresses modern day life throws at you. Lots of people scream into pillows to counter stress, we get to stand on stage and scream into the abyss together.

What is your long-term aim?

Realistically, we know being in a band full-time isn’t really an option as if offers no financial stability, especially when we have families to support and cats to feed, haha.

Don’t get us wrong, we would all love to do this for a living and see the world. It would be phenomenal.

Long-term, we’re aiming to hit the festival circuits, continue to gig as much as possible and throw in a few short tours (both nationally and internationally). All alongside writing new material and hitting the studio.

Decrypted Cover

DECRYPTED’S NEW SINGLE, ‘EQUINOX OF ETERNAL EMBERS’, WILL BE RELEASED ON SEPTEMBER 29. FURTHER INFO ON THIS AND LINKS TO THE BAND’S SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES CAN BE FOUND HERE

 

 

 

 

POP-PUNKS HIGH DOWN REVEAL NEW VIDEO

High Down band photo

Portsmouth born High Down arrived on the music scene last year, and are quickly amassing new fans and gathering firm momentum with their highly contagious brand of hard-hitting pop-punk.

Reminiscent of blink-182, State Champs and New Found Glory, the emerging five-piece deliver knock-out hooks, jack hammer riffs and anthemic choruses that pound your senses into submission. The band unveil their explosive new EP, ‘Moving On’, on Friday 1st September; before then, the pop-punkers have released a new video, ‘Life Lessons’.

High Down were brought together by a mutual adoration for iconic pop-punk, pizza and cold beer. The quintet despatch a cut-throat and captivating edge to the pop-punk genre and have wasted no time in etching their mark.

The band exploded onto the scene with their debut single, ‘Family & Fiends’, recorded with the legendary producer Matt O’Grady (You Me At Six, Deaf Havana). They backed the single with festival appearances at Seasick Fest, Butserfest, Teddy Rocks Festival and Fat Lip Fest, as well as shows with the likes of WSTR, ROAM, and Like Pacific.

Now the tuneful south coast crew reveal their new EP. This release is guaranteed to launch the band to a national level, featuring five killer cuts which bond together modern pop-punk with the five-some’s admiration for metalcore and pop rock.

Their new single, ‘Life Lessons’, is indicative of the band; it’s a perfect slice of punk pop, laden with a throbbing rhythmic drive and a hooky chorus that is destined for the airwaves.

YOU CAN VIEW THE VIDEO TO ‘LIFE LESSONS’, HIGH DOWN’S NEW SINGLE, NOW AT: www.youtube.com

High Down Cover

‘MOVING ON’, THE NEW EP FROM HIGH DOWN, WILL BE RELEASED ON SEPTEMBER 1.

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH THE BAND AT THESE SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.highdownuk.bigcartel.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/highdownuk

TWITTER: twitter.com/highdownuk

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/highdownuk

 

 

SHADED

Shaded band photo

SHADED (from l-r): Callum Irons (guitar), Matt East (vocals), Barney Shanks (drums), Dan Bradberry (bass)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

If you enjoy listening to the likes of State Champs, WSTR and 5 Seconds Of Summer, then you will love SHADED.

The emerging Surrey outfit have a sound that is predominantly pop-punk, however, the four-piece have already shown with their live sets and recent debut single ‘Better With You’ that they are not afraid of embracing elements of other genres.

With inaugural EP ‘The Better Man In Me’ coming out next month, I spoke to the band’s frontman Matt East to get the lowdown on this and other things.

How did you all get together initially?

Callum and I met through a Facebook group for our university. We’ve known each other for just over a year now. We then met Dan and Barney a couple of months back through our old guitarist.

How did SHADED come about as the band’s name?

We had got to the point where we were having EP artwork designed and we were still without a name. We were desperately chucking ideas about last minute until we decided to settle with SHADED.

How would you describe your sound?

From an outsider’s perspective, I’d call us a pop punk band, but we like to think that, with this EP, we’ve explored a bit further than one genre. I think we sit somewhere between pop rock and pop-punk.

What is the band’s approach to songwriting?

Not to try and sound like anyone else. We didn’t want to approach this EP wanting to sound like or emulate any of the bands we listen to. Everything you hear on the EP came totally organically.

Your debut EP, ‘The Better Man In Me’, comes out next month. How has the recording process been?

It was a really enjoyable experience actually. We spent a few weeks in Callum’s bedroom recording and mixing the EP before heading off to Cornwall to master it.

The change of scenery between mixing and mastering really aided the whole process as, when producing a piece of work, there are so many factors that can affect how it sounds – size of rooms, number of walls, surrounding materials.

It’s one thing listening to it back in my car, but hearing our final mixes in a totally different room helped us make final tweaks that we might have missed had we done the mixing and mastering in the same place.

What can be expected from the EP?

The main thing people can expect from this EP is variety. Like I said, we wanted to explore further than just one genre, without straying from the path too much. It’s an out and out pop-punk EP, but we are confident that each song offers something completely different to the others.

The band played in Camden last month, and you have just performed a set at the Burned Out festival in Bournemouth. How is playing live as an experience for you all?

Playing live is easily my favourite part of being in a band. When the adrenaline kicks in and we’re chucking ourselves around, having the best time… nothing beats it.

We seemed to have had pretty good crowd reactions thus far, so hopefully our live set does the EP justice!

What’s planned for after the EP’s release?

We have a few cool things lined up, which we’ll be announcing very soon!

What is the band’s long-term aim?

I think a big long-term aim for us right now is Vans Warped Tour. It’s THE tour to be on when you’re an alternative band, so hopefully a few years down the line we’ll be able to achieve it!

Shaded Cover

‘THE BETTER MAN IN ME’, THE DEBUT EP FROM SHADED, WILL BE RELEASED ON SEPTEMBER 1.

 

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

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/ShadedUK

TWITTER: twitter.com/shadeduk

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/shadeduk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EMERGING ESSEX EASYCORE QUINTET FORTIFY TO RELEASE EP IN OCTOBER

Fortify band photo

Hailing from Thurrock, Essex and formed in 2015, up-and-coming easycore outfit Fortify comprise of vocalist Anna Louise, Kieran McLoughlin-Spink and Charlie Fallows on guitar, Billy Byford handling the bass, and Jamie “JD” Smith hammering away on the drums.

The tuneful rock crew honed their craft by playing a slew of shows around the greater London area. Supports with everyone from Chapter And Verse and Create To Inspire to TheCityIsOurs have helped to solidify the band’s engaging sound.

The five-piece are now ready to announce their arrival with their alluring new EP ‘Valhalla’. With five slabs of engrossing easycore, the EP kicks off with the hugely anthemic ‘What About Us’, swiftly followed by the captivatingly flowing alt-rock groove of Survivors.

Next up, ‘Rumours’ picks up the pace and delivers a beast of a refrain aided by Smith’s stout drumming and Billy Byford’s chunky bass work. The EP doesn’t let up as ‘Emergency Exit’ hits you with its killer hook and stomping riffery, served up by McLoughlin-Spink and Fallows’s layered guitar work. The quintet bring proceedings to a close with the buoyant energy and vigor of ‘Strangers’.

The lively combo will be playing a series of shows throughout the rest of this summer and into the autumn; hit up their social sites for updates.

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/FortifyUK

TWITTER: www.twitter.com/FortifyUK

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/officialfortify

‘VALHALLA’, THE NEW EP FROM FORTIFY, WILL BE RELEASED ON OCTOBER 27.