STATIC FIRES

Static Fires band photo

STATIC FIRES (from l-r): Tom Gibbins (bass), Jack Piper (drums), Jack Clements (lead guitar), Sam Randles (vocals/rhythm guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

From south Wales, Static Fires are a hotly-tipped alternative rock quartet that have already drawn favourable comparisons to such heavyweight outfits as the Foo Fighters, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Kings of Leon.

In the spring of 2016, the collective brought out a debut self-titled EP, which was met with an overwhelmingly positive response.

For the last couple of months, the Swansea four-piece have been working hard on putting together a follow-up to that, which will be coming out this August, and they recently took the time to tell me all about it and other band-related topics.

How did the band get together?

We all met whilst we were in school growing up, and started playing together properly whilst doing our A-levels. After a stint in the recording studio, which produced some of the tracks on our first EP, we decided that we wanted to share our music with the world, and we’ve been doing so ever since!

How did the name Static Fires come about?

Previously, we had gone by the name Cinder. However, after discovering that there was another band with the same name, we brainstormed away looking for a new name until we settled on Static Fires, which was in keeping with our fire/flames theme.

To anybody who has yet to hear your music, how would you describe it to them?

Punchy and accessible rock music with eclectic influences and thoughtful arrangements.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Lyrically, there is no particular writing process which we follow every time. Usually, one of us will attempt to write lyrics for a certain part, and we’ll start to get an idea for the ideas and themes that are developing.

We’ve had a lot more fun developing the lyrics for this album, compared to our EP, as we’ve let ourselves be carried away with creating cool ideas for the stories the songs are trying to tell, such as bad luck on ‘Thirteen’, and apocalyptic love on ‘Blood Red’.

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

The music always comes first to us. We use a mix of jamming and individual songwriting which we bring together and let develop naturally. Sometimes, we’ll put an idea on the backburner until we have the right direction to take it.

That happened with one of our tracks, ‘Like The Sun’, which was easily rewritten a few times- but always for the better.

This August, the band will be bringing out their debut album, ‘Thirteen’. How has the recording process been for that?

Terrific! Late last year, we holed ourselves up in the Boneyard recording studio in Llandarcy, Neath, in order to create the album. We had so much fun watching our music develop through the recording process and be brought to life.

And how will it be different to your 2016 self-titled debut EP?

Our growth as songwriters definitely shows on ‘Thirteen’ when compared to our EP. We’ve taken more risks and dared to be more complex- both with the musical arrangements and with our ambitions.

We’ve kept the variety from the first EP, and perhaps even expanded from it in places, but still kept true to the things we enjoy. We’re immensely proud of ‘Thirteen’ as an album.

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

Great! We can’t wait to start playing as much as possible over the coming months to help promote the album and perform our new material to newer audiences, as we’ve always enjoyed playing live and performing at new venues!

And finally, what have you got lined up over the next couple of months?

We’re currently promoting ‘Return’, which is the first track we’ve released from the new album – currently available to stream exclusively on YouTube.

Next month, we’ll be debuting the music video for another one of our tracks, and also releasing that as a single! Also, we’ve got release gigs planned for both the single release and the album.

Static Fires Album Cover

‘THIRTEEN’, THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM STATIC FIRES, WILL BE RELEASED ON AUGUST 10.

FURTHER INFO ON THIS, AND THE BAND, CAN BE FOUND HERE.

 

Advertisements

LIQUID STATE

Liquid State band photo

LIQUID STATE (from l-r): Harry Moffatt (drums), Kray Zellinger (guitar), Keren Ashley (vocals), Ben Bull (bass)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

PHOTO by ALI FEWELL

Describing themselves as “loud, sweaty, and fuelled by Red Stripe“, Liquid State are a quartet that have become firmly established on the Bristol underground music scene this past year with a powerful, gritty, moshpit-friendly alternative metal sound.

Having saw off a very competitive field of talented outfits to be crowned as Underdog Battle of the Bands champions last year in their home city, the collective recently released a single, ‘Dirty Little Preachers’, which has so far received much acclaim.

With their debut EP, ‘Save Yourself’, coming out this July, I spoke to the four-piece’s frontwoman, Keren Ashley, and she gave me an insight into its recording process, what can be expected from the upcoming release, and more.

How did the band get together?

Believe it or not, Liquid State started off as an acoustic two-piece! It was a college project for myself and Kray, but we very quickly decided acoustic music was not the route for us, as our songwriting unintentionally got heavier and heavier. We then added drums and bass, and progressed from there!

How did the name Liquid State come about?

Liquid State was a random idea that I had for a song title, although Kray recommended we use it for the band name instead. We agreed, and thus Liquid State was born!

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

Kray is our main songwriter, and how it tends to pan out is that he will get inspired by a sound, whether it be a drum beat, a bassline, guitar line, or even just a random noise that he finds interesting, he’ll then go off and write something around his inspiration.

He uses Logic a lot, where he will record something and develop it by adding layers, changing frequencies, and generally just playing around with it until it’s built into something that can be worked into a song.

What inspires the band lyrically?

My biggest inspiration for our song lyrics is documentaries. I binge watch a lot of dark crime documentaries and horror films in my spare time, and you’ll find a lot of my lyrics are written about murders, prostitution, and generally other taboo subjects.

I feel that I get a lot more emotion through writing darker lyrics than if I was to write the basic love song lyrics.

Last year, you were crowned champions of Underdog Battle of the Bands in your home city of Bristol. How did that feel?

Absolutely amazing! The whole competition was full with such talent that we just never knew who would get through to the next round, so when we got through the auditions to the semi-finals, we were thrilled, and then even more so when we got through to the finals!

Playing the finals was incredible, it was the biggest stage we’d ever played, and the audience were fantastic, we had friends and family come from all over the UK to support us, and it was, from start to finish, the best gig we’d ever be a part of!

It was when they started revealing the winners at the end, and we hadn’t placed 3rd or 2nd, that we all suddenly became so, so tense with nerves. It was either we win, or we go home with nothing, and with all of the bands having played so well, we just had no idea who would take the crown, so when they said our name, we were just absolutely speechless!

We still are speechless, and it was nearly a year ago!

The band recently released a single, ‘Dirty Little Preachers’. How has the reaction been to that?

It’s been ridiculous! We’ve had over 6,000 views in a week, we’ve been included in lots of music blogs and websites, and have had so many shares, comments and likes, it’s unreal! We’ve been completely overwhelmed by the support, and now we’re just buzzing to get the rest of the songs out!

This July, you will be bringing out your debut EP, ‘Save Yourself’. How has the recording process for that been?

The recording process was so much fun! None of us had recorded properly before and the whole experience was just something extraordinary. Our studio was in the middle of Malvern in Worcestershire, surrounded by hills and fields, so it was nice to get away from city life and have the atmosphere where we could just focus and work really hard to get the best out of our tracks!

Our producer, Scott Mahoney, was also incredible and really pushed us to create something. Don’t get me wrong though, it was a hard week. We’d go to the studio for around 11am the one morning, and Scott and Kray didn’t return back to the hotel until 8am the next morning; they had spent a solid 20 hours hammering out guitar, I don’t know how they did it without dying, it was quite unbelievable.

And what can be expected of the upcoming release?

We’ve got big things to come with our release, and we are just so excited to get all of our songs online for people to listen to! People can expect to see new merch designs, physical CDs, and a small UK tour, we’re looking forward to stepping out of Bristol for a little while, and connecting with new bands and fans from different cities too.

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

Loud, sweaty and aggressive.

We feel that live shows are much more than just the music, we aim to capture everybody’s attention and create the same feeling that is felt when watching bands like Marmozets and Arcane Roots.

You could have the sickest tunes, but standing on stage looking pissed off won’t get the same engagements as being the band with the sickest tunes and a mad live show. We want people to talk about us after a show, and remember who we are for the next one.

What else do you have planned over the next couple of months?

So we have our EP being launched in July, which will be followed with a release gig. We’ll also have another music video coming out to one of the tracks, and a small tour. We’ve got lots lined up, but we just need to get some dates down first!

And finally, what is the band’s long-term aim?

We just want to be able to keep writing new, exciting music, to release albums, tour around the world, and gain more beautiful fans! We’d love to be seen as a band that helps to inspire women to get involved in music as well, metal isn’t just for men, and women can rock it just as hard!

Ultimately, we just want people to love our music as much as we do, and to become known as the band that puts on a mad show, and that you just have to go and see live!

Liquid State EP Cover

‘SAVE YOURSELF’, THE DEBUT EP FROM LIQUID STATE, WILL BE AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD OR PURCHASE FROM SPOTIFY, iTunes, APPLE MUSIC, GOOGLE PLAY, AMAZON MUSIC, AND THE BAND’S OFFICIAL WEBSITE liquidstateuk.com

FURTHER INFO ON LIQUID STATE CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/liquidstateuk

TWITTER: twitter.com/liquid_stateuk

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/liquidstateuk

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

 

 

NEOROMANTICS

NeoRomantics band photo

NEOROMANTICS (from l-r): Cody Dillingham (guitar), Hagen Pavey (vocals/guitar), Noah Arizola (bass), Anthony Castleberry (drums)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

From the American state of Oklahoma, NeoRomantics are a four-piece that bring an eclectic mix of different musical styles and fuse them together to create an indie-rock sound that puts the listener on an emotional journey.

Having just brought out an EP, entitled ‘Homecoming’, the Midwest collective’s frontman, Hagen Pavey, spoke to me about the recording process for that, what is in store for those who have yet to listen to the new release, as well as more about the quartet.

How did the band form?

I got a hold of Anthony, a guy I knew of from high school, about wanting to start a project. I had never been in a band prior, and we were totally starting from scratch, but we were really fortunate to have such great chemistry.

Noah and Cody, our two newest members, started around a year ago, originally as fill-ins for some shows we had. We hit it off with them and really liked their artistry, as we felt like it played well with the direction we were wanting to move NeoRomantics towards.

How did the name NeoRomantics come about?

Coffee and Wikipedia, at like one in the morning, inside an IHOP (an American fast-food restaurant).

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

Generally, I’ll sort of bare bones a concept together, the guys will take that idea, and then adjust and embellish it. We keep it really open in the writing process, because the more that everyone contributes, the more uniquely collective it is, I suppose.

What inspires the band lyrically?

For me, I sort of have this introspective/objective theme that I kind of weave between all of the time. The older I get, the less tragic I feel. When I was 18, it was really easy writing songs, because I could just think about the last girl that hurt my feelings and wrap it up in a half-hour.

As it is now, I really have to evaluate myself and those around me. I try and open up a dialogue with myself about the things that I face in myself and other people in our songs. This is truly about figuring out how to love yourself and those around you, and be the best version of yourself.

A few days ago, you brought out a new EP, entitled ‘Homecoming’. How was the recording process for that?

Kyle, our engineer, made it so easy for us. Tracking was such a breeze that I felt like it gave us even more time to focus on texture and production. It was a really open, no pressure sort of environment.

And for those who have yet to listen to the EP, what can they expect from it?

We went a fair bit of time without a proper release, so for us, getting as much content out as possible is a must. I feel like ‘Homecoming’ has set the stage for future releases in a big way.

The band are from Tulsa in Oklahoma. What are your views on the city’s current music scene?

It’s a small, tight-knit scene. It’s really important to us to be ambassadors for Tulsa on the road, as well as developing our scene as much as possible at home. Anthony, our drummer, is a promoter, and he does a lot of really tremendous work for our scene.

You’ve played across the American Midwest. How is the experience, for the band, of playing live and touring?

We live for the tours. It’s becomes more and more fun for us, because after touring for a while, returning to any place we’ve played before feels like a family reunion. We’ve made so many friends all across the country that we maybe see a handful of times, at most, a year.

The experience on top of that is massive. It can be a bit overwhelming from time to time, seeing so much in such a short period, but we just love it.

Now that ‘Homecoming’ has come out, what are your plans?

We’re doing a handful of tours this summer before we hunker back down to write more music and give our Anthony a day or two off to get married. We’re having the official release show in Tulsa, at The Vanguard, on June 9th, and we’ll be announcing the rest of our dates shortly thereafter.

And finally, what is the band’s long-term aim?

We just want to play as much music and make as many friends as possible for as long as we can get away with it. We always feel really fortunate, and we just want to grow our community.

NeoRomantics EP Cover

‘HOMECOMING’, THE NEW EP FROM NEOROMANTICS, IS NOW AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD OR PURCHASE FROM ALL MAJOR MUSIC STREAMING PLATFORMS.

FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/NeoRomanticsMusic

TWITTER: twitter.com/NeoRomantics

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/neoromanticsmusic

BANDCAMP: www.neoromantics.bandcamp.com

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HIGHLY-REGARDED SWISS PUNKS SLIMBOY RETURN WITH NEW ALBUM AND UK TOUR

Slimboy band photo

Slimboy are back with a European tour with US pop-punks, MEST, as well as re-releasing their latest album, ‘Sail On Sailor’, on 10th August via NiRo music. The acclaimed punks have also just released a new track, ‘Let It Go’.

Swiss punk rockers Slimboy possess a rich heritage. Having originally formed at the start of this millennium, the Basel-based trio have seen and just about lived through it all: signing to a major label, touring the world, recording albums in LA, and even chart success in their native country.

After a brief hiatus, the three-piece returned to the fold last year, and have recently completed a highly successful tour with The Ataris. Slimboy also travelled to the States to record their fifth album with Mike Herrera (MxPx) in his Seattle-based studio.

‘Sail On Sailor’ is an album with wide scope, panning from punk-rock cuts, right through to more lighter and mature tracks, and is a record that has really pushed the trio both musically and emotionally.

Slimboy Album Cover

‘SAIL ON SAILOR’, THE LATEST ALBUM FROM SLIMBOY, WILL BE RE-RELEASED THROUGH NiRO MUSIC ON AUGUST 10.

THE BAND WILL ALSO BE PLAYING A FEW UK DATES WITH MEST THIS AUGUST, AS PART OF A EUROPEAN TOUR. FOR TICKETS, GO TO www.seetickets.co.uk, AND FURTHER DETAILS CAN BE FOUND BELOW:

Slimboy tour poster

MORE INFO ON SLIMBOY CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: slimboy.ch

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/slimboyband

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

 

GHOULS

Ghouls band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Since bursting onto the scene in 2013 with debut album, ‘Ten Thousand Words On’, London punk quintet Ghouls have achieved much, including a succession of critically-acclaimed offerings, gigs, tours and festivals across the UK, US, Europe and Australia, and praise from the likes of Kerrang! and Rock Sound.

What makes these achievements all the more remarkable is that the band have done everything off their own backs.

Currently touring Britain once again, promoting recent single release, ‘Internet Famous’, their frontman, Benedict Goold, spoke to me about the highly-rated five-piece’s origins, influences, songwriting approach, and journey up to now.

How did the band get together?

Ghouls formed when each of the members individually moved to London, and over time, met through various circumstances. Some of us studied together, whilst others met through playing within the London scene – Maz and me met after he answered an advert on Gumtree!

Although a lot of the members have now moved out of London, we still regard it as our home, because it’s where the foundations of the band were built.

How did the name Ghouls come about?

When the band originally formed, we just wanted to get out and play shows as soon as possible, so we never gave the band name much thought.

Ghouls was said by someone at the time; it was unused and nice and easy to remember, so we just went with it, so we could crack on. It doesn’t have a whole lot of meaning behind it.

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

Writing music for us has always been about what comes naturally to the five guys in the room. We’ve never set out to sound a certain way, or fit to a genre.

The songwriting process itself usually starts as acoustic skeleton demos that I do with just a guitar and vocal, we then take that to the rehearsal room, pull it apart, and shape it back together with everyone’s input.

Sometimes, the songs don’t deviate far from the demo, sometimes they’re completely different.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

As individuals, we all have our own influences, and it’s the combination of these that produce the unique sound that we have. Our collective influences are bands who also make their own unique sound: for example, Don Broco and Enter Shikari.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Lyrically, the inspiration comes from life. Band life, particularly touring on the DIY circuit, puts you in some pretty unique experiences that affect your personal and working life – so a lot of what we get up to as a band has a profound influence on the lyrics I write.

In recent years, you’ve all gone from strength to strength, having brought out a succession of acclaimed EPs and albums, as well as getting support from the likes of Kerrang!, Rock Sound, Punktastic, and Frank Turner. Did any of you expect any of this to happen when the band formed?

A lot of what we’ve done as a band has been pretty wild and we’ve found ourselves in situations that you definitely aim for, but when they happen, it sometimes feels hard to believe.

The trouble is, with each success comes the strive for the next thing, and when those successes are better than the last, you can forget how much the previous ones mean.

It’s definitely good to take a step back every now and then, and take it all in.

The band have also played gigs, tours and festivals across the UK, US, Europe and Australia, and supported such outfits as Slaves, Sonic Boom Six, and Roam. How is the experience, for you all, of playing live and touring?

As with almost all bands, it’s the reason we do it. Getting in the studio and creating music is a rewarding experience, and it feels good to create, but the best reward is when those songs take you to places across the world, and you get to hear and see people listening to them.

And you’ve done all of this without any major label support, as you pride yourself on an entirely DIY ethos. Do you think DIY will be the future of the music industry overall?

With the rise in technology, it’s definitely a direction that the industry has now. There’s no longer a need for a big team of people to make things happen, as you can literally do it all by yourself. That said, the DIY scene relies on its incredible support and hard work behind the scenes.

Although you have to work hard as a band and make plenty of sacrifices as individuals, nothing would be possible without the promoters and bookers who take chances on bands they’ve never heard of, the people who let you into their homes for a place to sleep and the people who believe in the bands, who come to see them and listen to their music.

It’s a humble scene that’s full of love and passion.

The band recently released a new single, ‘Internet Famous’. How has the reaction been to that so far?

So far, so good. It’s been going down well live, and it’s been really cool to see such a good reaction. We’re definitely looking forward to getting more new stuff out there in the not too distant future.

You’re currently on a UK tour, and you’re also making another trip to the States later this year. I can imagine this is something you are all very much looking forward to.

Definitely excited. This year in general has been incredible, and we’re set to have an equally good time in its second half. It’s going to be nice to return to a few familiar places, and make some debuts at venues we’ve never been to before.

And finally, will the band be unveiling a new EP or album at some point in 2018?

2018 will definitely have more new music!

GHOULS ARE CURRENTLY ON A UK TOUR, FURTHER DETAILS OF WHICH CAN BE FOUND BELOW:

Ghouls tour poster

FIND MORE INFO ON THE BAND, AND THEIR RECENT SINGLE, ‘INTERNET FAMOUS’, HERE.

SCREAM BLUE MURDER

Scream Blue Murder band photo

SCREAM BLUE MURDER (from l-r): Jacob Houghton (bass), Danny Beardmore (guitar/vocals), Aaron Bloomer (vocals), Jamie Bloomer (drums)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

PHOTO by MARIANNE HARRIS

From Coventry, four-piece Scream Blue Murder have, since forming in 2014, been winning over fans on both sides of the Atlantic with their style of hard-hitting metalcore, influenced by a range of rock and metal bands/artists, including Bring Me The Horizon, Asking Alexandria, Megadeth, Guns N’Roses, and Alice Cooper.

Currently putting the finishing touches to their eagerly-anticipated second album, out later this year, the Midlands quartet spoke to me about that, the success of 2016 debut release ‘Hollow Stories’, touring the US, and supporting such outfits as Of Mice & Men and Blood Youth.

How did the band form?

The band formed a few years back when me and my brother got into bands like Bring Me The Horizon, Architects, and Parkway Drive. We were originally trying to be a glam metal act, but that changed as soon as we heard Bring Me The Horizon. We used to cover AC/DC and sing really high, but we soon changed that up.

From where did the name Scream Blue Murder originate?

It’s an old fashion saying, when you scream murder, however, nothing’s actually happening, but in Australia, it means orgasm.

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

Writing the second album has been done between myself, Aaron, and Danny. We sit around a laptop, think of ideas, and start writing.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Aaron writes the lyrics. The new album is very different lyrically to the last, and it means a lot more to him and us. Past experiences have really fuelled this for him.

Shortly after forming, you all signed a contract with Stay Sick Records. How did that come about?

We toured the USA off our own back, which not many bands from the UK do, they took interest, and the rest was history.

And I can imagine that signing to a record label so early on was a great feeling for the band.

It was! The best was getting drunk with Fronz backstage on vodka and Capri Sun, and hanging out with Attila at Download!

In early 2016, you released your debut album, ‘Hollow Stories’. How well do you think the reaction was to that?

It was good, but the second album will take us to the next level.

The band have supported the likes of Carcer City, Blessthefall, and Slaves (US). How is it, for you all, playing live?

Blessthefall and Slaves were amazing shows! Great bands. My favourite big band we have played with was Of Mice and Men! There was a huge crowd, and the show was lit.

And you have also toured the US, which you mentioned earlier. That must have been quite an experience.

Yes, it was. We have toured the USA twice now, and it’s one of our favourite places to play. I love going out there, because the fans are really accepting, and it’s so much fun. I like getting away from all the troubles at home and just being on tour for a month or so, with it just being me, my bros, and the music.

During this interview, there have been a few mentions of the band’s second album. How long will it be until that comes out?

Soon! Very soon! This year!

And how will it be different to ‘Hollow Stories’?

It’s better. Aaron does all the vocals. It’s also more current, and the songs are bigger!

Finally, what is the band’s long-term aim?

Global domination! To be able to tour the world and have a good time doing it, meeting a lot of new faces, and just sharing our experiences with them!

THE SECOND ALBUM FROM SCREAM BLUE MURDER WILL BE RELEASED THROUGH STAY SICK RECORDS LATER THIS YEAR.

THE BAND WILL ALSO BE EMBARKING ON A UK WEEKENDER THIS JULY. FURTHER DETAILS CAN BE FOUND BELOW:

Scream Blue Murder tour poster

MORE INFO ON SCREAM BLUE MURDER CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: sbmofficial.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/sbmmetal

TWITTER: twitter.com/SBMmetal

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/sbmofficial

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

 

 

 

 

RONGEUR

Rongeur band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Taking influence from such legendary outfits as Neurosis and Black Sabbath, Norwegian three-piece Rongeur specialise in a raw, heavy combination combistoner, doom and sludge metal.

For pretty much the whole of 2017, the band worked hard on putting together their thought-provoking, angst-ridden and dystopian debut album, ‘An Asphyxiating Embrace’, which came out in March.

The Oslo trio’s bassist/vocalist, Dag Ole Huseby, recently gave me a detailed insight into the lengthy recording process, the reaction that it has got so far, and much more.

How did the band form?

Rongeur is built on the ruins of current bassist/vocalist Dag Ole and former drummer Jostein (of Trollfest fame)’s prog-metal outfit Sju.

In the wake of the disintegration of Sju, Jostein and I realized that we had more to achieve together musically. We contacted Ken-Robert of Ampmandens Døtre, who I had known for ages prior, to find out if he wanted to form a new band. The answer was obviously yes, and Ken joined in on guitar.

We all wanted to make loud, heavy and honest music centred around guitar, bass and drums, but the exact sound was yet undecided, however, I am of the opinion that interesting and unexpected things often comes out of musical collaboration, so when Rongeur started to practice, we quickly adopted a policy that everybody in the band should be allowed to contribute musically.

The result became a melting pot of everyone’s musical influences, that then evolved into one giant angry Leviathan, fusing sludge, hardcore, post-metal and stoner-rock.

From where did the name Rongeur originate?

We wanted a name that was different to what most other bands seem to choose, and also something that would make people wonder about its meaning. I am a bit of a Francophile, and so I choose “Rongeur” as it means rodent in French.

We found the name to be quite funny, but at the same time, to be fitting as the motive behind Rongeur has become to gnaw at all things rotten and decaying in our human existence at both personal and societal levels.

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

The riffs has always been our first priority when writing songs. Either Kenny or I come up with a riff or a draft to a song, which we then all jam out for a while until we are satisfied with the structure.

Even though a few groovy riffs driving the songs is essential, the overall feeling and sentiment of the song is the most important thing to settle. We are not stuck in the verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure thing, and will choose the song structure that best benefits what we want to communicate.

Lyrics comes last, but of course, they are just as important. I always have a shitload of half-finished lyrics lying around, and often utilize those in Rongeur.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Our main goal is to highlight certain things that we are not appreciative about in our earthly existence, such as deceit, ignorance, the abuse of power, chauvinism, etc.

With Rongeur, we try to communicate these grievances in the most intelligent way we know, which is to scream and spit, and hopefully stir some sort of reaction in the listener to the extent that these issues are taken up for consideration, even if it’s uncomfortable.

Art is anyway supposed to be free to challenge and to provoke – that is our desire and goal, but don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of beautiful things about this world at this particular place in time.

Still, to be honest, it is hard not getting affected by all the awful shit going on, and with our latest album, ‘An Asphyxiating Embrace’, we try to emphasize these aspects.

The most important thing, however, is not to get pacified by the great challenges at hand, as in my opinion, these problems are mostly the results of narrow-minded, ignorant and unenlightened human behaviour.

We thus have the potential of making a better world by using our intellectual properties. However, we hold very few answers, and we are not dogmatic either, so it should be up to the listener to decide what to do about it all.

However, let me be clear about a couple of things – I am convinced that to be able to solve many of the human and societal short comings, we need to show more compassion for each other – we need to talk, listen and understand.

Also, we also need to educate people to a greater degree, so we can make better informed choices on the more important immaterial things in life.

Lastly, we need to let people be left alone to a greater degree. Social conventions can be a strait-jacket which stunts human progress. Diversity is good, and society can benefit from it.

Having just mentioned your recent album, ‘An Asphyxiating Embrace’, how was the recording process for that?

It was long. We started tracking all basic instruments live in the studio over a weekend at the beginning of last year, then we did dubbing, vocals and everything else throughout 2017 by ourselves. As we all are rather busy on several other arenas as well, this unfortunately took some time to finish.

Lastly, the record was mixed and mastered at the beginning of 2018. However, as the year went by, the record grew on us and we had the time and ability to analyse it to a greater extent, and thus make necessary adjustments along the way before release.

And how has the reaction been to it so far?

It has been great. We have gotten a lot of great reviews and feedback, and are very humbled and thankful for the reception the record has gotten so far. It is extremely satisfying to see that the record seems to be striking a nerve and communicating the sentiment that we wanted it to.

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

Rongeur is a live band and we really dig playing live. We try to sound as live as possible on recordings, and we use a few gimmicks that do not translate well to the live setting.

We are however not a touring band though, as we always have had lot of other musical and personal obligations that has stood in the way of being on tour over longer time periods, but we are still always booking gigs, playing wherever and whenever we can, and have thus played a lot of concerts in the past few years all around Norway.

We might travel a bit more in the future, especially if we can get a few gigs abroad, we also continuously try to be a better live band, and we have a policy of giving everything we’ve got, playing loud with a lot of energy, irrespective of there being one person in the audience or a few hundred.

The ones showing up surely deserve a great show, as I hate seeing pretentious bands that gets affected by the lack of attendance. Suck it up and do your job, which for us is to play rock and roll with a maximum level of energy.

What are your plans for the near future?

Having released ‘An Asphyxiation Embrace’ in March, we have played a few gigs supporting that this spring. The record will also see a release on vinyl on June 1, and we will play a release show in August or September.

The coming summer months, however, are held almost free of any band obligations, as I have to concentrate on other stuff for a few weeks, but in the autumn, we will start playing shows again and are booking shows now.

In addition, we have a bunch of new songs that we will continue working on for a new release, which will hopefully come out early next year.

Rongeur Album Cover

‘AN ASPHYXIATING EMBRACE’, THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM RONGEUR, RELEASED THROUGH POACHER RECORDS, IS NOW AVAILABLE TO STREAM, DOWNLOAD OR PURCHASE FROM SPOTIFY, iTunes, APPLE MUSIC, AND BANDCAMP.

FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/Rongeurband

TWITTER: twitter.com/rongeurband

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/rongeurband