TENEMENTS

Tenements band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

How did the band get together?

I initially came up with the idea of doing something a bit more experimental after the demise of a pop-punk band I was in. Once I came up with our first song, ‘Silhouettes’, I took from there to try and come up with more tunes that were fresh yet familiar.

From where did the name Tenements originate?

I wish there was some incredible, unique, profound reason for the name Tenements, but in reality I thought the word was cool after looking at the tenement flats outside my flat window. Tenement buildings are most common in Scotland and New York, so it’s pretty cool to have a Scottish word for your band name. Patriotic af!

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

Lyrically, it started out as writing about a different mental health issue and basing a concept around it, but now, we’ve also branched into the political side of things. I make us sound far more serious than we actually are.

Musically, we take the aspects of every genre that we enjoy most and see if we can jigsaw it together. Whatever sounds cool to us, we hope sounds cool to the listener.

We love what we play, and I feel if the honesty shines through in your writing, it makes for stronger material. If you don’t believe in your own music, why should others?

What inspires the band lyrically?

We mostly like to highlight topics surrounding mental health. Given that it’s now become a focal point of conversation in media as more and more celebrities are coming out with their experiences, it’s showing that we are all not alone in the things we have to cope with.

I like to take one subject of mental health per song and relate it to a tale. We have so far covered topics such as paranoia, sleep paralysis, stress, anxiety, depression and phobia, and I also read a lot of sociology essays and listen to philosophy podcasts.

I try as much to keep it different lyrically, and hope to open up minds and conversation.

Recently, you brought out a single, ‘The Fear’, which has been very well-received so far, most notably by Kerrang! Radio DJ Alex Baker. How have you all found the response personally?

None of us have ever been in a band that has yet to reach this height, so it’s been really cool, and we’ve been extremely thankful for the exposure and opportunity that has been offered to us this past year.

It isn’t something that we take for granted, and it pushes us to continue to pursue what we do at a high standard.

The track was taken from the band’s debut EP, entitled ‘What Doesn’t Kill You Is Only Getting Stronger’. How was the recording process for that?

Arduous, not in a sense that it was a difficult experience, but as we wanted to give this release our absolute all, it came with a bit of stress and anxiety. During the recording time, we found ourselves between bass players, which caused other members to learn parts in minutes.

Our producer, Bruce, brought out the absolute best in us, and continuously pushed us to be the best we could, and you can hear the devotion and passion poured into every note of the EP.

It was an incredibly fun two weeks, and as we are always writing, we’re looking forward to working again with Bruce in the future with a full line-up.

And what can be expected from the upcoming release?

Lots of melody, lots of breakdowns, and us instilling the notion that “everybody is lying to you“.

Also, three songs from the EP are to be featured in a soon-to-be-released horror film. How did that come about?

We had a friend who was in contact with the film’s producers, Matt Shaw and Michael Bray, who were looking for a band to provide music for their film ‘Monster’, which is based on the best-selling novel of the same name.

As far as we know, it has premiered and been picked up by an international distributor, so when we know more details of a release, you all will know. From what we’ve gathered so far, it’s very spooky!

Over the past year, the band have supported the likes of InVisions and Bertraying The Martyr. How were they as experiences?

We’ve been very fortunate that in the short time this band has been together, we are yet to have that gig where we only play to the sound guy. With every gig, our fan base grows, and we’ve already got to the point where strangers are grabbing the mic and screaming out our words.

And how is it overall, for you all, performing live?

Live is where our songs come out most. We all have a big part to play, and do everything that we can in the time we’re given to make sure we have a lasting positive effect. Come see for yourselves!

EP aside, what’s planned for the next couple of months?

More writing, and touring, which we are soon to announce.

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

To keep our passion, and to always push ourselves to be the best we can. We want to take our music anywhere that will have us, so hopefully, you will see a lot more of us.

Tenements EP Cover

‘WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU IS ONLY GETTING STRONGER’, THE DEBUT EP FROM TENEMENTS, WILL BE RELEASED ON AUGUST 31.

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

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CAPITAL EYE

Capital Eye band photo

CAPITAL EYE (from l-r): Matty Jackman (lead guitar/backing vocals), Kyden Woodhead (drums), Danny Jackman (bass), Scott Baxter (vocals/rhythm guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Having originally been a covers band playing to audiences in their home town of Bridlington in east Yorkshire, four-piece Capital Eye have evolved to become an outfit that have a unique indie-rock sound, featuring massive guitar riffs, thumping drum beats, and punchy bass lines.

The quartet’s debut EP, ‘Take Note’, released early last year, was very well-received, with the majority of the tracks getting radio airplay, and enabled the band to concentrate on travelling further afield, developing their stage presence, and strengthening the collective’s fan base.

Having just unveiled a new single, entitled ‘Lipstick Kiss’, the outfit’s bassist, Danny Jackman, spoke to me about that, and everything else concerning Capital Eye.

How did the band get together? 

Scott wasn’t doing anything band-wise and never had done, but I heard him singing at a party and had to get him in, so I contacted Matty, then our drummer, and got it sorted.

How did the name Capital Eye come about? 

Capital Eye stands for CCTV. The logo is an eye looking over a city, and that’s what it stands for really. Back when we played covers, we played music that could be related to football casuals and had a certain crowd to aim for, what with Britain being the most-watched nation under CCTV in the world and all that.

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

We have a lot of approaches, it’s really just which ever way it happens, whether it be Matty bringing an idea up, or Scott bringing in an idea, then all elaborating on it together.

Sometimes, Matty and Scott will bring up a finished product, and one of our tracks, ‘Daydreamer’ actually started as a bass line, so it’s any approach that works for us at that time.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Just day-to-day things, working class things, things that most other people around us and in our friend group can relate to.

Last year, you brought out your debut EP, ‘Take Note’, which was very well-received. Was that something you all expected during its recording process?

It was something that had been a long time coming, and we had already built up a following doing what we were doing, so we believed in what we had produced and was very happy with how it was received.

And the band worked on the release with renowned producer John Spence, who has worked with such highly-regarded outfits as the Sisters Of Mercy and the Happy Mondays. How was it, as an experience, working with him?

It was our first time in the studio, and we couldn’t have asked for a nicer guy to ease us in, as he made us feel relaxed, and that allowed us to go in and do what we needed to do in the time that we had.

He also has a fantastic ear for things, which is not actually normal (laughs).

Recently, you unveiled a new single, entitled ‘Lipstick Kiss’. How has the reaction been to that so far?

Yeah, ‘Lipstick Kiss’ has been received really well. It’s up there as one of our favourites, and it is definitely one to catch live!

And will the track potentially lead to a future EP or album release at all?

I think we are just going to release a few singles, as in the past, we have put out quite a lot quickly, so we are going to be taking a different strategy from now on to get the best out of the final product.

The band have just played the Tramlines festival in Sheffield, and have also supported the likes of The Pigeon Detectives. How were they as experiences?

Tramlines is always great, but The Pigeon Detectives gig was special. There were over 100 tickets sold from our side, the atmosphere was incredible, and to play with a band that we grew up listening to and were fans of was surreal.

That came about through Ryan getting us on board with them after he joined us to play one of his songs at a mutual friend’s wedding.

And how is it overall, for you all, performing live?

We love it, and there’s just nothing like it. That’s why we never stop.

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

To constantly be gigging, bringing out new tunes, just to keep enjoying what we are doing, and see where that takes us.

Capital Eye Single Cover

‘LIPSTICK KISS’, THE LATEST SINGLE FROM CAPITAL EYE, IS OUT NOW.

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

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REAWAKEN

Reawaken band photo

REAWAKEN (from l-r): Matt Gregory (rhythm guitar), Nathan Page (lead guitar), Meg Parkinson (vocals), Gill Lancashire (drums), Joe Fraser (bass)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

From Southampton, Reawaken are an emerging five-piece who specialise in a heavy, energetic, but haunting alternative rock sound, influenced by such outfits as Halestorm, Stone Broken, Black Stone Cherry, and Alter Bridge.

Since forming towards the end of 2016, the band have impressed crowds all over the south-east of England with a captivating stage presence that really captures the essence of their music.

However, the quintet now plan to branch out across the rest of the UK, and eventually Europe, with the next steps being a few more live dates, and the release of their debut EP, ‘monochrome’, this October.

The outfit spoke to me recently about how their upcoming offering was put together, what can be expected from it, and much more.

How did the band form?

Meg joined the band in November 2016, after we curved away from our old sound and started going along the winding road of alternative rock.

How did the name Reawaken come about?

The name was one of many that we had in a list that we’d made when we heard a word or saying that we liked. We started narrowing down the list until we were happy with a name.

Some of the other names now, looking back, were quite funny…Hyperdark, Silvera, and Stricken, which just reminded Meg of chicken.

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

Someone will come to practice with a riff or a song that they have come up with. We then jam it to see what can do with it. We like to go off the vibe of things, and normally, that’s how our songs are written.

What inspires the band lyrically?

A lot of our songs are lyrically about relationships and stories around them.

However, if there is a topic someone wants the song to be about, Meg will write about that with ease.

Recently, you brought out a new single, ‘Don’t Run’. How has the reaction been to that so far?

The reaction has been incredible, everyone loves the sound and the direction that the band is heading in. It has been great to see friends from different musical backgrounds like the single, which wouldn’t usually be normal for them to listen to.

Also, the fans who have seen the track live enjoy being able to become more familiar with it whenever they want to.

And the track was taken from what will be the band’s debut EP, ‘monochrome’, coming out this October. How has the recording process been for that?

The process was long, as we all just wanted to get the music out as much as possible, but we put in a lot of hard work.

When recording, each person had their own rituals, for example, Meg needed the recording booth to be as hot as possible, to the point that it felt like a sauna.

What can be expected from the release?

People can expect a four-track EP, with each song having its own unique vibe. Where we have only had one song released, ‘Don’t Run’, listeners will now be able to hear the Reawaken sound.

Fans will also be able to come to a release show at the Joiners in Southampton on the 21st September, where they can pick up a physical copy of the EP.

The band are becoming known for having a captivating stage presence. How is it, for you all, performing live?

Hairy, very hairy! Three out of the five members have insanely long hair, so it can get very hot!

To be honest, it’s not really something that we think about when we move about on stage, as we are genuinely just moving to the feeling.

And over the last couple of months, you have supported the likes of Courage, My Love, Eva Plays Dead, and Black Orchid Empire. How were they as experiences?

They were rad! Each band brought such a different experience to the table for the crowd, and it’s always really inspiring to see other bands communicate with the audience.

It also helps that they are all incredibly lovely people, and really fun to work with.

What has the band got planned between now and when the EP comes out?

In amongst lots of admin prior to the launch show, we will have a video coming out at the end of August/start of September, and five gigs, four of them in new venues:

AUGUST 10 – Percy’s Cafe Bar, Whitchurch, AUGUST 11 – Cotswold Inn, Cheltenham, AUGUST 31 – The Unicorn, Camden SEPTEMBER 14 – The Irish Centre, Basingstoke, SEPTEMBER 21 – The Joiners, Southampton

And finally, what is your long-term aim?

Our long-term aim is to continue writing songs that we love to perform, because there is no point playing music you don’t enjoy.

Another is to travel further afield for gigs, and hopefully do some tours, so we can push our sound as far out as possible.

We’d also love to play more festivals, as it’s one of our favourite things to do, while meeting new people and discovering new places.

Reawaken EP Cover

‘monochrome’, THE DEBUT EP FROM REAWAKEN, WILL BE RELEASED ON OCTOBER 5.

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

FACEBOOK

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SILENT FORUM

Silent Forum band photo

SILENT FORUM (from l-r): Richard Wiggins (vocals), Oli Richards (bass), Dario Ordi (guitar), Elliot Samphier (drums)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

PHOTO & COVER ART by JAYDON MARTIN

Since forming as How I Faked The Moon Landing back in 2012, four-piece Silent Forum have not become known for just sticking to a particular genre.

Having started out playing upbeat indie-rock, the Cardiff outfit changed their name and switched to an overall darker, more brooding tone for 2015 EP, ‘Brief Collapses’, and last year’s release, ‘Sanctuary’.

However, the band are now confidently making a return to their roots, with a single coming out next month that shares the quartet’s original moniker and promises to be a livelier listen.

With the Welsh collective also unveiling a debut album early next year, their frontman, Richard Wiggins, spoke to me about all of the above, and more.

How did the band form?

We are a product of the internet, as none of us had any prior contact before finding each other via online message boards. It’s weird to think that through reading out to randomers online, we have made our best and closest friends.

You were originally known as How I Faked The Moon Landing, which is also the title of your upcoming single release. Why the name change to Silent Forum?

Oli came up with the original band name, which was very appropriate for our original sound – that of a fun indie-pop act, but since then, we have gone through a couple of different phases.

Prior to this latest batch of material, we had written two darker EPs for which the name How I Faked The Moon Landing would have been tonally inappropriate, so Silent Forum seemed more fitting.

When we first started writing album material, we found ourselves returning to a brighter, bubblier sound, so it felt right to name it after our former selves.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

As a band, we have broad tastes. Elliot draws from art-rock bands such as Everything Everything and nu-jazz acts like GoGo Penguin, my vocal heroes are David Gedge of The Wedding Present and Joe Casey of Protomartyr, Oli’s bass influences are from the melodic side of the spectrum, including Jenny Lee Lindberg of Warpaint and Carlos D. of Interpol, and Dario’s guitars are lovingly inspired by Pavement, Talking Heads, and Acid Mothers Temple.

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

We have an unusual approach in that every note any of us ever write is in the presence of the whole group. We write quickly, typically creating a song per practice, and we feel like this approach gives us a cohesive, well-rounded sound.

More recently, we have been looking to write songs which are unlike anything else we have in our set list, and hopefully, this will give our debut album some variety.

What inspires the band lyrically?

I often write about myself, or the band as a whole. I write about people who I know, or about work. More and more, I try to draw from things that I have said in day-to-day life – I try to not draw inspirations from artists I love because I want to say something that is natural and “me“.

How was the recording process for ‘How I Faked The Moon Landing’?

We are working with Charlie Francis on our debut album, which includes this song, and he is a dream to work with, as he doesn’t tell us what to do, but makes sensible suggestions which focuses our sound.

My favourite of the ideas that Charlie has had so far created the huge hand claps you can hear on the track, as he asked Elliot to smack a broom against a wooden kart in an echo-y hall, and somehow, it sounds amazing!

You mentioned that this track will see the band return to their roots. What were the main reasons for this?

I am happier than I was a couple of years ago, so returning to more positive music seemed natural.

Something terrible happened to a few of my friends last year, it had an unmistakable effect on my approach to singing, and this change in mindset is best summed up by a lyric from our song, ‘Credit To Mark Sinker’, “I’d like to apologise for pitching sadness as an aspriation“, and on top of this, the band has had to completely change its sound.

Our former band member and very dear friend, Aaron Wood, had to leave the band last year (he is now a junior doctor), and this necessitated a significant sonic shift as Dario acclimatised to being the sole guitarist.

The single will also be an indication of how your debut album will be. When are you thinking of getting that out by?

We are hoping to have the album out early next year, and another couple of singles will be coming out between now and then.

The band have now firmly established themselves on the Cardiff underground music scene. How is the experience, for you all, of playing live?

It depends on how the gig is. It’s often when we feel most comfortable with ourselves, like we’re doing the most natural thing in the world, but occasionally, it can be the exact opposite of this!

Ultimately, it’s a great deal of fun, and we love sharing these moments. It’s also a privilege to perform to a loyal audience with your very best friends.

What else have you got lined up over the next couple of months?

We are organising a tour to go with the album next year. Also, we plan to unveil a series of music videos, which we will be working on with our friend and collaborator, Jaydon Martin, who made the fantastic and odd video for ‘How I Faked The Moon Landing’.

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

We have only ever had the aim to make excellent music that we are proud of. There are a few people who we know hold our songs very dearly – to reach more people and entertain them is all we could ever ask for.

Silent Forum Single Cover

‘HOW I FAKED THE MOON LANDING’, THE NEW SINGLE FROM SILENT FORUM, WILL BE RELEASED VIA LIBERTINO RECORDS ON AUGUST 10.

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

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THE MOCKING JAYS

The Mocking Jays band photo

THE MOCKING JAYS (from l-r): George Ramplin (rhythm guitar/vocals), Lewis Hammond (lead guitar/vocals), Jacob Smith (lead vocals), Sam Dorrington (drums/vocals), Alex Hather (bass/vocals)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

PHOTO by OSCROFT CREATIVE

With a unique sound that is described as “sexy, funky, dirty pop“, and full of huge riffs and infectious grooves, indie five-piece The Mocking Jays have firmly established themselves on the music scene of their home city of Nottingham.

In addition to this, the band have been championed by their local BBC Introducing programme and BBC Radio 6 Music DJ Tom Robinson, performed at such festivals as YNot, and supported such outfits as Scouting For Girls.

However, the quintet are not contented with just this, as they are determined to progress further with their music, play more venues, and attract a larger following.

The recent release of new single, ‘Edge Of Your Knife’, seemed like the perfect time for me to have an in-depth chat with the band about how they plan to accomplish this and more, and the following is what they had to say:

How did the band get together?

Jacob, Alex and Sam all went to the same primary and secondary schools together, and they have been mates for years, even though they didn’t get on too well when they were younger.

There were a lot of bands in their school, and the three of them decided to start  playing and writing music together whilst at college in 2013.

Jacob then met Lewis at his first part-time job at the local Co-op, and they bonded over their mutual interest in music whilst stacking the shelves together. Lewis then joined the band in 2014, and he offered a different approach, allowing us to explore our sound.

Having played on the Nottingham/Derby circuit with George for years, we asked him to join the band last year. It was Jacob’s idea actually, as at the time, he was playing guitar whilst singing, and the material we were writing at the time was quite rhythmically complicated (for us).

George entering the band as an extra guitarist and backing vocalist meant that Jacob was able to concentrate solely on vocals and really explore being a frontman and the ringleader of the band. We were also able to experiment with the guitar section and really find what we feel is a new, exciting and unique sound.

Where did the name The Mocking Jays originate?

A few years ago, we were making a name for ourselves under a different name, and all was going well until one day we discovered we had been locked out of our social media.

It turned out that a band with a similar and copyrighted name had reported us and had our social media taken down… (they were a wedding band, as well)…so we had to start again from scratch, it was annoying at the time, but worth it!

We had a few shows booked, but because we didn’t have a new and solid name decided on, it would change every show, which was quite funny at times seeing what we could come up with.

One day, a promoter asked us for our name, and Jacob gave him The Mocking Jays. It was a spontaneous move, but it had stuck in his head from the Hunger Games film he’d watched the night before.

To be honest, none of us were particularly blown away by the name, but it just stuck! Luckily, we’re verified on social media now, so no-one can take it away from us!

What would you say is your songwriting approach?

That’s a difficult question, because it can change quite a lot! Sometimes, it’s completely spontaneous and comes to us in the moment…everything literally falls into place without any communication, which at times just feels crazy!

However, the most typical songwriting approach for us would be this: Someone will normally have a progression or melody in their head which they’ll present at a rehearsal.

Depending on the feel of that progression or melody, Sam and Alex will lay down the rhythm, George or Lewis will lay down some chords and guitar melodies, and then Jacob will normally vocalise a melody line on top of that until he’s free-styled some lyrics that he’s happy with.

Sometimes, it just falls into place and none of us have to vocalise our thoughts, but if we don’t have that idea down within an hour, it normally gets thrown out the window or put on the fridge for a later date. We tend to usually connect with something with an alternative rhythm that we, and our audience, can dance to.

We’ll then rehearse the track a few times, and then, we’ll debut the track live to see how it goes down, it’s our version of market research! Once we see or feel the results from that initial debut performance, we’ll go away and either polish the song or re-work it, depending on how it was received.

What inspires you lyrically?

As Jacob is the only talented lyricists in the band, we’ll go with his answer:

My personal life, past experiences, the environment around me and fantasies that I like to exaggerate.

Recently, you’ve released a new single entitled ‘Edge of your Knife’. How was the recording process for that?

It was a really cool experience, recording always is! We spent three really cold days down at our manager’s gaff in London called The Animal Farm.

Over the three days, we recorded ‘Edge’ and two other tracks, one that’s planned to be released later on in the year, and another early next year. It was a very cool experience hearing your track layered up and coming to life on tape for the first time.

We were heavily involved in the production of the record too, and we always like to be spontaneous and open to ideas in that environment.

It’s funny, because you often forget the individual talents of the band until you hear the parts soloed from the rest, but it makes you realise just how integral everyone is to the band’s sound.

And how has the reaction been to the track so far?

The reactions and initial feedback have been really positive. In this day and age, so many things have already been done that it’s hard to create something that’s perceived as new and unique, but the reaction from our friends, fans and critics say that we’ve achieved that with ‘Edge of Your Knife’, which is great.

It’s a song that doesn’t knock on the door, before entering the room and that’s why we chose that to be the song that would lay down our new musical direction, as we’re not here to mess about.

Dean Jackson, who presents our local BBC Introducing, recently said that we always surprise him, which for us is exactly what we want to achieve, because we would hate to be that band that is pigeonholed into a certain category and you know exactly what you’re going to get.

The band have played at festivals such as YNot and Bearded Theory, and opened for the likes of The Hoosiers and Scouting For Girls. How were they as experiences?

We’re always humbled to get opportunities such as the ones you have just mentioned, because four years ago, we were playing open mics around Nottingham/Derby, so to be given those opportunities is like a jockey whipping a horse.

It’s great to having the opportunity to showcase our work on a big stage like those listed above, as it gives us the drive to keep going and it’s also the sort of stage where we feel we belong.

Each gig for us is exciting, and a new challenge, as we want to experience every single person in that room and make them feel different to when they came in. Our live show is our opportunity to properly convey the attitude of our songs.

Also, you have firmly established yourselves on Nottingham’s music scene. How is it overall, for you all, performing live?

The plan is to build ourselves up to the point where we are in the top 10 Nottingham-based bands. Although our name is known to most of the people on the city’s music scene, there is still a lot we wish to achieve in Nottingham, and our next step is to get into the big venues such as Rock City, and the Rescue Rooms.

Actually, we are supporting Cassia at the Rescue Rooms in October. They’re a great band who are really gaining momentum, and we are dead excited for this as it’s what we’ve been waiting for. Hopefully, this will lead to more opportunities.

Performing live though, for us, is where it’s at! We don’t play to click tracks; we don’t use backing tracks like every other band out there seem to at the minute, we are all-out energy.

What you hear and what you see from us is what you get, and we will go as far to say that we are one of the best live bands out there, certainly at our level.

We know that might sound cocky, but live performance is something we take as seriously as recording our songs, again, we want to change people in some way or another, otherwise, it’s not worth it for us.

Now that ‘Edge Of Your Knife’ has come out, what are the band’s plans?

Some very exciting adventures that’ll involve plenty of big shows, a possible tour, and single releases. We may even put out an EP too…but who knows?

At the moment, there’s lots of things happening behind the scenes, and we can’t wait to unleash it onto you all. Just keep checking our social media to find out, because unfortunately, we can’t say too much right now…

And finally, what is your long-term aim?

The end goal is to make a living from doing what we are creating and performing right now; that’s every band’s goal, isn’t it? Mass acceptance would be nice.

At our level, it’s difficult being a band, because at times, you feel like you have to be a businessmen as much as a musician, however, we know we have to play the game.

The market is saturated, but we’re on a path, we have a plan, and most importantly, we believe in ourselves and in our songs. We are aiming for the top, whether people like it or not.

The Mocking Jays Single Cover

‘EDGE OF YOUR KNIFE’, THE LATEST SINGLE FROM THE MOCKING JAYS, IS OUT NOW.

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

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

SOUNDCLOUD

YOUTUBE

 

THE PARALLAX METHOD

The Parallax Method band photo

THE PARALLAX METHOD (from l-r): Dave Wright (drums), Ben Edis (bass), Danny Beardsley (guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

With an entirely instrumental sound that is predominantly progressive rock but is also drawn from their impressive range of musical knowledge, Nottingham three-piece The Parallax Method have achieved much since forming three years ago.

The band have steadily been building up a devoted following through two highly-acclaimed EPs, exposure from such renowned music media outlets as Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, and Classic Rock, as well as supporting live the likes of Carcer City and Kyros.

All of this isn’t bad for a bunch of guys who never meant for The Parallax Method to progress beyond a few jamming sessions.

With an eagerly-anticipated video for ‘You’ve Got To Be Squiddin’ Me’, taken from last year’s well-received second EP, ‘The Squid’, being unveiled early this September, the trio’s guitarist, Danny Beardsley, spoke to me about that, as well as what has been a successful last couple of years for him and his band mates.

How did the band form?

Dave and I were originally in a band called Isolysis together, but when that finished, we went our separate ways for a while.

We then met back up again and we’d decided to just get together with our original bassist and jam the kind of music we love, which it literally was to start with, as we never intended for it to even leave the rehearsal rooms.

How did the name The Parallax Method come about?

Our manager’s sister is a rocket scientist – that’s a true story – and she helped us.

You’re an entirely instrumental outfit. What was the main reason for going down that route?

Singers are way too much trouble! (laughs) No, seriously, as I’ve said, it was never intended to be a “band“, it was just going to be three mates jamming, so by the time the music had evolved to the point where we thought there might be more to it, it just didn’t seem like the right move to add vocals.

So far, the band have released two EPs, both to much praise, most notably from magazines such as Prog and Classic Rock. Was that something that had been expected, especially whilst recording debut EP, ‘The Owl’?

Nope, definitely not. It was always about what we loved playing first and foremost. If people got it and liked it, then cool, but it was never a consideration, as it was always more personal than that.

The fact that we got some great reviews and, more importantly, awesome feedback from people who saw a show or bought the EP was truly humbling. We’re obviously chuffed to bits that it has been so well-received.

This September, you will be unveiling a new single, entitled ‘You Gotta Be Squiddin’ Me!’ How has the recording process been for that?

The single is from our last EP, ‘The Squid’, and we will be releasing the video for that in September. It is truly ridiculous, and the acting is shockingly bad.

Last year, you played at the Macmillan Fest in Nottingham and the Camden Rocks Prog all-dayer, and you have also supported the likes of Carcer City and Kyros. How were they all as experiences?

We’ve been really lucky to have had some truly cool shows so far. We actually went on tour with Kyros….from Southampton to Glasgow, so we saw a lot of motorway!

They’re a great bunch of guys, and we had a right laugh together.

And how is it overall, for the band, performing live?

We all love playing live. We’ve spent years and years playing all kinds of gigs and festivals with previous bands and between us we’ve had some exceptionally cool experiences.

We never tire of playing live as Parallax. We push each other creatively, and inspire each other to push the boundaries and become better musicians, as we are all on the same page, and I think that comes through in our music and our live performance.

Single aside, what else is lined up over the next couple of months?

We are currently writing our debut album which we will be recording and mixing ourselves. It will be a relatively long process, as we want to get it just right, but so far, it has been coming along nicely.

I am also releasing a solo album later this year, which both Dave and Ben have played on, and Dave is producing with me, and also, we have another project in the works, so there’s plenty to getting on with.

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

We’d love to just get our music out there to more people, play with some more cool bands, and maybe book a bucket list festival here and there. We’re just planning to keep writing as long as we still love it and see where it takes us.

As I said earlier, we never expected it to come this far, so we’re happy to go with the flow for now.

‘YOU’VE GOT TO BE SQUIDDIN’ ME!’, THE NEW SINGLE FROM THE PARALLAX METHOD, WILL BE RELEASED ON SEPTEMBER 5.

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

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SEPTEMBER AGAIN

September Again band photo

SEPTEMBER AGAIN (from l-r): Pierre-Marie “PM” Chaffotte (guitar/keyboards/samples/backing vocals), Loic “Low” Chanut (lead vocals/bass), Pierre-Olivier “Spoox” Pou (drums), John Bellemon (guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

From the French Alps, September Again are a four-piece with a powerful, atmospheric alternative rock sound that is multi-layered and takes full advantage of the band’s diverse musical influences, ranging from metal to trip-hop.

Since releasing their debut album, ‘Insomniac’, last March, to an overwhelmingly positive response, the quartet’s stock with both critics and fans has kept on rising, and reached new heights recently with the unveiling of a video for one of the offering’s tracks, ‘In Vitro’.

Chatting to me about all this, as well as other band-related topics, was the collective’s frontman, Loic “Low” Chanut.

How did the band get together?

PM and I are old school friends, and we have played music since we met. After a long break (because of our jobs etc) of a few years and after many long discussions, we decided to have a go at being in a band again.

A few months before, I had met John, who was playing in another rock band, and as his style was so hypnotic and powerful, it became obvious that we would get him to join us.

Then, we started to create and test some harmonic parts, and finally, Spoox came. He was the first guy to contact us following an advert we had put out, so it was also obvious that he would be joining the band.

Immediately afterwards, we felt like we were all on the same page, both humanly and musically, and that gave us a feeling that we were going to be special.

From where did the name September Again originate?

For a long time, we had been trying to come up with a band name. A lot of names were scribbled down and modified, but none of them seemed to fit.

Eventually, the name came to us one day during a rehearsal. ‘September Again’ was the title of one of the songs we had been working on, and reading it out loud, it just sounded right, we also felt that it provided a picture of our music, and that was that.

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

It’s very intuitive in fact, very natural. Usually, it all starts with a guitar riff or a drum gimmick. Everyone often knows where it could drive us, and… I don’t know, the song builds by itself. Of course, we have some very special September’s proceeds! (laughs)

What inspires the band lyrically?

I’m not a writer, basically, when we started, I didn’t want to be the vocalist, I just wanted to play bass.

The lyrics are simply inspired by the lives of everyone in the band, basically, everything that we can experience and feel.

It’s very contemplative in fact, as really, the lyrics have been written during our most intense or painful life experiences.

However, I think at the same time, the lyrics are quite basic.

Last year, you brought out a debut album, entitled ‘Insomniac’. How was the recording process for that?

In fact, we had many songs, many ideas which were finished a long time before the recording process began, as really, we only started once Spoox had arrived and kicked our asses.

John has very good skills in recording, so we chose to record all our tracks at home, and then, a sound engineer contacted us in order to work on the mix and mastering of ‘Superstitions’.

The result was awesome, and so we chose him to finalise the vocals, recording, mixing and mastering. The recording process itself was a though thing… quite a few hard night sessions, aided by huge quantities of coffee!

And how well did you all think that was received?

We are proud of the result, the quality of the sound, and the arrangement. It really reveals the emotions we want to share with people who follow us. We also had the pleasure to discover the album has so far had many very positive reviews, and that has really helped us to continue and find our musical identity.

Recently, the band unveiled a video for one of the album’s tracks, ‘In Vitro’. How did filming go for that?

We are lucky to have the chance to know the right people who like our music, and who are so talented: Ben Goletto and Charly Carrelet.

We filmed the video in our rehearsal room during a long, long night, but it was a fun, amazing, but professional experience, especially the slo-mo sessions!

Also, we went on an intense journey during filming, as a lot of unexpected events occurred.

And how has the reaction been to the video up to now?

Two weeks after releasing the video, we were surprised to find that it had got a lot of positive feedback, with people saying how awesome it was, and the video has also enabled many to discover us through YouTube, which has been great.

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

Playing live is our fuel! We try to share the emotions and the atmosphere of our music on stage.

Our music can appear like dark, sometimes melancholic, on the album, but in fact, once on stage, it’s mainly rage and urgency. It’s another release of our sound

What has the band got planned for the near future?

We now will try to promote our album, playing shows locally, or in other European countries. As I’ve just said, playing live and sharing our music with people is our fuel.

At the same time, we are now in a period of creation again: we’ve got many ideas, many arrangements… We need to create something new, as we still have things to say…

And finally, what is your long-term aim?

To share our music, and to continue to live this beautiful dream we’ve had since childhood: to make people feel emotion with our music, create our own universe with our own waves, and continue to share these precious moments with friends.

September Again Album Cover

‘INSOMNIAC’, THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM SEPTEMBER AGAIN, IS OUT NOW.

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

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