Precibus band photo


Having started out as an instrumental outfit, Staffordshire five-piece Precibus’s sound has evolved over the years into what is now a complex combination of alternative and progressive metal.

The band have become highly-regarded on their local scene, and despite missing out on a place at Bloodstock this summer, as well as having to change their line-up, they are looking to the future with much optimism.

I recently chatted with bassist Jacek and drummer Pawel prior to the quintet’s recent set at Chords Against Cancer in Uttoxeter, and this is what they both had to say:

How did the band get together?

PAWEL (drums): We met through a website looking for band members, because me and Mariusz, the guitarist, had played together in a band back in Poland, and in around 2009, we both started to think about putting a new band together. First, we looked for a bass player, Jacek came along, and the three of us started jamming together.

JACEK (bass): Was the website Join My Band?

PAWEL: Join My Band, yes. After three years of being a trio, playing mainly instrumental stuff, we recruited a second guitarist/vocalist, and then in 2013, we got a lead vocalist in, and that was when we really started to play the songs we do now.

How did the name Precibus come about?

PAWEL: It’s a funny story, as my missus actually proposed the name, and it came from one of her favourite songs from one of her favourite bands. I then proposed the name to the others, they liked the sound of it, and we started calling ourselves Precibus from there.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

PAWEL: We all like quite a wide range of music, but I think our main influences are Soundgarden, Tool, Faith No More, also progressive rock.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

PAWEL: Usually, someone will come up with an idea, we then work around that, most of the time, we will work together on the idea, and eventually turn it into a song, but sometimes, one or two of the band members will work on the majority of a song.

What inspires the band lyrically?

PAWEL: Well, you would have to talk to our old vocalist about that, as he tended to write most of the lyrics.

JACEK: We recently brought in a new lead vocalist, Jaro, and so far, he’s just been performing the songs that were written prior to him coming in, but I think with our old vocalist, the lyrics had much to do with their personal experiences.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

PAWEL: We all like quite a wide range of music, but I think our main influences are Soundgarden, Tool, Faith No More, also progressive rock.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

PAWEL: Usually, someone will come up with an idea, we then work around that, most of the time, we will work together on the idea, and eventually turn it into a song, but sometimes, one or two of the band members will work on the majority of a song.

What inspires the band lyrically?

PAWEL: Well, you would have to talk to our old vocalist about that, as he tended to write most of the lyrics.

JACEK: We recently brought in a new lead vocalist, Jaro, and so far, he’s just been performing the songs that were written prior to him coming in, but I think with our old vocalist, the lyrics had much to do with their personal experiences.

So far, you have released two EPs, 2014 debut ‘Madness’, and 2016 follow-up ‘Control’. How were the reactions to them when they first came out?

PAWEL: I think it was mainly positive. The two EPs were completely different records, you could say, a variety of different songs and musical styles. ‘Control’ was much more complex, and a better indicator of where we’re heading as a band now.

Earlier this year, the band got to the final of Nottingham Metal 2 The Masses, where the winner got the chance to play at the Bloodstock festival. How was that as an experience?

PAWEL: That was good, but at the time, our old lead vocalist and second guitarist had both said they were leaving, but had agreed to carry on until the end of the competition, so we were going through a transitional phase, as we still had the old line-up for our live performances, but at the same time, we were rehearsing with the new guys.

How did you do in the final?

PAWEL: Unfortunately, we lost to another band called Underdog.

I can imagine it was a disappointment missing out on playing Bloodstock, then.

JACEK: Yes, because we got so close, but we’ll try again next year.

PAWEL: Probably a different area, though, such as Staffordshire, because in Nottingham, we were up against so many good bands, all playing to a very high level.

How is it overall, for the band, performing live?

PAWEL: It’s great fun, and it’s what we set out to do, above all else.

JACEK: And it’s good to see how our songs have been so welcomed by the crowds we’ve played to.

PAWEL: As I said earlier, we take much inspiration from progressive rock, so there are some complex rhythms in our live sound, but that’s what we like.

And finally, what are your plans for the near future?

PAWEL: We have a new line-up now, so soon, we’re going to start writing some new songs, and hopefully next year, we will be able to release some new stuff.







Normandie band photo


By blending simplistic but captivating melodies with explosive choruses, Swedish four-piece Normandie are currently taking the world of alternative rock by storm with a groundbreaking sound.

Despite receiving phenomenal feedback by critics and fans alike for 2016 debut album, ‘Inguz’, the band did not rest on their laurels, instead focusing on building up the momentum generated from that release with much touring across the UK and continental Europe, as well as appearances at such highly-regarded festivals as Download and Reading & Leeds.

Now, the quartet have unveiled an eagerly-anticipated follow-up to ‘Inguz’, entitled ‘White Flag’, and their frontman, Philip Strand, was kind enough to take some time to chat with me about it, along with a host of other things.

How did the band form?

We’re all from different bands in Sweden, and were brought together by our manager. She’s managed a couple of bands in Sweden, but when they disbanded, she wanted to find a project with a longer lifetime and more prosperity, so she reached out to us.

How did the name Normandie come about?

We talked about historically powerful names, we just name-dropped some places and events, and Normandie just sounded beautiful and powerful at the same time.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

Since we’ve all lived more than three to four hours apart from each other, I’ve done demoing and writing, and we’ve bounced the ideas back and forth. We wrote our first album in a month because two members left, we were under pressure, and we had a European tour booked that we didn’t wanna cancel.

As one of the members who left was the screamer, we had to rethink our sound and create something that the remaining four of us wanted to do. ‘White Flag’ was more of a “30 demos turning into 12 tracks” type of situation.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Powerful, emotionally difficult situations and relatable events, mixed with wordplay and a sense of meaning and hope.

A lot of times, we visualise being on stage in front of thousands of people and try to think of what we want people to shout back in our faces, and write something hopeful/meaningful rather than destructive and negative.

In 2016, you brought out a debut album, entitled ‘Inguz’, which immediately got onto the American Billboard charts, and has so far been streamed over nine million times. I can imagine they were things that both exceeded your expectations prior to its release.

I mean, it went by so fast that we really couldn’t understand how we went from losing forming members to charting in three Billboard Charts.

The only ambition we had when writing ‘Inguz’ was to get it out in time for the European headline tour, and to make sure it was the groundstone for what was gonna be Normandie for years to come. We’re not a results driven band, but we welcome all success!

The band have just unveiled a follow-up to ‘Inguz’, ‘White Flag’. How was the recording process for that?

We have our own studio in Stockholm, and we just started demoing ideas from the best fragments of ‘Inguz’, which resulted in a good 30-ish demos, which we then cut down to 15 tracks. We polished them, and then cut out the excessive tracks to then end up with a banging 12 tracks.

And how is your latest release different to the work that you put out before?

It’s vastly more diverse. We have really gone nuts on congas, vocoder, slap bass, and rhythmic chants. Also, I think the lyrics are more relatable and darker, but with a red line of hope and a wish to evolve as a human being.

The band were recently on a European tour, supporting Crossfaith and Blood Youth, and also played at Reading & Leeds this summer. How were they as experiences?

We went into that tour thinking it was gonna be a tough fit for us, as a pop/metal band supporting a blast-beating metal band and a hardcore act, but it exceeded all our expectations and the crowd welcomed us with open arms, and I couldn’t have wished for a better momentum builder for ‘White Flag’.

And how is it overall performing live?

We’re in a great place where we have two albums to build a setlist that is diverse and fun to play. The new songs sound big, and they really fit with the old ones.

The band have achieved much in the five years since its formation. Did you all ever expect to do the things you have done when Normandie started out?

We always have had our goals set high, but to think that in a five-year period (well, we like to see it as three, because of the drastic change of sound and line-up) that we’ve done Download, Reading & Leeds, and the tours we’ve done so far, is crazy.

And finally, now that ‘White Flag’ is out, what are your plans?

Double album release shows, playing more in Scandinavia, and then a headline tour early next year. We’re not gonna let our momentum stop, so the next album is already in the making!

Normandie Album Cover











Coast To Coast band photo


From Birmingham, Coast To Coast are a pop-rock/pop-punk five-piece who are not afraid to experiment with their sound and songwriting approach. The band are also not afraid of putting on a memorable live set.

Having been hard at work these past couple of months putting together their just-released third EP, entitled ‘The World Doesn’t Work’, the quintet spoke to me recently, and the following is what they had to say:

How did the band get together?

We had all been in bands together for years, apart from our vocalist, Kei. He joined in 2015, and we started taking things seriously from then on.

How did the name Coast To Coast come about?

It’s the name of a Westlife album which was released in 2000.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

We have an unconventional approach to songwriting, to be honest. Our vocalist was living in Bournemouth when we were writing this record, which made the process harder, but we were able to meet up and pass ideas back and forth, and it all fell into place nicely.

The band have just unveiled their third EP, entitled ‘The World Doesn’t Work’. How was the recording process for that?

It has been a long process, but we are super proud of what we have produced. We recorded with Ian Sadler at Emeline, he’s such a pleasure to work with, and he really contributes to the whole process.

And how does the new release differ from the two previous EPs that you brought out? 

This EP is definitely our strongest piece of work yet, we really wanted to build on our last record, ‘The Length of a Smile’. We have experimented and pushed the boat out for this record, and we are really excited to share it.

The band are dedicated to putting on a good live set, and have supported the likes of WSTR and Catch Fire. How is the experience, for you all, of performing on stage?

Playing live is our absolute favourite part of being in a band. The buzz we get from playing a set is incomparable. The first time people sang back our new songs, it left us in awe.

And you’re currently on a UK tour promoting the EP. 

Yeah, we are on tour right now, and it’s been the best run we’ve done so far. The new songs have already had such a good reaction, and we are really excited to keep pushing our music and play as many shows as we can.

What are the band’s plans immediately following the tour? 

We just want to play as many shows and meet as many people as we can. Now that we have new music, we all have that buzz to play shows and get our new songs out to a wider audience. We would love to play some bigger shows and get our name out there.

And finally, what is your long-term aim?

We just want to play as many shows as we can, and it would be a dream to play some bigger shows with bands we look up to. Hopefully with our new release, we can push towards becoming the next breakout band.

Coast To Coast EP Cover











Why Everyone Left band photo


Influenced by such bands as Neck Deep, New Found Glory, and A Day To Remember, Why Everyone Left are seen as a premier pop-punk outfit in their native Italy, and have amassed an devoted, ever-expanding following across the UK and the rest of Europe.

With exactly one week to go until the eagerly-anticipated unveiling of their third EP, ‘This Is Not A Test’, which has been mixed by Seb Barlow, brother of Neck Deep frontman Ben, and a successful producer in his own right, the collective’s vocalist, Enzo Cappucci, spoke to me about the EP’s recording process, what can be expected from it, and much more.

How did the band form?

We were all playing in different bands before Why Everyone Left, and they all broke up in the same period. We met a couple of times and talked about putting up a new band, and we found out we all wanted to take this further than a hobby, and it worked!

How did the name Why Everyone Left come about?

We took it from the Real Friends song ‘Dirty Water’. It’s also about the fact that when we formed this band back in 2013, we were all coming from the ashes of other bands, and everyone in our local scene was quitting music at the time, except for us.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

We always start from the music, it’s the core element to me, and then, the music will tell me what the lyrics should be about.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Everyday life, I would say. We like to talk about the bad times we all have in our lives, like feeling lonely, losing someone forever, mental health problems, but also the fun times like getting drunk and falling in love, just like our new single, ‘Whiskey & Coke’.

So far, you have brought out two EPs, 2014’s ‘Stake Everything’, and 2016’s ‘Been Home Enough’, which both had overwhelmingly positive responses. Was that something you were all taken aback by, especially with your debut?

We actually always worked really hard since day one, we’ve always done our best and all we could to get the best results possible,  so we’re super proud of what we’ve achieved, even if it’s just a starting point to be honest!

Next month, the band will be unveiling their third EP, entitled ‘This Is Not A Test’, which you worked with highly-regarded producer Seb Barlow. How was working with him as an experience?

It was awesome! He’s a super cool, open-minded, and humble guy, he always has some sick tips or ideas on songs, and most importantly, he did an awesome job mixing the EP, so we couldn’t be happier!

You’ve played all over the UK and much of continental Europe. How is it overall, for the band, performing live?

We love to play in different countries as much as we love to play in ours! One thing we learned is that you have to give 120% when you’re playing for foreign people who don’t know you really well.

There are countries where people are more open to new bands like us, like Germany or the Czech Republic, and it’s always a pleasure to go there!

And the band have also supported the likes of Zebrahead, Bury Tomorrow, As It Is, and Waterparks. How were they as experiences for you all?

Opening for bands we love or grew up with is such a honour, and it also made us realise how your heroes can be super humble and great humans. Also, it’s great to see how a lot of the people we met at those shows still follow us today.

And finally, you’ve achieved a great deal since the band formed almost five years ago. What would you all like to have accomplished within the next five years?

We really hope to reach as many people as possible with our music, and to be able to play for them. Hopefully, we’ll end up touring the US one day. We also want to make it to Belgium and The Netherlands so badly, but that will probably happen next year.

Why Everyone Left EP Cover





Phoxjaw band photo

PHOXJAW (from l-r): Kieran Gallop (drums/vocals), Danny Garland (vocals/bass), Josh Gallop (guitar), Huw Allen (keyboards)


PHOTO by GLK Media

Since forming in the summer of 2016, Bristol four-piece Phoxjaw have been building up a solid reputation with an intense, emotive, melodic sound that offers a new spin on the grunge genre.

The band have been championed by the likes of BBC Introducing, Total Guitar magazine, and Alex Baker of Kerrang! Radio, and have also earned favourable comparisons to such established outfits as At The Drive-In and Cave In.

Next month looks set to be a big one for the quartet, what with the release of their debut EP, as well as a UK tour supporting highly-regarded Aussie collective Pagan, and guitarist Josh Gallop took the time to chat about all that with me.

How did the band form?

I ended up recording the last single for Danny’s old band, Black Elephant, and when recording vocals, me and Danny really clicked creatively, so when both our old bands came to an end, we started writing some songs together.

Once we had a few songs under our belt, we went and jammed them with my brother Kieran on drums, therefore starting Phoxjaw. We then added our now old guitarist, Glenn Hawkins, and after a while longer, we added Huw.

We are now jamming with another guy on guitar, who will be making his debut on our November tour.

How did the name Phoxjaw come about?

Foxes are cool, but phoxes are cooler.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

A vast range of influences build up the Phoxjaw sound, but stuff like Deftones, Biffy Clyro, Queens Of The Stone Age, but also with an appreciation of great pop music, and then more noise-based music which adds an atmosphere to our sound.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

Most ideas will come from Danny and Josh hashing it out at home together, often a riff, melody, or vocal idea that we’ll then arrange into a rough demo, then we’ll bring those ideas to the rest of the band to add parts and critique them.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Especially on ‘Goodbye Dinosaur…’, I would say abstract ideas which stand as metaphors for a deeper meaning.

Generally, we like to leave the lyrics down to the listener’s interpretation, because being directly told what a lyric means can sometimes ruin the listener’s perception of it, or what it means to them.

Your debut single, ‘Spin Club/Victorian Dolls’, was very successful critically. Was that something any of you were expecting when recording it?

It was us really dipping our toes into what we could create for ourselves, just like ‘Goodbye Dinosaur…’, it was produced in-house by us with a very DIY ethic, the vinyl run even being funded initially by a close friend of ours.

It made us realise we could be totally in control of every aspect of our music, and the way it is delivered to people, which gave us a load of excitement going forward.

And next month, the band will be releasing a debut EP, entitled ‘Good Dinosaur…’ How has the recording process been for that?

A more experimental process from the debut singles, we really go in deep with playing with sounds and textures, and making a sound that was unique to us.

From the offset, we discussed that the record didn’t need to be a full-on copy of our live show, so we were happy to add bits in when we felt it needed it.

When you see us live, it’s all about the energy and the weight of the sound that hits you, and on record, we indulged more on the abstract noises and layering of sound. We feel like we stepped up a lot, and are really excited for people to hear it.

And what can be expected from the upcoming release?

Six tracks of signature Phoxjaw carnage, which hopefully will connect with people in the way that it has had an impact on all of us making it.

How is it, for you all, playing live?

Arguably the funnest part of being in a band right? Being in a studio is fun in a sit inside and obsess about sounds kinda way, but live is a primal energy release, and you can perform your music in the way you want to express it.

And this summer, the band played at the 2000 Trees festival, which you were actually personally invited to. That must have been quite an experience?

Yeah, it was really crazy, we were so stoked to play the festival alongside so many great bands. It was a real turning point in all our mindsets of how far we think the band could go being given the opportunity of big festival crowds.

The support we got from everyone who came to watch us in the tent that day was unreal, to get the tent packed out at midday was very humbling.

What are the band’s plans immediately following the EP’s release?

We are out on tour from mid November for 10 days, seven of which are with Australian band Pagan, which we are stoked for, then, we’ll be heading down south for a headline run for three days with Hypophora, and we can’t wait to bring the songs out live for everyone.

Then in late December, we’ll be heading back into the studio to track some new stuff and throw some new ideas about.

And finally, what is your long-term aim?

World domination, evil layer build into a medieval castle, the usual type of stuff. I mean that’d be lovely, but really, we just want to keep making music and have people enjoy and connect with it, also bigger tours, better songs, just all round stepping it up.

Phoxjaw EP Cover



Phoxjaw tour poster










Villainous band photo



Having formed late last year, Brighton four-piece Villainous are already making waves with a heavy progressive rock sound full of groove-driven guitar riffs, expansive choruses, and compelling vocals.

The emerging outfit recently unveiled a self-titled debut EP, and here is what they had to say about that, as well as a host of other band-related topics.

How did the band form?

This band was really the product of a previous band that Neil MacCallum (guitar/vocals) and Callum Armitage (drums) had been in that had never really reached its potential, but had formed a close friendship and comradeship in those two.

When that band ended, they decided to keep playing together, working on a darker, heavier, and much more progressive sound. They then filled out the line-up, bringing in Sean Stakim on vocals and Nick Read on bass, at which point, we began writing and rehearsing in earnest to fully realise this vision we had for where this band could go.

How did the name Villainous come about? 

Choosing the name was by no means easy, and we went through several different iterations before settling on this one.

We wanted something straightforward and easily recognisable, but also something that sounded unique among the crowded British progressive scene, and with a touch of drama and theatricality that would set us apart from the pack.

Above all others, Villainous embodied all of that perfectly.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting? 

Our approach to writing has always been based in creating musical journeys for our listeners. We’re not really ones for the standard verse/chorus approach. We would rather take you to new places, each exciting and different, and leaving you at the end wondering “how did we get here?“.

We want to make music that grooves, that you can feel in your body and makes you want to move with it, but we also want to write in a way that satisfies the mind as well.

What inspires the band lyrically? 

Sean takes the lead on our lyric writing, and his inspiration draws heavily from themes of desolation and of survival and endurance through terrible pain and suffering.

From personal experience to stories from the news or urban legends and even some more fantastical ideas, Sean paints these dark, dystopic, and disturbed pictures for our music to live in.

We also take a lot of time in writing, and the result is lyrics and music that are crafted together, with one feeding on the other to create something greater than either part by itself.

You’ve just brought out a self-titled debut EP. How was the recording process for that? 

The writing and rehearsal process for it was intense. We went from being a couple of guys jamming, to a tight and together band recording an EP to the highest standard in less than a year.

We rehearsed in six-hour slots and beat the ever-living shit out of those songs, so that when we went into the studio, we had the tracks down solid and cranked tight.

Even so, we were also lucky enough to find a producer in Win (Paul Winstanley), who was able to pick out those subtle changes or add some effects to the right parts in the right places to really take the tracks to a level above what we could have done on our own, and we’re all really pleased with the end result.

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

The reaction has been fantastic, and we’ve had some really great reviews from some of our friends and peers in the metal reviewer community, as well as some great comments from our fans on social media.

We think we’re surprising a lot of people with this release, because we’re not really doing anything like what most of the metal scene is focused on right now, but the reactions and comments have all been pretty universally positive in their surprise, and we honestly wouldn’t want it any other way.

We want to create something new, and that means being something unexpected.

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

A machine. We rehearse hard, so that when we get up on stage, we can hold nothing back and still deliver. I think for all of us, while working in the studio is an amazing experience, playing live for an audience who are having a good time and are into the music is what we live for.

And finally, now that the EP has been released, what are your future plans? 

Our future plans have a number of different parts, some of which we can talk about now, some we think will have to wait. We will have a video release at some point next spring, and we have some great shows lined up with more in the pipeline later this year and into the next.

Beyond that, we’ve got something special cooking, but that’s gonna need a little longer before it’s ready to serve.

Villainous EP Cover





Phear band photo


Experienced Canadian five-piece Phear have a determination to make a mark on the worldwide metal scene with a unique sound that offers something to metalheads everywhere, as well as placing emphasis on live shows that will linger long in the memories of anyone who catches them perform.

Going further into detail about all this with me, as well as the band’s upcoming debut album, ‘Insanitarium’, was their frontman, Pat Mulock.

How did the band get together?

In 1998/99, I played in a local Canadian band called Rampage…I left to sing for Eidolon in 2000…. long story short, Rampage and I remained friends over the years. After Eidolon, I had basically retired from music, got married, but it was always in the back of my mind to play again.

Fast forward a few years, and unfortunately, my wife had passed away, so I found myself with time and the itch to do this again. I invited the Rampage boys over to discuss maybe doing this again.

Unfortunately, everybody’s schedule didn’t work because of other commitments, but we had enough to start something, so over time, we filled in the other players, and Phear was born.

How did the name Phear come about?

Because we were not the original members of Rampage, we decided we needed a new name. I came up with Fear, which I later remembered was actually a punk band in around 1977….. but we liked the name…Our guitarist recommended Phear, and that was its origin.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

Wow…. Phear’s musical influences. This is a long list, and varies per individual (laughs) You can definitely hear Iron Maiden and Judas Priest vocally in our music, as those gentlemen have shaped me, and continue to do so.

As far as the rhythm section, our drummer Chris is a massive groove player, so he would list the likes of KingX and Pantera as influences. Bass guitar….Bosh is a Metallica, Megadeth, Machine Head fan, etc…Can you see where I’m going here? It’s called thrash (laughs).

The guitarists have a massive range of influences. Graham leans toward Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, Devin Townsend, whereas Pat’s main influences would be Pantera, Death, Steve Vai, Jimi Hendrix, see….all over the map (laughs).

Last year, you released an EP, entitled ‘The Curse Lives On’. How was the reaction to that?

‘The Curse Lives On’ was a great experience….we did our first cover song on it….Iron Maiden’s ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’….a lot of work, but well worth it!

The fans have been amazing, and have shown great support, with fantastic comments on YouTube about the video. Think about it…. you are committed to watching a 15 minute song, however, we would like a lot more people to see and hear it!

We are extremely proud of what we did! We also did another original on that EP that’s a little different for us, a little Alice in Chains-ish song called ‘Dirty Work’, which also has a video for it.

There’s actually a little story relating to that…..we shot the video for ‘Dirty Work’ on the Saturday, filmed a interview on the Saturday evening, and shot the video for ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ on the Sunday.

Again, this is what I mean by a lot of work…… but we love it!!!!

How is the overall experience for the band playing live?

It’s awesome! For a relatively new band, we have very big production values, what with lasers, smoke, strobes, moving lights, geysers, etc.

We said from day one….our live show should be an event, a moment, a memory, as there are so many talented bands out there, you need to stand out.

For us, it’s about putting on a show. We also have fun on stage. We do our best to be professional, but we have a great time playing music for our fans, and, as I always say to the guys before we go out there, have fun, because fun translates. If we are having fun, then the audience is having fun with us, and the response we have had for our live shows have been amazing!!!

What’s next for Phear?

Well, as you know, we recently signed with RFL Records, and we will be releasing a new album, ‘Insantiarium’, on November 30, so currently, we have a lot on the go.

Actually, as I’m answering this question, we are planning our photo shoot for the booklet that will go with the CD of the album, and we are also currently storyboarding a new video for our first single, ‘Fallen’.

We constantly update our website, so we can keep our fans informed of what we have going on. We have also written four songs for our next album, and we are working daily with the guys at RFL to make sure everything is complete and up-to-date. It’s very busy, but then again, it’s awesome!

When the dust settles a bit from all that, we will all sit down and discuss touring, when, where, etc, so there is currently a lot of excitement in both the Phear and RFL camps!














After The Fall band photo



With an unapologetically loud hard rock sound, lyrical content that deals straight to the point with their own real life experiences, and an enthusiastic approach to playing live, four-piece After The Fall are currently creating much buzz across the US, especially in their home city of Pittsburgh.

The band’s drummer, Matt Ferrante, spoke to me recently about their eagerly-anticipated debut album, ‘My Confession’, out next month, sharing the stage with the likes of Sevendust and Corrosion Of Conformity, and much more.

How did the band form?

After Steve and I’s last long-time band, Hybrid, split up, we decided to pick up the pieces and form a new band. Actually, Steve and I have been playing together since 1997!

From where did the name After The Fall originate?

After The Fall originally consisted of two bands that had broken up, Hybrid, and Sundog. I heard the Journey song of the same name on the radio that morning, and we decided we were what was left “after the fall” of the other two bands (or something corny like that).

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

We just write songs that we like, songs that can make us happy, and that are fun to perform. We make sure we can perform live anything that we record. We like catchy, uplifting choruses too!

What inspires the band lyrically?

Doug does the lyric writing, but I do know that he is inspired greatly by what he sees in real life, as his lyrics are mostly real life experiences.

In 2014, you brought out a debut EP, which was very well-received. Was that something you all were expecting when recording it?

We never know what to expect. Like I said earlier, we just write tunes we love, and hope others receive them well too!

Next month, the band will be unveiling their first album, entitled ‘My Confession’. How has the recording process been for that?

The recording process for that record was a lot of fun. We travelled to Plain City, Ohio, to record, and spent about a week there. We learned a lot about working in the studio, and from our producer, Sean Lee. We’d basically get to the studio for about 8am, and leave there around 6pm most nights, for about a week. It was a lot of work and travel, but it was all worth it.

And how will the upcoming release differ to the work you have put out up to now?

We think the material on ‘My Confession’ is better than anything we’ve done so far, and we’re hoping that by pushing this one overseas, we can explore an entirely new demographic that might enjoy our music too.

The band are from Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. How is the contemporary rock and metal scene over there?

It’s basically the same as it is in Philadelphia, and certain parts of Pennsylvania are hot spots for bands getting signed and making it big, so to speak… (Halestorm, Motionless In White, Breaking Benjamin, etc). It does get tough to find the right audience, though.

How is it overall, for you all, playing live?

Like a drug! We love everything that goes along with making music, but playing live is our favourite thing to do, as with every show we play, we’re like four little kids on Christmas morning!

And you’ve shared the stage with the likes of Sevendust and Corrosion Of Conformity. How were they as experiences?

Those shows were incredible. We’ve played with Sevendust three times, actually. We have shared the stage with many nationally-known acts, but opening for Warrant last year was by far my personal favourite!

And finally, album aside, what has the band got lined up over the next couple of months?

We are hopefully going into Innovation Studios to record at least two more songs, one of which we plan to shoot a music video for, and a lyric video for the other.

Eventually, we’d like to release another EP in the near future, as well, along with playing some new incredible venues along the way. Above all, our plan is to play…

After The Fall Album Cover








The Baskervilles band photo

THE BASKERVILLES (from l-r): James Betts, Aaron Lamb, Callum Ferguson, Blair Ferguson


Drawing influence from the likes of Royal Blood and The Amazons, Suffolk four-piece The Baskervilles specialise in a raw, energetic sound that includes elements of rock, indie, and hip-hop.

With this, the band have received overwhelmingly positive reviews, and been championed by BBC Introducing, which led to the quartet performing at Reading & Leeds as the long, hot summer of 2018 was drawing to a close.

Two members of the collective, James Betts and Aaron Lamb, recounts the experience of playing at such a high-profile festival, and also spoke to me about their latest single, ‘Blind Ambition’.

How did the band get together?

JAMES BETTS: Me and Aaron were in a band together, Callum and Blair were in a different band together, but we all sort of got tired of our respective outfits, and wanted to try something new.

The Baskervilles has been our chance to really make the music we want, we don’t set boundaries on what it should be, we just follow the ethos of if it feels good, then do it.

How did the name The Baskervilles come about?

JAMES: What drives us is summed up quite succinctly in our name, The Baskervilles is obviously a nod to the Sherlock Holmes novels, and what always drove Sherlock to solve the grizzly crimes of the day wasn’t any morality, or message, it was the hunger to solve the puzzle.

That’s kind of what it’s like for us, it isn’t about fashion, or morality, or a message, it’s a completely amoral hunger to write music purely bought about by a hunger to write music.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

AARON LAMB: We don’t really have a set approach. We’re always trying new ways of writing, sometimes, we might get really obsessed with focusing on different production styles, but then other times, it might all be about trying to create something that just has raw live energy.

The one thing that always stays the same is that the whole band has input and not just for their own parts, we’re always working with each other and challenging each other to re-think ideas.

Just like our music, our writing process evolves and adapts to the frame of mind we’re all in.

What inspires the band lyrically?

JAMES: We don’t tend to write happy songs, not because we’re miserable, it’s just because it can sound a bit mindless. There’s a lot of completely meaningless music out there, and we’re always sure to avoid that.

I think a good song makes you feel like someone out there feels exactly the same way you do, the words should sound like someone sat at the end of your bed articulating all the thoughts you’ve struggled to articulate yourself, and a lot of the lyrics come from this mentality of indifference.

Our generation is in a unique position, being born in the 90’s, we were raised under the mentality of “work hard and you can achieve anything” that held true for previous generations.

However, ours is different, the opportunities sit with a small chunk of the population now that the scale is tipped. There’s a bleakness in young peoples’ lives now, and I think our songs really smack of that nihilistic world view so many people hold now.

Recently, you brought out a new single, entitled ‘Blind Ambition’. How was the recording process for that?

AARON: We always work in the same studio with the same producer, Tom Donovan. The amazing thing about Tom is that he really gets what we’re trying to do, and helps push the ideas even further.

Whenever we go into the studio, we always have a demo to work from, and Tom was really buzzed by the demo for ‘Blind Ambition’, especially because we wanted to spend time focusing on the electronic side of the song, like bringing in synths and samples.

We also had the track mastered by Mike Bozzi, who has worked with some amazing artists like Kendrick Lamar. This was the first time we have had a track mastered at this level, and we all felt the result was incredible.

And how was the reaction to the track?

AARON: ‘Blind Ambition’ has only been out for a couple of weeks, but the reaction so far has been great. BBC Introducing premiered it on their show, and the track was instantly playlisted by Spotify.

‘Blind Ambition’ and our last single, ‘Blood In My Mouth’ really feel like they are starting to cut through to people, and it gets me excited about recording new material and getting more releases out!

Will ‘Blind Ambition’ lead to an EP/album release in the near future?

AARON: At the moment, releasing singles is working well for us. It lets us put out a video and gives the song the chance to get traction without being lost in an album.

That said, we are certainly not ruling out an EP, as that is something we would love to do, but it’s all going to come down to have enough time to do that. There will definitely be more releases in 2019, we’re just not sure what form they will take yet.

How is it, for the band, playing live?

AARON: Playing live is what we live for. It’s always a massive buzz getting to play our tracks to an audience. We have been incredibly lucky to have had the chances to play all over the UK, and we’re actually about to play a number of dates across the UK in November and December, which we can’t wait for.

And you’ve performed at some high-profile festivals and venues, including Reading & Leeds, and Love Music Hate Racism. How were they as experiences for the band?

AARON: Reading & Leeds was literally a dream come true. Everything about it was amazing. Reading was the first big festival I had ever been to, so getting to play it was incredible. We got to meet some awesome people, and we just an amazing time.

Being involved with things like Love Music Hate Racism is also amazing, as it’s great to be able to use our platform to try and make a difference.

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

AARON: More songs, more gigs, more festivals, basically to take the band as far as it can possibly go.

The Baskervilles Single Cover



The Baskervilles tour poster










Gallows Circus band photo

Faintly tipping their hats to past rock masters, Gallows Circus have crafted a sound that calls upon the passion of Free, fortified by the snarly riffery of Guns N’ Roses, and the emerging Kent quartet will be releasing their blistering brand new single, ‘Faith To Believe’, via all platforms on Friday 30th November.

Gallows Circus formed last year, and ever since, they have been making new friends and picking up fans right across the country. The talented dirty-blues rockers dropped their self-titled debut EP last year, notching up a tidal wave of support from the underground.

The four-piece have built on these steady foundations, and have created a live set that has been famed for its infectious groove, fiery spirit, and full-hearted execution.

Gallows Circus will now soon deliver their explosive new single, ‘Faith to Believe’. This absolute firecracker of a track was recorded at Squarehead Studios, and mixed at Outhouse Studios, and it’s destined to hit radio airwaves over the coming weeks.

Vocalist and harmonica player, Ian Day, talks about the single: “It is a song about struggling whether to put your faith in your instincts or to go with other people’s accepted ideals, being unsure if you’re letting your past influence your decisions, and seeking answers from others when you already know the path to take.

Following on from the new single, the band have a series of further singles and videos lined up throughout 2019, along with major festival plans. Stay tuned to the band’s Facebook and other social sites for updates and show announcements.

Gallows Circus Single Cover