DEAD REYNOLDS

Dead Reynolds band photo

DEAD REYNOLDS (from l-r): Ben Knowles (bass/vocals), Luke Green (drums), Callum Waterfield (vocals), Luke Reid (guitar), Dom Greenwood (guitar/vocals)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
PHOTO by IAN WARD

Recently, five-piece Dead Reynolds formed, comprised of former members of such bands as Phoenix Calling and The First, and brought out a debut single, entitled ‘Dust’, which showcased an alternative rock sound that is heartfelt and striking.

With a UK tour, EP, and album all to come in the next 12 months, the fledgling outfit spoke to me about all of that, as well as a little more about themselves.

How exactly did the band get together?

All of the lads have been in bands based around the Peterborough/Cambridge music scene, such as Phoenix Calling, The First, Damaged, and Jessie’s Ghost, and so have known each other for a while. Dom from PC was keen to get a new venture going with passionate people, and so far, it’s just worked a treat!

How did the name Dead Reynolds come about?

It’s a tip of the cap to Deadpool and Ryan Reynolds, as we are big fans of both, and Pool Ryan wouldn’t have sounded so good!

What are the band’s main musical influences?

So many. Current bands like Architects, Bring Me The Horizon, Fatherson, Boston Manor, Alter Bridge, but some that go back a bit like the Manic Street Preachers and Feeder, and some that go back a bit further like Def Leppard, Guns N’ Roses, and Van Halen. We just love rock bands!

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

We have to have a hook. There needs to be a melody to get us interested. Once we have that, then we can generally build out the initial idea into a structure. Words always come later.

The band have just brought out a debut single, entitled ‘Dust’. How was the recording process for that?

Dom wrote the song, took it to the new band, and everyone liked it. Whilst it was written on an acoustic guitar, and it’s now a full band song, it hasn’t changed really.

It was demoed in the studio and then recorded at The Den over three days, mixed by Will Coper and mastered by Ben Cotton. The process was easy, and those guys were so easy to work with!

And what can those who have yet to hear the track expect from it?

Big guitars and chorus with a great hook that we hope will still be buzzing around your head weeks from now!

Later this month, the band are going on an introductory UK tour with Tom Lumley. What can be expected from your live shows?

Who knows? Anything can happen. Tom is great, we really love what he is doing, and we are super excited to be sharing a stage with him. Big songs, loads of noise,  and people with smiles on their faces and dancing shoes on their feet!

Tour aside, what are the band’s plans for the near future?

So, our debut EP will be out next March followed by our first album next autumn, and we are looking at doing another tour next spring.

We are also really keen to give something back, so we’re currently looking at doing some nights in our local homeless shelter, as well as playing some street gigs, so that should be interesting!

And finally, what is your long-term aim?

More of the above, and more shows. To make in-roads into the local and national music scene, to talk to anyone that will listen, and to play as much as we can. Also, to make Dead Reynolds a household name!

Dead Reynolds band logo

‘DUST’, THE DEBUT SINGLE FROM DEAD REYNOLDS, IS AVAILABLE NOW.

THE BAND WILL ALSO BE EMBARKING ON A UK TOUR WITH TOM LUMLEY LATER THIS MONTH, FURTHER DETAILS OF WHICH CAN BE FOUND BELOW:

Dead Reynolds tour poster

MORE INFO ON DEAD REYNOLDS CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE BAND’S OFFICIAL WEBSITE, AS WELL AS THEIR FACEBOOK, AND TWITTER PAGES.

 

 

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SCOTTISH BLUES ROCKERS THE HOWLING LORDS DROP NEW VIDEO AHEAD OF SECOND ALBUM RELEASE

The Howling Lords band photo

Scottish hard-edged dirty blues-rock trio The Howling Lords have just set loose the new video for the track, ‘Black Dog’, which has been picked from their forthcoming sophomore album, ‘Texas Medicine’, out via all platforms on Friday 30th November.

Expressing a guttural, dirty garage rock sound with heavy riff-laden tracks evoking everyone from The Black Keys and Queens Of the Stone Age, to The Who and Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Howling Lords are primed to break by the end of this year.

Born in late 2015, and hailing from the Isle of Lewis in Scotland, a windswept and salt-blasted rock on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, The Howling Lords have a steely grit and determination to persistently expand their horizons – this trio are not bound by any geographical complexities.

The band are prolific live performers, playing and hosting gigs throughout Scotland, and embarking on a series of self-organised tours across the UK. From busking on the streets of Portugal, to entertaining crowds at some of Scotland’s best-loved music festivals, this three-piece are going from strength to strength, and making it look easy.

Besides possessing a hearty appetite for playing live and touring, The Howling Lords also have an impressive recording pedigree. Their first single, 2016’s ‘Bad For Me’, and self-titled debut album, which was released last year, both racked up strong support and praise.

Last year’s ‘Dead Letters’ EP also earned the band further plaudits, and helped pave the way for the group’s impending sophomore album.

The band are now geared up for the release of their explosive new album, ‘Texas Medicine’. Featuring ten cuts of intoxicating whiskey-soaked blues and gritty rock that exemplifies just why so many are latching onto the band, this album captivates and pulls in the listener from the get-go.

The high-flying trio will be announcing a UK tour for next spring, so be sure to hit up their socials for details.

The Howling Lords Album Cover

‘TEXAS MEDICINE’, THE SECOND ALBUM FROM THE HOWLING LORDS, WILL BE RELEASED ON NOVEMBER 30.

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

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

SOUNDCLOUD

YOUTUBE

LIGHT YEARS – ‘Afterlife’ TRACK-BY-TRACK

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Ohio-based pop-punk unit Light Years have weaved their way through the scene for almost a decade. Formed by vocalist Pat Kennedy, he enlisted Tommy Englert, Andrew Foerst, and Kent Sliney to round out the group in 2009.

They have notched up tours with heavy-hitters like Neck Deep, State Champs, Modern Baseball, Citizen and Turnover, alongside appearances on the Vans Warped Tour and So What?! music festival.

Recently, they announced their forthcoming record, ‘Afterlife’, is due out on November 30th, via Rude Records. The 11-track masterpiece was recorded and produced by Will Yip (who also produced the band’s 2015 classic, ‘I’ll See You When I See You’).

Now, less than a month from it becoming available, frontman Pat is here to give us a track-by-track insight into what can be expected from ‘Afterlife’…

‘BACK THEN’

‘Back Then’ quickly became one of our favourites during the writing and recording process. It has that classic simple rock and roll vibe, mixed with some new school punk rock, which makes for a very cool song.

Lyrically, it was written about our first tours and this weird gap of time between high school and college where none of us knew what the hell we were doing (still don’t actually), so we pretty much did whatever we wanted.

‘BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN’

We went into some new territory on this one, it’s heavier, it has different time signature for us, and we really kinda went for it. I think the riffs are great, and it is still super catchy.

We had a lot of fun in the studio playing with the dynamics of the song. We wanted the verses to be softer and somber, but then make the choruses feel huge.

I wrote the lyrics about the idea of how people love to say “follow your dreams” or whatever, but what happens when it doesn’t work out? You end up settling for a life you might have never wanted.

‘LOST ON THE WAY HOME’

We wanted to keep the energy up on this one. Once it kicks in, it doesn’t really let up at all. I love the driving bass and drum intro that Tommy and Kent came up with that really sets the tone for the song.

As for the meaning behind the song, to me, playing music has always been my cheap form of therapy, as no matter what I am going through at any point in my life, just getting to plug in my guitar and bang out some chords usually helps me feel better, and this song will definitely be a fun one to do live.

‘IT DOESN’T MATTER’

Another different vibe from our usual fare with this track. A more mid-tempo jam that has some cool dynamics in it. We used some cool guitar effects that make this song stand out a little differently than the others on the record.

The lyrics were kind of me battling with the thought of what will my life be like when Light Years isn’t a thing anymore (which is hopefully never!)

‘GRAVEYARD’

Kicking the energy back up here with this one. This song felt like a more traditional Light Years song from years past, but we tried some interesting things in the bridge and other spots to keep it sounding new.

When I am home, I work at a pizza place (believe it or not, being a band makes me no money!), which is right next to a cemetery, and a lot of times, I’ll see funeral processions go by on the street, and I always think how that must be one of the worst days of those people’s lives, but to me, it’s just another boring day at work.

So it is kind of dark, but I guess I just thought a lot about when we die, most of the world does not care.

‘HOW ARE YOU?’

With this song, it was all about the main riff that almost plays throughout the entire song. It is a pretty simple track, but those are usually my favourites.

The melody is super catchy, and sounds just like an awesome pop-rock song from the 90’s or something, plus, it is always nice to get to throw in a kick-ass guitar solo whenever we get the chance.

‘SHOULD HAVE BEEN’

Coming after the mid-tempo speed of ‘How are You’, we crank it back up with this jam. We kept it short, sweet, and straight to the point.

A lot of times, you can think about what you should have or could have done differently in your life, but you either learn from it and keep going, or give up, and that’s where the lyrics came for this one.

‘BOTTLE ROCKET’

This song took on a few different forms during the writing process, and finally came together in the studio with some help from our producer Will Yip. We originally had the idea to make it more of a chilled, laid-back track, but in the studio, it turned into a full-blown rocker.

Sometimes, it just takes an outside ear to find the missing piece of the song and make it what it should be, and that’s what Will does for us. I’m glad we stuck with it, because it has become one of our favourites of the entire album.

‘BURNING IN MY BLOOD’

This was a very fun song to write and record. It started with Tommy just messing around with the riff on bass at practice, and we all kind of joined in and wrote it very organically. We didn’t want to overthink it too much, and kept it simple and straightforward.

Sometimes, you need a reminder of why you do the things you do, and for me, music is just something I want and love to do, so whether anyone is listening, I still have the drive to do this, and that is what the song is about.

‘PARADISE’

We were on the fence going into the studio about this one, but after we laid it down, we loved it. It is pretty much a party, start to finish, and if you don’t like it, then you have no soul.

‘IF I KNEW THEN’

The biggest-sounding song on the record, and it had to be the closer. It’s more of a serious song about childhood memories and regrets throughout my life, having to deal with loss, and realising you still have to keep going.

The outro has four different vocal melodies going at once, tons of wild percussion, and big, big guitars. Will really helped us make this song sound huge, and make it the perfect way to end this record.

Light Years band photo

‘AFTERLIFE’, THE FOURTH ALBUM FROM LIGHT YEARS, WILL BE RELEASED ON NOVEMBER 30, VIA RUDE RECORDS.

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

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

BANDCAMP

 

 

GALLOWS CIRCUS

Gallows Circus band photo

GALLOWS CIRCUS (from l-r): Richard Tunbridge (bass), Jim Rycroft (guitar), Ian Day (vocals), Steve Kitchener (drums)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Inspired by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Black Stone Cherry, and Guns N’ Roses, emerging Kent four-piece Gallows Circus play a gritty brand of blues rock, full of catchy riffs, strong rhythms, and a melodic vocal delivery.

Towards the end of last year, the band released a self-titled debut EP to critical acclaim, and an enthusiastic reception from their rapidly-expanding fan base, who have also been impressed by the quartet’s memorable stage presence.

With a new single coming out later this month, the collective’s frontman, Ian Day, spoke to me about what can be expected from that, as well as the great year him and his band mates have had.

How did the band form?

I decided to have a break from playing in bands, so I went travelling for a year. At one point, I was living off busking and realised how much I missed it.

I then made the decision to start something new when I got home, so I contacted Jim and Steve to see if they were up for a jam when I got back. Steve brought Rich along, and in a short space of time, we had some tracks with real potential!

How did the name Gallows Circus come about?

Well, I was telling Jim how I’d always liked referring to entertainment as “the circus“, and if only we could get the word “gallows” to somehow go with it.

Anyway, he was like, “How about Gallows Circus?… I’m not sure how we didn’t spot that straight away! (laughs)

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

The majority of the time, Jim will come to rehearsal with some new riff ideas, then we’ll jam out the different sections, then I’ll sing some nonsense lyrics over it until I’ve found a melody that I like, and then I take it away, and see where the lyrics want to take me.

Other times, we might experiment with something totally different to see what happens!

What inspires the band lyrically?

Things that happen in my life, or things that I’m thinking about at the time.

Towards the end of last year, you brought out your self-titled debut EP
to an enthusiastic reception and critical acclaim. Honestly, were you
expecting that type of response at all?

No, not at all! We literally wrote those songs as a means to get to know each other musically. We recorded them just so we had some songs to show venues to get some shows, and to help us spread the word, but people seem to really dig those tracks, so that’s super cool!

Later this month, the band will be unveiling a new single, entitled ‘Faith To
Believe’. How has the recording process been for that?

Fantastic! It was pretty straightforward really, as we had such a clear picture of how the song should sound, so it just kind of fell into place.

And how will the single differ from the debut EP?

I’d say it’s slightly heavier that some of our other songs, and it will definitely make your chin grow! (laughs)

Also, will ‘Faith To Believe’ eventually led to another EP or an album
release at all?

We have other songs, but at the moment, we haven’t made our minds up on how or what to release next. EP, album, or more singles…it’s a tough decision.

The band have moved crowds across the UK with live shows that are gritty
and memorable. How is performing for stage as an experience for you all?

That’s what we do it for! We totally love performing live. When you see other people singing your lyrics back at you…that’s a great moment!

Single aside, what are your plans for the near future?

To get more songs released in 2019, to get on the bills of some cool festivals, and to really grow our social media.

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

To make this our full-time career, and to play our songs to as many people as possible!

Gallows Circus Single Cover

‘FAITH TO BELIEVE’, THE NEW SINGLE FROM GALLOWS CIRCUS, WILL BE RELEASED ON NOVEMBER 30.

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

 

PSYCHEDELIC ROCK QUARTET DESERT CLOUDS ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM

Desert Clouds band photo

With a diverse and broad spectrum of influences sweeping from Leonard Cohen to Black Sabbath, and from The Doors to Soundgarden, Desert Clouds pull you in and wash you over with their own brand of atmospheric alternative rock. The band release their engulfing new album, ‘Nothing Beyond The Cage’, on Friday 18th January.

Desert Clouds were originally formed back in 2008 in Naples, Italy. They broadened their horizons in 2010 by permanently moving to London, and soon began to forge their sound.

The band unfortunately suffered a change in personnel, and the psychedelic rockers struggled with recruiting permanent members. It took some time, but they pulled it together to create last year’s ‘Time Distortions’ EP, and everything began to shift for the four-piece.

The EP made its mark, firmly placing the band on the map, and it was quickly followed by two singles earlier this year, ‘Speed of Light’ and ‘Under Tons’. The releases helped set the stage for Desert Clouds to finally break out on a national level.

The atmospheric grunge crew now have the perfect ammunition to propel themselves to the masses. ‘Nothing Beyond The Cage’, the crew’s highly intriguing concept album, ideally showcases the band’s songwriting ability and deftness for creating moody and all-consuming psychedelic rock.

The Londoners comment about the theme of the album: “‘Nothing Beyond The Cage’ is an introspective journey throughout an imaginary universe where the Spirit gets stuck into Space-Time’s distortion, until it eventually gets rid of all the constrictions that used to cage it.

Desert Clouds will tour throughout the UK in January, as well as playing a host of shows in their native Italy. Tour and show announcements will soon follow.

Desert Clouds Album Cover

‘NOTHING BEYOND THE CAGE’, THE NEW ALBUM FROM DESERT CLOUDS, WILL BE RELEASED ON JANUARY 18.

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

SOUNDCLOUD

YOUTUBE

 

THIS SUN NO MORE

This Sun No More band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Despite having formed a decade ago, at high school, Staffordshire collective This Sun No More are only now in the process of putting together their debut album.

The band’s journey over the last ten years has, at times, been difficult, with numerous line-up changes, but now, the outfit are at their most settled, having established themselves on the local music scene with an atmospheric brand of post-metal.

Prior to their recent set at Chords Against Cancer in Uttoxeter, I spoke to the band’s vocalist/guitarist, Pete Hill, and drummer, Andy Wheeler, about the release, due out early next year, and some of the experiences that they have had since 2008.

How did the band form initially?

PETE HILL (vocals/guitar): Well, it started with me jamming with a drummer I know, and he kind of wanted to just do Iron Maiden and AC/DC covers, so we were just jamming, and one of our guitarists now, he started off playing bass, during one of our practice sessions, picked up someone’s guitar, started playing this nice atmospheric post-metally thing, and from that point, we decided to work on something like that instead, and that’s pretty much how it started.

How did the name This Sun No More come about?

PETE: I don’t know.

(Andy laughs)

ANDY WHEELER (drums): I think it was always Joe’s plan, he’s our lead guitarist and main songwriter, to do a concept album based on ‘Dante’s Inferno’.

PETE: To be honest, I’ve never really grasped how Joe came up with the name.

ANDY: It’s something different, and all of the good band names were already taken.

(Pete laughs)

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

PETE: So generally, it starts with Joe writing a few riffs, stringing them together, and then he’ll bring them to the rest of us.

We all have an idea of how it’s going to go, we’ll say, “We’ll do a few bars of this, a few bars of that“, and then we will, we have three guitarists and a synth player, all start writing little bits to add to all that, and then make a few changes once we all start jamming it together.

ANDY: We just kind of go with the flow.

What inspires the band lyrically?

PETE: At the moment, we’ve nearly finished doing our first album, and that will be a concept album dealing with ‘Dante’s Inferno’ and the nine circles of Hell, so that’s what we’re doing at the moment, but we also take inspiration from all sorts of things.

ANDY: Stuff to do with what the circles are all about.

PETE: Yeah, and there’s quite a bit of Star Wars in there! (laughs) Also, I’ve taken some lines from ‘Moby Dick’.

ANDY: Basically, we write about the cultures that we’re interested in.

Last year, you brought out an EP, entitled ‘The Black Thread’. How was the recording process for that?

PETE: It was really good. We practice at a place in Stone called Tower Studios, and recently, the guys who run it installed a recording studio.

The recording process itself ran smoothly, we felt, as we’ve been practicing there for years, and we know the owners.

ANDY: Anthony Weaver, who mixed the EP, helped us out a bit to make sure it was the strongest it could possibly be, and yeah, it was a fun process putting it all together.

PETE: It was nice to have some input from somebody from outside the band, and Anthony is very musically intelligent, so it made for a smooth process.

And how was the reaction to the EP when it came out?

PETE: Generally positive. I think we got a couple of decent reviews online, but unfortunately, it didn’t go very far, because shortly after we had finished recording it, at the time, we had a female vocalist called Charlotte, so we had recorded the EP with her, but she left the band shortly afterwards, so we decided to rework a lot of the songs, and to make the vocals less clean and more shouty overall.

ANDY: We also incorporated more synths into the sound, which sort of filled in the gap left by removing Charlotte’s vocals, but ‘The Black Thread’ doesn’t really represent who we are as a band anymore.

PETE: Yeah, we’ve still got a few songs like on the EP on the album, but now, we’re focused on pushing the album forward when that comes out.

When do you think you’ll have the album out by?

ANDY: Early next year. We’ve still got two songs to record in the studio.

PETE: And sort out the extra bits.

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

PETE: Oh yeah, it’s great. We’ve been going for about ten years now.

ANDY: In that time, we’ve had members coming in and out, me included. In the past, I’ve been the synth player, then I left, then re-joined as a drummer, the bassist now used to be the drummer.

PETE: We’ve had all sorts of weird line-up changes, but we’ve been constantly gigging throughout, and that’s really our bread and butter.

Like I say, we’re only just getting around to finishing our first album, so we’ve put a lot of time in gigging.

ANDY: The initial sort of group that started the band have all been friends since high school, pretty much, so gigging together, we’ve all always been on the same page, really. We’ve always had that some connection, so it’s been good.

PETE: That’s what you do it for, the love of the game! (laughs)

And finally, album aside, what has the band got planned for the near future?

PETE: So, after the album comes out, we would like to do a full UK tour, just go up and down the country, playing at venues in major cities and further afield, and then look towards writing more music for our next album, just keep the momentum going.

ANDY: We’re not sure if we would do another concept album.

PETE: We’ll see how we feel when it comes to writing some new material, so yeah, the plan for next year is to basically get the album out, push that as far as we can, and see if we can get onto festival bills and the main gig circuit.

THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM THIS SUN NO MORE WILL BE RELEASED EARLY IN 2019.

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

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

BANDCAMP

SOUNDCLOUD

YOUTUBE