TWO YEAR BREAK

Two Year Break band photo

TWO YEAR BREAK (from l-r): George Lilley (drums), Dan Wright (bass), Brad Howard (lead vocals), Charlie Barnard (guitar/vocals), Tony Scibetta (guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Early last year, five young lads from London, who all share a passion for pop-punk and emo music, decided to join forces and create an outfit that would effectively show this.

Calling themselves Two Year Break, the band have since made quite an impact with an anthemic sound – which was reflected in positively-received debut single ‘Change My Mind’ – as well as sets at 2018’s Camden Rocks and Tramlines festivals.

With the quintet currently putting together their first EP – due out this summer – they spoke to me about what can be expected from that, the other things the collective have planned for the rest of 2019, and much more.

How did the band form?

There have been many incarnations of the band over the years, however, the Two Year Break that everyone knows and loves now was formed about a year ago!

How did the name Two Year Break come about?

It’s one of those names that means exactly what it says on the tin. The band was on a two-year break, then it wasn’t, and the name just stuck from that point.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

We tend to write about things that are personal to us, as collectively, we have all been to some dark places, and the music is a way for us to vent and ultimately heal.

Hopefully, people hear this in our songs, and realise that they aren’t alone with their struggles.   

What inspires the band lyrically?

Lyrically, we are inspired by any band that conveys emotion in their storytelling. The range of genres we like between us may actually surprise a lot of people, but the emotion is a common thread between it all.

Last year, you released your debut single, entitled ‘Change My Mind’. How was the recording process for that?

The recording process was really good, we worked with Clint Murphy, who has been our producer for a while now, so we are a well-oiled machine at this point when it comes to recording.

However this was the first time we had recorded with Brad, and it was amazing to see him smash it out of the park.

And how was the reaction to the track?

Overall, there has been a really positive reaction to the track. We are all pretty normal guys, and to see all the nice messages and comments people are sending our way just adds to our drive to push forward and progress with our music.

You’re planning to release a debut EP at some point this year. How is that coming along?

It’s actually almost complete, we are scheduled to go into the studio at some point in the next few months to record the final two tracks, and then all that’s left to do is make some cover art and give it a name, which, at the moment, is ‘Funkytown Madness’!

And what can be expected of that?

It will be a five-track EP that will take whoever listens to it on a journey to the depths of darkness and back out, all with the pop-punk sound that we love. We feel the songs that are on it are our best to date, and we can’t wait to share them with the world.  

The band performed at Camden Rocks and the Tramlines festival in Sheffield last year. How were they as experiences?

Camden Rocks is always good fun, the best part hands down is doing what we love (playing our songs), and the fact that there are also loads of other really talented bands on the bill that we can see for free afterwards is always a winner.

Tramlines was an experience as it meant playing away from our home ground, and the stories of the road…. maybe one day, we will share them.

And how is it overall playing live?

Playing live is one of the best feelings in the world, as the energy we give out on stage gets absorbed by the audience, and they throw it back at us twice as powerfully! We’re hugely grateful for anyone who ever comes to see us play, and we give it our all every time.

And finally, EP aside, what else do you have planned for the rest of 2019?

We have big things planned for the rest of 2019. We hope to release a couple more tracks and music videos throughout the year, and really grow our fanbase.

There will be some cool merch available from our store, and plenty of gigs and little surprises sprinkled throughout, and if anyone would like to keep up to date with our movements, they can join our mailing list, and to do that, just visit our website to sign up.

Two Year Break Single Cover

‘CHANGE MY MIND’, THE DEBUT SINGLE FROM TWO YEAR BREAK, IS AVAILABLE NOW, AND THE BAND’S FIRST EP WILL BE RELEASED LATER THIS YEAR.

TWO YEAR BREAK WILL ALSO BE PLAYING AT THIS YEAR’S CAMDEN ROCKS FESTIVAL, FURTHER DETAILS OF WHICH CAN BE FOUND BELOW:

Camden Rocks 2019 Poster

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

YOUTUBE

 

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BACKROADS

Backroads band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Just over a year ago, Bristol collective Backroads brought out their debut EP, ‘Faith Left Me, You Did Too’, which comprised of a lyrically-charged melodic metalcore sound, was very well-received, and even topped the iTunes metal charts.

The band followed this up by performing captivating headline sets and support slots for the likes of Dream StateHaggard Cat, and Bertraying The Martyrs, and looked set to work on some new music until drummer Jack Ford decided to leave last December in order to pursue a solo career.

Prior to this, I spoke to the then four-piece, and this is what they had to say:

How did the band get together?

The band started with Alex, Eddie and Jack all meeting in college and working together to write some songs. Kyle – who had been a close friend of Eddie’s for a few years – later came into the band when an opening for a second guitarist came about.

How did the name Backroads come about?

The name Backroads actually comes from the song of the same title by Lonely The Brave, after we had struggled, for what felt like an eternity, for band names.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting? 

All of our songs will usually stem from ideas by Kyle and Alex, which are then demoed up at home and sent across to each other. We then send the tracks to Jack, so he can put his drums on them, and then from there, we work on our vocals. It’s a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

What inspires the band lyrically?

We’re inspired by all sorts of subjects, but we always make sure that they are things we care about, as our lyrics are something we pride ourselves on, and we wouldn’t want to write about something that we don’t feel passionately about.

Some of our songs talk about love and relationships (‘A House For Casey’, ‘The Death Of Love’), to mental health (‘I Am Lost’), to more political subjects like ‘Book Burner’, which is about the misuse of power from people in a higher position, whether that be political, religious, or anything in between. 

Last year, you brought out your debut EP, ‘Faith Left Me, You Did Too’. How was the recording process for that?

The recording process was great for us. We worked with Tobias Faulkner from Hollow Home Studios, and we spent a lot of time with him down in Somerset. It was a really comfortable experience for us all. 

And the release topped the iTunes metal charts. You all must have felt good about that.

KYLE HERBERT (guitar): It was crazy. I remember being at work at around 2am, and checking the charts just out of interest to see if we’d even scrape the barrel and just seeing our position. I called Eddie and Alex straight away, regardless of if they were sleeping, and was just screaming down the phone at them in excitement. 

The band sold out their first headline show, in their home city of Bristol. How was that as an experience? 

Selling out shows is something we never imagined we’d do, so hearing people sing back to us and watching them enjoy themselves to our music is incredible. 

And how was it supporting the likes of Dream State, Haggard Cat, and most recently, Bertraying The Martyrs?

Phenomenal, because again, we never thought we’d be playing stages with bands like that. They’re extremely talented bands, and definitely make us want to keep pushing forward with our goals. 

And finally, what are your plans for 2019?

Currently, we have a few unannounced tours in the works, as well as talks for Europe at the end of the year, and we would really like to hit up some small festivals if we can too.

We’re in the process of writing right now, so that’s all very exciting too, and these new songs are where we’ve really found our feet as writers, so we can’t wait to show everyone.

‘FAITH LEFT ME, YOU DID TOO’, THE DEBUT EP FROM BACKROADS, IS AVAILABLE NOW, AND FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

YOUTUBE

CLIMATE OF FEAR

Climate Of Fear band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Having been described as “the UK’s angriest new metal band“, Climate Of Fear bring to the table a sound that combines the best elements of death metal, hardcore, and beatdown, along with lyrical content that reflects their anti-establishment views.

Since forming in 2017, the five-piece have toured relentlessly, performing at venues and festivals across the UK and continental Europe, and with a well-received debut EP already under their belts, the collective recently unveiled their first album, entitled ‘The Onset Of Eternal Darkness’, which I spoke to frontman Paul Williams about just prior to its release.

How did the band form? 

We all came together after knowing each other from previous bands, and it just went from there. Some songs that were on ‘Holy Terror’ (the band’s debut EP, released last year) had already been pre-recorded, and once I put my vocals down, the band was formed.

How did the name Climate Of Fear come about? 

We wanted a name to capture a number of the subjects we write about, and I feel this does this.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting? 

When it comes to songwriting, it is one of those bands where everyone gets involved, as the initial idea will stem from someone, and then from there, everyone will put in their ideas.

What inspires the band lyrically? 

There is – and has been – a lot of negativity, and a conflict of different ethics used to control and manipulate us, historically, and right up to the present day, whether that has been through the use of religion or capitalism, and it’s these type of subjects that inspire us.

Last year, you released your debut EP, ‘Holy Terror’. How was the reaction to that? 

For us, we just put down a bunch of metal songs down that we all enjoyed, and we didn’t set any expectation as such, but the EP sold really well, and to see people coming to shows and shouting back the words was really cool, and hopefully, a lot of those fans will enjoy the album when it comes out.

Shortly, the band will be bringing out their first album, ‘The Onset Of Eternal Darkness’. How has the recording process been for that? 

It has been crazy. After we came back from the Merauder tour last September, all of our time went into finishing the songs and getting them recorded.

We did have a few that were close to finished whilst we were on the tour, and it didn’t help that some of us were also playing in Merauder as well, but you’ve got to do whatever you can to make a tour work, but we are really happy with it, and we cannot wait for it to be released.

And how will the upcoming release differ to ‘Holy Terror’? 

A combination of new members joining and bringing in their influences, as well as a natural maturity from us, as already, we have brought in a lot of different influences on this record, in comparison to ‘Holy Terror’, and I feel we have definitely forged our sound a lot more. Also, as a record, it’s a lot heavier.

In just over a year, you have toured across the UK and continental Europe, supported the likes of Merauder and Malevolence, and have also performed at such festivals as Leper Fest in Belgium. How is the overall experience, for the band, of playing live and touring? 

The last year has just been crazy, from releasing the first song, to all the touring, and then writing and recording the record, but although it’s been fast-paced, it’s how we all enjoy being in a band, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

We have all played in bands previous to Climate Of Fear, and that has helped with playing live, as you aren’t making some of the mistakes you did when you were in a new band, learning the ropes, so to speak.

And finally, what are the band’s plans following the album’s unveiling? 

We will be touring and playing shows in as many places as we can, and we already have a UK run announced for March, with more to follow soon, and then, we will start writing album number two.

Climate Of Fear Album Cover

‘THE ONSET OF ETERNAL DARKNESS’, THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM CLIMATE OF FEAR, IS AVAILABLE NOW, VIA DEMONS RUN AMOK, AND FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THEIR FACEBOOK AND TWITTER PAGES.

 

 

REDWOLVES

Redwolves band photo

REDWOLVES (from l-r): Kasper Rebien (drums), Simon Stenbaek (guitar), Rasmus Cundell (vocals), Nicholas “Randy” Tesla (bass)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Over the past couple of years, Copenhagen four-piece Redwolves have made waves on the Danish music scene with a hard-hitting, rather psychedelic blend of classic and modern heavy rock that is topped off with distinctive vocals and frank, relatable lyrical content, and with the release tomorrow of their debut album, ‘Future Becomes Past’, the band spoke to me about how that was put together, what can be expected from it, and much more.

How did the band first get together?

Rasmus and Simon wanted to start a docile rock band up again in late 2011, so we contacted Kasper and Nicholas (we knew each other from our hometown of Sorø), and started the band up again. We wrote and recorded the ‘Wake Up’ demo EP, and from there, we just kept writing music.

How did the name Redwolves come about?

We had to change our band name in 2014 due to legal reasons. We have always been fascinated by wolves and wanted to keep that in our band name, so we came up with the name Redwolves.

The red wolf was an animal that was considered extinct in the 1970’s, but is somehow still around to this day. It is kind of symbolic for rock music as a genre, and symbolic for the resurrection of the band in 2012.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

We usually start off with a riff that Nicholas or Simon come up with, and then we take it to the rehearsal space and play around with it together. We write most of the song structures together in the rehearsal space, and then Rasmus writes lyrics and comes up with melodies.

When everything is done, and the song has taken form, we take another look at it, and from there, we make tweaks and change parts to make the song sound more together and whole.

We often have an urge to write the songs in a certain style, like a fast energetic song, or a slow banger, so our riffs reflect a feeling of a song more than a final product at the beginning of a songwriting process, and on our new album, ‘Future Becomes Past’, all of the songs was written like this.

What inspires the band lyrically?

All the lyrics are written by Rasmus and are inspired by events surrounding his personal life.

The lyrics on ‘Future Becomes Past’ are a mixture of real events and imagination, and reflect the state of mind Rasmus was in at the time of writing and recording, for instance, ‘Plutocracy’ and ‘Rigid Generation’ are a political criticism of our current society, ‘The Abyss’ and ‘Fenris’ are about personal demise and despair, ‘The Pioneer’ and ‘Voyagers’ are parts one and two of a sci-fi story revolving around a character named The Pioneer who experiences the worst outcome of his good intentions and a failed relationship with the love of his life, ‘Farthest form Heaven’ is about the worst day of your life, and ‘Temple of Dreams’ are about the best times of your life – both of them conclude that everything becomes past.

Speaking of ‘The Pioneer’, which was the band’s most recent single, how has the response to that been so far?

We chose ‘The Pioneer’ because we wanted to show people a different side of us and our music. The response has been great, and the reactions we have got have been as we suspected – it has been positive with a hint of surprise and wonder, and we think this song is a great way to show people what ‘Future Becomes Past’ is about as a record.

And how has the recording process been for the upcoming album?

The recording process has been a long one! We recorded all the instruments for ‘FBP’ in April 2017, with the vocals being recorded later that year, and we finalised the record’s mixing and mastering last June.

All in all, we have spent a lot of time to make sure this album would be as good as possible, and we took our time to make sure it became what we wanted it to be. The album has been recorded at three different studios, we had the absolute joy of recording the instruments with Jacob Bredahl at Tapf Studios, and recording the lyrics with Kaspar Boye Larsen (of Volbeat fame) as producer, which was awesome!

How will the new release differ stylistically from your older work?

This album contains a wider spectrum of dynamics and feelings than our previous releases. In addition to this, we’ve also experimented with different guitar effects and sounds, and the bass has become more intense and dynamic.

The focus on the sound of the band, as a whole, has been more refined, and we feel like this album manages to capture a lot of different styles of rock music as a genre, which we think defines the sound of Redwolves.

Rasmus, you have had a few traumatic experiences in the past. Would you say that music has provided an effective coping mechanism for this?

It certainly has. As I described earlier, I have the freedom to write very personal lyrics in this band, and through the writing of these lyrics, I have been able to describe my thoughts and feelings without any filter, which has helped me immensely in dealing with these horrible experiences.

When I write lyrics, it gives me an outlet to describe feelings and topics a lot more in depth than I would ever be able to in spoken language.

In my most personal lyric, which is in the track ‘Farthest from Heaven’, I touch on the most uncomfortable event I have ever experienced through metaphors taken from ‘Dante’s Inferno’.

Lyrics make it possible for people to understand and relate to an experience and the feeling involved, without having to experience the specific trauma themselves.

I have always been writing about traumatic experiences, even before I had a band, and it has always helped me cope with them, and to write lyrics and make it into music with the band is amazing, and hopefully, they make those experiences relevant to others.

How is the live music scene in Denmark at the moment?

The live scene in Denmark is thriving, and we have a lot of young bands making an impact on the music scene right now.

The radio is far behind on this, and usually only play what is popular in a more mainstream sense, but the underground music scene in general is doing really well, and there are a couple of indie labels who are doing great right now too!

However, we feel that we need to play more shows outside of Denmark following this release, as Denmark is a rather small country, and we might not appeal to everyone here, so we would love to play more shows around Europe.

How is the overall experience for you all of performing on stage?

We love to play live! Performing our music live for people is amazing, and we feel that this is a great way to connect with someone you don’t know at all. Our music is meant to be played live.

And finally, what are you plans for the future?

We are playing our release show on the March 22 in Copenhagen, and after that, we are going to play more shows around Denmark.

Also, we are currently working on setting up a tour around Europe this autumn, and while we are doing all of this, we are writing songs for a future release, so we hope that people will follow us in our future endeavours!

Redwolves Album Cover

‘FUTURE BECOMES PAST’, THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM REDWOLVES, WILL BE RELEASED TOMORROW, VIA ARGONAUTA RECORDS, AND YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE BAND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

THE ALCHEMY

The Alchemy band photo

THE ALCHEMY (from l-r): Sam Ewen (drums), Alex Porro (bass/synth/vocals), Rhys Taylor (lead vocals/guitar), Luke Welch (guitar/vocals)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Having grown up listening to a diverse range of bands and artists from the worlds of rock, indie, and electronic music, Kent four-piece The Alchemy have used these influences to create, to great effect, a catchy, anthemic sound, which has impressed critics and fans alike since the collective’s formation in 2015, and with their eagerly-anticipated debut album, ‘Chemical Daydream’, coming out towards the end of this month, I chatted to the quartet’s frontman, Rhys Taylor, and drummer, Alex Porro, about this, and much more.

How did the band initially get together?

ALEX PORRO (bass/synth/vocals): The band got together at the end of 2015, following the ending of two previous bands. We decided to join forces after Luke was made aware of Sam, as he was at the same university studying music, and as his group was coming to an end, myself, Rhys, and Luke were looking for a drummer to complete our new project.

How did the name The Alchemy come about?

ALEX: We had a few names, but we eventually settled on The Alchemy as it resonated with us the most, and when said, we felt it had a strong feel to it.

Also, the meaning behind the word, when we later looked into it, reflected us as a band in the way that we bring a wide variety of influences into our music, as well as the four of us all having a part to play in the writing process, much like the practice of alchemy, which was mixing lots of elements to create one.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

ALEX: We have a lot of influences. Everything from modern pop and R&B, to rock and classic stadium bands, examples being Sia, Post Malone, Biffy Clyro, 30 Seconds To Mars, Placebo, and older bands like The Police and Genesis.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

ALEX: Like all of our songs, we all have a part to play in its creation, as all of us are songwriters in our own right, and we create in our own time.

To start with, one of us will have an idea for a song, which we will then put forward, and then, if accepted, we will work on that until a demo is formed, which will then undergo changes if any one of us get an idea in which to improve it.

We always approach each song with an attitude of “How can we make this better?“, and I think, by having everybody creatively involved, makes for a better process overall.

What inspires the band lyrically?

RHYS TAYLOR (lead vocals/guitar): The thing with lyrics, I feel, is that they are the statement, the face to the track, the thing that people, I guess, relate to, or put to a moment in life.

When I’m talking about the lyrics in most cases, I never wanna say, “You know this is what this song is about“, but I know personally what I’m writing about or what I am trying to say in the songs, but I do like to cover them in a slightly more metaphorical manner overall, so that people can listen to it and just make up their own mind.

In 2016, you brought out your debut EP, ‘Modern Age’, to an overwhelmingly positive response. Honestly, did that come as a surprise to you all? 

ALEX: It was! We didn’t know what to expect, as it was our first release as The Alchemy with a new sound and direction, so to have a great response from every single we put out, even the EP as a whole getting attention in the way it did, we, as a band, couldn’t have asked for a better debut.

Recently, the band unveiled a new single, entitled ‘Better The Devil You Know’. How has the reaction been to that so far? 

ALEX: We have had a great reaction. We have had a lot of radio stations pick up the single, and we’ve also had a lot of positive reactions to the video as well, passing 10,000 views in under a few weeks on YouTube, and 17,000 on Facebook, so we’re beyond happy that people are finding our material online and really loving what we’re doing!

The video itself is the second installment of a trilogy story which begins narratively with ‘Better The Devil You Know’.

And the track is taken from your upcoming debut album, ‘Chemical Daydream’, coming out later this month. How was the recording process for that?

ALEX: We recorded in our own studio that we built and run. With the help of our friend and mentor/producer Paul Matthews from the New Zealand band I Am Giant, we recorded everything that is on the album in our own studio from the drums to vocals, guitars, and synths.

Having our own space makes the creative side of recording a lot easier, as we can be in there whenever we want, for as long as we want, and try new things and experiment sonically, and the process was a real learning curve, as it’s the first full length we’ve ever done, along with recording techniques we hadn’t used before.

Rhys is pretty handy in the studio already, but now, he has the experience of engineering a full length LP, as well as producing, so we learnt a lot along the way, which we, as a band, are so thankful for, as we would have never had that sort of experience had we used another studio.

Also, how will the album differ stylistically to ‘Modern Age’?

ALEX: In the LP, we mix a lot more of our electronic influences with most of the tracks having a prominent amount of synths and samples, and we even have a track that’s completely electronic, which is a route we’ve wanted to go down since ‘Modern Age’.

The band have supported the likes of Mallory Knox, I Am Giant, and The Intersphere. How were they as experiences? 

ALEX: As a band, we’re always keen to learn from anyone and everyone we meet in the industry, so to have the opportunity to support great bands, let alone ones we admire, and watching how they form a show and their stagecraft, is a golden opportunity.

We’re fans of all three of these bands as well, so it was a real honour to share the stage with them.

And how is it, overall, performing live?

ALEX: It’s an absolute rush. Playing live is what we’re in it for. We love being in the studio and experimenting, but the stage is where we get to let loose and make noise, so we’re always itching to get on tour and play.

We’re fans of bands that really bring a show, so we never hold back, and we even manage to get into the audience!

Lastly, what are the band’s plans following the release of ‘Chemical Daydream’?

ALEX: On April 12, for a week, we will be embarking on a UK tour, starting with a hometown show in Canterbury, to celebrate the release of the LP, followed by gigs in Leicester, Bridgwater, Cheltenham, and Worthing.

We will also be releasing more singles off of the LP, and we will also be bringing out alternative versions of all of our singles, which we are currently recording, and accompanying them will be some live videos.

Then, at the end of April, we will start recording again, so by the end of this summer, we will be ready to blast out all of those tracks.

The Alchemy Album Cover

‘CHEMICAL DAYDREAM’, THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM THE ALCHEMY, WILL BE RELEASED ON MARCH 29, AND FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

YOUTUBE

 

 

MCRAE

McRae band photo

MCRAE (from l-r): Joe McRae (drums), Jordan Davies (bass/vocals), Jake McRae (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Aidan Reece (lead guitar/vocals)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Hailing from Lancashire, McRae are a four-piece who combine elements of indie, punk, and alternative rock to showcase a sound that addresses both a sense of aimlessness and optimism, which has resulted in them quickly gaining much popularity and acclaim across the north-west of England.

Now, with new single ‘Postapocalipstick’, the collective hope to spread their reach further around the UK, and beyond, and the quartet recently told me how they plan to achieve this, along with a whole host of other band-related topics.

How did the band initially form?

Jake and Aidan were previously in another band, of which two members left at the last minute, leaving us to quickly fill the slots with Jordan and Joe for upcoming gigs.

Jordan was a mate of ours already, and we asked him if he could learn our set about two days before the gig, and soon after that, Joe, who is cousins with Jake, and after parting ways with his old band, was introduced into the band, and that’s when it all started to fall into place.

I know McRae is the surname of two of its members, but how did it come about as the band name?

When Joe & Jordan joined the band and began gigging regularly with us, we decided that the name needed to change from Jake McRae & The What Went Wrongs, as half of the What Went Wrongs had left, and it felt much more like a band now, rather than a singer/songwriter fronting a group of musicians as it had been before, so we wanted to change the name to something that was less of a mouthful, and that felt right for us.

It was actually Aidan and our producer that thought our best option was McRae, which, to be honest, we’re not crazy about, so it’ll probably end up changing a few more times in future.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

We were all brought up on what our dads were listening to, which ranged from classic rock bands, to northern soul. We like to think there are elements of all the types of music we listen to in our songs, and more recently, it has been the likes of The Libertines and The Strokes who have made a pretty big impact on all of us.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

Most of our earlier songs stem from a structure written with an acoustic guitar and lyrics, but more recently, we’ve built upon a sequence Aidan’s come up with, or even just from the four of us jamming.

Lyrically, it’s all written from common feelings from a personal viewpoint of a situation, and that usually ends up being relatable.

Recently, the band brought out a new single, ‘Postapocalipstick’, which followed debut track, ‘Cashback’. In your opinion, how have they been received so far?

We had been sat on ‘Cashback’ for ages before it was released, and when we decided to finally bring it out, we felt that we needed to film a video, so we did, and we kinda left it at that.

When it came to ‘Postapocalipstick’, we had more of a plan, and so far, we’ve had much more feedback and attention, which is all buzzing, because we think that it is the best song we’ve written so far, and it took quite a while to get it to where we wanted it to be, so to have such a great response to it has been really rewarding.

Having supported the likes of Urban Theory and The Hubbards, you will be opening for Ivory Wave in Manchester on April 27. For those who have yet to see McRae live, what can they expect?

We think of ourselves as a live band, rather than a studio band, so we’d suggest if anyone’s into our songs, seeing them live is the best way for us to demonstrate what we intended to write, and personally, we think there’s an atmosphere you can create at a gig that you just can’t get from listening to music.

And how is performing on stage, for you all, as an experience?

We’re all big gig-goers, and our favourite way to engage with a band is by watching them live, and so we try and make that impact on the people watching us, by keeping things as highly-energetic and loud as possible, and we have yet to play a gig that we haven’t enjoyed.

Following that gig, what are your plans for the rest of 2019?

We’ve got at least two more singles we’re hoping to release this summer, we’re also planning a headline show in Manchester, and we will be playing a few festival slots, but they’re yet to be announced!

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

To keep playing bigger and bigger shows, and to release more music, are about the only aims we’ve currently got, but also, Aidan wants to invent some gig tech!

McRae Single Cover

‘POSTAPOCALIPSTICK’, THE LATEST SINGLE FROM MCRAE, IS AVAILABLE NOW, AND FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

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UNCLE PAUL

Uncle Paul band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

From Blackpool, alternative rock three-piece Uncle Paul take a rather old-school DIY approach towards sound and lyrical content, preferring to just get together, play, and see what comes out of that.

It has served them well so far, what with the band bringing out three positively-received EPs, the latest being recent offering ‘Dot Rotten’.

To find out more about the trio, I spoke to their guitarist, Niall Carroll, and the following is what he had to say:

How did the band initially form? 

The band formed in 2011, with the intent of playing live improv shows, and we played quite a lot during our first few months as a band.

Looking back now, it is hard to believe we would show up and play without any preconceived notion of any song structure, as with each gig, we would discard any previous musical ideas, so we likely couldn’t remember what was played, and would start again!

The idea of having “songs” entered the frame once we had started recording our first EP. We decided to write original material, and from there on in, we jammed, remembered the songs, and quite liked them.

How did the name Uncle Paul come about? 

Everyone has a dodgy uncle or knows someone with a dodgy uncle called Paul, right?

What are the band’s main musical influences? 

It is hard to say really. We have never approached the band with a type of sound or a preconceived style or band we want to sound like, so I’d say everything from The Butthole Surfers, Melvins, Tad to Crass.

I think our influences play a subconscious role, but we never think about a band or sound when we are playing or writing, as we just get together and see what naturally flows.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting? 

The three of us get together, plug in, and play. It is as simple and as honest as that.

One of us will hit upon something, and it will evolve from there, but the three of us never spend too long trying to make a song work, and if it doesn’t work, then we either change it or forget about it.

With us being a three-piece and similar-minded, we are on a wave length which we can tune into and make music we all like and agree on. The first port of call is to anyways write music we enjoy playing and that we think doesn’t suck.

What inspires the band lyrically? 

Currently, I would say the 80’s pop sensation known as Tiffany. A lot of our songs are quite lyrically sparse, and can be interpreted how the listener chooses or feels. The lyrics aren’t too direct in execution, leaving room for them to bond with the music, which brings the vibe/energy of the song out.

Recently, you unveiled your third EP, ‘Dot Rotten’. How was the recording process for that? 

The three of us are best friends first and foremost, and we are never too precious about our own ideas. If it isn’t working, we just shoot it down and continue.

Our drummer, Luke Williams, has his own rehearsal and recording studio, so we did it all ourselves. That way, there was no pressure, we just hung out and pressed record.

We have an old school DIY approach to the band, and we just happen to be three dudes who write, record, and release our own stuff.

Daniel Worsley, our vocalist/bassist, handles the art, which I think perfectly brings the vibe and colour of the music across.

Each EP has definitely shown us evolve as a band, and I think ‘Dot Rotten’ is another step forward for us. If you play the three EPs side-by-side, they end and the next one then starts the same, and this was done intentionally to highlight how each release has evolved and yet flows into the other.

And how has the response been to the release so far? 

Once we had finished the EP, we threw a non-lavish release party. We got a few local acts playing along with us, and we gave out the CD.

So far, the response has been really positive, and people seem to be really digging the music. The three of us are quite proud of the songs, production, and artwork, and with this EP, we feel it really conveys the band’s style and intentions quite well.

Also, we have had a few reviews, and more requests for interviews, so hopefully we can get the music out there to more people who would dig it.

So far, the band have mainly performed live in their home town of Blackpool. How, in your opinion, is the rock scene doing there at the moment? 

I think there is a resurgence of the music scene and it can only be viewed as a good thing. Blackpool has plenty of great bands, and more venues need to take a risk and devote time to unsigned music.

There was a time where, from Thursday to Saturday, there would be three or four venues playing host to bands, and you would try and catch them all, but sadly, that dipped, and it appeared venues cared more for two meals for £10, and forgot about live music.

I think the tide is definitely turning now, though, as there are a wealth of bands bursting to get out and play, and Blackpool could certainly be the epicentre of a booming music scene for the north-west.

Personally, the Blackpool music scene has been a hidden gem waiting to be discovered for decades.

And how is the overall experience, for the band, of playing live? 

Personally, it is the best thing about being in a band. There is a quote in the Led Zeppelin biography Hammer Of The Gods where Jimmy Page is quoted as saying “the intention was to get out and play“.

Certainly, that was the intention of the early days, and still is now, because nothing beats getting up on stage and making a racket.

And finally, now that ‘Dot Rotten’ has come out, what are your plans for the rest of 2019? 

We are currently balls-deep in writing new material. We are about four songs in, and we hope to begin recording for our fourth EP this summer.

We have always preferred concentrating on EPs rather than albums, as I think our music is better digested that way, and it lets us cut the fat from our meaty musical selections.

Essentially, the three of us will continue to hang out, make fun of each other – once the tears have dried – and we will write a bunch of songs we like. We will also continue to play live at any venue that will put us on.

Hopefully, we can support Tiffany on her tour, because I am sure we will have a song she would like.

Uncle Paul EP Cover

‘DOT ROTTEN’, THE THIRD EP FROM UNCLE PAUL, IS AVAILABLE NOW, VIA INTROCLUSOR RECORDS, AND FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THEIR FACEBOOK AND BANDCAMP PAGES.