SYTERIA

Syteria band photo

SYTERIA (from l-r): Pablo Calvo (drums/vocals), Keira Kenworthy (bass/vocals), Jackie “Jax” Chambers (guitar/vocals), Julia Calvo (vocals)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
PHOTO by MARC McGARRAGHY of YELLOW MUSTANG PHOTOGRAPHY

Formed in 2015 by Jackie “Jax” Chambers, current lead guitarist of Girlschool, one of the pioneers of the new wave of British heavy metal, and including bassist Keira Kenworthy, daughter of Mike, former drummer of Raven, an outfit considered to be a major influence on such legendary bands such as Metallica and Slayer, Yorkshire four-piece Syteria pride themselves on crafting a heavy blend of punk and rock that manages to positively sound both nostalgic and modern.

With this – and some brilliantly put together live sets – the band have been able to leave a lasting impression on audiences everywhere, which is something they will be hopeful of doing again this year, what with a series of gigs and festival appearances across the UK, and the release of ‘Reflection‘, the eagerly-anticipated follow-up to their well-received 2017 debut album, ‘Rantobot‘.

Jax and Keira recently spoke to me about all this – and much more.

Firstly, how did the band form?

JACKIE “JAX” CHAMBERS (guitar/vocals): I’d always wanted to have another band besides Girlschool, so that I’d be constantly playing and recording, so at the end of 2015, I put the word out, and I found Julia through a mutual friend of ours on Facebook.

Julia then found Keira online, and then we got together with her dad Mike to rehearse, with Julia‘s brother Pablo helping us out on drums. We initially looked for a permanent drummer, but then we saw Pablo and how good he was, so we decided to keep him on.

How did the name Syteria come about?

JAX: I am heavily into meditation these days, and I was reading a book where I came across the word “siteria“, which I believe is a spiritual name of a flower. I haven’t seen that reference since, but I liked it.

However, I thought it would look better written with a Y rather than an I, so I changed it and put it forward to the rest of the band as a possible name. We already had a long list of possible band names, so we decided to narrow it down little by little, which was easy to do as all the other ones we liked had already been taken by other rock bands across the world.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

JAX: When I write a song, I tend to start with a drum loop and jam around with it until I find a melodic riff or something that works, and then build it from there.

I have a lot of words that I’ve written over the years, which I’m still writing now, as I really love writing songs, and I try to add as much melody as I can in each instrument, and then building it up with the harmonies to top it all off.

KEIRA KENWORTHY (bass/vocals): It’s actually not as straightforward for me, as I need to be in a mindset to write songs, and most of the time, I’m too busy playing bass! (laughs)

When I do write though, I will always start with the rhythmic parts before I even think of a melody. I may also write out a few lyrics beforehand, and try to imagine in my head what the music is going to sound like, so it fits in with those lyrics.

What inspires the band lyrically?

KEIRA: There has been a lot going on in the world lately, which has really got our creative juices flowing. What is there not to talk about?

We can all agree that this is not a very happy planet right now, what with corporations and governments consistently letting us down, and the only way that they will realise this is through a revolution that would give power back to the people.

JAX: Despite this, we try not to be too negative with our lyrics. We make sure that we add a little humour here and there, as there’s enough doom and gloom out there as it is without us adding to it, so we like our music and melodies to be uplifting, and we also like our lyrics to make people smile.

In 2017, you brought out a debut album, ‘Rantobot’, to rave reviews, and it was also nominated for an Independent Music Award. Honestly, were any of you surprised by the response the album got at all?

JAX: It was so flattering to read all the positive reviews, because as a band, and as a songwriter, the best you can hope for is that people out there like what you’re doing.

When we had finished recording the album, we knew we had something special, as we had put so much love into it in the first place, and I think we have something truly unique in that we have four-part harmonies, which we use in every song so it helps to give them that sing-along feel.

KEIRA: The response was truly shocking for me, as usually you would expect at least some divisive opinion when it comes to reviewing an album, so we feel fortunate to have brought out something that somehow managed to tick all the boxes with our fans, and hopefully, we will do just as well with the follow-up.

On the subject of the follow-up – entitled ‘Reflection’, and coming out later this year – how has the recording process been for that?

KEIRA: Myself, Jax, and Pablo have been travelling down to Wales to record the drum and bass parts, which me and Pablo have been pretty quick at laying down, as we both lock in as a rhythm section, and know our parts well. We actually managed to record those parts of the tracks in only two days!

JAX: It will be my turn to head into the recording studio next, to record the guitar parts, and then Julia will go in to do the vocals.

It should all be done within ten days, as we’re not one of those bands who will spend months in the studio, and we’ve split the recording process in two parts, as we’ll be playing a lot of gigs in between, including our set at Camden Rocks.

Also, how will the new album differ stylistically to the first?

KEIRA: This will be the first time that each member of the band has written a song, so the style will be more diverse, and with the songs that each of us has written, our influences and personalities shine through better, as each of our individual influences and styles have now become much more important to the uniqueness of our sound.

JAX: There will still be some rants in there, of course!

You mentioned Camden Rocks earlier. Which other bands/artists are you personally looking forward to seeing play there?

KEIRA: We’ll be headlining the Dublin Castle on the Sunday evening, so it would be great for us to be able to catch a few other acts beforehand. Personally, I would love to see Bad Touch and Black Sixteen.

JAX: Unfortunately, I’m in the unusual situation that I won’t be able to attend most of the festival, as I’ll be in Wales, recording the guitar parts for ‘Reflection‘. However, I will be coming down for the Sunday, and I’m hoping to catch some new bands, and also seeing what else is around.

I personally think events like this are fabulous, as bands who nobody may have heard of get the chance to play and potentially be discovered.

And it will be the first time the band will have played in Camden since your equipment was stolen, which must have been a rather traumatic experience for you all.

JAX: It happens, unfortunately, and it was such a downer after we had had a great night at The Lounge playing with Hands Off Gretel, another band who are from Yorkshire.

KEIRA: I think when you’ve heard so many stories of other bands getting their gear nicked, then you have no doubt in your mind that it could happen to you as well, so we have always been vigilant with our gear since the beginning, but it wasn’t enough to stop us getting nearly £1,500 worth of gear stolen by some scumbags.

JAX: And it wasn’t as if they had stolen it from outside the venue, as we had parked our car in the car park of the nearby hotel we were staying at, which was underground, had CCTV cameras, and was near the main entrance, so we assumed that everything would be secure.

Of course, the hotel management didn’t do anything about it, and the police seemed like they couldn’t have cared less, which was a shame, but we were just grateful that they hadn’t taken the car as well, so we went, “It could have been worse, and nobody’s died“, and just dealt with it.

You’ve toured across the UK, and have played numerous festivals, some as far afield as Greece and Thailand. How were they as experiences?

KEIRA: I loved it when we did the gigs abroad, as it always felt like we were going on a mini holiday, and even if we are away for only a few days, we managed to make our experience memorable in some way, for example, the first gig we ever did abroad was in Zurich in Switzerland, and we actually recorded a live album there, which unfortunately is no longer available, as it was only a limited edition release.

The Wildfire Festival in Scotland was also a blast to do, as we had a great crowd and a great sound. During the end of our set there, we were finishing off with ‘When I Get Out Of High School‘, and Jax noticed that there were some little girls with inflatable guitars, so we invited them up on stage with us, and afterwards, we autographed each one of the guitars. Bless ’em! (laughs)

And how is it overall performing on stage?

KEIRA: It’s brilliant! Pablo and I are very tight as a rhythm section, and each of the band members mesh together, becoming one full unit.

JAX: That’s where we really come into our own, as we all love playing live, and I think our personalities show through in every performance.

Even when we’re not really feeling it before a gig, as soon as we hit those first few bars of a song, we’re transported into our little world of fun, but we always try to involve the audience as well, as after all, we’re there to entertain them.

KEIRA: We have the energy, and we’ve got the look, plus some choreography! Come and see us to believe it! (laughs)

And lastly, album aside, what has the band got lined up for the near future?

JAX: With the release of ‘Reflection‘, we hope to be touring as much as possible, and right now, we’re in talks about a distribution deal to release it, but firstly, we’re currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the recording, so everyone who has helped in that will get their album three months before it is actually released, as our way of saying thank you.

Also, we will be putting out some new videos to go along with the tracks, which are always fun to do.

Syteria Album Cover

‘REFLECTION’ – THE SECOND ALBUM FROM SYTERIA – WILL BE RELEASED LATER THIS YEAR. THE BAND ARE CURRENTLY RAISING FUNDS FOR ITS RECORDING, SO IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DONATE, GO TO www.kickstarter.com BEFORE JUNE 6. 

SYTERIA WILL ALSO BE PLAYING AT CAMDEN ROCKS NEXT WEEKEND. THEIR SET WILL BE AT THE DUBLIN CASTLE, SUNDAY JUNE 2, AT 10:45pm. MORE INFO ON THE FESTIVAL CAN BE FOUND BELOW:

Camden Rocks 2019 final poster

ALSO, FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE BAND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

YOUTUBE

 

 

 

 

TOP FIVE BANDS/ARTISTS TO SEE AT CAMDEN ROCKS 2019

Camden Rocks 2019 final poster

by JOE WILLIAMS

Next weekend, over 400 emerging and established bands and artists will be descending on 20 venues across the famed London market district of Camden for the 2019 Camden Rocks Festival, and for those who are planning to go, here are the top five acts that you simply don’t want to miss out on:

The Wild Things band photo

THE WILD THINGS – Saturday June 1, 2pm, The Monarch

Reminiscent of Paramore, yet with a melodic, self-cultivated British twist, The Wild Things have been tipped as one of the dark horses of this year’s festival.

Fans of the acclaimed BBC TV show ‘Uncle‘ may well recognise vocalist/guitarist Sydney Rae White, who played Gwen, but on stage, she has a different presence altogether, and with a consistent string of songs in their back pockets, there’s no wonder why this British rock quartet have been tipped as ones to watch by the likes of Kerrang!Classic Rock, and BBC Introducing.

The Blinders band photo

THE BLINDERS – Saturday June 1, 7.30pm, Dingwalls

Replacing Welsh rock outfit Pretty Vicious – who have unfortunately had to pull out of playing at this year’s festival – the Doncaster three-piece are one of the more recognised names amongst the British alternative scene, and have been slowly but surely leaving their mark with some truly unique performances.

Accompanied by the powerful and dark tonal range of bassist Charlie McGough, and drummer Matt Neale, vocalist/lead guitarist Thomas Haywood has a stand-out range in his vocals that has rocked every room they’ve crossed since the band started out in 2016.

Three years on, they have recently been promoting last year’s debut album ‘Colombia‘ with much touring, and will be looking to continue their rise with a strong outing this June.

Frank Turner photo

FRANK TURNER – Saturday June 1, 8.45pm, The Electric Ballroom

Headlining the Saturday, the seven-studio album-producing punk and folk singer-songwriter needs no introduction to those close to the indie scene.

Following his time as part of post-hardcore collective Billion Dead, he ventured into his now-renowned acoustic solo career, and has since provided a taste of uplifting and empowering vocals across the world.

As well as taking to the stage as a solo artist, he has also reunited with his former bandmate, Ben Dawson, to form Mongol Horde, along with guitarist Matt Nasir, and Despite having been born in Bahrain, Turner has always been seen as a Londoner, and he will look to return that favour as he returns to Camden once again.

Best Of Enemies band photo

BEST OF ENEMIES – Sunday June 2, 12pm, The Black Heart

Following off the back of the first day, there will be no better place to get yourself settled back into the spirit of Camden Rocks then by going to The Black Heart to see pop-rock four-piece Best of Enemies, who will be making the short trip north from Croydon.

Showcasing their recently-released EP, the band look to take their ever-growing audience by surprise by encapsulating beautifully-paced vocals, and pairing them with addictive hooks.

Hands Off Gretel band photo

HANDS OFF GRETEL – Sunday June 2, 8.30pm, The Camden Assembly

Stemming shades of the 90’s grunge scene, the colourful South Yorkshire outfit will look to kick into a final night of Camden Rocks with the typical riotous swagger that has become a staple of the current line-up’s fearsome presentations.

Performing across the circuit since forming in 2015, they showed little mercy in releasing their debut album ‘Burn the Beauty Queen‘, which received plaudits from all corners of the UK, including Louder Than War, who stated at the time, “It marks the start of a career that could well see them becoming as big as Nirvana, Marilyn Manson, or Miley Cyrus over time….. given the breaks, and skilful management.

The band will certainly be hoping that their appearance at Camden Rocks will lay down further foundations for them to do just that.

TICKETS FOR CAMDEN ROCKS 2019 ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR THE SATURDAY, SUNDAY, AND BOTH DAYS, STARTING FROM £40. FURTHER INFO ON THIS CAN BE FOUND AT THE FESTIVAL’S OFFICIAL WEBSITE.

 

 

 

THE WILD THINGS

The Wild Things band photo

THE WILD THINGS (from l-r): Pete Wheeler (drums), Cam White (bass), Sydney Rae White (vocals/guitar), Rob Kendrick (guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Armed with a loud, eclectically-influenced sound, much confidence, and an overwhelming desire to do everything independently, London four-piece The Wild Things are currently making a real impact on the British underground rock scene.

Last November, the band unveiled ‘You’re Really Something‘ – their debut album – to positive reviews, and led the likes of Kerrang!, Classic Rock, and BBC Introducing to tip them as an outfit to watch.

Vocalist/guitarist Sydney Rae White – who has appeared in such things as BBC television programme ‘Uncle‘ and film ‘American Assassin‘ – spoke to me about the quartet’s journey so far, future plans, and more, ahead of their eagerly-anticipated set at the upcoming Camden Rocks Festival.

How did the band initially form?

Well, Cam is my brother and Rob is my husband, so it happened quite naturally through our shared love of music, and we later recruited Pete through our other shared love – Disney.

How did the name The Wild Things come about?

The Spice Girls was already taken. Also, The Wild Things is a name that really captures the essence of what we’re about.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

A little bit of everything, from Springsteen, to Wilco, to Carole King.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

From behind.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Our lyrics can come from anywhere, for example, we could be watching a movie, finding out how it makes us feel, and then we would use that to create something.

Last November, you brought out your debut album, ‘You’re Really Something’. How was the recording process for that?

Well, we recorded it in the basement of a castle, so it could have been worse. We’re currently hard at work on the second one!

And the album was overwhelmingly positively-received. How did the band deal with the response personally?

Lots and lots of pizza. Oh, and we went to Disneyland to celebrate too!

You have sold out venues such as The Lexington and the O2 Academy Islington. How were they as experiences?

The Lexington was great, as we curated the night, we got to work with some amazing new bands we loved, and who we thought deserved to play in a really cool London venue, as most of them had never played there before.

As for the O2… That was messy in the best way.

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

Playing live is what gets us the most excited, whether it’s in a dive bar, or a legendary venue. We’re happy, just as long as we can get sweaty and get in the crowd.

You will shortly be playing at this year’s Camden Rocks Festival. Which of the other bands/artists are you all personally looking forward to seeing?

One of our favourite things to do is walk around and find new music – that’s what the weekend is gonna be full of for us!

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

Album two, baby! And a big ol’ tour. Also, there’s some top secret stuff coming real soon…so follow us online to find out more.

And lastly, what is your long-term aim?

World domination – what else is there?

The Wild Things Album Cover

‘YOU’RE REALLY SOMETHING’ – THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM THE WILD THINGS – IS AVAILABLE NOW, AND THE BAND WILL BE PLAYING AT THIS YEAR’S CAMDEN ROCKS FESTIVAL (JUNE 1, 2PM, THE MONARCH)

FURTHER INFO ON THE WILD THINGS CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

YOUTUBE

 

TRIDENT WATERS UNVEIL NEW SINGLE AHEAD OF EP RELEASE

Trident Waters band photo

Hitting your senses, and coming at you like the offspring of a whisky-drenched Led Zeppelin and Hawkwind, the infectious groove and contagious riffery of Trident Waters are sure to ignite.

On June 7, the London trio will release their new EP, ‘Hollywood To Vegas‘, but in the meantime, they have brought out one of the tracks from this, ‘Eva Lane‘, accompanied by a video.

Having formed in 2014, the three-piece – comprising of vocalist/guitarist Andrew Knightley, bassist Wilson Zaidan, and drummer Greg Zaka – have dispatched an engrossing alternative rock sound underpinned by edgy blues rock, inspired by the likes of Rival Sons, John Lee Hooker, Winery Dogs, Albert King, and Joe Bonamassa.

The band are steadily picking up new fans, and have already extensively played throughout the UK, sharing stages with such legends of their genre as Michael Schenker, Hawkwind, Shark Island, and Procol Harum.

In the over-saturated rock world, not many bands have the capability and musicianship to stand out from the crowd, but the trio achieve this very feat by playing passionate, powerful, hook-laden tracks, enabling them to blaze a trail that leaves many of their contemporaries in their wake.

Having previously self-released an EP, 2016’s ‘Tales Of Conflict & Devotion‘,and an album, 2017’s ‘Seven‘, the groundwork is now in place for Trident Waters to propel themselves to the vanguard of the UK rock scene, and with their new EP promising to be the three-piece’s most accomplished work to date, 2019 looks set to be a monumental year for the band.

Trident Waters EP Cover

‘HOLLYWOOD TO VEGAS’ – THE NEW EP FROM TRIDENT WATERS – WILL BE RELEASED ON JUNE 7, AND FURTHER INFO ON THIS – AND THE BAND – CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

YOUTUBE

FIRST WAVE OF BANDS ANNOUNCED FOR MACMILLAN FEST 2019 – NOTTINGHAM

Oceans Ate Alaska band photo

OCEANS ATE ALASKA

Skarlett Riot band photo

SKARLETT RIOT

Macmillan Fest 2019 sees the festival in its 10th year of raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support, having started out with humble beginnings in a local social club to a multi-venue metropolitan festival having raised a staggering total of £38,000!

InVisions band photo

INVISIONS

One of the festival’s founders, and this year’s organiser, Kris Graham-Martin says: “When I started this event at the age of 16, it was hard to be taken seriously by any bands or venues at one point. For the first few years, it was difficult to find our feet and find our layout as it currently stands today. I’d say one of the biggest nightmare these days is co-ordinating announcements and organising 70+ artists. With all its challenges though, it’s still one of my most favourite events to organise every year!

The Bottom Line band photo

THE BOTTOM LINE

Parting Gift band photo

PARTING GIFT

The festival works to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, as well as to bring together the local talent of Nottingham with the wider UK music scene. Last year alone, £10,000 was raised, whilst this year, early bird tickets have sold out even before any band announcement!

MACMILLAN FEST 2019 – NOTTINGHAM WILL BE TAKING PLACE IN THE CITY ON SEPTEMBER 7, FURTHER DETAILS OF WHICH CAN BE FOUND BELOW:

Macmillan Fest 2019 - Nottingham poster

 

WEAK13 ALBUM EXCLUSIVE

Weak13 band photo

Despite initially forming almost two decades ago, and having amassed a loyal following over that period, it wasn’t until the release of debut album ‘They Live‘ towards the end of 2016 that Weak13 finally got the praise and acknowledgement they had spent such a long time working for.

They Live‘ caught a lot of bands off guard, as they weren’t expecting it at all, and if they’re really honest about it, it inspired some of them to really step up their game” recalls the band’s vocalist/guitarist, and man of many talents, Nick J. Townsend. “Also, it scared the hell out of critics because it meant that they had to tolerate hearing people calling us serious musicians.

Therefore, when the time came for the West Midlands rock collective to begin planning a follow-up, they realised that in order to effectively build on the momentum generated by their first full-length offering, everything had to be moved up to a whole new level.

We simply knew that we had to better ‘They Live‘ in every way possible, and this meant we had to make it bigger, better, and bolder than anything we had ever done before.” states bassist Wesley Smith.

And the best way in which to achieve this, the band quickly realised, was for them to record a double album.

As a rule, independent bands such as ours tend not to make double albums, and mainstream artists shy away from it. Loads of them talk about the idea, but in reality, when you hear the state of modern music releases, many struggle to write even three good tunes,” says Nick, “so we thought about recording twice the normal amount of songs, and making them all hit-worthy, stand-alone bullets.

Another reason for deciding to do this, Nick says, was a desire from himself and his bandmates to create something that would have the same lasting impact as a certain release from years before had had on them.

I remember when I was younger buying the ‘Use Your Illusion’ double albums by Guns N’ Roses, and thinking how brave and massive they were, as releasing what was essentially four albums worth of songs all in one go was unheard of even then, and we thought long and hard about Weak13 doing the same.

And so, for the last couple of months, the collective have been hard at work putting together what will be the first half of a 15-track release, the process of which so far has been relatively smooth and trouble-free.

From a bass point of view, it’s all falling into place very nicely, and its sounding amazing even at an unmixed stage, so that can only be a positive thing.” says Wesley, with Nick adding, “I’ve never felt this confident before in the studio, and I simply haven’t been able to get the tunes that we’ve recorded so far out of my head. Hell, I’ve even been playing air guitar to the raw mixes while listening to them in my car!

However, despite all of this positivity, the band’s devoted legion of followers will have to wait almost another year for the album to come out, with Wesley explaining, “We’re looking at getting it out by April or May 2020, as we want to make sure that everything sounds as good as we know it can be by then, but even that could change, as it ultimately depends on whether we’ll be happy with it.

Despite this though, Weak13 say that their second full-length offering will be well worth the rather lengthy wait. “It will have that classic Weak13 feel, but with a few shocking turns and twists” teases Wesley, with Nick adding to this by saying, “There will be a wider range of crazy shit happening. The last record did a really good job of introducing our sound, but this time around, it feels so much stronger, as we’re going to be doing a lot of brand new things that I know our fans are just going to love.

In the meantime, the band can exclusively reveal to us that the album is going to called ‘Aluminium‘, with Wesley saying, “We will leave the puzzle of why we’re calling it that to for the listener to solve when they hear certain lyrics and see the album cover, and interestingly, aluminium is the 13th element of the periodic table.

However, Nick is keen to point out that while that link is purely coincidental, the title is still important, concluding, “It will make more sense when you hear the whole album.”

‘ALUMINIUM’ – THE SECOND ALBUM FROM WEAK13 – WILL BE RELEASED IN APRIL/MAY NEXT YEAR, AND FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND HERE.

ALSO, DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THE AWARD-NOMINATED VIDEO FOR ‘CLOSURE’ HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOlfLaGUu_I

 

 

 

 

 

NEVERLANDED

Neverlanded band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Taking influence from such highly-regarded outfits as Placebo, Nirvana, and the Pixies, emerging three-piece Neverlanded – comprising of vocalist/guitarist Pete Bloom, bassist Niki Jester, and drummer Jaca Freer – are firmly establishing themselves on London‘s alternative rock scene with a sound that is dark, heavy, and highly-energetic, which the band effectively reflect with their live performances.

Now, with the trio’s debut EP, ‘F.u.U.‘ (short of ‘Fluffy Unicorns United‘) – which is being given away for free to anybody who donates to transgender charity Mermaids UK – having recently been released, they spoke to me about all of this – and more.

How did the band initially get together?

So far, we’ve been more of a collective of musicians rather than a band. We’re people who like being loud and getting together to make songs and be happy.

How did the name Neverlanded come about?

It’s imperative for any artist that they pick a name that represents them. You know, it’s exactly the same with people and pronouns. In our case, the name chose us.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

It depends on the song. Sometimes, lyrics will come first, or maybe a drum beat or guitar riff will. We prefer to listen with our hearts, rather than our ears.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Existence and everything in between. Life happens, and we keep notes in our mindiary, and sometimes, these musings become songs.

You’ve now released your debut EP, ‘F.u.U.’ How was the recording process for that?

It was amazing! ‘F.u.U.‘ was recorded at Hermitage Works Studios with Margo Broom, who the band learned so much from, as she truly is a scientist in her field, and then we got the tracks mastered by Pete Maher, who needs no introduction. It was a genuine pleasure working with both of them.

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

Anything and everything!

Also, the EP is being given away for free to anybody who donates money to Mermaids UK, a charity which helps children, young people, and their families, to achieve a happier life in the face of great adversity. How did the band get involved with Mermaids?

It was inevitable. If only people could realise what Mermaids UK really do, as they help children claim their birth right, be themselves, feel safe, and be happy, they also educate people, children, families, and communities, because educational and emotional support are much needed to create amazing adults.

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

Live and alive! Speakers, electricity, sweat and screams, every bit of it is vital, and the experience of performing in front of people, and hearing them singing along to songs you wrote when you were happy or had hit rock bottom, is priceless.

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

The songs that feature on the EP will appear on our debut album, and to support it, we’ll be putting out a couple of singles later this year.

So far, we believe we’ve represented ourselves with sound, but now we’re working on the visual aspect, so if our songs are like pages of a diary, called soundtrack, then the videos could be scenes from a movie.

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

Write more songs, play live more, make money to pay the bills, tour the globe, support certain causes, give love, be happy, and open for Garbage, Placebo, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Ho99o9, Refused, and other great bands and artists.

Neverlanded EP Cover

‘F.u.U.’ (FLUFFY UNICORNS UNITED) – THE DEBUT EP FROM NEVERLANDED – IS AVAILABLE NOW, AND FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

YOUTUBE

TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE CHARITY MERMAIDS UK, GO TO www.mermaidsuk.org.uk

 

 

DAZE

Daze band photo

DAZE (from l-r): Michael White (bass), Daisy Eaton (vocals), Scott Atkins (guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Having started out as a solo project of Oxfordshire singer-songwriter Daisy EatonDaze has since grown into a three-piece specialising in a dreamy indie-pop sound that truly reflects the laid-back personalities of its members.

However, the band are determined to make a mark on the British music scene, actively focusing on building up a solid fan base with plenty of live sets and single releases, and the following is what the trio had to say to me about all of this – and more:

How did the band initially get together?

The band initially started off as a solo project of Daisy‘s, and as new members joined, the sound began to change and mold into what it is now. We all met each other through college, where we studied music technology. 

How did the name Daze come about?

Originally, Daisy went by the name of Dais, but as more members joined, we decided to change the spelling, as it still looks and sounds good, but isn’t as personal just to Daisy

What are the band’s main musical influences? 

We take influence from many different bands/artists and genres, however, our main influences are Radiohead and The Japanese House

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

We all write separately and together, as we either will start a song in a practice session and expand on it straight away, or if one of us has an idea or has written something at home, we will email between ourselves and make it into a complete song. 

What inspires the band lyrically?

We take inspiration from many different things within our own personal lives and the lives around us, tackling subjects ranging from mental health to heartbreak. 

You recently brought out a single, ‘Growing Petals On The Walls’. How was the recording process for that?

It was a very chilled-out recording process, as we actually did it with a good friend of ours in his house. We knew exactly how we wanted it to sound, so we had been going back and forth on it all, and we all had a lot of input into it.

It was almost a little project between us all, and it helped us find a sound where we were really happy, especially as it’s so different to what we were doing this time last year, and this was really where we started experimenting more with our sound. 

And how has the response been to the track up to now?

We’ve had so much positive feedback on this track, which has honestly been amazing, as we honestly don’t think we were really sure what to expect when we released this little tune. 

The band have a few gigs lined up, so what can audiences expect from your live sets?

They can expect a chilled-out dreamy vibe, as we are very laid-back people, which in turn suits the music we write and perform. 

You’ve said on Daze’s social media pages that you’re currently putting together some new material. What will they be in the form of? (singles, EP, album?)

We have so much new stuff to put out, and we are currently recording some more singles. We have been working hard as a band writing so many new songs, and we have a handful that we are really happy with, so over the summer, we will be releasing another single or two, and maybe towards the end of this year, we will look into getting out an EP, but it all depends on how the songwriting goes.

We are really double-checking everything now, and making sure we are all 100% happy with everything we put out! 

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

We really just want to do music, as clichéd as that sounds, but this is what we all love to do, and if people like what we do, then it’s a win-win, so there will be more gigs, releases, and lots more writing for us!

Daze band logo

‘GROWING PETALS ON THE WALLS’ – THE NEW SINGLE FROM DAZE – IS AVAILABLE NOW, AND THE BAND WILL ALSO BE PLAYING SOME GIGS LATER THIS MONTH, MORE DETAILS OF WHICH CAN BE FOUND BELOW:

Daze gig poster

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

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CALAMITY

Calamity band photo

CALAMITY (from l-r): Benny Santos (vocals/lead guitar), Gonzalo Ortiz (rhythm guitar), Eduardo Acevedo (drums), Fernando Rivera (bass)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
ALBUM ARTWORK by FULTON HOOBS

The Caribbean island of Puerto Rico isn’t particularly well-known for its metal scene, but four-piece Calamity are determined to put that right by unleashing an aggressive sound that effectively combines the best possible elements of classic and more contemporary metal outfits, and with their second album ‘Kairos’ – which the band began to record in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which left a trail of destruction across their native country in September 2017 – coming out shortly, the quartet spoke to me about its at times problematic recording process, what can be expected from the upcoming release, and a host of other collective-related topics.

How did the band initially form?

We all came together in 2009, started making noises, and eventually some Metallica covers. After we did our first show, we decided to start making our own stuff, and so we did, and the name Calamity came in 2013 when Benny started singing in the band.

How did the name Calamity come about?

It was a long process…we spent like three weeks deciding how to make a perfect mix between the way we sound, the way we deliver on stage, the content of the lyrics, and to make reference to atmospheric or natural disasters. No regrets on the name we choose!

What would you say was your approach to songwriting? 

At the beginning, we wrote a lot about political and social problems such as corruption, drug addiction, and violence. Right now, we keep addressing those problems, but are also focusing on the way we feel about being alive, you know, and in the latest songs, there’s a lot of self-exploration and existentialism.

What inspires the band lyrically?

We would say we are inspired by strong feelings and thoughts. If we think something is completely wrong, then we will definitely write it down…if we feel like shit for a few days, there will be a song about that too. We always trying to fix the things that we don’t like by using music.

You’re from Puerto Rico. How is the metal scene over there? 

We love it, it may be small compared to a bigger country, but it is intense, supportive, and very diverse. There is a band for every metal sub-genre in Puerto Rico, and there is a lot of musical talent for a small island.

In 2015, the band brought out their debut album, ‘Imminent Disaster’. How was the response to that?

Everyone who listened to it was hyped and surprised. I think we made a statement with that one, that we was taking the bad stuff seriously, and we were aiming for the best, even though we didn’t have all the resources needed to make it possible.

And shortly, you will be unveiling its follow-up, ‘Kairos’. How was its recording process?

It was a wonderful process, because we had to overcome a lot of difficulties to make it possible. We started recording during the recovery process from Hurricane María (Sept 2017), there was no electricity in most parts of the island, and our recording studio (Mistique Red) was completely destroyed by the storm, so we had no studio, no money, no internet, we had only the vision.

We could make a full interview on all of the calamities we faced to make ‘Kairos’ a reality, and you will feel that in the album because we’re sure that we released all of the tension, passion, hate, and love on the music.

Also, how will the upcoming release differ stylistically to ‘Imminent Disaster’?

In terms of sound and productions, it is way more complete and professional. It terms of lyrics, we went deeper in our thoughts and emotions, so you practically can understand the whys of every song on it, the complete story behind them just by reading the lyrics, listening to them, and feeling them, and it is the truest we can get as a band so far. 

The band have toured the US twice, and have supported the likes of Skeletonwitch, Nervosa, and last August performed at the Full Terror Assault festival in Illinois. How were they as experiences?

It is always something unique and meaningful to share stages with bigger acts, and in front of different crowds. People always vibe with the music everywhere we play, and we all have a good time, and get to know some new bands and new metalheads. There are always great experiences!

And how is it – for you all – playing live?

It is our favorite thing to do, as we always have been a live band, before any demo recording, before any social media presence, and we have also always been a face-to-face with people kind of band. That’s the core of Calamity.

And finally, album aside, what are the band’s plans for the near future?

We would love to put together a new tour to promote ‘Kairos‘, will continue to release videos, and keep on promoting this new era of Calamity, so expect a lot of great things for the upcoming months!

Calamity Album Cover

‘KAIROS’ – THE SECOND ALBUM FROM CALAMITY – WILL BE RELEASED ON MAY 10.

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

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EAT YOUR HEART OUT

Eat Your Heart Out band photo

EAT YOUR HEART OUT (from l-r): Jake Cronin (drums), Will Moore (guitar), Andrew Anderson (guitar), Caitlin Henry (vocals), Dom Cant (bass)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Since forming in 2012, five-piece Eat Your Heart Out have made waves across their native Australia with a catchy yet meaningful blend of alternative rock, grunge, emo, and pop-punk, accompanied by lyrical content that is honest and relatable.

The band have also started to firmly establish themselves in the US, having toured there last autumn with Real Friends, as well as supporting such well-regarded American outfits as Sum 41 and The Story So Far, and with an eagerly-anticipated debut album, ‘Florescence‘ – which was recorded in Los Angeles, the quintet’s frontwoman, Caitlin Henry, spoke to me about that, the journey Eat Your Heart Out have been on up to now, and much more.

How did the band initially get together? 

Andrew and I had been friends for years, and we were in the same music class when we were 16, and we decided we wanted to make a band. I asked Will if he wanted to join, and he was doing a sound production course at college with Dom, so he asked him to join on the bass.

We asked Jake to play drums for us temporarily while we looked for another drummer, because we thought he wouldn’t want to be a permanent member, but then it turned out he was the best drummer in our town, and he didn’t seem to hate what we were doing too much, and now here we are six-and-a-half years later!

We’ve never had a member change, and I think even from the start – when it was just a bit of fun – we all had the same motivation and goals in mind to try and make it a serious thing, and hopefully one day make a career out of it.

How did the name Eat Your Heart Out come about? 

We were stuck trying to think of a decent name, and lots of terrible ideas had been thrown around (probably mostly from me), and Dom suggested Eat Your Heart Out because it’s in the start of a Dead Kennedys song.

A few years later, we thought of changing it, but we couldn’t come up with anything better, so it just stuck (laughs). It’s kind of a weird name, but it’s fairly unique, and has a bit of attitude, so it does the job.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

Honestly, I don’t feel like we have any single artists that we could pinpoint as a direct influence on our sound, as between the five of us, there’s such a variety of artists and genres that we enjoy, and maybe that subconsciously influences what each person brings to the table.

We definitely have artists that we admire, and are inspired by aspects of their music or live show or work ethic, but we’ve never really sat down and said “We want to write a song that sounds like this“. I personally feel like most of my vocal and songwriting influences come from a lot of the emo bands from 2000-2010!

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

For this album, most of the lyrical ideas come from things I’d written in a diary or in my phone – mostly drawn from experiences I’d had over the last year with new people and new situations, and learning how to deal with them.

We ended up writing a lot of the album in the studio, and it was cool to see what ideas can come to life under pressure, because you don’t have time to second guess yourself.

This time around, we wrote all of the instrumentals first, and then did the vocals, which was kind of different to how we’ve done it before, but it worked really well.

Our good friend Pat from Movements co-wrote on some of the songs, and it was an amazing learning experience to work with him and to see how he works.

What inspires the band lyrically?

I kind of got ahead of myself and answered this one in the previous question! Lyrically, this album covers a lot of different ideas that have been swirling around in my head, but overall, the songs are all about people and situations I’ve experienced in the last year or so, and a lot of them are a part of becoming an adult.

Our songs have always been personal and often introspective, I don’t think we know how to write about anything else.

Later this month, you will be unveiling your debut album, ‘Florescence’. How was the recording process for that?

Again, I kind of got ahead of myself and covered this in a previous question…but it was an experience unlike any other! It was definitely a stressful time, as everyone was quite emotionally vulnerable, and we really worked ourselves and our producer Zach right down to the bone, but it was also such an incredible time.

We recorded in Los Angeles, which was definitely a bucket list goal for a little band from Australia, and although we worked hard, we still had fun. For me, there was very much a feeling of catharsis once it was done, and all my built-up emotions had been put into the songs.

And how will the upcoming release differ stylistically to the EPs that the band previously brought out?

It definitely still has similar vibes to the previous releases, but I think the sound has matured in a way. With an EP, you kind of have to just go flat out and put as much energy as you can in a short amount of time, but with the full-length, we had the chance to explore the songwriting and the dynamics more, and hopefully make it feel like a more cohesive body of work.

We definitely haven’t radically changed our sound, just tried to build on what we’ve done with previous releases, and make it better.

You supported Sum 41 in Sydney recently, and you also toured the US with Real Friends last autumn. They must have been great experiences?

They were both incredible experiences! Touring the US for the first time was amazing, as we couldn’t have asked for better bands to tour with or better crowds to play to each night, and everybody was so open and welcoming!

Supporting Sum 41 was crazy, just having the chance to share the stage with such an influential band that everybody grew up listening to was such a surreal experience!

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

Performing live is the best part of being in a band! Hearing people sing your songs back to you is a feeling unlike any other. Our live show is something that we are always working on improving, so hopefully every time you see an Eat Your Heart Out show, it’s better than the last.

And finally, album aside, what have you got planned over the next few months?

Once the album is released, we are really just planning on touring as much as possible, hopefully visiting lots of new places, and meeting lots of new people!

Eat Your Heart Out Album Cover

‘FLORESCENCE’ – THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM EAT YOUR HEART OUT – WILL BE RELEASED ON MAY 17 VIA FEARLESS RECORDS, AND ON THE SAME DATE, THE BAND WILL BE SUPPORTING HELLIONS IN SYDNEY, FURTHER DETAILS OF WHICH CAN BE FOUND BELOW:

Eat Your Heart Out gig poster

FURTHER INFO ON EAT YOUR HEART OUT CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

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