FONZY & COMPANY

Fonzy & Company band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

From Bristol, Fonzy & Company are a fledgling four-piece who have crafted a sound that is rooted in indie, alternative, and Americana, but also reflects the diverse musical influences of the band members, and despite having yet to perform live, the quartet are building up a devoted following, which will in no doubt increase the more listens their recently-released debut EP – entitled ‘Last Birth‘ – gets.

To find out more about the collective, I spoke to frontman Fonzy, and this is what he had to say:

How did the band initially form?

After finishing a synthwave band myself and Zack (keyboards) were in, I just started writing and writing, which I then took through production, and I was just surprised by the results. I then asked Zack to join, and asked a load of my friends to help create this sound live.

How did the name Fonzy & Company come about?

I used to wear leather jackets all the time, so the nickname kind of grew on me. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure where the name at the time came from, as I was so young, therefore I had no knowledge of Happy Days and Henry Winkler.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

I like to keep the lyrics as broad as possible. When I’m writing and you listen, I may be talking about something completely different to how it’s interpreted, but I do this purposely, so listeners can gain their own meanings from the track.

If I feel like I’ve heard it before, or I can improve on it, then most ideas usually make it to the studio, but I know if it’s gonna work in the first 30 seconds of writing it.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Anything and everything. The EP we’ve just brought out (‘Last Birth‘) is mainly based on people who seem to have the highest moral values, but have no honour or dignity in doing so, therefore, they will betray everyone good in life to achieve that message, because it’s different.

Basically, it’s taking the ideation of punk in the sense you think differently from everyone else, and now that age has ended, most people think like you, so you’re trying to push those boundaries even further, which causes more damage to the lives around you.

On the subject of ‘Last Birth’, how was the recording process for it?

Probably the easiest process ever, as our producer, Mark Hanlon, has worked wonders with it, and everything just fell into place perfectly, and I’m very lucky to be in a band with such a great sense of humour, so it was all very fun.

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

I’m not sure this is what people expected, as I think a big majority still have yet to click that link, because we only started this February, and had not released any content until very recently, nor have we played any shows, so for a new band, apart from the influences, there wasn’t really much to go by, but when they do listen, they seem to be pleasantly surprised, especially with how diverse it is, what with the ups, downs, boogies, sing-along, rock out, etc.

Now that ‘Last Birth’ has come out, what are your plans for the near future?

We are mainly only going to be playing in Bristol and at festivals, so if you want to see us, then it’s going to be a little bit difficult, but we’re going to be releasing a few videos for the tracks from the EP, and we’re soon going to start writing the next one, which will be ready for release some time next year.

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

Quit smoking, quit our day jobs, and kill it.

Fonzy & Company EP Cover

‘LAST BIRTH’ – THE DEBUT EP FROM FONZY & COMPANY – IS AVAILABLE NOW, AND THE BAND WILL BE PLAYING A LAUNCH SHOW AT THE CROFTERS RIGHTS IN BRISTOL THIS SATURDAY.

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THE ROSADOCS

The Rosadocs band photo

THE ROSADOCS (back, from l-r): Joe Egan (guitar/vocals), Adam Sleight (bass/vocals), Callum Raynor (drums) (front): Keelan Graney (vocals/guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

PHOTO by GLENN ASHLEY

Sheffield is a place that is well-known for nurturing pure musical talent, with bands such as Def Leppard, the Human League, Pulp, and the Arctic Monkeys having all hailed from the Steel City.

An emerging outfit already well on their way in those footsteps are indie/alternative rock quartet The Rosadocs, whose stock has just kept on rising since bursting onto the scene two years ago with their well-received debut single, ‘No. 54‘, and now, having just released a new track – entitled ‘Concrete‘, the South Yorkshire collective spoke to me about all of this, performing at this summer’s Y Not Festival, supporting The Sherlocks, and much more.

How did the band first form?

The band first started back in December 2016, when Joe was invited to a rehearsal, then shortly afterwards, we brought Adam into the band, but it wouldn’t be until the summer of 2017 that we first started playing gigs, as we wanted to make sure we were on top of our game. Late last year is when Callum was brought in, and he has since proven himself to be a valuable asset to the band.

How did the name The Rosadocs come about?

The name came around pretty much after the band first started, with us all trying to find something suitable yet catchy between work hours, but the final name came from Joe, who thought of the name while he was washing the dishes at work, and the things that came to his mind were “Rosa“, as in Red/Cherry, then the “Docs” for Doc Martens, so that’s how the name ultimately came about.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

A wide variety, ranging from bands such as The Beatles, The Jam, and Queen, to everything modern and in-between, really.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

We would say that it’s a very direct one. Keelan writes the songs, starting with the chords and just the guitar, and then once a melody has been found, he will add the lyrics. Then, the rest of the band intricately add their parts until we have the final product. It’s a very enjoyable process!

What inspires the band lyrically?

It comes down to simply using the things that we see in everyday life, and experiences that either affect us or others around us. For example, our first single ‘No. 54‘ was simply about the day after a night out with your friends.

On the subject of ‘No. 54’, that was very well-received, and then you supported The Sherlocks at the O2 Academy in your home city, all within six months of forming. Honestly, did any of your ever expect to achieve those so quickly?

On the whole, we never thought we would achieve as much as we did, and in such a short amount of time. The reception we got when we released ‘No. 54‘ was unreal to say the least, it has been streamed over 30,000 times on Spotify, and it is clearly become a fan favourite, as it always goes down well with the crowd at a gig.

In terms of opening up for The Sherlocks, it was just surreal, as it was only our fifth ever gig as a band, and the crowd, which was over 2,000, just blew us all away with how lively they were, so it was just a great feeling all round, especially as nobody knew who we were back then.

The band have just unveiled a new track – entitled ‘Concrete’. How was the recording process for that?

We had worked with Gav (Monaghan, the band’s producer) before, and we had found him to be a really knowledgeable, easy-going guy who wanted the same thing as us, which was to have a brilliant end product that we could all be proud of.

And how does the new single differ stylistically to your previous work?

Concrete‘ is definitely a lot more “guitar-based“. It’s lyrically brilliant, but the guitar work is what makes it stand out from a lot of our other tracks, and it has much more of a mature sound.

The band hail from Sheffield, a city that is well-known for having a booming music scene. In your opinion, why do you think that is?

Sheffield is a city that loves music, and we’ve always had great bands who are well-supported. Everyone idolises Pulp, the Arctic Monkeys, Milburn, etc, and want to be like their heroes.

This summer, you played at the Y Not Festival in Derbyshire, alongside such names as Elbow, Wolf Alice, and the Happy Mondays. That must have been quite an experience for you all.

Y Not was great, as it was a festival that we’ve all wanted to play for such a long time, and this year, we were lucky enough to get that chance, and hopefully, we can return next year!

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

We all love performing live, as it’s always a buzz, but when you look out and see everyone singing your songs back to you, like you once did to your favourite band, it’s quite surreal, as at that moment in time, you could never imagine that happening to you.

Now that ‘Concrete’ has been released, what are your plans for the near future?

To just keep releasing tunes that get better and better each and every time we release them.

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

Long-term, we just want to keep selling out venues, increase our fan base, and just enjoy sharing moments with our fans.

The Rosadocs Single Cover

‘CONCRETE’ – THE LATEST SINGLE FROM THE ROSADOCS – IS AVAILABLE NOW, AND THE BAND WILL BE HEADLINING THE LEADMILL IN THEIR HOME CITY OF SHEFFIELD NEXT FEBRUARY, MORE DETAILS OF WHICH CAN BE FOUND BELOW.

The Rosadocs gig poster

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YOUNG STATES

Young States band photo

YOUNG STATES (from l-r): Ben Brennan (drums), Libby Irons (guitar/vocals), Georgia Leeder (vocals/bass)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Having brought out two well-received EPs – 2015 debut ‘Down To You‘, and 2017 follow-up ‘Past Truths/Present Lies‘ – you would have thought that Norwich alternative rock collective Young States would have been on top of the world.

However, the constant cycle of rehearsing, recording, and playing live that had been so enjoyable to the outfit when they had first formed as teenagers was proving to be an emotional and physical strain, therefore, the band decided to take a break.

At the end of last year, Young States – now with just two of the original four-piece, and a new drummer, returned with a new outlook and desire, and having recently unveiled their first track since their hiatus – entitled ‘Stand Alone‘ – the current trio’s guitarist/vocalist Libby Irons spoke to me frankly about all of this, and much more.

How did the band first form?

The band formed back when Georgia and I were in college. Amy – our former guitarist – had brought together a few other girls she had seen playing around the college.

I wasn’t even in the initial line-up, and Georgia wasn’t even singing, but I got brought in, and a couple of people left, leaving us with the original line-up of myself, Georgia, Amy, and Molly, which has since changed again! (laughs)

How did the name Young States come about?

Picking band names is always a tough one, or maybe I just overthink it, but at the time, we were gearing up for our debut EP release, so picking a name was kind of a crucial thing to sort out before then.

So many ideas were thrown around, but Young States was the one that stuck, and it actually came from the name of an EP by Citizen, who were one of the bands we were all listening to at the time.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

It has definitely changed a lot since the band first formed, but I guess the one thing that has remained the same throughout is that the songs are pretty much all born from a guitar idea.

Nowadays, Georgia and I try to take a far more reflective view of what we write, and we definitely challenge ourselves, as well as each other, a lot more.

We try not to take the approach of “that’ll do“, instead seeing how far we can stretch our creative and musical abilities. We’ve definitely had Georgia singing notes higher than she would have thought!

What inspires the band lyrically?

It’s certainly a reflection of the issues that we face as individuals. Every time I’ve tried to write about something else when there’s a big issue I’m dealing with in my life, the problems I’m having at that time will always find a way of coming out. It’s kind of like word-vomit.

For Georgia and I, I think it’s just a case of being honest, as these songs are an outlet for things we are sometimes too scared to talk about, and if writing these songs can help someone else even the faintest bit, then that inspires us to just keep going and keep writing.

Having released two EPs to positive responses, you decided to take some time out, with half of the original line-up deciding to leave. How did things reach such a stage?

When we started this band, Georgia and Molly – our original drummer – were just 16, with Amy and I being just a few years older, but we were all still kids, and I think at the time, we all accepted that we would just play music forever without thinking about money, relationships, and life in general ever getting in the way of it.

However, that ideology obviously could only last for so long, and I honestly think that if we hadn’t taken that time apart, the band wouldn’t exist anymore, as it gave everyone time to think about what they wanted out of life, as well as the band.

And when the band did go on a break, was it meant to be just that, or could it have turned permanent?

To be completely honest, we were at breaking point. We weren’t enjoying it like when we had first started, as somewhere along the way, we lost the reason why we had started playing together, and it just wasn’t fun anymore. We were rehearsing for shows not because we wanted to, but because we had to.

Around the same time, I said I was leaving to go travelling for a few months, and it seemed like a good time to take a natural break, but at that time, we had no idea whether we would ever play our songs again.

Recently, you brought out your first single since then – entitled ‘Stand Alone’. How has the reaction been to that so far?

It’s been crazy! We honestly never thought we would get it to premiere on BBC Radio 1!

And was the response expected, especially given that the band had been away for a time?

I think any time one of our songs is noticed, it’s still not expected, but it’s been exciting being welcomed back with such warm reviews!

You’re going to be releasing two more tracks over the next couple of months. How has the recording process for them been?

I love going into the studio, so recording is always such a good experience. We worked with Drew Lawson again – who we had worked with on the ‘Past Truths/Present Lies‘ EP – so we really trusted his opinions, and I think he really brought out the best out of the songs.

Also, it was really good to see him again, because he’s such a nice guy.

And how will they differ stylistically to the band’s earlier output?

As I mentioned earlier with our songwriting approach, I think these songs will show us stretching our abilities more, not necessarily in the technicality of the parts we’re playing, but the writing process to get there, and how the songs fit together.

You have supported the likes of Dream State. How was that as an experience?

The show supporting Dream State was really cool for us, and it was our first performance in Norwich since the break, so it was awesome to see some familiar faces, as well as meeting some new fans. Obviously, Dream State‘s set kicked ass, so it was a nice way to end the night watching those guys!

Also, how is it – for the band – performing live?

We love it! It does feel a lot different with the line-up change, but having Ben on stage has definitely brought more energy to our live shows. We’ve nicknamed him our gorilla, but you’ll have to come to one of our shows to see why! (laughs)

And lastly, singles aside, what are your plans for the near future?

Total world domination! Nah, I think we’re all keen to get the new singles out, and maybe do a wee little tour, so keep your eyes posted!

Young States Single Cover

‘STAND ALONE’ – THE LATEST SINGLE FROM YOUNG STATES – IS AVAILABLE NOW, AND FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

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BREICHIAU HIR

Breichiau Hir band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

From Cardiff, the capital of Wales, Breichiau Hir are a six-piece who take from such musical influences as emo, punk, and post-hardcore to create an alternative rock sound that is an effective combination of aggression and melody.

Having recently unveiled a new double single – entitled ‘Yn Dawel Bach/Saethu Tri‘ – sung, like all of the collective’s work so far, entirely in their native Welsh, I spoke to them about this, the band’s journey up to now, and future plans.

How did the band initially form?

Steff and Rhys formed a band called Just Like Frank back when they were about 15, 16, and after a few years of member switching, we settled on the six we have now, and changed our name to Breichiau Hir.

How did the name Breichiau Hir come about?

We wanted a Welsh name, and Steff saw it on an Anskt (legendary Welsh record label) compilation CD. It’s a song by a band called Ffa Coffi Pawb, which was one of Gruff Rhys (from the Super Furry Animals)’s first bands.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

As there are six of us, it’s difficult to pinpoint, but there is a lot of 90’s post-hardcore and emo (things like Sunny Day Real Estate, The Promise Ring, and Mineral), and there are always elements of punk, emo, and melody!

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

There are three guitarists in the band – Rhys, Rhys, and Gareth – and they all come up with rough ideas (our bassist Nat sometimes brings some ideas to the table too), and we then jam them out.

When we’re in building mode, we all have equal rights to add, take away, and suggest where the song should go. It can be intense and difficult at times, but we’ve been doing it long enough now not to get too bothered about it.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Steff is the only member of the band who doesn’t play an instrument, so when the rest are trying out ideas, he tries to pinpoint the mood and atmosphere of them, decide on a theme, and then gets writing. He has to respond to the music, as he writes all of our lyrics.

Your songs are sung entirely in your native Welsh. What were the reasons behind deciding to do that?

We started out with the idea of singing in both languages, but we never wrote a song in English, as it just never happened.

Steff naturally writes in Welsh, so by now, if he was to start writing in English, it might seem like the band are just trying to reach a wider audience, rather than playing organically, and we don’t want anything in the band to be contrived.

And does the band get pressured by anybody to sing in English?

Nope! People who can understand Welsh don’t bring it up (Why would they?), and people who listen to us without understanding the lyrics are really supportive of it.

We think it might be an element to the band that they find special, and in terms of press, media, promoters, and the music industry, nobody’s ever pressured us to change our language.

You’ve just unveiled a new double single – entitled ‘Yn Dawel Bach/Saethu Tri’. How was the recording process for them?

We recorded at One Louder Studios in Newport with Phil Smith, and we recorded sporadically – starting and finishing about 11 months apart. We added bits, removed parts, and so on, and we also played them live for a while, so we could learn what we liked, and we didn’t like from the gigs too.

We’ve actually started to record a big batch of new songs that we haven’t played live once, and there’s a whole different mentality there.

And how does the recent release differ stylistically to the band’s previous work?

There’s much less anger, as they both carry a sombre, regretful mood, which we think might make them our most melodic songs to date.

How is it – for you all – performing live?

We love playing live. We don’t plan too much, and we get very lost in it all, but the songs are perfect for gigs, as they are so intense, dramatic, and emphatic, and as there’s six of us on stage, it can get very loud.

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

At the moment, we’re in writing mode, and we’ve actually just started recording an album, which we can’t wait to shape, so those have been the only things on all of our minds lately.

And lastly, what is your long-term aim?

To keep doing things on our own terms, and if we keep doing that, we will be proud, so there, a nice corny answer to finish on!

Breichiau Hir Single Cover

 

‘YN DAWEL BACH/SAETHU TRI’ – THE NEW DOUBLE SINGLE FROM BREICHIAU HIR – IS AVAILABLE NOW VIA LIBERTINO RECORDS, AND FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

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QUELLA

Quella band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Comprising of vocalist Stef, guitarist Bean, bassist Lee, and drummer Adam, Quella are a four-piece from London who have used a diverse range of musical influences and tastes to create an intriguing yet accessible combination of progressive punk and progressive metal.

Having brought out a well-received debut EP – entitled ‘Fantasticshen!‘ – last year, the band will be releasing follow-up ‘Donor Fatigue‘ this November, and they recently had an in-depth chat with me about all of this and a host of other Quella-related topics.

How did the band first get together?

BEAN (guitar): To be completely honest, Quella is a chapter in a long story that can be traced back for decades. The band as it is now emerged from the ashes of another project that Stef and I were involved in, a significant difference being, for Quella, me making the switch from drums to guitar, learning as I went.

Our early sessions were pretty chaotic. We wrote and perpetually re-wrote our material, seemingly destined to remain in the practice room, and we were our own audience.

Lee came on board two years ago. I have known him since we were at school, and we had played in a band together throughout our teens, and his contribution has been monumental, as he has essentially pulled back the elastic to catapult us into a forward direction. We’ve been trying to ride the momentum ever since!

How did the name Quella come about?

BEAN: Like many bands, we spent as much time trying to think of a name, as we did trying to create a body of material. It can be hard coming up with something that gives away a little bit of what we are about, but not too much, basically something that creates curiosity. For a while, we were known as Tantalus Bloom!

STEF (vocals): I had been looking at a list of the most unpopular girl’s names in the world for a character I was generating, and Quella appeared on it. When we looked at the origin of the word, it transpires that it’s an Old English world for “to crush, to repress, to indeed quell“, so she chose us, really.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

BEAN: If I had to fit it all under an umbrella, then I would have to say guitar music, punk, metal, and rock n’ roll, but even saying that feels restrictive, as we just want to capture the energy and excitement of life, and push it back out into the universe.

Personally, I’ve always admired bands who aren’t led by trends or the limitations of a genre, for example, Fugazi are a band who just completely did their own thing, and as a result, their music is full of integrity.

We also enjoy a good melody, songs you can sing, and it’s not all a jarring punk thrash with us, because we do appreciate a good Alice In Chains-esque harmony, too.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

BEAN: Initially, it’s all about spontaneity, and VERY little is prepared in advance, so we just go into a room and press “GO!“, and once we’ve fattened up something we could call a verse and a chorus, we’ll then embellish it with melodies until it becomes a song.

LEE (bass): Generally, Bean comes to rehearsal with a twinkle in his eye, and a fat riff in his pocket, and says nothing before plugging in and blowing our minds.

Adam and I will then fill out the rhythm, and then the three of us will see where it flows. We then send off the resulting mayhem to Stef, who seems to magically hear something quite opposed to what we had envisaged, and transforms it into a beautifully bizarre melodic frenzy, which I then dollop some harmonies on before serving.

What inspires the band lyrically?

STEF: Genuine emotion expressed by either friends, enemies, strangers, or a combination of all three. We aren’t too long in the tooth to have forgotten that a punk song should, almost by definition, express more than just a heart’s desire.

Influences in construction can range from the whimsy of Vivian Stanshall, the styling of Big Heath, to wholesale unashamed eavesdropping.

LEE: It’s both hilarious and frightening having the lyrics unveiled, as on this new EP alone, I’m singing with Stef about a zombie Kylie Minogue, aviophobia, picnics on war graves, and of course, a hobble-di-hoy, therefore, there’s a wonderful and surprising experience with every song!

Recently, you unveiled a new single – entitled ‘Smalltown Eiderdown’. How has the response been to it so far?

BEAN: It’s been excellent, as straight away, people can hear that it’s a big step forward for us in terms of production and presentation, and the comments I’ve had have been generally along the lines of, “I’ve always thought you guys were good…but this is GOOD!“, and I share their enthusiasm, as I feel really proud of this song, and all of the recordings we made in the session.

LEE: It’s growing all the time, as ever, for a band that’s not yet fully established, it can be difficult to get folk to take the time out to check out an unknown song, and I love seeing their eyes widen as they do.

And the track was taken from the band’s second EP, ‘Donor Fatigue’, coming out this November. How has the recording process for that been?

STEF: We’re no strangers to the studio, so we came in well-drilled. We’ve always wanted that rarely-achieved marriage of live action and studio refinement, and by trying to reproduce a more real world environment to record in, as opposed to a largely digital one, we feel we managed it, especially with Lewis Johns at the helm, and the facilities at Ranch Studios in Southampton.

That’s not to belittle our previous efforts, or the talented engineers that helped us, but ‘Donor Fatigue‘ really bristles with intent, which is what we all wanted to show.

BEAN: Recording ‘Donor Fatigue‘ was an absolute pleasure, and much of the credit for that can be directed at Lewis, as his keen ear, patient approach, and high standards really brought out the best in us.

ADAM (drums): I’ve always been a very loose player, so drum-wise, it was a very gruelling process getting the parts down cleanly, and in time, but Lewis‘s patience and foresight gave us an end result which is far better than any of us were expecting.

Also, how will your upcoming release differ stylistically to last year’s debut EP, ‘Fantastischen!’?

BEAN: It is much the same stylistically, but from a production standpoint, ‘Donor Fatigue‘ is a much richer-sounding recording.

We went into this with a much stronger idea of how we wanted it to sound, and we felt much more confident expressing this to Lewis, who really understood the brief and got behind it, helping us to achieve the sound we wanted.

We were just testing the waters really with ‘Fantastischen!‘, but it all makes for an important learning curve, and one that I hope we will continue to use.

The band have performed at venues across London, and have also supported the likes of Black Orchid Empire and Gold Key. How were they as experiences?

LEE: We’ve been very lucky to have played with some fantastic bands over the last couple of years. The show with Black Orchid Empire and Gold Key was definitely one of my faves, as there were also many great bands playing that day, such as Frauds and As Everything Unfolds, so it made for a great mix of styles!

BEAN: It’s great. I have nothing but respects for all of the bands on our scene – or any scene, for that matter – sharing their songs, and treading the boards. It’s something I’m proud to be involved with, and I’m also happy we can hold our own among some talented company.

STEF: Playing live means different things to each one of us, but we all value it highly, and supporting bands of whatever genre, but of undoubted pedigree, can only raise our game.

Also, how is it – for the band – playing live overall?

BEAN: It can be a bit seat-of-the-pants, but we always play with enthusiasm, and that makes for a good show, as far as I’m concerned. We genuinely believe in what we do, and we think it’s worth sharing, and I hope that comes across in our performances.

LEE: I adore playing live, as to me, that’s the main draw of being in any band. When you have that moment where it all comes together on stage, and you watch the faces of those in the audience who are “getting it“, it’s something else!

And lastly, what are your plans for after the release of ‘Donor Fatigue’?

STEF: We are already busy writing the follow-up, as we are back with Lewis, unless we’ve ruined his career! (laughs)

BEAN: More shows, more songs, then we’ll do it all over again, but hopefully with a few more ears pointed in our direction.

LEE: I’m looking forward to hearing what comes next myself, and that’s the beauty of being in this band, as you have no idea where the songs are going to go, and it’s a wonderful process seeing them develop…and to see what Stef is going to have me singing about next!

Quella EP Cover

‘DONOR FATIGUE’ – THE SECOND EP FROM QUELLA – WILL BE RELEASED ON NOVEMBER 22, AND FURTHER INFO ON THIS – AND THE BAND – CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

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METHANE

Methane band photo

METHANE (from l-r): Jonas Arnberg (drums), Jimi Masterbo (lead guitar), Tim Scott (vocals/bass), Markus Grundstrom (guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Taking influence mainly from such metal juggernauts as Slayer, Lamb Of God, and Pantera, Methane are a four-piece comprised of three Swedish musicians and an American vocalist/bassist called Tim Scott.

Having gained underground recognition for a strong sound that is simply unapologetic, the band established themselves even further with their well-received 2017 debut album – entitled ‘The Devil’s Own‘.

Now, with the quartet looking ahead to the release of latest single ‘Thin The Herd‘, a new album, and a headline tour of the US, I spoke to Tim to find out more.

How did the band first form?

Methane formed in 2012, when my brother Dylan moved to Sweden from the US. We had been jamming together for a long time, and we would often talk about starting a band when I would return home to New Jersey from touring, etc.

When he moved over, I was already playing in some Swedish bands (Margrave, Volturyon), but we had a perfect opportunity to start something.

I found out through friends that Jimi, who I had been friends with for a while, and knew was this total shredder of a guitarist, had taken a break from his previous band, so I contacted him to try and coax him into picking up his guitar again, and when me and Dylan explained the sound we wanted to go for, Jimi was on the same wavelength, so I guess you could say it was perfect timing.

Jimi had known Manzone, our original drummer, through playing in local bands, and asked him to sit in while we were songwriting, and he just seemed to fit in.

How did the name Methane come about?

Methane is an explosive gas, and it seemed to best fit our attitude, you know, drink some beer, crank up the guitar, and blow shit up. Also, no other band that we knew of was using the name.

What inspires the band lyrically?

I tend to be inspired mostly by “real-life” themes. Some of our tracks are about life’s tragedies and the mental scars that I carry around, and others are metal songs that are good to have a drink to.

In 2017, you unveiled ‘The Devil’s Own’ – your debut album, which was met with an overwhelmingly positive response. How did you all personally deal with that kind of reaction?

Devil’s‘ was a fun album, and I guess it got us some attention on the underground metal scene, but I really haven’t thought about it that way. We get to meet and interact with new people on our social media platforms, and at gigs, so that’s fantastic. My focus is always on what’s next, and where the band goes next.

Shortly, the band will be bringing out a new single – entitled ‘Thin The Herd’. How did the initial idea for it come about?

Thin The Herd‘ was one of the first songs that we wrote after ‘The Devil’s Own‘, and lyrically, for me, it’s about the mass hysteria of social media. The track came to me while I was culling my Facebookfriends” list, wiping out the unwanted, degenerate attention whores and cry babies.

You know, for some people in the dark, traverse world of the internet, being unfriended on social media can be a fate worse than death.

And the track will be the first to be taken from your soon-to-be-released second album. How has the recording process been for that?

Unfortunately, it’s been a long drawn-out process, and for a while, we didn’t even have a full-time drummer. When we have been touring, Jusso Laukkanen (Intact), a drummer from Finland, has been with us, but it’s impossible to practice and write songs with him, as he lives so far away.

Therefore, in our quest to emulate Spinal Tap, we got Jonas Arnberg (Fimbultyr), who was helping us record and mix the album in his studio, to fill in on drums, and he just killed it every time. He is sick!

 Is there a release date for the album yet?

No, not at the moment. We do have a bunch of songs written and recorded, but all of the details have not been completely ironed out yet.

Also, how will it differ stylistically to ‘The Devil’s Own’?

We have definitely found a sound that crushes anything we have done previously, it’s more brutal, more honest, has more thrash, and also has more of a live feel.

The songs are heavier, which you will be able to hear on ‘Thin The Herd‘, as well as being more aggressive and powerful, however, we haven’t strayed too far from our Southern groove metal style.

The band have toured across much of continental Europe and the US, performed at a number of rock and metal festivals, and have opened for the likes of Warbringer and Nervosa. How were they as experiences?

Wow, yeah, all great experiences! Playing live is what we live for as a band, and getting the opportunity to perform on bigger stages, and scream at larger audiences with killer bands, is a total adrenaline boost for us, especially when you get to meet other musicians like the ladies in Nervosa, who are so cool and down-to-earth. It makes everything worthwhile, and reminds us why we work so hard.

Also, after a couple of live dates in Sweden, Estonia, and Latvia, you’re going to be embarking on a headline US tour, beginning in Hollywood on October 30. I can imagine that’s something everyone in the band is looking forward to. 

Absolutely! We’re going to be co-headlining with our new label mates Incarnit, who are also from Sweden, and at this time of year there, it’s getting dark and cold, and it’s beginning to snow, so getting our frozen bones to Southern California will be perfect.

This tour is just going to mangle people, as we will have I Don’t Konform with us in Arizona and New Mexico, and Draghoria in Colorado, so it’s going to be complete and utter thrash metal mayhem!

And lastly, the band have already achieved much over the last few years. Where would you ideally like Methane to be a couple of years from now?

Our goals are to play bigger and better shows, travel to new places, see new cultures, and drink their beer.

Methane Single Cover

‘THIN THE HERD’ – THE NEW SINGLE FROM METHANE – WILL BE RELEASED NEXT FRIDAY VIA BIG BALLS PRODUCTIONS, AND THE BAND WILL ALSO BE ON TOUR THIS AUTUMN, MORE DETAILS OF WHICH CAN BE FOUND BELOW.

Methane tour poster

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

YOUTUBE

 

 

 

SEVEN FLY

Seven Fly band photo

SEVEN FLY (from l-r): Daniel Hancock (guitar), Will Kropfeld (drums), Levi Ruiz (vocals/guitar), Ali Gonzalez (bass)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

From Florida, known as the US‘s “sunshine state“, Seven Fly are an emerging four-piece who pride themselves on delivering an anthemic, highly-energetic mix of pop-punk and pop-rock which truly reflects their upbeat and carefree attitude to life.

Having recently unveiled a new single – entitled ‘Fever‘ – and a follow-up to last year’s debut EP ‘Grow Up, Kid‘ coming out at some point in the near future, the band told me more about themselves and their music.

How did the band initially form?

We formed just through knowing each other through work and mutual friends!

How did the name Seven Fly come about?

Still to this day, we don’t know how it really came about, one of us kind of just said it one day, and it eventually became written in stone.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

We love modern pop-punk like State Champs and Neck Deep. We’re also influenced by Fall Out Boy and Green Day, as well as a little metalcore, which stems from Daniel and Will.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

Actually, every song of ours is different! Sometimes, we will start by writing some lyrics and melody, and other times, we will write a cool jam, and then throw lyrics over it.

What inspires the band lyrically?

We tend to write lyrics about stuff that bothers us, or stays on our minds often. We often write non-rhyming prose, which we will then convert into rhyming schemes/poetry. 

Last year, you brought out your debut EP – entitled ‘Grow Up, Kid’. How was the response to that, for you all personally?

Grow Up, Kid‘ was kind of our first introduction to the music world, and it taught us a lot on all things music and performance.

Recently, the band unveiled ‘Fever’ – their new single. How was its recording process?

The recording process was rather quick, actually. We did it over a few late nights eating fast food and drinking energy drinks, and we just ripped through all of the parts.

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

It’s actually made a few waves, which makes us excited to see how the rest of the new EP will do!

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

We all start off as nervous wrecks, but it becomes fun once the adrenaline kicks in.

Now that the new single has come out, what are the band’s plans for the near future?

We plan to release the rest of the EP, and we’re also going to be bringing out some music videos.

And lastly, what is your long-term aim?

Long-term, we hope to play festivals, increase our fan base, and just keep the fun going!

Seven Fly Single Cover

‘FEVER’ – THE NEW SINGLE FROM SEVEN FLY – IS AVAILABLE NOW, AND THE BAND’S SECOND EP WILL BE RELEASED AT SOME POINT IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

FURTHER INFO ON SEVEN FLY CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

YOUTUBE