The Collision band photo

THE COLLISION (from l-r): Chris Latter (drums), Lewis Smith (vocals), Evan Latter (guitar), Tom Copeland (bass)


Since starting life as an indie-rock session band for singer-songwriter Lewis Smith, The Collision have undergone a natural evolution, becoming a full collective specialising in a heavier, more energetic sound.

This has led to the Portsmouth four-piece getting favorable comparisons to the likes of Bring Me The Horizon and Enter Shikari, and having recently released a new single, ‘Unbelievable‘, featuring Jot Maxi of Hacktivist, the rising outfit spoke to me about that, their journey so far, future plans, and much more.

How did the band first get together?

Lewis was looking for a band, and he put up lots of posters in local shops and online. Chris and Evan replied to the adverts, and Tom was drafted in later on as a friend of Evan‘s.

How did the name The Collision first come about?

We all have a range of musical backgrounds of different styles, so the name represents “the collision” of our musical tastes.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

We all sit around Evan‘s computer every week and come up with ideas for intros, choruses etc, and if the song is flowing well, we will push to complete it, but if it takes too long, we will then visit it another time, as we can tell it’s not coming naturally.

We write alongside post-production to produce almost complete demos instantly, so that we know exactly how the song will sound before it’s been recorded.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Our current and up-and-coming songs fit within a theme of “human nature”, for example, lying, taking things for granted, changing for the better, and many other things…(TEASERS).

If we come up with a concept for new songs, then we will write songs as a collection with a theme!

In 2017, you brought out your debut EP, (Never Gone), to positive reviews. How did you all deal with the reaction that the release got?

The release of ‘Never Gone‘ was exciting, and it got a really good response, allowed people to learn our songs, and gave us some great opportunities, and although it was gradual, the foundation we built from that EP gave us some of the best experiences we have had as a band.

Unfortunately, those songs do not fit our sound any more, and so, we will not be playing them in future, however, if there was one track we could bring back, it would be ‘White Feather‘, as it means a lot to the band, especially Lewis, and we believe it did not get the recognition it deserved!

The band have just unveiled the new single – entitled ‘Unbelievable’ – which you collaborated on with Jot Maxi, co-vocalist of Hacktivist. How did that come about?

This song was the first in the heavier direction we took, and as soon as we wrote the intro, we knew it was going to be our next release, and it has also inspired our consistency in writing the songs you will all hear soon.

As it was being written, we could all almost hear Jot rapping in it, and we knew he had to be on the track, so we decided to follow through with the idea. We send him our full demo of the song, and he replied, “I fell in love with it instantly, and as soon as I heard it, lyrical ideas were bouncing around in my head.”

How was the recording process for the track?

Recording the song came in two parts, due to it first being in our old tuning, drop D. A few weeks later, we decided that for Lewis‘s voice, we would drop the key of the song to C, and it came together so much better on the second recording.

Our producer, Pash Stratton, worked his producing magic, as he usually does, and got our track sounding the best it possibly could. We are so proud of it!

And for those who have yet to listen to the new song, how does it differ stylistically to the EP?

Unbelievable‘ is a huge jump in genre from the EP, as ‘Never Gone‘ was more a mix of indie-rock and generic rock music, basically anything we wrote at the time.

The new track features synthesizers and post-production far beyond what the EP contains, advancing the band beyond what it was before in our eyes. It is a lot heavier, but it also maintains some of the stylistic features we used in ‘Never Gone‘!

You’ve toured across the UK, and have supported the likes of Mallory Knox, The Hoosiers, and Wild Front. How were they as experiences?

Each experience was great, we got along well with all of the bands, and we really enjoyed sharing the stages with them.

We’d say Mallory Knox was a milestone for us, as they were a band we were all fans of, and had followed for years, and we feel that that particular show was well-fitted for us and our genre, especially to show off some of our new stuff!

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

We encourage people to come to our live shows, and check us out. We have moulded together over the years, and have formed a performance we believe to be very enjoyable for the audience, with lots of crowd participation and grooves to move to!

We love playing live so much, and we simply can’t express the passion we put into playing our songs.

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

We have spent 2019 trying to reinvent our sound, but we haven’t done nothing during this time, as we have been constantly writing, therefore, we now have plenty of material (some recorded) ready that will be coming to your ears very soon that we are so excited about!

You can expect two releases early in the new year, and the titles for those will be revealed closer to the time.

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

We aim to be making music for the rest of our lives. We know that the chances of becoming a worldwide band are slim, but we will take every opportunity we can, and hope that people believe in our music as much as we do.

The Collision Single Cover







SMALL PLANETS – ‘Small Planets’


Small Planets Album Cover


Having impressed many on the underground music scene of their home city Los Angeles since forming in 2015, Small Planets have now brought out a self-titled debut album.

The five-piece spent eight months putting together this release, consistently honing a sound that is predominantly post-punk/shoegaze, but draws from an eclectic range of musical genres, resulting in 11 well-crafted but accessible tracks.

Every one of the songs that make up the quintet’s first full-length offers a truly unique listening experience, with lyrical content dealing mainly with both the positive and negative aspects of love, and a soft, melodic vocal delivery which conveys the varying emotions of the lyrics, and is rather reminiscent of Debbie Harry when Blondie were at the peak of their powers, being constant presences.

Drowning‘ is an effective opener, with a lengthy instrumental led by a haunting guitar riff which gradually becomes something subtly aggressive, which is then followed by ‘Breathe‘, which is an altogether catchier affair, with the sound accelerating in pace throughout, as well as a few classical elements thrown in, and listening to this, it reminds me of a jollier Joy Division.

Blue‘ has more of an alternative rock/grunge vibe, containing buzzing riffery, thumping drum beats, and anguished vocals, whereas ‘Say Something‘ is a dreamy, atmospheric The Cure-esque number which has a rhythm that seems to burrow its way into the listener’s head, along with sing-along lyrics.

In Life We‘ sees the Californian outfit going down a poppier route, with the song going along at a relatively gentle pace, which is followed by the synth-led post-punk track ‘Tonight‘, which deals with the subjects of death and regret.

The five-piece have been open about being influenced by The Cure and Joy Division, and the effect of those legendary bands is at its most obvious with seventh song ‘Twelve-Thirty‘, which sees the album at its darkest and most aggressive.

After this, ‘E‘ is altogether lighter, with a softer, more emotive sound, layered vocals that reach both high and low notes with relative ease, and lovely cello parts in the middle and at the track’s conclusion.

Waves‘ conjures up dreamy soundscapes with melodies that are abundant in strength, and electronic beats that are dominated by a drum machine, with ‘And Then She Said‘ basically being six minutes of the collective at their most complex and experimental.

Drawing the album to a close is ‘Small Planets‘, a number which has the listener being taken on a melodic journey of feedback and distortion, accompanied by an effective combination of classical, synths, and emotive vocals.

In the past, I have listened to some debut albums from bands and artists which have basically contained two or three brilliant tracks, with the rest being comprised of filler material, however, with ‘Small Planets‘, this is not the case, as this offering has clearly been crafted with much love and attention to detail, and is an effective showcase for a talented outfit who should have a bright future ahead of them.













Cxlvmbia band photo

CXLVMBIA (from l-r): David Anderson (drums/vocals), Sam Bell (vocals/guitar), George Murray (bass/vocals)


From Fife in Scotland, CXLVMBIA are an emerging three-piece who describe their eclectically-influenced sound as “upbeat, foot-stomping rock with catchy melodies“, and having brought out an EP, ‘XV‘, to a positive response back in the summer, the trio’s vocalist/guitarist, Sam Bell, spoke to me about that, as well as a host of other band-related topics.

How did the band initially form?

Two of us were at a party when we met the third. We quickly became best friends, and then started a band.

How did the name CXLVMBIA come about?

CXLVMBIA stemmed from Columbia. Our combined love of Oasis, we chose their song from ‘Definitely Maybe‘ to be the name of our band. We altered the spelling due to the growing usage of the band name, so it was to differentiate ourselves without changing our name completely.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

Our main influences are crazy, as each of our favourite bands are quite far away from each other, so we bring all of those influences together to make our sound. There are too many bands and artists to name, as we really do like everything.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

I’m the primary songwriter. I always tend to start with the music, then I’ll get the first line, hope it’s a good one, then I’ll build up the song from that one line. We all contribute to line or word changes, so it’s still very much a three-way collaboration.

What inspires the band lyrically?

The lyrics sometimes come from experience, but I tend to avoid that a lot, so I don’t just empty my tank and give too much away. It is easy to write a sad song even without experiencing those kind of emotions, in my opinion.

In June, you brought out an EP, ‘XV’. How was the recording process for that?

Recording ‘XV‘ was such a vibe. There’s always so much hilarity when we’re in the studio, but working together, playing to your upmost best, is a fun process. We recorded it in Edinburgh with super producer Mark Morrow at Mark Morrow Audio, and he’s a proper wizard who works magic.

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

Since release day, it’s been a great six months. We’ve had a few features, and people have really complimented the music, but at this stage in the game, it’s all about promotion, because unless you’re a superstar, getting your music heard can be challenging, so I keep myself busy every few weeks doing the rounds and sharing the EP around.

The band have performed at venues in their home town of Glenrothes, and in Edinburgh. How is the experience – for you all – of playing live?

We love playing live. We lose a few elements you hear on the record, but that adds to the live experience for the listener, as you have a polished record to playing quite raw.

We have since started adding layers just to boost our live shows, to give the listeners that little bit extra, something that can make us stand out from other acts on the night, in the nicest way possible.

What are your plans for the near future?

We have 2020 approaching, so we hope to drop a new single early on, play some shows, and hopefully get more people interested in our music.

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

Long-term, we just want to keep making music, writing, and performing. The band keeps going, and we have music to be proud of, so we can enjoy it for the rest of our days!

Cxlvmbia EP Cover






SLATER – 93 Feet East, London, 13/12/2019

93 Feet East logo


93 Feet East, a venue situated at the halfway point of Brick Lane, a street in Shoreditch, an area of east London which has seen much gentrification in recent years, played host to five emerging outfits on the UK capital’s music scene.

It was 12 days before Christmas, so the festive party season was in full swing, hence a rather jolly atmosphere.

Last To Land band photo

Unfortunately, as I was running late, I didn’t manage to catch much of fledgling four-piece Last To Land‘s set, but what I did get to see of that was a band who were able to create a diversely-influenced yet cohesive mix of rock, alternative, and indie, which got the evening off to a good start.

Next up on stage were quartet Some People, who have quickly become a regular fixture on the London underground music scene with an indie sound that draws from a variety of genres, including rock, country, and soul, as well as a solid songwriting partnership of members Callum Dearden and Orson Fry.

However, through no fault of their own, the band’s set was plagued with technical difficulties, with some nasty microphone and amp feedback at times, but the crowd seemed to be enjoying it, dancing happily to the music, and it was clear, in the moments where there were no teething problems, that the four-piece are talented, showcasing a well-crafted sound.

The New Immigrants band photo

The stage was compact, so it was a minor miracle that all six members of The New Immigrants could fit on there.

Fusing together elements of folk, blues, rock, pop, and indie to create an original sound that contained escalating melodies, pummeling rhythms, and intertwining guitars, the relatively new collective spent much of their set actively encouraging the crowd to sing along to their songs, which a few audience members did, but the majority weren’t so keen on doing that.

A highlight of the band’s set was when they performed their recently released debut single, ‘Heavens Of Water‘, which is fast becoming a favourite among the six-piece’s growing fan base.

Next on stage were Sexton, formerly known as Meet The Fishermen, who played to an audience that had noticeably halved in size since The New Immigrants had been on, the reason for this being, I was later told by the gig’s promoter, was that much of the crowd had had to leave the venue in order to catch the last train back home.

Those who were still there, however, enthusiastically responded to Sexton‘s dynamic, powerful combination of alternative and indie-rock, as well as an animated stage performance, and frontman Joey‘s frequent bantering between tracks.

The band’s set was so positively-received that when it concluded, the audience demanded one more song, but as much as Sexton had wanted to, owing to timing constraints, it was a wish that wasn’t going to be granted.

Slater band photo

Headliners Slater have been hailed by much of the underground music press recently for a consistenly hard-hitting indie-rock n’ roll sound, and highly-energetic live performances, which was apparent pretty much throughout the trio’s set.

The crowd were a little sparse, but the people who were there were certainly making their voices heard, singing and clapping along happily to the tunes, and the outfit also injected a healthy dose of humour to proceedings, as with the penultimate song of the evening, frontman Harry was left on his own to play a stripped-back track on an acoustic guitar.

However, this wasn’t down to an on-stage falling out, as the two other members – bassist Reuben, and drummer Daniel – came back on for the finale, with Reuben wearing a dressing gown, and Daniel wearing a dinner jacket and bow tie, which was a rather surreal moment.

In conclusion, the gig was entertaining and a crowd-pleaser, with an assortment of immensely-talented fledgling collectives all bringing something sonically unique to the table, although they were often hampered by technical problems throughout that none of the bands could really be blamed for.






Primes band photo

PRIMES (from l-r): Reece Ryan (drums/vocals), Ollie Kitchen (vocals/bass), Sarah Monteith-Skelton (guitar/vocals)


Influenced by the likes of Feeder, Catfish And The Bottlemen, and the Foo Fighters, fledgling Scottish three-piece Primes effectively combine gritty rock grooves, harmonies, and captivating tunes in order to bring to the table an anthemic alternative rock sound.

With this, as well as a formidable live presence, the band are making their mark on Scotland‘s music scene, and having recently unveiled a new single, ‘Dreamer And I‘, we had to chat with the trio, and the following is what they had to say to me:

How did the band first get together?

Sarah and Reece had already started jamming together, and Sarah and Ollie already knew each other from their local scene. On a night out, Sarah asked Ollie if he would like to jam with us, and after the first jam together, we knew it worked.

How did the name Primes come about?

We liked the definition of the word “prime“: the state or time of greatest vigour or success in a person’s life, and we felt it was an apt name for the band with regards to what we are trying to achieve musically.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

We find it important that everyone has an equal input. We usually start off with a guitar riff, bassline, or drum groove etc, and then build around the song around it.

After the music is nailed down, Ollie will go away and write some lyrics, and after that, we then arrange the song and practice it until we find the best arrangement.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Feelings, emotions, and life in general.

So far, you have brought out six singles, including most recently ‘Dreamer And I’, all to positive reviews. How has the response to the tracks been for you all personally?

We all are so proud of what the band has already achieved. It’s amazing to have such positive feedback. It really makes all of our hard work and effort feel like we are gradually actually achieving what we are trying to.

The band have performed at venues and festivals across Scotland, and have supported the likes of Red Rum Club and Ghostwriter. How were they as experiences?

Every new experience can only benefit us. The more experiences, the better, really. We have been fortunate enough to have already played at great venues, festivals, and alongside some incredible bands, and we thrive for experiences like these for us to develop as a band, network, and to make friends in the industry.

And how is it overall playing live?

We love playing live. That’s the reason we are in a band. There’s no better feeling than a high-energy gig.

What are your plans for the near future?

We have another new release at the beginning of next year, and we also want to play live as much as possible.

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

The sky is the limit.

Primes Single Cover









Court Order band photo



Despite only forming in February, Court Order – a five-piece comprising of vocalist JJ, guitarists Zay and Oscar, bassist JD, and drummer Ace – have quickly made a name for themselves on New York City‘s underground metal scene with a dedicated work ethic and a truly organic blend of heavy metalcore and hardcore, and having recently released a new single, ‘Legacy To Sell‘, I spoke to the band about the last few months, as well as their ambitions and future plans.

How did the band initially form?

Zay and Ace were playing local shows in the New York/New Jersey area as Court Order with a variety of musicians. Eventually, the band stabilised into the group it is today, and started to record their catalogue.

How did the name Court Order come about?

It’s a mandate to everything we want to do. We feel dedicated to the work it takes to be in a band, and the name is just an emphasis on the entire experience.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

A variety of hardcore, metalcore, death metal, and new alternative.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

We thrive on the organic process of getting in a room, hammering out riffs and beats as a live band, and then layer lyrics and vocals with a powerful message that fits the music after.

What inspires the band lyrically?

We believe in hard work, and we also believe in the duality of good and bad. Our message is that as people, there’s always hope to change our situation, and hopefully with hard work and determination, life can be achieved to an optimal state.

We also recognise that there is a high probability of failure to that, so we try not to be naive with positivity, therefore, there’s a mix of that messaging in our songs.

You recently brought out a new single, ‘Legacy To Sell’. How was the recording process for that?

We work with a producer who understands our vision, and is very easy to work with. We layer our sessions and record live drums, then strings, then finish with vocals. We’re generally able to track the full song in one day.

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

Very positive.

The band hail from the Brooklyn area of New York City. In your opinion, how is the current state of the metal scene there?

The stakes are very high, as there are so many strong acts that are competing for the same crowd that it truly takes something exceptional stand out in the market.

You have played live sets across much of the north-east US. How is the experience – for you all – of performing on stage?

It is the best representation of what we’re trying to do, and how the songs should be experienced.

What are the band’s plans for the near future?

We’re going to release an EP in 2020, and also, we’re going to play the most important shows where what we’re trying to accomplish really matters.

And lastly, what is your long-term aim?

Be a chapter in the aggressive music space, and eventually impact the European summer festival market.

Court Order Single Cover







The Howlers band photo

THE HOWLERS (from l-r): Cam Black (drums), Adam Young (vocals/guitar), Guus Ter Braak (bass)



Since forming in May 2018, London three-piece The Howlers have established themselves as one of the UK‘s top emerging bands with a unique sound they call “desert rock”, as well as emotive and ferocious live sets.

With two well-received singles, ‘La Dolce Vita‘ and ‘Matador‘, under their belts, which has resulted in a rapid growth in followers, and plaudits from much of the music press, the collective’s vocalist/guitarist, Adam Young, spoke to me about all of this and more.

How did the band initially form?

We all went to uni together in London. Myself and Guus were in the same class, and we just gravitated towards each other, mucking about with a few tinnies and a guitar, and going to a fair few gigs here and there, and then we met Cam, and the rest, as they say, is history, albeit very short.

How did the name The Howlers come about?

The name came from a pub. We live in east London, just off Hoxton Street, and there is a boozer at the top end of that street called The Howl At The Moon, which is a great little pub, where we used to drink a fair bit, and it’s actually where they filmed the video for ‘Why’d You Call Me When Your High‘ by the Arctic Monkeys, which we actually didn’t actually know at the time, but the name is derived from the pub, and they have their own lager there called Howl, so it seemed natural to franchise ourselves with our local haunt.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

Soundtracks, experiences, but we don’t really align ourselves with certain bands as references for our influences, but we do take a lot from the soundtracks of Sergio Leone pictures or Quentin Tarantino flicks, as the cinema and pagentry of spaghetti westerns is something film-makers can’t seem to captivate today, and that’s why we coined the term “desert rock” to describe our sound and style.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

Generally speaking, I come up with the bare bones of a track, and then in rehearsals, we put some meat on it, so to speak.

A lot of the time, the idea and path that I have laid out for how a song should be changes once we start working on it together, we try to make every song consistent, but sound different, building on our own unique sound. A key ingredient of our music is that there is no politics, as there’s too much of that around currently!

What inspires the band lyrically?

Our experiences, other people’s experiences, we’ve got songs about our mental health, about compassion and unity, of course, there’s a love song thrown in for good measure, but singing about drugs and parties is not us, it’s a bit 2009, don’t you think?

You do see a few bands singing lines like “take another disco biscuit“, and you look at them, and think, “You’ve barely had your first joint, mate, let alone pills“. It’s all a bit try hard for our liking.

In June this year, you brought out your debut single, ‘La Dolce Vita’, to an overwhelmingly positive response. Honestly, prior to its release, did any of you expect the reaction the track got at all?

To some extent, we knew it would put us on the map, but we could honestly say we didn’t expect it to be received as well as it was so early on, you know. It debuted on BBC Radio 1, and went on to do all sorts, so we’re so proud of that track, and all we’ve done in just over a year as this band, however, there’s still a long road ahead for us.

Also, the band recently unveiled a new song – entitled ‘Matador’. How was the recording process for that?

Pretty much the same as ‘La Dolce Vita‘. We actually recorded about seven, eight tracks back at the beginning at this year, and ‘LDV‘ and ‘Matador‘ were part of that session, so we’re still sitting on a few, including our opening and closing tracks of our set, but recording is a doddle for us.

We work with an amazing engineer/producer, who is more of a mate than anything, and every time we’re in the studio with him, he tells us another mad story that is just mind-blowing, but he gets us, and he allows us to make mistakes and work out that we shouldn’t have done this or done that, so we’ve learned a lot from him, and as a result, we are 100% better as musicians, which I think you can tell from the recent recordings.

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

Really good. Actually, before we released the single, we were nervous about it, as we felt it wasn’t our strongest track, but it also has something that is different from ‘LDV‘, as we want to show that we’re diverse, but ‘Matador‘ has achieved everything ‘LDV‘ did and much, much more.

You know, to hear Steve Lamacq talking about you and your song, or to hear your song soundtracking the Champions League, or ‘Soccer AM‘, or even the World Darts Championship, is mental for three penniless lads, and it’s validating all we believe in with this band.

The band have played at venues across the UK, supported the likes of Space and The Rifles, and have performed at festivals such as Camden Rocks. How were they as experiences?

Some were good, some were bad, some were okay, but that’s just how the dice rolls, as you can’t win everyone over, so we just try to enjoy it, and if after the show, just five people come up to us and say that it was great, then we’ve done our job.

Touring with The Rifles, we learned a lot about how to play big 2,000-capacity venues, and how we can deal with a lot of things going wrong on stage now, as a result of our shows being so energetic and prone to accidents or whatever, which is something you can’t prepare for, so you just have to know how to respond and deal with it, but with every show we do, we give 110%, regardless of whether we’re playing to 10 or 1,000 people.

And you have received much acclaim for emotive and ferocious live sets. How is it – for you all – performing on stage?

The stage is where we’re at home. Our songs are emotive and cathartic, and on stage, we are loud and ferocious. It’s an experience, but I think people can tell we’re like brothers, as we look at each other and smile, because someone (usually me) has fucked up, but that doesn’t matter, as we enjoy it.

We’re our own worst critics, as after a show, we can be really down, but we all have a hug, get a few beers, and it’s all okay, because the only thing we really care about is that people enjoy watching us.

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

Release some more tunes…hint, hint, February, maybe, but there will be more shows, and more tunes, and we recently announced a run of intimate shows for next April, which are selling well at the moment.

And lastly, what is your long-term aim?

Hopefully, to make people happy, as to us, that’s all that matters.

The Howlers Single Cover