All posts by muzakreview


Arcadia (Manchester) band photo 2

ARCADIA (MANCHESTER) (back, from l-r): Tom Holt (vocals), Oliver “Ollie” Eardley (drums) (front, from l-r): Sam Bowers (lead guitar), Aiden Collins (bass), Dave Armstrong (rhythm guitar)


From Manchester, five-piece Arcadia have an energising infusion of nu-metal and rap that has already earned them comparisons to the likes of Deftones, Faith No More, and Limp Biskit.

The band’s debut EP, ‘Hunting Season’, released in 2016, led to the band firmly establishing themselves on their home city’s live music scene, and support slots for Tequila Mockingbird and Asteroid Boys.

Next month, the quintet will be bringing out a new single, ‘Kickback’, which they describe as “one of the most powerful, energy-controlled songs that we’ve ever written“, and the Mancunian outfit discussed with me more about it, along with lots of other stuff.

How did the band form?

The band formed back in Bury College, it’s always hard to say what year exactly, due to us having some line-up changes over the first few years. We started taking music seriously around 2014, and we’ve never looked back.

After getting Aiden and Ollie into the mix, we really settled and have been giving it a go ever since, once you have the line-up perfect and everyone’s on the same page, time seems to fly!

From where did the name Arcadia originate?

We get asked this a lot, and people always expect some really cool story, but honestly, it’s just something we came up with. We just thought it sounded so raw and unknown, our band’s a mix of different things, and we think Arcadia does us justice!

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

Our approach to songwriting changes so much. Sometimes, we can all be in a room for two hours and not come up with anything.

With our music, we’ve found it’s really important to not rush or force it. This might work for some bands, but we mostly just wait until it comes to us, whether that’s our guitarist coming up with a riff and sending it in our group chat, or our vocalist humming a rhythm and texting it everybody!

What inspires the band lyrically?

TOM HOLT (vocals): There’s always a lot going on in the world, there’s definitely enough to write about anyway. I know for me, personally, I always just use whatever I’m feeling, whether it’s how I’m feeling towards somebody or something, or just how I feel about a certain situation, that seems to work mostly.

I always try and go through my lyrics to make sure they are exactly what I want to say, in the right way to say it, I think that’s important.

In 2016, you brought out your debut EP, ‘Hunting Season’. Did any of you expect the overwhelmingly positive response that it got?

We really weren’t! Having people actually want to buy our music and play it every day is something you can’t ever take for granted. I know it sounds cringe-worthy and cliché, but it’s literally everything.

We’re all massive music fans, so for someone to come and hang out, buy an EP, and then ask all of us to sign it, that will always blow our minds.

Next month, the band will be releasing a new single, ‘Kickback’. How has the recording process been for it?

The recording process was really great, we used a new producer (Phil Gornell of Steel City Studio in Sheffield) who we hadn’t even met before, he’s worked with loads of famous names and came highly recommended, we hit him up, sorted a date and just knocked it out over like a day, it truly was that easy.

When you have someone in the studio that has the music knowledge that he does, it truly is a blessing!

And in what way will the upcoming track be different to your debut EP?

It’s more hard-hitting, more structured, and definitely more powerful than anything we have ever written, we really focused, and after the first EP, it really felt like for the first time that we actually knew what we wanted next, so we sat down, discussed ideas, new sounds and new lyrics, and really came up with something special.

The band have now established themselves on the Manchester live music scene, and have also played with such outfits as Tequila Mockingbird and Asteroid Boys. How, for you all, is the experience of playing on stage?

That’s something we all handle totally differently, MOST of us are really easy-going with it and don’t have any nerves at all, but Tom always does get extremely nervous. It’s just always been a thing.

We can all agree as soon as we get on stage, we bring it though, that’s the important part. Nerves can’t ever be a part of our show, because it’s too high energy!

What’s planned for after ‘Kickback’ comes out?

Just to carry on really, keep playing the gigs, keep gaining the fans, and hopefully, get back in the studio, because we really love recording. Hearing something you have been sat on for months fully done and dusted really is refreshing!

What is the band’s long-term aim?

To keep playing the music we love and just keep enjoying ourselves, we really appreciate where it’s going, and the people who come to our shows every single time we really do, but if we’re not enjoying it, then there’s no point at all.

We all love being able to have the opportunity to perform and show people what Arcadia really is and where we want to go with it, so from the beginning, we’ve all put in a lot of work, and will continue to do so.







Axegressor band photo


Formed back in 2006, and with each member having played in bands since the Nineties, Finnish four-piece Axegressor have a wealth of musical experience, which they have been putting to good use, gaining a large fan base, both in their home country and across Europe, with a style of thrash metal that has gradually evolved towards the progressive sound that we hear today.

In addition to this, they have supported live the likes of Soilwork, Cannabis Corpse and Municipal Waste, and released three albums, all to great acclaim.

With an eagerly-awaited fourth album, ‘Bannerless’, coming out next month (the band’s first offering since 2014), Axegressor spoke to me recently about its recording process, what can be expected from it, as well as just some of the experiences that they have had over the last 12 years.

How did the band get together?

SEBA FORMA (lead/rhythm guitar): At first, we played covers and did some live gigs. I think we called ourselves Bay Area Teutonics, so maybe you get the idea. It was mostly fun with friends and lots of beer drinking, but after a while, you start to think that maybe you could do something of your own.

After our first release, ‘Axecution MCD’, we departed with the another guitarist, and it’s just been four of us ever since.

From where did the name Axegressor originate?

JOHNNY NUCLEAR WINTER (vocals): I came up with the name for my friends who had formed a thrash metal band. Pretty soon after that, they were in need of a vocalist, and I joined them.

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

SEBA: After our previous album, ‘Last’, we started to feel that you need something new or something different.

I was a bit frustrated of my techniques as a guitar player, as I felt like I was playing the same riffs all over again, so I expanded my knowledge and started to listen to more bands outside of metal, and that gave us a wider view on how to make a song.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

SEBA: In our early years, it was mainly old heavy and thrash metal, bands like Kreator and Exodus, just a few to mention.

In ’Last’, and particularly in our upcoming album, ’Bannerless’, you can hear different kinds of approaches to riffs and compositions, more along the lines of progressive rock and 80’s heavy metal, the stuff I listened to when I was a kid.

What inspires the band lyrically?

JOHNNY: Frustration, hate, nihilistic views of life. The fact that people are fucked. The vision of a mushroom cloud liberating us all from this misery, and the slight glimpse of hope that something could be done before that happens. Also watching news and random social media vomit-outs tend to be somewhat inspiring.

So far, you have brought out three albums. How well do you think they were all received?

JOHNNY: We haven’t seen any hate-filled reviews so far, yet I bet not many would bother to write such an article if they would despise our stuff! (laughs)

Next month, the band will be releasing a fourth album, ‘Bannerless’. How has the recording process for that been up to now?

SEBA: Actually, we recorded it in January of last year, and it took us about a week. We practice a lot before going into the studio, so 5-7 days is usually enough. Everything went really smoothly, I really enjoy my time in studio sessions, although it can sometimes be a little bit nerve-wracking.

JOHNNY: For me personally, the process of writing lyrics and arrangements for the 11 songs of ‘Bannerless’ has been a road paved with frustration, desperation, blank pages and zero inspiration, and somehow, somewhere, finding that inspiration in the end when the deadline was drawing near.

Recording the vocals was also the most painful process ever, at least physically, since I got sick with flu and fever the day before I was supposed to start the vocal recordings, so basically, I managed to almost scream my lungs out with pints of mucus, and had to treat myself with excessive amounts of painkillers to be able to perform for three days or so. Fucking lovely.

And how will the upcoming album be different to the work you’ve put out so far in the band’s career?

SEBA: It has more diversity than previous albums, and I hope that people who listen to it for the first time will be like, “What is this shit?” (laughs)

The songs and the actual album are longer than, for example, ’Last’ was. There are still fast songs, and it is heavy metal, for sure, but there are more progressive parts and nuances.

JOHNNY: At first, I had a really strong love/hate relationship with the new songs we came up with for this album, and this also affected, negatively, writing lyrics for these songs.

However, with time, I have learned that there are lots of things that more than meets the eye, and even if I cannot probably “understand” 100% everything on the album, my feelings towards the songs are more settled now. (laughs)

In your home country, you have supported such bands as Soilwork, Cannabis Corpse and Municipal Waste. How were they as experiences for you all?

JOHNNY: They were good showcases to play our music for people who might have not heard from us before, but I don’t know if that shows anymore, anywhere, though!

The band have also played many gigs and festivals across much of Europe, but the UK is one country you’ve yet to play. Is that something you hope to do in future?

JOHNNY: Sure, arrange a mini-tour for us there? We have played shows in Ireland, so basically, that’s almost like the UK for us. (laughs)

What are your plans for after ‘Bannerless’ comes out?

JOHNNY: Play live. Release cassette versions of the first three albums. Print some new t-shirts. Play live. Have fun. Play live. Did I say that we’d like to play live as well?

The band have been together for 12 years now, and all four of you have been in metal collectives since the Nineties. How has the music industry changed for you since you first started out?

JOHNNY: Not much for us as an underground band. No big sales are to be expected, nor luxury touring conditions. For bigger bands who try to earn their living with their music, it must be a pain in the ass nowadays.

And finally, are there any tips you would give to any budding metal bands out there?

SEBA: Well, I hope somebody would give me a tip! (laughs) It’s a cliche, but what I have learned is that do whatever you want, be brave and just fucking love the music, because it gives you so much in return.

Axegressor Album Cover













Edenthorn band photo

EDENTHORN (from l-r): Dylan Gardner (guitar), Faiba Gardner (bass/vocals), Kyle Tague (vocals), Mark Tague (drums)


If you are a fan of 30 Seconds To Mars and the Foo Fighters, you may want to check out Edenthorn.

The hard rock quartet from the north-east of England, made up of two sets of siblings, produce a unique blend of colossal choruses, massive guitar riffs and sublime harmonies, with varying structures, tempos and emotions.

The band’s 2015 debut album, ‘The Maze’, got them the attention of Kerrang! Radio DJ Johnny Doom, who has become one of their major champions.

With the Durham outfit’s follow-up release, ‘Exist’, coming out later next month, they spoke to me about how its recording process has been, what can be expected from it, as well as their journey and experiences up to now.

How did the band get together?

FAIBA GARDNER (bass/vocals): It was pretty straightforward and simple really. Kyle and Mark were in another band and myself and Dylan were also in another band, when me and Kyle met each other and realised that our siblings played instruments.

We decided to start jamming together, then soon realised how easy it was to write together and how much chemistry we had in and outside of the rehearsal room.

How did the name Edenthorn come about?

KYLE TAGUE (vocals): It was a band name that I had come up with many years ago, but it never got put to use. So when it came to us needing a band name, we all loved it and decided to use it!

What inspires the band lyrically?

KYLE: Most of my songs are inspired by my own personal experiences, or experiences of others around me. I’ve come to realise that everybody goes through the same motions at some point in their life, so I aim to write lyrics that are relatable for the listener, so that they feel a connection to the song and lyrics.

Edenthorn is made up of two sets of siblings, and Kyle and Faiba are partners. Do you think the bonds that you all share affect the way you write and perform your music?

FAIBA: Definitely! When we’re writing together, we sometimes jam up to five songs in one two-hour session, because we all know how we want the song to go, where the highs and lows are, where the intensity builds and then drops.

It is as though we all read each other’s minds, because we know what we’re going to do next without talking about it first, It’s just natural! It is exactly the same in a live setting, I can’t really describe it, but it is like telepathy!

Later next month, you will be recording your second album, ‘Exist’. How has the recording process been for that so far?

DYLAN GARDNER (guitar): The recording process has been great fun, we’ve tried to keep the recordings as close to what we play live, so the record has lots of energy and sounds very raw in parts.

And how will it be different to the band’s 2015 debut full-length, ‘The Maze’?

It’s heavier, and you can rock out a lot more to this album.

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

Everybody says it, but we love playing live. It can be nerve-wracking at times when you go and play a new venue or city, because you need to impress and win over the crowds with your own music.

We also use live experiences to help determine how we write future releases, we take how the audience reacts to certain songs and make sure that we craft our new material around what people like.

We used this method when we were writing for ‘Exist’. We made sure that we had a good few lively bangers on there for people to jump around to, more solos from Dylan, catchy melody lines and memorable, sing-along lyrics.

What are the band’s plans once ‘Exist’ comes out?

We are currently planning a UK tour which will take place from the end of next month to the back end of the year. There’ll be more singles and music videos throughout the year, as well, as we’re aiming to release a video for every song on the album.

We’re also planning to release a couple of unheard tracks that were written for ‘Exist’, but didn’t quite fit on the album as a whole.

What is your long-term aim?

The long-term aim is for Edenthorn to be full-time, so we’ll keep on releasing music, touring, looking after our fans, and building blocks towards our goal until it happens.

Edenthorn album cover



Edenthorn gig poster









Fuzzy Vox band photo

FUZZY VOX (from l-r): Jeremy “Jerem” Norris (drums), Hugo Fabbri (vocals/guitar), Gregoire “Greg” Dessons (bass)



Taking influence from the likes of The Jam, The Clash, Supergrass and countless other bands/artists, French trio Fuzzy Vox have endeared themselves to many, both in their native country and across continental Europe, with a hook-heavy, heartfelt, but immature blend of pure rock n’roll and power-pop.

The outfit, who pride themselves on being 100% independent, really hit the big time with their 2016 sophomore album, ‘No Landing Plan’, which they recorded in Los Angeles, and led to support slots for punk legends Sham 69 and France’s answer to Elvis Presley, the late Johnny Hallyday.

Last year, the band released their latest EP, ‘Ba-Da-Boom’, and recently, they brought out one of the tracks from it, ‘I Fell In Love With The World’, as a single.

Having just completed a first UK tour, supporting American garage rock/punk/soul collective The BellRays, Hugo Fabbri, frontman of the Parisian trio, spoke to me about what it was like to play in Britain, as well as how him and his bandmates have been shaped by the experiences that they have all had up to now.

How did the band form?

We met at a jam in a cheap bar from our suburban Paris era. We instantly got along, and had lot of fun playing a Sonics song, we quickly found out we wanted to do rock’n roll, and to be the wildest power trio ever.

We played a few shows in our home town, bought a van, and started to tour non-stop in France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Spain…

From where did the name Fuzzy Vox originate?

At our first gigs, we didn’t have any money, so my voice was put in a guitar amp, and the sound that came up was weird, it was kind of a voice with fuzz, a “fuzzy vox“.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

Every time I feel something, I write a song about it. Every time I feel blue, sad or whatever, I recycle these bad emotions and try to make a song out of it, I put all of my frustration in it, and I tell myself that this “chemical” reaction might create something positive that can help people to wake up in the morning.

Therefore, I’ve got tons of songs in my bag, and most of the time, I don’t know what to do with them, so I make records.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Many things, our friends, our local suburban bars, the fact we’re poor, the French decline…but always in a positive Beatles-like way, as we wanna spread only positive emotions, that’s the only reason we do music.

We’re here to put a smile on the face of everybody, to make people laugh, dance, have fun, to make everybody forget about their shitty daily routine, so therefore, we don’t lie, neither in our lyrics or in our music, we don’t use any bloody machine, any DJ loops or samples, only guitar, bass, drums and voices.

We don’t want any limit set on how much we can give to the audience, we want to use our energy to make people realise something special is happening at the moment, something spontaneous.

That’s the only way to break the ice and make some magic happen during a show, and that’s why every single one of our shows is different.

You recorded your 2016 sophomore album, ‘No Landing Plan’, in Los Angeles. That must have been quite an experience.

This was the best experience of our lives. We rented a ranch in the desert of Joshua Tree for some days, then moved to LA for a month to record the LP at Dave’s Room studio, where Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and many others went to record. That was big pressure on our heads, we didn’t have the right to fail! (laughs)

The good thing was that we didn’t, we’re still very proud of the record we made, and the two producers that worked with us, Andy Brohard and Ryan Castle, they really knew what they were doing. (they had already recorded Jet, Wolfmother, the Rolling Stones etc…)

And that album got a huge response when it was released. Was that something the band had expected at all?

To be sincere, we didn’t have a single idea about how this record would be understood by the French audience and media (as we sing in English and French, people can be very small-minded about it, especially when it comes to rock n’ roll, which only has a very small scene in France).

Still, we got great feedback in magazines, we went on national TV two times, went on a two-year non-stop tour, and had a great reaction globally, with a German label (Kidnap Music) having to re-release the record as it sold out in just a few months.

Even though we definitely didn’t go mainstream, as once again, it’s hard for English-sung rock music in France, we’ve achieved many things, and we want only one more thing: to go further and further, and always in our own way, as we’re 100% indie.

However, you returned to France to record last year’s EP, ‘Ba-Da-Boom’. What were the reasons behind that?

After ‘No Landing Plan’, our former drummer, Nico, threw in the towel, and Jeremy “Jerem” Norris replaced him. Since then, there has been a change in our sound, an evolution in our musicality, we’ve gone more vintage, which is something we’re very proud of, as there’s a whole new energy when we play live!

Therefore, we wanted to capture this new energy and put it to tape as soon as possible, that’s why we hit the studio pretty much straight away.

The band have, in the past, supported punk legends Sham 69, and opened for late French rock n’roll icon Johnny Hallyday. How were they as experiences for you?

It was mad! When we opened for Johnny Hallyday (a sort of French Elvis Presley, he died a few months back), we played in front of a huge crowd, about 20,000 people, which was crazy!

People didn’t get us at first when we started to play, but as soon as we made a couple of jokes and jumped everywhere on fast rock songs, the audience started to dance and sing with us. We’re very happy that they did. Then, we got to eat some caviar watching Johnny’s set, which was quite an experience as well.

The shows we played with Sham 69, during their last German tour, were very fun, too.

You’ve just completed your first UK tour, supporting American garage rock/punk/soul outfit The BellRays. How did you find playing Britain?

We were quite scared about it at first, as we thought people would think, “What the fuck? How dare this French band play English-sung rock in our country, where rock’n roll music was basically invented? GO BACK TO YOUR CAMEMBERT“.

However, we were very pleased to find out that the reaction was totally different! People were dancing and doing crazy shit during our shows…They received the energy we gave while we jumped/ran everywhere, and gave even more to us as a reaction.

We felt they really enjoyed our crazy Latin energy, more than French people, and they didn’t throw any camembert at us, so that was a good sign.

Now the tour has been completed, what are the band’s plans?

We’ve got a German tour coming soon, then, of course, many more French gigs, but we’ve had so many great comments and evaluations of our last EP that we wanna get back to the studio as fast as possible.

We’ve just brought out a new video for one of that release’s singles, ‘I Fell In Love With The World’, and we’re working on another one. We’re not tired, we don’t wanna sleep, we just wanna do the maximum things possible. We’ll never stop.











Screech Bats band photo 2

SCREECH BATS (from l-r): Rio Hellyer (bass), Esme Baker (vocals), Lexi Clark (drums), Kit Reeve (guitar)



London punk quartet Screech Bats have already come a long way from starting life as a side project of Surrey punks Hearts Under Fire in 2015.

In that time, the band have supported live the likes of Creeper and Sonic Boom Six, played the Rebellion festival and 40 Years Of Punk Weekender, as well as impressing many with a sound that really captures their feisty attitude, as well as each member’s impressive individual talents.

Bringing out a second EP, ‘Wish You Were Her’, as well as playing a few UK dates, later this month, the four-piece gave me an insight into how the upcoming release was put together, what can be expected from it, and some of the things that they have been through over the last two-and-a-half years.

How did the band get together?

Lexi is pretty much the key that linked us all together. Her and Kit had been playing in Hearts Under Fire together for years, and when that band were thinking about going on hiatus, they formed Screech Bats as a sort of side project, just to keep playing music together.

Lexi and Rio had also briefly played in a band together, so it was a natural rhythm section choice.

Esme was the last piece of the puzzle, we knew her through a mutual friend. We had seen her play and sing at a friend’s birthday party, doing some comedy songs in a kinda folky style, which you may think might not sound like the makings of a great prospective punk frontwoman, but you would be wrong!

Pretty much at the first rehearsal, we all clicked straight away, and we knew we were about to have some fun times ahead.

How did the name Screech Bats come about?

Honestly, it was one of the first things that came out of Esme’s mouth. Initially, it was Big Whiny & the Screech Bats, which of course is HORRIBLE. After multiple other terrible suggestions, we started coming round to the idea of Screech Bats.

Naming your band is the hardest thing about being in a band. We’ve been super fortunate that no-one else has the URLs!

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

Kit tends to write the structures of the songs and records them on Garageband. Then, they send them round to the rest of the band to listen to and see if they like the vibe, and then we take it to the rehearsal room and we all add our own parts.

It’s a collaborative effort in the end. Lexi is one of those drummers that you think, at first, is providing a strong, fairly simple beat, but when you focus in on what she is doing, she’s technically brilliant and is so creative. My favourite drummer! (bias)

Rio somehow manages to take the skeleton bass lines, and add a very sexy groove to it, which you don’t often get in the sort of melodic punk that we play.

Esme is a very cerebral lyricist. A great amount of time, thought and uncomfortable emotions go into writing the lyrics.

What inspires the band lyrically?

In general, Esme makes notes all day, every day of stuff she wants to sing about or lyrics she thinks of when wandering about. She then takes these ideas and fits them to the music when we have it ready for the lyrics to be added. She listens to the demos, gets a full vocal idea together, then brings it to the table and we all give feedback.

However, for this record, she has poured her absolute soul into the words. ‘Get Better’ was a particularly challenging song to write, as rhythmically, it’s quite different to our other songs, with the content of the lyrics being very personal to her.

The rest of us can recall hearing her sing the words over the demo for the first time, and it literally gave us all goosebumps.

Your 2016 self-titled debut EP came out to an overwhelmingly positive reaction. Was that something you were all expecting while recording it?

We had only been a band for six months when we recorded our debut EP, which when you listen to it, sounds like madness! We had done a handful of live shows, maybe no more than three, and the songs were very new, but it was really exciting for us.

What is important to remember is that all four of us have been touring around the world in other bands and musical projects for a long time. This wasn’t our first rodeo.

We worked with Jason Wilson from Stakeout Studios in Hampton. He has previously worked with bands such as You Me At Six, Reuben, and Don Broco, and Lexi and Kit had worked with Jason before on previous albums and EPs. He has an excellent work ethic, and we knew that he could really get the best out of us.

And that led to the band supporting Creeper and Sonic Boom Six, as well as playing the last two Rebellion festivals in Blackpool, and the 40 Years of Punk Weekender at the Camden Roundhouse. How were they all as experiences?

You’ve pretty much nailed some of the highlights of our two-and-a-half year career!

Playing with Creeper was such an epic gig. Lexi used to play shows with some of Creeper in their former band lives, so it was a really friendly night. We grew up playing the same venues, listening to the same bands, and they are wonderful humans.

The Sonic Boom Six show in London was one of those amazing lively sweatbox shows with the best atmosphere, and we are all big fans of their politically-charged bangers.

Laila K has always been a big inspiration. When we were teens, Laila was one of the few female touring musicians on the circuit that we knew of. There is something so powerful about seeing her lean over the monitors and having the whole audience in the palm of her hands. Some of us saw them at the Reading Festival in 2007, and got caught up in that circle pit in the tent!

Rebellion Festival is the “must play” festival for any UK punk band. We’re still very grateful to Jonny Wah Wah for hooking us up. Last year, we played the Arena Stage. That room is HUGE and it was totally packed when we played.

The 40 Years Punk Weekender was a celebration of 40 years since the Ramones played the Roundhouse, and also the celebration of the start of London punk rock. What a privilege it was to stand on that stage, after only being a band for a year, in the place of some of the world’s greatest musicians! It’s something we will never forget.

The whole line-up was great, not to mention the added bonus of a more balanced bill of the gender spectrum in terms of the musicians playing. What was also rad was that there was like a 40ft poster with Kaila, the guitarist from Youth Man, hanging from the Roundhouse. They are very much the future of alternative punk with their sound and aggressive energetic shows.

People are quick to forget that rock ‘n’ roll was actually invented by queer black women, so it was rad to see that kind of representation as a celebration of the past and the future of punk.

Being a band with female and gender non-conforming members, you’ve often said that you want to be judged on merit, not by gender. I can imagine it’s very frustrating when some do that.

If you haven’t lived it, it’s hard to explain the relentless battle. We are over being labeled as “female-fronted“. It’s time for that phrase to die. The Franklys have just had these awesome T-shirts made that say, “Female is not a genre“. We should all get involved with those.

No-one ever asks bands who identify as male, “What’s it like being an all-male band? Is it hard for you to be taken seriously?” No. It’s not even a thought that crosses journalists’ minds.

We do not use our genitalia to play our instruments. If you’re doing that, you’re probably doing it wrong. Gender is over if you want it.

The band will be bringing out their highly-anticipated second EP, ‘Wish You Were Her’, later this month. How has the recording process been?

Recording was so much fun. We actually recorded in Blackpool with James from Sonic Boom Six. He’s been desperate to work with us since day one. We wanted to move to a slightly more raw-sounding record.

Rio used the bass that Sonic Boom Six have toured and recorded with, which is pretty damn awesome. We did have a day off, though, to play in the Blackpool arcades. Esme is super competitive at any kind of game, so we had a lot of laughs.

And how will the upcoming release be different to your debut offering?

Our debut EP was excellent and very polished, but we wanted something a bit more gritty, as this upcoming EP is super dark in comparison. We’ve gone from songs about aliens and losing your virginity in a park, to challenging songs about death and overcoming mental health issues.

Stylistically, it’s still very much Screech Bats, but maybe the riffs are bigger, and the melodies more intricate. I know its clichéd to say we’ve matured as a band, but it’s true. A lot changes between the time a band is six months old to two-and-a-half years old!

What has the band got lined up once ‘Wish You Were Her’ has come out?

We have a tour at the end of this month/start of next month to support the release of the EP, and we are booking more shows for this summer. We will also be playing Camden Rocks Festival on the 2nd June!

What is your long-term aim?

Get to play with some awesome bands. Bands we would love to tour with, as well as play with again: Petrol Girls, Youth Man, Sonic Boom Six, Funeral Shakes, the Last Gang, Bad Cop/ Bad Cop, Turbulent Hearts, Miss Vincent, Creeper, Against Me!

Our long-term aim is just to continue to have fun creating music together, and if we can assist in the task of making the music scene a safe space for all people, then that’s something to be proud of.

Screech Bats EP Cover



Screech Bats tour poster




Black Income band photo

BLACK INCOME (back, from l-r): Michael Gersdorff Kristensen (bass), Lars “Animal” Olrik (drums), (front): Henrik Thrane (lead vocals/guitar)


Danish trio Black Income have become increasingly popular in their native country in recent years with a well-crafted sound influenced by a mutual love of 90’s melodic grunge and hard rock, but with a contemporary twist.

In 2016, the band released their debut album, ‘Noise Pollution’, to an overwhelmingly positive response, with many noting its focus on hard-hitting guitar riffs and frank, politically-charged lyrical content.

Last year, the three-piece ventured back into the studio to put together their eagerly-anticipated follow-up.

So far, two singles, including recent offering, ‘Drug’, have been unveiled, and has seen more praise heading the collective’s way, which stands them in good stead for when the full album comes out this summer.

Recently, I spoke to the guys about all this and more, and the following is what they had to say:

How did the band get together?

Well, we have always played music, and we come from a long line of different bands, so actually, it was Henrik and Lars who got the idea of starting Black Income back in 2011. We wanted to do a more powerful approach on the grunge scene, without repeating the history.

How did the name Black Income come about?

Our name just reflects our society, many politicians are so corrupt and steal money from the little man, so it’s actually one of the only chances to fight back…and when we got to finding the name for our band, we wanted to stir things up a little, so we came up with Black Income, which no-one seems to talk about, but everybody knows it…You won’t believe how many messages we receive from people thinking we can help them out with money.

How would you describe your sound?

Our music is often described as tight stoner grunge with a melodic twist, we aim to write interesting songs, and we really do our best to keep things new, although we play a certain genre like grunge…However, we add some new flavours to the genre, and we’re not here to repeat the past at any point, we really aim to do things our own way, and we put a lot of effort into creating our own sound.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

We listen to a lot of music, but bands like Queens Of The Stone Age and their way of doing rhythms have inspired us a lot, so have outfits such as Soundgarden, Nirvana and Stone Temple Pilots…Not that we aim to sound like them, we just their punchy edge and vocal harmonies.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

It’s often Henrik who comes up with ideas for songs, then, we normally just jam upon them, and see where it goes.

What inspires the band lyrically?

We often take inspiration in everyday life, and what just comes to mind…’Noise Pollution’ was inspired by the world we live in today, but the new stuff takes a more personal approach.

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

If you mean the experience of when we play, we just love it, because live, the music seems to really come alive…that’s our aim, anyway…

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

Well, we just released a second single from our forthcoming album, to be released this summer.

The song is called ‘Drug’, and it’s in fact the opposite of what you probably would think, judging by the title. It’s more like an anti-drug, up-tempo rock tune for that matter…It seems everyone is on drugs these days, so we thought, “Hey, let’s do a song about how these stressed-out weekend junkies look to us in public“.

We have a couple of gigs planned for now, but we will first start touring at the end of this year and the start of next year, so in the meantime, head on over to Spotify and YouTube to check it out…

What is your long-term aim?

We will keep playing for as long as people listen, because for us, it’s not about fame or money, it’s about the music.













Our Time Is Now band photo

OUR TIME IS NOW (from l-r): Ryan Atkin (guitar), Nick Turner (bass), Sam Wilson (drums), Stuart “Stu” Pearce (vocals)


From Norfolk, four-piece Our Time Is Now pride themselves on a unique, direct sound that blends old-school pop-punk harmonies with gritty post-hardcore breakdowns.

In recent months, the band have played shows in major UK cities such as London, Leeds and Birmingham, supported live one of their major influences, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!, and released a single, ‘Sinking Ships’, to a good reception.

With the rising quartet facing a packed itinerary of live shows in the next couple of months, including a support slot for Lightscape in Norwich early next month, they spoke to me about this, as well as their journey up to now.

How did the band get together?

Stu and Ryan have been playing music together since we were about 14 years old. We played in a lot of different bands together until we finally decided to create Our Time Is Now. We met Sam and Nick along the way, just from playing all over the UK, and they decided to join.

How did the name Our Time Is Now come about?

Our Time Is Now is supposed to be a bit of a statement for everyone. If you want to do something, and you are passionate about it, just do it! “Your Time Is Now

How would you describe your sound?

A good way to describe our sound is a mix of A Day To Remember, Neck Deep and All Time Low, but also with some quirky and heavy sounds, and plenty of sing-along choruses with heavy breakdowns, all mixed in.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

The bands we mentioned in the answer to the last question, plus Fall Out Boy, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!, etc…We like to think the blend of our sound is quite different. Give it a listen on all digital platforms!

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

Normally, Stu writes the lyrics, and comes up with the general idea for a song, then the rest of us turn it into the final piece you guys listen to.

What inspires the band lyrically?

All sorts of things inspire us when it comes to lyrics. Personal battles that we are facing, battles that the world is facing on the whole, a real mix. Also, of course, all of  the happy memories we have as well.

Last month, you released a single, ‘Sinking Ships’. How has the reaction been to that so far?

‘Sinking Ships’ has gone down really well, so did our 2014 EP, ‘Freakshow’, along with plenty of other singles. ‘Dancing On My Own’ and ‘Green Lane’ are well worth a listen.

How, for the band, is the experience of playing live?

Non-stop action from start to finish. It’s all about turning the music that you guys hear into something that you can really see and feel. You can find us on YouTube, or even better, get down to a show!

What are your plans for the near future?

We have a few gigs booked up for the year so far, along with a lot of writing and recording, and we’re just going to keep trying to push ourselves out and play in cities we have never been to before.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

We would love to be able to go out on the road playing music for a living. See the world and try to make people happy with the music that we create.

Our Time Is Now Single Cover



Our Time Is Now gig poster