Category Archives: Interviews

THE JACKS

The Jacks band photo

THE JACKS (from l-r): Tom Hunter (lead guitar), Josh Roossin (drums), Jonny Stanback (vocals/rhythm guitar), Scott Stone (bass)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

In a music industry saturated with generic sounding, auto-tuned tracks with little lyrical depth, Los Angeles four-piece The Jacks offer a refreshing alternative.

In the last year, they have made waves with a pure, gritty rock n’roll sound that is also bold and unruly, and is heavily influenced by the top British outfits of the 60s and 70s.

The quartet have also managed to play a set at iconic venue The Viper Room, and many in the music press have tipped them to be one of the bands that will take 2018 by storm.

What makes this all the more remarkable is that they haven’t even released an EP yet.

I chatted with bassist Scott Stone about all things The Jacks, and this is what he had to say:

How did the band get together?

Tom and myself have been playing together since we were thirteen years old. We grew up listening to the same music and first wanted to form a band to just play covers of our favourite bands (The Who, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin). We then met Jonny through an open mic night and got him to join the band at the end of college.

We immediately started writing original music and the whole process just came naturally. Josh later joined after our original drummer quit. Josh brought a whole new sense of direction and much clearer idea of a sound. 

How did the name The Jacks come about?

Kind of a strange story, but we were playing at one of our local dive bars called The Blue Beet. We had just finished our four hour set and a person in the bar told us we were “a bunch of Jack of all trades” because we could play the classic hits and some of the newer age music.

We shortened it down to The Jacks and we liked how it sounded. It’s an easy name to remember and has a classic sound to it. 

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

Each song is different, but typically, Jonny or Tom will come to the studio with an idea for a song, sometimes it’s just a chord progression or it’s a melody line. We then will mess around with it as a band for a while and see where it goes. If we like the way it sounds, we will keep working on it.

Usually, we will play a song live at one of our shows, see how the crowd reacts to it, and then we continue to develop it. ‘She’s a Mystery’ actually went through three or four different versions live before we completed it. 

What inspires the band lyrically?

We usually write lyrics based on personal experiences we’ve had. One of our upcoming songs, ‘Hello My Friend’ is about a close friend of ours who went through a really dark time and how we reacted to it.

For some songs, we will play it live and not have the lyrics done, Jonny will freestyle the lyrics and he usually comes up with some really good lines live that stick. 

Recently, you brought out a new single, ‘She’s A Mystery’. How has the reaction been to it so far?

It’s been great! We’ve gotten a lot of good press on it and positive reviews from our fans. It has helped define the new direction we are going in with our upcoming EP.

When are you hoping to get the EP out by?

We’re going to be releasing it early next year.

The band also recently played at iconic Los Angeles venue The Viper Room. How was that as an experience?

That was really cool for all of us. It was a sold out show and the energy in the room was electric. The Viper Room is one of the most famous clubs on the LA music scene, so getting to perform on the same stage as some of our idols was something I’ll never forget. 

Your sound is heavily influenced by the British music of the 60s and 70s. Are there any plans at the moment for you to play in the UK?

We’ve always dreamed of playing there, unfortunately, nothing is set though. As soon as we get the first opportunity to play there, we will. 

Apart from the forthcoming EP, what are the band’s plans going into 2018?

Keep writing, keep rehearsing, and play as many shows as possible. We really think that our live shows are the best way for us to get new people to hear our music. We put everything we have into all of our shows. We’re hoping to get on a spring tour with someone through the United States.

What is your long-term aim?

To keep growing and writing better and better music. Even though we have now found a sound that we love, that sound will keep growing and changing with us. Hopefully one day, we will be headlining an international tour.

The Jacks Single Cover

‘SHE’S A MYSTERY’, THE LATEST SINGLE FROM THE JACKS, IS AVAILABLE TO STREAM OR PURCHASE FROM SPOTIFY, GOOGLE PLAY, AMAZON MUSIC & iTunes.

THE BAND’S DEBUT EP WILL BE RELEASED EARLY IN 2018.

FURTHER INFO ON THE JACKS CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THESE SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.thejacksbandla.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/thejacksbandla

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/thejacks.band

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

SOUNDCLOUD: soundcloud.com/thejacks_official

 

 

 

 

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WE’RE NO GENTLEMEN

We're No Gentlemen band photo

WE’RE NO GENTLEMEN (from l-r): Vince Gudino (drums), Daniele Boneddu (bass), Amanda Gabel (vocals), Dan Schiz (lead guitar), Rikki Juarez (rhythm guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Since forming in 2012, alternative rock five-piece We’re No Gentlemen have worked tirelessly on establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with, and now, they are reaping the rewards of all their hard work.

Taking influence from the likes of Good Charlotte and Rise Against, the Los Angeles outfit have impressed many on their home city’s music scene with a highly energetic sound, honest, and at times dark, lyrical content, and the fiery vocal delivery of frontwoman Amanda Gabel.

Having brought out their self-titled debut EP last year, to overwhelmingly positive reviews, the quintet have just released one of the singles from it, ‘Night’.

I spoke to them recently about their latest release, story up to now, and a little about what they have planned for the future.

How did the band get together?

The band was founded by drummer Vince Gudino and some of his close friends. When the band decided they wanted to get serious, they added frontwoman Amanda Gabel.

After playing together for two years, and members leaving, Amanda and Vince sought out for more serious members. That all came true with the additions of Daniele Bonnedu on bass and Rikki Juarez and Dan Schiz, both on guitar.

From where did the name We’re No Gentlemen originate?

The band originally didn’t have a name and needed one before they could play a show. So when one of the members said, “Hey, we’re no gentlemen“, everyone just agreed and thought that it fit the personality of the band well, jokingly of course.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

Typically, a member will come up with a guitar riff or group of riffs that make up an initial idea, then we either jam on it together as a band or some members even partner up to create a demo first and then send it to the rest of the band.

Some ideas even have completed vocals and lyrics before the demo is sent to the entire band. Everyone has their input and every song has a different approach, which helps keep each idea fresh.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Lyrically, most of our songs are pretty dark, as we write about painful experiences as a form of therapy. We write pretty sad lyrics, but there’s a light-hearted love song on our upcoming EP, ‘Home’.

‘Mirror, Mirror’ is also a lighter pop-rock song. Quite often, our lyrics can come in the form of metaphors, for example, ‘Reflection’ was used to describe things that are not always what they seem.

Last year, you brought out your self-titled debut EP to great reviews. Were you all blown away by the reaction it got?

Yes, definitely. We were pretty confident about the songs coming out of the studio, but of course you wonder if other people are going to share the same enthusiasm.

However, the reaction has been great. The best part is when someone sends us a message about what the songs mean to them, and that they are happy that they came across our music. We want our band to be the soundtrack of their lives, like other artists were a big part of our lives.

Hearing everyone’s reactions just inspires us more and creates a fire in us to give 110% with every performance and song we write.

The band have just released a new single, ‘Night’. What can be expected of it?

‘Night’ is different, because it’s more of a dark ballad. The time signature of the song is also not traditional, but done in a way that the listener can still bob their head to it.

Lyrically, ‘Night’ is a song about wanting to let go of hurt. It’s a build up of all of the experiences that have made you who you are. It’s about wanting to let go of negative and suicidal thoughts. Most of the band has been affected by loved ones taking their own life, so this song is very dear to our hearts.

Having mentioned ‘Home’, your second EP, earlier, when are you aiming to get that out by?

Well, we recorded it just last month, so we plan to bring it out early in 2018.

The band have played at iconic Los Angeles venues The Viper Room and Whisky A Go-Go. How were they as experiences?

Absolutely amazing and an honour. It had been our collective dream to play those venues, and to play to packed houses was incredible. The best part was that not only were we excited, our fans in LA were just as excited. It made the whole experience all the more special.

In fact, the reason why we played at the Whisky A Go-Go was because we won a contest a few weeks prior that was judged by Chuck Wright, the bassist for Quiet Riot. While we were soundchecking at the venue, he showed up and shook all of our hands. It definitely made us feel confident that we were on the right track.

Aside from the new single and forthcoming EP, what have you got lined up over the next couple of months?

We plan to tour the American West Coast, sometime shortly after the EP’s release.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

To be the biggest fucking female-fronted rock band in the world.

‘HOME’, THE SECOND EP FROM WE’RE NOT GENTLEMEN, WILL BE RELEASED SOME TIME IN EARLY 2018.

YOU CAN LISTEN AND DOWNLOAD TO THE BAND’S SELF-TITLED DEBUT EP NOW. MORE DETAILS BELOW:

We're No Gentlemen EP Cover

FURTHER INFO ON WE’RE NO GENTLEMEN CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THESE SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.werenogentlemen.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/werenogentlemen

TWITTER: twitter.com/WereNoGentlemen

INSTAGRAM: instagram.com/werenogentlemen

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

BANDCAMP: werenogentlemen.bandcamp.com

REVERBNATION: www.reverbnation.com/werenogentlemen

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAREWELL IN VEGAS

Farewell To Vegas band photo

FAREWELL IN VEGAS (from l-r): Francois Blanckaert (guitar), Jia Dabright (vocals), Theo Brasseur (bass), Arnaud Lefebvre (drums)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

With a sound that is a heartfelt, melodic mix of alternative rock, post-hardcore and metalcore, French quartet Farewell In Vegas are an outfit definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Having already gained a sizable following on social media (Their videos have so far been viewed an average of 35,000 times on YouTube), the band unleashed their debut EP, ‘Serenades’, towards the end of October, to a universally positive response.

Straight after this, the four-piece decided to head straight back into the studio to start work on an album, which should be out some time next year.

Farewell In Vegas told me a little about themselves, when I chatted with them recently.

How did the band get together?

We are old friends! A true band of brothers!

From where did the name Farewell In Vegas originate?

A farewell is the saddest thing in this world, and Vegas is the place where dreams come true (or not), where the lights shine harder than anywhere… I like this paradox.

How would you describe your sound?

No need to describe it. Just listen to our songs and judge by yourself!

What are the band’s musical influences?

I don’t know… Everyone in the band has its specific tastes!  Somewhere between rock, electronic music and sometimes, rap.

What inspires you all lyrically?

What we’re living! The hardest part of our lives.

What is the band’s songwriting approach?

First you need an instrumental, then, get the vibe from it and write.

Towards the end of October, you released your debut EP, ‘Serenades’. How has the reaction been to that so far?

Good reviews for the moment! Thanks to everyone who listened to it!

The band currently have an album in the making. How is that going for you all?

We take our time to make things right. You guys have to be patient but…it could come out in the next couple of months, who knows?

When are you aiming to get the album out by?

Early next year, maybe?

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

It’s the best thing ever, dude…We love it so much.

What else do you have planned going into 2018?

It’s a surprise!

What is the band’s long-term aim?

To play in the biggest venues, all around the world. What else?

Farewell In Vegas EP Cover

‘SERENADES’, THE DEBUT EP FROM FAREWELL IN VEGAS, IS AVAILABLE NOW TO PURCHASE FROM THE BAND’S BANDCAMP PAGE farewellinvegas.bandcamp.com

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

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/farewellinvegas

TWITTER: twitter.com/farewellinvegas

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

 

 

OF LEGIONS

Of Legions band photo

OF LEGIONS (from l-r): Nathan McCue (drums), Sam Morrey (guitar), Luke Mansfield (vocals), Ollie Lewis (bass)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Influenced by the likes of Slipknot, Parkway Drive, and Black Flag, Stoke-on-Trent hardcore outfit Of Legions pride themselves on crafting a sound that is raw and passionate, taking in elements of punk, rock and metal.

In the last two years, the band have established themselves on their home city’s music scene, impressing with energetic and powerful live performances.

With the quartet’s debut album, ‘Face Value’, coming out in February, which promises to be their most diverse and aggressive work to date, I caught up with them just before their weekly practice, and this is what they had to say:

How did the band form?

LUKE MANSFIELD (vocals): Me and Sam basically formed the band at high school. We knew a guitarist and a bassist, and eventually, we found a drummer who was interested in joining us. That was in our last year at high school, and we went from there.

SAM MORREY (guitar): It’s been a fair few years, hasn’t it?

LUKE: About five years, something like that.

From where did the name Of Legions originate?

LUKE: No-one in the band came up with it. We were talking with our mates about band names and stuff, and one of them said, “What about Of Legions?

We thought that sounded like a cool band name.

SAM: We didn’t realise until later that it was a title of a song by Whitechapel.

LUKE: It wasn’t even a song, it was an intro, interval-type thing, but the name stuck.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

NATHAN McCUE (drums): Well, me and Sam do all of the instrumentals first, the drums, the guitar, we get a rough idea of what we want to do, then Luke hops on, and he starts doing whatever he can do to it.

LUKE: I’m not as musically gifted as the other three! (Nathan and Sam laugh) Sam usually comes into practice, and will say, “I’ve got these ideas“, then, Nathan will add his drums, Ollie will add his bass to it, and his ideas, he’ll then turn round to us and go, “Make it harder!“, and then, it either happens or it doesn’t.

Either way, it ends up being a good song.

What inspires the band lyrically?

LUKE: Mainly things that have happened to me in my life, what I think about other things and stuff, some of them are politically inclined, some of them deal with past relationships. A lot of the more recent songs have been about me having a good time with my mates, but also standing up for one another.

You recently released a track, ‘Suicidal Thoughts’. How well do you think the reaction has been to it so far?

LUKE: We’ve been pretty happy with the reaction so far.

SAM: Within a few days of us bringing it out, the video had had lots of views, and we got quite a lot of press coverage for it, as well.

LUKE: I kept an eye on it, but Sam, obviously, kept more of an eye on it. I first knew of the success the single had had, when Sam popped up on Facebook, and said, “The video’s had over a thousand views.”

At that point, I was like, “Oh, right“, whereas previously, it had taken us months to get that many views.

SAM: This time, there’s definitely been a better reaction, and a quicker one, at that.

The single was taken from your debut album, ‘Face Value’, which will be coming out in February. How has the recording process been up to now?

LUKE: Interesting. (Nathan and Sam laugh) Obviously, the more musically gifted members of the band have got it all nailed down.

NATHAN: I did my drum parts in a day, Sam did his guitar parts, also in a day, but Luke got tonsillitis halfway through recording the vocals.

LUKE: I did, like, three songs, then my throat started getting bad, and got worse.

NATHAN: You had to take a break, didn’t you?

LUKE: Yeah, I couldn’t record for about two, three weeks, but even when I came back and did the vocals, I had to rest my throat for another two, three weeks. When my tonsillitis had gone, I listened back, and went, “We’ve got to re-record this“, because the vocals just sounded terrible, and I felt I had rushed it along.

It was worth re-recording, though, because the sound we have now, we’re really happy with it. Credit to Tom of Riff Factory, where we recorded the album, for making things easier for us. He’s an incredible producer, he really does know his shit.

SAM: It was just such a relaxed atmosphere, just what we wanted.

The band has supported the likes of Desolated, Martyr Defiled, and Continents. How is the experience, for you all, of playing live?

LUKE: I love it. The reason I wanted to be in a band in the first place was to play live. Even if there’s only five people in the crowd, as long as they’re having a good time, drinking with their mates, it doesn’t really bother me.

Obviously, the more people that are there, the better the show, because we like to keep our sets as energetic as possible.

What other plans do you have going into 2018?

LUKE: We want to tour the UK, at least, we really want to get some contacts in mainland Europe, really try to push ourselves further out there, in terms of touring.

NATHAN: That way, we’ll be able to promote the album a bit more. Just get out of our local area.

SAM: This year has been more of a “behind the scenes” year. When the album comes out, we’re just going to go for it, play live as much as we can.

LUKE: Just get any show that we can, really, so we can build up a network, really push ourselves.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

LUKE: I don’t know, really. Just tour as much as we can, and see where that gets us. Obviously, we’d love to play some big festivals.

NATHAN: I think every band wants to do that.

SAM: We would love to play with some bigger bands, which would be fun for us.

NATHAN: It would be a different experience, what with lots more people watching us. The atmosphere would be totally different. One of my ambitions, personally, would be for us to eventually get signed to a label, and see where that will take us.

LUKE: My personal aim, well, one of them, would be to tour Europe. I’ve been told there’s a great atmosphere, everyone’s really friendly. To be honest, I just want to go travelling. To be able to do that with the band would be, for me, the best thing ever.

SAM: It’s nice to think where we are now, compared to when we started out. For us, it’s totally different now, so who knows what it’s going to be like then?

NATHAN: We have that reaction a lot, don’t we?

LUKE: Yeah, people who have missed a few of our gigs come back and will just come up to us randomly and say, “Wow! That was so different from the last time I saw you!

That’s a good feeling, because then, you know that you’ve improved. We’ve definitely grown as a band.

Of Legions Album Cover

‘FACE VALUE’, THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM OF LEGIONS, WILL BE RELEASED ON FEBRUARY 16.

FURTHER INFO ON THIS, AND THE BAND, CAN BE FOUND HERE.

 

LOST LIKE ALICE

Lost Like Alice photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Lost Like Alice is a project by Welsh singer-songwriter Ben Parker, who burst onto the scene earlier this year with debut EP, ‘Thread’, which drew much acclaim for its mix of blues, rock and ambient, as well as a pure, emotional vocal delivery.

Having been championed by BBC Introducing in Wales, Ben has decided to keep up the momentum he has generated by working on a second EP, ’20’, coming out early in the new year.

With one of the singles, ‘Headlights’, having already been released, and getting a good reception, Ben explained to me, in-depth, about how he has put together the forthcoming offering, and what can be expected of it, as well as his experiences up to now.

When was the moment you realised you wanted to pursue music as a career?

Initially, it would have come from when I was younger. When I was 11, I started writing and performing and started by playing all over my local music scene. When I was learning to play the guitar, I discovered John Mayer’s album, ‘Continuum’. The album spoke to me on so many different levels, and made me want to write my own songs.

The ability for a track to speak to the audience is something that I have carried with me all along. I think it’s so important to be able to express yourself fully and create a connection to the audience, and I get that from songwriting.

I feel like I have these moments of realisation every time I play live. Being able to play songs that mean the world to me, and to give a little piece of that to people for them to enjoy is the best feeling.

To be able to have an effect on someone’s life in such a profound way, through something I have created, is what makes the journey of developing as an artist worthwhile, and it encourages me to carry on making music and learning about myself.

How did Lost Like Alice come about?

Lost Like Alice started when I was performing regularly with a friend of mine, who was playing percussion alongside me. We started to record some songs that I had written, as a band, which is something I hadn’t done before.

Everything I had ever done up to that point was acoustic and as a solo artist, so it was exciting to be doing something new. Some of those songs we recorded became
‘Thread’.

We decided to go different ways and focus on other things, so I reverted back to being a solo artist and the name stuck. I found it to be unique and it always encourages a double take when people realise I’m a solo artist as the name would hint at a band.

I’m sure there is some marketing genius in it somewhere, between you and I though, it’s just a really cool name to have!

From where did the name originate?

The idea behind sticking with the Lost Like Alice name as a solo artist, was to have the freedom a band name can carry. I feel like it gives me room to really explore where I want to take the music without being put in a box as just an acoustic singer-songwriter.

If anyone has heard ‘Thread’, they will know the range in styles that I look into as an artist. If you remember when Lukas Graham first came on the scene, so many people thought, “This guy is great!“, only a little while after did people realise it was a band, despite it seeming like a solo artist’s name, so consider it a “reverse Lukas Graham“, which can perhaps be the professional term from here on in?

However, in terms of the actual name itself, I wish I had a really clever story behind it. It’s just something that I scribbled down one night, looked at the next morning and thought it was a really cool name. I feel like it compliments what I’m doing musically, and I like the mystery it creates.

Also, it has given birth to the “reverse Lukas Graham“, which is officially a thing as of this interview!

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

I think that every song is different, and comes about in its own way. Some will be completed from start to finish in a few minutes, whereas others might be left for months, before coming back to finish them. It completely depends. Songs like ‘Headlights’, which comes from a really emotional and pure place, just flows out of me.

Sometimes, I don’t even realise the meaning of the song until much later. I love the fact that, whatever the song might mean to me, it can mean something completely different to someone else, which is a beautiful thing.

Your debut EP, ‘Thread’, came out this summer to good reviews. How did you find the reaction to it?

It was really satisfying and a real sense of achievement. As something that I had put so much into, from the writing, to recording, to emotion, to everything else and then having people wanting to listen to it and take the time to review it and say nice things was amazing.

It made me realise that I’m on the right track, it seemed to be making people happy and feel reflective and that makes me equally happy. I’m very open and honest in my lyrics and each song represents my life in some way, so for people to respond to that in such a positive manner, and tap into what I’m saying or feeling, is incredible.

In January, you will be releasing your second EP, ’20’. How has the recording process been?

It has been very liberating. This whole EP feels like a gift. It was not something that I had planned to do, I had other projects in the works, but the song, ‘Headlights’ just seemed to fall into a track, almost like it had written and produced itself. At that point, I knew I had to run with it.

I was able to create the EP, in its entirety, on my own. Every instrument, every line, the production, everything. I had not made music like that before, and working this way really inspired me.

The concept for the EP came from a simple question, “What does myself, my ideas and my arrangements, put into a room, sound like?“, and ’20’ is the answer to that. I do like to start from scratch whenever I have a new project, I don’t want to repeat things that I have already done. It keeps the process exciting for me, and allows inspiration to flow.

And what can be expected of it?

Well, ’20’ is a very organic and thought-provoking EP. My aim is to always make my material thought-provoking, but this EP just feels a little more personal.

As an example, the photo being used for ‘Headlights’ was found in an old photo album that my grandad shot and put together himself when he first moved to Australia, and I have many more of these being used in the promotion stage
of the EP.

It feels like this sense of nostalgia and capturing a moment has been portrayed throughout the EP. Without overdoing it in terms of sounds, and just keeping the sound palette slightly stripped back, there is a sense that people can take their own interpretation from the music which has allowed the songs, lyrics and emotion to really come through.

I wouldn’t say it is your conventional acoustic project though. There are a lot of different genres found throughout ’20’, with the whole process of creating the EP being as refreshing as anything I have done. There are hints of blues, country, folk and all sorts going on in equal measure.

I really got to explore as a songwriter with this one, and I think you can hear that in the songs. It is a project that is unique in every aspect, and I hope everyone finds as much pride in it as I have.

You supported JP Cooper, who is perhaps best known for collaborating with Jonas Blue on the track ‘Perfect Strangers’. How was that as an experience?

It’s definitely something that I won’t ever forget. It was in this really cool art gallery in Colwyn Bay, and I was invited down by someone who had organised the event.

You could hear a pin drop. Crowds like that are really intimidating. Just because you’ll hear musicians saying, “I wish people would listen to me“, but when you have someone’s full attention, it’s scary.

Still to this day, it’s one of the best gigs that I have ever done, and I am so grateful to have been given such an incredible opportunity. To be able to play on the same lineup as JP Cooper was such an amazing thing as a 14 year old, and he’s a very nice guy.

Later this month, you will be playing at The Goose in Manchester. How is the live experience for you?

Playing live is my favourite part of all. It’s where a song really becomes a song, you can’t hide emotion, and it really is all performed and left on that stage. I love being able to connect with people through my music, and enjoy seeing the effect that can have on others.

I have a lot of really cool opportunities coming up in 2018, which I will announce in the new year. The gigs are always a lot of fun, and I recommend to anyone reading to come down to one, it’s a great laugh and I always appreciate every individual that wishes to come out to see me.

What is your long-term aim?

Honestly, as cliché as it will sound, I just want to make music. To be able to perform my own songs to a room of people, release new music, and see it making a positive change in people’s lives, as well as to keep exploring where I want to go next. That’s enough for me.

The scale of where this goes is not as important as the journey it takes to get there, and the people that I can influence along the way. I would obviously love to play a couple of festivals, support some more fantastic artists, and if I can get the “reverse Lukas Graham” theory into the dictionary, then we are all winning, I suppose!

At the end of the day, I’m able to do this full-time, and I’m incredibly grateful for that, so in a way, it allows me to continually learn about myself and those around me, fans included. It allows me to connect with like minded people who promote music with meaning like yourselves, so for the moment, I will say that is enough.

Lost Like Alice EP Cover

’20’, THE SECOND EP FROM LOST LIKE ALICE, WILL BE RELEASED ON JANUARY 12.

FURTHER INFO CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THESE SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: lostlikealiceofficial.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/lostlikealicemusic

TWITTER: twitter.com/lostlikealice1

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/lostlikealiceofficial

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

BANDCAMP: lostlikealice.bandcamp.com

SOUNDCLOUD: soundcloud.com

 

 

I FIGHT BEARS

I Fight Bears band photo

I FIGHT BEARS (from l-r): Drew Hamley (bass/vocals), Chris Treharne (guitar), Dan Trigga (vocals), Scott Preece (drums), Marc James (guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

The south Wales town of Bridgend has become a hotbed of metal over the last decade, with hugely successful bands Funeral For A Friend and Bullet For My Valentine both hailing from there.

One outfit hopeful of some day emulating those two are I Fight Bears. Taking influence from the likes of Killswitch Engage, Parkway Drive, and Avenged Sevenfold, the five-piece specialise in a fast-paced, intense sound comprising of thrashy, colossal guitar riffs, melodic choruses, and towering vocals.

Bringing out their self-titled debut album in the new year, with one of the tracks, ‘Lost The Fight’, already released and getting positive reviews, the band chatted with me about what else can be expected from it, as well as how they put their forthcoming release together.

How did the band initially get together?

It started with Dan pestering Drew to get involved with writing some tracks. Drew eventually agreed. Marc was keen to get involved with something, having previously worked with Drew in other projects and joined in on the writing sessions.

What came out was very promising and developed from one rough track to four possible tracks. Chris and Scott heard these initial demos and jumped on board and it has kept moving forward ever since.

From where did the name I Fight Bears originate?

We struggled for ages to come up with a band name that we all were comfortable with. Eventually, a close friend of ours suggested we call ourselves I Fight Bears, after a group of us watched The Revenant. The name stuck.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

Every member of this band brings a different strength and different influence to what we write and produce as a whole. We embrace the digital age and use the internet a lot to exchange ideas, as well as continue an online group chat to smooth out ideas through discussion.

Initially, it starts with Chris and Marc coming up with a load of riffs, and then pulling them into a rough structure. Scott works out his ideas for the drums. Drew and Dan work out vocally what they feel should happen in the song, and then the demo reaches a stage where we’re happy to develop it into a song we can then play in a live situation and later record properly for a future record.

What inspires the band lyrically?

A lot of the lyrics on our debut record are written from personal struggles, overcoming adversity, and addressing things like politics and injustices within the world.

Dan’s aim is to channel his own personal journey of struggle to help any potential listener out there who might be struggling with their own issues.

You recently released a single, ‘Lost The Fight’. How has the reaction been to that, as well as your other singles, so far?

We’ve had nothing but positive responses to our music so far, which really helps us to feel that we’re doing something right musically. And as a result, our audiences at shows has slowly grown in size each time.

And the track will feature on the band’s self-titled debut album, coming out in February. How has the recording process been?

Production went well on the most part, but it did take a lot longer to reach the final product than any of us anticipated. That’s the thing when you’re producing your own material, as opposed to paying for a recording studio.

In a studio, you’re bound by money and time so you have to record and finish a record within an allotted time frame, but as we have the capacity to produce our own material to a high standard, that pressure to record and finish the record by a certain time wasn’t there.

In one way, that’s a good thing, because you have more thinking time to change certain aspects, but in another way, it can all get dragged out longer than necessary.

I think the key thing we have all taken away from this is that we have a record we’re immensely proud of, and have proven to ourselves that we can produce something of quality by ourselves.

Also, what can your fan base expect from the album?

A guy came up to us at a show just recently, and said, “You’re like every band I’ve ever loved rolled into one“, and that’s a really nice compliment, which we think gives a solid idea of what we’ve tried to achieve on the record.

We haven’t pushed to try and fit with modern trends on the metal scene, we’ve simply taken all of our influences in music, and pushed to make a record that we wanted to hear.

The band have played live with the likes of When We Were Wolves and Skies In Motion. How is the gigging experience for you all?

The shows have been great so far! Our aim is to hit the stage, wherever it may be, and just put on the best show we can possibly do. We always look back on the way we’re doing things and look to find ways to make it better overall. It’s a process and a necessary one, at that.

Apart from the album, what have you got lined up going into 2018?

Well, the record hitting digitally everywhere is the big driving force for 2018, but we’re backing that up by trying to get out and play as many decent shows as we can, as well as festival slots where we can get them.

On top of that, we’ve quietly been writing bits here and there for quite some time to start putting album two together. We never stop adding ideas to the writing pile, so we’re armed to the teeth with stuff that we can develop into songs later. We will at some point in 2018 begin working on pre-production for album two.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

The long-term aim is to keep doing what we love. No pressure for success, but just to keep working together as a band and keep writing and playing the things that we’ve loved about this thing called I Fight Bears from the beginning. If successes come from it, then great. If they don’t, then we’re having a blast doing it anyway.

I Fight Bears Album Cover

THE SELF-TITLED DEBUT ALBUM FROM I FIGHT BEARS WILL BE RELEASED ON FEBRUARY 16.

FURTHER INFO ON THIS, AND THE BAND, CAN BE FOUND HERE.

 

HEY GIGANTIC

Hey Gigantic band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Hey Gigantic are a four-piece from London. They draw inspiration from an eclectic range of genres to craft an alternative/indie rock sound full of energy, which should appeal most to fans of The Dangerous Summer, Deaf Havana, and Lonely The Brave.

Having recently brought out a new single, ‘Passenger’, which the quartet say is the first to fully capture the loudness and fun of their live shows, I chatted with them about all of this and more.

How did the band form?

Hey Gigantic was started in South London. A few of us had been at uni together, as well as school many years before that, and when we all moved to London for work years later, we decided to start jamming some ideas. The main reason initially was to just hang out with mates, talk about music, have a laugh and drink a few beers.

We’ve been messing around with ideas since 2013, but we only really started to become focused on it in the last couple of years, as people started to take an interest and we realised that people were actually hearing the songs you had written in a dank old practice room, which was always awesome!

How did the name Hey Gigantic come about?

We were originally called Journals and it just didn’t seem quite right, we wanted a name that was abstract and had no meaning to it, then, while listening to The Pixies, it hit us! Their two songs played back-to-back, ‘Hey’ and ‘Gigantic’… and that was that!

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

Each song is different, some start with a guitar idea and then it builds from there. A few have started from lyrical ideas, and we’ve then built the song around them, that was kind of the case for ‘Passenger’.

It started with lyrics loosely built around the metaphor of travel and movement, and the instrumentation of the song mirrored that with a driving tempo and energy to match.

What inspires the band lyrically?

Lyrically, all the themes are pretty much about day-to-day stuff, emotional experiences and interactions that hopefully people can relate to or find their own interpretation of.

Perhaps not all the themes are obvious, but it’s always interesting to hear people put their own spin on it.

Your new single, ‘Passenger’, was premiered recently on BBC Introducing from Essex. What can the band’s fan base expect from it?

It’s a continuation of our style for sure, still blending punk, indie and hardcore references, but I think the composition is more considered and simplified. The production is definitely better than anything we have released previously, we got to play around with tones and textures more to give it a more live sounding feel.

Thanks largely to Neil Kennedy (Milk Teeth, Creeper) at Ranch Production House in Southampton for his expert ear when it came to amps and pedals. It was an awesome experience.

And will the single lead to another EP or album at all?

We’ve got a few songs from the same recording session as ‘Passenger’ that we did back in the summer, it’s just deciding how best to release them, maybe an EP or maybe just release them as singles…You’ll just have to wait and see.

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

Live shows are the whole reason to be in a band, to play loud, and feel the energy of a crowd. So our shows are just that, loud, energetic and fun!

What have you got planned going into 2018?

To release more new music! And also, to get back to playing live shows, it’s been ages! We can confirm we’ll be supporting Faux and Polary at their London (Old Blue Last – 29th Jan) and Brighton (Sticky Mikes Frog Bar – 31st Jan) shows!

It’s so great to be supporting upcoming UK bands like these guys, who are both awesome! We can’t wait!

Hey Gigantic Single Cover

‘PASSENGER’, THE NEW SINGLE FROM HEY GIGANTIC, IS AVAILABLE NOW TO PURCHASE FROM iTunes OR STREAM ON SPOTIFY & THE BAND’S SOUNDCLOUD PAGE soundcloud.com/heygigantic

FURTHER INFO ON HEY GIGANTIC CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THESE SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: heygigantic.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/heygigantic

TWITTER: twitter.com/heygigantic

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

BANDCAMP: heygigantic.bandcamp.com