Category Archives: Interviews

FRANK TURNER – PART 2

Frank Turner photo 2

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

In the second part of my interview with singer-songwriter Frank Turner – conducted prior to his recent set headlining the Karnage Festival at Keele University – he spoke about such things as performing at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, other standout moments of his career up to now, and a little about his eagerly-anticipated eighth album, due for release later this year.

In 2012, you performed at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. How did that come about?

That was mad, the whole experience was mad, which was incidentally why I did it. There were a few internet punks who said that I shouldn’t have done it, but I told them to fuck off, as it was something you will only really experience once in your lifetime, and me propping up the bar as an old man, telling people about the time I didn’t play the Olympics, is boring, and the other thing about it is that Danny Boyle asked me – and he is somebody I genuinely respect as an artist.

I got a call one day from his management, asking me to have a meeting with him, and I remember knowing at the time that he was doing the opening ceremony of the Olympics, and me thinking that it couldn’t possibly be about that, as it would have been totally ridiculous, so I thought he was going to ask me about the possibility of doing a song for his next film, which would still have been really fucking cool, but when I got to the meeting, Danny just came out and said, “Would you like to play at the opening ceremony? You don’t have to answer now, you can go away and think about it for a couple of weeks if you have to“, and me and my manager were both like, “No, I think we can answer this now, and it’s going to be a yes from us.

That must have been a truly amazing experience.

It was very odd, very surreal, as it didn’t feel real at all, and one of the weirdest parts about it was just how used to everything being insane you got, because I don’t know if you can remember, but they had Harry Potter bad guys on stilts, real sheep, and people dressed as shepherds, and everybody who was a part of it would be outside after rehearsals smoking cigarettes, and backstage, there was this village, and after a couple of weeks of that, you stopped blinking at the fact that you were smoking a cigarette and chatting normally to a guy on stilts who was dressed as a Harry Potter bad guy. It was just really, really odd.

That’s just one of the many things that you have done over the years. What would you say have been your other standout moments?

Well, I always kind of dodge the question by what I said earlier – which I do mean – which is about the fact that I’m still standing, but obviously, we’ve played a lot of big gigs, and that has been amazing, and also, it has been a huge privilege to be able to travel across the world and visit new countries, just because I play music.

Actually, I was in Portugal for the first time about a month ago – how cool is that? – but I would say beyond that, probably my favourite thing is when people who I grew up listening to musically acknowledge me, so I know Mike Burkett (vocalist/bassist of Californian punk legends NOFX), and he’s now a good friend of mine, but I don’t want to go, “Fat Mike’s my mate, and this isn’t the biggest fucking deal in the world!

However, it’s amazing when someone whose songs I idolised as a kid turns around and tells you that they like your songs.

Going back to when you first started out – and you’ve probably mentioned this already – did you ever think that you would achieve what you have?

I think the thing about that is that there’s a difference between aspiration and realistic expectation. I think I would have liked to have done all of this, you know, but I think I would have been quite surprised if you had told me when I was, say, 19, that it was actually going to fucking happen, you know, pleasantly surprised, I should add.

And is there anything you haven’t done yet that you would like to?

Yeah, I think that it’s really important for me to justify what it is that I do, and what I mean by that, is that every time I make another record, I go, “Do I need to make this? Does the world really need another fucking Frank Turner record?

I’ve just finished recording album number eight, which will be coming out later this year, and I am really pleased to be able to say that I think this will be a radical departure for me, as it’s going to break new ground, and I always want to keep things interesting, so to accompany the record will be a podcast.

Writing the books were a big deal, but I want to keep going to new places, there will soon be another side project of mine, which is honestly the most fucked up thing that I’ve ever done, but I can’t say anything more than that about it at the moment, and I just want to keep things exciting and interesting for me, as well as the audience.

How far are you into your next album currently?

It’s been recorded, but it hasn’t been mixed yet. The album should be out around August, but it’ll be very, very different, I think. Other people will be able to better judge that than me, but it certainly does feel different.

If your career as a musician hadn’t taken off, what do you think you would have done in regards to a profession?

I mean, I was in academia when I was younger, I went to uni, which I enjoyed, and I got offered to do a master’s and stuff, so I might have gone down that road, but over the years, when I’ve been asked that question, I’ve slightly flippantly gone, “My mum was a teacher, so I probably would have done that“, but I don’t want it to sound like I think it’s an easy thing to do, because teaching is actually fucking hard, and it’s something I certainly couldn’t do now, but I suspect I would have done something in that world.

And finally, what advice would you give to any emerging bands/artists out there?

You know, on some levels, that’s a question you and I could talk about for fucking hours! (laughs) However, I feel like we’re now in an era where power in the music industry has kind of collapsed, but in a way that has been really healthy, because when I started out – even more so around ten years before – the music industry was a very authoritarian place, as there would be people in the middle making the majority of the decisions, and as a band, you just had to kind of hope that you would come onto the radar of someone who worked in A&R at some record label, or ran a radio station, or was a journalist for a music magazine, whatever, but nowadays, with the internet being what it is, it’s so much easier to make your own luck.

Obviously, you’ve still got to be good, but you can build up a fan base, put out music, pretty much by yourself, and just be fucking busy all the time, as there are 26 hours worth of stuff a day you could do to promote your music, so just fucking get on with it, do you know what I mean?

Frank Turner Book Cover

‘TRY THIS AT HOME: MY ADVENTURES IN SONGWRITING’ IS AVAILABLE NOW FROM ALL GOOD BOOK RETAILERS, AND THE EIGHTH STUDIO ALBUM FROM FRANK TURNER WILL BE RELEASED LATER THIS YEAR.

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

YOUTUBE

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FRANK TURNER – PART 1

Frank Turner photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

For almost the past two decades, Frank Turner has been on a journey that has taken him from being a member of much-missed post-hardcore outfit Million Dead, to being a well-respected singer-songwriter – specialising in a diverse range of musical genres – and a best-selling writer of non-fiction.

Prior to his recent set headlining the Karnage Festival at Keele University, I had the privilege of speaking to him in-depth about a wide variety of subjects, and in the first of what will be a two-part interview, Frank talked about such things as his earliest musical memory, recently published book, and how he thinks Brexit will affect the British music industry.

What would you say was your earliest musical memory?

I think my earliest musical memory was being in the car with my mum and dad. My parents don’t really listen to any modern music – I think 1900 is the cut-off point for them (laughs) – but having said that, there were two tape cassettes in the car which I remember loving, one was a copy of ‘Sgt Pepper’s‘ that my mum had brought, and I think that was her going, “This is what pop music is!“, which is pretty hilarious in retrospect, and the other was an album by an old music hall duo called Flanders & Swann, and we had their records as well, which I absolutely adore, so for me, that was my earliest musical memory.

Was there a specific moment in your life when you decided that a career as a musician was for you?

Yeah. I had this kind of light switch moment when I was about 10, and I listened to Iron Maiden for the first time, and then at around the same time, I watched the Freddie Mercury tribute concert live on the telly, and I was like, “What the fuck has just happened?“, and pretty much straight away from there, I wanted to get involved, and that Christmas, I got my first guitar, and formed a band with a friend.

If you had asked me when I was 11 if I wanted to be a musician for a living, I would have said yes, but there’s quite a big gap between the aspirations of an 11-year-old and realistically thinking about it, but it never sort of wavered, as each time, I came to better understand what that would meaningfully involve.

However, there was a period of time when I thought it wouldn’t happen, and even if it had done, it wouldn’t have lasted, and probably my proudest achievement in life up to now is the fact that I’m still doing this in my mid to late thirties – touch wood – and that’s something I am very grateful for.

You recently brought out a new book, entitled ‘Try This At Home: My Adventures In Songwriting’, which is a personal exploration of your songwriting process. How did the idea for that come about?

Well, I did a book in 2015 (‘The Road Beneath My Feet‘), which was about touring, and that kind of grew out of the fact that I had started to write a few things down, and I was worried about forgetting them, as up until then, I had had this bizarrely encyclopedic memory of the shows I had done, and what had happened and everything, which my friends would often react to by saying, “I can’t fucking believe that!“, but then it started to fade, so I started to write everything down, and those notes became the first book, which did really well.

After that, the publishers said to me, “Why don’t you write a sequel?“, but that would have been boring, as I had pretty much written everything about life on the road with the first book, but then it occurred to me that in those 300 or so pages, I had written about approximately 1500 shows, yet I hadn’t really written anything about the music I had played in any of those, so I thought there was a gap that needed to be filled.

And how, for you, was the process of writing the new book?

I had gone into the first book with a huge degree of hubris, as I thought, “Well, I’ve written a few magazine articles in my time, so writing a book isn’t going to be too challenging“, but then – of course – I realised, “Is it fuck?” (laughs)

With the first book, there was definitely a moment halfway through writing it where I went, “Oh shit, I don’t know what I’m doing!“, but this time around, I went into it with a clearer appreciation of just how much work was going to be involved, but I mean, essentially for six months, I tried to make myself write around 1000 words between breakfast and sound check, and just discipline myself with that.

You’re known for your libertarian political views. What is your opinion of Brexit and the current parliamentary deadlock?

(laughs) I think – like everybody else – I have no idea what’s going on, as there are several conflicting imperatives that I do not see an easy resolution to. You know, I genuinely think we need to respect the outcome of the 2016 referendum – if we are to have any meaningful sense of democracy – but if it’s going to cause complete political and economic catastrophe, then that would be bad, but to be honest with you, I have no idea.

I used to be very up-to-date in regards to politics, and I was very confident in predicting what was going to happen, but I gave that fucking game up a long time ago! (laughs) I’ve got literally no idea what is going to happen, as I think all of my contempt for political parties at the moment is even-handed.

I suspect there needs to be a real realignment of British politics – which has happened before – it happened in 1832, it happened in 1911 – so I suspect we will soon be going through something like that again, but it’s not that fun to live through.

And how do you think Brexit will affect the British music industry?

That is a live question right now. My tour manager and my production manager – who are both in charge of all of the logistics of my business, if you like – you know, there’s a busy festival season in Europe this year, and at the moment, we have no idea if we will be allowed to do that, as I don’t know if we’ll even be allowed to ship our gear over there.

I know this sounds boringly technical, but we’re currently thinking of actually shipping over over American backline to Europe, as there are clear protocols for that, and we may not have any of those by then, and we might be able to get equipment over there, but we might not be able to bring it back.

The other day, Roger Daltrey was going on about how bands were going around Europe before the European Union even existed, and yes, they did, but the problem is first of all, figuring out customs and logistics for travel and business, which take time, so I’m probably not going to suffer too much personally, but what worries me is all of these new and emerging bands who will want to embark on their first European tour, but may not be able to, and for me, that’s a real problem, but I think – in the long run – economics tends to win arguments, and I suspect that if there is enough business involved, then things will get sorted out quicker than some people – who just look at politics and don’t pay any attention to business – would imagine, but I have no idea, and it’s something I am genuinely worried about.

IN PART TWO, FRANK TALKS TO ME ABOUT SUCH THINGS AS PLAYING THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE LONDON OLYMPICS, OTHER STANDOUT MOMENTS OF HIS CAREER SO FAR, AND HIS EIGHTH ALBUM, COMING OUT LATER THIS YEAR.

TWO YEAR BREAK

Two Year Break band photo

TWO YEAR BREAK (from l-r): George Lilley (drums), Dan Wright (bass), Brad Howard (lead vocals), Charlie Barnard (guitar/vocals), Tony Scibetta (guitar)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Early last year, five young lads from London, who all share a passion for pop-punk and emo music, decided to join forces and create an outfit that would effectively show this.

Calling themselves Two Year Break, the band have since made quite an impact with an anthemic sound – which was reflected in positively-received debut single ‘Change My Mind’ – as well as sets at 2018’s Camden Rocks and Tramlines festivals.

With the quintet currently putting together their first EP – due out this summer – they spoke to me about what can be expected from that, the other things the collective have planned for the rest of 2019, and much more.

How did the band form?

There have been many incarnations of the band over the years, however, the Two Year Break that everyone knows and loves now was formed about a year ago!

How did the name Two Year Break come about?

It’s one of those names that means exactly what it says on the tin. The band was on a two-year break, then it wasn’t, and the name just stuck from that point.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

We tend to write about things that are personal to us, as collectively, we have all been to some dark places, and the music is a way for us to vent and ultimately heal.

Hopefully, people hear this in our songs, and realise that they aren’t alone with their struggles.   

What inspires the band lyrically?

Lyrically, we are inspired by any band that conveys emotion in their storytelling. The range of genres we like between us may actually surprise a lot of people, but the emotion is a common thread between it all.

Last year, you released your debut single, entitled ‘Change My Mind’. How was the recording process for that?

The recording process was really good, we worked with Clint Murphy, who has been our producer for a while now, so we are a well-oiled machine at this point when it comes to recording.

However this was the first time we had recorded with Brad, and it was amazing to see him smash it out of the park.

And how was the reaction to the track?

Overall, there has been a really positive reaction to the track. We are all pretty normal guys, and to see all the nice messages and comments people are sending our way just adds to our drive to push forward and progress with our music.

You’re planning to release a debut EP at some point this year. How is that coming along?

It’s actually almost complete, we are scheduled to go into the studio at some point in the next few months to record the final two tracks, and then all that’s left to do is make some cover art and give it a name, which, at the moment, is ‘Funkytown Madness’!

And what can be expected of that?

It will be a five-track EP that will take whoever listens to it on a journey to the depths of darkness and back out, all with the pop-punk sound that we love. We feel the songs that are on it are our best to date, and we can’t wait to share them with the world.  

The band performed at Camden Rocks and the Tramlines festival in Sheffield last year. How were they as experiences?

Camden Rocks is always good fun, the best part hands down is doing what we love (playing our songs), and the fact that there are also loads of other really talented bands on the bill that we can see for free afterwards is always a winner.

Tramlines was an experience as it meant playing away from our home ground, and the stories of the road…. maybe one day, we will share them.

And how is it overall playing live?

Playing live is one of the best feelings in the world, as the energy we give out on stage gets absorbed by the audience, and they throw it back at us twice as powerfully! We’re hugely grateful for anyone who ever comes to see us play, and we give it our all every time.

And finally, EP aside, what else do you have planned for the rest of 2019?

We have big things planned for the rest of 2019. We hope to release a couple more tracks and music videos throughout the year, and really grow our fanbase.

There will be some cool merch available from our store, and plenty of gigs and little surprises sprinkled throughout, and if anyone would like to keep up to date with our movements, they can join our mailing list, and to do that, just visit our website to sign up.

Two Year Break Single Cover

‘CHANGE MY MIND’, THE DEBUT SINGLE FROM TWO YEAR BREAK, IS AVAILABLE NOW, AND THE BAND’S FIRST EP WILL BE RELEASED LATER THIS YEAR.

TWO YEAR BREAK WILL ALSO BE PLAYING AT THIS YEAR’S CAMDEN ROCKS FESTIVAL, FURTHER DETAILS OF WHICH CAN BE FOUND BELOW:

Camden Rocks 2019 Poster

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

YOUTUBE

 

BACKROADS

Backroads band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Just over a year ago, Bristol collective Backroads brought out their debut EP, ‘Faith Left Me, You Did Too’, which comprised of a lyrically-charged melodic metalcore sound, was very well-received, and even topped the iTunes metal charts.

The band followed this up by performing captivating headline sets and support slots for the likes of Dream StateHaggard Cat, and Bertraying The Martyrs, and looked set to work on some new music until drummer Jack Ford decided to leave last December in order to pursue a solo career.

Prior to this, I spoke to the then four-piece, and this is what they had to say:

How did the band get together?

The band started with Alex, Eddie and Jack all meeting in college and working together to write some songs. Kyle – who had been a close friend of Eddie’s for a few years – later came into the band when an opening for a second guitarist came about.

How did the name Backroads come about?

The name Backroads actually comes from the song of the same title by Lonely The Brave, after we had struggled, for what felt like an eternity, for band names.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting? 

All of our songs will usually stem from ideas by Kyle and Alex, which are then demoed up at home and sent across to each other. We then send the tracks to Jack, so he can put his drums on them, and then from there, we work on our vocals. It’s a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

What inspires the band lyrically?

We’re inspired by all sorts of subjects, but we always make sure that they are things we care about, as our lyrics are something we pride ourselves on, and we wouldn’t want to write about something that we don’t feel passionately about.

Some of our songs talk about love and relationships (‘A House For Casey’, ‘The Death Of Love’), to mental health (‘I Am Lost’), to more political subjects like ‘Book Burner’, which is about the misuse of power from people in a higher position, whether that be political, religious, or anything in between. 

Last year, you brought out your debut EP, ‘Faith Left Me, You Did Too’. How was the recording process for that?

The recording process was great for us. We worked with Tobias Faulkner from Hollow Home Studios, and we spent a lot of time with him down in Somerset. It was a really comfortable experience for us all. 

And the release topped the iTunes metal charts. You all must have felt good about that.

KYLE HERBERT (guitar): It was crazy. I remember being at work at around 2am, and checking the charts just out of interest to see if we’d even scrape the barrel and just seeing our position. I called Eddie and Alex straight away, regardless of if they were sleeping, and was just screaming down the phone at them in excitement. 

The band sold out their first headline show, in their home city of Bristol. How was that as an experience? 

Selling out shows is something we never imagined we’d do, so hearing people sing back to us and watching them enjoy themselves to our music is incredible. 

And how was it supporting the likes of Dream State, Haggard Cat, and most recently, Bertraying The Martyrs?

Phenomenal, because again, we never thought we’d be playing stages with bands like that. They’re extremely talented bands, and definitely make us want to keep pushing forward with our goals. 

And finally, what are your plans for 2019?

Currently, we have a few unannounced tours in the works, as well as talks for Europe at the end of the year, and we would really like to hit up some small festivals if we can too.

We’re in the process of writing right now, so that’s all very exciting too, and these new songs are where we’ve really found our feet as writers, so we can’t wait to show everyone.

‘FAITH LEFT ME, YOU DID TOO’, THE DEBUT EP FROM BACKROADS, IS AVAILABLE NOW, AND FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

YOUTUBE

CLIMATE OF FEAR

Climate Of Fear band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Having been described as “the UK’s angriest new metal band“, Climate Of Fear bring to the table a sound that combines the best elements of death metal, hardcore, and beatdown, along with lyrical content that reflects their anti-establishment views.

Since forming in 2017, the five-piece have toured relentlessly, performing at venues and festivals across the UK and continental Europe, and with a well-received debut EP already under their belts, the collective recently unveiled their first album, entitled ‘The Onset Of Eternal Darkness’, which I spoke to frontman Paul Williams about just prior to its release.

How did the band form? 

We all came together after knowing each other from previous bands, and it just went from there. Some songs that were on ‘Holy Terror’ (the band’s debut EP, released last year) had already been pre-recorded, and once I put my vocals down, the band was formed.

How did the name Climate Of Fear come about? 

We wanted a name to capture a number of the subjects we write about, and I feel this does this.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting? 

When it comes to songwriting, it is one of those bands where everyone gets involved, as the initial idea will stem from someone, and then from there, everyone will put in their ideas.

What inspires the band lyrically? 

There is – and has been – a lot of negativity, and a conflict of different ethics used to control and manipulate us, historically, and right up to the present day, whether that has been through the use of religion or capitalism, and it’s these type of subjects that inspire us.

Last year, you released your debut EP, ‘Holy Terror’. How was the reaction to that? 

For us, we just put down a bunch of metal songs down that we all enjoyed, and we didn’t set any expectation as such, but the EP sold really well, and to see people coming to shows and shouting back the words was really cool, and hopefully, a lot of those fans will enjoy the album when it comes out.

Shortly, the band will be bringing out their first album, ‘The Onset Of Eternal Darkness’. How has the recording process been for that? 

It has been crazy. After we came back from the Merauder tour last September, all of our time went into finishing the songs and getting them recorded.

We did have a few that were close to finished whilst we were on the tour, and it didn’t help that some of us were also playing in Merauder as well, but you’ve got to do whatever you can to make a tour work, but we are really happy with it, and we cannot wait for it to be released.

And how will the upcoming release differ to ‘Holy Terror’? 

A combination of new members joining and bringing in their influences, as well as a natural maturity from us, as already, we have brought in a lot of different influences on this record, in comparison to ‘Holy Terror’, and I feel we have definitely forged our sound a lot more. Also, as a record, it’s a lot heavier.

In just over a year, you have toured across the UK and continental Europe, supported the likes of Merauder and Malevolence, and have also performed at such festivals as Leper Fest in Belgium. How is the overall experience, for the band, of playing live and touring? 

The last year has just been crazy, from releasing the first song, to all the touring, and then writing and recording the record, but although it’s been fast-paced, it’s how we all enjoy being in a band, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

We have all played in bands previous to Climate Of Fear, and that has helped with playing live, as you aren’t making some of the mistakes you did when you were in a new band, learning the ropes, so to speak.

And finally, what are the band’s plans following the album’s unveiling? 

We will be touring and playing shows in as many places as we can, and we already have a UK run announced for March, with more to follow soon, and then, we will start writing album number two.

Climate Of Fear Album Cover

‘THE ONSET OF ETERNAL DARKNESS’, THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM CLIMATE OF FEAR, IS AVAILABLE NOW, VIA DEMONS RUN AMOK, AND FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THEIR FACEBOOK AND TWITTER PAGES.

 

 

REDWOLVES

Redwolves band photo

REDWOLVES (from l-r): Kasper Rebien (drums), Simon Stenbaek (guitar), Rasmus Cundell (vocals), Nicholas “Randy” Tesla (bass)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Over the past couple of years, Copenhagen four-piece Redwolves have made waves on the Danish music scene with a hard-hitting, rather psychedelic blend of classic and modern heavy rock that is topped off with distinctive vocals and frank, relatable lyrical content, and with the release tomorrow of their debut album, ‘Future Becomes Past’, the band spoke to me about how that was put together, what can be expected from it, and much more.

How did the band first get together?

Rasmus and Simon wanted to start a docile rock band up again in late 2011, so we contacted Kasper and Nicholas (we knew each other from our hometown of Sorø), and started the band up again. We wrote and recorded the ‘Wake Up’ demo EP, and from there, we just kept writing music.

How did the name Redwolves come about?

We had to change our band name in 2014 due to legal reasons. We have always been fascinated by wolves and wanted to keep that in our band name, so we came up with the name Redwolves.

The red wolf was an animal that was considered extinct in the 1970’s, but is somehow still around to this day. It is kind of symbolic for rock music as a genre, and symbolic for the resurrection of the band in 2012.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

We usually start off with a riff that Nicholas or Simon come up with, and then we take it to the rehearsal space and play around with it together. We write most of the song structures together in the rehearsal space, and then Rasmus writes lyrics and comes up with melodies.

When everything is done, and the song has taken form, we take another look at it, and from there, we make tweaks and change parts to make the song sound more together and whole.

We often have an urge to write the songs in a certain style, like a fast energetic song, or a slow banger, so our riffs reflect a feeling of a song more than a final product at the beginning of a songwriting process, and on our new album, ‘Future Becomes Past’, all of the songs was written like this.

What inspires the band lyrically?

All the lyrics are written by Rasmus and are inspired by events surrounding his personal life.

The lyrics on ‘Future Becomes Past’ are a mixture of real events and imagination, and reflect the state of mind Rasmus was in at the time of writing and recording, for instance, ‘Plutocracy’ and ‘Rigid Generation’ are a political criticism of our current society, ‘The Abyss’ and ‘Fenris’ are about personal demise and despair, ‘The Pioneer’ and ‘Voyagers’ are parts one and two of a sci-fi story revolving around a character named The Pioneer who experiences the worst outcome of his good intentions and a failed relationship with the love of his life, ‘Farthest form Heaven’ is about the worst day of your life, and ‘Temple of Dreams’ are about the best times of your life – both of them conclude that everything becomes past.

Speaking of ‘The Pioneer’, which was the band’s most recent single, how has the response to that been so far?

We chose ‘The Pioneer’ because we wanted to show people a different side of us and our music. The response has been great, and the reactions we have got have been as we suspected – it has been positive with a hint of surprise and wonder, and we think this song is a great way to show people what ‘Future Becomes Past’ is about as a record.

And how has the recording process been for the upcoming album?

The recording process has been a long one! We recorded all the instruments for ‘FBP’ in April 2017, with the vocals being recorded later that year, and we finalised the record’s mixing and mastering last June.

All in all, we have spent a lot of time to make sure this album would be as good as possible, and we took our time to make sure it became what we wanted it to be. The album has been recorded at three different studios, we had the absolute joy of recording the instruments with Jacob Bredahl at Tapf Studios, and recording the lyrics with Kaspar Boye Larsen (of Volbeat fame) as producer, which was awesome!

How will the new release differ stylistically from your older work?

This album contains a wider spectrum of dynamics and feelings than our previous releases. In addition to this, we’ve also experimented with different guitar effects and sounds, and the bass has become more intense and dynamic.

The focus on the sound of the band, as a whole, has been more refined, and we feel like this album manages to capture a lot of different styles of rock music as a genre, which we think defines the sound of Redwolves.

Rasmus, you have had a few traumatic experiences in the past. Would you say that music has provided an effective coping mechanism for this?

It certainly has. As I described earlier, I have the freedom to write very personal lyrics in this band, and through the writing of these lyrics, I have been able to describe my thoughts and feelings without any filter, which has helped me immensely in dealing with these horrible experiences.

When I write lyrics, it gives me an outlet to describe feelings and topics a lot more in depth than I would ever be able to in spoken language.

In my most personal lyric, which is in the track ‘Farthest from Heaven’, I touch on the most uncomfortable event I have ever experienced through metaphors taken from ‘Dante’s Inferno’.

Lyrics make it possible for people to understand and relate to an experience and the feeling involved, without having to experience the specific trauma themselves.

I have always been writing about traumatic experiences, even before I had a band, and it has always helped me cope with them, and to write lyrics and make it into music with the band is amazing, and hopefully, they make those experiences relevant to others.

How is the live music scene in Denmark at the moment?

The live scene in Denmark is thriving, and we have a lot of young bands making an impact on the music scene right now.

The radio is far behind on this, and usually only play what is popular in a more mainstream sense, but the underground music scene in general is doing really well, and there are a couple of indie labels who are doing great right now too!

However, we feel that we need to play more shows outside of Denmark following this release, as Denmark is a rather small country, and we might not appeal to everyone here, so we would love to play more shows around Europe.

How is the overall experience for you all of performing on stage?

We love to play live! Performing our music live for people is amazing, and we feel that this is a great way to connect with someone you don’t know at all. Our music is meant to be played live.

And finally, what are you plans for the future?

We are playing our release show on the March 22 in Copenhagen, and after that, we are going to play more shows around Denmark.

Also, we are currently working on setting up a tour around Europe this autumn, and while we are doing all of this, we are writing songs for a future release, so we hope that people will follow us in our future endeavours!

Redwolves Album Cover

‘FUTURE BECOMES PAST’, THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM REDWOLVES, WILL BE RELEASED TOMORROW, VIA ARGONAUTA RECORDS, AND YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE BAND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

THE ALCHEMY

The Alchemy band photo

THE ALCHEMY (from l-r): Sam Ewen (drums), Alex Porro (bass/synth/vocals), Rhys Taylor (lead vocals/guitar), Luke Welch (guitar/vocals)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Having grown up listening to a diverse range of bands and artists from the worlds of rock, indie, and electronic music, Kent four-piece The Alchemy have used these influences to create, to great effect, a catchy, anthemic sound, which has impressed critics and fans alike since the collective’s formation in 2015, and with their eagerly-anticipated debut album, ‘Chemical Daydream’, coming out towards the end of this month, I chatted to the quartet’s frontman, Rhys Taylor, and drummer, Alex Porro, about this, and much more.

How did the band initially get together?

ALEX PORRO (bass/synth/vocals): The band got together at the end of 2015, following the ending of two previous bands. We decided to join forces after Luke was made aware of Sam, as he was at the same university studying music, and as his group was coming to an end, myself, Rhys, and Luke were looking for a drummer to complete our new project.

How did the name The Alchemy come about?

ALEX: We had a few names, but we eventually settled on The Alchemy as it resonated with us the most, and when said, we felt it had a strong feel to it.

Also, the meaning behind the word, when we later looked into it, reflected us as a band in the way that we bring a wide variety of influences into our music, as well as the four of us all having a part to play in the writing process, much like the practice of alchemy, which was mixing lots of elements to create one.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

ALEX: We have a lot of influences. Everything from modern pop and R&B, to rock and classic stadium bands, examples being Sia, Post Malone, Biffy Clyro, 30 Seconds To Mars, Placebo, and older bands like The Police and Genesis.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

ALEX: Like all of our songs, we all have a part to play in its creation, as all of us are songwriters in our own right, and we create in our own time.

To start with, one of us will have an idea for a song, which we will then put forward, and then, if accepted, we will work on that until a demo is formed, which will then undergo changes if any one of us get an idea in which to improve it.

We always approach each song with an attitude of “How can we make this better?“, and I think, by having everybody creatively involved, makes for a better process overall.

What inspires the band lyrically?

RHYS TAYLOR (lead vocals/guitar): The thing with lyrics, I feel, is that they are the statement, the face to the track, the thing that people, I guess, relate to, or put to a moment in life.

When I’m talking about the lyrics in most cases, I never wanna say, “You know this is what this song is about“, but I know personally what I’m writing about or what I am trying to say in the songs, but I do like to cover them in a slightly more metaphorical manner overall, so that people can listen to it and just make up their own mind.

In 2016, you brought out your debut EP, ‘Modern Age’, to an overwhelmingly positive response. Honestly, did that come as a surprise to you all? 

ALEX: It was! We didn’t know what to expect, as it was our first release as The Alchemy with a new sound and direction, so to have a great response from every single we put out, even the EP as a whole getting attention in the way it did, we, as a band, couldn’t have asked for a better debut.

Recently, the band unveiled a new single, entitled ‘Better The Devil You Know’. How has the reaction been to that so far? 

ALEX: We have had a great reaction. We have had a lot of radio stations pick up the single, and we’ve also had a lot of positive reactions to the video as well, passing 10,000 views in under a few weeks on YouTube, and 17,000 on Facebook, so we’re beyond happy that people are finding our material online and really loving what we’re doing!

The video itself is the second installment of a trilogy story which begins narratively with ‘Better The Devil You Know’.

And the track is taken from your upcoming debut album, ‘Chemical Daydream’, coming out later this month. How was the recording process for that?

ALEX: We recorded in our own studio that we built and run. With the help of our friend and mentor/producer Paul Matthews from the New Zealand band I Am Giant, we recorded everything that is on the album in our own studio from the drums to vocals, guitars, and synths.

Having our own space makes the creative side of recording a lot easier, as we can be in there whenever we want, for as long as we want, and try new things and experiment sonically, and the process was a real learning curve, as it’s the first full length we’ve ever done, along with recording techniques we hadn’t used before.

Rhys is pretty handy in the studio already, but now, he has the experience of engineering a full length LP, as well as producing, so we learnt a lot along the way, which we, as a band, are so thankful for, as we would have never had that sort of experience had we used another studio.

Also, how will the album differ stylistically to ‘Modern Age’?

ALEX: In the LP, we mix a lot more of our electronic influences with most of the tracks having a prominent amount of synths and samples, and we even have a track that’s completely electronic, which is a route we’ve wanted to go down since ‘Modern Age’.

The band have supported the likes of Mallory Knox, I Am Giant, and The Intersphere. How were they as experiences? 

ALEX: As a band, we’re always keen to learn from anyone and everyone we meet in the industry, so to have the opportunity to support great bands, let alone ones we admire, and watching how they form a show and their stagecraft, is a golden opportunity.

We’re fans of all three of these bands as well, so it was a real honour to share the stage with them.

And how is it, overall, performing live?

ALEX: It’s an absolute rush. Playing live is what we’re in it for. We love being in the studio and experimenting, but the stage is where we get to let loose and make noise, so we’re always itching to get on tour and play.

We’re fans of bands that really bring a show, so we never hold back, and we even manage to get into the audience!

Lastly, what are the band’s plans following the release of ‘Chemical Daydream’?

ALEX: On April 12, for a week, we will be embarking on a UK tour, starting with a hometown show in Canterbury, to celebrate the release of the LP, followed by gigs in Leicester, Bridgwater, Cheltenham, and Worthing.

We will also be releasing more singles off of the LP, and we will also be bringing out alternative versions of all of our singles, which we are currently recording, and accompanying them will be some live videos.

Then, at the end of April, we will start recording again, so by the end of this summer, we will be ready to blast out all of those tracks.

The Alchemy Album Cover

‘CHEMICAL DAYDREAM’, THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM THE ALCHEMY, WILL BE RELEASED ON MARCH 29, AND FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

YOUTUBE