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.

 

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RHODE ISLAND POP-PUNKS SILENCE THE RADIO UNLEASH SOPHOMORE EP

Silence The Radio band photo

Out of Providence, Rhode Island, four-piece alternative pop-punk outfit Silence The Radio have released their brand new EP, ‘Friendly Neighborhood Nightmares’.

While developing the new release, the band realised that their biggest strength was their ability to write songs with a catchy, flowing chorus, while still retaining the dark, tongue-in-cheek lyrical style they had originally honed.

Aside the title track, the EP includes the theatrical ‘Sad Love Story’, a tribute to the mid 2000’s alternative scene. Although a modern pop-punk band, Silence The Radio incorporates beautiful string sections and theatrics throughout the duration of the record, while also writing booming choruses that everyone will sing along to.

About the writing process, the band stated:

We started the writing process for ‘Friendly Neighborhood Nightmare’ with intent to really hone our ability to write anthemic pop rock songs. Up until that point, we had focused our writing efforts on a heavier, rougher style, but with the development of ‘Friendly Neighborhood’, we realised that our greatest strength as songwriters was the ability to write songs with a catchy, flowing chorus, while still retaining the dark, tongue-in-cheek lyrical style we had adapted.

The bouncy tempo, memorable theme and unstoppable chorus are just some of the elements that make this song one of our strongest, and one that’s sure to stick in the heads of everyone who hears it.

Coming together in early 2015, Silence the Radio was formed to counteract to the metal and easycore scene of their home city. Wanting to revive and revamp the timeless sounds of mid 2000s popunk and alternative music, Jack Petit, Brandon Teh and Josh Nardine began the writing process for their debut EP, ‘If It Helps You See’.

Not long after, the group teamed up with Chris Piquette of No Boundaries Studios to complete the recording process of their hard-hitting first offering. With the release of their first EP, Silence the Radio found a connection with the New England local scene by offering their unique, yet familiar sound as a callback to days of power chords and unforgettable anthem choruses.

Playing regularly in the Providence and Massachusetts areas, they began to build a dedicated fan base, headlining shows to packed venues, and providing direct support for national acts such as MAKEOUT (formerly Trophy Wives), Carousel Kings, Knockout Kid and countless others.

Following the release of their theatrical single, ‘Knock Me Out’, in the fall of 2016, and the addition of guitarist Thom O’ Rourke, they played a few shows up and down the American east coast, in the run-up to their new EP’s release.

Silence The Radio EP Cover

‘FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD NIGHTMARE’, THE SOPHOMORE EP FROM SILENCE THE RADIO, IS NOW AVAILABLE TO STREAM ON SPOTIFY AND APPLE MUSIC, OR DOWNLOAD FROM iTunes.

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

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/silencetheradiori

TWITTER: twitter.com/STRofficialRI

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/silencetheradiori

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

 

BEYOND ATLANTIS – ‘Down The Streets’

Beyond Atlantis Single Cover 2

REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Having impressed with their debut track, ‘Songbird’, a few months ago, Beyond Atlantis are back with a new single, ‘Down The Streets’.

Whereas the Midlands duo’s last release was rather soft and melodic, with this, they seem to have opted for a heavier and further intense sound.

Manny Jack channels his inner Chris Cornell with a grittier, less subtle vocal delivery, which, with the more distorted guitar riffs, gives the single a early 90s grunge vibe, rather reminiscent of Alice In Chains and Stone Temple Pilots.

It is a perfect showcase of just how musically versatile both him and Herbie are, as it’s hard to think of many outfits who have gone for such a different approach, and pulled it off with much success, especially when it’s only their second single.

The track is also a good gateway for Beyond Atlantis to access the fan base of Herbie’s other band, Anonymous, as it sits comfortably between that four-piece’s more frantic pace, and the light, delicate tones of ‘Songbird’.

The two singles they have brought out so far are to form part of their debut album, which is planned for release at some point next year, and having listened to them both, and liked very much what I was hearing, it should make for a great listen, especially if the other tracks are going to be as strong and in-depth.

(3/5)

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

WELSH METAL QUINTET I FIGHT BEARS ANNOUNCE DEBUT ALBUM & UNVEIL NEW VIDEO

I Fight Bears band photo

South Wales bruisers I Fight Bears hit you with towering vocals, crushing riffs, and hammering beats. The highly-regarded quintet drop their self-titled debut album on Friday 16th February, but for now, the metal beasts have just released a lyric video for one of the album’s singles, ‘Lost The Fight’.

Pulling influence from Killswitch Engage, Parkway Drive, and Lamb Of God, and hailing from Bridgend, the same town as Funeral For A Friend and Bullet For My Valentine, I Fight Bears were formed just over two years ago, and since then, they have never looked back.

In the early days, the metallers crafted demos which spiked the attention of industry tastemakers, and live shows with When We Were Wolves, Skies In Motion and Perpetua, soon added to the band’s rising stock.

The five-piece continued their growth with the release of the singles, ‘State’ and ‘Believe In Me’, which were recorded at Tidy Studios in their home town with Gav Burrough (Funeral For A Friend).

2017 has seen the band commence work on their debut album, as well as releasing a new single, ‘Hammers’, to much acclaim.

The Welsh outfit mainly self-recorded their debut album, however, they also worked alongside Michael Paget (Bullet For My Valentine) on a series of tracks for both mastering and mixing. The result features ten thumping cuts of edgy modern metal, the record battering you from pillar to post.

From the pounding assault of ‘Hammers’, and their current single, ‘Lost The Fight’, which thrashes your ear drums into submission with a flurry of colossal riffs laced with full throttle vocals, through to their mesmerising future single, ‘Envision’, this is an album that will make people stand up and take notice.

Your new favourite band has just arrived. Welcome, I Fight Bears.

I Fight Bears Album Cover

THE SELF-TITLED DEBUT ALBUM FROM I FIGHT BEARS WILL BE RELEASED ON AMAZON MUSIC, SPOTIFY, iTunes & GOOGLE PLAY ON FEBRUARY 16. YOU CAN PRE-ORDER IT FROM iTunes FROM NOVEMBER 30.

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

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/ifightbearsband

TWITTER: twitter.com/ifightbearsband

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/ifightbears

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com

BANDCAMP: ifightbears.bandcamp.com

 

 

 

WEAK13 REVEAL SURPRISE COLLABORATION WITH HIP-HOP ARTIST FONZi NeuTRON

Weak13 music video photo

FONZi NeuTRON photo

Underground British band rock WEAK13 have shocked many of their supporters due to a surprise collaboration with top hip-hop artist FONZi NeuTRON.

A music video for a song titled ‘Frequency’ emerged on the official Facebook and YouTube channel for the Birmingham rapper, which reveals WEAK13 frontman & guitarist Nick J Townsend and bassist Wesley Smith performing with him.

The song, which has a very underground 90’s feel, has already gone down well with hip-hop audiences and this seems to confirm that WEAK13 have no plans on staying quiet whilst they write the follow up to their well-received debut album, ‘They Live’.

Earlier this year the Midlands rock outfit surprised their audiences again by revealing a love for British band Depeche Mode after releasing the ‘Halo’ single, a rock-fuelled cover of the classic tune which first appeared on the 1990 ‘Violater’ album.

The single, which is now available in Europe, Asia and the UK on Spotify, Amazon Music, and iTunes, sparked much debate on the internet with fans from both camps arguing with each other.

Whilst some Depeche Mode fans appreciated how WEAK13 had made Halo their own song, as it was recorded in their style whilst simultaneously saluting the original, others objected to the heavier take on it. WEAK13 themselves, of course, were happy with the controversy caused by their version of the tune.

WEAK13 are still writing and recording their second album, but many fans are enjoying the surprise cover releases and collaborations that are emerging whilst they await it, and rumours are circulating of future cover versions by the three-piece of established songs.

For more info, go to the band’s official website: weak13official.com

 

VERITY WHITE

Verity White photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Verity White is a singer-songwriter from the Gloucestershire town of Cheltenham.

Having started out as a backing vocalist for progressive rockers Pendragon, in the last year, she has embarked on a solo career, accompanied by her multi-instrumentalist husband Alex.

Verity has impressed many with her powerful interpretation of lyrics dealing with past experiences, as well as a musical style that has rock at its core, also branching out into other genres, such as soul, blues and Motown, with ease.

With her recent debut album, ‘Breaking Out’, currently getting excellent reviews, and a UK tour planned for early in the new year, she chatted with me about all this and more.

You play in a band with your husband Alex. How did it start out?

I’d got back from a tour last year with Pendragon as their backing vocalist, and had been amazed at how many of their fans had asked to hear my music.

Although I’d been writing for years, I’d never released anything as I think I was too afraid, you know, but that kinda gave me enough confidence that people would be interested to say, “You know what? F**k it – lets do this!”

Alex is a multi-instrumentalist and producer anyway, so it made sense that we did it together, and so the musical idea was born!

At the moment, it’s basically myself and him, but we do use some session musicians when we play live, and we are actually considering making that permanent for 2018, that’s our plan, anyway.

To someone discovering your music for the first time, how would you describe it to them?

Oh God, I get asked this all the time and I just don’t know!! There are elements of so many different styles in the music; though it does have rock at its core, you can hear electronica, metal, folk and industrial music in there too.

It’s kinda like a female-fronted Nine Inch Nails meets Veruca Salt meets Joan Jett meets…Oh God, I don’t know! Listen to it and tell me for God’s sake, someone help me!

What are your musical influences?

Well, Nine Inch Nails are an obvious influence, there’s a lot I love about their music, and the way they play with so many styles and intricacies.

There’s definitely some 90s rock bands in there too, like I said earlier, Veruca Salt are awesome, but there are also some glimpses of Le Tigre and Nirvana too, plus there’s a classic soul influence as well, I love the emotion and passion that you get with 70s soul music.

What is your approach to songwriting?

Alex, being a much more talented instrumentalist than me, writes the basic song structure which I then get in a MP3 and work on from there up.

Whatever lyrics and a motion I feel fits with the music comes to be, and then we lay it down in the studio, adding the enhancements like extra strings or synths, whatever the emotions.

What serves as inspiration for your lyrical content?

My life. I want the lyrics to speak to people, and remind them of a time when they were there, so that’s what I go for. Every song is based upon real experiences, and I think that truth helps the listener relate to them.

A few weeks back, you released your debut album, ‘Breaking Out’. How has the reaction been to it so far?

It’s been amazing! I have been genuinely blown away by the reviews that we’ve had so far! It’s great that people are hearing the songs, really understanding what’s behind them, and connecting with them. It makes me feel, well, I’m overwhelmed actually, and very, very grateful.

What is the experience, for you, of playing live?

Bouncy! We tend to stick to the song structures as per the recordings, but add little flourishes and fun new enhancements, as they kinda always happen as you get more used to playing a song.

I’m a very lively front-person, we talked about my playing guitar on stage too, but soon decided that that would detract from my mass jumping about…

What have you got lined up for 2018?

We’re going to be touring with the recent album in January, which I cannot wait for! It’s my first solo headlining tour, so in equal parts, I’m excited and terrified!

After that, we’re looking into the summer for festival season, and in between those things, you can expect more releases, and an exciting fan-based ‘Write Your Own Song’ adventure early in the year too! That’s going to be fun!

What is your long-term aim?

It sounds really boring, but in all honestly, I’d just like to make a decent living from doing what I love. Of course, I want to write more, gig more and tour more, but not having to worry about bills and things would be great.

Verity White Album Cover

‘BREAKING OUT’, THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM VERITY WHITE, IS AVAILABLE TO STREAM NOW ON SPOTIFY & PURCHASE FROM HER OFFICIAL WEBSITE www.veritywhite.com OR BANDCAMP PAGE veritywhite.bandcamp.com

VERITY WILL ALSO BE PLAYING A FEW UK DATES IN JANUARY. FURTHER DETAILS ARE BELOW:

Verity White tour poster

AND DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT VERITY’S SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES:

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/veritywhitesinger

TWITTER: twitter.com/veebear

INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/original_verity

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com/user/TheVeebear