THE MANALISHI

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THE MANALISHI (from l-r): Matt Hewitt (drums), Josh Alcock (vocals/rhythm guitar), Jovi Duvnjak (lead guitar), Ross Fallows (bass)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Stoke-on-Trent rock/indie outfit The Manalishi are a band with big plans.

With a successful album already under their belts, the quartet want to do to the Potteries music scene what the Arctic Monkeys did to Sheffield’s.

With an abundance of musical talent within its ranks, and a diverse sound, with influences ranging from early Fleetwood Mac to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, there can’t be any reason why they won’t be able to achieve this in the near future.

I sat down and chatted with them about all of this.

How did the band get together initially?

JOSH ALCOCK (vocals/rhythm guitar): Ross and Jovi were in a band before they split. When that happened, Ross contacted Jovi, asking him if he fancied starting another band up together.

I found them through a website, findaband.com. I was always into music, I did mainly acoustic stuff, but I wanted to be in a band. I sent them a message, Jovi got back to me, and asked if I wanted to come down and do some stuff with them. I went down, and I think we wrote a song on that first day.

ROSS FALLOWS (bass): Once we had Josh on board, we began to look for a drummer. We got one, but they left after only a couple of gigs, and that’s when Matt came in.

How did the name The Manalishi come about?

MATT HEWITT (drums): It was from a Fleetwood Mac song, ‘The Green Manalishi’, from the late Sixties, early Seventies, I think.

JOSH: We’re very much influenced by the music of the Sixties, that’s what I would say, so the name probably did come from there. That was it, we all agreed on the name, happy days.

How would you describe your sound?

JOSH: I would say it was like heavy indie, but it’s not quite indie, not quite rock, it’s kind of between, isn’t it?

MATT: Alternative, but a bit heavy.

JOSH: Yeah, again, there is a Sixties influence as well, but with maximum volume, I would say.

ROSS: A wall of sound!

JOSH: Yeah, a wall of sound, that’s what everyone tells us.

Apart from the music of the Sixties, what else influences the band musically?

JOSH: If you’re talking more recent stuff, I would say Milburn, Arctic Monkeys, who else?

ROSS: Jay-Z!

JOSH: (laughs) No, not Jay-Z. I would also say we were influenced by a lot of the indie bands that were around in the early 2000’s, because for me, it was around that time that indie music was at its most ripest, and that’s pretty much where our sound has evolved from.

ROSS: It seems to me that the best music was around when we were all at high school.

JOSH: The best bands for me around that time were The Cribs…

ROSS: Little Man Tate.

JOSH: Little Man Tate, yeah. There were just loads of mint bands and they were just all a massive influence on us, I would say. Anything they did, I wanted to do, which I suppose was the same for everyone else who’s in a band nowadays.

What is your approach to songwriting?

JOSH: Me and Jovi tend to write the majority of the songs, it’s a short process, nothing too long.

Something that annoys me or something I see that makes me laugh, I’ll suggest we write a song about that. I’ll jot down some lyrics, as a story at first, and then I’ll read through it a couple of times and try and turn it into rhymes.

Then, we’ll put music to it after, try and find something that fits. A lot of people do it the other way around, but I’m not like that, I don’t know why.

It does take time to find the right melody, it’s just a massive thought process. I’ll just jam on my guitar and then all of a sudden, it’ll come to me.

Would you say that your music has a political spin to it?

JOSH: I’d say ‘No, No, No’ is quite political, isn’t it?

MATT: Yeah, yeah.

ROSS: A lot of our fans seem to associate it with Brexit.

JOSH: Actually, we wrote that song well before Brexit.

ROSS: It’s about a frustrated generation, isn’t it?

JOSH: I can’t say that every generation before ours has had it easier, there’s been troubles throughout the decades.

ROSS: Every other generation blames the one before.

JOSH: That was basically what I was going at. It seems that a lot of people nowadays give up too easily and don’t listen to what’s going on. They don’t care, do they?

The song is also on about rich people, them taking from the poor and stuff like that.

ROSS: That’s the moral of the story.

JOSH: It’s really the only song of ours that has a political theme to it.

The band brought out an album ‘Memory Lane’ last summer. How has the reaction been since its release?

JOSH: I’ve never had anything that has had a better reaction in my life. Everyone I’ve shown the album to, even people I don’t know and have never spoken to before, have been like: “Woah! Was that you?“, and I say: “Yeah, it was“. There’s now random people buying the album via Twitter and stuff.

The album has also been nominated for a local music award. How did you feel when it was announced?

JOSH: All I can say is that it felt good.

ROSS: We didn’t expect to be nominated to be honest.

JOSH: Yeah, I never expected to be nominated for anything ever. When I saw it, I swear I could have run around my workplace with my pants off. (all laugh) Only joking.

The band are part of the Stoke-on-Trent music scene. What is your opinion of it currently?

ROSS: It did go stale for a while, but it seems to have picked up recently. However, a lot of the current bands in Stoke tend to sound pretty similar. You’ve got the bands who want to sound like Tame Impala, bands that are still doing the Arctic Monkeys thing, and now you have bands who are trying to be like Slaves and Royal Blood.

JOSH: Definitely a lot of bands around here have been massively influenced by the Arctic Monkeys, but then again, they come from only up the road, don’t they?

ROSS: The problem is that Stoke lacks an identity music-wise. We’re slap bang in the middle, between places like Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield.
I believe that if some of the bands from around here were from there or another big city, then they would be more likely to get signed up.

JOSH: Yeah, definitely. For example, there have always been loads of bands signed from Liverpool, probably because of its long association with music, The Beatles and all that.

ROSS: You don’t normally associate Stoke with music, do you? And I think that makes it a problem for aspiring bands locally.

JOSH: There are quite a few bands from around here who are top lads, we enjoy their music, and I hope they think the same about us.

How is it for the band playing live and touring?

ROSS: It’s like being on a rollercoaster, isn’t it? You get the nerves beforehand, the buzz during and shortly after, and then the next day, you think: “That was wicked!“.

When the crowd are up for it as well, there’s nothing better, is there?

JOSH: The first gig we ever did was at The Sugarmill in Hanley, and talk about jumping in at the deep end!

ROSS: Yeah, you never stopped talking!

JOSH: I was so nervous, I was literally shaking, but when I got off the stage after our set, I felt like I was a totally different person. Every time I get on stage now, I’m totally in the zone, I suppose. I find it fun and really enjoyable.

ROSS: It’s better to be in a band with your mates, because you can feel more relaxed and have a laugh, there’s no better feeling.

Anything lined up for the near future at all?

JOSH: They’ll be a few singles throughout the year, hopefully another album towards the end as well.

At the moment, we’re just concentrating on building up our reputation from ‘Memory Lane’, try and get some more recognition for it.

ROSS: We never stop, do we lads? Even when we’re rehearsing, we’re writing songs.

JOSH: We’ve got enough songs to release another three albums with. We’re aiming for big things this year.

Is that the long-term aim then?

JOSH: The long-term aim is to be first band to break out of Stoke.

ROSS: We want to put the city on the music map.

JOSH: We’re not aiming for that because we want to be big-headed, we actually want to take everyone with us, or somebody to take us with them. I’ve always said this, if one band, just one, breaks from Stoke, then the rest will follow.

ROSS: It can be done. Nobody would have said Sheffield was a music city until the Arctic Monkeys came along, but now, everyone says it is.

THE MANALISHI’S ALBUM ‘MEMORY LANE’ IS AVAILABLE TO STREAM AND DOWNLOAD NOW.

FOR MORE INFO ON THE BAND, CHECK OUT THESE SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://themanalishi5.wix.com/themanalishiuk

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/TheManalishiUK/?fref=ts

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/themanalishiuk?lang=en

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE DEVIL IN FAUST TO RELEASE DEBUT EP IN APRIL

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Brit goth rockers The Devil In Faust deliver their hypnotic debut EP, ‘Come Apart’, through all platforms on Friday 28th April.

Formed in late 2014, The Devil In Faust were originally conceived by old school friends Al Pritchard (vocals/guitar) & Ben Codd (drums). The duo soon began to play a number of shows in their local vicinity before releasing their debut video single, ‘Dark Places’.

Following the online success of the single, TDIF went on to release further singles during 2015: ‘Forsaken’ & ‘So Clever’, with all three singles gaining strong support from BBC Introducing.

In 2016, the band continued to perform a glut of shows. Dates supporting Dani Filth’s Devilment and Sinnergod only added further weight to the band’s growing cause, as well as support from grassroots outlets such as Uberrock, TBFM, Amazing Radio, BBC Introducing and Blank TV, to name drop a select few.

With their live reputation on the rise, TDIF were invited to record in Aarhus, Denmark with Tue Madsen (Moonspell, Meshuggah, Sick of it All). They demoed twelve tracks and decided on four choice cuts, which were shaped and carefully crafted to create the band’s debut EP.

Since their inception, The Devil In Faust had experienced difficulty in trying to hold down a permanent bassist. However, all this changed when Al was introduced to Jess by Dave Catching at an Eagles of Death Metal show. Jess showed immediate interest in joining TDIF, and after just a couple of rehearsals, the band transpired.

With a solidified line-up, the trio are prepared to release their debut EP ‘Come Apart’, which offers four tracks of intoxicating alt-rock baked with hooky refrains and gothic undertones, from the dirty scuzzy rock phrasing of their opener ‘Cross Your Heart’, to their forthcoming new single ‘Soulmate’, which brims with jack-hammer refrains and
angsty venom.

From top to bottom, this record exudes dexterity and unwavering confidence. The Devil In Faust will break, and you will want to be around when it happens.

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FOR MORE INFO, CHECK OUT THESE SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.thedevilinfaust.com

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/TheDevilInFaustOnline

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/@Thedevilinfaust

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/thedevilinfaust/

 

 

 

 

 

CORE OF iO DROP NEW VIDEO

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Already highly praised for their hugely impressive tech metal sound, Core Of iO delve deeper with their breath-taking new video single ‘Surrounded’, which is lifted from the band’s forthcoming EP ‘Part III: Ganymede’, out later this month. You can watch ‘Surrounded’ right here –
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZOd1O96mlU&feature=youtu.be

Core of iO were formed over two years ago, and born out of a shared enjoyment for technical and melodically intriguing music. Ever since 2014, the quartet have established themselves on the underground scene, displaying an honest and unapologetically raw sound with their tech flavoured progressive rock.

With an absolute slew of influences spanning from jazz, metal and prog to rock, Core Of iO are notably layered and diverse. Despite this varied background, there’s a strong tech rock thread running through their music, calling for comparison to anyone from Karnivool and Oceansize to Periphery and Agent Fresco.

No strangers to hard work, the four-piece have already released two EPs to date, as well as a dual single, which landed in 2014. The band have also played the likes of Mammothfest and UK Tech-Fest, whilst touring the UK extensively and racking over 250 shows.

The riff maestros are currently releasing a cycle of four EPs; the next instalment, ‘Part III: Ganymede’, will be released later this month and toured throughout 2017.

Undeniably, Core Of iO’s work ethic is second to none and their rise is infinite.

FOR MORE INFO, CHECK OUT THESE SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: https://www.coreofio.com/

FACEBOOK: https://en-gb.facebook.com/Coreofio/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/coreofio

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/core_of_io/

 

GREYHAVEN

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GREYHAVEN (from l-r): Edd Kerton (bass/vocals), Connor Tate (drums), Sam Paterson (vocals), Jim White (guitar), Alex Hills (guitar)

Greyhaven are an alternative rock five-piece from London.

Since forming in 2014, the outfit have released two positively received EPs, played live with the likes of Architects, and have built up a dedicated fan base with a diversely influenced sound that they describe as “a mixture of post-hardcore, pop and anthemic, heavy rock.

With a third EP planned for release in the future, and about to unleash an explosive new music video for one of their recent singles, I chatted with guitarist Alex Hills about what makes them tick.

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

How did the band get together initially?

Initially, the band was just me writing some songs in my room, but I eventually decided to start putting together an actual band. Sam was the vocalist in my old band and Jim was a friend I’d met online quite a few years before. Shortly after that, we found Edd and Connor and the line-up was complete.

How did the name Greyhaven come about?

It’s a reference to The Lord Of The Rings actually! The Grey Havens is the name of the port that the Elves use to leave Middle Earth.

 

What are the band’s musical influences?

We draw influences from all over the place. Older rock bands like Queen, Def Leppard and Bon Jovi definitely were the bands that initially shaped my music taste, though the more obvious influences would be modern bands like Trivium, Alexisonfire, Neck Deep, Mastodon, Emperor, Rise To Remain, Don Broco, Young Guns, The 1975. We definitely have diverse tastes.

What is your approach towards songwriting?

We tend to write all of the instrumentals first and then write the vocal parts afterwards. I’ve always been an advocate of writing what you want to write, rather than worrying about what other people might want you to write.

The band’s second EP ‘State of Mind’ came out last autumn. How has the reaction been since its release?

The reaction has definitely been positive. The first single ‘On & On’ found its way onto various prestigious radio stations, as well as airing on Scuzz TV. The tours we did in support of the release have also been pretty crazy, it’s been very humbling for us to see the support that we can receive all over the country.

How is it playing live and touring?

As I mentioned earlier, it has been pretty crazy. We’ve started to gain more of a dedicated fan base now and they never cease to surprise us when we play live. We’re all looking forward to seeing the fan base grow with us over the coming years.

What’s planned for the near future?

We’re releasing the video for ‘Brother’ later this month, and we’re going to be announcing a few dates in support of that. After that, we’re going to be starting to prepare our next EP for release, while maybe releasing a few acoustic videos and even a cover in the time between now and then.

What is the band’s long-term aim?

We just want to have fun really. Hopefully, we can make this into a career and hopefully, we can have the positive effect on some of our fans that a lot of our favourite bands have had on us as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CARNIVAL CLUB TO RELEASE MINI-ALBUM IN MAY

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Emerging rock ‘n’ rollers Carnival Club will ignite the UK scene with their alluring new mini-album ‘Magdalena’s Cape’, which arrives on 12th May via Demolition Diner Records.

For any rock music fan, it’s a source of total pleasure to come across a great young band that not only can rock out and play some great songs, but look the part and pretty good into the bargain!

Carnival Club are a quartet of late teenage, early twenty-something’s brimming with excitement, energy and kick out the jams, no holds barred vision. These Manchester based lads – Kai, George, Eddie and Joe – have absorbed their musical learning showing maturity way beyond their youthful years. Their songs are made in the north, but will hit you from the north, south, east and west. They will astound the ears and bless the heart.

Maybe you’d like a Jimi Hendrix ‘Voodoo Chile’ drenched guitar lines and Sabbath sound wars topped off with a supersonic, cigarettes and whisky blues howl; a huge stadium blasting riff with an earworm of a chorus straight out of Valhalla, or a heady LA power-tripping, staggeringly streetwise smack ’em down head-rush and head-mash.

Then there’s more. Yes, those troubles, headaches and issues are there for all to hear – full-on, sonic boom boys boxing snappy, rappy, bratty, spooky and snarly male angst tinged with a touch of sweetness. The trials of youth are being presented in a thrillingly stand up and be counted way.

Alternatively – and this is pretty damn alternative in today’s manufactured, algorithm dominated, processed to an inch of its life offerings that we’re getting in excess – you get this. It’s a tasting of prog rock grandeur, quicksilver American west coast psychedelia 50 years on from ‘The Summer of Love’, a hint of machine groove Euro techno, stirrings of goth with plenty of eye-liner, a Daltrey-esque stutter, bunny rabbits and echo men in long
black coats, the resurrection that wants to be adored, thundering herds of buffalo and wildebeest coming over the horizon, right through to the last fading resonance of the drummer’s flailed cymbals and hi-hats ending ‘Headaches’.

The Manchester Evening News indeed got it right when they reviewed one of their blistering live shows. Carnival Club are “reaching out to grasp the ghostly hand of Lemmy” and plenty of other rock gods, alive or dead, with “their musical cues darting in from every rock corner imaginable”. And that’s for starters.

Welcome to the Carnival Club world. It’s early days in the entering of the zone pointing towards potential rock and roll greatness with lashings of style thrown in. The five songs on their debut ‘Magdalena’s Cape’ EP is a ‘My Generation’ statement for rock fans young, and not so young, recorded loud and clear. Dive in with no fears as, make no mistake, this band and their music takes no prisoners.

Emerging during and after all the rock and roll death of 2016, here’s Carnival Club getting set to bring 2017 alive.

CARNIVAL CLUB’S DEBUT MINI-ALBUM ‘MAGDALENA’S CAPE’ WILL BE RELEASED ON MAY 12TH.

CHECK OUT MORE OF THE BAND AT THESE SITES:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/carnivalclubuk

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/carnivalclubuk 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AT DAWN’S EDGE RELEASE NEW VIDEO

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With glowing comparisons to Within Temptation, Epica, and Nightwish, Canadian progressive metal combo At Dawn’s Edge have released their brand new video single for ‘Evil Flamingo’, which you can view at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBEBN-kksgY.

At Dawn’s Edge were originally founded in 2009 by guitarist Alexandru Oprea, with long time member and guitarist Matthew Ozzorluoglu, while attending high school, with the early incarnations of the band involving a series of name changes and revolving line-ups.

However, all of this changed in 2013 when the duo met vocalist Ashavari Joshi and drummer Jacob Osbourne Bechard, and the quartet finally formed a solidified line-up.

Hailing from the culturally diverse Canadian city of Toronto, the highly talented four-piece bring groove to full orchestral arrangements by intertwining complex rhythms with melodic and symphonic elements, resulting in a engulfing end product.

The band released their debut EP ‘First Contact’ in May 2015, picking up good traction throughout eastern Ontario and Quebec, with the symphonic metallers then going on to play shows in Montreal and beyond, as well as supporting The Agonist and Sonata Arctica in Toronto.

At Dawn’s Edge are now poised to widen their reach even further, with the release of their captivating new video single ‘Evil Flamingo’, and with US and Canadian tour dates, and a debut album primed for release for early next year, there’s nothing stopping the band’s ascent.

KEEP UPDATED ON ALL THINGS AT DAWN’S EDGE BY CHECKING OUT THESE SITES:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/AtDawnsEdge

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/atdawnsedge

INSTAGRAM: https://instagram.com/atdawnsedge

 

 

 

 

JESSE’S DIVIDE

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INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Jesse’s Divide are a Stoke-on-Trent three-piece, comprising of vocalist/guitarist Simon Ward, bassist Nick Cotton and drummer Rob Barnes.

In the last couple of years, they have gained a substantial local following with a heavy, melodic and progressive sound combining elements of rock and metal, as well as live sets that are entertaining and fun, but also all about the music.

With last autumn’s EP ‘Strange Alchemy’ still getting rave reviews, a new EP planned for release later this year and an exciting new venture that will hopefully benefit the Stoke music scene, it looks already as if 2017 is going to be a great year for the trio.

Before their gig in Newcastle-under-Lyme a few weeks back, I chatted with them about all this in more detail.

How did the band get together initially?

SIMON WARD (vocals/guitar): We are bits of all other bands. In 2012, Nick and I had been all in a band called Livid, which disbanded, and we were left with an empty studio.

While we had nothing else to do, we started to jam, and that become something, our first set of songs, which were heavy and done as angry teenager stuff, and we were just like “Wow, this is new!“, and that’s basically how we started.

How did the name Jesse’s Divide come about?

NICK COTTON (bass): Basically, we had been playing together for three or four months, and we hadn’t yet planned for gigs or anything, but then all of a sudden, we had a gig booked and we all thought “Shit! We have to come up with something!”

So one night, me and Simon were around his house, getting really drunk and watching the film ‘Predator’. There’s a scene in it where Jesse Ventura’s character gets shot by the Predator and ends up with a massive hole in his chest, so big hole in Jesse, Jesse’s Divide!

How would you describe your sound?

SIMON: I would say now that it’s more rock, and I think we’ve actually mellowed a bit, because we used to be quite aggressive, the songs purposely had to be over five minutes long, we didn’t do it because we didn’t care, we did it for us.

Over the last three years though, we’ve kind of sank into the songs a bit more. We still do what we want to do, because we love it, but it’s changed, we’ve naturally progressed, kind of back to our roots.

NICK: I’m not saying we’re ripping anyone off, but I think our sound is an amalgamation of the stuff we love.

We are very much influenced by, if you imagine Rush and Black Sabbath got into a bar fight, and then Dave Grohl came in and split it up, that is sort of what we sound like, so it’s heavy, a bit technical, a bit proggy in places, but we have the kind of rock sensibility if you will, so we don’t write silly long rock songs any more.

What is your approach to songwriting?

SIMON: Alcohol!

NICK: Yeah, we have a little ritual called Malibu Tuesdays, where we all go in, get drunk, normally off Malibu, but fake Malibu’s cheaper, and we just bash stuff out.
One of us will come on with a riff, and we’ll just jam on it later on, but we are going to be trying something new with our new EP.

SIMON: What we’ve decided to do with the EP is to try and record it as a whole. Rather than writing songs on their own, we are going to write them for the EP, write the whole thing as one.

This time, we’ve also decided to go the other way around, write the lyrics first and then put the music to it afterwards, because we know the kind of music that we want to go for, we’re going to go a bit more middle-of-the-road, Metallica kind of thing.

NICK: Don’t call it middle-of-the-road!

SIMON: We don’t like sticking to one thing, and we know what we’re going for this time, so it’s going to be very, very different.

The best thing about it is that we’re all best friends, and any one of us can come to each other at any point, we’ll go in together, and it’ll all sound different, but we’ll all pull together under a cloud of……….shit! (all laugh)

So, it’ll still sound like Jesse’s Divide, but each song, as it comes in, will sound very different.

You just mentioned there that you have a new EP out soon. Have you started to record it yet?

NICK: Actually, we’ve only just started writing it. Our last EP came out last September, ‘Strange Alchemy’, available on iTunes, Spotify etc… (all laugh)

How has the reaction been to ‘Strange Alchemy’?

NICK: It’s been good!

SIMON: It’s a lot lighter than the other EPs we’ve done, there were no six, seven minute pieces, the songs were mainly around three and a half minutes, we didn’t intentionally write it like that, it’s just how it came out. It’s actually given us a lot more attention.

ROB BARNES (drums): Yeah, it has. In the last six months, the attention for our website, the EP, gigs and that, has sort of slowly grown, hasn’t it?

NICK: Yeah. The new EP we’re doing, it’s still very much embryonic, but we have got an idea of where it’s going to be, we’re hopeful of knocking it out in about three months, in between all of the gigs we’ve got, we’re going to write and perform it as we go along.

SIMON: It’s got a good feeling this one has, hasn’t it? Whereas the two EPs we did before, the first was kind of like a concept EP, which was cool, we enjoyed that, but ‘Strange Alchemy’ turned into a concept EP with a chemistry theme to it.

NICK: It was just a collection of songs, wasn’t it?

SIMON: The new one should be more of a complete EP.

You’re all from Stoke-on-Trent. What is your opinion of the music scene there currently?

ROB: It seems to have taken a bit of a dive, hasn’t it?

NICK: It has started to come out of the swamp, though.

ROB: It’s beginning to, I think it’s going to be a slow process to build it back up again.

NICK: Around ten years ago, when me and Simon were playing in Livid, the music scene in Stoke was thriving, it was mental.

SIMON: For kids who were around fourteen, fifteen, The Sugarmill was the place to go, because it allowed under 18’s in, and it just used to pack out with bands. It was such a great place to play, because that’s where everyone went.

Now, I don’t know what’s happened, something crashed around three, four years ago, and it hasn’t recovered.

There’s still a lot of talented bands and musicians out there, you’d be surprised, there seems to be a Kevin Bacon effect, in that everyone on the Stoke music scene seems to know one another. It’s like a very close-knit family, even when things are a bit shitty, like they are now, everyone will still support each other.

We all still have a good time when we play locally, and we have a laugh with the other local bands, also helping each other out in any way we can. I just think that it’s really difficult to get a sizable crowd in anymore.

ROB: From a music perspective, nothing’s changed, like Simon’s just said, there is still a lot of talent coming out of Stoke. Even when I started around five, six years ago, places like The Sugarmill were still getting the crowds in.

NICK: Rob’s a lot younger than us, by the way.

ROB: As I was saying earlier, it has taken a slump. Now, there seems to be more gigs being put on at pubs and smaller venues. For the larger venues, it’s harder these days for them to sell tickets, whereas pubs and other places like that are usually packed for every gig.

SIMON: A reason for that, I think, is that the larger venues have put their prices up for everything. It used to cost only £3 for a gig ticket at The Sugarmill, now it’s £5. Therefore, less people are able to afford to go out anymore, it’s such a shame.

However, there’s a large venue that’s just opened in Burslem called Eleven, and that’s an ambitious place. Hopefully, that will spark something in the Stoke music scene in the next year or two, I really hope so.

ROB: One of the good things about Stoke music is that it’s diverse. There’s a lot of stuff going on, rock, indie, metal etc…

SIMON: You seem to notice that it’s not just the bands who seem to all know each other. It’s also the producers and the people who run the recording studios and rehearsal rooms.

They’re all good people, and it’s a good scene to be a part of.

Apart from the EP, what else do you have planned for the future?

SIMON: We’re about to officially open our very own rehearsal rooms and studio in Longton, and we’re doing that because we’ve been doing it ourselves for so long now.

Back in the day, when we were paying for hours of rehearsal time, we realised how much we loved what we were doing and we would be rehearsing at least three times a week.

When we were putting together our first EP, we wanted to get ourselves away from our day jobs, we wanted something to aim for. We’re still like that now, continually pushing for our dream, no matter how many years and thousands of pounds that may take, because we really enjoy it.

What we did then was rent our own industrial unit, because we found it was actually cheaper than renting out a rehearsal room three times a week, and we did that five years ago.

We’re doing it officially now, we’ve done the place up as much as we can, and we’ll be opening our doors next month to Happy Ninja Media, which will be a non-profit, charity-based organisation.

We’ll be renting out space, offering the best rates in Stoke for local bands that are just starting out that can’t really afford to rent any rehearsal space, and we’ll be giving them that opportunity because we want to help our fellow musicians.

That also helps us because we have a private place to play and record the EP for nothing, and we only pay for mastering it externally.

NICK: Aside from the business side of things, we have a few gigs pencilled in over the next few months, all the dates are on our website.

We don’t have any lofty rock star aspirations, we just play our music because we enjoy doing it, making the music we want.

SIMON: We’re busily trying to get more gigs booked this year, and we’ll be recording our new EP, which should be out later this year.

NICK: Hopefully, people out there will enjoy listening to it. Listen to the record and come out and see us!

JESSE’S DIVIDE’S THIRD EP WILL BE RELEASED LATER THIS YEAR.

FOR MORE INFO, CHECK OUT THESE SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://jessesdivide.com/

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/JessesDivide/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/JessesDivide