Tag Archives: Pop-Punk

JARRETT ADLOF

Jarrett Adlof photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Perhaps best known for being a guitarist for Texan pop-punk collective Offended By Everything, talented musician Jarrett Adlof is now embarking on a solo career, armed with a sound that captures the essence of his former band, but offers something different vocally and lyrically, and with with his recent single ‘Progress‘ having been positively received, and already generating almost 5,000 streams on Spotify, he spoke to me about all of this and more.

What would you say was your earliest musical memory? 

I remember playing keyboard as a small kid, I think I was about five. I could always hear a note, in-tune or not, so I would push one single key and match it. 

Was there a specific moment when you decided to pursue a career as a musician? 

Honestly, in high school, I did it to be cool, and I probably still wasn’t. After high school, I got pretty good at business, and figured I might as well put it to use with my favourite hobby.

What are your main musical influences? 

Guitar-wise, my favourite was Prince, and I’m still planning to one day buy his ‘Purple Rain‘ guitar, but band-wise, Mayday Parade is always a go-to.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting? 

Make it sound right. This bothers some, but if something sounds off or too different, then I won’t release it. I want people to hear it once, and then it sticks in their minds.

What inspires you lyrically? 

Sometimes, a life event happens, which triggers me. Sometimes (and this is going to get me into trouble with some), I write musically, and just create what I know are real instances from other people’s points of view.

So far, you have brought out two solo singles – ‘A Memory Of Me’ and ‘Progress’. How was the recording process for them? 

DIFFERENT! I did all the tracking at my home studio. I wrote and recorded them, then I sent the songs off to Scott Buchanan (Offended By Everything producer), who mixed and mastered, and made me sound so much better.

And how has the response been to the tracks so far? 

It’s been really solid. This is my future, so I hope it continues.

Also, how does your solo work differ stylistically to what you did as part of Offended By Everything?

Musically, it really doesn’t, as I wrote the majority of the Offended By Everything music, and I wanted my solo work to be a spin-off of that, although, vocally and lyrically, it is very different, as Zak is an amazing vocalist with a big range and more of a current style, whereas I grew up in the New Found Glory days of pop-punk.

And lastly, what are your plans for the near future? 

I recently finished work on my home studio, which is the real deal, and I have started a record label to record and sign bands called Palm Mute Records. Also, I will start playing shows with my music early next year!

Jarrett Adlof Single Cover

‘PROGRESS’ – THE LATEST SINGLE FROM JARRETT ADLOF – IS AVAILABLE NOW VIA PALM MUTE RECORDS, AND FURTHER INFO ON JARRETT CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

TWITTER

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SEVEN FLY

Seven Fly band photo

SEVEN FLY (from l-r): Daniel Hancock (guitar), Will Kropfeld (drums), Levi Ruiz (vocals/guitar), Ali Gonzalez (bass)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

From Florida, known as the US‘s “sunshine state“, Seven Fly are an emerging four-piece who pride themselves on delivering an anthemic, highly-energetic mix of pop-punk and pop-rock which truly reflects their upbeat and carefree attitude to life.

Having recently unveiled a new single – entitled ‘Fever‘ – and a follow-up to last year’s debut EP ‘Grow Up, Kid‘ coming out at some point in the near future, the band told me more about themselves and their music.

How did the band initially form?

We formed just through knowing each other through work and mutual friends!

How did the name Seven Fly come about?

Still to this day, we don’t know how it really came about, one of us kind of just said it one day, and it eventually became written in stone.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

We love modern pop-punk like State Champs and Neck Deep. We’re also influenced by Fall Out Boy and Green Day, as well as a little metalcore, which stems from Daniel and Will.

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

Actually, every song of ours is different! Sometimes, we will start by writing some lyrics and melody, and other times, we will write a cool jam, and then throw lyrics over it.

What inspires the band lyrically?

We tend to write lyrics about stuff that bothers us, or stays on our minds often. We often write non-rhyming prose, which we will then convert into rhyming schemes/poetry. 

Last year, you brought out your debut EP – entitled ‘Grow Up, Kid’. How was the response to that, for you all personally?

Grow Up, Kid‘ was kind of our first introduction to the music world, and it taught us a lot on all things music and performance.

Recently, the band unveiled ‘Fever’ – their new single. How was its recording process?

The recording process was rather quick, actually. We did it over a few late nights eating fast food and drinking energy drinks, and we just ripped through all of the parts.

And how has the reaction been to the release so far?

It’s actually made a few waves, which makes us excited to see how the rest of the new EP will do!

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

We all start off as nervous wrecks, but it becomes fun once the adrenaline kicks in.

Now that the new single has come out, what are the band’s plans for the near future?

We plan to release the rest of the EP, and we’re also going to be bringing out some music videos.

And lastly, what is your long-term aim?

Long-term, we hope to play festivals, increase our fan base, and just keep the fun going!

Seven Fly Single Cover

‘FEVER’ – THE NEW SINGLE FROM SEVEN FLY – IS AVAILABLE NOW, AND THE BAND’S SECOND EP WILL BE RELEASED AT SOME POINT IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

FURTHER INFO ON SEVEN FLY CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

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VICTORY LANE – ‘Barebones’

(Standby Records)

Victory Lane EP Cover

REVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Last year, four-piece Victory Lane impressed critics and fans alike with their debut EP, ‘Louder Than Words‘, which was an effective showcase for the band’s fresh take on the pop-punk genre.

With that already under their belts, the rapidly-rising collective have now unveiled ‘Barebones’, its eagerly-anticipated follow-up.

Comprising of six tracks, the quartet recorded the new offering under the guidance of esteemed producer Romesh Dodangoda, who has worked in the past with the likes of Bring Me The Horizon and Don Broco.

Just Personal‘ opens proceedings by consistently being catchy, highly-energetic, and upbeat. At times, the sound can be rather generic, but it is a real toe-tapper, and certainly does its job of hooking the listener in.

Following track ‘Life Past 98‘ pretty much follows in the same sonic vein, at least to begin with.

However, the vocal delivery of frontman Dan Lamb is evidently more heartfelt, and he does a fantastic job of conveying the deeply personal and emotional lyrical subject matter of his father passing away when Dan was just a teenager, and what he felt over what undoubtedly was a very traumatic period.

As the song progresses, the tempo lowers significantly, with the guitar riffs becoming heavier yet slower-paced, and the drum beats becoming louder yet gentler at the same time.

Another highlight of the EP is provided by fourth number ‘Happy Sad‘, which with a sound that switches effortlessly between jolly and something altogether more sombre, as well as lyrics which deal frankly with Dan being in a state of emotional limbo, brought on by a reliance on anti-depressants, is a true reflection of how the four-piece are maturing, both musically and as human beings.

Overall, ‘Barebones‘ initially comes across as an average pop-punk release, but as things move forward, the band are able to draw the listener in with a well-crafted combination of songs that will leave them feeling a whole range of emotions.

TOP TRACK: ‘Life Past 98’

(3.5/5)

 

A

A band photo

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

PHOTO by IAN GAV

Since first forming as A back in 1993, the Suffolk alternative rock outfit have been on an eventful journey that has seen highs – signing their first record contract, releasing a string of critically and commercially successful albums, and playing gigs and festivals at venues across the world – and lows – the record label they were a part of suddenly collapsing, getting into a dispute with the label that took over their contract, resulting in them being dropped, and the band splitting up for three years in the mid-2000’s.

However, they have risen above those past negative events to become a collective who are highly-respected by their musical peers, and still bring much fun and enjoyment to their live shows.

Following the current five-piece’s set at the Electric Ballroom – as part of the recent Camden Rocks Festival – I went backstage to speak with frontman Jason Perry, who spoke to me frankly about his and the rest of the band’s experiences over the years.

How did the band initially form?

In the womb! Me and Adam (Perry, drums) are twins, then Giles (Perry, keyboards/vocals) popped out four years later. We were always into creating and playing music, which then eventually evolved into us starting a jam covers band when me and Adam were 11, and that was it, really, as we’ve just carried on ever since.

How did the name A come about?

We wanted a name that didn’t really mean anything, which wasn’t pretentious or anything, easy to remember, and wouldn’t tie us down to a specific genre. Also, we wanted a name that looked good on a T-shirt.

What would you say was your songwriting approach?

I don’t know, to be honest. Mainly, I will walk around, an idea will suddenly come into my head, and I’ll put it down on my phone or whatever.

We’ve never just sat down and written a song. Mark (Chapman, guitarist) will often come up with a bit of music, so did Dan (P. Carter, former bassist), when he was in the band, back in the day, and then we’ll join up all of the different dots to create a song. That’s the way we’ve always done it.

In 2002, the band brought out their third album, ‘Hi-Fi Serious’, which did really well critically and commercially. How did you all deal with the response to it at the time?

Honestly, we wanted it to do better! (laughs) No, it did well, but we thought it was going to take off in America, because we had been touring there a lot, putting down all of the groundwork, and a few of our tracks had been played on K-ROQ (an influential radio station in Los Angeles, which specialises in playing alternative rock), which was a big deal, so just before the album came out, we were really excited, all of us were thinking, “This is going to be it! We’re going to crack America!“, but unfortunately, Mammoth Records – the label we were with at the time – suddenly collapsed.

We first heard that news while we were all in France, snowboarding with Jo Whiley of BBC Radio 1, and Mis-Teeq, who were this pop group. We had had a great couple of days, but then we got this call about the label collapsing, and that it had been taken over by Disney, so we had gone from being part of this really cool record label, to being part of Hollywood Records, which was owned by Disney.

You went on to have a dispute with them, didn’t you?

Yeah, we did. We were gutted, because we had brought out a big album, which was doing well here in the UK, it was also doing well in Japan, Germany, France, all of these different markets, and when the MTV Awards were being held that year – I think it was hosted by Jack Black – and they were giving out the award for best band, they played one of our songs, yet in the middle of all that, our label had collapsed, and we subsequently lost our record deal, so it was really bad luck.

In 2005, the band decided to take a break. At the time, was it just meant to be that, or did you honestly think this was the end of A?

We had just brought out another album (‘Teen Dance Ordination‘), which didn’t do very well, it didn’t land anywhere, and when you had had a big album on a major label, to then come back and not get any radio play, it wasn’t good.

We did another tour after that, but we didn’t want to end up being this band that just kept hanging around, complaining all the time, so we decided to take the “no complaining” route, and during our break, I began to write and produce music for other bands.

Over the years, you’ve toured all over the world, playing numerous venues and festivals. What have been your main highlights from those times?

I think touring Japan was our best experience, and the rest of the band would probably say that as well. The main reasons being were that the audiences were cool, and we also got an amazing amount of time off.

We were over there with The Streets – who were our label mates at the time – and The Wildhearts, and we also played with The Offspring and Guns N’ Roses, and on our days off, we would hang out with Mike (Skinner, The Streets frontman) and the other guys from The Streets, and I remember just having an amazing time, as we all had lots of fun. It was really cool.

Also, playing at festivals in Germany, and on the main stage of Reading & Leeds, they were high points for us as well.

When the band first formed, did you ever expect it to still be going now?

No, not now. We wanted to be big, we wanted to write big songs, we wanted to play big venues, but along the way, we scored a few own goals, as we were just silly, because we spent more time trying to make each other laugh rather than doing other things, and I think – looking back – that was detrimental to our careers.

However, having said that, we have always been able to put on a good gig, for example, today could have been a complete disaster, but it ended up being fun, and I think we’ve always been good at being able to do that, as well as connecting with crowds, and that’s always been our favourite things to do as part of being in this band, because at the end of the day, the crowd are cooler than we are, and we’ve always thought that.

I don’t know why, but playing live has always come so naturally to us, as we’re the same on the stage as we are off it, also, we don’t rehearse for any of our gigs, so what you see on stage is genuinely real. In the early days of the band, our manager would try and get us to rehearse, but we quickly got bored and just went to sleep! (laughs)

What are your plans for the near future?

We’ve just written two new songs, which we think are really good, so we’ll soon be recording them in the studio, and then we’ll be going back on tour in November, playing the ‘Monkey Kong‘ album in full.

Will the band be releasing another album at all in the future?

An album seems so old-fashioned to do nowadays, so we’ll just keep on getting out new singles, because it does actually cost a lot of money to record a professional-sounding album, so it would really be of no use for us to release an album that sounded crap.

Also, there’s some really good music about at the moment, and we seem to be heading towards another great era.

And lastly, what advice would you give to any emerging bands and artists out there?

Don’t split up! It sounds obvious, but the best way to succeed is by not developing massive egos, and they say the first rule of business is to stay in business, because some bands tend to forget that at the end of the day, they are actually businesses, so it’s no use arguing over songwriting credits, royalties, etc, because that could result in a band splitting up.

I think everyone who is in a band now needs to find their own specific role to play. It doesn’t necessarily have to be music-related, as now, as well as being a musician, you need to also be an entrepreneur, so finding a role to play is now as important as anything else to do with being in a band.

A WILL BE TOURING THE UK – PLAYING THEIR 1999 ‘A vs. MONKEY KONG’ ALBUM IN FULL – THIS NOVEMBER, MORE DETAILS OF WHICH CAN BE FOUND BELOW:

A tour poster

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

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

YOUTUBE

 

 

EAT YOUR HEART OUT

Eat Your Heart Out band photo

EAT YOUR HEART OUT (from l-r): Jake Cronin (drums), Will Moore (guitar), Andrew Anderson (guitar), Caitlin Henry (vocals), Dom Cant (bass)

INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN

Since forming in 2012, five-piece Eat Your Heart Out have made waves across their native Australia with a catchy yet meaningful blend of alternative rock, grunge, emo, and pop-punk, accompanied by lyrical content that is honest and relatable.

The band have also started to firmly establish themselves in the US, having toured there last autumn with Real Friends, as well as supporting such well-regarded American outfits as Sum 41 and The Story So Far, and with an eagerly-anticipated debut album, ‘Florescence‘ – which was recorded in Los Angeles, the quintet’s frontwoman, Caitlin Henry, spoke to me about that, the journey Eat Your Heart Out have been on up to now, and much more.

How did the band initially get together? 

Andrew and I had been friends for years, and we were in the same music class when we were 16, and we decided we wanted to make a band. I asked Will if he wanted to join, and he was doing a sound production course at college with Dom, so he asked him to join on the bass.

We asked Jake to play drums for us temporarily while we looked for another drummer, because we thought he wouldn’t want to be a permanent member, but then it turned out he was the best drummer in our town, and he didn’t seem to hate what we were doing too much, and now here we are six-and-a-half years later!

We’ve never had a member change, and I think even from the start – when it was just a bit of fun – we all had the same motivation and goals in mind to try and make it a serious thing, and hopefully one day make a career out of it.

How did the name Eat Your Heart Out come about? 

We were stuck trying to think of a decent name, and lots of terrible ideas had been thrown around (probably mostly from me), and Dom suggested Eat Your Heart Out because it’s in the start of a Dead Kennedys song.

A few years later, we thought of changing it, but we couldn’t come up with anything better, so it just stuck (laughs). It’s kind of a weird name, but it’s fairly unique, and has a bit of attitude, so it does the job.

What are the band’s main musical influences?

Honestly, I don’t feel like we have any single artists that we could pinpoint as a direct influence on our sound, as between the five of us, there’s such a variety of artists and genres that we enjoy, and maybe that subconsciously influences what each person brings to the table.

We definitely have artists that we admire, and are inspired by aspects of their music or live show or work ethic, but we’ve never really sat down and said “We want to write a song that sounds like this“. I personally feel like most of my vocal and songwriting influences come from a lot of the emo bands from 2000-2010!

What would you say was your approach to songwriting?

For this album, most of the lyrical ideas come from things I’d written in a diary or in my phone – mostly drawn from experiences I’d had over the last year with new people and new situations, and learning how to deal with them.

We ended up writing a lot of the album in the studio, and it was cool to see what ideas can come to life under pressure, because you don’t have time to second guess yourself.

This time around, we wrote all of the instrumentals first, and then did the vocals, which was kind of different to how we’ve done it before, but it worked really well.

Our good friend Pat from Movements co-wrote on some of the songs, and it was an amazing learning experience to work with him and to see how he works.

What inspires the band lyrically?

I kind of got ahead of myself and answered this one in the previous question! Lyrically, this album covers a lot of different ideas that have been swirling around in my head, but overall, the songs are all about people and situations I’ve experienced in the last year or so, and a lot of them are a part of becoming an adult.

Our songs have always been personal and often introspective, I don’t think we know how to write about anything else.

Later this month, you will be unveiling your debut album, ‘Florescence’. How was the recording process for that?

Again, I kind of got ahead of myself and covered this in a previous question…but it was an experience unlike any other! It was definitely a stressful time, as everyone was quite emotionally vulnerable, and we really worked ourselves and our producer Zach right down to the bone, but it was also such an incredible time.

We recorded in Los Angeles, which was definitely a bucket list goal for a little band from Australia, and although we worked hard, we still had fun. For me, there was very much a feeling of catharsis once it was done, and all my built-up emotions had been put into the songs.

And how will the upcoming release differ stylistically to the EPs that the band previously brought out?

It definitely still has similar vibes to the previous releases, but I think the sound has matured in a way. With an EP, you kind of have to just go flat out and put as much energy as you can in a short amount of time, but with the full-length, we had the chance to explore the songwriting and the dynamics more, and hopefully make it feel like a more cohesive body of work.

We definitely haven’t radically changed our sound, just tried to build on what we’ve done with previous releases, and make it better.

You supported Sum 41 in Sydney recently, and you also toured the US with Real Friends last autumn. They must have been great experiences?

They were both incredible experiences! Touring the US for the first time was amazing, as we couldn’t have asked for better bands to tour with or better crowds to play to each night, and everybody was so open and welcoming!

Supporting Sum 41 was crazy, just having the chance to share the stage with such an influential band that everybody grew up listening to was such a surreal experience!

How is it – for the band overall – performing live?

Performing live is the best part of being in a band! Hearing people sing your songs back to you is a feeling unlike any other. Our live show is something that we are always working on improving, so hopefully every time you see an Eat Your Heart Out show, it’s better than the last.

And finally, album aside, what have you got planned over the next few months?

Once the album is released, we are really just planning on touring as much as possible, hopefully visiting lots of new places, and meeting lots of new people!

Eat Your Heart Out Album Cover

‘FLORESCENCE’ – THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM EAT YOUR HEART OUT – WILL BE RELEASED ON MAY 17 VIA FEARLESS RECORDS, AND ON THE SAME DATE, THE BAND WILL BE SUPPORTING HELLIONS IN SYDNEY, FURTHER DETAILS OF WHICH CAN BE FOUND BELOW:

Eat Your Heart Out gig poster

FURTHER INFO ON EAT YOUR HEART OUT CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

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