Full frontal rockin’: an interview with Harvs of Jackson Firebird

Harvs

Harvs

 

  If you are looking for undiluted, no thrills, but highly addictive rock ‘n’ roll then checking out Australian rockers Jackson Firebird and their debut album Cock Rockin’ is one of those essential things to do. A heavily flavoursome and voraciously passionate, not forgetting riotous, collection of songs, the Napalm Records released brawl is one of the treats of this and 2012 with its staggered release. We had the pleasure to explore the world of Jackson Firebird with guitarist/vocalist Brendan ‘Harvs’ Harvey, talking about the beginning of the band, the album of course, tour secrets and plenty more….

Hey Harvs, welcome to the site.

Can we start with the beginnings of the band? How and when did you and Dale (Hudak) meet?

Well we first met when we were a lot younger, it’s not really hard to cross paths in a small town if you’re a musician. So we first met in a small band that was started years and years ago way before Jackson Firebird.

Was there an instant inclination to work together beyond that first link-up?

Not really, it was that early on in the piece that we hadn’t even really thought about playing in other bands, it was just the band at the present time, although towards the end of that band’s demise you could say, we were the only two rocking up to practice each time so it was just the two of us from a really early stage.

You hail from Victoria; how rewarding a place for emerging bands and in particular rock and metal breathing propositions is it?

Well if you were hailing from further down south in Melbourne you might have had more around you but living in Mildura felt so isolated from the rest of the world, it’s a bit of a strange thing to be doing, very underground. No internet in the early days, just hot metal magazines and whatever records our parents had!

Did you find any obstacles to your uncompromising honest in the face rock ‘n’ roll in those early years or it was pretty much accepted with the same eagerness as now?

Ah it’s pretty much the same as it’s always been! We just like doing what we’ve done; it’s why we started doing it. We enjoyed having a few beers and playing some rock n roll and to venture out into pubs and to play it live, and the receptions been rad so we’ve always just rolled with it!

We do have to ask the boring question, how did the band name come about; any particular meaning or inspiration for it? Jackson Firebird 2

We always thought we were a bit of a bogan band starting out. One of my first guitars was a Jackson Firebird and we use to think that was probably the most bogan guitar you could have so it just rolled off the tongue and ended up sticking to it like shit on a blanket!

Your debut album Cock Rockin’ has just had its worldwide release with Napalm Records. Did you have any particular expectations or hopes with its unleashing on the basis of its successful persuasion of the Australian rock fans and scene in 2012?

We were excited to get it out into Europe; it got received well in Australia. We thought it would be great to see how Europe reacted to it as they do like their Rock n Roll over there! And so far it’s been really good! We’re stoked!

It is fair to say that there is a devilry to your sound which as the album title suggests has a straightforward unbridled thirst for fun and simply rocking its rocks off. Has this form of rock always been your main inspiration growing up and on your songwriting or is there a more eclectic taste also beavering away inside?

Our sound just comes from us wanting to have fun. If its sounds like fun in the jam room and we have fun playing it, well that’s the way we’re going to put it down regardless of what people think. Um, we’ve always listened to stuff that we’ve enjoyed obviously, but I think having that fun element of playing it, if it’s fun to play- it’s never going to get boring for us. We just like rockin’ out and having a good time! As far as influences go, we grew up on a lot of metal. Your Pantera right through to the Easy Beats…The Allman Brothers, Beastie Boys…Blues Explosion- all that kinda stuff, I think subconsciously that stuff just starts to come out into your song writing without meaning to, but I think that’s a good thing having those traits come out. Could be worse- you hear a lot of shit on the radio!

What would you say are your most potent influences then?

Mine personally would be the Easy Beats, Blues Explosion, Bog Log right back to your RL Burnside ya know with the blues ‘n’ all that. I think for Dale you’d have to say Pantera and the Allman Brothers….and Elvis.

How does the songwriting process pan out between you more often than not?

Ah a lot of the time we just come up with it in a good jam. We get the riffs goin’, then try and work a melody out as ya may notice in the tracks that the lyrics are pretty complicated! Ha! But um, quite often than not Dale will come in with a melody and we’ll take it from there and build something up around it. There’s no set structure to a Jackson Firebird song, it just comes out and if it’s enjoyable playin’, that’s the way it’s gonna go down. As you may notice there’s a lot of Mother Fuckers in there- we don’t plan for that but it just fits!

The album is a fiery and raw slab of raucous adventure which sounds as if it is live inside the ears. How did you record the songs in the studio?

Recorded the tracks all live to tape. It’s a thing we wanted to try and put across- the Jackson Firebird show is what we’re all about. As far as recording goes to capture that, we tried to take all the takes, drums and guitar, live down onto the tape and then build from there. Tracks like, Rock Solid are just one take. Vocals, the whole works…as you can hear Mick Wordly, the producer say at the start of one, “When ya’ll ready….”

524_jacksonfirebird_cmykDid any of the tracks take on a new character in the studio environment or is what we hear on the album more or less the riots we would find in your live shows?

Ah definitely. I think the live shows are heavier and louder. Also we did the album over a long period of time, just due to time restraints and just doing it off our own back in the early days, bit by bit, some of the songs probably evolved as you can probably hear with Sweet Elouise and Quang Dang um, a bit different to ya Cock Rockin’ but all in the same vain…Just stripped back down, Rock n Roll.

Tell us about that recording process for Cock Rockin’, the time taken and adventures had.

Cock Rockin originally no titled to be held on that…we had decided in our lifetime we wanted to put an album out, and just went off our own back, found a guy that we heard was really good with tape audio, um, we got a hold of him and locked down into is his studio and basically when we had the time started the record. We did it over a 14 month period. On the weekends we’d drive over 400kms from Mildura to Adelaide and do a day or 2 in the studio. I think overall, time on the album was about 12 days! It took a lot of time to make it but we weren’t in any hurry and we weren’t stressing to push it out to try and get labels or sell it…it was all about just achieving that goal of ours to make an album. I do recall putting the first 6 tracks down on the record and after having such a long period of time to listen back (back before heading into the studio) I think the next time in there, poor Mick, we told him we were gonna scrap the lot, we recorded them all again in only one session -thinking they sounded heaps better, then went back again about a month later and of course decided to go back to the fuckin’ originals!!!

Did anything come out of the recording which you have or will explore further in the next release?

I think it’s always gonna evolve. I think we definitely learned cool shit about tape. Sound wise, maybe this time we won’t go for such a live take…might try the more conventional way of just getting the drums down and building it up from there. We always jam live in the booth so after that take- if we get it we get it and if we don’t we’ll work on it from there. T’is gonna be bigger, badder ‘n’ better!

It is around two years between the Australian and this release of the album, is the feeling the same the second time around?

Is just as exciting coz it’s a totally different territory. We got to showcase our wears in another country that we’re not familiar with at all so it was just as exciting as the first time! Having already played the tracks for years we certainly honed in on ‘em and changed a few things here just to put a live spin on them and put on a better show.

Were you tempted to also tweak anything for this unleashing or had you already moved on to concentrating on your next endeavour in the period between releases?

I think once you record a record it pretty much captures that place you’re in at that time, I think to go back and tweak anything is a bit of a dick think to do. So we just left as is. That’s Jackson Firebird in that time, that’s how we sounded. We are certainly well underway into our second album and its sounding pretty huge so we’re looking forward to getting it out!!!

You have just finished a European tour, how did that go? Jackson Firebird

Tour was nuts! It’s still so fresh since coming back. Hopefully the memories will start coming back soon! But ah putting 19 shows down in 20 days was something we hadn’t really expected to do in the early days but it was damn good fun and we got to see 7 different countries! Crowd response was awesome, sold a lot of merch and yeah we had a killer time on stage and good parties with the other bands!

And any interesting stories to tell?

I think the beauty about being on the road, you never know what to expect…one night we stayed in the same room as ‘Horizont’ some kick ass rockers from Sweden and can remember the bass player vomiting on the ground next to the guitarist as he passed out, then supposedly the guitarist woke up in the middle of the night to the bass player pissing on his face!! Ha-ha always gonna remember that kinda shit and I’m just glad it wasn’t us hey!!!

What comes next for the band and for us from you?

Next for the band…we got a few weeks home them we’re off to Brazil to play some rad festivals over there, or down there, or wherever the hell it is! We’re certainly looking forward to getting another album out. We’re in the middle of recording that- we’ve recorded half of it in Austin, Texas and we’ve done quite a lot of demo work to finish the album off so really looking forward to getting stuck into that and getting a release date out…would be nice to get it out by the end of the year and then get our asses back to Europe!!!

Thanks for sharing your time with us.

Would you like to leave us with a final thought?

Like five wise men said…. Rock n Roll ain’t noise pollution!!!!

Thanks for your time. Harvs JF

Read the review for Cock Rockin’ @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/jackson-firebird-cock-rockin/

http://www.jacksonfirebird.com/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 28/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

 

 

Hidden Intent – Walking Through Hell

Hidden-Intent-Band

Never short of an appetite for well-crafted and ferociously passionate thrash metal it is fair to say that it was easy to find an eager taste for Walking Through Hell, the debut album from Hidden Intent. Eleven tracks which embroil the senses, the release is a pungently addictive and contagious encounter. It is an encounter where arguably dramatic originality has taken a break and the tracks at times hold too much similarity amongst themselves to stand out as potently as they should, but nothing defuses the thrilling and rabid presence of the album and its unbridled persuasion on thoughts and passions.

Hailing from Adelaide, South Australia, Hidden Intent began early 2011, formed by bassist/vocalist Chris McEwen (Abyzmal, Troops of Doom, Obsidian Aspect) and lead guitarist Phil Bennett (Desert Eagle, Metallica Black Album Tribute, Iron Maiden Tribute). After the loss of their original drummer and an intensive search, Jay Rahaley (Blood Mason, Treachery) was recruited to the ranks of the band, a stability which has maybe not by chance seen the band emerge as a stronger proposition outside of their locality and homeland. Inspired by the likes of Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Iron Maiden, and Sepultura, it is maybe no surprise that their sound is steeped in old school thrash metal, heavily seeded but still with enough invention and imagination to bypass predictability and provide a compelling encounter. Last November saw the band release Walking Through Hell but it is now with its wider release through Punishment 18 Records that the band could and should find a ravenous new market.

Starting with Confession, basically a sample from the film American Psycho, the album takes a proper grip on attention and thoughts HiddenIntentCoverwith the following title track. Stabbing air with crisp strikes of drums and riffs it is a potent start but it is the rumbling throaty crawl of the bass which first excites. Its dark menacing tone persist its stalking across the subsequent even paced tempest of riffs and drum antagonism which surrounds the ears. The vocals of McEwen are enjoyable and eager, if at times unpredictable, but it is his bass offering which steals the passions early on, though that is soon challenged by the excellent flume of grooves which writhe within the predacious crawl and charge of riffs which switch persistently across the song. With a great guitar solo flaming as a greater rabidity spills its hunger, the track is an enthralling and thrilling introduction.

Through Your Eyes swiftly picks up the baton, taking a measured approach before launching into another surging torrent of voracious riffs, punishing rhythms, and richly barbed hooks. Little additives like resonance, sonic seducing, and combative increases of energy ignite the tracks uniqueness but for the main the body of the song is similar to its predecessor and gratefully consumed before Betrayed stalks ears and imagination. It opens with a steady intimidating gait but is soon chugging along as the vocals unveil their feisty narrative. Though it is not the most memorable track on the album, in its company it is impossible for neck muscles and body to resist its sinewed temptation and infectious if volatile charm. What is memorable is the additional sinister and atmospheric bass led piece of intrigue springing straight after the song, an unnamed instrumental between tracks which offers a delicious respite which is needed to give the imagination a different exploration and body time to take a breath.

Both Die Inside and Good Friday Thrash push riveting guises around the recognisable core thrash sound, the first bringing swiping vocal calls and greater incendiary grooves into the gallops of riffery and rhythmic entrapment whilst its successor almost preys as it skirts of the senses initially, though the urge to release the handbrake and bring an urgency to its predation is eventually too much to hold back. The pair enthrals and impresses with a mouthwatering array of bass and guitar imagination, those elements we mentioned which make the band stand out without breaking into new pastures finding their most irresistible bait, certainly within Die Inside.

By this part of the album songs merge a little though enjoyment is just as high, and you occasionally find yourself simply looking for differences rather than enjoying the moment. Get What You Can Get thoughbrings tight and ridiculously addictive grooves to its thrash armoury whilst Face Your Demon and Creature of Habit unleash a disputatious confrontation and roving grooves respectively all adding to the enticement of the constant hunger confronting the release.

Closing on the exciting temptation of Black Hole, the track a strike of gripping invention and urgency and probably the most original song on the album, Walking Through Hell is a masterful riot of thrash metal. Yes it lacks true originality and some songs work better away from the body of the album rather in the wash of familiarity which coats the release but it has to be said it is one of the most enjoyable and exciting thrash albums this year and probably last, and those bass and guitar moments alone just feed the strongest desires.

It is easy to expect Hidden Intent to make a big break-through in the near future, and more of the same would do very nicely.

Walking Through Hell is available now through Punishment 18 Records and @ http://hiddenintent.bandcamp.com/album/walking-through-hell

https://www.facebook.com/hiddenintent

8.5/10

RingMaster 28/04/2014

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Anti Ritual – Self Titled

ANTI RITUAL_Band_large

Unleashing a tsunami of spiteful ferocity and voracious defiance within its tempestuous sounds, the self-titled debut EP from Danish hardcore/metallers Anti Ritual is an inescapable provocation which leaves senses bruised and battered but seriously alive. A joint release between Indisciplinarian and Vendetta Records, the six track sonic scourge is a challenging and testing encounter but one which abrases and gets right under the skin.

Brewing up a maelstrom of passion and malevolence from a mix of hardcore and extreme metal, the Copenhagen quartet use their musical platform to rail against the political and social evils which enslave the thoughts and lives of the people. It is forcibly aggressive, emotionally tearing at the diverse structures and wrongs ravaging man but also embracing the good in humanity and promoting constructive defiance. Musically their sound is imposing addiction, scorching grooves and rhythmic hostility a rampant contagion which openly reveals the craft and strength of the songwriting and band. Self-produced by the band and mixed by Jakob Reichert Nielsen (Rising, Lack) with mastering from Brad Boatright (Nails, Sleep, From Ashes Rise), the EP is a severe and uncompromising indictment, and exhaustingly compelling.

Ideals to the Fire begins the vitriolic erosion of ears and senses, its opening temptation of drums soon raging within a storm of scathing AntiRitual_Sleeve.inddriffs and carnivorous basslines which in turn coax the rhythms to become rabid and unpredictable. It is a savage attack driven harder by the caustic growls of vocalist Marco Malcorps whilst all the while a virulent groove casts its toxicity, constantly brewing up its intensity and bait across the brief and thrilling scourge. It is a blistering and formidable incitement, one stirring things up mentally and emotionally as it sparks unbridled enthusiasm.

The potent start is driven deeper into the psyche and passions with Slave Dogmatics, the track taking a mere second to worm under the skin as sonic scars are left by guitarist Jacob Krogholt under the rain of intensive rhythms from drummer Nikolaj Borg. Again grooves scythe with rabidity across the annihilatory onslaught giving it a swing and swagger which like the lyrical narrative, sculpts an enticing almost anthemic persuasion. The track is simply irresistible, showing that barbarous examinations can be just as thrilling and epidemically contagious as any smouldering seduction, that something you are not likely to experience from Anti Ritual we can safely assume.

The following No Second Earth grips the same wave of fury as its predecessor, twisting it into its own abrasing sonic predator. Framed and speared by the corrosive rhythms and heavily rapacious bass growls of K.B. Larsen, the track takes a more deliberately paced tempest to the senses, capturing the imagination with bestial and continually lumbering riffery. It shows a variety to release and sound, even if in more subtle than openly loud ways, which is continued with The Highest Privilege, its doom breathing, blackened squall a continually changing journey of destructive rampancy and sinister predation which ebbs and flows whilst permeating the roots of instinctive passion.

The closing pair of Blame the Victim and A New Discourse on Enlightenment ensure the release leaves as nastily as it entered, the first a pestilential cyclone of sound and vitriol flailing flesh as it man handles thoughts whilst its successor brings the richest layer of crust to the release yet whilst potently employing an intimidating chug of sludge/thrash riffs. It is the most intensive and dangerous slab of aural brutality on the EP, an unrelenting and rigorously compelling torrent of passion and raw antagonistic sculpting; a quite immense conclusion to an outstanding release.

Anti Ritual band and EP are not for fair weather hardcore and extreme metal fans but for those of a masochistic and defiance driven appetite. It is a thoroughly impressive debut from a band you can sense is going to leave major landmarks across their upcoming horizons.

The Anti Ritual EP is available now from Vendetta Records and Indisciplinarian on 12” black vinyl limited to 350 copies, white vinyl limited to 150 copies, and digitally.

www.indisciplinarian.bandcamp.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 28/04/2014

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Molotov Jukebox – Carnival Flower

Molotov Jukebox pic

It has already been firmly established that if you want your feet and body exhausted but blissfully contented then colourful UK revellers Molotov Jukebox are your puppeteers, their previous pair of EPs already the launch pad for riotous hips and gaping grins. Now the band parade their debut album, Carnival Flower, an eleven track festival of lyrical adventure and lustful melodies framed in a rhythmic escapade which frees inhibitions and ignites the raw dancer inside. It is a release which tempts and smoulders, caresses and incites as it takes the imagination on boldly hued and energetically fuelled romps. Unlike their previous releases there may be no real killer tracks at large, songs which virulently ignite the passions, but instead the release has a perpetual seduction which just as potently brews an enraptured submission.

Molotov Jukebox is a six-piece celebration of passionate aural festivities merging styles such as Latin soul, calypso, gypsy, swing, and dubstep into a unique revelry which has been tagged as gyp-step. Led by the distinctive sultry tones of Natalia Tena (an actress renowned for her roles in Harry Potter and Game of Thrones), and comprising of guitarist Adam Burke, bassist Tom Wilson, drummer Max Burnett-Wain, trumpeter Angus Moncrieff, and violinist/vocalist Sam Apley alongside her, the band has constantly garnered acclaim whilst inspiring an ever growing and feverish fanbase with their vibrant sound and equally vivacious live shows. Both their debut EPs, Double Dare and especially its successor Bang thrust the band into a concentrated spotlight feistily backed by unrelenting festival appearances, certainly in the past eighteen months or so. Now with the release of Carnival Flower there will be no surprise to see the London based band taking country and bodies further afield by the scruff of the neck and leading them to filling streets and dance halls with swerves and sexual dance moves, all to the sound track of Molotov Jukebox.

As soon as rhythms hit to mark the entrance of opener Tread Softly, an itch begins in the toes. The punchy beats of Burnett-Wain hold a Mol juksmile to their swing which is as infectious as the soon to join warn embrace of strings and the vocal persuasion of accordion caressed into life by Tena. It combines with whiffs of sonically crafted guitar and a percussive coaxing into an even tempered but inciting romp brought further to life by the seducing vocals of Tena within sober blazes of trumpet. It is not a riotous start but an eager persuasion which twists and flirts with sound and ideas to waken attention, appetite, and imagination with ease.

From the slightly annoying fade-out of the song, just a personal gripe in a liking for proper finales to songs, temperature and bait is increased thr0ugh Don’t Wanna Know. A vocal croon by Tena courted by excellent group harmonies beside her, kiss the ears initially providing a sexy flirtation which evolves into an agitated stomp with melodic skirts swishing over the senses as pulsating bass riffs use salacious tempting under the climactic flames of trumpet. As its predecessor, the song is not a full-on stampede of aural diablerie but holds an irresistible anthemic lure which enlists body and passions without resistance. The song simmers and at times almost taunts with rhythmic enterprise and string plucking, everything combining to design an evocative and humid template for addiction.

The band’s new single, Neon Lights steps up next, again gentle sexually inviting suasion starting things off before trumpet and vocals soar gloriously across the ceiling of the song. Veining the flight the bass strolls with inviting shadows whilst keys and accordion add their intrigue and mystique to the noir shaded scenery. It is a sumptuous blaze of colour and sound, a track which just grows and grows in the psyche and memory the more it infests the ears. That is true of the album to be fair, first impressions impressed and keen but a new breed of appreciation and ardour emerges given time; previous releases were an instant lust but the album takes a different longer route but with the same result.

The following Can’t Find You is another slow starter on emotions though a swift temptress of ears and thoughts. Almost like a formula for the album, the song also opens up with reserve and a melodic flutter of its lashes before throwing off its hood for a fleet footed waltz of provocative melodies and wanton hues. A mix of pop and swing, it moves around imagination’s dancefloor arm in arm with flailing hooks and elegant harmonies casting a robust yet sensual toxicity over the senses.

The jazz lounge like bred Punchlines weaves and glances across ears with a rich and soulful fondle lighting up thoughts. It is a graceful flame of emotional melodies and sixties harmonies which leaves satisfaction bulging if passions simmering, though they are soon aflame with the brilliant House Fire Smile. The first surprise emerging from the heralding blaze of trumpet and electro additives is that the lead vocals are taken by Apley, an inspired move as his vocals are impressive and make a brave and successful twist to the album. There is a feel of Lazy Habits and Dizraeli and the Small Gods to the song, a whisper of hip hop toying with the heart of the song as a reverse of the norm vocally throws a deliciously unpredictable and magnetic new coal in the fire of the album. The song has a bounce and swagger to its relatively considered stroll though there is always the feeling it wants to explode. Tena’s voice and a niggling guitar toxin only add to the riveting call of the song, an encounter which steals top honours on the album.

Both the frisky Sexfoot and the smouldering Nina keep hunger lively though both are openly pale against certainly the previous triumph. The first of the pair is like a tempered foxtrot with moments where it unleashes its inner devil whilst its successor with the smokey voice of Tena stroking every syllable and the senses in a steamy seduction courted by a classically bred Latin hearted acoustic guitar sends the imagination into a romantic encounter.

From the exotic gala of Tropical Badboy where even the dead could not resist its carnivalesque voracity, the album comes to a close with firstly the dynamic and atmospheric jubilee of No Lady, a track which finds an eighties whisper of bands like Pigbag to its determined sway of melodic curves and rhythmic hips, and lastly a reworking of Trying, a song previously on the Bang EP. The song is a masterful tempting which just has that instinctive lure to inspire full allegiance and union with its potent musical poetry but it has to be said that the new treatment does not quite work as well as the original. Despite that the track is outstanding and the perfect end to a quite impressive and incendiary release for body and heart.

Though Carnival Flower does not quite live up to definitely Bang, it is an open and thrilling doorway into Molotov Jukebox, both a proposition you need to explore at least once in your life, though be warned as one bite is all it takes to be lost to the temptation of the band.

The self-released Carnival Flower is available now!

http://www.molotov-jukebox.co.uk/

8.5/10

RingMaster 28/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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