Rising from the crowd: Talking Ten Miles Wide with Will Andrews

ten-miles-wide_RingMasterReview

Hailing from a city breeding great bands like a lusty rabbit, Seattle quartet Ten Miles Wide is an alternative rock proposal creating music drenched in haunting melodies and tenacious dynamics. Since changes within their ‘previous’ band led to more of a ‘rebranding’ than a wholly new project, Ten Miles Wide has been on a attention grabbing ride. To find out more we had the pleasure to talk with drummer Will Andrews, checking out origins, debut album, and dynamics within the band along the way.

Hello and thanks for sparing time to talk with us.

Thanks for having us!

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all?

John Beckman sings, plays guitar, writes the lyrics and births most of the song ideas, Ryan Thornes plays bass and sings backup vocals, Jake Carden plays guitar, and I play drums. We all came up in the Seattle scene together in our 20s, and admired each other’s skills and abilities as musicians.

Have you been in other bands before?

We’ve all been in tons and tons of bands, and a few of us are in more than one band right now, actually. Three out of four of us were in a band together called The Mothership right before Ten Miles Wide started, so you can definitely say that our past bands had an effect on our current band. Prior to 2010, we all were fans of all of our individual bands which prompted us to collaborate. I was actually in a band with Ryan in 2009 before The Mothership happened, so we were already a tight rhythm section.

What inspired the band name?

Ten Miles Wide was the album title of the first full-length released by our old band The Mothership. Since 3/4 of us are in Ten Miles Wide, we wanted to keep a link to your old band and keep our fans happy. We needed to change our name because of the line-up change, and another band trademarked our old name.

tmw_RingMasterReviewDid you have a specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted your sound to offer?

Initially, there was a curiosity to see what we’d all sound like together. Our influences were so diverse, we weren’t sure if we’d sound like a mess. After we got together and jammed a few times, our goal was to make music that we would want to listen to ourselves. We’re constantly refining and honing new skills we pick up, and we’re always looking to push in new directions, so I think we’re definitely achieving our musical goals.

How has that core idea evolved over time?

The ultimate goal is to push ourselves creatively and write the best music we can. When we first started as The Mothership about six years ago we a different checklist of goals we wanted to accomplish. Mainly, we wanted to play our favorite venues in town and develop a solid fan base. After three to four years of networking, performing and releasing a few albums, we ended up selling out our favorite venue for our CD release in 2014. After we re-branded the band to Ten Miles Wide, our fans thankfully stayed on board, so our draw is about the same, if not a little better than before. We’re now looking forward to getting outside of Seattle and possibly outside of the country in 2017 and beyond.

Since your early days as a band, how would you say your sound has evolved and has it been an organic movement of sound or the band deliberately setting out to try new things?

It’s become less straightforward in approach and it has matured. We’re experimenting with arrangements and textures more than before and Jake has been able to add some really interesting complexity with his guitar work. We push ourselves more these days, and we don’t put the seal of approval on a song until we’re all satisfied.

Most of the time, we just write what we write. In the context of assembling an album, one of us might say “we need another up-tempo song” or “let’s get a little trippy on this one”, so things might be a little more deliberate in that instance. We don’t write for any purpose other than to satisfy ourselves, but we do appreciate tight song arrangement and strong melodies. Some of our songs could be a little more accessible than others due to the fact that some of us still listen to accessible music, and it comes out in the writing process.

You earlier mentioned numerous influences but are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

There are so many to mention, but I think a lot of our foundation comes from Nirvana, Soundgarden, Radiohead, and Queens Of The Stone Age. We are enthralled with a striking melody and killer chords to back it up. We also love bands that are varied in their songwriting and their approach. We believe in musical exploration and not pigeonholing oneself into a specific genre. It makes us somewhat unmarketable, but we’d rather express ourselves fully.

Is there a particular process to the songwriting within the band?

There are two methods that have been consistent with us. One method is to pull something out of John, Jake or Ryan’s song bank, or riff bank, then formulate a refined structure after we stick a few parts together. We’ll massage segues and transitions once we’re comfortable with the skeleton of the song’s form. The other method is the “jam method” where we just bang out fresh song ideas by improvising in a room together. Sometimes jam ideas get put into a structure, and sometimes they become a song on their own.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspiration to the lyrical side of your songs?tmw-art_RingMasterReview

Lyrics are John’s department, but they usually seem to come from personal experiences, or the need to exorcise some demons.

Would you give us some background to your latest release?

The Gross is our debut full-length album. It was mostly assembled as a three-piece band, and Jake came on board and added his guitar work towards the end of the process. Some of the songs are brand new, while others are almost a decade old. Sometimes it feels good to take things out of the vault that were dormant, dust them off, and give them a fresh coat of paint. We needed a few “gimmie” songs to help us springboard through the re-branding a few years ago.

How about an insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

My two favorite lyrics on the album have to do with aliens. The lyrics are slightly in jest, but the premise is that the world is such a fucked up, disgusting place these days and the only thing that would unify us or destroy us would be an alien invasion. Some of the other songs are about people who are time wasters, drug problems, and just general venting about the state of today.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

All songs are written before we enter the studio, mainly to save time and money. We like to be efficient at tracking the basic instruments so we can allow for experimentation with overdubs and vocals. If we had the money to live in the studio for a month, I’m sure we’d made a cool record that way, but that would destroy us financially.

Tell us about the live side to the band; that has to be the favourite aspect of the band?

There’s nothing like the feeling of playing a great show to a sea of fans. We’ve been extremely fortunate to have played pretty much all packed shows in 2016, and we hope that trend continues. Just like any live band, some shows are better than others, and sometimes the ones you think suck are the fan favorites.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it in a city renowned for its music and a flood of successful bands?

Seattle still has a strong music scene, which allows for the opportunity to be heard. The thing is, you have to work for it, and you need to make music that connects with the people in the scene. Anybody can get gigs on a Monday at a small bar, but to get the weekend gigs at the choice venues, you have to prove yourself and bring people to the shows consistently. Networking and going out to shows will garner you fans and connect you with the bands. Eventually, if you build up a big enough core fan base, new fans seem to just jump on organically. It takes years and an army of people, but it is possible.

tmw2_RingMasterReviewHow has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success?

Social media is where we thrive and connect with our fans. We try to be very good at responding to every email and Facebook message so that everyone feels like they are part of the band. We haven’t really seen any of the negatives, and the positives are apparent. YouTube has become a monster in the music world and we look forward to tapping into that medium a lot more in the near future.

Once again Will big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add?

Thanks for taking the time to learn a little more about us! Find us on the interwebs and check out our album The Gross on all of the usual streaming sites.

http://tenmileswideband.com   https://twitter.com/tenmileswide206   https://www.facebook.com/tenmileswideband   https://tenmileswide.bandcamp.com/releases

Pete Ringmaster 09/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Falls – Cream EP

falls-promo_RingMasterReview

As its fifth month swung and revelled in the noisy, raucous, and ridiculously addictive strains of eclectic rockers Falls, so the final throes of 2016 have been ignited in the best possible way with the Welsh band’s new EP. Cream is the creatively salacious sister to the earlier acclaimed One Hundred Percent Strong EP, itself a proposition as inimitably rousing and twisted as its breath-taking successor now proves to be.

Emerging in 2013, Falls had a great many of us intrigued and hooked by following year with their debut EP Dirtbox. Self-tagging their sound as gash pop/fuck rock, it romped and enticed ears and psyche into the Flintshire quartet’s devilish bedlam of imagination and sound. Its success and the band’s swiftly growing reputation was cemented and accelerated by a live presence which saw a constant wave of new fans won and stages shared with the likes of God Damn, Blacklisters, Press To MECO, and Black Peaks around tours with others such as Allusondrugs and Shikari Sound System. As their two track single Mastiff in 2015 saw a new essence of control and imagination blossom in the band’s sound so One Hundred Percent Strong took things to another level with its bold maturity and skilled quick fire twist and turns. Cream is more of the same but at times showing an even keener touch in anthemic aggression and headstrong invention.

As its predecessors, the heart of the new EP is an unruly party clad in the insatiable hunger of a myriad of styles and flavours. Maybe best described as Asylums meets Hawk Eyes under the psychotic guidance of Jane’s Addiction, it grips ears and hips straight away as opener Berries! prowls with surly riffs and firmly kissing beats. With a touch of groove metal to its heavy harmony basted rock ‘n’ roll, the track flirts and rumbles, soon embracing the warm vocal tones of guitarists Martin Gallagher and Philip Kelsall alongside those of bassist Ben Griffiths as it erupts and calms across its virulent canter. Driven by the heftily persuasive swings of drummer Steff Jones, it quickly recruits body and appetite, rewarding them with mischievous dips into stoner and glam pop temptation.

cream-artwork_RingMasterReviewThe irresistible start to the EP is only accentuated by Daytime N U, a sweet talking romancing of the senses with warm vocals entangling a funk infested groan of bass amid energy dictating beats. Once into its fiery stride with the guitars casting spicy flames around the mellow charm of the vocals and the metronomic infection of the rhythms, the song shows itself a master of body and spirit. System Of A Down is often used as a reference to Falls, maybe not so much in its sound but the unrelenting hunger and craft at turning on the spot through a kaleidoscope of textures and twists; the second track reveals exactly why.

The punk roar of Live Delicious is next, leaping at ears with brawling energy and vocal irritability. Underlining it as ever is a funk bred contagion, reserved right now but just waiting to grab those eager hips as riffs growl and grooves sear. As carnivorous as it is inescapably infectious, the track vociferously snarls and incessantly bounces like a pissed off raptor yet still finds room for a chorus which breeds only addiction.

Cream closes with the epidemic of pleasure that is Liberator. At times as grouchy as its predecessor and as dynamically catchy as anything offered yet by the band, the track bounds through ears with the instinctive aggressive pop of Baddies aligned to the sinewy weight and attitude of Reuben, Pulled Apart By Horses like melodic flames licking their collusion as the funk psychosis of a Halfling’s Leaf plays. The result as ever is something distinct and unique to Falls providing an exhilarating end to another attention stoking triumph from one of the UK’s most exciting bands.

The Cream EP is out now via Naughty Strawberry through http://fallsband.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/fallsband/    https://twitter.com/fallsband

Pete RingMaster 06/12/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Yugal – Chaos & Harmony

Yugal_RingMasterReview

We have had a little bit of a wait for their debut album, having been impressed and increasingly hooked on the Yugal sound through previous EP Enter the Madness, but anticipation has been forcibly rewarded by one richly enjoyable confrontation in the shape of Chaos & Harmony.

Carrying an organic continuation of their earlier sound but with the more unique surprises and elements its predecessors lacked, Chaos & Harmony is a fierce and imposing tapestry of contrasting and conflicting textures spun from the seeds of hardcore, death, and thrash metal. Its sound reflects the disparity yet balance suggested by the album’s title and the band’s Tibetan language derived name, both a representation of “the concept of universal duality” where two antagonistic constituents are indivisible.

Hailing from Vannes in Brittany, the 2010 formed Yugal lured awareness the following year with the demo From Pain to Pleasure before six track EP Illusion of Time two years later sparked concentrated attention upon the quartet which Enter The Madness reinforced and pushed on in 2014. The time between EP and album has seen the band hone their sound and songwriting to new heights and though at times it feels like Yugal are still on the way to rather than having found their final sound, Chaos & Harmony has replaced any ‘deficiencies’ before with a new individual and fresh forged imagination boldness.

The album opens with the gorgeous enticement of Khamsin, a Middle Eastern flavoured lure of guitar within seconds leading a seduction equally hinting at the entangling musical dissidence to come. The instrumental’s melodic romance and exotic charms are courted by shadows and the portentous thump of anthemic beats; a union which entices but with an element of intimidation before Once Upon a Lie rises up to consume ears with rapacious riffs and bludgeoning rhythms. Wiry grooves are soon entangling the song as the throbbing bait of the bass grips ears as potently as the throaty growl of vocalist Guillaume. A commanding fusion of death and thrash, the song is quickly a potent proposal but truly comes into its own as suggestive melodies and psychotic twists begin to emerge; each more glimpses than song changing elements but all adding drama and unpredictability to the song.

cover_RingMasterReviewHeavy Mental follows devouring the senses with vicious riffs and senses whipping beats as grooves taunt and the bass subsequently spins its own threat loaded magnetic dance. Drops into reserved but more predatory passages surprise and thrill as too the variety of voice and melodic enterprise; it all an absorbing web spun again by From This Day I Will Rise in its own individual design. Opening with a Breed 77 like coaxing, again as exotic as it is welcoming, the song looms up around that continuing lure with a wall of imposing rhythms and grouchy riffs. It is a threat which never fully lands but evolves into an invasive and invigorating trespass again still cored by the Eastern elegance and mystique the track started with.

From one superb offering to another as Dogma prowls and taunts the senses; its muscular rhythms and choleric intensity almost bestial but again an aggressor on a leash which allows clarity to the elements within and their infectious union. A further momentary pull on its reins allows a calmer attack opens the flood gates to thrash inspired riffs and an energy which alone invades and excites, though that in turn only leads to another twist in the song’s mercurial and relentlessly impressing landscape.

The imagination and cantankerous aggression already lighting the album continues as Illusion of Time stalks and flies at the listener with open fury, though a respite from the enterprising hostility is forthcoming through the brief instrumental Interlude. A close relation and in many ways continuation of the opener and an echo of the melodic beauty lying within the tempest of the previous track, it seduces ears and imagination before they are again under siege, this time from the barbarous attack of Silence is Golden. It too is an uncompromising tapestry woven with animosity and a virulent catchiness which is as venomous as it is addictive; each further bound in spicy melodic strands.

Another stirring moment within Chaos & Harmony, its quality and success is matched by the punk infused Lost Mind, the band’s hardcore influences at their most vocal but sublimely countered by the wires of Eastern promise which circle them and the variety of vocal imagination, something the band should definitely explore more ahead.

The album’s title track closes up Chaos & Harmony, a proposition which more than lives up to its name in tone and sound as it relentlessly courses through ears. Raw and rugged it ensures the album leaves with force and though it does not live up to what came before, the song  confirms Yugal as a band coming of age and ready to grant global attention.

Chaos & Harmony is out now on iTunes and through other stores.

https://www.facebook.com/Yugalofficial

Pete RingMaster 07/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright