Shadowed reflections and bright legacies: embracing the heart of 1919 with Vocalist Rio Goldhammer

Photo by Carl Arnfield

Bloodline is an album which is destined to not only leave a striking creative fingerprint on the year but the decade as a whole for not only post punk/gothic rock, but simply rock ‘n’ roll. The new outing from 1919, a band inspiring generations of artists from their emergence in the late eighties, Bloodline is not only one deeply rousing slice of musical adventure and imagination but also a major last triumph from founding member and guitarist Mark Tighe who sadly passed away virtually days before its release. It is a stunning part of the legacy the musician left global music. With deep thanks to vocalist Rio Goldhammer and also drummer Mick Reed, we had the pleasure to talk about Mark and also delve into the future of 1919, the fabulous Bloodline and much more…

Hi Guys and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

A pleasure.

Before we talk about your album, could you please just say some words about band founder and guitarist Mark Tighe who so sadly passed away recently; about him as a musician and friend.

It’s hard to put into words really. His legacy will be one of sound… it already is. He was an artist and trying to explain his craft in a few words would do it an injustice – it took him a lifetime to do what he did. If you look through his old online posts (something it seems we all do quite regularly), his words are very few – usually to punctuate an image. He lived and breathed art. His eulogy reflected this well. It was mainly music…Exactly what he would have wanted.

As a friend… well, he would have been blown away by the tributes that came for him. From the music press, from fans, from bands we’ve worked with and many that we haven’t. He was a humble guy who always thought of others first. He’d bring chocolate to rehearsals, even when his illness meant he couldn’t eat it himself. He looked after the merch for the band right until his last day – always with a hand-written note. He wanted to do his bit and never took our supporters for granted. I could go on for days about him. Anyone who met him, even for a moment, knows he is a huge loss to the world, and we’ve lived on top of each other for 2 years. It’s still hard to accept not seeing or talking to him

His untimely passing must make the release of your new album Bloodline, the saddest joy possible?

Of course. You know, the label called up after the CDs arrived saying “the album is too good not to be on vinyl”. I wish Mark had heard that. He was desperate to get a vinyl release. Sadness and joy are, yes, perhaps in equal measure. But the prevailing emotion is doggedness. We know what we have to do now, and we know who we have to do it for.

Do you know what the future of 1919 might be without Mark, or is that a question you have yet to ponder?

We’ve had to ponder it for a while but we’re determined to finish what we started. Mark insisted we find someone… he’d wanted to teach them the guitar parts himself but he deteriorated so quickly. He insisted “no one was irreplaceable”, but at the time we were more concerned with being there for him as friends. And indeed, we now have someone in the unenviable position of trying to learn the guitar parts without Mark’s tutelage! We’re determined to honour him, and we will. Humans are mortal. 1919 is not.

We do have someone on board though [Sam Evans]… Someone who met Mark a couple of times. We didn’t want a hired gun because the band is a family. It will be a new chapter for us of course, but we had a good idea of our future direction from our final months with Mark. There are a couple of finished tracks and a handful of demos from the last 6 months so we have a good base to work from. But I don’t think its right to say we’re “without Mark”. He will always be with us, and as long as 1919 is alive, so is he.

It is fair to say that for gothic/post punk fans who knew you first time around, 1919 was one of the most important and inspirational propositions in the eighties. Is that a feeling you found in people if not then when 1919 re-emerged a couple of years or so ago?

Absolutely… 1919 never performed outside of the UK the first time around, but we’ve found a lot of love from across the world. Particularly in France and Germany (and of course our favourite place, B52 in Eernegem) we’ve had some amazing audiences, and they tend to be a lot younger than our audiences at home. The band obviously means a lot to people and we take that very seriously.

Obviously the time between has seen original members grow as artists and people, can you describe how creatively 1919 evolved from those early heady days seeing chart breaking singles and an acclaimed debut album?

Mick Reed: Well, as you say we’re a lot more refined now in terms of musicianship. But you know, in a lot of ways nothing’s changed at all. The writing process is similar; as is the way we rehearse and record. There are no egos in this band and it’s just so easy to get on with it. This incarnation of the band has actually been the most stable line-up in our history. I honestly can’t see anything other than mortality come between us.

How did the link-up with Mark and Mick, of course the band’s original drummer, with you Rio and bassist Karl Donner come about; how did you all meet?

We hit the ground running really. Mark and I had been doing Circle of the Absurd and put the Revenge demo out as 1919. Mick and Karl had been doing some work together on some lost Ship of Fools material… Once Mark and Mick were in touch again we just brought the two pieces together.

Mark’s poetically haunting melodies and grooves showed they had lost none of their invention and evocative touch within the new album but there is a bold new freshness to the whole 1919 sound, more than maybe would be expected with simply maturity and experience involved. How would you assess its new character and body?

It feels fresh. We’re simultaneously an old band and a new one… but aside from that I think you’ve said it yourself. Mark spent a lifetime perfecting a sound that was completely his, and Mick’s drums – the tribal power – has always been a signature of the band. We’re not going through the motions though, we mean every note we play and every word we sing. We’re a tight unit and the music means everything to us. Anything else is up to you to discern.

Can you tell us about the recording of Bloodline? Was it an easily flowing process?

100%. When we recorded The Madness Continues…session in 2015, we did all 14 tracks in a day. For Bloodline we took a little more time, of course, but the core of each song was still recorded live in our rehearsal room. We’re just comfortable there. Live music, a little overdubbing, and then vocals. Then of course we have an excellent producer in James Reid, who does the mixing. Mick sits with him for the most part and he’s got an excellent ear for texture, but it definitely flows.

The rhythmic adventure of the songs with Bloodline is for us addictively invasive, bound in almost tribal persuasion as you just mentioned, and more than matched by the web of sound round them. Mick and Karl have an instinctive understanding it seems, creating a tempting core for the goodness. How did the songwriting work for the album; those dramatic rhythms first, suggestive melodies, or variety of things breeding what it offers?

We jam! A lot of bands don’t… sometimes someone brings an idea into the room and we play with it… I try to scribble some lyrics out on the spot when possible. But there’s no definitive method. We just make noise and the best bits start to structure themselves.

Can you give us some background to the themes within Bloodline?

The label called it “the soundtrack to the end of the world” in their press release. I like that.  There’s a lot in there really… Life, death, environment and architecture, violence, peace, power, philosophy, representation… a touch of nostalgia. There’s a political element, sometimes abstract and sometimes more direct. But I won’t feed you the minutiae. I prefer to leave room for interpretation.

You have also released a great video for the album’s title track. It was created and filmed by Carl Arnfield of Chalkman Video, the producer of a string of striking videos and films. What brought you guys and him together?

He’d done a video for The Kingcrows which I liked – they’re friends of mine and put me in touch with Carl. He’s done all of our videos now and there will be more collaborations with him without a doubt. We do butt heads occasionally, but only because he has such an artistic vision for his work. He’s in it for all the right reasons and a real asset to be able to call upon. He’s also a top bloke and worked his socks off to get the C.O.T.A video out in time for Mark to be able to see it. Can’t recommend the guy more highly.

It is hard to imagine your emotions as Bloodline sees itself being devoured by fans and lauded by so many,  your proudest moment musically?

Mick & Karl: Watching Joy Division was incredibly important in our lives.

Mick: John Peel too. When he announced he was going to bring 1919 in for a session I couldn’t believe it. To have done two of them will always be something I’m proud of.

Rio: The first time we played Paris (at Le Klub). The power blew in the middle of the set… it felt like the building was going to collapse during the rest of it. It was perfect.

Once again my biggest thanks. Anything you would like to add?

Just some words from our Captain:

 

I work life like it is worked

The moon shimmers red

Cherry red

The glow distilled into exploding fireflies

Roads are long

Fields pass

The blue twilight comforting

I am dazed and even confused

But I realise that I love this life

On the road

My band

High on life

Twitching to go

To play

The electricity overwhelms me

It is immeasurable

1919……….. Forever

A. Tighe

Image by Scott Ford

 http://www.1919official.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/1919official/   https://twitter.com/1919official

Read our review of Bloodline @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/1919-bloodline/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 23/03/2017

Madjive – Business first

All work and no play makes…. well you know the rest though no one seems to have told French rockers Madjive. There new album suggests that it is Business first but it is a sentiment which does not stop the band taking the listener on a feverish, mischievous, and riotous rock ‘n roll romp which is all about fun, fun, fun…

Hailing from the east side of France, Madjive has been unleashing their creative devilry since 2008. As their third album reveals, theirs is a sound which evades guidelines and rules, Business first a cavalcade of various styles and textures woven into a proposition as punk as it is hard rock, as garage rock as it is funk. Across two previous albums, a trio of EPs and a split vinyl release, the band has only cemented and increased their reputation while live Madjive has stomped across the broad landscape of Europe to matching acclaim, sharing stages with the likes of Powersolo, Richie Ramone, The Phenomenauts, Fuzzy Vox, The Jancee Pornick Casino, The Inspector Cluzo, Nada Surf, Lords of Altamont, VCPS and many others along the way. Business first is the wake-up call to those yet to be infested by the outfit’s devilment, a boisterous and excitable encounter which would not surprise if it incited global attention.

Ignition program turns the album’s key, its scything riffs and tenacious beats wrapped in a vocal web before leaping into a punk rock stroll sparking the body into a blur of eager movement. The funk growl of the opener twists into the punk ‘n’ roll of I am addicted. Again guitars chop and entangle the senses with their agitated jangle whilst rhythms shuffle within the quickly established funk infested saunter of the song. Led by more lively vocals, it continues to bounce and infest ears with a persuasion causing reactions living up to its title.

Its masterful temptation is swiftly eclipsed by the salacious lures of Same bone; a feisty charge of bold rock ‘n’ roll with the growl of Rocket From The Crypt and the instinctive devilish catchiness of  The Phenomenauts. At barely a handful of breaths over a minute in length, the glorious pleasure is sadly sort lived but imposingly memorable and thrilling before A spooky bargain brings its own haunted impishness to the party. Hooks escape its imagination at will, keys and guitars alone conjuring seductive bait as vocals colour and incite proceedings with mutual dexterity. Hints of Neal Hefti, the creator of the classic Batman theme tease throughout; the adventure recalling his finest moment within creative shenanigans all Madjive.

The contagious punk rock of Kid bazooka bursts to life next, it too equipped with appetite piercing hooks and devilment before the album’s title track declares its intent with rousing vocal unity quickly joined by forcibly persuasive rock ‘n’ roll. The track feels like a prelude to the bigger picture of Draft, sketch and outlines, the meeting’s  minutes setting the tone before its successor twists and turns with forceful enterprise and garage punk meets funk rock roguery. At its final statement, a moment of jazzy rascality comes over the album and ears, its unexpected detour leading to the blues funk playfulness of I can’t complain, a track somehow managing to sound like a hybrid of Red Hot Chili Peppers, System Of A Down, and Kings Of Leon without making such influences more than a whiff of a scent.

Both the previous tracks leave pleasure full if without quite at the heights of earlier tracks or found in the heavier rock ‘n’ roll of Rigged show. The track is a muscular and gnarly yet controlled and flirtatious encounter demanding subservience to its scything beats and sonic antics. There is hint of bands like Cheap Trick and Golden Earring to the song, but small hues in a certainly seemingly familiar but distinct escapade.

If the last song was relatively composed, We’re clear let’s manic traits fuel its character as it escapes speakers and the enslaving restraints of life to stir up body and imagination ready for the stormily sultry adventure of Desert peddler. The Morricone laced climate of the song is pure western drama, suggestiveness bound in similar descriptive intensity and artfulness to which Helldorado revel in, and quite glorious.

The album concludes with the vocal and melodic chicanery of Another guidance, a track trying to be composed and refined but it just cannot keep its punk heart chained, involving ears in a thrilling burst of garage rock high jinks with more than a keen nod to old school rock ‘n’ roll.

Business first, from its first dose of addictively satisfying and enterprising misconduct, inspires a hankering to get back with it as soon as possible, even before it actually comes to an end. It is a powerful lure from a stomp any fan of rock ‘n’ roll knavery will find a lusty appetite for. Throughout it does seem to persistently nag and remind of one band in particular, though one our thoughts have still yet to pin down, but Business first only announces Madjive as a band ready to stir up the rock world with inventive capers.

Business first is out now across most stores and @ https://madjive.bandcamp.com/album/business-first

Upcoming live dates:

16.04.207 – Clou – Grünberg – Germany

22.04.2017 – Cafe Ohne – Emerkingen – Germany

12.05.2017 – La Rodia – Besançon – France w/ Imperial state electric

16.06.2017 – Festival Erbasons – Etupes – France

30.06.2017 – Atelier des Moles – Montbéliard w/ CJ Ramone

25.11.2017 – La Taverne – Nevers – France

http://www.madjive.fr/    https://www.facebook.com/Madjive/   https://twitter.com/Madjive

Pete RingMaster 21/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dope Out – Scars & Stripes

Formed on the first breath of 2013, French band Dope Out has earned a potent reputation in their homeland for their aggressive and stylish heavy rock sound. Now with the release of their highly enjoyable second album, Scars & Stripes, they are threatening to provoke the same kind of attention and support on a much broader scale.

Musically, the Paris quartet merges flavoursome traits from classic and hard rock with more punk, metal, and stoner essences for a proposition which feels familiar yet equally fresh and adventurous. The band has honed their sound and invention across a debut EP, All Hopes Inside, released that first year, and the well-received debut album Bad Seeds of 2014. The years between albums has seen Dope Out breach another level and maturity in their music; an evolution making Scars & Stripes a potently flavoursome proposal.

The four tracks making up the Lady Misfits EP which came out January 2016 made a tasty teaser of things to come, its potential straight away confirmed as Scars & Stripes hits ears with its title track. A lone bassline provides the first lure, its throaty twang soon joined by wiry riffs and rolling rhythms as the song brings its appetising bait all together for a predacious stroll awash with flaming melody. Once settled, the grouchy lead vocals of guitarist Stoner step up with attitude the fore, their irritated air matched by the hooks and grooves lining the slice of punk infused rock ‘n’ roll. Varied twists and turns follow to add to the captivation of the strong start to Scars & Stripes; a base the album only grows bolder from.

The following Dive is a just as appealing proposition, matching its predecessor’s success with its fiery web of grooves and enterprise spun by lead guitarist Crash over a rhythmic trespass driven by the jabbing beats of Mad and Doc’s heavy tempting bassline. As with the first, the song sets the tone of the album without exposing its deepest layers of imagination, that discovery really beginning from The Freakshow, which follows, onwards but still inciting a keen appetite for what is on offer so far.

The third song swiftly hits the spot, its initial pyre of sonic taunting mouth-watering but only added to by the rhythmic rumble which is soon aligned to a broadening design of flavours and invention.  Once hitting its resourceful stride, the track prowls like a mix of Dope and Marilyn Manson while its melodic blaze and earthy air has Gruntruck like hues to it. It is compelling stuff, only increasing its hold on ears as it twists and turns with imagination fuelled confrontation, blues grooves and steely tendrils increasing the fun.

Lady Misfits makes a more even tempered entrance, Stoner’s mellow tones joined by a just as relaxed melody as rhythms saunter with similar restraint. It is all a build-up though to a blaze of a chorus which after searing and pleasuring the senses slips back into the highly enjoyable calm, erupting with greater temptation throughout as the track continues to grow and reveal more of its captivating character and resourcefulness.

By now, the band and album has the lid open on their boldest adventure, next up Clan Of Bats bearing a spicy slab of imposing blues hued rock with an infectiousness breeding a chorus which is one of the truly memorable moments within the release. It is also the moment when you feel Dope Out really get to grips with their craft and imagination, the album having a real swagger to its presence and almost mischievous ambition.

The snarling rock ‘n’ roll of next up Shooting Gun keeps attention and pleasure high, its catchy swing and assertive intensity a potent mix before Nose White entangles ears in woozy blues grooves and stalking rhythms as vocals mix belligerence and invitation in their commanding persuasion. Carrying a touch of Black Stone Cherry and Hardcore Superstar to its body, only concentrated pleasure arises with it especially as its shadows darken and its tone and sinews become more invasive, luring the listener into its heart and the waiting devilry of Balls To The Wall. Another major highlight of the album, the song is a beast of almost violent rhythmic intent and sonic trespass, the guitars searing ears with their hook laden melodic flames whilst vocals scowl as the heart of the track erupts.

The album is brought to a just as feverish close by firstly Again, a song with infectiousness in its DNA and blues rapacity in its veins. As many of its predecessors, it has feet twitching and hips swinging with increasing relish, exhausting and pleasuring the body ready for the mellow caresses of closing encounter Soulmate, an acoustic reflection playing like a warm and increasingly enthusiastic night cap on a boozy rock ’n’ roll session.

It is hard to say that Scars & Stripes is overly unique yet has plenty of new elements to provide a truly fresh and increasingly enjoyable encounter; a proposition quite possibly coaxing a great more of the world to listen to Dope Out.

Scars & Stripes is digitally out now.

https://www.facebook.com/Dopeout/   https://dopeoutunited.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 21/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright