RingMaster Reviews Interviews – Mark Vennis

For those who may not know who you are, introduce yourselves quickly.

MARK VENNIS & DIFFERENT PLACE: WE ARE A GENRE JUMPING BAND ALL TIED TOGETHER BY PUNK ROCK ATTITUDE

Describe your sound in as few words as possible.

JOHNNY CASH AND BOB MARLEY MEET THE CLASH

Who are your three biggest influences as a band?

THE CLASH, BOB MARLEY, JOHNNY CASH.

What’s the meaning behind your band name?

MUSIC TAKES YOU TO A DIFFERENT PLACE. IT CAN TRANSFORM THE EVERYDAY AND GET YOU TO LOOK AT THINGS DIFFERENTLY.

How did you approach your latest release in terms of writing and recording?

I WRITE AND WRITE, THEN I RECORD. THIS ALBUM WAS A COLLECTION OF EPS AND SOME EXTRA SONGS, SO ALL THE THREE EPS WERE AVAILABLE OVER THE PAST THREE OR SO YEARS. SO IT WASN’T RECORDED IN ONE GO.

Do you have any personal favourite songs on the release?

‘RATTLE SNAKE’, ‘ACHILLES REMIX’

Explain the meaning behind the album title.

‘A BEAUTIFUL LIE OR THE UGLY TRUTH’ IS THE TITLE. AND ITS REALLY ABOUT WHETHER YOU WANT TO BELIEVE THE BULLSHIT OR NOT.

Do you have any dates lined up at present?

CANNES FILM FESTIVAL 2019, FLASHFEST PORTSMOUTH 2019

What are your favourite songs to perform live?

‘WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE’, ‘AINT NO CHOICE’.

What are the best and worst shows you’ve played to date?

BEST: VOUT O RENEES, LONDON. JAN 2019, WORST: BLOTTED ANY BAD EXPERIENCE OUT OF MY MIND!

If you could open for anyone, who would it be?

PAUL WELLER

Any comical stories from your time as a band you can share with us?

NONE THAT I CAN REPEAT

What’s the plan for the rest of 2019?

GIG. RECORD. RELEASE NEW ALBUM.

Any closing comments?

WE BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF ROCK N ROLL TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER, MAKE THEM DANCE, MAKE THEM THINK AND, IN A LITTLE WAY, CHALLENGE ARTIFICIAL DIVISIONS IN SOCIETY.

https://www.facebook.com/Differentplaceband/

Questions by Elliot Leaver

RingMaster Reviews Interviews – Terraborn

Pic by Greig Clifford

For those who may not know who you are, introduce yourselves quickly.

Terraborn (Melodic Death Metal) based in Sussex, UK

Describe your sound in as few words as possible.

 Post-Apocalyptic Soundtrack of Destruction.

Who are your three biggest influences as a band?

 Lamb of God, Pantera, Parkway Drive

What’s the meaning behind your band name?

 It means “Born of the Earth”. Mainly fitting in with the post-apocalyptic theme

How did you approach your latest release, the ‘Call to War’ EP, in terms of writing and recording?

Mainly through collaboration at home for the writing process with most of the music written by Dave (Guitars). All of the EP was recorded, mixed and edited by ourselves (with the exception of live drums) and fully self-produced using Andy (Guitars) home studio setup

Do you have any personal favourite songs on the release?

Our favourite tracks from the EP are the title track ‘Call to War’ and ‘Nations Wake’

Explain the meaning behind the title.

 Call to War! – Rallying the troops for battle.

Describe the concept of the video.

Trying to bring the Chaos behind our live performances into a video…Lots of lights, glitches, flashing, sci-fi type feel!

How does it tie in with the themes around the song?

Yes, calling on our soldiers to join the cause and fight for survival

Was it fun to shoot or did it prove to be quite a challenge?

Very fun, with access to a lot of hi-tech kit, an array of 4K HD cameras, HUGE screens, crazy lighting rigs! – As with any video though when you have performed the song 100+ times it wears a little thin!!

Do you have any live dates lined up at present?

Friday 2nd August at the Facebar in Reading (Supporting Rammlied – Rammstein tribute), Friday 1st November at the Crown in Littlehampton (Headline)

What are your favourite songs to perform live?

‘Hypocrisy’, ‘Nations Wake’.

What are the best and worst shows you’ve played to date?

The Best: Mammothfest 2016, M2M final Brighton 2017. The Worst: The Hub Brighton (horrendous sound issues!!)

If you could open for anyone, who would it be?

Lamb of God

Any comical stories from your time as a band you can share with us?

A Seagull stealing, and swallowing whole our bass players battered sausage outside of Sticky Mikes in Brighton, and our Guitarist (Dave) having to run out of the car at traffic lights in a one way system approaching Reading as he needed to pee, for us only to realise afterwards he had left his phone in the Car and was subsequently lost in the middle of the City with no way for us to contact him!

What’s the plan for the rest of 2019?

Promoting our video release and continuing the writing process for our album which we hope to get into the studio to record later this year – with a few live shows thrown in to keep us on our toes of course!

https://www.facebook.com/terrabornband/

Questions by Elliot Leaver

 

The Briefs – Platinum Rats

As much as we have an ever ready appetite at The RR for all things punk from across the decades it is the 77’ eruption and the DIY irreverence it sparked which gets us most excited; lustfulness now ignited once more by the new album from Seattle punksters The Briefs. Coming to the end of their second decade as one explosive and mischievous proposition, the band still breeds its antics on the inspirations of that time and as Platinum Rats proves, it only makes for the most rousing and thrilling romp.

With a lull in their escapades, the quartet within the 2000 formed Briefs were just as busy with other ear grabbing propositions. Guitarist Daniel Travanti formed Sharp Objects and drummer Chris Brief brought us Suspect Parts while guitarist Steve E. Nix and bassist Kicks created another of our major favs in The Cute Lepers but as their bio says, “In the end, it all came back around to the beginning—to The Briefs” and another quite irresistible outing with them courtesy of Platinum Rats.

It is a collection of songs unafraid to wear their influences on their sleeves but it would be wrong to think there is anything but individuality to The Briefs seventies punk meets power pop styled sound. Released via Damaged Goods Records, Platinum Rats bursts from the speakers with its lungs in full holler, never taking its foot of the throttle until its final virulent note and breath is expelled.

Bad Vibrations starts the stomp off, riffs and rhythms in mass assault spilling hooks and grooved lures from every devilish move. Unapologetically infectious from its first roar, the track revels in the angular clips of the guitars and the swinging incitement of its rhythms, vocals just as persuasive in their recruitment of listener involvement before Shopping Spree takes over body and involvement with its own severely short but hungrily catchy pop punk.

Just as animated and galvanic as they are, both songs are quickly eclipsed by next up Nazi Disko and its rawer punk trespass. Like the deformed offspring of illicit doings between The Vibrators and Slaughter And The Dogs, the song barracks and bruises the body it has bouncing from its first handful of notes, only escalating all traits as it bares its antagonism.

She’s The Rat has the same effect on limbs and energy but inspires with its own particularly inescapable lures, one being a flavouring out of The Dickies songbook, one as anywhere on the album twisted into the band’s own unique character and voice while GMO Mosquito does the same to Buzzcocks spiced hooks and riffs. With a seventies glam rock lining to its chorus reservedly audible too, the song nags ears and appetite with ease, recruiting each with increasing potency by the listen.

The feral rock ‘n’ roll of Underground Dopes adds yet another fresh and hungrily tempting flavour to the album, roaring with something akin to a fusion of The Pirates and The Saints while I Hate The World is defiance fuelled virulence recalling bands such as The Flys and Radio Stars and straight after The Thought Police are on the Bus springs a general seventies punk hue within The Briefs stubbornly individual sound and enterprise.

The contagiousness soaking the whole of Platinum Rats is at its greediest within the outstanding Dumb City, a song with a sweeping breath of The Cortinas to its pop infested punk epidemic and no less rapacious as Out of Touch uncages its dirty and irritable punk ‘n’ roll stroll. From its ear snagging hooks to tenaciously biting rhythms, the track is a seductive bully which again the body had no defences to.

The album concludes with the dual stomping of Kids Laugh at You and What’s the Use, two tracks which alone sum up the pop punk mastery and devilment of The Briefs past and present. The first is Class A addiction in the making, every hook and melodic lure devious in their success as rhythms and vocals unscrupulously manipulate. Its successor closes things up with a bold Eddie And The Hot Rods meets The Motors saunter as less openly a Devo-esque essence flirts.

If there is a single punk bone in your body it is hard not to see Platinum Rats stirring up the spirit and if the genre, especially from its first breath, is food and drink expect to heavily drool.

Platinum Rats is out now via Damaged Goods Records.

http://www.thebriefsofficial.com   https://www.facebook.com/TheBriefs

 Pete RingMaster 16/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Torqued – Coup de Grâce

We have a feeling that maybe 2019 is a year when UK bands will really stir up the world’s metal scene. Already there have been a handful of highly notable and thrilling releases to which you can now add the new Coup de Grâce EP from Devon hailing Torqued. Caged within its dramatic cover sits four tracks of voracious groove metal but tracks as progressively bold and atmospherically ravenous as they are compellingly infectious; all ready to prowl and devour the world.

Consisting of vocalist/bassist Marc Cleave, drummer Kurt Johnson, and guitarist Rimmy Sinclair, Postbridge’s 2016 formed Torqued has already lured strong attention and praise with early tracks and a debut EP, Resurgence, last year. Alongside, their live reputation has only escalated in line with the growth of their sound, the band making plaudit earning appearances at the likes of Bloodstock, The Mosh against Cancer, Amplified, and Rockfest amongst many more over time. Now, such its striking contents, expectations are easy that Coup de Grâce will only inflame both greater attention and acclaim

The EP opens with its title track, Coup de Grâce instantly teasing with a raw sonic lure before it becomes refined into a groove wound temptation within a suggestive electronically woven climate. Even as Cleave’s throat raw incursions emerge and the guitar brings greater threat to its wiring, that initial engaging temptation remains a potent presence. Increasingly predatory with every emerging twist, ravening groove, and rhythmic intrusion, every subsequent trespass echoed in vocal causticity, the track simply gripped and captivated.

The Revelation follows, arising from far off sonic mist in a web of interwoven melodic guitar threads and a rhythmic probing as rapacious as it is controlled. There is a Static-X hue to the track as it develops and blossoms, every breath and second bred in imagination and soaked in drama and though it does not have the same immediate punch and tempestuous impact, it hauntingly grew to eclipse its impressive predecessor.

Described as groove laden heavy metal, The Torqued sound readily embraces various hues, next up Open Wound evidence with its extreme tones and hostile textures coated in the rich allure of grooves and wired in melodic acidity. Further entangled in the dextrous craft of Sinclair’s enterprise the song prowls and preys on ears and senses, seducing both with its sonic intimation and imaginative within an unpredictable landscape before leaving The Darkest Of Shadows to close things up which it does with equally magnetic and enthralling adventure. In an electronically aided background bringing a host of dark and light suggestion, the guitar spins another sonic nexus as rhythms intrude and arouse with their own particular dexterity. Haunting atmospherics continue to as much tease as fear with their caliginous breath around the song’s full carnivorous trespass, it all going to make a song which is maybe not as easily devoured as its companions in some ways but emerges another major highlight from Torqued.

If the band does not quite launch itself on the broadest landscape of metal with Coup de Grâce it can surely only be a matter of time if we take the magnificent EP as the seeds to their future endeavours. No point waiting to see though, Coup de Grâce needs to be and should be your next port of call.

The Coup de Grâce is out now; available @ https://torqued.co.uk/shop/

https://torqued.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/Torquedband/   https://twitter.com/Torquedband

Pete RingMaster 16/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Flesh Tetris – Wrong Kind of Adults

Photo by Julia Do Om

Self-described as “Retro SciFi Eurotrash armed to the teeth with barbed pop hooks and weaponised synths” or “Pop music for unpopular people”, the Flesh Tetris sound is to pin it down, simply one of a kind. Like an off-kilter dance-floor glitter ball it revolves through bold pop light and flirtatious electronic shadows, drawing the shades and hues of numerous more styles in its virulent adventure. It has already provided a riveting romp within the UK band’s first EP, Insert Coin, and is now in full exhilarating bloom and devilry within their forthcoming debut album, Wrong Kind of Adults.

Flesh Tetris sees the coming together of five unique talents already renowned for their exploits with other bands. It is fronted by duel vocalists in Eva Menon and Andy Heintz who had already seriously had us hooked through the bands Cauldronated and The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing respectively. Alongside the pair we find bassist/octaguitarist Andy Duke of Top Buzzer/The Duel/Cauldronated fame, drummer Jez Miller who also plays in The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing and keyboardist/vocalist Karen Bell who has a rather fine touch on the theremin too. Together they have created a sound and release which we cannot exactly describe no matter how we have tried but then again given the chance it does all the talking and persuading with ease.

As album opener For Fun swiftly reveals, it is a sound which is poppy yet rebellious, electronically mischievous but equally alternative rock sharp and all flirtatious temptation to body and imagination. The first track springs from law and order sirens, swinging in on the rhythmic strands of Duke and Miller as synths dance devilishly around them. Hips were swiftly infected, feet a rapid shuffle soon after as ears gripped the vocal uniqueness of Heintz and Menon. The track is untamed rock ‘n’ roll at heart, electro dance in its revelry and a riveting rousing way to kick things off.

Panic Buy follows swiftly revealing its own punk lined rock identity as beats and vocals steer the organic magnetism of the song. Bell’s backing vocals, though she is a must larger part to the band’s vocal prowess throughout the release then mere backing, simply seduced within the track’s own spirited allure; again a five prong creative attack gripping and manipulating. In some ways the song is something akin to a union between The Revillos and Dalek I Love You but distinctly all Flesh Tetris rascality.

Wrong Kind of Adults includes the tracks making up the band’s previous EP, all four being fully re-recorded, and first up is Hardest Part. Swinging in on a dub nurtured electronic saunter the track teases with skittish rhythmic scratching and electronic pulses as Heintz and Menon once more tantalise almost taunt with their combined vocal theatre. Theremin and an enslaving bass meander only escalate the hypnotic call, the song a perpetual simmer with moments of escalation which just enslaves from first breath to the final throbbing lure of Duke’s bass.

A sniff of Mindless Self Indulgence adds even more thrilling flavour to the outstanding Incoming, the outstanding track a schizoid slice of new wave/synth pop fuelled punk ‘n’ roll which easily lured away inhibitions with its predacious swagger and boosted throat borne eagerness with its own web of boisterous vocal variety before Jailbait Sex Pest Infestation offered up its own individual excellence. Apparently a song with an accompanying video which “was sparked by a misheard conversation between a toddler and his mother on the 29 bus” and is literally about a gang of flirty underage cockroaches trying to crash a party cockroaches, the track is an electro funk bred frolic which continues the album’s agility at getting into the bones and leading the body like a puppeteer. Like a musical equivalent to the little known but brilliant cartoon Oggy and The Cockroaches, the track just hit the spot.

Then again so do all as soon proven by Partners in Crime and its Bonnie and Clyde caper against an adult electro bred Scooby Doo musical landscape. Narrated by Heintz’s infectious growl and Menon’s Italian teases as much provocation as seduction, the track goes on the run with a web of imagination and sonic pleasure, Bell’s serenades in between pure delicious fondant on the richly flavoursome treat.

As mentioned the songs already introduced via Insert Coin come completely re-recorded to their benefit, next up Glass Bottom Boat especially flourishing in its keener swing and intrepid twists and turns. The summer of keys exuberantly sparkle against the rocky saunter of Duke’s basslines, their waves and earthy Brighton shore crisply swiped by miller’s catchy swings.

Both Landfill Cindy and Cat Box Journey kept ears and imagination aflame with matching ease, the first sheltering its misdemeanours within an electro punk confrontation as much threat and intimidation as infectious incitement. Its successor spins around a core hook which just had us at its first spiral, another instinctive lure of sonic flirtation matched by the fizzy embrace of synths and an espionage loaded bassline; the last of the two tracks another major best track contender.

The album finishes with the equally irresistible Rabbits, a track which from its opening warm synth coaxing had the body as its plaything with its electro dance and anthemic carousing. In many ways the track epitomises the Flesh Tetris sound though no two songs are really alike and despite are attempts are so much more fascinating and flavoursome let alone unique than our words have suggested.

Getting involved with Wrong Kind of Adults is the only way to truly find out; the album a tonic for the musically curious, a rousing reward for the bold.

Wrong Kind Of Adults is released on CD across all the usual digital platforms on 10th May 2019.

 https://www.facebook.com/fleshtetris/

Pete RingMaster 16/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Spreading The Disease – Mindcell EP

From their very first single a few months short of four years back, the sound of UK metallers Spreading The Disease has been a contagious eventful trespass which has evolved almost by the song let alone release.  It has been a growth driven by creative drama and rich imagination which is now unleashing its fullest, most striking roar within new EP, Mindcell; five tracks of ravening ferocity wrapped in bold enterprise which confirms and further establishes the Kent hailing outfit as one truly individual and compelling proposition.

As its predecessor, the Insurrection EP released late 2017, was borne from a bolder step in the character and enterprise of the band’s sound, so Mindcell openly reveals another thick step in its blooming. Into the EP’s fertile and atmospheric asylum Spreading The Disease weave their richest web of styles and flavours yet; uniting the familiar and the adventurously unique in a tempest of sound which just demands attention.

Obsession opens things up, an initial sonic stand swiftly pulling in a tempest of noise, aggression, and vocal ferity. As barbarous as it is there is also an instinctive virulence to the assault which only escalates as the track hits its savage groove. The throat of vocalist Connor Russell Snyder is a fury of emotion and threat but equally an incitement of feral melody as the song breaks from its wild incursion into a voraciously catchy chorus. From start to finish the track is superb, the rhythmic blitz of drummer Jack Apell and bassist Steve Saunders, the band’s founder, as manipulatively resourceful as it is hungrily barbarous and entangled in just as magnetic and enterprising exploits from guitarists James Falconer and Martin Osbourne with each broadening their imagination by twist and turn.

The mighty start continues as Voices rises from sonic mist, the disturbed edge of its intimation fuelling and springing the controlled but hellacious surge of intensity which follows. It too is just a vehicle for subsequent imagination to emerge, dark calm and insecure vocal reflection crooning before erupting in its own bedlamic fury. That too is just a moment breeding another individual moment, the song a fluid patchwork of schizophrenic twists spilling pure magnetism from start to finish; it all crafted with individual prowess and emotive intensity.

The following groove metal swing of The Anger Inside is just as potently captivating, the track equally a bruising and harassing slab of nu meets death metal  soaked rock ‘n’ roll easily and quickly getting under the skin. Apell and Saunders steer the track through ears with sheer power and riveting guile respectively with the sonic cunning and causticity of Falconer and Osbourne similarly stirring and imposing.

Just as forceful and rousing are the vocal exploits of Snyder, their adventure no more potent than gracing next up Waves. Its gentle melodic lapping of the senses borders hypnotic, guitars and bass colluding in an alluring kaleidoscope of temptation before being urged into more caustic endeavour by the scything swings of Apell. Again there is a feral a quality to sound and song even within its mellow serenading and a progressively lined enterprise which adds to its increasing irresistibility and inevitable persuasion.

Conflicted brings things to a just as rich and potent close; the track opening with a groove which is as familiar as it is tempting. Soon though it’s untamed heart infests every emerging aspect, Snyder masterful astride its contagious trespass. To this at times, there is a hue of bands such as American Head Charge and Mudvayne but great essences soon devoured and reimagined by the viral exploits of Spreading The Disease.

Quite simply Mindcell is the finest moment to escape the creative institution of Spreading The Disease, one which should draw the spotlight it loudly declares the band deserves.

Mindcell is out now through Surgery Records; available from all platforms.

https://www.stdband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/spreadingthedisease.official/    https://twitter.com/stdmetalband

Pete RingMaster 16/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Crawling and romancing the shadows with Gnostic Gorilla

Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Gnostic Gorilla is a dark electronic project which wears unpredictability as easily as imagination in its ear gripping sound. Recently we had the chance and pleasure to talk about the solo project with creator Dean Mason, exploring its origins and music amongst many things as well as picking at Dean’s thoughts about music in general.

Hello Dean and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Thank you. My pleasure!

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

Sure. As a teenager, I began exploring the idea of recording music. I was of course a major day tripper…I mean…day dreamer. Hahahahaha! So I ventured out to record two songs, Dark Hallway and Golgotha for a single. I had some excellent musicians join me in the studio (Dave Davidson, Tony Bourdeau, Shaun Saunders and Chris Byrnes) and with the help of my parents I released the 45 rpm under the so called label name “Lonely Ghost Productions”. That was my first experiment with recording music. I left it at that and went to school to find some sort of career. In 2012, I returned to recording, as a hobby and recorded exclusively electronic music with a dark bent. (Gothic/Dark Wave/Industrial) I released a few singles on iTunes etc. and then in 2015 I released the first album (St. Basil’s Asylum) using the project name “Gnostic Gorilla”. Before that I was using the project name “The Lonely Ghost Project” but that changed once I learnt there was an American band called “The Lonely Ghost Parade”. I wanted to avoid confusion. So that’s a brief history of “Gnostic Gorilla”.

What inspired the name “Gnostic Gorilla”?

As I mentioned earlier, initially my project was called “The Lonely Ghost Project” but I changed it to “Gnostic Gorilla”. I had a song called Gnostic Gorilla (now renamed Eye for a Lie) and I decided to use that name for the project. The idea behind the name is a sort of convergence of two world views: the religious ‘creation’ story and Darwin’s theory of evolution. “Gnostic” means “knowledge” or “to know”. That is a reference to the “tree of knowledge”. Obviously, “Gorilla” is in reference to the idea that we evolved from some sort of ‘ape’ species (not specifically the Gorilla of course) and here we are. “Gnostic Gorilla” is not about Gnosticism as some may think.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the project and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

In many ways a lot of it was allowing the creative process to dictate where I wanted the project to go and how I wanted to sound. I started off doing simply instrumental/soundtrack type recordings. Then I decided to try and do a complete song with lyrics/vocals. The first song I did as part of this new electronic music pursuit was a song called Requiem for the Prophet of Doom which was a tribute to Peter Steele of Type O Negative who passed away in 2010. There were two versions of that track. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEnSgqaI3JA & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0N7Uxzg7ac

That was released under the name “Dean Mason of The Lonely Ghost Project”, as singles. Soon after this, I began to really become more interested in a sound that was more industrial and Gothic or Dark Wave and eventually after a few more singles I recorded St. Basil’s Asylum which is now rereleased by Cleopatra Records. Most of my music has been industrial or Gothic since then.

Do the same sparks still drive the project or have they evolved over time and equally since your early days, how would you say your sound has specifically evolved?

Sort of continuing on from the previous question…yeah…there was definitely an ‘evolution’ of sorts. I look back on what I did in 2012 and some of it doesn’t send me far, with the exception of Nietzsche’s Cyborg. I will always be proud of that song. It was a game changer. It’s on St. Basil’s Asylum even though it was recorded in the fall of 2012 and St. Basil’s Asylum was released in 2015 and then rereleased by Cleopatra Records in 2018. But back on track here, I guess for me, I became more interested in an abrasive and weird industrial sound. (Psalm for the Lost was actually more of a retro Goth/New Wave type deal though) My latest album, Freak’s Mind is in my opinion one of my strongest in many ways. The next album to be released by Cleopatra Records (Shaman Rave) will blow your socks off! Promise!

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more you deliberately wanting to try new things?

A bit of both… I don’t want to be boxed into a specific genre to be honest. So, I go through phases where I really like menacing and weird industrial and then other times I prefer a more velvety Goth or Doom Psychedelic type mood in my music. I have been inspired not only by other artists but also by some soundtracks like, the soundtrack for Sinister which is absolutely mind numbing! So sometimes I watch a movie like that or like Queen of the Damned and it gives me inspiration. So, yeah, there is an evolution of sorts but I never deviate too far from being a dark electronic act.

Presumably there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on your music but your approach to and ideas about creating and playing music?

Well, one of my first inspirations would be Gary Numan. I mean, I was a huge KISS fan when I was still in diapers hahaha …but Numan was the one that inspired me to consider doing my own thing in music. That said, I don’t write and record in the style of Numan. I owe more to Ministry, Skinny Puppy and Rammstein as far as recording style goes. I also am very much inspired by Peter Steele of Type O Negative and Jim Morrison of The Doors, especially for their unique lyrical style. Did you know that the first time the term ‘Goth or Gothic’ was used in reference to a rock band was when someone did a review of The Doors, the day after (or close anyway) that Morrison had met Andy Warhol? Anyway…I owe a lot of gratitude to Nash The Slash for being an inspiration as an indie artist as well.

Is there a certain process to your songwriting?

I usually begin a track with a general idea of the kind of mood/style I want to pursue. Then, usually, the song ends up being something totally different than want I first imagined. I usually start with either synth riffs/loops and/or beats/drum patterns and build from there. Kind of difficult to explain how a song evolves and usually I look back and think, “how did I even come up with this”?

… And where do you draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Many of my songs address the human struggle. I never write ‘love’ songs or ‘sex in the corvette’ songs…there are ample of those so …why compete right? I usually write in sort of ‘mystical’ story form. I use a lot of imagery and I allow the listener/reader (of lyrics) to decide for themselves what it means to them, even though I may have a specific idea in mind. I often use religious imagery and also imagery of ‘battles’ or ‘war’ but not in the sense that they are LITERALLY about armed combat. The imagery of ‘battle’ is more of an emotional/psychological journey of that inner struggle. I use a lot of religious imagery, but I don’t push ANY sort of religious point of view…for or against. Again, I let people decide for themselves what any song could mean. I address the issue of mental illness and depression and even the tendency for despair. I don’t encourage ‘despair’ but that experience of wondering where there is hope is quite universal. As well, I often, in veiled language, address the ‘tribalism’ that we humans seem to cling to. I have a real personal distaste for hatred of any kind and the world is full of that. Religious people bashing and rejecting others for being ‘different’ or of the ‘wrong tribe’ and all the bigotry and racism and all the phobias that still exist in a so called ‘evolved’ modern world. That ‘tribalism’ isn’t just from those of a religious persuasion but it also exists among ,many ‘atheists’ and ‘secularists’ who can be just as hateful towards those of the ‘other tribe’. We just don’t know how to leave each other be do we?! Hatred of any kind is for the birds. Wait…not even the birds want it!

Give us some background to your latest release.

The latest release is Freak’s Mind. It’s very abrasive and weird and even at times ‘gothadelic’ (a term coined by Peter Steele by the way). That album is the album that wasn’t supposed to be. I never really wanted to record anything new but one song at a time, and I ended up recording an album’s worth of dark wave/industrial/Gothic madness and I’m really proud of this album. It touches on all those subjects I mentioned earlier. Womb To The Tomb is one of my favourites on that album. It’s a strange combo of wild 60’s psychedelic with raging industrial sounds. Veil is a powerful song, which was recorded in 2013 actually. It’s a good album and I’m not the type that easily says things like that about my own music.

Could you give us some insight to the themes behind it and its songs?

Womb to The Tomb is about the cycle of life more or less, but also looks at the life of a corrupt village and all its citizens, including the powerful who take advantage and the victims who are taken advantage of. It’s kind of inspired by modern day events, without being specific. Chaos Frankenstein is sort of a ‘mystical’ telling of conflict and chaos and suffering and deception. Finally, (I won’t dissect every song) Freak’s Mind, the title track, is more or less about someone struggling with some sort of psychological or emotional turmoil.

Tell us about the live side to the band?

At present, Gnostic Gorilla is not planning on any live shows. I’d need to lasso a bunch of musicians to do that and I don’t see it happening. I don’t think so anyway…Maybe a one off someday.

It is not easy for any new act/artist to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands/artists?

You’re so right. It’s not easy. I mean, as far as having an impact is concerned. It’s a different world… a different industry and there are many factors that make it very difficult to make a dent anywhere, even locally…especially if you’re in a bigger city. Technology and the age of communication (social media) make it so that anyone can set themselves up and do music and even videos and put it out there. It makes for a VERY clogged reality in cyberspace. There is SO much out there. Everyone wants to be considered the next big thing…Fair game. But here’s the thing, it’s all been done. After KISS and Sabbath, and Manson and Depeche Mode and Numan and NIN, Slipknot, Cradle of Filth, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Ice T, Eminem, Shaggy, Run DMC etc. …how does one come up with a unique style? I don’t want to be a pessimist but let’s be realistic. It’s VERY difficult to make a dent because it’s almost impossible to snap people out of an oversaturated “yawn…I’ve seen it all before” mindset. You can’t impress people easily. You can barely shock people unless you are involved in some sort of controversy or are pretty like a Barbie/Ken doll. Legends/pioneers are no longer being made and I know that would piss a lot of people off to hear that, but it’s true. As for my own situation, I must confess that as I proud Canadian, I am very unimpressed with the way I’ve been treated by the reps/labels in Canada. I have a label deal with Cleopatra Records (LA) for two albums, a deal with KL-Dark Records in Germany and Nowhere Now Records in Australia and have never even received a reply from the Canadian labels I sent music to. Kind of disappointing but I guess they’re all waiting for the second coming or RUSH or Justin Bieber or Gordon Lightfoot.

How has the internet and social media impacted on your project to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the project grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands/artists struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

As I said before, the world has changed dramatically in more ways than one. The internet and social media have forever changed MANY things, not just music. Look at what it’s done to the world of politics! (not always for the better) Even the Pope has a presence on social media. Hahahaha. But more specifically related to the music industry…it’s a mixed bag I suppose. It’s great to promote one’s music/art but also you’re not the only one doing it. Millions are doing it. With regards to the reality of ‘streaming’ though, as an example…that too is a combination of blessing and curse. What’s happening is people don’t feel like buying music is even a concept. It’s not their fault. It’s the way things evolved. (There’s that word again…hahahaha) Younger people grew up knowing nothing else and so, even the concept of music as art is kind of challenged. It’s rarely seen as ‘art’ and just part of the regular noise and scenery of cyberspace all mixed in with the latest ‘app’. It’s like music is there for the taking the way fruit on trees is there for the taking…it’s just a part of the way life goes. It’s all there to snatch and rarely pay much more than a standard monthly fee or something and have unlimited music. Hey, I do it myself, so I’m not criticizing. Also, it needs to be said, with reference to struggling artists: there are also different organizations that promise ‘hi-fi mega stardom’ for a fee! Some of these take advantage of artists, even some of the big labels have jumped on that bandwagon. Don’t get me wrong, there are some decent, honest organizations that genuinely want to assist struggling artists, but there are also a lot of vultures out there cashing in on Wendy and Charlie’s dreams of “making it”. I guess in the end, like anything else, it’s what you do with it right? Maybe it’s just another challenge for artists to be creative, even with regards to promoting and marketing.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

It is I who thank you! All I can say is that if you are a struggling artist…be true to the art, to being creative. I know that sounds like hippie bullshit, but it’s true. As soon as your goal is to become a ‘celebrity’ you’re setting yourself up for deception. Don’t dream about being a ‘star’. Instead, be creative and express yourself and be true to yourself…regardless of who does and who doesn’t approve. The rest will follow because in the end, authenticity speaks louder than the need to be ‘worshipped’. That’s what I believe.

Explore Gnostic Gorilla further @ https://www.facebook.com/gnosticgorilla/

Also grab your copy of the Various Artists Compilation album, Nowhere Now Volume 2 on Nowhere Now Records @ https://nowherenowrecords.bandcamp.com/album/nowhere-now-volume-2    featuring Last Call (Heed The Drones) by Gnostic Gorilla

Pete RingMaster 12/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright