Instincts Of A Predator: talking Hyëna and more with Cripper

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Thrash metal comes in numerous shapes and sizes, generally all ravenous and out for blood, but few have been as voraciously compelling and inventive as the recent album from German band Cripper. Hyëna is, as its title suggests, a beast of a proposition, one built on sinew and aggression but with the creative enterprise and captivating adventure of an instinctive predator. The album is one of the most exciting genre releases in recent times and the evidence of a band at its strongest peak to date. So it was a pleasure to explore the world of Cripper, and especially get to the heart of Hyëna with the kind help of vocalist Britta Görtz, guitarist Christian Bröhenhorst, drummer Dennis Weber, and bassist Gerrit Mohrmann.

Hello all and thank you for sharing your time with us; firstly can you give some background to the emergence of Cripper in 2005, inspirations and intent for its birth?

Christian: Hello Pete, nice to meet you!

It all began in 2004 when Jonathan and I met in university. Both of us found out that we got quite enough time to do some thrashy music besides studying. So we took a rehearsal room to exchange some ideas.

Well, two guys and some riffs don’t make a band – so we started searching for persons who really wanted join this. We didn’t have a clue about the direction we wanted go at this point. It was just to keep the passion and maybe have kind of a group out of fitting members in the end. The other band that was rehearsing at our place was one step ahead and invited Britta for singing. But she ends up with us and does not really fit to the music of the other group. Even more luck was on our side when we completed with Dennis and the band’s first bass player. Cripper was born.

With first 6 songs in the bank we entered the studio to record our first demo EP. First live shows followed and had a good impact on us. We got hungry for more.

Do you still feel about the band and see it the same way you did in those early days or like your music has that evolved over time and releases?

Christian: Still it is all about fun and fulfilment. This might be the real “success“ or how do you wanna call it. Of course it is great havin’ the chance to spread your music / art all over the world. And even knowing some guys who like it! :-)

But I have to admit that it is kind of calculated professional work. This is more influenced these days than it was back at the point we recorded our first song. Because now we have more like a goal, we try to match our personal visions. But still it is exciting ’cause we never know how what a song will sound like or how a certain feel is gonna work in the end.

Talking of releases you of course uncaged fourth album Hyëna last November, a voracious snarl of an encounter. A couple of months on has it matched or surpassed your hopes for it with fans and in drawing new attention?

Christian: Hopefully it brings us even more listeners than before. To be honest, we don’t really know the selling stats yet and have to check back with the guys of our record label. First feedback was really good and our partners were lucky as we are about the fact that everything worked out with the new album and the press echo is a damn good one in whole.

The album for us is your most adventurous and diverse release sound wise so far, did you have any specific aims when writing it or was it more an organic creation; see what comes out with ideas Cripper-Hyenakind of thing?

Christian: So good to hear that, man. Great you love the album and listen to the stuff in this way.

Well, it’s always kind of “organic“ ’cause we choose to write our songs during rehearsal time and have all the band members involved during this process. To collect feedback and opinions from all around and don’t have a song that’s just represents a certain taste of a single band mate.

This time, we really felt the challenge to write a compact but dynamic album. Do not bore the listeners when listen to the whole album from first note to the very end. And this time we put the focus on the tracks, creating different atmospheres and havin’ even more different song structures.

How do you see the evolution between Hyëna and previous albums Devil Reveals and especially Antagonist from two years ago?

Christian: On Devil Reveals we tried to experience atmospherically heavy stuff and some “epic“ parts for the first time. On Antagonist it became even more varied and we tried to create different stuff beyond typical thrash metal. Although it is still music out of this genre we mix it up with groovy death metal parts or havin’ some elements that’s got nothing to do with extreme metal at all. This development moved on when it comes to our current material. We put in some rock influences, havin’ stoner riffs, used pretty heavy riffing and mixed it up with thrash stuff. At the end of the day all these different ingredients creates a cocktail which taste like typical for the band but smells fresh and tasty… hopefully, haha! Beside this, we tried to have a sound that is more “grown-up“ in comparison to the album Cripper released before. It is more about a heavy filthy bastard of an underdog so to say.

Whilst writing and recording the album was there any aspect to its sound or presence which took you by surprise?

Christian: We planned to not double layer the guitar tracks. That meant we chose to play all the rhythm stuff just one time and havin’ some additional parts on top. Just to keep it basic and not too constructed. For this one shall hit you right between the eyes.

On our first records the sound was OK but may not feel catchy enough and misses the rock ‘n’ roll in it. This is what we think about after havin’ listened to the old shit for so many times, to be honest ;-) We tried to build up Hyëna’s sound as catchy as possible. Drums and bass are more to the point than ever, the vocals are real killer.

Is there a certain process to the song writing within the band more often than not?

Dennis: For ten years, songwriting of the instrumentals happened exclusively in the rehearsal room – most of the time involving the whole band. So in general, the all over process is kind of the same: All five are jamming, trying out stuff, and discussing our asses off to come to something that actually all of us would consider to be a song. Britta writes all the lyrics on her own, but making them part of a song also involves the others. But of course we tried different approaches over the time, mostly to minimize discussions and keep the actual music in the foreground – which isn’t easy at all, especially when you try not to repeat yourself – which is of course a question of definition. So the optimal process (which actually happens at least sometimes) would be: Britta has an idea for some lyrics or at least a topic or feeling she wants to bring alive through a song; one of the guitarists understands this approach and puts out one or two riffs we all think would fit; all of us jam along on that and record a scribble version of a possible song structure; Britta completes the lyrics independently; and with all elements being set, we cut everything into pieces and put it again together in thousand different ways until it is a full grown song. When I think of it that would be the practice happening most often, not thinking about the time every step needs – and sometimes this could be months or even years.

It is easy to assume that you all take inspiration from leading lights in thrash and extreme metal like Exodus, Testament, The Haunted etc. but are there any other bands or influences which are maybe more unexpected?

Dennis: I think we do not (anymore?) really actively take bands as inspiration for the band Cripper. Actual inspiration happens more on single musicians concerning her/his instrument, which doesn’t depend on metal at all, but more general on being a good artist. So the fact that many of us listen to music which is far away from (extreme) metal is good for an open-minded perspective, but probably not really helpful in the songwriting process. But on the other hand, perhaps it’s a good approach to find the point you and yourself want to make by being also into all the other stuff for distinction and finding precision…

cripper_photo06I have the idea that Cripper is a band always working on new ideas or taking elements of previous songs, experiences and exploring them further ahead. If so was there anything particular about Hyëna and its recording which you took as a seed to your next creations?

Dennis: I already mentioned the problem of do-not-repeat-yourself and something woolly about inspiration, and I see your consideration as praise so thank you for this question. But this is hard to answer as we will perhaps be able to answer this question not before the plant is grown. Concerning songwriting we will try a completely different approach this time and I won’t come to details until we are not sure it could work. I think the most concrete and traceable aspect will probably be the sound and the overall production, because that is something where we try to achieve “the best that is possible” from our humble perspective at least. Creativity-wise I have no idea which aspect leads to what. In the most general way you can interpret this.

Give us some insight into the recording of Hyëna.

Dennis: We split the recordings into two sessions with half a year or something between them, because of different reasons, but one interesting aspect was that we were able to really let the production sink into our minds and so had the possibility to change major decisions with fresh ears. Also, I firstly recorded the drums with Kai at the Kohlekelles Studios, so he as hands-on-mixing-mastering-producing-guy had all the possibilities in the whole process of how he wanted them to be. That also applies to the other recordings as well, even if they were made partially in other studios.

Did you approach it or try anything majorly different in the studio than when recording Antagonist?

Dennis: We try something new on the recording- and overall producing-processes of every Cripper-album, so: yes. Christian spoke about some aspects in the beginning and almost everything I described in the last question was new for Hyëna.

Hyëna was your first album which was not being self-released, being unleashed through Metal Blade Records. How did the link up come about?

Gerrit: Metal Blade took notice of us at the Metaldays festival in 2013 and sent an e-mail afterwards. First we were thinking someone is kidding us. Then we realized that this is the “real” Metal Blade company and that they are seriously interested. And so we stayed in contact and made a cool deal. In summer 2013 we decided to produce four songs as an EP to check out if the Cripper stuff will be interesting for any label out there. We decided to record the EP in the Kohlekeller Studios in November 2013. With this decision we went to the Metaldays 2013…And then there was Metal Blade, haha.

What has been the biggest difference and benefit from this union for the album?

Gerrit: It feels great to have Metal Blade as a partner on our side. Knowing Cripper since their beginning in 2005 as a friend of the band, seeing them working so hard all over the years, I’m really happy that Cripper now steps to the next level. We bust our asses for Cripper, and there will never be a way around it. Artistically, every little thing is still in our hands, no compromise. Metal Blade is a good label for us and I hope we can reach more people out there with their help, travel farther and make new experiences. Cripper put out their last 3 records out through SAOL (Service for Artist owned labels). They provide promotion and distribution, 2 things you cannot do yourself beyond a certain extent. So signing to Metal Blade doesn’t make that much of a difference in that business area anyway. To help us bring Cripper to a next level, we think Metal Blade is a real good partner for us.

The great artwork for Hyëna summed up the release and the individual songs perfectly. Who designed the cover art?

Gerrit: For the development of the artwork, the whole band was involved in the brainstorming process. Finding images, textures and especially the technique for creating the artwork.

Britta: The process of the artwork was surprisingly complicated. We thought “hey, a hyena on the cover – this is gonna be easy to do“. But no, it turned out to be quite difficult to find some good basic material. Since hyenas can look extremely cute and fluffy, haha.

Christian: In the end it was me who set up a collage of the animal we got in mind and you can see on final cover now…then added skyline and certain textures. Jonathan was responsible for the finish and painting details. In order to make it look even more dangerous and given’ the hyena itself a heavy metal attitude.

Afterwards I created everything around – like layout, booklet for cd, vinyl versions, digipak and shit. It’s quite a heavy product we can tell. Kind of hard this time to create a final scribble of the album cover that every one of us loved.

There is a great bonus DVD that features a whole show we did on Metaldays festival this year, behind the scenes / making of the album, a complete collection of all the video clips we did so far. 2 discs are included in first issue that comes on European market, a black vinyl edition and a limited splattered vinyl version of the whole album. Furthermore there is this special box edition we offer exclusively on our website and live shows. There is a 7″ vinyl included which you won’t find elsewhere.

A lot of different products to do for a band that’s responsible for the artwork and do nearly all the stuff by using their own hands, haha. But that’s the way we like it. Besides the music, this plays an important role in our creative process as a band.

Same thing with the album’s title and whole concept behind Hyëna as Gerrit can tell.

Gerrit: The other guys actually came up with the title idea when they wrote our previous album Antagonist. But it didn’t fit the songs well and so they kept the title in their minds.

We see Hyenas somehow as the thrash metallers among all the predators. Not as elegant as the cat-types like Lions or Panthers – but mangy, imposing and really strong. As a motto for a metal album, an aggressive hyena with very impressive teeth just fits very well. The album as a whole is very heavy and there are many serious, punchy riffs. This was decisive for the gloomy atmosphere in the whole artwork.

Some have already mistaken the two dots above the e as a German Umlaut. It is no Umlaut, since in German language that is only ü, ä and ö. The dots above the e are simply cool looking “rock dots” that we just wanted to have.

Looking back is there anything about Hyëna, a particular moment or idea in a song maybe, which you wish you maybe had pursued further but also a part which gives you an extra tingle of Cripper_Promopics_Hyena_band_017 by Alina Omerbasicsatisfaction and pleasure?

Gerrit: No, I don’t think so. During the songwriting process there is a lot of discussion around every single idea, riff or song structure. After that when a songs comes to its end in the writing process we’re usually quite happy with the result. We are writing all our songs together in our rehearsal room. That is not easy, since you have 5 people writing together. Sometimes it feels as if we were writing 5 different songs at the same time, before we find that little seed we all get happy with.

Your live performances and presence are renowned for their energy, ferocity, and sheer passion; this is home for the band?

Gerrit: Yeah, I think the live performance is the important thing for every band mate in Cripper. It’s important to us that we bring the fun that we have and all the energy on stage. We love to have a good time on stage. Well, we are also metal fans and loving the music we do. And so we try to catch everyone in front of the stage to party with us, haha.

What have you got lined up live wise for 2015?

Gerrit: Actually, we’re looking for shows all the time. Especially when there is an album out the band is hungry to bring the new shit on stage, right? Same with Cripper. Unfortunately there are no touring plans yet. But we hope for opportunities that bring us on international ground, doin’ some festivals and club shows in different countries. Maybe there is a chance to bring our music to some countries we’ve never been before. This might be a great adventure, a challenge and lots of fun to do.

We fixed some festival shows in Germany for the summer and can’t wait to get some more dates on the table. We consider Cripper as a live band as said at the very beginning of this interview.

So hope to meet ya out there very soon!

…And in other aspects of Cripper, recordings etc.?

Gerrit: At the moment we’re planning some video shots for songs from Hyëna. We hope that we can realize some of our ideas as soon as possible. There are actually ideas for a new album, but this is quiet in the beginning.

Thanks once again for taking time out to chat, any last thought you would like to leave us with?

We also thank you very much. Thanks also to the readers for reading this interview till its end, haha. Keep the Metal alive and support your local bands and underground. Check out http://www.cripper.de for more live dates. We’ll keep you updated. Thanks for your question and being interested in Cripper ;-) See you out there

Danke & Cheers

Gerrit | Cripper

https://www.facebook.com/Cripper.Thrash

https://www.youtube.com/user/cripperthrash

Read the Hyëna review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/11/28/cripper-hyena/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 17/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from http://www.thereputationlabel.today

Iron riffs and heavy passions: Introducing Wölfrider Interview

Wölfrider

Hailing from Wrocław, Polish heavy metal band Wölfrider drew outside attention to match that at home with the release earlier this year of their self-titled debut EP via Goetic Records. Packed with four tracks which charge ears with tsunami like strength and sonic voracity, the release was a sign post to the broader emergence of the band. Grabbing the chance to find out more about the band we had the pleasure to chat with vocalist Rafał ‘Rambo’ Gębicki and drummer Bartek Dolewski.

Hi guys and thank you for talking with us.

Can you tell us about the beginnings of the band?

Rambo: The core of the band came out from previous project called Clairvoyant. Guys wanted to play something new under new name. This was the beginning of 2012 when I joined them. After a month of rehearsals we played the first show. A few months later with ready material we entered the studio to record our Wölfrider EP. Everything has happened in leaps and bounds.

You sculpt your songs with an energy and passion which recalls traditional heavy metal at its purest. What are the major inspirations to band and its members?

Rambo: Most of our influences come from Western Europe, Heavy Metal Gods like Running Wild, Grave Digger, Accept, Judas Priest, but you can hear also some of the ‘epic’ ones – Bathory, Manilla Road. Each of us draws from other sources, for example, it may be Iron Maiden, Exodus, Iced Earth and even Death.

What are the backgrounds and experiences Wölfrider members brings to the band?

Bartek: We’ve got quite big experience during our activity as Clairvoyant…lots of gigs, developing songwriting, improving process of managing a band, and so on. As we progress we started the new band with a blank card so to speak yet locked and loaded. Rambo comes from Deversor and he had lots of work to do, because his singing style and technique had to be changed to the new material. Since only vocalist changed we all knew each other very well and there were no surprises – just going further in music.

There is a great metal scene in Poland it seems from the outside but hard to find that wider recognition for bands there. How have you found it?

Bartek: Well you have to remember that most of metal musicians in Poland have normal regular jobs and it’s hard to focus on your job, paying attention to your musicianship, and any promotional actions at once. So you have to have really organised way of doing your things. The second important factor is of course money. And currency exchange. If someone wants to be recognised outside his/hers country most probably has to pay for publishers – in Euro, USD or GBP. That could be very expensive due to rate of exchange and that money could be spent on something else for band, like a good audio equipment to practice better etc.

Tell us about your debut EP which recently came out via Goetic Records.Wölfrider2

Rambo: Okay, so long story short. We recorded, mixed and mastered our EP in DIY style. Later on some kind of distribution was needed and we mailed to couple of indie record labels (major ones didn’t give a fuck about us). Goetic Records from Canada owned and ruled with pride by awesome guy – Kosta Bayss – he helped us with promotion and digital distribution. I guess we are the only one non-black metal band over there but it’s not a big deal for us – it’s more like an underground family. Back in the day – yeah, a couple of months ago, fucking ancient times – Goetic Records had nothing to do with releasing physical CDs due to some limitations. Now Kosta can sell his bands like a boss over the Internet on classic CD packs, you have to check it out.

Though all track stand out Hearts of Iron steals its extra share of the glory for us. Give us some background to the song.

Rambo: Our music mastermind – Kamil – is a huge fan of strategy PC games so guess where the name comes from. You can Google it. This one particular song was written by him, we just got music sheet, changed almost nothing at all – somehow it started to have its drive and vibe. Most of our stuff is done after many trials and errors on rehearsal room. Not this one. Maybe we shoot jackpot with Hearts of Iron.

Does the EP sum up your sound or are there already new surprises waiting to be unleashed in your next release?

Rambo: EP is just an introduction to Wölfrider’s realm. In the next album we’ll include a couple of licks for fans, not exactly new material – you can hear it already at gigs. First of all – we got our sound tuned way lower than typical Heavy Metal band…mostly due to Deceiver Of The Gods by Amon Amarth. So that’s quite unique for our type of music – tuning in B-Standard is common among extreme metal bands. On the other hand my singing style has changed – it’s much more modulated. Some ideas have to be re-visited and full album release needs more brainstorming but don’t worry, it’s gonna be shitting thunders and blasting metal – pure heavy as Polish vodka. You know, we are trying to be as honest in our music as possible. We have nothing to lose anyway.

What is the live scene like for you and metal in general in Poland?

Bartek: I think it’s about the other countries. There are really few people from seriously pro bands signed to major record labels that are making living from the metal music. Average, casual guys like us have to be as much accountants as musicians to make everything works. About metal scene in Poland? I may be wrong and controversial but I think that extreme metal bands and thrash metal guys have way more attention. Lots of independent indie record labels are interested in death/black metal bands and looks like there are more shows for that kind of metal. And thrash metal has its own renaissance – but it’s just mine opinion based on my observations. Hopefully most of metal heads aren’t strictly bounded to one kind of metal and you can see Cannibal Corpse fans at some classic heavy metal gig.

There is roar and power to the EP which suggests the songs live are real wall shakers. On stage is where the real magic happens for the band?

Wölfrider3Bartek: First of all thank you for really cool opinion about our music. It’s always pleasure to have that kind of description about the EP, this is what we intended you and other fans to feel.

We try to do our best on stage and work on our presence as much as on technical and musician skills. We play for quite a time and definitely can hear and feel band mates playing, correct something messed up – you know – and just have great time showing people that we love to play metal and have fun on stage. We work really hard to not just be another boring band with bunch of dudes that’s stay the entire show in one spot and not even look at the audience. Metal used to be – and still is – about aggression and playing loud. Most of all about raw energy, this is the root, the foundation of rock ’n’ roll music. If there is no Ultimate Power Armageddon on stage (in positive way) then you’re doing it wrong, son.

What is coming up for Wölfrider in 2015 and from you for fans?

Rambo: We plan to play as many shows as possible. Your band cannot be real and serious without gigging for real fans – world is not limited to Internet. We have booked a couple of events related to “tribute to Bathory” since we are huge Quorthon fans. More details should be soon. That’s about performing live. We would love to present just a little sneak-peak of our upcoming full album by releasing a single – maybe along with video clip. That would be a real killin’ teaser that will show just a little the way that we’re heading with our music.

Once again thanks for the interview, anything you would like to add?

Bartek: Yeah, whoring for views, subscriptions and likes on social media websites. Check us out on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wolfrider.band

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/wolfriderofficial

Bandcamp: https://wolfriderband.bandcamp.com/

Goetic Records: http://www.goeticrecords.com/

I want to add that we know that there are bunch of our fans outside Poland, even outside Europe. For those people and many others we have an idea to live stream our gigs on YouTube or other platform – so please, wait for news!

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 15/12/2014

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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Crawling shadows and serpentine seductions: coursing the depths of Sidious with vocalist/guitarist Isfeth.

Sidious © Fabiola Santini

© Fabiola Santini

 

The recent release of Revealed in Profane Splendour from British blackened death metallers Sidious, showed that the band’s first EP Ascension to the Throne Ov Self was not just a flash in the fires of hell. It was also compelling evidence that the band had discovered and was exploring even richer depths to their sound and intensive invention. The time between releases also saw the band facing line-up changes whilst forging equally potent heights with its members other projects like Eye Of Solitude. Revealed in Profane Splendour provides an insatiable temptation of sonically carnal and uncompromising raw beauty which skilfully enslaves ears and ignites the imagination. It also sparked a thirst to explore the heart of the band and the corners of their release, so with big thanks to vocalist/guitarist Isfeth we looked at the origins of the band, the impact of the changes within it between release, lyrical inspirations and much more…

Hello Sir and thanks for taking time out to chat with us.

First up can you give us some background to the beginnings of Sidious?

Sidious was founded by Indomitus, Baalrath and I in 2012. We had collectively played together in various acts for many years – particularly in the case of Indomitus and I, for which it has now been 8 years. At this point we had been involved in various death metal acts, yet decided the time was right to pursue our true passion, black metal. The idea had been discussed continuously, but it had to be the right time. We infused our technical and aggressive death metal background with the grandeur and venomous roar of our black metal influences to create our sound.

Many of you are involved with Eye of Solitude as well as having other projects and experiences under your belts. Where or what specifically in Sidious and its sound did you deliberately start exploring which was different to the other bands you are involved in?

The will to create Sidious was always there, it was more a case of waiting for the right time and maturity in our collaboration to act upon it. We initially began exploring darker and more elaborate elements, maintaining the aggression but also focusing on atmosphere.

So the band and its music been brewing up inside in thoughts and ideas long before Sidious was born but was the coming together of the band more a swift let’s get together and see what we can come up with or a long-term process?

There was nothing swift about the process and founding of the band, it had been a long-time coming and had been thought through.

Your debut EP made a potent mark and statement upon its release last year and now you have unleashed the beast that is debut album Revealed in Profane Splendour. Immediately it sung sidious 2out in new adventure and exploratory evolution from its predecessor; how from inside the band do you feel your music and the album has moved on from the Ascension to the Throne Ov Self EP?

The line-up has changed since the EP, the departure of Void (vocals) and Fahim (drums) resulted in the recruiting of Khrudd (drums) and repositioning of myself to vocalist – whilst continuing my role as guitarist. I feel the music has evolved naturally during this process and we have further refined our sound. The album conveys a more intense array of emotions and certainly a wider range of influences.

In our review we described Sidious as blackened death metal but the album shows there is a maelstrom of flavours and elements which make up your incitements. Were there specific elements you went after on songs musically or was it predominantly an organic emerging of ideas and tracks?

When writing a song, it typically starts with an emotion or message we want to convey within its contents. An example I can give here is Infernal Reign having a barren and cold atmosphere to represent complete isolation from religious hypocrisy. Sections of the tracks, including speed riffs and the more technical elements, are added during the process, which are either brought in by a member or collectively written in a more organic writing session.

Are there any inspirations which you might say have added a colour to your music, or certainly sparked ideas within Sidious?

By majority we are all big fans of classical music. This has inspired our use of orchestral elements and added to our overall sound. Both Baalrath and Indomitus are classically trained to a high standard. Khrudd and I are big fans of depressive and atmospheric black metal, so there is also influence in that respect when concerning atmosphere and ambience. In terms of lyrical content I am inspired by literature concerning anti-theism, and Satanism.

Talking lyrically the album is as brutal and antagonistic as it is sonically, what was the core bait for your furies on the album?

My lyrics seek to denounce religious systems and ignite the realisation of self-potential and purpose. I am enraged by the continual recycling of ancient ignorance. There is no place for it. The masses pander to the foreboding call of failure; it sculpts the existence of the weak and leads them blindly into an inevitable void. Although the themes are consistent throughout, I present them in various forms. This ranges from anger and complete hatred, to the stating of principles and demands, many of which are based around my personal interpretation of Satanism.

Sidious coverTell us about the recording of Revealed in Profane Splendour; did you approach it any differently to the previous EP especially with new members involved and musically did you explore any different ideas and technics with the album compared to your other projects?

We recorded again with Russ Russell at The Parlour Recording Studio. Russ is a master of his craft and working with him is always an inspiring experience. We did explore a sharper and more aggressive guitar tone for the album and also spent considerable time finding the right sound for the orchestral and atmospheric elements.

Was the album mostly complete going into the studio or did it evolve more in that scenery?

I would say the album was 90% complete before entering the studio. We always leave a little room for improvisation and spontaneous ideas – from experience, being in a studio setting, particularly with Russ Russell, inspires all kinds of ideas. We always aim to create something authentic.

How long did it take to bring the album to life and was it difficult to bringing it all together because of your other bands any time restraints etc.?

The album was written over 6 months – within which we met up pretty much every other day. The recording process took a total of around 11 days. There was no difficulty in bringing everything together, we are always focused on what we want to achieve.

Sidious has seen a couple of changes in personnel as you mentioned earlier since the recording of the EP, how did that specifically impact if at all, on the band and more so the recording of Revealed in Profane Splendour?

The key song writers in the band have remained consistent throughout the line-up changes, so there were no major changes during the writing process. The addition of Khrudd (drums) naturally added a new creative element to the drum tracking. The realignment saw me take over vocals and therefore naturally gave me a dual role which I embraced completely.

Additionally taking on that role how does that affect songs with obviously no voice being the same; did you have to tweak existing tracks slightly in that department for your own tones?

For live shows I have certainly presented my own take on Void’s vocals from the EP. The songs have remained the same by majority, and we maintain playing various EP tracks during our live set.sidious 3

Is there any particular moment on the album which gives you a personal tingle down the spine? For us it is that opening rhythmic coaxing of Sacrilegious Majesty.

The intro to Annihilation Ov Abhorrent Credence and the mid-section of the title track are personal highlights for me.

Going back to Russ Russell, he seemed to find and understand in production the sweet spot between the hostility and melodic beauty which unites across the release?

Russ is certainly a master, he really takes the time to understand the intentions behind a song or section and through him we have been able to present our creations in their full intended form.

Tell us about the outstanding artwork wrapping the album.

The artwork was created by Giannis Nakos of Remedy Art Design. We had worked with Giannis through Eye of Solitude, therefore he was the number one choice. His art is outstanding and we are very proud to encase our music within it.

What is next for Sidious now the album has been uncaged?

We have so far played some nice shows including, main support for Anaal Nathrakh, Kaotoxinfest and Wrongstock. We were recently confirmed for Incineration Fest and are in discussions with another UK black metal band about arranging a tour for next year.

Thanks again for talking with us. Any last words or thoughts you would like to leave us with?

Thanks for the questions.

To readers: Check us out. Keep supporting extreme music. Infernal hails.

 

Read the review of Revealed in Profane Splendour @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/11/05/sidious-revealed-in-profane-splendour/

https://www.facebook.com/sidiousofficial

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 12/12/2104

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

http://listen.kaotoxin.com/album/revealed-in-profane-splendour

 

Warped romances and deathly seductions: exploring the psyche theatre of Dedwardians

Dedwardians

The recent release of AA-sided single Love Sick/ Like An Animal reinforced UK garage punk/psyche rockers Dedwardians as one irresistibly primal and infernally seductive incitement. Breeding a raw and scuzz lit infestation of the senses and imagination from the essential essences of psychobilly, garage punk, psyche rock, fifties rock ‘n’ roll and plenty more, the London quartet has emerged as one of Britain and garage punk’s most exciting and flirtatiously inventive propositions. Already carrying a lustful appetite for the band’s sound we thought it was time to learn more about the dark sonic beast that is Dedwardians, so with thanks to drummer Ben Auston we explored the band’s origins, sound, new single and much more…

Hi and thanks for sharing time to come chat with us.

Firstly can you tell us about the background to the band and how you all linked up?

Hello there. Paul (vocals) and Gaff (guitar) found me (Ben, bass) via the bands manager at the time. We met up for a few drinks in Soho and we took it from there. We went through a couple of drummers before finding the boy wonder, Dan Bridle. As for our backgrounds, I can only guess that Paul and Gaff, being men of the North, were raised listening to Venom whilst working in a shipyard or something equally manly. We’ve all grown up playing in rockabilly, punk and rock ‘n’ roll bands….so we’ve all been cut from a similar cloth. …Faux leather.

The band members I believe hail from cities like Liverpool, Leeds, and London, but now all London based for the band. Why the choice of the Capital for the band’s home and would you Dedwardians Bencontemplate living anywhere not beginning with the letter L? ;)

We wanted to move to Aleister Crowley’s old dwelling, Boleskine House on Loch Ness, but the bedroom tax malarkey ruined that, so we settled on a 6 berth caravan in South London.

Many bands seem to start with one direction or idea of sound before emerging with or evolving to their true sound, Ministry maybe the biggest named example. With Dedwardians, I get the feeling you were all born to create the music you do, so was the sounds gracing your two singles it from day one?

Kind of…We started off with a bit more of a 1950’s rock ‘n’ roll sound with our first single – almost Jerry Lee-esque, but somehow we have gone a bit darker and twisted with the newer stuff…which I guess is more true to how we actually sound live. The name was a bit of a play on the Edwardian Drape Society/Teddy Boy thing, so we’ve not strayed too far off from the original ethos.

In our review of the new AA-sided single Love Sick/ Like An Animal we drew on comparisons to the likes of The Cramps, The Dropper’s Neck, and Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, and we could have mentioned Gene Vincent, The Heartbreakers, early Misfits for example too. What are the predominate inspirations which have shaped your tastes and influenced your invention?

You’ve pretty much nailed it on the head with those, but The Cramps are the band we’d all agree on though if I had to pick one. We’re an eclectic bunch on the whole though. Glam through to Psychobilly, Garage Punk to Goth…we’ll borrow shamelessly from wherever. Might confuse some listeners, but hey ho.

As you just mentioned your sound really is a creative frenzy whipped up from essences of numerous styles. Has this diversity just come from all your varying tastes over time or always been there in the songwriting from day one?

It’s been there from the start. It’s becoming more diverse as things progress, which has been tricky in the past when it comes to picking what to play live as we’ve been worried about jumping too far from one style or genre to another. Somehow it always sounds like us nonetheless, so it can’t be too far off. I think we’ve got it down now though, so not too many perplexed looking faces in the crowd. Hopefully.

How would you describe your music to newcomers?

Errr, something along the lines of Gene Vincent, Lux Interior and Captain Sensible on a night bus home.

We love the band name, The Dedwardians speaking for itself and of course you touched on it earlier, but who came up with it?

I think it was Paul and his love for Teddy Boys…Or boys with teddies…Can’t remember. Good though.

Are both your singles Bang Bang Die/Stop Destroy and now of course Love Sick/ Like An Animal songs written around the same time or over different periods?

There was a bit of a gap, maybe a few months at the most. What delayed things was trying to find the right studio to get the sound we were after. Some studios we tried made us sound way too clean…completely not what we wanted, but then we didn’t want to sound too digital or heavy metal. We ended up picking Andy Brook to work with, who I’ve known for years. I wish we’d just gone to him in the first place. We’d have an album sorted by now…maybe.

Dedwardians2How are you seeing the evolution in your songwriting and sound as the band grows and matures together?

The songs are getting a bit more thought through and taking longer to sort out the final arrangements. I don’t mean in a Math Metal/Prog direction, we’re just trying to get the most out of the dynamics and avoiding becoming formulaic. Sometimes it’s tricky doing so with just one guitar, bass and drums. Saying that, Gaff is often louder than two guitarists…Sound men love him.

Is there a predominate inspiration to the lyrical and emotional side of your songs?

The only recurring theme I’ve managed to pick up on is DEATH. Which is odd, as Paul is generally a pretty cheerful chap.

Tell us about the recording of the new single. Did you have any particular intent with the tracks?

We wanted it to be loud; fuzzy guitars, big drums, over driven vocals and dirty bass. Andy Brook (engineer) pretty much got what we wanted straight away. He knew our influences better than the other studios we had recorded in, so that took a lot of the guess work out.

The songs have an instinctive, almost primal lo-fi breath. This edge makes them predatory and insatiably addictive, certainly for us drawing out the true heart of the tracks. Many bands seem almost afraid to tap into raw sounds, what lures you into this approach?

It’s probably the hatred for the opposite. We’re not Hi-Fi for sure. We’re really not about high end boutique guitar amps and overly compressed tracks. Our influences aren’t squeaky clean, perfectly auto-tuned performers. Raw is always better…Red raw.

It is fair to say you make music for you, sounds that you adore and then hope others feel the same?

Yep. Haha. Utterly selfish. When me and Gaff are writing together, we’re honestly not bothered about trying to please a certain scene or genre. If you go that route, you’d just end up sounding like you’re trying to suit a certain style.

Tell us about the video for Sick Of Love?

We shot it in a dark rehearsal room in a few hours, again, about as lo-fi as you can get. I shot most of it and edited it…DIY all the way. It’s not that we can’t afford something more grand though…we saved up enough cash to get Martin Scorsese interested, but we ended up blowing it on a night out in Skegness.

You have earned strong praise and acclaim for your live performances as well as the singles. Rampaging in front of the audience is where you really get a fire in the belly I am guessing?dedwardians3

Yep. We go for it on stage. Who doesn’t want to watch 4 sweaty blokes playing too loud for 25 mins?!

Where can people catch the band live next?

Butlins. No, err, The Finsbury, 18th December.

Any Christmas treats in store for fans with shows?

Yes, naturally. The venue’s ceiling will be so heavily adorned with mistletoe that it resembles stalactites. We have a list of all the naughty girls – Dan will be dressed as Santa for their pleasure. Paul will be dressed as an Elf. Me and Gaff will be head to toe in black leather, with tinsel detailing…humming Wizzard’s festive classic – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday. We’re the gift that keeps on giving.

Thanks again Ben for sharing your time, anything you wish to shout out to finish off with?

A dog is for life, not just Christmas…and buy our fucking record!

Cheers Pete! Merry Crimbo!

Ben Auston

Read our review of Love Sick/ Like An Animal @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/11/22/dedwardians-love-sick-like-an-animal/

https://www.facebook.com/Dedwardians

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 11/12/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

Dirty strides and mischievous smiles: delving into the virulent charms of Ocasan.

ocasan3

Splitting their forthcoming album up into a trilogy of diverse and creatively exhilarating EPs this past year, UK rockers Ocasan has undoubtedly provided British rock with some major thrills. It is not the first time the Milton Keynes hailing trio has made a striking and adventurous contribution to the scene, their acclaimed debut album Ricochet one such triumph, but it is fair to say using recent release the Confessions EP alone as evidence, that the band is breeding a new plateau and depth of invention and virulent sound. With thanks to drummer Luke McDonnell, we set about exploring the heart of the band and those recent releases whilst taking in mutual appreciation of a certain band, learning the back ground to particular songs, and simply exploring Ocasan in general.

Hello Luke and thanks for taking time to chat with us.ocasan5

You’re welcome.

Tell us about the beginnings of the band and what inspired you to start up Ocasan.

We’d all come from numerous past projects and like most acts shared a love for the same music. When writing we found that songs poured out like vomit from a size nine Friday night slutty binger.

Is there any special meaning behind or influence to the band name?

It’s my family name, well the Irish side. We were the Ocasan’s. It’s also Japanese for ‘Mother’.

And talking of influences what have been the biggest inspirations to the band and personally in sound and musical intent?

We’ve been on a massive journey. Having stayed together for about a decade now, our influences are constantly in flux. We’ve spent many year writing singles and mainly pop oriented tunes but now rediscovered a love for our grungier roots. We’re writing music we’d want to jump up and down and scream along to drunk in a grotty venue. It’s the tits.

One of our all-time essential listens are Reuben and I heard you guys have a taste for their inspiring sounds too?

Well this follows perfectly from what I was saying. We rediscovered Reuben’s Racecar is Racecar Backwards which led to listening to their other latter work. It’s a little obsessive and we’re seeking help.

You biography mentions “abandoned stables, hippy communes and rock and roll pubs” as well as “hot tubs with millionaires” and parties with Russian oligarchs. We can assume the band’s life to date has been something out of the ordinary?

It’s had its ups and downs but some of the ups have been out of this world. What’s incredible is that it has all stemmed from the music. OK, so we’re not a big band. We’ve been trying for years to get a break, but the one thing we’ve taking away from being in Ocasan are some life changing experiences. We’re by no means done yet.

You recently released the third of a trilogy of EPs, Confessions, which comes around three years after debut album Ricochet of 2011. How would you say your sound has evolved between what are to our mind, two rigorously contagious and imaginative releases?

Our first record Ricochet was written with sole intent of breaking the market. We were still writing music we loved but were set on writing singles people could sing along to and record labels would be interested in. As each year goes by the “Fuck that!”s from all of us becomes increasingly louder. Elixir (the EP trilogy) concentrated more on our lives and our story so far. There are mentions of some serious life changing moments that we had to deal with during the record. We thought this would make the album more sincere rather than writing about teenage fancies etc. We think it’s done just that and every song is an honest story. Apart from Confessions….that’s sung from the point of view of a piano. I’m not a piano.

ocasan confessions-artworkIt is easy to see each of the EPs, London Town, Whitey Two Step, and of course Confessions, working perfectly together within Elixir but they also show distinct personalities from each other, especially the last. Was this something purposefully set out or just organically came about?

Organically…When we set out (reluctantly may I add) splitting up the record we found certain songs had something similar in common. EP1 was our ‘hello we’re back’ EP. There are some strong numbers on there and good examples of what was to come on the follow ups. EP2 More light hearted, whimsical and more creative lyrically. EP3 was much darker both lyrically and musically. We figured if we had you sold on the solid, slightly more commercial stuff from the start, you’d be digging this by now. Safe to safe this is one of the most popular records.

So each has an individual theme and is there a more personal intimacy across the EPs than maybe explored before by the band?

I would add that the third is the most personal. It explores a few subjects that were hard to write about. A good friend of ours (our tour manager) had a brain tumour and we expected him to not be with us by the release. Dark cloud was an infamous cocaine dealer from central London that we had some nasty run-ins with. etc. etc. You’ll need to have a listen to pick apart the rest.

Elixir will be released at some point as a single entity I assume?

Yes, we’re looking at early next year once our agent has sorted the next tour.

Will you sneak in anything new or rework tracks to offer another tasty dose of freshness for fans already devouring the EPs?

Yes, there’s a hidden track and some live stuff that we’ve had stored away for a while. We may even put on some new tracks to hint at the new record. We’ve been recording it all live on reel to reel recently, it sounds out of this world!

There is a great eclectic essence to your sound, a persistently varied energy and invention to your rock pop revelry so how does the songwriting work within the band. It is a group effort in ideas and writing?ocasan1

I generally come up with lyrics and bring them to the other two. They’re both so talented that normally before I have time to blink they’ve written what I was hearing in my head…if not, better. I guess this just comes with working together for a long time.

Parasites from the Confessions EP is one of our tracks of the year, and went down a storm on our recent podcast. Can you give us some background and the spark to the riveting contagion posing as a song?

As discussed earlier, this particular track was about our friend who was diagnosed with a brain tumour. It was seriously traumatic, obviously for him, but for everyone that loved him dearly. I’m delighted to say that he’s still with us today. But yes, that in essence is the ‘parasite’. “these white coats, do they know the ropes” was a stab at the doctors that kept misdiagnosing him and putting him through emotional hell.

All the tracks across the EPs and thus album were recorded with Romesh Dodangoda (Funeral For A Friend, Motorhead, Kids In Glass Houses). How did that link up come about?

We listened to an Attack! Attack! record years back, did a little research and said Romesh was the guy for us. As we worked so well together on Ricochet we figured “if it ain’t broke…” so we went back to do our second album there. We have a big respect for Romesh and would be happy to work with him again.

You have a serious appetite for gigging and have hit stages across the globe as well as nationally. It feels like this is what it is all about as a band for you guys, where you are most at home?ocasan4

We love it! If we could be out 364 days a year (Fuck gigging on Christmas) we would. So many bands believe that you can do well from making music videos and putting them on YouTube but nothing will beat just getting out and playing to new people. We love seeing the world and making new friends, what a brilliant way to do it.

Are you a band which likes to preview and explore new songs live before recording or vice-versa?

Yes, it’s incredible how much audience reaction can help develop a song.

What is in store for and from the band going into 2015?

We’ve nearly finished writing album three. Most of it will hopefully be demoed this side of Christmas. We’re off to a studio in Italy in January to try out a studio south of Rome. We’ll release Elixir as a whole (with little extras) and hopefully have the third album ready for release shortly after. After that it’s just tour tour tour, music video, tour tour tour, music video – repeat.

Once again big thanks for sharing time with us; any last thoughts you would like to leave us pondering?

If the brain was so simple we could understand it, it would be so simple we couldn’t.

Read the review of the Confessions EP @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/ocasan-confessions-ep/

http://ocasan.co.uk/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 10/12/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

Prowling the dark side of being: exploring the corners of Invertia with Dave Coppola

Invertia4

An invasive corrosion of senses and emotions, Another Scheme of the Wicked from US band Invertia stands to the fore of psyche invading threats and violating seductions unleashed in 2014. The album is a virulently compelling incitement of senses and thoughts from a duo in guitarist/vocalist Dave Coppola and drummer/programmer Tim Winson who seem to instinctively press all the right buttons with their provocative sonic and primal explorations. With an appetite to find out more about the band and its dark depths, we had the pleasure to talk with Dave who helped us explore the new album, the creative union between the two, the art of remixes and plenty more…

Hello Dave and welcome to the site and thanks for agreeing to talk with us.

Thank you for the interview, my pleasure!

First of all can you tell us about how you both met?

We actually met thru a mutual friend.

Was there a musical connection right away and how long before thoughts of creating a band took hold?

We started working on songs right away. We basically just started tracking guitars to a beat. Those songs would eventually become Blasphemy Be My Name and Perpetual Alert from the first album. We didn’t think of it as a “band” at first. It was just a recording project that became a band! We never thought we would play live when we met, that’s for sure. It’s crazy when we think about how we started to where we have come; for example opening for Blood of Heroes with Bill Laswell, getting a remix done by Justin Broadrick from Godflesh, to putting out an album with Ohm Resistance. It’s unreal.

Did you have any specific intentions when working on your first songs or was it more of let’s play and see what evolves initially?

It was more let’s see what happens. I never thought Tim and I would still be doing this years later…I’m glad we are though.

Invertia2Though your sound seems to be tagged most often as industrial black metal we found it to be so much more and pleasingly impossible to tie down. What are the most predominate inspirations upon yourselves which you feel have spiced your writing etc.?

Thanks for the kind words! We have all kinds of inspirations whether it be bands, film, books etc. There are too many to name, especially between the two of us. I listen to a lot of metal like Mayhem and Burzum, and industrial as well, Godflesh and Ministry. Tim likes the Residents and Adam Ant. We both like the same bands like the Pixies and the Butthole Surfers. William S. Burroughs and George Carlin are huge influences as well. Also the film They Live by John Carpenter is having a huge influence on the new album which is currently underway. So that’s why we sound the way we do.

You have recently released Another Scheme of the Wicked, a captivating and intrusive hybrid of sound and enterprise. Did it in creation fulfil or your hopes and thoughts or has it evolved beyond even your expectations with its potency and might?

We did the best we could, we always do. That way no matter what anybody says about it we are still satisfied in the end. Albums are like Presidents, it takes time to see the mess you made!

It feels a much darker and more predatory encounter than your previous release, more dangerous one; does it feel like that to you and if so was that a deliberate aim from the start or an organic emergence?

I agree, it is much darker…It has a little more of a dynamic feel to it than the first one. I’m not saying it’s a dynamic album just more than the debut haha! We are fast and in your face the whole time with this album other than the remixes. When we were writing we didn’t sit down and plan it that way it just happened. I think that’s the way it goes for most artists, you never know what you’re going to get at the very beginning. It’s always a surprise at some point during the process.

How do the songs come together and evolve primarily between the pair of you?

Typically myself or Tim will write a beat, I’ll put the guitars and bass down and go from there. Tim will take the beat and make it into drum sections and the song will evolve over time. Songs can be like a photo, you have to capture the evolution at the right time or you’ll miss it.

Tell us about the intent and premise behind Another Scheme of the Wicked.

The intent was to put out a decent industrial metal record. The premise was to make it original and not your every day run of mill metal record. I think we achieved that if I may say so. The album got mixed reviews from the metal community. I knew it would, and at the end of the day I’m glad it did.

The five tracks come with another five remixes, each an interpretation of the previous quintet, was this planned from the first seeds of the release?

Not at all… That was pure luck with a sprinkle of dedication. If you would have told me this album would have those artists on it remixing our music, I would have laughed at you.invertiacoverofficial

In many ways the remixes are doppelgangers of the originals for us, though it is debateable which are the darkest and most frightening versions. Did you give free rein for the likes of Justin K. Broadrick and End.user in their take on your songs?

Absolutely…There was no way I was going to tell those guys what to do. There is no way I could have. You can’t tell Justin Broadrick or Kurt Gluck how to do their job, they just do, that’s why we chose them. That’s the element of surprise I enjoy in this art form I spoke of earlier.

It has to be admitted we have never been fans of remixes, or maybe just do not understand their function though those on Another Scheme of the Wicked have impacted far deeper than most others we have come across on our thoughts. What is it about them which inspires you and lent the idea to include them on the new release?

We are big Skinny Puppy fans and we always liked the way they remixed everything. So I guess it just comes down to demonstrating a different point of view thru a common theme. I always thought that was interesting. I think it gives an extra depth to the album when played in its entirety. The next album we may, if at all, do them separately. To be honest my thinking was it’s just cheaper for the people purchasing the album to not have to buy remixes. But this time around we will give them the choice.

I have to ask as it must happen to someone somewhere, how would you deal with a remix which you did not like and felt did not warrant a place or fitted on one of your releases?

Well, we would be pissed; we hope it would not come to that. That’s why we asked the artists we did, and of course they were very professional in sending us either a couple of versions or following up with us to make sure everything was cool.

Back to your songs; at times they seem to be alive as they ignite the imagination and emotions, feeling like they have hidden depths unrevealed to the listener. How intensively did you take sculpting and shaping the songs of the release?

We are very picky in studio. We have a simple chemistry, and it goes like this. If Tim doesn’t come out of his seat during playback of the initial arrangement, it’s not good enough and I’m back to the drawing board. That’s how I know it will ignite the imagination and emotion, because we can see it in ourselves. If it works for us it might work for the listener as well.

InvertiaWas it an on-going honing process until recording time?

Pretty much, mostly the guitars and arranging…We can bring in ideas on the spot with samples and bass parts.

How about the lyrical side of your music? Was that an intensive development and what inspires their breath predominantly?

The lyrics are inspired by just peoples wrong doing really…People’s hatred for one another and trying to get the last laugh on your own species. It’s a place I don’t like to go for too long a time. We would probably have more material if I frequented the place that inspires the lyrics more often, but it’s a creepy spot.

Tell us about the other projects you are both involved in, and were involved in a couple of the remixes on Another Scheme of the Wicked I believe?

I have another industrial project called TranZi3nT and Tim has another project call R3TRD. We use them as a break from Invertia.

What is next on the horizon of Invertia?

We just released a new single for download at http://invertia.bandcamp.com/ called Existence Exit. It won’t be on Amazon or ITunes as they called the cover “pornographic”. You can judge for yourselves.   We also a have a 7” single coming out called Forever Incision that will have a live version of Facility of the Feeble on it, which is the opening track of the debut album. That will be put out through our label Ohm Resistance, which you will be able to get at http://ohmresistance.bandcamp.com/ soon.   As for the new album we are hoping for late spring time. We are looking to play some more live shows as well. Hopefully 2015 will be a good year for Invertia!

Thanks again for chatting with us; any final thought you would like to leave us with?

Thanks Pete! It was a pleasure doing this interview, good luck to you!!!

Dave (INVERTIA)

Read the review of Another Scheme of the Wicked @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/invertia-another-scheme-of-the-wicked/

http://www.inv3rtia.com/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 08/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

Casting reflections and dispersing shadows: talking Johnny Wore Black with band founder Jay

jwbnew3-hires

  2014 has been a big and flavoursome year for British melodic and alternative rock, and in no small part thanks to UK band Johnny Wore Black. The brainchild of London based songwriter/producer and stuntman (Les Miserables, The Dark Knight Rises, Fast and Furious 6, Fury ) Jay, the project on the back of a host of attention grabbing singles and videos over the past eighteen months or so, has released two acclaimed and enthralling albums this year. Walking Underwater Pt 1 and 2, the second released barely two week ago, encounters which and immerses ears and imagination in an evocative embrace, thought provoking propositions which infuse passionate creative roars with poetic melodies and fiery textures. Both albums reinforce the emerging stature and recognition of Johnny Wore Black as one of Europe’s most exciting and innovative songwriters and rock artists. With the kind sharing of Jay’s time, we delved into the heart of the man, band, and particularly the fresh majesty of Walking Underwater Pt 2.

Hi Jay, thanks for sharing time to speak with us.

My pleasure…thank you for listening.

You have just released second album, Walking Underwater Pt 2; how were feelings as the unveiling swiftly approached?

It’s always a strange time around release, in a way exciting and in a way a test of patience as in reality it’s about waiting to see how the product is received. As an artist, the reviews are important to gauge how good a job you have done!

Are there different emotions and expectations this time around after the acclaim and success of Walking Underwater Pt 1 earlier this year?

Walking Underwater Pt.1 was an opening, a beginning if you like so it will be interesting to see how Walking Underwater Pt.2 is received and how the journey develops in other people’s jwbnew1-hires2eyes and ears. It’s important to make music for yourself first and yet in reality, once released its journey becomes a public experience. My expectations are for people to enjoy it and find the right environment to use the music.

How should people look at the two releases, as two parts of one whole entity or the new release as an evolution and unique exploration from the themes and narrative fuelling the first album?

It is a new release of course, and yet a journey too. Honestly people will make of it what they want. Personally there is a journey there, a cleansing and an exorcism of past demons…to make way for new ones maybe?!

Before we look deeper in to the new album, can we ask about your history musically and other aspects before Johnny Wore Black?

Childhood poems then set to music when learning to play the Spanish guitar, pretending it was electric! Onwards, days in studios as birthday presents from my dad when I was fifteen and sixteen. Johnny Wore Black is the conclusion of life experience, being a singer songwriter, being in bands, and generally loving music.

What was the spark bringing the band to life?

The spark was a need to express my songs in a new way, to attempt to get closer to the music that turns me on and lights my fire!

The band name inescapably brings thoughts of Johnny Cash, is there a meaning behind the title?

I like the analogy of why Johnny Cash wore black, to identify with those less fortunate than himself. My dad called me Johnny and my grandmother Evelyn bought me a black suit, which I wore at my Dads funeral when I was seventeen. So, you see, life and all its shards of dark and light.

What would you say are your major inspirations?

A Perfect Circle, Karnivool, Tool, Depeche Mode, Metallica, Stone Sour, Johnny Cash…to name but a few.

jwb walkingunderwaterpt2Because of the success and potency of your first album anticipation and expectations of Part 2 are probably over demanding. Has this added any pressure for its creation?

In a way yes, but to be honest most of the pressure is self-inflicted. My goal is to make great music, who can say when that has happened? Really, I see it as a never ending journey.

With the close proximity to the release of the two albums, it is easy to assume both sets of songs or certainly many over both albums have been bred from around the same time. What is the time frame in that area and if they were written around the same period how did you decide which song went on which release?

I tried to put together songs that felt good together in order to create the story. There are songs here spanning a ten year period, hence why they needed to be cleared in order to move on.

Did you learn anything on Part 1 which you took into its successor to help its emergence or give it something different recording wise?

The process included working with guitarist James Coppolaro and drummer Simon Hutchby whilst David Ellefson and I also collaborated in more depth than before so that was a rewarding experience.

Listening to Part 2 we felt there was even greater personal intimacy to certain tracks than on the last; how close are the seeds of your songs to your life and experiences?

Some songs are closer personally than others but it’s interesting which songs individuals feel are intimate.

The album as you mentioned again sees you collaborating with David Ellefson, of course of Megadeth, in writing and playing. How did you guys meet and when did the link up musically begin?

We met backstage at Download in the UK some years ago. We started chatting music and immediately kind of bonded. I then began sending David songs in progress and he agreed to play on the first Johnny Wore Black single, All The Rage.

When you come to songwriting together, is it an even contribution or does David look towards the rhythmic side more?

It does vary per track. So far, on some David has sent riff ideas, like Firefly and on Gift of Desperation he sent a lyric, which I then developed. Writing is a very fluid process with no rules.jwbnew2-3-lo-res

There often seems to be a different kind of spark to songs you too have created together, not bigger or lesser than on other tracks, just strikingly different. What would you put that down to?

I suppose that’s just two minds rather than being the dominant decision maker however I’d be interested to ask you that question back and see what you feel is strikingly different about those tunes?

Tell us about the new album; is there a specific underlying theme to its lyrical explorations?

Each track has a different theme so really would need to answer this on a track-by-track basis. My lyrics explore people, the world and our continued need to understand.

How did the recording go; was it an all meet up situation or more technology driven coming together of the band for the album?

Some of the album was musicians in a studio, old skool style, and some via Skype and Dropbox. This was an international project via the USA, UK, Canada and Croatia.

Walking Underwater Pt 2 also features Croatian singer Sara Renar on the track Shine On and Loretta Heywood on a cover of her own track Winter in July. How did those guest appearances come about, especially with Loretta. Was she instantly open to you taking on her song?

Sara and I met on the set of Game of Thrones in Croatia some years back. We stayed in touch and I have followed her musical career. She has a unique quality to her voice I felt complimented Shine On, on the album. She was happy to contribute once she heard the song, and recorded her parts in a studio in Split, Croatia.

Now Walking Underwater Pt 2 is out there wooing the world, what is next in store for Johnny Wore Black, alter ego ha-ha, and band?

There is work to do, releasing singles and creating more music videos. We are having discussions about hitting the stage and seeking to break the back of the USA. Oh and by the way, another album is due next year, totally new material and bigger than Texas!

jwbnew2-hiresA big thank you for chatting with us again, any last thoughts you would like to share?

Just that I am truly grateful for your time and interest in Johnny Wore Black and thank you for providing a platform to help spread the gospel according to Johnny Wore Black.

And lastly I cannot go without asking about the film samples which graced the first album. Can you tell us about them and why you did not use them for the new release too?

The first ones were from a documentary my late father directed back in 1967 called The London Nobody Knows. The samples fitted the music, the songs and were a tribute to him. I will say, we are currently in discussion about producing The London Nobody Knows Revisited to mark its anniversary. I liked the idea of samples a-la-Floyd to be part of Walking Underwater Pt2 but decided to just focus on the songs.

Read the review of Walking Underwater Pt2 @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/johnny-wore-black-walking-underwater-pt-2/

http://www.johnnyworeblack.com

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 05/12/2014

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