Demons, boogies, and punk ‘n’ roll: entering the realm of The Hellfreaks

Having been hooked on The Hellfreaks and their horror punk/psychobilly bred sound way there was certain sadness when the band split up four years ago. Thankfully it was a short lived demise but their return brought an evolution in sound and new excitement and intrigue towards the quartet. We had the pleasure of catching up with the band recently so they can tell us more about times past and present, and all things Hellfreaks.

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

Hell there, thank you for having us!

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

We are The Hellfreaks, a 4-piece punk-rock band from Hungary, Budapest, which is quite in the middle of nowhere in the international rock world. But somehow, with a bit of luck and hell lot of work we managed to play way more shows over the border, than in Hungary. Since the foundation in 2009 we have played over 200 gigs across Europe and also made it over the big pond and toured in the US.

In 2014 the original band split up for a while. But it looked like Sue’s (our singer) destiny did not agree with that decision, as one of her biggest dreams just arrived via email right when she started to accept the situation: an invitation to play in the USA. At that time she decided to stitch up the wounds from the past and to restart the band with a new direction and new band members. This is how the new generation Hellfreaks, the one you have right here, were born.  Our bass player, Gabi, and our guitar player, Tomi, had known each other before they joined the band, but in the end it was the band itself which brought all of us together.

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now?

All of us played in different bands before, and all of these bands have been very different – but also, all of them have been rock bands. So we’re all true to our roots and just do what we love at the same time. However, none of us had ever had a band like The Hellfreaks, as this 4-piece-group never played together before. It’s a combination you couldn’t duplicate.

What inspired the band name?

To be honest, the birth of the band name did not happen yesterday. Sue was more or less a kid when she formed the band. The only thing she can clearly remember is that she came up with the idea when she was working at one of her very first working places, at a rockabilly bar, where she didn’t even earn 2$ / hour, so far from home that it was almost impossible to get back late at night. So the birthplace of the band was quite a hopeless place and compared to that we’re very happy about how far it went!

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

Our founding band member, Sue, literally grew up with this band. She never expected to tour regularly across Europe, to have a video clip with over 4 million views or to have this as her main life-project for the last 10 years. It all started in an old, dirty, wet cellar as a rehearsal room without even having a window – so we guess a band couldn’t get started more underground. There wasn’t even a goal, we didn’t even have proper equipment; it started just as a hobby thing without any plan.

That might be the reason why this band has changed so much from the start in absolutely every aspect. Our musical style has changed a lot – from a horror-punk billy influenced band, we turned into a punk-rock band, our sound developed a lot, we even changed the upright bass to a normal bass, had many line-up changes …so it has become something more, from starting without a plan to having plans and a goal.

But anyway we think that “change” in general is a good thing, nothing to be afraid of, because only change can bring development:  and we’re just not the kind of people who can stand still, we love to work hard on our skills, we love to see how we’re able to make one step after the other, even when it comes by way more effort than most of you could imagine.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

We grew up, we have changed and our goals have changed with us. Especially as we collected our little “rewards” step by step over the years: touring first abroad, touring regularly, playing with some bigger bands, touring over the big pond, recording album, getting signed by labels  etc. So it’s a natural process, that our goals have changed, otherwise nothing would push us forward.

But it’s important, that the main point – the fun and exciting process of writing songs, the feeling of getting on stage and playing for those who came there only to see you… that is the best thing ever! All that never changed, and all that make it worthy. Fun and happiness is the core of passion, and nothing could ever change that.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

We would compare our sound at the beginning to a stinky, forever-alone, home sitting, but totally lovely daydreaming teenager who with the years turned into a no-risk-no-fun adventurous world traveller who is a bit better-dressed. Our sound has changed so much! In the early years we were so much focused on playing billy influenced music, belonging to that genre and that subculture, which we loved by the way. But after a while it was not satisfying anymore. The limits of the genre totally killed our creativity, it was more or less impossible to do something new, because that genre was more about being stuck with those musical roots and in the past. Which has its own magic as well – but as an artist, it wasn’t “giving” anymore, it was more a ‘taking” thing.

So in 2014, after a short break and reorganisation of the line-up we just decided to do whatever we want, which turned out to be more punk rock than expected, but it was like taking a huge breath after being way too long under the water. Luckily it turned out that our fan base was still with us, and became even bigger after we decided to walk our own path. And as we are already working on our new album, we can promise, that this road we started to walk has still not come to an end.

How much of that step towards more punk nurtured adventure was just organic and how much the band deliberately trying new things?

It comes with a lot of work, but it is also a natural process, that we hate to repeat ourselves. We like change, we like to work hard to get better, we like to see things developing, and we definitely don’t like to run the same rounds again and again. It’s a good thing when you know that you are able to push your limits, it makes you feel alive and strong.

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

There are no influences on purpose, so of course we all had and still have influences but we try to use them as inspiration and try to find the sweet spot of our common musical taste. If we had to list what kind of music we listened to during the writing and recording process of our last album, you would get a list from A to Z. We think that is one of the key features that makes us able to create something unique in the end. We don’t want to walk along a well-trodden path, we don’t like being someone else – which is only possible if your creating process is not lead by someone else.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

All of our albums had a totally different writing process. Just to have a few words about our last release Astoria: Absolutely everything was different and new. New people, looking for a new sound. So there is nothing we could compare to the past. Besides that, these songs were more like written outside the rehearsal room: we made many many demos at home and some of the lyrics were not even written in the same country as in which we wrote the music! At that time, Sue was moving back from Berlin to Budapest, but she had to go back to Berlin for some weeks in the middle of the writing process. For example, the lyrics of our song Why Do You Talk was written while she was working.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Sue writes all the lyrics of the songs, and it’s hard to summarize what they are about. At the very beginning, the lyrics were more tale-like, not selling her sorrows, more like kind of entertaining ones. But as time passed, Sue grew up and realized that she was heard by way more people than she had expected, so she decided it was better to be brave than to be nothing: so right now she is really going naked in her lyrics – you find and read a lot about her thoughts and feelings in and between the lines.

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

We don’t want to kill the magic of music for the outsider, but the truth is, that recording an album is an extremely expensive process. It always takes us a longer time till we have the necessary financial background to start recording, and we have to spend every cent of it wisely, to make sure to bring out the best of it.

It would be a dream for us to have the possibility to work in a professional studio from ground zero. But right now recording-wise we need to have a 100% finished plan and concept before we even step into a studio.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

We are a very honest, loud power package on stage … this kind of music is just made to be spread by huge boxes, so it’s just where it naturally belongs.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and beyond. How have you found and achieved it?

And again we might destroy some illusions, but the only thing we truly believe in is hard work. And that’s all that any new band can do to get wherever they want – to work your a** off and – it’s the worst cliché ever, but it’s just so right – not to give up. There is an endless number of people out there who are telling you to do it, but just don’t listen to them, go on and stay on your ground.

There are sooo many great musicians and singers out there – the only way to be better than the rest is to work more and to believe that one day it will be worth it.

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

We have seen both. Personally we have grown out of the MySpace times. Our first concert invitation from abroad came via a MySpace message: so we were there when MySpace was the-place-to-be for a band, we were there when Facebook became the big thing, and we will be there and prepare for the next step as well.

For us personally, it’s a wave that we like to ride, but only because our singer is working as an online marketer as well, and she is really much into all these devices. So we accepted and also learned a lot about the platforms we can have as a band. But we see many many other bands who are struggling, because they are not into social media, they have no sense of marketing, and if they don’t find help from the outside, they are getting lost pretty quick.

But it definitely has its problematic side – if you want to be a musician, it’s not enough anymore to be a musician. In one person, you have to be your own CEO, your own sales department, your marketing department, your web designer, your graphic department, and of course, while you are all of that in one person, you still have the struggle not to lose your artist in yourself – and the artist is exactly the opposite of all of that I have listed before and that makes it quite hard.

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

Thank you so much, hope to see you at one of our upcoming shows!

Upcoming Live Dates:

31.03 – Austria, Vienna at Local Bar

05.05 – Hungary, Székesfehér at Nyolcas Műhely

01.06 – Romania, Timisoara at Revolution Fest

13.07 – Serbia, Exit Festival

03.10 – München, Glockenbachwerkstatt

04.10 – Germany, Ludwigsburg at Rocknrollbar

05.10 – Switzerland, Meyrin at Undertown

06.10 – Italy, Treviso at Nasty Boys

01.11 – Germany, Hannover at SubKultur

02.11 – Germany, Erfurt at Ilvers Musikbar

03.11 – Germany, Berlin at Wild At Heart

16.11 – Hungary, Budapest at Robot

Check out The Hellfreaks further @

Pete RingMaster 19/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

A fanfare of enterprise and adventure: talking with Krista D

Singer, songwriter, artist; Krista D is an emerging talent beginning to lure keen attention especially with her multi-flavoured rock bred sounds. For our introduction to the Canadian’s music we had the pleasure of talking with Krista about her sounds, songwriting, other projects and much more…

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

Thank you for this opportunity!

Can you first introduce yourself and tell us how you began making music?

My name is Krista Acheson and I’m a singer-songwriter, with no official live line-up right now. I record with the help of session musicians and I’m mainly a studio project. I started writing quite young, around 14, and completed my first full length album at around 16. I was moderately active up until 2008 then I took a 7 year break. It’s been awhile since I’ve officially released anything.

Have you been involved in bands or projects outside of your solo work and if so how has those experiences affected your own creativity?

One other band I sang with a long time ago was called A Beautiful Disaster from Moncton, NB. They were a wonderful, talented group of guys. We weren’t really similar in style preference, but what I did learn from that experience is that music can be fun. Not that I never have fun with my own music, but when I write something it begets the process of tracking down session players and doling out money. It was just nice to play for the joy of it and get paid opposed to always being the one who is paying.

For the sake of style variety and a different direction, I actually have two other projects I’m doing right now, but they are also governed by me. Hooha and the Peter Guns is a project I will be releasing experimental rock music under and I have a soft rock project called Molly Grue. I intend to release EPs for each of those this year.

Any particular story behind the name Krista D?

I was young when I started in music so I just based it on my name, Krista Doucet. I was also recording in the Christian music genre at that time but as I got older I disconnected from that lifestyle. I decided to keep the name but ,in order to indicate the life shift, I visually branded myself to allude to the character Sandra Dee from the 70’s movie Grease; who also underwent a bit of a life transition in the film. The band logo, the name of the EP, the pitiful accordion bit I play at the very end of You & Me, are all references to the movie/musical. There’s also a snippet of the movies’ audio hidden somewhere on the EP.

Was there any specific idea behind your music and songwriting when starting out in what you wanted it to offer?

Forming my project was mostly initiated by the discovery that I had a knack for singing and songwriting in my early teens and I have carried on with it because it’s another branch of creative expression; aside from the visual art I create.

Intent-wise, I like there to be levels of meaning. For example: I would want people to listen to a track like Run Jane Run and catch that the title, and writing format, is alluding to the old Dick and Jane phonics’ books. There’s also no chorus in the song; and that kind of forces people to have to listen to the lyrics. It’s a simplified story about a mother who experienced trauma and refused to deal with her subsequent coping behaviors which then resulted in the same behavior pattern being replicated by her daughter. So it’s a song written in a basic teaching format about a topic I feel is very important.

Sonically, I choose genre to direct mood. I pick elements from various genres that I feel make a song sound happy and then contrast it with some punk rock elements because then the tone goes from happy to snarky. I also think applying perkier genre elements make lyrical content dealing with rape or domestic abuse more emotionally palatable.

How has your writing and music evolved over time?

I have to say that I didn’t evolve on this project, at all, especially as a few tracks are re-mastered re-releases from a previous album. I chose to give a few tracks a second chance because I’m very eclectic and I tend to bounce between different genres a lot. The last album was a bit of a marketing nightmare as a result of being so mixed and it didn’t do any of the tracks any favors. That’s why I’ve decided to divide my songwriting efforts into 3 projects. This project is the one I’ll release any tracks that are a hybridization of punk rock, ska, 50’s style, 3 part harmony and doo-wop. Once I complete the other two EPs and I step back and look at all of the material as a whole, it might be clearer if I’ve evolved as a writer.

It evolves a little depending on what musicians are brought in to play the project; mostly because their taste and style is automatically imprinted onto the song by the way they approach it. Where I don’t have a consistent band line-up the only thing that is left to truly evolve is me and I don’t feel I ever change very much. Overall, I feel I have a distinct pattern or rut, depending on how you view it.

So anything you try or new hues you bring in to your music is organic or more deliberate?

When I try something new it’s usually through introducing a different instrument and it’s stemming from the desire to enhance a mood; at least in my mind. I’m not sure it translates to anyone else. Like for Simple Social Tragedy, I decided to write a tuba part because I wanted to communicate a lumbering drunk feeling… like the soundtrack in an old cartoon. I’m probably a nightmare for the session musicians because my main directions are mostly “can you make your instrument sound drunk? Or can you make your trumpet sound slutty? I have a new track I’m working on that I want to hire a harmonica player for. Getting to incorporate a new instrument is always super exciting!

Are there any particular inspirations which have impacted on your music and how you approach and think about creating and playing?

When I was young, I was not really allowed to listen to music that wasn’t religious but I was sometimes able to listen to an oldies radio program called Finkleman’s 45s. I loved it. I attribute a lot of the genre elements I mix into this project to listening to that program.

Tell us about your songwriting, the processes you go through etc.

I think it’s one of those things that processes on a subconscious level and then, once it knits itself into a song, it floats to the surface and I hear it in my mind, sometimes completely formed as if it’s a song that already exists. The emergence is either triggered by a chord progression or sometimes nothing at all. Recently I had a melody repeating in my head but I was going to bed and too lazy to write it out, but when I woke up in the morning, it was still there… like it insisted on wanting to exist. So I’ve written it out and now it’s in queue to be recorded. A frustrating element to my songwriting is that I don’t even play the instruments I hear parts for. I’m sure other songwriters experience it too, but most writers I assume are at least good at one instrument. I think that’ll be my next focus; learning to play at least one instrument well, opposed to being able to clumsily half-ass several.

Where do you draw inspirations to the lyrical side from?

From the people I meet and the things that I’ve experienced. For example: Penny for your Thoughts is about the life of a woman I used to work with named Penny and likewise Black Eyed Susan is about a woman I knew named Susan. Sometimes the songs are about my own experiences; Land Mine is about the emotional process of trying to deal with a bad relationship by starting a new one that promised to be just as tumultuous. My life was a big mess when I wrote Land Mine, so the concept of dancing through volatile, unseen explosives was an apt allusion.

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

This is my first release after dividing my music efforts into three. I’ve already divided my visual art, and now I’m re-launching my music career as a trimorphic singer-songwriter. The Krista D project is the one with the most experience behind it, so I’ve started with this one.

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind its songs.

The general theme is it all stems from life events. When songs are borne out of an actual experience, or emotion, I think it’s easier for listeners to automatically relate to.

For example: Simple Social Tragedy is about a guy who relentlessly harassed me in a bar; with such a bizarre intensity it had to have been a bet. I’m sure the track is relatable for any person who has encountered the feeling of being reduced to a sexual conquest. That feeling where the person approaching you seems to have zero awareness that you have any thoughts or feelings; you are merely a thing they want to use for their own pleasure.

Do you enter the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

I’ve been told I do things oddly, but this is my general process for anyone that is curious. First, I make a painfully rough demo. If I have no guitar player to help me do that, I’ll just record myself singing the melody and lyrics in the structure I want. The demo goes to a session musician who plays guitar and bass to a click or programmed drums. I then do scratch vocals. Then I hire a drummer. I listen to the track and decide if I like how things are feeling and if not I’ll bring in an additional guitar player whose musical background is a different genre to try to manipulate the track to the feel I’m looking for. If I decide I want to add an instrument, such as a trumpet, I work something out on a keyboard. I take the part to an engineer to help me patch the midi to its desired instruments sample so I can hear the part in context to the song. If the part I wrote works, then I hire someone to write it as sheet music- which I then give to a session player. Then after I have all the additional instruments parts in, I clean up my main vocals and do background vocals and harmonies. That’s basically the convoluted process of how a song comes about.

Is there a live side to Krista D?

You know…I’d have to say playing live is currently my least favorite thing about music, but that’s because I’m fairly reclusive personality-wise and it’s expensive to hire live session musicians. If I ever find a nice group of people to play with regularly, I’m sure it would be a lot more fun.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it? Are there still the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there?

You know…I’m not quite sure yet. Locally I’ve had a difficult time connecting with live musicians so it’s been a challenge for me to get out and play. I’ve been told it’s a great community though. Other musicians I meet seem to be very embraced by it. I, however, will be playing my first show in this city next month, karaoke style, with mannequins as my band. I do have a band to back me if I play in the Maritimes or in Calgary, if I travel west.  So, as soon as I finish up some visual art projects for local gallery shows, I may just plan to tour outside my city.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

I actually have very little social media presence right now, and that’s a combination of my being terrible at it and the fact that my online social media efforts are divided into 6 projects. But the internet, in regards to connecting me to places I can’t physically travel to, and making my music accessible worldwide, is an extremely positive and vital thing.

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

Thank you for the interview! And thank you to anyone who read the interview and listened to the EP. If anyone is interested in following my 3 music projects and/or my 3 visual art aliases, feel free to add me on Facebook : or everything is accessible individually through here:

Pete RingMaster 19/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Various Artists – Our Voltage

Released via Chicago DIY label Girlsville Records, Our Voltage is a collection of tracks from an array of bands embracing a similarly broad landscape of sounds from garage and post punk to psych, noise, and Lo-Fi Trash Pop. It is one of those independent treats which come along now and then to introduce new bands to the ears and new tracks from those which may already be on the radar. Our Voltage is also here to help raise funds for great causes; its proceeds benefitting legal aid for anti-racist activists and a new community self-defence gym in Chicago called Haymaker.

As with all collections there are tracks which hit the spot and passions more central than others, understandable when 14 bands are coming together but it is honest to say that every encounter within Our Voltage had us off eagerly exploring their creators with further treats the reward.

The album opens with OFF DUTY NUNS from Olympia, Washington trio UK GOLD. The band consists of Matt Murillo (Ka-Nives, Jewws) Forrest Peaker (Wisdom Teeth), and Vadi Eredal (Pitted Youth) and released their debut single last April. Off Duty Nuns is a brand new slice of the band’s post punk shuffle which, with guitars spiralling with their flavoursome jangle around senses badgering metronomic beats and one instincts pleasing bass line, is pure magnetism capped by just as tenacious vocals. At barely one minute 45, the song is too short but oh so addictive.

THE BUZZARDS offer up TENNESSEE next, the Detroit outfit featuring Joe Burdick (The Dirtys), Maribel Restepo (Detroit Cobras) and twins Nancy and Leslie Paterra. It too is a brand new song grabbing quickly attentive ears with ease; the band’s garage rock ‘n’ roll a boisterously rapacious proposal with thumping beats and vocal zeal aligned to angular guitars and another bassline which danced with personal tastes. It is not necessarily a unique encounter yet everything about it rouses body and attitude like all potent rockers.

Raw noise/punk rock is offered up next by GERM HOUSE in the shape of 7 INTO 7, a gripping burst of dirty rock ‘n’ roll with the catchy instincts of pop rock. The band is the solo project of Justin Hubbard, formerly of Boston band Turpentine Brothers, which expands live with the addition of his wife Tara McManus-Hubbard (Mr. Airplane Man / Turpentine Brothers) and Joe Ayoub (Marked Men / Shangalang). The song has the kind of mouth-watering DIY glaze which nurtured so many treats in the late seventies and similarly coats the album’s fourteenth and final song which sees Hubbard inciting ears just as potently through a second song in SHOWING SYMPTOMS.

Before then the fun keeps coming as firstly THE MYRMIDONS unveils a gorgeous cover of the Siouxsie and The Banshees classic CHRISTINE. The band is the union of Ted Ottaviano and Lauren Johnson of first wave electronic pop group Book of Love and Lori Lindsay of The Prissteens and Purple Wizard. Together they have taken an already irresistible track and coated it in a darker gothic almost predacious sheen whilst invigorating its natural infectiousness. Its post punk bassline just hits the spot, a feature recurring between instrument and appetite over numerous songs it seems.

PILOT’S PIPE from DAMAGED BUG, the solo project of Oh Sees vocalist/guitarist John Dwyer, is a tantalising psych pop seduction; a woozy slice of temptation uniting synths and guitars under a psychedelic glaze and sounding like something you would expect in a Lewis Carroll penned Barbarella seduction. It is quite mesmeric before making way for WHAT DID YOU SAY? from UK post punks VIRVON VARVON. The London-based band comprises of members of The Jazz June, Black Time, and Candy Highway and creates a trespass, on the evidence of this track, which is inherently catchy but with great volatility in its heart which leads ears into rapacious noise and cacophonous punk ‘n’ roll. We would offer up comparisons to give you an idea of its raw beauty but we could not find any, a splendid sign.

FREAK GENES step forward with HE’S UNHAPPY, a British band which lists the likes of Swell Maps, Nick Lowe, and Devo among their likes, of which the first pair do come to mind almost weirdly within the slice of lo-fi punk pop and add a whisker of MC Lars to that thought and you get a real feel of the band’s excellent offering. Featuring Charlie Murphy of Red Cords and Andrew Anderson of Hipshakes, Freak Genes tease and taunt ears, and a lusty reaction, throughout their two minutes before handing over to BEASTII the moment to uncage their cover of The Violators track, SUMMER OF 81. The Chicago psych/pop trio initially coax ears with their own possessive treat of a bassline before wrapping it in siren-esque harmonies and brining in mischievously rousing beats. It then all unites in a rousing slice of punk ‘n’ roll which reminds of something akin to Fatal Microbes meets The Kut and more than does another classic song justice.

The devilish garage punk of DO THE OCTOPUS keeps the passions flying; the track from Kansas duo MR. AND THE MRS. Primarily an instrumental with vocal devilment, the track recalls the fuzz antics of The Cramps, the punk salaciousness of Dick Venom, and the gothic contagion of The Orson Family as it has hips swinging and dark deeds brewing before a never before released track from 90’s gracing NYC punks THE PRISSTEENS.  STUPID NOTHING serenades in tone and voice within a fuzz lined tunnel and is simply as captivating as you would expect from the excellent outfit.

One of our already favourite bands is next; London garage punk noiseniks ATOMIC SUPLEX stirring up trouble with a cover of Bo Diddley’s WHO DO YOU LOVE? It might be the dirtiest, scuzziest thing heard from the band yet as they if not making the song their own, give it a seriously stirring feral work over.

MARCUS from Cincinnati garage fuzz stirrers BUMMERS EVE strolls in next, the trio providing a beat textured ballad about 3-year-old autistic boy who was murdered by his foster parents while MR. AIRPLANE MAN dance with the senses and imagination through BELIEVE. Both tracks spark a need for more, the first with its insatiable scuzz hustle and the second through its psychedelic blues punk shuffle and vocal seduction.

With that second Germ House offering completing the line-up, we found the only thing to do after listening to Our Voltage just the first time around was press play again and go exploring. The rewards have been quite refreshing.

Our Voltage is available now through Girlsville Records @

Pete RingMaster 09/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Drawn to attention: exploring the fresh force that is Call To Arms

Irish metallers Call To Arms is a band we first came across with the release of their 5-track release, Invictus. It suggested band to keep close attention on with its potential and immediate enjoyment. Now the band is preparing to unveil their debut album, Fallacy, so time to catch up with the band and get to the heart of Call To Arms, look at that impending album and more….

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

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

We’re Call To Arms, a modern metal band from Dublin, Ireland. The band was formed in the summer of 2013 by Dean Donnelly (Vocalist) and a former bassist. Niall Ennis and Daniel Tyrell quickly joined and after our first show Alex Caffrey joined as our permanent bassist. We’ve all known each other for years, and been in bands together before. We’ve now been joined by Kevin Twomey as our drummer, who was recommended to us by a close friend.

Having been involved in other bands how have those experiences impacted on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

All of us other than Kev, have been in bands together over the years before Call To Arms formed, for the most part we have taken CTA on as our only public musical outlet. I think from previous bands we just learned how we write best; slowly developing our sound and style, and I think it mainly just inspired us to get better.

What inspired the band name?

We went through a variety of different names but never could agree on just one. We got all members to bring a name they liked and picked the one that came out. Dean had seen an Avenged Sevenfold interview where M. Shadows talked about getting inspiration from the bible, so Dean got his bible and wrote down what had stood out most to him.

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

As I said we had always been in bands with each other before. When forming CTA we had the ambition to just play live as much as possible and put every ounce of ourselves into our shows. We wanted to be the band you remembered/talked about on your way home after the show. We locked ourselves away and just practiced to play as tight as possible while putting on the best, most energetic shows we could do. To be honest, it’s only been in the past two years that we took a serious look at our sound, and take a serious, more mature approach to the actual musicality of the band.

Have your ambitions in that area evolved or expanded over time?

I think we are still driven for the pure love of what we do, music has always been the biggest part of all our lives, and I don’t think we’ve forgotten that.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

When the band started we were all very young, and in the midst of the metalcore trend; at the beginning we wrote a lot of metalcore style songs, but with our own twists on it. Since then, our music tastes have grown and we take influence from a lot more aspects, the biggest one being Gojira, which is a very obvious influence on our upcoming debut album. We pushed ourselves on skill and writing levels, and came out with an album that is full of influences ranging from metalcore to black or death metal, so we have definitely evolved and will continue to do so as we see fit.

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

It was a mixture of both really; the biggest factor being getting to see Gojira live. It was a life changing moment for those of us who saw it, it heavily influenced us, and from that we took the decision to push our abilities and change our sound to a much darker, heavier style.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular other than the aforementioned which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

There is definitely a wide range of inspirations within the band, as I’ve said Gojira have definitely been the biggest for all of us in the past two years, they showed us a whole new way of bringing pure, brutal heaviness and mixing good melody with that, along with putting on a ridiculously amazing live show. Other than that I think we take certain aspects from bands we like into the music, but none have had the same effect on us as a whole like Gojira have.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

Songwriting for us is a very long process normally, Dean is constantly writing lyrics, and myself (Niall) and Dan are constantly just writing new riffs. What normally happens is that either myself or Dan will have a few riffs we think could work together, and we will either piece them together by ourselves and bring a base of a song to everyone, or we will work with each other on piecing them together and then everyone has their input on the direction it should go, whether everything works together, and songs will normally have 3/4 variations of itself till we find something that hits us and that we’re happy with.

Where, more often than not, do you draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Lyrically we take our main inspiration from just what happens in our lives and what we see around us. We all live in fairly bad parts of Dublin, between Ballymun and Finglas, so we take inspiration from the people we deal with on a daily basis.

Could you give us some background to your new release, Fallacy?

It’s been two years writing this album and the background is this. We have all had so many things happen to us and we had to grow up. We were put in situations on a personal level that some would say are beyond our years and everything that happened left us all very angry so we wanted to write a dark record ‘cause well for the most part we are not happy people and that influences the music in such a big way. We are pissed off and lyrically the album does have a lot of finger pointing or fuck you, fuck this, fuck that but instead of saying it so literally we wanted to try and challenge ourselves with what it is we are trying to stay and how we say it. No one ever sees the behind the scenes really. This has been us giving all our time to this project. We do work day jobs but we are thinking about music constantly so even when we were tired and we wanted to sleep I can guarantee you there has been many 2am writing sessions just cause it’s what we love to do and it is our release. I could not tell you how many studios homemade or not that we have been in trying to push this monster we are trying to create.

Give us some insight to the specific themes and premise behind its songs.

Well it takes a look at humans and how we live…Our morals, beliefs and such. We live in a fucked up world where quite frankly stupidity and ignorance is the norm and there are so many that just follow that path. I (Dean) found after I left school and went to college (I dropped out, I hated it) there was almost this standard that I had to reach in order to gain acceptance by people as if a piece of paper truly dictated how my life was going to go or who I would turn out to be. I disliked the idea that if I were going to be happy that I would have to swallow my pride and spend my time doing something I did not want to do. People became vultures to me. They would say shit to try and dishearten what I was trying to do musically because it didn’t fit the idea of me sitting in an office doing 9 – 5 day in day out. That is just an example of the many things written about on the album. Another example would be how people like to play the victim even though they are the ones trying to hurt you. There is a song on the album called Futile Existence and it dwells on the topic of the rat race in life. I know a lot people who preach love, unity and respect but show none of the three just mentioned in their actions. They are only here to benefit themselves and will step over anyone even the people they “care” about to get what they want.

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

With this project we were in constant pre – production from the get go and by the time we got to the studio about 95% of the music was finalised but you will always get studios ideas to make the song that bit more interesting. In terms of vocals I (Dean) had all of my melodies ready and waited for my turn in the studio to try out other ideas because we did pre – production by ourselves and I wanted to wait for Josh Robinson (our producer) to be there because he is also a vocalist so we had a lot of fun just bouncing different ideas off each other. It was at times tedious but it was worth it.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

We love to play live and quite frankly up until now we have built our reputation solely on being a live band. We released two demos (I won’t even call them EP’s and they were terrible.) Anyway we have established ourselves as one of the most energetic live bands in Ireland. We just go up and have fun if I’m being honest. We are in your face and if you’re standing there with your arms folded trying to be a “cool kid” well I can guarantee again they don’t stand there for long cause our priority is to make people move. We don’t go up to sing a warm acoustic set. We want to be loud. We want to be aggressive.

It is not easy for any new band 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?

Opportunity doesn’t fall on your lap. We have to make it happen. Yes it is hard but there are ways around it. We are fortunate to be playing the Metal To The Masses competition where you try and win a slot to play on the New Blood Stage at Bloodstock. We also got announced for Aggressive Fest in the Czech Republic. We have many things to announce such as tours very soon so keep an eye out on our social media pages.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

It is a big positive if you know how to use it correctly. We are still trying to learn how to use it but so far it is doing us very good as it is easy to interact with the people who follow your band.

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

Thank you for reading, check us out on Spotify, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Hopefully we can play a show near you sometime in the near future.

Pete RingMaster 12/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Whirling hearts and joyous uprisings: exploring the world of Swirl

Photo by Neil Zlozower

There is an increasingly mighty roar coming out of California and it goes by the name of Swirl. This is a band really beginning to make a vocal name for themselves with their multi-flavoured, hard rock fuelled fusion of rock and metal. Welcomingly given the opportunity to get to the heart of the band with Swirl creator and guitarist Duane “DT” Jones, we talked beginnings, songwriting, successes and plenty more….

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

Hello to you too. This is ‘DT” guitarist and founder of the band Swirl out of Southern California. Thank you for your interest in Swirl! We are always grateful to anyone taking an interest in what we do.

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

I started the band in the Pacific Northwest in a town called Mukilteo, Washington. I had 3 other members than the current line-up; we rehearsed, wrote songs and made plans to record our debut in Santa Monica, CA. About a week before we were to leave I got a call from the drummer saying he wasn`t going to make the trip. I called my brother, Brian “Bam Bam” Jones who was playing in a band in Arizona at the time and asked him to come out to California, learn the songs and track drums to which he was all too happy to help out. That version of Swirl toured the US and Japan on a full length release titled Out Of Nowhere that was produced by former Quiet Riot and now RATT guitarist, Carlos Cavazo with former Rough Cutt bassist Matt Thorr engineering or producing tracks as well.

After those tour dates finished the band parted ways with the original singer and touring bassist. By then Brian had moved to California so I joined him there. I was introduced to current Swirl singer Alfred Ramirez and bassist Shane Carlson by former Dio keyboard player Claude Schnell who was looking to produce a demo for a band they had, however they had parted ways with their guitar player and Claude asked me to write with them so he and I could get into a studio together. After a few writing sessions we decided to go play the songs live and it was there that a friend pointed out to me that Alfred would sound really good singing Swirl songs so I asked him to go into a studio with Cinderella drummer Fred Coury and I. The end result of those sessions were the two songs Mad Disease and Time To Fly with the latter being particularly well received so tour offers followed. The natural choice was then Shane Carlson and we have been together ever since. 2018 will mark the 10 year anniversary of this line-up for Swirl.

Have you been or are involved in other bands?

My only involvement with other bands was the above mentioned writing project that introduced me to Alfred and Shane as well as one other band in California that hired me as one of their touring guitarist for a self-produced disc. That was actually my first ever “bus tour”. Actually it was a converted mobile home, but still I got the rock star treatment on that tour. It was fun, but the band broke up. As that band had already recorded their disc when I joined and there were no writing opportunities I can`t say it had any influence on my writing direction, but it was a great series of lessons on things to not do when running a band.

What inspired the band name?

Usually one look at a picture of the band is all it takes to answer that question, but it goes deeper in that we all have different nationalities and personalities that come to together to create the Swirl music.

Photo by Neil Zlozower

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

No particular theme to starting the band. I just wanted to play in a rock band that wrote songs good enough to share stages with my idols. Some of those goals have been accomplished!

And that same intent drives the band?

Absolutely! At the end of the day we enjoy what we are doing and are hell bent on capitalizing on the success Swirl has had to date. We are not where we want to be, but clearly we are on our way. The crowds are getting bigger, the stages are getting bigger and the bands we have opportunities to work with are larger, more well know bands as well.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

While I am an 80s metal head guitarist at heart I have adapted my playing to a more modern approach when it comes to writing and guitar tones. I guess the best way to think of it is “what if you took a band like Shinedown, Seether, or FFDP and put a guitarist like Jake E Lee, Warren DeMartini or George Lynch in it.

As for the reason for the evolving sound?…The credit for that goes to Brian who wanted to push the music in a more modern direction, but knew I was still going to be me on guitar and have those moments. Our first attempts at this proved very successful with a self- produced EP titled SWIRL that wound up with 3 songs being featured in a full length, 2 time award winning film called Ditch Day. Those songs are Rise Up, Spell, and We Are Alive. That movie is now out in 6 countries with more to follow. Another indicator that Swirl made a smart move in terms of musical direction is the incredible social media success we have enjoyed while being an independent band. We have a very strong online presence.

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

The change was very deliberate and I had to do my homework in listening to bands that normally I would not have given the time of day to, just to get a feel for what was going on with the guitar playing and production. I fought it at first, but in the end decided it couldn`t hurt to try. I am so glad I was open to the idea.

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

Well I already touched on my 3 biggest influences on guitar and yes all four of us have very different influences that we bring to Swirl. Shane is the most “metal” of us all with his influences being bands like Korn and Metallica while Alfred cites David Bowie or Billy Idol as biggest influences for him. For Brian and I we started off as KISS fans, but he went in the direction of Rush and various jazz drummers.

For myself when producing Swirl music I lean a lot on Shinedown or Seether for production and “ear candy” ideas, but since I am not the only one working to produce/ mix the songs I am sure the other guys have their influences well represented in the final product that you hear from Swirl.

Is there a particular process to your songwriting?

Normally we start with a guitar idea that is almost a complete song then I get together with Brian to work on the arrangement before presenting it to Shane and Alfred who then add their influences to the arrangement and of course the vocals. Alfred creates them almost exclusively.

Where do you, more often than not, draw inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

I would like to start by saying that when I write lyrics it’s usually tied to a personal experience of mine or one that I have witnessed in the world we live in. I also feel what’s most import is not so much what my lyrics mean to me, but more importantly what my lyrics mean to the listener. I want the listener find their own story within the lyrics. To me that means the listener can interpret and apply them in any way they choose.”- Alfred Ramirez

Give us some background to your latest release.

The Lift is a departure in some ways from the typical writing pattern for Swirl songs and given the new heights of success we are having with it this may become the way we do things going forward. Again I had the basic structure and worked on the arrangement with Brian, before bringing it to Alfred and Shane. However Alfred and I had a separate writing session to make changes to the verse and bounce other ideas off each other. Then we got back together as a band and went from there.

During the final mix sessions Shane Carlson made some more brilliant suggestions to improve the song to let it become what you hear from us now.

Here is the lyric video for The Lift

As Alfred is the songwriter he sets the tone for the theme of the songs. If there is one constant I have noticed when I look at the reviews we get it is that the bands “message” is a positive one. A lot of life affirming, motivational and inspirational themes go into his work and I am very happy about that. I am pretty positive person most days!

Here are some samples of reviews we have received whether they are for The Lift single…

“…everything possesses a joyous, downright celebratory spirit…the track positively teems with life”- Skope Magazine

or the SWIRL EP

“An uplifting vibe…” The Happy Headbanger

“After listening to Swirl in its entirety it has lifted me up mood wise!!”- Metal Temple

“…if you are looking for a really sweet hard rockin’ melodic band that will have you humming along and singing with the CD in just a few listens than make this new SWIRL release yours. 9/10 Stars”- The Examiner

Here is a link to our reviews-

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

What The Lift means to me is that we all need help sometimes, be it an emotional lift or a physical lift. We shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help when we need it. We also shouldn’t be afraid to offer to help when were able to. We are all on this planet together and we are all connected, so let’s help one another.

My personal Lift was given to me by “The Minor Goddess” who lifted me out of a depressed and stressed out anxious time in my life. Thank you MG! “Your words will always stay with me “. – Alfred Ramirez

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

We like to have the song pretty much done by the time we go into the studio so we can be more efficient with the recording process, but of course we leave room for those “happy accidents” that happen when tracking that are unique to a session.

One of the unique things about the sessions for The Lift is the process we used to get into the studio. We were introduced to producer Emad Alaeddin at Granted Records by Ditch Day producer Megan Waters. He suggested the band use “crowd funding” to cover the cost of the sessions. This was a first for the band and it was very successful. As an unsigned band who happens to be self- managed as well as our own booking agents we wear many hats to make Swirl the known name that is it becoming. Our fans are our record label and they decide how often we make new music and release videos or tour. We weren`t sure what to expect, but with this first attempt and the success of the campaign (we had enough money donated to book our first session in just 48 hours of activating the page at ). The page will remain active. To be clear we are not opposed to record labels, management or booking agencies….we just refuse to wait on one to discover the band when we can get our music and band out to the people who support us!

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

We are a band that thrives on stage! We love being out there. Swirl is a high energy show with emphasis on the word “show”. There is always “someone doing something”. It`s actually the only way the band “fights”….we fight for the attention of the audience and are quick to let the others know who won the night after our set. It`s all in good fun and ultimately the audience is the winner.. We have been able to tour with established bands like RATT, Cinderella, Extreme, Red Dragon Cartel, LA Guns, Lynch Mob, and Slaughter just to name a few. We also headline shows in Southern California. In fact the first stop on “The Lift” tour will be in Hollywood, CA at the Whisky A Go Go on Saturday February 3, 2018.

It is not easy for any new band 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?

We firmly believe that you create your own luck so yes you can make your mark. The real question is how bad do you want it? We are, have been and remain hungry to succeed! We were recently listed by Gerry Gittleson, a writer for Metal Sludge in Los Angeles as one of three local bands that actually draw a crowd when we play.

Another way Swirl has separated itself to a degree is getting involved in licensing our music into movies and television. For example Swirl has 3 songs in the 2 time award winning Ditch Day movie that stars Emmy award winner Bill Oberst Jr. The songs are Spell, We Are Alive and Rise Up ( ).  So far that film is available in 6 counties. We are working on more licensing deals for our music from the SWIRL EP as well as The Lift.

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

I have no complaints about social media! Swirl is doing very well with it. We also spend quite a bit of time and effort marketing our band globally. Again it`s a how bad do you want it situation. We didn`t wake up knowing what we know and have made mistakes along the way, but we learn, we grow and we apply lessons to the next venture for the band whether its online, in the studio or on stage.

We have been able to reach people that would otherwise have had very little chance of discovering our music so we are very grateful for social media. It is a big part of the music business now and I don`t see that changing any time soon.

See for yourself here-

SWIRL website-

SWIRL Instagram-

SWIRL Twitter-

SWIRL Facebook-

SWIRL Soundcloud-

SWIRL YouTube-

SWIRL Reverbnation-

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

Thank you for your time and interest in Swirl. Look for the band to be on tour in and out of the United States in every country where the music making an impact on radio or through movies released that feature Swirl music.

Pete RingMaster 17/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Calming tides and mighty swells: going on board with Rusty Shipp

Riding the waves and currents of rock music at its most creatively diverse, Rusty Shipp is a rock band from Nashville, TN creating self-named “Nautical Rock’n’Roll”. Last year the band released their debut album, Mortal Ghost, a well-received adventure of sound and the high seas. Embracing influences of rock legends like The Beatles, Dick Dale, and The Beach Boys to the roar of modern classics like Nirvana, Thrice, and Foo Fighters, the band have needed little help grabbing attention so we decided to climb on board with the band to explore its maiden outing, that recent voyage and plenty more….

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

You bet!

Can you first introduce the band and tell us about the seeds to its beginning?

Sure! We are Russ T. Shipp (songwriting, guitar, vox), AJ Newton (drums), Elijah Apperson (lead guitar), and Michael Craft (bass). Russ T. started the band from scratch in 2014 when he moved to Nashville from the Washington, DC area. We’ve gone through a lot of band members over the years, finding them through Craigslist and friends of friends. But finally we’ve got a solid line-up with these guys.

Have you been or are involved in other bands? How has that shaped what you are doing now?

Yes. We’ve all been in numerous bands before of all different genres. Each of us seems to just come back to wanting to make really great rock music with catchy chord progressions and melodies. And it’s nice to be in a group of guys who are dedicated to doing something unique, rather than just coming up with something easy on the spot, or trying to sound like someone else. That’s something none of us have really had at this capacity before.

What inspired the band name?

The idea actually came to my (Russ T.) Mom and Dad who named me Russell T. Shipp, which when shortened to Russ T. Shipp resemble the words “rusty ship”. So when I moved to Nashville 5 years ago I started telling people my name was “Rusty” instead of “Russ” and when it came time for our band to pick a name we proposed several ideas but eventually the guys thought, “How can we go with anything other than Rusty Shipp?”  So the name stuck and everyone has loved it ever since. Plus, it really fits the sound our band has as well, because our music sounds rusty and grungy and also nautical like a ship!

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

We wanted something more interesting and creative than just standard rock or pop or acoustic and also allows for more raw energy. When I (Russ T.) was in high school, there was a stock music clip on the school computer that said, “Grunge” and I didn’t know exactly what grunge was up to that point, but when I heard that clip I thought to myself, “This is the ideal form of music.” And being an idealist, ever since then I’ve tried tapping into the potential that I heard there in that little sound clip.

…And the same ideas still drive the band?

It has always been and is still our ultimate goal to heal the world by creating thought-provoking music that is as creative and catchy as the rock legends.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

We’ve definitely become tighter performers. But also, as we’ve grown we’ve been able to work with more renowned producers who have been able to give us the quality of recordings that we believe our sound deserves.

Have you found such evolutions to be more organic or you all deliberately setting out to try new things?

Russ T. has been the sole songwriter so far. He’s tried out many different sounds in over ten years of writing, which has really been more a combination of organic movement of sound, and deliberately trying new things. However, once we get together as a band to lay it all out, it’s more of a deliberate movement of sound over anything else.

You mentioned your varied experiences so presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

Well, of course each of us really care about people and want to impact peoples’ lives in a positive way. We love making and playing music and it makes it easy for all of us to reach people by doing what we love. This is a huge part of what we do as a band. It’s not just having fun (though it is). We have a bigger purpose in mind.

Is there a regular process to the songwriting?

A lot of times I (Russ T.) will be going about my daily life and I’ll see some injustice or something emotionally moving, and I feel like I’ve got to communicate a message that will inspire the world to change and to heal and become a better place, or else sometimes it’s just therapeutic, as was the case with our song Crack Baby. Other times I’ll just be inspired to do something creative, like Sea Sentinels which is an instrumental grunge-surf song with guitar riffs that sound like sea monsters talking to each other, or Devil Jonah, which I wrote after watching a documentary on the legendary ghost ship The Flying Dutchman. I wanted to make a musical piece of art that captured this mysterious, legendary feel.  And some songs are meant to just be thought-provoking and ask philosophical questions, such as Treading Water which draws attention to the fact that I don’t feel at home in this world, and how that seems to point to there being more that we humans were made for than just living and dying on this Earth.

Is there a key inspiration to the lyrical side of songs?

All of our songs are philosophically driven. We don’t just want to give people good music, but we want our lyrics to be thought-provoking and inspiring, to get people to think about the important things in life.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?

Mortal Ghost is a concept album with the songs flowing in and out of each other and having nautical interludes to create an artistic tapestry that transports you to another world, under the sea! It’s really intended to be heard from start to finish in the order it was placed. Our singles, Devil Jonah and Tip Of My Tongue are great, but the entire album is a cohesive, artistic experience meant to be listened to in its entirety.

It’s basically the best sound from every rock genre with a surf overtone to it that we like to call “Nautical Rock’n’Roll.” Every song is meant to flow into the next, but also each one stands on its own without disappointing. We’ve had fans call out every single song on the album as their favorite, so that can make it difficult at times to know which single to release next!

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

We like to have the songs in their final state before recording. However, there are always some kind of interesting sounds that you can add in the studio with effects, or something the producer hears that you couldn’t hear on your own.

Tell us about the live side to the band?

Our live shows are different than our album quite a bit, because the album was intended to be an artistic masterpiece on its own, with a lot of production involved. When we play live it’s more of a raw, stripped-down, energy-packed jam session involving headbanging, flying jump kicks, and throwing out nautical candy to the crowd. We really try to have a good time with the audience, and it’s always fun to find new ways to incorporate our whole nautical theme into our set. Our live shows are just a ton of fun for everyone there.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally, let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it?

Being that Nashville is “Music City USA,” this is probably one of the top places in the world to make and release music. Just about everyone that you meet here is in the music business at some capacity, so it makes the opportunities endless. At this point our band has already been blessed to receive international recognition, which has given us a lot more credibility at home. Nashville has been very good to us.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

We’ve had a lot of success with social media. The key for us has been to come up with interesting content that fans actually want to see, and then to keep consistent. When you’re first starting out the important thing is just to do it and keep doing it, and not worry about making it all perfect. You learn as you go, and you find out what works for you and your fans. It’s the only way to excel and maintain in this industry.

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

We hope everyone will take some time to listen to our album, Mortal Ghost. If you like what you hear, PLEASE send us a message on any of our social media pages, or through our website. Connecting with our listeners is extremely important to us! Thanks for hanging with us. We hope to talk with you soon!

Pete RingMaster 09/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Lotus Interview

The Lotus is a rock band with its roots in Italy but is currently based in Manchester, UK. It is also a creative adventure which embraces an array of flavours and styles in “a visionary and characterful musical journey”. With a new album in the works, we threw a host of questions at the band to discover its beginnings, latest release, what fuels their creativity and more…

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

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

Hi everyone and thank you for interviewing The Lotus. The band started in 2004 when first Rox met Luca: we initially began playing some covers as many kids do but we immediately realised we wanted more and we immediately started working on some ideas and riffs.

That’s how it started really: in 2008 Kristal and Marco joined the band and that was the real start of a professional band as we decided to record and release our first album, which eventually came out in 2011.

Have you been or are involved in other bands? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now?

Apart from Luca, actually all of us are still playing with many other bands! Mostly metal and rock bands though and I think that always influenced our music in same way.

Rox is playing with Italian prog rockers InnerShine and UK progressive metal band Prospekt, and also with pop folk singer and songwriter named Sukh. Marco is the drummer of two of the most famous Italian metal and rock bands, which are Elvenking and Hell In The Club, and Kristal is the lead singer of melodic death metal band called Lost Resonance Found.

What inspired the band name?

The band’s name was chosen randomly by our first guitarist who was in love with R.E.M.’s song Lotus. We liked it and we realised then, that it was the perfect name for us. A few months later we also found out its meaning of purity and rebirth and we realised that was the name we really wanted.

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

As we said before, as soon as we got confident in playing together we immediately started to feel the need of composing our own songs and being rock stars! LOL

Regarding the sound, well, that’s a tricky one: we have never had an established sound or a path we wanted to follow, we just write songs we like and lyrics from experience and feelings we have during our own life.

If you listen to our songs you can really understand there’s something that binds everything which is not the genre.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

We would say we’ve evolved as musicians and composers rather than our music’s evolved. We’re still writing what we want, without any boundary and we love what we’re doing: we’re just better in what and how we play and write!

Has the growth within the band in music, experiment etc. been an organic process or more the band deliberately setting out to try new things?

We always wanted to try new things so actually nothing’s changed since 2004 from this side: probably being mature musicians affected our way to play and compose music and you can probably hear that on our latest releases.

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

We grew up with completely different music backgrounds and this colourful music palette brought the unique sound we have today. We are big fans of Queen and Muse, as you might have already understood :), but also Pink Floyd, Metallica, System Of A Down, U2, Depeche Mode, or even some heavier stuff like Slipknot.

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

Normally Rox brings the main ideas and Luca some lyrics inspiration: back to our earlier days we used to mainly compose our songs in the rehearsal room but now, thanks to technology we often produce full demos on the computer.

We actually have to do this way also because Marco and Kristal are living in Italy and rehearsing would be definitely not very much affordable. 🙂

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Lyrics are mostly inspired by our everyday experiences and translated into a more poetic and hermetic way.

We talk about love and death, and human life: as we do for our music, we don’t have any limit in our lyrics’ themes as well!

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

We’ve released our latest EP in June 2015 just before we moved to the UK. Its name is Awakening and is actually a mini concept album. It’s an ambient Prog Rock opera which will delve into your inner core.

We are currently producing our new album with Muse early producer Paul Reeve (Showbiz), and we have already released three new singles: Mars-X, Perfect Love and Five Days To Shine. They are very different from our past works, simpler song structures, more melodic but still very ‘creative’. Someone said: ‘If Muse and Deftones met in a pub and had a cheeky couple of Sambucca’s and hit the town and ended the night with a ride on a spaceship, that’s exactly what this song sounds like.’

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

Our latest song, Five Days To Shine, is very personal and we think the more you listen to it (or watch the video) the more you understand that. It basically talks about a man who waits for five days to know his fate with his girl. He thinks that’ll be alright but he knows the future isn’t bright.

We made the video representing this man as a kind of ‘creator’, who’s trying everything to restore what he’s lost but eventually he gives up. We filmed it in a stunning place in Manchester called Hulme Hyppodrome.

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

We used to go into the studio with rough demos and we’ve always struggled to work with limited time. That’s why now we tend to basically go to record with all the songs pretty much finished, so that we can concentrate on instruments’ sound and performances.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

We’d define our live shows as heavy metal. Even though our music is mainly rock, The Lotus as a live act is more energetic, more aggressive. I think that’s one of our main strengths. We have played more than 120 shows in our career but we’re definitely looking for doubling it within the next few years!

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?

We are coming from a different background which is in Italy, so we’ve definitely found a more fertile place to keep on growing our seeds.

However, these days it seems more and more difficult to have a solid fan base which follows you everywhere ‘physically’ and not only on social media.

If you’re not convinced on what you’re doing it’s better you choose another job!

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

We think internet and social media are both good and bad thing.

They really give anyone the opportunity to get out from the anonymity and be the star you always wanted to be, but the problem starts when music is not enough anymore. You really need to let everyone come into your life. Everyone must know who you are, what you are doing, when you are doing it. Even all the pretty small things you want to keep secret; just let them go and share them with everyone. We find this a bit scary but that’s what it is now, so you have to get used to it. And we are getting used to it!

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

2018 will bring a lot of new things: we will go back to the studio to finish recording the album between March and April. Then we are expecting to release the fourth single as soon as we have everything in its place and the album immediately after that. If you want to be updated on what we’re doing you can visit our Facebook page at  or our website . Thank you!

Pete RingMaster 08/02/2018

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