Thunderous Proposals: Exploring Endrah With Vocalist Relentless.

Endrah_RingMaster Review

We all know that there have been some mighty and fiercely inspiring bands which have emerged out of the Brazilian metal over past decades but its underground scene is no lightweight either. It is a seriously thriving landscape bubbling with an array of impressive bands across the whole array of metal based styles. One such proposition is Sao Paulo Deathrashcore quartet ENDRAH, a band which formed in 2002. Since then they have become one of the major roars with the Brazilian underground, one increasingly nudging thicker and broader attention. Just becoming aware of them ourselves now, we seized on the chance to learn more about Endrah and future plans with vocalist Ryan Raes (Relentless).

Hello and many thanks for sparring your time to talk with us.

Can you first give us some background to how it all started and when you got involved?

ENDRAH is based out of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The band was formed by several Brazilian pro musicians and American Billy Graziadei of BIOHAZARD fame. My name is Relentless and I am the vocalist since 2005. I travel to Brazil for tours yearly, and we meet up at other locations around the world to tour.

I first heard of the band Endrah on a Blabbermouth.net post saying Project of Biohazard member looking for new vocalist. I checked it out and was blown away by the raw heavy sound. The band formed when several Brazilian members were playing together and Billy Graziadei married a Brazilian lady and they all got to jamming; things became Endrah eventually.

Have you been or are involved in other bands outside of Endrah?

Yes, I have been in California based metal band, VENGINCE for 21 years now. The band started in school, and we still play to this day. The band is more melodic than Endrah though still tough and heavy.

What inspired the name Endrah?

Endrah is a sort of twist of The Hindu God Indra and a person’s name from what I gather. I was not in the band or present during that time of the name process but each guy references Indra when asked.

endrah2_RingMaster ReviewSince the early days, how would you say the band’s sound has evolved?

Our sound has become less desperate than the beginning, but Endrah is a very heavy and technical. We still bring our trademark sound to the new songs being recorded today and I think we have grown as musicians and song writers and still have a lot to show people.

Has it been more of an organic evolution of sound or has the band deliberately tried to bring in new things?

The bands recordings have become more polished, but I know we are letting it happen and not forcing anything. The band is not “commercially viable” to most people and we have spent most of our time in the underground hardcore and metal scenes.

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?

Life is a journey and we have learned a lot while walking down these dirty streets. We have similar goals as humans and musicians even though we are living a half a world away most of the time. Endrah is very good at we do and we deserve good things to happen. We have had all sorts of behind the scenes adversity to overcome already.

What things drive the voice of the band in its early days and now?

The band has a strong political and social voice, along with very thought provoking lyrics that deal with revenge.

So this is the main inspiration to the lyrical side of your songs?

I always write song idea notes whenever something comes up. Watching the news, and reading American Free Press Newspaper will get enough and then visits to Brazil’s poverty stricken areas inspires social change and awareness.

Is there a process to the songwriting which generally guides the writing of songs?endrah art_RingMaster Review

Covero the guitarist writes the riffs and then the bassist, Adriano, and drummer, Bruno add their parts and they tweak the song arrangements until it all flows good. Then they send to me videos of the rehearsals and demos to guide me for the lyrics and vocal mapping process which I do in my home studio in California. After that, the guys record their parts in Brazil, I do my vocals in the USA and then we mix and master somewhere. It’s all thanks to the internet that Endrah can truly thrive and communicate properly for a band.

Please give us some background to your latest release.

We are recording now for a May 2016 Release. The latest is a single titled Cadaver Na Barragem available online, and we did that for a Brazilian Compilation album. It rips! Give it a spin.

Can you give us some insight to the premise behind it?

This song is about our buddy Felipe who was stand up boarding on a reservoir in Brazil and he saw a bag floating on the water with tons of insects all over it. The smell apparently was horrific. He opened the bag and inside was a dead woman chopped in pieces. We wrote a song about what may have happened to her. It’s brutal!

You mentioned the writing process and with band members being so far apart presumably songs are pretty much finished going into the recording itself?

We try to be close as possible when entering the studio. We don’t have the luxury to pussy-foot around and waste money like the biggest bands do.

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

I am all about the live show. I thrive when it is live. I prefer touring over studio work. Endrah makes people go crazy and our crowds are wild and violent. It is a total pleasure to perform for our fans. You got to see an Endrah show yourself. Check us out!!

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact nationally let alone further afield. How has Endrah found it and are there the opportunities to make a mark if the determination is there?

Yes. In fact I think there are more “pro” Brazilian bands now than ever before in the metal genre. They have a couple dozen amazing heavy bands that are well known on social media and draw good [support]. Endrah knows most of them personally, including members of the biggest Brazilian heavy bands like Sepultura, Krisiun, Angra, etc.

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

The fact that Facebook charges bands money to post to all our fans is total bullshit! They can make money in other ways, but now that they are a public company, they got to pull in more money every quarter. So, I see bands like our friends Biohazard who are only getting 10% of their audience reach when they post and it is apparently about 10% for any level band over 1,000 likes. So you have got to pay hundreds just to have your fans that follow you to all see the post. It’s some shit.

Endrah had to change our profile page when we switched record labels and we restarted the likes count, so it is not nearly as high as it should be, and it is difficult to grow the social media numbers when the companies want more and more money for artists who already have 90% of their music listeners illegally downloading the music to boot. That only leaves us with a few limited means of income and yet we are artists so we are not going away.

Once again Sir, thank you for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add?

Please check out ENDRAH and give us a like, drop us a comment, and share our pages. Also of course, please come to see us when we tour through your city next!!

Check out the band and their music further @ https://www.facebook.com/endrah/http://endrah.com/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 10/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Exploring the depths with Older Than Oceans

Older Than Oceans _RingMaster Review

Hailing from New York, Older Than Oceans is an alternative rock band which is certainly creating a name for themselves with their blend of a pop punk inspired melodic prowess and post-hardcore intensity and emotion. It is a sound which has openly evolved across the band’s releases so far and continues to blossom as the Long Island quintet work towards new exploits and another successful year. Getting in there early, we grabbed the opportunity to talk with the band…

Can you give us some background to the band and what brought you all together?

We all started playing together basically through people we were all acquainted with and the love for the type of music we all share.

Have you all been involved in other bands before and has the experiences added to what you are doing now?

Every member of Older Than Oceans has been in and out of bands growing up. We like to think we have found the perfect fit for us as a group [now].

Older Than Oceans_RingMaster ReviewWhat inspired the band name?

Nothing specifically, we all just love how the name makes you think. Once you hear the name you think about it and its meaning…Just another form of expressing creativity.

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 to definitely put an emphasis on our melodic aspects while maintaining a heavier instrumental sound. Diversity definitely plays a big role in our writing.

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

We’ve definitely been evolving both as a band and into the Long Island scene. As you attend more and more local shows you connect with so many different people on so many levels and that in itself is all the drive we need as a band.

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

Well our first EP I, Undefined definitely had a more post-hardcore, experimental side to it where as our newer EP It’s Not Me, It’s You, shows a more mature melodic sound.

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

We are the type of people to take things as they come. As the band evolves and the people within it evolve, naturally the sound changes and you move forward with progression.

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 all share a common core of favorite artists, including Four Year Strong, A Day To Remember, and Taking Back Sunday, that really influence our writing as band.

Is there a particular process to the songwriting which generally guides the writing of songs?older than oceans art_RingMaster Review

We generally like to write out our instrumentals and then move on to vocals when we have a song to work with. Everything comes together from there.

Where do inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs more often than not spring from?

Different experiences in all our lives are explained through these songs. Some happy, some sad, but hey that’s life.

Give us some background to your latest release, It’s Not Me, It’s You, and some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

It’s Not Me, It’s You to put it generally, is about a toxic relationship you may have with anyone where they may be taking advantage of you or doing wrong by you and you finally say that’s enough and stick up for yourself. A lot of different topics come into play with this EP but that would probably be the main one.

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 have gone in to start recording in both situations. A lot of the time the studio is the perfect place to make the final touches on your songs. We usually like to have every song pretty much ready to go by the time we step into the studio.

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

We love to hold an emphasis on having fun on stage. We love to throw free merch off into the crowd, keep everyone incorporated into the show, and just have a great time. Ha-ha recently this past Christmas we even had our friend dressed up as Santa come out on stage and throw gifts out to the audience!

Older Than Oceans logo_RingMaster ReviewIt 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?

In our world today it’s almost all about social networking and your live performances. We plan to master both and continue to write great music in the future.

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

We appreciate everyone that took the time to read this. We plan to release some new stuff very soon so stay tuned!!

 

Learn more about and get in touch with Older Than Oceans @ https://www.facebook.com/OlderThanOceans/

and their releases @ https://olderthanoceans.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 09/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Electro waltzes and deviancy: the Mr. Strange Interview.

 

Mr. Strange 2015 _RingMaster Review

Some know Mr. Strange as the former frontman of the brilliant circus rock steampunks The Shanklin Freak Show, others more some from their solo exploits and especially outstanding 2014 album Wonderful World Of Weird. What is beginning to be recognised is that the sound conjuror of musical deviancy from the Isle of Wight is one of the UK’s most imaginative and unique songwriters. Proof to that has come with their fiercely tremendous new album The Bible of Electric Pornography, the first offering since the rebirth of the persona and sound of Mr. Strange over past months. The just released album is a “sacrilegious assault of electro-influenced filth”; a thrilling incitement of electronic and rock ‘n’ roll alchemy with the unique Mr. Strange imagination. A certain album of the year contender for a great many, we grab time with its creator and took a look onto the defiant invention of The Bible of Electric Pornography.

Hello Mr. Strange, thanks for letting us peer into the heart of your new album.

Before we do though, you are already known for your tapestry of sound and flavours. What are the major inspirations which have most coloured your ideas, songwriting, and approach to making music?

Historically, the culprits in the inspiration department are; Marilyn Manson, Insane Clown Posse, Dr. Steel, Alice Cooper, Gary Numan, etc., anything theatrical, weird, and dark that I can “escape” into. Musical ability has never been that important to me, the atmosphere and/or uniqueness in music has always been more appealing, personally.

I’ve always wanted to create “worlds” for listeners to get lost in; you can see this in each Mr. Strange album, no matter what changes musically the escapism is always there.

Inspirations for this new album are a little different though; Krizz Kaliko, Prince, Peaches, Nine Inch Nails, Lady Gaga, Perturbator, Die Antwoord, The Prodigy, Marilyn Manson’s Mechanical Animals, Dead Or Alive, Dirty Sanchez (the electroclash band), Electric Six and Gary Numan have all played a part. Anton LaVey’s ‘Satanic Bible’ has been an influence, also.

Being primarily an electronic composer I’ve always worked using software, so no Mr. Strange song (or earlier Shanklin Freak Show) song have ever come from a traditional “jam” – all songs are created in a methodical, multi-layered, jigsaw-like way. I imagine this approach, while not in any way unique, has had an effect creating the Mr. Strange “sound” over the years.

As with any artist, everything influences me in some way or another, a lot of it subconsciously. The quirkiness of video game music has always been a large influence, especially pre-2001, before games started trying to ape films so much.

Mr. Strange 2015 pic 5_RingMaster Review

You have just released your new album The Bible of Electric Pornography. Can you give us some idea to the evolution of your craft and music shown in previous propositions and has culminated in the new incitement of ears and emotions?

This album’s been on the cards since about 2005. Originally it was just an idea to make a sleazy electro-rock album called ‘Sleaze Pit’; a few demo songs were written, only one of which survived and made the album. The ‘Sleaze Pit’ idea has always been there, all this time, but there has always been something else I wanted to try when it came to the “next record”. That was until Wonderful World Of Weird came out, then it was a toss-up between doing a metal album or this Sleaze Pit album. My guitar amp broke so I went with Sleaze Pit’!

It was only supposed to take 6 months but took 2 years… It evolved in to a monster.

Ideas kept coming, both musically and thematically. It tied in with a pivotal moment in my life, so I could pour a lot more of myself into it without it feeling at odds with the albums themes; I am the albums themes. There’s a sincerity and “realness” behind the theatricality now which may not have been there before. I hope it comes across to people listening to the record.

In my opinion, this is easily the best album I’ve worked on. I’ve never been very confident or overly pleased with any albums up until now. There’s always been time constraints forcing me to rush to completion, or a loss of interest in the project that has hampered its potential. This is the most personal, well-realised and accessible album I’ve ever done. I’ll be happy if this is the last album I ever do.

Some may mourn the loss of the old Mr. Strange quirky goofiness, but I needed to try something else for this album. I’m sure it’ll be back, though.

Mr. Strange EP album cover _RingMaster Review

You mentioned the time it has taken The Bible of Electric Pornography to grow and emerge etc., can you give us more insight into its writing and recording; also were there any collaborations also involved thus time around?

It was a bit more of a solo effort than Wonderful World of Weird, which was a very collaborative effort between me and Mr. Stench (guitarist). This is mainly due to how electronic the music is, so there wasn’t as much for a guitarist or live drummer to do. It was only meant to take 6 months; I didn’t mean to leave my band mates twiddling their thumbs for so long! But we have written a lot of music together though, it’s just not on this record…

The collaboration with Global Citizen (on the track D/s) came about very naturally. I co-produce their music, so have access to their track “stems” and decided to play about with one of their songs one day. I did a remix/remake, of sorts. It sounded great and fitted with the new album perfectly, so I asked Global Citizen if I could use it on the record, they said yes! I thought it’d be cool to have them sing on it too, their brand of lyrical filth seemed a natural fit.

Mr. Strange 2015 pic 3_RingMaster Review

 

Tell us about the lyrical themes and sparks for some of the tracks within The Bible of Electric Pornography.

There are two main themes running throughout Electric Pornography; Satanism and sexuality. For hundreds of years, religions have led people to believe the two are as one. This has led to an extremely repressed society, ashamed by default, born sinners. Christianity has had such a huge impact on the mentality of the western world over its 2000-odd years; its grip is loosening, but very slowly. The ingrained shame still exists in the western subconscious; some can overcome it easily, for others it can emotionally cripple.

I wanted to make a liberating album; I’m tired of hearing and feeling that I should be ashamed. I want to be the antithesis of that kind of thinking, the adversary of it. Seeing as so much repression, shaming, and bigotry stems from religion, I thought I’d side with one of their classic adversaries, metaphorically. If I’m a deviant abomination in their eyes, so be it, I’ll just embrace it. It’s a middle finger, really. Calling the album a ‘Bible’ is a cheeky slap in the face to the Jesus freaks; it also holds just as much relevance as their Bible, which is none. That’s a positive statement I wanted to make for people who might find this album and who may have to deal with religious bigotry on a daily basis. If it helps just one person feel a little better about themselves, then I’ll call that mission accomplished.

The sexuality in this album is very over-the-top, dark and nasty. This isn’t so much how I view sex and sexuality, but more of a symbolic revelling in the so-called “sinful” debauchery of it all. If I feel a certain way about something, I always take that to the extreme in my music – I blow it up so it’s ten times bigger and more exaggerated than it really is. People who already know my music and “get” it see past the pomp of it all and appreciated the real sentiments behind the overblown way I present them, but I can imagine that to the uninitiated I may seem like a self-obsessed sociopath or something!

Mr. Strange 2015 pic 4_RingMaster Review

Is there one core message within all those aspects it looks at and explores, and specifically that within the album’s finale, The Last Song?

It’s unapologetic and unashamed, and hopefully it will make people feel that way when listening to it.

The finale has two meanings.

The first: the end of a beautiful relationship. A mutual parting of ways that is sometimes necessary and unavoidable.

The second: a farewell to people who may not wish to follow me anymore. I look different and I sound different, I AM different, and that doesn’t always go down well with music fans. The first line sums it up perfectly for me:

 

“I know this isn’t what you wanted,

You wanted more of the same,

But that’s a game I cannot play”

The future for Mr Strange

The future is electric!

Mr. Strange 2015 pic 6_RingMaster Review

Read our review of The Bible of Electric Pornography @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/mr-strange-the-bible-of-electric-pornography/

http://www.mrstrangemedia.com  https://www.facebook.com/Official.Mr.Strange   https://twitter.com/MrStrangeMedia

Pete RingMaster 30/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Gazing into the fresh glow of The Cathode Ray with Jeremy Thoms

The Cathode Ray_RingMaster Review

Photo and copyright Peter Tainsh

2015 has provided many treats this year and definitely amongst them was the latest and second album Infinite Variety from Scottish indie band The Cathode Ray. It was an encounter embracing the nostalgia of the eighties through fresh and inventive escapades bred of the now. One of the band’s founders is Jeremy Thoms, he also the man behind the great indie label Stereogram Recordings, and someone who to describe as busy is a big understatement. Nevertheless, Jeremy kindly gave us a chunk of his time to talk about the album, The Cathode Ray itself from top to bottom and more, including an insight to his own musical loves…

Hi Jeremy and many thanks for giving us your time to talk with us.

Ever late to the party, we discovered The Cathode Ray through your new album Infinite Variety which came out a couple of months or so ago to, it is fair to say, swift acclaim. In a music world where it seems increasingly harder to actually get people to part with money or indeed offer full attention to things, did you have any particular expectations or hopes for its unveiling or is it more anything is a bonus for bands right now?

We didn’t have any expectations other than hoping that those who had liked the first album would stay with us for the second. We knew we’d made a good follow up album but, as you say, in an environment when it’s very hard to engage with people, nothing is guaranteed.

Photo by Hugh Womersley

Photo by Hugh Womersley

Originally the band was just you and Paul Haig, famed for Josef-K and his own solo career. The press release for the album suggests this was not originally intended to be a serious band project but a writing collaboration. Was that the case and what brought Paul’s involvement to an end?

Paul definitely just saw it as a writing collaboration – “a bit of fun” was one his quotes – with group recordings just being made to illustrate them. However, the reaction to them was so positive, one thing lead to another and I pushed for it to become a band and take it more seriously, which Paul wasn’t happy with so eventually he left. What confused matters in the press and public eye was that Neil, David and I were his backing band when he did a solo tour in 2008. However the emphasis then was completely on his solo work, and he had no intention of being a member of a band again after Josef K, which in the end we had to respect.

The double ‘A’ sided single What’s It All About? /Mind was released in 2006; I believe this was meant as a one off release?

Not initially but it ended up like that. Certainly with Paul participating. When we made the agreement with Pronoia Records in 2006, the album had been recorded with Paul’s full participation, but by the time we got around to discussing getting it released he had changed his mind. So he asked us to remove his lead vocals, which we did, although some of his guitar and backing vocals do remain on the first album.

At what point did that spark the appetite to push things further; as a full band and with more releases?

The point that changed everything was bumping into Steve Fraser at a TV21 album launch in 2009. I told him what had happened and he was keen to get involved. The minute we started talking music I knew he was the man. We didn’t even bother with an audition. I knew the songs were strong enough to survive without Paul’s involvement. That opened so many doors, being able to play live (which Paul would never have done as The Cathode Ray) and generally move things on after quite a difficult start.

Were some of you all already old friends and maybe previously worked together before uniting for The Cathode Ray we know today?

Neil Baldwin and I have known each other for 34 years (!) and have played in bands together intermittently since 1986. David Mack and I had been working together since 2000 so, yes, there was a certain chemistry. Steve was the “new boy” although we’d all known him on the Edinburgh scene previously.

I have to admit for once, and not intentionally, I read about the band and its background before hearing a note for a review, and to be honest once seeing a list of previous projects for members of The Cathode Ray2_RingMaster Reviewthe band which had been indelible pleasures in my personal soundtrack, subsequently luring a revisit to old favourites records after finishing the review too, there was an increased anticipation and eagerness to explore the band and album. Do you think having your musical histories has helped draw awareness to the band or not?

Well obviously there’s going to be a certain amount of that, but I do believe, hopefully without sounding conceited, that The Cathode Ray is more than the sum of its parts. But initially I guess it did help getting people interested through our various previous involvements.

There were whiffs of all some of your previous bands at times across the songs and often nostalgia blessed air of Infinite Variety, The Bluebells and Scars maybe most notably in our ears. You are a band unafraid to draw on previous adventures and spices to hone new and fresh exploits, as potently shown on the album?

The songs that I write aren’t consciously drawing on any of our past exploits, but I guess where you’ve come from does influence where you’re going. In any case, it’s probably coincidental, as Steve only toured with The Scars as a depping bassist so wasn’t involved in their creative process, while Neil only contributed to arrangements with The Bluebells. But inevitably, as we all come from that post-punk background, some of the sounds and styles of these bands are going to rub off.

How would you say The Cathode Ray has evolved over time and specifically between Infinite Variety and its predecessor, your self-titled debut album?

I would say the vague initial brief of merging post-punk Manchester with New York has simply broadened to the point where I regard ourselves now as a band that isn’t easy to pin down musically. Our original press release mentioned 60’s Garage, Soundtracks and Northern soul, to which one critic added Psychedelia, Glam-Rock, Euro-Disco, Krautrock and 90’s Alternative Pop when reviewing Infinite Variety. So it is definitely evolving. I’m currently demoing material for the next album and there’s even more interesting musical areas I’d like to explore. It’s good to surprise people.

TCR cover_RingMaster ReviewGive us some insight into the thoughts and intentions going into the writing and recording of Infinite Variety? Do you build a release on particular aims or ideas or predominantly let things organically evolve?

Things do tend to evolve organically. If you put too much pre-conceived thought into it, the music loses its spontaneity. Although I suppose one particular aim is not to repeat ourselves. Each album needs to be a significant progression from the previous one, so a certain degree of thought does go into that. Also, apart from melodies and lyrics, I’m always interested in rhythms and try to be as adventurous and varied as possible in that area too.

We described the album as a “kaleidoscope of fun, sound, and adventure”, a fair hint we think at the array of flavours and inventive spices fuelling and shaping the songs within Infinite Variety. In the hands of many bands it might be an incoherent mix, but you manage to seamlessly blend all spices and individual characters of songs perfectly. Where do you and the band start when composing songs?

Well I compose the songs and demo them first with the key riffs, chord progressions, lyrics etc. all in place. At that stage they often do sound fairly disparate. I then present them to the band in the rehearsal room and that’s when it starts to sound like The Cathode Ray. Steve, Neil and Dave all contribute parts and arrangements until we arrive at the finished article. Some songs like The Eyes Are The Window took a long time to come together and changed quite considerably from my original demo. Others end up fairly similar to the original template, but all manage to sound cohesive owing to the fact it’s the four of us playing them, I guess.

The album’s tracks manage to be rich and at times expansive in texture and flavour yet also ‘slim’, i.e. no excess baggage or indulgence. They manage to be an open evolution from your first album but also reveal a bolder leap in aural colour and character; how do you hear their relevance to older propositions as one of their creators?

Well obviously it’s difficult to be completely objective about something you’ve created yourself, but I see their place in relation to the first album as a natural progression. The leap in colour and texture which you describe is simply a way of moving the band forward, without cluttering things up unnecessarily. You use the word ‘slim’ and I suppose that comes in at the production stage – cutting off any excess fat!

How long in the making from first note to paper or thought through to last note laid down was the album?

The boundaries are always blurred as we always tend to have songs left over which were either written too late to make the cut or simply didn’t fit at the time. For example, This Force Of Nature had its origins as a completely different song dating way back to 2006. It had never sounded right so was left on the shelf. I went back to it in 2014 writing new lyrics and melodies and it quickly came together then. Eureka Moment and Buck the Trend were written in 2009 when Steve first joined. But the bulk of I.V. was written and recorded between 2012 and 2014 – around two and half years.

Our review stated spices of bands from around the eighties as rewarding aspects but over time sixties/seventies tones have emerged. I sense your own inspirations and musical loves go far back?

Oh yes – my musical tastes stretch way back! How long have you got? Songwriters have always been key to me. From Lennon & McCartney, Brian Wilson, Smokey Robinson, Jimmy Webb and Bacharach & David, through Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Scott Walker, Al Green, Bowie, Joni Mitchell, Robert Wyatt and Neil Young to Costello, Paddy MacAloon and Rufus Wainwright, the song is always key. Then there’s the bands I love – The Stones, The Velvets, The Doors, Faces, Roxy, Yes, Kraftwerk, Television, Talking Heads, Buzzcocks, Chic, Wire, Magazine, Pretenders, Joy Division, Dexys, Scritti Politti; Cocteaus, Talk Talk, Teenage Fanclub, High Llamas, Flaming Lips… the list goes on.

There is no mistaking that Scottish bands and rock ‘n’ roll of all styles and design bred there, has something unique to it, and we could go on a long list of examples. Can you define what it is in ‘the

Photo by Jez Curnow

Photo by Jez Curnow

water’ which helps breed such distinctive and so often inspirational bands from that part of the UK, as ones yourselves?

I think there’s an open-mindedness up here. Maybe Scottish bands tend to draw from a wider pool of influences than other parts of the UK. Or maybe it’s to do with being distanced from what’s happening down south – even in the age of the internet. It’s certainly true that scenes of their own do seem to crop up here around labels like Postcard, Fast, 53rd & 3rd, Creeping Bent and, possibly, our label Stereogram too, which has attracted similar kindred literate spirits. Either that or we all seem to be obsessed with the Velvet Underground!

What comes next for The Cathode Ray?

Firstly, we’ve got two more live shows coming up this year as part of The Stereogram Revue in Edinburgh and Glasgow, plus a new track called It Takes One To Know One on a compilation album. Then there’s a new video shot earlier this year at the Kings Theatre in Edinburgh by Jez Curnow to go with Saving Grace, our other featured track on the comp. After that we’ll be knuckling down to working on the follow up to Infinite Variety. I’ve got five or six new songs written and demoed, plus a couple of leftovers, so we’ll be getting on with them. Expect some new directions.

Your releases come out on Stereogram Recordings, your own label which seems to have out grown and blossomed far more than its original intent I believe. Can you tell us a little about it and what is ahead for the label too?

It has indeed outgrown its original intent which was simply to facilitate a release for the first Cathode Ray album, plus any other projects (The Fabulous Artisans) or archive material I had kicking about. But over the last couple of years it has been growing steadily with first Roy Moller signing up, followed by James King & The Lonewolves, Milton Star, St. Christopher Medal, Lola in Slacks and, Band Of Holy Joy. The critical and public response has been great which is hugely encouraging. As previously mentioned, we’re rounding off the year with two Revue shows which will feature the entire roster in some form or other (minus Milton Star who don’t have a live set up at present). These gigs will be accompanied by The Sound of Stereogram, a budget compilation in the spirit of New Wave in ‘77 or Pillows and Prayers in ’82, featuring both new and old tracks from all eight acts on the label. Next year promises some new signings plus new material from the existing acts.

My big thanks to you again for chatting with us; have you anything you would like to add?

Nothing to add except thanks very much for your support over the last year.

Lastly and looking at band’s influences on your Facebook profile, a list of bands littering my own record collection I have to say, can you indulge me and give us a few of the bands/records which inspired you to get into music and then as a musician push yourself further?

Well I’ve already mentioned a whole bunch of artists who’ve inspired me, so here’s some records that have been key: “With The Beatles”; “Motown Chartbusters Vol.3”; “Pet Sounds”; “Piper at The Gates of Dawn”; “Forever Changes”; “Loaded”; “Scott 4”; “What’s Going On”; “Exile On Main Street”; “Never A Dull Moment”; “Close To The Edge”; “Aladdin Sane”; ”Houses Of The Holy”; “Quadrophenia”; “Rock Bottom”; “Country Life”; “Zuma”; “Songs In The Key Of Life”; “Trans Europe Express”; “Marquee Moon”; “My Aim Is True”; “Never Mind The Bollocks”; “Risque”; “All Mod Cons”; “Love Bites”; “Fear Of Music”; “Closer”; “The Correct Use Of Soap”; “You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever”; “Rattlesnakes”; “Steve McQueen”; “Don’t Stand Me Down”. Again the list goes on…

Read our review of Infinite Variety @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/the-cathode-ray-infinite-variety/

https://www.facebook.com/thecathoderay   http://www.stereogramrecordings.co.uk

Pete Ringmaster

The RingMaster Review 23/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Stoking the polka: talking Peace, Love & Russkaja with founder Georgij Makazaria

Russkaja2_RingMasterReview

Austrian turbo polk metallers Russkaja is band we for one cannot fail to get perpetually excited and energised by, their fiercely eclectic and rousing sound a manic and exhilarating stomp that just hits the spot. With the release of their latest album Peace, Love & Russian Roll on Napalm records, 2015 has been a busy year for the septet, one just as full of live shows around Europe and further afield. Right now Russkaja are touring but band founder and vocalist Georgij Makazaria managed to find some time to kindly share with us as we look into the making of the new album and origins of the band.

Hello Georgij and many thanks for sharing time to talk with us.

The world has just been treated to another Russkaja stomp courtesy of new album Peace, Love & Russian Roll, the devil in a polka crafted musical skirt of temptation. For us it is your most rounded and ‘polished’ offering yet without losing the raw diversity which fuels your unique sound. How does it most differ for you from Energia!, its predecessor?

The new album has more different directions. We felt free to try everything we wanted to try and we had fun doing that.

Whereas there was a great ‘randomness’ to the sound and lyrical narrative of songs in previous your albums, Peace, Love & Russian Roll seems to have a more constant theme within the ever eclectic festival of flavours and styles?

Yes, all songs sound different; all sounds are inspired by the different moods of the songs; that was the idea of the new album.

It also feels slightly more reserved in its boldness of diversity yet fuller in the creative hues it does weave into the bodies of songs. Did you go into its writing with any specific intent and ideas or did it just organically grow?

Engel and I, we took one year to compose songs, so we met in our rehearsal room and put together the elements that influenced us during this year! I had lots of ideas that I was carrying in my phone for a long time, and Engel had some projects that he has collected in the past, so we put both sources together and the new music came out.

597_Russkaja_RingMaster ReviewMany of the songs are sung in English upon Peace, Love & Russian Roll; why that move this time around? There is an element of trying to lure stronger UK/US attention?

It was a step closer to everybody’s understanding. English is of course the most spoken language on this planet and it works great in this combination.

Do you think you will repeat this across future releases as it surely will open up a new wealth of appetites for Russkaja from those ‘prejudice’ to anything not lyrically accessible before they hear a sound?

I don´t know what I will repeat in the future, but I know one thing: On the new album I have some favourite directions and I will try to follow them again on my next travel.

Tell us about El Pueblo Unido upon the album, the first track you have sung in Spanish.

Si, yo estudiado la idioma español en la Union Sovietica. I learned Spanish in USSR, it was a special school with very intensive language teaching. I still can speak a little bit Spanish, sometimes I have practiced with my colleagues like: Tito & Tarantula, Ska-P, Panteon Rococo. I had this idea for a kind of mariachi sound in my head, and so I started to put together some Spanish words and it worked out. I am very happy about this song.

The expansive and unpredictable sound that Russkaja is renowned and acclaimed for, seems inevitable with the background and tastes of all its members. Can you tell us how you all came together and the origins of the band?

Russkaja was founded 2005 by me, Georgij Makazaria. I came from Soviet Union in the late 80-ies to Austria. Here I’ve met Dimitrij Miller from Ukraine in the year 2003. The Brass Section is two brothers from Upper Austria, Hans-Georg and Rainer Gutternigg, the Violin Girl is from Griesskirchen, a place on the landside. Drummer Mario is from Styria like Arnold, Engel the guitarist is from Lower Austria, half of us live in Vienna, the other half in Linz.

Was there anything which majorly inspired the creation of Russkaja?

It was a book written by Wladimir Kaminer, Russendisko from the year 2000. It´s a true story about a place in Berlin where the writer started to put (as a DJ) Russian music together with his friend Yuriy Gurzhy from “Rotfront“, and the small place “Cafe BURGER“ became a secret hype in town. They added a CD to the book with some of this music and I was very surprised that the people in Berlin went crazy for music I grew up with, I was inspired, I got a great idea! Later I’ve met the writer, worked with both guys together, played in this Cafe and I have always big fun performing in Berlin!

With such inspirations behind all your individual tastes and ideation, I am imagining songs come together like a puzzle at times, different parts tried in different ways until fitting. How does the Russkaja3_RingMasterReviewsongwriting generally come together in the band and is there a strong democratic process involved or its more that particular people take the lead?

It´s a free democratic process, every one of us is welcome to bring ideas, beats, rhymes, riffs, brasslines or violin melodies, and I listen to all of them. Usually, when I compose, it begins with a summing idea on the phone. Engel and I, we are collecting ideas all the time, they can come in every moment that you don´t expect, so you better be ready and have something to record in the hand, because the ideas may visit you just for a short time and then they disappear. In February of last year we started our song-development sessions. I like this part a lot; it is a creative time when things get a form and a face. Next step is the choice. Very difficult moment, what is good, what is better. After we’ve selected the Ideas we start to arrange everything around: brass, violin choir. After that, the studio work begins.

Did you approach the recording of the new album any differently to its predecessors?

Yes, this time we were working in a very well organized and perfect equipped studio called “Masters of Sounds“ in Michelhausen in Lower Austria. We started with the rhythm section by recording drums together with bass and guitars (pilot modus). A lot of basslines on the tracks were done by first take, than we recorded guitars and bass adds. At this time, our brass section started to record trumpets and potete (special instrument – mixture of trumpet and trombone) in Linz, in a studio of their friend Armin Lehner, who did a great work guiding this recording session. After a song got rhythm and brass, we recorded violins on it. In a very cool hall room, 8 m high – great acoustic, super sound. At the end I did my part singing the songs in a very relaxed and nice atmosphere! No hurry, great mics, a well sounding room with a lot of daylight and candle light in the evening.

Do you find reactions and the passion for your individual sound differs majorly between audiences from different countries within Europe?

Only the best reactions! Most of the people like it; it is a fresh, positive music, that works everywhere we go. Every show is a booster for the band! We give everything at every concert and pick up the people of every age, nationality and taste!

pic Jörg Fischer_

pic Jörg Fischer_

The band is renowned for its festival of energy and adventure on stage, what have you got lined up for the rest of 2015?

Now we are on our Germany/Austria/Netherlands tour, then we go to Italy, and in December to Spain!

Once again big thanks for sparing time for us; is there anything you would like to add?

You are very welcome! Peace to your home, health to your body, love to your heart!

Read our review of Peace, Love & Russian Roll @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/07/27/russkaja-peace-love-russian-roll/

http://www.russkaja.com/    https://www.facebook.com/russkajaofficial

 

Pete Ringmaster

The RingMaster Review 11/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Bold webs of adventure: taking a Deep Breath with One Year Delay

OYD2_RingMaster Review

A sound hard to pin down always excites the imagination more than most and equally ears it is hoped. Greek hard rockers One Year Delay have such a proposition bursting from their imagination and craft and as proven by debut album Deep Breath it does give ears and thoughts a thoroughly enjoyable time. Offering seven songs entwining flavours such as nu and alternative metal, grunge and punk rock amongst many spices, the release is a roller coaster of invention and perpetual success. Wanting to learn more about One Year Delay and their ear catching proposition, we had the pleasure of talking with the band, exploring their origins, the spark to their diverse sound, and the recording of Deep Breath along the way.

Hi and welcome to The RingMaster Review, thanks for sharing your time with us.

For newcomers to the band can you give some background to the forming and early days of One Year Delay?

(Nick) One Year Delay started as a band of a few friends with the same goal. To write some music that we love and play as many gigs as we can, to express themselves and fulfil our need for creativity! To cooperate with your friends to a purpose like this, I assure you, it is not easy. And that’s because we all have different influences of all kinds of rock and metal genres. But the result is a good mix of all those genres. And the most important thing for the listener is to understand is the social and economic circumstances that we live in, and finally inspire us to our lyrics and music.

Was there a particular spark or intent taken into the band as direction or simply attitude in those first days?

(Nick) The spark was, in a way, the difficulties that we experienced as a nation the last few years, but also the personal problems that all people have faced through their lives. But I have to mention, that the expressions of your feeling such as anger, despair, terror etc. to another person, even if it is a friend, is equally difficult as dealing with it! And that’s another spark that boned us. The expression of ourselves; not feeling vulnerable!

Apart from member changes, how has the band changed in its ideas and thoughts in regard to making music if at all over the past three or so years?

(George)The main factor of changing the course of our compositions was the realisation that we have nothing to lose if we at least try to play anything we are fond of, following no linearity. We are all attracted to bands that are not afraid to experiment. Gradually it grew in us and we decided to establish this fusion of genres. The upcoming compositions will prove this even more, you can count on that!

OYD_RingMaster ReviewWe can confirm that great diversity to your sound, the embrace of numerous styles; so this has more evolved over time or was also a vibrant element at the band’s start?

(George) Like most bands in the beginning of their venture, we started in a rather tight musical frame. If you love music in general you don’t wanna focus on a particular influence I guess. The way I personally see it, it’s like entering a buffet restaurant and picking one dish! We are probably the guys that will fill their plates with a little bit of everything! Nevertheless we try to match our variable tastes as good as we can, being aware at the same time how difficult and risky it might be.

So it is fair to say that this strong mix of flavours has organically grown with band’s members individual and varied musical tastes or is there an element of intention fuelling it too?

(Stavros) Both at the same time…All members have got different tastes, with heavy sound as the joining point. Under this point of view we wouldn’t be satisfied with, for example, a 100% thrash or 100%hard rock sound. We use the style of sound in order to achieve contradiction and we don’t restrict ourselves in terms of genres. Everything has to do with matching and we could use more extreme combinations in case we thought it blends well. This is what we like and if you consider each song as a painting we like using lots of colours in the palette…

How would you describe your music to simplify it for newcomers?

(Stavros) Our music is based on the element of surprise. Our intentions are obvious through the blend of atmospheric/melodic parts to more metal sounds. You can spot this in the genres that vary in Deep Breath. Still the most distinguished part of our intentions to surprise is the bridge part of the songs that is not borrowing any structural element of the previous parts. Surely I cannot exclude the part we picked for the introduction to the whole album (Gunpoint intro)

Are there any specific and major inspirations which you would say have particularly impacted on the One Year Delay sound or invention?

(George) The gamut is infinite…Here is an attempt to include some names, though it still won’t be very representative: Korn, Deftones, Metallica, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Tool, Black Sabbath, Slayer, Primus, Faith No More and the list goes on and on… Now as far as the influence is concerned there can be tiny parts of songs or a musician’s particular style that inspired us. The list definitely expands to a broader musical scale.

You are of course from Greece, where to us on the outside it seems it is the extreme styles of metal which predominantly occupy the thoughts of new bands and fans there. What is the reality and how has home grown rock fans taken to your adventurous sound?

(George) That is true. Greek metal fans mostly appreciate the archetypical elements of speed, heavy sound, groove, etc., although this not a rule. Younger generations are willing to embrace newer, more radical forms of music. It is kind of early to estimate the level of approval currently since our debut album has just been released. We are feeling optimistic but we know that Greek crowd is a difficult one to please…

You went over to the US to record just released debut Album Deep Breath. How did the opportunity to travel to Nashville come about and why that decision? deep_breath_oyd_RingMaster Review

(Jack) Everything started when the band decided to record the debut album. Then Pete said “hey guys, wanna contact a very well-known producer?” We said yes, of course; after that we started sending emails and stuff until one day we received an email from Toby which said, “guys, I would love to produce your band,” so we went to Nashville! That comes out because Toby lives Nashville, but on the other hand Nashville is like the Mecca of music. It’s definitely the hottest destination for every kind of musician. That city has music exhibitions even at the airport; I personally think that this place can make you a better musician only by visiting it.

As you just mentioned you recorded the album with the legendary Toby Wright. How was that experience and how much did he help shape or maybe re-adjust your ideas for songs in the studio?

(Jack) Ok, Toby is a great person and a really, really good producer. The experience of working with a producer like him is absolutely amazing. He can make you a better musician only by telling you a simple idea; he knows his job in and out of the studio. He helped us play our own songs better and get the best possible results from us. He has the ability to approach you as a friend and a musical expert at the same time. It is not a common thing for a music star to combine these two facts, is it?

Was there anything which came out of the recording of Deep Breath which surprised you or you discovered which will be a strong help in your next recordings?

(Orestis) We managed to handle a difficult situation. For example, we are a band that made pre-production and production of an album at the same time! Pre-production procedure was very difficult for us. We were in Greece and Toby in the States so we had to work all our ideas through email so Toby could hear it and send back his remarks. It wasn’t live at the studio like “play this or change that,” but I think in the end we have done a very good job as a band and Toby as a producer and we learned our lesson; next time pre-production time will be in the studio hopefully!

As far I remember that time while we were in the studio recording Deep Breath, we were focused on the album trying for the best possible result, so the answer to the second part of the question is no. However, we had a perfect idea before production time which we thought we might have the time to develop and place it as the outro of the album, but eventually it didn’t work. Despite that, this flawless idea will develop into a whole song for our next album. I sense that the new one is a progression or an evolution of our “5m9k song.”

OYD3_RingMaster ReviewNow the album is out there will you be taking Deep Breath to ears via live shows?

(Orestis) Yes, our main objective now is to provide our sound and material live across the country, also hope to support large metal /rock acts from all around the world when they come to Greece and hope that we will have the opportunity to navigate across Europe and then maybe the world, you never know!

And next for One Year Delay?

(Sotiris) I think that the next thing for O.Y.D. is, of course, live concerts around Greece, Europe and the U.S. (we must pay our bills first). At the same time we have new ideas for our next album which we are working on already, but mostly our aim is to become better musicians in every level and I believe it’s gonna be an interesting year.

Thanks again guys for talking with us, any last words you would like to share?

(Sotiris) Thank you for the interview and your fans for reading it …Make music and love…NOT war!

https://www.facebook.com/oydofficial   http://oydband.com/    https://twitter.com/OneYearDelay

http://www.reverbnation.com/OYD oneyeardelaytheband@gmail.com

Read our review of Deep Breath @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/one-year-delay-deep-breath/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 20/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Enrolling in Chugglife with ChuggaBoom

ChuggaBoom_RingMaster Review

Self-proclaimed Greatest Metalcore Band On The Planet, ChuggaBoom more than backed up their intent of bringing “their unique sound and dynamism to as many ears as possible” with recently released debut album Zodiac Arrest. The successor to the striking and well-received Trust Me, I’m a Proctologist EP, the UK band’s album bristled and exploded with their distinctive and uncompromising blend of “brutal screams, soaring cleans, dirty chugs and heartfelt lyrics.” The album’s impressive and thrilling body is steeped in and revolves around Chugglife and the calling of the Chugg Lord. As to what that means and entails we endeavoured to find out with the band whilst attempting to get to the heart of their outstanding first album. Here is what we learnt…

Good day guys and thank you for taking time out to talk with us.

For those new to the band how would you define a chuggalo and Chugg Life?

A chuggalo is a follower of both our band and the Chugg Life. Being a real Chuggalo requires a lot of time, effort, dedication and money. The top tier chuggalos are the first to buy our merch, come to all of our shows and pray to the Chugg Lord every night. The Chugg Life is a tough life, but if you live the life according to the Chugg Lord, you shall be elevated to a higher purpose.

How did the five members of ChuggaBoom get to meet and what spark united all your individual and varied talents and inspirations?

The almighty Chugg Lord wrote it into our DNA. We were destined from birth to congregate and form this band. It might seem like a strange clash of personalities at first glance (especially between John and I) but it’s a glorious unity that forms when we chugg as one.

Your sound is metalcore bred but with a diverse and distinct character all of its own, that tag lacking in telling the full story, so again for someone new to its creative ferocity please give us a one line description to it in the band’s words.

We steal all the chuggs from your favourite bands, improve them and release them and you then buy it.

You have just released the glorious voracious theatre of force, attitude, and ferocity that is Zodiac Arrest, your debut album. Fair to say it takes no prisoners in sound and creative imagination, ChuggaBoom cover_RingMaster Reviewso where does a band like ChuggaBoom begin in the weaving and sculpting of such a predatory encounter?

When we are writing, we medichuggitate a lot and find the inner chugg within us. We then channel this inner chugg and create the beautifully original music you listen to every day.

Lyrically the band takes merciless swipes at the world, life, and the music world to simplify things. These themes spring from experiences, observations…?

It depends on the song. Sometimes the Chugg Lord demands a song about a certain topic in order to further spread The Chugg Life, but most of the time we say shit how it is. We observe what is happening in the scene and in life and we write about it.

For some the irony and humour which also springs from ChuggaBoom incitements might fly high above their heads. Is that a worry or just proof they are not Chuggalo material?

A true Chuggalo will always understand the underlying message of our music. Sometimes it’s hidden and sometimes it’s obvious. If you search for the meaning you shall find it.

As a band, is the independent route the chosen path or are you open to moving to bigger homes, labels?

If there is a chance ChuggaBoom can spread the Chugg Life far and wide through a record label, we would be fools not to accept it. There’s a relatively small record label that is starting to make waves called Sumerian Records that we believe could work harmoniously with us to help spread our message. Only time will tell.

Back to Zodiac Arrest and why the admittedly strongly enjoyable cover of The Lonely Island track I Just Had Sex to close out the album? Had you guys run out of creative Viagra to Chuggaboom2_RingMaster Reviewcompose your own intimate ode? ;)

We did a cover of that song because it deserved to be a better song. And I had just had sex. It was alright.

We now know the tour de force that ChuggaBoom is in the studio, can you give some insight to the dangers, pitfalls, and adventures seeing the band live entails?

What happens at a ChuggaBoom show stays at the ChuggaBoom show. You’ll have to come see us live to find out.

Big thanks again for sparing time to enlighten us to the way of ChuggaBoom, any last words you would like to share?

Buy our merch. Buy our album. Buy tickets to see us live. Spread the chugg life! But mainly buy our shit.

And lastly…a Chuggalo and a Juggalo walk into a bar…please give us the ending.

A Juggalo? Sounds like a parody of our movement. The Chuggalo creates a guitar out of the Juggalo’s shin bone and gives him the full force of the chugg.

 

http://chuggaboom.bigcartel.com/   http://facebook.com/chuggaboomuk   https://twitter.com/chuggaboomband

Read our review of Zodiac Arrest @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/chuggaboom-zodiac-arrest/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 20/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/