Bloody roses in the seduction of the dead: Entering the world of Venus de Vilo

Having been seduced and hooked on the dark and creative world of Irish singer/songwriter/artist….Venus de Vilo upon the release of the Edgar Allan Ho EP back in 2012, featuring her unique and compelling sounds on live radio shows and podcasts among other shouts, it was with real pleasure that we read of her link up with the excellent horror punk/rock scented German label Undead Artists recently. Even more exciting was news of a special 5th anniversary Edition of that very EP with a horde of extras to tease and tempt. It was time to go call on the lady and explore the world of Venus de Vilo….

Hey Venus, many thanks for sharing your time with us.

For those readers yet to feel your dark embrace, could you introduce Venus de Vilo?

The Voice of Horror: Venus de Vilo is a theatrical Irish musician specialising in the vaudeville, macabre and bloody side of dark horror music. An internationally published and acclaimed comic book artist and Gothic-horror illustrator, Venus has recently been signed to German Horror Punk record label Undead Artists. Vile mother of three EPs, a Frightmas album, three rotten rhymes poetry albums and one thirteen track musical monstrosity, Venus is currently working on a twenty-six track deluxe double album entitled Cadaverotica. If you like your humour black, and your live shows bloody then Venus de Vilo is the glitter-encrusted weirdo for you.

You have numerous strings to your dark bow but would you call yourself a musician first, poet, artist or…?

Venus de Vilo is number one forever and always a musician. Music is very much the main love in my life and is completely rooted in what’s left of my soul. Music is the only thing that I live for. Even when I write fiction, non-fiction, bad tweeny-goth poetry and draw very strange things that shouldn’t be, it’s entirely rooted in my music. I only started drawing because of my music. Everything I do creatively is entirely wrapped up in Venus de Vilo.

When did your fascination with the dark side begin?

I was born, therefore I am.

How about the beginnings of your songwriting and performing?

Again, I was born, therefore Venus de Vilo am!

What and who would you say are your biggest inspirations?

Death, the dying, and the damned.

You have blessed nightmares with numerous releases and are about to give us the 5th anniversary Edition of the Edgar Allan Ho EP. What new delights will it embrace compared to the original?

I am obscenely excited about this project! It’s not been the year I planned family/health-wise so all new projects, albums, EPs that I was working on and planning at the end of 2016 had to be stalled, which I was heartbroken about as this was the year I got signed to a record label at long last! Not the most convenient time to have things go tits up!

However, as this Halloween was organically going to be the 5th anniversary since my first debut EP Edgar Allan Ho, and this was a very “let’s think back on my career and life” orientated year doing something special to commemorate the last five years seemed fitting. I wasn’t in the zone to do new things, so why not utilise material already at my disposal? Have an auld nostalgia buzz with the old fans and hopefully introduce some poor wee innocents to the warped world of Venus de Vilo.

So along with all the bonus tracks, remixes and unheard material on Edgar Allan Ho: The 5th Anniversary Re-Release album there is also a free download of my new album Scarental Advisory: The greatest Frights Hellection 2012 – 2017 AND also Edgar Allan Ho: Behind the Screams, a free PDF collaborative autobiography, photo-gallery, art book and horror-story about the back story of Venus de Vilo’s origins featuring artwork and stories by some of Europe’s finest freaks.

By coincidence (or not?) our favourite track within it is RingMaster. What was the spark to its creation?

If you want to know the back story behind the Ringmaster anthem download the Edgar Allan Ho 5th Anniversary Re-Release album from the Venus de Vilo Bandcamp page and ALL back stories and creative process for the rest of the album will be included in the Behind the Screams free PDF book.

Could you also touch on the EP’s other tracks and themes?

Heartbreak. Revenge. Insanity. Horror.

For more information, once a salesman – always a salesman! go buy the album and get the free book with it! It comes with some dirty pictures in them too! * winks *

The EP is being released on the great independent label, Undead Artists. How did the link up with Johnny Rose and co come about?

Ah, I’m so happy about this! This was a miracle match-up. Myself and Johnny had been in touch with each other on/off for a few years now thanks to my Horror Radio DJ friend McPatches from Underground Horror Radio who’d been pushing my music in Johnny’s direction for some time. I’ve been a fan of Johnny’s musical projects for a while and admired what he’d been doing for the Horror Punk scene.

So, in February 2017 when I was doing my routine run of emails off to various media types and record labels I was totally gob-smacked to get a message back from Johnny who turned out to be the head of the main record label I’d applied to that I thought looked most up my street and also one I thought wouldn’t touch Venus de Vilo because maybe Venus wasn’t as high-calibre as some of the kick-arse bands this label had signed to them?! I was wrong, apparently. Johnny was willing to take a chance on little old Venus de Vilo, the brave, brave fool…! * winks *

So, various chit-chat and miscellaneous negotiations happened and voila! Happiest day of my Venus de Vilo life, signed not only to a record label, but possibly THE most perfect label for Venus de Vilo to be signed to! I am very grateful to Johnny for taking the chance and hopefully with Edgar Allan Ho and Scarental Advisory this can be the start of a tremendously successful and long-running partnership.

When creating songs do words inspire the sounds more often than not or the music breed the tales?

Ah, I always start with a story. Story comes first and foremost in Venus de Vilo. Storytelling in songs is sadly something that has completely fallen by the wayside in modern commercial music. Storytelling and its craft is something I always try and completely uphold and respect in my music. While the lyrics and ideas of Edgar Allan Ho were quite basic, and why not, and yes – it was a low budget affair, it was my early stages of songwriting, I still think it’s more structured and thematic than some of the bollix you hear on the radio today. So when creating songs, I create a STORY first. I’m shite at guitar and can’t play piano so music is always braved last! I fit the music around the words and the story.

A bit of a silly question knowing the general themes of your songs but what especially inspires your lyrical side?

Death, the dying and the damned.

You have also lit up the Irish nightlife and creative landscape with your live-performances within the Burlesque/Goth scene alongside your MC exploits and the literature/art scene with your gore-drenched comic books. What does Venus de Vilo do in her spare time, if there is any, to relax?

There is no off-button with Venus de Vilo, unfortunately! Or fortunately, depending on how you want to look at it! Venus de Vilo is a 24/7 job/lifestyle/curse. If I’m not rehearsing for a gig or hounding bookers for more gigs, I’m working on a new comic book or sketching out ideas for a new one…Planning events and albums…Applying for tables and panels at comic-book conventions and markets, attending them and roping poor new people into my sick little fandom…Annoying poor other musicians and artists to do collaborations…Spamming promoters and reviewers to get my music and art out there…The endless social media promotion of links and websites. I’ve also recently started facilitating and teaching my own songwriting classes in Dublin so there’s always that to plan for and organise – they are an absolute joy though, I adore those. And of course, all this must be done while trying to keep up with the latest music and horror movies for further inspiration and idea-stealing!

Tell us about your appearance at Ireland’s first ever horror convention, Screamvention last year where you performed before the likes of horror legends Kane Hodder, Tony Todd, and several original Cenobites.

Oh my goth, I loved that, I loved that so much. That was unreal. I performed on both days of the event and my audience was composed almost entirely of Hollywood horror royalty. It was like a magnificent nightmare! It was great fun, getting to do the Venus de Vilo thing for a massive convention of horror fans, that’s so rare for me. Ireland is still very twee and repressed and our horror scene is TINY but VERY STRONG, so to have direct access those little weirdos who “got” Venus was a lovely change from the grumpy old men and sneery young normies I usually embarrass myself in front of at local pubs and what-not!

Back to the Edgar Allan Ho EP, when will it be unveiled and will there be shows and events supporting its well-deserved reboot?

I’ve decided against an “official” Edgar Allan Ho 5th Anniversary live event as to be honest I’m doing so many Halloween shows in October anyway for other promoters and bookers (plus I am CURSED when I run my own events, honest to god cursed, it’s hilarious) I might as well utilise the opportunity to promote the album at the gigs I’m already gigging at without the pressure of being responsible for any of them! However, every public appearance this autumn and winter will be very much Edgar Allan Ho orientated, I will be reviving old classics from the crypt to introduce a new audience to them and will make sure each performance is blood and glitter soaked.

What comes next musically and creatively once it the EP is out there evil doing?

Once my self-indulgent nostalgia trip has ended I will be, hell or high water, back to focusing on NEW material and doing whatever I can to get the new EPs and albums into some form of structure. Also got some interesting collaborations with other musicians planned as well, some weird little projects bubbling away there on the back-burner, as well as a new legacy of horror art. Crazy For You 3, the comic book is finally ready to be embraced and after the roaring success of my first ever J-Horror inspired manga Bento Boy – I am DEFINITELY working on another manga. I have it all planned out. It’s very strange and hopefully tremendous fun! And possibly scary. That would be beneficial also as it’s meant to be a horror…!

 Our biggest darkest thanks once again Venus, any last words you would like to share?

Nitwit. Blubber. Oddment. Tweak.

Read our review of Edgar Allan Ho 5th Anniversary Edition @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2017/10/12/venus-de-vilo-edgar-allan-ho-5th-anniversary-edition/

https://www.facebook.com/VenusDeViloTheVoiceOfHorror/     https://twitter.com/VenusDeVilo

https://venusdevilo.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster

12/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Slipping through the Plastic Barricades

Just recently we had the fun of exploring Mechanics of Life, the new album from London alt indie trio Plastic Barricades, finding it a ‘collection of melody spun songs which entice with craft and warmth’. Offered the chance to get to the core of album and band we had the pleasure of quizzing Dan Kert, the Plastic Barricades vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist and one of the band’s founders, exploring the heart of their writing, sound, and album amongst many things…

Hi Dan, can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

I had several different line-ups under Plastic Barricades moniker over the good part of the last decade, the current line up with Daniele Borgato on bass and Frazer James Webster on drums is active for 4 years. We’ve met through mutual friends at the ICMP (Institute of Contemporary Music Performance) in North-West London and dived straight into gigging and recording.

Have you been or are involved in other bands before? If so has how has that impacted on what you are doing now?

We’ve all played in different bands before, still mainly rock music. All those experiences definitely find their way into our current sounds, helping us to explore new territories.

What inspired the band name?

We’ve once built a fort out of plastic cups in the studio, the rest is history….

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

[The] Desperate need to write, record, and perform music. You cannot really do it on your own, unless you are called Ed.

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

Pretty much…We are in a band because we always wanted to be in a band. But we’ve learned a lot of life lessons along the way and try to find fresh angles to approach certain things, like tour booking, recording or songwriting, for example.

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

This is very hard for us to judge. But if you go to our website (http://www.plasticbarricades.eu/ ) you can hear everything we’ve ever released over the last 10 years, there is a lot of diversity in there.

Would you say your sound organically grows and evolves or moves more because the band deliberately goes out to try new things?

I would say it’s both. We all tend to get bored very quickly, so we do like to experiment. At the same time we are growing as musicians and people, so that reflects in the music for sure.

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?

Kurt Cobain and his sincerity definitely had a big impact on me personally and on PB as a band. But also the staggering emotional intent of The Shins, Death Cab for Cutie, Razorlight, Coldplay, Muse, Biffy Clyro and others.

How does the songwriting process work within the band?

There are two main approaches…record the jam, then edit the bits we like and rework them into a song. This is how several songs on Mechanics of Life LP were conceived. But most of the time it is a chord progression and a vocal melody with lyrics. The song has a title and the meaning well before it is finished musically.

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

The world around us has so many inspiring and thought-provoking stories, that all you have to do is just let them in, absorb and breathe them into songs. But some songs of the Mechanics of Life album have been inspired by the genius of Hemingway, Orwell, Huxley, Murakami and others.

Could you give us some background to your new album?

Mechanics of Life, released digitally worldwide on the 14th of September, is a culmination of about 3 years of work in our backyard Shed Studio. It is a collection of 11 stories that take the listeners through the world we live in today, gently poke them and ask them to step up their game, go out and make a difference. Like our dear Dani (bass guitar) once said – “Humans didn’t come with a manual, so we came up with one“.

How about a closer insight to the themes behind it and its songs?

The album starts with the song we usually end our gigs with called How Goldfish Grow. It is based on a simple fact that if you take a goldfish and you find a big tank for it – it will grow BIG! The environment affects the size of the goldfish, the same way as our environment affect our own growth. There is a funny animated music video for this song on our YouTube channel. Then we sing about artificial intelligence helping humans get their s**** together (Singularity-2045), being able to reinvent yourselves again and again (Our Favourite Delusions), caring about the environment and throwing all the mindless consumerism away (Be the Change), looking back and overthinking it instead of moving forward (Around the Sun), searching for meaning (Needles in Haystacks), shining a light to show others the way (Shine!), finding the one intended for you (Half of your Soul), Big pharma conspiracy (Medicine Man) and mental illness (Voices). The last song of the LP – Masterminds – kind of summarises the whole experience, reminding everyone that they are the ones responsible for the things happening around them – and they can take back control!

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 usually have basic parts in place (guitars, bass, drums, vocals) but we do add textures and layers on the go, depending on what the actual song needs. It is interesting how different the same song can sound live vs. recorded. We try to work with the recording, giving the song everything it deserves. Sometimes it is pretty hard to figure those things out, so this arrangement process can take months.

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

We try to gig as much as we can, playing shows all around the country. I believe that any band needs to go through a lot of Level 1 gigs before they will be capable of playing bigger stages and appreciating the unique opportunities they are getting. It is like building a structurally solid house from the ground up – you can only start working on interior design when the rest is in place. Unlike so many other bands, each gig we tell stories, because we want our audience to think about certain things, then come home, go to sleep and wake up with this brilliant idea, maybe a purpose, maybe just a promise to oneself. Our gigs are less about drinking and jumping around and more about the inner dialogue.

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 definitely the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

I do believe that nothing worth doing in life is ever easy. Music needs to come from the heart. You also need people around you with big hearts and bright shining eyes. Then even if you are lost in the dark, they will illuminate the way. It is not easy at all – but it is still the best job in the world!

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something key to increasing success with those which fail to make it work are simply lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage or is it ultimately more of a curse?

Knowledge is key obviously. My friend was recently talking to me about SEO (Search engine optimization). For years I thought that is all about putting the right keywords to the right articles. It is so so so much more than that. Internet is a vice and a virtue, and it all depends on whether a band can accept that all that social media work is part of the deal. You can write brilliant songs and even record them nicely, but if you need to share them with the world – you have to work very hard for it.

A big thanks Dan for sharing your time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

It is a very special time in Plastic Barricades camp. Our Mechanics of Life album finally came out and we will be touring UK on and off till the end of October. We will be very happy to see you guys there! Meanwhile, here are all the links:

And here is how a goldfish can conquer the world: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYpBYXMzwOg

Mechanics of Life album OUT on iTunes and Spotify on the 14th of September!

You can hear the album here: https://open.spotify.com/album/71tNyY0qX5fNgTsoXD0r3t

You can download our full press-kit with 320kbit mp3s, artwork, lyrics and HQ pictures at https://goo.gl/ogBdjm

Tour dates: http://www.plasticbarricades.eu/index.php/live

http://plasticbarricades.co.uk    https://www.instagram.com/plasticbarricades/

https://facebook.com/plasticbarricades    https://soundcloud.com/plasticbarricades

Check out our Plastic Barricades album review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2017/09/26/plastic-barricades-mechanics-of-life/

Pete RingMaster 28/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Refreshing up with The Fill Ins

Since talking to  The Fill Ins last year, the US rockers has dropped one treat of a new album which is really beginning to stir attention the way of the Charlotte, North Carolina outfit. It reinforces their reputation of being a rising force on the rock ‘n’ roll scene earned through previous encounters and a live presence which has seen them share stages with the likes of The Reverend Horton Heat, Koffin Kats, GBH, Total Chaos, Joe Buckyourself, Wednesday 13 and numerous more. We had the pleasure to catch up again with the band to talk about their new release and more…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us again! When we last spoke, you all were releasing a vinyl 7” and gearing up for a new record. How did it all turn out?

ADAM: Thanks for having us, and it’s going great! The writing and recording process was really easy and fun, and I’m really happy with these tunes.

ALEX: We were so happy to get the Hit The Gas single pressed on vinyl. I personally think it was a hit, at least in my eyes! We’ve finally had a new record come out on June 30th titled The Time Is Now and it’s released through No Profit Records. 6 brand new tracks, plus 2 bonus tracks; Hit The Gas and a remix / re-master of Saturday Night (our other digital single from 2016). It really speaks for itself; it’s just raw rock n roll in many forms.

Taking a recap, was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and in what you wanted your sound to offer?

ALEX: Pure and simple, I wanted to form the band I wasn’t seeing around town; a straight forward rock n roll band. That town was Roanoke VA and that version of the band didn’t last long only playing about 3 or 4 shows before splitting up. Once I moved to Charlotte NC, it was the same attitude and mind-set; make a killer rock n roll band. It took a while and the right group of musicians by my side, but I think we’ve got something special right now and I’m so grateful to be part of it.

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

MIKEY: Our sound is definitely starting to really show what each individual has brought to the table. We have a unique blend of punk rock and rock ‘n’ roll with a little bit of country twang coming from Alex and Capp, with just a touch of metal and aggressiveness coming from Adam and myself. It makes for a unique sound that is fast, loud and powerful.

JAMES: We’ve all gotten better as musicians and we always strive to make our songs better as our creative juices get flowing.

ALEX: The Fill Ins have always had a rock core with a punk edge, especially once reformed in 2013 and started writing the Hipster Killers album. When 5th Time’s The Charm came around, we found a new studio and collectively decided to move forward in a more aggressive rock sound. I think that album has a lot more hooks than Hipster Killers and more thought through song writing. Once we lost our long time drummer, Adam joined us and it was a whole new dynamic sonically; really giving me a window to kick the group into high gear. Out of that came a new logo, sound and Hit The Gas, that was the most well received song yet so I felt we had hit something good. This new record just expands on that.

Do you deliberately go out to push your sound into new areas or let it organically evolve?

ALEX: If I’m being honest, it might be a little of both. Whenever you get a new band member in the fold, things will change. Thankfully it’s so far been for the better! Out of that, naturally you’ll start writing songs with this new member’s strengths and styles in mind. That’s why I say it’s organic and a bit of a deliberate act by nature.

MIKEY: I’d say it’s been a little bit of organic evolution of the band as well as deliberately writing in a different style. I like to push my metal influence over the songs as much as I can until the guys pull me back into “our sound.” We have also acquired new gear over the years. We started out playing single speaker lunch box sized amps and have progressed to 150 watt half stacks. We’ve also grown a lot as musicians, especially myself. There’s always practice to be done, new things to learn and developing a better sense of time, rhythm, phrasing and overall song structure.

JAMES: I’d agree with that! We’ll get in a room and hash out songs relatively quickly, but every now and then, a “what if?” scenario will present itself. Sometimes those work, and sometimes they don’t, but we’re never scared to try different things.

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

ALEX: Oh for sure, in many aspects even more now than then. It’s never been about money, it’s never been about “making it big”; it’s always been about making an impact with our music. It could be that be the guy that picked up a record and he has a new favorite song, or a live show that made someone forget about work or whatever could be weighing them down. I don’t care if there are 5 or 500, or even 5,000 people in front of me, the passion I have for this band and the music we make pushes me harder and harder to be the best we can be. Whatever comes out of that is the icing on the cake.

JAMES: For me, playing music is always a blessing, but as more opportunities arrive, certain goals occur along the way, but we always approach everything within reason.

MIKEY: can’t speak for everyone as to what moves the band. I just want to have fun and play music with my friends and as many other people as possible. It’s a huge community and family I’d like to think I’m a part of.

Tells us about the inspirations for the members of the band, presumably a wide range with your different backgrounds?

JAMES: We all come from different backgrounds, so where I’m sitting, as far as the creative process goes, I base my creative impulses on something somebody else in the band leads off with, whether it’s a riff or a beat. We’ve gotten so comfortable and reliable as a unit, that knowing what they’re going to do next is pretty inspiring.

ALEX: I wouldn’t say one single artist or group has heavily influenced us more than the other. We really are a blender full of so many different inspirations and influences; I can’t really put a finger on one specifically.

MIKEY: My inspirations for playing and writing change as I get older and more experienced. That’s not to say that my old influences no longer influence me, just that new things pop up that I dive into head first and spend a while deconstructing it and learning from it. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of video game soundtracks and writing similar sounding riffs and melodies. Mainly from the Dragon Ball Z franchise or old school Megaman and Final Fantasy melodies.

How does the songwriting work within the band?

MIKEY: Usually songs are born from jam sessions or by building off of a riff or tune that someone brings to the table

ALEX: Starting out, I wrote the bulk of the songs to set a baseline of style and form. Songs would be brought up and it would be a great tune, but it just didn’t really fit the rest of the set at all; and not in a cool way either. Once we recorded Hipster Killers, everyone had a better understanding of the style and Mikey started really shining as a songwriter for “5th Time’s The Charm”. With this new record, everyone has had their fingers in the cookie jar in one way or another and it’s really created a cool collection of songs.

How about inspirations for the lyrical side of your songs?

ALEX: I’m one of those people that cannot sit and decide I’m going to write lyrics. I could be sitting at work and all of a sudden think of a cool line and start expanding on it in my head. I have to write it down almost immediately or I’ll forget it later on. Same thing with guitar riffs; I one time was out running errands and a riff popped in my head, so in the middle of the store, I had to do a voice recording of me humming the riff so I could figure it out later. I may start with a concept, a Point A to Point B idea of where I want it to go, but that’s sometimes the most I can get out of it until later. I’ve been known to re-write verses minutes before cutting the track in the studio… haha

I’d say the only lyrical theme I actively try to avoid is politics. Some of my favorite bands made an impact without being preachy, and I want our music to be a release and not have a political message behind it. I think bands should stick to making music and leave the political talk to people that are smarter than us.

Could you give us some background to your latest release; The Time Is Now.

ALEX: The Time Is Now was recorded at Fithman Studios under the guide of Steve Coleman, Jeff Thrice, and Justin Campbell. It was recorded over the span of a week or so and another few weeks of mixing and mastering before it was complete. We actually held on to these recordings for a while before releasing them, mainly because we wanted to make sure we did it right and not just toss it out there for folks to consume and digest. It really is a perfect storm of killer songs at the right time in our musical endeavor.

MIKEY: The Time is Now is also our first full release with our drummer Adam. It’s definitely a powerhouse of songs meant to be louder, crunchier and riffier than our normal tunes. We spent more time on the recording process this time around and came out with a product we’re all pretty stoked about.

How about its themes and premise behind its songs.

MIKEY: Just keeping rock ‘n’ roll alive in a word of Biebers and Kanyes.

ALEX: The same thing that has driven us from the start; it’s just rock n roll baby. We sing about love, hate, fun, troubled times, just no politics as I mentioned before. We rarely have a running “theme” for our records; just pure, punch you in the face hits.

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

ADAM: When writing songs typically there’s a root idea and we just get in the room and start bouncing off ideas and trying stuff.  Typically the first couple run-throughs go great and the songs usually 90% done, then we go into the studio with pretty much 98% of the songs ready. We might tweak things a little here and there but we pretty much know what we’re going to do.

JAMES: Normally, we go in with songs complete for the most part, but if there are minor suggestions here and there that make the songs better, we take advantage of that.

MIKEY: Everyone in the band goes into the studio with the motive to get the songs knocked out asap… except for me. It’s annoying for the rest of the guys, but I’m too much of a perfectionist and my own worst critic. I’m never happy with anything I do and eventually settle on a best take. I also enjoy the studio atmosphere much more than writing by myself at home with subpar equipment. We’re very fortunate to have a studio producer who allows us to take as much time as we need to make sure we get what we want out of the song.

ALEX: For me personally, I hate not being prepared heading into the studio. We usually practice our asses off the weeks leading up to it so everyone can have a firm grasp on the songs we’re doing. Though with as much prep as we seem to do, there is always a song or part of a song that ends up making us slow down a bit and really take a look at what we’re doing. Over the years, I’ve become a bit less high-strung when it comes to “get in there and knock it out”, but I also hate wasting time because my favorite part of the process is mixing and mastering…That is the part I don’t mind obsessing over.

Tell us about the live side to the band?

ALEX: I like the fact that we don’t just stand there and play our instruments; we move around and give you a show. We also love audience participation even if it’s just yelling when instructed.. We want to make an impact; what that impact is I’m not sure, but you’ll sure remember us at the end of the night.

MIKEY: We try to be as loud as possible when we play live. Loud enough to get people’s attention without sacrificing tone. We’re used to playing in Charlotte where people would rather pay entry to stand outside the venue, smoke cigarettes and talk. Gotta crank it up so they can hear us out there!

JAMES: It’s just a big party. We have fun playing and encourage our audience to have fun with us while leaving whatever agenda they may or may not have at the door.

ADAM: I would say that live we very energetic, loud good ole in your face high octane rock n roll.  We put 100% into our live presence.

We asked you this the last time but interested to see if anything has changed in the opportunities for new bands to make an impact on your local scene let alone nationally and further afield.

JAMES: A lot of factors have provided opportunities that work well for us, but may not for others, so there really are no right answers to that. All I can say is that as long as you have a strong support around you, opportunities will present themselves, no matter where you are.

ALEX: We’re still a “spit and duct tape” band and we’ll probably always be that band in most aspects. The most important thing a band like us can do is market yourselves the best way possible; good graphics, great live show and the music to back it up. It’s not just about writing and playing music, there is so much more to it than that. The odd thing is that people outside our Charlotte NC bubble seem to dig us more than some of the clubs we’ve played since the start. The rock scene in NC and SC seems to be rather exclusive, and we don’t fit in any sort of “category” or specific “genera”, so we kinda float around the different “scenes” until we find the people for us.

The internet and social media is still a big part of pushing The Fill Ins forward?

MIKEY: These days it’s all about the social media outlets and using them as tools to get yourself out there and recognized. That goes for any kind of business, music based or not. You gotta sell not only your music but yourself. People have to want to know you and trust you before they become loyal fans of what you’re doing. It takes time to build that up and you just gotta keep pounding away at it. All of which I have no patience for, I stray away from any screen as much as possible. That’s why Alex handles all that for us.. haha!

ALEX: Social media has been the one thing keeping us alive and going today. I’m always thinking of new stuff we can do online that can set us apart from the rest or to provide something fun for everyone that checks it out. Music doesn’t sell like it once did, so you have to find new ways to reach your audience. We will always make music because we have to, it’s in our blood and I will personally not be the same person if I didn’t have music to play…but for the public, the music is just the soundtrack to the “brand” they support. We’ve sold more shirts this year than we have CDs and that is the first time for us. There is a definite shift in musical consumption and a lot of indie artists like ourselves that do not have money being thrown at us to really promote our music to the world; we have to become a lot more creative in promoting. Part of that is making sure your physical music is packaged and looking great; which is why we opted to get digipacks for the new record since it’s a lot better packaging than the traditional plastic cases. One thing I see people doing is rebelling against streaming services because of the small royalty pay out and to me as a fan; that is a really shitty move. I have a Spotify account and I use it for all my on-the-go music and then my vinyl when I get home, if an artist wants to take their music off the service, more than likely I’m not going to make an effort to go and get it another way, instead they just lose out on people learning the music and sharing it with their friends. In no way do we want people stealing the music from us, but I’d rather 1,000,000 hear it for free than only accept payment for every download. Pick your battles and find new ways to keep the band growing.

https://www.facebook.com/TheFillIns    https://twitter.com/TheFillIns    https://www.instagram.com/thefillins/

Pete RingMaster 24/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Visceral examinations: getting deep into Crejuvent with founder Freddy Spera

There are no pretensions with Crejuvent, a British project roaring out from with the Liverpool metal scene, just the “simple goal, to write some badass metal music.” Using his multi-flavoured and textured sounds as evidence, Federico ‘Freddy’ Spera is certainly on course and living up to his aim in fine style; so with thanks to our friend Andrew at Stencil PR it was about time we found out more. Throwing questions at Freddy we explored his latest project, his creative brain, his brand new EP and plenty more…

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

Heyo – no problem, thanks for giving me something entertaining to do to break my monotonous work routine!

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

My name is Freddy and I’m the brains behind the one man project Crejuvent. It all began from when I first started writing songs, and eventually I decided to release some of them on my own, having a band would just hold me back (dun dun DUUUUUN).

As for what brought me all together, you can thank a series of extremely unfortunate evolutionary chains that catalysed my parents banging and resulted in the fleshy sponge of a man that sits here before you.

Have you been involved in other projects before? If so how has that impacted on what you are doing now, maybe in thought or direction?

Oh yeah, I’ve been playing in bands for years and years. It definitely inspired the way I’m doing a lot of the behind the scenes stuff, as I’ve had the chance to see which things work for me and which don’t. I’ve studied music at university and I’m sort of now starting to apply what I learned there business wise to my various projects in some form, and this is no exception. The main advantage in running a project like this on your own is that I don’t have to answer to anybody so I can do whatever I want. I like to take risks, so I can do that with Crejuvent and see what works and what doesn’t. Whatever does end up working I’ll probably do again with my other projects at some point.

What inspired the band name?

Adolescent hormones…

Was there any specific idea behind the creation of Crejuvent and what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

I suppose initially I was more into doing a specific thing, I really wanted to sound ‘trvlly brootal’ and be ‘the most metal thing ever’. Now however it’s more like ‘eh, I’ll write whatever I think sounds good’ and the rest of the world can eat a dick. It ends up sounding a lot more genuine and the release I get from not having to confine myself to any genre rules is fantastic.

Do the same things emotionally still drive the project or have they evolved over time?

Well, I’m angrier and more existentially confused now than I ever was, so yeah I suppose it’s still driven by the same train of thought. I’m more motivated and invested in it now that I have something to release, that’s for sure.

How would you say your sound has evolved over that time too?

I’d say it used to sound like a bottle of WKD: it was sweet, naive, and only teenagers liked it. Now it has aged and matured like fine wine: it’s classier, more refined, and you’ll probably end up crying in the corner when you’re done with it.

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

A bit of column A and a bit of column B…I enjoy pushing myself and constantly try new things, and the way I write songs with Crejuvent is a bit more constructed and mediated. But I can’t write very well if I’m not naturally motivated and inspired. Especially with this upcoming Time EP, I really didn’t want to force a fart out and end up shitting everywhere, so I took my time in writing the songs and made sure that it the actual actualisation of the songs was organic and fresh. But the actual song writing process is a bit more thought out and can be somewhat methodical at times.

Tell us about that songwriting process?

Generally speaking, the songs will be driven by a main riff or melodic motif. I’ll usually dick around with my guitar and when I accidentally play a riff that I think sounds fantastic, I’ll record it and write a song around it, coming up with parts as I go along, and eventually it turns into a whole song. That’s GENERALLY how I write songs for Crejuvent, but every song is different in some way.

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

Sort of…Having studied music at university, I was introduced to an awful lot of songwriters and musicians obviously, and if there’s one thing I learned is that everybody has a different way of writing and coming up with ideas. I’ve heard of every way imaginable to write songs, but ultimately it all boils down to whatever comes naturally to you. That’s what I strive for when approaching ideas; it’s finding a way to develop and process these musical ideas in the more comfortable way for me and can represent whatever it is I have to say. I remember watching Devin Townsend once do a live stream showing how he puts songs together and creates demos; he’s got tons of videos online showing his process. I’ve written a few songs here or there following a similar process to his as some sort of song writing exercise, but nothing I would use for Crejuvent.

Where do the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs more often come from?

Whatever it is that’s bothering me the most at the time. It’ll usually be driven by some sort of complex state of confusion that I’m experiencing, some internal crisis. I enjoy singing about the things that I can’t talk about, things that I need to process internally before continuing with my day. This could be a state of depression, an awareness issue, or farts, or anything in between.

Give us some background to your latest release.

Crejuvent’s debut Time EP will be coming out on the 1st of July! It’s ultimately a culmination of everything that’s right in the world. I started writing the songs that ended up on it a while back, probably sometime around 2015. The whole writing process was very on and off, hence why it took so long. Every song is a bit different and was written with a slightly different approach. There’s no reoccurring theme or whatever, but the themes are generally quite bleak. I took care of every aspect of the release myself, from artwork to production. Recording started around late September and I finished mixing and mastering everything around March this year. That’s pretty much it!

Can you give a closer insight to those themes?

Well, generally speaking I struggle to properly articulate my thoughts verbally. I often word vomit everywhere, I stutter sometimes, and I usually can’t quite find the right ways to say what it is I think and feel. So when it when I wrote the Time EP, it was very important to me that I manage to correctly articulate my thoughts into the music. I had to feel completely uninhibited from everything and try my best to feel some sort of detachment to myself to feel like I could properly purge my thoughts into the EP. As a result, the main themes sort of revolve around the feeling of helplessness throughout day to day life. The opener, Fuck This Shit, is probably the one song I wrote with the most direct lyrics, I was just feeling pissed off and churned that bad boy out in like 10 minutes. Code Orange is a bit of a story, it’s about a man who’s forced into some sort of rehab against his will – the lyrics vaguely reflect the theme from A Clockwork Orange, it’s about how to be human and to be free consists of the freedom to screw up your life…sort of. Malicious Clouds is a bit of an anomaly, I just sort of pulled the lyrics out of my ass – the words felt right to sing so I sung them. I guess you could claim it’s about a dark cloud of depression lording over oneself and those around, I dunno. Time is feeling helpless against the never-ending and tyrannical construct that is time. Word Vomit is a bit more personal, it’s about my unwillingness to be open towards myself and others, and the vulnerabilities that come with it.

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

I usually write the songs as demos, I’ll record bits as I write them until it looks like a full song, then I write and record all the other parts until I have a complete demo. Then I properly re-record everything from scratch and those will end up being the final masters. I’ll add or remove things here or there during the actual recording process, but for the most part I head in with a demo so I know EXACTLY what I need to do. Not only does it come out sounding better in my opinion, but it saves time (and LOADS of money) in the studio.

Tell us about the live side to the band, your favourite aspect of being a musician?

I absolutely love playing live; it’s the best thing ever. It’s quite fun for this project as well because I get on stage on my own, playing bass and singing to backing tracks. With nobody to fuck with me on stage I can just do whatever the hell I want, be it chug beers on stage, fart in microphones, whatever! I hate going to shows and seeing the band just stand there like a bunch of lemons. Especially in this genre, I mean its metal, ya’ll are supposed to go nuts and shit! Unless it’s something super proggy or technical that you need to play meticulously, you have no excuse. When I go on stage, I know that I need to entertain the audience, so I like to give them something to write home about.

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 artists?

I thoroughly believe that where there’s a will there’s a way. But you REALLY gotta have an awful lot of will. A lot of musicians keep bitching about how things are different and it’s harder to make a living and all that crap, but if you REALLY want to do it then you’ll find a way. And if you can’t do it, it just means you didn’t want it badly enough AND THAT’S TOTALLY FINE! It’s definitely not easy to make it nowadays, you have to sacrifice an awful lot to get even remotely close and you gotta put in so many hours it is ridiculous, and that’s simply not for everybody. With that said, if you don’t try then you’ll never make it.

The opportunities are out there, but they are few and far between. You gotta have the right team of people working together towards the same goal for a band to get anywhere, you need to put yourself out there and meet people, you even have to kiss some asses along the way unfortunately. It’s tough, but you have to make the opportunities come to you, otherwise it’s basically impossible. New bands should also keep in mind what it means to make in impact and have success. Things are different now than they were, just because you’re making a big impact in your region, nationally, or even worldwide, you’re probably still not going to make a living off this stuff. So you have to consider what ‘making it’ means to you.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the project 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?

When I get asked this I always refer to the fact that before music was being recorded and sold as records, it was being sold as music sheets. People would go out and buy the scores so they could actually play the music themselves. Then records came along and the music sheet industry tried to fight it with no success, and records were the way people absorbed music. This is no different. I think people just need to re-evaluate how people take in music and adapt accordingly, why they already are. The entire industry is struggling because of the internet but the internet is not going anywhere, so maybe it’s time for the industry to adapt (which it already is!). The bands that struggle are probably the same ones who complain that ‘music isn’t what it used to be’ or whatever, bands whose mentality is still stuck in the 80s. I like to think that stems from a lack of knowledge, but a lot of them are just stubborn. I started Crejuvent during this whole internet and social media thing, and whilst I don’t have a perfect command of it I try my best to adapt, to change my PR campaigns accordingly, to do what I can to make it work for me…Which isn’t too hard to do because I don’t really have anything else to compare it to.

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

Yeah man thanks for featuring me! If anybody is insane enough to have read this whole thing and make it this far down then I applaud you and award you with my gratitude. And you should also know that Crejuvent’s debut TIME EP is COMING OUT ON THE 1ST OF JULY SO BUY IT FOR YOUR GIRLFRIENDS OR WHATEVER!!! Keep an eye out on Crejuvent’s Facebook page for new releases and videos and all that jazz!

Check Crejuvent out further @ https://www.facebook.com/Crejuvent/   and go buy the Time EP @ https://crejuvent.bandcamp.com/album/time-ep

Pete RingMaster 21/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Stripped down and bouncing: venturing into the lively world of Cinders

Exploding on the Salt Lake City music scene in 2015, Cinders has been a bundle of great sounds and fun luring fresh waves of new fans year by year, song by song. Their diverse indie-pop/alternative rock sound has been acclaimed by those fans as “rowdy acoustic pop”, a tag which perfectly fits their releases to date and a live presence which leaves a venue smiling breathlessly. We took the chance to find out more about the sextet with both hands, chatting with the band about beginnings, music, the lure of their live shows and plenty 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?

Chelsey: Well- we have Adrian our ’emo punk’ that studies jazz, Jordan ‘the one who never grew up’, Montana our ‘spikeball extraordinaire’, Austin ‘the one with the dad jokes’, Brad ‘the sex appeal’ and me…. band mom. We are just a bunch of geeks that like music.

I would say the vision of Cinders came from Montana and Jordan. As to how we all came together, some members of the band are long time high school friends, work friends, others met later in life while living in Tennessee, and even social media has played a large part in the formation of Cinders.

Have you all been involved in other bands before? If so how has that possibly shaped what you are doing now?

Austin: Everyone has had experience in bands prior to Cinders, even if that experience was jazz band, wind symphony, or marching band… Jordan, Montana, Adrian, and Brad all played in “cool” high school bands. Adrian and Chelsey both studied jazz in college so between the 6 of us we have a lot of experience in many different styles of music.”

What inspired the band name?

Montana: It was the title of a terrible song we wrote in high school, and we thought the name was super cool and deserved more than just that terrible song. It was also the very first song Jordan and Montana ever played together about 7 years ago.

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

Jordan: None of us have really ever had a backup plan in life ha-ha. We found what we wanted to do and we are going after it! Music is everything to us and when you find 6 people who all have the same goal in mind, work just tends to get done. We are all pretty happy and positive people and think that the world could use a bit of a more hopeful sound. So although not all of our songs have the happiest lyrics, we try to keep in that hopeful tone to spread the feeling that everything will be okay and life is good.

And that still primarily drives the band or have they evolved over time?

Montana: I think we can all agree that of course the love for music drives us, but nothing drives as like crowd interaction at shows. Seeing them dance to the rhythms and hearing them scream the lyrics is the most rewarding feeling on earth.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved and has it been more of an organic movement or more the band deliberately trying new things?

Jordan: The band started off a bit more calm and chill until we performed live. We would be jumping, screaming, and stomping on stage to acoustic songs sans drums and it was awesome! It helped us realize more that people want to see a show and they want to see a band loving what they do for a living. I think we have all been to those shows where the band looks sad and stands still the whole time. After the show is over I’ll sometimes hear them saying “that was the funnest night of my life.” you can do those same things at a funeral (though at the end of the day they probably wouldn’t say it was the funnest day ever). We wanted to start creating music that fit our live performance better, so we did, and we still are. We want to whole heartedly say each night “This was the funnest night of our life.” Our fans come to have a great night, so that is what we work to give them.

You touched on it earlier, 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 approaches and ideas to creating and playing music?

Jordan: We definitely come from very different musical backgrounds, but that is something we root ourselves in and take pride in. Music is not one sound or genre so we don’t want to be that either. We want to sound like who each of us are. Every Cinders song is like a cake. The cake isn’t all good, big and pretty until all the ingredients and frosting are added. We are each an important ingredient (Chelsey and Austin are the couple on top of the cake). So I guess the inspiration comes from trying to see outside of the box. Yes it has definitely helped us to look at music in a more open way!

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

Brad: So the songs at the beginning generally come from Jordan’s or Montana’s mind. With a few ideas, a riff, or some lyrics. Once we get something tangible to work with, I’ll usually record some drums for them. And then bit by bit we each add ideas and mess with it. Montana works his pro-tools magic and next thing you know we’ve got a solid demo, or a song.

Where do the prime inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs come from?

Jordan: Personal experience, words with friends, rhyming dictionaries, childhood books ha-ha. It comes from everywhere. I feel like all of us writers have very strange minds. They are like caves full of thoughts waiting to come out, it is just a matter of searching hard enough to find them. That search can be very tough but super fulfilling.

Would you give us some background to your latest release and some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs?

Brad: Our latest release is our acoustics vol. 1. We love to rock out, but we also love the chill feel of stripping everything away and revealing the songs as they are by themselves. We call it vol. 1 because we plan on doing an acoustic vol. 2 of course. Not for a while though! 😉

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?

Adrian: For our first record we had the mentality of the final state is what we were recording. And then we would only slightly modify what we had. But that has definitely changed. We are now working on demos and having a group production phase to our songs.

Tell us more about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band and as many bands will attest to, 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?

Adrian: Our fans are definitely our favorite part. We wouldn’t be a band if it wasn’t for them. And as for the opportunities out here in Utah they are great. Utah has a great sense of community in live and local music.

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

Jordan: Social media is awesome! It has created a way for artists and fans to communicate and connect in ways they never could have 20 years ago. We really owe it all to our friends and fans who have shared our music all over social media to help us get to where we are! Wherever our fans are, we want to be there as well. So we have loved being able to keep them updated with photos and videos of each show. We have even started a Patreon so that they can be a part of the writing of our new album! The music industry is changing and I think social media is a huge part of it and I think it is very positive.

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

Thanks again for having us, we really appreciate it. To those reading, we love you and are so grateful for all of the support you have shown us! Thank you for everything and look forward to #album2 coming soon!

Check out more about and from Cinders @ https://www.facebook.com/cindersmusic/ and http://www.cindersmusic.com/

Pete RingMaster 19/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Serenading webs and trapping harmonies: introducing Tali Dennerstein

Tali Dennerstein is a British rock singer, songwriter, and producer who is beginning to lure eager attention with her unique mix of Pop/Folk Rock, Gothic Rock, Grunge and Dark Ambient Music. It is a kaleidoscope of flavours embraced by imagination and invention as evidenced by her latest release and videos. We seized on the chance to find out more by talking to the lady herself, exploring her creative beginnings, her solo project, new EP and more besides…

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

Can you first give us some background to yourself?

I’m an alternative rock singer, songwriter and producer. I’ve always been very passionate about music and from a very early age, I grew up listening to a lot of 80’s and 90’s Gothic and Grunge Rock music, which really inspired me to want to start my own musical journey. I’ve always enjoyed writing lyrics and after being in a few different bands, I decided to become a solo artist, mainly because I liked having control of the direction my music was taking.

You mentioned previous bands. How have those experiences impacted on your own musical explorations?

I’ve been in a few different bands in the past. My first band was a more electronic /trip hop style band and my last band was a heavy rock/grunge band and I think it definitely helped me to decide the style and direction that I most enjoyed working with. I’ve also collaborated with a couple of artists online and recently I’ve also started a synthwave side project, which has been really fun to work on because I love the 80’s electronic sound and it’s been fun to do something so completely different.

Many solo projects decide to go under a created moniker; you?

As a solo artist I decided to use my own name, although I did consider having a band name but I just couldn’t think of anything that was good enough.

Was there any specific idea behind the direction you wanted your work and sound to offer?

I had a lot of song material, which I’d written over many years that I hadn’t really had a chance to do anything with for a long time and I really wanted to get as much of it completed and out there, as possible for people to hear. That was my main reason for starting my solo music. I also really wanted to try and create my own sound by merging both gothic and grunge rock styles together, as those were my two favourite genres of music styles, when I was growing up. I like folk and electronic music too, so I also tried to add some of these influences into my sound as well.

Are you driven by the same creative things and intent from being a fresh-faced musician or have they evolved over time?

As a solo artist, I’ve only really just begun so it’s relatively new for me but I think the same thing drives me as a songwriter and that’s always been to create meaningful music, that people can enjoy and relate to and that helps them in some way.

Since your early days as a songwriter how would you say your sound has evolved?

My sound has evolved quite a bit. I started with a very 90’s indie pop and folk rock and ambient electronic sound but my next album will be much heavier and a lot darker, both lyrically and musically.

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

I do like to experiment with different ideas and sounds, so I try new things to hear how they might add to a song but with regard to changing the direction of my music to a heavier sound that was deliberate because it’s how I felt the songs on my future album worked best and it just felt right. I do still like to write softer more folk rock and electronic tracks, as well but I tend to go with what feels right for each individual song, when it comes to creating the right sound.

Presumably a wide range of musical tastes you have an equal array of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only your music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

I’m inspired by a lot of artists and bands but my biggest inspirations are Curve, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, and Nick Drake. I love Curve’s Doppelgänger album and the way the guitars create just this huge wall of distorted sound. I also loved the way they used a lot of electronic elements, which merged in with the guitars. It made the tracks sound quite industrial, even though they were considered a shoegaze band. They had a very interesting and unique sound. I’ve also been very inspired by how grunge bands wrote their lyrics. They were often really deep and introspective and really made me think about what message they were trying to convey. I liked the fact that the lyrics weren’t straightforward and were hard to figure out and that everyone could find their own meaning in them.

Is there a particular process to your songwriting?

I always start by recording any melody ideas that come to my mind and I get a lot of ideas every day, so I like to keep my sound recorder next to me no matter what I’m doing. I tend to think of the subject matter usually after I’ve thought of the melody and that’s because I get an idea for the theme, usually based on the feel of the melody.

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

I’ve drawn a lot of my inspiration from some very tough situations I’ve had to face in my life, so my lyrics have sometimes reflected my hopes for things to improve, as well as my need to face the pain and fears I feel each day, due to my situation and to become stronger, despite the circumstances. I’ve also written lyrics based on things I’ve experienced in the past, such as heartbreak or bullying or about things that are happening in the world around me, that I feel strongly about such as war conflict and also about peace.

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

My latest release is a 7 track EP called Live For Tomorrow and I recorded the songs a while ago but I’ve only just recently released them.

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

The first song is called Summertime and it’s a very upbeat pop rock song, with a feel good Summer vibe. It’s about releasing and letting go of negative thoughts and instead embracing all of the small but meaningful and beautiful things that life has to offer, that we sometimes don’t always see, when we’re stuck in a cycle of depression. It’s also about keeping hope alive and just trying to stay optimistic. The second song is called Tonight and it’s a folk rock song. It’s about a girl being led on a journey, to find herself and unknowingly being guided by invisible forces in the right direction who are watching over her and protecting her. It’s lyrically written in a fairy tale style. The third song is called Live For Tomorrow and the track is an indie pop song, about a relationship that just isn’t working out and it’s about just accepting things and looking to the future and letting go of the past. The fourth track is called Hurt. It’s a slow electronic ambient song and is about unintentionally hurting someone you love and feeling guilty about it and how you miss them after they’ve gone. The fifth track is called See The Sun. This one is very 90’s Brit pop, in style and it’s about closing the door to the past and looking forward towards a brighter future. The sixth song is called Skyline and is about being there for someone who’s hurting and telling them you’ll always be there for them. The final track is called Far Away. That song is about imagining a better world, where hatred, greed and fear don’t exist.

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

I usually have some idea of how I think a song should sound and then I use that as a base to develop and add any ideas later on. I also work with a really great producer, and we work together until each song sounds right, so it’s a slow developmental process right up until a song is finalized.

Tell us about the live side to your music?

I love performing but at the moment, due to my circumstances I can’t perform, although I’d really love to. I’ve been concentrating on recording from home, as many songs as I can and I’m hoping sometime in the future, I’ll be able to perform them live.

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

I honestly don’t know because I usually use social media to get my music heard. I don’t think where I live, there’s much of a music scene.

So the internet and social media has been a potent impact on your music? Some see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as things progress and grow. How do you see things?

I think social media is a great and very positive way for helping musician’s and bands to get their music heard. It can take time but it’s amazing to be able to connect directly with music lovers from all around the world. I think the only negative aspect is that there are a lot of musician’s and bands trying to promote themselves on social media and it can be hard to get people to click on music links as the market is saturated but it just takes determination and hard work and it is worth being on social media in the end.

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

I’m giving away 3 free songs to whoever signs up to my mailing list, plus an extra free track off of my latest EP.

Explore the music of Tali Dennerstein further @ https://www.facebook.com/TaliDennerstein.music as well as https://talidennerstein.bandcamp.com/album/live-for-tomorrow-ep and https://twitter.com/talimusicartist

Pete RingMaster 13/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Baring souls: talking Exoaura

Fresh in presence and fresh in sound, US progressive/alternative metal duo Exoaura are beginning to create a stir. Drawing on an array flavours, it is a band with bold imagination and sounds. So with their debut release barely out of its wrapper, we took to exploring this exciting emerging outfit with great thanks to both Lindsey and Adam, delving into the band’s beginnings, musical instincts, that new release and much 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?

We are Lindsey Church (vocals/piano/strings) and Adam Ingram (instrumentation/engineering). We’re a female fronted alternative-metal duo with a twist of soul, from Spokane WA, US.

Lindsey: We’ve been best friends for years and have been writing and performing music together since 2004. We have extremely different tastes in music. I like a lot of soul and R&B, while Adam listens to a lot more prog and rock, but we both have a common love for metal, so we decided to blend our styles and form Exoaura.

Have you been/are involved in other bands before? If so how have those experiences infused within Exoaura?

Lindsey: We were both in the nu-metal band Reflection. It had a wide spectrum of light and melodic, to heavy sounds that we both loved…and some progressive elements, so we brought a lot of that into Exoaura. Also writing and growing as musicians together for so many years, we’ve developed a great chemistry that, from what our fans tell us, can really be felt in what we write.

What inspired the band name?

Adam: We wanted our sounds and band name to represent a concept of being something bigger than the boundaries and limitations that people put on themselves…so, we came up with Exoaura, “exo” meaning outside and “aura” meaning one’s atmosphere.

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

Lindsey: Exoaura is a new project that we just formed summer of 2016, but the drive regardless of what band I’ve sung in, remains the same. It’s a need for raw self-expression and using that to connect on a deeper level with other people. It’s the freedom that you can only get from your art.

Where has your thoughts and personal direction in music evolved over time?

Lindsey: I think we should always be looking for ways to grow and evolve, so I’ve studied vocals for years. I take what I learn and apply it to my writing. When I increase my range, or learn different styles, it gives me the ability to get a more diverse sound. It’s like getting a new toy to play with and it’s always exciting lol.

Though you are still in your early days as Exoaura, how would you say your sound has evolved to date?

Adam: I’m a gear junkie. I love picking up and experimenting with new sounds, processes and effects. I’ve also been listening to a lot of progressive metal bands and have been incorporating more and more of these kinds of picking techniques in my guitar work.

Is there an organic flow to the movement and exploration of your sound or is it that you deliberately search out new things to try?

Adam: Our evolution has been organic. Whether it’s from finding new bands to listen to, or learning something different from training, our writing flows in new ways with each other from the inspiration we find.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of those 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?

Lindsey: Absolutely. TesseracT has been a huge influence. Dan Tompkins is an incredible vocalist and I’ve always been blown away by his impeccable technique and range. I had a chance to study with him and he helped me to realize the dynamics of my voice and how to unleash it. So, he’s had a huge impact on how I write.

Is there a particular process to your songwriting?

Adam: Usually, yeah. I’ll boot up one of my writing templates in Cubase, set a tempo then create a groove as a foundation for the mood and energy of the track. After I’ve recorded my instruments I’ll send Lindsey a draft mix where she adds her creative process with orchestral and vocal melodies. Once all the magic is captured I spend quite a bit of time getting a solid mix together then migrate to mastering, getting it spit polished for release.

Where do you generally draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs from?

Lindsey: I’m fascinated by the polarity of love and hate in the world and the interconnectivity between all living things that people feel, but tend to ignore. So, a lot of my lyrics are about that seemingly eternal struggle to break free of that and see things for what they truly are.

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

Our debut self-titled EP will be released on June 30th, 2017. It’s a combination of thought provoking lyrics, melodic grooves, ethereal orchestration and passionate soul.

How about the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

Lindsey: The concept relates to the division in society today and that despite how much negativity and hate there is there are people who are strong enough to surpass that.

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?

Adam: We tend to develop our songs in our studio: We’ll have basic ideas and outlines, but once we’re tracking and start to hear the composition come alive, it guides us in which direction the song should go.

Is there a live side to the band yet?

Lindsey: Exoaura is new, so we haven’t started touring yet. But with our past projects, for me it’s the combination of getting lost in the feeling our music, while connecting to the audience so that they can experience the intense emotion that went into writing it. That synergy is just unforgettable.

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 the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

Adam: Honestly, I think it is far easier now than it has ever been. Regionally speaking, metal is very much alive and kicking in the Pacific Northwest, and we are very fortunate of that. We’re from Spokane, not far from Seattle, one of the largest music scenes in the US and have proximity to a very active music community here. Nationally and further afield, bands have access to social media, digital discovery services and by leveraging analytics/demographics, any band in any genre can find and connect with their target audience. We’re a new band ourselves and even in the past few months we’ve been asked for tour dates from here in the US all the way to Brazil.

…And the internet and social media. How has that impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as some artists seem to almost expect?

Adam: As a DIY artist, social media and digital streaming services are incredibly valuable, nearly mandatory resources. I happen to have a marketing background, which has certainly helped Exoaura’s online presence. The evolution of how music is accessed is something musicians just have to adopt. Each platform and strategy has its own learning curve, sure, but the reward of understanding these tools is far greater.

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

Lindsey: You’re so welcome! Yes, our official release date for our EP is June 30th, 2017. And of course, thank you to all our fans for your love and support! Find us https://www.exoaura.com/

Explore Exoaura further @ https://www.facebook.com/Exoauraband/    https://twitter.com/exoauraband

Pete RingMaster 07/07/2017