Shadowed reflections and bright legacies: embracing the heart of 1919 with Vocalist Rio Goldhammer

Photo by Carl Arnfield

Bloodline is an album which is destined to not only leave a striking creative fingerprint on the year but the decade as a whole for not only post punk/gothic rock, but simply rock ‘n’ roll. The new outing from 1919, a band inspiring generations of artists from their emergence in the late eighties, Bloodline is not only one deeply rousing slice of musical adventure and imagination but also a major last triumph from founding member and guitarist Mark Tighe who sadly passed away virtually days before its release. It is a stunning part of the legacy the musician left global music. With deep thanks to vocalist Rio Goldhammer and also drummer Mick Reed, we had the pleasure to talk about Mark and also delve into the future of 1919, the fabulous Bloodline and much more…

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

A pleasure.

Before we talk about your album, could you please just say some words about band founder and guitarist Mark Tighe who so sadly passed away recently; about him as a musician and friend.

It’s hard to put into words really. His legacy will be one of sound… it already is. He was an artist and trying to explain his craft in a few words would do it an injustice – it took him a lifetime to do what he did. If you look through his old online posts (something it seems we all do quite regularly), his words are very few – usually to punctuate an image. He lived and breathed art. His eulogy reflected this well. It was mainly music…Exactly what he would have wanted.

As a friend… well, he would have been blown away by the tributes that came for him. From the music press, from fans, from bands we’ve worked with and many that we haven’t. He was a humble guy who always thought of others first. He’d bring chocolate to rehearsals, even when his illness meant he couldn’t eat it himself. He looked after the merch for the band right until his last day – always with a hand-written note. He wanted to do his bit and never took our supporters for granted. I could go on for days about him. Anyone who met him, even for a moment, knows he is a huge loss to the world, and we’ve lived on top of each other for 2 years. It’s still hard to accept not seeing or talking to him

His untimely passing must make the release of your new album Bloodline, the saddest joy possible?

Of course. You know, the label called up after the CDs arrived saying “the album is too good not to be on vinyl”. I wish Mark had heard that. He was desperate to get a vinyl release. Sadness and joy are, yes, perhaps in equal measure. But the prevailing emotion is doggedness. We know what we have to do now, and we know who we have to do it for.

Do you know what the future of 1919 might be without Mark, or is that a question you have yet to ponder?

We’ve had to ponder it for a while but we’re determined to finish what we started. Mark insisted we find someone… he’d wanted to teach them the guitar parts himself but he deteriorated so quickly. He insisted “no one was irreplaceable”, but at the time we were more concerned with being there for him as friends. And indeed, we now have someone in the unenviable position of trying to learn the guitar parts without Mark’s tutelage! We’re determined to honour him, and we will. Humans are mortal. 1919 is not.

We do have someone on board though [Sam Evans]… Someone who met Mark a couple of times. We didn’t want a hired gun because the band is a family. It will be a new chapter for us of course, but we had a good idea of our future direction from our final months with Mark. There are a couple of finished tracks and a handful of demos from the last 6 months so we have a good base to work from. But I don’t think its right to say we’re “without Mark”. He will always be with us, and as long as 1919 is alive, so is he.

It is fair to say that for gothic/post punk fans who knew you first time around, 1919 was one of the most important and inspirational propositions in the eighties. Is that a feeling you found in people if not then when 1919 re-emerged a couple of years or so ago?

Absolutely… 1919 never performed outside of the UK the first time around, but we’ve found a lot of love from across the world. Particularly in France and Germany (and of course our favourite place, B52 in Eernegem) we’ve had some amazing audiences, and they tend to be a lot younger than our audiences at home. The band obviously means a lot to people and we take that very seriously.

Obviously the time between has seen original members grow as artists and people, can you describe how creatively 1919 evolved from those early heady days seeing chart breaking singles and an acclaimed debut album?

Mick Reed: Well, as you say we’re a lot more refined now in terms of musicianship. But you know, in a lot of ways nothing’s changed at all. The writing process is similar; as is the way we rehearse and record. There are no egos in this band and it’s just so easy to get on with it. This incarnation of the band has actually been the most stable line-up in our history. I honestly can’t see anything other than mortality come between us.

How did the link-up with Mark and Mick, of course the band’s original drummer, with you Rio and bassist Karl Donner come about; how did you all meet?

We hit the ground running really. Mark and I had been doing Circle of the Absurd and put the Revenge demo out as 1919. Mick and Karl had been doing some work together on some lost Ship of Fools material… Once Mark and Mick were in touch again we just brought the two pieces together.

Mark’s poetically haunting melodies and grooves showed they had lost none of their invention and evocative touch within the new album but there is a bold new freshness to the whole 1919 sound, more than maybe would be expected with simply maturity and experience involved. How would you assess its new character and body?

It feels fresh. We’re simultaneously an old band and a new one… but aside from that I think you’ve said it yourself. Mark spent a lifetime perfecting a sound that was completely his, and Mick’s drums – the tribal power – has always been a signature of the band. We’re not going through the motions though, we mean every note we play and every word we sing. We’re a tight unit and the music means everything to us. Anything else is up to you to discern.

Can you tell us about the recording of Bloodline? Was it an easily flowing process?

100%. When we recorded The Madness Continues…session in 2015, we did all 14 tracks in a day. For Bloodline we took a little more time, of course, but the core of each song was still recorded live in our rehearsal room. We’re just comfortable there. Live music, a little overdubbing, and then vocals. Then of course we have an excellent producer in James Reid, who does the mixing. Mick sits with him for the most part and he’s got an excellent ear for texture, but it definitely flows.

The rhythmic adventure of the songs with Bloodline is for us addictively invasive, bound in almost tribal persuasion as you just mentioned, and more than matched by the web of sound round them. Mick and Karl have an instinctive understanding it seems, creating a tempting core for the goodness. How did the songwriting work for the album; those dramatic rhythms first, suggestive melodies, or variety of things breeding what it offers?

We jam! A lot of bands don’t… sometimes someone brings an idea into the room and we play with it… I try to scribble some lyrics out on the spot when possible. But there’s no definitive method. We just make noise and the best bits start to structure themselves.

Can you give us some background to the themes within Bloodline?

The label called it “the soundtrack to the end of the world” in their press release. I like that.  There’s a lot in there really… Life, death, environment and architecture, violence, peace, power, philosophy, representation… a touch of nostalgia. There’s a political element, sometimes abstract and sometimes more direct. But I won’t feed you the minutiae. I prefer to leave room for interpretation.

You have also released a great video for the album’s title track. It was created and filmed by Carl Arnfield of Chalkman Video, the producer of a string of striking videos and films. What brought you guys and him together?

He’d done a video for The Kingcrows which I liked – they’re friends of mine and put me in touch with Carl. He’s done all of our videos now and there will be more collaborations with him without a doubt. We do butt heads occasionally, but only because he has such an artistic vision for his work. He’s in it for all the right reasons and a real asset to be able to call upon. He’s also a top bloke and worked his socks off to get the C.O.T.A video out in time for Mark to be able to see it. Can’t recommend the guy more highly.

It is hard to imagine your emotions as Bloodline sees itself being devoured by fans and lauded by so many,  your proudest moment musically?

Mick & Karl: Watching Joy Division was incredibly important in our lives.

Mick: John Peel too. When he announced he was going to bring 1919 in for a session I couldn’t believe it. To have done two of them will always be something I’m proud of.

Rio: The first time we played Paris (at Le Klub). The power blew in the middle of the set… it felt like the building was going to collapse during the rest of it. It was perfect.

Once again my biggest thanks. Anything you would like to add?

Just some words from our Captain:

 

I work life like it is worked

The moon shimmers red

Cherry red

The glow distilled into exploding fireflies

Roads are long

Fields pass

The blue twilight comforting

I am dazed and even confused

But I realise that I love this life

On the road

My band

High on life

Twitching to go

To play

The electricity overwhelms me

It is immeasurable

1919……….. Forever

A. Tighe

Image by Scott Ford

 http://www.1919official.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/1919official/   https://twitter.com/1919official

Read our review of Bloodline @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/1919-bloodline/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 23/03/2017

Magnetic reflections: looking into Black Mirrors

We were aware of the buzz building up around Belgian band Black Mirrors so eagerly anticipated checking out their new EP release with Napalm Records. Fair to say that Funky Queen more than lived up to the praise gathering around its release, revelling in the myriad of flavours behind its bluesy rock ‘n’ roll. Offered the chance to find out more about band and release we fired questions at vocalist Marcella Di Troia and guitarist Pierre Lateur.

Hi guys and thanks for talking with us.

Firstly can you give us the background to Black Mirrors; its beginnings and how you all met?

, c Nanna Dis 2016

Marcella: During summer 2013, I wanted to create a female band. I found a drummer and a bass player but found it difficult to find a female guitar player. I was looking for someone who could play like Pierre the actual guitar player. I was fond of his sound. I couldn’t find a girl who could do that. So, I asked Pierre to join the band. After some jamming, we wanted to work harder and to start to write our own songs but the girls didn’t have time to invest in the project. So we forgot the idea to have an (almost) female band and invite two old friends, Gino and Edouard to join the band as bass player and drummer. We used to play with them in other bands before Black Mirrors.

We recorded our first EP and did our first gigs with this line up late 2013.

What inspired the band name?

Marcella: The name Black Mirrors came up with the TV show Black Mirror, a really cool English series which shows how technology is progressively changing our world. People are more distant to one another by being connected to the virtual world. We do not want to judge anybody, it’s just that we are witnesses of that change in our society and it touches us.

You sound is seemingly bred in garage rock but, as your new EP Funky Queen shows, flames with much broader rock ‘n’ roll diversity. What are the kinds of inspirations which have lit your musical imaginations most prominently?

Marcella: All the bands we are listening to were influenced prominently by blues masters such as Bessie Smith, Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, BB King, Muddy Waters, Blind Willie Johnson… So I would say the blues.

Pierre: Apart from the blues, we have a lot of different influences like the stoner scene, the late 60’s and early 70’s rock music like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zep, Janis Joplin and even the early Pink Floyd, the revival scene like The White stripes, Rival Sons and The Black Keys, some elements of soul/funk music and a bit of desert-blues like Tinariwen.

The Funky Queen EP has just been released through Napalm Records; how did that link-up come about?

Marcella: During summer 2015, we were invited to play in Germany at «Out and Loud» festival. Napalm was there as they opened the festival with a Napalm label night. Some of Napalm’s bands played there and they found us a slot to play. That was our first contact. We stayed in touch with them for a year and last summer we sent them our new songs. They liked it and Napalm offered us a deal.

It is being described as the band’s debut EP but am I right in thinking it has a self-titled predecessor released in 2014 which new fans to the band will want to know about?

Marcella: Yes, you’re completely right! Three years ago, we released our very first EP. We recorded it a couple of months after having started the band because we wanted to play live shows as soon as possible. This first EP is now sold out.

How would you say the Black Mirrors’ sound has evolved over its first handful of years?

Pierre: The basic sound didn’t change that much. Since the beginning, we wanted to create a music which will be a mix of all our influences. In 2013, our songs were already a mix of blues/rock, stoner and a bit of psychedelic music with a vintage approach.

But if we speak of the sound more specifically, the guitar sound became wilder with the years and our first drummer left the band. He was replaced by another one who came with his sensibility, approach and specific sound. So these two elements influenced a bit the final result.

With all artists, there is a specific intent fuelling their first steps. What was the driving force for Black Mirrors?

Pierre: Nothing more than being happy and thankful to play together. We are friends for such a long time and we’ve started the band to enjoy creating music together. We never had a big statement like « We want to play this kind of music, like very pure blues or a specific kind of stoner. » It was always about playing anything we had in mind without thinking too much. Maybe it’s the reason why there’re a lot of different influences in our music.

Listening to the EP there feels like there is a strong collaboration between the band in its songs birth and character. How does the band’s songwriting generally work?

c, c Nanna Dis 2016

Pierre: Most of the time I create basic ideas like a riff or two and show it to Marcella. We work together on a first version of the song, she composes her vocal part and we work on a basic structure. We show this draft to the band. With them we give the tune his final form. We often create new parts, remove others; jamming around the sound. Because of all this process, the song’s final version is sometimes totally different than the first idea.

Can you give the readers some insight to the background and themes to Funky Queen?

Funky Queen, which opens our EP, is about addiction. Funky Queen is the queen that confronts everyone with one’s own demons.

The second song is Kick Out The Jams, a MC5 cover. We wanted to put it on our first EP as it’s represent very well the general energy of our music.

The Mess is a song about messy feelings you get after you broke up a very bad love relationship. Sometimes, you’d rather not see things than to be destroyed for your entire life.

And finally, Canard Vengeur Masqué to end up…It is a song who talks about the missing of one of your parents after a divorce, the way you can feel forsaken in this situation as a child.

Funky Queen has a great cover to match its sounds. Who is behind the artwork and indeed the band’s excellent logo?

Pierre: It’s Sebastian Jerke, a German artist who worked with My Sleeping Karma and Colour Haze to name a few. We really like his job. We got in touch with him and he appeared to have several great ideas for the artwork.

Apart from the likes of Front 242, dEUS, Soulwax, Enthroned, Triggerfinger, Steak Number Eight, and the excellent King Hiss, I cannot say we know too much about the Belgian rock scene. It is a healthy place right now, especially in its underground?

Well, it depends if it is in the French speaking part of Belgium or the Flemish part. We think Flanders gives more chance to underground music. Just by seeing bands you named, most of them are from Flanders. We are coming from Wallonia where the rock scene is a bit shy. Unfortunately, you barely see a rock band as highlight on a festival poster in Wallonia.

What is next in the immediate future of Black Mirrors?

Going on tour with Horizont and ’77 and record our full length album.

Once again our big thanks for sharing your time with us.

Check out our review of Funky Queen @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2017/03/03/black-mirrors-funky-queen/

http://www.blackmirrorsmusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/blackmirrorsmusic   https://twitter.com/BlackMirrorsmus

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Colours of the blues: exploring King Colobus with vocalist/guitarist Stewart MacPherson

kc_RingMasterReview

2017 has started with a bang, certainly in regard to introductions to and debut releases from fresh and truly striking bands. One of those making the biggest impressive impact is UK rockers King Colobus. Recently their self-titled first EP was rebooted into national attention, a release to steal one of the lines in our own review providing a “four-track theatre of blues and alternative rock [which] trespassed and seduced the imagination and passions.”

With thanks to Garry at SaN PR we leapt on the chance to learn more about the EP and its creators with King Colobus vocalist/guitarist Stewart MacPherson also touching on their beginnings and other aspects of being in a band…

Hi, thanks for sharing time to talk with us.

Your bio says the band officially began in 2015 but I believe its origins and seeds began long before then. Tell us about its beginnings and lead up to stepping out as King Colobus.

The first ideas started in a 3 piece band called BIBLE JOHN AND THE REPTILES, which included me (Stewart), GRIFTER bassist Phil Harris and former BROTHERHOOD OF THE LAKE drummer Rich Robinson. We spent months rehearsing and just before taking things live, Rich started to have back problems. The whole thing capitulated until James Bailes moved back to the South West. He and I had jammed out demos and worked together on various projects when we both lived in London. We got together and started to share ideas that we thought really deserved a life…and so KING COLOBUS was born.

The re-location to Devon of yourself and James from London seems to have been one of the sparks to the birth of King Colobus. Was that just coincidence or there was something you found down there, apart from meeting Gavin and Simon, which instigated the band?

The main thing that changed for both James and I was fatherhood. We both wanted our kids to grow up in a better environment and having both come from the South West, I guess this felt like the best option. There is also a great opportunity down here to create an alternative music scene. It has been blighted for far too long with tribute bands and folk music and venues like THE JUNCTION are starting to put alternative music firmly on the map again. There’s a lot of talent down here, but it just needs to get its fair share of the opportunities.

kc2_RingMasterReviewIs there a specific meaning or inspiration to the band’s name?

A King Colobus is a monkey that changes colour when coming out of childhood. I found this intriguing.

It is fair to say that your sound is a tapestry woven from a variety of musical textures and styles. How would you describe it to newcomers?

I would say that it is very much rooted to blues, with a heavy dose of trucker rock and grunge. There are so many pleasant, yet sometimes surprising comments we get from people regarding what they can hear in us, we encourage you to listen and draw your own conclusions!

Is there any particular inspiration you would say has helped shape your music as a band and individually?

I think if you heard 3 or 4 of our tracks, you would hear elements of Sabbath, Alice in Chains, Queens of the Stone Age, Clutch, Rage Against The Machine, Soundgarden, Interpol, and Johnny Cash…but to name a few. The likes of Bowie, Radiohead, and Morrissey have always provided a lot of lyrical inspiration, as they tend to tell stories that interest and make you dig a bit deeper into what is being said.

You recently re-released your self-titled EP to swift acclaim it has to be said. How did you approach its uncaging this time around compared to its first outing?

When it was first released, we did it just so that people could have something to take home at gigs if they liked us. After a while, it started to get a great response and people started getting in touch to order it online. It was at this point where we thought that it should be given broader exposure.

Can you personally put your finger on why it has caught the imagination of press and fans alike with great force?king-colobus-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

I think PR has a lot to do with it! You can have the best EP in the world, but it needs PR to get heard…then it needs to sound good for people to talk about it!

As broad as its songs in many ways are in sound there is an intimacy at the heart of the EP which suggests certainly lyrically personal experiences provides their seeds. Where do you draw inspiration most often for your tracks?

Everything I sing about is personal, or it is based upon something I know about. Sometimes looking at personal experiences of those who are closest to me provides for a better story. There’s no point in talking about California if you get me.

How does the songwriting predominantly work within the band?

Most songs are written acoustically at first. I perform solo acoustic gigs around the South West and ‘test’ things out before approaching the band with the idea. It’s a great way to test out the dynamics of a song, without the frills. I think it also helps us all to look at each track from a different perspective, without some massive riff dominating the landscape.

Can you give us some background to the tracks within the EP and their themes? king-colobus-cover-artwork_RingMasterReview

GET UP was actually written around the time of the 2012 Olympics. I lived in Hackney Wick at the time, so it was right on my doorstep. The track was based on the idea of it being used for Olympic Games footage. Needless to say, it didn’t, but it still made for a good track!

The self-titled KING COLOBUS track is based on my teenage years in Plymouth, so it’s a very personal outlook on my experiences throughout the nineties.

TITS AND TEETH is generally about how disposable the music industry has become and how we find ourselves absorbed by TV judging panels, who apparently know what they are doing.

WAIT is borne from a political platform. We keep on telling ourselves that if we vote a different way, things are going to change for the better. We need to believe this to keep going, but it’s far from the truth.

Live you have shared stages with the likes of with Sea Sick Steve, Band Of Skulls, Crazy Arm, and one of our favourites De Staat and that alone shows the diverse appeal of your sound. What is it you think about the band in sound and live which tempts such an array of artists and their fans into the world of King Colobus?

I think good music will always be just that and hopefully we have gained some new fans through doing our best to put on a good show when we play live. All of these bands are genuine, as are we.

Talking of Sea Sick Steve, the last time we saw him highlighted the trend it seems of people going to shows not so much to watch the artist but to socialise, certainly at higher profile events and venues. The sound of chatting often intruded on the music. If you have come across this, how as a band do you mentally deal with it on stage?

I think it’s our job to try and capture the audience’s attention. If we don’t, we need to do something about that! Sea Sick Steve was a really nice guy to talk to and he gave us so much great advice; I wish I brought a notepad! At the end of the day, you are in a bubble when you are in a band, so audience chatter really doesn’t bother me if it happens…but it rarely does!

What is next for King Colobus live and release wise?

We are just starting to branch out of the South West, as we are really keen to get involved in other musical pockets around the country. We’ve been busy scheduling this, as well as festival dates. As we deal with this ourselves, it is quite challenging. We also go into the studio again this Summer to record another 4 track EP, so this will be out way before the end of the year.

Big thanks again for talking with us. Anything you would like to add?

If there are any towns/cities which would like to see King Colobus, let us know!

Check out our review of the debut King Colobus EP @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/king-colobus-self-titled-ep/

http://www.kingcolobus.com/    https://www.facebook.com/kingcolobus/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Entering the creative web of Era 9

era-9_RingMasterReview

Canadian rockers Era 9 have no regard for boundaries in their sound, weaving strands of numerous flavours and styles in their attention demanding rock ‘n’ roll. It is a proposal drawing fresh ears and appetites with persistent success, so as the band move closer to releasing their next highly anticipated record, we took the chance to find out more….

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

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to its beginnings?

Hi, thanks for having us! We have Laurie and Lalla on lead vocals, Jona on guitar, Joe on bass, and Marco on drums.

Jona, Marco and Joe met in high school, all sharing the same passion for music, and that progressed to the start of a band, and lead them to where we are today.

Have you all been involved in other bands before? If so how have those experiences impacted on what you are doing now?

Yes, some of us have been in other bands before. Playing music at such a young age, you learn so much and grow with experience. Your appreciation for other genres of music grows and you become more open minded with time. We’ve matured over the years and so has our writing and composition, bringing us to how we write our music now, merging a whole bunch of different styles together that might not be very usual in the Rock scene.

What inspired the band name?

The number 9 represents liberty and positivity. We are a new era of music that isn’t just for one person, we cater to all who opens themselves to it! We value creative freedom in music and we promote open mindedness and imagination. Hence, ERA 9.

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

No there was no specific idea at first, we just wanted to play music that we loved listening to. With time we started loving and appreciating other styles of music other than rock and decided to merge it all together, creating “TrapRock”.

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

We still have the same goal, which is to make music we love and show it to the world. But of course, with years of experience you learn a lot by making mistakes, failing, getting back up, and never giving up on what we strongly believe in.

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

Our roots come from Rock music and that’s how we started. Over the years, we’ve grown with experience, playing shows, listening to different genres, etc. Coming from Montreal, we’ve learned to appreciate all styles of music. We live in a city that is very multi-cultural and has a very diverse music scene. Our city is really big on Hip-Hop and EDM and we wanted to break down all stylistic boundaries and merge all the styles of music we love, creating what we call “TrapRock”.

era92_RingMasterReviewHas it been more of an organic movement of sound or does  the band deliberately go out to try new things?

It was definitely more of an organic movement of sound. We love Rock, Metal, Trap, Hip-Hop, EDM, and R&B. Our drummer Marco would make a lot of Hip-Hop beats and Pop songs for other artists, making us decide to try and use some of his ideas within our songwriting.

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?

It’s more of genres of music that inspire us most, rather than just bands. The core of our music will be hard rock, with heavy riffs, but we enjoy changing up the basic usual structure of songs to an EDM/Trap type of structure, with interesting electronic and hip-hop sounds.

Is there a particular process to the songwriting which generally guides the writing of songs and where do you draw inspirations from for the lyrical side of your songs?

We are all writers. Usually, someone will come up with a basic rough song idea and send it to the band, and if we’re all vibing off it, we’ll elaborate on our ideas and all add our touch to it. Marco will then add his touch and program some electronic and hip-hop ideas.

What inspires us most lyrically is usually how we’re feeling and what we’re going through in the moment. Whether it’s struggles, love, heartbreak, anger, or society, etc., we all have emotions and stories to tell.

Can you give us some background to your latest release and an insight to its song’s themes?

We unofficially released our EP in 2016, called Warrior, and we will be releasing a full length album in Spring 2017, called Gravity. The themes vary from song to song, depending on how we’re feeling or what one of us is going through in our lives at that moment. As we’ve said, whether it’s life’s struggles, love, heartbreak, anger, or society, etc., we all have emotions and stories to tell.

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

Luckily, we have our own studio in our hometown, which makes it very easy for us to record at any time. We also record on the road, in our R.V. Everything is recorded and mixed in house by our bass player Joe. We usually like to write and record our ideas and get it to the final state before getting into the booth for the final recording.

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

The feeling we get while on stage is indescribable. Seeing everyone jump up and down and singing our lyrics while we’re up there is just amazing. We love how our music can bring everyone together, whether you’re male or female, black or white.

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 in Montreal still for new bands to make a mark?era93_RingMasterReview

Any type of art is a tough career to be successful in. There is so much competition out there. You have to be willing to risk it all, fail, drop everything, leave it all behind and get on the road. We are constantly working, whether it’s writing, making music videos, or networking and creating business relationships. There is definitely opportunities to make a mark if you’re talented, believe in what you’re doing, and if you’re willing to do whatever it takes to be heard. In terms of where we’ve toured and performed around the U.S., we always get great feedback on what we’re trying to do and new loyal fans. We love the support we’ve been receiving so far!

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or something a band can always use to their advantage?

It has its pros and cons. It definitely becomes more positive with time as a band grows in popularity, because once you have that audience reach, your music will be shared around the world instantly, unlike back in the day where it took time for places around the world to hear bands or artists. All they had was radio and word of mouth. But it can also be negative for bands starting out in terms of making money, due to downloading of music nowadays. You just have to keep working harder than the competition out there, by taking advantage of all these networking platforms that exist. Create and release as much content as possible, and make it easily accessible on all these platforms. The more people hear your music, the more it will be shared, and that’s when success will come!

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

We’ve been writing new material and gearing up to take over the world in 2017. Make sure to follow us on all social networks @era9official and join 9gAng now at http://www.era9.com to receive updates on upcoming tours, and release dates of new music. Thanks again for having us!

https://www.facebook.com/era9official    https://www.instagram.com/era9official/

Pete RingMaster 02/02/2017

 

Snarling from the inside; talking Threatpoint with guitarist Threatpoint Alex Olivetti

threatpoint _RingMasterReview

Scranton, Pennsylvania based, groove metallers Threatpoint are no strangers to acclaim and increasing fan support thanks to their explosive live presence and a couple of plaudit luring albums. Recently they released their third in RIP, a thrilling new step in sound, craft, and imagination from the band sure to stoke up even keener and bigger spotlights upon the band. We enjoyed a moment of guitarist Alex Olivetti’s time recently to find out more about Threatpoint, there striking new encounter and plenty more…

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

Sure, Threatpoint is Chris James (vocals), CJ Krukowski (drums), Matt Van Fleet (bass) and myself, Alex Olivetti (guitar). The band formed in early 2012. CJ and I were in a band that had just broken up and Chris’ band at the time had just broken up as well. We knew each other for a few years since our old bands used to play together. Our bassist Matt is actually the one that told Chris we were looking for a singer, since they used to be in band together. That’s where the initial seed for the band was planted. We’ve had many line-up changes through the years and now Matt is officially a part of the band. It’s very fitting since he’s the one that pretty much put the band together and it’s great since we all knew each other prior to starting this.

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

Yea, I played in quite a bit of bands actually; cover bands, duos, acoustic, rock, metal. I joined my first band in high school and haven’t stopped since. I think being in different bands doing different styles opened my mind up to more music outside of rock/metal and even rounded me out more as a guitar player. I’m always open to trying different musical ideas and evolving as a band and as a musician.

What inspired the band name?

We were throwing around name ideas, one idea had the word “threat” and another idea had the word “point” in it. So we just decided to combine the two. No crazy meaning behind it, just trying to come up with something cool.

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

We just wanted to be a heavy, honest, in-your-face metal band; which I think we’ve achieved. We like to write music that the audience, as well us, can connect to.

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

We all still love music but I think being more seasoned with recording three full-length albums and a lot or touring helped us grow not only as a band but as people. We inspire each other, since we all have different musical tastes. We’re always looking for new bands to listen to and draw inspiration from.

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

When we first got together I think we were just trying to find our sound and trying different ideas and seeing what sounded good, our second album Careful What You Wish For is definitely faster and more aggressive and I’d say our latest album RIP is a combination of the two. We also recorded an acoustic EP and are currently working on new material and still expanding our sound.

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

I’d say a little of both, we’ve naturally all grown as musicians and songwriters over the years and we never want to make the same album twice. We are always looking for new influences and ideas to expand our sound.

You mentioned the wide range of inspirations among you; 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?  

Yea, we all like similar bands but we all have different musical tastes from blues to death metal.  We take ideas and inspiration from many bands and combine them together.

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

Not really, songs can spark from any ones ideas. We’ve had songs start off from guitar riffs, bass lines, drum patterns and even lyrics and a vocal melody. We all bring our ideas to the practice space and work from there. The fact that everyone in the band contributes to the writing process gives us our character and sound. We put all of our styles and influences in a blender; that’s where the Threatpoint sound comes from.

How about the lyrical side, what inspires that the most?

Our singer Chris, who writes all the lyrics, can give you a more definitive answer but overall the songs are about going through life, struggle, hope and spirituality. We try to stay positive lyrically, we make songs that are relatable to anyone for any situation they may be going through.

Can you give us some background to your latest release, RIP?art_RingMasterReview

The whole process for RIP from writing to the release was about a year and half. We wanted to expand upon what we’ve done in the past, some of the fastest songs we’ve written are on this as well as some of the most laid back tracks. We also had our friend Lauren do guest vocals on one of the songs. Thanks to our good friend Nick we just released our first music video for one of the tracks off of the album, Bury the Wicked.

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

The overall meaning behind our latest album title, RIP(Rest In Peace), is letting go or getting rid of anything that drags you down, whether it be people, objects or just taking yourself out of any situation in life that causes distress. A couple of the tracks(RIP, Tombstones of my Enemies and Bury the Wicked) all deal with that subject specifically.

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

We like to go into the studio with songs about 80% finished, it makes the actual recording process less stressful, but we always leave room for the magic that can happen in the studio. Usually songs that are my least favorite at the beginning of the process turn out to be my favorite in the end.

 Tell us about the live side to the band?    

We all love to play live, that’s where we are in “the zone”. The songs are written with the live show in mind, we write upbeat, heavy music and are very energetic onstage. When the fans get into it, we feed off of their energy, and the vibe is unreal. I’m pouring sweat at the end of every set even if we only play a handful of songs.

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

We have some cool venues and some very talented bands in our area. From touring, we’ve discovered that more rural venues and places in the middle of nowhere have bigger crowds that go crazy for metal. We’ve gained some awesome followings in areas outside of our own so we make sure to return to those places whenever we get the chance.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band?    

It’s an easy tool to get your name out there, promote and connect with just about anyone. There’s a little bit of a struggle as there are so many bands nowadays so it’s a little tougher to stick out from the pack. The fact you can watch live concerts online is great but I also think that its hindered turnouts for shows in general.

A big thanks for sharing time with us Alex; anything you would like to add?

Thanks to you for the interview and helping to spread the word and thanks to anyone or everyone who has supported us in any way possible…THANK YOU. To those who haven’t checked us out go to our website and come say hi to us at a show!

Read our review of RIP @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/threatpoint-r-i-p/

http://www.threatpointofficial.com     https://www.facebook.com/threatpoint

Pete RingMaster 25/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The unification of diversity: exploring the heart of Divided We Stand

divided-we-stand_RingMasterReview

Since forming in 2011, US rockers Divided We Stand has persistently and increasingly grabbed ears and attention with their creative roar and adrenaline fuelled live presence. Quickly making a potent impact locally, they have continued to spread their heavy, rousing sound nationally while sharing stages with the likes of Hoobastank, Pop Evil, All That Remains, SOiL, Mushroomhead, Nonpoint, Papa Roach, and Three Days Grace along the way. As their latest single draws acclaim and appetites globally, we grabbed some of the band’s time to look at the track, the origins of Divided We Stand, what makes them, tick and much more….

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to its beginnings?

Formed in December 2010, the Knoxville, TN based hard rock band Divided We Stand is a modern heavy rock band that combines haunting melodies, infectious grooves, tightly synched guitar riffs and clean, melodic vocals to create a crowd pleasing experience. Its line-up consists of Mike Russell (Drums), Randy Krouse (Bass), Jake Wilson (Guitars), Phil Zimny (Guitars/Vocals), and Joe Turner (Lead Vocals)

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

We all have been in past bands with very different sounds. It makes it harder to write because of all the different viewpoints but we have very good songs to show for it. Randy was in a few really heavy metal bands prior to this. Phil and Mike started off playing for their churches and then found other projects later on as their talents grew. Joe started busking while he was in the military and then found some other artists and bands to perform with. Jake has played in various projects as well. We all grew up around music and it’s our life no matter what direction it takes us.

Is there a specific meaning behind the band name?

We have such different views and ideals. While we were in the first phases of our band we had so many different ideas of what direction to go in. Someone said don’t be so divided and it dawned on us “Divided We Stand”.

dws_RingMasterReviewWas there a particular idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted your sound to offer?

It started out with Mike Russell and Phil Zimny, they had written some songs together that had a heavy but melodic sound. After looking for musicians to fill in the roster they added Randy after a random try out. They liked his heavy edge and his unique double slap bass style. Joe Tuner was just hanging out with the band one night and asked to play a song for us. To our surprise he had a golden voice. We had a few rhythm guitar players leave to pursue other ventures.  Jake Wilson had played in some of the bands we had shows with; his stage presence and clean guitar playing caught our attention and we knew he was a perfect fit for the role.

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

We all came into this band with great talent but little knowledge of the music industry. You earn each step with your failures and your successes. It’s hard to go out on the road months on end and come up with five to ten thousand to record, publish, and distribute each year. But we have determination to make a way. Either you do it or you don’t.

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

Well Phil and Mike had written a few songs. With the addition of Randy and Joe they quickly morphed into full songs. Some changes happen when you add or subtract a member. We started with second guitar player named Trevor Tucker for our first two EPs Civil Unrest and Deception. When Trevor left the band we added Chris Whitt for our newest single New Era and our sound changed. Some songs sounded better with him and some didn’t work out. Next we added Jake Wilson after Chris left and our sound is changing again. You always need to evolve as a musician.

Have changes been more an organic movement or more the band deliberately trying new things?

For us it was out of necessity. We started out writing, then playing local shows, then touring nationally as well as putting out our EPs and music videos out and it takes up a lot of you time and you have to work a job. Trevor moved on to pursue other ventures because of the hectic schedule. So we got a friend who is really good at guitar to try out. Chris was good and filled the role well and recorded with us and toured but he ended up getting really sick. He wasn’t able to play anymore so we had a few fill in guitar players help us out and went on tour dates for us until we found a replacement. We added Jake Wilson and he has got to play a few shows so far.

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?

We listen to music all day long but when we write we try to focus on where our emotions lead us instead of a specific sound or band. There are a lot of musicians we learn from as we grow as a musician. Some of our favorite bands our Stone Temple Pilots, Avenge Seven Fold, U2, Fear Factory, Dio….this list could go on forever.

Talking of songwriting, is there a particular process to it within the band?

We have tried many approaches to writing material for the band. We put everything under the microscope and only the best ideas pass. Recently we have all been writing and we have tons of ideas so we started recording our ideas and if everyone wants to put a layer on the track they do if not we move on to the next one.

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

Joe writes most of his own material. If he has trouble we give him our ideas for harmonies, patterns, poetry, or anything really. If he likes it he runs with it, if not he keeps moving forward until he finds something. A lot of times you can start with a basic idea and build on it.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?dws-art_RingMasterReview

We went to Spider Studios in Cleveland, Ohio for our single New Era. Tony Gammalo was our producer for the track. He has worked with artist like Chimera and Machine Gun Kelly. He even did the Freddy vs Jason soundtrack. It took us a few days to record but it takes a while to get the finished product. We shot a music video with Post Retro Productions. Then we released our single and video to I-tunes, Spotify, Fuse and a million other places. We feel the music industry is starting to gravitate towards singles instead of albums. No one buys physical copies anymore. They want the best songs for their playlist digitally so getting on as many sites as possible is key.

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 played our song live a thousand times before we record so it is well rehearsed before we go record. Sometimes your part changes in the studio for certain reasons like the producer wants you to do it a little different or you find a slight mistake.

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

We have a high energy performance where we jump and throw our guitars around. Joe has such a great presence as a front man. We put our whole selves into the music and don’t hold back. Before and after we play we love to hang out with the crowd and other bands. We love to travel and perform at such different venues with different sounds and random stages.

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

We live really close to Nashville the music city. There is music everywhere but for metal bands it can be a challenge to find a place to play. Times change and you have to adapt to the sound people want here while keeping your musical integrity. The internet is a big tool for success in the music industry. Getting published and distributed through online service is a must. Social media is another tool to get the word out about all your adventures. Share videos and picture as much as possible. You do have to spend a little money to move forward sometimes. Save up or maybe a loan.

Big thanks for sharing time with us guys; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

We just wanna thank The Ringmaster Review for giving us and all the unsigned artists a shot. It is publications like this one that keeps music alive by giving young talent a voice.

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDividedWeStand   http://www.dividedwestand.ninja/   https://twitter.com/DividedWeStand0

Pete RingMaster 21/01/2017

Weaves and carousels with Demi The Daredevil

demi-the-daredevil_RingMasterReview

It is fair to say that bands which bring a diversity of imagination and sound together stand out from the thick music crowd more than most and that is exactly what is happening with Demi The Daredevil. Since forming in 2006, the Texan outfit has explored their art rock natured sound without allowing it boundaries, persistently luring attention from fans and media alike to now knock on global awareness. We recently had the chance to do our own exploration of the band with one of its founders Jeff Azar to look at the beginnings of Demi The Daredevil, that journey through sound and imagination, their latest release and much more…

Hello, many thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to the bands beginnings?

My name is Jeff Azar from an Art Rock/Dark Theater band called Demi the Daredevil. It all started in our hometown El Paso; El Chuco as some like to say. Jovan (RIP) and Marc started playing guitar together, and I was introduced to them by a mutual friend. I started off on the drums in this band.

Were you involved in other bands before Demi the Daredevil? If so what influence did those experiences have on what you are doing now?

Marc is in a few other bands. I jammed with some people sometimes. I guess they helped me realize what direction I did NOT want to go in.

What inspired the band name?

Demi is short for demigod, which is a half man half god. Kinda like a Hercules type.

Not sure about Daredevil. Marc and Jovan chose Demi the Daredevil over The Rootbeer KamiKazis.

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

No, at least it was more intuitive rather than a logical idea behind what we were doing. When we first started, Jovan was inspiring from random things like film scores or TV show theme songs or video game music and we punk rocked those out. We didn’t have too much of an audience in mind, we just wanted to make loud fast melodic music.

When my brother came into the mix later down the road, I thought we’d have two ideas: classical music merged with the pop world and the world of movie acting/very obvious themed songs. Currently, the main goal is to have 1) good chord progressions 2) good melodies 3) and killer grooves. Besides that, there is no one idea musically, and as far as the lyrics go, I’m speaking to those who struggle with mental health.

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

That’s a good question. At first it was the pure fun of playing and analyzing music, with no thought of an audience. Then the drive became to be a critical success. Now, the drive seems to be connecting with kindreds, with like minds. Wanting a sense of community is the drive.

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

This band has had a lot of style changes. There have been phases, which might have made it hard to pinpoint an audience. But it was a necessary exploration…. Anyway, at first it was balls out punk rock or power pop. Then during a Beatles phase it became more reserved and softer. When my brother Thomas came into the mix, it became very Broadwayesque, because he’s a classically trained pianist and likes Broadway styled melodies.  Now, there don’t seem to be rules. As long as the songs are accessible, emotional, and will stand the test of time at least for a little while, we can inspire from soft rock, power pop, classical, funk, dark cabaret, etc…

It has been more of an organic movement of sound rather than you deliberately trying new things?

It’s always been an organic movement of sound. At every point in the history of this band we’ve just dished out what we were taking in at the time. For me it’s intuitive writing in that I take in a bunch of impressions, and then somehow something is synthesized from all those impressions.

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?

Yes. You’re right about there being such a wide range of influencers. I’ve obsessed over bands during each stage…And can’t list them all. But, even though I’m ashamed to keep bringing up this contemporary band that only in the last year has been the biggest personal influence, Twenty One Pilots has had a major impact on my personal approach. I had similar subject matter to Tyler lyrically; he just said it better with zero pretence. He got me to get more sober, gave me faith in making songs that don’t have to be master crafted mega hits, just as long as they are good and accessible. They made me go the distance with grooves, and incorporate all these intricate rudiments I learned in drum line. And they created online community of a certain type of fan with a very particular identity which I’d like to reach too. The live show energy; I could go on. Please stop me.

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

For me, I need to start with a timeless and emotional chord progression…Or at least a variation of one.  That is most important to me. I try out syncopated rhythms with the core instruments. Melody then is experimented with. Previously written poetry is put more into lyric and song form. Recording programs help with happy accidents. There is a long phase of punching the song up after the main idea is there…So many bases to cover.

Where do the biggest inspirations to your lyrical side come from?

Lyric inspiration starts from what I think is a big realization or feeling.

I then take months to get a more bird’s eye view on it and to say it better than when I tried to describe it initially.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?

A lot of the lyrics for it were written in strange places, like an attic on the UT campus during my last summer of school there, a couple psych hospitals(a lot of time to reflect there), and in a tee pee (which I needed to live in to save money for marketing). The band was in flux, and our producer lived in New York. So it took a long time to coordinate with our producer long distance, which left me a lot of time to treat the songs like Frankenstein until they were the best they could be.

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

The EP is called Secret Schizoid. The schizoid, defined by a psychologist Rollo May, is someone unable to feel, or to have close connection with others. They are out of touch with themselves. So these tracks are tracking that recovering the self process and piecing it back together.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to leave plenty of room for development as you record?

Definitely a band that goes into the studio with songs more in their finished state. Unless a group of musicians are dedicating enough time with each other to make magic happen going into the studio without set ideas seems like a nightmare. Plus we really just need to record live drums in the studio. The rest can be tracked at home.

 Tell us about the live side to the band?

We’re starting to prep for the live shows and trying to make them theatrical, in the sense that we we’re creating little inner dialogue scenes with voices on the back tracks, or I should say monologue scenes because they are like schizophrenic voices, in between songs…And making it engaging with the audience. We want people to feel like they are part of the inner turmoil.

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

Yes, there are opportunities to break through; the key is knowing what kind of person your fan is and send them personal messages. Build relationships. Also learning how to using social media to reach them. Facebook offers a really useful audience insights tool to learn more about your fans, and a power tool editor to advertise correctly.  In terms of playing live shows to regional fans when you don’t have money or resources to book nation or worldwide tours, promoting your shows to potential fans in whatever area will make it more worth your while. No industry ppl who can take you to the next level will mess with you without fans, and you can’t leverage anyone in the industry without fans.

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

At first, the social media made us feel insecure because we just got crickets. After understanding how to use it (to spread your music to people who are care about that kind of music), it’s a free marketing tool. You have to learn how to use it and adapt. If you want to get signed to a company, you need to prove you have engagement from a Fan-base because that is in our control now. If you don’t care about getting signed you still need to use social media to have a Fan-base. You can play a show to ten people, two whom really likes you, or you can reach 8,000 people by $20 to market a live performance online for example.

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

Thank you for asking good questions! Yes, admit insanity, embrace your humanity.

If you are plagued with self-doubt, are conflict ridden, and someone who asks existential questions listen to our Secret Schizoid EP 🙂

http://www.demithedaredevil.com/    https://www.facebook.com/demithedaredevil/   https://twitter.com/demidaredevil

The RingMaster Review 13/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright