Rock ‘n’ Sulphur; talking with Avalanche

Roaring out of Smithfield, Western Sydney Avalanche are a 4 piece hard rock band playing heart-racing, gut busting, roof crashing, fast paced Rock ‘N’ Roll courtesy of the devil himself. The Australian outfit recently sat down and shared with us their origins, new album, inspirations and plenty more….

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

Veronica ‘V’ Taleski: My name’s Veronica I play lead guitar.

Ryan Roma: I’m the drummer.

Arthur Divis: Rhythm guitar.

Steven Campbell: And I’m Steven, lead vocalist and bass player. I know that Ryan and Veronica have been jamming together for a few years, she went to school with his sister and that’s how they met, they had another rhythm guitarist and bass player at the time and eventually reached out to me as they needed a singer. Soon enough, the rhythm guitarist gave up, the bass player stopped showing up so I thought I’d take up bass too, and after a whole string of rhythm guitarists we eventually found Arthur. But yeah I think what brought us all together was a love of heavy rock music, particularly stuff from the 60s, 70s and 80s, were all young but we’re all into that kind of music and we were lucky enough to find others to share that interest with.

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

Veronica: For me and Ryan, this is our first band, pretty much from our first time playing together we both knew we wanted to start a band and take it as far as it could possibly go. For us our biggest influences has always been bands like AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, Motörhead and the like, bands that are just bare bones rock n roll, with a bit of blues a bit of early rock n roll but heavy and loud and BIG, yet simple and not overly complicated. That’s always been the kind of music we want to play, while we may have other influences and play different styles sometimes, we know always just need to bring it back to that paradigm.

Steven Campbell: I’ve been in and out of bands since I was about 13-14 starting with an acoustic duo me and my best friend started, I’ve been in all sorts of bands, heavy metal all the way to psychedelic funk. But rock and roll has always been my favourite music, I feel like all my past experience in bands though gave me a much needed leg up on how bands and gigs are actually run which has helped us in a lot of a situations, and it goes to show if you want to play music especially in a band, you just can’t take no for an answer.

Arthur Divis: I haven’t ever played in another band. It’s interesting though because I remember when I was learning I sort of moved away from open chords to bar chords and would also mess around with pedals and distortion and the like so got extremely use to playing like that. But in this band, following what V does, she has a very particular way of playing, inspired a lot by AC/DC to get the most massive sound possible without a lot of effects, so no pedals, very little distortion, and going back to open chords and hitting the strings as hard as possible, it was all a bit awkward at first but feels good now haha.

What inspired the band name?

Steven Campbell: My dad, Adrian Campbell was actually in a band called Avalanche in the 70s and the 80s, they used to belong to the same management company as AC/DC; they have even played with them before and some other major bands at that time, we thought it was an awesome sounding name and wanted to keep the rock and roll family tradition going so after going through a lot of other names, we decided to name our band Avalanche.

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

Veronica: Yeah as mentioned me and Ryan came into this wanting to be a bare-bones hard rock band. We didn’t wanna write ballads or slow songs or political songs or songs with a whole wall of effects and distortion on ‘em, we wanted to be a guitar band and we wanted to write music that you could have a good time too. If it’s heavy, loud or fast then it’s good enough for us. I think it was Slash or somebody who said that a good rock song has either gotta make you want to fight of fuck. So that’s what we try to do.

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

Veronica: Yeah pretty much. Of course with bringing new members in, they’re gonna bring their own influences and ideas in as well, but in our cases, all that’s done is add to the sound rather than take away from it, we’re still a hard rock band and that’s not gonna change anytime soon. And we’re still hell bent on taking this band to the ends of the earth, even more so now than before I’d say.

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

Ryan: We’re definitely more tighter and more aggressive I’d say. A lot more used to playing with each other and anticipating each other. Our songs have become more dynamic and more unique as we’ve begun to find our voice and bring in each other’s influences. But it’s still all good old fashioned rock n roll.

Have changes and growth in sound etc. Been more of an organic movement or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

Steven: Well its funny Veronica and Ryan tend to be very firmly rooted in the hard rock, rock and roll sound and I’ve spent so much time playing in different genres that sometimes it comes together in a way that we may not usually have thought of because of that. We tend to be a lot more towards the organic rock sound but very occasionally there are a few weird things I manage to get into the final mix haha

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?

Steven: I think one of the biggest inspirations I like to add into my own musical approach, is the way Bon Scott would write his lyrics. How he would subvert the listener’s attention in certain ways and make you think that he was talking about something completely different. I like that sort of mystery in my writing, sort of keep everyone guessing.

Veronica: AC/DC is probably the biggest inspiration for me, and learning their songs has impacted my playing quite a bit, there’s a reason I now have 2 Gibson SG’s and counting. They have taught me that you don’t have to keep building a riff up to make it great, it’s better to strip it down to its bare bones; like back in black, highway to hell, long way to the top, they are very simple but very catchy and complex riffs and those songs will never go away. They also taught me that it’s often what you don’t play that makes a song, the space between the notes that makes it rock…And not to play filler material or play a note for the sake of it. And I try to take those lessons into this band as well.

Ryan: Playing different genres across the rock/metal spectrum has helped me quite a bit I think, I like my thrash and death metal as much as my hard rock, but other than that, I think a drummer shouldn’t be afraid of playing 4/4. Look at Sent From Hell, he can play 4/4 better than anybody on the planet and I hope one day to be as good as him as well.

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

Steven: It’s very collaborative. Usually one of us will come up with a riff or a title or some kind of idea and bring it in to rehearsal and then we’ll work on it with the rest of the band. Sometimes it’s very spontaneous and we can work out a whole song together on the spot at rehearsal, other times, me or Veronica will go home and work on it by ourselves and structure it in our own time and then bring it back to the band to complete, and were constantly trying to get it as close to perfect as possible. We just think if you go through the trouble of writing a song, why not try to make it the best song it can be?

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

Steven: Just From life experience really, a lot of the times I tend to hide what I’m really talking about with a variety of different stylistic features. But there’s always a general theme for a song that I write to, and a lot of them come from life experiences. A lot of them are about sex also.

Give us some background to your latest release.

We just released our debut Double EP, Sent From Hell, it’s a wild and raw rock n’ rock record about sin, sex and good times. It’s a mix of 4 studio recordings, including our 2 single releases, and 4 live recordings taken from one of our gigs in December. It’s fast and heavy and it’s LOUD!

Could you give some insight to the themes behind it and its songs?

Steven: Well we didn’t actually realise it was all under a general theme until we finally put them all together. But it stems from a bit of a stereotypical sense of being a rock band; we just reimagine it in our own way. The whole Hell theme for a lot of rock bands I think comes from a general sense that you aren’t accepted, either by society or musically in some way or another, but we sort of just went with that and realised a lot of our songs were about that too.

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?

Veronica: I don’t think any band who aren’t already millionaires can really afford to work out songs in the studio, it’s expensive too record, we spent about 9 months working on material and perfecting all our songs and choosing the best of those to record for our EP so we wouldn’t be wasting any time and can focus on making the song sound as good as possible rather than writing the song from scratch. Of course you do develop it a bit while you record and may add or take away things you didn’t think off before, but if you’ve already worked it out and rehearsed the shit out of it before you even think about recording it, it does make everything a lot easier and faster.

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

Steven: So the live show is something we’ve spent a lot of time working on and still are improving every time we play, but I feel it’s just a thing you have to jump into, because the best way to learn it is by doing it, making those crucial mistakes and realising what it takes to have that amazing live show. It’s something a band has to find just as much as they have to find their own sound, and believe it or not, I find it perhaps the most fun part.

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 or vice versa as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success?

Steven: I mean it’s just one of those things isn’t it, I feel every industry will go through changes and end up evolving. But with new challenges comes new experiences and I feel like everyone is pretty accepting of the new digital aspect of the music industry. Sure it’s hard to get noticed in a market that kind of revolves itself around self-saturation but it’s also the easiest time in history to be heard. There’s always gonna be ups and downs in an industry I guess it’s just up to the person themself if they want to put in the effort to learn that industry.

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

If you’re in Sydney, be sure to catch us at one of our shows over the next few months for Sent From Hell. We also recently spent some time recording at the Grove Studios for our next project so keep your eyes and ear peeled we have plenty more to come!

https://www.facebook.com/Avalanche2018Official   https://avalanche2018.bandcamp.com/   https://www.instagram.com/avalanchebandrock/

Pete RingMaster 27/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Sweet and power: the Vanilla Sugar Interview

Based out of Los Angeles, California, Vanilla Sugar dares to push the envelope of unprecedented and bold sounds. The eclectic mixtures is the release of Jessica Perry (JP Vanilla) on vocals, synthesizer, and guitars, a proposition which combines comprehensive alternative/electronic sample infused music with an electrifying stage presence. We craved to learn more so with big thanks to JP we explored origins, music, songwriting and more…

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

Thank you for having me!

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

I am Vanilla Sugar – I started this project on a midi keyboard and iMac. I wanted to get the songs in my head out and into my car’s speakers.

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?

I have been performing in different bands since I was 12 years old. I have done Industrial, Punk, Metal, Pop – you name it! I learned from each band, and playing different genres has definitely helped craft what Vanilla Sugar is today.

What inspired the band name?

The PG13 version is that Vanilla Sugar seems like such a dainty name – when the music is actually very in your face and powerful. I love throwing off new audience members. They never know what to expect. The R rated (and completely true) version is this…I wanted a name for this that somehow had my name tied in all at once and not at all. My nickname is JP Vanilla. Hence the “Vanilla” in Vanilla Sugar….the “Sugar” comes from the term “Kitty sugar” (Feel free to Google when you’re not at work). Put those two meanings together and you’ll know what Vanilla Sugar means!

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

I wanted the sound to be a mix of everything I enjoy listening to – which is Metal, Electronic music, Pop, etc. I blend my favorite aspects of each genre all together.

Do the same things still drive you from when you started up Vanilla sugar or have they evolved over time?

I would have to say the same things still drive me. I write lyrics from the heart – things that I have been through, things I overcame – I want to share it with the listener. You never know what someone is going through. Music helped me through a lot while I was growing up and I want to be able to return the favor.

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

The sound is much more structured now – in a great way. Songs are smooth, clean and on time!

And that has been more of an organic movement of sound or you deliberately wanting to try new things?

A deliberate change – I am always trying to better the sound.

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

I love Grimes – she is a huge influence on me. I respect that she does everything DIY. Love that – and Mindless Self Indulgence – they taught me to be brave and not care what the formula is “supposed” to be when writing a song. They taught me to write what feels right.

Is there a particular process to your songwriting?

Typically the song is made, often times starting with a synth melody. I write the lyrics from the feelings the music gives me.

You touched on lyrics earlier; the major sparks for that side are?

Life experiences. It’s a way for me to get things off my chest. I have a very bad habit of holding onto bad experiences and let it eat away at me. When I write the lyrics around the issue, it’s as if I am releasing it from myself and it’s a very freeing feeling.

Give us some background to your latest release.

This new album is my first one! I am very excited to share it with the world.  A lot of blood, sweat, and glitter have gone into this.

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

I am trapped inside of my head a lot. This album dives into that, and I confront myself for the first time through lyrics. The music videos give a wonderful view into the insides of my brain.

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

I prefer to develop songs as I record. I record little ideas at home, but ultimately my producer and I work songs out at the studio.

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

I love playing live shows! It is wonderful to be able to connect with fans. My favorite part of the live show is when I get to go crazy with my keytar. I love feeling the music that way.

It is not easy for any new band or artist 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?

I think there is always a place for opportunity to happen, you just need to work to make it happen. I tour often, and wide – from Los Angeles to Florida, and venturing out into Brazil, Japan, and the UK within the upcoming years.  It’s important to keep touring so you can grow your fanbase.

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

I absolutely love social media when it comes to music. Before social media, promoting shows and your brand was difficult! Now, I can just create an event on Facebook and invite anyone all over the world! It’s a great way to keep in contact with your fans, and allow them to see the real you.

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

Thank you again for having me! I host a Facebook & Instagram Live every Thursday night at 8pm PST. Please join – I would love to get to know you!

https://www.facebook.com/vanillasugarmusic/

Pete RingMaster 09/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Words That Burn Interview

Photo – Down The Barrel Photography © 2019

For those who may not know who you are, introduce yourselves.

Roni (Vocals) – We are Words That Burn, a melodic metalcore back from Dundalk, Ireland.

Describe your sound in as few words as possible.

R – Angry, melodic, passionate, positively charged aggressive.

Who are your three biggest influences as a band?

R – Personally – Winston from Parkway Drive. Mike Patton. Chris Cornell.

We all have different influences that cross over in places.

What’s the meaning behind your band name?

R – The name came from a book of poetry my dad had lying about in the house called “words that burn”. In the very early days of the band, myself & my dad were talking about a poet called Christina Rosetti one day and he said he had a book with some of her work in it somewhere. When I saw the name I was like, “that would be a cool band name”…. and so it stuck.

How did you approach your new album, Pyres, in terms of writing and recording?

R – Shane (our guitarist) spent a lot of time writing the ideas for the tracks. Then we’d work some basic vocals on it and see how things fit. Then jam it out a bit to see how it feels and then tweak it in the studio again.

Do you have any personal favourite songs on the release?

R – I think we all have different favourite tracks, which is a good sign. But I’m really vibing of a track called Deathgrip right now. It’s just so angry!!

Explain the meaning behind the album title.

R – The album has a strong death theme to it. Not in a dark “Grrrr – I’m gonna kill you to death” kinda way. More so as a catalyst to do things and forget the fear.

Like, you only live once so don’t let life wear you down…Be productive, forget the past unless you are learning from it. Don’t get too wound up in things you are told are important like being rich n shit like that. Do what makes you happy.

So Pyres is kind of a celebration of life and death. Knowing you will die, accepting it and living with a sense of freedom that you don’t think you have, but you actually do.

Describe the concept of your latest video.

R – Our last single was called Riptide and it’s based on a near death experience I had when swimming in Australia. I was under. I had made my peace and accepted death and then at the last minute saved – which at the time I was angry about!! (dickhead)

The concept of the video stemmed from that but elaborated more on the fear and the letting go. Can’t spoil the whole thing so ye gotta watch it yourselves!

Does it tie in with the themes around the song?

It does. The song is quote energetic, so we wanted something fast paced to accent the music. We wanted the story to be the centre piece but told slightly differently from a visual point of view… The director Angel did a great job with the shooting and editing so it really grabs you attention.

Was it fun to shoot or did it prove to be quite a challenge?

It was an awesome few days. The band scenes were great fun to do. The coffin full of freezing cold water – not so much but TOTALLY worth it!

Do you have any live dates lined up at present?

R – We just supported Alien weaponry in Dublin which was fucking awesome and followed it with an Irish tour across June supporting our new album PYRES.

What are your favourite songs to perform live?

R – I think right now it is Deathgrip or White Smoke. They seem to be crowd pleasers.

What are the best and worst shows you’ve played to date?

Best, was the Alien Weaponry show in Dublin a few days ago.

Worst, we played a gig in Poland a few years ago that literally no-one came to. So we played to the other band on tour with us and them to us. It was fun, but it kinda sucked.

If you could open for anyone, who would it be?

Parkway Drive. We have a similar sound so it would work brilliantly (wink wink, nudge nudge!!)

What’s the plan for the rest of 2019?

Gig, gig, gig – we’ve been copped up in the studio for months and we wanna get out gigging!!!!

Any closing comments?

We’d like to thank EVERYONE out there that bought / streamed PYRES and helped us get the album to number ONE in the Irish iTunes mainstream, metal and rock charts! Legends

Check us out on the socials.

https://www.facebook.com/wordsthatburn

https://www.instagram.com/wordsthatburn/

https://twitter.com/words_that_burn

Words That Burn’s new album PYRES is out NOW on Spotify, iTunes and all other online platforms.

Questions by Elliot Leaver

All the means TO AN END

With a persistent taste for Australian metal in any guise we recently had the pleasure to check out Melbourne outfit To An End, talking with guitarist Matt Turner and vocalist Al Gammie about the band’s origins, their current album, opportunities 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 the beginnings of the band?

(Matt)To An End comprises Al on vocals, myself on guitar, Yiorgs on bass and Shane on drums. The band initially began as a project where myself (Matt) and Al wrote all of the songs and completed a full album studio recording. Then, it was easier to find band members once the album was completed and we could show people exactly what we were all about.

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

Each member has been in various bands over the years but we really feel like this is the band we have been waiting for. We can’t wait to get our songs out as far and wide as possible! This band has elements familiar to each member, but is quite different if compared to our previous bands side by side.

What inspired the band name?

The name was one of many for consideration at the time. It was quite difficult to find something that firstly, wasn’t already taken and secondly, sounded good and was decent as a logo. We think ‘To An End’ ticks the boxes!

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

As the band started out as a project it was really a matter of just starting the recording process and seeing where it would all end up. There was room for genre jumping and just having fun with it. Once the album was done, we were absolutely certain we needed to be an active band playing frequently…and here we are!

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

Given we all have a history of playing in other bands and we aren’t too ‘fresh-faced’ anymore ha-ha, the band is definitely serving our passions and we are driven to make sure it’s fun for us and our fans. Anyone who comes to see us live will see all of that translate on stage!

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

We just released our debut album in November 2018 so we are still promoting that. In the background we are writing and doing demos for another album which we are excited about. There will be evolution and only time will tell to see where it all ends up.

It is an organic exploration within the band sound wise or you setting out to try new ideas etc.?

We are flexible musicians, so I think we’ll always have a mix of melody/heavy and soft/loud over the course of an album. There will definitely be some more evolution and experimentation for the next album.

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?

Our individual music tastes range from Journey, Pantera, Glassjaw, Faith No More, Tool, Slayer, Meshuggah to 80’s rock to death/black metal. As a band, we feel we’ve been influenced by heavy music with melody so there are elements of Metallica, Killswitch Engage, Stone Sour, Sevendust and Disturbed. Personally, I’ve always gravitated towards song writers and great riffs so my heroes are Metallica, Pantera, Lamb of God, Alice In Chains, Tool. Way too many to mention though!

Do you have a particular process to your songwriting?

The songs will usually start as a completed demo and then we let the song evolve naturally in the rehearsal room with all of the individual personalities and play styles shining through.

Please give us some background to your first album?

We think we have a great collection of songs on the debut album Redefine and there is certainly something there for everyone whether you are into rock and/or metal. We have some heavy songs like our single Wasteland, plus Hear No Evil which features a killer guitar solo from Christopher Amott (formerly of Arch Enemy) to more rocking songs like Fracture and Left Untold. There is also a piano/acoustic song as well that closes out the album.

…And an insight to its themes?

(Al) The instrumentation and feel of the song really dictates to me where I need to go lyrically and I feel we covered a lot of different ground on the album. There are songs like Fracture and Wasteland – the world is becoming more and more confusing, turbulent and extreme – I wanted to remind people that they have a voice and need not conform. There’s the horror film-inspired Out Of My Hands which touches on violent imagery, although is tongue-in-cheek also. Of course there’s plenty of pent up aggression to express throughout, and the personal moments like From Grace Until Demise and Collide are where I can get deeper and more sombre rather than just yelling in key!

You talked about demos in the songwriting process, so you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty with their character set or prefer to let it develop as you record?

(Matt) We’ll go into the studio fully prepared and ready to go. I think being well rehearsed is key, given studio time is costly. Plus the more efficient you are in the studio, the more chance you have trying a few ideas on the fly.

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

With our live show, we aim to be tight and on point musically but not at the expense being too clinical in our playing and not enjoying ourselves. We hope that the crowd enjoys our music as much as we love playing it. That back and forth energy is contagious.

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?

Whilst the heavy music scene in Australia would be considered to be small in relation to the US and Europe, there are super dedicated fans who are enthusiastic about the scene and music in general. I think it is hard for a new band to make a mark no matter what, but we are fortunate to be located in Melbourne where there is a thriving live music scene and plenty of opportunities to play in front of new people. We also love playing regionally and interstate where there are always people willing to come out and support local music. Every band was local at one point, so we are more than happy to get out as much as possible and we are fortunate to team up with other amazing bands to put on local shows.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date also? Do you see it as something negative or positive overall?

The internet and social media has allowed a low barrier to entry to get music out to people however, the challenge is navigating through such a crowded space. It is difficult to break through it all however I think the positives outweigh the negatives. As a new band we are able to share our videos, live clips, our album, photos, interviews, reviews etc. at the click of a button which allows us to connect with fans really easily. I would say determining a bands worth through how many Likes they have and dismissing a band just based on a particular number next to a thumbs up icon is unfair….but it is a reality. We think that the connection to the fans is the most important thing and we’ll just concentrate on being the best band we can be within our control. Hopefully when people hear our music we’ll get inundated with all those Likes ha-ha!

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

We just want to say thanks for the support and opportunity for chatting with us and hope your readers will check us out on all digital platforms (Spotify, iTunes, Google etc.) just search To An End Redefine. Also, you can check out the video to our debut single here: https://youtu.be/KodUFu2shKw

More details available at our Facebook page and https://toanend.com/

Questions Pete RingMaster 04/05/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

RingMaster Reviews Interviews – Mark Vennis

For those who may not know who you are, introduce yourselves quickly.

MARK VENNIS & DIFFERENT PLACE: WE ARE A GENRE JUMPING BAND ALL TIED TOGETHER BY PUNK ROCK ATTITUDE

Describe your sound in as few words as possible.

JOHNNY CASH AND BOB MARLEY MEET THE CLASH

Who are your three biggest influences as a band?

THE CLASH, BOB MARLEY, JOHNNY CASH.

What’s the meaning behind your band name?

MUSIC TAKES YOU TO A DIFFERENT PLACE. IT CAN TRANSFORM THE EVERYDAY AND GET YOU TO LOOK AT THINGS DIFFERENTLY.

How did you approach your latest release in terms of writing and recording?

I WRITE AND WRITE, THEN I RECORD. THIS ALBUM WAS A COLLECTION OF EPS AND SOME EXTRA SONGS, SO ALL THE THREE EPS WERE AVAILABLE OVER THE PAST THREE OR SO YEARS. SO IT WASN’T RECORDED IN ONE GO.

Do you have any personal favourite songs on the release?

‘RATTLE SNAKE’, ‘ACHILLES REMIX’

Explain the meaning behind the album title.

‘A BEAUTIFUL LIE OR THE UGLY TRUTH’ IS THE TITLE. AND ITS REALLY ABOUT WHETHER YOU WANT TO BELIEVE THE BULLSHIT OR NOT.

Do you have any dates lined up at present?

CANNES FILM FESTIVAL 2019, FLASHFEST PORTSMOUTH 2019

What are your favourite songs to perform live?

‘WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE’, ‘AINT NO CHOICE’.

What are the best and worst shows you’ve played to date?

BEST: VOUT O RENEES, LONDON. JAN 2019, WORST: BLOTTED ANY BAD EXPERIENCE OUT OF MY MIND!

If you could open for anyone, who would it be?

PAUL WELLER

Any comical stories from your time as a band you can share with us?

NONE THAT I CAN REPEAT

What’s the plan for the rest of 2019?

GIG. RECORD. RELEASE NEW ALBUM.

Any closing comments?

WE BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF ROCK N ROLL TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER, MAKE THEM DANCE, MAKE THEM THINK AND, IN A LITTLE WAY, CHALLENGE ARTIFICIAL DIVISIONS IN SOCIETY.

https://www.facebook.com/Differentplaceband/

Questions by Elliot Leaver

RingMaster Reviews Interviews – Terraborn

Pic by Greig Clifford

For those who may not know who you are, introduce yourselves quickly.

Terraborn (Melodic Death Metal) based in Sussex, UK

Describe your sound in as few words as possible.

 Post-Apocalyptic Soundtrack of Destruction.

Who are your three biggest influences as a band?

 Lamb of God, Pantera, Parkway Drive

What’s the meaning behind your band name?

 It means “Born of the Earth”. Mainly fitting in with the post-apocalyptic theme

How did you approach your latest release, the ‘Call to War’ EP, in terms of writing and recording?

Mainly through collaboration at home for the writing process with most of the music written by Dave (Guitars). All of the EP was recorded, mixed and edited by ourselves (with the exception of live drums) and fully self-produced using Andy (Guitars) home studio setup

Do you have any personal favourite songs on the release?

Our favourite tracks from the EP are the title track ‘Call to War’ and ‘Nations Wake’

Explain the meaning behind the title.

 Call to War! – Rallying the troops for battle.

Describe the concept of the video.

Trying to bring the Chaos behind our live performances into a video…Lots of lights, glitches, flashing, sci-fi type feel!

How does it tie in with the themes around the song?

Yes, calling on our soldiers to join the cause and fight for survival

Was it fun to shoot or did it prove to be quite a challenge?

Very fun, with access to a lot of hi-tech kit, an array of 4K HD cameras, HUGE screens, crazy lighting rigs! – As with any video though when you have performed the song 100+ times it wears a little thin!!

Do you have any live dates lined up at present?

Friday 2nd August at the Facebar in Reading (Supporting Rammlied – Rammstein tribute), Friday 1st November at the Crown in Littlehampton (Headline)

What are your favourite songs to perform live?

‘Hypocrisy’, ‘Nations Wake’.

What are the best and worst shows you’ve played to date?

The Best: Mammothfest 2016, M2M final Brighton 2017. The Worst: The Hub Brighton (horrendous sound issues!!)

If you could open for anyone, who would it be?

Lamb of God

Any comical stories from your time as a band you can share with us?

A Seagull stealing, and swallowing whole our bass players battered sausage outside of Sticky Mikes in Brighton, and our Guitarist (Dave) having to run out of the car at traffic lights in a one way system approaching Reading as he needed to pee, for us only to realise afterwards he had left his phone in the Car and was subsequently lost in the middle of the City with no way for us to contact him!

What’s the plan for the rest of 2019?

Promoting our video release and continuing the writing process for our album which we hope to get into the studio to record later this year – with a few live shows thrown in to keep us on our toes of course!

https://www.facebook.com/terrabornband/

Questions by Elliot Leaver

 

Crawling and romancing the shadows with Gnostic Gorilla

Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Gnostic Gorilla is a dark electronic project which wears unpredictability as easily as imagination in its ear gripping sound. Recently we had the chance and pleasure to talk about the solo project with creator Dean Mason, exploring its origins and music amongst many things as well as picking at Dean’s thoughts about music in general.

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

Thank you. My pleasure!

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

Sure. As a teenager, I began exploring the idea of recording music. I was of course a major day tripper…I mean…day dreamer. Hahahahaha! So I ventured out to record two songs, Dark Hallway and Golgotha for a single. I had some excellent musicians join me in the studio (Dave Davidson, Tony Bourdeau, Shaun Saunders and Chris Byrnes) and with the help of my parents I released the 45 rpm under the so called label name “Lonely Ghost Productions”. That was my first experiment with recording music. I left it at that and went to school to find some sort of career. In 2012, I returned to recording, as a hobby and recorded exclusively electronic music with a dark bent. (Gothic/Dark Wave/Industrial) I released a few singles on iTunes etc. and then in 2015 I released the first album (St. Basil’s Asylum) using the project name “Gnostic Gorilla”. Before that I was using the project name “The Lonely Ghost Project” but that changed once I learnt there was an American band called “The Lonely Ghost Parade”. I wanted to avoid confusion. So that’s a brief history of “Gnostic Gorilla”.

What inspired the name “Gnostic Gorilla”?

As I mentioned earlier, initially my project was called “The Lonely Ghost Project” but I changed it to “Gnostic Gorilla”. I had a song called Gnostic Gorilla (now renamed Eye for a Lie) and I decided to use that name for the project. The idea behind the name is a sort of convergence of two world views: the religious ‘creation’ story and Darwin’s theory of evolution. “Gnostic” means “knowledge” or “to know”. That is a reference to the “tree of knowledge”. Obviously, “Gorilla” is in reference to the idea that we evolved from some sort of ‘ape’ species (not specifically the Gorilla of course) and here we are. “Gnostic Gorilla” is not about Gnosticism as some may think.

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

In many ways a lot of it was allowing the creative process to dictate where I wanted the project to go and how I wanted to sound. I started off doing simply instrumental/soundtrack type recordings. Then I decided to try and do a complete song with lyrics/vocals. The first song I did as part of this new electronic music pursuit was a song called Requiem for the Prophet of Doom which was a tribute to Peter Steele of Type O Negative who passed away in 2010. There were two versions of that track. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEnSgqaI3JA & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0N7Uxzg7ac

That was released under the name “Dean Mason of The Lonely Ghost Project”, as singles. Soon after this, I began to really become more interested in a sound that was more industrial and Gothic or Dark Wave and eventually after a few more singles I recorded St. Basil’s Asylum which is now rereleased by Cleopatra Records. Most of my music has been industrial or Gothic since then.

Do the same sparks still drive the project or have they evolved over time and equally since your early days, how would you say your sound has specifically evolved?

Sort of continuing on from the previous question…yeah…there was definitely an ‘evolution’ of sorts. I look back on what I did in 2012 and some of it doesn’t send me far, with the exception of Nietzsche’s Cyborg. I will always be proud of that song. It was a game changer. It’s on St. Basil’s Asylum even though it was recorded in the fall of 2012 and St. Basil’s Asylum was released in 2015 and then rereleased by Cleopatra Records in 2018. But back on track here, I guess for me, I became more interested in an abrasive and weird industrial sound. (Psalm for the Lost was actually more of a retro Goth/New Wave type deal though) My latest album, Freak’s Mind is in my opinion one of my strongest in many ways. The next album to be released by Cleopatra Records (Shaman Rave) will blow your socks off! Promise!

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

A bit of both… I don’t want to be boxed into a specific genre to be honest. So, I go through phases where I really like menacing and weird industrial and then other times I prefer a more velvety Goth or Doom Psychedelic type mood in my music. I have been inspired not only by other artists but also by some soundtracks like, the soundtrack for Sinister which is absolutely mind numbing! So sometimes I watch a movie like that or like Queen of the Damned and it gives me inspiration. So, yeah, there is an evolution of sorts but I never deviate too far from being a dark electronic act.

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

Well, one of my first inspirations would be Gary Numan. I mean, I was a huge KISS fan when I was still in diapers hahaha …but Numan was the one that inspired me to consider doing my own thing in music. That said, I don’t write and record in the style of Numan. I owe more to Ministry, Skinny Puppy and Rammstein as far as recording style goes. I also am very much inspired by Peter Steele of Type O Negative and Jim Morrison of The Doors, especially for their unique lyrical style. Did you know that the first time the term ‘Goth or Gothic’ was used in reference to a rock band was when someone did a review of The Doors, the day after (or close anyway) that Morrison had met Andy Warhol? Anyway…I owe a lot of gratitude to Nash The Slash for being an inspiration as an indie artist as well.

Is there a certain process to your songwriting?

I usually begin a track with a general idea of the kind of mood/style I want to pursue. Then, usually, the song ends up being something totally different than want I first imagined. I usually start with either synth riffs/loops and/or beats/drum patterns and build from there. Kind of difficult to explain how a song evolves and usually I look back and think, “how did I even come up with this”?

… And where do you draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Many of my songs address the human struggle. I never write ‘love’ songs or ‘sex in the corvette’ songs…there are ample of those so …why compete right? I usually write in sort of ‘mystical’ story form. I use a lot of imagery and I allow the listener/reader (of lyrics) to decide for themselves what it means to them, even though I may have a specific idea in mind. I often use religious imagery and also imagery of ‘battles’ or ‘war’ but not in the sense that they are LITERALLY about armed combat. The imagery of ‘battle’ is more of an emotional/psychological journey of that inner struggle. I use a lot of religious imagery, but I don’t push ANY sort of religious point of view…for or against. Again, I let people decide for themselves what any song could mean. I address the issue of mental illness and depression and even the tendency for despair. I don’t encourage ‘despair’ but that experience of wondering where there is hope is quite universal. As well, I often, in veiled language, address the ‘tribalism’ that we humans seem to cling to. I have a real personal distaste for hatred of any kind and the world is full of that. Religious people bashing and rejecting others for being ‘different’ or of the ‘wrong tribe’ and all the bigotry and racism and all the phobias that still exist in a so called ‘evolved’ modern world. That ‘tribalism’ isn’t just from those of a religious persuasion but it also exists among ,many ‘atheists’ and ‘secularists’ who can be just as hateful towards those of the ‘other tribe’. We just don’t know how to leave each other be do we?! Hatred of any kind is for the birds. Wait…not even the birds want it!

Give us some background to your latest release.

The latest release is Freak’s Mind. It’s very abrasive and weird and even at times ‘gothadelic’ (a term coined by Peter Steele by the way). That album is the album that wasn’t supposed to be. I never really wanted to record anything new but one song at a time, and I ended up recording an album’s worth of dark wave/industrial/Gothic madness and I’m really proud of this album. It touches on all those subjects I mentioned earlier. Womb To The Tomb is one of my favourites on that album. It’s a strange combo of wild 60’s psychedelic with raging industrial sounds. Veil is a powerful song, which was recorded in 2013 actually. It’s a good album and I’m not the type that easily says things like that about my own music.

Could you give us some insight to the themes behind it and its songs?

Womb to The Tomb is about the cycle of life more or less, but also looks at the life of a corrupt village and all its citizens, including the powerful who take advantage and the victims who are taken advantage of. It’s kind of inspired by modern day events, without being specific. Chaos Frankenstein is sort of a ‘mystical’ telling of conflict and chaos and suffering and deception. Finally, (I won’t dissect every song) Freak’s Mind, the title track, is more or less about someone struggling with some sort of psychological or emotional turmoil.

Tell us about the live side to the band?

At present, Gnostic Gorilla is not planning on any live shows. I’d need to lasso a bunch of musicians to do that and I don’t see it happening. I don’t think so anyway…Maybe a one off someday.

It is not easy for any new act/artist 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/artists?

You’re so right. It’s not easy. I mean, as far as having an impact is concerned. It’s a different world… a different industry and there are many factors that make it very difficult to make a dent anywhere, even locally…especially if you’re in a bigger city. Technology and the age of communication (social media) make it so that anyone can set themselves up and do music and even videos and put it out there. It makes for a VERY clogged reality in cyberspace. There is SO much out there. Everyone wants to be considered the next big thing…Fair game. But here’s the thing, it’s all been done. After KISS and Sabbath, and Manson and Depeche Mode and Numan and NIN, Slipknot, Cradle of Filth, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Ice T, Eminem, Shaggy, Run DMC etc. …how does one come up with a unique style? I don’t want to be a pessimist but let’s be realistic. It’s VERY difficult to make a dent because it’s almost impossible to snap people out of an oversaturated “yawn…I’ve seen it all before” mindset. You can’t impress people easily. You can barely shock people unless you are involved in some sort of controversy or are pretty like a Barbie/Ken doll. Legends/pioneers are no longer being made and I know that would piss a lot of people off to hear that, but it’s true. As for my own situation, I must confess that as I proud Canadian, I am very unimpressed with the way I’ve been treated by the reps/labels in Canada. I have a label deal with Cleopatra Records (LA) for two albums, a deal with KL-Dark Records in Germany and Nowhere Now Records in Australia and have never even received a reply from the Canadian labels I sent music to. Kind of disappointing but I guess they’re all waiting for the second coming or RUSH or Justin Bieber or Gordon Lightfoot.

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

As I said before, the world has changed dramatically in more ways than one. The internet and social media have forever changed MANY things, not just music. Look at what it’s done to the world of politics! (not always for the better) Even the Pope has a presence on social media. Hahahaha. But more specifically related to the music industry…it’s a mixed bag I suppose. It’s great to promote one’s music/art but also you’re not the only one doing it. Millions are doing it. With regards to the reality of ‘streaming’ though, as an example…that too is a combination of blessing and curse. What’s happening is people don’t feel like buying music is even a concept. It’s not their fault. It’s the way things evolved. (There’s that word again…hahahaha) Younger people grew up knowing nothing else and so, even the concept of music as art is kind of challenged. It’s rarely seen as ‘art’ and just part of the regular noise and scenery of cyberspace all mixed in with the latest ‘app’. It’s like music is there for the taking the way fruit on trees is there for the taking…it’s just a part of the way life goes. It’s all there to snatch and rarely pay much more than a standard monthly fee or something and have unlimited music. Hey, I do it myself, so I’m not criticizing. Also, it needs to be said, with reference to struggling artists: there are also different organizations that promise ‘hi-fi mega stardom’ for a fee! Some of these take advantage of artists, even some of the big labels have jumped on that bandwagon. Don’t get me wrong, there are some decent, honest organizations that genuinely want to assist struggling artists, but there are also a lot of vultures out there cashing in on Wendy and Charlie’s dreams of “making it”. I guess in the end, like anything else, it’s what you do with it right? Maybe it’s just another challenge for artists to be creative, even with regards to promoting and marketing.

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

It is I who thank you! All I can say is that if you are a struggling artist…be true to the art, to being creative. I know that sounds like hippie bullshit, but it’s true. As soon as your goal is to become a ‘celebrity’ you’re setting yourself up for deception. Don’t dream about being a ‘star’. Instead, be creative and express yourself and be true to yourself…regardless of who does and who doesn’t approve. The rest will follow because in the end, authenticity speaks louder than the need to be ‘worshipped’. That’s what I believe.

Explore Gnostic Gorilla further @ https://www.facebook.com/gnosticgorilla/

Also grab your copy of the Various Artists Compilation album, Nowhere Now Volume 2 on Nowhere Now Records @ https://nowherenowrecords.bandcamp.com/album/nowhere-now-volume-2    featuring Last Call (Heed The Drones) by Gnostic Gorilla

Pete RingMaster 12/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright