Power of Diversity: exploring the world of Scarleth

The Ukrainian metal scene is not the most active on our radar but we can introduce you to one band which more than warrants attention. It is Kiev hailing melodic metallers Scarleth. The past decade has seen them share stages at numerous shows and festivals with the likes of Blind Guardian, Rage, Ensiferum, Rotting Christ, Leaves’ Eyes, and Kalmah. Embracing an array of rich flavours their sound has grown into an ear grabbing proposition which will reveal another fresh breath in the quintet’s upcoming new album. We had the pleasure to find out more about the band, release, and more with guitarist Victor.

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

Hello! Nice to talk to you 🙂 I’m Victor, leader and founder of the band.

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

The band was formed in 2005 by myself (Victor Morozov). First line-up included both of my sisters (Renata – vocals, Nina – keyboards).

After that, numerous line-up changes took place until current line-up has finally appeared:

Victor Morozov – guitar

Yana Kovalskaya – keyboards

Ekaterina Kapshuk – vocals

Igor Chumak – bass

Philipp Kharouk – drums

The band was originally formed in Donetsk, Ukraine. Basically, it was my idea to form a band. As a teenager, I was impressed by such bands as Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, so I wanted to form my own band. Ritchie Blackmore was my hero, he is the reason I picked up guitar to play.

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

SCARLETH is the first and the only band for Victor and Ekaterina, both of them haven’t played in other bands before.

Yana was in the following bands before SCARLETH: Stella Vespera (2009–2012), Luna Dream (2012-2014), Dante (2013-2015).

Philipp was part of these bands before he joined SCARLETH: B.W.N., Trapped In Tremble, Maleficar, Vyhr Grez, Kolard, Body Juice.

Igor played in few bands before SCARLETH, but that was too long ago to remember their names 🙂

Current line-up of SCARLETH has been around for about 2 years now.

I don’t think previous bands influenced us in any way; Scarleth has its own style which is constantly evolving.

What inspired the band name?

SCARLET was just a cool simple name which came to my sister’s mind 🙂 I only added “h” to the end of the word, so it looks more “metal”.

We also like this name because it doesn’t limit our musical style in any way. We can play anything we want under this title.

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

At the start, band was planned as cover band. But right after the start, our own songs begin to appear, so we’ve had short time with cover songs.

As for sound, we always wanted to sound different to others that is why we try to include as many different elements as possible to our songs.

And the same ideas and inspirations still drive the band when it was fresh-faced?

It’s the same – passion for music and wish to give good music to our fans and listeners. We never placed money or fame as main driving-force. Making good music which we like and playing it is most important for us.

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

It became heavier, more modern. The new album will be even more into this direction. But also it will touch pop-metal genre which is new for us. It will be interesting record, so don’t forget to buy it when it will be released and support our band.

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

That is natural – we do not plan any changes. We just evolve as people, and our music evolves together with us. And this is really interesting journey. We are happy to be who we are.

You mentioned your own specific spark to make music and 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?

I think life itself is main source of inspiration. Travelling, movies, computer games, anything we do – has its influence.

As for bands who has impact on us I can say – Within Temptation, Black Sabbath, Amaranthe.

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

Yes. We start with simple melodic idea or riff then create song structure. Lyrics are created after that. Most of our songs are written this way. But not all of them, there are always exceptions.

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

From life situations, from something that really grabs our souls. It may be scene from movie or just something happened to us on the road. Just about anything. Life has so many unexpected moments, you know 🙂

Could you give us some background to your new album?

Our latest release is called The Silver Lining, which was released back in 2015. It includes nine tracks we are really proud of, I think these are the best we’ve done so far.

All the tracks on the CD are very different to each other, so if you like diversity in music – we can really recommend to give it a try.

Album was recorded in Kiev in Morton Studio. Max Morton is our good friend; he is really professional sound engineer and sound producer, so we should thank him for great sound on this CD.

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

I think you are asking about lyrics? Lyrics of our songs are as diverse as is the music. You can find quite interesting stuff besides just regular “love songs” or “freedom songs”. I think I should avoid spoilers, so it will be more interesting for you to listen to the songs yourselves 🙂

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

We like to finish everything before going to the studio. But sometimes great ideas appear during recording, so we take them with pleasure. It’s always cool not to know what will happen next 🙂

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

We are big fans of performing our music live. It’s really important for us. When you play live, you can feel band’s energy and reaction of your fans. That is main value for us as artists.

Travelling to festivals may be not easy, but performance itself is always rewarding.

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

You are right – it is not easy, and we are still in the process of getting through. We can only suggest to believe in your own music, play it as much as you can and do everything for it to be heard. Never say die 🙂

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 access to your music is or is maybe out of your hands a little?

Internet helped us a lot. We can use those tools to get our music to the public, it is very important. However, illegal downloads are also take place, and that is not a good thing. But anyway, I think internet is a really good thing for band’s promotion.

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

Thank you! Listen to good music, be yourselves, just live and do what you really like 🙂 See you soon on the road!

Explore the sounds and imagination of Scarleth further @

http://scarleth.com.ua/   http://www.facebook.com/scarlethmetal   http://www.instagram.com/scarlethband/   http://youtube.com/scarlethband

Pete RingMaster 07/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Flirtation amidst debris: exploring the aural tempest of Cohesion

“If music is the machine, Cohesion are the engine. They drive fast, hit hard and have no need for brakes.”

The band’s own words sum up the energy, intensity, and force of their industrial scented alternative metal . With their latest single a major wake-up call to the UK outfit we got to look in on their background, heart, and roar with the band…

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

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

We’re Cohesion, straight out of London. We play loud Alternative Metal with a splash of Industrial. It all started on the back of a solo experiment with some songs, and since expanded with a constant rotation of the line-up, music and settled into what it is now: a machine ready to charge through to the top, borne of musicians who want to play, write and work together to create something new and powerful that gets heads banging and bodies rolling.

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?

Yeah of course we all have something else going on, from Gypsy Punk to Blues Functions. Certainly hasn’t changed our style or direction in any major way, most of them are meal tickets but all the nuances and tricks from other genres we do feed into Cohesion when we can, a rip roaring blues solo can sound sick in the right place, and some fast punk beat really helps to break up a song every now and again. I think by the fact all of us are always playing music in some form it really helps us to be as good as we can be.

What inspired the band name?

Pushing aside any possible pretentious answer, I really have no idea. I had a list of possible names, I umm’d and ahh’d for ages and one day Cohesion just stuck; it wasn’t even on the list!

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

Of course…I started with writing something that I could get my rocks off to, and that expanded into us writing music that we could get off to. We want to play what we want to hear, what there is not enough of out there or what there is but we want to put our own spin on it. Really we just want to rock out and enjoy ourselves, if anyone else likes it and can enjoy our shows too then that’s just awesome.

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

The overall goal and drive is still there but now we aim for little victories, getting that recording done by this time and getting that gig there. Things get a lot more focus and the productivity goes up when you do this.

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

Heavier…yet softer, weird answer I know but before we had a few things we wanted to do that just didn’t quite come out as we wanted, maybe we were too scared? Bit teenager but you get that with any band really. Now we’ve decided to just go for it, no matter what we want to do, just do it.

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

Again, bit of both. We’ve made some very deliberate choices to do certain things in our music, maybe it’s things we thought wouldn’t work or would work and we’ve learned our lesson; sometimes it’s just one of us has been listening to certain bands and some new influences come in where we go, oh hey that is cool, do that again!, which really helps drive the organics!

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 invention but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

Definitely bands like Puscifer and Meshuggah, for different reasons. We ceased caring about that perfect 3:30 long song and just say fuck it, let’s write a 9 minute epic or a song that never gets to the chorus. Bands like Puscifer just show a certain maturity in their writing which we can only begin to attempt to emulate.

Is there a general process to the songwriting?

The process is so bog standard; riff gets written, or a beat, gets sent round, jammed on, smashed out from there really. But I do find lyrics are always last, I’ve tried so many times to start with them but by god it just doesn’t work for me! I have to hear the song first before I even know what I’m gonna start singing about.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to those lyrics?

Pick a place. Lobotomies, aliens, religion, war, greed, sex, violence, love (yes, really), depression and everything else you can think of really. It’s usually something I’ve experienced or seen in the news and I’ve gone damn, that sucks and then lyrics ideas start creeping through. I wish I could write about something positive once in a while? That’d be a change.

Give us some background to your latest release.

Avarice…Oh man it’s a great song, we love it. It’s got groove, it’s got some sick riffage, bangin’ chorus, and it’s all about greed, the kind of greed that fucks up the world. We’ve got this crazy time in politics on the world stage full of all sorts of shit and everyone trying to put themselves first and it just sucks, so this is kind of our answer to that.

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

Definitely the former…Everything is done and finished in a rehearsal room, there’s just no time to dick about in a studio these days, not enough money, not enough time, we want to go in and just nail what we’ve already spent ages crafting and concentrating on getting that sounding as good as it can, not rewriting and working on parts that are recorded when only half thought out.

Tell us about the live side to the band?

Can’t go wrong with a gig…Even when everything goes to shit and your bass player gets snowed in and can’t make it and the kick pedal explodes in the intro of the first song (both happened at most recent gig)…we love it. Just energy and rocking out and cranking it, it’s what we love and we only ever want to do more of it!

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

We’re based in London so it’s kind of a blessing and a curse at the same time: there’re so many more opportunities here but that also means the competition is much fiercer, and sometimes the wrong people can get the right gig which is always frustrating but hey, just gotta keep your head down and crack on.

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

We have a bit of a love/hate relationship with social media, it sucks the energy and time out of you and there’s nothing worse than planning bloody Instagram captions to destroy what could be a nice afternoon but at the end of the day it’s just a tool, like everything else; it used to be magazines, now it’s blogs, same stuff has always been there it just takes on a different form these days and you just have to learn to live with it (and to use it to your advantage!)

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

A guy once asked to have some of our guitarist’s underwear after a show once, gross right? Otherwise, check out our new single Avarice – it’s awesome!

Check Cohesion out further @ https://www.facebook.com/cohesionhq/

 Pete Ringmaster 10/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Immersing in the climate of Dark Rain

We recently had the pleasure to be introduced to US rock band Dark Rain and now, through guitarist/vocalist Dudley Leavitt and drummer Devin Mallard, them to you in interview with us….

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

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

Hi we are Dark Rain, we hail from Brunswick, Maine. We are a five piece sonically charged melodic rock band. We originally formed back in 2000but broke up a short time later. We reconnected in 2011 and have been going strong since.

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so did they have any influence on what you are doing now?

Devin: Yes in a couple that were very heavy or industrial but this is more like my goal sound here in dark rain

Dudley: Yes was in a couple bands Dark Rain marked a move to the sound I was looking for.

What inspired the band name?

It’s also the name of a song we play and it’s about nuclear fallout.

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

We were friends just wanting to play music, and it turned into a lifelong bond like family, we wanted our sound to have no limits, no boundaries.

Has that core intention evolved over time?

Dudley: Obviously as we’ve aged time becomes more pressing; we still want to be a touring band, and expand our base.

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

Devin: A lot cleaner less sloppy, more precise.

Dudley: I think it’s a lot more complex and has better written parts; the lyrics are more mature subject matter.

Have changes been more of an organic seeding or more the band going out to try new things?

Definitely organic, we have no preconceived notions of what we’re going to write stylistically or lyrically.

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?

Devin: Not necessarily, I have some small style traits I picked up from several drummers like Vinnie Paul, Joey Jorganson, the guy from Five Finger Death Punch. My musical influences, like bands RATM, Pantera Tool, give me the vibe that influences how I play I’d say

Dudley: Some of my influences bleed through in my songs I write. I have little flairs of some of the 80’s players, and some of the classic rock; my most peculiar influence is surf music that I didn’t even know I had but can be heard in solos on Burn and The Cage.

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

Dudley: There never was before but if started musically and not lyrically, it’s usually the guitar and drums writing riffs similar to Metallica in the old days, then fleshing it out.

How about the lyrical side of your songs; predominate inspiration?

Dudley: Usually it’s about life relationships, loss or in rare occasions, world events. Sometimes it’s just a story like 40 oz.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?

Devin: Our 3rd CD, my first with the band is called The Illusion Fades which will be out this year…the songs are deep

How about some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs?

Dudley: The Illusion Fades is a personal meaning for the band; our first never released CD Illusions In The Clouds, our unrealized dream of making a CD.  Illusion refers to a person who is gone from our lives and the subject of many songs on the cd

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?

Devin: We have been writing some as we go because we have the luxury of our own studio we’re building.

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

Dudley: We do love playing live; I love traveling to new places meeting new people and showing our songs.

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

Devin: Yes drive is essential to being able to make a mark

Dudley: I think making a big start out of the gate helps for newer bands, and building from there.

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

Devin: I think it’s all about what you put for time and effort

Dudley: I think for us we’re always looking for new ways to blend social media into our promoting arm.

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

YES buy our CD in a local record store.

Explore Dark rain further @…

https://www.darkrain.us/  https://www.facebook.com/pg/darkrainofficial/   https://twitter.com/darkrainmusic

Pete RingMaster 26/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Crushing landscapes with US metallers Backblast

US outfit, Backblast, create a heavy metal roar embracing the flames of other styles and flavours. It is a proposition which is constantly growing and evolving as well as building on the success of the Manassas, VA hailing band’s well received debut EP, of 2015, The Area is Clear. We recently had the chance to get to the heart of the band with drummer Chris Tamberella, exploring its origins, growth, the band’s latest attention drawing release and more….

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

We are a five piece metal band consisting of Dan Cunningham on vocals, Jake Ford on  lead guitar, Adam Pritcher on rhythm guitar and backup vocals, Wilsen Rivera on bass and myself, Chris Tamberella on drums. In 2015 Dan and I, along with original guitarist Marcos Eguia, began recording tracks in Dan’s basement. After 6 months of writing and recording, we decided to bring the studio to the stage.

Had you been involved in other bands before?

Wilsen has been in a number of projects including Kaemon, Bourne of Ash, Greythor, Pandora’s Box, Sanguinus and some solo work on Wilsen’s Sessions.  Dan was is a heavy metal band in Newport News, VA called Kaivol Motak who enjoyed local success.  Jake was in a band for a few years in high school and since has filled in periodically for the Miami based band Inferion.

What inspired the band name?

The majority of our band members are military veterans and have experienced the back blast of an RPG before.

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

There was no specific sound that we targeted at first. We played what came naturally which was best described as rock. After recording The Area is Clear, we wanted to add more to our sound but didn’t know exactly what we were looking for. Enter Adam Pritcher and his heavy riffs and we were on our way to making metal songs. Since then we added Wilsen on bass which opened the doors for another evolution in the band with his ability and experience. The final piece to our sound is the addition of Jake Ford. Adding a lead guitar to our sound has provided more opportunities for growth and another evolution in our sound. With the addition of Jake we are steering in somewhat of a power and progressive metal sound. Who knows what we will create in the future.

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

Our band has evolved in all aspects including what drives us now. As a band we want to push ourselves and churn out the best sound possible. That can only occur if we are all driven individually and as a unit. When we started in Dan’s basement we were messing around and seeing what came out. Right now we feel like the sky is the limit between the five of us and are excited for our next release and to continue bringing our brand of metal live on the east coast.

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

Everything that happens with our sound is organic and nothing is forced. We certainly want to try new things but we haven’t limited ourselves into what we are trying. If it feels right we move forward. If it’s clunky or not smooth than we move on to something else.

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?

With five guys in the band there are many different inspirations. We all share some of the same likes such as Black Sabbath, Dio, Lamb of God, Iced Earth but some of us like reggae, jazz, classical music, electronic music and more. For myself as a drummer I am inspired by Chris Adler of Lamb of God and Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan of Avenged Sevenfold.

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

Most of our songs are based off guitar riffs. Sometimes that riff is structured before it comes into the band room or it may just be a small riff that starts with a jam session and grows into a full track.

And lyrically, where do you draw the inspirations?

Past experience, current political climate and what happens inside Dan’s head (which could be scary).

Would you give us some background to your latest release?

Our latest release is a four song concept EP, The Ringmaster. It revolves around an evil entity “The Ringmaster” who has pulled in all the outsiders of society and placed them under his spell. He lures with them with the promise of hope and acceptance but his true motive is to create an army of minions. After realizing their fate those who have come under his power rise up to fight back. In this story the good guys just might not win.

Give us some insight to the premise behind its songs.

The first song, The Ringmaster, tells the story of our protagonist and gives the listener a hint of his plan. Next is To the Grave which lets the newly acquired minions understand what is actually in store for them under the big top. The third track Uprising is when the battle begins. The minions have come together to throw down with “The Ringmaster” for an epic battle of good and evil. Our battle finally comes to a bloody finish with Bend the Knee. Who will be left standing?

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 are 100% ready to record each track when entering the studio. Studio time is a pricey endeavour and we don’t like to burn money. The blade is sharpened before we hit record.

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

Our live shows are our bread and butter. I promise you will not be bored. At one point you could be two feet away from a slinging guitar or about have Dan singing in your face. Our shows require audience participation and I promise you won’t be able to resist joining in.

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?

Our region has had a recent bump in the past year but it is an uphill battle. The underground metal scene has some very strong bands and personalities but the only way we grow is standing side by side. We are doing our part to make sure the scene keeps pushing.

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?

At this point social media is crucial for BackBlast and for all underground bands in any genre. On one hand social media gives any band exposure that would typically cost a ton of cash for free. On the other hand our music is free. There seems to be some formula for success through social media and we are still doing the math.

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

Right now you can grab a free copy of our EP, The Ringmaster, by going to our Facebook page. Give it a like, and shoot us a message to get your free download code!

Pete RingMaster 02/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sonic Tides: talking Oceans with guitarist Tom Hollands

The release of a new EP suggests 2018 is set to be a potent and busy year for Brighton, UK based Oceans. It is a multi-flavoured, ear grabbing incitement of the band’s post hardcore and alternative rock blended sound building on their previous encounters whilst venturing into new imagination. We recently had the pleasure to dive into Oceans and their new offering with guitarist Tom Hollands, exploring their beginnings, fresh endeavour and more….

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

Much like the actual Oceans, we are a band made up of 5 mostly water based entities: Zach Silver – vocals, Conor Hyde & Tom Hollands – guitars, Jack Warren – bass and James Gillingham – drums. We all either lived, partied or performed alongside each other before the current line-up was formed, that and our shared desire to create made Oceans happen!

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?

Collectively we’ve all played in bands or made music of many different genres. Perhaps without being fully aware of it we draw on this when writing – We’re all quite different as musicians too so I think we’re bound to end up with quite an eclectic sound.

What inspired the band name?

We came to Brighton and based it on things we saw – So it was either something to do with seagulls, falafel (love it), or the ocean… No unfortunately that’s not true; our guitarist Conor got it from a Mallory Knox song!

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

The idea has always been to try to make music that we love and hopefully others do too, and to do this as a career – We always strive to be somewhat original yet familiar enough to still fit into a scene.

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

Most of us didn’t have any real direction until we decided to pursue music. We also love playing live and like most bands can’t wait to hopefully play to bigger crowds and do more tours!

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

We’re evermore critical with our songwriting and I’d say we’re starting to really refine our sound – The music has grown darker sonically and thematically and we’ve tried to strike a balance between more poppy hooks and heavier riffs.

This has been more of an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately trying new things?

Although it’s felt like a natural progression, we’re actively trying to make the best songs we can and sometimes that means tearing apart or scrapping ideas we’ve worked on for ages and doing something completely new instead.

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

We all have rather different tastes in music; artists that have had a considerable impact on us are Incubus, Don Broco, Black Peaks, Deftones, Marmozets… There’s so many. We’ve heard of some bands that will try dozens of different melodies or ideas before settling so we’re just trying to be as critical as possible!

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

We don’t have a set method, however it usually starts with guitar riffs written at home and then built upon bit by bit in rehearsals. We all have a say in every part of the process so it really is a collective effort. Now we do demos and backing tracks to try out synths and things like that.

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

Our singer Zach writes the lyrics – Subject matter is usually based on personal struggles or stories relative to what’s happening in our lives (get over ourselves, right?) – We try to leave things open to interpretation, we want our audience to be able to relate.

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

Our new EP, Far From Composure dropped on March 13th. It’s available on practically all platforms and we see it as a big milestone for Oceans.

How about some insight into the themes and premise behind it and its songs?

Thematically the EP spans elements of coping with mental instability and it’s causation due to physical condition, relationships with yourself/others, escapism… The premise of this EP was to really capture our progression as a band from previous works and most importantly create something very emotive that connects with listeners. We also wanted to write big riffs, hit stuff and make loud noises.

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?

Our intention has always been to enter the studio with finished songs, however we always end up adding bits and pieces and coming up with extra ideas – We actually recorded a whole extra song last time!

Tell us about the live side to the band?

We play with a lot of energy and really like to throw ourselves about, I’d like to think if you don’t enjoy our recorded music at first our live set would… Captivate you… (Pun FFO Marmozets…)

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?

It can be tough for any new band to branch out from their hometown and it certainly hasn’t been any different for us. It helps being driven for sure – We lost count long ago of the amount of gigs we’ve played around trying to make a name for ourselves. We’ve had our fair share of bad luck but we’ve found that the harder you work the more chance of creating positive opportunities you have – Though there are many other factors to consider!

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

Social media has played a big part in enabling us to reach people we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. However, working round changing algorithms and the like can be difficult when trying to connect with fans (Or gain new ones). It’s a big discussion, though now it’s pretty much a necessity for new artists to engage in social media. Like with anything, it’s really about figuring out how to utilize it most effectively for your band, we’re definitely still learning! I’d say do what you can without losing sight of what’s important, the rock and/ or roll (or whatever genre you play). Cliché I know…

For further dips into Oceans check them out @

https://www.facebook.com/pg/oceansukband   https://twitter.com/oceansukband     http://instagram.com/oceansukband   http://oceansuk.bandcamp.com

Pete RingMaster 13/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Tides of change: Talking Currents with In Vain

Photo by Jørn Veberg

There have already been some truly striking releases in 2018 and maybe no more so than the new album from Norwegian metallers In Vain. Currents is a progressive metal adventure which surprises at every twist and enthrals at every turn. With big thanks to him, we recently had the pleasure to explore the album closely with guitarist/songwriter Johnar Håland and the band, getting to its heart, its journey to release and much more….

Hi Guys, many thanks for sparring your time to talk with us.

It is fair to say that it is a busy time for the band with the recent release of your new album, Currents. Have you had time to sit back and reflect on its initial success and plaudits yet?

Hi! Thanks for your review and for taking the time to do this interview. Things are quieting down a bit now and as you say, the feedback has been really good. However, I am not really a person who looks back. My thoughts are more focused on the next album.

It seems that you have spent a long time in its creation, that time certainly reflected and heard in all its honed intricacies and bold adventures. What is the time scale for its creation?

Our previous album, Ænigma, was released in 2013 and there seems to be people who think we spent five years writing this album. That is not the case. There are several reasons for why this album was delayed. Personal issues forced me to put composing on halt for almost a year, and with me being the only songwriter in the band that forced the whole process to a standstill. In addition, I was working on the debut album of my other band, From Strength to Strength, which is a hardcore band that will release its debut album some time during 2018. On top of that I spent the majority of my spare time reading for the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst), which is a self-study in finance I have been doing the last three years besides my full-time job. The album was actually finished in June 2017, but we could not set a release date until we had a proper tour booked to support the release. So there are many reasons for this long delay. Hopefully it will not take five years until the next album!

I am sure you will not disagree with us when we say it is your biggest, boldest, and most imaginative release. Did you have any specific aims when writing and creating Currents or it just organically evolved into what we hear?

I am not really sure to be honest. Our debut album The Latter Rain (2007) was also quite bold. Back then we were a totally new and unknown band who released an album of one hour with grandiose and complex music supported by 20 guest musicians. So that was definitely a brave musical undertaking.

In all aspects, we feel Currents eclipses its acclaimed and also richly enjoyable predecessor, Ænigma. Where do you see the biggest evolution?

To be honest, I am not a fan of comparing music. In my opinion, Currents is another strong album in our catalogue. It is a very diverse album full of contrasts and has high-quality music with longevity. I take it as a sign of quality that there are different opinions with regards to which of our albums people enjoy the most. I do not believe Currents is that much different from our previous work, but there are some changes. The production is more organic, there are some shorter songs and it is less black metal compared with our previous releases.

Currents embraces the widest array of flavours and styles in your sound yet, a truly expansive landscape weaved around bold yet often delicate contrasts but it still has that signature In Vain breath. Did you have to concentrate on keeping that character or it again just naturally evolved as indeed that broad tapestry of sound?

I think it is just a natural evolution to be honest. I do not really think that the music is that much different from our previous releases, however there are some new elements. For instance we have one song, Soul Adventurer, with mainly clean vocals. We also have a song with acapella choirs, Blood We Shed, and that is something we have not done before.

You linked up, as for the previous album, with producer Jens Bogren. It is fair to say he gets your sound and imagination but what does he especially bring to the mix which you feel adds to the realisation of your ideas?

We were very pleased with Jens’ work on Ænigma. We did not really have any other alternatives at hand and decided to go back to him. We wanted a much more organic sound this time around though, and I think we achieved that. Jens usually knows what we want and I think we have the same views on what sounds good and not.

Give us some insight into the recording of the album.

All the guitars and bass were recorded in my home studio, except for some lead guitar solos that Kjetil recorded at his home. Vocals and other instruments were recorded in Strand Studio in Oslo. Everything was re-amped by Jens Bogren and he also did the whole mixing and mastering of the album. However, we were never present in his studio and only communicated with him via email and phone.

We have had the real pleasure of having an insight into the lyrical side of the album ahead of its emergence. Can you share some of the themes and inspirations to the songs?

Currents is not a concept album in the traditional sense, however there is a topic and a red line in the music, lyrics and artwork. Currents, reflects on the colossal shifts and changes of our time. The present world is characterized by continental flows of people, traditions and cultures. Migration of people across continents and borders…Cultures merging. Dramatic shifts in lifestyle from one generation to the next. This topic exists in both the lyrics and the music however we only touch upon it in an abstract way with a top-down view. It is important for me to clarify that we do not have any direct political views on this matter reflected in our lyrics.  Besides that, the lyrical themes are varied, ranging from personal experiences and struggles, to contemplations on nature, philosophy and the historical and political development of this twisted world we´re living in.

Was there a particular process to the writing of songs for Currents?

The process was the same as previously. I write the songs alone and present complete compositions to the rest of the band. Later on I involve Sindre in the preproduction, as he also lives in Oslo. All members are free to add their personal touch to the songs and to give suggestions, but as the songwriter I have the final word.

It also sees a few guests such as drummer Baard Kolstad (Leprous, Borknagar), vocalist and former band member Kristian Wikstøl (From Strength to Strength), and vocalist Matthew Kiichi Heafy (Trivium). Were these happy happenings or thought of early on in the album’s creation?

This was something we decided on during the preproduction process. All the guests added their personal touch to the album and we are very pleased with their performance.

I know as for so many bands finances make a major part in decisions and possibilities in keeping going let alone forging ahead with releases, tours etc. for In Vain. How did this put restraints on Currents and do you see crowd funding as a feasible way forward?

We are fortunate to be able to record albums of the quality we prefer. The total budget for this album is around 50 000 EUR I guess, so hopefully people understand that they need to support us financially if they want to hear more In Vain albums in the future. We have not paid anything out of our own pockets. The label pays and we are also fortunate to get some financial support from various grants in Norway. However, the label obviously needs to get in break-even before we will get any part of the potential profit. Touring is more challenging and a tour costs a lot of money. Financing definitely puts a limit on how many tours we are able to do.

As with your previous albums, Currents is available through Indie Recordings. How have they helped, apart from the obvious, in bringing the album to our ears?

We have been with Indie Recordings since 2005 and we are actually the first band they ever signed. We have a good relationship with them. Obviously there are things that could be better, but that is always the case.

For those new to In Vain can you tell them about the beginnings of the band…the early days?

In Vain is a Norwegian band that plays progressive extreme metal and was formed in 2003. Andreas (vocals), Sindre (vocals) and myself (guitar) are the founding members, while Kjetil (guitar) joined the band in 2009 during the recording of our second album Mantra. Our bassist Alex has been around since 2013 and our drummer Tobias joined us recently. So far we have released four albums and two EPs, and we signed with Indie Recordings after releasing our second EP Wounds in 2005. Our latest album Currents was released on 26 January 2018 and we just came back from a European tour with Orphaned Land, Subterranean Masquerade and Aevum.

What is next for In Vain, shows etc. and once the dust of its triumph settles ahead?

We just came back from a European tour with Orphaned Land, Subterranean Masquerade and Aevum. We covered London, France, Spain, Arnhem and Essen. Our hope is to do another tour later in the year where we cover the countries we did not have the chance to go to on this tour. Besides that we will play some shows in Norway and some festivals.

Once again big thanks for giving us your time. Any last words you would like to share?

Thank you very much for your support, we appreciate it! To the readers; keep supporting great music, have a go at our new album Currents, and stop by our FB page at https://www.facebook.com/InVainOfficial/ for news, music, tour dates and other stuff.

Check out the review of Currents @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2018/02/04/in-vain-currents/

http://www.invain.org/     https://twitter.com/invainofficial

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 07/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sparks and passions: Calling All Astronauts 2018

Calling All Astronauts have been no strangers to attention and acclaim for their multi-flavoured and adventurously eclectic electro punk nurtured sound; albums and singles sparking eager ears and support with persistent success. They have inflamed the senses and zealous praise yet again with new EP, Influences; the London trio sharing some of their keenest inspirations in their own inimitable way. Thinking it was high time we caught back up with the band to talk about the EP, a new album and plenty more, we had the pleasure of grabbing some of vocalist David Bury’s time….

Hi and welcome back to The RingMaster Review.

It has been almost two years since we last talked with you, around the release of your album Anti-Social Network. Could you bring us up to date with all things CAA?

We released loads of singles from Anti-Social Network, all of them were really well received, as per usually we did loads of remixes and our ubiquitous low budget videos. We actually wanted to release every track as a single, but in the end didn’t want to be accused of flogging a dead horse, so there are still some absolute gems, that only people who bought the album will know

You have just released the Influences EP made up of a quartet of covers. What was the spark to its idea?

We started writing our next album early last year, however, my wife and I (David) had our first baby in August, so time was kind of against me, but we really wanted to release something new, so we thought it would be a good idea to record versions of four tracks, this then evolved into the idea that we’d make it a “Quadruple A-Sided” single, so we made videos for all four tracks, and had them staggered two weeks apart on the streaming sites and YouTube, having to send promo out on four releases two weeks apart has been crazy, and really not something I would recommend to anyone J

Would you talk a little about each track for those yet to hear the release?

First of all is a drum and bass meets metal version of Gary Numan’s (Tubeway Army) Are ‘Friends’ Electric?, we managed to get synth sounds that are quite similar to the original, but it’s now at 176PBM, with noisy guitars all over it, next is a stripped down version of T-Rex’s Metal Guru, we’ve really slowed it down, to an atmospheric post-industrial type sound, thirdly we’ve taken on the legend that is David Bowie, and put own stamp on his song Scary Monsters; far be it from me to say our version rocks more than the maestro’s original, but you can if you want J, and last but definitely not least, we’ve absolutely brought Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water screaming into the 21st Century, it’s like Skinny Puppy, Rammstein, Ministry all rolled into one, according to the reviews; I’m not sure it is, but I’m happy if that’s what people are saying.

Many bands play covers but most just seem to approach them in the same way the original artists did and maybe hope their own sound comes across. You seem to have gone far deeper into the songs and taken the CAA imagination to certain aspects; the result tracks which are as much yours as their creators. How did you approach each track and decide what way to go with them?

We approached them exactly like we do when we are writing our songs; we kind of got an idea of how we wanted to do them, started off with drum patterns and then layered everything on top of the drums, we didn’t really have any trouble with any of them, the fill before the verse on Scary Monsters was a bit of a challenge, but I came up with that kind of dubstep drop and it all came together nicely.

Obviously the theme to the EP is in its title but in its case is it the songs which were primarily the influences or the artists, and if the latter why these particular tracks from their arsenal of persuasion?

I think it was a bit of both; they are four artists that we liked as kids, and still as adults, in fact Gary Numan’s two most recent albums are awesome, I can’t recommend them strongly enough. I was a big T-Rex fan as a kid and regularly drive past the spot where Marc died; there are so many of his songs to choose from, we wanted to pick songs that we liked but were not too obscure, you know. If we’d done Fad Gadget, Cabaret Voltaire, Japan and Psychedelic Furs tunes, they would still have sounded like us, but only people of a certain age would know the originals, so we picked four tunes, we felt had been significant to us that other people would know.

For us it was a brave move to take on four not only well-known but legendary tracks which virtually everybody knows and so many reveres. It has obviously proved a great move as fan and critical praise has quickly gathered but did you have any doubts at any point in taking on such classics?

We did obviously worry that we could face a backlash, or just get dismissed as, “another rock band doing covers” but after finishing them, we felt that we had, as they say on TV talent shows, made them our own, however unlike TV talent shows, I don’t think we have ruined any of them, I hope we have given a modern flavour to them, that will hopefully make some of our listeners revisit or even visit for the first time the artists that original wrote and recorded these songs.

Has the buzz, support, and acclaim for the EP surprised you in its swiftness and richness?

It’s truly been astonishing, we have honestly never done so many interviews before on any release, I’m feeling there isn’t the stigma associated with covers that there used to be (The Dickies excepted); people seem to have embraced it in the spirit that it’s intended, and for that we are very grateful.

Was there any specific intent in unveiling the four tracks within Influences one by one over a handful of weeks rather than as a single entity?

The original idea was to just release it as an EP, but when we got them back from Max, our mastering engineer, we were like, these are just too good to promo as a group; tracks are going to get lost. We thought it would be a shame if that happened, so we came up with the idea of 5 different release dates, 1 for each single and a final one for the EP as a whole, I’m glad we did it this way, because different DJs have had different favourites, so we’ve ended up getting an amazing amount of radio play

Tell us about the videos accompanying each song.

Here we are, confession time, as you know we have very small budgets, so we commissioned two of the video’s on Fiverr, the Scary Monsters lyric one and the Smoke On The Water one; for Scary Monsters, we just sent her the lyrics, told her we’d like it to be scary, paid her $12 and that’s what she came up with. The SOTW one, cost a little more, $30 I think, we gave the director carte blanche to do what he wanted and what he came back with, though quite surreal, works perfectly. Are ‘Friends’ Electric? was a little different. We have a friend called Stevie Mac, he makes animations for video games. He had a short story of around 90 seconds that he’d done, that wasn’t owned by any of his employers. He kindly said we could use it, so I cut it together with royalty free footage that Paul found online. Metal Guru is a whole other story. A Twitter friend of ours in Texas offered to make us one for Metal Guru, he was making a stop animation video for us but as release date loomed it became obvious he wasn’t going to get it done in time, so he came up with this one. He did go back and re-edit it as there where a few scenes towards the end that were quite disturbing, but all in all to come up with four videos for less than fifty quid, is a right result J

Was there anything about recording the EP which was more difficult than creating your own music?

I wish I could say there was something, but Paul and J are such accomplished musicians, they got their parts down really quickly and everything just fit into place. The mixing is always the hardest part for us, because we always have bass, kick drum, sub bass and bass synth sitting in the same part of the audio spectrum, so a lot of use of lo-pass and hi-pass filters is always needed.

Is there a possibility of an Influences Part 2 in the future?

Without a shred of a doubt, we will revisit this; we’ve just had so much fun with it. Don’t ask me when, there’s album three to finish first

Any hints to songs or bands which might be considered, I know you guys have eclectic tastes and inspirations.

We have tried a lot of other songs; we did Adele’s Someone Like You [but] my vocal was so out of tune, I cried with laughter’ I’d like to cover some things that nobody would ever expect us to, maybe The Shirelles’ Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? or The MVPs Turning Your Heartbeat Up. Who knows, we will just have to wait and see.

As you mentioned, the band is working on their third album. How is that actually coming along and have you a timescale to its release?

We have 16 songs so far in various stages. It’s sounding enormous, and as eclectic as you would expect from us; it goes from drop D metal circa Lamb Of God to expensive anthems almost reminiscent of early Simple Minds. The 16 songs we have so far will probably not all end up on the album; we will undoubtedly write some more, amalgamate some of them, and probably save some for singles B-Sides

I also heard there could be a release for a previously unreleased album from J’s previous band Caffeine on your label, Supersonic Media; could you tell us more?

They had a couple of albums which are now on Supersonic from when they were touring with the likes of The Offspring, AFI, New Found Glory etc. Alain their original single left and the recruited Scott who is now in the Candle Thieves, they recorded an album with Andy Hawkins from Midget producing. It’s a fantastic album that never got released; it’s quite reminiscent of Jimmy Eat World or Alkaline Trio. For fear of sounding like Trump, it really is fantastic, super, terrific, maybe it’ll do well in Mexico J

Our big thanks David for taking time out to come chat with us; anything you would like to add?

Thank you for having us.

People can check out every aspect of our new EP at http://smarturl.it/Influences-EP

Explore Calling All Astronauts further at:

http://www.callingallastronauts.com/    https://www.facebook.com/callingallastronauts   https://twitter.com/CAA_Official

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 06/04/2018

 

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright