Leaping to the front: exploring The Emergency Please with founder Karan Master

The Emergency Please is a Southampton based band which is making a real impact on the city’s live scene with their funk and neo-soul spiced alternative rock. As a greater landscape of attention is finding the band and its creatively energetic sound we had the chance to find out more with the band’s founder/vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Karan Master, finding out about its beginnings, inspirations, and other exploits…

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

Hi my name’s Karan Master, I started The Emergency Please as a songwriting vehicle for music I’d been writing. Since then I’ve been working with a few drummers and bass player writing, recording, and gigging music for The Emergency Please. On the debut EP, Remember You, I worked with session players Sam West (drums) and Adam Porter (bass).

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

I actually moved to Southampton with my old band, A Gentleman Film. We were a prog funk alt rock trio. There’s definitely a hint of that in The Emergency Please though the newer music I’ve been writing is more influenced by pop punk, which is what I grew up on.

What inspired the band name?

My old band when I was 14 was called Emergency Please. I always really liked the name so decided to stick with it since it wasn’t being used anymore.

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

I really wanted to go back to my roots so to speak. I grew up on pop punk/emo bands like Funeral For A Friend, Paramore, and Fall Out Boy but also wanted to incorporate some of the other genres I love like, funk and Neo soul.

You are still inspired by the same things or have they evolved over time?

I think so, The Emergency Please is still relatively new but the drive is just to play music that we enjoy and get it out there the best we can.

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

It’s got a bit more groove to it and a little more rawness.

Are any changes more of an organic movement or you deliberately wanting to try new things?

I’d say it’s been pretty organic.

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

Haha this could be a long list. My top three inspirations are Jimi Hendrix, John Mayer, and The Smashing Pumpkins. Honestly don’t know if I’d be doing this without them. There are a lot of others though such as Funeral For A Friend, D’Angelo, and Darwin Deez to name a few.

Is there a particular process to your songwriting?

I usually like to start with the guitar and lay down the music first before the vocals. Though I’ve had a few vocal ideas first that inspires me to write a song…they always seem to happen in the shower haha.

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

It’s mostly about personal experiences or topics that are important to me.

Would you give us some background to your latest release?

Remember You is our debut EP. It has 4 tracks each of which is unique in its own way but still carries our sound. It’s an introduction to The Emergency Please and shows the sound we plan to build on.

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

The first song is the title track of the EP and is an upbeat pop punk song about running into an ex that you weren’t quite sure why it ended. The second track, I Can’t Stop is a more grooved based song; I especially enjoyed working with Sam and Adam on this one. The following track Lost is more slow and melancholy than the others. It’s a song I had written over a year ago about the toll personal issues and baggage can have relationships. The final song Clark Kent Syndrome is groove based emo track. It’s probably my favourite track on the EP (can’t decide between it and I Can’t Stop). It’s about how people can lose themselves when they become attached to the outcome of something they want and the irony of it.

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

We come to studio with everything written and rehearsed but also with an open mind. It’s great to have an external input and working with the right producers makes a real difference.

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

We’re pretty hectic on stage. I think live shows are where you get the full experience of a band. We really like to get into it and give it as much energy as we can.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it in what seems from the outside, a vibrant musical city?

Southampton definitely has a thriving music scene though not what it used to be; there is still plenty of love for artists. It’s actually got a great scene for jam nights which is how we all met.

How about the internet and social media, how has that helped the band to date or not? Some see it as something destined to be a negative for bands.

Social media and the internet are great ways to get out there but because they’re so widely accessed it makes most bands a drop in the ocean. It’s definitely hard but it’s something we’re working on and plan to keep working on.

I don’t see it as negative; it’s just kind of become a part of the game we all have to play.

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

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us! If anyone brings me a chocolate macaroon or any memorabilia of The Flash we will be best friends 4 lyf!

Find out more about The Emergency Please @ https://www.facebook.com/theemergencyplease/

Pete RingMaster 10/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dancing summers and busy feet: exploring the contagion of Sofasonic

Multi-flavoured and multi-textured, the Sofasonic sound is an infectious proposition beginning to replicate potent local success on a broader scale. This year sees the UK quartet release their debut album while they have already begun an adventure taking their magnetic sounds into Europe. Grabbing the chance to find out more about Hertford foursome, we talk to Sofasonic about beginnings, band evolution, album and plenty more…

Hello all and thanks for taking time out to talk

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

Hello! So Sofasonic are Michael Wilson – Guitar/Lead vocals, Niall Turner – Guitar/Backing vocals, SJ Manarin – Bass/Backing vocals and Elliot Manarin – Drums.

SJ started the band way back in 2007 and Elliot joined a couple of years later. Michael drunkenly invited himself to an audition back in 2010, and Niall joined in 2013 and we haven’t looked back!

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

Michael – used to be in a few bands mucking about with friends, but first serious band was Fugazirum, then Selahdore, and currently Sofasonic. For me, the things learnt not just in those bands but just listening to other people’s music is what has inspired a change in our writing the most.

Niall – I was in Feathertop before joining Sofasonic.

SJ – I was in a band called Karma Truffle before forming Sofasonic.

Elliot – I’ve been in a few bands and still join up with Alstavasser, for random reunion gigs!

What inspired the band name?

SJ – The name has always been the same since the start back in 2007 with a very different line-up. It represented a strong, fast paced sound in a laid back way which still rings true 10 years on.

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

SJ – Something in here!

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

Elliot – The band has definitely changed and not just through time moving on, but the members of the band changing. Yes we’re older now, but the drive to produce our own music and get out there and get it heard is still something that binds the whole band together.

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

SJ – It started off much more towards the folk genre with a hint of indie rock. The whole dynamic changed when we went from having a female to a male singer, and the songs instantly took on a more ‘rocky’ feel. A change in guitarist pushed us away from the indie rock style, on to the sound you can hear us producing today. A rockier, bluesy vibe but still keeping the thoughtful melodies from our folky days!

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

Niall – I think there has been a mixture. Before I joined the band, I’d go and watch and it was certainly a lighter sound. As members of the band have changed, the style has naturally shifted to the strengths of those members, and certainly on our latest album Get Made, we’ve started to experiment a little, and that is sure to continue more in our live shows.

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?

Michael – For the latest album, we’ve been inspired by bands like Rival Sons, and as the album progressed bands like Crobot and Queens of the Stone Age can be heard influencing our approach. For me, I try to take elements I enjoy watching from any band and see how that can fit – with my own take on it – into our music.

Elliot – Definitely! You need your own take on things of course, but watching bands that are up there, doing it, giving you a good vibe, that’s what you want to give to people watching you.

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

Michael – We do have quite a unified approach and we gel really well in the studio. For Get Made, the approach followed a pretty similar structure for all of the songs. I would stick a rough idea down for a riff/chord progression; we’d then jam that for a bit in rehearsal and layer everything on top. Something like the title track, Get Made came together in about 15 minutes, where as one of the deeper songs Love Qui Die, went through about 4 or 5 structure changes before we were all happy.

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

Michael – If I haven’t come across some random lyric somewhere and brought some lyrics to a song, I usually ask the guys for a subject and a vibe of what they are feeling when they play it. From there, I’m off! Sometimes the lyrics get twisted so they are about something real, other times it is a completely fictitious situation. Almost like a method actor, I’ll sink into the ‘role’ of the song and out pops some lyrics – hopefully making sense!!

Please give us some background to your latest release, Get Made.

Niall – Get Made is the culmination of 3 years work and is a real change in direction from our first EP as we talked about earlier. We wanted the best, so it took a few months to get it right but we feel we got there. Someone who picks it up will go on a journey of hope, despair, and ultimately triumph. The meanings behind the songs are quite dark, but the music fights against that and brings it all together and hopefully people will have an experience listening.

Get Made is released at the end of June and we can’t wait to share it!

Can you give us further insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs?

Michael – For the Get Made album, all of the songs have quite a dark meaning about the struggles of life, be that physical or mental. It’s about the hope of overcoming anything that can be thrown at you. Musically they give off a different vibe which is exactly how we wanted them to sound. For example the title track, is a thumping tune with a catchy riff, but the song is about overcoming an oppressive partner. It’s a happy ending though, talking about it in the past, so hope conquers all!

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?

Elliot – Ha well! The start of the [new] album process, the first few songs were finished and just needed slight tweaks here and there. The second half of the album we were going in with the tune done, but not as set in our heads. As in, the first few songs haven’t changed that much from our first play. The newer songs on the album have some effects thrown in, some different instruments added. We’re certainly a band to get creative in the studio!

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

Niall – We’ve been really lucky that Hertford is full of venues that are willing to support new music. The Hertford Corn Exchange is a massive support to us and is a great venue. Also The Lord Haig is one of our regulars and it is a great venue. Playing covers gigs help us support the band almost ‘for free’, but I’d say it’s a great thing to do for any band. Yes play as many originals and open mic nights as you can, and having a covers gig to – not only help towards costs – but gain new fans is a huge opportunity. We’re really proud that some of our biggest fans have noticed us from covers gigs and they want to hear some at all of our covers gigs!

Michael – Oh yeah definitely. We’ve been very lucky as well in getting slots on 2 of the biggest events in Hertford. Rock at the Castle and the Musical Mystery Tour; both annual events with the Mystery Tour being an all-dayer, with gigs at pretty much every venue that can fit a musician from 12-12! Great exposure though and any new band in our area has to get a slot and get noticed.

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 those struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

SJ – This has been a huge change in the last 15 years or so. MySpace, then Facebook, Twitter, YouTube…the list goes on! It’s great that every band is now more accessible, but at the same time that makes it even harder to break through. You only have to look at the success of awful things like X-Factor that creates throwaway acts that ‘make it’, when you’d be better off going to your local venue and supporting an unsigned band. For us, the social media effect is great though. We share as much as we can and try not to become spam! The ability to live stream a gig so easily is certainly something we use and will be using as much as we can.

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

Michael – No problem at all, it’s been a pleasure! Hopefully this has inspired you to check us out and like our Facebook page (we’re needy!)! We have some big 2017 goings-on…..

We’re off on our first ever European Tour and have 6 gigs in 10 days in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Sweden. Even bigger news is that our first album Get Made will be released on the 26th June, and if you happen to be near one of our gigs pop in and say hello!

Find out more about Sofasonic @ http://www.sofasonic.co.uk/ and https://www.facebook.com/pg/Sofasonic/

Pete RingMaster 21/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The sparks of change: exploring the adventure that is Nocean

Last year saw a change of line-up spark a new evolution in the sound of emerging and exciting rockers Nocean. It was as if everything fell into place for the Swedish quartet, evidence coming with their subsequent single. Time to find out more we thought when the chance to talk with Nocean arose. So with thanks to vocalist Hanna, we peer into the origins of Nocean, those changes and a new direction in sound and much more…

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

Nocean is a rock band from Sweden (Stockholm) that plays alternative rock with metal influences and electronic elements. We are four members: Hanna (vocals), Patrick (drums), Ozzy (guitar), and Sara (bass). The band started back in 2013 as a classic hard rock band, but has switched some members and developed the sound towards alternative rock. Me (Hanna) and Ozzy has brought the band forward since some members quit last summer and so we found Patrick through a Swedish site called “band finder”. We knew Sara a bit from before and she joined the band last fall. They both saved us back then, and we started something fresh and great.

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on that change of style or direction within the band?

We have all been in other bands before, in different genres from hard rock to extreme metal. It can of course have an impact on what we are writing now, we blend our references together. It’s important for us to have the same musical taste in rock/metal.

What inspired the band name?

Nocean is a play with words – Notion – Nocean!

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

When I first started a band called Lobos Libre (before Nocean), I was very inspired by The Runaways and the spirit of pure rock n roll. But that has changed over time; when we wrote our debut album we played around a bit in the rock/metal genre and we found out more about which direction we wanted to go – more towards a modern, alternative rock sound in the style of Thirty Seconds To Mars, Muse, and Paramore.

Are you still driven by those same core aims or have broadened them as Nocean has grown?

We have come to a new level and with each level you get your motivations from different things of course. In the beginning our main goal was to play as much live as possible, in any venues. Now our goal is to focus on the recordings, social media and to play at larger stages. This summer we are playing at Sweden Rock Festival!

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

It started as a classic hard rock band, blending in some metal and our debut album is a mix of different kind of rock/metal styles. So during this past year we have developed and streamlined our sound to alternative, modern rock and we also added some backing tracks/synthesizers and electronic elements to create a heavier, more massive sound.

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

I would say both. Since some members quit and left me and Ozzy alone with this ship last summer, our new sound is now based on me and Ozzy’s personal musical taste of course. And it’s based on what we like nowadays of course, since I was more of a classic hard rock girl before and Ozzy was only listening to metal core for some years ago. As Patrick and Sara joined the band, they were all in for this sound and we even found out that we have a heavier reference as well in common – Devin Townsend. And so Sara and Patrick also add their influences to our new sound and that becomes what Nocean is today.

As you have suggested there is a wide range of inspirations across the band; 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?

In the start it was The Runaways/Joan Jett (for me) and Halestorm. Halestorm is still there as I found Lizzy Hale being a great inspiration and their music is also still quite similar to ours. Then a year ago me and Ozzy found Thirty Seconds To Mars and smaller bands in the same genre and got amazed. Muse has always been one of my favorite band, but it wasn’t obvious to have a band inspired by them because I wasn’t sure of what I could or could not sing. Straight forward hard rock is for me an “easier” genre; both in the writing sometimes and with the vocals since it suits me well and I know how to master it. What we are doing now is more challenging in some ways and for me that is awesome.

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

We put together the songs in the rehearsal room. But me and Ozzy often write some foundations to the songs that we bring to our rehearsal. Patrick adds his cool rhythms and details to the songs and Sara adds her dynamic thinking. I write the lyrics and Ozzy produces and writes the songs at home in his home studio.

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

I write what is true for me right now and I often describe my lyrics as letters to people who need to hear them. It’s very often about change and going in a positive direction with yourself.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?

We have released two songs since the new line up was formed and with our new sound. The first one – The Change – was released in October last year along with Sweden’s first rock video filmed in 360 degrees. It went viral and we gained many new followers from Mexico and Brazil, where we think our music is much appreciated. In March this year we released a second single – This Must Be – with a music video which included some live clips from a great big venue outside Stockholm.

How about some insight to the themes and premise behind them?

I try to always be positive and encouraging in my lyrics. I want it to be somehow poetic more than straight in your face, and I want it to be subtle, in that way a song about love can as well mean something else for someone else. Feelings are the same sometimes, like whether it’s about losing someone to death or separating from someone you have a strong relationship to.

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?

Since Ozzy is the master of the sound (recording for us), he likes to build a song step by step. So it’s a constant process!

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

We have a lot of energy on stage and we love to interact with our audience, and to be on stage together! You can see clearly that we all love to be on stage. We want to tour abroad as often as we can, it makes us stoked and it’s so great to combine your passion for music with traveling around the world, meeting different kind of people.

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

Yes of course. Our answer is quite obvious: social media. Using Facebook ads and targeting the right audience, knowing your audience, posting the right content on the right time, making YouTube covers to let new people find your music… the list goes on. There are lots of opportunities for bands to go on their own today.

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

Yes, I think that I’ve found a way to make it a positive way for success and that other bands should discover this and have a lot of patience too. It takes much time to learn all about it, to find your target audience and how to reach them. But it’s all worth it when you see results.

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

We are coming to England on tour again in May! Playing in London, Tamworth and Birmingham… It’s gonna be a blast, we came last year for the first time and played with the London based metal band Evyltyde. Thanks to them we found some contacts and are now able to go on our headline mini tour. To smaller bands that want to tour abroad: make gig swaps. Let a band come to your home town and book them on some gigs and let them do the same for you. Share lodging, transport costs and voila! You’re on tour abroad without any expensive booking agency. Don’t be afraid to Do It Yourself! Big thank you for reading all of this and thanks for the interview!

http://www.noceantheband.com/    https://www.facebook.com/noceantheband/   https://twitter.com/noceantheband/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 12/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Shades and glories; talking Different Light with Trevor Tabone

The history of progressive rock band Different Light comes in two parts, each seeing the band finding greater attention and plaudits to match their relentless growth in sound. Following their acclaim clad last album, the band is preparing to record its most inventive and imaginative collection of songs for a new album so we took the opportunity to explore the band to date with thanks to Trevor Tabone, a founder of Different Light.

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; how you all together?

The band consists of: Trevor Tabone (vocals, keyboards) that’s meJ, Jirka Matousek (bass), Petr Matousek (drums), Petr Lux (guitars, backing vocals) and Petr Kania (live guitar). The band was originally formed in Malta in 1995 with 3 other members besides myself; then I reformed it with the current line-up after I moved to Prague in 2000.

Have you been involved in other bands before?

I was obviously involved in a few other bands before Different Light. The style has always been prog/classic rock, changing slightly according to the time it’s in.

What inspired the band name?

Mark (original guitarist) came up with the name when we were drinking in a bar, usually the place for the best ideas!

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

Personally speaking, I see myself more of a songwriter than a musician, so I’ve always sought the best musicians I could find to help me create and record the material I’d written. Regarding the sound, it’s got to be melodic and powerful with lyrics the listener can relate to.

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

I suppose the driving force is still one of wanting to move people with the music we make; I think I can speak for the rest of the band with this.

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

We’ve obviously become technically better, plus the new members to the constantly changing (evolving?) line-up always add a new dimension to the sound.

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

More organic I would say, it’s all about evolution and not intelligent design 🙂

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?

What particularly inspires my writing is personal experience and real life situations, people I know or even people I just observe. I’m not into fantasy and sci fi! Of course there are the many bands that we love and have inspired us, Genesis, Supertramp, Pink Floyd, Rush, Dream Theater and quite a few others.

Is there a certain process to your songwriting?

I sometimes come up with a lyric and put a melody to it and go from there. Or I’m fooling around on my piano or guitar and come up with a chord progression and a basic melody which I develop. I sometimes just completely rip off something (joking of course :)).

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

Our last release, The Burden of Paradise, came out just over a year ago and has been received fantastically by both critics and fans. We were high in many of the prog polls for 2016 and sales were excellent too. Its success has been a great inspiration for me personally and I’ve already managed to write the next album which we hope to start recording later this year.

Can you offer some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

A lot of the themes are personal but which I hope the listener can also relate to. They deal with love, death, freedom, religion, history, delusion and a host of other subjects.

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?

They pretty much are in their final state when we go in to record, as we always develop and arrange them in our rehearsal sessions before. Obviously some changes are made during recording, but not too many I’d say.

Tell us about the live side to the band?

To be perfectly honest, we’re more a studio band than a live one. Having said that, we’re rehearsing to play a few gigs later this year and we promise to give a memorable show!

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?

The Czech Republic isn’t exactly a hotbed for progressive rock, so we’ve found that our market is mostly around the rest of Europe, plus various other parts of the world too of course.

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?

It’s a bit of a double edged sword, in that it has helped, or even enabled us to make our mark in the music world without having to rely on a record company. It also makes the recording of an album so much easier. On the other hand though, streaming and illegal downloads have obviously cut our sales dramatically. Still, I think it’s mostly positive for bands like us.

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

Our next album is going to be even better than the last 🙂

 

https://www.differentlight.cz   https://www.facebook.com/differentlightsound/?fref=ts   https://www.youtube.com/c/differentlight

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 12/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

A kaleidoscope of suggestion: talking Shadowplay with guitarist Dan Holden

You may not have heard of rock/alternative outfit Shadowplay but they are a band really beginning to lure strong attention outside of their already conquered home state of New Jersey and further afield. Not to be confused with the Australian rock band of the same name, the Mt. Laurel hailing quintet, since emerging in 2009, has honed a sound persistently and hungrily growing and evolving over the years and releases. Live Shadowplay has equally grown into a rousing and exciting proposition, sharing stages with the likes of Tracii Guns, Doug Wimbish (Living Colour), and Hoobastank as well as undertaking two national tours along the way. Time to learn more so we had the pleasure of exploring the heart of the band with co-founder and guitarist Dan Holden talking origins, songwriting, latest album and 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?

I’m Dan Holden and I mainly play guitar for the band Shadowplay. There are four other members in the band: Andrew Corkery (lead vocals), John Sellers (guitar/piano/bass), Ed Flynn (guitar/bass), and Jamile Wiggins (drums). Shadowplay originated in middle school around 2006. In eighth grade I met Andrew at an after school club where kids got together to jam on classic rock music. This was around the time I just started getting into playing the guitar, so Andrew and I decided to start a band. Over time the project evolved into what we are today. John and Ed were both friends of ours from the same school who joined us later on in 2008 and 2011 respectively.

Have you been or are involved in other bands? If so how has that influenced what you are doing in Shadowplay?

I’ve been in Shadowplay for the majority of my life. I’ve played a gig here or there for other bands and with other musicians at other functions, and I often play solo at local shows in my area; however, I’m mostly committed to Shadowplay. We’ve all come from different musical backgrounds, and we all listen to such a wide variety of stuff that I would say each member of our band has definitely influenced another in some way. I originally was the only songwriter for the band, but when John and Ed joined they brought with them their own creativity that really has flushed out our own sound over time. We definitely have gotten each other into different genres and artists that some of us may originally have not been in to (or rather unaware of), and we go see a lot of concerts together and with our friends.

Photo Cred_Reji Berrouet

What inspired the band name?

Shadowplay comes from the Joy Division song. Just thought it sounded cool back when we were 16 years old.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and in what you wanted it and your sound to offer and does that first intent still drive the band or has it equally evolved?

I think originally we just thought rock music was so cool and awesome, and we thought what a lot of bands were doing in the 70’s and 90’s was so fun. We also realized at a very young age that we’d love to be able to play music forever. Originally we were very influenced by those two decades of rock music, but as time went on and we were exposed to all the diversity all music has to offer we sort of have been building towards a different idea than what we probably thought we were going to sound like in our early years. Currently, we really want to be doing things that still have the high energy and high emotion that great rock music are capable of, but we also want to offer people a spiritual connection to us a people. I think we’re moving closer and closer to realizing that every day. We are constantly evolving. Our first album was recorded in 2011, and released in 2012. Our second album was recorded and released in 2016, and a lot has changed in our lives in those 5 years.

Since your early days, can you pin down how your sound has evolved?

When we started we had more of a mix of classic rock with prog, grunge, and arena rock style to our sound. Over time we all began to listen to more electronic music genres, and post-rock, so nowadays we sound maybe a little less commercial? It’s hard to say really because we are constantly changing and trying new things.

Those changes are more organic movements of sound or the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

A mix of both for sure…I find it’s always more satisfying when organic change causes us to try something different or vice versa, it is working with whatever we’re trying to do with a specific song.

You hinted on it earlier that there is a wide range of inspirations and loves across band members; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the Shadowplay sound but also your personal approach to creating and playing music?

It’s hard for me to speak on the behalf of the others because we’re each inspired by our own individual experiences, and those effects vary specifically to us as individuals. I personally would say that I’ve been very inspired by movie scores, cinema, and video game composers in additions to all the bands that I love. I’m a very big fan of taking a melody or motif that sets the mood of the song and engrains itself in the brain of the listener, and then taking that melody and changing it over the course of the song in clever ways or building it up to some kind of emotional climax. Think of it sort of like how you have rising tension in your typical film (or rising action) and then a climax before simmering off into the credits of the movie.

You mentioned originally you were the prime songwriter but that has shifted over time; is there a particular process to the songwriting within the band though?

We each write songs differently, and personally I don’t think I approach any two songs in the same compositional order, but generally speaking as a band one of us will present sort of a complete idea for the music of song to the others. Then we see if anyone else has anything to add onto it, or ideas on how to build the song up even more. Once the music is finished we then write the lyrics. Usually whoever the song is the brainchild of will write the lyrics, or Andrew will write the lyrics. It’s not always the same way though. Sometimes we have lyrics first and song later. Andrew writes a lot of poetry based on his experiences as he travels the world fairly often for his career in journalism and media production.

Where would you say inspirations to the lyrical side to your songs most come from?

From my life experiences and the other artistic mediums that inspire me. My lyrics personally are often inspired by film, video games, and literature that I’ve read and how I fit my own personal life into those ideas.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?

Our latest album is called Almost Lifelike and we recorded it and released it in the summer of 2016. We recorded it with our engineer/producer Ted Richardson at Burn Down Studios in Philadelphia. We had gotten connected with Ted in 2013 thanks to the help of our original band manager, and we recorded a single with him called Sandy Eyes out of respect to people in our home state that were affected by hurricane Sandy. We were very pleased with how that song turned out, and had a great experience working with Ted the first time around so we knew when we were going to do another album he had to be the guy we worked with. Our latest album is our second full length CD.

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

As I said before we are influenced by our own individual experiences as songwriters. The albums lyrics song to song deal with this, but in a manner that’s got kind of a twist of surrealism to the whole thing. We talk a lot about dealing with loss in different stages of grief, anger, and acceptance. Because of the surreal nature to the lyrics and metaphors we use on the record we said that it’s got an almost life-like quality to it, but not quite exactly like real life. This idea is further explored in the album art in which a man has walked into a record store and picked up an album that looks suspiciously like him buying a record.

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 try to make sure the song is ready to go once we are in the studio just because it saves time and money, but how we record them and what texture we decide to give it can happen spontaneously as we record them.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably as for most, when Shadowplay truly come alive.

We definitely feed off of crowd energy. Playing for a lot of people who are really there to enjoy a show helps us enjoy it more and it’s always more cathartic for both us and the audience that way. I’d actually say that being in the studio is my favorite aspect of being in the band, however.

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?

Playing live shows as often as possible and wherever possible, and figuring out what shows were successful and repetitive booking at those venues is really the best way I can describe our success and how a band can make a name for themselves. Philadelphia and southern NJ is a great area for bands to play because there are a lot of quality venues and local artists that can help you network and just keep growing. But as a band you also have to be able to play shows out of your local spot, and we’ve been fortunate to have played in many other states as well.

Photo Cred_Reji Berrouet

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something fully positive or is there an opposite side you have found too?

Social media is a blessing for musicians in an era where there are so many more musicians and artists than ever before. You’re able to work with it to meet new people and keep connections that you otherwise would not have been able to before, and it’s much easier to tell people about yourselves and show them what you’re doing. The only negative I can honestly say is that there might be a bit of oversaturation that could lead to artists getting lost in the fold if they aren’t committed, but if you keep pushing at it good things will happen.

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

The pleasure is all mine, I assure you! Shadowplay is already hard at work making new music and learning a lot of other music so be ready for our next album sooner rather than later!

Explore the world of Shadowplay further @ http://www.shadowplay.band/  https://www.facebook.com/pg/shadowplayrocknrolland
and the album Almost Lifelike @ https://shadowplayband.bandcamp.com/releases

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 07/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The lure of the moon and serenades; exploring Amycanbe with vocalist Francesca Amati

Hailing from Cervia in Italy, Amycanbe has become a firmly established and eagerly supported band on the Italian rock scene. Their alternative pop bred sound has also taken the quartet around the UK, playing plenty of shows all adding to their growing reputation.  With three albums under their belt, the third in Wolf still successfully luring new fans the way of the band two years after its release, we grabbed a moment with vocalist Francesca Amati to find out more…

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

Amycanbe planted its seeds in 2002 and formally started playing outside Mattia’s white garage in 2005. Marco and Mattia came to see a gig where I was singing. They asked me if I wanted to join them…I said yes…and Amycanbe began! The story of the band also counted other musicians, Paolo at the brass instruments and Glauco at the guitar. For the moment, Amycanbe are four people Marco playing drums and piano, Mattia playing guitar, another Mattia playing synthesizers and samplers and me, , singing and playing piano and drums.

So you have been involved in other bands before? How has that impacted on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiration on style or direction?

I played in Comaneci since 13 years and work with many other bands, Ronin, Godblesscomputers, Bob Corn, Three Lakes, Giovanni Succi, Bewider…whenever there is a possibility I try to collaborate with other bands. It is extremely inspiring and I always feel I have something to learn!

What inspired the band name?

It had to be something like ‘It’s Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’! I have a very good friend called Amy…it just came Amycanbe!

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

I believe we just want to play music and write songs. We want to sound sincere and develop something which sounds like us!

How have things evolved over time in the aim of the band?

We [have] evolved playing in Amycanbe. The sound followed our growth so it changed with our personal life changes. We still love to play together and this is still our main drive!

Also since your early days, how would you say your actual sound has grown?

As I said before, we are growing up with our music and our music is growing up with us. We are still very curious about any form of art and about different kinds of music. We are influenced by different things, depending on what happen in our lives. I believed what and how we play changes depending on things we happen to meet in life!!We started with songs probably structured in a more standard song-writing way and now we are exploring more electronic sounds and different ways of using my voice, for example.

Every change with the band has been an organic movement of sound or more you deliberately wanting to try new things?

Pic Marcella Carlotta Magalotti

I think already these two things go together. I believe that the willing to try new things is a really organic movement!

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?

All four of us listen to a lot of different music and we love to share the listening. We have definitely widened up our music and art culture playing and spending time together. There’s so many bands and sound which influenced us over the years that it would be constraining writing here few names!

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

There’s usually something I want to talk about and most of the time music is the best way I find to communicate!

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

Mostly from what I read in books or magazine and from stories people tell me.

Give us some background to your latest release, your album Wolf.

It’s about regaining freedom through wilderness. I live in a place where wolves came back after 300 years. With Amycanbe we had to feel like a herd of wolves even if we lived far away from each other and I think it happened.

Also can you offer us some insight to the themes and premise behind it.

The research of a need connected to nature could be the main theme of our last album.

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?

It depends. We don’t have a strict method when we decide to record. Some songs are pretty much done others get transformed during the recordings!

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably where the band really comes alive?

We love playing live shows. The songs have their own life all the time we play different gigs. The fact that people can actually see us as bodies and as performers is really fulfilling and challenging.

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

We have been playing for more than 10 years and we are still very satisfied and happy with it. We are free to decide what and when to write. If you keep doing what you love and you believe in it I am sure you’ll get a lot of satisfactions. The goal is to create something durable, which grows in time instead of fading out.

How about the internet and social media, how has that impacted on the band over those years? Many bands struggle with it; do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as a band grows and hopefully gets increasing success?

If you use internet and social media with consciousness like any other things it will work. It is very functional to any sort of business or work if you don’t forget you are also a living person and an actual performer. We are happy to exist more in real life than on internet!

Many thanks Francesca!

Find out more about and from Amycanbe @ https://www.facebook.com/Amycanbe/

http://www.amycanbe.it/AMYCANBE/HOME.html   https://twitter.com/amycanbe

Check out their album Wolf @ https://amycanbe1.bandcamp.com/album/wolf

Pete RingMaster 28/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Photo by Carl Arnfield

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

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

A pleasure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just some words from our Captain:

 

I work life like it is worked

The moon shimmers red

Cherry red

The glow distilled into exploding fireflies

Roads are long

Fields pass

The blue twilight comforting

I am dazed and even confused

But I realise that I love this life

On the road

My band

High on life

Twitching to go

To play

The electricity overwhelms me

It is immeasurable

1919……….. Forever

A. Tighe

Image by Scott Ford

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

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

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 23/03/2017