Whirling hearts and joyous uprisings: exploring the world of Swirl

Photo by Neil Zlozower

There is an increasingly mighty roar coming out of California and it goes by the name of Swirl. This is a band really beginning to make a vocal name for themselves with their multi-flavoured, hard rock fuelled fusion of rock and metal. Welcomingly given the opportunity to get to the heart of the band with Swirl creator and guitarist Duane “DT” Jones, we talked beginnings, songwriting, successes and plenty more….

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

Hello to you too. This is ‘DT” guitarist and founder of the band Swirl out of Southern California. Thank you for your interest in Swirl! We are always grateful to anyone taking an interest in what we do.

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

I started the band in the Pacific Northwest in a town called Mukilteo, Washington. I had 3 other members than the current line-up; we rehearsed, wrote songs and made plans to record our debut in Santa Monica, CA. About a week before we were to leave I got a call from the drummer saying he wasn`t going to make the trip. I called my brother, Brian “Bam Bam” Jones who was playing in a band in Arizona at the time and asked him to come out to California, learn the songs and track drums to which he was all too happy to help out. That version of Swirl toured the US and Japan on a full length release titled Out Of Nowhere that was produced by former Quiet Riot and now RATT guitarist, Carlos Cavazo with former Rough Cutt bassist Matt Thorr engineering or producing tracks as well.

After those tour dates finished the band parted ways with the original singer and touring bassist. By then Brian had moved to California so I joined him there. I was introduced to current Swirl singer Alfred Ramirez and bassist Shane Carlson by former Dio keyboard player Claude Schnell who was looking to produce a demo for a band they had, however they had parted ways with their guitar player and Claude asked me to write with them so he and I could get into a studio together. After a few writing sessions we decided to go play the songs live and it was there that a friend pointed out to me that Alfred would sound really good singing Swirl songs so I asked him to go into a studio with Cinderella drummer Fred Coury and I. The end result of those sessions were the two songs Mad Disease and Time To Fly with the latter being particularly well received so tour offers followed. The natural choice was then Shane Carlson and we have been together ever since. 2018 will mark the 10 year anniversary of this line-up for Swirl.

Have you been or are involved in other bands?

My only involvement with other bands was the above mentioned writing project that introduced me to Alfred and Shane as well as one other band in California that hired me as one of their touring guitarist for a self-produced disc. That was actually my first ever “bus tour”. Actually it was a converted mobile home, but still I got the rock star treatment on that tour. It was fun, but the band broke up. As that band had already recorded their disc when I joined and there were no writing opportunities I can`t say it had any influence on my writing direction, but it was a great series of lessons on things to not do when running a band.

What inspired the band name?

Usually one look at a picture of the band is all it takes to answer that question, but it goes deeper in that we all have different nationalities and personalities that come to together to create the Swirl music.

Photo by Neil Zlozower

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

No particular theme to starting the band. I just wanted to play in a rock band that wrote songs good enough to share stages with my idols. Some of those goals have been accomplished!

And that same intent drives the band?

Absolutely! At the end of the day we enjoy what we are doing and are hell bent on capitalizing on the success Swirl has had to date. We are not where we want to be, but clearly we are on our way. The crowds are getting bigger, the stages are getting bigger and the bands we have opportunities to work with are larger, more well know bands as well.

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

While I am an 80s metal head guitarist at heart I have adapted my playing to a more modern approach when it comes to writing and guitar tones. I guess the best way to think of it is “what if you took a band like Shinedown, Seether, or FFDP and put a guitarist like Jake E Lee, Warren DeMartini or George Lynch in it.

As for the reason for the evolving sound?…The credit for that goes to Brian who wanted to push the music in a more modern direction, but knew I was still going to be me on guitar and have those moments. Our first attempts at this proved very successful with a self- produced EP titled SWIRL that wound up with 3 songs being featured in a full length, 2 time award winning film called Ditch Day. Those songs are Rise Up, Spell, and We Are Alive. That movie is now out in 6 countries with more to follow. Another indicator that Swirl made a smart move in terms of musical direction is the incredible social media success we have enjoyed while being an independent band. We have a very strong online presence.

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

The change was very deliberate and I had to do my homework in listening to bands that normally I would not have given the time of day to, just to get a feel for what was going on with the guitar playing and production. I fought it at first, but in the end decided it couldn`t hurt to try. I am so glad I was open to the idea.

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?

Well I already touched on my 3 biggest influences on guitar and yes all four of us have very different influences that we bring to Swirl. Shane is the most “metal” of us all with his influences being bands like Korn and Metallica while Alfred cites David Bowie or Billy Idol as biggest influences for him. For Brian and I we started off as KISS fans, but he went in the direction of Rush and various jazz drummers.

For myself when producing Swirl music I lean a lot on Shinedown or Seether for production and “ear candy” ideas, but since I am not the only one working to produce/ mix the songs I am sure the other guys have their influences well represented in the final product that you hear from Swirl.

Is there a particular process to your songwriting?

Normally we start with a guitar idea that is almost a complete song then I get together with Brian to work on the arrangement before presenting it to Shane and Alfred who then add their influences to the arrangement and of course the vocals. Alfred creates them almost exclusively.

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

I would like to start by saying that when I write lyrics it’s usually tied to a personal experience of mine or one that I have witnessed in the world we live in. I also feel what’s most import is not so much what my lyrics mean to me, but more importantly what my lyrics mean to the listener. I want the listener find their own story within the lyrics. To me that means the listener can interpret and apply them in any way they choose.”- Alfred Ramirez

Give us some background to your latest release.

The Lift is a departure in some ways from the typical writing pattern for Swirl songs and given the new heights of success we are having with it this may become the way we do things going forward. Again I had the basic structure and worked on the arrangement with Brian, before bringing it to Alfred and Shane. However Alfred and I had a separate writing session to make changes to the verse and bounce other ideas off each other. Then we got back together as a band and went from there.

During the final mix sessions Shane Carlson made some more brilliant suggestions to improve the song to let it become what you hear from us now.

Here is the lyric video for The Lifthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaBMGg0ACYo

As Alfred is the songwriter he sets the tone for the theme of the songs. If there is one constant I have noticed when I look at the reviews we get it is that the bands “message” is a positive one. A lot of life affirming, motivational and inspirational themes go into his work and I am very happy about that. I am pretty positive person most days!

Here are some samples of reviews we have received whether they are for The Lift single…

“…everything possesses a joyous, downright celebratory spirit…the track positively teems with life”- Skope Magazine

or the SWIRL EP

“An uplifting vibe…” The Happy Headbanger

“After listening to Swirl in its entirety it has lifted me up mood wise!!”- Metal Temple

“…if you are looking for a really sweet hard rockin’ melodic band that will have you humming along and singing with the CD in just a few listens than make this new SWIRL release yours. 9/10 Stars”- The Examiner

Here is a link to our reviews- https://www.reverbnation.com/socalswirl/press/

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

What The Lift means to me is that we all need help sometimes, be it an emotional lift or a physical lift. We shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help when we need it. We also shouldn’t be afraid to offer to help when were able to. We are all on this planet together and we are all connected, so let’s help one another.

My personal Lift was given to me by “The Minor Goddess” who lifted me out of a depressed and stressed out anxious time in my life. Thank you MG! “Your words will always stay with me “. – Alfred Ramirez

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 have the song pretty much done by the time we go into the studio so we can be more efficient with the recording process, but of course we leave room for those “happy accidents” that happen when tracking that are unique to a session.

One of the unique things about the sessions for The Lift is the process we used to get into the studio. We were introduced to producer Emad Alaeddin at Granted Records by Ditch Day producer Megan Waters. He suggested the band use “crowd funding” to cover the cost of the sessions. This was a first for the band and it was very successful. As an unsigned band who happens to be self- managed as well as our own booking agents we wear many hats to make Swirl the known name that is it becoming. Our fans are our record label and they decide how often we make new music and release videos or tour. We weren`t sure what to expect, but with this first attempt and the success of the campaign (we had enough money donated to book our first session in just 48 hours of activating the page at https://www.gofundme.com/launch-new-music-by-swirl-the-band ). The page will remain active. To be clear we are not opposed to record labels, management or booking agencies….we just refuse to wait on one to discover the band when we can get our music and band out to the people who support us!

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

We are a band that thrives on stage! We love being out there. Swirl is a high energy show with emphasis on the word “show”. There is always “someone doing something”. It`s actually the only way the band “fights”….we fight for the attention of the audience and are quick to let the others know who won the night after our set. It`s all in good fun and ultimately the audience is the winner.. We have been able to tour with established bands like RATT, Cinderella, Extreme, Red Dragon Cartel, LA Guns, Lynch Mob, and Slaughter just to name a few. We also headline shows in Southern California. In fact the first stop on “The Lift” tour will be in Hollywood, CA at the Whisky A Go Go on Saturday February 3, 2018.

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 firmly believe that you create your own luck so yes you can make your mark. The real question is how bad do you want it? We are, have been and remain hungry to succeed! We were recently listed by Gerry Gittleson, a writer for Metal Sludge in Los Angeles as one of three local bands that actually draw a crowd when we play.

Another way Swirl has separated itself to a degree is getting involved in licensing our music into movies and television. For example Swirl has 3 songs in the 2 time award winning Ditch Day movie that stars Emmy award winner Bill Oberst Jr. The songs are Spell, We Are Alive and Rise Up (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_RhbgL5Cv0&t=11s ).  So far that film is available in 6 counties. We are working on more licensing deals for our music from the SWIRL EP as well as The Lift.

 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?

I have no complaints about social media! Swirl is doing very well with it. We also spend quite a bit of time and effort marketing our band globally. Again it`s a how bad do you want it situation. We didn`t wake up knowing what we know and have made mistakes along the way, but we learn, we grow and we apply lessons to the next venture for the band whether its online, in the studio or on stage.

We have been able to reach people that would otherwise have had very little chance of discovering our music so we are very grateful for social media. It is a big part of the music business now and I don`t see that changing any time soon.

See for yourself here-

SWIRL website- http://www.swirltheband.com/

SWIRL Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/swirltheband/

SWIRL Twitter- https://twitter.com/Swirltheband

SWIRL Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/swirltheband

SWIRL Soundcloud- https://soundcloud.com/swirl-dt

SWIRL YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/swirlgtr

SWIRL Reverbnation- http://www.reverbnation.com/socalswirl

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

Thank you for your time and interest in Swirl. Look for the band to be on tour in and out of the United States in every country where the music making an impact on radio or through movies released that feature Swirl music.

Pete RingMaster 17/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

All Tied Up – Breaking Silence

Entwining the energy and urgency of pop punk with the rousing guile of alternative rock, UK outfit All Tied Up have provided one enterprising vehicle for it to shine in the shape of their new EP. Breaking Silence features five tracks which pretty easily has the body bouncing and the imagination held, each also ripe with a potential which whets the appetite for the evolution of the  band’s already intriguing sound.

From Milton Keynes, All Tied Up have persistently nurtured a broadening eagerly loyal fan base as well as increasing praise across a debut album and a pair of EPs as well as with their live presence which has seen the quartet shares stages across the country with bands such as The Ataris, [SPUNGE], Kenneths, Big D and the Kids Table, Whitmore, and Sonic Boom Six. Recently they linked up with new indie label, Stack-in-a-box Records, for the Andy Davies produced and Joe LaPorta (David Bowie, Foo Fighters, Mallory Knox) and Katie Tavini (Sonic Boom Six) mastered Breaking Silence, a union which should see potent fruits from their joint endeavour.

The EP opens up with So Enthusiastic, a song which from a gentle thoughtful melody gathers its rhythmic tenacity and eager energy to burst into a boisterous stroll. In its lively canter there is a steely edge to the bass of Leebo, a darker hue which equally clads the swings of drummer Nick Freeman. The guitars of vocalist Dave Palfreyman and Billy Norman though flirt with melody around a hook which just teases the passions as the former’s vocals, with their engaging twang, cap the captivation. The band’s new single, the song simply hits the spot and soon commands a deeper look at the EP.

Whether the remaining tracks live up to the first is debateable such its impressive proposition but certainly the following Better Day swings along with ear pleasing endeavour and a melodic spicing which only satisfies. Its rhythmic shuffle is similarly adventurous working away on feet as too the ruggedly dancing beats and bass grumble coring the increasingly addictive and next up Asbestos Box. Though leaving no sense of dissatisfaction in its first play, the track simply grows listen by listen; its unpredictable character and infectious heart relentlessly getting under the skin and if there is one song which rivals the first, this is it.

The EP’s title track romps along with its own eagerness and dexterity, ebbing and flowing in the energy of its attack but always a flood of catchiness which also blossoms over time if still lacking the bolder creative sparks of its predecessor. In saying that, enjoyment is a given as emotive hues entangle pop punk; a mixture just as assertive and magnetic in closing track Master Of Disguise. It too is a great mix of reflective calm and spirited dynamics which again, and this applies to the whole EP too, just becomes more persuasive and alluring with every encounter.

There is deep potential to the All Tied Up sound which demands further attention and a readymade attraction which makes Breaking Silence a thoroughly enjoyable encounter which anyone with a taste for pop punk and infection loaded rock should find quite flavoursome.

Breaking Silence is out now via Stack-in-a-box Records on all major online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/alltiedupband    https://twitter.com/alltiedupband

Pete RingMaster 01/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Andreas S Jensen – Disturbed

To this point in time, Danish born, London based Andreas S Jensen has made a notable name for himself for being a guitarist in Dub Pistols, as a writer/producer whose co-writes with the likes of Kevin Lyttle, Armand Van Helden, and Nate James have sold close to a million copies, and in collaborations as remixer, producer, session player, and engineer with artists such as Dido, Rizzle Kicks, Vybz Kartel, Sam And The Womp, Beenie Man, Nerina Pallot and more. This month though sees the singer songwriter/musician make his own individual impact, expectantly what will be his biggest one yet, with the release of a debut solo album. Disturbed is an ear pleasing, imagination stroking collection of songs combining lyrical intimacy with an alluringly broad brushstroke of sound. It is a release which makes the most seductive company note to ear and then haunts the memory once departed; that in anyone’s book the sign of something special.

Jensen has already enticed praise carrying attention with his first EP Disconnected which was released at the beginning of 2014. Embracing inspirations ranging from David Bowie, Tom Petty, and Elliot Smith to Soundgarden and The Zombies, the encounter was the first step towards the lofty heights now awaiting the senses within Disturbed. For the album Jensen drew on the talent of a group of London session players he has met through his producer and session work including drummer Adam Falkner (Babyshambles/Dido), guitarist Garo Nahoulakian (Nadine Shah), cellist Ben Trigg (Arctic Monkeys, Unkle, Jamie Collum), and Antonia Pagulatos (Gorillaz, Blur) on violin and viola as well as Jesper Lind (Jack Savoretti), Nikolai Bjerre (Lamb), Jack Cowens (Dub Pistols/Bondax) and many others. The result of this union of craft and invention is a record as rampantly catchy as it is emotionally open; each song like a big brother knowingly understanding those moments in life, love, and longing we have all hugged or endured.

Disturbed opens with its new single released a week before the album and fair to say Only Die Once instantly has attention gripped. Jensen’s voice is the first enticement, his warm slightly sandy tones soon joined by a theatre of rhythms and keys as a guitar weaves its own suggestive bait. There is drama in piano and bass too whilst instinctive infectiousness fuels vocals and the melodic coaxing hooking the senses whether in a controlled smoulder or a fiery blaze. As a sign of things to come across the album, the track simply blossoms and grows with every passing second; a crowd of instruments and sounds uniting in a fanfare of imagination and enterprise.

The outstanding start is matched by next up Trust Is My Anchor, a single released earlier this year which had us on board with real anticipation right then for what Disturbed would subsequently bring. Like the first, the song makes a gentle start, acoustic guitar aligning with Jensen’s ever appealing voice and like its predecessor a proposal which just opens up its sound and invention with every breath. Soon it roars with a robust rock pop temptation which sublimely ebbs and flows in intensity whilst increasing its hold on ears and appetite second by second. There is something of Billy Momo to the subdued moments of the track and a hint of R.E.M. in its bolder expulsions; both deliveries as compelling as the other as another pinnacle within the album is exposed.

Take My Heart and Go needs barely a breath to seize ears as a glorious gnarly tendril of sound winds around the senses, a flirtatious bassline and the caress of acoustic magnetism swiftly stepping up alongside. Mixing country flavoured rock and eagerly strolling indie pop, the track has the body bouncing and hips swaying in no time with the imagination employed by word and another rich tapestry of textures and invention. For personal tastes it is probably fair to say that the track just misses the heights of the pair before it but the pleasure loaded grin our faces during its presence each and every time reveals all and alone why with every listen Disturbed  becomes more essential.

Through the electric shimmer of Another Way Of Leaving, a proposition merging sixties psych and eighties pop in its tantalising soulful croon, and the Baroque kissed Unchanged captivation is intense and greedy. The second of the two especially bewitches with its shadowy reflection and perpetually rising crescendo of sound and endeavour, the strings which magnetically colour most tracks voraciously manipulative and rousing before And She’s There calms things a touch with its vibrant canter. It too is a tenaciously catchy enticement all the same though which imagining The Everlys and Walker Brothers born as one and breaking out today gives a sense of this superb slice of contagious pop.

Thought gets the focus over body with the balladry of next up Looking Back For Something New, though it is hard not to sway to its melancholy lined tone and melodically intimate presence, while Run with at first a similar gait brews a contagion which has body and spirit rocking as again eighties funk/pop collude with electronic and creative drama. Both of the songs have a firm hand on ears and lustful attention though each is eclipsed by the bold exploits of Dangerzone, a theatre of rock pop which surely has to be the next single. Some tracks make you greedy for more, this is one for Jensen though one among quite a few to be honest but the show stealer of Disturbed for these ears.

The album concludes with I Carry My Cross, a beguiling dark folk/ country spectacle weaving in strands of gypsy, carnival and Latin rock which with its hypnotic funereal march is reason alone to take a chance on exploring one rousing release.

To be honest as much as we loved the single Trust Is My Anchor a few months back we were maybe expecting Disturbed to just back up its striking presence rather than take things to a whole new level. Boy, were we off the mark, the album a BIG must for all rock, pop, indie fans well everyone who loves boisterously catchy and emotionally honest music.

Disturbed is released September 15th with the single Only Die Once out September 8th.

http://www.andreassjensen.com/    https://www.facebook.com/AndreasJensenMusic    https://twitter.com/andreassjensen

Pete RingMaster 04/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Andreas S Jensen – Trust is My Anchor

With a new album due to drop this coming September, musician/songwriter/producer Andreas S Jensen releases new single Trust is My Anchor this month, a song which alone sparks plenty of intrigue for what the upcoming Disturbed might offer.

Moving to London from his native Denmark in 1998, Jensen first started working as a session player with the band Dweeb before concentrating on writing and production and signing a publishing and management deal with Wise Buddah Music. As part of writing team The Funktuary, he co-wrote and helped put together the radio edit/remix of Armand Van Heldens club classic My My My before the team released their own well-received EP. From there he joined Dub Pistols, who he still gigs with, and released a debut solo EP in the shape of Disconnected in 2014 and over the years has worked in various ways with the likes of Kevin Lyttle, Nate James, Stefanie Heinzmann, Dido, Rizzle Kicks, Beenie Man, Nerina Pallot, and Loick Essien among numerous others.

Jensen’s own music draws on the inspirations of artists such as David Bowie, Tom Petty, Soundgarden, Elliot Smith, and The Zombies; essences you can feel more than hear within Trust is My Anchor. A fusion of melodic rock and pop balladry, the song caresses ears initially with a single guitar alongside Jensen’s emotive tones. Both entice the listener into the heart of the track and the waiting muscular roar of the chorus. It is a quickly engaging mix; the minimalistic tone of the verse a blend of melancholy and hope openly sharing the track’s plaintive cries and its sturdier crescendo a defiant response which easily arouses the spirit.

Trust is My Anchor is a firmly satisfying encounter which invites rather than demands attention but easily provides a memorable and increasingly enjoyable experience.

Trust is My Anchor is released June 23rd.

http://www.andreassjensen.com/    https://www.facebook.com/AndreasJensenMusic    https://twitter.com/andreassjensen

Pete RingMaster 21/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Indya – Strip Me Down

indyapic_RingMasterReview

Having burst through ears with an introduction which as good as stopped you in your tracks, that being the outstanding single Harder Faster, British rockers Indya follow up with another highly flavoursome slice of heavily seductive rock ‘n’ roll in the shape of Strip Me Down. Their new single is a bordering on salacious web of tangy grooves and rapacious riffs guided by the temptress tones of vocalist and band founder/songwriter Natalie Indya West; an encounter which wraps its tenacious and muscular body around the senses like an erotic dancer.

The character and moves of the single in many ways echo a part of Natalie’s earlier life. Hooked on music from a young age with the sounds of her Mother’s eclectic taste in bands ranging from indya-art-strip_RingMasterReviewFree and Bad Company through to David Bowie and Rainbow fuelling a brewing passion, Natalie studied music at the Performing Arts & Technology school in Croydon before moving on to study at the Colin’s Performing Arts College in Essex. On a 50% scholarship, Natalie had to fund the remaining of school fees and subsequently worked as a pole dancer in a gentleman’s club. The single physically reflects that environment with its twists and turns whilst, as many of her songs, the dark time she also experienced at that period of her life is equally evocatively touched.

With a touch of the now demised Karn8 to its personality, Strip Me Down is instantly a lure of grooved temptation, the guitar of Maxime Raguideau-Obadia weaving a seductive yet invasive entangling of ears as the stalking rhythms of drummer Andrea Rapisarda prowl hand in hand with the rapacious groan of Raymond Tagnola’s bass. There are many familiar textures at play within the drama honed song but all with freshness and an imaginative spicing which magnetically slips in with the band’s own invention.

Their first single stoked the fires of attention towards the 2015 emerging outfit; the Dan Baune produced and James Lerock Loughrey mixed/ mastered  Strip Me Down now keeps that blaze burning very nicely whilst showing another flavoursome flame to the rich body of Indya’s rock ‘n’ roll.

Strip Me Down is available now.

http://www.indya-band-official.rocks/    https://www.facebook.com/Indyaukmusic    https://twitter.com/IndyaOfficial

Pete RingMaster 07/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Unbridled arousals and stomps: exploring The Conniption Fits.

The Conniption Fits_RingMasterReview

Formed in 2004, The Conniption Fits create their own ear catching mix of alternative, progressive, and indie pop; rock ‘n’ roll which rouses the senses and imagination and has so across a host of releases. Drawing comparisons to the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Silversun Pickups, U2, The Police, and David Bowie and having shared stages with artists such as Weezer, Panic at the Disco, Kings Of Leon, Train, 3 Doors Down, Fastball, Mighty Bosstones, 7 Mary Three, Blue Oyster Cult, Mountain, Warrant, and Cinderella among many over time, the New Hampshire hailing trio make a noise which easily sparks the appetite. Grabbing the chance to learn more about the band, we had the pleasure of chatting with member and The Conniption Fits co-founder Stevens.

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 and what brought you all together?

That’s a long story.  I’m Stevens Blanchard, lead singer guitar player for The Conniption Fits.  The drummer, Shawn Snyder and I met back when we were kids.  My current band needed a drummer and he was a friend of a friend, not to mention a fantastic drummer with tons of attitude.  When that band broke up, we founded The Conniption Fits.  Jamie Hosley, or bass player, came along when we were looking for a new bassist.  Again, he had a reputation as being “the man” when it comes to bass, naturally we had to have him.

So The Conniption Fits is not the first band for you? Has previous projects had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

I think I just answered that above, but yes.  We had a previous band, Motorplant, which did quite well for about 8 years.  You can still find all of the music that Motorplant produced all over the web including iTunes and Spotify.  When Motorplant disbanded, we wanted to head in a slightly more alternative direction.

What inspired the band name?

If the conniption fits, wear it.

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

Far from it…We just enjoy playing and entertaining.  As far as the sound goes, I just want to create ear candy.  Songs with depth sonically and lyrically that are accessible and a bit unpredictable at the same time.

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

Always evolving…You can tell album to album.  Every record seems to represent where our minds were at musically at that period of time.  I’m always hearing new bands that are doing really cool things that we want to incorporate into our own stuff.  I’d say we listen as much, or more, than we play.

TCF2Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

We deliberately try new things.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.  On our second album, A Heaping Helping of Perspective the guys thought it would be cool if we recorded live without a click track.  I hated the idea, being a stickler for tempo.  It led to a different album and different songs for sure.

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

Too many to mention, from Jazz to Metal…Speaking for myself I’d say bands like Nothing But Thieves, The Shins, Bear Hands, Coldplay, Eve6, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Kongos…  I love creative rock/pop/alternative songs that still have a hook, but avoid the same four chords and progressions that are so typical.

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

I am usually the idea man then we flush it out as a group.  Sometimes I’ll record the whole song then we will replace the drums and bass later. I’m into results; I don’t care how we get there.

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

Life; I’ll sing lyric variations to a demo while I’m out for a run.  I usually find cool ideas that way.  I also hear the parts that suck and need to be changed.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?

I Need You (Ay-O) is an old relate that became new again when it started treating on-line. We’ve always loved the song and are happy to have it finally breaking through the “clutter”.

Give us some insight to its theme.

I need you is about wanting to leave a relationship, but continuing to be drawn back in; then dealing with the fact that needing somebody can be for very different reasons.

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?

I own the studio we record in.  It’s an amazing luxury because we are not “on the clock” burning money.  So we just show up with nothing and play.  Often I’ll have scraps of ideas ready to jump off from.

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

Yeah, live is where we bring it.  We entertain.  We always have a great time and that usually transfers to the audience.  It’s also the only real way we’ve made any money.  So we play live to survive, and we love it.

It is not easy for any 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?TCF_RingMasterReview

Not easy, but work hard and offer something great.  It doesn’t even have to be unique, just great.  Make people say “holy shit!”, and you’ll do fine.

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

The internet grants everyone access, even the garbage.  I think we handle it well, but there is that constant drive needed to stand out in all the noise.

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

Check out our website, http://www.conniptionfits.com/ to listen to all of our songs for free and look for our new EP this summer!

https://www.facebook.com/conniptionfits/  https://twitter.com/conniption_fits

Pete RingMaster

The Ringmaster Review 01/07/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Indya – Harder Faster

Indya_RingMasterReview

Need something to put some spirit rousing energy and vitality into your day? Then we suggest checking out the new single from UK band Indya for a swift and highly agreeable shot. Harder Faster is a virulent stomp of rock ‘n’ roll with the anthemic prowess of Andrew W.K., the pop infectiousness of Gwen Stefani and No Doubt, and the inventive dexterity of Pryti; a rebel rousing, thigh slapping slice of devilment just as happy to add some flavoursome glam to its hard rock bred adventure too.

Indya is led by vocalist Natalie Indya West, a songwriter/musician who was in the arms of music from an early age through her Mother’s keen and eclectic taste for artists such as Free, Bad Company, David Bowie, Rainbow and many others. From school, Natalie went on to study music at the Performing Arts & Technology school in Croydon before going on to study at the Colin’s Performing Arts College in Essex. Having to fund a large part of her schooling herself, she eventually took up a job as a pole dancer in a Gentleman’s Club, an experience which saw her fall in with the wrong crowd and into a subsequent debilitating habit. It is a time though which gave a spark to her songwriting and the often raw lyrical themes explored within that cathartic release.

Indya art_RingMasterReviewPerforming as a singer and professional dancer over recent years, Natalie eventually pulled together the band which is Indya last year, recruiting the talents of guitarist Daniel Baune, bassist Raymond Tagnola, and drummer Tobias Miorin to help bring her life bred songs to life. Combining inspirations from the likes of Rainbow, Deep Purple, Bowie, Madonna, and Amy Winehouse into their hard rock seeded rock ‘n’ roll, the band is looking to make a potent impact on ears and attention in 2016, and if Harder Faster is a sign of things to come, it is hard to see them failing.

The song opens on a great blues meets glam rock groove, beats badgering its lure with their own feisty bait. Things soon settle into an infectious canter as Natalie’s vocals flirt with and dance on ears and the imagination. The virulence of its energy and rousing bounce alone has hips and appetite gripped, the dexterity of vocals and melodic enterprise only adding to the easy going yet heavily dynamic proposal. The song is pure rock ‘n’ roll, but equally prime pop with a touch of punk to it too and quite irresistible.

Providing the thrilling lead to Strip Me Down, their new EP, Harder Faster has all the temptation to bring the UK music scene to the point of no return with the name Indya on its lustful lips.

Harder Faster is out now.

http://www.indya-band-official.rocks/      https://www.facebook.com/Indyaukmusic   https://twitter.com/IndyaOfficial

Pete RingMaster 25/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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