Crepuscular calm: the Dark Serenity Interview

Introducing hard rock trio Dark Serenity

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

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

We are Dark Serenity, composed of members Zach Barnes (bass), Kate Emrich (guitar and vocals), and Mike Bergamo (drums). We started writing music in Kate’s basement back in high school, which is where we met each other. We were brought together by a similar level of ambition in addition to the obvious shared interest in being in a band and creating music.

Had you been in other bands before?

We haven’t been involved in other bands before, but we went through a few line-up changes until we discovered which members would stick. I’m sure it led to a change in style and direction, because we are a group that values the insight of each individual member.

What inspired the band name?

The band name means that there is light in the dark, and more specifically that the motivation for life and light lies within the reality that death and darkness are inevitable.

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

We didn’t approach the formation of the band with the intention of sounding a certain way. We wanted to create a sound that sounded like us, one where each one of us used our respective influences to make our own sound.

And that instinct still primarily drives the band now it is more experienced or has new aspects evolved over time?

I would say the same things still drive us. Those things being the intent to succeed in our field and inspire others to do the same, as well as to live our own lives the way we want to.

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

I would say our sound has matured, basically, as we have as musicians. We write in different song structures and utilize our instrument’s capabilities more fully. We can write parts that complement the other instrumentals more effectively, and more clearly communicate our messages.

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

It’s both. When you deliberately try new things you tend to find a more of an organic movement and vice versa.

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

We are inspired by the creations of many of the greats, such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, the Jimi Hendrix Experience and the Who. That being said we’ve never deliberately practiced their songwriting approaches.

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

Yes, typically we write by picking a key and a time signature, then doing an improv session within those specifications. The body of the song usually comes first, with the bass and drums; then the guitar, and then the vocals are written last.

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

More often than not our lyrics cover subjects that include and challenge societal norms. We have songs about deviating from said norms.

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

Our latest release is our debut album that we released last year. It’s called ‘Memento Mori’ and is eight tracks. It was a live tracked album, which we did on purpose to emulate the experience of a live performance.

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

The themes we mentioned discussing our commonly used lyrical themes are the themes we applied to the tracks on this 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?

We go into the studio with our songs completed. We don’t like bringing unfinished material because there’s no guarantee you will come out with something you’re happy with. When a song is complete there’s not really a question as to whether or not it will turn out like you had hoped.

Tell us about the live side to the band, obviously a favourite aspect of being in the band?

Live we deliver an animated and authentic performance. We’ve been told that our passion for what we do is obvious and felt throughout the room. We want to deliver the best version of ourselves.

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

We have found it difficult yet worthwhile. We are lucky to have been brought up as musicians in the metro Detroit area where there are a lot of music fans and a decent number of live venues. It’s arguably harder to get your foot in the door when there are several other groups going for the same goals as you. However, in addition to that difficulty, you also find the most support from the other musicians. You have to work hard, break a sweat, then gain respect…But the respect that you gain is worth it.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something positive within a realm flooded with artists and a short attention society or more of a necessary trial?

Bands nowadays need to utilize social media to their advantage, just like any other form of entrepreneur. You’re selling yourself as the product, basically, and in today’s market, you need to unapologetically market yourself with the tools everybody else is using to have a shot at mainstream success. So yeah, not being able to properly use social media can hurt your career, but most likely, will stunt your growth overall. There are obviously always exceptions to a rule, though.

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

Thank you for having us! We just want to add that you can find our music on every streaming platform, and that you can find us on Facebook or Instagram. Please show us your support!

https://www.darkserenityofficial.com   https://www.facebook.com/pg/darkserenityband   https://www.instagram.com/darkserenityband  https://twitter.com/Dark__Serenity

Pete RingMaster 06/11/019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The RingMaster Review gets together with Spanish hard rockers JJ Friends in interview

Hello and thank you for taking the time to talk with us.

Can you present the band for the first time and give us some background on how everything started?

JJ Friends was born from the idea of Jose Jarque (voice) who after several bands decided to focus efforts on creating a group in which the closest musician friends participated. JJ Friends was born, 11 songs were written and the sound was worked on, a raw sound, pure hard rock with influences from the 70s and mix of 2018, a challenge that I think we have achieved.

Our style is pure hard rock.

How have those previous experiences with bands impacted on your creativity now and in the style and direction of the band’s sound?

All the components come from different backgrounds, with a wide career, between 20 and 25 years in rock. The impact is the power to make our rock more serene, more worked and with everything learned in the scenarios.

Our style is hard rock, we love it, we feel good, why change? No, we will not change; maybe we can play with more metal parts or more pop parts, but always with the hard rock base.

What inspired the name of the band?

Friendship…being able to work with great friends and what better then to translate it into the name directly.

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

Yes, the main thing was to gather those friends with whom we felt the same for rock and from the beginning we wanted to achieve a sound, powerful, seventies but at the same time modern today, I think we achieved it with a mixture of riffs and sounds.

…And now?

The idea of our band is the work, we create the themes, we polish them in the rehearsals and once finished, we continue working on them, re-polishing, until we are ecstatic with the subject.

Since its inception, how would you say its sound has evolved?

The band has little tour at this time, it only has one year of life, but it has evolved giving way to new songs within hard rock, more compact, more real.

Do you let things grow and evolve organically or deliberately look to try new things?

We are rock sound, we must listen to ourselves, and we are completely organic.

Probably throughout the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any that has particularly impacted not only on the music of the band but its member’s personal approach to and ideas about creating music?

Really like everyone we have musical references, ranging from Beatles, Rolling Stone, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Whitesnake, Deep Purple, Motley Crue, Scorpions, Van Halen, and in what gives us now the music we can name, Inglorious, Black Stone Cherry, The Dead Daisies, Richie Kottzen, and many, many more.

Is there a process in the composition that usually guides the writing of songs?

Previously we started with a riff; from there we composed a base melody and started to work on it, a thousand changes of structure, melody, etc. … until leaving a complete and compact base, then as indicated above, work without rest in the song.

Where do you most often draw inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

All themes are the product of our experiences, both personal and visual, sentimental etc. … a hard day of work, the feeling for our music, lack of love, love, party, etc. …Even a theme in which we reflect the feeling of the first minutes of being a father.

Are you a band that enters the studio with songs in their final state or do you prefer to develop them while recording?

When we enter the studio we have or try to have everything defined and very worked; really in the studio we go very fast and do not earn too much money with us studies, hahaha.

Tell us about the live side of the band, probably the band’s favourite aspect?

The party, we are a band that has fun on the stage, we try to give the warmth to the public, we want them to enjoy as much as we do; on stage we are partiers, we involve all the public and we want them to sing with us.

It is not easy for a new band to have a regional impact, let alone nationally and farther away. How are you finding it?

We are still in the process, it is a very difficult road, we know it, but we will not stop until the end.

Once again, thank you very much for sharing your time with us; something you want to add or reveal for the readers?

Give them the grace for your work and for including us in your magazine, we are delighted and we want JJ Friends to be heard in all corners of the planet.

Check out JJ Friends further @ https://www.facebook.com/JJ-Friends-969137536525542/

Pete RingMaster 17/01/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ringing the changes: 21 Taras Interview

21 Taras is a rock band from Littleton, Colorado which having sparked keen attention through previous releases has ventured into new directions in sound and adventure. This evolution is at the heart of their new album, Change. Wanting to now more we recently chatted with the band learning…

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

4 out of the 5 of us went to school together. James and Alec shared some classes and started the band, then shortly after recruited Jimmy. James went up to the first person he saw; who just so happened to be Jimmy; and asked if he played bass. Austin was later introduced to the band in a similar fashion. I (Julian) moved to Colorado in 2014 and met James online on some band finder website. They sent me some songs to throw some vocals on and we played our first show just a couple weeks later.

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

We all have been playing music for a while now in one way or another, but this is pretty much our first real band. I had a project back when I lived in Alaska with one of my good friends Rio, but it was just the two of us. James and Alec had gone through a few other line-ups under a different band name, but as of late 2014 the line-up has been set and that is when the final name change to 21 Taras ensued.

What inspired the band name?

It comes from Buddhism. They have 21 different forms of Tara, all based around self-empowerment and self-enlightenment. The name stands for how we try to continually grow as not only musicians, but also as people through our music and songwriting.

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

We just want to continue evolving. Just about four years in, and we have changed so much already. I don’t think we ever try to plan for where things go; it just sort of happens. We’ve tried to dictate things before but that is a good way for things to end up forced.

Do the same things still drive the band from its first steps or have they evolved over time?

I think now having a full music studio at our disposal has greatly changed everything. It allows us to be more creative as we are working on our time. Our mentor/producer Jim Boyd deserves a lot of credit for our last record. With him opening up his studio to us, it really led to the growth of the songs and the overall freedom the album possesses.

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

We started out with more of a hard rock and grunge presence, and it has evolved rather quickly to more of a 60s and 70s influenced sound. Things are getting more and more psychedelic influenced as we speak.

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

A bit of both, I think everyone was starting to get a little burnt out and I think we just had a lack of direction. We were kind of floating in one area with no real progression occurring. We all had a big free flowing discussion back in February with the main message being about trying new things. Just taking more outside influences and putting them to use. It really has led to some very diverse songs for us.

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?

A big one for us is the Beatles. Right around Rubber Soul is when they really started to branch out and grow their sound. I just love how one band can have so many songs from different ends of the spectrum, from Honey Pie to Helter Skelter, they really changed the confines of a particular album mould. Other bands that do this are Queen and the Beach Boys. As a band we all share so many influences with each other. For James he brings a lot of the heavier side such as bands like Earthless and Red Fang, while Alec is more of a classic aficionado with bands like Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. Austin and Jimmy probably have the most eclectic tastes, although we all tend to enjoy a bit of everything. It is a good problem to have as it leads to a diverse palette.

Is there a particular process to the songwriting?

Every song is different really, some songs are written by one or two guys while others we all sit and write together. Sometimes one guy will write a section and bring it to the group, while other songs may be more fleshed out by the time it reaches the rehearsal room.

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

I write the lyrics and more often than not it is usually dictated by the music itself. There have been times however where I will write the lyrics first and the music will follow.

Give us some background to your latest release.

Our latest release is called Change and the name is to be taken quite literal. It marks several big changes for us as a band, such as our sound but also our songwriting processes and just our overall growth as a group.

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

The album starts off rather straight forward musically, and by song two we go to a very new place, for both the listener and the band itself. Gettin’ Hungry (track two) is very jazz influenced number featuring a good friend Mia Klosterman on backing vocals. The song and much of the album takes you through some of the mental hardships I was going through at the time. I tried to have the bridge of the song represent what I was going through internally during a very distressed time in my life being away from a loved one.

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?

With a studio at our disposal, it allows us to do both simultaneously. The songs are constantly being devolved and modified.

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

Performing has changed so much for us with the growth of our songs. With the new album containing so much depth and there being just five of us in the band, it creates a fun challenge to reproduce the music. We are always looking at new ways to reinvent the songs and create more of a cohesive show that really tells a story. It really is theatrical in a way.

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

If the drive is there, it is always possible. We are very driven and determined, but we also genuinely love doing it. So even the smallest of impacts are very satisfying for us. We just have to keep going.

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?

Times and technology change and the only option is to adapt to your surroundings whether you like it or not. Social media is part of our generation and there isn’t really a way around that. There are both negative and positive aspects to that but one really big positive is that it allows for bands to connect directly with their fans and have a whole new reach that would have never been possible before. Of course this leads to over saturation, which is a whole other discussion, but you have to always find the good in a bad situation no matter the circumstances. Speaking of, here’s a shameless plug of our website! https://www.21tarasband.com/

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

We put a lot of time into our new album Change and our goal is to take you on a journey through some of our favorite periods in music. The album focuses heavily on the mid to late 60s, as well as 70s with a bit of early jazz influence as well. You can listen to the band’s new album Change here: https://21tarasband.bandcamp.com/album/change

https://www.facebook.com/21tarasband   https://twitter.com/21TarasBand

Pete RingMaster 07/12/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Albert Marshall – Speakeasy

Creating an ear grabbing proposal forged in the fires and technical styling of hard rock and heavy metal, Italian guitarist Albert Marshall has just released a debut solo album in the magnetic shape of Speakeasy. It is an eight track collection of instrumental adventures, though a couple also feature the guest vocals of Mark Boals (Y.J.Malmsteen, U.J.Roth, Ring of Fire), which highlight but do not boastfully self-congratulate the undoubted prowess of Marshall whilst making for one rather enjoyable adventure.

Picking up his first guitar aged 16 and self-teaching with Deep Purple records, Marshall subsequently embraced and explored the broader expanses and styles of metal and rock alongside flavours such as blues and funk. Graduating from the Modern Music Institute while already gaining experiences in various tribute and original music making bands he proceeded to become part of metallers Altair, playing on their Sleazy Rider Records released album Descending. Now the Padova hailing musician has ventured forth with his own solo work and first full-length with Speakeasy seeing bassist Simon Dredo (L.a.Rox, Alex De Rosso, Adam Bomb) and drummer Roberto Gualdi (Pfm, Vecchioni, Glenn Hughes) playing alongside.

Inspired by the styles and sounds of Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, and Jason Becker, Speakeasy immediately reveals its voice and Marshall’s magnetic prowess through opener Butler’s Revenge. From start to finish, his strings vibrate like suggestive vocal chords in ears and imagination. Alongside Dredo is no lightweight either, the pulsating resonance of his bass equally captivating and appetite ensnaring as Gualdi provides a manipulative frame for the pair to conjure upon.

The superb track sets the tone for the release in style, though each subsequent piece brings its own open individuality and technical dexterity with next up Badlands aligning an enticing hue of restraint to the same eager energy and charge of its predecessor whilst weaving its own picturesque landscape of melodic metal. Wiry grooves vine the darker muscular trespass of the track, their melodic tendrils intoxication within just as potent rhythmic shadows while its successor, Fallen Angel encases the senses in a web of heavy metal endeavour. The first of two tracks featuring Boals, it is a more unsurprising slice of heavy metal yet revels in the individual and united prowess of its creators if without catching fire in our imagination as the tracks around it.

Captivation and enjoyment is only reinforced through the melodic metal waltz of Re Marzapane and the alluring sonic lattice of Dreamlover, the former carrying a glaze to its grooves which is almost punk like against the track’s progressive nature while its successor creates a tapestry of sonic hinting rich with cosmopolitan suggestion and sophistication. Both tracks enthral without deviation before Tristam Fireland re-ignites the album’s heavy metal heart with Boals back involved.

The blues stroll of Ramshackle Blues had personal juices, which faltered a touch with its predecessor, flowing again, its enterprise bound saunter a rousing spark to body and spirit. The brief closing piece of Eclipse (White Horse) equally seduced; its melodic ballad mesmeric, descriptive, and thoroughly beguiling.

And that pretty much sums up Speakeasy and the craft of Albert Marshall, a release and ability which is pretty much spellbinding.

Speakeasy is out now via Red Cat Records across most stores.

https://www.facebook.com/albertmarshallmusic/

Pete RingMaster 18/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Leatherjacks – The Lost Arks Of Rock And Roll + singles

As the band get to work on its successor, we take a look back at the Leatherjacks debut album as well as subsequent singles as an introduction to their inventive rock ‘n’ roll. From São Paulo, Brazil and formed in 2016, Leatherjacks is the creation of singer, songwriter, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist Mauro Cordeiro and it was through his personal introduction that we were guided to the band’s first album, a flavoursome slab of heavy metal infused hard rock which has raised an eager anticipation for its upcoming successor.

With the inspiration of bands such as Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Thin Lizzy, George Benson, and Stray Cats among many others shaping his own musical imagination, The Lost Arks Of Rock And Roll was pretty much a solo project for Cordeiro despite attempting to find like-minded musicians to realise his intent. For the second album he has realised his hopes for a full band line-up with the addition of bassist Marcos Brandão and guitarist Rapha Gusto; a drummer still being sought as we write.

The Lost Arks Of Rock And Roll opens up with People (We’re Chosen Ones) and instantly had ears keenly attentive with its swinging groove and fiery touch. Riffs and rhythms simultaneously launch an infectious lure, the vocals of Cordeiro adding to the swift captivation. Certainly the song is not over ripe in uniqueness but quickly blossomed with fresh and imaginative enterprise through the open craft of its creator; that blending of classic and heavy metal with rousing hard rock providing a highly flavoured proposition which easily caught the appetite.

Next up Crocodile’s Heart has a more controlled gait and sonic calm though its simmer bubbled rapaciously throughout. An eighties metal spicing brings a catchy hue to the song which though it did not ignite ears as forcibly as its predecessor, left its pleasurable mark especially through Cordeiro’s guitar enterprise before Burning Wire grabbed attention with its web of wiry grooves and rousing rhythms honed into a manipulative slice of heavy rock ‘n’ roll with a deft melodic touch. Cordeiro has a passion for rockabilly among other sounds, a hue definitely behind the track’s tenacious and quickly addictive stomp.

Taking best track honours it is followed by the muscular roar of the track LeatherJacks. Once more heavy metal and imposing hard rock are blended for a proposal which almost preys on ears as it pleasures them; its tone as predacious as it is arousing before Emotions On Sale explores a more tender, ballad like side to the Leatherjacks invention. It still comes with a fire in its belly though; one which inflames its voice and intensity throughout a magnetic presence to forge another high point in the album’s already compelling body.

The Slammer was a song which did not quite hook up with personal tastes yet Cordeiro has a style and touch to his guitar play and songwriting which easily tempts as proven not for the first or last time by Do You Fucking Pay My Bills?, a raucous but defined rock ‘n’ roll assault riff armed and melody inflamed with attitude oozing every note and syllable.

The following instrumental MotoCross is a delicious metal ‘n’ roll incitement, craft and adrenaline fuelling its addictive antics before the album concludes on its title track. The final song was another which did not quite ignite the juices as those before but again bouncing to its contagion and returning to its fire for more was never in doubt.

The Lost Arks Of Rock And Roll is a highly enjoyable and accomplished release with really impressive moments which have only been built upon by subsequent singles; tracks hinting of bigger and bolder things to come with its successor. The end of 2017 saw Leatherjacks release I Hate To Fall In Love. A melodic romance with that ever present fire in its heart and lining, the song has a freshness to it which inescapably entices. It is a song written decades earlier but stands the test of time and with its new enterprise firmly pleasures though not as majorly as Persona Non Grata. A track presumably set to appear on the second album, which we believe will be called Songs For The Strangest Ones, it is superb. Immediately it reveals its infectious swagger, guitars and rhythms uniting in a flirtatious canter as vocals melodically share the song’s heart. Again familiarity and fresh endeavour do collude yet a union which invades ears and imagination with eager intent and adventure. The track is accompanied by the song Spells and Zombies Through the Night, an even bolder, more raucous offering which suggests that this new album once realised will eclipse all before.

The Lost Arks Of Rock And Roll and those singles are all available via iTunes.

http://www.leatherjacksofficial.com/    https://www.facebook.com/pg/leatherjacksofficial

 Pete RingMaster 12/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sparks and passions: Calling All Astronauts 2018

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

Hi and welcome back to The RingMaster Review.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tell us about the videos accompanying each song.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for having us.

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

Explore Calling All Astronauts further at:

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

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 06/04/2018

 

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Calling All Astronauts – Influences EP

Repetitiously providing some truly striking times with their own songs, UK trio Calling All Astronauts do it again by giving an insight into the sounds and artists which have lit their individual fires through their new release, the Influences EP. Offering four tracks simply echoing the EP title, the threesome of vocalist/programmer David B, guitarist J, and bassist Paul McCrudden take on four highly familiar, indeed legendary songs with their instinctive imagination and sound. The result is a hell of a lot of fun and a release which pays enterprising homage in unique style.

West London based, Calling All Astronauts create a fiery mix of alternative rock, electro punk and numerous other flavours in a sound which is truly individual to the band. The question for us when news of their new release broke was would it transfer to songs which pretty much everyone knows and so many idolise and more so could they give them a new character rather than just replicate like so many bands do with covers. The answer was soon escaping the speakers with pretty much a loud vocal yes. Certainly the band has not dissected and reassembled the songs in their own ‘image’ but each has been given a deep makeover which sparks the imagination.

Described as more of a quadruple A-side single, Influences opens up with a glorious version of Tubeway Army’s  Are ‘Friends’ Electric?. From its first breath there is a sense of urgency to the track if one initially restrained. When it does free its shackles, it brings a drum and bass meets metal contagion to its zealous stroll, though keys still shimmer with the original’s elegant yet melancholic gait; the contrasting attacks perfectly merged by CAA in one delicious encounter. You cannot say that the band has eclipsed Gary Numan’s creation but they have certainly given it a new energy and breath which deserves to be pushed as a full standalone single.

Following it is a take on the T-Rex classic Metal Guru. Here CAA has taken the essences of the song and immersed them in their own atmospheric invention. Whereas they pumped up the first, its successor has been slowed to allow its shadows and dark shades to dance with the imagination. We will admit that at first the song did not quite catch with ears but over time it has made a compelling persuasion and will surely emerge as a favourite for a great many within the release.

With a song like Scary Monsters it is hard to redesign what is an almost perfect template so CAA don’t but they do inject Bowie’s gem with their own dark intent and electro instincts to elevate its raw captivation and rock rabidity resulting in another thumping slice of rock ‘n’ roll with a fresh tang and organic energy where shadows seem even more alive.

Finally the release sees CAA give an electro/post punk work out for Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water. To be honest this is a song which never lit our fires but CAA have more then made it far more palatable with the flames of J’s guitar searing the growl of McCrudden’s bass and the electronic infused punk ‘n’ roll both court.

We always love to hear influences taken on by artists, a treat which seemed to grace many a B-side back in the day, just a shame so many do not try to bring something of themselves to them just as Calling All Astronauts have magnetically done.

The Influences EP is released March 30th via Supersonic Media.

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

Pete RingMaster 28/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright