Sonic Tides: talking Oceans with guitarist Tom Hollands

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

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

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

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

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

What inspired the band name?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

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

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

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

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

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

Tell us about the live side to the band?

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

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

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

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

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

For further dips into Oceans check them out @

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

Pete RingMaster 13/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Cove – A Conscious Motion

A Conscious Motion sees UK outfit Cove releasing their sophomore EP, a proposition announcing the Kent hailing quintet as one highly promising addition to the hardcore scene. Melodically inflamed, the 2016 formed band’s sound has a real sense of adventure to its character suggesting the potential of major uniqueness to come they continue to grow. As the new release shows, it is already a thoroughly enjoyable proposition from a band hungry to push themselves.

A Conscious Motion reflects on themes “such as the pain of loss and the challenges of soul-searching and acceptance” and features the band’s latest line-up of guitarists Pete Woolven and Ben Brazier, bassist Charlie Smith, drummer Jack Bowdery, and new vocalist Ben Shorten. The band linked up with Oz Craggs at Hidden Track Studios for the EP, reuniting with him once more for five tracks which has seen “a little piece of everyone in each song, something we didn’t have before and this has definitely broadened our sound.”

The EP opens with Coincide:Collide, a track which lures intrigue and increasingly keen attention from its first rhythmic tapping. Quickly guitars loom over that continuing bait, their tides of riffs and grooves dark and slightly portentous but wholly enticing. The quickly impressing tones of Shorten soon intensify its appeal, a Deftones-esque breath becoming tenser and more imposing as the track unleashes its roar. As mentioned, Cove is tagged as hardcore with an alternative bent but as the first song on the EP reveals, at times it is a far more flavoursome mix.

The EP’s best track is quickly followed by a just as compelling offering in Solis. From its first breath, ear gripping grooves work their bait, vocals a caustic alignment as rhythms pounce with aggressive tenacity. Harmonies and melodic flames add to its brewing temptation, punk scowling similarly infusing the adventurous tempest. As the first, it gives suggestion of a real appetite to push their boundaries, the band not content on just repeating the well-received but less individual exploits of their first release.

Recent single All I Believe is next, the song a blaze of sound and enterprise which as the first track begins with a mellow air over simmering discontent; a volatility subsequently erupting with voracious intensity and craft. Vocals again strike a rich engagement whilst grooves and a brooding bassline only add to the blossoming captivation. Though not connecting with personal tastes as quickly as its predecessors the senses bracing blaze of sound made a compelling persuasion as it grew to match their temptation.

The atmospheric instrumental of Host provides a dark calm for the imagination to play with before Reflect:Resolve closes things up with its incitement  of wiry grooves, rhythmic tempting, and emotive vocal ferocity. It too makes for an alluring agitation if without quite reaching the heights of those before it, though at times the song tempts with a majestic touch which it never quite sustains across the whole of its nevertheless fully satisfying presence.

Cove has strived to find their own identity in sound with A Conscious Motion, to stand out from the crowd and though they have some way to be truly unique, the quintet has definitely found a new character which warrants keener attention. The EP is a potential ridden affair from a band moving in the right direction towards becoming a renowned integral part of the European hardcore scene; right now they are certainly one of its imaginative and enjoyable additions.

A Conscious Motion is out now through iTunes and other stores.

Upcoming Cove UK tour dates:

April: 15th – Bournemouth – Anvil | 16th – Guildford – Boileroom | 17th – Nottingham – Red Rooms | 18th – Manchester – Satans Hollow | 19th – Huddersfield – Parish | 20th – Glasgow – Garage Attic | 21st – Edinburgh – Opium | 22nd – Sheffield – Corporation | 24th – Birmingham – Flapper | 25th – Oxford – Cellar | 26th – Tunbridge Wells – Forum Basement | 27th – Bristol – Mothers Ruin | 28th – Bridgend – Hobos | 30th – London – Thousand Island

https://www.wearecove.com/     https://www.facebook.com/WeAreCove/    https://twitter.com/WEARECOVE

Pete RingMaster 27/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

We Are Band Nerds – Forget Me Nots

When something is self- described as “Deftones meets Outkast” you just have to have a sniff but it was a mighty lung full we subsequently grabbed when diving into the debut album from US outfit We Are Band Nerds. That description certainly fits the Dallas sextet’s sound, though we would also suggest The Kennedy Soundtrack at times in their blend of alternative hip hop and nu metal, yet there is so much that is individual to the band that it is one imagination grabbing adventure within a debut which just demands plaudit loaded attention.

We Are Band Nerds consist of Brandon Cross (Lead Singer/Rapper), Tony Lucas (Rapper/Vocalist), Dorian “Scullie” Thomas (Guitarist), Carlos “DJ Sol*Los” Juarez (DJ/Sampler), Stephen “S Dot” Bonilla (Drums), and Santos “Sandman” Johnson (Bass). They all bring individual craft and loves into a united sound keenly embracing further diverse styles from jazz, metal, electronica, rap, and varied rock music. Within their first full-length, Forget Me Nots, it quickly proves to be a fascinating mix. Lyrically too the band transfixes, never pulling their punches whilst showing honesty fuelled insight and craft which whether with subtlety or force bewitches as firmly as the sounds around them in songs exploring the depths of everything from relationships to racism, poverty to life’s experiences.

From opener Hunger Games it grabs ears and imagination, electronics almost teasing as they suggest and lure before embracing a current of metal nurtured riffs, dancing beats, and the vocal prowess of Cross and Lucas. The snarl of the guitars is gripping and portentous; vocals matching their angst and irritability with the pair of singers and their individual styles a magnetic union.  All the while the melodic instincts of the band add a mesmeric glaze to veins of creative suggestion and the encounter’s natural rawer rapacity. It is a compelling mix of threat and contemplation in word and sound and a gripping start to the album.

The following Whore has an instinctive catchiness from its first breath of voice and bass, their natural swing controlled but bold and setting the tone for the outstanding track. Like a clock, each note ticks by with consistency and intimation, vocals matching their gait yet all the time volatility in the song’s belly is brewing and stirring, never truly erupting but adding a rousing trespass between the crystalline breaths and organically bred emotions. Like Palms meets Mudvayne in an unexpected way, it is simply glorious and reason alone to check out band and album.

Fake In You similarly has a relatively calm climate within which turbulence and intense shadows lie, essences which burn bright at times but are tempered by the atmospheric glides of the keys and the smooth blend of rap and clean vocals. That tempestuousness does take hold momentarily towards the song’s close but again is dampened down by the tranquillity and beauty of melody before Dreamer opens its heart and diminishing hopes through elegance, grace, and corrosive intensity. As with all songs, hindsight brings a sense of familiar hues within the inventive drama but there is no chance of predicting the landscape and enterprise of each encounter as hearts are shared and thoughts turned over.

Without quite stirring the passions as thickly as those before Under Water still holds attention tight with its evocative drama in sound and word amidst rapacious metal encroachments while American Trash springs from an electronic breeze of an interlude/intro into a heady windstorm of sonic manipulation and lyrical dissonance, though never breaking from its restraints to truly create a blistering tempest.  That control just makes the song though, ensuring its portentous air is a tantalising harassment behind more of the stirring blend of mellow and ire sealed vocals.

The industrial bent Hagel Trumpf is a prowling predator breeding addiction and lust for its senses preying beauty lit with nu metal stalking while Savage borders on the carnivorous, in comparison, but too holds its ferocity in an embrace of suggestion soaked harmonics and melodic intrigue. Both are mutually unique and magnificent, just two more reasons to be excited about their creators and lustfully keen to recommend the album they grace.

Forget Me Nots concludes with Fade Away, a scalding slice of rap and rock infused metal which is the band at their organically rawest on the album but once more infused into a searing irradiation of melodic beauty. It is a compelling end to an album which we can only repeat, must be checked out especially if those comparisons at the beginning hit the spot but equally atmospheric metal/rock in general.

Forget Me Nots is out now via Pavement Entertainment across most stores.

http://www.wearebandnerds.com/    https://www.facebook.com/wearebandnerds/     https://twitter.com/wearebn6

Pete RingMaster 09/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Lotus Interview

The Lotus is a rock band with its roots in Italy but is currently based in Manchester, UK. It is also a creative adventure which embraces an array of flavours and styles in “a visionary and characterful musical journey”. With a new album in the works, we threw a host of questions at the band to discover its beginnings, latest release, what fuels their creativity 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 how it all started?

Hi everyone and thank you for interviewing The Lotus. The band started in 2004 when first Rox met Luca: we initially began playing some covers as many kids do but we immediately realised we wanted more and we immediately started working on some ideas and riffs.

That’s how it started really: in 2008 Kristal and Marco joined the band and that was the real start of a professional band as we decided to record and release our first album, which eventually came out in 2011.

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

Apart from Luca, actually all of us are still playing with many other bands! Mostly metal and rock bands though and I think that always influenced our music in same way.

Rox is playing with Italian prog rockers InnerShine and UK progressive metal band Prospekt, and also with pop folk singer and songwriter named Sukh. Marco is the drummer of two of the most famous Italian metal and rock bands, which are Elvenking and Hell In The Club, and Kristal is the lead singer of melodic death metal band called Lost Resonance Found.

What inspired the band name?

The band’s name was chosen randomly by our first guitarist who was in love with R.E.M.’s song Lotus. We liked it and we realised then, that it was the perfect name for us. A few months later we also found out its meaning of purity and rebirth and we realised that was the name we really wanted.

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

As we said before, as soon as we got confident in playing together we immediately started to feel the need of composing our own songs and being rock stars! LOL

Regarding the sound, well, that’s a tricky one: we have never had an established sound or a path we wanted to follow, we just write songs we like and lyrics from experience and feelings we have during our own life.

If you listen to our songs you can really understand there’s something that binds everything which is not the genre.

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

We would say we’ve evolved as musicians and composers rather than our music’s evolved. We’re still writing what we want, without any boundary and we love what we’re doing: we’re just better in what and how we play and write!

Has the growth within the band in music, experiment etc. been an organic process or more the band deliberately setting out to try new things?

We always wanted to try new things so actually nothing’s changed since 2004 from this side: probably being mature musicians affected our way to play and compose music and you can probably hear that on our latest releases.

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 grew up with completely different music backgrounds and this colourful music palette brought the unique sound we have today. We are big fans of Queen and Muse, as you might have already understood :), but also Pink Floyd, Metallica, System Of A Down, U2, Depeche Mode, or even some heavier stuff like Slipknot.

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

Normally Rox brings the main ideas and Luca some lyrics inspiration: back to our earlier days we used to mainly compose our songs in the rehearsal room but now, thanks to technology we often produce full demos on the computer.

We actually have to do this way also because Marco and Kristal are living in Italy and rehearsing would be definitely not very much affordable. 🙂

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

Lyrics are mostly inspired by our everyday experiences and translated into a more poetic and hermetic way.

We talk about love and death, and human life: as we do for our music, we don’t have any limit in our lyrics’ themes as well!

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

We’ve released our latest EP in June 2015 just before we moved to the UK. Its name is Awakening and is actually a mini concept album. It’s an ambient Prog Rock opera which will delve into your inner core.

We are currently producing our new album with Muse early producer Paul Reeve (Showbiz), and we have already released three new singles: Mars-X, Perfect Love and Five Days To Shine. They are very different from our past works, simpler song structures, more melodic but still very ‘creative’. Someone said: ‘If Muse and Deftones met in a pub and had a cheeky couple of Sambucca’s and hit the town and ended the night with a ride on a spaceship, that’s exactly what this song sounds like.’

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

Our latest song, Five Days To Shine, is very personal and we think the more you listen to it (or watch the video) the more you understand that. It basically talks about a man who waits for five days to know his fate with his girl. He thinks that’ll be alright but he knows the future isn’t bright.

We made the video representing this man as a kind of ‘creator’, who’s trying everything to restore what he’s lost but eventually he gives up. We filmed it in a stunning place in Manchester called Hulme Hyppodrome.

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 used to go into the studio with rough demos and we’ve always struggled to work with limited time. That’s why now we tend to basically go to record with all the songs pretty much finished, so that we can concentrate on instruments’ sound and performances.

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

We’d define our live shows as heavy metal. Even though our music is mainly rock, The Lotus as a live act is more energetic, more aggressive. I think that’s one of our main strengths. We have played more than 120 shows in our career but we’re definitely looking for doubling it within the next few years!

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?

We are coming from a different background which is in Italy, so we’ve definitely found a more fertile place to keep on growing our seeds.

However, these days it seems more and more difficult to have a solid fan base which follows you everywhere ‘physically’ and not only on social media.

If you’re not convinced on what you’re doing it’s better you choose another job!

Talking of social media, how has the internet 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?

We think internet and social media are both good and bad thing.

They really give anyone the opportunity to get out from the anonymity and be the star you always wanted to be, but the problem starts when music is not enough anymore. You really need to let everyone come into your life. Everyone must know who you are, what you are doing, when you are doing it. Even all the pretty small things you want to keep secret; just let them go and share them with everyone. We find this a bit scary but that’s what it is now, so you have to get used to it. And we are getting used to it!

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

2018 will bring a lot of new things: we will go back to the studio to finish recording the album between March and April. Then we are expecting to release the fourth single as soon as we have everything in its place and the album immediately after that. If you want to be updated on what we’re doing you can visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thelotusofficial  or our website www.the-lotus.com . Thank you!

Pete RingMaster 08/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Counterpoint – If Not Now, Why?

Almost demanding attention, UK rockers Counterpoint provide a thumping introduction to themselves with their debut EP. If Not Now, Why? offers five slices of rousing thickly flavoured alternative rock, tracks which has the body bouncing as eagerly as it has the appetite keen to savour plenty more from the Liverpool formed, Manchester based quartet.

Spawned from the ashes of their previous band, Operation: AEON, Counterpoint was formed by vocalist Dominic Lucock and guitarist Martin “Ted” O’Neil in 2015. Numerous ears were enticed by an early demo track in Borrow Your Past, Steal Your Future, including producer Jim Pinder (Bullet For My Valentine) who offered an interest in working with the band on their first release. Cementing a praise earning live presence since then, with a recent show with Crazy Town only pushing their increasing reputation, Counterpoint subsequently joined Pinder and Dan Jeffries in Treehouse Studios with If Not Now, Why? the potent outcome.

It opens up with Leave It All Behind, an immediate tease of sound and anthemic intent which looms up and envelops the senses. Swiftly it finds its muscular stroll, the swinging beats of Ed Sutton inciting alongside the throbbing canter of Mikey Gaffney’s bass and O’Neil’s lively riffs and grooves. At the same time Lucock blends raw and melodic enterprise in his vocal enticement, it all coming together for an inescapably catchy yet energetically imposing proposition.

The great start continues through Honestly, it too gathering its attributes in its initial breath before gripping ears with its subsequent enterprise. Ebbing and flowing in its aggression, perpetually captivating in its resourceful dynamics and imagination, the song creates a tapestry of melodic intrigue, emotive suggestion, and tempestuous energy which just beguiles the imagination. References to the likes of letlive, Papa Roach, Deftones, and While She Sleeps have been offered before the Counterpoint sound and easy to understand why with the EP’s opening pair of encounters.

The following Between You And Me has a great irritability to its heart and raw air which does not defuse its infectious virulence and harmonic prowess; a trait and creative agility which reminds of Reuben in some ways. Every handful of seconds brings a fresh twist and a hungry surge of persuasion, each combining with the other to match the heights of its predecessor’s triumphs, in certain moments eclipsing them before next up DownDownDown boldly swaggers in. It too reveals a skilfully woven mix of rapacious aggression and melodic seduction in its boisterous stomp in creating its own inescapably catchy and stirring incitement.

The EP closes up with One Sided Conversations, a calmer melody tempting serenade with power in its voice and intensity in its heart which inflames the song’s increasing urgency and zeal. It is a fever which soon has the track storming the senses but with the ability to slip into mellower breaths for sublimely captivating moments.

It is a fine end to a striking first listen to Counterpoint, If Not Now, When? a release suggesting a band with all the traits to make a rich impact on the UK rock scene if they realise and develop its bold potential and easy to greedily enjoy sound.

If Not Now, When? is released February 9th

https://www.facebook.com/UKCounterpoint/

Pete RingMaster 09/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dirt, spices, and rock ‘n’ roll: getting a taste of The Sourheads

If you ever have thoughts that real rock ‘n roll is on the wane a quick listen to the new album from British rockers The Sourheads will soon make you think again. Care Plan For The Soul is a nine-track debut full-length, a skilfully and passionately woven roar of classic and fresh rock diversity which snarls as it seduces, thrills as it trespasses ears and imagination. Through our friend Garry at SaN, we had the chance to dig deeper into The Sourheads with guitarist MIK CRONE, exploring the band’s origins, digging into the heart of Care Plan For The Soul, The Sourheads live and more….

Hi Mik and big thanks for taking time to chat with us.

Can you, for those yet to be invaded by your rock ‘n’ roll, first introduce the band?

Jake on vocals, Mik on Guitar, Ben on Bass and Lamb on Drums.

We are The Sourheads and we come from Wakefield West Yorkshire. We are a rock band who take influence from the greats and add our own twist. We like to think of ourselves of somewhat multi-genre and we don’t want to be seen as just one specific style of music. A career band like The Stones or The Who dip into different things but still stay true to who they are…So yea we are a rock band who give it our all live.

The band is said to have emerged in 2016 but does its seeds go further back?

The version of The Sourheads now is the result of many years building. Like Oasis the original version was Jake [Coxon]our singer and his brother Sid who played guitar. They had a string of musicians throughout a short period of time. I first came into the picture as a producer for the band. I had been working with various bands and the early version of the band struck me as a very different but awesome set of musicians. I felt with direction the band could be massive.  Around this time I was asked to join as a second guitarist and a month later Sid left. So at this point we upped our game and decided to focus on a solid tight band and work on the debut album. The Sourheads you see now emerged in 2016.

Is The Sourheads your first ventures in a band or do you all bring various previous experiences and explored styles of music to the mix?

Everyone in The Sourheads has been in other bands before and we are all have different musical influences. This has proved a major asset in creating the sound and style of The Sourheads.. I had a small amount of success with a metal band I was in. Lamb [Chris Lambert] our drummer was in a relatively successful Indi band. Ben [Taylor] has a more Pearl Jam grunge influence and has played bass forever and grew up jamming with his brother Simon (Inme) and Jake has always been a creative person singing and painting and  as I, is more 70s inspired through bands such as The Doors, Alice Cooper, Deep Purple. The combination of these different influences creates the originality of our band. We are what we are.

What inspired the band name?

A Sourhead can be interpreted a number of ways. Bitter and twisted, hungover. There is no deep meaning behind the name.

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

As a band we feel that it is easy to be stereotyped into a genre. We don’t necessarily want that as we are all influenced by different styles of music. What we want to do is wear our hearts on our sleeves and be 100% true to what we are. Our image and sound isn’t contrived, it is pure. Our front man is a character and is like that 24/7.

As a band we have evolved over time and we are now as sharp as a razor. In the last few months we have really tweaked everything so that it is the best we can offer. Little things like changing guitar sounds or what bass amp we use. We are always trying to give the best live performances we can. Through time you learn how to fine tune every aspect of the band.

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

Before I joined the band the sound was more indie influenced. When I joined we rocked it up considerably. The band used to jam and have beers and chill out more. Since we started writing the debut album and got the record deal we became more focused. It is important to be professional at rehearsals. As a result we worked on emphasising certain parts of songs, making them tighter and adding dynamics.

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

We have always tried different styles of music when we write. Some songs sound like the Rolling Stones others sound like Black Sabbath. It depends on who comes up with the first ideas, riffs etc at some point we will bring the Synths and organ back out. Everything we do usually comes from a groove, guitar riff etc

You have just released your debut album, Care Plan For The Soul. From its first breath it shares a multi-flavoured, refreshingly dirty and just a little salacious roar of sound and intent; a mix which suggests a varied range of inspirations to the band and individual members. Who particularly stands out as having an impact on your approach to making music?

We take our inspiration from different places. Jake is a massive Doors fan, Lamb is into his classic British Indi music; Ben is also a fan of different styles of music. I look up to any band that has strong songs. Stone Temple Pilots are a massive influence for me. Deftones, Queens of the Stone Age, The Cult, Shed Seven, Oasis, Clutch. We use many colours to create our art.

How would you describe your sound to newcomers?

Iggy and the Stooges mixed with the Sex Pistols thrown into a blender with The Stereophonics and Nirvana.

Classic Rock with an edge.

It feels like it just follows its nose, always prepared to embrace fresh and unpredictable flavours. Is this something you deliberately set out to purposefully develop or a sound and direction which just grew and evolved organically?

We are what we are. People either get it or don’t. One review says we are original and have rewritten the rule book of what a rock band should be. The other will say they don’t get us. Why do we look like we do and why does the artwork not match the music. Well the answer is we are totally focussed and we are 100% us. Everything is totally focused and this is what we do, our sound and direction develop naturally. Luckily our label saw this and our friends like Red Spektor saw this. So it’s better to have a loyal friendship and business partnership and have loyal listeners than to be fake and try to jump on a scene.

How long was Care Plan For The Soul in the making?

We had a lot of time rehearsing and making sure we could play the songs. We could play without vocals, with vocals, without bass or without guitar and obviously all of us together…Probably 3 months of pre-production and a week to record.

It has an instinctive snarl to its air and open rawness to its energy; at times feeling like it may have been recorded live. How did you approach its creation in the studio?

We decided early on that the band has a live energy that needed to be captured so we decided to record live and then delete the guide vocal and do a main vocal later. I also overdubbed a second guitar rhythm track to fatten the overall mix. We also added congas and cello in the overdub stage.

Can you give us an insight into the trials and pleasing surprises you found when recording the album?

We worked with a wonderful producer called Matt Knee and we used an old 70’s BBC mixing desk, this gave us a warmth that we were pleasantly surprised by. We wanted initially to record full analogue but as we wanted to play live we decided it’s may be better to do it digitally but through old analogue gear. This was due to the fact that digital is instant and we knew we had to keep in budget for our business plan to be effective. We needed to make sure everyone was comfortable and the atmosphere was good. We had incense burning and lava lamps. Pretty laid back.

It was subsequently mastered by Pete Maher (The Rolling Stones, Depeche Mode, U2) and released through German Label Kozmik Artifactz. How did those link ups come about?

Pete Maher has worked with everyone and we liked the fact that he worked within multiple genres. Katy Perry, Pink Floyd, Linkin Park are a few of his varied clientele and he had just finished mastering the LA LA Land soundtrack. We knew that attracting a big name would gain us attention and Pete does great deals for up and coming bands. It seemed like a great idea and he did an amazing job. Around this time we became close friends with Red Spektor and their manager Simon. They were saying good things about us in interviews and we were starting to get noticed. I sent a private link of the album to a number of labels and pretty much instantly Kai at Kozmik Artifactz messaged back saying ‘We don’t usually release this style but we think you would fit our sister label Oak Island perfectly so we did the deal and we are honoured to be part of the Kozmik Artifactz Oak Island family. The label is having great success with bands like Church of the Cozmic Skull and of course our brothers Red Spektor.

Can you give us the inspiration for the album title and some of the themes within its body?

We felt that the title had to reflect the song content. Our drummer Lamb came up with it. The songs are pretty intense in parts and cover lots of topics such as Demonic Possession, Marriage Breakdowns, War veterans, soul stealing creatures. When you take this into consideration and then see the album cover is a lone figure stood in the middle of the beach with his dog it’s kind of like that is the care plan for his soul. He is escaping the turmoil.

Is there a particular songwriting process within the band?

Pretty much straight forward…Ben or me write a riff or two. Lamb plays a beat. We arrange the song, record it on a phone then Jake writes the lyrics.

Apart from obvious pride and satisfaction in Care Plan For The Soul is there a particular moment within it which gives you a specific personal flush of inner pleasure?

The whole thing is a major flush of inner pleasure. We set out with a goal and we achieved it on budget and we didn’t move away from our art and vision one bit. This is amazing to us. To have a vinyl copy of the album in my hands and look at the finished product gives me goosebumps. The fact that the digital streaming numbers are good too also feels good. We want to get out to as many people as possible. From the actual recording there are a few moments I like. I think some of the vocal delivery is the best Jake has ever been.  The rush created when he shouts I am the Lotus! That’s a fan favourite moment.

Give us an insight into the live side of the band?

We are told we are extremely good live. Jake is a bare chested beast of a frontman, live truly something that has to be seen and heard. We are very tight and play as close to the album as we can get. I like the idea that we are four individual characters and that as a member of the audience you can get what you are looking for from us. We put a lot into it. I’m swinging my arm in the air and running around; Jake is in the crowd or rolling around on the floor. Ben is grooving away and lam is bashing the living daylights out of the kit.  We are an old fashioned rock band. We put on a show.

Obviously the album is in its early days inviting attention but what is next on the horizon of The Sourheads?

We are hoping to tour throughout 2018 and play some festivals. Do a couple of music videos and keep writing. We have 3 songs written for the next album already. We have also experimented with slightly different sounds. Some old school style Stones vibe.

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 most important thing to do is gig swap with other bands throughout the country. There are so many bands who are hometown heroes. That’s all very good if it is a hobby but not so if you want to leave a lasting impression and have your legacy respected. What we have found is the more we play the small festivals, the more the promoters share the information. There is a really healthy underground rock scene in the UK at the moment and everybody seems to be looking out for everybody else.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date; is a battle which has to be waged or a constant weapon for success?

Social media is great if the people already know about you. In the last few years the pay to get hits and advertise your band has really hurt the artist. The idea that you pay £50 to get 300 likes in Indonesia isn’t helping anybody. We have had musical instrument companies say you need so many likes on Facebook for us to consider you. This along with people not actually going on bands websites anymore means companies like Facebook and Instagram pretty much have the Monopoly on online presence. Bandcamp seems to work and I would encourage other bands to check it out if they haven’t already. Webzines like yours also help a great deal. I would say use social media but don’t let it be the basis of promoting your band.

Again many thanks for sharing your time; any last words you would like to add?

Thank you for showing interest in the band. We truly appreciate every website, magazine radio station that helps us spread our message and music. We are fans of music and do this because we love playing and creating our art. People like you keep the musical torch burning bright. There is a buzz and new found enthusiasm for rock music and we want to embrace this whole heartedly.

Check out The Sourheads further @ https://www.thesourheads.com/    https://www.facebook.com/thesourheads    https://thesourheads2.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 13/12/2017

The RingMaster Review

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

NoSelf – Human-Cyborg Relations Episode 1

Proving that nu metal is still a valid presence and temptation, Central Florida outfit NoSelf have just released their new seven track mini-album to excite ears and arouse the spirit. Human-Cyborg Relations Episode 1 unites familiar traits with the band’s imagination stoking individuality, sparking body and an already bred appetite for the earlier heyday of nu metal along the way. It is claimed there is a new revival of the genre; a most welcome second coming if band and album is evidence of its new adventure.

Emerging in 2002, NoSelf draw on the inspiration of bands such as Deftones, Spineshank, Adema, Nothingface, and Korn for their sound, spicing making a potent ingredient in the band’s new Matt Johnson recorded offering. It is flavouring which has enriched previous encounters but makes more of a hue than ingredient of the immediately pleasing Human-Cyborg Relations Episode 1.

The album opens with Casting Stones, instantly cradling ears in a melodic coaxing as keys entice. Their suggestive welcome swiftly draws the listener into a waiting raw roar of sound, the guitar of Justin Dabney a predacious tempest of riffs and grooves backed by the rapier swings of drummer Drew Miller. The snarling tones of vocalist Dylan Hart Kleinhans are enticingly tempered and supported by warmer vocals, the union a bridge between the savage and electronically enchanting aspects of the outstanding opener. As suggested earlier, the song brings recognisable aspects in its turbulence but equally a squall of fresh enterprise which has body and thoughts quickly locked in.

As great as it is, the starter is still eclipsed by next up Save Me; carnivorous riffs and the wonderfully gnarly tones of Joey Bivo’s bass chewing on the senses, their ferocious web sonic barbed wire. Similarly to the first, the track contrasts its ferocity with a harmonic radiance, vocals and melodies flirting with ears before falling into the onrushing scourge of aggression though still forcing their inviting calm to the surface. That Adema influence is an especially open and enticing colour in the storm, and across the release, adding to its drama as it tempers the corrosive heart of the excellent song.

Nudisease is just as appealing and intrusive as its predecessors though with a more tolerant nature, riffs and grooves to the fore from its first breath. The intensity of the first two is pulled back in the third though its fire is as pyre like but turned into a hook carting swagger which has the body bouncing. Slips into calmer passages are fluid and magnetic, the track revealing a bolder adventure than the previous two if less of their greed inducing savagery while successor Through Your Eyes also embraces mellower climes in its more mercurial atmosphere and proposition. The song though has a volcanic temperament and heart which fuels its melodic and aggressive sides, creating an unpredictable and rabid but ultimately restrained trespass which maybe teases more than fulfils but still leaves pleasure stuck in its previous high.

If there has been a more enticing start to a song this year than that of Outatime we have yet to hear it, the track beckoning with flirtatious sonic finger wagging before the funk hearted bass of Bivo adds its lure; swiftly followed by a rapacious tide of riffs. Just as tenacious vocals and rhythms soon jump in, their more predatory touch colluding with the atmospherically intriguing, funkily mischievous antics of the song and the similarly devious presence of Hart Kleinhans. Eventually its carnal rawness erupts in a contagion of an insatiable chorus before things ebb and flow in intensity with increasing infectiousness. The track steals best song honours in no time, cementing its claim with every listen.

The weakest moment on the encounter is Frisco but the fact it is one inescapably catchy and persuasive moment tells you how potent Human-Cyborg Relations Episode 1 is as a whole. The song has a definite pop spiced side not heard on the previous tracks; a kinder more deliberately infectious nature which has the feet trapping and vocal chords induced. There is something of Australian band Voyager to the song at times which only adds to its tempting and a growing growl that shows real teeth but lacks the weight and tenacity of its predecessors for personal tastes. In saying that there is no denying it commands full involvement and enjoyment before making way for the closing delights of Ctrl-Z. It too has an undisguised poppiness but latched to an imposing antipathy which hits the spot as much as its infectious escapades. The song is another which bears boldness in design and adventure to captivate ears and imagination but also a hearty tension of sound and emotion which grips eager participation.

Recently signing a worldwide distribution deal with Zombie Shark Records, the new record label from Noah “Shark” Robertson (Motograter, EX-The Browning), NoSelf have pushed themselves to the fore of this new wave of nu metal seeded goodness with Human-Cyborg Relations Episode 1. There is more to their sound than just that field of flavouring, one we eagerly await hearing expand ahead.

Human-Cyborg Relations Episode 1 is out now and available @ http://www.zombieshark.net/  and  https://zombiesharkrecords.bandcamp.com/album/human-cyborg-relations-episode-1

https://www.facebook.com/NoSelf/

Pete RingMaster 22/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright