Circling conflicts and distractions: talking Die So Fluid with Mr Drew

It was a decade ago when the release of their second album, Not Everybody Gets A Happy Ending had us at The RR enthralled and hooked on the inimitable musical adventure that is Die So Fluid. A greedy backward look took us back to its beginnings and a first album which added to an instinctive appetite which subsequently has kept a close ear ever since. Earlier this year the band released their fifth album in the deviously magnetic shape of One Bullet from Paradise. We have had the pleasure to since talk with one of the band’s founders and guitarist/keyboardist/songwriter Drew Richards; getting down to chat about the band, the latest album, the tragedy before it and much more…

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

Can you first introduce the band to newcomers and give us some background its beginnings?

We’re Die So Fluid; a female fronted hard rock three-piece out of London and Los Angeles. Grog (Vocals and Bass) and I, Drew (Guitar), met through mutual musical friends over twenty years ago and have pursued truth, justice and power chords ever since. Our drummer is a moonlighting international man of mystery – Justin Bennett who also plays for Thrill Kill Kult and Skinny Puppy. One Bullet from Paradise is our fifth album.

I know the band is nearing the end of its second decade but is there a musical history for you before Die So Fluid?

Nothing I did before Die So Fluid really mattered and it all just inspired a desire to do something more truthful and authentic.

What inspired the band name?

Sadly a lot of beer… Drink driving is bad but drink band naming is worse. You get stuck with a trademark that made perfect sense when everyone is shouting at each other in a bar after 6 pints. Then you spend a lifetime explaining the result of that ‘discussion’ to people

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

No it just fulfilled the primal drive to be part of a gang and to create stuff that made you look cool so the opposite sex would want to sleep with you. At a certain point you realise you’re actually enjoying the music making and you want to create truly beautiful and original and poignant art. Once that bug bites you it’s hard to kick it.

And still the drive for the band even after so many creative years?

I kind of just answered that. The money is still shit though so count that out as motivation.

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

It was definitely purer and rawer when we started. I’d like to do that again but I don’t know how you can lose sophistication gained from years of playing without things sounding contrived.

It has been a more organic movement of sound or the band going out to deliberately try new things would you say?

Both but I have to think everything new that can be recorded has been recorded by now. I think I really need to look at what the true core of Die So Fluid is and just perfect that.

Are there any specific inspirations which have impacted not only on the band’s sound but your own personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

We really like Rush. They were a three piece that really did not ever shy away from experimenting and managed on more than one occasion to marry a really catchy song with some really progressive music and arrangements.

Is there a process to the songwriting which generally guides the birth of songs?

For me music is very instinctive and the main lyric/title is too but the rest of the lyrics are tough. I have a lot of notebooks and I’ll put the music on my phone and walk all over the neighbourhood listening to it and chipping away at the words.

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

Well there’s a lot going on in the world right now so there’s a lot to draw from. I may divert away from reality again in the future and try and be a bit more poetic and mythic. People need an escape.

Could you give us some background to your latest release, One Bullet From Paradise?

The most dramatic thing about this record is it is the first one on which the third founder-member of the band did not play on. He died a month before we were due to record the drums. So we took a while to decide whether to carry on with the band let alone this album. If Grog didn’t know Justin we probably would not have but he really pulled out some stops to get it back on track.

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

The title track is about religious dogma emboldening Isis soldiers in battle. There’s quite a lot on the album influenced by conflict in the world come to think of it so my favorite diversion is ‘Bittersweet’ which is a comic book heroine that will ‘only fight you on guitars’. I was going to put #guitarsnotguns at the end of the Tomorrow doesn’t always come video but it seemed cheesy and then the Parkland school shooting happened and I definitely didn’t want to look like I was using a tragedy to sell something. I’ll leave that to the mainstream media.

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?

Totally sorted and demoed three times before we go near a studio. These days most stuff is recorded at home and we only need a studio for my elaborate string arrangements anyway.

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

It has been one of the best aspects of my life – traveling the world entertaining people but when you get older it is way too hard to continue to put the rest of your life on hold to tour. The pleasure of playing live has never faded since I first stepped on stage at sixteen.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield and far more difficult these days. How do you see it and feel its cage from when you guys started out?

Surely the opportunities are all in the ether of the world wide web now. I’ve seen people explode overnight just from getting on the right playlists and getting pushed by curators on the right platforms. Very gimmicky a lot of the new stuff that succeeds though; that’s how you stand out by doing some shit like Babymetal.

How has the internet and social media impacted on you as a band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as a band grows in regard to ease of streaming and illegal downloading or something which can continue to be a potent weapon?

Social media is a tool that some artists not only wield with great skill but they seem to actually revel in tweeting what they had for tea or what shape their turd was this morning. As you may already be able to tell I personally find social media narcissistic and boring but it is totally to the detriment of your band if you don’t get on it. The internet as a whole has at least put some power into the hands of creators if they want to be a DIY record company so there’s a positive.

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

I am dizzy from your in depth interrogation. I feel like I have given two pints of blood. I need a cookie. But before I do that I should tell you about our special show coming up at the Lexington in London on November 11th. Only a few tickets left.  A new video is also about to be revealed. Check it all out and come see us in action!

One Bullet From Paradise is out now @ including https://diesofluid.bandcamp.com/

 For more links to the album and all things Die So Fluid explore the band @

https://diesofluid.net/    https://www.facebook.com/DieSoFluid/     https://twitter.com/diesofluid

Pete RingMaster 26/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Twindows – Valkyrie 2.0

For most, musical bliss can come in various shapes and styles; creative adventures which just connect with personal instincts and tastes. It is fair to say that for us it recently came all rolled up in one hungrily tempting proposal going by the names of The Twindows and their debut album Valkyrie 2.0.

Hailing out of Philadelphia, The Twindows breed a rapacious sound which infuses essences of everything from noise and indie rock to metal and grunge to a punk across the decades borne heart. It is a bold and boisterous web of temptation as virulently infectious as it is ferociously imaginative and led by a voice truly we could listen to all day long. Vocalist/guitarist Aster Grimm has one of the most devilishly tempting voices and just as magnetically matched by the creative antics of guitarist Kyle Anderson, bassist Caleb Banas, and drummer Oskar Daoud across Valkyrie 2.0. Together they have nurtured a release which teases, seduces, and arouses across eleven lust inducing slices of musical diablerie.

It begins with Like My Music; raw and salacious pop infested punk rock roaring from aggravation with Damned like hooks and rhythmic rapacity to the fore. Grimm blossoms in the centre, her tones stirring song and attention further as for one minute and three quarters the track provides the album with one irresistible start.

The following Mosquito / Thick Skin swings in on a blend of grunge nurtured rock ‘n’ roll upon a ska seeded bounce. Fiercer textures with metallic toning soon sizzle and sear around the tenacious attack of Grimm, the track’s noise punk instincts just as vocal before it passed thick attention and an already keen appetite over to Forgiven. Instantly it entangles ears in rhythmic espionage; boisterously coaxing beats and a glorious bass grumble getting under the skin as guitars weave a sonic web around Grimm’s similarly magnetic lures. Something akin to Throwing Muses embroiled in the punk ‘n’ roll of Spinnerette and in turn fused with devilment of Die So Fluid, the track is sheer captivation; one as seductive as it is predacious and all feral temptation.

Dig Tree comes next, the track a bewitching slice of punk pop initially, nostalgically recalling bands such as The Chefs and 4 Non Blondes. It floats across the senses but has a sonic causticity which just adds to the song’s bait again headed by Grimm’s engagingly manipulative presence. Whilst adding a new hue to the album broadening adventure, the song has feet and hips involved just as easily as rock ‘n’ roll instincts.

That variety of flavouring across the release is encouraged again by next up Ska Death (Ska Death Lounge Death Ska), an unstoppable incursion of ska/noise punk which had the body eagerly bobbing along before expelling a hellacious sonic gas of aural volatility, a tempest returning with greater dexterity after the song relaxed again into its lively bounce, and with bolder imagination as sax flames sear the riveting bedlam. Imagine Animal Alpha infused by the spirit of The Jellycats and the punk revelry of The Mo-Dettes and you come close to the song’s infectious alchemy.

The Twindows let their punk instincts run riot in Reversals next, the track an insatiable rock ‘n’ roll charge with noise bred vapours crossing a kaleidoscope of twists and turns while Pulp within a similar but even more corrosive landscape leaps around with kinetic intensity and agility. All the while though as rhythms dance, sonic spices and melodic adventure simmers and rise up to temper and challenge the tempestuous nature of the track.

The inescapably catchy punk ‘n’ roll of Instigator unerringly worms into the psyche within seconds straight after, the song like a mix of The Kut and Daisy Chainsaw but as everywhere uniquely Twindows; a trait just as potently shown by the grunge rock of The Industry. Admittedly, the song did not quite hit the spot as those tracks around it within Valkyrie 2.0 but only added to the fun before The Pixies endowed Sleepycore had us licking our lips once more. With its almost somnolent swing and Grimm’s vocal bewitchment, the outstanding track simply transfixed, even more so when it’s deceitful gait unveiled a furious if still controlled intent.

Bringing things to a close Wire Mother surrounds its energetic croon with abrasive psych and indie punk imagination, the song another as unpredictable in sound and imagination as it is irresistible in persuasion. It provides a provocative and rousing conclusion to an album which just lit the fires of personal tastes while offering something completely fresh to ponder, taste, and devour.

We have nothing more to add except go and have a nibble yourselves.

Valkyrie 2.0 is out now and available @ https://thetwindows.bandcamp.com/album/valkyrie-20

https://www.facebook.com/thetwindowsmusic/

Pete RingMaster 21/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Freak Injection – Freak Is Fashion

Unleashing in the words of its press release, “Blood, Sex and Psycho!” the Freak Is Fashion EP is quite simply a temptation rather hard not to get down and sweaty with. It is a new slice of devilment from French industrial/electro rockers Freak Injection, a rousing four track escapade fusing the familiar and the fresh in a roar sure to inspire the freak in us all.

It is fair to say that big surprises are not as prevalent within Freak Is Fashion as flavours which tempt like old friends yet the Paris hailing quartet create an aural captivation and physical incitement many unique offerings can only dream of. Inspiration to Freak Injection comes from the likes of the Prodigy, Nine Inch Nails, Nina Hagen, Madonna, and Marilyn Manson, though Freak Is Fashion leaps upon the listener more like an insatiable fusion of Animal Alpha, Die So Fluid, and The Guilt with Kontrust like lunacy leading and fuelling it all.

With the raw essences of metal and punk colluding with electro and industrial revelry, the Freak Injection sound needs little time to infest ears and psyche as EP opener and title track reveals. As soon as its initial electro spiral is joined by distortion kissed vocal coaxing, there is no r escaping the song’s devilry and rebellious intent. Within a breath rhythms are pounding upon the senses like migraine, riffs simultaneously harrying them with their dirty tone as hooks and electronic bait are unleashed with insatiable intent. The vocals of Charlie RED just as swiftly get a hold of ears, her infectious guile and mischief accompanied by the melodic teasing of guitarist MAC-F as Kevin Hapexia’s bass heavily prowls. Continuing to probe with the swinging beats of Anthony bordering on the psychotic at times, the track makes a riveting and body rousing trespass to kick things off, its schizophrenic character increasingly unveiled as its bounds along.

The following Sex Me is an instantly panting arousal of sound and creative intrigue, its introduction a slower, more controlled yet insatiable proposal with instinctive seduction lining every note, beat, and vocal taunting. With an increasing swagger, riffs grow in weight and rhythms in impact but equally so too does an unpredictable web of twists and deceitful turns never going quite where you expect and greatly pleasing because of it. Again it is hard to say that the song is truly unique, certainly not across its whole body yet there are only fresh and enthralling times in its midst. It is qualities equally found within successor Crosses, a meaty stomping of electro pop ‘n’ roll which has the body bouncing,  hips swerving, and vocal chords induced within its first anthemic roar. Charlie is again a beacon within a blaze of tenacious captivation naturally fitting and sparking rock ‘n’ roll instincts.

The release is completed by Psycho (Russian Boy), an emboldened motivation of sound which arguably fits expectations of the tags given to the band’s sound more than most but brews volatility in its rock ‘n’ roll which just detonates in ears. It is a high-voltage end to a creatively bustling and animated, not forgetting fervour driven, rampage that the inner freak just cannot refuse.

Freak Is Fashion is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/Freakinjectionmusic/    https://twitter.com/Freak_Injection

Pete RingMaster 23/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

öOoOoOoOoOo – Samen

photo_RingMasterReview

Every year seems to have one month where riveting surprises and essential releases come at ears in a keen flood. This year it is maybe two as October follows September in unleashing records which simply inflame the imagination, an increasing list now added to by the irresistible and rather deranged offering from öOoOoOoOoOo (“Chenille” in French, “Caterpillar” in English).

A new collaboration between former Pin-Up Went Down vocalist/lyricist Asphodel and multi-instrumentalist Baptiste Bertrand, öOoOoOoOoOo creates a theatre of sound and imagination within debut album Samen. “Visually built as an art exhibition”, the release is a kaleidoscope of styles and invention cast in an avant-garde/experimental metal/rock adventure. Helped by the rhythmic prowess of session drummer Aymeric Thomas who is no stranger to creating off-kilter and seriously unpredictable exploits with Pryapisme, the duo ignite and enslave ears and psyche from the very first seconds of Samen, never relinquishing their magnetic grip of mercurial enterprise driven alchemy.

Rules Of The Show opens things up, the track initially enticing with a tender melody as a darker groan lurks before quickly welcoming the instantly impressing tones of Asphodel. Her voice is as magnetic as the sounds brewing around her with a growing blend of bewitching harmonies courting as the song slips into a catchy stroll with a poppy air. Soon it unleashes its hellish heart in a ravenous metallic outpouring as honed in gothic and epic metal as it is through orchestral and melodic rock. It is a virulently infectious affair, its tempestuousness icing on the compelling cake with Asphodel’s unexpected and masterful barbarous death bred growls extra engaging bait.

Its increasingly deranged presence is followed by that of Fucking Freaking Futile Freddy a track wearing Pryapisme like scent at times but equally sparking thoughts of bands like The Creatures and Stolen Babies. Thomas is a blur of rhythmic tenacity, Asphodel vocally captivating, while Bertrand creates a tapestry of sonic and melodic bedlam shaped into one fluid skittishly versatile weave.

cover_RingMasterReviewFrom one pinnacle within Samen to another and the creative devilry of Meow Meow Frrru, a track teasing with melodic intrigue while taunting with bolder energies, the first shaped by electronic fingering with a slight medieval essence and the latter through climatic crescendos which become more irritable and prolonged with each expulsion. The deeper into its insanity the song goes the more it evolves, an espionage loaded hook and System Of A Down flavoured revelry especially tempting.

Straight away the suggestive lures of cello from guest and Psygnosis member Raphaël Verguin charm ears and imagination as the following No Guts = No Masters launches its bruising and increasingly dramatic rock ‘n’ roll upon ears. A blackened air grabs the senses at times, its occasional trespass imposing on the glorious melodic seducing surrounding the shining vocal prowess and class of Asphodel and a psychotic majesty which would be almost sinister if it was not so glorious and irresistible.

Verguin also features on next up Bark City (A Glimpse Of Something), his bow on strings the poetic shadow to a track which merges the melodic beauty of a Nemesea with the dark secrets of creative dementia, all on show in a track which kisses the senses as it corrupts the psyche. Again understandably there is a touch of Pryapisme to the song but equally Russkaja, Siouxsie and The Banshees, and Die So Fluid are pointers to the uniqueness of the band’s sound.

There is a Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks feel to the bewitching Purple Tastes Like White, the track yet another brazenly diverse aspect to the landscape of Samen with the brooding bass a particular treat alongside the melodic might of Asphodel while I Hope You Sleep Well is a cracked and bedlamic web of ideas and imagination stirring sounds hard to describe in words but so easy to physically indulge in with its sinister nursery room childlike innocence and crazed invasive genius.

With Adrien Cailleteau guesting as on its predecessor, Well-oiled Machine draws ears next with its soulful R&B infused balminess. With a flaming sax igniting the jazzy noir atmosphere of the brief song, all courting the somewhat pub-singer like fun of the male vocals, the song only leaves a smile in the imagination before the outstanding Chairleg Thesis dances with the listener in an eighties spiced affair which is at times as ruggedly boisterous as it is erotically seductive and ravenously stormy.

Across the screwy pop/hip hop soaked metal of Fumigène, a song revelling in a Lady Dynamite meets The Sugarcubes meshuga, and the gothic rock drama of LVI where band and album explore even more enjoyable expectations defeating adventures, the latter with Germain Aubert and Verguin bringing their individual craft, the inescapable lure of Samen just strengthens.

Completed by the fierce death metal toned blaze of Hemn Be Rho Die Samen, a song soon showing an array of contrasting yet perfectly uniting strands to its inventive disorder and predacious appetite, Samen leaves an exhausted and blissful pleasure in its wake. Even in the most off-kilter sounds and releases there is an order, an underlying texture which links all. Within Samen it is only the members of öOoOoOoOoOo themselves as unpredictability and unbridled imagination locked into one glorious ride.

Samen is released October 21st via Apathia Records, available @ https://apathiarecords.bandcamp.com/album/samen

https://www.facebook.com/ooochenilleooo

Pete RingMaster 20/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hands Off Gretel – Burn the Beauty Queen

HOG_RingMasterReview

Checking out the ear exciting single One Eyed Girl a few short weeks back, our closing line was “Roll on Burn The Beauty Queen”. That is the title of the debut album from UK grrl punksters Hands Off Gretel, and just a handful of days ago it was unveiled to quench hopes and anticipation for its potential riding on the back of its lead single. Burn the Beauty Queen is glorious, a feast of grunge fuelled punk ‘n’ roll snarling and barracking like a fusion of Die So Fluid, Spinnerette, and The Raincoats. It is an infestation of ears and psyche skilfully weaving recognisable flavours into its own distinctively imaginative exploits and more than fulfilling the promise offered by its first single.

Emerging from an early musical partnership between vocalist/guitarist Lauren Tate and guitarist Sean McAvinue and following the demise of the former’s Lauren Tate Band, Hands Off Gretel quickly started to draw attention with Tate’s ‘frustration songs’ as creative fuel. Late 2015 saw Sam Hobbins invited to play bass and drums on the South Yorkshire band’s album, subsequently become the permanent Hands Off Gretel drummer to join Tate and McAvinue, newest member bassist Joe Scotcher completing the current line-up.

In a year already seeing Hands Off Gretel release the single My Size as well as One Eyed Girl and play Whitby Goth Weekend, Camden Rocks Festival, Rebellion, Kaya Festival, and Isle of Wight Festival, Burn the Beauty Queen is the pinnacle and needs barely two minutes of opener Queen Universe to confirm the fact. Teasing, almost taunting with a lone riff initially, bait swiftly accompanied by the potent tones of Tate, the song is soon a cauldron of imposing rhythms, cantankerous riffs, and spiky hooks with bitchy harmonies adding their great snarl. It is a stunning start quickly reminding of those earlier references yet just as powerfully showing its own character of sound and invention as it stomps over senses and into the passions.

There is no chance of such a powerful bordering on psychotic beginning being followed by an antic-climax either as One Eyed Girl follows to confirm its position of one of the best songs heard this year. Grumbling in ears from its opening bassline, the track is soon aggressively challenging and seducing as Tate’s catchy yet confrontational tones align to the nagging and addictive exploits of McAvinue’s hooks and riffs as rhythms swing with venom. Again there is no escaping a Brody Dalle essence to vocals and indeed the sound but the song bounces around on its own unique terms to feed an already keen appetite for what is on offer.

art_RingMasterReviewBad Egg is next, coaxing ears with a singular hook wearing an early Adam and The Ants scent before things open up with wiry melodies and predacious beats as McAvinue’s guitar spins a web of tangy melodic intrigue. Less ferocious and imposing than its predecessors, the track is dangerously bewitching, leaving a lingering imprint before Teethin’ strolls in like a gunslinger, one hiding its bite behind catchy endeavours but perpetually gnawing away with post and old school punk invention. Its exceptional persuasion is followed by that of Little Man, a haunting ballad-esque canter seemingly as much inspired by the darker explorations of Siouxsie and The Banshees as bands like Hole and 4 Non Blondes, and quite irresistible.

From its dark shadows, Hands Off Gretel go for the jugular with the punk infested and simply brilliant Always Right. It is a rousingly irritable assault, like Bikini Kill meets Au Pairs and also fiercely addictive as its virulent enterprise and piecing hooks take hold before Under The Bed bares its cranky attitude and nature with creative zeal.

Through the barbarous Oh Shit with its predatory bassline and scything riffs and the raging fire of World Against She, Hands Off Gretel prove that even their least unique offerings simply ring true with ears and emotions and set the band well apart from the field whilst tracks like Eating Simon with its Three Imaginary Boys like Cure hooks and enslaving rhythmic rumbling offer evidence that the quartet just might be one of the bands helping steer British rock to new glories ahead.

Then we have Plasters, a superb and slightly deranged piece of imagination which drawls discord, musically and emotionally, whilst casting another highly addictive web of beats and sonic hooks. The song brings seventies punk, eighties new wave, and nineties grunge into the raw and twenty first century invention of Hands Off Gretel for something quite striking.

The dark amble and warning of Push The Girl and the climactic theatre of Awfully Miserable bring Burn the Beauty Queen to a powerful close; the first sublime creative drama in the ear and its successor, from an engrossing low key unleashing, a tempest of scything beats and grumpy basslines littered with electric grooves and spiky hooks as crescendos rise and fall.

It is a great end to one of the year’s most impressive and seriously pleasurable releases of 2016. Hands Off Gretel bring a fresh excitement to music, Burn the Beauty Queen the biggest thrill.

Burn the Beauty Queen is out now and available @ http://www.handsoffgretel.co.uk/_p/prd15/4533789831/product/burn-the-beauty-queen-album

http://www.handsoffgretel.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/handsoffgretel/

Pete RingMaster 21/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hands Off Gretel – One Eyed Girl

Hands off Gretel pic_RingMasterReview

With a sound that will just as eagerly spit in the face while enticing rock ‘n’ roll instincts, Hands Off Gretel recently unveiled a prime slice of their punk driven, nineties grunge clad rock in the shape of One Eyed Girl. The lead single from the band’s debut album Burn The Beauty Queen, the song bristles with attitude and prowls with creative imagination like the bad blooded, seductive niece of The Distillers and Die So Fluid.

Hands off Gretel art_RingMasterReviewEmerging from the musical partnership between singer/songwriter Lauren Tate and guitarist Sean McAvinue, the South Yorkshire hailing Hands Off Gretel formed in the February of 2015; the current line-up with bassist Joe Scotcher and drummer Sam Hobbins making up the foursome stepping forward earlier this year. With the likes of Brody Dalle and Courtney Love inspiring the creative attitude of Tate, the band swiftly lured attention though firstly their first DIY video for Be Mine and a free downloadable EP. An invitation to play Camden Rocks Festival soon followed as too a slot at Devolution Magazines 10th year Anniversary event. As shows across the Capital alone increased the band’ reputation, Hands Off Gretel have drawn the praise and support of an international fan base including Kate Nash. Ahead of their first album, One Eyed Girl is already setting about stirring the ears and blood of a great many whilst sparking keen anticipation for the upcoming Burn The Beauty Queen.

The single immediately grumbles as the bass of Scotcher offers an earthy growl. It quickly leads into the waiting trap of Tate’s inviting yet confrontational tones and the addictive exploits of McAvinue’s hooks and riffs. With Hobbins’ beats intensively jabbing throughout, the song is soon swinging along spreading ill-tempered seduction. It is easy to pick out Tate’s influences but just as quickly she reveals her own character in voice and delivery whilst McAvinue continues to spin a web of inescapable bait and temptation.

One Eyed Girl stomps through ears as determined to tear up the place as it is to create unbridled fun and arouses the cry “Roll on Burn The Beauty Queen”.

One Eyed Girl is out now.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

6th August – Rebellion Festival Blackpool

7th August – Kaya Festival South Wales

13th August – Krazyhouse Liverpool

3rd Sept – Corporation Sheffield

16th Sept –Album Launch (North) – Barnsley Rock & Blues Club

17th Sept – Album Launch (South) – LONDON (venue tbc)

22nd Sept – Lady Luck Canterbury

30th Sept – Bad Apples Leeds

13th Oct – Trillians Newcastle

https://www.facebook.com/handsoffgretel   https://twitter.com/handsoffgretel   http://www.handsoffgretel.co.uk   https://www.instagram.com/handsoffgretel/

Pete RingMaster 04/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Grooves and zombies: getting close and personal with Novacrow

novacrow_RingMasterReview

According to the band, Novacrow is “a four-piece of zombie-punching, hard-rock sleazeballs.” What they certainly are is a hard rock seeded roar which is earning a mighty reputation for their eclectic sound and EP Black Syrup has only backed and reinforced their striking emergence on the British rock scene. With the supporting of bands such as Skarlett Riot, Heonias and Green Jellÿ also under their belts, the EP feels like the spark to bigger things and attention upon Novacrow so we seized the opportunity to get to know the band and its hungry heart with big thanks to vocalist/guitarist Kitty Synthetica and bassist/backing vocalist/producer Federico Spera.

Hi guys, thanks for taking time out to talk with us

No worries, thanks for the interview!

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

Federico: The band consists of the following sex gods: Kitty Synthetica on vocals/guitar/kazoo, Jonyx on lead guitars, Freddy on bass/backing vocals, and Torben Schmidt Hansen on the drums. We all got together when Kitty and John wanted to form a band; they met Torben and I through mutual friends and cosmic forces.

Have you been/are involved in other bands?

Federico: The others have all been in bands before and I studied music in university, so I’ve always been part of different bands in some form…The so called “Mistress Bands”.

Kitty

Kitty

How have previous experiences impacted on what you are doing now?

Federico: It’s kind of hard to say, obviously with us all having been in bands before you’d think we’d be super pros, but the truth is that there’s no set way to work together. It depends entirely on the bands and the people in them. But being in other bands definitively taught us how to promote ourselves and our releases, what works and what doesn’t, etc.

Kitty: I’ve been playing gigs since I was 16 and it really helps giving you ‘live experience’. Shows can be tough and crowds can be unforgiving, but you need that to make you a better performer. In terms of the impact on my music, in previous projects, I was solely focussed on writing metal, which tended to limit my creativity. I listen back to demos I had scrapped for ‘not being heavy enough’ and think “Oh nice, I want to use that now!”

What inspired the band name?

Federico: The legend says that John one day just picked a word out of a dictionary and fused it with an animal. The idea of a bird on fire must have appealed to him I guess, so he stuck with it.

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

Federico: Kitty had a few songs already written when she originally formed the band, but that’s about it. I think ultimately we just wanted to rock out with our cocks out, and that was the main premise behind the band.

Kitty: I had a very different project in mind! I wanted an all-girl band, but these guys were the closest thing to women that I could find. Haha. No, I love this band and how well we all work together. One big creepy happy family!

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

Federico: The drive of the band is still rooted in the desire to be outrageous and we’re very much a success driven band. However, the way we focus that drive has definitely matured throughout our time together.

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

Federico: I’d say it has evolved for the better. If you listen to our old demos there were some nice ideas, but they weren’t particularly well mediated and executed. I’d like to think that as time goes on, we manage to find the right balance between being ridiculous and writing good songs as opposed to doing one or the other, which is a significant sign of evolution for our sound.

Would you say that change has been more of an organic movement of sound or have you gone out with new things you wanted to specifically try?  

Frederico

Frederico

Federico: It has always felt quite organic. I don’t think there’s a single song which we’ve had to force into existence.

Kitty: Because Novacrow is so unrestricted when it comes to genre, there’s no ‘wrong sound.’ I have a few juicy riffs in the pipeline though.  I am also a big fan of vocal harmonies, (Alice in Chains get this SO right) so I’ll be looking for opportunities to use some interesting melodies.

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?

Federico: With the exception of Black Syrup (which was inspired by the burlesque goodness of Pussy Liquor by Rob Zombie), I wouldn’t say there’s been a conscious influence on any of our songs or approach. We mainly base our inspiration for songs on vibes and energies as opposed to songs or artists. Instead of saying “We should write a Machine Head-esque riff in C phrygian”, we’ll say “We should write an angry and crushing powerhouse of a song”.

Kitty: There are some awesome female musicians that have inspired me massively. Brody Dalle of The Distillers, Tairrie B of My Ruin, Joan Jett, Grog of Die So Fluid, Otep, Alissa White-Gluz- to name a few. From the earliest days of getting into rock and metal, I would seek out bands with powerful female figures and I always wanted to emulate the same sort of commanding presence they had onstage.

Musically, I only ever learnt guitar as a means to write songs. I’ve never had an interest in replicating tracks; if I love a song, I have no urge to reproduce it identically. But, I do love deconstructing a track that I adore and putting together a new cover, something I have been doing on YouTube since 2009. It’s a fun challenge and a way of paying homage to songs I love.

Is there a particular process to the songwriting which generally seems to emerge?

Federico: Generally, one of us (usually Kitty) will have a whole song idea in their head, which they’d bring to a rehearsal room and we bounce ideas off each other. Each song is then mediated in a different way. I’d say the biggest exception to this is The Mantra, which was almost a completely different song when Kitty first showed it to me for pre-production.

Kitty: For a lot of songs, I think that the melody is the most important part- and by this I mean the vocal tune combined with the central guitar riff. That will always be the starting framework of any song I write. In my opinion, if you strip back everything else, but still retain that central vocal/guitar, it needs to be strong enough to make an impact on its own.

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

Kitty: It completely depends on the song. In a lot of cases I fixate on a phrase and use it for a title first (Black Syrup and Fat Frog for example), or the lyrics drive the rest of the track entirely (I think this is particularly the case in The Mantra).

Fight The Horde!!! was very much video game inspired. The lyrics loosely follow the storyline of The Last of Us, whilst the title is a reference to Left 4 Dead. I wanted something fast and heavy, with epic soaring choruses, perfect for kicking ass.

I wrote the lyrics to Set in Stone and Colourless whilst reading a lot of Haruki Murakami novels. I love how he creates such fantastic vast images and creates these prophetic journeys of self-fulfilment for average characters.

Novacrow EP 2016 - Blacky Syrup Cover Art_RingMasterReviewGive us some background to your new release and some insight into the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

Federico: Our latest release is the panty-dropping powerhouse of an EP called Black Syrup. It really captures the vibe of the band effectively, opening with the kazoo filled drunk anthem Fat Frog to get them booties shakin’ (which is about getting shitfaced and party-hardying). That’s followed by Fight The Horde!!!, which is a zombie-apocalypse based thumper of a song inspired by the game Last of Us. Then comes the title track Black Syrup, which is inspired by sticky black goo. Set in Stone is next, which gives the listener a peak into our more melodic side. The whole EP is brought to an end by Colourless, an easy listening instrumental piece.

Kitty: I love focussing on big over-the-top themes. Most of the time, I write the majority of a song in my head before picking up an instrument, so it’s very much a ‘visual’ experience. I deliberately wanted a set of very different songs for the EP, each with a completely different vibe and based on very different vivid scenarios.

Do you enter the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or use that scenario to bring songs to their final character?

Federico: For all of our releases so far, we’ve gone through intensive pre-production, so when it comes to recording we know exactly what we’re doing. The pre-production usually consists of recording high quality demos, so if we want to develop an element of the song we can use that as a reference point.

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

Federico: Ooh, there’s so much to talk about here, but I’ll do my best to sum it up. We don’t believe in “over-the-top”, so we pretty much do what we want on stage, which usually means somebody is gonna make an ass out of themselves. We’ve brought inflatable crows on stage, did a kazoo cover of My Heart Will Go On, chugged pints mid songs, and done all sorts of stupid shit when performing. It’s the biggest form of release for some of us, so we’re not gonna hold anything back on stage.

Kitty: Performing is everything. I love to make people laugh, I love writing songs and I love goading a crowd. Word of our onstage stupidity is definitely our biggest pull to shows and makes us appeal to promoters. Basically, we’re just a bunch of attention seekers, that aren’t talented enough to earn praise for doing great deeds, so have to resort to being a bunch of performing chimps. AND WE LOVE IT.

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

Federico: Like you said, it’s not easy. We’ve definitely not even scratched the surface. It’s hard because you want to celebrate every little insignificant bit of success that you achieve, but as soon as you do then it sort of means you’re satisfied, and then your efforts diminish. This is an EXTREMELY tough industry, and unless you’re giving it you 10000% then there’s virtually no chance of getting anywhere in it. We’ve found it extremely tiring at times, especially whilst trying to balance the band with our “normal” life, but at the end of the day we can’t show any signs of stopping otherwise we won’t get anywhere.

Kitty: The music industry today is highly saturated with competing artists, in a field where very few people are willing to spend money on music. Every small victory is important to me, as I wouldn’t be making music if I didn’t enjoy it. In the grand scheme of things, I’m not under any false impressions of earning world notoriety, but I am grateful for every show, every sale and every person who takes the time to let us know how much they love the music. Hard work is everything though.

Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?Novacrow_RingMasterReview

Federico: Absolutely. You gotta play to win. It’s gonna be extremely hard, and even if you put your 20000% into it then there’s still no definitive chance to “make it”, but it’s the best chance you’ve got. As soon as you stop trying then you lose any opportunity you might have. It’s just a matter of persistence and not letting the odds get you down and eventually you’ll find yourself in a good place.

Kitty: There’s no guarantees, at all, but if you’re going to go for it, there’s no point half-assing it. You have to treat a band like Walter White treats meth; you need to believe in your ‘product,’ market it intelligently and push it like CRAZY.

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

Federico: We’ve started the band at a point in which internet and social media became crucial to a band’s success. We’ve started using Kitty’s YouTube “fame” to fuel traffic to our various pages and so far it has worked very well, people who like Kitty’s covers tend to like Novacrow as well. So far, it has had a great impact!

Kitty: Social media is such a fantastic platform for bands, but I don’t think everybody appreciates just how hard you have to work to harness it. It is survival of the fittest. You can’t just moan about how small your post’s ‘reach’ on Facebook might be, you need to fight to get people’s attention.

The internet is incredible for musicians. I love looking at the insight statistics on YouTube and our website and seeing how people all over the world are listening to us. I had to send out all of our EP pre-orders this week, and there’s Novacrow CDs flying out all over the globe!  To an extent, social media gives you a chance to reach an audience without borders or limit. As a listener, you have an endless supply of incredible music at your fingertips.

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?

Federico: Probably the former. People don’t realise exactly how much work needs to go in just to have the tiniest chance of success, and so they don’t work for it. And then they get annoyed when they can’t draw a crowd to their gigs, or get any decent support slots, until they eventually give up. How hard do you think you need to work to get anywhere with your band? Welp, that’s wrong, you have to work EVEN harder than that.

And that’s when we whip out the kazoos and zombies. We know how to work hard yet still entertain ourselves.

Kitty: You have to MAKE people want to see you. Give people a reason to want your music and look forward to your gigs!

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

Federico: Hell yeah, thanks for the interview! Check out our EP Black Syrup, I guarantee you will be more aroused than you’ll have ever been in your life! And keep an eye out on our various pages for more music, pictures, videos, and tips on world domination!

https://www.facebook.com/novacrowofficial/    https://www.novacrowofficial.com/

https://twitter.com/novacrowband   https://www.instagram.com/novacrowband/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 21/03/2016

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