Melodic fire and raw passion: an interview with Kyle MacKenzie of 7stbaby

7stbaby - Promo Image

The turn of 2014 saw the unleashing of the debut album from UK rock band 7stbaby. Control swiftly announced a band to keep close attention on with their gripping blend of varied styles into a riveting stoner and grunge veined blast of heavy melodic rock. Garnering strong support and acclaim, the band’s album was a potent statement for 7stbaby and their emerging presence in the UK rock scene. Ahead of the band’s new single Horses, we grabbed the chance to talk with one of the band’s founders and vocalist/guitarist Kyle MacKenzie. Looking at the origins of the band, Control and the new single as well as his and his band members other project, Kyle led us to the heart of 7stbaby.

Hey Kyle welcome to the site and thanks for taking time to talk with us.

Thanks for having us

For those yet to discover the delights of your sound, introduce 7stbBaby to the readers for us.

7stbaby is a project Ben and I (Kyle) had decided we wanted to do several years ago while writing for the first Static Plan EP. There were lots of riffs and song ideas which were not fitting with SP’s style, but that we still really liked and wanted to use. In August 2013 we finally got round to doing something about it, Ben basically moved into my place for a couple of weeks and we wrote and recorded Control. We then asked Greg to join us on drums for the album, and he was happy to be involved. Although we didn’t want to pigeon-hole ourselves genre-wise, we are a project that is definitely coming from a stoner rock viewpoint, just with anything we like thrown in!

Can you give further background to the band too, exploits before and alongside the band for its members.

Hilariously, line up wise 7stbaby is basically Static Plan, so 7stbaby’s background for the members is pretty much exactly the same. Ben and I met years ago while we were studying at university, when I answered an advert for a rock band looking for a vocalist. That then became Static Plan with Jonno on guitar duties, and after several drummer changes we finally ended up with Greg, who changed the dynamic of the band for the better. We gigged our balls off for a couple of years while writing and recording as many demos as possible.

7stbaby then came to the forefront as Static Plan began to wane a bit. Member changes, money issues and health and personal problems stopped us from carrying on the great momentum we had built, but we still wanted to make music and get it out there. So Control was about creating without the pressures we had experienced over the last couple of years.

Your music as evidenced by debut album Control earlier this year, is unafraid to employ a wealth of styles and flavours in its roaring recipe. How would you describe your musical canvas?

7stbaby is about doing whatever we want to do musically. If people love it that’s great, but if people hate it, then so be it. We created a concept album in a very short space of time with the tools that were available to us at the time, and because there was an ‘anything goes’ attitude, we approached it with no fear. 7stbaby’s musical canvas is anything that we want it to be.

It suggests you guys have a wide range of inspirations personally too, what are some of the more potent influences on your sound and ideas?c

Yeah we have quite a diverse range between us I think. I love artists and bands such as Martin Grech, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Porcupine Tree, Karnivool, QOTSA, Alice In Chains etc. Honestly there are just too many to list! I am inspired by great songwriting and great musicianship. Ben has a slightly more ‘alternative’ influence list than I have, loving bands like Gorgoroth, Mortiis, Mayhem, Mondo Generator, Sonic Youth etc. By no means are we limited to these bands or genres, I think we both have a healthy appreciation of music and its influence over us.

I read that Control was written in just three weeks, was that the reality or were some songs already around in some form or idea before that?

There were some riffs and parts floating about from writing the SP EP a while before, but the vast majority of the album was written in three weeks

Control deservedly garnered eager praise and acclaim upon release, did that surprise you in some way the vocal support and enthusiasm it received?7stbaby - Horses Single Cover

Ha-ha it did a bit! I think I was expecting it to either get distinctly average reviews or none at all, I didn’t think anyone would understand what we were trying to do! But the reviews were great to read and made me realise that people did understand what the album was about. Some of the reviews were just emphatic, and really brought some joy to me after a difficult couple of years making music.

Give us some insight to its creation and how you fitted it in with your other projects like Static Plan.

Static Plan at the time had ground to a complete halt after a couple of line-up changes. Ben and I had some free time during the school holidays and we just decided to get it done. It was incredibly fun and made us really want to start work on the Static Plan album.

September 26th sees the release of your new single, Horses. Taken from Control, it is one of the album’s biggest highlights for us. Was it an obvious choice for a single?

I think it’s a heavy song on the album, and probably the kind of song that most people can respond to without hating it ha-ha! We debated for a while which song was going to be released actually, and Horses at first didn’t seem like the obvious choice to me, I thought Leave Me To Bleed would be the better single after releasing Somebody’s Bitch. After a while of debating I realised that Ben was absolutely right, Horses is just the right single; it’s much more immediate!

Have you tinkered with it for the single release?

We have not; it’s as pure as it was

Horses, as the album, is out on Got Wrong Records; your own label?

Yes it will be a pay what you want digital only release on my label Got Wrong Records on September 26th. Available at https://gotwrongrecords.bandcamp.com

Can you give us some insight to the inspiration and theme of the song?

Horses is about conquering the power someone can have over you, and breaking out of the cage you confine yourself to when you let them control you. It’s the climax of the album for me

Horses sparked thoughts of Life of Agony for us, its provocative nature and intimate energy reminding of the great US band. Is that something you can feel?

Yeah I can see that. They’re aggressive and melodic, and that’s what Horses is in its simplest form. We really wanted to get the emotion across in the vocals, so hopefully we have done that if you’re comparing Horses to Life of Agony 🙂

The song is accompanied by a great video, who was that filmed by?

The video was filmed with a lovely chap called Sam Sheridan. Ben and I wrote some music for a short film he made several years ago, and we lost contact afterwards. As we were hunting for a director to make the video for Somebody’s Bitch we got chatting and got him involved. He has done an amazing job with incredibly little budget and filming was an absolute riot. Our lead man Alex Netting absolutely smashed it as well, bringing some intensity and humour to the whole thing.

It looked like a fun day out ha-ha; I am imagining that the central character (Alex) drew plenty of attention from the passing throng during filming?

It was a hilarious day for sure! Amazingly every person that interacted with us on the day was very positive; they loved the idea, loved the make-up and loved the character. We definitely got a lot of attention that day.

You guys are in two bands to my knowledge 😉 It is hard for any band to make an impression in the current state of music, so how have you found it juggling and driving forward with your projects?

Yep it’s hard, that’s just the way it is. I think it’s always been hard though. The key is to keep going and enjoy the small victories I think. It’s definitely possible to juggle everything and find the time if you are committed enough; you just have to want it bad enough.

How do you see the current state of music especially the catch 22 effect of the internet with its usefulness and detriment for bands.

I think that even though there are always things we can complain about, bands and artists are in a much better position nowadays for people to hear their music than say 20 years ago. It’s incredibly difficult to earn a living from it, but there’s no change there really. Hopefully in the years to come, with organisations like the Musicians Union working on behalf of musicians, fairer deals can be made on behalf of musicians on the likes of streaming royalties.

10505283_311135829045859_3576936077197922227_nIs it hard to hold your enthusiasm at times, or does the music always hold sway over the emotions?

Personally I go through high and lows on a daily basis. Sometime I can struggle to bring myself to pick up a guitar and other times I can’t tear myself away to go to bed.

What is ahead for 7stbaby?

Not a clue! We’ll have to have to have a chat about that at some point ha-ha

…And from your other projects?

I’m currently working on albums for Static Plan and Outpost Zeta, and Ben is working with Ventenner and Exquisite Ending.

Thanks again for sharing time with us. Any last words you wish to share?

Thanks very much Pete, we really appreciate the support! My last word shall be check out www.gotwrong.com for a free EP/Album from Static Plan, Outpost Zeta and 7stbaby, and spread the word 😉

https://www.facebook.com/7stbaby/

Read our review of Control @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/7stbaby-control/  and of Horses @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/7stbaby-horses/

Pete RingMaster

The Ringmaster Review 23/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

 

 

Unforgiving the black and raw: an interview with Thorns of Kult

Thorns Pictures by Blazing Visions

Pictures by Blazing Visions

It has been six years in the coming but the return of Italian black metallers Kult with their second album Unleashed From Dismal Light has equally regained and reinforced the band’s presence and reputation as one of the rawest essential old school black metal provocateurs and ignited another fervour of passion from fans and those new to the band. With a new vocalist on board, the Como quartet has uncaged a force of sonic causticity, vitriol, and rapacious malevolence which provides the healthiest depths of satisfaction in its victims. To learn more about Kult, their new album, the long time between releases and much more we had the pleasure to talk with drummer Thorns.

Hello and thanks for talking with us at the Ringmaster ReviewCould you start by telling us about the beginnings of Kult and the origins of its members?

Kult was born in 2002 with the only purpose of playing old school Black-Metal. The band released one demo tape, 2 albums and a split EP with The Stone so far. The band had some line-up problems during the years and also some problems with personal life that forced the member to stop activities for almost 3 years in the recent past. But actually I have to say we’re finally back to stay. The actual line up is composed by:  Kacele (guitars), D.White (bass), Tumulash (vocals) and me Thorns (drums).

You mentioned that purpose which came with the band has that intent changed or evolved over time?

Nope. Nothing has changed from the beginning actually. When the band was created the guys wanted to play old school and as you can listen on the new album after more than 10 year of existence, nothing has changed, and of course I can assure nothing will change in the future as well.

Your sound is bred in raw old school black metal as you say, what have been the influences over time which has seeded inspirations?

Well, as you can imagine we’ve grew up listening to raw music so our influences are actually from that. I’m the older guy of the band so I can speak from myself telling that Darkthrone, Burzum, Gorgoroth or early Immortal were my solid basis of my youth…but well I can also speak for the guys saying they loved hell bands like Armagedda, Craft or Gorgoroth as well…and we can definitely say we can hear that from our music!

kult_unleashedfromdismallight_cover (1)You have just released your strongly anticipated second album Unleashed From Dismal Light, how has it been received from those waiting appetites?

I have to say that I never expected such a great “welcome back!” As I told before, the band had to stop for 3 long years and you know…a lot of people usually forget what it was so I truly believed a lot of people forgot about us…but I have to say I was wrong. A lot of people wrote us back saying they were happy to see we were still alive and kicking with a new album out. This was awesome for us…these kinds of things give you more energy and determination to go ahead stronger than before.

It has between six years between Unleashed From Dismal Light and debut album Winds Of War; you touched on it earlier but can you elaborate on the reasons for the long stretch of time?

Life sucks man…some of us got into some troubles with jobs, other personal issues about family…and also consider we’re not living so close (me and the other guys around 400km) so it is not easy all the time to get the right mood and be strong enough to “survive”. Sometimes you just need a break because it is too much. This is what basically happened within the band…but as you can see after all those problems were solved, the band rises back from the ashes with renewed energy and strength.

We suggested the album was not concerned in breaking down boundaries for black metal but concentrating on giving it a new and fresher toxicity and sonic pestilence to get excited about; a fair comment?

Not sure to understand exactly what you mean…but by my side I can surely tell that this new album is more powerful and direct than the first one…but if you listen carefully the music is also slower than the early composition. We actually focused on the songs, not asking ourselves what people would expect from us after a so long break. We could release a killer high speed album to get people some fresh meat to grind but we preferred going ahead completely true with ourselves, following our hearts. Mostly of the new songs are mid tempos or slow and the mood is more heavy and “pestilential” I would say. This is pure bone-breaking music, no bullshit! There are many bands out there playing fast…we’re not in the same race; we’re not looking for some medals! We’re not interested in competitions!! Do you want to get sick? Do you want to get mad? Do you want to get pain in the neck? “Unleashed From Dismal Light” might be what you’re looking for. Give it a try.

How has the creation and recording of Unleashed From Dismal Light compared to its predecessor and how would you say your sound and songwriting has evolved between the pair?

Well, to tell you the truth this album, except for some lyrics, is 3 years old. I mean we already composed it back in 2010 when we had the break. Everything was ready to be recorded shortly after but well, you already know the story. So basically I can say there is not much difference between the 2 albums except for the fact that on the second one it’s me on drums, and on the first one they had another drummer. Technically I can say the new one is more tight and powerful but musically I feel not much difference. Probably we could start noticing some years passed on new compositions but I can tell nothing about it right now.

What is the writing process with Kult?

Probably nothing exciting: the guitar player show the other guys some riffs and all of the band starts working on it. Average band modus operandi.

kult pictures by Luneth Vinönen

pictures by Luneth Vinönen

We already knew, knowing before his vocals style, that the album would have sounded completely different so we gave him the complete freedom to express himself the way he liked the most. We are friends since a long time ago so when we asked him to join the band we already had some kind of common vision of how the album should have sounded. We also downtuned the guitars/bass to give it the general mood. To be honest everything went better than expected ’cause I had an idea about the final result that Tumulash completely burned to the ground ‘cause he sung in a completely different and new way I didn’t expect from him. So yeah, today I’m more and more confident about the decision to take him on board.

Please give us some insight into the recording of the album and its raw unforgiving sound, was it as it hints at done as a live recording to achieve the rich merciless sound?

We didn’t want to record the new album in a proper studio this time…we wanted a raw approach that only someone who knows what we’re talking about can give it. So we recorded it in our rehearsal room (Beastcave Studios) with the precious help of a friend of mine that is a talented black-metal musician and sound engineer. We used our equipment and all the things we usually have in the dark room, so even if all instruments have been recorded separately like in a normal professional studio, the general mood sounds like a live recording. It is exactly what we wanted.

Lyrically the songs feel like a statement and attack on the toxicity in the world and us as people but also at times seem to carry a personal breath or essence of the writer, how much of the album is that close to the personal thoughts and experiences of the band?

Some songs come from the previous singer and have just been revisited and adapted by Tumulash, others have been written by Tumulash himself and they speak about some personal things I really don’t like to talk about. Some lines are quite clean to understand, some are more cryptic. Each listener can find his own way to decode them.

It is hard for any band to grab a spotlight when releasing an album, even a band like Kult with a strong and acclaimed pedigree from previously releases; how have you found it with Unleashed From Dismal Light especially within black metal circles?

Our previous label, French Debemur Morti Productions, did an amazing job some years ago spreading the Kult name all around and selling/trading a lot of copies as well…so well, when we recorded the new album we just sent some promos around and Folter Records was the fastest one which gave us a good offer. Actually we knew the label and the guy behind it for a long time so we quickly agreed to work together. It is always easier when you know the guys personally and there is some kind of mutual respect for each other work.

KULT_BandfotoCan we expect a full on presence from Kult from now on live and from the studio, no six years before the next release? 😉

I hope not of course! ha ha! Kult are back to stay but you know, life is full of traps and misfortune behind every corner. The only sure thing, except Death, is that we have a lot of live shows booked for the next year including some interesting festivals as well, so no time to slow down even for a bit!

Talking of those live shows is there anything planned tour wise to promote Unleashed From Dismal Light?

We discussed many times with Folter Records about a possible tour for Kult but we need to check all the details each time. It is not easy ‘cause we all have a regular job but we’ll see what we can do. For sure we’ll play as much as we can and are talking about single shows or festival appearances.

Once again many thanks for sparing time to chat with us, any last thoughts you wish to share?

Thanks for the space. Give “Unleashed From Dismal Light” a listen.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/KULT/166348940061985

Read the Unleashed From Dismal Light review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/kult-unleashed-from-dismal-light/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 16/12/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

 

Nidingr: Greatest Of Deceivers

Photo Haakon Hoseth

One of the most visceral bands has again stepped forward with a release which without much debate stands as one of the best extreme metal releases this year. Norwegian devastators Nidingr since forming seeds in 1992 has rarely if ever left senses intact from its full entrance three years later, their complex and enthralling creativity and destructive power a scarring and corruptive conquest providing only the fullest rewards, but new album Greatest Of Deceivers can be marked as possibly their finest hour to date. The release is a triumph of corrosive invention and erosive enterprise, a combination which ignites scorching fires of passion whilst exposing undiluted thoughts all within scourges of caustic energy and aggression to cage and accelerate those reactions. It is a masterful piece of venom marking Nidingr as one of the greatest exponents and deliverers of the darkest rabid shadows.

Consisting of present and past members of bands such as Mayhem, Gorgoroth, DHG (Dødheimsgard), 1349, and God Seed, the quintet from Horten has followed up 2010 release Wolf-Father with a release which continues the theme based on Enochian texts which cored debut album Sorrow Infinite and Darkness of 2005. As with that release Greatest of Deceivers evokes ten Enochian Æthyrs through its expansive and emotive soundscape for a record which searches before opening up dark corners and expressive emotive realms lyrically as potently as it does musically. The album is a release which unveils more texture and depth with each engagement, with the pleasure and coarse rewards only deepening upon every contact too.

Combining a furnace of black, death, and thrash metal, the line-up of band founder Teloch, Blargh and Estrella Grasa who joined the band in 2005, Øyvind Myrvoll who linked up in 2010, and Void, has created a vibrant yet insidious tempest of devastation across the album which lingers far after its departure, the openly contagious yet barbed grooves and riffs, as well as the synapse fusing melodic invention, a storm which triggers a memorable captivation as insistently infectious as it is mercilessly debilitating. Starting with the opening title track, the album seizes control and manipulates the listener with maniacal and insidious ‘charm’. The song from its first second tramples the ear under scything riffs and pummelling rhythms, an instant numbness at play for the caustic vocals and concisely picking melodic cuts from the guitars to unleash their immense creative intent. Across its rampaging and ravaging onslaught the track is unrelenting in accosting and rupturing the mind and emotions whilst adding a craft of imaginative and explosively creative sonic relief which leaves every atom greedy for more.

It is an impressive assault but in hindsight is revealed as a mere teaser to greater annihilatory beauty from tracks like All Crowns Fall, O Thou Empty God, and new single from the album Vim Patior. The first sears flesh and senses with a sonic cloud of abrasive spite with the rasping acid vocals as equally mordant whilst the second is a senses chewing violation of predatory riffs and prowling rhythms which dazzles inventive diversity and towering innovation. It is a track which has one hand on best track honours on the album though all songs offer plenty of arguments for that title, such as Vim Patior, the track an insatiable rub which scalds with pungent sonic rabidity to leave a pulsating soreness by its end on flesh through to thoughts.

Into its stride the album offers up the impressive punkish contagion Rags Upon A Beggar which hands over to the exceptional bruising of The Worm Is Crowned for a mighty aural twining, the latter of the pair a scathing hungry brute of a track with a touch as acidulous as it is a stunning exploration of devastating ideas. Beneath the torrential flames of noise and greedy intensity the vast well of creativity and imagination in song and album as a whole is breath taking and as mentioned something which offers a new taste with each return to the release.

Adding further great heights of excellence before its end with the likes of the swaggering Pure Pale Gold with its wicked intent openly soaking every note and the similarly mischievous closing track Dwellers In The Abyss, both with grooves and hooks which have a glaring malevolence to their seductive swing, Greatest of Deceivers is a staggering slab of extreme glory. Released via Indie Recordings, the album if not the the very best of the year is right in the frontline for many ‘awards’ and acclaim come the end of 2012 and beyond.

http://www.facebook.com/nidingr

RingMaster 18/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Noctem – Oblivion

Oblivion is the second part of a trilogy from Spanish blackened death metalers Noctem and an album as intense and notable as its intent and theme. Following on from the 2009’s Divinity, the new album is a dramatic and crushing release and an impressive step forward for the band. The band already no stranger to strong praise with Oblivion is set to consolidate and further their status as one of the more exciting creative death metal bands.

From Valencia Noctem took until 2009 to release their debut album Divinity though there were releases from the band which formed in 2001. The demos Unholy Blood in 2002, a live cd live 2004, and the mcd God Among Slave all garnered increasingly strong acclaim but it was with the debut album that they made the deepest mark. 2008 saw founder members vocalist Beleth and guitarist Exo joined by bassist Ul, drummer Darko, and Helion on guitar, and it can be no coincidence it is with this settled line-up that fortunes and levels rose for the quintet.  

Shows and tours too took them further into the awareness and respect of more and more eager fans, sharing stages with the likes of Ragnarok, Gorgoroth, Finntroll and Carach Angren the perfect arena to share their inspired brutality lined with creative and melodic juices with more and more appreciative ears. Oblivion shows the band have now reached new heights and evolved into a beast that knows how to make aggressive and vital sounds delivered with passion and dark intensity.

Opening instrumental ‘Popol Vuh’ sets the scene with atmospheric brief soundscape that leads with increasing tension to the coming of something formidable. ‘The Arrival of the False Gods’ is that impending power, its violent crushing riffs and rhythms going straight for the jugular with only smart and distinctive guitar play giving any sense of a respite. It is a solid and commanding start though it does not give anything to go further than just riling up the senses. It is with its successor ‘Universal Disorder’ that things take off and stretch into loftier levels. Bristling with black attitude and determined destruction the track consumes every pore. Through his bestial growls and taunting delivery Beleth’s vocals are as emotive as the content and sit perfectly upon the driven riffs and the melodically infused insertions from the guitars.

The music throughout the album is forceful though despite its harsh and vehement nature does not unleash an intensity that is as destructive as it could have been, preferring to enforce the energy through striking and incisive melodies alongside precise and explosive blackened grooves under pummelling riffs. Songs like the mighty ‘Invictus’ the first single taken from the album and a track that ripples with oppressive and ominous malevolence reminding of the evil of masses wielding power throughout history, the unrepentant ferocity of ‘Seeking the Ruin Of Souls’ which literally burns flesh within the ear as the cutting guitars and scorching vocals strip the senses, and the amalgam of melodic beauty and knee buckling energy of ‘Unredemption’ satisfy and reveal their quality to deep effect.

Oblivion available worldwide via Rising Records / Metal blade Records is a haunting release full of foreboding within its blend of death metal and technical progressive melodies, though that is simplifying what they create. It is emotive and powerful combining an array of dark spite and malevolent beauty, a release that is at times majestic and always stirring. The sounds recall the likes of Behemoth, Dissection, and Kataklysm to name three, but it is also distinctive to Noctem and with a freshness that is reassuring. Bring on the final part of the trilogy as on this evidence it will be epic.

RingMaster 25/10/2011

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

Photobucket

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.