Leatherjacks – The Lost Arks Of Rock And Roll + singles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Pete RingMaster 12/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Refusers – Disobey

“An album called Disobey by a group called The Refusers – you can’t get any more defiant than that, and that is exactly what rock and roll is supposed to be.”

The words of band founder, vocalist, guitarist, songwriter Michael Belkin tells all about the heart and intent of the band’s new and third full-length, indeed their sound overall. It is a collection of songs which snarl with defiance and irritability yet infest ears and incite the body with broadly flavoured rock ‘n’ roll in decades courting styles. Lyrically it reflects and attacks with incisive honesty and rigour while musically it has the body bouncing; a combination which makes the upcoming release of Disobey one compelling proposal.

Formed in 2010, Seattle hailing The Refusers sparked real attention with their 2016 album Wake Up America. It was a release which reflected and roared at a corrupt and twisted political and social world. It is fair to say things have not changed for the better in the world over the past two years and Disobey equally preys on its perverse habits and immoral practices. It focuses on the bad heart of America but as we all know it is a ruin reflected across the world from corner to corner.

Belkin links up with a host of musicians for the new album including bassist Steve Newton, drummers Sebastian Belkin (Michael’s son) and Brendan Hill from Blues Traveler, and keyboardists Joe Doria and Eric Robert, who has performed with John Oates, Keb’ Mo’ and Lucky Peterson. Disobey opens up with Playing With Fire and immediately lures ears with its blues tinted groove and potent rhythmic shuffle. Belkin’s vocals are soon joining the bold mix, adding accusing sparks as the track burned its presence upon the imagination. It is an intriguing start to the release, a song which did not explode on the senses but got under the skin by the second to arouse attention and an anticipation of things to come.

The following Why Do They Lie strolls in next with a deceptively calm swing, keys a tantalising lure in its developing melody nurtured rock ‘n’ roll. An instinctive catchiness soon had hips swaying as feet tapped; the track a swift persuasion before the album’s title track aroused the senses with its classic rock meets The Cars like canter. As lyrics focus and ensnare thoughts great hooks and fire bred grooves ignite the appetite, Hammond keys a tasty companion to the magnetism.

Eruption brings a call for change on a great funk ‘n’ roll saunter next, guitar and keys again a masterfully alluring incitement to accentuate rather than temper the lyrical charge while My Baby Loves Rock And Roll is a mischievous contagion echoing its title. It is a romp of the familiar and fresh which just hit the spot, swaggering along like an old inhibition evading friend.

Across Disobey, there is a seventies/eighties glaze to its rock ‘n’ roll, the following Fake News epitomising that essence with its melodic rock though to pin down straight comparisons is difficult thanks to The Refuser’s individual character of imagination and sound. The track was another which had us hooked early though the album was just as effective at pleasing ears with a more persistent almost nagging temptation as through Government Slave, another classic/hard rock nurtured proposal with tenacious hooks and teasing grooves.

The final pair of Free The Captives and Emancipation close the album up; the first a calmer but no less assured slice of rock balladry wrapped in the ever appealing embrace of keys. Its successor is a final cut of addiction flirting captivation; its chorus especially irresistible. As the album, there is something of Midnight Oil to the track, more in lyrical insight but also a little in its sound even with its more classic rock breeding, which just adds to the appealing hues at work.

Defiance and rock ‘n’ roll go hand in hand; always has and always will. The Refusers mix both with craft and adventure within Disobey; an album which may not be the most unique but leaves its rich mark rather enjoyably.

https://therefusers.com/   https://www.facebook.com/TheRefusers/

Pete RingMaster 12/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bullets And Octane – Waking Up Dead

Though a name familiar to a great many, attention on the UK side of The Pond did not particularly have Bullets And Octane as a concentrated spot on its radar despite some ear grabbing, appetising inciting releases since the band emerged in 2003. That was until the LA based outfit played a venue ripping tour over here last year with our own fine middle finger raising rockers Hung Like Jack supporting. It has sparked fresh interest and in turn real anticipation for the US rockers’ new album Waking Up Dead which we seriously expect to be embracing rigorous attention upon release. It is a beast of an album, rock ‘n’ roll in its most rapacious and rousing form and without doubt Bullets And Octane in their finest moment.

From the release of their debut EP, One Night Stand Rock N Roll Band in 2003, the St. Louis originating quartet has been on a hungry ride towards acclaim and attention. Their Gilby Clark of Guns And Roses produced first album, The Revelry started the growing appetite for their emergence, each of their subsequent seven albums escalating the temptation, including breakthrough album In The Mouth Of The Young, alongside a live presence which has seen the sharing of stages at shows and festivals with the likes of Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Stone Sour, Flyleaf, Deftones, Unwritten Law, Gunfire 76, Social Distortion, Eagles Of Death Metal and many more over the years. Now we would suggest they are facing their biggest year and time yet with the release of the Brent Clawson (Wednesday 13, Hell or Highwater, The Knives) produced, recorded, mixed and mastered Waking Up Dead, a slab of devilry declaring that hard rock spun rock ‘n’ roll has never been healthier or more fun.

As soon as Bad Mother Fucker launches its attitude loaded stomp off of a warning siren, it has to said, ears and appetite were swiftly gripped; a hold tightening as the track almost stalks ears with riffs and grooves whilst stirring up the spirit with its contagious roar. Vocalist Gene Louis hollers at its heart with energy and contempt, the band’s united calls supporting his incitement as the swinging beats of Jonny Udell punch and Zachary Kibbee’s bass magnetically grumbles.

A raucously irresistible start to the album aflame with the wiry tendrils of Felipe Rodrigo’s guitar, the track sets the anthemic template for things to come and is quickly embraced by the album’s following title track. Guitar and mass incitement instantly draws ears into the almost as immediate blaze of the song, its pulsating stroll and fiery sonic flames surging straight to the instincts to rock out. There is a devious craft and imagination to the song though, predacious twists and tenacious clamours uniting in its spirit rousing exploits.

The calmer but no less lusty When We Were Young has the body bouncing again, it’s gripping hard rock nurtured canter almost poppy but all raw bustle and bite while Burning at Both Wicks jabs and snaps at the senses from its first touch, takes the listener on a bold hard rock infested ride thereon in. As the whole of the album, the songs blend the familiar with the boldly fresh in their individual escapades, each nagging to get under the skin riff by hook and hitting their target in swift time. It really was impossible not to offer up one’s own vocal and physical participation across the whole of Waking Up Dead as proven yet again by the simply captivating Fires. As its predecessor, there is a touch of Fall Out Boy meets Grumpynators to the track with a whiff of Turbonegro, a spicing which slipped through our ears like nectar.

All the same, every song within the album is stamped Bullets And Octane through to the core, the likes of the melodically aflame Fuck You Song and Murder Me Baby with its predatory prowl and salacious swing diverse proof. Neither track quite hit the personal spot as those around them actually but the fact they had us rocking and pressing replay with perpetually fresh lust shows the might of the rest of the album.

The final trio of tracks keep the stomping and thick enjoyment flying, Rolling Stone casting a ‘mellow’, in comparison to other songs, incitement which only needed a clutch of seconds to bypass inhibitions before Hostage seduced the body into a subservient sway. Even with its relative composure, the song is an insatiable rocker increasing its boisterousness and the listener’s involvement by the minute.

Heart Attack completes the release, the track maybe the best of the lot though it is hard to choose. Hooks and grooves ensnare as rhythms jab, vocals stoking up devilment and alone further involvement; the four prong rock ‘n’ roll attack as manipulative as it is simply balls swinging revelry. A great album deserves a thunderous end and Waking Up Dead certainly gets that though its whole body is a galvanic storm of rock ‘n’ roll; a tempest of pleasure we can only suggest, wherever you are, you should unleash your rocker instincts upon.

Waking Up Dead is released May 25th through Bad MoFo Records/Cargo Records.

https://www.bulletsmusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/bulletsandoctane

Pete RingMaster 23/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hogs – Fingerprints

Playing hard rock with a tantalising blend of funk, blues, and other varied flavours to it, Italian band Hogs have just released second album Fingerprints. It is an encounter which builds on a debut from Italians which certainly courted keen attention and has all the imagination to take the Florence outfit to a far broader placed audience.

The band’s seeds began in 2012 with guitarist Francesco Bottai, bassist Luca Cantasano, and drummer Pino Gulli; their creative union the spring board for the emergence of Hogs. The band’s line-up was subsequently completed by vocalist Simone Cei. 2015 saw the release of debut album, HOGS in fishnets via Red Cat Records who the band has again linked up with for Fingerprints. It was an encounter openly suggesting potential and imagination within its accomplished body; intimation now realised within its highly enjoyable successor.

Fingerprints opens up with Man size and instantly chunky riffs tempt with tenacious rhythms in close quarter. As it settles down, a blues spicing fires up within its classic rock setting, Cei’s potent tones at the core matched by the guest vocals of Carlotta Cocchi. Catchy in its swing, robust in its touch and wonderfully unpredictable in its enterprise, the imagination is soon caught in its drama, its array of styles and flavours woven into one strong magnetic start.

Stinking like a dog follows and is instantly casting a tantalising shuffle shaped by the dextrous swings of Gulli and the animated touch of Botta’s guitar. Hips could not escape the effect of the song’s swing, its funkiness, driven by the excellent tenacity of Cantasano’s bass, soon getting under the skin.

The infectious exploits of Mr. Hide is just as manipulative; its bluesy stroll and melodic rock shaped tempting a captivating launch to sonic flames and vocal reflection before making way for the warm sonic climes of Australia summerland. Again there is a classic rock breath to the song and though it misses the more unpredictable and adventurous twists of its predecessors, it leaves ears and appetite more than satisfied especially with the individual craft of the band in full display.

The jazzy air and touch of Down to the river needs little time to stir the imagination next, its reggae flavoured instincts just as magnetic as the organ of Federico Pacini; its inviting sway and the heart bred expression of Cei, a rich lure on top.

Across the likes of the boisterously magnetic Another dawn and the rousingly raucous Man of the score, enterprise and imagination fly from the speakers. The second of the pair is especially compelling with its animated rock ‘n’ roll while the increasingly captivating Can’t find my home is a web of alternative, hard and blues rock which teases with the familiar and refreshes with the individual. Pacini adds his keys to the escapade once again as too in Jewish vagabond which follows, this song a ballad with a lively smoulder and melodic elegance which too just became more magnetic by the minute and play, country borne sighs courtesy of Paolo Giorgi’s peddle guitar adding to the sunshine of the song.

Both songs relish the imagination open in varying degrees within the album, unexpected turns which surprise among more recognisable strains of enterprise and to be found within the closing pair of Don’t stop moving and Just for one day. The excellent first is one of the songs which seems so familiar from start to finish yet only pleasures and recruits keen participation alongside the imagination. The final track is a calm emotively cast ballad; a sunset of melodic and vocal intimation which caresses as potently as it flames around ears.

It is fair to say that the Hogs sound is not one we would naturally be drawn to but Fingerprints is a release we just took too. It is one which also grew in potency and persuasion play by play so worth a good look at we reckon.

Fingerprints is available now through Red Cat Records/7Hard now through most stores.

https://www.facebook.com/hogsband

Pete RingMaster20/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Paola Pellegrini Lexrock – Lady To Rock

Professional criminal lawyer by day, devout rock guitarist/singer/songwriter by night, Paola Pellegrini is an Italian artist with numerous strings to her bow and a sound just as versatile. She plays rock ‘n’ roll, a collusion of hard rock, punk, and metal which as proven by new album Lady To Rock is very easy to raise a healthy appetite for.

Hailing from the city of Florence, Pellegrini has been playing and writing songs since a child. Having played with various bands she began her solo career as Paola Pellegrini Lexrock, releasing her debut album Agape in 2013. Two years its successor, Dreams Come True was unveiled through Qua’ rock Records. Lady To Rock is her new collection of songs; a release which maybe evades major surprises in some ways but embraces fresh adventure in far many more.

For Lady To Rock, Pellegrini linked up with bassist Franco Licausi, who played for 20 years with Negrita and currently with Litfiba, and drummer Simone Morettin of folk metallers Elvenking. Produced by Giuseppe Scarpato and Paolo Baglioni at Wall Up Studio in Florence and mixed and mastered by Giovanni Gasperini, the album roars into life with No Half Way. Instantly riffs and grooves surround ears, rhythms punchy company before the quickly engaging tones of Pellegrini step forward to complete a potent persuasion. A tenacious slice of heavy rock ‘n’ roll, familiar but infectiously magnetic, it provides Lady To Rock with a great start to.

It is a beginning though which is quickly built upon by the excellent Lovely Man. More restrained in its charge but even more enticing in its hooks and beats, the track strolls long like a blend of The Kut and Australian outfit Shadowqueen. Punk and hard rock are brought together in its virulently infectious temptation, a rousing concoction which easily had us bouncing, the following Avuta Mai matching its depth of persuasion. The only non-English sung track on the release, it is an inescapably catchy proposal unafraid to slip into sonic shimmers and unpredictable twists as raw riffs and melodic enterprise unite behind Pellegrini’s vocal prowess.

The catchy prowl of Cut The Chains similarly had ears and attention wrapped round inventive fingers, the song teasing with its confident swagger, seducing with its melodic and harmonic captivation before Endless Begin uncages Pellegrini’s punk heart with simultaneous energy and grace. We mentioned that across the album, uniqueness was second to familiar strains and aspects of rock but as this excellent track proves, songs still comes with an individuality and adventure which sets album and artist as one appetising proposal.

Through the raw rock hues of Wild Shot, a Plasmatics meets Girlschool spiced stomp, and the pop rock exploits of Making Love Forever, variety, enterprise and pleasure rise in tandem while What I Like sonically grumbles and melodically serenades with imagination fuelled contagion. As with all tracks, little time is needed for hips to swing and enjoyment to boil up; fun and anthemic persuasion in close quarters as echoed yet again within You Better Believe. It too had participation engaged within moments of its first play; a magnetic slice of rock ‘n’ roll very easy to be manipulated by.

The album concludes with All My Love Has Gone, a final cut of all that is good about the fiercely enjoyable Lady To Rock. As its companions, the song feels like a friend even before it runs through its first verse, even as soon as its first clutch of chords, yet is as tantalising and refreshing as any track on any rock album heard so far this year. At its core rock ‘n’ roll is about great times, boisterous fun, and arousing spirits something Paola Pellegrini proves very adept at creating with Lady To Rock.

Lady To Rock is out now via Red Cat Records / 7Hard across most digital stores.

http://www.lexrock.it/    https://www.facebook.com/paolapellegrinilexrock/   https://twitter.com/PaolaLexrock   https://www.instagram.com/paola_pellegrini_lexrock/

 Pete RingMaster20/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hail the Hatter – Discovering Light

Being suckers for anything with a hint of insanity, lunacy, and mayhem we had a certain appetite to check out the debut EP from Trinidad outfit Hail the Hatter when offered the opportunity all because of its great suggestive cover. The Mad Hatter image on its cover sparked that eagerness and once inside we can certainly say the release more than satisfied on all three aspects. More so it revealed a band with a dab hand at creating infectious hard rock ‘n’ roll with a penchant for metal bred revelry.

Hail The Hatter was formed by guitarist Dax Cartar and vocalist Jonathan Boos, the pair swiftly enlisting drummer Nicholai Assam on drums, and Devin Harry Paul on bass. As the band began thinking about recording a clutch of songs they had written, personal reasons meant the bassist had to leave the outfit but was soon replaced by Aaron Lowchewtung. Produced by Maarten Manmohan and Nicholas Marsan, Discovering Light introduces the band’s fun infested sound to the world through six tracks, a sextet of varying but constant captivation lying in wait behind the opening doom laden introduction of The Coming of the Hatter.

From that dark threat and its storm coaxed shadows, the rapacious Bone Grin strolls, bass and beats lining the way as Cartar’s guitar teases and subsequently flames across the song’s swiftly installed swagger. Boos is soon in the mix with his vocal mischief and roar, hooks and grooves following as hard rock meets raw rock ‘n’ roll in the seriously catchy opener. Classic and glam rock traits add to the web of sound while metal nurtured invention brings devious aggression and predacious virulence to the mix; it all making for an easy to devour first stomp with Hail the Hatter.

It’s almost bedlamic prowess is followed by the devilish exploits of God Bless The Beast, the track like a punk infested fusion of Mötley Crüe and Converge. It needed little time to tempt and persuade, scythes of guitar and swinging rhythmic trespasses instantly igniting the senses even before Boos and Cartar uncage their creative appetites. The track is swiftly matched in success and enterprise by the groove woven A.O.A.U. Straight away its Caribbean toned rhythms had the imagination hooked, those subsequent spice flushed grooves adding to its inescapable lure. As with other tracks, the song’s sound is maybe not particularly unique but as its imagination, every twist and turn of sound brings a freshness which demanded keen attention.

The sinister psychosis of White Walls is accompanied by a prowling sound, its psychotic air and voice contagious rock ‘n’ roll as rich and loco as you could wish. Throughout its unhinged antics, riffs inflame rhythms swing, and grooves incite, vocal unity an anthemic icing to its predacious lunacy before Akasha releases its own shadow brewed shuffle and mystique coated melodic dance n the imagination. Middle Eastern hues hint and intimate throughout even as the flirtatious calm of the song erupts into just as addictive tempests. Everything is skilfully woven and passionately delivered with Lowchewtung uncaging one glorious dirt encrusted snarl of a bassline to cap the inescapable temptation.

Song by song the EP just gets bigger, bolder, and more impressive; continuing the trend with its final and best moment, its title track. From the opening dark groan of cello, Discovering Light just enthrals; its continuing stroll thick in suggestion and beauty as guitar and bass join its evolving drama. Equally a hint of mental instability flickers in its dance before the track unveils its full rapacious and increasingly frenzied rock ‘n’ roll. The track is immense, the show stopper even within a handful of similarly striking encounters.

Though Discovering Light had ears and attention in its hands pretty swiftly, it is with subsequent ventures into its creative dementia that its truly got under the skin, so much so that it has barely allowed anything else to grab a place on the just for pleasure turntable in our offices. The EP is not perfect if such a thing exists but gives rich pleasure from start to finish, never a bad thing in our book, and ripples with the potential of greater dark deeds ahead with Hail The Hatter.

Discovering Light is available now @ https://www.hailthehatter.com/media-get-album and for a limited time as a free download.

https://www.hailthehatter.com/      https://www.facebook.com/hailthehatter

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Whirling hearts and joyous uprisings: exploring the world of Swirl

Photo by Neil Zlozower

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have you been or are involved in other bands?

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

What inspired the band name?

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

Photo by Neil Zlozower

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

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

And that same intent drives the band?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is there a particular process to your songwriting?

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

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

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

Give us some background to your latest release.

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

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

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

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

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

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

or the SWIRL EP

“An uplifting vibe…” The Happy Headbanger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See for yourself here-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pete RingMaster 17/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright