Raising Jupiter – Standing in the Light EP

raising-jupiter-new-pic_RingMasterReview

Around this time last year British rockers Raising Jupiter were catching ears and attention with the Chrome EP, a release which confirmed that previous debut album A Better Balance  of 2014 was no flash in the pan in offering highly flavoursome melody rich  rock ‘n’ roll. Now they have the Standing in the Light EP luring old and new appetites with two tracks which enjoyably grumble as they seduce the senses.

Cored by vocalist/guitarist Dave Aitken, the Cork outfit sees drummer Kieran O’Neill linking up with the songwriter for the again Beau Hill mixed and mastered new EP. It has resulted in another duo which seems to just click and breed rock ‘n’ roll that feeds natural instincts for fiery and melodically blazing sounds.

raising-jupiter-ep-artwork_RingMasterReviewLead track Drive On (I Wanna Know) opens up the release, a song inspired by and in homage to members of the 27 Club, artists like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, and Kurt Cobain who have all passed away in tragic circumstances aged 27. Straight away the track grips ears and imagination with a growling bassline which just ignites the passions. Its irritable but fiercely alluring texture is joined by firmly swung beats before Aitken adds his melodic vocals and flames of fuzz lined guitar. Swiftly a Queens Of The Stone Age feel blossoms but equally hard/classic rock hues emerge as the song grows, captivates, and only increases its impressive presence.

Easily the finest song from the band’s songbook to date, it is accompanied by Take The Fall, a more mild mannered proposal but no light weight on snarling riffs and forceful rhythms alongside searing melodies and infectious hooks. It too has a catchiness which needs little time to show its persuasion as Aitken fills the melodic rock canvas of the track with his potent sonic enterprise and vocal expression. O’Neill is equally a striking element with his rhythmic prowess, each providing nothing flashy but openly accomplished craft combining for a highly enjoyable slice of rock ‘n’ roll.

With a fuller version of Drive On (I Wanna Know) completing its line-up, the Standing in the Light EP is Raising Jupiter hitting a new plateau in their alternative/melodic rock invention and reminding all that they are a band deserving of close attention.

Standing in the Light is out now via iTunes and Amazon.

Upcoming Live Dates:

November 11th – Luna Lounge London

November 12th – Opening for Ellipsis (Venue TBC) UK

November 18th – The Live Room Bru Bar, Cork

http://www.raisingjupiter.com    https://www.facebook.com/raisingjupiter   https://twitter.com/raising_jupiter

Pete RingMaster 04/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Beauty and the thorn: exploring Scorching Winter

raf_RingMasterReview

Formed in 2012, Scorching Winter is a female-fronted quintet hailing from Melbourne, Australia. With a hard rock based sound which weaves in an array of flavours, Scorching Winter is beginning to lure proper attention beyond their borders. Ahead of their new album Victim, we were excited to have the chance find out more about the band and that upcoming proposition with guitarist Rafael Katigbak. Subsequently exploring the band’s background, heart, and more…

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

My pleasure… Thanks for having me.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how you came together?

The band started in 2012 when I got together with Nick (drummer) to jam on a few songs I have written. We liked the way it sounded so we decided to put a band together. The band has gone through a few line-up changes since but we’ve had our current line-up for almost two years now and the chemistry is the best it has ever been.

scorching-winter_RingMasterReviewHave you all been involved in other bands before?

We have all been in other bands and music groups previously but nothing serious. I was in an old school heavy metal band before this and there are a couple of songs I had written in while I was on that band that I carried over to Scorching Winter. Although we sound very different now, my time with that band will always have an effect on my playing and writing.

What inspired the band name?

We wanted a name that is ironic because our music and our artworks are somewhat like that. It is heavy music with melodic female vocals, beautiful and evil, brutal and elegant. It also has a bit of medieval / gothic sound to it which we really liked.

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

I am a fan of prog metal. I really like the technicality and the freedom to incorporate different styles of music. I think it is important that the music is first and foremost interesting to the musician playing it. But I also love melodic and catchy vocals which are characteristic to mainstream rock and metal bands. So basically the aim is to make music that is both interesting to play but also fun to sing.

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

Yes. Making music is still the reason we do what we do. We keep it fresh by constantly pushing ourselves to take things further. Our last EP was a big step up from the single before that, and this album is a step above the EP again. There is a consensus within the band that unless it’s something we haven’t done before, we’re not interested in doing it.

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

Our earlier works are probably a bit more hard rock / old school metal. As with a lot of musicians, there will be songs that will always be part of our set list and some songs which we’ll probably never play again. Our new album is heavier, darker, more progressive. When we first heard it we thought that this is the sound we’ve always been going for but we’ll probably say that with the next one as well when we change sound again. Haha.

Has it been an organic movement of sound or has the band deliberately set out to try new things?

Several factors affected the evolution of the music. There is the change in line-ups, maturity as a song writer, exposure to new music and just personal development as musicians. But there is also a conscious decision to change the style a bit to challenge ourselves and keep things interesting.

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 music?

While we all have our different subgenres of metal that we are in to, there are bands that are common favorites such as Metallica, Dream Theater, Iron Maiden.

How does the songwriting work within the band?art_RingMasterReview

Our songs normally start out as instrumentals. I write a song and send a demo out to the other guys who then add their bits to it. The singer then writes the lyrics and vocal melody for it.

Where are the lyrical inspirations generally drawn from?

With our previous songs, the lyrics are based on the singers’ own personal experiences. Although the songs start out as instrumentals, the singer interprets what the song sounds like and relates that to her own personal experiences.

Give us some background to your latest release.

The new album is called Victim and it’s an 8-track concept album. The story is about a girl who is raped and beaten by a group of men but was saved by a demon who gives her powers to get revenge. However, nothing ever comes for free as she would later find out.

The album started out with the story line. It was then divided into different chapters which correspond to each song. The music was then written then the lyrics. While it is a concept album, we also made sure that each song is strong on its own so any of them can be listened to as a single.

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?

Yes. We really like to be sure we are 100% happy with the songs before we book recording time. In saying that, there are still some minor things that you find doesn’t quite work when you get there so you have to make some adjustments.

Tell us about the live side of the band?

I know that the other members love the performing part the most. I personally enjoy the writing part more. Anyway, with regards to our live shows, our set-list is always dynamic. We arrange the songs so we take our audience on a journey from start to finish instead of staying at one level throughout. We like to start with something a bit soft and eerie to get the mood going and then come in loud and heavy to let everyone know this is the start of a rock show. It then goes through different levels throughout the show.

SW_RingMasterReviewIt is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How was it for Scorching Winter?

Unfortunately, it is not an easy path with no certainty of reward. It is a big commitment financially and on your personal life. We’ve all heard of internationally known bands whose members live below minimum wage, or who lose tens of thousands of dollars on tours. If you really love making music and performing, you will keep doing it regardless. If you’re in it because you have ambitions of fame and fortune, you may need to be realistic about your expectations.

How about the internet and social media, what impact has it had on the band to date?

I think it is very positive. Most of the following we have built are overseas and we haven’t even toured there. It provides you an opportunity to reach people in places you wouldn’t normally get to. I remember the first fan mail we received from overseas, I think it was from Canada, that’s when we thought, this is getting real!

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

Thanks for having me and please check out our new album Victim which is available for pre-order now through bandcamp. Official release date is on the 29th of October. You will not be sorry.

https://www.facebook.com/ScorchingWinter   http://www.scorchingwinter.com/

Pete RingMaster 13/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Idlewar – Impulse

idlewar tour_RingMasterReview

Managing to make a strong and firmly enjoyable impression on the first listen and blossoming into an even more striking proposition thereon in is Impulse, the debut album from American rockers Idlewar. The trio from Orange County caught attention and plaudits with their first EP, Dig In last year; its sound and success though was just an appetiser for the rousing prowess of Impulse and its suspected zeal loaded critical and fan reception.

Consisting of vocalist/bassist James Blake, guitarist Rick Graham, and drummer Peter Pagonis, Idlewar have quickly shown a knack for creating boisterously infectious and creatively dramatic proposals bred on an expansive range of rock ‘n’ roll from hard and classic rock to stoner and even grungier essences. It is an ability certainly fuelling Impulse and its diverse collection of songs.

Mastered by Brian Lucey (Ghost ‘Meliora’, Black Keys ‘El Camino’, Arctic Monkeys ‘AM’) Impulse quickly grips attention and imagination with opener Stone in My Heel. The twangy riffs which touch ears first instantly have an endearing swagger to them, their invitation soon joined by the just as appetising groan and lure of Blake’s bass; both in turn courted by the swinging beats of Pagonis. Choppy riffs and sweaty grooves escape and entangle an already keen appetite for things as Blake’s gravelly roar of a voice adds a more classic rock hue to a song also twisting within the throes of noise, alternative, and darker strains of rock ‘n’ roll.

impulse-cover_RingMasterReview16The track is superb, the perfect introduction and quickly backed up by the stoner/blues sultriness of Soul. Like Stone Temple Pilots engaged in psych rock flavoured escapades, the song croons and prowls the senses; the grooves of Graham especially flavoursome before it all makes way for the lighter infectious stroll of Criminal. Again grooves and hooks create a web easy to get caught up in, the heavier rhythmic enterprise an additional cage keeping ears and enjoyment in close attendance.

All That I Got is a slow burner in comparison. Starting with a slow emotive cloud of melody and vocal which certainly intrigues but lacks the potency of earlier tracks, the track grows in heavy emotion and intensity, finding a richer presence though it never quite hooks personal tastes as firmly as the songs around it. The variety and range of songwriting it brings does add to the powerful character of the album, as too does Innocent with its rhythmic enterprise, Pagonis laying down a captivating bed of feisty and resourceful beats over which Blake’s bass snarls, and in turn the classic rock revelry of Glory. With a great line in R&B to its body, the track is another which really grows over listens.

Band and album are back in seriously engaging gear with the rhythmically carnivorous Apathy next, it a track predatory in riffs and spidery grooves as Blake leads with his potent tones. The bass is at its most bestial in tone on the album, an infectious threat cleverly tempered by the fiery craft of Graham. Providing a certain highlight of the album, it is eclipsed by another in the catchy hip swinging devilry of Damage. With hooks to incite bad habits and a growing blaze of stoner seeded roars, the song is the cause of addiction in four minutes of mouth-watering rock ‘n’ roll.

Impulse is completed by first of all Burn All This, another song which almost stalks the listener as rapacious rhythms align to sinister riffs with the strength of catchiness which shapes the whole of the album. Grungy yet lined with a great dark blues tone and moments as heavy as they are seductively mellow, the excellent encounter is followed and album closed by On Our Knees and its feverish rock ‘n’ roll. Incessant and rousing, it is a fine end to a great debut full-length from Idlewar. It has a raw edge with mixes well with the open craft of the band members and their lively imagination plus a suggestion that the band is still developing and has plenty more to creatively discover within themselves, something to eagerly look forward to whilst enjoying Impulse.

Impulse is released September 30th via PHD.

http://www.idlewar.com/   https://www.facebook.com/idlewartheband/   https://idlewar.bandcamp.com/releases   http://www.twitter.com/idlewar

Pete RingMaster 30/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Berserkers – Lock & Load

groupe_RingMasterReview]

French rockers Berserkers have a sound it is simply impossible not to find a healthy appetite for. Hard rock in character with captivating and open traces of seventies/eighties bred rock led by the magnetic enterprise of keys; it is a masterfully compelling tapestry of sound and lively adventure flooding the band’s new album Lock & Load.

The Bordeaux band’s sound is certainly at odds with expectations when approaching a proposal called Berserkers and a release titled Lock & Load but swiftly persuades as the 2009 formed outfit entangle ears and imagination in their flavoursome energy and enterprise.  Founded by bassist/vocalist Julien “Julius” Logeais and keyboardist Julien “Judy” Rosello, the band’s original line-up was completed by guitarist Julien “Pix” Lamy, guitarist Arthur Orsini, and drummer Leo Calzetta. 2013 saw the departure of Rosello and the addition of Hammond organ toting Valentin “Val” Sarthou with the debut Berserkers album unveiled the following year. Following its release, the quintet became a quartet with Lamy leaving to concentrate on another project, Lock & Load the first encounter from the foursome and a striking offering it is too.

The album grabs ears from the off, starting with a bang as Outlaw lures attention with a great bait of drums quickly joined by the glorious and distinctive flavour of Sarthou’s Hammond. Swiftly the full flavour of the band and album’s sound is coursing through ears, the songs bluesy and seventies spiced hard rock ‘n’ roll a swirling yet punchy kaleidoscope of sound. It is a dramatic opening to the album which simply captivates body and imagination with ease; virulent and aggressive funk/blues ‘n’ roll rather easy to breed a forceful appetite for.

5-album-lock-load_RingMasterReviewThe following Blind Taste is of the same ilk but instantly revealing its own funky swagger and melodic character led by Logeais’ fine vocals and the ever persuasive enterprise of Sarthou’s keys. A touch more restrained than its predecessor yet with an energy and zeal to its magnetic stroll, Orsini’s guitar adds extra sonic endeavour to the weave of grooves and melodies courted by robust rhythms before the outstanding Vampire Lady teases and taunts with its seventies blues ‘n’ soul hued dance.

The brooding tone of Logeais’ bass is one highly appetising feature of It’s Up To You next; it’s swinging shadowed bound presence even outshining the flavoursome weave of the Hammond and matched by the energetically boisterous swings of Calzetta amidst the flaming exploits of Orsini’s guitar. For personal tastes Lock & Load is at its peak across the first quartet of songs but still providing plenty to be highly pleased by from hereon in starting with The Foolish Man and its almost prowling gait and in turn the feisty romp of Rock Save The World which pretty up lives up to expectations cast by its title. The track is an unrelenting rocker; a powerfully infectious anthemic stomp even if its originality is less apparent than other tracks within the album.

The song’s rousing presence is followed and contrasted by the calmer waters of Heroes Are Back In Town though it too has an eager nature which gives the song real energy as vocals give it catchiness and keys charm. With Orsini’s craft on guitar highlighted in another great solo, the song is another which is thickly enjoyable if not quite matching those earlier tracks while Starlight City shows itself a tenacious and powerfully infectious proposition almost bubbling with the band’s flavoursome rock ‘n’ roll once more richly coloured by the inventive presence of the Hammond.

Completed by the rhythmically enslaving and melodically sultry Hangöverhead, a song bringing the album to an as potent and compelling a close as it started, Lock & Load is thorough and lingering enjoyment across a collection of songs which light ears and imagination. It needs little time to tempt and persuade while suggesting it is just the very tasty appetiser for bigger and bolder things ahead from Berserkers; something to definitely recommend seventies and hard rock fans check out.

Lock & Load is out now across most online stores.

http://www.berserkers.eu/    https://www.facebook.com/berserkersofficial

Pete RingMaster 21/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Patriot Rebel – Cynics Playground

PatriotRebelPromo_RingMasterReview

With their first new slabs of muscle bound rock ‘n roll since the Two Worlds EP in 2013, UK quintet Patriot Rebel take another attention grabbing and impressive step to the fore of the British rock scene. Quite simply the Cynics Playground is a thumping collection of rousing incitements, a multi-flavoured EP that stirs up the spirit.

Formed in 2011, the Nottingham hard rockers have constantly honed their sound and lured greater focus the way of their ear pleasing creative roar. Drawing on inspirations ranging from Alter Bridge, Shinedown, Black Stone Cherry, and Avenged Sevenfold, Patriot Rebel poked at acclaiming attention with the aforementioned Matt Elliss (Black Spiders, Terrorvision, Skarlett Riot) produced Two Worlds. Live the band equally earned a potent reputation, taking in shows with the likes of Y&T, Tesseract, The Treatment, Jettblack, and Skarlett Riot along the way. Last year saw the release of the similarly striking video single Propaganda, a track taken from their first EP. Now with Ellis again at the helm, the band returns with Cynics Playground and a sound which has noticeably grown in maturity, power, and downright magnetism.

Patriot Rebel Cover Artwork_RingMasterReviewOpening up with Digital Mannequin, the EP hits the ground running. Led by the most irritably growling bassline to get an appetite for, the song is soon driving through ears with the riffs of guitarists Danny Marsh and Dave Gadd stirring the senses as vocalist Paul Smith roars. It is a thick and almost muggy assault with every element crisp and precise within the infectious tempest, throughout Marsh’s grooves entwining the imagination, binding the sinew swung beats of Aaron Grainger and the persistently grouchy tone of Will Kirk’s bass.

It is an outstanding start, with at times a whiff of System Of A Down to it, which leaves a lingering impression and pleasure before being matched in creative kind and potency by Self Hate. The second track similarly has ears and eagerness devouring its robust throes of riffs and rhythms, presenting another imposing yet inviting entrance which commands attention and enjoyment with swift success. Smith again stands magnetic within the boisterous energy and aggression offered, his delivery a fiery snarl with contagious prowess to match the virulent enterprise of the guitars and rhythms, which in turn means one stirring encounter.

Two songs in and the Patriot Rebel sound while never afraid to reveal some of its influences, shows itself to be at its most unique and individual yet, the emotive power balladry of Dying Breed continuing that welcome trend as it ebbs and flows with emotional and physical intensity amidst sonic invention. More a smouldering success than its predecessors, the track emerges as another highlight within Cynics Playground, being quickly equalled by the rhythm swinging, antagonistically riffed All I Wanted. It is a beast of a proposal, that irritability of bass in the opener fuelling every aspect of the mighty incitement. The song takes no prisoners, guitars and beats biting as they entice and land alongside the predatory nature of the bass which in turn courts the catchy lead of the vocals and the infection sharing instincts of the track itself. Equally though, there is room for some sonic and exotic melodic imagination to be seriously tempted by.

The EP closes with Miss-Guided, a song which reveals all the Patriot Rebel attributes with consummate ease while sharing the new depth and adventure in the band’s sound. Though it might not quite live up to those before it, the song is an impressing finale to a thrilling release. Cynics Playground is Patriot Rebel on a new plateau yet the feeling is that the band is still working towards their true creative heights; so happy days for UK rock ‘n’ roll ahead we suggest.

The Cynics Playground EP is out now through all stores.

https://www.facebook.com/patriotrebel    https://twitter.com/patriotrebeluk

Pete RingMaster 24/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Tyrannosaurus Nebulous – TLK/Straight Jacket

T REX_RingMasterReview

Tyrannosaurus Nebulous is a British hard rock roar which ahead of a highly anticipated new EP, have just uncaged a highly irresistible stomp in the shape of double A-sided single Straight Jacket/TLK. Two slices of multi-flavoured irresistible rock ‘n’ roll; the release marks all cards on a new spirit raising proposition very easy to find an eager appetite for.

Based in the Black Country, the foursome of Stourbridge hailing guitarists Matt and brother Paul Darby, their Dudley hailing cousin James Miles on drums, and South Wales (Caerphilly) bred Lee Jenkins draw on inspirations from 70’s hard rock and the likes of Budgie, Black Sabbath, Lynyrd Skynyrd, AC\DC, Status Quo, Led Zeppelin, Rush, and Thin Lizzy for their own adventurous proposals. As shown by their 2014 debut EP Never Gonna Be, which featured former vocalist Justin Catton, Tyrannosaurus Nebulous use all flavours in a sound crafted in its own identity. The new single continues that evolution, offering the band’s most unique sound yet without defusing what is an easily accessible and seemingly instinctively recognisable prowess. With a strong reputation building live presence across the Midlands and South Wales which has included shows with the likes of Captain Horizon, Twisted State of Mind, Buzzard, Vicious Nature, Sister Shotgun, Healer of Bastards, No More Numbers, The Delta Rhythm, Sour Mash, Swamp Donkey and numerous more, Tyrannosaurus Nebulous is ready to stoke up national fires with the upcoming Deal With My Evil EP in July and before it the fiery stomp that is TLK/Straight Jacket.

TLK comes first, a song introducing “the band’s very own T. Rex called Terence, sent to us from a faraway galaxy to teach us the ways of pure rock ‘n’ roll, so that we can defeat inferior talent show chart drivel and put hard hitting rock back on top where it belongs !!!” No matter the story, behind it, the track is pure rock ‘n’ roll which hits the ground running as riffs and rhythms entice and enslave with boisterous catchiness and chest thumping energy. It is no slouch in providing melodic temptation and spirit rousing virulence either, it all led by the dusty anthemic tones of Matt backed by the similarly potent tones of the band. As suggested there is something familiar about the song and the band’s sound yet it refuses to be pinned down while offering thickly fresh scented rock ‘n’ roll. Like its companion, the track feels like a returning best friend with a new line in fun and diversely flavoured rock devilry.

Whereas there is a great classic rock spicing to the track, Straight Jacket infuses some southern rock flavouring to its melody thick blaze. Within seconds guitars are spinning a web of juicy grooves and rampant riffs as bass and drums create heavy duty contagion. Again, it is a song which is infested with pedal to the metal energy but equally explores some just as stirring moments of smouldering melodies and sonic suggestiveness.

Both the Gavin Monaghan produced tracks hit the sweet spot with ease and are sure to please any hard rock fan with a taste for rock ‘n’ roll unafraid to show its influences whilst creating a new mighty roar.

TLK/Straight Jacket is out now @ https://tyrannosaurusnebulous.bandcamp.com/

Upcoming Gigs:

Saturday 16th July – E.P. Launch Party – Barge & Barrel, Tipton
Friday 18th November – Supporting ‘Children of the Gravy’ – Black Sabbath tribute – Roadhouse Birmingham

http://www.tnebulous.com/   https://www.facebook.com/TyrannosaurusNebulous   https://twitter.com/T_Nebulous

Pete RingMaster 16/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Growls and grooves: talking with The Devil In California

The Devil In California_RingMasterReview

“Hailing from the broad, cracked streets of West Oakland, California,” The Devil In California is a band uncaging rock ‘n’ roll which rumbles with attitude and adventurous enterprise. Since forming they have swiftly forged their own identity with a rousing hard/heavy rock sound which devours as it masterfully involves the senses and imagination. Currently working on their second album, we grabbed the opportunity to talk with the heavy rockers to explore The Devil In California past, present, and ahead.

Hi and many thanks for sharing your time to talk with us.

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

Tony Malson – We are The Devil In California; formed in 2013. Our drummer Eddie had an ad out that attracted Jamie (guitar), who brought in Matt (bass) to jam and see what was up. Eddie gave me a call and asked if I wanted to check out the project. I loved the tunes and The Devil was born. Snake was added to the project after mixing our first tunes. The line-up was then complete. We all share a passion for heavy hitting hard rock with influences galore.

Have you been/are involved in other bands before?

Tony – I moved to the bay area in 94 and have been singing in Bay Area bands ever since. Bands like AngryInch, Fiksate, The Servants, Mavalour and played drums/sang in Insecto and Monte Casino to name a few; all an artistic pathway leading to The Devil In California.

Jamie Cronander – Most of us have played in quite a few bands. Some you’ve probably heard of. Some of us have side bands. Some rock bands, metal bands, industrial bands, tribute bands, even trumpet in a brass band. We prefer that the Devil be thought of in its own light.

Has past experiences had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

Tony – Every musical experience I’ve had in other acts has contributed to how I approach writing/singing in The Devil. And I’m still exploring different avenues and genres to broaden my musical horizons; so much to learn.

Jamie – TDIC is its own inspiration thing. We draw influence from a lot of things, and most importantly from each other. You’d probably find that all of our other music, be it present or past, does not sound like the Devil.

What inspired the band name?

Eddie Colmenares – I came up with it when doing the initial planning.

Tony – Eddie came up with the name and I liked it right away; perfect for this band.

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

Eddie – There was. I really wanted to put together a heavy, hard rock band that had that southern, slide guitar vibe to it.

Jamie – Matt and I were working on a project that kept getting put on hold by the other members. We wanted to do something that was more heavy, old school, and southern influenced. Alice In Chains, Corrosion Of Conformity, Skynyrd, Pantera, Clutch, STP, Allmans, etc. We had plenty of time, so we started a couple ideas and were directed to Eddie’s ad almost immediately.

Tony – I think the idea of a swampy, heavy, melodic, hard rocking 5 piece was the idea from the beginning. I came in after Jamie, Eddie and Matt had jammed a bit so it changed a bit from there but we all have a similar vision.

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

Eddie – It’s a mix. First, we aren’t that old of a band, so nothing is ‘too much of the same’ yet. And we are moving up pretty fast – it’s a lot coming at us at once, which in turn drives us more.

Tony – I’ve always been very musically driven personally. My passion to play music and get that music out to the world hasn’t really swayed in the last twenty plus years. I’ve always got the same vibe from the band in that regard. But you can’t grow without change and we tend to evolve in a very natural upward spiral. Has our music changed? Yes. Does it still encapsulate TDIC? Absolutely!

Since those first days, how would you say your sound has equally evolved?

Jamie – Definitely an evolution, but a young one; we have some prettier stuff coming, and some harder stuff coming. We’ve only got the one record out. But if you dig it, fear not. The next record will be just as hard hitting and sing-alongy, but will not be a repeat of the first.

Tony – I’ve always enjoyed the band “process” of learning to play with new musicians and finding that absolute sweet spot where everyone’s talents, technical abilities, and musical emotions come together as one. This process takes years and is a constant evolution. And in my opinion it’s really coming together with The Devil.

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

Jamie – A lot of it is that Snake joined later in the process of the first record. He still had a heavy hand in the songs on the record, but the structure was mostly in place. Snake and I work VERY well together, so now that we’re able to do the whole process of guitars together, I think the band is really blooming into something better as we become one.

Tony – Definitely more of an organic flow towards our sound and what feels good.

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?

Tony – Everything from Prince to Pantera inspires me. I’m a huge fan of the Seattle sound that was so instrumental in the 90’s. Alice in Chains have always struck a deep chord with me; Soundgarden as well for that matter. Chris and Layne were and are my top vocal heroes.

Jamie – Alice In Chains is a big common thing for all of us. Their ability to be as pretty and acoustic as they get or ugly and heavy as they get, is intense and the vocal harmonies…so important. For me personally; Corrosion Of Conformity, Pantera, Stevie Ray, Nirvana, Sonic Youth, STP, Allman Bros., CCR. They’ve all changed the way I think about the guitar.

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

Tony – In this band the riffs usually come first. We formulate the tune based on that then I begin to add lyrics and melodies. I prefer to wait until I hear a song and digest the riff before I start to head in a lyrical direction. You never know where inspiration will come from so you can’t fall in love with a preconceived idea.

Jamie – Usually it stems from me and Snake bringing in riffs we’re having fun with. We’ll hash them out at home a bit, record the ideas, send it to the guys on line, and then bang on it all together in the studio.

How about the lyrical side of your songs, where do you, more often than not, draw inspirations from?

Tony – My lyrics are largely derived from the life experiences of myself and those that surround me. Inspiration can take many forms. I’m always open to a new vibe or sound or riff. It’s kept me coming back for years on end. I love writing and recording new material.

Can you give us some background to your current release, Longer Ride Down?

Eddie – We only have the debut release out, so really, the background is “we formed, and wrote a record in a year”. We go back into the studio this winter for the follow-up.

Tony – It’s a hands down, kick ass, hard rockin’, heavy grooved, melodic, ear bender. If you dig heavy riffs with harmony and soul all wrapped up in emotion then you’re in!

Can you give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

Tony – I’ve always gravitated towards the darker side of musical tastes. The beauty in expressing that space is undeniable. It can be very moving and haunting at the same time. That being said, positivity needs to reign supreme in your approach to life as well as music. You usually have to traverse the darkness to see the light.

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?

Eddie – Oh lord, hahaha… they are final final final, and then we still change things. All songs are prepped long before we are in the studio.

Tony – We always do a pre-production round of recording before we do the final tracking. 99% of our changes to our songs happen in prepro. Then we are super close to the final product when doing the final version in the studio.

Jamie – We usually end up pre-producing songs in full three times at least. The first takes are to nail tempos, and see if we feel like they need anything, like additional breaks, leads, backups, etc. As for the finals, we record them just guitar, bass, and vox, lay drums over them, then redo the instruments over the drums.

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

Tony – We want you to walk away from our live show saying, “That was one of the best bands I’ve ever seen”. So our approach is filled with intensity and vigor. We all have a professional approach to our live show but realize that without a little danger and spontaneity it’s hard to take it to the next level.

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

Tony – We have made a good splash in the Bay Area. It’s not an easy place to play music as the people and crowds are so diverse. This diversity is what we love but it also lends to many different kinds of music being played out live. There is no “one scene” in the bay so you have to fight a little harder for your rock and roll piece of the pie; which only makes you a better act in the end.

Eddie – The San Francisco / Bay Area is a fickle place. If you want to do well locally, you better be really good out of the gate, and then keep it coming. Fortunately we have some great, loyal fans. We’re at that stage where when we are playing and I look out at the audience, I don’t even know 70% of the people. That’s awesome.

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

Tony – Absolutely! There are always opportunities to take advantage of. No excuses. Get out there and attack the scene. Write good tunes, play a great live show, and leave it all on the stage. You will see results.

Eddie – Yes, but it’s a whole new paradigm now. Be ready to work your ass off if you want to do anything other than play your local bar. Nobody is going to come along and hold your hand these days. No label is going to show up at your local show and whip a contract out of their suitcase to hand you. That is absolutely over – doubly so if you are not in an “urban” act, or are a rapper. We do pretty much everything in house, and it’s a just as much a job as it is a band.

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

Tony – The music industry is an ever changing beast due to the internet and social media today. You have to get on board and ride that bitch to your benefit or it will leave you behind in an instant. There is always more to be done but we are benefiting from it for sure.

Eddie – I think social media was far bigger of a deal just a few years ago than it is now. The stream of having said that, at least 80% of our exposure is through some sort of social media interaction.

Jamie – The internet is basically the only way to discover music these days. If you’re not on FB, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and everything else, you’re not putting in the work. People do still buy physical CDs, but usually they’ve been watching your video before that.

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?

Tony – It’s a positive in the end. It has to be. You need to make it so and will it to be. Even a bad situation offers lessons towards a positive outcome. Ask questions. Investigate all the solutions. If you’re not failing in some arena then you’re not trying hard enough.

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

Tony – Thank you! And yes, our new album is in the works and due out this winter. We have some more touring this summer going down as well. Keep an eye out for some new videos and some surprises from The Devil. Let’s Rock!

Eddie – Thanks! And please stay tuned – more is coming!

All – Please follow us on your favorite social media site!

https://www.facebook.com/thedevilincalifornia   https://twitter.com/eldiabloencali

https://www.instagram.com/thedevilincalifornia   https://www.youtube.com/thedevilincalifornia

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 10/06/2016

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