Little King Interview

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

Hey there, the pleasure is all mine!

Yes, currently Little King consists of Manny Tejeda (Bass and backing vox), Eddy Garcia (Drums), and me, Ryan Rosoff (Guitar and Vox).  This is about the 11 millionth line-up for Little King in the last 23 years, but hopefully this is static for a while.  Eddy has played drums on the last 3 records (Legacy of Fools 2008, OD1 2014, and Occam’s Foil 2019), so at least there’s some consistency there.

I started Little King back in 1996 when my previous band disintegrated.  I was playing with a band called Tweed Quickly with two guys who are STILL among my closest friends (Scott Marestein and Shannon Brady.)  In fact, Shannon played bass on Time Extension (1998) and Virus Divine (2003), and Scott and I have collaborated and toured many times in the last 25 years.  But when Tweed went RIP, I had a bunch of songs that I had already written that we were gonna record together, so instead of folding up my tent, I found a couple other dudes and we went hard at rehearsals and on the road.  Eventually, Transmountain was born (1997).  It was, um, fun?  Still can’t really bring myself to listen to is, but one song called “I-10” is still probably gonna make the cut for the live show.

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

Yeah, Scott was the main writer for Tweed Quickly, and he definitely had (and still has) a very eclectic approach to songwriting.  We both share some primary influences like Rush and the Beatles, but he also really introduced me to Zappa and Parliament Funkadelic when we first starting jamming.  Scott’s playing just SWINGS…and everything he writes is based on the up, so finding the one was a different experience with him.  He also is not afraid of the chromatic, and I was new to that.  I always considered it to be kind of a songwriting cop-out, if you will.  I mean, anyone can slide up a scale one half-step at a time, but he really emphasized how that can lend drama or levity to a musical passage.

What inspired the band name?

After Tweed went AWOL, I had those songs and I needed a name.  I’ve always been into hip-hop, and it seems like there are a thousand “Lil'” this and that in rap, so I thought it was kinda funny.  And, of course, the name “Ryan” is translated in Gaelic to mean Little King, so that fit as well, as it was always meant to be a vehicle to showcase my songs and make records and tour with my friends.  Here we are, almost 24 years later!

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

I was never interested in playing in a cover band.  I did it for a minute when I was like 16 in a high school band called Green T’s (as in the first toke…get it?)  We butchered some Police and Zep covers back in the day, but my heart wasn’t in it.  I didn’t sit on my bed with my guitar for 10 hours a day to try and sound like someone else…I wanted to BE that someone else.

There are so many different ways to make an artistic statement.  I have a college degree in Creative Writing, so I certainly appreciate novels and poetry and I’ve even written a couple screenplays.  I love to draw and I’m not half bad (I actually illustrated the cover for the first album, Transmountain, back in 1997…mostly because I was too broke to pay someone to do it.)

But music called to me.  It was the synthesis of words and melodies, which satisfies my right brain, and the counting and carefully planned measures in the songs to make a maximum impact…the left brain.  Like Neil Peart wrote about on Rush’s album Hemispheres – The Heart and Mind Collided!  I love that making records involves so much art, including the cover art, which of course I’m always active in producing.  I am very proud of all of Little King’s album art, and the newest album (Occam’s Foil, 2019) is probably my favorite of all of them.

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

That’s a wonderful question…thank you for asking it in such a way.

It’s always been about a creative outlet, but when my first album came out, I was 24.  I’m almost 48 now, so that was quite literally half a life ago.  When I was starting out, I just wanted to see if I could do it AND if people would like it.  I Could and the Did, although the first effort and a half were pretty uneven, so to speak.

As I aged, had kids, and thought more deeply about the passage of time, the goals changed.  I wrote the lyrics for Time Extension (1998) at age 25, and it’s basically a concept album where the protagonist is on his death bed and is looking back at his life and wishing he could go back and make some changes…every song is one of those points in his life.  So even at a relatively young age, I was acutely aware of the passage of time.

As I went on, it became an obsession about leaving a legacy…for my kids, their kids, and the universe in general.  As I said before, the creation of an album appeals so much to me on so many levels, so this is my chosen medium to make my statements to the world.  Not sure who or how many people really give a shit, but I do!  So the album Legacy of Fools came out in 2008 when I was teaching English in high school down in Texas, and I was very much thinking about the legacy I would leave as a teacher as well as a father (my son had just been born as well.)  That concept, a wilful legacy of words and music, carries me forward to this day.

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

Without question, I am a better writer, arranger, and singer.  I was not classically trained, so as a self-taught player and writer I think there is a lot more trial and error.  Mostly error at the beginning!

I am a fan of conceptual albums that tell stories, even if they’re not completely cohesive.  Again, the melodies, lyrics, production, and artwork all combine to leave a milepost on the spiral of time.  So one thing that I’ve always tried to do is play up diversity within those albums.  Key changes, different tempos and time signatures, and evolving lyrical themes all within the context of a 3 piece band…that’s been the goal.  On Occam’s Foil, and really on most of the records, there are a few special guests (the violin and cello arrangement written by David Hamilton for “The Skin That I’m In” is STUNNING).  But the ethos of reproducing live a faithful representation of what you hear on the record is important to me, perhaps more than ever now after making 6 albums.

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

Forgive the dodge, but a bit of both, I think.  “Organic” may be an overused word in this context.  It’s organic that I want to take some different directions.  Is that forced?  No.  But maybe that’s a better word.  I know what I am and what I’m pretty good at.  I always have a notion to stretch out and try different things, but somehow it always ends up sounding like Little King!

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

I have gone on ad nauseum in other interviews about how much Rush has influenced me and how much I admired Neil Peart’s brain, work ethic, and dignity, so I will leave that as it is and talk about some less obvious influences.

I love Vivaldi and Mozart as much as I love Iron Maiden and Tupac and Peter Tosh.  That really runs the gamut, doesn’t it?  I am drawn to equal parts of passion, skill, and intelligence.  those things transcend genre, for sure.  So those guys all are in rotation in my car.

Is there a particular process to the songwriting?

It’s music first for me.  I am the singer and guitarist, but not necessarily in that order!  Little King songs are not all in 4/4 and are not all in the same key, so I have to really make sure I have the playing of each of them down to absolute second nature.  That takes time and patience and practice.  The goal is to be able, of course, to be able to sing and play them at the same time.

My songs are dictated by what I like to play FIRST, and then I fit the words to them.  If a song makes sense to me in structure and melody without any words, then I feel like I can’t fuck it up by writing lyrics to it. Sometimes, though, the music is enough.  I don’t ever really set out to write instrumentals, but sometimes when I fall in love with a riff or a song; it just makes sense to leave it as is.  This also gives my voice a rest in a live setting!  But I have 3 companion instrumentals from the last 3 albums called “Internal Smut” (Legacy of Fools), “The Leaded Beatdown” (OD1), and “Nerve #8″ (Occam’s Foil) that are just too much fun to play…so they didn’t get words.  Poor, neglected instrumentals!  Oh…””Internal Smut” is an anagram for the word “Instrumental.”  I’m a massive dork.

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

Parenthood, current events, the squirrel invasion in my backyard, global pandemics, or just a failed relationship…they all make their way in, somehow.  We recorded 4 little videos this time discussing with my friend Ashley Ruark each of the lyrical themes for the songs on Occam.  I think they’re worth watching.

Give us some background to your latest release.

Occam’s Razor is a famous theory that originates with wise old Father William of Ockham, an area in Surrey, around 1300.  He believed and preached that the simplest answer is usually the correct one absent of extenuating circumstances or additional information.  I’m paraphrasing, but the Razor is a popular enough theory that it’s still regularly used, particularly in medical diagnoses, almost 700 years later.

My argument is the “Foil” to good Father William.  The counter-argument, if you will.  I think the Razor discourages deeper thought, healthy discourse, and it makes it less like that one will spend the requisite time to research and find an answer to a problem that may be much more complex that it would be at first blush.

Each song deals with that counter-argument in some way.  But in a world of social media pontification, bellicose posturing filling the void of intellectual rigor, and instant gratification, I was compelled to address the Razor in my own way…through my music.

“Hate Counter” deals with the separation of migrant children and the border as a policy enacted by our current administration here in the USA.  I always record Little King albums at drummer Eddy Garcia’s studio, Krank Studios, down in El Paso, Texas.  El Paso is on the border, and these disgusting camps were front and center in July of 2019 when all of these lyrics were written.  They were also sandwiched around the mass shooting at Walmart by a fucking racist from Dallas that killed 20+ people. I was pissed, and that music fit the bill to write an angry song.

“The Skin That I’m In” is my response to the song “Happy Home” that I wrote in 2014 as I was getting divorced and moving across the country to a place I’d never even been. It was a dark time, but I came out so much better 5 years later. “Skin” is my “marked safe from the shitstorm” song, and it deals with infidelity, paranoia, substance abuse, and triumph over these things.

“Forgotten Mile” is about turtles. Sort of…  It’s also the name of the area I lived in when I wrote these songs.  “The Foil” is sort of the title track and also references religious douchebaggery and also the Opioid crisis in Delaware and beyond.

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?

The arrangements are DONE when we get in there.  Eddy learns them on drums pretty much on the fly, although I send him demos beforehand.  I don’t know how much he listens to them, though, and I don’t really care.  The dude is INCREDIBLE, and his playing is so on-point and creative that I don’t care how much he has worked out ahead of time.  I like that he brings spontaneity to arrangements that are otherwise meticulously crafted.  The other things I totally improvise are the guitar solos.  I am absolutely at my playing peak by the time I get to the studio to record, so I love to just unleash live, no rehearsal, and see where that takes me.  Again, it’s cool when juxtaposed against these arrangement.  The solos for “Hate” and “Skin” I think are the best I’ve ever done, especially “Skin” – and they were both in one take!

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

Stay tuned, friend…all will be revealed soon.  I can say that I’ve never performed with this particular line-up and I am beyond thrilled to be able to get this to the masses someday very soon.

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?

Sure! How good are you?  How willing are you to make sacrifices in time and money?  Do you care enough to evolve?  What DO you really care about?  Is it money, fame, or just sharing your art?  I think that there are a million different avenues to promote your music, but I would like to think that the best promoted band isn’t always the one who “Makes It.”

I still hope we live in a world where the cream rises to the top.  Hope springs eternal, right?

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?

Again, it is what you make of it.  If your music is shit, you may have a nice short run of people close to you who love it and fill your head up with platitudes.  It’s cool to feel good about yourself, but it’s fleeting.  How does one have lasting power?  I think it’s evolution of the craft and a willingness to work hard, both creating and promoting.  I grew up in an era of paper flyers for shows in parking lots.  As that old meme goes, “You never flyered a show at a Walmart in the 90’s and it shows…”

It’s great that the playing field has been somewhat levelled.  It’s certainly easier for bands to distribute their music and have it promoted and streamed for free.  You can’t make a fucking living doing that, which sucks, but we never did really anyway.  Maybe a few of us did, but not much of a living (I just got a check from our distributor today…let’s just say in HELPED pay for toilet paper that I need during the pandemic.)

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

Please just go visit www.littlekingtunes.com and have a poke around.  Hopefully you can get a sense of why I’m still doing this after almost 25 years.  And I APPRECIATE IT SO MUCH…you can’t imagine how gratifying the reception to Occam’s Foil has been.  Manny, Eddy, and I worked so hard on this record.  Thank you for caring!

https://www.facebook.com/littlekingtunes

RingMaster Review 16/06/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview

The Sectile Interview

Hi and thank you for sparing time to chat with us.

Gabriel Gaba (Vocals): Of course, the pleasure is ours!

Could you first introduce the band and tell us how it came to be?

GG – I am Gabriel Gaba, the singer of Sectile, 5-piece prog metal band from Dublin, Ireland. The band started in 2016 when Mark O’Reilly (guitars) and Cormac Hennigan (bass), who have been friends since school but had never been in a band together, decided to meet and jam some ideas at the beginning of 2016. The creative juices started to flow and once they had a couple of demos made, they started looking for potential band members online. That’s how they found me and then later on Zachary Newman (drums). Things started a bit slowly at first, with the four of us meeting occasionally to play around with the demos. The band only became an official thing in November of that year, that’s after we found a 2nd guitarist, came up with the name, recorded a home-brewed demo and created our band profiles on social networks!

How would you define not only your sound but the creative character of the band?

GG – Probably one of the hardest tasks for a musician is to define their own sound! We usually just do our thing without worrying much with labels and let people decide for themselves. That being said, we still think progressive metal is the best ‘easy way’ to inform others of what we do. We try to combine our various influences to craft tunes that have enough complexity in them to keep things interesting, but still have really cool and beautiful chords and melodies, hooky choruses and a good contrast between heavy and quiet sections. We generally focus a little less on technical displays (though there’s plenty of that for those who dig it) and more on simply writing tunes that we would love to enjoy as listeners. We are definitely a songwriting driven band, at the time of this interview, our first album is not even released yet and we are already hard at work at writing the second, and let me tell you, it is sounding very exciting so far!

Are there any previous musical experiences for band members and how have they been embraced in what you do now?

GG – All of us have had previous bands, in various subgenres of rock and metal, and that experience stays with you. Prog metal is the common denominator in our taste for music but each of us lets their influences seep into Sectile. Speaking for myself, I grew up enjoying heavy metal and hard rock in equal measure, bands like Aerosmith, Skid Row and Guns n’ Roses are among my favourites, up there with classic metal such as Iron Maiden and Savatage. I played hard rock in cover bands for years! Sectile doesn’t really sound like any of those bands, but I believe the influence comes through in the vocals, especially with the presence of high notes. I played in pop-rock oriented bands too, and I believe it gave me valuable insight in terms of writing good hooks, which is something we definitely explore in the context of Sectile.

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

GG – It varied over time, but it’s usually up to our guitarist Mark to do the bulk of the writing. We have an online drive where he saves the song ideas and the rest of us will listen to that and think of our parts. But the magic really happens at practices, when we put everything together and jam those ‘drafts’ with our drummer Zachary. Zach is more of a ‘in the moment’ guy rather than someone who does a lot of homework, and he comes up with unbelievable stuff on the spot, which in turn affect the guitars and everything else. So the process is very organic, with the five of us exploring a lot of ideas during those jams, guided by the song drafts Mark writes. For the vocals I will often mumble something over while the boys are playing to create the basic vocal melodies and later on write lyrics that fit those melodies.

Would you tell us about your latest release?

GG – Our debut full-length album is coming out on the 25th of February, it is titled ‘Falls Apart’ and it has 7 songs. One of the songs on it, ‘The Hunt’ was launched as a single about a year ago, and we have another single and video – ‘Black Cloud’ – ahead of this release, on the 4th of February. We are beyond excited to finally have a full album out, it is something that we worked hard to achieve and we’re very proud of the result! We hope people love it as much as we do.

What are the major inspirations to its heart and themes?

GG – The album covers a wide spectrum, from light to dark. The melodies that appeal to us the most tend to be melancholic, and the lyrics also reflect that, as we speak of themes that pertain to the darker aspects of the human psyche. I am a big fan of sci-fi and horror books and movies, but we try not to be too obvious about it in the lyrics, they’re more metaphorical. We also have a lot of savage riffs and big choruses in the songs, we like that contrast!

I am always intrigued as to how artists choose track order on albums and EP’s and whether in hindsight they would change that. What has been the deciding factor for you or do songs or the main do that organically?

GG – That’s a great question! On Sectile, as a new and largely unknown band, we strive to balance our artistic integrity with strategic thinking when making those kinds of decisions. A band with an established fanbase has more freedom, as they can count on people checking out the full album either way. An unknown band doesn’t have that luxury, so you have to make sure the first song will grab the attention of many different types of listeners from the get-go, because if it doesn’t, you may never get another chance. So the first few songs have to be some of your best, and the more ‘demanding’ songs can come later once the listener has already decided to give you their time. It’s also important to finish with a banger to leave a positive lasting impression!

What do you find the most enjoyable part of being in a band and similarly the most cathartic?

GG – There are many great things about being in a band! To me it’s always been a way to keep my sanity and blow off some steam, so I suppose it is not only a pleasure but it’s also ‘therapeutic’ in a way. When you’re in a band with people you genuinely like, and you’re creating music together, that’s an incomparable kind of satisfaction. As for cathartic moments, those tend to be when you play live and you see the crowd really getting into the music and what you’re trying to do. It’s a really phenomenal feeling!

For anyone contemplating checking you out live give some teasers as to what they can expect.

GG – A local reviewer said at one of our first gigs that “Sectile is a band that needs to be seen live”. We really work hard into putting on a great show. There are a lot of times where we let the songs speak for themselves but when things get energetic, so do we! It’s actually very hard for me to stand still on stage, growing up I was fascinated with that 70’s – 80’s type of rockstar frontmen who really owned the stage, and started to emulate that, even at practices to really get the hang of it. Bruce Dickinson is my number one influence there, he’s the number 1 metal frontman of all time for me.

What has been your most thrilling moment on stage to date?

GG – Just recently we decided to organise our own headline gig at a local bar that’s not exclusively a rock / metal venue, we had never played there before. Right before we started, the place suddenly got full, most people were total strangers who didn’t know they were at a prog gig. Anyway, we finished our set with an epic 13-minute long tune, and even so the crowd immediately started to chant “one more tune”! That was absolutely unexpected under the circumstances and totally exhilarating!

Do you have live dates coming up?

GG – Absolutely! We are back in Dublin’s Fibber Magees for Metal 2 the Masses again, and we’re really excited about it. We also have our album launch party in The Grand Social on February 28th with a cracking support line-up. That’s going to be a great night we think!

What else can we expect in the near future from you guys?

GG – 2020 is really going to be all about our new album. We plan to work our hardest to share this music with as many people as we possibly can, through promotion and through live performances. With this album in hand we are really aiming to broaden the Sectile name, and we really can’t wait to find out what people think of it!

What are the major inspirations to you sound wise and as a musician?

GG – This answer can change for any of the band members depending on what day you ask them! But, I find that there are a number of bands we always circle back around to when we’re songwriting or discussing musical ideas collectively. Bands like Opeth, Leprous, Porcupine Tree, Symphony X, Pain of Salvation and TesseracT would be some of them. To me personally, in addition to those I could mention Savatage, Iron Maiden, Skid Row, Angra, Marillion, Jeff Buckley, Devin Townsend, Guns n’ Roses and Jimmy Gnecco from Ours.

And finally what song or release would you say was the spark to your passion for music?

GG – It’s hard to say! I’ve been into music for as long as I can remember, rock and metal captured my attention early on. More than a specific song or album, perhaps I should mention the first time I saw a live gig, it was my brother’s rock covers band with his high school mates, that day really changed my life because I was absolutely blown away to see that it was possible to get on a stage and play a gig in front of people. I decided then that I would pursue the same thing, part of me is probably still yearning for the thrill I felt that day as a child.

Many thanks once again; anything else you would like to add?

GG – First of all, thanks for the interview! I would like to invite everyone to check out our new single and video ‘Black Cloud’ (available from February 4th) as well as the ‘Falls Apart’ album, out on February 25th. We love to interact with our audience so please drop us a message on social media telling us what you think of the album! You can find it on all platforms for streaming and / or for purchase on digital and CD formats – just look for Sectile on your preferred service. Thanks for listening!

check Sectile out further @…

https://www.facebook.com/sectile/   https://twitter.com/SectileOfficial   https://www.instagram.com/sectileofficial   https://sectileofficial.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 27/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Earthbound – Desolate

With a reputation well on the rise, UK metallers Earthbound have just released their new EP, an encounter which is going to do their ascent up the metal ladder no harm at all. Four slabs of the band’s melodic death metal nurtured sound, Desolate swiftly grabbed attention and only proceeded to tighten its grip thereon in.

Hailing from Hitchin, Earthbound emerged in 2017 and soon lured interest with their debut EP, Endure a few months after. Originally a quartet, it was with the recruiting of guitarist John Stacy to stand alongside vocalist Tom Watson, guitarist/vocalist Louie Penfold, bassist Chris Stroud, and drummer Richard Shearing that something “clicked” within the band. An acclaimed appearance at Bloodstock Open Air Festival and playing support to Doyle and Countless Skies followed to enhance the word on the band and a sound which within Desolate devours the senses and ignites the imagination.

With the likes of Trivium, Iron Maiden, Arch Enemy, and Countless Skies declared as influences, Earthbound create a tempest borne out of death metal voracity meets melodic metalcore dexterity. It proves a compelling proposition within their new EP, each track adventurous in intent and accomplished in invention. It begins with Of Suffering, the track looming from the distance with open ferocity to quickly explode upon ears. Riffs and grooves invade as rhythms blitz the senses yet immediately there is an instinctive contagiousness which escalates the lure of attention. The raw throated squalls escaping Watson are just as potent a trespass as the sounds around them, the backing yells of Penfold as forcibly eager, but it is with the clean delivery of the former that the track truly ignites. Both sides to his presence provide strong quality but his melodic presence is especially striking. The song itself continues to harass and tempt as it too reveals an enterprise of varying flavours and textures across its dramatic landscape, the EP off to a powerful and impressive start.

Solitude follows with melodic enticement as its coaxing, its atmospheric breath soon welcoming another emotion rich clean delivery from Watson. Drama soon lines every note and the subsequent rally of rhythms before dark clouds intensify skies encroached by equally darkening sounds. From within more classic metal spiced threads of guitar emerge as keys float across the air of the song, its ground a motion of volatile endeavour. Toxic breath also infests the vocals as the track continues to expand and blossom, its landscape as unpredictable and imaginative and indeed magnetic as its predecessor’s.

Similarly Worlds Apart opens up with melodic radiance to the fore, vocals and guitars a warm invitation though shadows still lurk and eventually step forth as the mercurial climate of the track sparks with greater tempestuousness. Nevertheless, its melodic metal imagination fuels every twist and level of intensity before Remnants grips just as thick attention with its steely wires and invasive ruthlessness. It is a tempest of sound and craft which leaves no second void of persuasion and moment lacking the drama of enterprise. With a passage of atmospheric calm and emotive intimation like an irresistible oasis in an ever compelling storm, the track provides a powerful end to an equally striking release.

There are certainly moments and aspects which excite more than others within Desolate but from start to finish it only impressed, Earthbound living up to their reputation so far and laying seeds to a far greater level of plaudits ahead as they continue to grow and evolve.

Desolate is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/earthboundmusicuk   https://twitter.com/Earthbound_band

Pete RingMaster 15/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Steve Blower – Back in Hell

Having impressed with their new tracks within the EP, The Abyss Vol. 1, last year, it the first of a planned trilogy of releases building towards their new album, UK metallers Hamerex was put on hold by its members. From that decision vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Steve Blower quickly took the opportunity to begin working on his own solo project. The following November saw the Facilis Descensus Averno EP released, its presence evolving to first album Back in Hell, a release sure to arouse the instincts of any heavy metal fan.

As mentioned, Back in Hell has grown from the seeds of that first EP, better recording equipment and fan funding allowing its songs to grow and be improved and join a host of new tracks within Blower’s debut full-length. With eleven slabs of heavy metal bred, classic metal spiced proposals, the album was initially planned for release late last year but with severe wrist injuries preventing Wakefield hailing Blower, who is truly a one man project playing all instruments and creating its art, working on the drums Back in Hell was put back by five months or so. Co-mixed by Blower with Andy Firth, who also did the mastering, it is now poised to uncage its roar.

The album’s title track is the first to grip ears and attention, the opener immediately a surge of riffs and hungry rhythms as infectious as they are rapacious. Familiar classic hues are openly embraced within its lively canter, Blower’s vocals equally unapologetic in their old school metal/nwobhm influence yet quickly the song establishes its own character and that in the overall sound of the album.

The great start is only matched by The Whisperer and its equally tenacious exploits. As with the first song, there was no escaping the persuasive presence and incitement of riffs, the guitar a boisterous yet fierce conjuror alongside another lively vocal cajoling from Blower with subsequent hooks and melodic flames only adding to the track’s easy success on ears and appetite.

 What’s Left of Me has an eighties metal breath to its opening holler which is soon immersed in the more voracious traits of the song but is never quite devoured to add further flavour to the traditional breeding of the encounter. Though not quite hitting the heights of its predecessors for personal tastes it is a magnetic affair from start to finish before being fully eclipsed by The Prophet. The following track immediately had the imagination engaged as its shadow thick crawl into view comes rich in intimation. The slowly revolving groove at its heart is pure melodic liquor, continuing to intoxicate as the track weaves its temptation and Blower unveils his guitar craft and enterprise to its fullest depths. The song is superb and quickly takes favourite track honours never relinquishing that spot to its following companions.

Certainly it is tested at times though and swiftly as Arabian Nights shares its swarthy, darkly lit instrumental adventure. It has a heroic breath to its drama and emprise shaped by guitar intrigue, its cosmopolitan theatre of suggestion manna to this imagination while the similarly instrumental Out of this World and after that, The Midas Touch only kept ears, thoughts, and pleasure as enjoyable busy. The first of the two has a Celtic whisper to its melodic narrative, a whiff of Horslips at play early on though soon just a thread it is evocative and multi-flavoured landscape whilst its successor starts with a voraciously heavy trespass from rhythms and riffs but again a welcomingly contagious one even as melodic and sonic intimation paints a deeper palette of sound for the imagination to relish.

Together the four tracks provide the pinnacle of the album for us but in a landscape never sliding too far away in strength as the likes of Twisted Evolution, with its compelling lowly slung heavy grumble and conspiracy of sonic suspicion, and the eventful The Slain / Ties that Bind easily prove. The second of the pair coaxes keen attention as an evocative melodic tempting in voice and guitar takes little time to escalate in intensity, urgency and diversity; riffs and rhythms colluding with a brooding bass and the hearty lungs of Blower. There is volatility to it which if never quite erupting gives the song a great edge in tone and theatre and helps a track which maybe again struggled to match its predecessor do nothing less than enthral and please.

The final pair of the seriously compelling Haunting Misery with almost predatory riffing shaping its warrior like presence and the fiery classic metal powerhouse that is the Maiden-esque The World is Ablaze bring the album to a rousing close. Both tracks sparked eager participation in spirit and body and alone left a lingering lure to dive swiftly back into Back in Hell.

How long we will have to wait for the next instalment of Hamerex adventure time will tell but Steve Blower will ensure the wait is not going to be a fruitless time and that the band is going to have to go some to match the qualities and pleasure of his first album.

Back in Hell is scheduled for release on 25th October 2019 with a Special Edition which includes the Facilis Descensus Averno disc also available; pre-ordering available now @ https://steveblower.bandcamp.com/album/back-in-hell

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Pete RingMaster 03/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Infrared – Back To The Warehouse

Pic By Gord Weber

The Back To The Warehouse EP sees Canadian thrashers Infrared releasing in their words “… the last of the old songs that we felt should see the light of day.” It comes as the band prepares to record a new album for an anticipated 2020 release and we can only agree that its 4 originals and one cover of an Iron Maiden song are certainly deserving of this rather enjoyable outing.

Ottawa hailing Infrared originally rose up back in the mid-eighties as the likes of Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax were shaping the attention on thrash metal. Embracing that Bay Area inspiration, Infrared released the R.I.P. EP in 1988 before going on an extended hiatus the following year. 27 years on the band united with original members in vocalist/guitarist Armin Kamal, guitarist Kirk Gidley, and drummer Alain Groulx recruiting bassist Mike Forbes to replace the other band founder, Shawn Thompson who had since those early days moved to Miami. A debut album in No Peace soon followed with its successor, Saviours, released last year.

Back To The Warehouse echoes that time when the Big 4 were driving thrash, the likes of Testament, Exodus, and SOD equally making an open inspiration to the tracks within it yet it has a freshness to its particularly individual nostalgia which is not out of place with anything new being cast by current thrashers.

The EP opens up with Meet My Standards and instantly hits its stride and groove as riffs and rhythms cast a familiar thrash incitement upon the senses. Its voracious swing just as urgently got under the skin, setting up body and appetite for the subsequent trespass of familiar yet as suggested freshly animated thrash enterprise. As arousing as its assault is there is also a predatory essence which particularly stalks the listener in certain moments before One Mouth Two Faces brings its own rapacious canter and character to the fore. Forbes’ bass particularly grabbed the appetite but no more than the insurgent riffs and intrepid wires of the guitars and Kamal’s potent tones, it all resulting in a track which easily splattered the spot.

Hate Today, Despise Tomorrow launches on another great rhythmic incitement from Groulx, his tenacious and galvanic dynamics sparking similar exploits in the exploits of Gidley and Kamal as the song expanded its infectious character and enterprise. With a Skids like tinge to its hooks and real individuality to the craft of the guitars, the song takes favourite track honours though it is soon seriously harassed for the title by the just as outstanding Animated Realities. With a punk-esque strain to its hooks and manic edge to its unpredictable nature, the song simply stirred the passions and a greed for more.

Infrared’s cover of Maiden’s Wrathchild is a sure and enjoyable proposition which fans of the latter will embrace with ease but against the prowess of the previous four songs just did not light the fires here. Even so it makes an alluring end to a great EP.

We admit Back To The Warehouse is our introduction to Infrared and we cannot help feeling that we have seriously missed out if the EP’s songs are the last of their arsenal deserving release.  As for the next Infrared album, it cannot come soon enough.

Back To The Warehouse is out now.

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Pete RingMaster 21/06/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Infrared – Saviours

Pic By Gord Weber

Recent times have seen a growing wealth of eighties bred metal bands rising from their assumed demise or slumber. Thrash metal especially seems to have that power of resurrection. Some of those bands are venturing into new areas, some simply continuing what they did best back in the day which lured potent attention, success and reputation. Infrared sits in the second camp, their love and hunger for classic thrash openly inspired by contemporarys like the Big 4 as well as the influence of Sabbath, Maiden and the likes. As old school thrash never dates or tires in our ears, a resourcefully woven and imaginatively delivered encounter of said genre has a welcoming place and the new album from the Canadians is that and more.

Hailing from Ottawa, Infrared grew from local legends to stirring real attention within the national metal scene. Their sound was and is rooted in 70s and early 80s metal, bands such as Accept, Scorpions, and Judas Priest alongside those already mentioned inspirations on the quartet. Their rise came to a halt as life took members down different paths until 2014 saw three of the original four reuniting; vocalist/guitarist Armin Kamal, guitarist Kirk Gidley, and drummer Alain Groulx coming together again. Original bassist Shawn Thompson had since relocated to Miami so Mike Forbes was brought in to complete the line-up. The foursome then released debut album No Peace which featured songs written all those years ago. Now successor Saviours brings eight brand new tracks to ears, songs which swiftly grabbed ours as themes of “demagogues, dictators, and religious leaders professing to be the saviours of the world but instead inflict the most brutal attacks on humanity imaginable” roared.

Saviours erupts into life with Project Karma its opening magnetic yet portentous lure, one becoming even predacious as it prowls the senses. A delicious groove spears it’s stalking, a swinging proposal aflame with sonic enterprise and rhythmic incitement. Its initial lengthy instrumental is irresistible and only accentuated once the warrior tones of Kamal backed by the band head the song’s even fuller assault. Familiar and fresh hues collude in its web, imagination blossoming across its fiery body as a tremendous start to Saviours is set.

That predatory air retains its presence within The Demagogue, the following song also a court of threat and contagion which almost swaggers around ears as the guitars spin their sonic threads and rhythms pounce. Like a fusion of bands like Testament and Slayer, it hits the spot; increasing its temptation as calmer climes are ventured and melodic intimation embraced. It’s subsequent rising heat and intensity brings it back to its original sonic inference before Saviour explores an even darker trespass of menace and seduction. As we suggested, Infrared is not set on reinventing the wheel of thrash metal or even their core sound but there is a bold lining of adventure and imagination which makes their music and especially this track stand out.

Through the melodic and melancholic elegance to tempestuous roar of The Fallen and the voracious charge of All In Favour the album just hit the spot. Across both tracks the vocals of Kamal added more incitement to an appetite already happily feasting on the individual prowess and enterprise of the band, Forbes’ bass especially dark liquor stirring our taste buds. They are all attributes just as persuasive within the predatory They Kill For Gods and Father of Lies with its intensive atmosphere over increasingly manic and ferocious entrapment around demonic character. The most adventurous of all the tracks it simply enthralled.

The album finishes off with Genocide Convention, a trash dervish of sound and aggression with spiralling sonic wires and senses blistering turbulence. Our favourite track it brings the thoroughly and increasingly enjoyable release to a mighty close.

Uniqueness might be a rarity compared to familiarity within Saviours but from an already established base it breeds fresh adventure and captivation. The album lit our pleasure from start to finish and Infrared is further proof that very good things can only get better with age.

Saviours is out now through iTunes and other stores as well as @ https://infraredmetal.bandcamp.com

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Pete RingMaster 27/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Animosity Kills – Severance

Pic: Tom Robert Wold

Well over two years ago, Norwegian outfit Animosity Kills stole attention with their first EP, Manipulative. It offered up a rousing mix of heavy and thrash metal, a fusion nurtured in the influence of bands such as Metallica, Iron Maiden, Pantera, and Testament but as fresh and bold as it was familiar. It was fuelled by inescapable potential and suggestion of bigger, bolder, and more individual things to come; a suggestion more than partly realised by the band’s debut album, Severance.

It is probably fair to say that the Bergen hailing quintet still has some way to go to find their truly unique sound and character but with releases like Severance there will be no irritation at the wait. The eight track release is a magnetic beast of a roar with songs which just glue to the memory as greedily as they do ears. Formed in 2013, Animosity Kills boasts a three-pronged guitar attack all geared to stir up the listener in body and spirit; an intent as forcibly and inventively matched by the band’s rhythmic enterprise. Manipulative was an ear catching introduction to Animosity Kills; Severance evidence of a band destined to be further widely embraced.

The album opens with Black Death, gently luring in the listener with an opening melody. It is soon backed by a towering wall of riff and rhythm, one still controlled but swiftly springing a ravenous charge of raw riffs and rhythmic biting. Its thrash instincts are to the fore, driving through ears as eagerly as the swinging incitement of drummer Eirik Nilsen and the brooding tone of lead vocalist Erik Lindelid’s bass. With an underlying rabidity to its charge and a predacious restraint to the invasive bait of guitarists Stephan Høgtun, Rupert Notøy Rødland, and Mats Bruland, the song tempts and teases in between ravaging the senses, promising more ferocity than it unleashes but benefitting in that manipulative suggestion.

It is a potent and enticing start Dead On Arrival continues with its bristling and irritable but fiercely infectious attack. Leading up to its virulent chorus, the song commands eager attention but grabs it like a puppeteer with a focal point which has neck muscles and fists as involved as vocal chords. Around that beast of a chorus, the guitars weave a web of enticement as rhythms again prowl and pounce with anthemic prowess, the track real evidence of the band’s growing and evolving sound whilst stirring up the senses and attitude with prime thrash volatility.

The following Lord Of Darkness looms over ears from its first breath, riffs and grooves colluding in thick enticement as rhythms firmly rap the senses beside Lindelid’s vocal growl. As it grows, the song twists and turns, the guitars weaving individual and united resourcefulness with almost lusty appetite as beats and bass continue to bring threat and intensity to the inescapably catchy challenge.

Its success is swiftly matched and eclipsed by that of Thermic Vision, a track which instantly gripped personal appetites with its snarling opening riffs and a gnarly carnivorous bassline to drool over. Captivating grooves entwine the dark intent and temptation, the rapacious edge to Lindelid’s vocals adding to the alluring menace of the song. Its thick thrash nurtured riffs are an equally predatory incursion aided by the thick slaps of Nilsen’s beats, it all together creating a track as sonically stylish as it is barbarously intrusive around a volatile heart.

The album’s title track is next, instantly pulling ears into its torrents of compelling riffery and pummelling rhythms with an addictive touch which seeps into the following Pantera scented prowl of voice and song. It is a predacious trespass broken by Metallica-esque twists and flames of metal varied rock ‘n’ roll, groove and alternative traits among many. With a mouth-watering hook which infests the psyche, the song grabs a thick urge of participation before Revolutionary Suicide saunters in with a feisty and imposing swagger. From its first breath it swings as it harries the senses, its contagious instincts complimented by a more composed but just as tempting exploration which leads to a mercurial passage of melodic and progressively scented enterprise.

The mighty Ballistic was a major treat on the band’s first EP and again hits the spot with its grooved entangled rock ‘n’ roll. With something of Grumpynators to its virulent swagger and ravenous swing, the track is a quickly addictive incitement which only escalates its individual lures and united contagion by the groove, rhythmic swipe, and vocal snarl.

Invictus completes the release, its opening riffs preying on ears and appetite with a predatory intent before taking it into its blossoming prowl of thrash discontent and heavy metal fire which in turn expands into melodically cast suggestion amid bolder adventure. Though the song did not grab as vigorously as others, its enjoyable individual endeavour suggests a sound already evolving with an imagination to really anticipate ahead.

Certainly Animosity Kills has a sound which is not the most unique but as Severance declares in a roar which leaves ears richly pleasured, it has freshness and potential which is only heading in one direction.

Severance is available now @ https://animositykills.bandcamp.com/album/severance

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Pete RingMaster 08/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dark Hound – Dawning

Without a plaintive twang in sight, Dark Hound presents a new side to the assumed Nashville music scene though new album Dawning. Hear the Tennessee capital’s name and you automatically think country music in its glory but the ear grabbing quartet prove that its metal scene is in pretty good shape too.

Dawning is the band’s second album and sees them more than build on their well-received Oceans EP of 2015. That followed a self-titled debut full-length from a year earlier which itself sparked strong support across the local rock and metal scene. Formed in 2009, Dark Hound has persistently built and earned a potent reputation for themselves highlighted by Oceans and now set to be escalated by the Kaelin Tauxe/Dark Hound produced Dawning.

The band’s sound is a magnetic mix of flavours; heavy, alternative, and groove metal as prevalent as more progressive and voracious flavours. It is a blend which swiftly grabs attention within opener album Ashes of Your Worth. Instantly riffs ride the senses, the just as persuasive tones of vocalist/bassist ET Brown melodically surfing their tenacious waves. With grooves swiftly winding around ears as a grunge wash descends the track only tightens its grip, guitarists Evan Hensley and Preston Walls weaving a mesh of enterprise as crafty as it is imposing. The track is superb, taking little time to incite and inflame an appetite for stylish yet instinctively rapacious rock ‘n’ roll.

The ticking bomb of Josh Brown’s beats leads in the following Guilt Tripper, his bait accompanied by citric soaked grooves. The punk coated attack of ET’s voice soon joins the thrash spiced temptation, his bass invitingly throbbing as melodic hues infest voice and sound; the cycle repeating with greater endeavour as the track embraces fresh flavours each round. The song bears some of the inspirations to Dark Hound, essences of bands such as Megadeth, Iron Maiden, and more so Testament rising in its heavy metal exploits before making way for the equally infectious trespass of Carnival of Youth. ET’s seemingly calm tones again have an underlying snarl in their arsenal, it igniting with raw dexterity to match the fire of the sounds around him led by the rapier swings of Josh. Captivating from beginning to end, the track reminds of UK band Promethium a touch, the Dark Hound sound infusing their individual invention with more familiar ingredients to fine effect.

The opening whirl of guitar in The Answer had ears totally enthralled, its craft irresistible and continues to tempt across a song which to be honest otherwise did not make the same impact as its predecessors yet was the centre of attention in its increasingly enjoyable company before Crisis of Hope takes centre stage. It too makes a transfixing entrance, its hook fuelled lure Skids like and subsequently coring an emerging Jane’s Addiction-esque stroll. As the previous song, it was bit of a slow burner on ears though making a more than decent first impression, but grew minute by minute, listen by listen into another highly enjoyable encounter within Dawning if still missing the heights of the first trio.

Predacious in tone and sound Thrown to the Wolves quickly hits the spot next, the track almost crawling over the senses even with its eventual lively gait and nagging persistence while Stripped Away aligns acoustic flirtation and creative drama for its own gripping theatre. Considered and seductive, boisterous veering on rabid, the song is a carousel of adventure making a big statement for best song, both tracks in the running and matched all the way by the raucous yet harmonically teasing Balancing Act. Again recognisable flavours collude with strong surprises for a proposal which infested ears and appetite like an aural addiction.

Through the shadowed lined charge of The Jagged Edge pleasure was constant though certain moments did not connect with personal tastes as firmly as others, nothing though to dismiss the increasingly persuasive encounter over, while Thrashgasm delivered exactly what you would expect with its title with aggression and creative passion energy, the snarl of the bass and the ever energetic vocal incitement especially enjoyable.

The album concludes with Here Lies Truth and immediately trespasses ears with carnal riffs and teasingly salacious grooves. Again vocals simply draw involvement as guitars badger and conjure, rhythms imposing and driving song and spirit in fine style alongside as Dawning closes on another high

After the first couple of involvements we would have said Dark Hound had something worth checking out, numerous listens later it is a proposition which needs to be explored. This is a fine band in the making with an album we have found ourselves only getting greedier over.

Dawning is released digitally and on CD January 19th, available @ https://darkhound.bandcamp.com/album/dawning

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Pete RingMaster 19/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Chronos – Pallid Reflection

chronos-pic duncan everton

chronos-pic duncan everton

Coming from the combined areas of Bath and Bristol, UK metallers Chronos recently released their debut album Pallid Reflection. It is a seriously intriguing encounter unleashing an imaginative blend of death and progressive metal with plenty more flavours, many inspired by influences such as Metallica, Trivium, Opeth, Iron Maiden, and In Flames, embroiled in its imposing and resourceful challenge.

Formed in 2014, the quartet of vocalist/guitarist James Rideout, guitarist Joshua Boniface, bassist Tom Chapman, and drummer Jack Camp swiftly made a potent impact on their local and the south of England metal scene. First EP Hour Atonement was released in 2015 to eager reactions, whilst live the band soon found itself playing with the likes of Biohazard and Abhorrent Decimation. Pallid Reflection is the next step in the band’s emergence within the national metal landscape, an encounter which will certainly put their name on the map.

Produced and mixed by Ben Turner and mastered by Joe Caithness, the album opens up with Blood River and a sonic strand of guitar luring ears into the waiting predacious jaws of the track. In no time sturdy rhythms and hungry riffs collude before the quickly impressing skills of the band’s guitarists weave a captivating web of melodic enterprise. It is a feature which lights up the album throughout, as too the contrasts of clean and guttural vocals which give further colour and temptation to the song, especially the former. Though uniqueness is less open there is a great unpredictability to the track which just grips and impresses.

It is a strong and increasingly potent start to the release soon outshone by the following Sea Of Guilt, a hungry tempest of nagging grooves and rapier like rhythms in between passages of stalking riffs bound in restrained energy as clean vocals paint the creative canvas of the song. Again moments of unexpected imagination thrill, helping turn a great song into something even more striking and enjoyable, all offered with instinctively flowing coherency.

art_RingMasterReviewThe epic Thuribles Veil Part 1 is next, ten minutes of carnivorous riffs and grooves courted by just as predacious rhythms as throat raw vocals merge with harmonic beauty and melodic suggestiveness. The track is a cauldron of perpetual intensity, mercurial aggression, and compelling imagination, a playground for ears and thoughts even without the direction of lyric and voice. To be honest, that pretty much sums up the whole of Pallid Reflection and though familiar elements still emerge it would be fair to say they  are treated with an invention and flair which defuses familiarity.

Through the snarling ravenously nagging exploits of Lobotomised and the glorious melodically haunting Shiver, the album continues its trend of each track building on its predecessor and impressing just that little bit more while Awake displaces the elegance of the last track with a bestial swamp of waspish grooves and irritable riffs around more of the predatory rhythms which Chapman and Camp so effortlessly engineer. Arguably the least adventurous track of the album it still leaves the appetite greedy and ensures praise is easily given before Emerald Soul cradles the senses in its melodic arms, they additionally caressed by Rideout’s clean delivery and accompanying harmonies. There is a feel of KingBathmat to the outstanding track, its progressive nature given a clear climate to entrance within.

Crossover is a brutally feral encounter but again one prone to melodic radiance within its primal trespass, superbly crafted switches within a perpetually volatile atmosphere and grievous sonic intent shared with an ability and invention that constantly rises throughout Pallid Reflection and the calmer but no less sonically carnal of the song’s resourceful successor Shadow Of The Sun.

The album is concluded by almost twelve minutes of creative drama and volcanic ferocity courtesy of Thuribles Veil Part 2, a stormy incitement equipped with fiery melodies and scorching grooves around pungent contrasts musically and vocally. It is a fine rousing end to a release which reveals and offers more to greedily devour with every listen. Pallid Reflection is a mighty first step by Chronos and one of the best debuts heard this year with the potential and suggestion in its imagination of bigger and bolder things to come.

Pallid Reflection is out now though https://chronos1.bandcamp.com/releases or http://chronosofficial.bigcartel.com/

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Pete RingMaster 14/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Contemplating Leaving Eden

le-3-11-16_RingMasterReview

It is quite simple. Leaving Eden is a band which demands attention with a sound and creative flair that persistently captures the imagination drawing an ever growing following simultaneously. Their ear catching and thought provoking music has help lead the band to sharing stages with hundreds of the biggest national bands in the world and tours across numerous countries. We managed to grab some time with Eric from the band to learn more about Leaving Eden and what makes them tick…

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

Can you first introduce the band?

Hi, great chatting with you also.

Eve: Lead Vocals

Ryan: Manning Drums

Johhny V: Bass

I’m Eric Gynan: Guitarist, vocals, Keys.

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

Yes we’ve all been in various bands along the way and learning from the past always gives you a jump on the future.

What inspired the band name?

Leaving Eden came to be simply that this planet is like the Garden of Eden right, with all of its corruption; wouldn’t it be nice to take off and go somewhere else to visit? Lol.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it to offer and does that intent still drive the band or has it evolved over time?

Definitely we have evolved. I think you have to in order to change with the times so long as it’s better. It’s important though to maintain your individuality. For us we set out to be different. Quick story here, we went to this huge studio once where bands like Seven Dust, The Rolling Stones and Boston recorded. The person there brought out a white board in the conference room and drew a box. They said you are here, pointing outside the box and you need to be here, pointing inside the box. I immediately said wait, are you telling us we need to be in that box?  They said well yes I guess I am. I said thank you very much and got up and walked out. I get it, if you wanna ride a wave and be like everyone else on that moment of time, they can easily slip you into a genre. For us though it’s hard to just slip us in to any particular genre. We won the best Hardcore act in New England and I thought that was funny because they couldn’t find the appropriate Genre for us. We stay true no matter what the times may change to our roots, Rock Music.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved and has that been an organic movement or you guys deliberately heading in certain directions?

I think being a recording artist, endlessly recording and working with some incredible recording engineers like Johnny K (Disturbed, Pop Evil) you learn what it really takes. When they say they will go through your music with a fine tooth comb, they mean that literally that down to the 64th beat your music will be scrutinized for perfection. Ya know good bad or indifferent, when you listen to the radio, you may not like the band you’re listening to but aside from that, you will NEVER hear something that’s not polished. It’s gotta be perfect or you’ll never make it to the radio. With this on mind, you take this knowledge of being tight to the live performance and it makes all the difference in the world. This is why some bands may record a great album but when you see them live, it’s just not the same. We try and stay true to our recordings.  We also evolve in that area after the recording we may change it up live where we may think we’ve built upon that foundation.

art_RingMasterReviewPresumably 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?

I think all of us are inspired by what we like as far as taste in other bands music. For us what greatly inspires us is that organic sound that manifests itself in a way that is kind of like connecting the dots. We feel that Leaving Eden learns from the past, encompasses the present and forges the future. Any band that has been in the gutters not in the limelight, they’re the ones whom always forged the future. This is why we named our last album Pinnacle…Because it’s at that pinnacle where trends will be forged.

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

Sure. For me I connect with the Universe in a way that opens my mind to listening. I use my fingers as kind of line antennas to pick up the frequencies, as strange as that sounds, if you listen, you can hear the music that lyrics, melodies and harmonies completely produced. Just gotta transfer that info to the recording. Then the rest of the band puts their stamp on it and presto, there’s a new song. I’ve even felt the influence of dead poets coming through. Sometimes I feel like I really can’t even take credit for the songs as they’ve come from somewhere else. It’s a deep meditative state of mind that brings these ideas into fruition.

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

Great question… Our songs speak from experience, life’s experiences…Sometimes good but mostly bad lol. Bad in the way of getting screwed, for instance our song Tied and Bound comes from the frustration of the music industry; “We’ve been screwed overcharged underpaid and abused, exploited avoided and falsely accused, we’ve been cut down let down fucked around tied and bound, but nothing can take the music away”

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?

Pinnacle released by Rock Avenue Records USA, was completely written before we got to the studio. We like to do pre-production first, be prepared so to speak, so that we aren’t wasting valuable time and money. Pinnacle is really an eclectic array of song themes and music. We tried to keep it again organic so you won’t hear all these extra vocal harmonies for instance that we could never do live. Yes there is harmony, but it can be done live.

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

That is where one should shine right?  I feel it is our live sound which is one of our trade marks. It’s so hard in the studio to capture that live performance primarily because it’s a one sided energy exchange. When you have a crowd, that’s where the sharing of the energy happens, therefore it really helps to put you on top of your game. You can’t see the band for instance when listening to an album, so that performance is so necessary.  Can the band reproduce that sound live? With Eve in front, she is clearly universal and really takes control of the room or festival, really just connecting with the crowd.

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?14195978_1274693589207580_3294288122701219788_o

Correct. We’ve been fortunate, lucky, graced, whatever you’d like to call it. Our motto has always been that we will play anywhere, anytime, any way we can so long as we can. This philosophy has led us to share the stage with some of the biggest bands in the world with;  Lacuna Coil, In This Moment, Black Sabbath (Heaven & Hell), Ronnie James Dio,  Rob Zombie, 5 Finger DeathPunch, Disturbed, Marylyn Manson, Alice Cooper, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZTop, Puddle of Mudd, Korn, Killswitch Engage, BuckCherry (Jefferson Starship, Big Brother and The Holding Company, Country Joe, 10 Years After, 40th Anniversary Woodstock) Shinedown, Dropkick Murphy’s,  Alice in Chains, Papa Roach, Bret Micheals, Halestorm, Theory of a Deadman, Avenged Sevenfold, Seether, Hell Yeah, Trapt, Dope, Soil, Fuel,  Queensryche, Saving Abel, Hinder, Damage Plan, 7Dust, Sebastian Bach, SoulFly, Days of the New, NonPoint, DrowningPool, The Misfits, The Butcher Babies, Collective Soul, MushroomHead, Mudvayne, Chevelle, Godsmack, Powerman 5000, 10Years, Taproot, Gin Blossoms, Michael Schenker (UFO, MSG & The Scorpions) Herman Rarebell (The Scorpions), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden), Kittie, One eyed doll, Uncle Kracker, Tremonti (Creed/Alterbridge) Lamb of god, Slayer, Stone Sour, Motorhead, Blackstone Cherry, HOOKERS & BLOW Featuring GUNS N’ ROSES, QUIET RIOT, W.A.S.P. Members, Steven Tyler, Ted Nugent, Lita Ford, LA Guns, Trixter, Warrant, Apocalyptic Review (featuring members of Godsmack) and many more..  This has led us to Winning The New England Music Awards & The Pulse Magazine Worcester MA Music Awards and Touring The USA, UK & Canada. If we didn’t get out there we would have never found these opportunities. There’s usually someone there that can help move you forward.

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

Absolutely…In fact I believe bands who haven’t “made it” have more of an opportunity. Let’s take a band that has made it whether it was one song or many. As time passes, for whatever reason, they stopped making hits. It’s very rare for them to have another hit song or even get on the radio. It’s very strange but true. As a new artist you have more of a chance because again you’re at the pinnacle forging ahead.

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

I find this very interesting. In a moment you can be heard all over the world. It’s absolutely amazing. Back in the day I feel bad for the artists before the internet that never had that chance. Shit, back then you couldn’t even stay connected with different states via phone. It was too expensive to make a phone call so you were quite limited as far as how far you could reach. Now, our music is flying through the airways, our unreleased song Out of the ashes says; digging deeper underground faster than the speed of sound

I can see the light of day, darkness fades away”. This just says as a band that’s not superstars, they are basically underground in the gutters spreading like swill in the harbor of slime lol. God some of the venues we’ve played have been the scum of the earth. Shit when we went to UK, there was a dirt floor. But in order to really appreciate where you may end up you’ve got to crawl through the slime in the gutters. If I for instance just started a band, had lots of money, related to someone big in the industry, getting signed immediately and becoming famous overnight, how then could I appreciate where I came from? When you come from the bottom of the barrel and make your way to the top, you never forget where you came from.

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

This was fun. Please excuse my unorthodox replies here and appreciate your time. Leaving Eden will be touring the USA, Canada and Europe. Hopefully South America as well, where our management/touring Co. Alpha Omega/Darkside Entertainment has offices in Europe, USA and South America we feel honored to be part of the family there. We hope to see all of you soon!! For all Leaving Eden Info go to http://www.leavingeden.com

And see us on Facebook Leaving Eden and Peace and Harmony to all!!  I say harmony because this planet, the universe, everything in it works in perfect harmony accept one species, Humans. WTF is that about right? Let’s make it happen.

https://www.facebook.com/bandleavingeden

Pete RingMaster

The Ringmaster Review 01/12/2016

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