Carnival Club – Magdalena’s Cape

Woven from the threads of numerous flavours which alone instinctively grab attention, the Carnival Club sound is a tapestry which certainly on the UK rocker’s debut EP, Magdalena’s Cape, blossoms from a rich first temptation to a lustfully devoured introduction thereon in. It is an infestation of the imagination nurtured in the creative mystique of prog rock, the hearty emotion of blues rock, the bold roar of sixties punk, and the hazy climate of psych rock. In truth, it is all that and more in a proposal and release which is as fresh and striking as it is the return of familiar sonic strains; an EP which offers the potential of a new essential force from within the ever pregnant Manchester music scene.

Emerging April 2016, the quartet of Eddie Moxon, George Peel, Joe Lodge, and Kai Jon Roberts quickly made a potent impression on the local scene. Now national awareness is being readied and stirred by the outfit’s maiden EP, its mature presence and rich web of sound belying the youth of its creators whilst consuming ears in an adventure bordering on the essential.

Opener House of Cards instantly entwines ears in one spicy groove, its psych blues tang soon aligned to the heavy throb of bass and crisply landing beats. Vocals make for just as potent bait as the song almost crawls into view before settling into a boisterous rock ‘n’ roll shuffle. With every groove and melodic tendril seemingly becoming thicker and richer in psychedelic/hard rock tenacity as impressive vocals equally grow in energy and presence, the EP quickly becomes a captivating proposal only increasing its grip as Mistakes Troubles and Kisses takes over.

The second track has a lighter touch compared to the heavy presence of its predecessor but an infectious swing built on pure rock muscle and emotive intensity. Its pop rock temptation is as much modern indie as it is seventies heavy rock, another fusion already revealing the kaleidoscopic canvas of the Carnival Club songwriting and sound. Its inescapably catchy body and unpredictable but fluid twists only seduce, passing on a willing submission to its bold charms to the following You’re So Hostile. It is a track even more virulently infectious with its eighties pop hooks and brooding rhythmic seducing which within seconds has the body bouncing and hips swerving with its flirtatiously weighty stroll while roaming the psyche like a blend of The Cult, My Baby, and The Doors; essences of Hendrix and goth rock only adding to its best track grabbing magnificence.

The EP’s title track steps forward next, Magdalena’s Cape a mellow caress wrapped in psychedelic wooziness and prog rock musing but with a tart spicing to its melodic  tempting, kind of like a distantly related fusion of The Jesus and Mary Chain and The Electric Prunes to try and give an impression of its sultry beauty.

Another mighty moment comes with the EP’s closing track, Headache a web of crunchy riffs and imposing textures around prowling vocals and stalking rhythms complete with sixties bred punk rapacity. Those stabbing riffs alone ignite the passions, the scythes of guitar and predacious grooves of bass escalating the primal attraction as the ever magnetic vocals seal the devilish deal on offer between song and listener.

It is a masterful and irresistible end to a just as successful release, one still carrying the potential of bigger, bolder, and greater successes ahead for Carnival Club. Magdalena’s Cape is the declaration of something mouth-watering and truly exciting breaking out within the northern music scene. With more of the same, national attention is surely guaranteed and with the realisation of the raw promise within, watch out world.

Magdalena’s Cape is out now through Demolition Diner Records as a digital download, on CD with an additional Ltd Gatefold CD version, and on Ltd Vinyl @ https://carnivalclub.bandcamp.com/track/magdalenas-cape

https://www.facebook.com/carnivalclubuk    https://twitter.com/carnivalclubuk

Pete RingMaster 16/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Forty Feet Tall – Red Dressed

You know you are on to a good thing when songs continue to repeat themselves in thoughts long after enjoying a close and personal encounter. Such is the way with the Red Dressed EP from US rockers Forty Feet Tall. Offering four slices of blues fuelled rock ‘n’ roll, the release is a wholly magnetic affair loaded with grooves which just do not know when to stay away; not that there is any wish for them to do so.

Formed in 2011 when four fifths of the band were in high school, Los Angeles based Forty Feet Tall has earned potent support and reputation across Southern California, leading to the band playing a host of prestigious venues such as The Troubadour, Club Nokia, The Roxy, and the Grammy Museum as well as the main stage at Topanga Days. Their first EP, 4AM released at the beginning of 2014, was swiftly eclipsed in success and attention by the band’s self-titled debut album later that same year. It revelled in inspiration taken from the likes of Pearl Jam, Jimi Hendrix, The Black Keys, The Strokes, Led Zeppelin, Dawes, and Howlin’ Wolf whilst offering its own breath of imagination, an essence blossoming to greater heights within Red Dressed.

Its title track sets things in motion, a resonating bassline the first beckon soon joined by percussion with a sense of hunger to it as to the eager strokes of guitar soon joining in. The lively simmer becomes an energetic dance, the keys of Charlie Sehres a captivating bloom alongside the enterprise of his brother Jack and vocalist Cole Gann’s guitars. With rhythms just as boisterous in the stop start bounce and subsequent fiery waltz, the track simply infects ears and appetite for spicy rock ‘n’ roll.

It is a superb start to the Chris Garcia produced EP, a moment just revelling in the band’s blues rock instincts with magnetic energy and craft as equally Gann’s vocal prowess, just as lively in the following Make It Hum. At first holding its self-back in a flirtatious prowl lined by tempting riffs as a melodic breeze wraps Gann’s just as subtle croon, the song’s simmer continually builds, igniting in a ballsy crescendo which still barely breaks the track’s relaxed gait. With a touch of bands like Black Tusk to its increasingly heavyweight eruptions, Guy Moore’s bass a great throaty growl through it all, and fire in the veins of the grooves wrapping the senses, the song is a sonic seduction aligned to an earthy rumble and thorough pleasure.

 Two Shots is next with its bouncy gait and bass grumble, both entwined by more flirtation soaked grooves as Steven Driscoll’s laid back swinging beats punctuate the brewing blaze, a fire in the belly intensifying with increasing dynamism and incitement across the song. Once more Gann adds expressive colour and passion to the mix, though it is the tangy grooves which spark the biggest lust.

A fine cover of the Creedence Clearwater Revival track Run Through The Jungle brings things to a magnetic close, its roots and psych rock scented swagger and overall character, a radiant endeavour in the hands of Forty Feet Tall. It completes a release as fresh as it is a bubble of recognisable flavours and influences, a celebration of a band drawing up their own personality with thoroughly enjoyable results.

The Red Dressed EP is available now @ https://fortyfeettall.bandcamp.com/album/red-dressed

https://www.facebook.com/FortyFeetTall/

Pete RingMaster 29/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Magnetic reflections: looking into Black Mirrors

We were aware of the buzz building up around Belgian band Black Mirrors so eagerly anticipated checking out their new EP release with Napalm Records. Fair to say that Funky Queen more than lived up to the praise gathering around its release, revelling in the myriad of flavours behind its bluesy rock ‘n’ roll. Offered the chance to find out more about band and release we fired questions at vocalist Marcella Di Troia and guitarist Pierre Lateur.

Hi guys and thanks for talking with us.

Firstly can you give us the background to Black Mirrors; its beginnings and how you all met?

, c Nanna Dis 2016

Marcella: During summer 2013, I wanted to create a female band. I found a drummer and a bass player but found it difficult to find a female guitar player. I was looking for someone who could play like Pierre the actual guitar player. I was fond of his sound. I couldn’t find a girl who could do that. So, I asked Pierre to join the band. After some jamming, we wanted to work harder and to start to write our own songs but the girls didn’t have time to invest in the project. So we forgot the idea to have an (almost) female band and invite two old friends, Gino and Edouard to join the band as bass player and drummer. We used to play with them in other bands before Black Mirrors.

We recorded our first EP and did our first gigs with this line up late 2013.

What inspired the band name?

Marcella: The name Black Mirrors came up with the TV show Black Mirror, a really cool English series which shows how technology is progressively changing our world. People are more distant to one another by being connected to the virtual world. We do not want to judge anybody, it’s just that we are witnesses of that change in our society and it touches us.

You sound is seemingly bred in garage rock but, as your new EP Funky Queen shows, flames with much broader rock ‘n’ roll diversity. What are the kinds of inspirations which have lit your musical imaginations most prominently?

Marcella: All the bands we are listening to were influenced prominently by blues masters such as Bessie Smith, Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, BB King, Muddy Waters, Blind Willie Johnson… So I would say the blues.

Pierre: Apart from the blues, we have a lot of different influences like the stoner scene, the late 60’s and early 70’s rock music like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zep, Janis Joplin and even the early Pink Floyd, the revival scene like The White stripes, Rival Sons and The Black Keys, some elements of soul/funk music and a bit of desert-blues like Tinariwen.

The Funky Queen EP has just been released through Napalm Records; how did that link-up come about?

Marcella: During summer 2015, we were invited to play in Germany at «Out and Loud» festival. Napalm was there as they opened the festival with a Napalm label night. Some of Napalm’s bands played there and they found us a slot to play. That was our first contact. We stayed in touch with them for a year and last summer we sent them our new songs. They liked it and Napalm offered us a deal.

It is being described as the band’s debut EP but am I right in thinking it has a self-titled predecessor released in 2014 which new fans to the band will want to know about?

Marcella: Yes, you’re completely right! Three years ago, we released our very first EP. We recorded it a couple of months after having started the band because we wanted to play live shows as soon as possible. This first EP is now sold out.

How would you say the Black Mirrors’ sound has evolved over its first handful of years?

Pierre: The basic sound didn’t change that much. Since the beginning, we wanted to create a music which will be a mix of all our influences. In 2013, our songs were already a mix of blues/rock, stoner and a bit of psychedelic music with a vintage approach.

But if we speak of the sound more specifically, the guitar sound became wilder with the years and our first drummer left the band. He was replaced by another one who came with his sensibility, approach and specific sound. So these two elements influenced a bit the final result.

With all artists, there is a specific intent fuelling their first steps. What was the driving force for Black Mirrors?

Pierre: Nothing more than being happy and thankful to play together. We are friends for such a long time and we’ve started the band to enjoy creating music together. We never had a big statement like « We want to play this kind of music, like very pure blues or a specific kind of stoner. » It was always about playing anything we had in mind without thinking too much. Maybe it’s the reason why there’re a lot of different influences in our music.

Listening to the EP there feels like there is a strong collaboration between the band in its songs birth and character. How does the band’s songwriting generally work?

c, c Nanna Dis 2016

Pierre: Most of the time I create basic ideas like a riff or two and show it to Marcella. We work together on a first version of the song, she composes her vocal part and we work on a basic structure. We show this draft to the band. With them we give the tune his final form. We often create new parts, remove others; jamming around the sound. Because of all this process, the song’s final version is sometimes totally different than the first idea.

Can you give the readers some insight to the background and themes to Funky Queen?

Funky Queen, which opens our EP, is about addiction. Funky Queen is the queen that confronts everyone with one’s own demons.

The second song is Kick Out The Jams, a MC5 cover. We wanted to put it on our first EP as it’s represent very well the general energy of our music.

The Mess is a song about messy feelings you get after you broke up a very bad love relationship. Sometimes, you’d rather not see things than to be destroyed for your entire life.

And finally, Canard Vengeur Masqué to end up…It is a song who talks about the missing of one of your parents after a divorce, the way you can feel forsaken in this situation as a child.

Funky Queen has a great cover to match its sounds. Who is behind the artwork and indeed the band’s excellent logo?

Pierre: It’s Sebastian Jerke, a German artist who worked with My Sleeping Karma and Colour Haze to name a few. We really like his job. We got in touch with him and he appeared to have several great ideas for the artwork.

Apart from the likes of Front 242, dEUS, Soulwax, Enthroned, Triggerfinger, Steak Number Eight, and the excellent King Hiss, I cannot say we know too much about the Belgian rock scene. It is a healthy place right now, especially in its underground?

Well, it depends if it is in the French speaking part of Belgium or the Flemish part. We think Flanders gives more chance to underground music. Just by seeing bands you named, most of them are from Flanders. We are coming from Wallonia where the rock scene is a bit shy. Unfortunately, you barely see a rock band as highlight on a festival poster in Wallonia.

What is next in the immediate future of Black Mirrors?

Going on tour with Horizont and ’77 and record our full length album.

Once again our big thanks for sharing your time with us.

Check out our review of Funky Queen @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2017/03/03/black-mirrors-funky-queen/

http://www.blackmirrorsmusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/blackmirrorsmusic   https://twitter.com/BlackMirrorsmus

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Norquay – Animal

norquay-artwork-squared_RingMasterReview

You may have missed it in the Xmas turmoil and festivities but Animal is one single ears and attention should still seek out as the New Year relaxes into place. The latest track from Norquay (pronounced Nork Way); the song is a boisterous and rousing slice of rock ‘n’ roll marking the next step in is creator’s budding music career.

Norquay is the solo project of Aberdeenshire hailing songwriter/musician Andrew Norquay, an artist who returns from a three year hiatus from music due to his commitments as a commercial diver with a bang in the shape of his new single and the equally striking Vices EP from which it comes. Drawing on inspirations from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Muse, Radiohead, and Oasis, Norquay creates a sound which wears familiar essences on its sleeve yet weaves them into slices of fresh anthemically honed imagination. The five-track Vices EP confirms that suggestion; Animal reinforcing the claim with its snarling riff driven, melody spiced virulence.

Casting a character somewhere between Queens Of The Stone Age and Johnny Wears Black, Animal roars from its first break of guitar casting a hook which just grips the imagination. Rhythms and keys are soon additionally engaged in the raw and tenacious enterprise crowding around the potent tones of Norquay, all uniting in a thickly infectious and magnetic persuasion.

With a stoner-esque scent to its alternative rock endeavour, the song swiftly and imposingly involves the listener physically and emotionally; a quality the best rock ‘n’ roll always carries.

Animal and the Vices EP are out now through iTunes and Amazon.

https://www.facebook.com/Norquayuk   https://twitter.com/norquaymusic

Pete RingMaster 04/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Rousing carousels: an interview with Woody Woodgate

 

woody_RingMaster Review

This past week saw the highly anticipated debut solo album from Woody Woodgate released, a pop adventure lighting ears and imagination at every captivating turn. In Your Mind is an encounter which put a smile on our faces whilst often providing evocative hues to reflect and linger over. We had to delve a little deeper into the album and with the kindness of the man himself we explored one of this summer’s treats…

Hi Woody and many thanks for sparing time to chat with us.

Let us get straight to the main reason for taking a slice of your time, debut solo album In Your Mind. With your long creative career in music it feels a little surprising it has taken so long for a solo project to emerge from you. Has this been bubbling in thoughts for quite a while or something which suddenly erupted inside because of a break in other endeavours?

After releasing the Magic Brothers album The Magic Line with my brother Nick, I wanted to take our songs to another level. Quite simply I wanted to work with other musicians. My brother Nick and I have been writing songs together for years. Songs that are appropriate for Madness, go to Madness, songs that I love, but aren’t appropriate for Madness I’ll work on. It’s no good if they don’t see the light of day. Nothing’s been bubbling; it’s all been coming out for years in different guises.

The diverse tracks and sounds within the album is something distinctly different to Madness and indeed Magic Brothers for me. I think I read they were originally planned for the second Magic Brothers album, is that so and how much did you develop further once they were destined for In Your Mind?

They were destined for the Magic Brothers, but it wasn’t really a Magic Brothers project once I got Dan Shears (vocals) and Tim Maple (guitars, and Keyboards) on board. I also took over all the arranging and producing, so it became increasingly my project.

woodywoodgate_inyourmind-_RingMaster ReviewWere there any particular musical inspirations which might have sparked flavours woven into In Your Mind?

I’m a kid from the seventies so it’s packed with influences from the Beatles, ELO, Supertramp, 10cc, through to Pink Floyd, and Jimi Hendrix. Not forgetting my 37 years of Madness, which is my default setting when writing 3 minute pop songs?

Obviously writing and developing songs within a broad line-up like Madness must be very different to composing and creating in Magic Brothers and your solo release. Have you found there is a kind of freedom coming with writing your own music and songs without having to I guess compromise more?

It’s very rewarding being able to put in rock guitar riffs, solos, multi-layered vocals, and do soppy love songs, but it’s also quite hard in the sense that you don’t have anyone to tell you whether or not you’re going up your own jacksy. Self-indulgence can be a dangerous thing, if not checked.

As much as the songs and sounds captivated us here so did the wave of nostalgia it sparked, memories of being a small excited and innocent kid going on that big adventure on a holiday etc. I am assuming it was those kinds of experience and memory for you inspiring songs and album?

If I can put across my experience, I guarantee there’s someone out there who can relate. I also think that lyrics can mean different things to different people, and that’s the beauty of music. The simple fact that you were captivated, and conjured up visions of “a small exited and innocent kid on that big adventure on a holiday etc.” says it all. You (as a listener) were transported into another world though the music, drawing on your own imagination. Hence, “In Your Mind.”

How personal and intimate are the songs to your childhood and experiences?

It’s a mixture of one’s own experience, and imagination.

Was it easy to expose a real part of you as a person and your experiences in life into the album?

I didn’t know I had? So I suppose the answer is “Yes.”

Music was a big part of your upbringing and your brother Nick’s too?

Very much so…It was pivotal.

One of the reasons behind the album was the time allowed because the second Magic Brothers album had to be postponed because of Nick’s “on-going battle with mental health issues” to quote the press release for the album. May I ask what kind of impact his problems have brought to Magic Brothers and In Your Mind in regards to its tones, reflective depths, and lyrical themes?

To be honest, the only thing that was affected by Nick’s illness was his ability to perform live, and take the new album on the road. Nick thought it was only fair that we try out other singers, as the pressure was getting to him, and pressure can set off psychotic episodes. When I found Dan Shears, the pressure on Nick was lifted, and he was able to go back to what he’s best at, and that’s writing great songs. When it comes to writing songs Nick’s illness isn’t a problem, it doesn’t impair his ability to write, and his lyrics very rarely touch on his psychosis, they’re more about his relationships. In all respects he’s just a songwriter, like anyone else. It’s just he’s a very good one, who happens to have schizophrenia.

So though not to the fore Nick’s creative hand is more involved in the album than we might initially imagine?

The album would be nothing without Nick. He is the catalyst to all the songs. I simply reconstruct the dinosaur from the scraps of bones I’m given. Granted there is a lot of interpretation involved, but all in all we complete each other.

Tell us about the link up with Dan, how did you meet and what inspired you to get him involved?woody_RingMaster Review

I worked in a school ten years ago teaching Music Technology and Media Studies, and Dan was a student doing his A-levels. He stood out from the crowd, and was clearly a special talent, with a great voice, and musical sensibility. A part from that we really got on well, and he made me laugh. When I was trying out new singers for the album the one thing that became apparent was their lack of range. I hadn’t seen Dan for ten years, but he kept cropping up in my thoughts, as he was the one singer I knew could do the job, but I had no idea where he was, or what he was doing with his life. Ironically he contacted me on social media to say that he was releasing a solo album, and would I be interested in giving it a listen? I put it to him that I too was doing an album, and would he sing on it? The rest is history.

His voice reminded us of a mix between Ian Broudie and Ste McCabe, and really stoked and matched the feel of the music and their intimate revelry well.

Interesting? Queer Core Lightening Seeds. Not something I envisaged, but I can see where you’re coming from.

How involved was he, other than vocally of course?

Involved in as much as he was encouraged to be himself, and to put his own inflections into the vocal performance

Is there any particular moment within In Your Mind which gives you a certain tingle of satisfaction or pleasure etc.?

Only that it sounds great on radio…Which gives me a buzz from a technical point of view.

Now it is out luring acclaim and attention, is there a thought inside that you should have done this sooner?

I couldn’t have done it sooner, I wasn’t ready. I had too much to learn. Now is the perfect time. I’m ready.

Time allowing, will exploring further solo adventures possibly be on the cards?

Absolutely!

woody and dan from In Your Mind video_RingMaster ReviewI love the video for the song In Your Mind, a song relating to Nick’s issues I believe? Who is behind and created its captivating and evocative look?

Tom Johnson, another of my brilliant students back in the day created the video, but you’re wrong about the subject matter. It’s not about Nick, and in a way you have fallen into the trap of stigmatising him. Just because the video is surreal, and the title is ‘In Your Mind” you are presuming it’s about mental illness. It is in fact about getting lost in your imagination, the way children do when they play, and how we get carried away in a book, or story. We can be transported to another world in our minds. It’s as simple as that.

(In our defence it was the press release stating the song “was an ode to a younger brother battling his demons” which led our thoughts to that conclusion and only in regard to that one track)

Is there a chance any of the songs within In Your Mind might get a live airing at some point, somewhere?

I’m going to try and put in a gig or two, in between Madness commitments. We’ll see.

Once again big thanks for taking time out for us. Is there anything you would like to leave us with?

My advice to anyone listening to the album is to take out of the equation the fact that my brother is a schizophrenic, and judge it on its merits alone. You may hear the album in a new light, and it won’t cloud or prejudice your thinking.

Lastly, I know you are working with the charity Rethink Mental Illness. Would you like to give details/links people can go to learn more and offer their support?

Twitter: @rethink or www.rethink.org

http://www.woodywoodgate.co.uk/

Read the In Your Mind review@ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/woody-woodgate-in-your-mind/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 16/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

Singing forest bred blues: an interview with Electric Woodland

Electric Woodland

    Weaving an inescapable and thrilling lure of blues, heavy metal, and classic rock into something organically unique, Norwegian rock band Electric Woodland has been earning eager attention and acclaim through their stunning debut album Potrero. It is a rigorously tantalising encounter which seduces the passions through its skilful infectiousness and riveting old school bred and modern fuelled enterprise. The quartet is making rich marks with their sound and now release so we had to find out more. Thanks to guitarist Christian N. Olsen-Ruud, we explored the origins of Electric Woodland, the making of its first full-length release, opportunities for band in their homeland and much more…

Hi Christian and welcome to the site. Thank you for sharing your time with us as we explore all things Electric Woodland.

Firstly can you tell us about the beginnings of the band, how you all met etc.?

Well, Peder (vocals, guitar) and Emil (drums) are brothers, and Marius (bass) is their cousin, so they didn’t have much of a choice. I (Christian, guitar) first got to know Peder when we both went to the same secondary school and started hanging out. The band started when a mutual friend had built a porch, and asked Peder and I if we wanted to bring a couple of acoustic guitars over and break it in. All of a sudden people started to say that they wanted to come as well, and before we knew it, we had 150 people who were going to show up. We built a stage, Marius and Emil joined, and since every festival around seemed to have closed, we started both the band and a festival called Runerock (Rune is the name of the guy with the porch).

How did the great band name come about?

We come from a place called Skogbygda, which sort of translates to Woodville or Wood village. Growing up in rural Norway and Skogbygda has had a great impact on us, so I guess we wanted to give it a little homage. The other half of the name is from one of our other passions, classic rock, blues rock, and one of the great masters, Jimi Hendrix. As well as giving homage to Skogbygda, we thought that mixing Electric Ladyland in there would sort of define what we wanted to do. Down to earth hard blues rock from the Norwegian forests.

Is Electric Woodland the first musical endeavour for you all?

We’ve all had more or less serious bands before, but Electric Woodland is the first band where we’ve really worked with song writing and recording in the way that we’ve done now. The EP was also the first real studio work we’ve done, but luckily we’ve had great people working with us for both the EP and the album, who have helped us out a lot.

Your music is boldly flavoursome with numerous essences of different styles adding to the mix. What are the predominant inspirations for the band and you as musicians?

As you say, our inspirations are many, and it’s a mix of everything from Robert Johnson, through 70s classic rock, to newer stuff like Queens of the Stone Age. In essence it’s a mix of everything we’ve loved when we grew up. When we get asked about this we usually go with the big bands that everyone knows like Queens of the Stone Age, The Doors, Deep Purple, etc., but our biggest influence over the last couple years has probably been a local artist called Amund Maarud. He’s not only helped us out a lot while recording and through Snaxville records, but he’s got a lot of the same influences as us and blends them together into some really cool stuff.

You recently released your debut album Potrero which follows your well received self-titled EP of 2009. How do you see the progression in your sound and songwriting between the two releases?Electric Woodland cover

The four songs on the EP were basically the first four songs we wrote as a band. When it came to Potrero, we wanted to use a bit more time to develop our own sound. While both have a lot of the same influences, Potrero is a bit darker, and both a bit more bluesy and heavy at times.

The album feels a confident and mature collection of songs but with plenty of potential for even greater heights; is that how you feel about it now it is out there drawing in acclaim and new hearts?

Definitely… Although we started to experiment with our own sound on Potrero, it was still only our second recording ever. I do feel we are gaining momentum as song writers and as a band. After recording Potrero, we kind of know more of what we enjoyed recording and what we enjoy playing, so the next album will hopefully reflect that and show some more progression.

Tell us about the recording of Potrero, I believe it was recorded onto analogue tape?

We recorded it at Snaxville Studios in Skogbygda, with the help of Amund and Henrik Maarud. It’s a top, modern studio, but they record everything on analogue tape before any modern technology touches it. We did it in a couple of sessions with some time in between, so that we could think about what we had done and do adjustments in the song writing for the remaining songs if they needed it.

What was behind the decision which it has to be said works a treat in defining the album’s sound.

Again, a lot of our inspiration comes from old blues artists and 60s and 70s rock, so to get that genuine dirty and gritty old school sound, this was what we had to do. The general feeling of recording on tape just felt right as well. You don’t get a million takes when recording on tape, and I think that is a good thing. Each take gets more focused. In a way, it’s also what you always imagined a studio to be. Not just plugging the instruments into a laptop and there’s your album, but you get the whole studio ritual that gets you ‘in the zone’.

Did you go old school/vintage in other aspects of the recording and creating of the album?

A lot of the equipment we use is either vintage or new but made to sound vintage. Some of the pedals we use are clones of old legendary pedals that people like Hendrix, Gilmour and Iommi used, and that’s sort of where we want to go. In addition, a lot of the other equipment in the studio was vintage, form old 70s tape delays to microphones that were used by the BBC in the 60s and 70s.

Is this something you will look to do again or have you already new ideas to explore with the next release?

I think it is important to try to evolve the sound in some way, but in our case it will probably be to try to dive even deeper into that way of working. We really enjoyed it, and really like that type of sound as well. We just need to push it one step further.

There is a raw and gritty texture to the songs on the album, was this deliberately sought or an organic success which just happened?

It was definitely on purpose. We listened to different stuff before recording, and decided that this was what we wanted to do. It’s the sound that we felt the songs needed.

How does the songwriting work within the band?

Usually Peder does most of the writing. He often comes to rehearsals with riffs and lyrics, and we arrange it together into finished songs. Peder and Emil tries out a lot of stuff when they’re both home as well (we rehearse in their old hen house!).

Bad Shoe and the song Electric Woodland steal top honours on the album for us amongst only great tracks. Give us some background to the pair.

They’re two very different songs that’s for sure. Bad Shoe is a rather happy-go-lucky, straight forward, feel good song, where Peder wrote most of it and just brought it to a rehearsal. Electric Woodland is a lot grittier and heavier, and a lot more jam based. It is also without a doubt the song that has evolved the most of all our songs. Some of it was actually some of the first material we produced, and it was almost on the EP as a very straight forward rock song. We started working on it as a band, and suddenly we had new riffs, parts and vocals that took it in a completely different direction.

Is there a particular moment on the album which gives you an extra satisfied tingle inside?

One of the things I’m most pleased with in the response to the album is that everyone seems to have a different favourite song on it. I think that Electric Woodland is probably my pick of the bunch. It’s one of my favourite songs to play live, and the way we just jammed to make it into what it became was a great moment for us as a band. It also has great energy.

Electric Woodland 2Obviously Norway is your home, a place where different music seems to find a place but black metal and folk based styles seem to be what people most assign to the country. What is the reality as a band from there and have you found a ready appetite there for your blues seeded sounds?

There’s a lot of melancholic music in Norway. Maybe it’s the long, depressing winters, but if it’s pop, rock, blues or black metal, there’s often a hint of melancholy in there somewhere. It’s certainly true for Norwegian folk music and black metal, and of course, for blues as well. A lot of people also like a bit of rock and classic rock, so I think we fit in nicely!

We get the feeling that across Europe and now starting in the UK recognition and attention is awakening to your presence, how are you seeing this now Potrero is out?

We do feel we’re starting to build up steam. You feel that gradually things are beginning to move, with an interview here and there, some radio plays here and there, gigs at a bit bigger venues, etc. We’re in this band because we love creating and playing music, but getting some recognition and that people enjoy what you do feels great. It’s something we spent a lot of time and effort on, and take a lot of pride in, so that people don’t think it’s just bullshit really helps!

Is Electric Woodland an active live proposition at home and what are the prospects of seeing you tour across Europe and the UK at some point?

We’ve been a bit unlucky with some health issues in the band this year, so we haven’t been able to do as much as we’ve wanted to, but we’ve still managed to get quite a few gigs under the belt. All of us have other jobs, so we try to do a gig whenever we find the time. We hope to do a bit more though, and a tour of the UK and Europe would be great at some point. So tell your local promoter!

For all bands the internet has been full of pros and cons for their musical journey, how have you found it so far?

When four guys can sit and play what can be pretty introvert music, in a forest in the middle of nowhere in Norway, and suddenly have about 200 fans on Facebook from India, you see what a powerful marketing tool the internet can be. It also makes everything so much easier and gives you so many more options when it comes to producing and publishing records. Bands no longer need a record label’s financial backing to be able to produce something, which can mean that you get a bigger variety of bands out there for people to listen to. You get music in all shapes in all shapes and forms, which can be both good and bad, I guess.

What is next for Electric Woodland and across the rest of 2014?

Hopefully, we’ll get the time to write some more music. We’ve got a couple rough drafts of songs for the second album that we want to keep working on, as well as doing a few more gigs this year.

Thanks again for taking time to chat with us.

Any last words you would like to leave us with?

If you get the chance, check us out on Spotify, give us a like on Facebook, and tell us what you think!

And lastly putting yourself in the place of an interviewer what question would you most like to ask to who?

Black Sabbath and the question would be if they needed an opening act!

www.electricwoodland.com

Read our review of Potrero @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/electric-woodland-potrero/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 25/09/2014

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