Embraces from the heart: talking with Charly&Faust

Picture by Rémy Tortosa

Tagged as indie folk rock, the Charly&Faust sound is a much richer tapestry of flavours than that hints at and a captivating seduction for ears and thought as proven by a recently released EP. We had a chance to look into the creative heart of the California based band, finding out about its origins, that new EP, creating songs and much more…

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

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

Charly: We are Charly&Faust, an Indie Folk-Rock band composed of six members. I am Charly (Marie Weill), one of the lead singers of the band and rhythm guitarist.

CH: My name is Coralie Hervé and I’m the drummer the band, I joined Charly&Faust in October 2016.

ER: Hi, I’m Eric Reymond. I play bass and do the backing vocals. I’m from Switzerland and I moved to Los Angeles to study at Musicians Institute. I met Coralie on the first day of school and she introduced me to the rest of the band because they were searching for a bass player.

NL: I’m Nathan Lorber, I play keys, and I met the rest of the band following a Facebook notice.

JF: I’m Jeff (Jefferson Fichou) the lead guitar player. I met the band at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood.

Faust: I am Faust; the other lead singer of the band. Charly and I, first met in Paris few years ago, and we started to make music together when we moved in LA. The connection between us was great, but not powerful enough yet. That is why we decided to build a band. Now, We are like a little family!

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

CH: I was in a band with some of my friends for 6 years. It was only for fun but it taught me how to play and work with other people.

Faust: It’s the first time I’m part of a band so there is for sure no impact for me.

JF: I’ve been playing in a lot of different projects here in LA and back in France. It’s important to have such experiences in the music world but everything is evolving faster and smoother with Charly&Faust.

Charly: I got bands before, but it never really worked. We were not going to the same musical direction. I have the chance to now play in two bands with people that I love working with. Charly&Faust is my main band, the one I lead with Faust, but I also play bass and sing backing vocals in another band called The Sutra. I am also working on my next solo EP now. All these experiences are complementary for me and help me to go further in my artistic process in each of them.

ER: Yes, I had two bands back home and I was playing with two other bands here when Charly&Faust asked me to join them. I don’t think it has any impact on my way of playing; I’m always trying to play everything.

NL: I have my own project called Polymorph, as well as a couple of other bands on the side.

Picture by Rémy Tortosa

What inspired the band name?

ER: It comes from the nicknames of the two singers and leaders.

Faust: We just wanted to use something that goes well together!

Charly: Like our music collaboration!

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

Charly: I think for Faust and I music is a way to express ourselves. That was the main idea behind this band. Be free to express our feelings and vision of the world. For the sound part, we are listening old and new music so we wanted to illustrate that in our sound.

Faust: When you play in a band, you feel stronger than ever. All together, we deliver a message and it has a better impact this way. We talk about several feelings from heart breaking to society topics to humanity questions.

NL: I think one of the key points of our sound is to mix a broad range of styles, both old and new.

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

Faust: Yes that’s pretty much the same. I mean the process is the same but with time the other members bring their own touch, their own way which is something I love!

JF: We’re still a pretty young band; we just started about a year ago.

Charly: The only thing that changed is that before forming the full band, Faust and I were composing our songs with an acoustic set up which sometimes was bringing guitar melodies a bit different than what we got now that we are composing with an electric set up.

How would you say your sound has evolved since its beginnings?

JF: We sound more like a band now. I mean everybody has brought some elements to the music and that’s great.

Faust: I just think that the more I practice with the band, my feelings and my way to approach music evolved. Experiencing music with them makes my personal sound evolves and this way makes the sound of Charly&Faust evolves.

CH: At the beginning, there was only Charly and Faust so it was more acoustic, folk. When the rest of us arrived, it turned more indie, rock and now we have some electronic sound added to our music.

Charly: I would say that we are starting to know each other better which allow us to play better together and go further in our creative process. We also improved a lot the vocals harmonies in my opinion.

ER: It’s way more professional now. The electronic elements are certainly a plus to make our sound more professional.

Is the creative movement within the band a more organic thing or do you go out to deliberately try and push new things?

Faust: You know we all have ideas and try to make them work all together which sometimes works really good and sometimes not but what matters is the fact we communicate a lot about it to make sure that we all go in the same direction.

ER: In general, I would say it has been always organic, but, of course, sometimes it’s nice to set boundaries to not get stuck in our comfort zone.

CH: I will say both. The first songs were already written so we kept them like they were but we experimented a lot with the new songs that we arranged all together.

Charly: I would say that it is a mix between both and that it depends of the song we are creating and its topic too.

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

ER: Yes, Vulfpeck, Radiohead and Jack White help me to construct my bass lines stronger.

NL: A big influence for me is Pink Floyd, which also happen to be my favorite band. And the important role Rick Wright had in that band taught me how critical the role of a keyboardist is. You don’t just play melodies or chords, but are a central part of creating textures and setting up the whole atmosphere of a song.

Charly: Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zero, Imagine Dragons, Tracy Chapman, Assaf Avidan, etc.

Faust: I have so many artists who inspired me like Michael Jackson, Joan Jett, the Beatles, The Doors, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Coldplay… I have so much more but I’m gonna stop here *laughs*

CH : I am more of a hard rock/rock drummer, so it’s really interesting to play with Charly&Faust, to add some electronic sounds and find some groove which works with all the other instruments.

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

NL: It usually starts with Charly and Faust bringing lyrics and some vague structure and chords progression to the table. And from that, the whole band participates to enrich the musical and rhythmical aspects, and kind of put flesh on the skeleton.

Charly: Since Faust is the one who writes lyrics, she is usually the one coming to me with a new idea. Then, as Nathan said, we work just the two of us on the lyrics and the melody before working on it with the entire band. We started to work this way and it always worked pretty well, so even if we love having the other members ideas during the creative process, we like to have this moment just the two of us to be sure it is going where we want things to go.

Faust: I usually write the lyrics of the songs, sometimes even come up with a small melody. Charly co-write them with me, and most of our melodies are from her creativity with her guitar.

ER: Generally Charly and Faust bring the idea and we all together construct around to create the best song possible.

JF : My favorite moment is when we’re all jamming together to make a new song sounds as good as we can.

Where do lyrical inspirations more often than not reside?

Faust: Usually my inspirations come from the moments when I am by myself and feel alone.

Charly: It can come from a melody I composed, from a word or sentence one of us heard, etc.

ER: For my song It’s Weird Outside (that you can find in our EP Wild World), I based it on my personal life. But I try to write more about the story of people I know and feelings that affect us all at some point in our life.

Would you give us some background to your latest release?

Faust: Our latest release is our EP ! It is an Indie-Folk-Rock EP talking about love, heart breaking, life, society and humanity. We are very proud of this new baby!

NL: It’s been the result of the contribution of several different formations of the band, up to the current one. So this EP presents variety through its diverse contributions, yet still a strong sense of unity and consistency, since all of the songs are the brainchildren of Charly and Faust!

Charly: Anything wouldn’t have been possible without the help of wonderful people like Pease S. Nistades who did the artistic production on it and Gerhard Westphalen who mixed and mastered it. We also released our first music video No Rush directed by Mariano Schoendorff Ared and produced by Zoé Pelloux. You should definitely go check it on YouTube! We shot it on film and we are so happy of this amazing result!

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

Faust: Well it talks about how monstrous humans can get, how much you can give love to someone and how much it can hurt. You will have to listen to our EP to know more about all that!

Charly: The themes of our songs are most of the time about experiences we lived or we saw happening to people around us. It is very personal for Faust and I.

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?

Charly: We are an Indie band, so we don’t really have the choice of losing hours and hours in studio trying to figure out how a song should go. We have limited time of studio so we have to come prepared, which actually allows us to go further in our creative process. It’s not a bad thing!

Faust: We usually go in studio prepared and we record. As Charly said, no time to lose! Everything must be ready, from the lead vocals to the backing vocals.

JF: We’re adding a few elements on the spot during the recording sessions but the songs are already in their final states.

CH : For the drum part, there are already written before going to the studio so the other members have a solid base to work with. I can’t screw it up!

ER: The recording process of our EP was pretty much a mix of the two options. The main structure of the songs was established. With Coralie, we record the rhythmic section with this structure and after we add the other instruments. Afterwards there are always ideas coming up that we keep on the final version.

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

CH : I really like it, we really have a connection together and hope that people can feel it too. It’s so fun to play with people who experiment the music same as you.

Faust: Live shows are so much fun! The connection with our audience and the band members! It always feels too short!

Charly: Live is one of the best parts for sure. It allows you to share with the band and the audience what the songs really mean to you. And it can be always different depending of what happened during your day.

ER: There’s none. *laughs* No I would say when the rehearsal ends. *laughs* Seriously, my favorite aspect is the cohesion we have on stage and during rehearsals. It’s not common to find this in a band. We don’t just play with other musicians, we play with friends.

NL: It’s always a great feeling to present the result of our hard work to the public, especially considering the amazing feedback they usually give us.

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?

Faust: I think the secret is playing, playing and playing music, create small buzz as much as you can, respect people and having good connections with your band members, which we are actually doing. Let’s see how it goes now.

Charly: Patience is the key word! And hard working too. You just need to be smart and work your ass off and it will eventually pay one day! You just need to get ideas that nobody thought of before you.

JF: If you have the drive, the patience and the stamina, everything is possible.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date, good or bad?

JF: Internet is a fantastic tool for new bands, we’re trying to use it as much as possible to grow our fan base and network.

Faust: I think social medias are great to build your fan base, but I don’t think that is the real bones of your success! Even if for our generation it definitely helps.

Charly: Social medias are a free way to have people talking about you and follow your actualities. It is of course just a part of what should be done for a band to promote what they are doing, but it is a really good beginning! That is your chance to share you music without waiting for music professionals to tell you if you are good enough to be heard by an audience. For example, we are now posting a new video on our YouTube channel every Thursday to make sure people can see us play live shows, do rehearsals, etc.

NL: As for a lot of young bands, the internet and social media is a central part of our communication with fans and the distribution of our music. As a matter of fact, if it wasn’t for social media, I wouldn’t perhaps be part of the band, since that’s how I got news that they were looking for a keyboard player.

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

Faust: Hey! Come join our world!

CH : Enjoy your life and do what you love.

ER: Don’t tell anyone but we have a secret project coming up 😉

JF: We’re playing often in the Los Angeles area, come say hello at our next show! You can find all the info about it on our website https://www.charlyandfaust.com/ !!

Charly: Thanks for your time! We are playing at The Mint LA on November 30th at 9:30PM, if you want to come get a beer with us!

https://www.facebook.com/charlyandfaust/    https://www.instagram.com/charlyandfaust/

Pete RingMaster 09/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Beth Blade & The Beautiful Disasters – Bad Habit

Gaining an increasing reputation and support for their hard rock nurtured sound, South Wales hailing Beth Blade & The Beautiful Disasters raise the ante with the release of debut album Bad Habit. It offers a lively and tenacious roar, already drawing comparisons to artists such as Halestorm, Joan Jett, and Heart, which swiftly has the body and appetite eagerly involved in its instinctive rock ‘n’ roll.

From Cardiff, Beth Blade And The Beautiful Disasters have quickly recruited and built upon an eager and loyal local following since emerging. The time since has seen them stomping across the UK with their own tours and with the likes of Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, The Dead Daisies) as well as sharing stages with others such as Ricky Warwick and Damon Johnson of Black Star Riders. Recorded with Nick Brine (Thunder, The Darkness, Bruce Springsteen) at the legendary Rockfield studios and Leeders Vale, and mastered by Pete Maher (The Rolling Stones), the crowd funded Bad Habit is a hefty poke at bigger national attention with success an easy to assume expectation.

Opener Hell Yeah swiftly has ears grabbed, its opening lure of riffs accompanied by the moody tone of the bass; instinctive attention inviting by them well before the fiery flames springing from Chris Gould’s guitar ignite with classic rock spicing. As rhythm guitarist Beth Blade brings just as tasty riffs into play, her vocals command even greater focus while giving richer strength to the song. Like a mix of Suzi Quatro and Cherie Currie, she stands bold with a tenacity matched in the infectious sound hollering around her.

It is a great start quickly matched by the album’s title track; a slice of foot stomping, chest beating heavy rock led by the swinging beats of drummer Sam Brain. Its forceful attitude is epitomised by the brooding tone of Nicko Goodwin’s bass, its menace tempered skilfully by the wiry melodic tendrils of guitar similarly coming at ears with a touch of discontent. Its rousing qualities are swift incitement to physical and vocal participation before Beautiful Disease offers its own potent blend of catchiness and predacious threat. Muscle and melody unite across the menacing prowl of a song which shows the band as adept at creating more composed and moody proposals as they are at flying at the jugular in spirit rousing charges.

Down And Dirty lives up to its name next, its bluesy grooves tonic for hips as rhythms and riffs surround the increasingly impressing tones of Blade with their grungy antagonism while Poster Girl For Pain reveals another aspect to the Blade’s songwriting and the band’s sound with its power driven balladry and emotive intensity. It is a slowly burning encounter compared to the hungry exploits of its predecessors but a temptation becoming more potent and irresistible with every passing minute and listen.

The heart bred snarl of This Bitch Bites fuels both vocals and music, Blade a spiky treat within the track’s quarrelsome nature. Again attitude soaks every strain of sound and intent escaping the excellent song, its defiance and combative contagion equally lining successor Hell In High Heels though its blues rock inflamed body has a ‘lighter’ and more keenly catchy nature which might not impress as addictively as the antics of the previous track but leaves pleasure in another lofty place soon reinforced by the classic rock ‘n’ roll nurtured romp of If You’re Ready To Rock. Carrying no real surprises, the song lacks the spark of its companions for personal tastes yet easily keeps enjoyment and feet firmly involved.

The album is brought to an end by firstly the heated beauty of Angel With A Dirty Face, Blade sharing a croon as magnetic and captivating as her rebel rousing deliveries elsewhere, melodies simmering and boiling up with equal elegance, and lastly through the ballsy, swagger loaded rock ‘n’ roll of Legends Never Die. It encapsulates all the galvanic and creatively vociferous qualities of the Beth Blade and The Beautiful Disasters sound and indeed Bad Habit itself in its bones, leaving instincts aroused and a hunger for more leading fingers keenly back to the start button.

Beth Blade and The Beautiful Disasters might not be the most unique proposition around right now in sound but for a fiercely enjoyable and raucous holler easy to get off on, they set a mighty example.

Bad Habit is out now @ https://bethbladeandthebeautifuldisasters.com/store

https://bethbladeandthebeautifuldisasters.com    https://www.facebook.com/BBATBDofficial    https://twitter.com/BBATBDofficial

Pete RingMaster 23/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The sparks of change: exploring the adventure that is Nocean

Last year saw a change of line-up spark a new evolution in the sound of emerging and exciting rockers Nocean. It was as if everything fell into place for the Swedish quartet, evidence coming with their subsequent single. Time to find out more we thought when the chance to talk with Nocean arose. So with thanks to vocalist Hanna, we peer into the origins of Nocean, those changes and a new direction in sound and much more…

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

Nocean is a rock band from Sweden (Stockholm) that plays alternative rock with metal influences and electronic elements. We are four members: Hanna (vocals), Patrick (drums), Ozzy (guitar), and Sara (bass). The band started back in 2013 as a classic hard rock band, but has switched some members and developed the sound towards alternative rock. Me (Hanna) and Ozzy has brought the band forward since some members quit last summer and so we found Patrick through a Swedish site called “band finder”. We knew Sara a bit from before and she joined the band last fall. They both saved us back then, and we started something fresh and great.

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on that change of style or direction within the band?

We have all been in other bands before, in different genres from hard rock to extreme metal. It can of course have an impact on what we are writing now, we blend our references together. It’s important for us to have the same musical taste in rock/metal.

What inspired the band name?

Nocean is a play with words – Notion – Nocean!

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

When I first started a band called Lobos Libre (before Nocean), I was very inspired by The Runaways and the spirit of pure rock n roll. But that has changed over time; when we wrote our debut album we played around a bit in the rock/metal genre and we found out more about which direction we wanted to go – more towards a modern, alternative rock sound in the style of Thirty Seconds To Mars, Muse, and Paramore.

Are you still driven by those same core aims or have broadened them as Nocean has grown?

We have come to a new level and with each level you get your motivations from different things of course. In the beginning our main goal was to play as much live as possible, in any venues. Now our goal is to focus on the recordings, social media and to play at larger stages. This summer we are playing at Sweden Rock Festival!

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

It started as a classic hard rock band, blending in some metal and our debut album is a mix of different kind of rock/metal styles. So during this past year we have developed and streamlined our sound to alternative, modern rock and we also added some backing tracks/synthesizers and electronic elements to create a heavier, more massive sound.

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

I would say both. Since some members quit and left me and Ozzy alone with this ship last summer, our new sound is now based on me and Ozzy’s personal musical taste of course. And it’s based on what we like nowadays of course, since I was more of a classic hard rock girl before and Ozzy was only listening to metal core for some years ago. As Patrick and Sara joined the band, they were all in for this sound and we even found out that we have a heavier reference as well in common – Devin Townsend. And so Sara and Patrick also add their influences to our new sound and that becomes what Nocean is today.

As you have suggested there is a wide range of inspirations across the band; 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?

In the start it was The Runaways/Joan Jett (for me) and Halestorm. Halestorm is still there as I found Lizzy Hale being a great inspiration and their music is also still quite similar to ours. Then a year ago me and Ozzy found Thirty Seconds To Mars and smaller bands in the same genre and got amazed. Muse has always been one of my favorite band, but it wasn’t obvious to have a band inspired by them because I wasn’t sure of what I could or could not sing. Straight forward hard rock is for me an “easier” genre; both in the writing sometimes and with the vocals since it suits me well and I know how to master it. What we are doing now is more challenging in some ways and for me that is awesome.

Is there a particular process to the songwriting within the band?

We put together the songs in the rehearsal room. But me and Ozzy often write some foundations to the songs that we bring to our rehearsal. Patrick adds his cool rhythms and details to the songs and Sara adds her dynamic thinking. I write the lyrics and Ozzy produces and writes the songs at home in his home studio.

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

I write what is true for me right now and I often describe my lyrics as letters to people who need to hear them. It’s very often about change and going in a positive direction with yourself.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?

We have released two songs since the new line up was formed and with our new sound. The first one – The Change – was released in October last year along with Sweden’s first rock video filmed in 360 degrees. It went viral and we gained many new followers from Mexico and Brazil, where we think our music is much appreciated. In March this year we released a second single – This Must Be – with a music video which included some live clips from a great big venue outside Stockholm.

How about some insight to the themes and premise behind them?

I try to always be positive and encouraging in my lyrics. I want it to be somehow poetic more than straight in your face, and I want it to be subtle, in that way a song about love can as well mean something else for someone else. Feelings are the same sometimes, like whether it’s about losing someone to death or separating from someone you have a strong relationship to.

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?

Since Ozzy is the master of the sound (recording for us), he likes to build a song step by step. So it’s a constant process!

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

We have a lot of energy on stage and we love to interact with our audience, and to be on stage together! You can see clearly that we all love to be on stage. We want to tour abroad as often as we can, it makes us stoked and it’s so great to combine your passion for music with traveling around the world, meeting different kind of people.

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

Yes of course. Our answer is quite obvious: social media. Using Facebook ads and targeting the right audience, knowing your audience, posting the right content on the right time, making YouTube covers to let new people find your music… the list goes on. There are lots of opportunities for bands to go on their own today.

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

Yes, I think that I’ve found a way to make it a positive way for success and that other bands should discover this and have a lot of patience too. It takes much time to learn all about it, to find your target audience and how to reach them. But it’s all worth it when you see results.

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

We are coming to England on tour again in May! Playing in London, Tamworth and Birmingham… It’s gonna be a blast, we came last year for the first time and played with the London based metal band Evyltyde. Thanks to them we found some contacts and are now able to go on our headline mini tour. To smaller bands that want to tour abroad: make gig swaps. Let a band come to your home town and book them on some gigs and let them do the same for you. Share lodging, transport costs and voila! You’re on tour abroad without any expensive booking agency. Don’t be afraid to Do It Yourself! Big thank you for reading all of this and thanks for the interview!

http://www.noceantheband.com/    https://www.facebook.com/noceantheband/   https://twitter.com/noceantheband/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 12/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Star Dancer – Welcome To My World

Star Dancer_RingMasterReview

Whether by coincidence or intent, Welcome To My World feels like an homage to suspected inspirations to its creator. It offers a bundle of songs and flavours which seem like friends before they even finish making their first persuasion with originality not as ripe as the craft bringing them to life. The result though is a fun time which it is hard not to like and enjoy, and increasingly so with every listen.

The album is the debut from Star Dancer, a band created by Detroit hailing vocalist Robert Star and Sponge members Vinnie Dombroski and Tim Patalan who produced it. Welcome To My World is as much a jukebox of recognisable “snapshots” of assumedly the music lighting the artist’s life and passions as it is of “both the world surrounding Robert and a troubled modern day America” explored “through Robert’s unique lens.

Highly enjoyable is what it predominantly is and straight away as Welcome To My World opens with its title track, a feisty slice of hard rock with classic rock inflamed grooves wrapped in rousing backing vocals provided by Tosha Owens and Rachel Williams. As well as kicking the album off in potent style, the song gets the appetite and spirit going too and ready to embrace the more restrained but openly magnetic Earth Mother Dancer. Flirting with a Billy Idol meets Johnny Wore Black swing to its rock ‘n’ roll; the song is as instinctively simple and catchy as it is sonically colourful with the leading lures of David Black’s guitar pure captivation alongside the more punk ‘n’ roll riffs of Wally Filipiak.

Great Sexpectations (Turn Off the Lights) provides an eighties hue to its hard rock revelry next, an easy to bite on hook framed and speared by the punchy beats of Jerome Day. Guitars create a splattering of that nostalgic enticing throughout the song whilst bassist Jason Lollio prowls it all with a great throaty and contagious tempting. From one easy pleasure to another as She’s In Love With Joan Jett takes over; a song echoing the focus of its title whilst also sharing an Elvis Costello meets The Cars like air to its boisterous stroll.

Star Dancer Artwork_RingMasterReviewDiversity continues to enrich album and ears as the sultry smoulder of The Weed Don’t Lie radiates warm melodic and harmonic persuasion across an exotically textured landscape whilst hugging the increasingly impressing voice and presence of Star before High & The Mighty brings its own individual tempting to bear on the imagination. A web of varied rock flavours from electro to heavy, the song entices like an unexpected mix of Ministry before they went metal, Heaven 17, and Spineshank. The track is another of the peaks of the album matched quickly by the melodic shuffle and seducing of Annie and an excellent spin on EMF’s classic, Unbelievable.

In the first of the two there is a whiff of Bowie which is even bolder in the following IntraVenus FlyTrap, though at times it becomes Bolan-esque as the track grips ears with its steely rock ‘n’ roll built on snarly riffs and electronic imagination. The vocal union again, as across the album, simply whets the appetite as hooks and grooves work freely on the imagination before the punk ‘n’ roll of Before I Die brings the album to spirit rousing close. From a lo-fi strum, the song erupts; leaping and bouncing as southern and punk rock flavouring infests its anthemic vivacity.

The final song epitomises the album; many flavours combining in many ways for something very familiar and so easy to get fully and eagerly involved in. If you are looking for a good time and something to feel good from, then Welcome To My World just might fit the bill.

Welcome To My World is released April 20th on iTunes and other stores.

http://www.stardancerband.com   https://www.facebook.com/Stardancer13

Pete RingMaster 20/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com

Grooves and zombies: getting close and personal with Novacrow

novacrow_RingMasterReview

According to the band, Novacrow is “a four-piece of zombie-punching, hard-rock sleazeballs.” What they certainly are is a hard rock seeded roar which is earning a mighty reputation for their eclectic sound and EP Black Syrup has only backed and reinforced their striking emergence on the British rock scene. With the supporting of bands such as Skarlett Riot, Heonias and Green Jellÿ also under their belts, the EP feels like the spark to bigger things and attention upon Novacrow so we seized the opportunity to get to know the band and its hungry heart with big thanks to vocalist/guitarist Kitty Synthetica and bassist/backing vocalist/producer Federico Spera.

Hi guys, thanks for taking time out to talk with us

No worries, thanks for the interview!

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

Federico: The band consists of the following sex gods: Kitty Synthetica on vocals/guitar/kazoo, Jonyx on lead guitars, Freddy on bass/backing vocals, and Torben Schmidt Hansen on the drums. We all got together when Kitty and John wanted to form a band; they met Torben and I through mutual friends and cosmic forces.

Have you been/are involved in other bands?

Federico: The others have all been in bands before and I studied music in university, so I’ve always been part of different bands in some form…The so called “Mistress Bands”.

Kitty

Kitty

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

Federico: It’s kind of hard to say, obviously with us all having been in bands before you’d think we’d be super pros, but the truth is that there’s no set way to work together. It depends entirely on the bands and the people in them. But being in other bands definitively taught us how to promote ourselves and our releases, what works and what doesn’t, etc.

Kitty: I’ve been playing gigs since I was 16 and it really helps giving you ‘live experience’. Shows can be tough and crowds can be unforgiving, but you need that to make you a better performer. In terms of the impact on my music, in previous projects, I was solely focussed on writing metal, which tended to limit my creativity. I listen back to demos I had scrapped for ‘not being heavy enough’ and think “Oh nice, I want to use that now!”

What inspired the band name?

Federico: The legend says that John one day just picked a word out of a dictionary and fused it with an animal. The idea of a bird on fire must have appealed to him I guess, so he stuck with it.

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

Federico: Kitty had a few songs already written when she originally formed the band, but that’s about it. I think ultimately we just wanted to rock out with our cocks out, and that was the main premise behind the band.

Kitty: I had a very different project in mind! I wanted an all-girl band, but these guys were the closest thing to women that I could find. Haha. No, I love this band and how well we all work together. One big creepy happy family!

Do the same things still drive the band from its first days or have they evolved over time?

Federico: The drive of the band is still rooted in the desire to be outrageous and we’re very much a success driven band. However, the way we focus that drive has definitely matured throughout our time together.

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

Federico: I’d say it has evolved for the better. If you listen to our old demos there were some nice ideas, but they weren’t particularly well mediated and executed. I’d like to think that as time goes on, we manage to find the right balance between being ridiculous and writing good songs as opposed to doing one or the other, which is a significant sign of evolution for our sound.

Would you say that change has been more of an organic movement of sound or have you gone out with new things you wanted to specifically try?  

Frederico

Frederico

Federico: It has always felt quite organic. I don’t think there’s a single song which we’ve had to force into existence.

Kitty: Because Novacrow is so unrestricted when it comes to genre, there’s no ‘wrong sound.’ I have a few juicy riffs in the pipeline though.  I am also a big fan of vocal harmonies, (Alice in Chains get this SO right) so I’ll be looking for opportunities to use some interesting melodies.

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

Federico: With the exception of Black Syrup (which was inspired by the burlesque goodness of Pussy Liquor by Rob Zombie), I wouldn’t say there’s been a conscious influence on any of our songs or approach. We mainly base our inspiration for songs on vibes and energies as opposed to songs or artists. Instead of saying “We should write a Machine Head-esque riff in C phrygian”, we’ll say “We should write an angry and crushing powerhouse of a song”.

Kitty: There are some awesome female musicians that have inspired me massively. Brody Dalle of The Distillers, Tairrie B of My Ruin, Joan Jett, Grog of Die So Fluid, Otep, Alissa White-Gluz- to name a few. From the earliest days of getting into rock and metal, I would seek out bands with powerful female figures and I always wanted to emulate the same sort of commanding presence they had onstage.

Musically, I only ever learnt guitar as a means to write songs. I’ve never had an interest in replicating tracks; if I love a song, I have no urge to reproduce it identically. But, I do love deconstructing a track that I adore and putting together a new cover, something I have been doing on YouTube since 2009. It’s a fun challenge and a way of paying homage to songs I love.

Is there a particular process to the songwriting which generally seems to emerge?

Federico: Generally, one of us (usually Kitty) will have a whole song idea in their head, which they’d bring to a rehearsal room and we bounce ideas off each other. Each song is then mediated in a different way. I’d say the biggest exception to this is The Mantra, which was almost a completely different song when Kitty first showed it to me for pre-production.

Kitty: For a lot of songs, I think that the melody is the most important part- and by this I mean the vocal tune combined with the central guitar riff. That will always be the starting framework of any song I write. In my opinion, if you strip back everything else, but still retain that central vocal/guitar, it needs to be strong enough to make an impact on its own.

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

Kitty: It completely depends on the song. In a lot of cases I fixate on a phrase and use it for a title first (Black Syrup and Fat Frog for example), or the lyrics drive the rest of the track entirely (I think this is particularly the case in The Mantra).

Fight The Horde!!! was very much video game inspired. The lyrics loosely follow the storyline of The Last of Us, whilst the title is a reference to Left 4 Dead. I wanted something fast and heavy, with epic soaring choruses, perfect for kicking ass.

I wrote the lyrics to Set in Stone and Colourless whilst reading a lot of Haruki Murakami novels. I love how he creates such fantastic vast images and creates these prophetic journeys of self-fulfilment for average characters.

Novacrow EP 2016 - Blacky Syrup Cover Art_RingMasterReviewGive us some background to your new release and some insight into the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

Federico: Our latest release is the panty-dropping powerhouse of an EP called Black Syrup. It really captures the vibe of the band effectively, opening with the kazoo filled drunk anthem Fat Frog to get them booties shakin’ (which is about getting shitfaced and party-hardying). That’s followed by Fight The Horde!!!, which is a zombie-apocalypse based thumper of a song inspired by the game Last of Us. Then comes the title track Black Syrup, which is inspired by sticky black goo. Set in Stone is next, which gives the listener a peak into our more melodic side. The whole EP is brought to an end by Colourless, an easy listening instrumental piece.

Kitty: I love focussing on big over-the-top themes. Most of the time, I write the majority of a song in my head before picking up an instrument, so it’s very much a ‘visual’ experience. I deliberately wanted a set of very different songs for the EP, each with a completely different vibe and based on very different vivid scenarios.

Do you enter the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or use that scenario to bring songs to their final character?

Federico: For all of our releases so far, we’ve gone through intensive pre-production, so when it comes to recording we know exactly what we’re doing. The pre-production usually consists of recording high quality demos, so if we want to develop an element of the song we can use that as a reference point.

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

Federico: Ooh, there’s so much to talk about here, but I’ll do my best to sum it up. We don’t believe in “over-the-top”, so we pretty much do what we want on stage, which usually means somebody is gonna make an ass out of themselves. We’ve brought inflatable crows on stage, did a kazoo cover of My Heart Will Go On, chugged pints mid songs, and done all sorts of stupid shit when performing. It’s the biggest form of release for some of us, so we’re not gonna hold anything back on stage.

Kitty: Performing is everything. I love to make people laugh, I love writing songs and I love goading a crowd. Word of our onstage stupidity is definitely our biggest pull to shows and makes us appeal to promoters. Basically, we’re just a bunch of attention seekers, that aren’t talented enough to earn praise for doing great deeds, so have to resort to being a bunch of performing chimps. AND WE LOVE IT.

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

Federico: Like you said, it’s not easy. We’ve definitely not even scratched the surface. It’s hard because you want to celebrate every little insignificant bit of success that you achieve, but as soon as you do then it sort of means you’re satisfied, and then your efforts diminish. This is an EXTREMELY tough industry, and unless you’re giving it you 10000% then there’s virtually no chance of getting anywhere in it. We’ve found it extremely tiring at times, especially whilst trying to balance the band with our “normal” life, but at the end of the day we can’t show any signs of stopping otherwise we won’t get anywhere.

Kitty: The music industry today is highly saturated with competing artists, in a field where very few people are willing to spend money on music. Every small victory is important to me, as I wouldn’t be making music if I didn’t enjoy it. In the grand scheme of things, I’m not under any false impressions of earning world notoriety, but I am grateful for every show, every sale and every person who takes the time to let us know how much they love the music. Hard work is everything though.

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

Federico: Absolutely. You gotta play to win. It’s gonna be extremely hard, and even if you put your 20000% into it then there’s still no definitive chance to “make it”, but it’s the best chance you’ve got. As soon as you stop trying then you lose any opportunity you might have. It’s just a matter of persistence and not letting the odds get you down and eventually you’ll find yourself in a good place.

Kitty: There’s no guarantees, at all, but if you’re going to go for it, there’s no point half-assing it. You have to treat a band like Walter White treats meth; you need to believe in your ‘product,’ market it intelligently and push it like CRAZY.

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

Federico: We’ve started the band at a point in which internet and social media became crucial to a band’s success. We’ve started using Kitty’s YouTube “fame” to fuel traffic to our various pages and so far it has worked very well, people who like Kitty’s covers tend to like Novacrow as well. So far, it has had a great impact!

Kitty: Social media is such a fantastic platform for bands, but I don’t think everybody appreciates just how hard you have to work to harness it. It is survival of the fittest. You can’t just moan about how small your post’s ‘reach’ on Facebook might be, you need to fight to get people’s attention.

The internet is incredible for musicians. I love looking at the insight statistics on YouTube and our website and seeing how people all over the world are listening to us. I had to send out all of our EP pre-orders this week, and there’s Novacrow CDs flying out all over the globe!  To an extent, social media gives you a chance to reach an audience without borders or limit. As a listener, you have an endless supply of incredible music at your fingertips.

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?

Federico: Probably the former. People don’t realise exactly how much work needs to go in just to have the tiniest chance of success, and so they don’t work for it. And then they get annoyed when they can’t draw a crowd to their gigs, or get any decent support slots, until they eventually give up. How hard do you think you need to work to get anywhere with your band? Welp, that’s wrong, you have to work EVEN harder than that.

And that’s when we whip out the kazoos and zombies. We know how to work hard yet still entertain ourselves.

Kitty: You have to MAKE people want to see you. Give people a reason to want your music and look forward to your gigs!

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

Federico: Hell yeah, thanks for the interview! Check out our EP Black Syrup, I guarantee you will be more aroused than you’ll have ever been in your life! And keep an eye out on our various pages for more music, pictures, videos, and tips on world domination!

https://www.facebook.com/novacrowofficial/    https://www.novacrowofficial.com/

https://twitter.com/novacrowband   https://www.instagram.com/novacrowband/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 21/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Eva Plays Dead – Sounds of the Written Word

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UK rockers Eva Plays Dead have been stirring up plenty of attention and praise loaded support over the past couple of years through a potent live presence and a host of songs and debut album fuelled by with impressing adventure and the potential of even greater things to come. The Sounds of the Written Word EP continues the band’s potent emergence and evolution of sound with five rousing slices of undiluted rock ‘n’ roll. It is an encounter which confirms the Nottingham/Derby bred quartet as ones to watch and to find plenty of flavoursome enjoyment with, but also suggests that they are still only at the beginnings of exploring their creative depths.

Formed in the January of 2013, Eva Plays Dead weave inspirations from the likes of The Dirty Youth, LostAlone, Marmozets, Joan Jett, and QOTSA into their diversely spiced sound. Thick strains of metal, hard and alternative rock, and even punk are entangled and fused together as proven by the band’s new encounter, which relentlessly entices and holds attention. Live the band has frequently drawn acclaim too whilst supporting the likes of We Are The Ocean, LostAlone, Max Raptor, Canterbury, and also across their own country wide tours. The band’s 2013 album Guilt Trips & Sins equally drew its plaudits though it took the single of earlier this year, Wonderland to spark and lure in the increasing focus of the likes of Team Rock and Kerrang. The song was a rich taster of Sounds of the Written Word which itself is already creating a bit of a feisty stir since its release via SoundHub Records.

EP Artwork_RingMaster Review     The EP opens with Live Again and a rich torrent of fiery riffs, pungent rhythms, and a sonic enticing impossible to ignore. In fact the whole song is a wall of persuasion, especially once the rich voice and expressive delivery of Tiggy Dee joins the muscular party. Her tones wrap syllable and ears with tenacious seduction yet carries a raw edge which only adds to the aggressively creative enterprise of sound around her. The guitar of Matt Gascoyne is just as lively in its imagination and craft, its melodies and Dee’s siren-esque roar in turn trapped by the masterful and fiercely magnetic rhythmic cage cast by bassist Zach Shannon and drummer Seb Boyse.

The tracks’ bluesy air and hard rock enticing continues in the more predatory Bad Girl, the song with the sinister persuasive lure of a temptress prowling the listener musically and vocally. It is dark, dirty, and a weave of sonic resourcefulness seeded in classic and alternative rock. As its predecessor, the song is firmly infectious whether roaring with full passion or delving into more concentrated tapestries of thick texture and invasive spicing. It easily continues the strong start to the release, though both songs get outshone by Wonderland. From its first dark rumble, the track is sheer addictiveness, riffs and grooves a flirtatious confrontation over the anthemic twist of rhythms and subsequently stalking beats. Dee again sits astride the magnetic drama at play, her voice attitude fuelled yet with a raw regal air as the equally riveting sounds dance around her with bright invention and raucous energy. It is no surprise that the song stirred up ears and appetites as a single as here it pretty much steals the show, though it is quickly rivalled by the closing pair of songs on the EP.

We Ain’t A Family uncages its own virulent hooks and tangy grooves in short time, rhythms showing more restraint amidst the melody rich proposal though again the bass finds an intimidating snarl to drool over. Like the last track, it shows an eagerness to explore an undulating landscape of ideas and evolving sound, crescendos of energy and skilful ebbing and flowing of intensity and passion alone an enthralling tempting.

Final track 1950’s Woman has a similar template to the previous pair but finds its own individual character within a familiar bellow of rigorous sound and bewitching vocal theatre. The song maybe does not define its distinctiveness as much as others on the EP, but when it leaves ears basking, imagination smiling, and emotions hungry for more, there is little more you can ask of it.

There is definitely the sense that Eva Plays Dead has more in the locker than shown on Sounds of the Written Word which only makes their future something to keenly anticipate. This is a band to keep close attention on with an EP to thoroughly enjoy.

Sounds of the Written Word is available now via SoundHub Records through most online stores

http://www.evaplaysdead.com/     https://www.facebook.com/EvaPlaysDead

RingMaster 31/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Cole Childers – Aurora EP

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Providing an intriguing and seriously captivating blend of hard and alternative rock with also a slight tendency for metal, the Aurora EP is one of those potential soaked treats which catches you by surprise and opens up a certain appetite for more. The debut solo release from Cole Childers, the impressive six track encounter is a bed of drama and evocative enterprise which roars and seduces with equal potency. It is not a proposition to explore new avenues for fiery melodic rock but certainly one making a tasty addition to its ranks whilst marking Childers out as a striking presence to contemplate and keep a keen eye on ahead.

The Bainbridge Island, Washington hailing, now Seattle based musician brings his experiences from being a member of the United States Navy since 2000, as well as other personal moments and insights into his songwriting, lyrically and in sound songs gaining a dark and often challenging texture to their incitement. Returning from a six month deployment in 2006, Childers formed rock band Chasing Corona which released the critically acclaimed album Black Eye and Candlelight as well as going on to share stages with artists such as Motley Crue, George Clinton, Creed, and Joan Jett. In 2010 he left the band and also since leaving the military, found in his words that “I was able to move back to where it all began, with new purpose and clear direction.”

As soon as the opening track from Aurora embraces ears there is recognition of that passion you sense in the man running through the release in sound and vocal delivery. Save Me straight away casts a wall of demanding riffs and ImageProxy.mvcrhythmic swipes which awaken attention and imagination instantly. It is a feisty entrance by the song which is soon entwining senses in taught grooves before relaxing into a melodic and emotive caress clasped by evocative shadows. It is a fiery relaxation though which is soon aflame as the rigorous chorus erupts with similar vocal causticity from Childers. It all combines for a gloriously magnetic lure aided by the great throaty prowl of the bass and those firm swinging rhythms which punctuate every twist and emotional expulsion of the song. As lyrically gripping as it is in sound, the song is like a mix of Johnny Wore Black and Sick Puppies, and a scintillating start to the release which alone fires up a hungry appetite for more in the passions.

Childers latest single comes next to continue the immense presence of the EP, Fall With Me also entangling the senses in raw and strongly imposing scythes of guitars at first before Childers begins unveiling the emotively striking and stirring premise of the song. It along with an accompanying video, potently tries to portray the turmoil and sacrifice in war which goes unrecognised or certainly felt by those on the outside. It has a metal edge which makes for a predatory essence whilst a 3 Days Grace like angst and expression adds further rich hues to the incendiary and thrilling encounter. There is equally a skill and poise to the musicianship of Childers which hones the emotion and aggressive flavours that drive the heart of the song into a thought sparking proposition.

The evocative balladry of Addict is next, keys and voice making a captivating embrace which flourishes further as Childers explores a flowing harmonious presence whilst embraced by shadow kissed strings. An electronic agitation adds its resonance across the brewing climate of the song, a whisper of Linkin Park spicing up a Pearl Jam/Breaking Benjamin like croon. It is a mesmeric blaze of dramatic enticement which makes way for the tempestuous air and energy of Run Away. Again Sick Puppies comes to mind as hooks sparkle and riffs rub their captivating bait on ears whilst a raw energy colours the song’s emotional bellow. As with all the tracks, there is an inescapable contagion and ferocious beauty which wraps and ignites the imagination whilst forming a lingering lure in the passions.

The EP is completed by firstly the heavy rock fuelled Impossible, a track which lacks the spark of its predecessors yet still has plenty to ensnare and draw back eager attention, especially the potent and increasingly impressing vocals and expression of Childers. It is followed by the title track to being things to a potent close. The acoustically cast track looking at a broken relationship and its twist, is a smouldering caress of a song where vocally Childers again shines and melodically is an evocatively flaming sunset of sonic richness and emotive endeavour. It is an excellent finale to an outstanding release which just gets better with every listen. As mentioned at the start, Aurora is not setting new plateaus to emulate but definitely provides one captivating promise drenched adventure which suggests to expect big things from Cole Childers ahead.

The Aurora EP is available now via Vanity Digital Music on iTunes, Amazon, Google Music and other digital download sites.

colechilders.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 13/08/2014

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