Black Oil – Resist To Exist

Black Oil_RingMaster Review

I think we can all agree it is seriously hard to be truly original in the music scene now and just as difficult to be noticeably unique against the hordes of other bands tempting time and attention. A few though do instinctively stand out through sound or presence to stand many steps from the masses, and one such proposal is US based groove metallers Black Oil. Their sound is a furious maelstrom of various strands of metal, Latin and worldly invention, and a defiant passion which binds it all for one, as shown by their new album, blistering and rousing confrontation. Resist To Exist is a riot in the imagination, a tempest in the ears, and an anthemic incitement just leaving the body alive.

Calling LA home, Black Oil originally emerged from Brazil with a sound crafted and honed with a unique blend of cultures and years of experiences gained by founder Addasi Addasi, whose travels have taken in the life and flavours of over thirty countries. Since forming the band has earned a big reputation and following through a previous pair of acclaimed albums, including the predecessor to their new encounter, the Logan Mader (Machinehead, Soulfly, DevilDriver, Gojira, FFDP) produced the Not Under My Name, as well as a live presence which has seen them play with the likes Megadeth, Fear Factory, All Shall Perish, Soulfly, Otep, Cavalera Conspiracy, Arch Enemy, Anthrax, Cattle Decapitation and many more. Their renowned metal-samba sound and hard hitting politically charged lyrics has made Black Oil a hungrily devoured proposition already, and now with Resist To Exist it is easy to expect even greater reactions and spotlights on the band, the album simply one of the most exhilarating incitements of the year.

cover_RingMaster Review     Produced by Cristian Machado of Ill Nino, with many other contributions, Resist To Exist sees the quartet of guitarist/vocalist Addasi, vocalist Mike Black, bassist /vocalist Drew Petropoulos, and drummer Michael Gomez joined by a host of guest contributions including Fear Factory/Archaea’s Raymond Herrera and ex-Static X/Soulfly and now Fear Factory bassist Tony Campos amongst them. This and the unbridled imagination and ideation soaking songs all goes to create incendiary tapestries of sound and energy which from the opening track makes Resist To Exist one feverish conquest of body and emotions.

It all starts with Rise Up, a song with its intent in its title and success in a character which just will not accept anything less than full involvement from the listener. From its first breath, riffs and rhythms are a cauldron of enticing intensity, a tenacious prelude to swiftly joining and just as quickly virulent grooves. Aligned to the guttural roar of Black, the track is in full violent swing in seconds, its rhythmic hips casting a commanding swagger as guitars and bass cast an inescapable web of searing grooving and infectious riffery. Like Five Finger Death Punch meeting Powerman 5000, but so much more, the track is an incendiary device of invigorating and exhausting metal contagion, raw alchemy to get the blood and energy rushing through anyone’s veins.

The ferocious start continues with the just as explosive Justified where malevolently swung beats and a carnivorous bass tone add their great grouchiness to a wind storm of sonic hostility, and that is just the initial impact on the senses. Soon Middle Eastern hints stir within a spicy expulsion of guitar before the track puts its head back down for another hellacious and rabid stomp. As much death and industrial like as it is a grooved fury, the encounter continues to ignite and incite ears and thoughts before passing the senses over to Callate. The third track, which features Campos on bass and vocals, is a predator of emotional bedlam and creative unpredictability, its sound as diverse and ravenous as the vocals fuelling its inner corrosive rage, and as irresistible.

Exoskeleton savages ears with its vocal and rhythmic hostility next, whilst simultaneously seducing the imagination with a tangy web of melodic grooving and feistily flavoured enterprise. The result is something which roars like a blend of Fear Factory and Devildriver yet equally only has its own distinct animus of sound and intent. It is a flesh searing bellow leaving the body shell shocked and ready to be taken on a fiery ride by the following Combustion. From its initial fierce caress of sound, Latin bred percussion and melodic hues are enriching the song’s rhythmic and sonic tempting, elements of bands like (Hed) PE and Bang Data joining the muscular rebellion and expelling even greater influence as the track springs its bruising anthemic shuffle. Joined by guest Silverio Pessoa on vocals, Black is the ringleader of one addiction forging, body igniting tempest. The guitars alone create an enslaving persuasion with their relentless and evocatively creative twists whilst the percussive aspect of the song aided by Mario Pallais, is simply a puppeteer on the listener.

One brilliant encounter makes way for another in the insatiable shape of Revolution. Featuring and driven by the ravenous rhythmic swings of Herrera, the track is a bestial onslaught but one littered with infectious grooves and sonic devilment. The track is psychotic, never allowing the listener to make assumptions on its direction and with more guests involved, evolving character. The same can be said about Stand Against Everything which comes straight after, the song akin to the last and taking certain aspects of its persuasion into its own persistently evolving and fiery samba.

Resist To Exist closes with Paper Slave, a final aggressive and venomously inflamed uprising of creative hostility and impassioned defiance. It comes shaped with cantankerous riffs, merciless rhythms, and mesmeric invention, bone breaking hostility merging with worldly and emotive resourcefulness. Stuck Mojo and Ill Nino come to mind as it ravages air and ears but again the song in reality is something else again, and though maybe not matching earlier heights, it leaves the listener only wanting more upon departure.

Black Oil brings something different and relentlessly exciting to the metal table with Resist To Exist. Some tracks soar above others in creative adventure and sheer compelling power but all leave a greedy hunger and thick pleasure behind them. Who can want much more than that?

Resist To Exist is available now via Sliptrick Records through most digital stores.

http://www.blackoil1.com/   https://www.facebook.com/blackoilofficial

RingMaster 22/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Against Evil – Fatal Assault

Against Evil_RingMaster Review

With a couple of strong singles already teasing attention since forming in October last year, Indian metallers Against Evil now reinforce their potent emergence with a nudge on broader attention with debut EP Fatal Assault. Offering six tracks of old school inspired heavy metal loaded with a fresh and more modern breath, band and release make a highly promising proposition. Not one quite ready to explode into the widest global metal scene, but certainly something to noticeably stir things up.

Hailing from Visakhapatnam, Against Evil consists of guitarist/vocalist Sravan, guitarist Shasank, bassist/vocalist Siri Sri, and drummer Noble John. Their sound leans on inspirations from the likes of Judas Priest, Accept, Megadeth, Black Sabbath and many more, but as shown by the Simone Mularoni mixed and mastered Fatal Assault, finds its own identity through merging further potent spices.

The release opens with brief instrumental Battle Call, the piece a sparkling melodic enticing which barely lives up to its name but blossoms an anthemic whisper which becomes more vocal as the music evolves into the rousing entrance of The Enemy Within. The second track is soon striding through ears with spicy riffs and commanding rhythms as vocals share the scenic text of the lyrical narrative. As the EP in many ways, there is little truly surprising about the song yet it still casts an enthralling air which only gets keener as impressive guitar enterprise spins solos and sonic imagination.

Final Art-small_RingMaster Review   The strong track is quickly outshone by Speedbreaker where initial contagious and snappy rhythms make the prelude to driving riffs and tangy grooves, all again wearing vintage hues on their persuasion to appealing effect. There is also a stronger snarl and intensity to the song from the off, which similarly incites the growling vocals, backed by great band shouts, and the web of thumping rhythms. There is something familiar to most songs upon the EP, a recognisable tone which only adds colour to the different characters within individual songs, here almost Motorhead like dirty rock ‘n’ roll tenaciously colluding with its heavy metal breeding.

Wings of Steel storms in next, its body sharing a Judas Priest meets AC/DC like tempest but one entangled with discord kissed grooves and fiery tempting from guitar strings. A more than decent incitement, it is also another surpassed by its successor, Bulletproof putting it in the shade. Sizzling hooks align with heavy riffs and beats to start the song off, they subsequently relaxing as the song flows through heavy melodic rock scenery into more ferocious metal aggression which in turn entwine as the song proceeds, their distinct differences becoming a pleasing creative blur over time. Though not quite as bone shaking as Speedbreaker, the excellent track stands aside it as the biggest highlight of the release.

Fatal Assault ensures a rampant close through War Hero, another pleasingly dirty and grouchy growl of a song with skilled and blistering exploits from the guitars around a powerful rhythmic spine and the ever compelling vocals. As all tracks it never truly feeds expectations despite its obvious influences and familiar textures. It is a trait which applies across the very accomplished and engaging EP, and helping provide a firmly solid base from which Against Evil can only spring to greater heights and spotlights.

Fatal Assault is available from July 20th @ https://transcendingobscurityindia.bandcamp.com/album/fatal-assault-heavy-metal

https://www.facebook.com/againstevil.india

RingMaster 20/07/2015

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Dark Hound – Oceans

dark_hound__RingMaster Review

Nashville is going to have some major metal explosion to persuade people to stop thinking musically of only its country scene and heritage and you assume would be a feat too far, or maybe not if there are more bands like Dark Hound bubbling away and emerging in its underground scene. The quartet has a sound, as evidenced by their new EP Oceans, which does not yet dramatically startle or threaten the limits of originality to any of the varied metal flavours it skilfully employs yet it persistently entices with something fresh and unpredictable as it provides a thoroughly enjoyable time. The follow up to the band’s acclaimed self-titled debut album, the EP is an immediate and constant adventure of craft and imagination which maybe will not have you shouting from the rooftops but has a fair chance of making Dark Hound a band you hungrily want more of.

The 2009 formed band consists of long-time friends in vocalist/bassist ET Brown, guitarists Elliot Gordon (Clorange) and Evan Hensley (Nightfall), and drummer Josh Brown (Enfold Darkness, Nashvillbilly). Their first full-length pushed their local success into a broader attentive spotlight with accompanying critical acclaim but now with the release of the Frank Serafine recorded Oceans it is easy to expect a more forceful nudge on wider recognition and appetites.

Oceanscover_RingMaster Review     The band’s influences list the likes of Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Pantera, Arch Enemy, Testament, and Dream Theater, numerous hints which do indeed spill in varying degrees from the enterprise and imagination of EP and opening song Thread. Classic melodic enticing and drama opens it up, rhythms commanding as they stir things further and spark the song to hit an infectious and muscular stride. Already imagination is fuelling vocals and the landscape of the song, unexpected and spicy twists wrong footing expectations as the band reveals a potent almost mischievous resourcefulness to their songwriting and ambition. As suggested earlier there is a spread of many spices within the band’s sound, engaging ears here with anthemic thrash and heavy metal aligned to old school and modern creativity.

The strong start continues with To Know End, a song brewing up its magnetic persuasion from its first sonic breath with bass and beats an instant imposing flirtation quickly enhanced by wiry strands of guitar grooving. There is an early predatory swagger to the track too, one emulated in the appealing variety of ET Brown’s vocal delivery with his tones as imaginative as the sounds around him. A sense of familiarity is also, as with every song, a swift temptation but soon woven into something refreshing on the ear and impressing on thoughts. For all the variation of metal involved, again thrash and heavy metal a rich essence, there is a healthy if understated whisper of Suicidal Tendencies blowing across the tempestuous landscape at times, a probably coincidental spicing which just adds something extra to the song and release.

Just as Blind shares a grungier hue to its earthy melodic stroll next, the track more a stalking than a charge but with a volatile belly of energy and voracious shadows constantly giving depth and intimidation to the satisfaction bloating encounter. The band calls their sound metal and that is best as just trying to pin down the flavours within the third song would use a paragraph in tagging it.

The EP keeps its best two tracks for its climax starting with Rearview Mirror, a masterful and incendiary collusion of contagious endeavour and predatory textures twisted into a seriously addictive and fierce waltz of new and old ideation. The track has body and emotions enslaved, recruited to its cause early though even it has to conceive best track honours to the EP’s closing encounter. The title track toys with the imagination through its dark drama from its opening seeds, ears caught at the same time and seduced further by the flowing slip through frenetic and mellow creative scenery. Hooks and grooves are no less potent and relentless, whilst the bass of the frontman seems to get heavier and more bestial with every passing minute.

It is a tremendous end to what is a mouth-watering and severely enjoyable release. Dark Hound has a sound and presence, as mentioned earlier, which does not cause major surprises but it would be unfair not to admit each listen leaves a stronger and increasingly lingering impression. It will be interesting to see how the band continues to evolve but more of the same next time will not be a cause of disappointment.

The self-released Oceans EP is available from 10th July

http://www.dark-hound.com   https://www.facebook.com/darkhoundband

Ringmaster 10/07/2015

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Johnny Wore Black – Comfy Slippers

jwb

Taken from the breath-taking album Walking Underwater Pt. 2 which gave British melodic/alternative rock an inspiring and thrilling fresh breath last year, the new video/single from Johnny Wore Black whilst making another potent nudge at newcomers to the band’s stirring release, reminds the rest of us just how provocatively powerful the band’s sound is. Comfy Slippers also confirms just how creative and exciting it is too and why Johnny Wore Black has been stirring up fans and media alike around the world these past couple of years.

The band is the brainchild of London based songwriter/producer and stuntman (Les Miserables, The Dark Knight Rises, Fast and Furious 6, Fury) Jay, and a vehicle for his invention and imagination which has been no stranger to acclaim thanks to the previously mentioned album and its predecessor, Walking Underwater Pt. 1 the previous year. With a wealth of attention grabbing and appetite igniting singles around both releases too, some of those and a few within both albums co-written with Megadeth bassist David Ellefson as well as also featuring his renowned musical talent, Johnny Wore Black has been an emerging force awakening not only the British music scene but also a far wider and attentive global spotlight. Comfy Slippers quickly reveals why, its anthemic and equally intimate resources inescapable evidence to their increasing success.

Awakening in a thick flaming of melodic guitar around welcoming riffs and crisp beats, the song soon settles into a magnetic enticement led by the smooth and emotive vocal tones of Jay. His voice is a gentle caress but with a steely edge which perfectly reflects the emotional drama and clarity of the lyrical narrative. Musically the song holds check allowing voice and words to paint the stirring picture but all the time it is also building an equally potent and tempestuous air. This only reinforces the strength of the song’s heart whilst creating its own captivating tapestry of sonic enterprise and striking adventure.

Comfy Slippers is an irresistible slice of Johnny Wore Black for fans and a masterful doorway into the creatively incendiary world of the band for newcomers. If you are yet to take that step then the band’s new single is the perfect and thrilling opportunity with its outstanding video, which we will leave for you all to explore without spoilers, an equally great starting place.

Comfy Slippers is unveiled June 15th with additional track and video Firefly also available.

http://www.johnnyworeblack.com   https://www.facebook.com/johnnyworeblack

RingMaster 15/06/2015

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All Tomorrows – Sol Agnates

All Tomorrows_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

With the release of their second album Sol Agnates, Chilean metallers All Tomorrows are hoping it will be the doorway into establishing them within a European if not global metal spotlight. Listening to the encounter it is easy to suspect it is a desire destined to find success at some point as their impressive release and sounds assaults more ears and appetites. It is not a startling proposition, the band’s sound as familiar as it is promisingly fresh, but the album is a certainly stirring and increasingly magnetic incitement hitting the sweet spot of ears and emotions with persistent regularity.

All Tomorrows began in 2010, emerging from Santiago with the inspirations of bands like Gojira and Meshuggah in their creative blood and vision. 2011 saw the release of debut album Opilion, an acclaimed release at home and further afield. It helped push the band to broader attention, a recognition reinforced and increased by a live presence which has seen All Tomorrows share stages with bands such as Children of Bodom, Voivod, Megadeth, and At The Gates over the subsequent years. Their sound is tagged as progressive metal, if an extreme strain of the style, but as Sol Agnates reveals there is equally a death metal voracity and nature to their music which adds to the drama and intensity of songs. It also suggest that this is a band which gives equal concentration to every aspect of sound and to creating a release, the album an imposing proposal of clarity which allows every note, syllable, and rhythm to individually resonate and linger whilst uniting for a riveting predatory provocation.

All Tomorrows - Sol Agnates_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     It all begins with the album’s title track, a song which takes a mere second to unveil a web of sonic intrigue and temptation through the guitars of Pepe Lastarria and Ramón Pasternak backed by rigorously intimidating rhythms. Choppy riffs and beats stalk and badger the senses whilst the fiercely, raw vocal delivery of Lastarria is as abrasive as it is magnetic. You can openly hear the Meshuggah influence but equally as the outstanding opener vents its hostile creativity, there is a sense of Mudvayne and In Flames to the striking confrontation. The sonic enterprise of the guitars persistently flare up with sizzling endeavour across the song whilst the bestial tones of Oscar Arenas’ bass are as compelling as the wild but skilled swings of drummer Pablo Martinez are punishing.

The album could not have got off to a better start and keeps the raw power and impressiveness going through both Undying Seasons and Eidien. The second track equally rampages into view on a torrent of inhospitable rhythms and ravenous riffs, all seriously inviting whilst bound in acidic grooving and pierced with spiky hooks. Again unexpected whispers emerge as the track expands its turbulence, Slipknot and Tool reminded of as much as those earlier mentioned Gojira and Meshuggah spices. The trespass of the senses continues to twist and rage, erupt and seduce across its length before making way for its similarly hectic and tenaciously flavoursome successor. Slightly less hostile at its start, grievous riffs and rhythmic barbs holding some restraint as vocals rasp with predatory intent over ears, the track sculpts its own individual maelstrom of persuasion equipped with rich grooves blossoming in another bed of contagious imagination.

A devouring stalking of ears by Fiver’s Visions keeps enjoyment high and thoughts impressed even if the track lacks a certain spark of its predecessors, whilst next up Downpour spills an animus of stabbing beats and fiercely scything riffs across a barbarous landscape. Loaded with antagonistic vocals and a sinister sonic narrative, the track is arguably the first to really begin exploring the rich progressive depths of the band’s imagination. Previous songs hinted at rather than fully employed that provocative side of the band’s songwriting, and even this track does not dig too deep whilst thrilling ears, but Burnt by Call of the Bleak after definitely makes a bolder leap as it lights up the senses. Also fuelled by a relatively uncompromising aggression, the track’s guitars entwine imaginative textures with evocative invention whilst even the rhythms rein in their rabidity as song and band create a certainly intensively tempestuous but equally absorbing kaleidoscopic adventure.

Immanence draws on the more truculent side of the band’s sound for its physically predacious proposal but the guitars ensure they flirt with a melodic tempting between moments of sheer carnivorous majesty. It is a blistering challenge and treat, a bruising entrapment of the passions leaving the listener embracing the melodic opening of Ophidian Vibrations like a comfort blanket. The song allows that security to be assumed before uncaging its own nefarious enterprise and creative nature, riffs and rhythms fuelled by destructive hunger but perfectly tempered by the band’s venture into melodic flames of sound and progressive imagination.

Sol Agnates is concluded by the epic turmoil of Union, vocals and musical expression angst soaked as rapacious rhythms roam alongside a sinful bass tone. It is a bewitching roar of volcanic emotions and turbulent sounds aligning for a powerful and lingering conclusion to the riveting release.

It is impossible to imagine that All Tomorrows will be a South American ‘secret’ for much longer once Sol Agnates gets to work on new ears and attention. As ever of course, a hefty slice of fortune will be needed but if not with this album there can be no stopping the band breaking into the strongest recognition if they carry on creating treats like this as their music evolves.

Sol Agnates is available from May 19th via most online stores.

http://www.alltomorrowsband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/alltomorrows

RingMaster 19/05/2015

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Thy Fallen Kingdom – Fear The Hunter

Band Photo

Wearing its old school inspirations proudly on its sleeve, Singapore thrashers Thy Fallen Kingdom unleash debut album Fear The Hunter, an encounter swift to fire up ears and neck muscles. The nine track aggressor is not a proposition to change the shape of thrash metal or bring it anything particularly new but for passion and thoroughly enjoyable enterprise, it is an album to eagerly embrace repeatedly. The band lists major influences as bands such as Exodus, Slayer, Megadeth, Testament, Destruction, King Diamond, and Mercyful Fate, no real surprise as you listen to their raw and highly flavoursome encounter, but to be honest this familiarity only adds to the lure of their sound and makes Fear The Hunter like an old friend in the ear and a seriously irresistible stomp for the body.

Formed in 2005, Thy Fallen Kingdom has uncaged a trio of releases leading up to the new album. From the five-track All That Is Left EP in 2009, the quintet has aroused local attention and passions as well as creating interest in the metal underground generally. The following UnDemocratic Society a year later and Army Of One EP in 2012, only added to their emerging presence ensuring there was plenty of anticipation for the band’s first full-length. After numerous line-up changes, the more settled line-up of original member and rhythm guitarist Akhbar, lead guitarist Christian, bassist Bryan, drummer Aip, and vocalist Aidil (though since the album’s recording he has left the band to be replaced by Rajuna), has crafted the band’s finest moment to date, an album to ignite body and appetite with ease.

Adrenaline and energy spurts voraciously from the speakers from the first seconds of the second track, never relenting until the album’s final offering, but it is the short alluring instrumental Mental Oppression starting things off. An evocative melody drifts from the strings of a guitar, its elegant expression and caress a potent coaxing but courted by a sinister sonic squall which offers shadows and portentous suggestiveness, a threat soon realised in Army Of 1. The song lays down a rub of nagging bait before rampaging with nostrils flared and rhythms slapping ears with their mighty swings. In full stride the track is a thunderous provocateur loaded with torrents of abrasing riffs and great tangy grooves, all punctuated by heavy fisted beats. Vocalist Aidil stands in the midst of the incitement, his delivery scowling with serpentine hostility for a great caustic hue to the tempestuous yet melodically fuelled sounds around him. The song as a whole only increases its lure as the blend of every element beds in the senses as grooves drip with temptation.

My Murderous Childhood keeps the great start to the album in full swing, charging and pounding through ears with broad sinews and acidic invention. Vocal variety across the band adds to Thy-Fallen-Kingdom-Fear-the-Hunter-e1415715183881the contagion of the track but it is the virulent riffing alongside spicy grooves and hooks which turns recognisable seeds into a masterfully magnetic proposition. The track leaves appetite and ears that little hungrier, an increasing greed the title track is only too please to satisfy. From a sonic drama a delicious throaty bassline steps forward, skirted by a rhythmic shuffle of beats. It is a bait impossible to resist, even more so when a tangy solo sears its addictive web. In full flight, the song does not quite live up to its opening or predecessor but still lays down an anthemic and contagious provocation to devour, especially with the addition of a bluesy colouring and subsequently furious animosity.

The anthems keep coming thick and fast, the next up Imperious Regime a vocal roar over a contagious sonic turbulence whilst its successor Psychosis provides an inescapable addiction. The first of the pair teases with a Suicidal Tendencies like predation, especially in the vocals, to provide an exhausting and rigorously thrilling incitement, though it is swiftly left in the shade by its successor. From its opening swagger and grouchy bassline, the track is in full control of attention and emotions. A Pantera-like swing to grooves is pure infectiousness which persistently lingers even as the song spills the rawest corrosive essences for a cantankerous canter of sound and attitude. That is enough to make it a formidable encounter but with a slip into a pasture of radiant melodies and harmonies with an air of Motherjane to them, the track has its sights on best on album honours.

The salaciously grooved Operation B.E.A.S.T. has its say on that straight after though, its rugged terrain a barbarous temptation bound in infection soaked grooves and vocal persuasion. The result is another epidemic of tenacious thrash enterprise which with plenty of creative hues and craft from the guitars and potent invention throughout sculpts its own peak in proceedings. That success is matched by the outstanding Unchallenged, another relentless assault with additional punkish textures to the surge of voice and riffs. There is no getting away from the fact that Thy Fallen Kingdom enclose themselves in their open inspirations without seemingly trying to break into bold originality, but here and across the whole of Fear The Hunter, it does not prevent the album from being one of the most pleasing and fun genre releases this year.

Closing with Possessors Of Absolute Power, one more creative cage of vicious rhythms and inventively spicy grooves roared on by torrential riffery, Fear The Hunter is thrash metal at its most furiously compelling. It may be bred on a diet of classic influences which the band is unafraid to share in their sound, but it is a familiarity which Thy Fallen Kingdom uses in their own attention grabbing way for a proposal all thrash fans should take up.

The self-released Fear The Hunter is available now.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thy-Fallen-Kingdom/108260834542?fref=ts

RingMaster 09/12/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Casting reflections and dispersing shadows: talking Johnny Wore Black with band founder Jay

jwbnew3-hires

  2014 has been a big and flavoursome year for British melodic and alternative rock, and in no small part thanks to UK band Johnny Wore Black. The brainchild of London based songwriter/producer and stuntman (Les Miserables, The Dark Knight Rises, Fast and Furious 6, Fury ) Jay, the project on the back of a host of attention grabbing singles and videos over the past eighteen months or so, has released two acclaimed and enthralling albums this year. Walking Underwater Pt 1 and 2, the second released barely two week ago, encounters which and immerses ears and imagination in an evocative embrace, thought provoking propositions which infuse passionate creative roars with poetic melodies and fiery textures. Both albums reinforce the emerging stature and recognition of Johnny Wore Black as one of Europe’s most exciting and innovative songwriters and rock artists. With the kind sharing of Jay’s time, we delved into the heart of the man, band, and particularly the fresh majesty of Walking Underwater Pt 2.

Hi Jay, thanks for sharing time to speak with us.

My pleasure…thank you for listening.

You have just released second album, Walking Underwater Pt 2; how were feelings as the unveiling swiftly approached?

It’s always a strange time around release, in a way exciting and in a way a test of patience as in reality it’s about waiting to see how the product is received. As an artist, the reviews are important to gauge how good a job you have done!

Are there different emotions and expectations this time around after the acclaim and success of Walking Underwater Pt 1 earlier this year?

Walking Underwater Pt.1 was an opening, a beginning if you like so it will be interesting to see how Walking Underwater Pt.2 is received and how the journey develops in other people’s jwbnew1-hires2eyes and ears. It’s important to make music for yourself first and yet in reality, once released its journey becomes a public experience. My expectations are for people to enjoy it and find the right environment to use the music.

How should people look at the two releases, as two parts of one whole entity or the new release as an evolution and unique exploration from the themes and narrative fuelling the first album?

It is a new release of course, and yet a journey too. Honestly people will make of it what they want. Personally there is a journey there, a cleansing and an exorcism of past demons…to make way for new ones maybe?!

Before we look deeper in to the new album, can we ask about your history musically and other aspects before Johnny Wore Black?

Childhood poems then set to music when learning to play the Spanish guitar, pretending it was electric! Onwards, days in studios as birthday presents from my dad when I was fifteen and sixteen. Johnny Wore Black is the conclusion of life experience, being a singer songwriter, being in bands, and generally loving music.

What was the spark bringing the band to life?

The spark was a need to express my songs in a new way, to attempt to get closer to the music that turns me on and lights my fire!

The band name inescapably brings thoughts of Johnny Cash, is there a meaning behind the title?

I like the analogy of why Johnny Cash wore black, to identify with those less fortunate than himself. My dad called me Johnny and my grandmother Evelyn bought me a black suit, which I wore at my Dads funeral when I was seventeen. So, you see, life and all its shards of dark and light.

What would you say are your major inspirations?

A Perfect Circle, Karnivool, Tool, Depeche Mode, Metallica, Stone Sour, Johnny Cash…to name but a few.

jwb walkingunderwaterpt2Because of the success and potency of your first album anticipation and expectations of Part 2 are probably over demanding. Has this added any pressure for its creation?

In a way yes, but to be honest most of the pressure is self-inflicted. My goal is to make great music, who can say when that has happened? Really, I see it as a never ending journey.

With the close proximity to the release of the two albums, it is easy to assume both sets of songs or certainly many over both albums have been bred from around the same time. What is the time frame in that area and if they were written around the same period how did you decide which song went on which release?

I tried to put together songs that felt good together in order to create the story. There are songs here spanning a ten year period, hence why they needed to be cleared in order to move on.

Did you learn anything on Part 1 which you took into its successor to help its emergence or give it something different recording wise?

The process included working with guitarist James Coppolaro and drummer Simon Hutchby whilst David Ellefson and I also collaborated in more depth than before so that was a rewarding experience.

Listening to Part 2 we felt there was even greater personal intimacy to certain tracks than on the last; how close are the seeds of your songs to your life and experiences?

Some songs are closer personally than others but it’s interesting which songs individuals feel are intimate.

The album as you mentioned again sees you collaborating with David Ellefson, of course of Megadeth, in writing and playing. How did you guys meet and when did the link up musically begin?

We met backstage at Download in the UK some years ago. We started chatting music and immediately kind of bonded. I then began sending David songs in progress and he agreed to play on the first Johnny Wore Black single, All The Rage.

When you come to songwriting together, is it an even contribution or does David look towards the rhythmic side more?

It does vary per track. So far, on some David has sent riff ideas, like Firefly and on Gift of Desperation he sent a lyric, which I then developed. Writing is a very fluid process with no rules.jwbnew2-3-lo-res

There often seems to be a different kind of spark to songs you too have created together, not bigger or lesser than on other tracks, just strikingly different. What would you put that down to?

I suppose that’s just two minds rather than being the dominant decision maker however I’d be interested to ask you that question back and see what you feel is strikingly different about those tunes?

Tell us about the new album; is there a specific underlying theme to its lyrical explorations?

Each track has a different theme so really would need to answer this on a track-by-track basis. My lyrics explore people, the world and our continued need to understand.

How did the recording go; was it an all meet up situation or more technology driven coming together of the band for the album?

Some of the album was musicians in a studio, old skool style, and some via Skype and Dropbox. This was an international project via the USA, UK, Canada and Croatia.

Walking Underwater Pt 2 also features Croatian singer Sara Renar on the track Shine On and Loretta Heywood on a cover of her own track Winter in July. How did those guest appearances come about, especially with Loretta. Was she instantly open to you taking on her song?

Sara and I met on the set of Game of Thrones in Croatia some years back. We stayed in touch and I have followed her musical career. She has a unique quality to her voice I felt complimented Shine On, on the album. She was happy to contribute once she heard the song, and recorded her parts in a studio in Split, Croatia.

Now Walking Underwater Pt 2 is out there wooing the world, what is next in store for Johnny Wore Black, alter ego ha-ha, and band?

There is work to do, releasing singles and creating more music videos. We are having discussions about hitting the stage and seeking to break the back of the USA. Oh and by the way, another album is due next year, totally new material and bigger than Texas!

jwbnew2-hiresA big thank you for chatting with us again, any last thoughts you would like to share?

Just that I am truly grateful for your time and interest in Johnny Wore Black and thank you for providing a platform to help spread the gospel according to Johnny Wore Black.

And lastly I cannot go without asking about the film samples which graced the first album. Can you tell us about them and why you did not use them for the new release too?

The first ones were from a documentary my late father directed back in 1967 called The London Nobody Knows. The samples fitted the music, the songs and were a tribute to him. I will say, we are currently in discussion about producing The London Nobody Knows Revisited to mark its anniversary. I liked the idea of samples a-la-Floyd to be part of Walking Underwater Pt2 but decided to just focus on the songs.

Read the review of Walking Underwater Pt2 @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/johnny-wore-black-walking-underwater-pt-2/

http://www.johnnyworeblack.com

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 05/12/2014

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