American Wrecking Company – Everything and Nothing

Released less than a thick handful of weeks back, Everything and Nothing is one of year’s most voracious metal releases and in turn one of its most appetising. The new creative enmity from US outfit American Wrecking Company, the album is a ferocious tempest of sound bred across a broad spectrum of metal and expelled in a caustic roar individual to its creators. Everything from groove and death to nu and punk metal, with plenty more besides, is sucked up into the maelstrom and woven into one antagonistic furnace so easy to devour.

Since emerging in 2006, the Tacoma, Washington outfit has grown into a potent force and live presence across the West side of the US, sharing stages with bands such as Hatebreed, Fear Factory, Motorgrater, Act of Defiance, and Mushroomhead to great acclaim. Now they are ready to stir up broader attention with Everything and Nothing and it is hard to see the Pavement Entertainment supported release failing.

It launches at the listener with its title track, opening with an atmospheric coaxing as portentous as it is deceptive. The relative calm is stalked by apocalyptic threat, a danger from within which niggly riffs spring. Instantly, they carry an infectious lure; bait swiftly emulated in the sonic vines which wrap them before the track surges cantankerously across the senses. Vocalist TJ Cornelius stands across it all, his ire fuelled growls defiant as the guitars of Randy Bebich and Ben Reynard spin a trespass of sonic spite and nagging riffs around them, the latter persistence also matched by the groaning lines of Jeff Bloomfield’s bass. Still that catchy temptation infests song and ears in the ferociousness, teasing and tempting as the swings of drummer Dylan Hickey bite.

It is a great start more than matched by the groove netted From Grace, a slab of extreme virulent metal which gnaws on the senses and stirs the imagination. Like a mix of Cryptopsy and American Head Charge, the song grumbles and rumbles, every second a crotchety insurgent commanding attention as it savages the body to contagious effect though it is soon eclipsed in presence and harrying by the following I Won’t Listen. The guitars alone ensure irresistibility is bred for their grooves and sonic doggedness, their raw persuasion more than matched by the barbarous yet similarly enterprising rhythms as Cornelius raucously hollers to equal success.  There is no escaping a bit of Slipknot and Fear Factory spicing within the charge but mere flavours in its infernal and seriously compelling assault.

Health for Wealth churns up the senses next with its own web of waspish grooves, surly dynamics, and choleric attitude; American Wrecking Company lacing it with a belligerence caked but open melodic dexterity which just lights up appetite and imagination while its successor, The Burning lives up to its name in touch and atmosphere. It feels like a sonic witch hunt, every note and syllable a combative infestation of psyche preying on ears and the world but entwined with a flirtation of grooves and enterprise which keeps the track on a constant evolution within its fractious pyre.

As Purge swings and taunts with its thick groove metal predation and Enemy soils the senses with its crabby enticements and instincts, band continues to stretch the album’s landscape of sound. Each song is maybe a nudge into new adventures rather than a big leap but one by one they openly reveal the expanse of the American Wrecking Company sound within the constant emotional and physical storm. Beautiful Lie is no different though it does not quite have the inventive attributes of other songs around it. Nevertheless its carnal breath and sonic tenacity leaves a want for little before Mad by Design arguably courts the widest collusion of styles and imagination within the album for its mercurial and persistently captivating feud.

The release is finished off by Day of Shame, a song which springs from a great melodic coaxing with middle-eastern promise into a rip tide of rapacious grooves splintered by scything beats. The throaty tension of the bass is icing on the toxic cake and a final track to confirm American Wrecking Company as one potent and exciting force.

Everything and Nothing is a beast of a proposition which ticks all the boxes and more yet you still feel there is so much more to come from the band such the potential equally loud within the creative ferocity. Happy days!

Everything and Nothing is out now on iTunes and other stores through Pavement Entertainment.

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

Pete RingMaster 27/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The unification of diversity: exploring the heart of Divided We Stand

divided-we-stand_RingMasterReview

Since forming in 2011, US rockers Divided We Stand has persistently and increasingly grabbed ears and attention with their creative roar and adrenaline fuelled live presence. Quickly making a potent impact locally, they have continued to spread their heavy, rousing sound nationally while sharing stages with the likes of Hoobastank, Pop Evil, All That Remains, SOiL, Mushroomhead, Nonpoint, Papa Roach, and Three Days Grace along the way. As their latest single draws acclaim and appetites globally, we grabbed some of the band’s time to look at the track, the origins of Divided We Stand, what makes them, tick and much more….

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to its beginnings?

Formed in December 2010, the Knoxville, TN based hard rock band Divided We Stand is a modern heavy rock band that combines haunting melodies, infectious grooves, tightly synched guitar riffs and clean, melodic vocals to create a crowd pleasing experience. Its line-up consists of Mike Russell (Drums), Randy Krouse (Bass), Jake Wilson (Guitars), Phil Zimny (Guitars/Vocals), and Joe Turner (Lead Vocals)

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?

We all have been in past bands with very different sounds. It makes it harder to write because of all the different viewpoints but we have very good songs to show for it. Randy was in a few really heavy metal bands prior to this. Phil and Mike started off playing for their churches and then found other projects later on as their talents grew. Joe started busking while he was in the military and then found some other artists and bands to perform with. Jake has played in various projects as well. We all grew up around music and it’s our life no matter what direction it takes us.

Is there a specific meaning behind the band name?

We have such different views and ideals. While we were in the first phases of our band we had so many different ideas of what direction to go in. Someone said don’t be so divided and it dawned on us “Divided We Stand”.

dws_RingMasterReviewWas there a particular idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted your sound to offer?

It started out with Mike Russell and Phil Zimny, they had written some songs together that had a heavy but melodic sound. After looking for musicians to fill in the roster they added Randy after a random try out. They liked his heavy edge and his unique double slap bass style. Joe Tuner was just hanging out with the band one night and asked to play a song for us. To our surprise he had a golden voice. We had a few rhythm guitar players leave to pursue other ventures.  Jake Wilson had played in some of the bands we had shows with; his stage presence and clean guitar playing caught our attention and we knew he was a perfect fit for the role.

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

We all came into this band with great talent but little knowledge of the music industry. You earn each step with your failures and your successes. It’s hard to go out on the road months on end and come up with five to ten thousand to record, publish, and distribute each year. But we have determination to make a way. Either you do it or you don’t.

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

Well Phil and Mike had written a few songs. With the addition of Randy and Joe they quickly morphed into full songs. Some changes happen when you add or subtract a member. We started with second guitar player named Trevor Tucker for our first two EPs Civil Unrest and Deception. When Trevor left the band we added Chris Whitt for our newest single New Era and our sound changed. Some songs sounded better with him and some didn’t work out. Next we added Jake Wilson after Chris left and our sound is changing again. You always need to evolve as a musician.

Have changes been more an organic movement or more the band deliberately trying new things?

For us it was out of necessity. We started out writing, then playing local shows, then touring nationally as well as putting out our EPs and music videos out and it takes up a lot of you time and you have to work a job. Trevor moved on to pursue other ventures because of the hectic schedule. So we got a friend who is really good at guitar to try out. Chris was good and filled the role well and recorded with us and toured but he ended up getting really sick. He wasn’t able to play anymore so we had a few fill in guitar players help us out and went on tour dates for us until we found a replacement. We added Jake Wilson and he has got to play a few shows so far.

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?

We listen to music all day long but when we write we try to focus on where our emotions lead us instead of a specific sound or band. There are a lot of musicians we learn from as we grow as a musician. Some of our favorite bands our Stone Temple Pilots, Avenge Seven Fold, U2, Fear Factory, Dio….this list could go on forever.

Talking of songwriting, is there a particular process to it within the band?

We have tried many approaches to writing material for the band. We put everything under the microscope and only the best ideas pass. Recently we have all been writing and we have tons of ideas so we started recording our ideas and if everyone wants to put a layer on the track they do if not we move on to the next one.

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

Joe writes most of his own material. If he has trouble we give him our ideas for harmonies, patterns, poetry, or anything really. If he likes it he runs with it, if not he keeps moving forward until he finds something. A lot of times you can start with a basic idea and build on it.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?dws-art_RingMasterReview

We went to Spider Studios in Cleveland, Ohio for our single New Era. Tony Gammalo was our producer for the track. He has worked with artist like Chimera and Machine Gun Kelly. He even did the Freddy vs Jason soundtrack. It took us a few days to record but it takes a while to get the finished product. We shot a music video with Post Retro Productions. Then we released our single and video to I-tunes, Spotify, Fuse and a million other places. We feel the music industry is starting to gravitate towards singles instead of albums. No one buys physical copies anymore. They want the best songs for their playlist digitally so getting on as many sites as possible is key.

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?

We usually have played our song live a thousand times before we record so it is well rehearsed before we go record. Sometimes your part changes in the studio for certain reasons like the producer wants you to do it a little different or you find a slight mistake.

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

We have a high energy performance where we jump and throw our guitars around. Joe has such a great presence as a front man. We put our whole selves into the music and don’t hold back. Before and after we play we love to hang out with the crowd and other bands. We love to travel and perform at such different venues with different sounds and random stages.

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?

We live really close to Nashville the music city. There is music everywhere but for metal bands it can be a challenge to find a place to play. Times change and you have to adapt to the sound people want here while keeping your musical integrity. The internet is a big tool for success in the music industry. Getting published and distributed through online service is a must. Social media is another tool to get the word out about all your adventures. Share videos and picture as much as possible. You do have to spend a little money to move forward sometimes. Save up or maybe a loan.

Big thanks for sharing time with us guys; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

We just wanna thank The Ringmaster Review for giving us and all the unsigned artists a shot. It is publications like this one that keeps music alive by giving young talent a voice.

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDividedWeStand   http://www.dividedwestand.ninja/   https://twitter.com/DividedWeStand0

Pete RingMaster 21/01/2017

Contemplating Leaving Eden

le-3-11-16_RingMasterReview

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

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

Can you first introduce the band?

Hi, great chatting with you also.

Eve: Lead Vocals

Ryan: Manning Drums

Johhny V: Bass

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

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

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

What inspired the band name?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

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

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

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

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?14195978_1274693589207580_3294288122701219788_o

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.facebook.com/bandleavingeden

Pete RingMaster

The Ringmaster Review 01/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

American Head Charge – Tango Umbrella

AHC_RingMasterReview

Like many others we are sure, there was a surge of excited anticipation when the new American Head Charge album was announced. It was the first since 2005 full-length The Feeding and the band disbanding two years later. Their return after six years subsequently brought the excellent Shoot EP, a release bristling with hints of a new bigger and even bolder adventure to the AHC sound. Now those clues are realised and reinforced with Tango Umbrella; a maelstrom of prime AHC moments, new imaginative adventures, and exploits seemingly inspired by some of their companions in the nu-metal/melodic metal scene first time around. The result is a riveting and galvanic tempest of sound and imagination which for the main hits the spot dead centre.

From the first breath of their first album for Napalm Records, AHC go straight for the senses and imagination with opener Let All The World Believe. Its entrance is calm and coaxing, electronic pulses and beats gathering within an increasingly sinister ambience before the doors burst open and predatory riffs and rhythms eagerly crowd and trespass ears. It is a forcibly enticing start only blossoming again as the band unleashes inventive industrial metal rabidity. The keys of Justin Fowler sizzle and incite with devilish enterprise whilst the intrusive beats of Chris Emery descend with uncompromising intent. All the while Cameron Heacock vocally prowls like an apocalyptic ringmaster; his expression and words scathing and confrontational and just as alluring as the thick mesh of sound around him. With touches of Fear Factory and Static X to it, the track is a glorious start; an anthemic death dance bursting with the dramatic sonic devilment of guitarists Karma Cheema and Ted Hallows.

Drowning Under Everything quickly follows with another industrial sculpted invitation, its initial clang soon immersed in a robust tide of riffs and grooves. The growling bass of Chad Hanks quickly steals a chunk of the attention, backed by the matching potent bait of guitars and vocal laced with a Manson-esque hue soon evolving into a richer melodic flame bred with the familiar AHC dexterity and invention. It too is a swiftly shifting and changing passage within the tantalising track, a moment soon becoming entangled with all the other textures in a muggy creative maze. Inescapably the track ignites ears and again an already awoken appetite before the more thunderous assault of Perfectionist flares up to place its virulent grip on attention too. Atmospherically suggestive and vocally provocative, the song merges grunge and nu-metal traits and flavours to infectious effect as essences of Korn, Mudvayne, and Alice In Chains spice its enthralling proposal. Epitomising the whole album though, for all spices and influences openly shown, the track is unmistakably American Head Charge through and through.

art_RingMasterReviewThe latter of those three references nudges thoughts again as the thick mesmeric and emotive embrace of Sacred takes over, the track crawling seductively over the senses as vocals, guitars, and keys charm and tantalise ears. With the bass grumbling and beats swinging in tandem, the track beguiles from its first second, before being followed and overshadowed by the quite irresistible I Will Have My Day, a fiercely rousing and relentless White Zombie incitement with again great AIC sounding harmonies and melodic caresses.

The emotion loaded A King Among Men comes next; the ballad a requiem of piano, voice, and harmonies likely inspired by the loss of previous band guitarist Bryan Ottoson in 2005 and more recently friends like Wayne Static but equally a sentiment for anyone losing someone. It is a potent piece leaving a lingering touch much like, but in whole different way, Suffer Elegantly. The call of the wild springs a charging, invasive surge of riffs and grooves driven by hellacious rhythms. There is no escaping a Ministry incited dynamic to the track or its savagely tenacious energy and sound but again AHC twist it into their own ravenous ideation and aggressive imagination. Many major favourites emerge from within Tango Umbrella, this right there on the frontline.

The twisting rapacious tone and grooves of Antidote enslaves ears and thoughts next, its flirtatious melodies and off-kilter slithers of sound rich pickings for the imagination whilst the Down like hostility which seeps from the track’s uncaging of raw intensity has the spirit as inflamed as the rest of the song has ears gripped. Increasingly more impressive and addictive with every listen, the song entices and snarls like a beast in heat much as the Trent Reznor like Prolific Catastrophe which sidles in with a devilish glint in its creative eye and a rousing fire in its sonic belly.

Completing the album is firstly the musically and lyrically antagonistic Down And Depraved, a grouchy and mercurial blaze of voice and sound, and finally the atmospherically cast When The Time Is Never Right. It is another which needed time to convince as heartily as previous tracks within Tango Umbrella but persistently has satisfaction and involvement fully engaged whilst bringing the album to a magnetic end.

It is fair to say that Tango Umbrella lives up to the promise of the band’s last EP and more. It is like a kaleidoscope of their highlights to date and inspirations picked up along the way, in turn almost like trip through the listener’s own nu/industrial metal inspired soundtrack but most of all, the album is one thoroughly thrilling, inventively fresh and varied slab of American Head Charge imagination re-establishing the sextet as one of our prize assets.

Tango Umbrella is released via Napalm Records on March 25th through most online stores.

http://www.headcharge.com/    https://www.facebook.com/AmericanHeadCharge   https://twitter.com/AHC_Official

Remaining dates on the AHC/Mushroomhead UK tour

26.03.16 UK – Bristol / The Marble Factory

27.03.16 UK – Plymouth / The Hub

29.03.16 UK – Cardiff / The Globe

30.03.16 UK – London / Electric Ballroom

31.03.16 UK – Brighton / Concorde 2

01.04.16 UK – Southampton / Engine Rooms

02.04.16 UK – Norwich / Waterfront

03.04.16 UK – Reading / Sub89

Pete RingMaster 24/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Embracing the sickness: exploring Caustic Method with Matt Caustic

CMPic_RingMaster Review

   It has been a far time coming with US metallers Caustic Method first emerging in 2003, but debut album The Virus is an infectious scourge of sound and invention which more than lives up to its title. For many it has been the first taster of the band and its virulent of tapestry raw and contagious animosity bred from a fusion of flavours and diversity, an introduction breeding, certainly for us here, a hungry appetite for the Syracuse roar. With big thanks to vocalist and band founder Matt Caustic we dig into the heart of Caustic Method, The Virus, and the passion fuelling all…

Hi Matt and many thanks for sparing time to talk with us.

Can we start with looking at the beginnings of the band; what was the spark to its creation and how did you all come together to be Caustic Method?

Thank you for this opportunity. I think the real spark to the band’s inception was mostly an opportunity to put our message out there and to lyrically speak my mind, and work out some demons and issues I might not have normally addressed otherwise. Eventually I found myself writing about several life issues that a lot of our fans seemed to really relate to. As we grew they grew with us and the walls really began to fall where I found myself less worried about opening myself up lyrically and it became my means of therapy. We were all in very established bands in New York State and at one point I was revamping the line-up and an opportunity presented itself to be able to play with some amazingly talented people who I always had a great amount of respect and admiration for. From that point on the planets aligned and we really began to get a head of steam rolling to propel the EP to get us to where we are today. Everything happens for a reason they say and I am very honored to be amongst the best people I now call family

Was there any specific intent for the band and sound as it escaped your imaginations and does that prime idea still drive the band twelve or so years on or has it evolved?

Our real intent was to just stay true to ourselves and make the art that just naturally creates itself. Through time we have kept that mentality of just letting things happen and even more so now, as on the new record half the songs were written from intuitively responding to the music and improvising my vocal lines and lyrics on the spot to the point I actually kept 90 percent of what was written in the session. That gave me the best possible snapshot of what inspired me at that moment in time.

Is there a specific story behind the band name?

Originally called Caustic from a past co-worker with a very “caustic” sarcastic and biting attitude, with an alternate definition of something that can eat through flesh, it seemed perfect for the music we were creating. As we branched out and began travelling we found other Caustics out there and made a decision to separate and define ourselves with no confusion or mistaken identity. The Caustic Method is the means of applying stress on something to effectively find its breaking point, so to speak. Combined with the previous definition it was a very fitting change. Keeping the familiarity with fans and separating ourselves at the same time. The change also helped us shed our skin a bit for the next level we were trying to reach.

virus_RingMaster ReviewYou have just released your album The Virus, a thrilling incitement whose qualities and addictive potency certainly lives up to its title. For fans it has felt a long timing coming so how is it for you guys on the inside. A relief to finally have your first album out or is it more that this is the exact right time to unleash its?

I think timing and chemistry are behind all great achievements and for us and the style of music we create, the timing couldn’t be any better. There is a void in modern metal today we are trying to fill by keeping the attitude and message as the defining attribute of what we create. We have also for years lovingly referred to our fan-base as The Virus because word of mouth has been this band’s best friend over the years. After hearing about us and then finally seeing a live show we hope that’s the point where we win people over and they continue the whole process for us by spreading the word about the band. We pride ourselves on our live performances whether for one hundred or ten thousand fans and we always strive to go above and beyond anything on the album. In an effort to thank our fans for putting us where we are today, the album was given the title The Virus. We love and value the fact that we are fortunate enough to have such a broad fan-base. Fans of Caustic Method are exceptionally supportive and really are the fifth member of the band when it comes to promoting and spreading the Virus. They are one of our greatest sources of pride and confidence knowing they are always behind us.

How long was the album in the making?

The sessions for this record were incredible and unique to any other sessions I’ve been involved with. We were literally chomping at the bit to get these songs down. We just went in and hammered every song with confidence and attitude from beginning to end, we are super proud of what we have created on The Virus. It retains the energy and live vibe of our shows with the precision we were looking to capture. We recorded the sessions at an incredible studio in Syracuse called Subcat. It’s world class all the way and just being really prepared made the process a memory I will cherish my whole career.

Alongside its adventurous exploits and gripping imagination there is a live energy and feel to the album which you touched on there. We described it as stirring “up the blood and putting a fire in the belly.” Give us some more insight into its recording.

We took each song as its own entity and tried to really focus on the subject matter at hand to enhance the message and passion of each performance. I feel we really accomplished this well and for the first time I am really proud of all of us. I wrote a lot of the lyrics for this album during one of the darkest periods of my life. I didn’t think twice about what I was writing or how i was saying it. I just let it out knowing that it was necessary to go through the dark to get to the light. Coming out the other side I can’t say I have any regrets or would have done anything differently. It was all part of the process; a healing process and a growing process, some of which is hard to listen to, but I can and will stand behind it forever because it is honest and real.

Did you approach its creation with any particular intent and set idea or was it more an exploration of its emerging depths and boundaries in the studio environment?

I think we came at it from a very open minded perspective. We were prepared on the playing side but knew we wanted to convey all the attitude you’d find at one of our shows. Combined with some healthy exploration I’d have to say it was the combo that made it extra special for us.

Can you give us an idea of how the songwriting process works within the band?

It differs a lot, which I love. Some days I will just have a vocal hook like The Virus. I presented it as just a dry acapella vocal line and the band just painted with me instead of after me and boom it’s done before it began. Other songs are conceived from just instrumental experimentation with an improvised vocal line written in real time as they play. My gut reaction to what I hear is usually my best guide in writing vocal lines and melodies. It’s like opening up a channel and letting the energy flow. Decoding my lyrics can be frightening at times but it’s a new way of writing I have really embraced as well as the band. These guys are exceptional players and it is like the possibilities for this band are endless. They know how to use the gas pedal and the brake very well. Knowing when to play and when not to play can be just as important for the message to be heard effectively. Being the heaviest or fastest band on earth doesn’t ensure the listener can relate to your message. We really tried and found the balance we were most comfortable with.

Were there any major surprises or unexpected moments which merged whilst recording the album which either enhanced or provided an unexpected obstacle in its emergence? CM_RingMaster Review

Actually the song Bottle of Scotch only existed as a voice recording on my phone from one of my acapella vocal lines we worked on briefly one night at rehearsal. As we were finishing up our session, our friend Ron Keck and owner of Subcat was like before we break down the drums is there anything else we can get on tape. Angel remembered the shell of the song on my phone and we ran through it twice in ten minutes and then hit record. The band nailed it immediately and I literally improvised the verses as he hit record and the tune has become one of our favorites. To me THAT is the Caustic Method!

The Virus has been released through Pavement Entertainment how did that link-up come about?

A friend of ours Michael Trumble was helping us with some PR work and sending the video of The Virus around to some mutual industry friends when Mark Nawara from Pavement saw the video and thought we would be a good candidate for the label. I was a huge fan of a lot of the bands on Pavements roster and I knew in my heart instantly that this would be a great fit and a good home for us. After talking with Tim King our A&R rep and bassist of Soil for a couple weeks we worked out the scope of what we were trying to accomplish and we signed our deal right around New Years. I knew then that 2015 was going to be an epic year in the growth of this band. With distribution through Sony RED it’s available all over the world. The main objective was never to be famous or a rock star but to get our music out to a larger audience because if it works in the Northeast we were confident it would work elsewhere. With Pavement’s amazing network and support we have definitely reached a much larger audience and the response has been overwhelming.

With their stable and history of potent releases, the environment they offer for your music must give you an extra spring in the step to match those sparked by the album itself and the acclaim it is earning?

Without a doubt! After years in the trenches we are no strangers to hard work and not much has changed. We knew coming into this we would have to work harder than ever but knowing we are in good hands gives us the confidence to meet all challenges as they come. And of course we are also looking forward to hopefully touring with some of our label mates soon! We are all still huge music fans first and foremost and there is so much talent on the Pavement roster it is just amazing…Such huge fans of all of them.

Looking at your history as a live presence, it is fair to say since forming you have ignited stages with a Who’s Who of modern metal including Hatebreed, American Head Charge, Ten Years, Candlelight Red, Otep , Korn, Mushroomhead, (Hed) P.E., Cypress Hill, Threat Signal, Skindred, Toxic Holocaust, Nashville Pussy… well the list goes on. Noticeable is the diversity of bands and sounds you guys fit in with. Fair to say your fan base is impressively eclectic?

We have been really blessed in our region to have played with many of our heroes and literally dozens of amazing bands we were able to learn from and grow with. Growing our fan-base through the diversity of these bands has given us a uniquely eclectic fan-base for sure. I do feel we crossover well from hardcore to metal to old school punk and commercial hard rock audiences and that has only reinforced our main objective of just doing what WE do and never emulating anyone.

It is easy to assume that Caustic Method are in their element on stage, tearing up audiences and venues?

The stage is where it really all comes together for us. We can roar like a lion or purr like a kitten. Mostly though we roar like a tornado and sweep you up and drop you on your head,

Fair to say your music on the album take no prisoners, the band has to be the same on stage?

Confidence and attitude are what we emit most onstage. We not only take no prisoners we take no shit! It’s what we all live for and everything else in life is on hold for the next hour because our show is what it’s all about. I relive every inspiration good or bad every time I deliver my lyrics. I flashback in my head to the very minute the words came to me and like a tidal wave all those emotions and attitude that created that song just pour out of me like the wound is still brand new; like ripping open your stitches just to see your beating heart. Not a great idea but you will see a noticeable and real reaction. We transform right in front of you. Forget the people you may have spoken to before the show. We leave them on the stairs to the stage.

Any hope we will see you across Europe and the UK in the near future?

We would love nothing more than to tour Europe immediately. I am fascinated by how different the music fans are there. They seem to have way more diverse tastes and a lot more tolerance of stuff that is different from each other. In America we compartmentalize our music and god forbid you cross compartments. Not true of everyone but we have these boxes and categories of metal everyone lives within where it seems over there people are just fans of any metal that is credible and simply put just GOOD. We all can really respect that and hope to be able to have the honor to tour there in the very near future. Definitely on the high priority list!

So what is next for Caustic Method?

The response to the album has been amazing and for us the real next step is to get out and tour to support this record, see the world and spread the Virus as far and wide as possible!

Once again thanks for chatting with us, any last words for the readers?

Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to tell our story and If you truly like what you hear….YOU ARE THE VIRUS! Spread the word about Caustic Method! You are our fifth member and we thank you all! SEE YOU AT A SHOW NEAR YOU!

http://causticmethod.com/

www.facebook.com/causticmethod

Read our review of The Virus @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/06/05/caustic-method-the-virus/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 12/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Caustic Method – The Virus

CMPic_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

     The Virus is a scourge to the senses as potent and inescapable as the equivalent physical protagonist is to the flesh, but a fierce ravishing easy to develop a rabid appetite for. The album is the new incitement from US metallers Caustic Method, a fury of raw and contagious animosity that stirs up the blood and puts a fire in the belly. Though the band has been devouring audiences and fans since 2003, the new release is, like for so many, our introduction to the Syracuse roar, and no finer a way to get infected can you imagine.

Caustic Method has earned a rich reputation for their sound and live performances since forming, sharing stages with everyone from Hatebreed to Cypress Hill, American Head Charge to Otep, Hed P.E. to Korn and hordes more from all diversities of metal and voracious rock ‘n’ roll. Last year The Virus EP sparked thick attention and feisty anticipation for the band’s new album, its success a step towards the band signing with Pavement Entertainment for its successor’s release.

The album launches itself on ears and senses with an instant wall of sound and the vocal roar, the song’s title Virus, the first word expelled by the throat of Matt Caustic. Right there the infection has taken hold; that initial concussive touch the opening toxin in a tide of predatory rhythms and hellacious riffs driven by a sandstorm of a vocal delivery. The track is never an out and out savaging though, Darin Scott’s grooves and hooks given space to wind their temptation around the imagination, backed similarly by the dark throaty tones of Eric Maliszewski’s bass. The Caustic Method sound brings up thoughts of bands like Hatebreed, Bloodsimple, and Mushroomhead across song and release but ultimately there is a freshness and originality which offers a distinct proposal from the NY quartet.

The opener is also the band’s current single with an outstanding video to match its presence and an explosive start to The Virus quickly reinforced by the following Left to Die Alone. This too is a blaster to the senses set on the highest setting, riffs and beats stalking the listener as vocals rummage in the psyche with Caustic’s ever gravelly persuasion. The rhythmic jabs of drummer Angel Rivera are a deceptive lure, initially seemingly merciful whilst still resonating on bone before the man’s stick swings get more creatively agitated and venomous. The song even with a slightly mellower embrace midway continues to hunt down the passions before making way for the similarly ravenous tempting of The Lone Star Tragedy. The song is a more straight forward but enjoyable offering at first, holding back its imagination until it is well entrenched in ears. Clean vocals and spicy grooves soon break free, though are soon swamped by the hostility that set things off and the track ends as it began, snarling relentlessly.

CAUSTICMETHOD COV_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review  Integrity Fail continues the bruising next, but with a bluesy melodic seducing which spices up its hooks. Aligned to a less intensive energy and atmosphere, it ensures the track is a juggernaut with the hand brake on in attack but a heavyweight persuasion that prowls and lingers as more variety is shown within The Virus, and in turn S.D.V. straight after. The track unleashes its dirtiest heavy rock ‘n’ roll traits to collude with a metal ferocity, a mix of vocal delivery as enticing as the blend of flavours stirred into the tempest of sound.

Through the groove infested Six Feet and the rhythmically compelling Which Way the River Runs, the contagion grips even tighter. The first is a storm of again vocal diversity and tenacious guitar bait, a feverish turbulence of attitude and creative energy which is something akin to Drowning Pool meets Blunt Force Trauma, and another pinnacle of the album. The second of the two avails ears of its fearsome potency through an opening assault of beats from Rivera which sparks a torrential virulence of hungry riffs and cantankerous grooves, the bestial bass of Maliszewski offering the most magnetic one of all. Both tracks kick the album back to the impressive levels it began on, though to be fair the previous couple of songs or so were hardly lightweight in arousing pleasure and emotions either.

Fool Me Once finds yet another gear in the toxicity of the release, it’s addictively malicious and insatiable onslaught an evolving ravaging as able to stroll invitingly with spite in its eyes as it is in uncaging a tirade of raw intensity. It is another landmark in the album, a mix of Static X and Agnostic Front which is not emulated but strongly backed by the melody rich, blues grooved rocker Bottle of Scotch. At times there is a little surface similarity across the album which certainly does it no harm at all such the enterprise and invention within, but it is great to have something additionally unique from the first breath, and the penultimate track is nicely that.

The album injects its last dose of pathogen through Anti Hero, a final slab of metal and emotional vehemence to set ears and thoughts ablaze with a spiralling of inflamed grooves, caustic riffs, and a bass seducing which borders on the carnal. It is a tremendous end to an excellent release and though Caustic Method is not going to turn the metal world on its head with The Virus, they will and certainly are earning a new and broader enamoured spotlight on their presence as the album’s qualities live up to their biological namesake.

The Virus is available now via Pavement Entertainment @ http://www.pavementmusic.com/product/caustic-method-the-virus-pre-order/

www.facebook.com/causticmethod   http://causticmethod.com/

RingMaster 04/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

 

Follow the rabbit into the weird: an interview with Mr. Strange

Mr. Strange

Fans of UK musical mutants The Shanklin Freak Show have already been touched, inspired, and seduced by the creativity and psyche teasing craft of the band’s former frontman Mr. Strange whilst his solo work has equally gripped the imagination of a great many. Now though the songwriter/producer/vocalist/musician has taken it all to a new level with the release of this exceptional new album The Wonderful World Of Weird. A release walking the realms of insanity and artistic rapaciousness, it is a diverse and riveting exploration of sounds, invention, and dice into the weird persona that is Mr. Strange. Greedily wanting to find out more we had the joy and adventure to talk to the man himself with the adding pleasure of his artistic cohort Stench on top also sharing thoughts and time with us. Investigating The Wonderful World Of Weird, we talked origins, The Shanklin Freak Show, Marilyn Manson, the bright lights and much more…

Greetings Mr. Strange and thank you for taking time out to let us delve into your world of weird.

Mr. Strange: Greetings! Thank you, sir, I’m glad to be here. Smells funny though!

You are well known amongst fans for your founding and leading of The Shanklin Freak Show (TSFS) until recently but maybe less know about your solo exploits before and running alongside the band; could you give some background to those?

Mr. Strange: Before I started The Shanklin Freak Show in March 2003, I began learning my craft as a programmer / producer way back in 1998. I bought a basic music creation game for the original PlayStation simply called ‘Music’ and became completely obsessed with it! As laughable as it sounds, it was actually quite a competent music tool, and a great introduction to music programming. Before I made the upgrade to professional (real) music software, I made a whole album using just this game and my PlayStation. This album was completed in February 2003, although I did add some vocals and guitars to the final version of the album using my current studio set-up. The final version of the album was eventually released in late 2011 as Sounds From The Asylum, which is an apt title methinks! Anyway, back to 2003. As soon as Sounds From The Asylum was finished I went full-throttle into The Shanklin Freak Show project, greatly helped by the fact I could finally record guitars and vocals with my swanky new production software – which I could not do before 2003. The Shanklin Freak Show project pretty much had my full attention until late 2011. The only exceptions to this were my collaborations with Global Citizen acting as co-producer on two albums – those being Master Stroke and Nil By Mouth – as well as the Mr. Strange album The Fall which I made in late 2007.. But for the most part, my solo exploits only resumed once I stepped down from the forefront of The Shanklin Freak Show in November 2011. Now my Mr. Strange projects are my primary focus… and my cats.

From all the music and projects you have been involved with it is clear to see that your sounds and tastes are rather eclectic, what are some of the major inspirations which have spiced your own ideas over the years?

Mr. Strange: Well, being a rather flamboyant chap, nearly all of my musical influences fall in to the “theatrical” category. Bands and artists who present themselves in a very theatrical way tend to make more outlandish music, and that’s definitely what floats my boat, as it were! I’ll try to keep it snappy, so here’s a shortlist of some of my most influential artists: Danny Elfman, David Bowie, Mushroomhead, Dr. Steel, The Sisters Of Mercy,  Alice Cooper, Mortiis (only the ‘Smell Of Rain’ album), Krizz Kaliko, The Duke Of Stratosphere, Twiztid, Marilyn Manson, The Prodigy, ICP, Mr. Bungle (or almost anything from the mind of Mike Patton), Gary Numan, Tech N9ne, White Zombie / Rob Zombie, and Babylon Zoo. That last one’s not a joke by the way! Stop laughing.

Tell us about creating TSFS and its own unique and dark world?TSFS with Mr. Strange

Mr. Strange: I started The Shanklin Freak Show in early 2003, the first ever Freak Show song was written and recorded in March I believe, a little random fact for those who may be interested. The whole concept was meant as a home, a form of escapism, for those who felt rejected by the world. Basically the kind of outlandish, Tim Burton-esque world I wanted to escape to myself at that time. My failure at finding a place to belong in the world led me to try and make my own, both for myself and others who felt the same. The basic concept is articulated best in the song ‘Twisted Family,’ check it out if you want to get your noggin around what the whole Freak Show thang is about. Musically, it was born out of my love of some of the earlier Insane Clown Posse records and my disappointment with (the then newly released) Marilyn Manson album The Golden Age Of Grotesque – I was expecting a deeply engrossing, dark, twisted, circus-style cabaret show of an album, my dream record, but what arrived was an album of fairly standard industrial pop songs. I imagined it to sound far more intriguing and I found the idea behind the record a lot better than the end product, so I went about trying to create the album I imagined. That’s it really. It seemed like a good idea at the time…

Before we concentrate on your new album, you are still involved with TSFS but just not as the vocalist now? Why the decision to step down from that role?

Mr. Strange: Indeed, I’m still involved with the band, but just on the side-lines at the moment. I have to admit that my input has been very minimal since my departure, although that was not a conscious decision, that’s just how it’s played out up until this point. I may play a more active role in the band next year, songwriting and maybe doing the odd live shows here and there, but that’s all dependant on working it around what I’ll be doing with my own projects. There were many different factors contributing to me stepping down as the vocalist and retreating from the forefront of the Shanklin Freak Show, although the main factor was simply that I find performing live extremely nerve-wracking and didn’t want to do it anymore, at least not for a few years. I suppose the other main factor was that I was feeling burnt out with the project and my heart wasn’t really in it, at least not enough to knuckle down, overcome my nerves and keep playing live shows. I started the Freak Show in 2003, so I spent a full 8 years solely focused on that one project and to be honest, I think I just wanted to try new things, things that might not have worked within the context of The Shanklin Freak Show, if that makes sense?

You have just released the brilliant album The Wonderful World Of Weird, our favourite and one of the best if not THE best album this year, how long has it been in the making?

Mr. Strange: Firstly, thank you very much! Secondly, too damn long! I started the album in October 2011 and finished it in October 2013. The reason for this overly long development process was due to uncertainty as to where I wanted to go after the Shanklin Freak Show. I had loads of ideas, but for my first release after TSFS I wanted to make a record that would be fresh and also slightly familiar, that’s a very specific sound to try and go for, and one that was tricky to find balance for. I’d write a few songs, then over analyse them and come to the conclusion that I wasn’t heading in the right direction, so they’d gather dust for a few months while I procrastinate, then I’d become enthused with the Wonderful World of Weird project again and get a couple of more songs done, then doubt myself again. This process happened a few times, probably half of the two year development cycle was either spent doing nothing or writing material separate from the WWoW project! I’m currently working on developing and finishing those other ideas for my next record, needless to say it already sounds incredibly different to the Wonderful World of Weird and is even more of a departure from The Shanklin Freak Show sound.

StenchYou co-wrote many of the tracks and recorded it with TSFS’s guitarist Stench (Gary Mason to his mum); how easy was it to fit this in as I know the band is recording their own album too; are you to blame for the delay in the finishing of their album??? 😉

Mr. Strange: Having Stench work on the album with me has had no bearing on the speed of The Shanklin Freak Show’s musical output, don’t blame me! Haha.

STENCH:  I don’t think Mr Strange is to blame in the slightest. The delay has been down to a few factors. The Last Show mixing process has been troublesome and we were never completely happy with it and didn’t want to release something that would make us cringe, knowing that we could’ve done better. Obviously, we had the addition of Kronik on Bass, rehearsals, gigs, festivals and the continual cycle of writing and recording. Plus, we’ve had the steep learning curve of being responsible for our own production. We have lots of songs that we’re working on and which are at various states of creation/completion. Plus, very recently, Mr Foul became a Daddy again. All in all, I think we’ve done pretty well, considering.

Mr. Strange: Thanks for backing me up there, Master Stench! I’ll slip you a fiver later.

How did the song writing work for the album and at what point did Stench get to add his explorations to your ideas?

Mr. Strange: We began working together full-time in late 2012 (we’d done bits and bobs together for the album before then, but it was an intermittent thing) almost exactly a year after I began work on the record. At that time I probably had roughly half the album that you can hear today, albeit in a very rough state and with very little guitar work on it. I think ‘White Rabbit’ is the only song that I play all of the guitars on, the rest of the album is pure Stench! With regards to songwriting, it kind of varies as to the approach we took. A lot of the songs were already half written, so Stench worked his magic over what was already there, but a few songs were written in a much more free-form manner. The songs Psycho Surfing A Go-Go‘ and Metropolis 2984 were the result of me and Stench just jamming and coming up with crazy stuff, which I’d never done before, so that was a great experience! Sadly a lot of our random jam songs didn’t make the cut for the album, but they’ll appear eventually. A lot of the tracks we wrote were simply too damn off the wall for the Wonderful World of Weird!

How much did Stench evolve and twist your ideas into new sparks within songs or did you go all dictator on him in this area? 😉 (We at The RR know he likes to be dominated…)

Mr. Strange: While there was indeed a fair bit of dictating going on, Stench’s guitar wizardry certainly evolved a lot of songs in many ways. Even songs which were mostly finished by my lonesome have changed in tone and texture considerably since Stench shot his load over them! Songs which may have been dead ends from my point of view (as in not worth finishing) were saved by Stench taking the tune in a new direction with his magical, distorted, electrically-powered stringed instrument. The addition of guitar solos to a few songs has also altered the structure of some of the arrangements, giving the whole album a more free-flowing and natural feel, a definite departure to the more rigid electro-industrial pounding of some of my earlier songs with TSFS.

The guitar work provides a bait of hooks and grooves across the release which seems to breed from the other exotic or should that be erotic melodies and lures at large; did these come after the heart of the songs were exposed or in their initial breeding?

Mr. Strange: Wow, that’s one very eloquently worded question! I want some of what you’re smoking, sir! Haha. Methinks I’ll pass this one over to Stench.

STENCH:  I have to say, Mr Strange is always a pleasure to work with and we seem to be able to communicate very easily musically. So, I suppose that both cases are true as regards to the creation of the tunes. Sometimes, Mr Strange will have an idea of what he wants beforehand and I’ll just add my guitar parts under his strict instruction. Thankfully, I no longer have to wear the gimp mask. Other times, we start completely from scratch. Either way, it’s always fun and inspiring.

The Wonderful World Of Weird is a roller coaster of styles and flavours including industrial, steampunk, surf rock, 555928_584429381594861_1695733989_npsychedelic and gothic rock and much more all merged into the narrative of the album. This is a true reflection of both your musical tastes and the way your creative imaginations works, or predominantly Mr S’s (Saul); the album truly a landscape of your ideas and musical psyche?

STENCH:  I think we both have very eclectic musical influences and appreciate each other’s tastes. This makes it much easier to work together and helps with communicating ideas. But, yes, the album is predominantly Saul’s genius and I add either the cherry on top or the fly in the ointment, whichever is required at the time.

It is fair Mr. Strange to say the album is very different from your earlier songs as on The Fall and those written across all your projects as collated in the Freakshow album, both of 2011. I will admit this was a little bit of a surprise considering your major input and dramatic style within TSFS, so has this been a natural progression or have you had to consciously veer away from anything sounding like the band?

Mr. Strange: Yes, it was definitely a conscious decision to try and move away from the sound of the Shanklin Freak Show. The more complex song arrangements, featuring less prominent/heavy guitars, changing the tone and pitch of my vocals somewhat, being more daring with mixing varying genres on one album, all of it was done with the sole intention of trying to not sound like a new Freak Show album. I’d done 8 years of the Freak Show; I wanted to see if I could create something a little different. With all that said, I also tried to not move too far away from the Freak Show sound as to completely alienate people who may be following me after hearing the Freak Show. You can hear echoes of TSFS on songs like ‘Fire’, ‘White Rabbit’ and on ‘Exile’.

As the album is lyrically and musically a journey through the mind of Mr. Strange did you have a definite step by step guide to the order of songs and their effect on the album in mind before everything was recorded etc.?

Mr. Strange: I did indeed! However, what I planned out and what ended up being the Wonderful World of Weird album are two very different things. The narrative you hear on the finished record was re-written to fit the finished songs only a few months before the album’s release. I originally planned something far grander and more complex, but it was sounding so overblown, silly and pretentious that the scope for the record was scaled back considerably. It’s far more personal now; I think that works in its favour.

We described the opening title track to The Wonderful World Of Weird as Dr. Jekyll meets ICP as early Marilyn Mansion helps Victor Frankenstein create aural life for them to toy with upon a set designed by Willy Wonka, a description which in varying ways applies to the whole album; how would you describe the album to newcomers?

Mr. Strange: Tim Burton and Danny Elfman taking an absinth-fuelled journey through a variety of pop and rock’s more outlandish genres.

I imagine this album might appeal to people who like quirky / alternative pop. I was inspired by lots of the 80’s goth bands and loads of steampunk artists while making this record, so perhaps folks with similar tastes would enjoy it, too.

Tell us about our favourite track out of a great many on the album, Psycho Surfing-A-Go-Go.

STENCH:  Now this song is an example of how suddenly things happen organically. I think this was the fastest tune that we’ve ever written together. The major bones came together in an evening and the riffs were written on an old 1960’s Burns bass. Suddenly, it began writing itself. It was great fun to play as it has a tongue in cheek feel to the guitar lines. Also, it was nice to get outside of the box and let rip on some retro sounds. Mr. Strange knew from the off what he wanted to do vocal-wise and before we knew it, job done.

Mr. Strange 4Can we get a brief glimpse of the man behind Mr. Strange, we get the impression he is a shy retiring type… a tea drinker 😉

Mr. Strange: Of course I like tea, and no, you can’t get a glimpse! Aha! Although your impression could be considered strangely accurate…

You both hail from The Isle Of Wight which seems like a small hotbed of talent right now, covering numerous styles?

STENCH:  Absolutely, the music scene here is great and vast. It would take up another couple of pages to name every great musician or band based here. Of course, we have our favourites and it would be rude not to give them a shout. *Deep breath* Pleasurade, Hentai Babies, When Prophecy Fails, Becoming The Leviathan, Born Ina Barn, Silencing The Voiceless, Puritan Slain, Kingz Of Vocals, Counsil Estate Supermodels, The Ohmz, Hollowdrone and Nately’s Whore to name but a few. So you have your Alt-Pop, Progressive Metal, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Grunge and Punk. But, as with any music scene, anywhere, it needs support.

You have not been tempted by the bright lights of the mainland for musical reasons?

Mr. Strange: Career wise? Yes, but many factors prevented that from happening. I haven’t thought about it for years. I’m happy where I am right now, so I have no plans to move closer to the action, there’s more than enough in my trousers to keep me entertained, although the career opportunities are limited.

What is next for Mr. Strange, you do not seem like an artist to sit back and take a rest.

Mr. Strange: Indeed, you know me too well, sir! Were we lovers at some point? I have two projects / albums planned for next year. The first album (which I’m writing at this very moment) is progressing extremely fast, possibly dropping in April 2014. I’d wager no one will see this one coming; it’s so completely different to anything I’ve done before. Once that album is out and people adjust to the new strangeness, I’ll begin work on the next album, the one that will usher in my return to live music and my inevitable conquest of planet Earth! I hope to have that second record ready by the end of 2014, possibly with live touring to follow in 2015. Don’t hold me to those dates though, I’m just speculating at this point. Both albums will have completely different musical styles and theatrical imagery to match, but I shall say no more.

Where can people treat themselves to all things Mr. Strange and especially The Wonderful World Of Weird?

Mr. Strange: I think it would be very spiritually rewarding for people to go to my website and gasp in ecstasy at pictures of my devilishly handsome face! Links to all of my music and whatnot are located there, but my sexy pictures are where it’s at.

www.mrstrangemedia.comMr. Strange 3

If folks are into the social media thang, I’m on most of the popular sites, too:

www.facebook.com/Official.Mr.Strange

www.youtube.com/user/MrStrangeMedia

www.twitter.com/MrStrangeMedia

Once more thank you and of course to Stench for leaving your bedlam to talk with us, any thoughts to leave us with?

Mr. Strange: Expect the unexpected!

…and lastly please give us five records which shaped Mr. Strange.

1. Marilyn Manson – Portrait Of An American Family

2. Dukes Of Stratosphere – Chips From The Chocolate Fireball

3. Insane Clown Posse – The Great Milenko

4. Dr. Steel – Read-Along Album

5. Danny Elfman – Nightmare Before Christmas OST

Read The Wonderful World Of Weird review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/mr-strange-the-wonderful-world-of-weird/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 23/12/2013

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