Electro waltzes and deviancy: the Mr. Strange Interview.

 

Mr. Strange 2015 _RingMaster Review

Some know Mr. Strange as the former frontman of the brilliant circus rock steampunks The Shanklin Freak Show, others more some from their solo exploits and especially outstanding 2014 album Wonderful World Of Weird. What is beginning to be recognised is that the sound conjuror of musical deviancy from the Isle of Wight is one of the UK’s most imaginative and unique songwriters. Proof to that has come with their fiercely tremendous new album The Bible of Electric Pornography, the first offering since the rebirth of the persona and sound of Mr. Strange over past months. The just released album is a “sacrilegious assault of electro-influenced filth”; a thrilling incitement of electronic and rock ‘n’ roll alchemy with the unique Mr. Strange imagination. A certain album of the year contender for a great many, we grab time with its creator and took a look onto the defiant invention of The Bible of Electric Pornography.

Hello Mr. Strange, thanks for letting us peer into the heart of your new album.

Before we do though, you are already known for your tapestry of sound and flavours. What are the major inspirations which have most coloured your ideas, songwriting, and approach to making music?

Historically, the culprits in the inspiration department are; Marilyn Manson, Insane Clown Posse, Dr. Steel, Alice Cooper, Gary Numan, etc., anything theatrical, weird, and dark that I can “escape” into. Musical ability has never been that important to me, the atmosphere and/or uniqueness in music has always been more appealing, personally.

I’ve always wanted to create “worlds” for listeners to get lost in; you can see this in each Mr. Strange album, no matter what changes musically the escapism is always there.

Inspirations for this new album are a little different though; Krizz Kaliko, Prince, Peaches, Nine Inch Nails, Lady Gaga, Perturbator, Die Antwoord, The Prodigy, Marilyn Manson’s Mechanical Animals, Dead Or Alive, Dirty Sanchez (the electroclash band), Electric Six and Gary Numan have all played a part. Anton LaVey’s ‘Satanic Bible’ has been an influence, also.

Being primarily an electronic composer I’ve always worked using software, so no Mr. Strange song (or earlier Shanklin Freak Show) song have ever come from a traditional “jam” – all songs are created in a methodical, multi-layered, jigsaw-like way. I imagine this approach, while not in any way unique, has had an effect creating the Mr. Strange “sound” over the years.

As with any artist, everything influences me in some way or another, a lot of it subconsciously. The quirkiness of video game music has always been a large influence, especially pre-2001, before games started trying to ape films so much.

Mr. Strange 2015 pic 5_RingMaster Review

You have just released your new album The Bible of Electric Pornography. Can you give us some idea to the evolution of your craft and music shown in previous propositions and has culminated in the new incitement of ears and emotions?

This album’s been on the cards since about 2005. Originally it was just an idea to make a sleazy electro-rock album called ‘Sleaze Pit’; a few demo songs were written, only one of which survived and made the album. The ‘Sleaze Pit’ idea has always been there, all this time, but there has always been something else I wanted to try when it came to the “next record”. That was until Wonderful World Of Weird came out, then it was a toss-up between doing a metal album or this Sleaze Pit album. My guitar amp broke so I went with Sleaze Pit’!

It was only supposed to take 6 months but took 2 years… It evolved in to a monster.

Ideas kept coming, both musically and thematically. It tied in with a pivotal moment in my life, so I could pour a lot more of myself into it without it feeling at odds with the albums themes; I am the albums themes. There’s a sincerity and “realness” behind the theatricality now which may not have been there before. I hope it comes across to people listening to the record.

In my opinion, this is easily the best album I’ve worked on. I’ve never been very confident or overly pleased with any albums up until now. There’s always been time constraints forcing me to rush to completion, or a loss of interest in the project that has hampered its potential. This is the most personal, well-realised and accessible album I’ve ever done. I’ll be happy if this is the last album I ever do.

Some may mourn the loss of the old Mr. Strange quirky goofiness, but I needed to try something else for this album. I’m sure it’ll be back, though.

Mr. Strange EP album cover _RingMaster Review

You mentioned the time it has taken The Bible of Electric Pornography to grow and emerge etc., can you give us more insight into its writing and recording; also were there any collaborations also involved thus time around?

It was a bit more of a solo effort than Wonderful World of Weird, which was a very collaborative effort between me and Mr. Stench (guitarist). This is mainly due to how electronic the music is, so there wasn’t as much for a guitarist or live drummer to do. It was only meant to take 6 months; I didn’t mean to leave my band mates twiddling their thumbs for so long! But we have written a lot of music together though, it’s just not on this record…

The collaboration with Global Citizen (on the track D/s) came about very naturally. I co-produce their music, so have access to their track “stems” and decided to play about with one of their songs one day. I did a remix/remake, of sorts. It sounded great and fitted with the new album perfectly, so I asked Global Citizen if I could use it on the record, they said yes! I thought it’d be cool to have them sing on it too, their brand of lyrical filth seemed a natural fit.

Mr. Strange 2015 pic 3_RingMaster Review

 

Tell us about the lyrical themes and sparks for some of the tracks within The Bible of Electric Pornography.

There are two main themes running throughout Electric Pornography; Satanism and sexuality. For hundreds of years, religions have led people to believe the two are as one. This has led to an extremely repressed society, ashamed by default, born sinners. Christianity has had such a huge impact on the mentality of the western world over its 2000-odd years; its grip is loosening, but very slowly. The ingrained shame still exists in the western subconscious; some can overcome it easily, for others it can emotionally cripple.

I wanted to make a liberating album; I’m tired of hearing and feeling that I should be ashamed. I want to be the antithesis of that kind of thinking, the adversary of it. Seeing as so much repression, shaming, and bigotry stems from religion, I thought I’d side with one of their classic adversaries, metaphorically. If I’m a deviant abomination in their eyes, so be it, I’ll just embrace it. It’s a middle finger, really. Calling the album a ‘Bible’ is a cheeky slap in the face to the Jesus freaks; it also holds just as much relevance as their Bible, which is none. That’s a positive statement I wanted to make for people who might find this album and who may have to deal with religious bigotry on a daily basis. If it helps just one person feel a little better about themselves, then I’ll call that mission accomplished.

The sexuality in this album is very over-the-top, dark and nasty. This isn’t so much how I view sex and sexuality, but more of a symbolic revelling in the so-called “sinful” debauchery of it all. If I feel a certain way about something, I always take that to the extreme in my music – I blow it up so it’s ten times bigger and more exaggerated than it really is. People who already know my music and “get” it see past the pomp of it all and appreciated the real sentiments behind the overblown way I present them, but I can imagine that to the uninitiated I may seem like a self-obsessed sociopath or something!

Mr. Strange 2015 pic 4_RingMaster Review

Is there one core message within all those aspects it looks at and explores, and specifically that within the album’s finale, The Last Song?

It’s unapologetic and unashamed, and hopefully it will make people feel that way when listening to it.

The finale has two meanings.

The first: the end of a beautiful relationship. A mutual parting of ways that is sometimes necessary and unavoidable.

The second: a farewell to people who may not wish to follow me anymore. I look different and I sound different, I AM different, and that doesn’t always go down well with music fans. The first line sums it up perfectly for me:

 

“I know this isn’t what you wanted,

You wanted more of the same,

But that’s a game I cannot play”

The future for Mr Strange

The future is electric!

Mr. Strange 2015 pic 6_RingMaster Review

Read our review of The Bible of Electric Pornography @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/mr-strange-the-bible-of-electric-pornography/

http://www.mrstrangemedia.com  https://www.facebook.com/Official.Mr.Strange   https://twitter.com/MrStrangeMedia

Pete RingMaster 30/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Cave Mouth – Deep Water

cavemouth_RingMaster Review

Devon is not renowned for its swamps but they must be there as only that kind of landscape could have bred the deliciously sinister and addictively magnetic hues soaking the new single from UK band Cave Mouth. Quite simply Deep Water is a glorious slice of dark rock ‘n’ roll; swamp meets delta blues in the arms of instinctive funk swing and knowledgeable seduction of century old sirens.

cover_RingMaster Review   Influences to Cave Mouth (or CaveMouth, both used by band and all) come from the likes of Prince, ESG, Busta Rhymes, Leadbelly, Jack White, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Jethro Tull, with lyrical inspirations found in the world around the band from politics and religion to nature, and we would suggest the darkest delights to be found anywhere. There are so many potent attributes to the almost primal air and spellbinding invention of the band’s sound, from the bewitching dual vocal union of guitarist Sketchy Lex and bassist Ms. Mo to the primal rhythms stomped down by she and drummer Wreckless Richie, and equally the psyche twisting web of salacious coaxing cast by the flaming saxophone of Mr. Duncan ‘The Hook’ Hook and Lex’s guitar, everything smoulders with temptation. Deep Water is the darkest and most thrilling proposal from the band to date, but one in a line of simply spellbinding traps laid by the band’s mix of blues, funk, and African music infused adventures which includes last year’s excellent Pagan Blues EP.

Bass and beats instantly grab ears, as too the smoky breath of guitar and sultry caress of sax with their almost immediate evocation of the senses. The slight snarl to the voice of Lex perfectly colludes with the rich texture of Ms. Mo’s, whilst in the irresistible chorus a gnarly additional voice evokes dark bordering on demonic mischief from the heart of the song. Like My Baby meets Kobadelta in a coven lorded over by Old House Playground, the song swaggers from chord to thick chord and beat to wicked beat with the instinctive knowledge that it will have the listener enslaved and in rapture from its first touch, and fair to say it does with its melodic tonic and darkly hued resourcefulness, and especially that incendiary chorus and vocal union.

We have many lusts going on at The RR, and Cave Mouth has just become the cause of another.

Deep Water is available from August 19th

RingMaster 19/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Embracing individual shadows and unique lights: an interview with Katie Buckett of Jingo

jingo1

Across the past twelve months or so, UK based band Jingo has been one of the biggest surprises and persistently unique propositions to keep the site excited and busy with a regular presentation of singles. Recently the band unveiled the final three tracks in a series of four which were released one by one over a four track period. As almost expected now but always impressed by, the songs came with individual character and stylishly varied sounds wrapped in an equally mesmeric imagination.

There was the poetically evocative Before You Were Born, a song which opens with the ever sirenesque voice of Katie Buckett courted by just as elegant melodic caresses and pungent keys. Heart bred and emotively enchanting, the song immerses senses and thoughts in a striking aural narrative which grows and brews in intensity across its length, Kate’s husband Jack alongside Joseph Reeves and Sahil Batra casting a magnetic web of sound and vocal support, not forgetting sonic drama which is mouthwatering. It is a glorious song which shares diversity and startling persuasion with Home, another song which is able to simultaneously seduce and inflict an intrusive adventure upon the imagination and passions. The drama of the previous song is again, as across most of their songs, a thick temptation which shares shadows and sultry colour with the equally delicious sounds and gripping premise of the encounter. The track is a brilliant aural movie for mind and heart, a provocative suitor for ears and senses, and an ingenious lover for the imagination, just like the last of the single released in that aforementioned quartet. Turn Around is rhythmic enticement around which vocals and harmonies flame and melodies dance with a flirtatious summer bred festivity. Again the track offers something new from and about Jingo. It is a trait all of their ten plus singles has succeeded in impressing by, here a Caribbean swagger and warmth aligned to a psychedelic coaxing a bewitching venture to which Katie excels, once again.

Jingo is a band which surely cannot be a British secret for much longer, their invention and craft too big to be contained you suspect and hope, especially with the forthcoming release of their debut album which the band are finishing as you read. With a long overdue move to find out much more about the band; its past, present, and future we had the pleasure of having Katie share time with us and revealing…

 

Hey Katie and welcome to the site, thank you for talking with us.

Thanks for liking our music.

Tell us about the beginnings of Jingo, where it all started and on which side of the ocean; oh and was it band or romance first? 😉

Jack (guitar) and Joe (drums) brought their band to New York for six months to live the dream. They rented a basement flat in The McKibbin Lofts, a converted warehouse in Bushwick where I had been living for a couple years. I ran an open mic in the building where I first met them and there was a really great community vibe in the area so I guess you could say music brought us together, but it all really came together when Jack and I got married and we decided I should move to London. It was tough, I trained long and hard, but sure enough I mustered the strength to swim across the Ocean. Soon after their other band came to an end, we started playing music and calling it a band little over a year ago.

So what specifically inspired the relocation to London from the US?

Well Jack said in the event of a nuclear catastrophe, in which the only way he could survive was to move to the US, he would only just consider it, so I packed my bags.

Did Jingo start out with any specific intent and vision for the music and its presence? jingo3

The most important thing has always been making good music. Sometimes I make the mistake of asking Joe if my hair looks okay and he always says, “I don’t give a shit.” People sometimes ask questions about our varying styles of songs or our fluctuating stage antics but we don’t really care. We’re still growing and I think our attitude towards the music will lead us in the right direction. A Jingo can be stuck in their ways and no one wants to be that guy.

As evidenced by the mass of singles released over the past couple of years, your sound is as diverse as it is contagious; how would you describe your music in a single sentence for newcomers?

Rock and Roll Dinosaur Electronia that the girls can dance to.

Listening to your songs you get the feeling that they organically spring to life with their own ideas on character and then you hone and sculpt them; how does the songwriting works within the band?

Usually I’ll have the skeleton of a song with some words and Jack will refine the melody, then we’ll jam it out in the studio. Sometimes it will start with a guitar riff or more recently we’ll jam the whole song into being. We never really know when a song is going to come out, but at the moment they are coming out our ears. We don’t like to be very formulaic we just take them as they come.

It is a democracy when it comes to creating songs or is there a core source more often than not?

It is a democracy in the sense that whatever sounds the best is law. Sometimes it’s a matter of demonstrating your point, but most times we end up agreeing in the end. People naturally fall into their roles. Jack is definitely the band leader, lyrics are mostly all me, but the all-round writing of the song is very much a group endeavour.

Your songs always, however emotively shadowed they might be, come with a stroll and smile; this is a reflection of you as people and your wants from good music?

I think that even if you write a sad or dark song, you want the listener to enjoy the experience of listening to your music. Bad experience can unite us and a bumping beat is the best remedy. And you can never take yourself too seriously.

What inspires the lyrical side of your music? Some of the songs are quite dark at their core.

It’s not the same for everyone in the band, but for me art can be a sort of therapy. There are some things that have happened in life that are hard to conceptualize in any other way besides writing a song. I had a troubled friend who killed herself and our song Jaclyn is a combination of anger and loving life in her honour. Sometimes rocking out and screaming your heart out is better than suppressing love and loss where no light can get to it.

As mentioned you have released a tide of singles, how do you see your sound has evolved and grown since the first and the recent Turn Around?

I don’t think we’ve found a specific sound yet, but we are starting to play a lot more songs that aren’t as dark. Jack had only just started music production with these first recordings, so we’re definitely improving fast in that way. We’re becoming a lot more relaxed with each other and with our new band-mate Chris, who also produces electronic music. We’re really excited for what the future holds.

You are obviously a band who pushes themselves and embraces different styles and flavours; what past and currently has inspired you most potently?

I think we all get down with the music our parents listened to in the 60s and 70s- Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, King Crimson, Jimi, Beatles, . We are all avid music listeners. Our heroes of now are Jack White, Queens of the Stone Age, Interpol, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Neil Young, Pearl Jam, Tame Impala, Grizzly Bear, Lana Del Rey, Prince, Haim, First Aid Kit the list is endless.

jingo4Live you are renown for your exciting performances, your first ever show being support for Blur’s Graham Coxon. How did that come about?

We run an open mic called Cable Street Electric. Once in a while we do a charity night, one of those was at Mother London in Shoreditch. When they wanted to do their own charity night for Shelter, they thought of us and invited us to play, just so happens Graham Coxon was playing after us, pretty dope.

Would you say it put you swiftly under a certain spotlight or it did not really aid the emergence of the band other than in experience?

It’s always great to play for fresh ears. I don’t know if we really benefitted especially from that night as far as the band goes, but it makes for a great story and none of us will ever forget it.

I am assuming band members have a ‘real ‘life’ and job outside of the band, so how does Jingo manage to be so prolific with their songwriting?

We’re really lucky in that music is what we do. We intentionally don’t have full-time jobs so that we can put as much into our music as possible. We all have certain skills that we can get by with for living costs, but the music is always at the forefront of our minds. We practice often, have a good work ethic, but also have a ton of fun doing it.

What has been your favourite single to date, or the one which you feel epitomises Jingo for new ears?

That’s a hard one, I’m sure it’s different for everyone, but I really liked the release of When You Want Me. We won a competition where we got to record at Strongroom studios where Radiohead and a load of others have recorded. It felt for a second like we were big dogs and they treated us really well and we got to tinker with all their toys.

Tell us about your forthcoming EP? What can we expect and how does it push on from the excellent singles which have already seduced so many?

It’s a full album silly! We are releasing our last couple songs with the record and they are quite fresh so we’re really excited about it. Also I’m a painter, so I get to do some artwork for it so I’m pretty pumped about that. There are some surprises with all that and two new music videos coming out around the same time. We aim to please.

Your singles have all been released for free downloads, are you going the same way with the album?

Nothing is final but we are definitely selling our album. With putting out free singles we really wanted to build a fan base and give everyone a chance to get to know us, I hope our fans will return the favour and purchase a copy so we can make more and tour potentially.

What were the ambitions for the band when it first began and for you when first making music, and have they changed or evolved since?

The ambition has always been to make great music; I don’t think that will change. The next cloud would be to make a living at it, I think we are well on our way but only time and hard work will tell. Maybe I can get the guys to all wear animal costumes, I’d get a kick outta that.

What is planned for the rest of 2014?jingo2

There are definitely secrets in store of which I can’t divulge. All I can say is stay tuned; album, videos and more to come soon.

Again a big thank you for chatting with us and providing such great and richly loved songs for our podcasts 🙂

Thank you so much for listening and sharing, we owe it to people like you putting a signal out.

Any last thought you would like to leave us contemplating?

All you need is mom’s spaghetti, a brick and a bin bag.

Lastly if you could schedule a stage at a festival with Jingo headlining, what emerging bands which you have played with or come across would you invite?

Not Blood Paint, Bird Courage, Bailiff, Pat Dam Smyth, Bad for Lazarus, Steve Nelson

http://jingomusic.com/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 08/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

 

 

 

 

 

Katsuo – Creators

Katsuo Online Promo Shot

    Rife with more ideas than occasionally and debatably it knows what to do with, it is fair to say that the Creators EP from Katsuo is a feverish dance of sound and imagination which is impossible to ignore. Five tracks of electronic pop merged with dubstep, alternative rock, and just a whisper of j pop, the release is an undulating, in success, and rousing inciter of the dancefloor with just enough to suggestively infect even the more hardened resistance. First listen raised doubts and a strain of antipathy but it has to be admitted over time Katsuo and EP became a deviously addictive proposition with moments which just had to be enjoyed more and more.

     Katsuo is the project of multi-instrumentalist Alex Larkman which he formed in 2012. Gaining experience in numerous bands, the musician wanted to ‘create something edgy, contemporary, and innovative’ so taking inspirations from the likes of Fall Out Boy, 30 Seconds to Mars, Skrillex, and Prince into his invention created Katsuo. The first year saw debut EP Silver Tongue released as well as the single Warrior a little later. Their well-received success was built upon last year by the release of the Stereo Jesus video which featured Suicide Girl and Front Magazine cover girl Rebecca Crow (Katherine Suicide). Again it only enhanced the presence and hunger for the sounds being unleashed, something the Super Happy Records released Creators can only emulate and drive on.

     The title track kicks things off and immediately has pulsating beats resonating through the senses whilst an electro rummaging Katsuo Cover Artworkingrains an even deeper alluring presence. As much a contagious agitator on feet as a bed of hot coals, the song is soon striding with a hungry energy alongside the compelling vocals which have been laying down their particular infectious bait from the first second. Assumptions soon kick in that this rampant electronic taunting and enterprise is the way of the track but Larkman is soon dismissing expectations as from the vibrant brew of electro pop urgency with guest vocalist Nakisha Esnard adding her glorious harmonic tones to the mix, a burst of swing and jazzy temptation with delicious dark piano enticement included breaks free from the feisty melodic waltz. Fusing it all in a continuing anthemic seduction with virulently addictive endeavour and adventure, the track is an excitable and exciting start which like the whole EP feels like a bit of a guilty pleasure for more heavily boned and aggressive tastes but simply is predominantly irresistible.

     The following I Wanna Know continues the enthralling start, its industrial bred entrance a reserved yet keen coaxing which welcomes and wraps around the strong and smooth vocals of Larkman. Again there is sense of ‘should I be liking this so much?’, but as the mischievous and provocative slice of electro pop rock continues to embrace the ears there is little resistance to its uncomplicated and radiant presence. Carrying an essence of eighties synth pop to its magnetic croon the song is another thoroughly appealing highlight on an already satisfyingly teasing release.

    From here on in the EP loses some of its potency on personal tastes though the next up Secret Supervillian featuring US singer songwriter Zoe Ann still recruits feet and appetite in its richly catchy web of electro rock infestation ripe with melodic craft and vocal harmonies. There is the spark missing which ignites the previous pair of songs though, and especially with the seductive voice of its guest bringing the strongest temptation it feels like a missed opportunity. With a tantalising brief interlude of cheerleader driven tribal toxicity embraced by electronic groaning sitting between this track and the following As Good As Mine, which itself hosts another guest appearance this time from Mark Bolton, the EP still nestles nicely in the emotions but here without sparking and igniting the imagination as it started out achieving so easily. The second of the two songs is too boy band like for these hungry ears and is a soon forgotten encounter though this is down to personal tastes only. It is a pop song to be fair which has all the tools to capture the passions of teen girls and day time radio whilst to its latter melodic narrative the emerging growl will satisfy soft rock pop enthusiasts. Well-crafted and presented the track is a straightforward flight of pop sound spreading the charm of the release if not the kindling for a fire in the emotions.

   The closing song The Wicked hints at the same results with its acoustic opening and vocal harmonies but it saves itself with dark electronic revving and a bewildering yet inviting mix of ideas and sounds. Just when you think the song is about to fall into a bland pop abyss it comes up with a twist to nudge attention though equally when you hope it is about to expand those elements it slips back into the uninspiring caresses. Arguably messy in its mesh of ideas but persistently nagging with shards of temptation it is a more than decent if not inspiring end to the release.

    The Creators EP is two scintillating long term incitements and three generally pleasing if not lingering pieces of pop kissing. The release will not be for everyone though certainly it offers enough at its start to entrap and enslave all imaginations at least once but with promise soaking every step it is easy to see Katsuo emerging into strong acclaim and greater potency within dancefloors and electro pop appetites over the time ahead.

http://www.theycallmekatsuo.com/

www.facebook.com/theycallmekatsuo

7/10

RingMaster 17/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

 

Monday 20th January‏ sees KATSUO unleash ‘Creators’.

Katsuo Online Promo Shot
 
EXPLOSIVE NEW EP UNLEASHED THIS JANUARY BY KATSUO!
 
Katsuo’s eagerly awaited new five-track EP ‘Creators’ is nationally unveiled on Monday 20th January, through Super Happy Records. Merging Electronica, Dubstep and Rock, Katsuo’s blend of ‘Rock-step’ is poised to explode this year!
Formed in 2012, Katsuo is the workings of multi-instrumentalist Alex Larkman, who after playing in bands during his teens, wanted to create something edgy, contemporary and innovative. Taking from a plethora of influences stemming from Fall Out Boy and 30 Seconds to Mars, through to Skrillex and Prince, Katsuo’s sound is quite diverse, fusing a heady mix of dark & punchy dubstep, underpinned by crunchy rock guitars and laced with fast and hard hitting electro. With unique but compelling vocal hooks, Katsuo is destined for great things.
Katsuo’s debut EP ‘Silver Tongue’ hit stores in April 2012 along with the single ‘Warrior’ (released through Tuned-1n Records) which dropped towards the end of that year. Katsuo then also released the video ‘Stereo Jesus’ in April 2013, which featured internationally infamous Suicide Girl & FRONT Magazine cover girl Rebecca Crow (Katherine Suicide).  All releases helped to significantly propel Katsuo’s reach, and now with the release of Katsuo’s latest offering ‘Creators’, which compacts five killer cuts of inventive and cutting edge song-writing that sway from hard industrial and drumstep, to piano pop and alt-rock, ‘Creators’ promises to elevate Katsuo even further.
STOP PRESS! (4/10/13): KATSUO HAS JUST HIT 40k VIEWS AND HAVE BEEN FEATURED ON
YOUTUBE’S HOME PAGE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MS-RUUoXwi8 ….
 Katsuo Cover Artwork
 

Evolving explorations: an interview with Cole Salewicz of The Savage Nomads

savage-nomads-d

Copyright – Grace Lightman

Since the release of their debut single The Magic Eye in 2011, UK rock band The Savage Nomads has continued to impress and ignite the imagination with their ever evolving invention and sound. Through an acclaimed album, an equally showered with praise EP, and their stunning new single Jaded Edges, the London quintet has drawn and bred major attention, including that of Mick Jones of Big Audio Dynamite and The Clash. The time feels ripe and ready for the band to finally explode onto the frontline of the UK rock scene, something their single suggests is imminent as more boundary pushing, for band and genre, songs and releases are beginning to stir. Eager to find out about the inner sanctum of the band we grabbed the opportunity to talk with vocalist/guitarist Cole Salewicz, touching on the history of The Savage Nomads, BAD, songwriting and much more….

Hi Cole and thanks for talking with us at The RingMaster Review

A pleasure…

To start off with some background how did the members of The Savage Nomads get together and what brought the band into existence?

Josh and I were two like-minded souls that were lucky enough to meet each other via a once brilliant London group called ‘Sailor No Youth’. Del Guapo, a fantastic guitarist and songwriter who lives down in Hastings introduced me when I was 15 and Josh about 13 or so. I was playing bass with him in Sailor No Youth for a little bit and he thought Josh and I might be able to link some serious tunes together. Lucky, really…

Did you have a determined intent for the band when starting out and if so has that changed over the years, or has it always simply been an organic journey of discovery from day one?

At first you know we were like any other young band; trying to make whatever we could work and thinking we were God’s gift to music. I suppose that’s a good thing when you’re really young because we went out and played absolutely anywhere to anyone and I think Josh and I were really happy to do that: making our bones playing to barflys watching Champions league football. That was a crucial time, and also a pretty difficult one for some old nomads: a few stragglers got left by the roadside! We were rewarded with a year long residency at the 12 Bar Club eventually…We’re more determined than ever now, though…

Your sound is a multi-flavoured, multi-textured beast, one which is constantly evolving, what are the biggest inspirations to your adventure would you say?

Wow, I couldn’t tell you. Thank you! Anyone who is trying to push their limits I guess, anyone trying to be the best at what they’re doing. Arcade Fire’s new LP is emblematic of that ethos: they play to their strengths but are always looking to cover new ground. The Clash was a big influence on Josh and I growing up, as was Neil Young…I love Prince, I love Bowie…you know, all those guys…we like The Cribs’ attitude…

Each release from debut single The Magic Eye through an album and EP on to your recently released track Jaded Edges have

Copyright - Grace Lightman

Copyright – Grace Lightman

all had truly individual character and imagination from themselves and other bands around. How much has the changing sound been natural evolution and how much a determined guidance from yourselves?

Thanks, I think pretty much up until recently it was all completely natural. Maybe completely out of control! The new material is a different slice of pie…I can’t wait to release more of it…I want a bus driver in Wigan to be able to connect with the songs. We are retaining who we are, because we’re not getting away from what makes us write songs or why we write the songs but I think as we’ve gotten a little bit older we understand a bit more about crafting songs if you catch my drift; because in the past we were just vomiting out our insides, getting all the ideas out in a big pot, the songs came out in a stream of consciousness (a bit like this interview)…we’re a little more composed now. We practice deep breathing!

Earlier songs and releases were seemingly bred from a post-punk seed whilst recent tracks and the new single Jaded Edges, well they have unveiled a weave of diverse aural invention and styles honed into something contagiously ingenious in our book. How would you describe your sound to newcomers?

Golden Pop: The Real McCoy.

How has your music evolved since the early days to the new release for you?

Well we can play a little more and understand more about production and about different methods of writing songs. Different sexual positions! I don’t bother looking at the past too much, I’m very proud of Coloured Clutter but I haven’t listened to it in ages: I’m only interested in The Savage Nomads at this very second and in 2014.

I believe the line-up has changed over the past years, has this been a factor to the changing direction and ever hungry invention of the band?

Probably. Everything that is meant to happen does happen. I love those guys who were in the band before, they were great musicians but we’re in a more harmonious place now.

The Savage Nomads has been a band which has us bemused in the fact you have not exploded into the full attention and psyche of the country before now. We know it is not the music, so can you give us some ideas of the obstacles facing a band which keeps them under cover, prevents them finding the amount of ears needed to be noticed?

HA! Well, I thought it was going well…slowly, slowly catch a monkey, Pete…Guys like you are making it easier. It is hard, I mean, sometimes I feel like there are a million groups in London, let alone the rest of the country. I have often thought given the effort we put in and the organisation that we uphold; we really should of started selling laughing gas…

Have you found a laziness or apathy in some quarters from the industry and the public when it comes to trying to grab their attention in what is a thick wave of emerging bands at any point in time?

Hahahahahahahahhahahaha NOOOOOOO, not AT ALL…what on earth would give you that impression?!?!?!??

Copyright - Grace Lightman

Copyright – Grace Lightman

You have certainly gained strong attention and support from the likes of Matt Johnson, Robyn Hitchcock, and especially Mick Jones. Has this given your presence any extra spice within the music world?

All of that has helped and we’ve been really lucky but it doesn’t mean anything more than a nice endorsement. Mick isn’t going to come round and write the songs for me. What it has meant though Pete, is that lovely people like yourself have taken an interest when maybe they wouldn’t of otherwise. Another piece of the puzzle…

Tell us about your connection with Mick and BAD in particular. How did he become aware of you, which led to the band playing the Big Audio Dynamite Justice Tonight Tour, and how much did you learn from that event?

That was stupendous. A great experience playing on bigger stages and completely euphoric! That Scala show on the Justice Tonight tour was one of the best nights of my life. Mick discovered us when we were 16: West London buzz I guess…a big sewing circle that place. We played his Carbon Casino club nights at the legendary Inn on the Green in Ladbroke Grove. It led to a lot of great things, we met a tonne of people that would help us out later on…met our first guitarist, a really cool kid called Francis Botu…

Tell us about the songwriting process within the band and how songs expand from their early seeds generally.

Nowadays it’s different all the time but over the last year Josh and I have gotten really into using Logic. We immersed ourselves in it and came out with over 20 new tunes. I’m writing some new songs on an acoustic guitar and the new boys in the group are really terrific, really enthusiastic so we’ve started writing collectively as a group a bit more too. Getting competent on Logic was a major breakthrough for us though…

Are you a band which continues to evolve songs right up to the final recording or do you enter the studio/record with a relatively fixed sound and intent for a track in place?

Absolutely, songs have lives of their own so you’ve gotta let them do their own thing! We recorded the latest material at Café Studios in Bow with Cherif Hashizume who we got on like a house on fire with. He was actually in a band called Melody Nelson that we used to support when we were mid-teens, lying about our age to play at the Rhythm Factory…funny who comes back into the fold!

Returning to Jaded Edges, your songs have always had a swagger, a confidence to their bodies which instantly engages, but the new song has a mischief and deep belief as well as passion which suggest that The Savage Nomads has found a maturity and even greater appetite for experiment and inner exploration. Is that how you see it?

Yeah sure! Thank you for saying so! I have definitely become an avid fan of the love song: I don’t think there’s anything I have more fun writing about. I still write about what else is going on in my life and what I see around me but love songs are the best type of songs, aren’t they?

Can we take Jaded Edges as a potent indicator of the direction and avenues the songs you are writing and those to come will a0881502226_2investigate or as we spoke of before it is more of a let’s see what they say to us situation as they emerge for the band?

Jaded Edges is a good indication, yes…but we’re always gonna throw some surprises at you…I’m very excited about the new material, the new set is mainly comprised of it so you gotta come check us live…

What is next for and from The Savage Nomads?

Acrobat training…we wanna take our live shows even further…

Once again thank you for spending time with us. Any last thoughts or revelations you would like to share?

Grilled Honey-Glazed Mackerel, Cherry Tomatoes and Boiled Brown Rice. Add sour cream and scotch bonnet pepper sauce to taste…

Read the review of Jaded Edges @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/savage-nomads-jaded-edges/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 11/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Flames of mesmeric beauty: Interview with Annamaria Pinna of Vajra

Without doubt one of the most inspirational and simply glorious albums to light up 2012 has been Pleroma from New York band Vajra. It is an album of aural majesty, a beautifully crafted and emotively driven piece of wonder which wraps tender and mesmeric yet evocative arms around the thoughts and senses. It is a release with a background as full as the fiery sounds which ignite the passions within so we had to know more. With gratitude we had the pleasure of asking vocalist, song writer, and band founder Annamaria Pinna all about the release, the heart of the album, and her personal journey to this point.

 Hello Annamaria and welcome to the site.

Hello.  Thank you.  Welcome to the Vajra Temple.

With the recent release of your stunning debut album Pleroma, things seem like a whirlwind of energy, attention, and activity for the band, what is it like from the inside?

Thank you.  Since we played our first show in November, 10, 2011 (which sold out), it has been both exciting and hectic.   We played the Bowery Ballroom, Mercury Lounge in NYC to sold-out audiences, two shows at SXSW in Austin, TX and recently returned from a West Coast tour, performing at Sylvia Massy’s 4&20 Blackbird Music Festival, as well as The Bottom of The Hill in San Francisco and The Roxy in Los Angeles.  Virgin America selected our single “Erode The Will” for their In-Flight Entertainment Series in December, 2011, and that single is also included on the Red Gorilla SXSW 2012 Compilation and the GoGirls 2012 Music Compilation.  Our music was added to regular rotation at 200 radio stations nationwide, syndicated radio shows, podcasts, and music websites.  We recently signed licensing deals with The Discovery Network, MTV, Showtime and Bravo.  We sponsored a team at the 9th Annual Goals for Hope Women’s Soccer Tournament, (a benefit to raise money for the Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation) and we were added as Supercuts Music Ambassadors.   The debut album was released on the Summer Solstice (06.21.12) and we seem to be getting a lot of positive reviews from around the globe, which is pretty cool.  So, let’s just say, we’ve been very busy.  But, I can’t complain.  It’s all good.

Obviously you would have been confident in your music and album but has the response to Pleroma surprised you in any way all the same?

Yes, of course. I must say that I am surprised at the amount of really positive reviews coming from all around the world.   This project is my baby.  And I would love it regardless of what anyone said.  When I started writing the album, I just wrote what I felt in my heart and what I heard in my head.  I had no idea how people would respond to it.  I had a feeling that it was decent enough when Blake (Fleming) agreed to drum on the album.  He thought I had something unique and catchy.  And then, when Sylvia (Massy) said she loved the music and agreed to be part of the project, it was another indication that people would respond positively, I suppose.

Tell us about you the person and you the musician.

There is no separation.  All of my experiences in life inform my music.  And my music informs my life.  Music has always been a part of my life.  I studied music theory at Juilliard, played violin from age 6-8 and flute from age 8 through high school.  I taught myself some piano, guitar and bass and took some drum lessons.  Also, I started dancing at age 3, so I was reacting to music from a very early age.  I lived in India for 5 years, where I acted in a feature Bollywood film, and started writing this album.  I am an attorney and I practiced International Tax Law and Trusts and Estates at a prestigious law firm in NYC.   I’ve lived in Siena, Italy, New Orleans, Mumbai, NYC and San Francisco and aside from the music, I love to travel, cook, drink wine, mountain bike, run, hike, read, learn, write and spend time with friends and family.  That sounds like a personal ad, l0l!  Ahahahaha!

As a child you were encouraged and guided to learn about the world and question assumptions, yours and others. It is fair to say this has carried on into your music?

Absolutely.  Generally speaking, like I mentioned above, my life informs my music.  So, the time I spent in India gave me an appreciation for Classical Hindustani music, which I digested and then incorporated those elements into my own music.  I also think that many of my experiences are reflected in my music either in the lyrics or the music itself (or both).

Do you think your music would be as potent it is if you had not had that guidance?

Probably not.

The album carries some rich and expressive Eastern Indian themes and weaves within its progressive rock body as you just said. These have stemmed and being inspired by your self-imposed exile in India one assumes, can you tell us about this part of your life and how it impacted on your creativity and music specially?

I felt that I needed to challenge my assumptions and learn more about myself and the world around me.  So, I had to pull myself out of my familiar surroundings and go to a place where I was forced to question my thoughts, motivations and actions.  I had to step out of my comfort zone, challenge myself and explore other possibilities of being.  I wanted to sort through the things we usually take for granted and see things from a new perspective.  I learned a lot about myself and my world and I think I grew tremendously as a person.  If one has the opportunity, I think traveling and living abroad is very useful for growth and self actualization.

Photos By Brian Matus

Before we move on to the music may we ask about the condition you have, synesthesia? Would you explain about its effects and how it has challenged or alternatively enhanced your songwriting and the way you compose?

I see shapes and colors when I hear sounds.  When I describe music, I sometimes describe it in terms of color and wave my hand or body in a certain manner to reflect something of a shape.  Initially, I thought it was a product of my dance background.  And, I thought I was a bit crazy. For me, music is layered and multi-faceted and takes on many shapes and colors. I think this has enhanced my songwriting because it provides another understanding of this language of music.  I mean that it provides another way to describe or sit in that musical space.

 As with the India question do you think it brings a spark to your music which would be missing without having synesthesia?

Yes indeed.

Pleroma is a majestic weave of haunting shadows, flaming melodies, and emotion driven passion, I am sure you will not disagreed haha, but how much is inspired by personal reflection and experiences and how much ignited from observation?

That’s pretty cool.  Thank you.  It is a combination of both.  I am inspired by a leaf on a tree, an experience in the subway, the color of the sky, and my daily interactions with those close to me, and some not so close.

Please tell us about the theme behind Pleroma and where its inspiration came from.

Pleroma is ‘fullness’ in Greek.  It is the totality of all divine powers.  We are exploring paradox and duality in this album (light versus dark, soft versus hard, female versus male, east versus west, knowing versus unknowing, etc.).  To have one, you must also have the other.  This is ultimate fullness.

Pleroma- fullness – duality and nonduality are concepts I am very interested in at this time of my life.  We set out to explore this in the lyrics, the music, the arrangement and the performance.

Your lyrics are closely aligned to your music compared to the majority of bands where it’s a union of a separate two. How do you write your songs and is it a simultaneous thing for both aspects as songs evolve?

It’s different for every song.  For most of the songs, I wrote the music first.  Most times, I started with a bassline, but, sometimes, I started with a guitar riff or a drum beat or a keyboard melody.  And then, I would build from there.  When I returned from India, I enlisted the help of my band mates to help flesh out bits and pieces that weren’t quite right.  We were very patient with this album.  I wanted to take time to let each note and each sound emerge in its proper place.  The album was written in such an unconventional way.  We dissected each piece of the composition and recorded each instrument separately.  We didn’t play all together until right before the first show in November, 2011.  And when we did, we knew we had something really special

You recorded the album with Sylvia Massy (Tool, System of A Down, Prince, Johnny Cash) and Tom Baker (NIN, Foo Fighters, Ministry, Prince) bringing their experience and skills to the party, they undoubtedly found it easy to understand and interpret your vision for the Pleroma and how did you pull them on board with the project?

I reached out to Sylvia.  She is incredibly talented and I have so much respect for her.  She understood the music right away.  She listened to skeleton versions of the songs, and said she loved it and that it was very dark.  Then, she expressed her interest in working with me.  I just knew she was the right person to work with.  And, it was truly thrilling to work with her.  She introduced me to Tom, who is also extremely talented, and I was very excited to work with him as well.

The songs upon the album for us were a warm and evocative wrap which ignited thoughts and feelings whether in blazing light or shadowed realisation, but what is the least you hope people will get out of the release other than enjoyment?

We hope that the listener will feel something from the music or that the listener will come away with something, whatever that may be.  We want the listener to determine that for herself.

You have recently signed licensing deals with The Discovery Network, MTV, Showtime and Bravo, how will that hopefully impact on your reach and presence within rock music nationally and overseas?

It helps by introducing our music to new audiences.   So basically, more people will have access to our music.

They are not necessarily companies certainly looking from the UK which one would imagine are an easy fit with metal and heavy rock music. What persuaded you it would be to your benefit musically by linking up?

We are trying to spread the musical word in many different avenues so we can increase our fanbase and affect a wider audience.

 Can you tell us more about the recent collaboration with filmmaker Jordan Stone involving your music and his video

Photos By Brian Matus

work?

Jordan is so talented.  Jordan’s work has been presented at the Independent Film Festival in Lima, Mono No Aware, Light Industry, Harvest Works, Brik Gallery, and has been included in several touring Micro Cinema’s including Deep Leap and The Speculative Frontier.  He also composed music for Messhof Games projects that were exhibited internationally and in the U.S. Jordan’s work addresses alienation, drugs, death and transcendence.  He works primarily with hand processed and hand painted 16mm film.  When we first saw Jordan’s films, we knew his work was a perfect fit for our music. We started by creating videos for the live show.   We just started working on music videos specifically tailored to each song on the album.

What is next for and from Vajra?

We are currently getting the word out and increasing our fan base.  We just released our debut album on the Summer Solstice (6.21.12), so we are focusing on this. We are working on a couple of videos this Fall.  We would love to open for some of our favorite bands and start writing the next album early next year.  And we hope to tour and play Lollapalooza, Coachella, Bamboozle and Voodoo Fest next year.

Thank you so much for sparing some of your busy time to talk with us.

Would you like to end with a final thought for the readers?

Thank you so much for listening.  We hope the music can serve as a catalyst to create, pursue or explore something new-in whatever capacity.  Certainly, our influences have done that for us.

Read the Pleroma review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/vajra-pleroma/

The RingMaster Review 18/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright