The Lotus Interview

The Lotus is a rock band with its roots in Italy but is currently based in Manchester, UK. It is also a creative adventure which embraces an array of flavours and styles in “a visionary and characterful musical journey”. With a new album in the works, we threw a host of questions at the band to discover its beginnings, latest release, what fuels their creativity and more…

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

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

Hi everyone and thank you for interviewing The Lotus. The band started in 2004 when first Rox met Luca: we initially began playing some covers as many kids do but we immediately realised we wanted more and we immediately started working on some ideas and riffs.

That’s how it started really: in 2008 Kristal and Marco joined the band and that was the real start of a professional band as we decided to record and release our first album, which eventually came out in 2011.

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

Apart from Luca, actually all of us are still playing with many other bands! Mostly metal and rock bands though and I think that always influenced our music in same way.

Rox is playing with Italian prog rockers InnerShine and UK progressive metal band Prospekt, and also with pop folk singer and songwriter named Sukh. Marco is the drummer of two of the most famous Italian metal and rock bands, which are Elvenking and Hell In The Club, and Kristal is the lead singer of melodic death metal band called Lost Resonance Found.

What inspired the band name?

The band’s name was chosen randomly by our first guitarist who was in love with R.E.M.’s song Lotus. We liked it and we realised then, that it was the perfect name for us. A few months later we also found out its meaning of purity and rebirth and we realised that was the name we really wanted.

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

As we said before, as soon as we got confident in playing together we immediately started to feel the need of composing our own songs and being rock stars! LOL

Regarding the sound, well, that’s a tricky one: we have never had an established sound or a path we wanted to follow, we just write songs we like and lyrics from experience and feelings we have during our own life.

If you listen to our songs you can really understand there’s something that binds everything which is not the genre.

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

We would say we’ve evolved as musicians and composers rather than our music’s evolved. We’re still writing what we want, without any boundary and we love what we’re doing: we’re just better in what and how we play and write!

Has the growth within the band in music, experiment etc. been an organic process or more the band deliberately setting out to try new things?

We always wanted to try new things so actually nothing’s changed since 2004 from this side: probably being mature musicians affected our way to play and compose music and you can probably hear that on our latest releases.

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

We grew up with completely different music backgrounds and this colourful music palette brought the unique sound we have today. We are big fans of Queen and Muse, as you might have already understood :), but also Pink Floyd, Metallica, System Of A Down, U2, Depeche Mode, or even some heavier stuff like Slipknot.

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

Normally Rox brings the main ideas and Luca some lyrics inspiration: back to our earlier days we used to mainly compose our songs in the rehearsal room but now, thanks to technology we often produce full demos on the computer.

We actually have to do this way also because Marco and Kristal are living in Italy and rehearsing would be definitely not very much affordable. 🙂

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

Lyrics are mostly inspired by our everyday experiences and translated into a more poetic and hermetic way.

We talk about love and death, and human life: as we do for our music, we don’t have any limit in our lyrics’ themes as well!

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

We’ve released our latest EP in June 2015 just before we moved to the UK. Its name is Awakening and is actually a mini concept album. It’s an ambient Prog Rock opera which will delve into your inner core.

We are currently producing our new album with Muse early producer Paul Reeve (Showbiz), and we have already released three new singles: Mars-X, Perfect Love and Five Days To Shine. They are very different from our past works, simpler song structures, more melodic but still very ‘creative’. Someone said: ‘If Muse and Deftones met in a pub and had a cheeky couple of Sambucca’s and hit the town and ended the night with a ride on a spaceship, that’s exactly what this song sounds like.’

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

Our latest song, Five Days To Shine, is very personal and we think the more you listen to it (or watch the video) the more you understand that. It basically talks about a man who waits for five days to know his fate with his girl. He thinks that’ll be alright but he knows the future isn’t bright.

We made the video representing this man as a kind of ‘creator’, who’s trying everything to restore what he’s lost but eventually he gives up. We filmed it in a stunning place in Manchester called Hulme Hyppodrome.

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 used to go into the studio with rough demos and we’ve always struggled to work with limited time. That’s why now we tend to basically go to record with all the songs pretty much finished, so that we can concentrate on instruments’ sound and performances.

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

We’d define our live shows as heavy metal. Even though our music is mainly rock, The Lotus as a live act is more energetic, more aggressive. I think that’s one of our main strengths. We have played more than 120 shows in our career but we’re definitely looking for doubling it within the next few years!

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?

We are coming from a different background which is in Italy, so we’ve definitely found a more fertile place to keep on growing our seeds.

However, these days it seems more and more difficult to have a solid fan base which follows you everywhere ‘physically’ and not only on social media.

If you’re not convinced on what you’re doing it’s better you choose another job!

Talking of social media, how has the internet impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success?

We think internet and social media are both good and bad thing.

They really give anyone the opportunity to get out from the anonymity and be the star you always wanted to be, but the problem starts when music is not enough anymore. You really need to let everyone come into your life. Everyone must know who you are, what you are doing, when you are doing it. Even all the pretty small things you want to keep secret; just let them go and share them with everyone. We find this a bit scary but that’s what it is now, so you have to get used to it. And we are getting used to it!

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

2018 will bring a lot of new things: we will go back to the studio to finish recording the album between March and April. Then we are expecting to release the fourth single as soon as we have everything in its place and the album immediately after that. If you want to be updated on what we’re doing you can visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thelotusofficial  or our website www.the-lotus.com . Thank you!

Pete RingMaster 08/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Webs of goodness: talking music and more with Verity White

The first week of November sees the release of Breaking Out, the new album from British rock singer/songwriter Verity White. An award winning artist continuing to rise up the UK rock scene Verity is no stranger to courting eager attention, with her album an ear grabbing realising of earlier potential and the source of a new breed of promise to expect her prompting bigger spotlights. To celebrate the album’s release we thrust a host of questions to explore the world of Verity White…

Hello and welcome, please introduce Verity White.

Well the ‘band’ is me, but I work with my hubby as the producer and instrumentalist, as I’m more of a mentalist than any good with any instruments. We actually got together long before we started writing together, my musical releases only started in Autumn 2016 when I felt I was ready – I had to go through a lot of stuff to get to a place with my confidence to release anything.

Have you been or are 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?

Yup, I’m still a backing vocalist in the prog-rock band Pendragon, I’m not sure that its really influenced what we’re doing, although obviously it is also rock based so maybe it has? You tell me! The other bands have just been covers bands on the local circuit so not a lot of influence there.

Was there any specific idea behind forming your own project and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

There was actually. After I came back from my first tour as a backing vocalist in Pendragon a lot of their fans got in touch to ask if I was releasing music. I had been thinking for a while that maybe I ought to start and that was what I needed to actually do it. It was natural that I would work with the best producer I know, who I also happen to be married to. I always wanted it to be rock focused, but there is a lot of influence of electronica in there too, loads of synths! Also some folk roots and definitely classic soul. It’s like a mash-up of my best music playlists!

Do the same things still drive the band or have they evolved over time?

I’m definitely still driven by the same things. The same music inspires me but I’m always finding new music to do that too. I don’t think I will ever lose my drive, I’ve actually got a song on the new album about the pressure I put on myself to succeed.

How would you say your sound has evolved since starting?

It’s more the writing than the sound; I understand more what does and doesn’t work, and how to use my voice and melodies as an instrument that blends better with the rest of the music. You see, the last year has been prolific, we’re written so much so you cannot help but get better at it.

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

Definitely organic, if it feels right, it happens.

You touched on it earlier, that there is a wide range of inspirations at work for you; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the music but your personal approach and ideas to creating music?

Definitely Nine Inch Nails, they’re a massive inspiration, but also a lot of 90’s grunge and rock bands, like Nirvana, obviously, and Veruca Salt, and other strong female artists with great music like Amanda Palmer and Tori Amos.

Is there a particular process to your songwriting?

Yeah, usually Al and I get a rough chord structure sorted which Al then adds drums and bass to, I get this track and write the various melody lines and lyrics, then I record and we add incidentals and then I leave him to mix and master it all!

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

It’s boring but it is all personal experiences. I alluded before to my ‘dark past’ and it’s no lie, there’s a lot of material there!!

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

I Don’t Care is actually homage to my time at uni when I got drunk all the time and slept around to try to forget about how unhappy I was. It’s actually a pretty dark message for such an upbeat punk-y style rock song! The whole album Breaking Out, when it comes out, is actually a movement into my personal self-believe and breaking free from what I’ve been holding myself back with. It’s been a real journey writing it and I think a lot of people will find some of the messages and stories within it have something they will recognise in themselves. Hopefully they’ll like the music too!

Do you go into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop as you record?

I go in with clear ideas but then we also do a lot of improvised takes and sometimes they are wonderful. I think you need to have a clear idea of what you’re trying to achieve before you go to the studio, and a clear idea of the performance and energy you want to give, as you get what you put in. If you’re underprepared and under rehearsed it’ll never sounds as good whatever you do.

Tell us about the live side to the project, presumably one of your favourite aspects to making music?

LOVE IT! I love being on stage – it’s my favourite place. Maybe except bed, but you know.   Our live shows are just that – a show – it’s not just a name on stage, but we like to get a real connection with the audience and hope that the energy and enthusiasm we have on stage is addictive!

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

It’s a lot of hard work, and it is down to you. I’ve found social media, mainly twitter, has been incredible for building a fan base, just through genuine interaction. Personally I’ve found that just by being me and my working my arse off every day, I have managed to get people interested. However – the weird thing is – they’re mainly not from anywhere near where I live. Isn’t that typical! Good job we’re touring in January!

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

The internet has revolutionized the way you can interact with fans; it’s makes it easier than ever to connect directly with your audience. My last year has been heavy working on increasing interest in the music through social media alone. I’ve only plays a couple of gigs! Personally, I think this way, when you do tour, you’ll have people who are interested enough to actually come to see you! I hope that I can always keep connected with the people who love my music. I would hate to lose that, they make me so happy and are such wonderful people!

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

Massive thanks to you too!! I guess just keep an eye out for the new releases – Breaking Out is going to be awesome and it’s out first week of November!

Check out Verity White further @ https://www.facebook.com/veritywhitesinger    https://www.veritywhite.com/    https://twitter.com/veebear   and explore/buy Breaking Out now @ https://veritywhite.bandcamp.com/album/breaking-out

Pete RingMaster 03/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Parallax Method – The Squid

A couple of months or so short of two years after the release of The Owl EP, British instrumental progressive rock trio The Parallax Method release its companion piece, The Squid. Continuing the theme of “space and a perpetual battle between the owl and the squid to convey their unique sub-genre of modern prog” started with the first EP, its successor takes ears on another groove infested, colourfully inventive, and technically captivating shuffle sure to have the body enthralled and twisted as eagerly as the imagination.

Emerging from the ashes of hard rock band Isolysis, The Parallax Method stepped forward in 2014 with old friends in guitarist Danny Beardsley, drummer Dave Wright, and bassist Daniel Hayes. Drawing on the inspiration of bands such as Between The Buried And Me, Tesseract, and Karnivool, they nurtured and bred the compelling tapestry of sound to grace debut EP The Owl in 2015. Its acclaimed release and complex yet easily accessible escapade announced The Parallax Method as an exciting prospect to watch and an adventure to devour. The departure of Hayes post the recording of the EP saw Ben Edis (Spirytus/Breed77) come in and complete a line-up even creatively bolder and mischievous within The Squid.

Let’s Get Kraken gets things underway; its title the first hint to the knavish and spirited escapade within song and EP. From within a busily engaged crowd, a swing guided bassline joins the jazzy flirtation of guitar, beats skipping along with them. It is an inviting collusion soon luring hips and feet into the waiting net of enterprise; every initial attribute and lure soon infested with lustful intensity and creative boisterousness as things get funky with the arrival of Donald Sutherland And His Magnificent Mane. Evolving from its predecessor, grooves captivate as hooks ensnare, all the while Wright’s swings landing with real bite and snap as the track gets down to laying a web of intrigue and beguilingly evolving adventure. There is chunkiness to its body which sparks the appetite as much as its gentler wanderings across the senses, all making for a compelling incitement for body and imagination.

Its final vocal sigh sparks the similarly spirited and energetic shuffle of You Gotta Be Squiddin’ Me’, the track slyly entwining ears with seductive grooves with a whiff of predacious devilment as around them melodic interplay blossoms its own beguiling enticements. Electronic spicing only adds to the tenacious and imaginative touch of song and guitar, Beardsley weaving another rascality of sound through his strings as Edis’ bass prowls with its own coltish instincts and intent. Fuelled by mood swings of enterprise, the track at times heavy and rapacious whilst in other moments crafty and sprightly, it has body and thoughts leaping and inventing respectively.

As too does the creatively athletic and kinetically energetic canter of Owl Pacino Vs Mega Mango; a piece of music which can feel in certain moments like a stand-off between battling textures and attitudes but at other times a heated yet respectful collusion of both sides; though it is the aggressive instincts of each side which drive the outstanding track.

Its funk lined finale flows into the epic melodic epilogue and dynamically entrancing theatre of I Squid You Farewell (Owl Be Seeing You). The final track is a drama of sound and texture; an imagination woven and guided frolic of the rich craft and strikingly inventive versatility of all three musicians as they lead the listener on a fruitful gest as much of their own as the band’s making.

Every listen of The Squid brings escalating joy and adventure as new twists in the imagination flare up as fresh nuances and layers are discovered. The EP is a stunning move on from The Owl yet still works perfectly with its earlier companion; the full glory of The Parallax Method ingenuity and creative fertility best served with both releases played back to back and given full attention of ears and mind.

The Squid is out now digitally and on CD @ http://theparallaxmethod.bigcartel.com/

http://www.theparallaxmethod.com/  https://www.facebook.com/theparallaxmethod   https://twitter.com/parallaxmethod

Pete RingMaster 16/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright