Ringing the changes: 21 Taras Interview

21 Taras is a rock band from Littleton, Colorado which having sparked keen attention through previous releases has ventured into new directions in sound and adventure. This evolution is at the heart of their new album, Change. Wanting to now more we recently chatted with the band learning…

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

4 out of the 5 of us went to school together. James and Alec shared some classes and started the band, then shortly after recruited Jimmy. James went up to the first person he saw; who just so happened to be Jimmy; and asked if he played bass. Austin was later introduced to the band in a similar fashion. I (Julian) moved to Colorado in 2014 and met James online on some band finder website. They sent me some songs to throw some vocals on and we played our first show just a couple weeks later.

Have you been or are involved in other bands? 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 playing music for a while now in one way or another, but this is pretty much our first real band. I had a project back when I lived in Alaska with one of my good friends Rio, but it was just the two of us. James and Alec had gone through a few other line-ups under a different band name, but as of late 2014 the line-up has been set and that is when the final name change to 21 Taras ensued.

What inspired the band name?

It comes from Buddhism. They have 21 different forms of Tara, all based around self-empowerment and self-enlightenment. The name stands for how we try to continually grow as not only musicians, but also as people through our music and songwriting.

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

We just want to continue evolving. Just about four years in, and we have changed so much already. I don’t think we ever try to plan for where things go; it just sort of happens. We’ve tried to dictate things before but that is a good way for things to end up forced.

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

I think now having a full music studio at our disposal has greatly changed everything. It allows us to be more creative as we are working on our time. Our mentor/producer Jim Boyd deserves a lot of credit for our last record. With him opening up his studio to us, it really led to the growth of the songs and the overall freedom the album possesses.

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

We started out with more of a hard rock and grunge presence, and it has evolved rather quickly to more of a 60s and 70s influenced sound. Things are getting more and more psychedelic influenced as we speak.

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

A bit of both, I think everyone was starting to get a little burnt out and I think we just had a lack of direction. We were kind of floating in one area with no real progression occurring. We all had a big free flowing discussion back in February with the main message being about trying new things. Just taking more outside influences and putting them to use. It really has led to some very diverse songs for us.

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?

A big one for us is the Beatles. Right around Rubber Soul is when they really started to branch out and grow their sound. I just love how one band can have so many songs from different ends of the spectrum, from Honey Pie to Helter Skelter, they really changed the confines of a particular album mould. Other bands that do this are Queen and the Beach Boys. As a band we all share so many influences with each other. For James he brings a lot of the heavier side such as bands like Earthless and Red Fang, while Alec is more of a classic aficionado with bands like Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. Austin and Jimmy probably have the most eclectic tastes, although we all tend to enjoy a bit of everything. It is a good problem to have as it leads to a diverse palette.

Is there a particular process to the songwriting?

Every song is different really, some songs are written by one or two guys while others we all sit and write together. Sometimes one guy will write a section and bring it to the group, while other songs may be more fleshed out by the time it reaches the rehearsal room.

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

I write the lyrics and more often than not it is usually dictated by the music itself. There have been times however where I will write the lyrics first and the music will follow.

Give us some background to your latest release.

Our latest release is called Change and the name is to be taken quite literal. It marks several big changes for us as a band, such as our sound but also our songwriting processes and just our overall growth as a group.

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

The album starts off rather straight forward musically, and by song two we go to a very new place, for both the listener and the band itself. Gettin’ Hungry (track two) is very jazz influenced number featuring a good friend Mia Klosterman on backing vocals. The song and much of the album takes you through some of the mental hardships I was going through at the time. I tried to have the bridge of the song represent what I was going through internally during a very distressed time in my life being away from a loved one.

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?

With a studio at our disposal, it allows us to do both simultaneously. The songs are constantly being devolved and modified.

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

Performing has changed so much for us with the growth of our songs. With the new album containing so much depth and there being just five of us in the band, it creates a fun challenge to reproduce the music. We are always looking at new ways to reinvent the songs and create more of a cohesive show that really tells a story. It really is theatrical in a way.

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

If the drive is there, it is always possible. We are very driven and determined, but we also genuinely love doing it. So even the smallest of impacts are very satisfying for us. We just have to keep going.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive?

Times and technology change and the only option is to adapt to your surroundings whether you like it or not. Social media is part of our generation and there isn’t really a way around that. There are both negative and positive aspects to that but one really big positive is that it allows for bands to connect directly with their fans and have a whole new reach that would have never been possible before. Of course this leads to over saturation, which is a whole other discussion, but you have to always find the good in a bad situation no matter the circumstances. Speaking of, here’s a shameless plug of our website! https://www.21tarasband.com/

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

We put a lot of time into our new album Change and our goal is to take you on a journey through some of our favorite periods in music. The album focuses heavily on the mid to late 60s, as well as 70s with a bit of early jazz influence as well. You can listen to the band’s new album Change here: https://21tarasband.bandcamp.com/album/change

https://www.facebook.com/21tarasband   https://twitter.com/21TarasBand

Pete RingMaster 07/12/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Lara Smiles – All For You

There are times when you can only expect plaudits and ears to come chasing an encounter and one such moment is surely to surround the release of the debut album from British singer songwriter Lara Smiles. A truly magnetic festival of resourceful sounds and lively imagination, All For You is as rich in its variety and enterprise as it is determined in its aim to get the body bouncing and involved in inhibition losing fun. It is a treat of an introduction which just seems to get more impressive and manipulative by the listen.

With music never far from her ears and passion since a young child, seeds laid by the sounds her parents were playing, Lara has grown to embrace a host of styles and flavours which has nurtured the variety and diversity in her own writing and music. Among a host of major inspirations, the likes of Tina Turner, The Beatles, Paul Simon, Queen, Prodigy, The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Muse, Beth Ditto, Green Day and Middle Eastern music heavily feature yet as her first full-length reveals, they have only gone to spark her own musical individuality. Since emerging she has also become a praise drawing presence on the UK live scene supporting the likes of Pete Doherty and playing some of the biggest festivals, including Glastonbury four times, the Isle of Wight Festival, and The Great Escape as well as also finding herself collaborating with The Orb, guesting on the new Shed Seven album, Instant Pleasures, and singing with The Australian Pink Floyd Show for the past eight years.

Mixed by Jamie Grashion and legendary producers Michael Rendall and Martin Glover aka Youth (Primal Scream, The Orb, Pink Floyd), her self-produced debut album is poised to thrust Lara into the limelight in her own rights. That is our expectations here and every venture through All For You only cements our thoughts.

© Hannah Smiles

Breeding a boisterous and tenacious, often ferocious blend of alternative rock and contagion loaded pop with a just as eager appetite for punk, electro and industrial rock with plenty more besides, the album opens up with the swiftly and increasingly magnetic Coincidence. A spiral of electronic enticement entangles ears first as crisp beats pounce, their combined lure soon reinforced by the hungry riffs of Lara’s guitar. Instantly intrigue and drama lines every emerging tendril turning, it evolving crystalline glamour and beauty as the song breaks into a melodic stroll alongside the seductive tones of Lara. The mercurial edge to the track though continues as its writhes around like a creative dervish, tantalising and fascinating at every turn whilst getting the release off to a tremendous start.

It is an overall inescapable enticement which continues through the following Save Yourself. Bubbling electronics and boisterous guitar align to the darker stroll of Joe Singfield’s bass as the rustle of Sara Leigh’s beats tease before leading the song in its own individual canter. In turn there is a devious urgency and aggressiveness which breaks out as the chorus escapes a calmer build up though that too has a dramatic edge which just sparks the imagination as potently as ears. Lara’s vocals have rich variety which relish her imagination and the equally diverse tapestry of sounds she ventures forth across this track alone it emerging as a compelling slice of punk lined pop ‘n’ roll.

The album’s title track comes next, bounding in on an irresistible incitement of a bassline which continues to manipulate as vocals and melodies dance. Ridiculously infectious and persuasive to hips and vocal chords, the track simply seduced compliance and participation whilst igniting an already firmly placed appetite for the release before Dictate Peace explores a whole new landscape of Eastern spiced teasing and imagination. Its summery stroll and breeze radiates captivation but also the darker shadows and strains of drama which impose their intrigue throughout; it all adding to a riveting invention which sees the listener taken through a web of creative espionage.

And It Hurts follows with its initial gentle elegant charms to the fore. They continue to entice as the fire in the heart and belly of the song smoulders and ignites note by note. With its blaze increased, energy erupts but so too another striking collusion of textures and flavours with the track continuing the great unpredictability of its predecessors and their instinctive contagion.

The folkish grace and melodic beauty of Oh How is pretty much aural intoxication straight after, Lara’s voice intimation carrying seduction and radiance while Disconnected provides a controlled but virulent contagion of pop rock with a compelling blend of spikiness and winning grins to its stomp. In turn, Zombie preys on the senses and body with its emotive irritability and electro funk catchiness. Like all tracks, it soon reveals its individually inventive escapade of unexpected twists which only accelerate its slavery of ears and involvement.

Penultimate song, The Fightings Over, needs mere seconds to have everything robustly involved in its punk ‘n’ rock bred bounce as thoughts align to its lyrical exploration, a tempestuousness in its air and attitude only adding to the incendiary theatre perfectly setting up the contrasting mellow and glowing yet melancholic repose of final track, Turn It Around. The individuality of this pair alone songs epitomises the variety thick All For You as a whole and of Lara’s songwriting which seems so effortlessly to cast real diversity and adventure.

There have been a few releases which have truly inspired and aroused us here this year, a couple this month alone and All For You sits boldly alongside giving real undiluted pleasure. Whether it sees Lara Smiles a household name we will see but it will surely establish her as one of our most exciting and unique talents.

All For You is released September 7th via iTunes and other stores with its album launch show @ the Sebright Arms, London August 30th.

http://www.larasmiles.com/   https://www.facebook.com/larasmilesmusic/   https://twitter.com/LaraSmilesMusic

Pete RingMaster24/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Nine Dart Finish – The Misadventures of…

Nine Dart Finish is a British outfit drawing on the wide influences of the likes of Weezer, Supergrass, Queen, and Ian Dury for their pop fuelled rock ‘n’ roll; The Misadventures of… is their debut album which unapologetically has the body bouncing as fun floods every pour of its magnetic enterprise. The trio from Birmingham has already lured potent attention from fans and media alike with a handful of singles especially potent; appetites for their boisterous sound which their first album can only multiply.

Consisting of former Coffeeshop member in lead vocalist/bassist Daz Yardley, guitarist/vocalist Christopher Mobbs, and drummer Andy Proudman, Nine Dart Finish first drew ears with debut EP Fall To Pieces late 2015. Since then their hook loaded pop ‘n’ rock has grown and become more creatively mischievous by the song. The Misadventures of… brings all the enticing dynamics and lusty grooves of the band’s sound as well as those devilish hooks the threesome seems to instinctively conjure together in one rousing enjoyable place.

Bringing the lively antics of recent singles, highlights of that first EP and new tracks together in one captivating union, The Misadventures of… roars into view with the outstanding The Cut of Your Jib. The track is wild rock ‘n’ roll, almost feral in its energy as riffs and rhythms harry ears just as eager vocals blaze. As the album continues it is easy to see why certain tracks were chosen and potent as singles and teases for the full-length but for personal tastes it is tracks like the raucous rock bred opener which trapped the keenest attention and passions. With a touch of Queens of the Stone Age to its contagious tempest, the track is a garage rock lined clamour getting the album off to a magnificent start.

The following Fall to Pieces is a far calmer proposition as a melodic jangle colludes with vocal harmonies before the track settles into its warm catchy swing. There is no preventing the quick shuffle of feet to its stroll, keys adding to its summery scent as vocals and melodies entangle before In the City uncages its own rock ‘n’ roll flame. Within its slightly rawer attack, hooks tease and tempt as riffs nag, Proudman’s beats striking with relish as they drive the infectious escapade.

Recent single Kicking & Screaming is next, a song which blossomed by the listen as its organic rumble aligns to melodic enticement. The former gives the otherwise gentle seduction a volatility which imposes without truly erupting, a combination gripping ears within a grunge pop like proposal while Charlie Bonkers offers up a melody woven slice of Brit Pop nurtured enterprise. It is fair to say that the song did not impact as potently as those around it on our tastes yet as honest to admit it had the hips swinging and vocal chords playing without any trouble.

You Don’t Bother Me similarly did not quite grab as strongly as many of its companions with its sixties hued pop but again involvement in its enticement was unavoidable as with the blues kissed rock of Falling for You. Both tracks epitomises the band’s knack at weaving varied and seriously catchy adventures though each is swiftly overshadowed by the album’s finest moment consisting of its final three songs.

From its initial melodic caresses Fabio’s Overture blossoms into a truly mesmeric slice of pop rock, emotive strands in voice and sound entangling another lure of virulent catchiness as inescapable whether the song is ablaze or simply smouldering. Its thick enticement leads into the rousing devilry of You’re so Cool. As again pop floods its bold rock ‘n’ roll, the track nags and taunts attention with relish. With something of UK duo The Sea about it, the track is superb rivalling the opener for best song honours though they are equally matched by the tenacious stomp of album closer London. There is a certain mod like hue to the song which only adds to its outstanding character and roar.

Though as mentioned there are some tracks which undoubtedly eclipsed others for us, The Misadventures of… is one thoroughly enjoyable involvement from start to finish. Nine Dart Finish have a sound with open growth in every new song so expect many more lustily fun times ahead as well as right now with their new offering.

The Misadventures of… is out now through iTunes and other stores.

http://ninedartfinish.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/NDFmusic/   https://twitter.com/ndfmusic

Pete RingMaster 17/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

 

The Sourheads – Care Plan For The Soul

Since forming in the Spring of 2016, UK rockers The Sourheads has drawn increasing attention and support through their live presence, singles, and most of all their dirty, multi-flavoured rock ‘n’ roll. Now the band has added another accelerant to their emergence with the release of debut album Care Plan For The Soul. Offering nine slices of rowdy but skilfully woven incitement embracing classic and fresh rock diversity, the release thrusts the listener into a grubby cellar of salacious intent and irreverent sound; a temptation the body gets the urge to dance to and appetite the need to increasingly devour.

Hailing from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, The Sourheads embrace an array of inspirations in their sound ranging from Deep Purple, Kasabian and The Doors to Kyuss and Clutch. It is a web of punk and garage to psych and classic rock which is just as grungy as it is melodically enticing and within Care Plan For The Soul an incitement which makes a potent first impression but really grows in persuasion listen by listen. Mastered by Pete Maher (The Rolling Stones, Depeche Mode, U2), the album swiftly grabs ears and appetite with opener Demon. Straight away it is enticingly grumbling in ears, bass and riffs an irritable lure soon bound in sonic tendrils as familiar and new endeavours collude in the blossoming growl capped by the slightly gnarly tones of Jake Coxon. The bass of Ben Taylor continues to be a belligerent presence in the caustic captivation, guitarist Mik Crone and drummer Chris Lambert adding their bold touches to the ever evolving roar maybe best described as Turbonegro meets The Senton Bombs meets Guns n’ Roses.

It is a great start to proceedings which Morally High continues with its spicily grooved stroll. Carrying similar essences and flavours to its predecessor in its own individual way, the track is equally as infectious and magnetic with again classic and modern textures rubbing excitedly again each other within its controlled yet salacious swing. As the music, Coxon has a snarl to his croon, attitude dripping from every syllable and note before My Rock And Roll steps up to coax bad behaviour with its blues skinned devilry entangled in more of the great guitar enterprise which veins the whole of Care Plan For The Soul.

Power Of Addiction shares some of that psychedelic influence next; keys and melodies a sultry tempting while Rag And Bone Man has a great scruffy feel and character to its predacious gait and rhythmically rousing proposal. The song alone sums up the variety of flavours within The Sourheads sound, a host of rock bred essences embroiled in its inescapable command of body and imagination. It all adds up to one of the biggest highlights of the release, one quickly matched by the voracious punk ‘n’ roll of Don’t Get Caught (I Am The Lotus). Like The Stooges and Eddie and The Hot Rods caught in the act by The Vibrators as AC/DC hold the camera, the track is superb, taking best song honours with its manipulative temptations and craft.

Both Secret Cigarette and Warbird take a firm grip of release and listener next, the first an invasive but seductive fire of blues and classic grooves with punk bred kindling while its successor merges sullied rock ‘n’ roll with some of the most addictive melodic hooks and enterprise within the album for another pinnacle. As with many songs, it openly draws on some classic punk hooks and teases but equally shares psych rock imagination for the album’s most imaginative moment to stand alongside its best.

Care Plan For The Soul concludes with Mad Dog, a song rising from an initial Queen/Skid Row like invitation into an invasive and volatile ballad which becomes more captivating by the minute and listen, much as the album itself.  Indeed just as many will take to the release within seconds many others will need time to explore and discover its qualities; the big rewards for the attention we can vouch for as too the finding of a potential of even greater fun and adventure ahead with the Sourheads.

Care Plan For The Soul is available now through Oak Island Records on CD, Vinyl and Digitally.

https://www.thesourheads.com/    https://www.facebook.com/thesourheads    https://thesourheads2.bandcamp.com/

 Pete RingMaster 23/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Exploring the roar of The Erkonauts with Ales Campanelli

ales_RingMasterReview

With their recent signing with Kaotoxin Records, those of us who missed it first time around had the very welcome chance to grab the debut album from Geneva’s The Erkonauts. Quickly devoured on its first self-released outing, the world-wide re-release of I Did Something Bad has allowed those slow to the presence and roar of the band to explore their ferociously diverse and increasingly fascinating tempest of genre varied flavours and sound. The album was a rousing and invasive slab of voracious, the kind of incitement that “heavy duty recommendations swarm to.” As the quartet prepares to create their already highly anticipated follow-up, we eagerly grabbed the chance to talk with bassist/vocalist and ex-Sybreed, Ales Campanelli about the band and their first album whilst looking for clues and spoilers about their next offering.

Hello Ales and thanks for talking with us.

Before we get on to your recently re-released and rather tasty debut album, can you tell us about the beginnings of the band; its seeds and birth etc.

We started really existing in early 2014, so there isn’t much history yet. We come from different bands in Geneva, and the timing was right for us to meet around this project. Everything was very organic. The Erkonauts are a natural free flowing occurrence.

Did you have any specific intent and ideas with band and sound at the start?

I think so yeah. We really wanted this Metal blend with a punkish progish touch. Mostly, we wanted to have fun. And tour. You gotta have tours.

The Erkonauts_RingMasterReviewIt is fair to say that your sound fears no boundaries and hungrily embraces a multitude of flavours. For newcomers how would you best describe it?

Well thank you very much! I like to describe what we do as Progressive Punk. But I guess it can be confusing because we wander in the Metal genre, and all these words have various meaning in the mind of people. We have been placed in so many different categories that we lost track of it. So in the end, full circle…I go back to Progressive Punk, for the oxymoron.

As I mentioned, recently your debut album I Did Something Bad was unleashed again, this time via the outstanding Kaotoxin label. Originally released in 2014 in limited amounts, it is probably fair to say that there has been a horde of appetites waiting to get their hands upon it too. Did you sense this and was it one of the main reasons for its re-release?

We released a second batch in 2015, and this one also sold out, which is fantastic. We were convinced that the album still has a lot to offer, and would benefit greatly from a worldwide exposure, which it did. We discussed it with the indeed outstanding Kaotoxin and they agreed to insert it in their catalogue. In the long run, it keeps the album easily available, and it gives it an “official” touch. It is part of the band history as an official release instead of deluxe demo. So it’s all good things and we are truly grateful.

Tell us about its creation and the premise behind its themes.

We felt the urge to release some no bullshit rock n roll. Without going in too many details, some of our previous musical endeavours became more about complicated and uninteresting stuff than about music. It was boring and hurtful. I Did something Bad is all about tension release. It’s pure freedom. Sincere and heartfelt. The themes are mostly urban, and revolve in many occasions about the need to compare ourselves to others, to reach standards we don’t care for and to live in envy. Of course this isn’t true for all the songs. 9 is better than 8 is about nine being better than eight for instance.

Were songs and ideas all fresh since the formation of The Erkonauts or were there some things going further back which have been lying in wait within the imagination and subsequently woven into the band’s invention for I Did Something Bad?

That’s a very relevant question. The vast majority of the content was new, and created specifically for this album. There is however here and there the occasional riff that I had for a long time without finding a proper use for it. I can recall that it is the case in the beginning of Gog.

You are working on its successor I believe also to be released via Kaotoxin? How far along is the album?

You are very correct! We are currently in the writing process, which should be over soon. The recording will start around the end of spring and will take about two months. We’re going back to the Downtone studio in Geneva, since the last experience was such a pleasant one.

Any spoilers you can offer to whet the appetite further?

Well we don’t have much to say right now. We intend to keep a video journal of the recording and share the whole process. There will most likely be a music video further along the way. Of course the spirit of the band will remain unchanged.

Have you approached the album any differently to its predecessor in the writing or recording?art_RingMaster Review

I don’t think so. We have the habit of working almost every day on the songs. Rethinking and rearranging them constantly, until… we’re too late and have to record them. I joke, but we like to take time for the arrangements to shape the song in a comfortable way. So the process is, at least at the moment, the same.

How would you say your sound has evolved between those first songs and those on the forthcoming release?

I kinda think it’s too soon to tell for that. We’re too involved in it to see that clearly right now. Maybe we’ll know a lot more about that when the rehearsals will start.

What did you learn with the first album which you have employed or pushed further for the new encounter?

We know that we will record in a safe environment which will allow us the possibility to experiment on a few things and even do some last minute arrangements. This is a pure treasure to us.

Can you give any clue of a possible release date?

It’s going to be in 2017, not much else is set in stone I’m afraid.

Other than working on the album what else has The Erkonauts got in store for 2016?

Well the making of the album and rehearsals will probably take most of our summer, but after that, it’s all about touring. We have plans to travel in Europe and Russia in fall, something in Asia seems to be shaping up. And of course, we’d love to visit the US again!

My thanks to you again for sparing time to talk with us. Any last thoughts you would like to add?

Well thank you very much for the interview and the sweet sweet review!

The Erkonauts2_RingMasterReviewAnd finally, give us an insight into the records and artists which could be claimed to have most inspired your own creative life.

Well I can’t talk for the whole band on that matter. We each have our own distinct tastes. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s definitely going to be bands from the 70s. On the top of my head I can think of Uriah Heep or Queen. The album In Trance from the Scorpions is one I consider a timeless masterpiece.  On more recent acts, Suicidal Tendencies, Primus, Faith No More, New Model Army… There are so many. And of course, a Swiss, it is our sworn duty to mention Coroner and Samael 🙂 which both had a huge impact on my childhood.

Read our review of the Kaotoxin Records released I Did Something Bad @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/the-erkonauts-i-did-something-bad/

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Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 25/03/2016

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Fahran – A Thousand Nights

Fahran_RingMasterReview

Giving another potent nudge on attention for their excellent and increasingly impressive second album Chasing Hours, British rockers Fahran release the track A Thousand Nights with another slice of the album in Take This City Alive for company. Both tracks epitomise the creative and rousing qualities to be found in the full-length and the Nottingham hard rock band’s sound as a whole.

Formed in 2012 out of the ashes of Toxic Federation, Fahran soon made a potent impression with their self-titled debut album which embraced inspirations ranging from the likes of Queen, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, Shinedown, Alter Bridge, and Black Stone Cherry into an expressive and dynamic hard rock sound. With a just as attention grabbing live presence which has seen them successfully play Bloodstock and Download, the band made a bigger and bolder statement with the 2014 released Chasing Hours, again a success backed by their tenacious live exploits.

Now the single gives a potent reminder of album and the Breaston quintet’s enticing sound with one of its highlights. A Thousand Nights wraps ears in a sonic seducing straight away, riffs and rhythms collecting around the sonic coaxing before springing fiery grooves and classic rock bred flames around ears. Inspirations are an open colouring to the classically honed encounter, the guitars of Chris Byrne and Jake Graham a snarling captivation alongside the impressive vocal tones of Matt Black. Major surprises are not a bold element of the song but more than covered by the melodic seducing and rhythmic intimidation shaping it. Within Chasing Hours, the song was one which took longer to convince to the same stature as others but persuade it did and now seems to shine even more as a lone temptation.

Alongside it, Take This City Alive is a far more ballsy and hungry offering, a slice of rampant rock ‘n’ roll with delicious grooves entwining JR Windsor’s anthemic beats and bassist Josh Ballantyne’s throaty lures, not forgetting that powerful vocal prowess of Black. Inescapably infectious with a creative and physical swagger to match, the track roars with sonic endeavour and rhythmic aggression, teasing and pleasing ears with its boisterous swing and lively hard rock vivacity.

Both tracks provide all the best reasons to check out Chasing Hour, if it is not a friend already, but more so to give yourself the best kind of night out by seeing Fahran live.

A Thousand Nights is available now.

Upcoming Live Dates:

March 24th – Grand Central, Manchester

March 27th – The Prince of Wales, Kettering

April 16th – The Cellar, Oxford

May 1st – Dementia Aware Fest, Birmingham

May 21st – The Woolpack, Doncaster

June 5th – The Rock Bar, Tamworth

June 25th – The Birdwell, Barnsley

July 14th – Carnfield Hall, Alfreton

September 10th – Redemption Festival, Wakefield

https://www.facebook.com/Fahranmusic/   https://twitter.com/fahranmusic

Pete RingMaster 18/03/2016

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