Who Killed Nancy Johnson? – Flat Earth Theory

Having recently checked out their latest single, Dark Horse, and been definitely taken by it, it was a really welcomed treat to be sent over by the band itself the release the song came from. Its creators are UK outfit Who Killed Nancy Johnson?, a​ ​​​Reading-based quartet creating an eventful fusion of punk and rock with post punk imagination. It is a tenacious sound fuelling a new EP in the shape of Flat Earth Theory, four tracks of raw and devilish rock ‘n’ roll which just got under our skin.

Formed in 2015, Who Killed Nancy Johnson? has grown into one increasingly praised and devoured live presence across the south of England. Their debut EP, Cops and Robbers, released early last year only added to their rising reputation, one sure to be energised again by Flat Earth Theory. Musically the band embraces inspirations from the likes of The Stooges, The Ruts, Wire, Magazine, Black Flag, Buzzcocks, The Rezillos, Fugazi, Ash, Killing Joke, Lit, Rival Schools, The Drills, and 3 Colours Red; an array of flavours which if not openly echoed in the band’s individual enterprise certainly adds to its substance.

Flat Earth Theory is an eventful encounter, an affair coincidently echoed in its making with former bassist Paul Anthony leaving the band just before the EP’s mixing stage and preventing the basslines already laid down being used. A mystery bassist saved the day though, Who Killed Nancy Johnson? leaving the studio with four slices of ear grabbing rock ‘n’ roll.

The EP opens with Strip, a song which opens the band’s live show and to rousing success one imagines such its potent impact on Flat Earth Theory. From a dulled clang of guitar, spirit sparking beats launch their bait, Mark Wren whipping up song and appetite alike as Pete Moulton’s guitar continues to linger casting raw strokes. Quickly though the song surges through ears, its rapacious energy and disruptive intent manna to the imagination and capped by the distinctive tones of vocalist Stefan Ball. Old school punk meets post punk devilry, kind of like The Adicts in league with a Fugazi fuelled Gang Of Four, the track is irresistible and for us a must single. It is easy to see why their shows get off to a flyer with the song, its two minutes instinctive punk ‘n’ roll incitement.

The following Alien has a broader rock landscape, alternative and punk merging for a tenacious stroll which teases and lures the listener to one irresistible call of a chorus demanding eager participation. As in the first song, the band casts wicked hooks and anthemic persuasions which manipulate by the second, a great throbbing bassline accentuating their dexterity as the track matches its predecessor in hitting the spot dead centre.

Mouth and Trousers is next up, a more controlled song which almost prowls ears initially even as a rush of riffs crowd them. It calms down further as vocals join the shuffle, rhythms keeping their restraint in place too. There is a whiff of pub rock to the song, a Dr Feelgood breath to its punk ‘n’ roll which brings another potent shade to the EP’s sound and though the track did not ignite the passions as richly as its companions, it had the body bouncing and vocal chords indulging especially through another potent chorus.

The EP is completed by that latest single, Dark Horse. The song is a muscular affair of alternative rock which straight away springs a lure of firm beats and juicy hooks, building on their prowess with appetising grooves and a brooding bassline aligned to almost predacious beats. Recalling bands such as The Motors and Mind Museum, the track dances in the imagination whilst arousing the spirit.

With new recruit Julien Bruinaud completing their line-up on bass, Who Killed Nancy Johnson? are ready to build on their previous success with a real nudge on national attention, the thoroughly enjoyable Flat Earth Theory irrepressibly leading the persuasion so watch this space.

Flat Earth Theory is out now @ https://wknancyj.bandcamp.com/releases

 

https://www.wknancyj.com/     https://www.facebook.com/WhoKilledNancyJohnson/     https://twitter.com/WKNancyJ

Pete RingMaster 20/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Of Legions – Face Value

With already a rather potent reputation for their voracious live presence, UK outfit Of Legion offer the fullest introduction to their hardcore ferocity with debut album Face Value. Enticingly irritable, enjoyably raw, and emotively abrasive, the nine track trespass is a potential rich suggestion of a band carrying all the qualities to make a lingering mark on the British hardcore/punk scene.

Emerging in 2015, Stoke hailing Of Legions have evolved a sound which could be said to have found its true roar around the release the following year of second EP,. They have continued to hone it with essences of metal, rock, and punk blossoming within and as evidenced by their first album, though it still feels like it has a way to go to fulfil its potential, it is a sound that has grown into one ear grabbing, imagination stirring proposal. Alongside, the quartet has further earned increasing plaudits with a live presence which has seen them share stages with the likes of Gideon, Desolated, Silent Screams, Liferuiner, Martyr Defiled, TRC, Machete 187, Continents, and Brokencyde. Now it is Face Value looking to push the band’s growing presence and fair to say it makes for one hefty invitation to ears and awareness.

The album’s title track opens things up, Face Value looming in from a distance with heavy coaxing riffs and crisp rhythms; already that multi-flavoured mix of sound grabbing ears. Once in full view, the initial vocal blast from Luke Mansfield triggers a rapacious surge of sound and emotion but one which prowls rather than violates to great effect. Swiftly it is all over the song brief but a great start setting up a real appetite for the rest of the album which the following Let Loose soon feeds. It instantly walls ears in a tempest of intensity and noise, the scything swings of drummer Nath McCue full of ill-intent next to the thick grumble of Ollie Lewis’ bass. With Mansfield venting with emotive passion, the guitar of Sam Morrey casts an enterprising web of intrigue and animus which just grips attention, the four way combination uniting in another two minutes plus of creative animosity and pleasure.

La Familia is another which prowls the listener, its threat and energy in check but fully felt as riffs and rhythms badger rather than strike the senses. With hungry hooks and rhythmic imagination at its centre, the song easily keeps predictability away before Worthless springs a bedlam of acidic grooves, vocal discontent, and rhythmic voracity. It similarly twists and turns with adventure and tenacity, blending familiar essences with real imagination carrying Of Legions individuality.

Grouchy bordering on choleric, Scum crowds and bullies ears next, Mansfield leading its corrosive holler with his throat scraping outpourings. Yet at its core is the most irresistible of grooves which inspires a similarly infectious lining across all traits as it leaves the senses withered, even more so with its final bearish incitement.

Even in their individuality, all songs to this point have their seeds in recognisable hardcore beddings but with Suicidal Thoughts the band really push themselves as progressive lined melodies and atmospheric intimation envelop ears as vocals share emotional scars. It is a compelling start which develops into a melodic rock/punk stroll, Morrey colouring it with some great fiery yet suggestive melodies. Leaving food for thought and a whole new current of potential flowing from the band it is another inescapably enjoyable moment within Face Value.

With the adversarial and constantly shifting dynamics of No Loyalty and the bullish rock ‘n’ roll of Hard Time, the album only confirms its potency if neither track quite stirs personal tastes as forcibly as other songs. Nevertheless, each only builds on the blending of styles the band embraces before Wormfeeder brings things to a close with its snarly intrusive quarrel. With death metal essences in its barbarous and suffocating tempest, the track is sonic pestilence and so easy to willingly succumb to.

Face Value is a great next step in the Of Legions’ growth, yes there are elements which might not grab as much as others but its promise is undeniable as too the enjoyment it delivers.

Face Value is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/OfLegions     https://www.instagram.com/of_legions_uk/

Pete RingMaster 20/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Whirling hearts and joyous uprisings: exploring the world of Swirl

Photo by Neil Zlozower

There is an increasingly mighty roar coming out of California and it goes by the name of Swirl. This is a band really beginning to make a vocal name for themselves with their multi-flavoured, hard rock fuelled fusion of rock and metal. Welcomingly given the opportunity to get to the heart of the band with Swirl creator and guitarist Duane “DT” Jones, we talked beginnings, songwriting, successes and plenty more….

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

Hello to you too. This is ‘DT” guitarist and founder of the band Swirl out of Southern California. Thank you for your interest in Swirl! We are always grateful to anyone taking an interest in what we do.

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

I started the band in the Pacific Northwest in a town called Mukilteo, Washington. I had 3 other members than the current line-up; we rehearsed, wrote songs and made plans to record our debut in Santa Monica, CA. About a week before we were to leave I got a call from the drummer saying he wasn`t going to make the trip. I called my brother, Brian “Bam Bam” Jones who was playing in a band in Arizona at the time and asked him to come out to California, learn the songs and track drums to which he was all too happy to help out. That version of Swirl toured the US and Japan on a full length release titled Out Of Nowhere that was produced by former Quiet Riot and now RATT guitarist, Carlos Cavazo with former Rough Cutt bassist Matt Thorr engineering or producing tracks as well.

After those tour dates finished the band parted ways with the original singer and touring bassist. By then Brian had moved to California so I joined him there. I was introduced to current Swirl singer Alfred Ramirez and bassist Shane Carlson by former Dio keyboard player Claude Schnell who was looking to produce a demo for a band they had, however they had parted ways with their guitar player and Claude asked me to write with them so he and I could get into a studio together. After a few writing sessions we decided to go play the songs live and it was there that a friend pointed out to me that Alfred would sound really good singing Swirl songs so I asked him to go into a studio with Cinderella drummer Fred Coury and I. The end result of those sessions were the two songs Mad Disease and Time To Fly with the latter being particularly well received so tour offers followed. The natural choice was then Shane Carlson and we have been together ever since. 2018 will mark the 10 year anniversary of this line-up for Swirl.

Have you been or are involved in other bands?

My only involvement with other bands was the above mentioned writing project that introduced me to Alfred and Shane as well as one other band in California that hired me as one of their touring guitarist for a self-produced disc. That was actually my first ever “bus tour”. Actually it was a converted mobile home, but still I got the rock star treatment on that tour. It was fun, but the band broke up. As that band had already recorded their disc when I joined and there were no writing opportunities I can`t say it had any influence on my writing direction, but it was a great series of lessons on things to not do when running a band.

What inspired the band name?

Usually one look at a picture of the band is all it takes to answer that question, but it goes deeper in that we all have different nationalities and personalities that come to together to create the Swirl music.

Photo by Neil Zlozower

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

No particular theme to starting the band. I just wanted to play in a rock band that wrote songs good enough to share stages with my idols. Some of those goals have been accomplished!

And that same intent drives the band?

Absolutely! At the end of the day we enjoy what we are doing and are hell bent on capitalizing on the success Swirl has had to date. We are not where we want to be, but clearly we are on our way. The crowds are getting bigger, the stages are getting bigger and the bands we have opportunities to work with are larger, more well know bands as well.

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

While I am an 80s metal head guitarist at heart I have adapted my playing to a more modern approach when it comes to writing and guitar tones. I guess the best way to think of it is “what if you took a band like Shinedown, Seether, or FFDP and put a guitarist like Jake E Lee, Warren DeMartini or George Lynch in it.

As for the reason for the evolving sound?…The credit for that goes to Brian who wanted to push the music in a more modern direction, but knew I was still going to be me on guitar and have those moments. Our first attempts at this proved very successful with a self- produced EP titled SWIRL that wound up with 3 songs being featured in a full length, 2 time award winning film called Ditch Day. Those songs are Rise Up, Spell, and We Are Alive. That movie is now out in 6 countries with more to follow. Another indicator that Swirl made a smart move in terms of musical direction is the incredible social media success we have enjoyed while being an independent band. We have a very strong online presence.

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

The change was very deliberate and I had to do my homework in listening to bands that normally I would not have given the time of day to, just to get a feel for what was going on with the guitar playing and production. I fought it at first, but in the end decided it couldn`t hurt to try. I am so glad I was open to the idea.

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?

Well I already touched on my 3 biggest influences on guitar and yes all four of us have very different influences that we bring to Swirl. Shane is the most “metal” of us all with his influences being bands like Korn and Metallica while Alfred cites David Bowie or Billy Idol as biggest influences for him. For Brian and I we started off as KISS fans, but he went in the direction of Rush and various jazz drummers.

For myself when producing Swirl music I lean a lot on Shinedown or Seether for production and “ear candy” ideas, but since I am not the only one working to produce/ mix the songs I am sure the other guys have their influences well represented in the final product that you hear from Swirl.

Is there a particular process to your songwriting?

Normally we start with a guitar idea that is almost a complete song then I get together with Brian to work on the arrangement before presenting it to Shane and Alfred who then add their influences to the arrangement and of course the vocals. Alfred creates them almost exclusively.

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

I would like to start by saying that when I write lyrics it’s usually tied to a personal experience of mine or one that I have witnessed in the world we live in. I also feel what’s most import is not so much what my lyrics mean to me, but more importantly what my lyrics mean to the listener. I want the listener find their own story within the lyrics. To me that means the listener can interpret and apply them in any way they choose.”- Alfred Ramirez

Give us some background to your latest release.

The Lift is a departure in some ways from the typical writing pattern for Swirl songs and given the new heights of success we are having with it this may become the way we do things going forward. Again I had the basic structure and worked on the arrangement with Brian, before bringing it to Alfred and Shane. However Alfred and I had a separate writing session to make changes to the verse and bounce other ideas off each other. Then we got back together as a band and went from there.

During the final mix sessions Shane Carlson made some more brilliant suggestions to improve the song to let it become what you hear from us now.

Here is the lyric video for The Lifthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaBMGg0ACYo

As Alfred is the songwriter he sets the tone for the theme of the songs. If there is one constant I have noticed when I look at the reviews we get it is that the bands “message” is a positive one. A lot of life affirming, motivational and inspirational themes go into his work and I am very happy about that. I am pretty positive person most days!

Here are some samples of reviews we have received whether they are for The Lift single…

“…everything possesses a joyous, downright celebratory spirit…the track positively teems with life”- Skope Magazine

or the SWIRL EP

“An uplifting vibe…” The Happy Headbanger

“After listening to Swirl in its entirety it has lifted me up mood wise!!”- Metal Temple

“…if you are looking for a really sweet hard rockin’ melodic band that will have you humming along and singing with the CD in just a few listens than make this new SWIRL release yours. 9/10 Stars”- The Examiner

Here is a link to our reviews- https://www.reverbnation.com/socalswirl/press/

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

What The Lift means to me is that we all need help sometimes, be it an emotional lift or a physical lift. We shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help when we need it. We also shouldn’t be afraid to offer to help when were able to. We are all on this planet together and we are all connected, so let’s help one another.

My personal Lift was given to me by “The Minor Goddess” who lifted me out of a depressed and stressed out anxious time in my life. Thank you MG! “Your words will always stay with me “. – Alfred Ramirez

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 like to have the song pretty much done by the time we go into the studio so we can be more efficient with the recording process, but of course we leave room for those “happy accidents” that happen when tracking that are unique to a session.

One of the unique things about the sessions for The Lift is the process we used to get into the studio. We were introduced to producer Emad Alaeddin at Granted Records by Ditch Day producer Megan Waters. He suggested the band use “crowd funding” to cover the cost of the sessions. This was a first for the band and it was very successful. As an unsigned band who happens to be self- managed as well as our own booking agents we wear many hats to make Swirl the known name that is it becoming. Our fans are our record label and they decide how often we make new music and release videos or tour. We weren`t sure what to expect, but with this first attempt and the success of the campaign (we had enough money donated to book our first session in just 48 hours of activating the page at https://www.gofundme.com/launch-new-music-by-swirl-the-band ). The page will remain active. To be clear we are not opposed to record labels, management or booking agencies….we just refuse to wait on one to discover the band when we can get our music and band out to the people who support us!

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

We are a band that thrives on stage! We love being out there. Swirl is a high energy show with emphasis on the word “show”. There is always “someone doing something”. It`s actually the only way the band “fights”….we fight for the attention of the audience and are quick to let the others know who won the night after our set. It`s all in good fun and ultimately the audience is the winner.. We have been able to tour with established bands like RATT, Cinderella, Extreme, Red Dragon Cartel, LA Guns, Lynch Mob, and Slaughter just to name a few. We also headline shows in Southern California. In fact the first stop on “The Lift” tour will be in Hollywood, CA at the Whisky A Go Go on Saturday February 3, 2018.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

We firmly believe that you create your own luck so yes you can make your mark. The real question is how bad do you want it? We are, have been and remain hungry to succeed! We were recently listed by Gerry Gittleson, a writer for Metal Sludge in Los Angeles as one of three local bands that actually draw a crowd when we play.

Another way Swirl has separated itself to a degree is getting involved in licensing our music into movies and television. For example Swirl has 3 songs in the 2 time award winning Ditch Day movie that stars Emmy award winner Bill Oberst Jr. The songs are Spell, We Are Alive and Rise Up (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_RhbgL5Cv0&t=11s ).  So far that film is available in 6 counties. We are working on more licensing deals for our music from the SWIRL EP as well as The Lift.

 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 as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

I have no complaints about social media! Swirl is doing very well with it. We also spend quite a bit of time and effort marketing our band globally. Again it`s a how bad do you want it situation. We didn`t wake up knowing what we know and have made mistakes along the way, but we learn, we grow and we apply lessons to the next venture for the band whether its online, in the studio or on stage.

We have been able to reach people that would otherwise have had very little chance of discovering our music so we are very grateful for social media. It is a big part of the music business now and I don`t see that changing any time soon.

See for yourself here-

SWIRL website- http://www.swirltheband.com/

SWIRL Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/swirltheband/

SWIRL Twitter- https://twitter.com/Swirltheband

SWIRL Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/swirltheband

SWIRL Soundcloud- https://soundcloud.com/swirl-dt

SWIRL YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/swirlgtr

SWIRL Reverbnation- http://www.reverbnation.com/socalswirl

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

Thank you for your time and interest in Swirl. Look for the band to be on tour in and out of the United States in every country where the music making an impact on radio or through movies released that feature Swirl music.

Pete RingMaster 17/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Calming tides and mighty swells: going on board with Rusty Shipp

Riding the waves and currents of rock music at its most creatively diverse, Rusty Shipp is a rock band from Nashville, TN creating self-named “Nautical Rock’n’Roll”. Last year the band released their debut album, Mortal Ghost, a well-received adventure of sound and the high seas. Embracing influences of rock legends like The Beatles, Dick Dale, and The Beach Boys to the roar of modern classics like Nirvana, Thrice, and Foo Fighters, the band have needed little help grabbing attention so we decided to climb on board with the band to explore its maiden outing, that recent voyage and plenty more….

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

You bet!

Can you first introduce the band and tell us about the seeds to its beginning?

Sure! We are Russ T. Shipp (songwriting, guitar, vox), AJ Newton (drums), Elijah Apperson (lead guitar), and Michael Craft (bass). Russ T. started the band from scratch in 2014 when he moved to Nashville from the Washington, DC area. We’ve gone through a lot of band members over the years, finding them through Craigslist and friends of friends. But finally we’ve got a solid line-up with these guys.

Have you been or are involved in other bands? How has that shaped what you are doing now?

Yes. We’ve all been in numerous bands before of all different genres. Each of us seems to just come back to wanting to make really great rock music with catchy chord progressions and melodies. And it’s nice to be in a group of guys who are dedicated to doing something unique, rather than just coming up with something easy on the spot, or trying to sound like someone else. That’s something none of us have really had at this capacity before.

What inspired the band name?

The idea actually came to my (Russ T.) Mom and Dad who named me Russell T. Shipp, which when shortened to Russ T. Shipp resemble the words “rusty ship”. So when I moved to Nashville 5 years ago I started telling people my name was “Rusty” instead of “Russ” and when it came time for our band to pick a name we proposed several ideas but eventually the guys thought, “How can we go with anything other than Rusty Shipp?”  So the name stuck and everyone has loved it ever since. Plus, it really fits the sound our band has as well, because our music sounds rusty and grungy and also nautical like a ship!

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

We wanted something more interesting and creative than just standard rock or pop or acoustic and also allows for more raw energy. When I (Russ T.) was in high school, there was a stock music clip on the school computer that said, “Grunge” and I didn’t know exactly what grunge was up to that point, but when I heard that clip I thought to myself, “This is the ideal form of music.” And being an idealist, ever since then I’ve tried tapping into the potential that I heard there in that little sound clip.

…And the same ideas still drive the band?

It has always been and is still our ultimate goal to heal the world by creating thought-provoking music that is as creative and catchy as the rock legends.

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

We’ve definitely become tighter performers. But also, as we’ve grown we’ve been able to work with more renowned producers who have been able to give us the quality of recordings that we believe our sound deserves.

Have you found such evolutions to be more organic or you all deliberately setting out to try new things?

Russ T. has been the sole songwriter so far. He’s tried out many different sounds in over ten years of writing, which has really been more a combination of organic movement of sound, and deliberately trying new things. However, once we get together as a band to lay it all out, it’s more of a deliberate movement of sound over anything else.

You mentioned your varied experiences so 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?

Well, of course each of us really care about people and want to impact peoples’ lives in a positive way. We love making and playing music and it makes it easy for all of us to reach people by doing what we love. This is a huge part of what we do as a band. It’s not just having fun (though it is). We have a bigger purpose in mind.

Is there a regular process to the songwriting?

A lot of times I (Russ T.) will be going about my daily life and I’ll see some injustice or something emotionally moving, and I feel like I’ve got to communicate a message that will inspire the world to change and to heal and become a better place, or else sometimes it’s just therapeutic, as was the case with our song Crack Baby. Other times I’ll just be inspired to do something creative, like Sea Sentinels which is an instrumental grunge-surf song with guitar riffs that sound like sea monsters talking to each other, or Devil Jonah, which I wrote after watching a documentary on the legendary ghost ship The Flying Dutchman. I wanted to make a musical piece of art that captured this mysterious, legendary feel.  And some songs are meant to just be thought-provoking and ask philosophical questions, such as Treading Water which draws attention to the fact that I don’t feel at home in this world, and how that seems to point to there being more that we humans were made for than just living and dying on this Earth.

Is there a key inspiration to the lyrical side of songs?

All of our songs are philosophically driven. We don’t just want to give people good music, but we want our lyrics to be thought-provoking and inspiring, to get people to think about the important things in life.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?

Mortal Ghost is a concept album with the songs flowing in and out of each other and having nautical interludes to create an artistic tapestry that transports you to another world, under the sea! It’s really intended to be heard from start to finish in the order it was placed. Our singles, Devil Jonah and Tip Of My Tongue are great, but the entire album is a cohesive, artistic experience meant to be listened to in its entirety.

It’s basically the best sound from every rock genre with a surf overtone to it that we like to call “Nautical Rock’n’Roll.” Every song is meant to flow into the next, but also each one stands on its own without disappointing. We’ve had fans call out every single song on the album as their favorite, so that can make it difficult at times to know which single to release next!

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 like to have the songs in their final state before recording. However, there are always some kind of interesting sounds that you can add in the studio with effects, or something the producer hears that you couldn’t hear on your own.

Tell us about the live side to the band?

Our live shows are different than our album quite a bit, because the album was intended to be an artistic masterpiece on its own, with a lot of production involved. When we play live it’s more of a raw, stripped-down, energy-packed jam session involving headbanging, flying jump kicks, and throwing out nautical candy to the crowd. We really try to have a good time with the audience, and it’s always fun to find new ways to incorporate our whole nautical theme into our set. Our live shows are just a ton of fun for everyone there.

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

Being that Nashville is “Music City USA,” this is probably one of the top places in the world to make and release music. Just about everyone that you meet here is in the music business at some capacity, so it makes the opportunities endless. At this point our band has already been blessed to receive international recognition, which has given us a lot more credibility at home. Nashville has been very good to us.

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

We’ve had a lot of success with social media. The key for us has been to come up with interesting content that fans actually want to see, and then to keep consistent. When you’re first starting out the important thing is just to do it and keep doing it, and not worry about making it all perfect. You learn as you go, and you find out what works for you and your fans. It’s the only way to excel and maintain in this industry.

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

We hope everyone will take some time to listen to our album, Mortal Ghost. If you like what you hear, PLEASE send us a message on any of our social media pages, or through our website. Connecting with our listeners is extremely important to us! Thanks for hanging with us. We hope to talk with you soon!

https://www.facebook.com/rustyshippband/  https://twitter.com/RustyShipp   https://rustyshipp.bandcamp.com/releases

Pete RingMaster 09/02/2018

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 Outfit – Self Titled

Like the band’s name, the sound of US rockers The Outfit borders on the unassuming while embracing an array of familiar flavours. Yet, with its devious hooks and rousing dynamics, it equally reveals itself as one bold, tenacious, and stirring affair; traits all going towards making the Chicago band’s self-titled debut album one thickly enjoyable slab of rousing rock ‘n’ roll. It is a great contradiction which it has to be said hits the spot from track one to song nine, a stirring proposition declaring The Outfit ready to welcome world attention.

Consisting of musicians who have plenty of well-earned experiences, The Outfit was formed in 2016 by brothers Mark (drums) and Matt Nawara (guitar), Mike Gorman (bass) once of  Pezband and Off Broadway, and Andy Mitchell (vocals/guitar) who lists the likes of Dish, Verona, and 9 Volt on his CV. Their first album is a major nudge on widespread spotlights, the band looking to build on their reputation and success in their home city’s rock scene and it is not hard to expect it to stir up such widespread reactions.

As its opener coaxes ears, riffs and rhythms instantly collude in a feisty lure, spicy grooves emerging from their bait with the excellent vocals of Mitchell. Wire just as rapidly shares recognisable hues, hints of bands such as Seether, Breaking Benjamin, and Saliva adding to its own stylish enterprise. Inescapably infectious and increasingly addictive, the track gets the album off to a strikingly potent start which continues with Lucky One. It too grabs ears with real eagerness, richly enticing vocals and lively hooks joining the joyous stroll of the rhythms. In little time the song had the body bouncing and vocal chords boisterous as an electronic undercurrent and band harmonies got the imagination crowing. As with the first and many other tracks, there are no real surprises yet the song is insistently fresh and rousing.

A calmer air is brought by TKO, its Three Days Grace meets Chevelle breath and emotive heart nothing less than captivating while latest single, Soldier Boy, whips up an earnest rock ‘n’ roll saunter with energy in its spirit and vitality in its craft. Vibrant melodies unite with warm harmonies, flying beats with an earthy bass rumble, all bursting through ears alongside creative resourcefulness which is as anthemic as it is intimate.

A definite Sick Puppies hue colours next up Unfolds, the track an irresistible bold croon with power in its touch and heart in its call, all capped by one delicious hook within another enslaving chorus. It is the album’s pinnacle though closely rivalled throughout the album and especially by the rock pop romp of Just as One and the melancholically graced imposing balladry of Miracle, a track also showing essences of the aforementioned Australian rockers to fine effect.

No Lights On with a similar colour creates a web of steely lures soon after, guitars and vocals leading the song’s dexterous way driven by the lithe swings of drum sticks and the brooding amble of the bass. Nagging ears and imagination second by second with moments of further fevered harrying, the song is superb, another highlight setting up the raucous rock ’n’ roll finale of Hot Love. A slice of hard rock with classic instincts, it is a riotous charge of contagion bringing one spirit sparking release to a fitting and fine conclusion.

As suggested earlier, The Outfit in sound and album are not breaking out into brand new pastures but we suggest you will find few better bursts of virulent and exhilarating rock ‘n’ roll this year.

The Outfit album is out now through Pavement Entertainment on iTunes and other stores.

http://theoutfit.rocks/    https://www.facebook.com/TheOutfitrock/    https://twitter.com/theoutfitrock

Pete RingMaster 06/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Valensole – Make Pace EP

Just under a year ago, British punks Valensole sparked intrigue and pleasure with their debut EP, Where We Should Be. It was a potential loaded, ear grabbing introduction to the Southampton trio suggesting a band with all the right attributes and imagination to make potent strides within the UK rock scene. Now that suggestion has been reinforced and given greater strength by Make Pace, a second EP of raw and rousing punk ‘n’ roll very easy to devour.

Embracing inspirations from the likes of Nirvana, Green Day, Sum 41, and early Foo Fighters, Valensole was formed in 2016. The threesome of vocalist/guitarist Elliott Jones, guitarist Nick Jones, and bassist Dave Parker certainly had ears and praise attentive with that first EP and such the fresh character and tone to its successor, we can only expect them to find much even greater attention upon the release of Make Pace.

With Kurt Philips providing drums throughout, the EP kicks off with Giving Up, its jumbled start instantly spawning a tasty guitar hook which soon leads into a tenacious stroll through ears. Simultaneously a new richer flavouring to the band’s punk sound begins tempting, the track merging its raw traits with infectious enterprise as it increasingly stomps around. Dave’s bass has a gorgeous dark steely tone, Elliot’s vocals matching its lure in earnest attitude as his and Nick’s guitars throw their sonic wares around. As with the first EP, we found flavouring more akin to the likes of Psychedelic Furs and The Vibrators than those earlier mentioned influences but more so the band’s own voice in sound and invention emerges this time around.

The potent start is soon matched by the following M.A.D, the track immediately getting under the skin with its opening spicy hook. Both guitars tease and tempt, uniting in a fiery lure backed by the stirring swings of drums and the grumbling stroll of the bass. There is a great vintage punk lining to the Valensole sound, one especially vocal in the rousing antics of the second song even as it slips into calmer, provocative waters. It all erupts again for a tenacious finale as physically bracing as it is catchy before So Bored moves in with its ear nagging endeavour. Carrying a whiff of Buzzcocks to its melodically scored trespass of a hook, the track soon revels in its caustic rock ‘n’ roll breeding but as its predecessor is a proposition which is unafraid to explore unpredictable twists and turns before lighting its riotous touch paper once again.

The EP ends with Don’t Let Go, a song again drawing those Richard Butler and co references while uncaging its own individuality. Equally there is a garage punk meets Generation X scent to the song, a thickly flavoursome hue adding to the unrelenting pleasure the track and indeed Make Pace overall sparks.

Valensole’s sound is on a journey, one still evolving and growing. The band’s first EP hinted at its promise, the second reveals new depth and adventure to add to that potential. When it will all come to full maturity time will tell but the ride on the way is undoubtedly going to be great fun with the anticipation of many more easily devoured treats like Make Pace.

Make Pace is released February 9th.

https://www.facebook.com/valensoleband    https://twitter.com/valensole_band

Pete RingMaster 06/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright