Deville – Pigs with Gods

With their fifth album Swedish outfit Deville has bred their heaviest, most intensive offering yet but without diminishing any of the instinctive grooving which has already earned the band a potent reputation amidst ever growing acclaim across its predecessors. The result, an encounter which demands attention whilst taking the band’s rousing sound to a whole new level.

Hailing from Malmö, the quartet was formed in 2004 casting a stoner bred sound initially which has gradually evolved over time. Certainly with the band’s last album, Make it belong to us, Deville moved towards a more metal meets heavy rock nurtured exploration which now Pigs with Gods has taken by the throat by clearly embracing their new metal inspired inclinations. The band prior to release admitted that “When we first started writing music for a new album it became evident to all of us that we were quite tired of the traditional doom/stoner genre…It soon became clear that more Metal was what we all wanted! Thus the album was given a very metal feeling…” That deliberate move though has come with an organic evolution, nothing about the tracks within Pigs with Gods feeling forced or manufactured.

The foursome of Andreas Bengtsson, Martin Fässberg, Andreas Wulkan, and Martin Nobel immediately reveal their muscular prowess with the opening throes of Lost Grounds, the album’s first track rubbing the senses with a sonic abrasion before erupting in a thunderous stroll driven by big scything rhythms. Just as powerful and magnetic, a vocal roar accentuates the captivation with the raw edge of riffs and scuzzy grooves only adding to the thick and infectious tempest of sound as a Torche like hue adds to the richness of the song.

The album’s title track follows, striding in on a rhythmic march with sonic nostrils flared and vocal potency to the fore as flaming grooves light the invasive trespass of sound. Scything beats continue to harry and bruise as grooves share their melodic liquor though wiry veins, it all adding up to a rousing roar sprung from all quarters before Gold Sealed Tomb uncages its own particular creative squall as melodically enthralling as it is virulently imposing. As with those around it, the song grows and twists without feeding expectations, unpredictability as rampant as the gale of enterprise at its heart.

For us the album’s best track is next, Cut It Loose an insatiable temptation of grooves and swinging rhythms loaded with viral contagion and rapacious endeavour. Like all songs it nags at ears whilst feeding them a cyclone of grooved enticement as heavy rock and groove metal meet in a bold collusion, a mixture just as ripe within the just as striking Lightbringer straight after. Less forceful than its predecessors, the track still makes for a towering encounter as its thick air smoulders and sonic cinders burn on the senses around melodic calms which simply seduce before track finds its tempestuousness once more.

Through the almost grungy tones and seriously catchy dynamics of the excellent Hell in the Water and the verging on barbarous but again openly infectious exploits of Wrecked, the album only strengthened its grip on ears and appetite while Acid Meadows provides a relative melodic calm in the storm moment which equally added to the compelling stature of Pigs with Gods. Though it is fair to say that each of their songs has a united sound which is pretty much specific to Deville, the trio of tracks alone show it comes with a strong palette of flavouring and imagination.

Dead Goon also has a less intrusive nature with its blues rock kissed sultriness, the track an instrumental intimation easy for ears to feast upon and the imagination to conjure from before Came For Nothing flexes its creative biceps and the following Medicated on a Concrete Road weaves a tapestry of melodic and fibrous dexterity. Both tracks build their temptations on opulent grooves and boldly spirited but precisely swung rhythms, exploring fresh ideas and imagination from their energetic cores.

Closing track In Reverse emerges from the orchestral close of its predecessor, its sonic radiance luring intrigue into the harmonic caress of vocals. It is a haunting shimmer which eventually breaks into a prowling cyclone of sound and ferocity as snappy as it is invasive before subsequently leaving on that sonic scintillation which brought it into view.

It is a riveting end to an album which increases its impressiveness by the play, declaring itself Deville’s finest moment yet with real ease.

Pigs with Gods is out now digitally and on CD and Ltd Ed vinyl via Fuzzorama Records @ https://eu.fuzzoramastore.com/en/cd-s/deville-pigs-with-gods-cd.html

https://www.facebook.com/devilleband/   http://deville.nu   https://twitter.com/Devilleband

Pete RingMaster 15/11/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Dahmers – Down In The Basement

For any sporting or physically demanding endeavour it is advisable to go into some sort of training. With music it is not a requirement that is until you come up against the new album from Swedish rock ‘n’ horror fiends, The Dahmers. The band has just released Down In The Basement, a beast of a record bursting with eighteen tracks of rock ‘n’ roll fever as ferociously energetic as it is virally infectious. From its first heartbeat to its last the bands third full-length is an insatiable incitement keeping the body rigorously and eagerly bouncing.  It is relentless, exhausting, and pure pleasure from start to finish.

Bromölla hailing, the Dahmers has been no strangers to keen attention having released a pair of ear enticing albums in Demons (2015) and In the Dead of Night (2017). Each has shown and evolved a sound which is bred on a patchwork of numerous flavours ranging from garage and classic punk to vintage rock ’n’ roll, sixties pop and garage rock. Each of those releases certainly pleased ears but have now been imply blown out of the crypt by the simply irresistible and irrepressible Down In The Basement.

With a mass of tracks the size Down In The Basement offers you would expect a few fillers here and there but they are conspicuous by their absence; from the opening surge of Blood On My Hands the album a full-on meal of prime cuts. The first track bursts into life on a tide of voice and guitar bred persuasion, straight away twisting and turning like a dervish whilst unleashing a wave of catchy mischief. The vocals of Christoffer Karlsson lead the way in manipulation but more than matched by his and fellow guitarist Josef Underdal’s devious hooks and the rhythmic salaciousness of bassist Tobias Augustsson and drummer Karl-Oskar Hansson. Something akin to The Hives meets Asylums the track simply stomped into ears and the passions setting the album off on a mighty course.

The following Murder Ride is just as reckless and tenacious in its own punk infused charge, sending insistent grooves and rapacious hooks through ears with a fifties rock ‘n’ roll meets seventies punk irreverence before Street Of the Dead brings its garage rock/indie pop boisterous to the already devilish party. More reserved than its predecessors but just as equipped with ripe catchiness, the song had the body fully employed in no time.

Across the classic hard rock tinted antics of Down On My Knees and the corrupted boogie woogie nurtured devilment of The Ripper new flavours and rascality sweeps across Down In The Basement, The Dahmers already revealing their most diverse web of sound which Hit ‘N’ Run exploits for its contagion loaded adrenaline fuelled punk ‘n’ roll romp. All three tracks infested body and spirit with ease, the latter mercilessly before Howling merged the rock ‘n’ roll decades with its nefarious holler for a matching success.

As suggested the album is a perpetual rush of treats which simply continue with the revengeful punk ‘n’ roll of I Spit On Your Grave and the fiendish infestation of Demon Night. Both had the body twisting like a possessed soul, their pop seeded rascality pure manipulation and inescapable corruption in the outstanding second of the pair.

Classic rock gets a nudge within next up Creepiest Creep, another track with hooks and grooves which worm under the skin like invaders into a six foot buried offering while Reoccurring Dreams is just a punk rock scourge of temptation draped with surf molestation. Both make a play for best track honours though already the list is a fair size and only about to grow as Without a Face declares its option through a sixties pop ‘n’ rock spiced saunter abound with rousing vocals and rhythms heated with fiery melodic flames.

The cinematic breath of Kiss of Dario has the imagination as busy as ever, Man Obsessed straight after sparking grinning lips as it flirts with Blondie for its prime hook as it teases an already lustful appetite for the album. Even so both are outshone by the voracious rock ‘n’ roll rascality of No One and a quite glorious cover of the Devo masterpiece, Social Fools. Both tracks show The Dahmers at their most irresistible, the first a prize roar of their untamed imagination and boldness, its successor of their inimitable punk ‘n’ roll enterprise which did not improve on an existing gem but certainly re-energised its might.

The final pair of November with its deceptively calm sixties hued, pop coated calm and dark instrumental The End brings the album to a magnetic close. The last track is another moment of cinematic intimation, an industrial creased piece which replaced a bouncing body with an imagination conjuring suggestiveness to keenly intrigue.

Down In The Basement is a momentous offering from a band due bigger and broader attention; it is not just us saying that but a collection of tracks which demand your soul.

Down In The Basement is out now via Lövely Records across most online stores.

Upcoming Live Dates:

02/11 – Skövde In Rock Fest   Skövde, SWE

03/11 – Halloween Meltdown   Eskilstuna, SWE

04/11 – Kulsturkvarteret   Kristianstad, SWE

15/11 – Cinema   Aalst, BEL*

16/11 – Dusseldorf   Ratinger Hof, GER*

17/11 – Eindhoven   Helldorado, NL*

* Supporting The Dwarves

https://www.facebook.com/Dahmers/

Pete RingMaster 26/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Quantum Leap – No Reason

Creating a tantalising yet portentous fusion of post punk and garage rock, Swedish trio Quantum Leap make their major entrance with a debut album which through its dark climes and apocalyptic tones makes for one hungrily infectious and enthralling proposition. No Reason, in the words of its introduction, “invites you to a heavy and dark feast celebrating the very last setting of the sun”, a beckoning as arousing as it is threatening.

Hailing from Uppsala, Quantum Leap consists of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Björn Norberg, bassist Andreas Hennius, and drummer Mats Gustavsson. With a diversity of musical backgrounds taking in thrash, death and black metal, electronica and pop, the three came together in 2014. A demo was released in 2016 after the band linked up with producer Tomas Skogsberg of legendary Sunlight Studios (Entomed, Refused, Backyard Babies, Dismember). That led to a contract with Swedish label Viskningar och Vrål (Whisperings and Growls), who now release the fiercely magnetic No Reason, the release again seeing the trio working with Skogsberg and featuring guest musicians in Lea Martinelle (saxophone), Rosa Kristalova (cello), Mattis Fredriksson (accordion), Daniel Söderberg (on modular synthesizer), and Janet Simmonds (backing vocals).

It opens up with That’s The Reason, a swiftly compelling trespass of post punk bringing an initial menace of sound before rumbling through ears on a rhythmically driven stroll wrapped in sonic dissonance. Norberg’s vocals, as strong and magnetic as the web of sounds around them, are soon accentuating the lure. It is a dark, suffocating, and invasively heavy confrontation but inescapably contagious with echoes of eighties bands such as Joy Division, Play Dead, and Leitmotiv to its rasping winds.

It is an outstanding start which swiftly aroused a keen appetite for things to come; one soon reinforced by the following In Between Worlds. It too springs from a raw sonic misting into a virulent attack, its swing eating at instincts and psyche with viral tenacity whilst spreading another exploration of stark, ravenous times. There is more of a noise infested rock ‘n’ roll attack to its post punk, bass and drums a rapacious incitement upon which guitars and keys spread a toxic glaze while escalating the infectious and fractious catchiness of the song.

With an even darker climate Blind comes next, the track a calmer but equally emotionally and atmospherically invasive proposal. It offers a more art/alternative rock spicing with not for the last time within the album a Bowie-esque hue which only adds to its persuasion before Yeah sees the band embrace a metal lined garage rock flavouring with matching success. The diversity within the band’s sound is in full swing at this point, each song revealing a new shade and flavouring to keep things unpredictable and intriguing. Trust quickly backs this variety up with its seventies psych toned dark rock. Though all uniquely different, the quintet of tracks so far all slip perfectly alongside each other, the alluring overall Quantum Leap voice uniting their eclectic characters.

The Fiction In The Daily Life bounds in with a mix of garage punk and heavy rock straight after; the excellent track swiftly stirring up attention and pleasure while Sea repeats that tempting straight after with its again Bowie reminding saunter. There is a definite Heroes like feel to the track which maybe does not lead it to impress as some of its companions within the album but only richly pleases within its fuzzy climate.

Through the bruising and hungrily rousing rock ‘n’ roll of All I Ever Wanted and the Bauhaus meets Wire like gothic/post punk air of I Don’t Know attention and enjoyment only escalated, both tracks unsettling magnetism while Dreaming taps a poppier gait to its darky lit romancing to equally attract. A bit like a blend of Modern English and Modern Eon with once more that hint of Bowie, the song entices from start to finish.

The album concludes with firstly the groove wired heavy punk ‘n’ roll of Mayday and lastly the senses consuming, imagination sparking sonic tides of Like A Memory From A Long Time Ago. With a melodic Skids like current ebbing and flowing in its infectiously sinister but thickly alluring ominous waters, it is a last entrapment for the suggestively impending apocalypse and another sepulchral proposal which is quite irresistible.

Quantum Leap have uncaged a debut which simply demands attention of the band and their dark foreboding layered sound…so stop reading and go explore.

No Reason is out now through Viskningar och vrål.

https://www.facebook.com/quantumleap2/

Pete RingMaster 06/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sju Svåra År – Ingen Tog Det Som Ett Skämt

 

Ingen Tog Det Som Ett Skämt is the new EP from Swedish punks Sju Svåra År, a band said to be “a precursor to the wave of Swedish-language punk swept across Sweden in the early 2000’s.” With their name translated as Seven Hard Years, and latest outing as Nobody Took It Like a Joke, the Stockholm quintet is still possibly a proposition yet to be encountered by many outside their homeland but one which now rewards their investigation with one storming slab of politically charged punk ‘n’ roll.

Emerging from the ashes of Burning Kitchen in 2001, Sju Svåra År consists of Sara Hedberg (Burning Kitchen, Hellregn), Josefin Finer (Burning Kitchen), Linus Segerstedt (True Moon), Emma Söderberg (Satirnine), and Erik Gärdegård (Icos). Returning after a break between 2003 and 2007, the band released their acclaimed debut album Storma hver hjärta in 2012. Its presence teased broader and keener attention which Ingen Tog Det Som Ett Skämt should easily match if not eclipse.

The EP opens with Skicka Några Rader, beats instantly rapping the senses as hooks and riffs gather to launch their own equally inviting assault. Just as potent are Josefin’s vocals, melodic yet forceful and backed with matching command by Sara within a web of hooks and punk grooves. The bass is rich captivation, guitars an imposing lure as rhythms bite with an instinctive snarl. Together it is a riveting enticement with a great Au-Pairs like hue to its brooding enterprise.

The following Maskeradbalen trespasses the senses from its first breath but again with a melodic infectiousness which enhances rather than tempers the song’s natural irritability. As with its predecessor, there is a seventies punk spicing at play but more Vice Squad meets Dolly Mixtures adding to the individual adventure cast by Sju Svåra År. Brief and snappy, the track is a viral growl which hits the spot within seconds, relentlessly teasing it for the next two minutes plus.

Fyra Sista Siffror is a more reserved slab of punk ‘n’ roll but just as bold in its imposing contagion and confrontational weave of melody and riff bound in suggestive grooves. Vocals drive the persuasion with continued magnetism whilst nagging beats are at the virulent heart of the song’s instinctive catchiness. Captivation at its harrying punk best with a hint of Sex Pistols inspiration at times, the track is superb and swiftly matched by the EP closing Oroliga avdelningen, a stirring incursion of rock ‘n roll as caustic as it is melodically seductive.

Having only now coming across Sju Svåra År though the excellent Ingen Tog Det Som Ett Skämt there is no escaping the feeling of having missed out the past decade, something an overdue courting of Storma hver hjärta will partly remedy. The best punk rock is instinctive, from the heart and there is no escaping that natural pulse behind one treat of a release.

Ingen Tog Det Som Ett Skämt is available now via Gaphals @ https://gaphals.bandcamp.com/album/ingen-tog-det-som-ett-sk-mt

https://www.facebook.com/sjusvaraar/

Pete RingMaster 27/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Introducing Sonic Kharma

This past September Swedish rock band Sonic Kharma unveiled their debut album Too Much is Not Enough. Swiftly finding an eager reception at home, it and the band with the ever potent PR/ radio pluggers Pluggin’Baby alongside are beginning to stir just as keen attention with it in the UK. They have now just pushed two tracks forward as a teaser to that release and themselves upon British ears, songs which are already stirring up strong radio play and rich words.

Hailing from the northern town of Umeå, Sonic Kharma was formed in 2013. Their sound is built on the creative union and songwriting of guitarist Michael Blomqvist and vocalist Henrik Brännlund, though as these two tracks alone prove; every member of the band is a vital and rich part of the mix. Inspirations to their melodic rock bred sound range from bands such as Nomads, Guns N’ Roses, and AC/DC to Foo Fighters, Millencollin, and Sator. There sound is not maybe the most unique proposition yet there is real freshness and imagination to it which makes ears pay closer attention. There is also a finely crafted edge to the songs which suggests a band taking time to take things to their creative limits, a suggestion backed by the fact that the band recorded Too Much is Not Enough twice, not content with the first recordings.

New Day is an instant temptation in ears, its opening melody a beckoning finger into the waiting alternative rock meets grunge like stroll. The guitars of Jonas Edvardsson and Blomqvist entangle the imagination in melodic tendrils and encouraging riffs whilst the swinging beats of PerOlof Tellegård rousingly align with the alluring groan of Kevin Valberg’s bass. Embraced by Brännlund’s strong and emotive tones, it is a superbly infectious proposal with muscle in its movement and seduction in its voice with the veining of nagging melodies and sharp hooks only adding to that attraction and success.

Keep Calm and Carry On has more of a pop punk hue to its rock ‘n’ roll and certainly its opening canter has an Offspring feel to it. The individual traits of Sonic Karma soon take over though as the song hits its stride, again a natural infectiousness flowing through its lively twists and contagious chorus. Spinning its own brand of ear pleasing melodies and imagination snagging hooks, the song backs up its outstanding companion with its own thickly alluring enterprise headed by the pulsating bait of Valberg’s bass.

Both tracks leave pleasure ripe as they do their job of introducing their creators to a new audience; a sonic announcement which does not so much invite further exploration of Sonic Karma as command it.

Find out more about Sonic Karma and their album Too Much is Not Enough @ https://www.facebook.com/sonickharma/ & https://twitter.com/SonicKharma

Pete RingMaster 02/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Something visceral this way comes: entering the wicked clutches of Skitarg

Like hell’s harlequins with dark intent entangled in pestilential rage and humour, Swedish extreme metallers SKITARG is an encounter which violates the senses at every turn and pleasures an appetite for “heavy, violent and evil metal” just as eagerly. The evidence is open in a live presence which devours the its audiences and four acclaim garnering albums; the fourth in Los Pulkerz released earlier this year. We grabbed the chance to brave the band’s blackened death bred clown metal trespass with vocalist Barnet, exploring its origins, that new album, and the Swedish language….

Hi, can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started and how you all came together?

Sure, the band started waaaaaay back in 2005 when me (Barnet, which means “The Kid”) and the other singer Necrofilip (which means…er…”Necrophilip”) were checking out some porn on his balcony, as one is want to do. We were talking about starting a new band – we had been playing in a band called HEAD for the last six years but ended that band – and we wanted the name to sound super pissed off. And so it came to be, this year of the unlord 2005, that we named the band SKITARG (which literally translates to “shit angry”, but more idiomatically aptly translates to “pissed off”.  It also translates to “free sexuality”, “social security” and “Volvo”, but then again EVERY word in Swedish means that too.).

Have you been involved in any other bands before? If so how has that impacted on what you are doing now, in maybe style or direction?

You bet, I have been in about 15-20 bands and Necrofilip about the same. The other band members (who seem to change every now and then) also play in a lot of bands.

Playing with Necrofilip in HEAD was a great learning curve since we´d come to rehearsals with a new song and that song could have a musical element that we hadn´t known yet up to that point. It could be things like playing parallel thirds to a melody, or playing triplets over straight eights or stuff like that…So we´ve definitely grown up musically together.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer and do they still continue to steer the ship?

Yes, to sound pissed off. I think this might have been covered thus far.

You can only stay pissed off for so long before you need to have a laugh, and since me and Necrofilip love laughing more than we have the energy to be angry, the band soon started introducing comedic elements. I wouldn´t say we´re comedians but we definitely have a dark sense of humour and kind of need that perspective to get by in everyday life.

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

We started out pretty raw and still have that in us today, but rather than just beating the shit out of the drums and guitars, we put a little bit more finesse into it these days.

The first album was pretty direct and simple, the second album had way more harmonies and layers, the third was more melodic in the riff structure and the fourth album is a sort of return to the original simple sound with sprinkles of off-beat songs. One song sounds like Tom Waits, another like orcs raping The Prodigy and a third one is an excerpt of the tapes that Necrofilip recorded on his small tape recorder when he was nine years old. We really don´t have any kind of regard of what we put on our albums to be honest.

Has any evolving in sound and ideas been more organic movement or you deliberately wanting to try new things?

No, we´re pretty aware of what we want to do with our songs. Of course most songs start out with an inspired idea but from that we usually have a pretty clear vision of what needs to be added.

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?

As you say, there´s too many, but I can tell you what bands we are NOT inspired by: Slipknot and Insane Clown Posse. We sound nothing like them! (Ok, I´ll admit we kind of look like them, but hey, doesn´t every band?)

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

Yes. We start out with some cabbage, add some salt, dance under the moonlight of a disco ball, choke each other until we laugh and then send the master to pressing.

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

Mostly it´s everyday stuff that pisses us off, like people walking too slow in front of us, dealing with jealousy, seeing animals and babies in peoples Facebook feeds and stuff like that.

Would you give us some background to your latest release, Los Pulkerz?

Our fourth album is a return to the original sound…actually, it´s just songs from when we started the band. We had been playing for 10 years when we started listening to the really old stuff that didn´t make it on to the first album. Some of the songs would probably work on a new release as long as we updated the sound and some of the riffs. I think we managed pretty well and even added some things that we haven´t had on our albums so far, like the song Sverige Facking Fosterland.

How about an insight into some of its themes and the premise behind it?

The premise is basically that the first 10 songs are songs that didn´t make it to the three first albums. The rest of the 15 songs are random tracks we recorded on our own as stand-alone songs or as in Rosmarie och Idioten where we get to hear an authentic conversation between 6-year old Necrofilip and a 5-year old girl called Rosmarie that he knew when he was little. His mom recorded the conversation on his tape recorder from another phone in the house and we found the tape years later (for all you kids: back in the day, people used to have land-line phones. That means that you could have several phones connected by lines to a socket in the wall in your house and if you picked up one of them during a phone call, you could listen in on the conversation between the person making the call from outside and the person taking the call in the house. Sneaky 😉

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?

Since we never hire a studio guy or rent a studio we´re creating up until the very end. We do everything on our own, so there´s never a cut-off on adding new stuff.

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

Oh yes. We´re dressed as black metal clowns and use dildos as our main stage prop. I think that´s a selling point as good as any.

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´ve done very well during these last 12 years in Sweden so I think we could do just as well abroad, if not better. Swedes are a pretty socially inept bunch and we (Swedes) don´t usually like to get too close to each other. So, since we manage to attract plenty of people to see us live in Sweden, we would probably do even better internationally. I mean, heck, if Rammstein made it with German lyrics, why can´t we with Swedish lyrics?

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?

We are very much a band that owes our thanks to Facebook…it´s been imperative for us to reach our audience so the Internet has been great like that. It has, however, sucked all the money out of the business, so there are fewer venues in Sweden and fewer companies that want to risk financial backing for their band. We didn´t want to wait around for the record labels to get their money-grubbing heads out of their asses so we just went ahead and started recording, financing and promoting our albums on our own.

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

There is no afterlife. Life is meaningless. Entropy will win, and your mom and dad probably had anal at one point. Sleep tight!

https://www.facebook.com/skitarg/    http://skitarg.tictail.com/

Pete RingMaster 03/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The sparks of change: exploring the adventure that is Nocean

Last year saw a change of line-up spark a new evolution in the sound of emerging and exciting rockers Nocean. It was as if everything fell into place for the Swedish quartet, evidence coming with their subsequent single. Time to find out more we thought when the chance to talk with Nocean arose. So with thanks to vocalist Hanna, we peer into the origins of Nocean, those changes and a new direction in sound and much more…

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

Nocean is a rock band from Sweden (Stockholm) that plays alternative rock with metal influences and electronic elements. We are four members: Hanna (vocals), Patrick (drums), Ozzy (guitar), and Sara (bass). The band started back in 2013 as a classic hard rock band, but has switched some members and developed the sound towards alternative rock. Me (Hanna) and Ozzy has brought the band forward since some members quit last summer and so we found Patrick through a Swedish site called “band finder”. We knew Sara a bit from before and she joined the band last fall. They both saved us back then, and we started something fresh and great.

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on that change of style or direction within the band?

We have all been in other bands before, in different genres from hard rock to extreme metal. It can of course have an impact on what we are writing now, we blend our references together. It’s important for us to have the same musical taste in rock/metal.

What inspired the band name?

Nocean is a play with words – Notion – Nocean!

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

When I first started a band called Lobos Libre (before Nocean), I was very inspired by The Runaways and the spirit of pure rock n roll. But that has changed over time; when we wrote our debut album we played around a bit in the rock/metal genre and we found out more about which direction we wanted to go – more towards a modern, alternative rock sound in the style of Thirty Seconds To Mars, Muse, and Paramore.

Are you still driven by those same core aims or have broadened them as Nocean has grown?

We have come to a new level and with each level you get your motivations from different things of course. In the beginning our main goal was to play as much live as possible, in any venues. Now our goal is to focus on the recordings, social media and to play at larger stages. This summer we are playing at Sweden Rock Festival!

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

It started as a classic hard rock band, blending in some metal and our debut album is a mix of different kind of rock/metal styles. So during this past year we have developed and streamlined our sound to alternative, modern rock and we also added some backing tracks/synthesizers and electronic elements to create a heavier, more massive sound.

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

I would say both. Since some members quit and left me and Ozzy alone with this ship last summer, our new sound is now based on me and Ozzy’s personal musical taste of course. And it’s based on what we like nowadays of course, since I was more of a classic hard rock girl before and Ozzy was only listening to metal core for some years ago. As Patrick and Sara joined the band, they were all in for this sound and we even found out that we have a heavier reference as well in common – Devin Townsend. And so Sara and Patrick also add their influences to our new sound and that becomes what Nocean is today.

As you have suggested there is a wide range of inspirations across the band; 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?

In the start it was The Runaways/Joan Jett (for me) and Halestorm. Halestorm is still there as I found Lizzy Hale being a great inspiration and their music is also still quite similar to ours. Then a year ago me and Ozzy found Thirty Seconds To Mars and smaller bands in the same genre and got amazed. Muse has always been one of my favorite band, but it wasn’t obvious to have a band inspired by them because I wasn’t sure of what I could or could not sing. Straight forward hard rock is for me an “easier” genre; both in the writing sometimes and with the vocals since it suits me well and I know how to master it. What we are doing now is more challenging in some ways and for me that is awesome.

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

We put together the songs in the rehearsal room. But me and Ozzy often write some foundations to the songs that we bring to our rehearsal. Patrick adds his cool rhythms and details to the songs and Sara adds her dynamic thinking. I write the lyrics and Ozzy produces and writes the songs at home in his home studio.

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

I write what is true for me right now and I often describe my lyrics as letters to people who need to hear them. It’s very often about change and going in a positive direction with yourself.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?

We have released two songs since the new line up was formed and with our new sound. The first one – The Change – was released in October last year along with Sweden’s first rock video filmed in 360 degrees. It went viral and we gained many new followers from Mexico and Brazil, where we think our music is much appreciated. In March this year we released a second single – This Must Be – with a music video which included some live clips from a great big venue outside Stockholm.

How about some insight to the themes and premise behind them?

I try to always be positive and encouraging in my lyrics. I want it to be somehow poetic more than straight in your face, and I want it to be subtle, in that way a song about love can as well mean something else for someone else. Feelings are the same sometimes, like whether it’s about losing someone to death or separating from someone you have a strong relationship to.

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?

Since Ozzy is the master of the sound (recording for us), he likes to build a song step by step. So it’s a constant process!

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

We have a lot of energy on stage and we love to interact with our audience, and to be on stage together! You can see clearly that we all love to be on stage. We want to tour abroad as often as we can, it makes us stoked and it’s so great to combine your passion for music with traveling around the world, meeting different kind of people.

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

Yes of course. Our answer is quite obvious: social media. Using Facebook ads and targeting the right audience, knowing your audience, posting the right content on the right time, making YouTube covers to let new people find your music… the list goes on. There are lots of opportunities for bands to go on their own today.

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

Yes, I think that I’ve found a way to make it a positive way for success and that other bands should discover this and have a lot of patience too. It takes much time to learn all about it, to find your target audience and how to reach them. But it’s all worth it when you see results.

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

We are coming to England on tour again in May! Playing in London, Tamworth and Birmingham… It’s gonna be a blast, we came last year for the first time and played with the London based metal band Evyltyde. Thanks to them we found some contacts and are now able to go on our headline mini tour. To smaller bands that want to tour abroad: make gig swaps. Let a band come to your home town and book them on some gigs and let them do the same for you. Share lodging, transport costs and voila! You’re on tour abroad without any expensive booking agency. Don’t be afraid to Do It Yourself! Big thank you for reading all of this and thanks for the interview!

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Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 12/04/2017

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