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

Ripper – A.D.

Photo by Kate Murray

Photo by Kate Murray

The background to US band Ripper is simple; four punks who list former and current bands like Grotto, The Hidden Chord, Rolling Blackouts, Bombay Sweets, Zoo Animal, and Ghostmouth on their CVs, and draw on inspirations such as Dead Kennedys, Germs, Sonic Youth, and The Beach Boys for their virulent 2-3 minute punk rock songs. What also is uncomplicated is the fact that the band’s tracks and indeed new EP A.D. are bad ass rock ‘n’ roll devilment to get lustful and greedy over. The five-track roar is a stomp of dirty and antagonistic punk ‘n’ roll but with a virulence and feverish energy that just whips up the passions one blistering anthem by another ferocious anthem.

Hailing from L.A., New Jersey, Minneapolis, and Saint Paul, Ripper consists of vocalist/guitarist Danny Holden, guitarist Sean Levine, bassist /vocalist Noah Paster, and drummer Jeff Brown. January 2015 saw the release of their self-titled debut EP, a well-received introduction now eclipsed by the raw contagion and old school punk meets modern rock discordance of A.D.

photo- -Aaron-Oas

photo- -Aaron-Oas

The one minute incitement of Chain Fight gets the revelry off to a mighty start, guitars and feisty rhythms colluding in a sonic mugging driven by the just as quickly involving vocals of Holden, they potently backed by those of Paster. For those US based influences mentioned earlier, there is a just as open UK feel to the bracing roar to these ears, thoughts of The Vibrators and The Lurkers coming to mind as the brief and thrilling starter gets pleasure and appetite all riled up.

Latest single On The Curb follows and just as swiftly lays down catchy grooves and spiky hooks amidst a rhythmic and sonic tempestuousness. Within this storm though, the band skilfully slips the listener into mellower climes and with consummate ease belligerently leaps out of them again as that infectious attribute shown in the opener fuels verse and especially chorus. Again British comparisons come to mind more easily, the vintage and rousing attitude of Angelic Upstarts/The Boys aligning with the current discord irreverence found in bands like Asylums, the result a boisterously flirtatious incitement.

One Desire roars and brawls with the listener next, it a wonderfully antagonistic yet catchy invasion of the senses again bridging the decades of punk and noise rock superbly. As its companions, the song is the breeder of addiction; a want to indulge again hard to resist but postponed for the intrigue of what comes next, which is the just as outstanding Lick The Knife. Spicing its initial predacious prowling of ears with waves of off-kilter guitar seducing, an enticing weave punctured by the dark tones of Paster’s bass and rapier like swings of Brown, the track continues to restrain intensity and its assault as it slowly stalks the senses. The track is a compelling persuasion showing that there is much more than just punk influences to the heart of their riveting sound, whispers of post punk and noise rock igniting even greater greed for the release.

The EP is concluded by Never Win, a blaze of warped grooves and abrasive riffing speared by intensive beats amidst the throaty groan of the bass. The guitars of Holden and Levine, as shown elsewhere on the EP, are accomplished at unleashing a web of sonic bait to get eagerly entangled in, but here turning up the creative juices to spring their own thrilling trap within the larger delicious slavery of song and release.

Ripper is a band with the breath of the seventies and the creative devilry of all the punk years since, with plenty of their own distinctive imagination to shape, as shown by their EPs, fiercely memorable and exciting exploits.

The A.D. EP is available now as a co-release between Land Ski and Lawn Chair Records, and @ https://rippermpls.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/666RIPPER/   https://twitter.com/rippermpls

Pete RingMaster 08/12/2-015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Harlots – Chinese Carpet Factory

harlots_RingMaster Review

Creating infectious alternative rock ‘n’ roll with a healthy power pop tenacity and rigour to it, UK quartet Harlots release their debut album to end the year with a potent nudge on national recognition. Eleven tracks of virulent pop rock, Chinese Carpet Factory is a boisterous romp littered with flowing melodies, persuasive harmonies, and hooks with an instinctive vice like grip. Add bold rhythms alongside rousing choruses and Harlots have provided one rather enjoyable proposition.

The London based foursome recorded Chinese Carpet Factory with producer Rory Attwell (Palma Violets/Vaccines) on a boat on the bands of the Thames, and straight away it laps ears with feisty persuasion through opener Wicked Tongue. Building from a scene setting sample, the song is soon sauntering along with lively rhythms and just as eager vocals as guitars crash and scythe with spicy enterprise. The bass too is a pulsating slice of bait, it all uniting with accomplished and catchy effect. The song pretty much sets the tone of the album; the individual characters of songs all bred from this kind of rousing combination or certainly carrying a rich vein of it through their varied bodies.

Gotta Get By is quick evidence, the second track swinging in with its own hue of infectious zeal and inventive vibrancy. Part shoegaze, part power pop, and all flavoursome temptation, it bounces along whipping up eager involvement in feet and hips, and even though the song is a slither at less than two minutes in length, it shows that Harlots can be as effective on the dance-floor as in more intimate unions with listeners.

If The Ramones were The Beach Boys, House of Love became Birdland; they just might sound like Harlots on the seductive Seen A Girl whilst the outstanding Every Little Thing merges that with a further touch of indie/Brit pop imagination. The track is an addiction in the making, from vocals to melodies, rhythms to riveting hooks, revelry of pop ‘n’ roll to get greedy over.

Through Work Work Work and Up Away, the album reveals even more variety, the first a web of virulence seeded in sixties Beatles whilst its successor is an alluring croon of acoustic guitar and reflective voice with a chorus as enslaving as any within the bolder, bigger boned offerings within Chinese Carpet Factory. Both songs leave ears smiling and pleasure high before Rush jumps in, off the back of the album’s twenty two second title track, to cast a My Bloody Valentine/Verve like incitement which just seems to get more persuasive with every listen.

There are some tracks within Chinese Carpet Factory which really leap out, Every Little Thing and Gotta Get By a couple and next up You Got Me soon there by their side. Laying a jangle of guitar as its first touch, rolling out anthemic rhythms almost as swiftly, the track bounds around and bounces off ears with voracious revelry, its sixties/eighties pop breath entwined with modern indie ingenuity quite irresistible.

The album finishes with firstly the rawer aired and just as gripping drama of The Colour & The Noise, shoegaze, pop, and noise rock blurring their boundaries in another big highlight, and finally Days Are Done. The Beatle-esque balladry of the final song ensures the album comes to an engaging end, its embrace not as pungent as elsewhere within Chinese Carpet Factory but still a potent end to a fine release.

Chinese Carpet Factory is a great introduction to Harlots, a release easy to spend plenty of time with for perpetual enjoyment. This is a band still growing and evolving their sound you sense too, so real potential of big times ahead we suggest.

Chinese Carpet Factory is out on NOV 28th.

http://www.theharlotsmusic.com   https://www.facebook.com/theharlotsmusic

Pete RingMaster 27/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Yukon Blonde – On Blonde

Yukon Blonde_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

There is a melodic humidity to On Blonde, the new album from Canadian indie rockers Yukon Blonde, a sultry and almost sticky feel and ambience embracing and seducing the senses song by song. Already renowned for their seamlessly crafted and contagious pop songs, the Vancouver band went into experimentation mode for their latest endeavour, weaving in textures and sounds bred within psychedelic, digital, and synthetic adventure. It was a move bringing bolder and more fascinating character to music and release whilst breeding an even greater virulence for their maybe unexpectedly purest pop encounter yet.

It is easy to expect infectious proposals from a Yukon Blonde release but the quartet of Graham Jones, Jeffrey Innes, Brandon Scott, and James Younger have found a new epidemic of persuasion and catchiness despite venturing into the ‘unknown’ with On Blonde. Frontman Innes has said about the album, “We were more ambitious writing On Blonde so it’s sort of ironic that in experimenting we created a more accessible record than ever before.” Easy to slip into and embrace, the Colin Stewart (Black Mountain, Dan Mangan, Sleepy Sun) produced, Tony Hoffer (M83, Beck, Foster the People, Air, Depeche Mode) mixed album simply backs up his words, starting straight away with opener Confused.

The first song instantly swamps ears with a buzzing electro tempting, the potent coaxing quickly joined by spicy guitar and crunchy rhythms. It is soon a stroll of magnetic melodic and vocal tenacity, eighties and spatial breezes a lively simmering within the vibrant body and energy of the song. Down below though there is an underlying rumble in the heart of the encounter, a stirring dark intent which gives real depth and intrigue to the refreshing pop romp. There is a bit of Weezer to the song, a bit of Super Happy Fun Club too, but it emerges as something distinct to Yukon Blonde just like Make U Mine which follows. Its body moves with a funky gait within a mellower more reserved energy, vocals and harmonies floating around ears as they forcibly flirt with the imagination alongside musical echoes of bands like Heaven 17 and Röyksopp.

Variety is a swift essence of On Blonde too, the first pair of tracks coming with individual characters but not as openly as the outstanding Como which follows them. Its acoustic lead soon lures the appetite into a summery canter of endearing melodies and vivacious vocals, all tempered by another great shadow wrapped bassline. A tinge of China Crisis teases throughout but equally a whisper of The Beach Boys floats with the tantalising harmonies as guitars dance with sparkling adventure and revelry within the hazy romance of a song.

yb-onblonde-Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     I Wanna Be Your Man slips into a fuzzier and grittier landscape, one seemingly blossomed from a Bolan-esque seeding. It saunters around which attitude and confidence, every resonating bassy lure and sonic sizzle carrying a glint in their mischievous eye whilst unpredictable and tantalising twists and turns merge with the warm fluid flow of the bewitching proposition. In no time it has seduced and enslaved ears and emotions, an inescapable success and potency cultured just as powerfully by the similarly mouth-watering Saturday Night straight after. The song pounds ears with relentless rhythmic incitement around which eventful vocals and an elegant embrace of melodies rigorously serenade. Every second comes with a flirtation of sound and ideation but also that unpredictable essence which again as much as the fresh investigations of sound infused right across the album, is the spark to new adventure and ingenuity in the Yukon Blonde persuasion.

A sixties hued, folkish ballad in the shape of Hannah steps forward next; its harmonic charm an easy snare for ears. Once it has full focus it unveils bulbous bass tones and evocative drizzles of melodic expression to tighten its hold, though whilst again pushing the diversity of the album, it never manages to come up to the persuasive levels of its predecessors, something the admittedly enthralling Your Broke The Law also cannot quite emulate. In context though both songs are like a lover’s romance with the listener, never leaving them less than enamoured whilst allowing the likes of Starvation to steal more of the limelight which it does with consummate craft. Carrying a Depeche Mode/Daniel Miller like dark croon to its intoxicating enveloping of body and thoughts, the track swings and sways with irresistible and addictive ingenuity, never startling with its temptation but smouldering away for the same long-term effect.

From one triumph to another as the indie rock sculpted Favourite People bounces around with varied guitar jangles and contented bass grumbling within another rosy veil of keys. Just as the energetic musical creativity of the track, the vocals have an animated and frisky intent to their presence and enjoyment, and though once more it is a song which you can only really compare to Yukon Blonde themselves, there is a small urge to suggest the likes of XTC and Talk Talk as hints.

The release ends with the electro rock stomp of Jezebel, a sultry temptress of a song adding a final rich twist and spark in one masterful slab of aural gold. On Blonde is seriously compelling, a whole diverse summer in one spellbinding embrace. Yukon Blonde do not light a blazing fire in the belly and heart with the album but it is the hottest, spiciest warm glow felt from a release in a long time.

On Blonde is available now via Dine Alone Records / Caroline UK digitally and on CD/Vinyl through most online stores.

http://www.yukonblonde.com/   https://www.facebook.com/yukonblonde

RingMaster 18/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

THE TRIPDOWN PROJECT to release ‘Post Modern Delay’, out 9th June‏

The Trip Down Project Online Promo Shot

UK ALT-ROCKERS THE TRIPDOWN PROJECT UNLEASH STUNNING DEBUT ALBUM!

 

Northern Alternative rock trio ‘The TripDown Project’ hurl out their breathtaking debut album ‘Post Modern Delay’ through Holier Than Thou Records on Monday 9th June through all stores.

With glowing comparisons to everyone from Nirvana to the Byrds, The TripDown Project pitch the bone-crushing power and dexterity of the Foo Fighters against the hooks of The Beach Boys; the result is something genuinely original and captivating.
Born from the ashes of Sheffield rockers ‘Colorpool’, Ritchie Chappell (Drums, Percussion and Vocals) and Jojo Blythe (Guitars, Synths, Bass and Vocals) formed The TripDown Project during 2009 as a vehicle for their songwriting. After a flurry of praise from friends and acquaintances, the TripDown boys were coaxed to the live arena and were swiftly blown away by people’s responses. The two-piece soon decided to pursue the band further, drafting Tim Pritchard in on live bass and adding synths and samples to further enhance their live sound.

It wasn’t long before Holier Than Thou Records snapped up the band, and within a matter of months, they released their debut single “Nothing But Envy” to widespread support from the underground. In mid 2012, the industrious three-piece continued their climb with the release of their new three track EP “My Condition”, which was quickly followed by their next EP ‘BodyHammer’. Both records helped to ready The TripDown Project to break into the scene. Now, armed with their full length debut ‘Post Modern Delay’, the alt-rockers are braced for heady heights.

 

The album kicks off with the hugely melodic ‘My Condition’ which instantly sparks to life with its driving guitars and absorbing vocal melodies. The bouncy groove of ‘Body Hammer’ is next up, as it tips its hat to the guile and craft of Nirvana, while ‘The Great Kill’ highlights the trio’s use of strong dynamics and expansive texturing. As the album progresses, ‘Consider It Done’ fantastically spits out a head-grabbing refrain that’ll cement itself deep within before the irrepressible ‘Chain Gang’ delivers another impossibly contagious track that is surely ripe for radio airwaves. By the time the scathing tuneage of the final track ‘Combat Nation’ hits the eardrums, listeners will be thirsty for more. The rising threesome have delivered a killer album that is sure to rapidly rise their stock amongst the UK rock fraternity. Look out for the band live through the Summer and beyond!

 

Post Modern Delay tracklisting: 1. My Condition; 2. Body Hammer; 3. Hiding From My Past; 4. The Great Kill; 5. Drop Down; 6. Consider It Done; 7. Chain Gang; 8. Heavy Motion; 9. Shimmer; 10. Nothing But Envy; 11. Combat Nation.

BAND MEMBERS: Ritchie Chappell (Drums, Percussion and Vocals); Jojo Blythe (Guitars, Synths, Bass and Vocals); Tim Pritchard (Bass).

FOR FANS OF: Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Weezer.

The Trip Down Project Cover Artwork'

www.facebook.com/tripdown

 

 

 

From a rock and a hard place: an interview with Monte Pittman

Pic Jack Lue

Pic Jack Lue

The year may be young but it has already seen one of the most thrilling and inventively riveting heavy rock/metal albums likely to bless the year released. The Power of Three from Monte Pittman is a towering feast of adventure and multi-flavoured sinew driven rock fused to heavyweight metal. Renowned and acclaimed for his work with Madonna and the likes of Adam Lambert, Melanie C, and Sophie Ellis-Bextor, the Texan with the Metal Blade Records released album unleashes his always eager creative and passionate metallic tendencies. Given the pleasure and opportunity to find out more about the magnificent triumph, we talk with Monte Pittman and find out about his early days and inspirations as a budding musician, songwriting, Prong and much more…

Hello Monte and many thanks for taking time out to chat with us.

Before we get into the meat of your excellent new album The Power of Three, can we get some insight into the background of Monte Pittman before the musician and what was the first spark or moment when music drew you to its bosom?

I grew up in Longview, Texas. I’ve wanted to play music since I can remember. I was always fascinated by it. I was very lucky to be a little kid and have bands like Kiss to bands like Pantera as influences. I was one of those kids who would stand on the bed with the door closed pretending I was Ace Frehley to my sisters Kiss records. My cousin, Jimmy, had a few different bands in Dallas and I would see him rehearse as a kid. That’s what started it all.

What have been the major inspirations on you musically and especially in regard to your guitar craft?

That’s something that always changes. The first song I ever learned how to play on the guitar was “One” by Metallica. “…And Justice For All” had just come out. That was an exciting time to get your first guitar! My guitar influences now are Jeff Beck and Freddie King. I’m also heavily influenced by John Coltrane and Thelonius Monk, but they’re not guitar players. As far as bands, a lot of fellow Metal Blade bands…Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, and Amon Amarth…also Holy Grail. Great guitar players! Great songs! Great bands!

Aged 24 you moved from Longview to LA; why, was it purely for music reasons?

My cousin, Natalie, lived there and I went to go visit her. As soon as I got there, it felt like home. When I went back to Texas I immediately started making plans to move there as soon as I could knowing the longer I took, the better the chance of talking myself out of it. I moved to LA to work as a professional musician one way or another.

You were already in the relatively successful, certainly locally, band Myra Mains at the time, what were the opportunities you felt could be lying in wait in LA which encouraged you to leave band and family etc. behind?Monte Pittman 1

It was hard leaving but I knew I could always go back if it didn’t work out. I didn’t know what to expect.

Jumping forward a bit and you became guitarist for Madonna; we covered it in our review of your album but can you fill in further for the readers how this came about?

I worked at Guitar Center in Hollywood. I quit and started teaching guitar lessons. One of my first students was Guy Ritchie. He was dating Madonna. Then I started giving her guitar lessons. From there, she asked me to play guitar for her.

You obviously are a heavy weight rocker at heart and creatively so were there any doubts about linking up with the Queen of Pop or was it a no-brainer decision?

No because we already knew each other and she was cool. I love all kinds of music and in her shows we play several styles of music.

As well as all the positives  from working, playing, and writing with the lady has there been any, not exactly negatives but may be doubts from people towards your solo work  before actually hearing it because of that creative union, their expectations making assumptions about your sound maybe?

I’m sure there would be some people who would be on the fence with just that information but hopefully the music speaks for itself.

As we mentioned earlier you have just released The Power of Three, a contagious rock ‘n’ roll beast of a record, what were your feelings about it and its possible reception compared to your previous solo releases?

I wanted to make an ultimate metal album with all the things I loved. I reached a point with my song writing where everything came together…the old with the new. People like different things. Hopefully that leaves something for everybody down the line. The new material has had the best response for sure.

The album is a multi-flavoured and genre varied inventive temptation which draws plenty of essences from your eclectic work and numerous collaborations over the past years; do you feel that yourself and was it intentional or just an organic evolution?

Most of it was an organic evolution. Sometimes you have to just forget everything and start over

I read somewhere that the album was originally going to be a three part release with acoustic, blues, and metal tracks? If so what changed in your thinking taking it into being an all-out metal and muscular rock adventure?

Monte Pittman bandI had written acoustic songs. I had written heavy songs. I had written blues songs. I made an acoustic EP with Flemming Rasmussen. We made plans to record the heavy songs and the heavy songs kept coming. The flood gates were open. I played what we recorded for Brian Slagel and he signed me to Metal Blade.

You also linked up with Danish producer Flemming Rasmussen for the album, a repeat from your earlier acoustic EP as you just mentioned; how did you first meet and what sparked your creative union?

I met Flemming on a day off when I was on tour in Copenhagen. We stayed in contact and eventually made plans to work together. We did the acoustic EP on another day off when I was back in Copenhagen again.

What is it in particular about the man that helps him connect so potently with your ideas and music to help guide it to the right final place?

He knows when to push you. He knows when to be invisible. He puts you in the right frame of mind for what he’s trying to get out of you. He becomes that next band member that’s there recording you.

Is there a general process you go through when writing your songs and music?

I’ll come up with some guitar riffs and then a melody will stick in my head. Then I find words to fit the melody. I can change one word and it changes the meaning of the song so it’s like you are writing a story.

How would you say your music has evolved over the years and specifically between last album Pain, Love & Destiny and The Power of Three?

I looked at what I needed for my live show. I needed faster and harder songs. That was in the back of my mind for everything I was writing at the time. It all started out with me playing solo acoustic shows on my own and that’s grown to what it is now.

Is there a particular moment or essence within the album which gives you an extra tingle?

Somewhere around “Away From Here”, you can really hear us get comfortable. The album was recorded in the order you hear it. The first song was the first thing we recorded. We all recorded at the same time in the same room. You can feel the excitement throughout the album.

Are you an artist who goes into the studio with finished songs or prefers them to either be born in that situation or certainly evolve into the finished article there?

There should be a little of both. I made a general demo of the whole album but we left room to do whatever we felt like doing right there and then in the studio.

Listening to certain tracks on The Power of Three you get the feeling there is a more carnivorous and heavier sound waiting Monte Pittman 3patiently to break out. Do you feel that yourself and is it a future exploration maybe?

This definitely paves the way to get heavier.

Will this upcoming year be a concentrated time supporting the album live and writing or are there already collaborations and varied projects lined up too?

Getting the word out about this album will take up all my time. (hopefully!) We’re playing the Whisky-A-Go-Go in LA February 22 and we’re about to start adding more.

One of our all-time favourite bands here is Prong who you have played, toured, and written with extensively these past years. How did you link up with the guys and is this an on-going thing including their upcoming tour?

When I first moved to LA, Ivan DePrume introduced me and Tommy Victor. From then on, I would wind up going back and forth between Madonna and Prong. Prong has a killer line up right now and Tommy is working on a new album. They are one of my favorite bands too. I’m happy I got to work with them and I’m always there to help if needed.

A big thank you Monte for taking time out to talk with us, any last thoughts you would like to leave us with?

Thanks for talking with me! Great questions! We did a video for “Before The Mourning Son”. Check that out if you haven’t seen it yet. There are some videos of some of our NAMM performances on YouTube at MontePittmanMusic. Keep checking in at www.montepittman.com

Lastly what are the five most important albums in your inspiration over the years?

– “Master Of Puppets” – Metallica

– “Vulgar Display Of Power” – Pantera

– “Pet Sounds” – The Beach Boys

– “Pink Moon” – Nick Drake

– “Shout At The Devil” – Motley Crue

Read the Power Of Three review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/monte-pittman-the-power-of-three/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 05/02/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Onward Chariots: This is My Confession

on ch

    This is My Confession from Onward Chariots is one of those albums which though it does not quite light a raging fire in the belly or hold a firm grip on ones attention from start to finish, it is a release which is hard to tear away from. The band has a sound which is a delicious hybrid of indie pop and progressive rock with a continually changing wash of extra steamy additives.  Because of this their debut album is a consistently intriguing and engaging release which leaves a warmth and satisfaction that cannot be denied or dismissed.

Onward Chariots is the invention of multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Ben Morss, an artist who has toured the world, played with Californian acid-jazz group 11:11, and arranged and played on albums for artists like Cake. He is also a music geek who has immersed himself in the sounds and creativity of Peter Bjorn & John, Belle & Sebastian, Yo La Tengo and The Beatles, a collection of artists amongst others which the album suggests have flavoured his own invention. Originally Morss recorded under the name Chariots of Tuna, which from accounts was a relatively short-lived project but in 2008 when Morss was playing in the Infinite Orchestra alongside Dan Davine (drums), Shawn Setaro (guitar), and Rus Wimbish (bass), the quartet came together to create melodic intricacies of pop which they mutually longed to make. This moment in time was the first official steps of Onward Chariots. The following year saw three songs posted online which led to strong responses and acclaim worldwide through blogs and fans with the band being compared to the likes of The Beach Boys, Beulah, The Shins and Belle and Sebastian. Festival appearances and radio play earned the band further recognition over the subsequent years leading to through Skipping Stones Records the unveiling of their first release.

The album is themed by the concept of boy meets girl, the tracks playing with premises and emotions from the varied teases of love.onward-chariots It begins with the golden showers of sonic elegance brought by the semi instrumental Opening. Twinkling melodies, warm harmonies, and brass borne kisses light the sky before a fiery energy intervenes to lead into This Is My Confession I. A wonderful throaty guitar sound introduces the track to remind of the first days of Killing Joke before opening into a pungent press of heavy rock sturdiness and the welcoming vocal lilt of Morss. Into its stride the song is an insistent and magnetic pleasure with an equal depth of sinewy allure and infectious melodic teasing.

The following Mel Gibson is a lighter pop rock romp with plays like a mix of Weezer and Union Starr. It is a peppy piece of energy which continues the impressive start. It is as catchy as a virus and takes the ear on a stroll of punchy rhythms and eager to please melodies which do not have to ask twice. There is also, to be not the only time on the album, a persuasive eighties breath to the song which adds to the engagingly textured musical poetry.

Following songs Sisters and Brothers with its heated Jan and Dean like harmonies and smoky trumpet persuasion and I Just Met a Girl with its jumpy swing recalling the classy tones of Town Called Malice, both without igniting the emotions as strongly as the earlier songs, leave the listener buoyant over their melodic and infectious rhythmic invitations. Though the album offers some instantaneously connecting songs it is generally more of a grower with the likes of When You’re Smiling and the harmonically glowing Mama along with the previous two songs, eventually earning their place in ones praise through the continual pleading of their tenderly crafted hearts across many plays.

The sixteen track release closes its first part with the heavier stomp of This Is My Confession II, a superior re-working of the first full song which then takes us into arguably the strongest part of album where songs like the mesmeric Forever Never Ends with its sultry melodic glaze shimmering across a seductive bassline, You Don’t Have To Be Unhappy, and I Want Everything reach stirring heights and hit the passions with the cleanest accuracy. The second of the trio has a great hook to start off its playtime of sixties pop and an addictive swagger complete with further impressive harmonies which feel Four Seasons inspired. It is a wonderful song equalled by the charging rock urgency of I Want Everything, a song which incites instinctive ardour for its outstanding rampancy.

Though it ebbs and flows in stature a little too much to be elevated to the highest echelons of acclaim, This is My Confession is a thoroughly enjoyable album. Certainly it takes its time to persuade but eventually does with style and deserves for all to take a stroll within its warm heart.

http://www.onwardchariots.com

7/10

RingMaster 14/02/2013

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

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