Amycanbe – Wolf

If like us you missed it at the time of release, Wolf is the latest album from Italian outfit Amycanbe which is well worth taking time out to go explore.  Creating a magnetic blend of electronic/indie pop and shoegaze/trip hop, the Cervia hailing quartet mesmerise the senses and imagination with their third full-length, its music a potent seduction led by the temptress tones of vocalist Francesca Amati.

Formed in 2002 by drummer/keyboardist Marco Trinchillo and guitarist/bassist/keyboardist Mattia Mercuriali, Amycanbe became a quartet three years later with the addition of Amati and Paolo Gradari. The years since has seen the release of debut album, Being A Grown-Up Sure Is Complicated in 2007, its successor Mountain Whales in 2011, and Wolf two years ago with keyboardist and album producer Mattia Dallara now alongside Amati, Mercuriali, and Trinchillo.

Swiftly it is easy to understand why Wolf was well-received upon its release, the album from opener Grano a truly magnetic affair with moments which spark a rapturous response in a continual appetite for its sounds and presence. The first track smoulders on the ears straight away, keys and the harmonious lure of Amati a spatial kiss as electronic shooting stars fly. Hitting its optimistic stride, the song radiates warmth and temptation, slowly rising from its enticing slumber as an increasing energy infects its passing minutes though enjoyably it never catches truly aflame at any point instead continuing to tease and seduce with Amati heading the affair.

The following I Pay brings a familiar if undefined air to its craft and character; warmly hugging like an old friend with fresh revelations to share. As in the first, country rock seeded melodies entice and similarly bred breezes blow across its landscape, a bounty of imagination which increasingly evolves with unpredictable hues and twists before the more sinewy rock attributes of Where From cluster around the ever enthralling presence of Amati. With keys aligning darker groans alongside melody rich sighs under a web of guitar nurtured suggestion, the song grips attention even if not quite finding the ultimate sparks of its predecessors.

Fighting opens up with the minimalistic charm of Young Marble Giants before blossoming into a rousing yet still nicely reserved proposal with an eighties new wave air wrapped around the inspiring rise of keys bred strings. A track which grows to its glory over numerous pleasing listens rather than making an instant impact, it soon has the imagination aflame while 5 Is The Number easily captivates with a cosmopolitan yet intimate sway as great drama infests its bass and a matching adventure in its overall invention. As pleasing and striking as both are, they are eclipsed by Wolves and its creative theatre which has a touch of The Cellophane Flowers to it.

Through the deep pulse and electronic hum of the imaginatively eventful White Slide and the subsequent subtle melodrama of Bring Back The Grace, band and album simply hold ears like warm sirens while Febbraio smoulders in the same with a jazzy grace and salubrious flirtation as a slumberous atmosphere wraps wintery arms around the senses. Each leave pleasure in their vibrant wake before Queens steals best track honours with its glorious croon and an increasing roar reminding of bands such as Belly and Throwing Muses. The track is superb and only gets more potent over time to seal its status within the album.

Closing with the sultry instrumental of Orata and its swimming melodies within surf/psych rock shimmers, Wolf captivates with growing strength and tenacity as new depths are revealed with subsequent listens. It is not a brand new album but one those who love to be seduced by their music should seriously think about slipping into.

Wolf can be streamed and bought @ https://amycanbe1.bandcamp.com/album/wolf while you can check out our interview with Francesca Amati @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2017/03/28/the-lure-of-the-moon-and-serenades-exploring-amycanbe-with-vocalist-francesca-amati/

http://amycanbe.it/    https://www.facebook.com/Amycanbe/

Pete RingMaster 04/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Kung Fu Jesus – Wolf

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The music world has been blessed with a torrent of thrilling and exceptional introductions from artists of all styles this year so far but there are few which have instantly recruited a willing ardour from the passions as the debut single from Kung Fu Jesus. Released via Gargleblast Records, Wolf is an irresistibly captivating and anthemic blend of acoustic and alternative rock with a healthy folk intimacy. The label’s press release calls the single “astounding” and it is hard to come up with many better adjectives for the riveting proposition.

Kung-Fu Jesus is a musician/writer bred in a Lanarkshire village who took to a global adventure to ‘escape’ the claustrophobic embrace of the place. His journey took in the sights and experiences of places such as South American and Taiwan, whilst emotionally love and its opposite also dramatically coloured the time. Returning home with a wealth of songs in tow Kung-Fu Jesus linked up with long-time friend/producer Andy Miller (De Rosa, Life Without Buildings, Foxface) to work on his compositions and music, resulting in the excellent Wolf whose release comes ahead of debut album Celestial Gold later this year.

Wolf opens up with a percussive shuffle over minimalistic keys. It is an unimposing entrance which barely scratches the surface of ears yet still nudges attention awake before the distinctive tones of Kung Fu Jesus joins a neat web of WOLF COVERmelodies to spark up greater appetite. Potently catchy and mesmeric, the song soon elevates its enticing with a burst of urgency lined with magnetic hooks and an infectious swagger. There is a feel of Lloyd Cole to the song but equally in its atmospheric keys seeded atmosphere Thomas Dolby. Predominantly though it is a unique flight of thought inspiring and evocative creative colour which sparks feet and emotions to move with eager revelry.

The song is a compelling lure alone but the single package is pushed to greater strength and ingenuity by the accompanying Wander. Again there is a mellow opening to the song which with keys and melodies making a coaxing bed for the vocals to paint with their expression, leads to an energetic dance of imaginative temptation. Impossibly contagious once into its provocative stride, the track swells and seduces with a celestial elegance aligned to a fiery rock flame of guitar and energy. Thoughts of Matt Johnson make hints as the song continues to excite and inflame the imagination but again by its conclusion the highly addictive Wander shows Kung Fu Jesus as a fresh and individual protagonist to cast a new breath to the British music scene.

With the second track stealing the show and both songs providing an extraordinary introduction, Wolf is an inspiring flame leading to the anticipation of a major fire ahead from Kung Fu Jesus, hopefully that will be Celestial Gold.

Wolf is available digitally now via Gargleblast Records @ www.gargleblastrecords.com

https://www.facebook.com/kungfujesusuk

9/10

RingMaster 26/08/2014

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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Spirytus unleash their new video

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SPIRYTUS:‘Brutal and Soulful… Spirytus has endless potential’ – Laz Pina, Ill Niño

2013 saw the much-anticipated follow up to Spirytus’ self-titled 2010 debut with the release of ‘The Fundamentals EP’ followed recently by the thrilling new video for  forthcoming single ‘Man Dem’.

The band has been described as a full speed car crash between Faith No More and Korn, sprinkled with Rage Against the Machine and a few surprises in there for good measure, with their stage show being just as entertaining, aggressive, energetic and downright funky as their music.

Spirytus released their self-titled debut album at the end of 2010 with the single “Bullet Ride” being featured on the cover CD for Metal Hammer of Up and Coming bands to watch out for and has been played on radio stations all across the country.

The funk metallers are serving their time on the road and have played throughout the country racking up notable festival appearances, including playing Ibiza’s Hard Rock Hell Road Trip for three consecutive years where the band played alongside Skindred, Panic Cell, Breed 77, Wolf, Evile and more (the band actually headlined the event in 2012).  In 2011, Spirytus opened for Ill Nino, as well as playing the Kick Out The Jams Festival and Hammerfest, where they headlined the Fresh Blood Stage. Spirytus also played Hammerfest again in 2012, after they beat over 1000 bands at the Highway to Hell competition to win a slot to appear at the festival. Along the way, Ryan from the band, has also managed to sing on stage with Fred Durst on three separate occasions; his band mate, Wes Borland from Limp Bizkit, refers to Ryan as ‘the guy with the loudest voice on the planet’.

After the success of their debut album, the band wanted to tweak their sound and parted ways with one of their guitarists, recruiting a turntablist to further augment their funky tendencies. With a refreshed line-up consisting of Ryan Walton (Vocals), Ben Edis (Bass), Alistair Bell (Guitar), Ben McAlonan (Drums) and Daniel Jones (Turntablist) and a revitalised sound that pitches a bouncy mix of upbeat party-time funk crossed with the grit and brutal aggression of modern metal, Spirytus set to work on the‘The Fundamentals EP’, eight slabs of biting groove metal, including the new video single for ‘Mandem’.

Quotes:

‘The guy with the loudest voice on the planet’ – Wes Borland, Limp Bizkit

‘Brutal and Soulful… Spirytus has endless potential’ – Laz Pina, Ill Niño

-SPIRYTUS RELEASE ‘MANDEM’ NOW – VIEW IT HERE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuNqDtoELeE

Spirytus – The Fundamentals EP

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     An invigorating splatter fest of styles upon a nu-metal canvas, The Fundamentals EP from UK metallers Spirytus is one of those slaps around the chops reminding you just how thrilling the core genre to their sound is when explored with imagination and a snarl which ignites the primitive inside. The use of the word splatter in our description should not be read as meaning it is a random approach with flavours by the Nottingham and Leicester based band as they thoughtfully and skilfully weave those spices into a voracious attack which constantly hits the sweet spot. Not since those halcyon days of Korn at their best and when early Drowning Pool gripped attention has nu-metal sounded this good.

      As mentioned there is plenty to entice and seduce in the band’s sound, its funk rapaciousness showing seeds bred in the likes of Limp Bizkit and Sugar Ray whilst their almost carnivorous side and the spicy elements of the sound holds a close relation to bands such as Rage Against The Machine and even more so Clawfinger. It is a scintillating mix which the The Fundamentals EP brings in feverishly exciting encounter even if one you feel does not quite reap all the potential you suspect is brewing in the band’s inventive belly. It is a magnet of an EP all the same from a band which formed in 2004. though it was three years ago they truly erupted into action. Their self-titled debut album of 2010 sparked keen critical attention upon their presence with the band equally earning an impressive reputation for their live performances which has seen them alongside the likes of Skindred, Panic Cell, Breed 77, Ill Nino, Wolf, Evile and many more. Since that debut Spirytus has brought a shift in their sound through the loss of a guitarist and the welcome of a turntable master in 2012, a move which has only added depth and diversity to an aggressive and mouthwatering confrontational sound. The EP is the first seduction since the album and simply a masterful treat of metallic grooving.

      The quintet of vocalist Ryan Walton, guitarist Alistair Bell, bassist Ben Edis, drummer Ben McAlonan, and Daniel Jones on the Spirytus Cover Artworkturntables from an opening sample go straight to the passions with a sturdy rapacious snarl of riffs and equally intensive rhythms. The bass craft of Edis immediately stands out, intimidating and skilled but it is fair to say the guitar and drums similarly steals their share of the imagination whilst the excellent vocals of Walton toys with air and syllables in a varied and thoroughly enjoyable vocal delivery and incitement which never relents across opener Fundamentals and the whole EP. The track bounces and twists with a creative rabidity around its sinew driven spine of almost disorientating rhythms and predatory riffery. It is an incendiary mix for senses and emotions which to the rear of the song dips into a restrained yet still urgently excitable passage allowing the vocals clear rein to tease and coax. It provides the icing on the feisty cake whilst the British feel to the band’s sound where most might and do emulate the American tone and breath of the genre, is a final potent ingredient to the blistering triumph.

     The following Qandahar strolls in on a resonating throaty bassline before sending streams of riffs and sonically cast grooves around the ear. In seconds though the track is roaming thoughts with a simple but inciting reserve of guitar and vocals before all collude for a fiery infectious chorus which brings not for the last time on the release that Clawfinger reminder. Though not as explosively gripping and dramatic as its predecessor the song is another to swing funk clad hips and forge a groove sculpted swagger which sees the already awoken appetite licking its lips.

     Next up comes the outstanding forthcoming single Mandem, a track also with an accompanying video to eagerly latch onto. A Korn like sonic nagging opens the track whilst the bass again lays down irresistible bait before the song leaps out forward with melodic flames and the ridiculous potency tempting turntable skills of Jones. The antagonistic flow of vocals and the surrounding gritty sonic invention reminds of Hed (PE) at times whilst the groove and table splattering taunts as well as the alternative infectious air of Walton’s delivery is definite Limp Bizkit bred but all soaked in a juice and invention all of Spirytus’ own making. The guitar craft of Bell not for the first time is impressive and perfectly controlled furthering the virulently contagious lure of the song.

     Horses Will Bleed is an eyeballing blaze of provocation and again a track which merges intensity and clarity into a compelling mix which is incredibly addictive and powerfully resourceful without bludgeoning the ears with an overload of greedy ideas. The challenging breath of the song develops another funk toxicity which is irresistible and only the guitar solo, which this time feels a little like showing off and a little at odds with the track, a minor niggle.

     The senses carving electro start to Patience Of A Saint is another thrilling entrance to a song on the EP, an invitation which the track takes through a melodically fuelled smouldering, which again merges Clawfinger and Sugar Ray like essences, plus a pinch of early Papa Roach, into a sultry sonic heat rife with plenty of biting vocals. A slow burner of a track compared to those previous triumphs on the EP, it emerges as one of the most exhilarating and inventive propositions on the release to steal top honours.

     The final stretch of the release does not tempt and grip as strongly and feels like a lost opportunity. The brief instrumental/sample piece Horses is fun but wasted whilst All Because Of Me though again impressively presented and crafted lacks the spark and fire of the previous songs; not a filler but a song too far for this particular release and not really offering anything new upon it. It makes way for the Tribal Riot Edit of Fundamentals featuring Dave Chavarri of Ill Nino; it a more percussive endowed version of the great track which reprises the towering start without really stretching it further, but it is such a thrilling song there are no complaints here.

    The Fundamentals EP is an excellent slab of nu and funk metal devilry, a release soaked in old inspirations but forging its own path. Spirytus have re-ignited an arguably forgotten genre and are right on course to become one of its most inspirational tempters. This is a breath-stealing release from a thoroughly impressive band and they can only get better.

www.facebook.com/spirytusband

9/10

RingMaster 13/01/2014

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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SPIRYTUS release ‘The Fundamentals’ EP, on Monday 13th January‏

 Spirytus
UK GROOVE METAL CREW SPIRYTUS RETURN WITH NEW EP THIS JANUARY!
 ‘Brutal and Soulful… Spirytus has endless potential’ – Laz Pina, Ill Niño
Sparking glowing comparisons that liken the quintet to ‘a full speed car crash between Faith No More and Korn, peppered with the fury of Rage Against the Machine’, the band are rapidly climbing the ranks and amassing a stellar live reputation for delivering highly energetic and engaging shows.
Although originally formed in 2004, Spirytus were not truly active until three years ago. The early years of the band were spent grappling with their sound and direction before finally evolving into a fully fledged groove metal outfit just prior to the release of their self-titled debut album. The album was released in 2010 and snared extensive national praise and radio airplay for the band, along with having a track featured on the cover mount CD of Metal Hammer.
The funk metallers are serving their time on the road and have played throughout the country racking up notable festival appearances, including playing Ibiza’s Hard Rock Hell Road Trip for three consecutive years where the band played alongside Skindred, Panic Cell, Breed 77, Wolf, Evile and more (the band actually headlined the event in 2012).  In 2011, Spirytus opened for Ill Nino, as well as playing the Kick Out The Jams Festival and Hammerfest, where they headlined the Fresh Blood Stage. Spirytus also played Hammerfest again in 2012, after they beat over 1000 bands at the Highway to Hell competition to win a slot to appear at the festival. Along the way, Ryan from the band, has also managed to sing on stage with Fred Durst on three separate occasions; his band mate, Wes Borland from Limp Bizkit, refers to Ryan as ‘the guy with the loudest voice on the planet’.
After the success of their debut album, the band wanted to tweak their sound and parted ways with one of their guitarists, recruiting a turntablist to further augment their funky tendencies. With a refreshed line-up consisting of Ryan Walton (Vocals), Ben Edis (Bass), Alistair Bell (Guitar), Ben McAlonan (Drums) and Daniel Jones (Turntablist) and a revitalised sound that pitches a bouncy mix of upbeat party-time funk crossed with the grit and brutal aggression of modern metal, Spirytus set to work on their new record.
The five-some are now poised to release their eagerly awaited new EP ‘The Fundamentals EP’, which packs together eight slabs of biting groove metal, including the blistering forthcoming video single for ‘Mandem’. Spirytus also hit the road on a UK tour comprised of various headline shows, along with support slots with Breed 77. Consummately, everything is slipping into place for the band.
-SPIRYTUS RELEASE ‘THE FUNDAMENTALS EP’ ON MONDAY 13th JANUARY 2014-

Mystery Blue: Conquer The World

MysteryBlueBand

Classic metal has never found an easy welcome with personal tastes here but if it consistently sounded as irresistibly fun as the new album from French power metallers Mystery Blue does the genre would have received open arms far more often. Conquer The World, the new and seventh album from the Strasbourg quartet, is quite delicious. It cannot be claimed it is transforming the heart of classic metal/rock or even directing the genre to new avenues nor offering anything particularly new, but it does leave a deepest of satisfaction and pleasure seldom found in the majority of similarly soaked releases anywhere. It is just a great energising enjoyment which has the heart racing and fist pumping, simply rock n roll at its stirring invigorating best.

Mystery Blue was founded in 1982 by guitarist Frenzy Philippon and found a strong recognition within the hard rock/metal sound of the time. Their self-titled debut album of 1984 and its successor Circle Of Shame two years later found good success and acclaim as did gigs alongside the likes of Motörhead, Def Leppard, Saxon, Vengeance, H-Bomb, and Satan Jokers, but it was followed by the splitting of the band. 1996 saw Philippon resurrect the band with vocalist Nathalie Geyer, bassist Dany Ohlmann, and drummer Vince Koehler completing the new line-up. The album Spirit Of Your Song came out to a good response, with the successive releases Metal Slaves, Claws Of Steel, and Hell & Fury marking the band with ever increasing acclaim and recognition. A couple of bassist changes led to Matt Gabnai joining the band in 2011 and the foursome entering the studio to record Conquer The World with Uwe Lulis (ex-Grave Digger, Rebellion). Since returning Mystery Blue has gone on to share stages with bands like Paragon, Rebellion, Wolf, Adx, No Return and more as well as impressively gracing many festivals, and alongside their albums especially the new one released  via Road Show Productions, has found a place to the fore of current classic/power metal.

The title track bursts into life after an initial barrage of inciting drums which then fades away making one wonder why and their mystery_blue_conquer_the_world_highpurpose though all is forgotten as soon as the song itself emerges powerfully from the rhythmic mists. It opens with a charged and heavy grind of riffs and the enthralling vocals of Geyer. She has a classic delivery which sweeps over the ear like a mix of Doro and Toyah, and once a handle is found with it is a great aspect amongst so many on the album. The song itself is a ‘traditional’ sounding track which does everything right without pushing its limits for an easily accessible and pleasing start to the album.

Things leap another level with the following Innocent Crime and Running With The Pack. The first song matches the opener in energy and irresistible washes of catchy hooks and enthusiastically driven riffs whilst bringing a more complex structure to the songwriting. It ebbs and flows seamlessly whilst all the time creating a pulse racing energy to envelope and reward the listener whilst the second is a different chunkier and sinewy encounter. The bass growls with deeper resonance whilst the rhythms slap harder with more malice behind the enterprising guitar play. With additional vocals from Andreas Babuschkin of Paragon finding a great unity with those of Geyer, the song is a thrilling and contagious instigator to heart, voice, and limb, and one of the biggest highlights.

It is closely matched by the likes of the excellent Evil Spell where Geyer at times wonderfully wrings notes from her throat alongside her great melodic castings, the thrashy Cruel Obsession with its crushing almost psychotic breath, and Road Of Despair. The last song is a thunderous runaway colossus of bloodletting riffs and bone cracking rhythms cored with a ravenous bass conjuration and infectious vocal squalls. It is a magnificent track stealing top honours amongst many impressive rivals.

The album does lose its grip a little with Ticket To Hell and the power ballad Keep On Dreaming due to personal preferences in regard to their classic metal intent, but even then it is still hard to pull away from their company. Conquer The World is an outstanding album which thrills and raises the heart rate from start to finish with mischievous imagination and irrepressible passion. It is a must check out for not only classic rock and metal fans but for all those with an ear for crusading unbridled fun.

www.mysteryblue.com

RingMaster 02/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Interview with Mike Paradine

The instant the debut solo album from Mike Paradine puts the first of the muscular slices of rock n roll that impressively make up its generous and undemanding glory through the ear, there is nothing but eager enthusiasm, respect and downright joy going back in return. Death In The Family is simply rock n roll at its very best and brought with an enterprise and honesty that makes the pleasure it gives deeper and long lasting each and every time. Eagerly wanting to know more about the man and his release we asked Mike if he would tell us more. As generous with his time and words as with his music Mike Paradine tells us about the man, his life, and the music that has made his album one of the highlights of the year so far at The Ringmaster Review.

Hello and welcome to The RingMaster Review. Many thanks for taking time to talk with us.

Thank you for the opportunity.

Would you start of by telling us about the man who is Mike Paradine?

Well there’s not much…hahah! I just try and go through life with blinders on, not to take things too seriously. Basically I try and find the humour or inject humour into anything I do or see. The reason is that sometimes there are things in life where situations have to be taken seriously, so all of the other times I try to have a good laugh at life and just lighten things up. I take pride in everything I do but not to the point where it consumes my life. There are just too many things in this world to do and experience.

You were introduced to music at an early age in the shape of the Beatles, and I noticed you give Ray Davies as a major influence for you too. As a child growing up in Bayonne, New Jersey these are slightly unexpected flavours from the UK, what was it about them that really took hold with you?

My father’s brother, my Uncle Billy , gave me the Kinks 45 record “Father Christmas” as Christmas present one year and loved the humour  in it. It opened my eye that songs could be written well and be funny at the same time. The following year he gave me the “Muswell Hillbillies” album and just saw how well Ray could tell a human story. From then on in, I started looking at songs a different way, where lyrics actually could mean something. I mean, when I was a little kid, maybe 8 or 9 years old, music was something that was heard and felt, not explored. That is, until then.

Music was a constant in your household and life growing up?

Sure thing. My parents did not play any instruments but music was always played in the house. They had a great 45 collection, packed in record cases. Unfortunately as a 2 year old, I broke a lot of them, hahah. At age 3, my parents gave me a “close and play” record player and gave me some records to play on it. The Beatles became a favourite of mine. Of course I couldn’t read but I could figure out the Beatles records because at the time they were all on the Capital Records label. The label itself had an orange and yellow swirl and I figured that out. Problem was the Beach Boys were also on that label. So sometime I got the Beatles, sometimes the Beach Boys which I immediately took off the player. My father showed me that the Beach Boys had 2 b’s in their name and the Beatles only one. Things got better after that.

When did you begin to venture into making music itself?

I always wanted to be in a band, even as a little kid. I had pictured myself playing in the Beatles. But I actually started fooling around with the drums around 6th or 7th grade. I bought a starter kit from Sears and started playing to some of the records that I had. My best friend at the time, Mike, had a guitar and he would come over and we would do the riff from “Smoke on the Water” over and over again. We named the group “Moonwind” but nothing ever became of it. It wasn’t till a few years later that I actually got a real band together.

You also developed a love for comic books and horror movies as a child, was this also your gate way into rock music or just a blossoming love that grew at the same time?

At the time they were separate interests. Another uncle, this time my mother’s brother, Ronnie, was the one who got me into this. He was also partly responsible for me getting in the Beatles. He would come over once or twice a week and he would draw all these comic book and movie monsters for me. This is the time were I was schooled in not only the pop culture at the time but how to draw and illustrate. As time went on, music was pushed into the background and I took a real interest in drawing. By the time I was in Kindergarten, my skill at drawing was that at a fifth grade level. This was when my imagination grew and it was a great time for myself. You could just submerge yourself into different realities and you controlled the outcome.

You were a child discovering the wonders of music and comics as mentioned and also baseball but then was hit with the nightmare of cancer and the loss of your left leg below the knee. It is said that children are the most adaptable and resilient to this kind of life changing thing and are able to look beyond for positives and new directions. Was it that ‘easy’ for you?

Very cool question. Actually, the amputation was above the knee.  But absolutely… baseball came very natural for me and I was very good at it. Just playing on the field, in front of a crowd was very exhilarating. It’s from these days that I found that I liked playing in front of an audience. When I was diagnosed with cancer, it seemed the whole world was coming down. I knew that if I couldn’t give it 100% and play like I did before, that it wasn’t worth doing. You find out immediately that your body is naturally balanced and when one of those things is taken out of the equation, your whole body is off. It just isn’t the same even with some adjustments. But as luck would have it, I had rock n roll. I was still playing drums and I was really into Alice Cooper at the time. I saw the spectacle in his show. I saw that rock and roll didn’t care about your deformities. It just cared that you were into the music. Alice, David Bowie, they all taught me that freaks, misfits and degenerates, as well as everyone else  were all accepted in this society. I immediately embraced that. This was a place where as long as you were entertaining, you were accepted.

Was this the point the defiance and fight within you as apparent on your new solo album which we will move on to shortly, stepped forth?

Back then, I just took one day at a time. There were those that didn’t think I could play drums in a band because of the cancer thing. I never confronted them, I never got into fights because of it, never argued about it. I just kept playing. The best way to shut somebody’s mouth is to just do it. The real fight was within myself. It wasn’t for anyone else. It was for me to prove that I could do it.  No matter how, I was determined to play.  It was hard at first. I had chemotherapy treatment every other week and that would knock me out for that time. The following week was to keep up with school work that I missed for that week and for the week that I was there. I always found the time to practice though.

You turned to music even more from this point, and obviously became a drummer. Why the drums and was there any particular musician or band that inspired that choice?

I found that the drums were easier to play and I caught on pretty fast. At this time I was hanging out with people who, though were just beginners, could actually play guitar. We would jam at my house and started our first band, Cerberus. KISS really pushed me into putting a band together and playing out. The excitement of their shows were so inspirational, I had to try it. Neil Smith of Alice Cooper and Peter Criss of KISS at the time were the guys I tried to emulate.

When did you begin writing your own songs?

That was during my time in my first band. Though we were a cover band I did start writing my own lyrics on the side with hopes that we would start writing our own material. For the most part, it never happened though we did have maybe 2 or 3 originals which never made it out to the public performances.

As I am writing these questions by coincidence a news report has come on TV about a new exhibition in London dedicated to Phil Lynott who also was a big influence to you. What was it about his music and lyrics that struck you the deepest?

Oh yes…I love Thin Lizzy.  My biggest influences lyrically are Alice Cooper, Ray Davies and Phil. Ray had the social commentary thing going,Alice took horrific situations and twisted them slightly to where he put a sense of humour to them and Phil wrote about his beliefs, family and basically personal insights. That’s what attracted me to his writings. He wasn’t afraid to sing about his inner thoughts. I’ve always been interested in the  “human” aspect of things and this was something I took to right away.

You have been part of Balistik Kick and are the rhythm master and song writer in ArticFlame but do you mind if we move straight to Death In The Family your great new solo album. My first question is how has it taken you so long to make one haha?

I never had the thought of doing one until after ArcticFlame finished the “Guardian at the Gate” album. I built a small recording studio in my yard and contacted some musician friends of mine to see if they would be interested in doing this project together. Initially, I worked with a guitarist from the band Bloodfeast but it didn’t last too long. We did manage to have about 4 songs done musically but then his schedule changed and it became impossible to continue. It wasn’t until I reconnected with producer, Dave Manheim (he did ArcticFlame’s “Declaration” CD) on Facebook that I told him about my idea. He was totally interested and we struck a deal where he would do my solo album and the next AF album.

Death In The Family  is made up of a deeply impressive collection of songs that come from your personal experiences and heart, how easy have the songs been to bring forth?

Honestly, very easy.  Writing personal songs has never been a problem for me and I really have to thank my influences for that. I’ll never be as good as those guys but they taught how to get a story across, what type of phrasing to use, how to use syllables as a rhythm and just be honest with your thoughts. The only thing that I can bring to the table is my own experiences and with that, I have plenty.

How long has the album been in the making from first seed until release?

The writing process was down very quickly. Dave wrote the music the first week, I wrote the melody and lyrics the second. By the third week the album was completely recorded and we spent about 4 days after that mixing the album. It took more to get released. Right after the mixing sessions were done, ArcticFlame went in and started the “Shake the Earth” album” which took about 4 months to do. So I didn’t get around to putting the artwork and layout for my solo album until after that, which was, I think, October. I got the actual physical copies done around January and it was after that, that I started sitting down and figuring out how to do the promo work for it.

The songs as the lyrics are varied and diverse, some tracks rock and hard rock in flavour and others metal borne. Was this intentional to encompass your own tastes and influences or they just evolved as you began writing them this way?

Yes…I wanted it to reflect all of the music that I enjoyed throughout my life, starting with straight rock and roll to the traditional metal. It was Dave’s idea to include the Guns N Rose style punk that is heard in “Suzi with an Uzi”. That was just a really fun song to do.  I had to write something on the humorous side for that. The first time I heard the music. it immediately reminded me of GnR’s punkier side which is really gritty and I love all of that. It was a good but different ingredient to add to the album.

How do you approach your songwriting?

I don’t have one way of doing it. Usually I’ll have an idea for a song and then put it to paper. If someone comes up with music that I think would fit those set of lyrics, I’ll sit down and work at it. Sometimes the lyrics will fit right from the start but mostly I have to tinker with parts so that it makes sense as a whole. Once in a while I’ll have the music, melody and lyrics all at the same time. It’s always good to have a few beers though. That’s the one constant..hahahah!!!!!!

Has Death In The Family given you a freedom and wider scope of expression than writing for ArticFlame allows?

The solo was the reason for this. I could of written a traditional metal sounding album for the solo album but why do that? I already do that with AF and enjoy that. This gave me a broader horizon and to use all of my musically influences. I look at Phil Lynott’s solo albums as a model. Some of that music I can’t get into but I understand what he was trying to do. He didn’t care. It was what he wanted to do to combine the music with the lyrical content and mould it into one expression.  That’s the kind of approach I wanted to take.

As mentioned earlier you have worked alongside Dave Manheim (Supernatiral, Society Killers) on the album, how did you guys originally meet?

Jack Frost (Seven Witches) produced the first ArcticFlame album and had Dave as the engineer. He asked to produce the second album “Declaration” and since he worked with Overkill and Symphony X before, we agreed. We’ve been in contact on and off over the years.

There feels a perfect and natural understanding between you two as one listens to the album.

Glad you noticed. We both had that conversation and is why he’ll do my next couple of albums. I have to tell you that everything was smooth sailing on this project. It was a real fun album to do because everything seemed to fit so naturally. If I described what type of style I was looking for, he would nail it on the first draft. Plus we had a lot of laughs in the studio.

You also have many other artists added their fine touches including Richard Holmgren (Wolf) and Michael Clayton Moore (ArcticFlame). Did you always have them in mind for certain songs as Death In The Family evolved?

Not really. It wasn’t until I heard the actual completed music that I tried to place the voice with the song. With Richard, I had no idea what he was going to sound like. I had his solo album called “Blackworld” and loved the sound of his voice. He had this Dio like quality to it and when he sent back the songs, I was amazed. Dave had a concern before we got them because he never heard him before but as soon as he heard it, he agreed that he was a great choice for those two songs. With Mike we already had an idea what he was going to sound like so we had it planned out what we wanted him to do.

As mentioned lyrically the songs are strongly personal at times, the likes of Rise Up from the Grave dealing with your time with cancer and Bow Down To The Queen referring to an on-going family feud? There is though also some wonderful dark humour throughout especially in the wonderful Cooperesque Monster’s Ball and our favourite song Suzie with an Uzi. Humour is an important and powerful tool in your character one suspects.

Absolutely and it all comes from my father’s side of the family. They are insanely funny and all they do is laugh. My father and I would watch Monty Python religiously every Sunday as I was growing up. We would listen to his Rodney Dangerfield albums and watch the local comedy show, The Uncle Floyd Show. I found out the humour also broke the ice with people. When I was sick, people wouldn’t know how to approach me but by my sense of humour it immediately let people know that I wasn’t an angry person. It was also a good tool to use when other kids would make fun of me. Once I made fun of myself, it automatically disarmed them. They saw that by making fun of myself and laughing about it, there was nothing they could say or do to hurt my feelings. These types of situations didn’t last long because of this.

Is there any particular part of the album that you are proudest of or means the most in your heart?

That is actually a hard question. When I heard “On A Tuesday Morning” for the first time, it knocked me to the floor. I never, ever pictured myself writing a commercial sounding song. Plus it was about an actual event that happened that most people don’t know about. Dave did such a great job on it. I was amazed and still am. “Monsters Ball” is cool because it came out exactly what I had in mind. It’s not the best song on the album but I wanted to give a nod to Alice Cooper and I think I accomplished that. He was the inspiration for that song and I’m glad you pointed that out [in our review of the album]. The best I can say is that I like this album a lot and I actually listen to it regularly. It came out better than I ever expected.

In our review we said Death In The Family has no intention of breaking down barriers or trying to set new directions, it is just rock n roll at its best, a celebration of the sounds and music we all grew up with, is that a fair comment?

You nailed it and that’s the way I’m going to continue. I’m not looking to re-invent the wheel. I’m not looking to be the best or look for the next big sound. I just want to write things that I know about. You can listen for the deeper meaning of the songs, if that’s what you’re into or you can sit down, have a beer and just listen to the music. That’s good enough for me. It all comes down to having fun.

So we are to be blessed with more solo work from you in the future?

Blessed?!?!?!?  I don’t know about that but…Yes, in fact Dave and I have discussed this a few weeks back. Lyric wise, I have the next 2 albums done. The next album is planned to be written this year with a Guns N Roses style to it. I love Steve Jones “Fire and Gasoline” album and want to travel in that direction also. So hopefully we’ll try and mix those styles together. The 3rd album is a story I had written a few years ago and will probably be more in the traditional metal sound.

And live shows for The Mike Paradine Group?

This week I put out a few calls to some musicians I know and looks like we’ll play a handful of shows toward the end of the summer. Kilroy, the guitarist form the album will be joining us as well as Michael Clayton-Moore of ArcticFlame. We’ll both be sharing the front of the stage for this, with some visuals to be added and just have some fun.

I also wanted to ask about your book King of Toys. Could you tell us about that?

Sure, I wrote that a few years back. It is a horror/poetry type book. Almost like one long set of song lyrics. It tells the story of a 8 year old boy who is abused by his parents and their friends. One night after a horrific episode of abuse his toys come to life and take revenge. The boy also finds out about a lie that the father had told him about a family pet. That fabrication comes back to bite the parents in the ass….

What is its inspiration?

It came from a true story. When my oldest son was in the first grade, he had a friend who used to come over the house, a very hyper kid. We found out that when this boy was a few months old he was severely abused by his mother. So much in fact, that she broke his arm. The sister was granted guardianship and that’s where this boy was living. Just the thought of that happening was upsetting to me. I thought to myself, when you are a very young kid and your parents, abuse and hurt you, where do you turn to? Parents are gods to children and if god is hurting you, where can you go, who do you talk to? My first thought was, your toys, your playthings. Kids talk to the toys and if you’re that age, it makes sense. So I took that approach and added the revenge part of it. Here is a kid from a lower economic background with a bunch of broken down toys but he loves them to death. They in turn return that feeling and protect this kid no matter what.  If only things like that could truly happen though….

What comes next for Mike Paradine?

I don’t know…a nice cold beer maybe????  I’m doing an old school thrash recording project with my son Erik. We plan on recording possibly May/June at Michael Clayton-Moore’s studio. Other than that, ArcticFlame releases the new album in June.

Once more a great thanks for sharing your time to talk with us, it has been a pleasure.

The pleasure was all mine! Thanks for the cool questions…

Would you like to end with a last comment or thought?

If anyone would like to book the band, contact me. Will try and figure something out.

Other than that….I’ll be in Mansfield, England at the Intake Club with ArcticFlame on Saturday, May 26th at the Metalgods Festival. So, if anyone’s not doing anything, stop by and we’ll hang and have a couple of beers!!!

Read the Death In The Family review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/mike-paradine-group-death-in-the-family/

The RingMaster Review 11/04/2012

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